chey being

Seeing what's inside again.


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The Meaning of Relationships

As I embark on this next journey in my life, I can’t help but think about what it means, or what it should mean to be in a relationship. Marriage isn’t two souls becoming one. We are already one with everyone (That is my spiritual belief anyway). It isn’t about owning someone as in, I am yours and you are mine. It’s about experiencing yourself through another human. Whether it’s in a marriage, or between lovers, friends, family or even enemies, we are choosing them for a specific experience within ourselves. We should look at all our relationships and ask ourselves, “Is this who I want to be?”

Can you say, “I love who I am when I am with you?”

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Pitfalls of the Seeker

I am currently reading Deepak Chopra’s, “The Book of Secrets.”  This excerpt stuck out to me today:

Pitfalls of the Seeker:
1. Knowing where you are going.
2. Struggling to get there.
3. Using someone else’s map.
4. Working to improve yourself.
5. Setting a time table.
6. Waiting for a miracle.

This is exactly where I have been lately, in a state of letting go, aka surrendering.  Which is probably why this resonated with me so much, but I just didn’t realize how important it was.  I did not even realize the shift that has occurred within me until I read these words.  I have read many “spiritual” books and have never heard this message put quite like this before.  So, I am feeling the need to break it down; here we go…

1.  Knowing where you are going.

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First reaction, I laughed.  Well…check mark for me because I have no clue where I am going!  Second, Holy Shit! I’m OK with that!  Usually, I am the one with the plan.  I always know where I am going and what I am doing.  And if I don’t, I am really stressed out and will find any ole distraction to fill in the space until I feel empty inside again and start the whole vicious cycle over.  I was in shock at the realization that I have been allowing myself to simply be…guided.  Ahhh…what a relief it has been.

2.  Struggling to get there.

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My whole life I have had a deep seeded knowing that life is not meant to be a struggle.  Hard work sometimes, yes, but not a struggle.  Any time someone has told me, “Oh, that would be too hard,” or “That never happens,” I have felt the lie in those words.  It will be whatever I believe it to be.  We have the power to make things happen.  We have the incredible imagination to bring things to life.  We must allow the space for that to happen and most importantly, not be handcuffed to the outcome for it may not be exactly as we had expected, but it will be what we need.  It will be for the greater good of ourselves and others.  And in that is the lesson.  The lesson we need to move forward and grow.  If you believe life is a struggle, than that will be your life.

3. Using someone else’s map.

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This means a few things to me.  A.) We don’t even try because someone else failed or told us not to do something because they knew a guy who knew a guy, who said it was really hard.  Yes…this happens all the time but they never fail to tell us that they really don’t know these people or if it is even true! It’s just a belief they picked up somewhere and have so graciously passed it on to you.  B.)  We do what out parents think we should do.  They not-so-gently persuade us into a life they think is best for us or a life they wish they had created themselves but didn’t.  Thankful my parents didn’t care much for what I did do, but they sure had a whole basket full of ideas about what I couldn’t do.

4. Working to improve yourself.

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This one seems more a play on words to me.  We are always trying to become a better version of ourselves, are we not?  I think the meaning here is that we must first accept ourselves as we are, in all our imperfections and we must continually do so.  Each time we fail or stumble, we must accept ourselves and not judge the experience.  I read somewhere recently that if you want to lose weight, you must first accept and love yourself where you are, not wait to love yourself when you achieve your goal weight.  This is what this means to me.  To be honest, I am not really where I want to be.  I hope to achieve so much more, but I am happy where I am right now and I am excited for the future.  That is a big step for me, for I am usually fearful of the future because it is unknown (I have recently learned the insanity in being afraid of an outcome that hasn’t even happened!).

5. Setting a time table.

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Who needs that kind of pressure?  No thank you very much!  Maybe this makes me happy because it makes me feel off the hook as I progress into my forties and think on occasion, “What the hell have I done with my life?”  But really, I think it just reiterates all of the above, that we must let go of outcomes.  I think it is good to have goals and dreams, but I think it is then also good to release them.  Maybe there is even something greater than we could ever imagine in store for us and I don’t want to miss out on that!

