Thursday, April 27, 2017

To speak or not to speak

I had a friend tell me that another mutual friend has not been in touch with me lately because she doesn't know where she stands with me.  She likes me, but her main reason?  Because I don't speak a lot.

I wasn't hurt or upset.  I didn't even feel the need to defend myself.  All of those things would have been certain once upon a time.

It was almost like a could feel a little pixie on my right shoulder just having a bit of a laugh!

Maybe that person did say that.  Maybe the message got a bit skewed in translation.   Either way, I honestly had the feeling that what another person thinks of me, is none of my business!

Maybe that other person is feeling insecure.  I personally thought that she and I had enjoyed some wonderful and deep conversations.

Later on, I did ponder the reason though.  I thought about the way that I am with people and I just wanted to reflect on it.

At school and church, we were taught to be quiet, but then they wanted up to speak up on command.  I never bought into the trained monkey idea.

I became an observer, a listener.  I shared bits of myself at different times.  Sometimes I got hurt because of that.  So I'd pretend to be someone else that was more outgoing or more naughty or just someone that I was not, just to try and fit in.  It didn't work.  My true self said to me "what the heck are you doing?!  You are a gift and you need to let yourself free so that you can shine!"

Great advice!

I find small talk painful.  And draining.

I have found that a group situation often has a competitive nature with people trying to outdo others.

Some groups that I've been in have had one or two or three people that just dominate and don't really invite others in, or even just allow space for others to join the conversation.  Other groups have had a very relaxed feel with much more balance.

I like watching people and trying to figure out why they do certain things.

I don't always share, because I don't feel the need to give a running commentary of the daily details of my life.   If I'm having a challenge, sometimes I just need to try and work it out in my own way.

But talk to me about the deep things.  About connection.  About finding your power.  About joy.  About what really matters to you.  About Trust.  Purpose.  Stepping up.  Falling down.  Real stuff.  That's the stuff I want to talk about!  And even better if we can chat one on one.

I am more inclined to feel my way through life.  I really don't feel the need to talk a lot.  Some friends in the past have found that to be quite calming.  I'm not going to be someone that I am not.  Here I AM!  I am happy to be me!   I hope that you are happy to be You!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Slow down...

"Can you slow down please Mom?", said my 11 year old son as he reached out to hold my hand.

We were walking along the beach, soon after the sunrise.

We often did this.  For me, it was a dual purpose activity.  Get some exercise for me and whoever else came along with me, and spending time in nature.

I didn't realise how often the first reason dominated.

There I was, fast walking through the soft sand as I'd done so many times before.  I look at the rising sun, the waves, the sprinkling of seashells.  And I think that I'm doing myself a favour by grounding myself while also pushing myself to walk fast, to see if I can break a little sweat.  To look for the softest sand to walk in as that's more challenging.  To get my main workout for the day over and done with.

And encouraging my kids to do the same.

So. many. years. of. this.

I started "exercising" in my teens, though I'd always been pretty active anyway.  I studied fitness, health, nutrition.  I worked in the fitness industry.  Also from my teens, I read books on mind-body-spirit connection and spirituality.

I thought that I "got" it.  To some degree, I did.  Sometimes, much more than others.

But today, I got a deeper lesson.  From one of my greatest teachers.  My son.  Who, at almost 12 years old, still loves to hold my hand and have long chats with me.

All that I had to do, was to slow down.

I remembered that I need to let go of control...and surrender to another way.  It's okay for me to stop rushing, and moving fast.  I'm not going to seize up, or turn into a blob if I stop walking fast all the time.  In fact, I might even firm up and trim down as I won't be constantly creating stress in my body which only encourages the body to hold onto weight.

I was so focused on the exercise portion of the morning, that I was down-playing the JOY factor.

Thankfully, I listened to my teacher.

So, we played.

We took turns playing follow-the-leader where the person in front walks all kinds of silly ways, and the person following, has to try and step into their footprints in exactly the same way. It always ends in lots of giggles.

We climbed on the boulders.

We wrote in the sand.

We played at the edge of the water, jumping and stomping through the shallow water.

I got a lesson in balance, and in the importance of JOY!

My body felt happy just because it was moving in a playful way.  The effect was longer-lasting both physically and mentally, than if I had pushed myself to work hard.

There is so much emphasis on results, that we often forget that the process is what's really important.

The happiest times of my life, were when I lived that.  When I was not even focused on "living in Joy".  When our days consisted of play, and movement, and nature, and just Being, and without even trying, or thinking about it, I was living in a state of Joy.

I know that I've lived it before.  I know that I can do it again.

Thankfully, I have a great teacher who will remind me!

I'm not going to stop doing intense workouts.   There is something really empowering about pushing myself to go a bit further, or harder, or to lift heavier.  But I will aim to remember to not take it all too seriously, and to have fun and enJOY the process.  Perhaps I'll even stop referring to them as "workouts", and instead call it "play time" to remind me of where my focus would better serve me.

There is so much freedom in letting go of control!

When I get out of my head and the shoulds, musts, have tos, blah blah....and let my heart lead.  Then.  Then there is Joy.

