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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

CHASING HEADLIGHTS

Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life, easing onto the new path to check out the flora and fauna down this way, seeing new wildlife and following leaves down a stream for so long that at some point you look up and find yourself looking back and wondering how you got here?  This is where I find myself today - looking up and realizing that while I have enjoyed meandering for awhile, I see sunlight ahead and I want to move forward towards a place where I can meet up with my friends, stretch out, and see more of the world.  This is the place to do that.

In July I attended Tony Robbins' Unleash the Power Within, and spent 4 amazing days with 6000 other people overcoming our fears and transforming our lives.  You may have read about this event in San Jose, or seen it on the news.  It was said that 21 people were hospitalized with severe burns.  They were not - and this was later retracted.  Out of 6000 people, 21 people were treated for minor burns - akin to a sunburn.  Not a bad percentage, but then again, 6000 people successfully walked over 1200-2000 degree coals doesn't make a great headline - 3 million people have already done this.

Reading that, you may think, were they crazy?  It wasn't done, as Tony says, to 'teach new picnic skills'.  It teaches that you can do anything you set your mind to doing.  It is about programming your mind toward success, and letting go of your fears and limiting beliefs.  It creates freedom to do anything. In a state of certainty, you can do anything you want to do.  I cannot fully express my gratitude for this life-altering experience.  I have the t-shirt - FIREWALKER - Fear Into Power.  I have no photos or video of me doing this, just the power of the moment.

You can watch Oprah do it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cwk6AB8dM4

This was not even the best part of the event!  For me, that was Transformation Day.  I let go of fears that I didn't even know existed within me.  It felt like I untied knots in my chest that had been there for years and years - going back to when I was a child, and when our family lost my sister suddenly and tragically, and all manner of hurts and injustices and trauma that occur in any life.

The thing I learned that day was that all the energy I gave to that negativity, without even realizing it, caused stresses in my mind and body, and blocked so many good memories.  We did an exercise where we released old hurts and fears, and replaced them with moments of happiness and joy.  I remembered as a young child, 3 or 4 at most, when I was in the car with my entire family asleep but for my dad.  We were driving to West Virginia to visit my grandparents and I woke in the middle of the night, and he told me to come sit with him.  I sat in his lap and he let me 'drive' the car!  I couldn't see his hands on the wheel - I was focusing on the stretch of road within the headlights.  That one  moment, snuggled in my father's arms and isolated in time, came to me when I needed to fill in the holes the negative energy left open.  Such a good memory, such a warm and loving time and space.

Today, I read Dishwasher 6's blog - and you should too - and encouraged her to do more of that - to gift herself with the time and energy to blog and to connect with the people who found her through her blog.  I am taking my own advice and dipping my toes back into the water.

To read Dishwasher 6 - click here - http://siastown.blogspot.com/2012/09/when-writing-letter-becomes-blog.html

Thanks for visiting!  I am off to dust off the cobwebs and tidy up around here.  I will be reading your blogs as well! 



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Composting

Oh my, it's been such a long while since I've sat here on Saturday morning, reading posts, and reaching inside to find out what I have to say that needs sharing. 

For some reason this week's topic, Do-Over, struck a chord and today, I want to talk about worms.  Hahaha... I am sensing a lot of double-takes and re-reads will happen with that.  Let me explain. 

I live in a town that is fairly serious about recycle, reduce, reuse.  We have a town ordinance against Styrofoam which ever biodegrades.  Please think about that the next time you stop at a coffee place and receive a Styrofoam cup, or take away food in leftovers in one of those containers.  It is much more inexpensive to bring your own reusable container, as well as less damaging to your environment.

My friend, Tanya, embarked on a school project in October with her children to help their school recycle more.  What started as a wish to make sure each class had a recycling bin in it, became a project that blossomed and grew into something much larger.  Since then, they've cut back their waste by 32% - almost a third!  So every third child in that school is producing no waste.  She also started vermiculture with her kids as a science fair project.  This appealed to me as I compost all my kitchen waste - I want a garden this year - and she encouraged me to get a book and get started.  Living in Maine, my compost either freezes or if I put it outside, feeds the little woodland creatures.  I don't mind sharing with them, but I would like some compost. 

Having read about composting worms, and purchased a place for them to live - in my kitchen - I am now feeding them my kitchen waste, which they eat and process, and their castings make great soil enrichment for my houseplants now, and my garden when Spring finally comes to Maine.  There is no smell or noise, and I feel that I am doing a larger part for my corner of the world. 