6. Waiting for a miracle.

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To me this means, ignoring what is already in front of you.  There are miracles all around but we miss them.  We discount them.  We belittle them.  And then we say we never receive them or that we are unlucky.  Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and this something I am learning every day.  I simple reminder will pop in my head just when I need it, and I will recognize and give thanks for it.  I somehow avoid a major car accident and I give thanks for it.  These are miracles.  This is something, someone watching out for me.  I’m not waiting but I will tell you, I am expecting because I believe, I listen, and I watch more and more every day.

So what does this list mean to me?  Surrender.  How am I surrendering at this very moment?  Well, normally I would re-read a post about 20 times before publishing.  Worrying about type-o’s, writing something stupid, and maybe even offending someone. Maybe even censoring myself in a way.  Well, I am not doing that today…me the perfectionist…is being not-so-perfect and I am really perfectly happy with that.

 


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Letting Go

As I begin a new chapter of sorts in my life, the following three words have been on my mind:

Attachments

Control

Distractions

I am slowly learning that I can have a preference for the way I would like things to happen, but I must avoid an attachment to it.  What I want and what my soul needs can often be two very different things.  This has been a tough concept for me to accept.  It takes surrendering to the universe.  It takes faith and trust.  Three things that do not come easy for me.

Why does surrendering, faith and trust not come easy for me?  It requires letting go of control. Or rather, the illusion of control because we are never really in control of anything.  Why do I want to control?  Fear.  I often live in a place of fear.  You name it and I fear it.  (Except death.  Oddly, that used to be my greatest fear and now it is my least!)  I fear disappointing people.  I fear not doing something well….anything well.  I fear not living to my potential.  I fear never becoming anything more than what I am.  I fear pain.  I fear never being at peace.  I fear never being truly loved.  I can not control any of these things so I try to find other things I can control such as, keeping my house clean.  Doesn’t that sound insane?  I am laughing at myself just thinking about it.  Honestly, who would guess that my obsession with cleanliness came from fear of life?

Another form of control is using distractions.  If I don’t know what to do with an emotion, or I am trying to write and nothing is coming out, or I simply want to run from what I know I should be doing, I will find a distraction.  Usually, it involves cleaning (again), or running errands.  Again, I find myself laughing at the ridiculousness of it all!  I will make up “To Do Lists” to distract me from the real “To Do List!”

These are things I am learning to recognize in myself.  Now the trick is that once I recognize what I am doing that I STOP doing it!

As I begin to peel back layers of myself, I am finding a lot of deep seeded issues.  Feelings and thought patterns that have been ruling my life.  I want to zip myself back up and not deal with it because I am not sure how.  There are times when I feel I do not have the tools or support to take on my own self.  But I do.  I do.  Everything I need is already inside me.  I have to learn to trust it.  I have to learn to have faith.

I also have to learn to let others help me.  This is something I have recently discovered about myself…I find it almost impossible to accept help from others!  I think this comes from four things, 1. I am often let down by others so if I don’t rely on any one, they can’t let me down, 2. I don’t have to put expectations of myself that could lead to failure, 3.  I was brought up in a family that taught me that to ask for help was placing a burden on others and we simply did not do that, 4.  I don’t feel worthy of any one’s help.  When I think about all of these together, the thick brick wall I put up makes so much sense when others offer me help!

I think the first one is the toughest for me to overcome and that goes back to not having attachments, but there is a huge part of me that wants to believe in someone.  Believe they really care and will do as they say.  I have to believe that there are people out there that are true to their word.  I desperately want to believe that but I sense that I need to let go of that desire as well.  Am I wanting these things for the wrong reason?  Am I just wanting to be taken care of?  Am I wanting an escape from what I should do myself?  Do I place too high of expectations on others?  These are questions I don’t have the answers to yet.

After writing through that, I now think number four is the toughest…I don’t feel worthy.  If I don’t think I am worthy, no one else will.  Hmm…that might be a good place to start.

I am worthy.