It's so simple, yet we make it so damn complicated some times!    Just remembering how simple it is, makes me feel lighter.  I'm sitting here laughing at myself and this whole crazy life!!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Control...and Surrender

Mercury retrograde, or whatever other forces within me and outside of me...thank you.

It was a tough, emotional realisation, but one that I had sensed was coming.

My issue with Control.

Why?  When did I first feel out of control?

Definitely when I started school, a couple of months before I turned 5.  Possibly even before then.

I remember walking myself home from school when my mother was late in picking me up.  New to being 5 years old, I was full of independence and a sense of freedom and adventure.  I still remember what that felt like as that little girl.  I was confident and not at all scared.  When I finally did make it the long way home, I was surprised that my mother had called the Police and that everyone that we knew had been out looking for me.  I didn't see what the fuss was.  I was home.  I'd had a great time.  I remember feeling so free on that walk.  Away from the teachers telling me what to do, how to learn, when to eat, when to go to the bathroom.  Away from everything and everyone that I knew.  Just me and my little legs taking their time, and enjoying every step.

As a child, I could feel that there was something so much ...More.  I had tasted freedom, and I loved it!  I had known it was there, but the severe reaction to me enjoying that, made for a big question in my young mind.

I grew quiet and observed how the game was played.  I found ways to pretend that I was doing the right thing.

Years of schooling, church, society, peers. the game.

I had many spiritual insights as a child, but I didn't know what to do with them.  As a teen, I continued a spiritual search, I became more interested in health, but also in any way that I could be free.  I had an inner rebellion gathering force.   Often it would leak outwards - smoking, drinking, drugs.  Sometimes, I was just unkind to people that were genuinely trying to love me.  I am not proud of any of that.

I was restless.  I moved around.  The rest of the story doesn't really matter right now.

I wouldn't say that I was a "control freak".  But it has been a way for me to maintain my independence.  "No, I don't need help...I can do this by myself."   But at the same time, I wanted to help others.  My husband, my children, my family, friends and clients.  I got in my own way, and didn't always allow others to do things their way.

Not all of the time.  I've certainly had a lot of times when I felt like I was in the flow and accepting and allowing.

But there was still this control factor there, in the background.  The band-aid that I had put on in order to cope with this world where I didn't feel that I could always just BE.  I know that I held myself back.

In this world where there is just so much that I cannot control.  Where there are so many things that affect me deeply.  Where I just get so upset about the injustice done to other people, especially the children, also the animals and the environment.  I tried to maintain control of my own little space.  Maybe a little too much.

I now face that need to control.  I feel how it is limiting me.  I see that some of it was based in fear.
Fear of being 'wrong'.
Fear of not knowing the outcome.
Fear of needing to find a new way when I worked so damn hard to figure out the other way.
Fear of not wanting to put others out.
Fear of thinking that I am too selfish and I will hurt someone else (as I did in my teens and 20's).
Fear of shining too brightly and the safety of holding back.
(Wow.  This is why I love writing...for the personal processing that happens.  I didn't realise most of the things in this paragraph until I got out of the way and let it flow.  wow.)

I thank Control for the perceived protection it used to give me.....I see its motive, realise that it does not serve me, and I release it.

I surrender to freedom!

Surrender, free spirit, love, gratitude,

I go deeper into Trusting that life is unfolding as it should.

Of course there is still a game to play, and things that need to be done in this life.   But with a lighter mindset and a happy heart, I can be soaring even when I am paying bills or doing housework.  With surrender, I can accomplish the exact same things, but with peace and calm and joy, rather than frustration and fear.

This life is just so interesting.  The layers that we build up and then pull down!  What a ridiculous, hilarious, clever process it all is!

It feels as though this was just another important realisation in this winding, roller-coaster, swirling path of really living as Love.  This lesson has come up before, but I take it deeper this time.

I just need to remember:

Friday, March 31, 2017

Lessons in the water

I started a new tradition on my 50th birthday.  I go to the beach to watch the sunrise, then I dive into the water at the same time that I was born all of those years ago.  Usually, that is two minutes after the official sunrise time.  I don't know if it is because I was born in the morning, that I particularly like that time of the day.  Whatever, I just do.

I recently enjoyed my 52nd birthday.  I went to the beach with two of my children.  The water was still so warm that we spent over an hour playing in the waves!  I was swimming around, thinking of people that I was grateful for.  Then I decided to do some body surfing.  Gosh it felt great!  I got up from one wave, swam out again and wanted to catch another wave right away.

The wave that was coming, was one that I knew I should not attempt.  My instinct was saying 'NO'.  My mind just ignored it.  That wave flipped me hard onto the top of my head on the sand with a jolt that I felt through my entire spine.  It then turned me over and pushed me along the sand so that I grazed my face from my nose to my chin.

How humbling.

How hugely grateful I felt when I came back up and realised that my arms and legs were working and what a close call that could have been!  Other people have lost the use of their limbs from something like that.

I continued to focus on my gratitude.