This planet belongs to our children and we must tend her needs - that is our only Do-Over.  Findings ways to do that, small and large, I feel is my responsibility.  I hope you will look for ways to do-over things in your world!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week #24 - Popularity

Monday night while trick or treating my 8-year-old has asked me not to hold his hand.  There were a lot of kids from school around and, unconsciously, as we walked down the street I had automatically reached out to keep him close. He said he wasn’t a little kid, and I didn’t need to hold onto him.  I think all you parents will understand when I tell you that it broke my heart a little. This is not the first or last time that will happen while watching him grow, it has been a series of steps and leaps and bounds he has made since last June - some so huge that friends and family who haven’t seen him in more than a week or two remark to me how different he is, how he’s grown and changed.  

As a parent, you celebrate your children’s successes, and this independence is a huge accomplishment for him because when he was in kindergarten, my son suffered trauma at a daycare center.  For about 6 weeks, two older boys hurt him on a daily basis.   It has radically altered his life and his ability to react in social situations, and to read the clues of others.  He suffers from post-traumatic stress and is re-learning how to get along with children his age, to make friends, to fit in.  

He is intelligent, bright, and funny to the point of being goofy.  He has a very active imagination and is incredibly creative.  He can tell you anything you ever wanted to know about dinosaurs.  He can talk to adults, children younger than him and much older than him about anything and everything.  

Sometimes though, he finds it hard to walk into a room of his peers.  He would rather play by himself, or not go outside at all so he isn’t ignored or teased by boys his age.  He can be incredibly angered by the smallest of incidents that trigger some memory of his own helplessness and fear.  

He does make friends though, and is learning to trust in that.  He likes to go to school now and see them.  He is blossoming in new ways every day and I am grateful to watch it, and proud of his strength and courage to open himself to what could happen.  The alternative is to be afraid and closed off, to be singular - and you can’t really live your life like that, can you?   

He may never be part of the popular kids, engulfed by the masses, trying to fit in and do what everyone else does.  But he will be himself, making his own choices out of what works for him.  I'm not sure if I could be more proud of who he is.   

A few weeks ago, he wore a hat to school, and some kids were teasing him about it.  I told him that he had to make a choice to either wear it and understand that some kids wouldn’t like it and they may make fun of him over it, or to leave it at home and wear a different one knowing that teasing could happen, but understanding that it was okay to be who he is, and do what he wanted no matter what anyone else thought.  He wore it to school the next day and dealt with the consequences.

Monday was one more example of him making choices.  Sometimes I know that I hold on too tight because I have that lingering guilt that I didn’t protect him better, didn't see something wrong sooner.  I live with knowing he had to grow up faster and harder because of what happened to him.  I also know that I have to show him that trust is earned, and opening yourself to the lessons that happen in your life and still moving forward is important.  I am trying daily to teach him this lesson - Oscar Wilde said it - “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”  

So Monday night, I swallowed hard, and opening my fingers, let him walk away.

Friday, October 28, 2011

GBE - Week 23 - Ownership

When I saw this week's topic, I had two different thoughts about the prompt which I thought were separate, and as it turned out were very similar.

I have been participating in Oprah's Lifeclass on OWN.  (Talk about branding yourself!)  The first class talked about ego, and how it got in the way of our true selves. It resonated with me because I am a firm believer that you must own yourself.  You must take ownership of your thoughts, your actions, your choices.  You must live your life learning who you are, and what lessons are brought to you.  If you find something repeating in your life, you can be sure it will continue to repeat until you learn the lesson.  At the end of the day, we only truly have ourselves.  No matter our relationships, our families, our friends and supporters.  We only have ourselves. 

I also truly believe that we cannot own another living being.  Not our husbands, wives, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, children.   I have a horse and 3 cats that share my life, I don't own them.  Even my 8-year-old, telling me about a dog he had seen said to me, "... and he was walking down the street with his person and he was SOOO cute!"  He understands that person was not that animal's owner, but the person who shares its life. 

Also, I have this thing about spiders.... don't like them.  But I think they are pretty amazing little things... creating webs that are intricate and, in their own way, beautiful.  I try to avoid them for the most part, but when they come in my house, I escort them outside, remembering that my ego says this is 'my' house and 'it' doesn't belong there.  Letting go of that ego, I realize that it has its own place in the world, as much right to be here as I do, and just because I am larger doesn't give me the right to kill it. 