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Embracing a Bad Day

I woke up yesterday morning not feeling the greatest.  I felt overwhelmed and underwhelmed with life all at the same time.  I am quite confident that anyone with a pulse has been there.  With so many projects in the works and not sure any of it is taking me anywhere, I felt stuck in the middle of a maze.  All of my passions seemed to have dwindled to a spark.  Everything felt very unimportant .  Is this it?  Does anything I’m doing mean anything?  Is this my life?  I was feeling pretty low.

Every time I think of writing about a “bad day,” I think twice and stop myself.  I don’t want to put that kind of energy out there.  I want my writing to have purpose, whether it is healing, thought-provoking, funny, or helpful in some way.  Often times, I will write when I am at my lowest of lows, but just for myself.  I get it out onto my computer and then I simply delete it.  It’s cathartic.  It gives me great comfort because I feel like I have unloaded my burden.  I  have learned the hard way that strong negative emotions are literally poison to my body.  I then feel clear-headed and can move on without all the exaggerated, heightened emotions and get back to reality…which is never that bad!

I think there is a fine line when putting myself out there.  These words we read on our glowing computer screens can often get lost in translation or completely misinterpreted.  They are without the inflection in my voice.  They are devoid of my enthusiasm or pain.  All I can do is hope I group a few of the right words in the right sequence to not only portray my thoughts but to give something.  Hope.  A smile.  A spark.  A knowing.  I want to give something other than the ramblings of my very bad day.

My life isn’t always pretty.  I’m not always pretty.  But I am too aware to get sucked in.  I will only allow myself to hang out at my pity party for so long before I must put on my big girl pants and bail.  Maybe I have to take another look at something from a different perspective.  Maybe I need to appreciate something at that moment that I have been neglecting.  Maybe I need to take action.  Maybe I need to do nothing but sit and find my peace.  Everything has purpose.  Everything has meaning.  I woke up with a self-defeating mind.  I sat around and did nothing.  I had no motivation and I felt really guilty about it.

Then I just embraced it.  I found my peace with all the things I didn’t want to feel and felt bad about feeling.  And when I did that…I actually felt better.

Oh, and today was a better day!  Have a fabulous weekend all!

 

 


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Being selfish gets a bad rap.

Are you selfish or selfless?

When I decided to divorce, I was called selfish more times than I can count.  Others thought I was putting myself first before my husband and children.  In fact, I was, but I did it just as much for myself as I did it for my children.  I was selfish and sadly, it took a long time to get to that point and be OK with it.  I did not want my children to grow up with my marriage as an example.  I could not be a present and happy mother in that marriage.  I had to love myself enough to know that I deserved a better life.

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So what’s so wrong with being selfish?  Would people have preferred that I lived a life of misery?  People would say that I didn’t try hard enough but how do they know how hard I tried?  I imagine it’s like trying to tell someone to choose not to be homosexual.  It’s not a choice, it just is and either one suffers in non-acceptance or they flourish in their truth.  I had to live my truth because living a lie was nothing more than a slow, painful death sentence.  To accept such a sentence is completely selfless because one is NOT at all thinking of themselves.  Feelings of shame, unworthiness, or thinking we are undeserving can rule our life and make us believe that we must accept our “punishment” or fate.

Everyone knows someone who is always helping others.  They are called selfless people all the time, but have you ever sat down and talked with one of these people?  Often, they are exhausted, unhappy and unfilled.  How can that be?  I believe many times, these people feel an obligation, a duty to always help others.  Coming from this place does not make the work fulfilling, it’s quite the opposite.  Ever notice they literally refuse to take time for themselves?  I feel it’s some sort of self-punishment.  Now recall the helpful person who feels extreme enjoyment from helping others.  That, to me, is selfish…and good.  They are doing what fulfills them, which is helping others.  And honestly, those they are helping can tell the difference.

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When I think of the person I love (such as a spouse or boy/girlfriend), I think, why do I love them?  I love them because they make me happy and fulfill me in some way (We have children because they fulfill a need to have one!). That is selfish, right?  Of course, I give to the other for giving to me, but I have served myself first.  I then continue to be selfish because making the other person happy makes me happy.  I am giving out of a true place in my heart, not out of obligation.

