Tested... sometimes we are tested. The Universe asks me "What is your resolve? How much more can you stretch and expand?" Some of our greatest tests are how we respond to those who would teach us our greatest lessons... these are 'growth opportunities'. But you know, sometimes I get mad. Sometimes tears run down my cheeks uncontrollably. Sometimes I feel small and powerless. Sometimes it's not a lesson I really want to take on. Sometimes it's the same lesson with a different name.
Those are the moments I know I need to breathe. To remove myself from my life and get grounded & refuel spiritually. And that's how I know that I've passed the test - not when I fly through the challenges without the emotions or tears or whatever comes up, but when I recognize the imbalance and pause long enough to recalibrate.
Recalibration is tough. And as I dive into my book tomorrow I'll be taking this into account. Seeing which of the Nine on my Inner Council needs attention and needs her vibration raised. Tomorrow - I'm going to dive into the meat of the book, and that's really scary.
And frankly, it's simply another test. Can I take the chaos in my life and still connect with my inner voice to write and create? I don't know but I plan on grading on a curve...
What do you do to recalibrate? What tests are you going to dive into this week?
I've been tapping into my creative side... exploring with pens and watercolors. Enjoying this almost meditative practice of creativity. I have also challenged myself to stretch outside of my comfort zone and sell some of them on CafePress. I've earned $4 so far so I can officially say I've earned money from my art, LOL. The point is that I love the process of doodling and allow myself the time and space to explore it. It has nothing to do with my bottom line but has everything to do with the life I choose to create.
So what are you choosing to create? Is it filled with color and joy?
Can it be?
I'm a little stuck... see in the process of writing my book I created a great outline of everything I want to write to make sure I don't forget anything uber important and it makes it easier to sit down and write if I know where I'm going.
I've been staring at the section on Comparisonitis for over a week now. I know how much comparing yourself to others is harmful - either to yourself or to them. I can name a thousand times a day when I catch myself in the cycle and have to take a deep breath to redirect the monkeys in my brain. I fully and completely agree with Theodore Roosevelt when he said "Comparison is the thief of joy."
But I don't know how to write down the words for something that is so feelings-based, that is ingrained in every fiber of our lives whether we consciously know it or not. It's in our competitive nature to want to be better than others. It's in our self conscious nature to feel inferior others for one thing or another. It's self preservation to point out to ourselves all the ways we are superior. We notice these things everywhere, from the scuff on that woman's heels to the roots showing in her hair to that person's awesome website that makes you realize that you'll never, ever be able to have as good of a site as that to the fact that your friend looks better in those jeans than you and then back to omg, do they ever wash their car? We float in and out of "I'm better" and "I'm worse" within nano seconds without even skipping a beat.
How do I express the craziness of this pattern? It's like pinning down pieces of floating dust. Some of the thoughts that we have are so itty-bitty that most of them float by without us even registering that we had the thought in the first place. And some are so great big that they stop us in our tracks, distract us from our dreams, contaminate our day.
I want you to really understand what these thoughts, big or little, are doing to you and to your ability to be happy. I would like to tell you that you are enough. I need to give you a great big hug and then smack you upside the head. And I have to do it within the confines of one little section of typed words in a book that is meant to inspire...
I'm a little overwhelmed with the importance of conveying the cure for the disease Comparisonitis even though the cure is quite simple... but perhaps that's the trick to writing it down in book format. Perhaps I'm comparing my writing to what I think a book should be rather than just writing what I want to convey. Perhaps this blog post is the chapter I've been writing in my head. Comparing my thoughts to those of thought leaders I admire is forcing me to overcomplicate my words, to want to live up to their example instead of being the great writer I am.
So today I'm going to finish the section because I'm clearer now. I'm going to shed the Comparisonitis I didn't even realize I was involved in and just write. Writing gives me joy and taking it ever-so seriously because an author should do that is totally robbing me of the fun I have when I am typing...
"Be so busy loving life that you have no time for hate, fear or regret" drifted past my screen as I browsing around for my morning inspiration. Isn't that beautiful? When we think of our day and how busy we were, how much of that time was spent in stress instead of joy?
I asked the other day on Facebook how people react when they are stressed and the majority of women answered "Cry". We cry when we're stressed out - I totally get that. The stress keeps building up until it's only outlet is through our eyes.
What if instead we laughed? Or stopped and watched a sunset? What if we ignore all of the little annoyances and just sat down for a few minutes to enjoy our day? What if we filled our days with perfect little moments?
What if we didn't allow ourselves to get so filled with stress that we explode into tears? That's a good notion. I mean, what if we could just be happy?
I'm not perfect... I get stressed and lose my way. I get wrapped up in negative gossip and get pissed when the driver in front of me clearly doesn't know how to drive. I cry and shut down and call my friends to vent. But I also catch myself in the stress cycle quicker than I used to. I practice letting things go with a deep breath. I stop doing the dishes to watch the sunset with my husband. I put down the computer to give my puppies cuddles during the day.
Life is all about redirection. If I am so busy being happy, loving my life, then truly at the end of the day I have less and less time for stress. I can redirect those negative habits of complaining into moments of joy.
What do you think? Can you redirect some of that stress energy into something happy? Can you laugh instead of cry?