This over 50 thing is really working out for me in an internal way.  Doing a lot of work on being who I am, and I'm owning that!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

GBE #2 - week 22 - Safe haven

*** My thanks go out to Brenda, Joyce and Beth because in reading their posts on this topic, they invited this one!!

When I was a little girl, I lived in a closet for months and no one seemed to mind.  I was the 5th of 6 children, so space of my own was hard to come by.  I shared a room with my sister, Nancy, on the 3rd floor of our house that had a large closet built into the eaves.  It was large enough to hold my twin bed and I could sleep looking out.

I’m not sure if I wanted to live in there because it it was my own place, or if it is my nature to seek time alone. I was born in June, a Cancer - sign of the crab.  The crab retreats inside itself when threatened, and will only come out when it is ready. I embody this trait.  Being alone though, I never feel lonely as I can entertain myself quite well with books, music, and my own imagination.  I have created a safe haven inside myself, which I believe we all need to do to get through our days whole.  
This is not to say that I don’t share that inner world with my family, my friends, my man.  I do, but I have more of myself to share when I can pull back within and feel right with the world when I have need.  It has taught me to hear my inner voice, to open to all my senses, and to form my beliefs about this life I am in.  
 
That time to just be who you are is something that I tried to give to my children.  My two girls, grown now, are very creative, and my proudest moments as a parent have been watching them march to the beat of their own drum.  My 8-year-old son shows me that need for his own space too - he begs me for boxes to build his own Iron Man suit, a time machine, a laboratory, and most recently, a dinosaur costume.  We currently have a T. Rex domicile in the playroom.  He loves his time alone to grow and explore his reach, but he often invites me along to the late Cretaceous, and I am glad to go there with him. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

GB2 - Week 21 - Clarity

Five weeks ago my world turned upside down with the news that the man I love needs some fairly serious surgery.  Since then my mind has been rushing about, running down avenues I would rather not visit, or creating checklists of things I need to do or say or think about.  Even in sleep I don't think my head gets any rest.  Each new specialist and test paints a more frightening scenario, a larger sense of urgency, and decisions must be made soon. 

I remind myself to not live in fear of what tomorrow can bring but instead to take in these moments and appreciate each one for what it is.  I have been truly blessed in my journey through this world and he is part of each day's gratitude.  These hurdles are both difficult and challenging but there is no choice but keep moving through each of them.

I must confess that sometimes, inside me, there is the little girl curled into a ball with her hands over her ears, eyes closed, screaming that she is not ready and she cannot handle this.  Until I do.  Life continues on and dinner still needs to be cooked, the laundry needs to be folded, and the boy still needs help with his homework.  I can't stop long enough to be overwhelmed.  I have to choose to be weak or be strong and if you know me at all, there really isn't any question about which path I'll take.  I will do what needs to be done.

Sitting on the couch tonight, our kitten crawled onto my chest and collapsed her purring, cuddly self there.  One of our other cats immediately followed suit.  They knew I needed the comfort they could bring.  In those few moments, I got clear on a few important lessons.

I am loved unconditionally. 

The Universe has given me abundant gifts to cherish.

Laughter lightens your heart.



Comfort comes in many forms.



Each moment is precious and not to be wasted. 

I challenge you to find clarity in your life and share your wisdom with the people who are most important to you, and with me here. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

children - GBE2 - week #16

I have been out of the loop for weeks now as life has been in fast forward.  Edging my way back in this week with something I wrote years ago about my daughter.  There have only been one or two other things that I have ever written that flowed out of me the way this did - with deep emotion. 

On another night when I couldn't sleep years ago, I wrote about my grief and loss and pain with no expectation that the feeling would ever go away. It has now, but that night it was alive and thundering through me. Grief ebbs and flows at its own pace, with its own will.  It taught me to not give up hope.

For Bridget -

I am grieving, i am grieving..
for the sunlight on your hair and sweet butterfly kisses that you sprinkled on my face
another time, another place...
as you skipped and danced and sang your little girl songs
of happiness and unicorns.
and oh, i had you then, your hand in mine, smiles and rainbows,
and dreams of little ponies you would ride.
but time went by, and you grew on, and didn't sing so many songs
until you found your feet again.

that October day when I drove away in the moving van, with you left behind,
......your choice, your choice....but did you feel abandoned and alone?
I wasn't home but gone away..
did i lose you then? was that the time?

that cold January night with you at work, your life fractured when one broken friend would never come home again.
couldn't put the pieces back together and...
did i lose you then?

or was it some far away and long ago that i don't know when you lost your way?
but i am here where i've always been, and no matter what they say, you can come home again.
you are my child, my child.

and tomorrow will bring a reckoning that had to come, and i am sad and aching with the hurt it's done
and i am grieving, i am grieving...
because you are my child, my child.