Monthly Archives: January 2016

change

“Sometimes the things we can’t change end up changing us instead.”

I read this somewhere this week and it resonates with me. Just like the rock that fell into the river. It can’t change the fact that it tumbled down the mountain, but the water rushing over the rock slowly, over time, changes the rock as it smooths down the sharp edges into soft curves. 

Life is like that. So many circumstances that we seemingly have no control over tend to change us, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. I think our attitudes toward whatever it is has a lot to do with how we end up changing. Looking for the positive even in the seemingly most negative things in life can still lead to a positive change within us. Heartbreak, divorce, death, loss of health, financial breakdown…these are all things that can break us. 

Or, they can help us blossom into something stronger, more beautiful. 

The choice is ours. I believe that my choices have helped me to become stronger, more positive with a stronger faith in the universe, more spiritual, and more loving despite the damaging things that have happened within my life. The reason is that I have chosen love, peace, forgiveness, and happiness over anger, revenge,bitterness and holding a grudge. There are far greater things than winning financially in a divorce or worse. I have greater stock in spiritual assets, and to me, that is a positive. 

fear

The theme of my week has been fear.  I began reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles this week. For those who are unfamiliar with her work, Ms. Bernstein is a life coach who has written several books on happiness, spirituality…basically everything I have been attempting to achieve lately.  This book is a slow read.  Each chapter will take you through a week at a time, with morning and evening passages to read and little exercises to do.  In essence, the book will take six weeks to complete. I’m ok with that.  Slow and steady.

This week the book focuses on recognizing and acknowledging fear, and the role fear has in your life.  Fear of what?  Well, that is all quite a personal question since we all have different fears in our lives.  Fear of not having enough financial security, fear of not being loved, fear of…well, you can fill in the blank for yourself.   We choose the job we have because we are afraid that if we take a risk on that creative career that we may be broke.  We stick with the wrong partner because we are afraid of being alone for the rest of our lives.  We play things safe because we have fear of the unknown.

I, for one, am tired of allowing fear to rule my life. I’m ready for these little miracles to start cropping up in my life.  I have noticed time and time again how people or situations arise just as I need them. I know in my soul that these things are not coincidence. How many times do I allow my fear to let things slip away?  How many times do I ignore that inner voice telling me that something is wrong simply because of my fear of not having a partner in my life?  Especially when I look back in hindsight and know what knew all along but was just ignoring all that I saw?

Do you know what I’m afraid of?  Living out my life, looking back from my death bed and realizing that I played it safe because of fear. That I didn’t live my life to its potential because I was afraid of the consequences of living the life I truly wanted. That is what I am afraid of.

What are you afraid of?

forgiveness 

As I set out to start this week, I felt as though I had nothing of value to contribute this time. I wondered how could it be that after three weekly posts is it possible that I’m all tapped out?

Well, things do have a way of working out and here we are. This week seemed to focus on wrongdoing and how I could/should approach the issue and the wrongdoer. Without trying to go into too much detail, someone in my recent past has lied to me, and I have discovered proof, tangible proof, that this person has been untrue. I think I knew. No…I did know. I just didn’t want to believe it. I think in my mind I had glazed over all the signs. I chose not to believe that he could be anything less than perfect.

He’s human. He is less than perfect.

But now, I have actual proof that the things I didn’t want to believe are true. So what to do?  I could call him out on it. I could be aggressive. I could yell and scream.  Would it get my point across? No, likely not.

So I sat and let the anger flow through me. I imagined doing all those things. Then more anger flowed. I was shaking mad, and I could feel hate starting to tug at the seams of my heart. I resented that feeling. I do not want to hate him. I do not want to hate anyone really. But I do feel hurt and a little more broken knowing the truth.

It’s all ok. Now it will allow me to process the information and heal.

I can’t forget what has happened. I can’t pretend it didn’t happen. I need to learn this lesson and I need to grow from it. Where the challenge lies now is how do I move past this to get to a point where I will be capable of trusting another completely?  This was the one person I completely let my guard down with. The one and only person I allowed to know the real me.  Even my soon to be exhusband did not truly know who I was because I became who he expected and wanted me to be while the real me was hidden under so many layers of excuses and protective barriers. This man.  This man. He was my Prince Charming. Or so I thought. It’s been over for some time now I suppose. I continued to cling on to hope that maybe maybe he would return. And he did, sort of. He’s no Prince Charming though. He’s the frog who promises to become the prince if only I would kiss him, except he was still just the frog no matter how many kisses I gave.