Today is a work day... there is a lot that HAS to get done today. However, all of those things that are so important are going to have to take a backseat because today I'm playing hookie. And I'm going to be honest - I am a little stressed about it - it's only natural. I woke up going through all of the things that needed to get done before I get into that car to drive to the beach, some of which involved getting packed and ready for said trip. I love feeling behind before I begin (sarcasm much?)... the guilt of skipping out on my obligations for something as frivolous as digging my toes in the sand is eating at me.
Well, sort of. I mean I'm excited too, it's just that I'm torn between my obligations to others and to my business and the need to play. The nagging feeling that I'm going to be totally behind is there in my head but my head's not in charge today. It gets the next 2 hours to plot and scheme about why I cannot take the day off (I have so many reasons) and to get some crud done and then that's it... my brain is FIRED.
See I know that once I hit the freeway and hear the kids' excitement and their raucous laughter from the backseat those feelings of "I shouldn't be doing this" will change into "I totally deserve this". And the weight of the week will slide off and the joy of hearing the ocean will lift me up.
Sometimes it's actually going that is the hard part, but once you're there you can't imagine why you were resisting so much. Your list can be done later. I promise.
So below I want to hear about your summer 'Hookie' moments... are you planning to chuck it all for a day? If you weren't before, do you think you can now?
Do you ever have one of those days where you are hiding from your responsibilities? From making that phone call or cleaning that bathroom or checking off the things on your list? I'm having one of those days right now. I have some BIG tasks that I would like to accomplish today but instead of feeling all pumped up and ready, I'm stalling. I've been on Facebook, did 'research' on an astrology site, paid my cell phone bill, fixed myself a snack, looked up recipes for dinner and pretended to work for about 23 minutes. In fact I'm stalling right now by writing this blog post.
It's already 9:52am - I should have been well into my 'real' projects by now. But I'm not. I'm hiding in my shell like a turtle.
This is a typical response to feeling overwhelmed and there was a time when I would have stopped right here, towel tossed in. My mind is cluttered up with 'have-tos' and 'shoulds' and 'musts' and I can no longer hear myself think. So I have shut down the factory.
But I've got the power to change that. Not by forcing myself to do things - because that doesn't make me any happier, it just makes me feel used and tired. I'm going to clean my internal house.
No - I'm not doing some weird cleansing diet...
Right now (or at least right after I post this up) I'm going to close every non-essential screen on my computer and take a few deep breaths. I'm going to spend the next 10 minutes doing a brain dump - I get out a piece of paper (yes, old school works best for me) and write down all the little things I think I need to do today. It will include everything from calling for my annual mammogram to repainting my toenails to getting that essential recording done, all of the big and little tasks that are scattered around in my head. Once that behemoth list is complete a funny thing will happen to my brain - it will actually work again. It's like cleaning out your purse or clearing off your desk.
All of a sudden you can find what you're looking for and you have a blank slate to write on. Just making the list is cathartic. The trick is to not try to do everything you just dumped. The power of the list is to release the pressure that builds up in our 'do more to be more' mentality. Honestly, I won't even look at the list again after I choose 1 or 2 things I really want to accomplish today. The point is to clear out my cluttered mind and start fresh and then all of a sudden actually doing things becomes more fun than sitting around hiding like a turtle.
Yesterday was an emotional day for me. My husband and I bought our dream home up on a hill with beautiful views and 4.25 acres and we've been so happy here (not the emotional part. Keep reading), but it also meant that we had to sell our old home. 10 years ago that was our dream home. We raised our children, our son was 1 year old when we moved to it and eventually our daughter graduated High School while we lived there. When I open the door I still can see our first dog Ginger running up to greet me every day. Her ashes are buried in the back yard. On the side yard is a piece of concrete we poured that has my kids' hand prints in it. The downstairs bathroom is tiny but it has 3 light switches and the toilet always makes a funny noise after you flush it. The spot on the ceiling in our master bedroom isn't water, it is a stain made by a sticky hand that my son got stuck permanently up there. The shelves above the linen closet is where our family photos sat. Every corner of the house holds some precious memory.
I went to do a final walk through yesterday and I literally sat on the floor of this now empty house and cried for a good 1/2 hour. Not the tear up kind of cry - the full on sob, can't catch my breath kind of cry. And somehow my husband was on the phone while I'm having my meltdown and being a man, did his best to understand the irrational woman on the other end of the line. He threw me a couple of "It's going to be okay" platitudes but I already knew that. It is already okay. We are so happy in our new home. My crying wasn't about being anything that could be fixed. And so I told him "I just need to be sad right now because I am mourning the loss of something that is near and dear to me. I just need to let out the sadness."
And so I allowed myself the space to feel whatever grief I was feeling. And as I walked out and locked the door for the last time and heard the familiar sound of the clicking of the handle, I didn't try to be happy or hopeful or anything other that what I was feeling right in that moment. I was sniffly and red faced and truly kind of pathetic and I was ready to own it. I needed to give into those emotions if only to honor my feelings of loss, even in the happiest of circumstances.
So sometimes being fully present or in the 'now' isn't about feeling all peaceful and happy - that's where we get lost and feel like a failure because we weren't perfectly self developed. Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to feel the anger or sadness that pops up so that we can get on with the next step of our day or of our lives. When we try to be perfect and in control of all of our feelings all of the time we end up holding onto those heavy emotions and they never really go away. So to be imperfect and sit on the floor to cry because we're sad is okay - it's better than okay. It's because of those moments of release that I now have room for moments of joy.