I also thought of how, the previous year on my birthday, I had chosen the word 'vitality' as being something that I wanted to focus on for myself.  That made it a priority for me, and I worked with a wonderful naturopath to help turn my health around.  Not that it was bad, it just wasn't where I wanted to be.  I had a few little complaints that didn't seem to be getting any better.  I was feeling grateful for how far I had come with healing those things.

Then I just opened into a quiet space, not expecting anything.

The word "Essence" came to me.  I believe that I am to focus on going deeper and remembering my true essence in the coming year.  I know that my Essence is Love, and that it manifests as Peace and Joy.  Sometimes I forget to act like I know that.  But I now need to take that knowing deeply into everything that I do.

The next message that came to me is that I need to remember to Trust my Instincts!  Thus the lesson of the wave to cement the message!

I am looking forward to the coming year!

I hope that you are living your life in a way that is open to receiving the beautiful messages that Spirit provides us.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Letting go...

In the past six weeks, I've let go of a lot.

A lot of material items, and a lot of inner releases as well.

It has been the most relaxed and joyful holiday season I've experienced for a very long time.

I've done major decluttering so many times that the process is familiar and even easy.  I don't follow anyone's 'rules' for doing so.  For example, some people try and get their wardrobe down to a set number of pieces.  I don't see the point in that.  I have a small area for my clothes.  I just want them to fit in there neatly.  I also want all of the clothes in there to be clothes that I feel happy wearing.  Every so often, I go through them all when I realise that there are clothes in there that I just haven't been wearing.  I try them on and ask myself two questions: "Is this comfortable?" (I only like clothes that I can't feel when they are on.  No scratchy areas, or seams, or tightness.)  And, "Do I feel good in this?".  The feeling is not just the physical comfort, but the sub-conscious effect of the colour and style.  With these two questions, it's very easy to decide on whether or not to keep something, or to let it go so that someone else might use it.

I have been through every cupboard of our little townhouse.  It's amazing how many bits and pieces were hiding in the shadows!   Again, two questions: "Do we actually use this?", and "Does this delight me?".  Only one question needs a "yes" for an item to stay.

If we have been somewhere special, I often pick up a stone or a shell or an unusual stick or something.  I keep these things around the place.  When I can no longer remember where I picked that piece up, and the memory associated with it, I return it to the earth.

I got rid of several pieces of furniture that were just storage places for 'stuff'.  In getting rid of a place to hold it, I then was able to be more ruthless in what stayed and what went as I moved things around.

I let go of the idea of being a great gardener.  At least while we are living here.  I have tried container gardening, but not very successfully.  If I read more about it, and tested the soil, and moved the plants in and out of the sun or fertilised more or less frequently, I'd probably do better.   I had been trying to grow different foods.  The thing is, we can easily go through one lettuce in a day or two.  The amount of space that I'd need to maintain our demand was crowding us, and the amount of time that it would take to care for that, can be better spent elsewhere.  I got rid of a lot of extra garden pots and garden paraphernalia that was cluttering up our patio.  It felt really good.

I let go of a lot of other projects that no longer felt important.  These were things that had held a little piece / peace of me as I'd thought that I should finish them someday.  Gone.  Not necessary.  I did all that I needed to do.

I let go of books that were no longer relevant.  Now all of my books fit neatly on one shelf.  I am going to take more time to read in the coming months.  I rarely read fiction, it's usually books on health and spirituality that inspire me.

With Thanksgiving, two family birthdays, Christmas, and a road trip to visit extended family, the holiday season can feel overwhelming to me.  I try to make each event and every person feel celebrated.  A huge thing for me, is that I let go of that being my job, my responsibility.  Instead,
I stayed authentically in my own Joy, and I let that ripple out.

Another huge thing for me, was that I let go of the grief that I still had about my Dad no longer being earthside.  So many of my Christmas memories featured him so strongly, especially from my childhood.  Christmas carols always reminded me of him as he loved to sing, and I loved his voice.  I let go of the attachment to those early memories, I let go of the sadness that I wouldn't hear his voice again.  Instead, I just remembered the Joy of those times.  I felt a deep Peace, and a lot of gratitude for those memories.

I let go of having to do certain things.  I wrote fewer Christmas cards.  I baked fewer cookies.  We did not put up all of the Christmas decorations.  I spent more time doing things for myself, like going for a paddle out on the lake that we live on.  Without guilt!  With Joy!

I rarely went onto any social media.  Before I cut back, I had tried to keep up with news and events from family and friends on a regular basis.  But I just stopped.  I stopped having to 'like' my friends posts.  I also stopped the subtle comparison I was subjecting myself to when I thought I should be more like some of my friends who were fitter than me, or more creative than me, or more fun than me.   I 'unliked' and unfollowed a whole bunch of pages and people.   Maybe twice a week, I might have a quick scroll through Instagram and Facebook, and that's enough.  I've got board games to play, books to read, new recipes to try, and fun to be had with the people that are here in my life right now.

I don't know what the new year has in store for us.  I feel so good to be starting the year feeling so light.  Feeling so Joy-Full.  Feeling more space within me, and around me.  Feeling calm and, with fewer distractions, more focused on goals.

I hope that you all are in a place of Peace, and that the year ahead brings you good health and great happiness.

In Joy,