So now that I know all of this not just with my head, but also in my heart and in my soul, what do I do with it all?  Of course, I need to, and  want to forgive, what next?

living a creative life

january blog image.jpgReading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic hasn’t been prolifically profound for me, but more of a reaffirmation of what I have been feeling as I return to the creative being I was before having my individuality swallowed up by the man I was attached to for 25 years (and now still in the process of divorcing). Creative living is possible for everyone. I have a creative life because now I do what I choose. As Ms. Gilbert wrote, “…the golden rule in my family is this: If you’re supporting yourself financially and you’re not bothering anyone else, then you’re free to do whatever you want with your life.” 

Of course, society has placed its boundaries that we must live within. Don’t break the law, follow the commandments, etc., however there is still much room for flexibility and creative life. I have my career, but once I put in my time, the rest of my day is up to me and how I choose to live it. So, what do I do?

That depends.

Some days, not much. Some days are filled with road trips and photography, hiking and wanderlust. Other days are spent crocheting little characters for my kids. Some are spent writing or drawing or painting. Rarely is time wasted on television. In fact, all I have is Netflix for those particular times when all I want is to fall asleep with something mindnumbing in the background that I know I will never pay attention to full through to the end. We all have those days, right?

Creativity was a way of life for me when I was younger. I lost that when my exhusband chose to be lame and depend on my working like a workhorse, spending countless hours working overtime simply for him to be able to sit on his ass and play computer games for two decades. I lost my creativity because I lost me. 

I suppose that begs the question “what have I done to facilitate creative living?”  Well, a good part of that is clearing space. Physical space, mental space, emotional space.  I’ve been working on the emotional space issue for a while. It’s better, but like anything, there is still work to be done.  Clearing mental space and physical space to me are fairly synonymous. As I deep clean and go through boxes of things, those things that have a negative memory or feeling attached to it have to go.  I don’t care what it is.  A vase that I loved dearly for years gets donated because all I remember when I look at it was how my soon-to-be exhusband complained how I wasted money on useless things like that. Christmas decorations that signified events in my former life, like getting married or moving to a new home…gone. Anything that does not bring joy to my mental space has to go.  As I work through this task, my physical space clears up too.  And while I’m at it, the basement needs a new coat of paint to cover the god-awful brown that my entire house was painted with when I bought it nearly three years ago.

What is being created is a new space in that freshly painted and repurposed basement.  A creative space with an easel for painting, a table for drawing and other creative projects like polymer clay and whatever else comes to mind. An area for my computer desk so it no longer occupies space in my bedroom. Maybe some chalkboard paint on the wall, framed, just for fun.

I am certain there will be more to do.  It’s always a work in progress, isn’t it?

January 2016

With the holiday season comes holiday food, drink, and socialization.  These things don’t usually mix well with my normal dietary preferences and restrictions.  I can feel the negative effects on my body.  So, with the new year, it is my resolve to return to my healthy eating habits.  A return to my gluten-free, dairy-free, predominantly vegetarian diet, and back to routine of taking my iron supplements as prescribed by my physician.

As every year that passes, we change as individuals.  For me, these changes have been taking leaps and bounds in the last few years as I have been rediscovering who I am as an individual.   I have learned how important it is to me that I am aware of my impact on the Earth and society.  I choose organic as often as I can not only because the chemicals are so damaging to my and my children’s bodies, but because these chemicals are also damaging to our Earth.  I choose fresh produce as often as I can because that is what I prefer, however, I do prefer the local organic fare and choose to frequent local growers and farmers markets when I can.  Winter here makes that impossible though.  Gluten free and dairy free requirements are based on diagnoses from my physician over the years, not fad diets.  I know when I am not following those requirements, and it’s usually holidays when this happens and I am not in complete control of my diet.  I do pay for these times, as I am right now.  

The other thing that changed is my attention to my own needs.  To have things that fulfill me, which include hobbies and those things beyond my career, and my own spirituality.  As the start of this new year, I also resolve to devote time to these things, to provide myself a deeper and more profound existence.  This includes spending more time on my creative outlets, whether that be photography, painting, or writing.  Spending more time on meditation, yoga, and with my spiritual directors.

Things don’t change dramatically just because the calendar changes, but small changes…small sustainable changes…can make a difference in our lives when we choose to make those adjustments in our lives.  They need to be done with the right intention though.  With the intention to maintain these changes, that is the driving force to continue to develop into who we are to become.