We have all had our heart broken.  Remember thinking the other person was cruel and selfish?  In fact, we were the one’s being cruel in not allowing the other to be selfish.  We wanted that person to stay even though it did not make them happy.  Is it not cruel to wish unhappiness on a person we supposedly “love?”  If we served the greater good in our true self we would want the one’s we love to live their own life, whether we agree with it or not.  I have been on both sides of this scenario and I can say that I have never felt love from someone who was desperate to keep me at the expense of us both.

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Many years ago when I had my affair, I believe that was my most selfless moment.  I was not putting me or any one first.  I was hurting myself and therefore, hurting my family.  If I had thought higher of myself, had more confidence, but most importantly, had been a more aware human being, I would not have let my ego rule my life.  I fed my ego that wanted to feel needed, smart, and beautiful.   I allowed it to hurt me beyond anything I could have ever imagined.  If I had had love for my true self, I would not have went on a journey that led me to wanting to end my life.

images1For me, being selfish is putting myself first so that I can be the best I can be to others.  How can I be a present and loving mother if I never take time for what is important to me?   Being fulfilled in my own life, that is doing what makes me happy, also creates a higher self-awareness, makes me a better wife, more helpful to others, and more pleasant to be around.  It is why I sit here and write.  I want to help others because it fulfills my soul.

 


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What the bleep do I want?

The lovely, witty, funny, and talented  Amanda Insidethelifeofmoi allowed ME to write the following Guest Post for her hugely successful blog!  If your one of the few who are not already following her, please check her out!  Thanks again Amanda!

This may seem a bit selfish at first glance.  The “me, me, me,” of my inner two year old, but au contraire my darlings.  

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A good portion of my life has been spent reacting.  Something happens, big or small, and I am veered off in that direction.  I’m not talking about having an attention disorder or OCD, such as in a typical day of mine:   Making my way to the bathroom, spot a piece of lint on the carpet, must pick up.  Walk by the laundry room; should really stop and throw a load in.  Walk by the kitchen, “Did someone leave their plate out?”  Better clean that up.  The pillows on the couch are smooshed; must fluff!  Eventually my bladder says to me, “Hey lady, can we make it to the bathroom at some point here?”  Oh, right!

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I am talking about life on a grander scale, like those pesky things called relationships, careers, and dreams.  When we don’t know what we want in life, we simply follow along with whatever comes our way.  We may even have a muffled whisper deep down trying desperately to communicate with us, but we are too afraid to listen.  We may even make excuses like me, an expert at talking myself into anything!  Here are a few pernicious examples from my life:

1.  I really wanted to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.  I had made it so far but I had a fiance now and didn’t really need to work, so I quit.  I told myself I was tired of school and the money it cost would be a waste if I wasn’t going to get a job anyway.  Lazy ass.

2.  My inner voice, “You need to write.”  My all-controlling mind, “You should help your husband with his business and spend all day on the computer doing work you hate because at least you will be useful.”  How did I talk myself into that one?

3.  After my divorce, I told myself that I really wanted to be with someone who has the same spiritual views as me.  Met someone.  Did not have the same views.  Oh well…he gets along so great with my kids; it must be right!  Insert eye roll.

4.  Years ago, I had numerous “unexplainable” health issues.  I didn’t want to think or believe that it was my jacked-up life causing these problems, or my inner soul desperately sending me wake-up calls.  So I reacted to my body and  focused on 1. Freaking out and  2. Visiting every western and eastern medicine doctor within a 100 mile radius.

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There have often been times when I am so out-of-tune with myself that I was truly only reacting to life.  Almost hoping, waiting for something or someone to come along to fill the void and lead the way for me.

Years ago, I was asked by a well-known author and spiritual leader, “What is it you want my dear?”

“Ummm…,” I said, looking somewhat like a deer caught in head lights.  This was also in front of a large group of people which did not help in the least.  They all seemed to look at me, just waiting.  I could only imagine them thinking, “Who doesn’t know what they want? Loser.”

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He told me that we were going to take a break, I could think about it, and we would continue discussing it when we all returned.

I went back to my hotel room and thought about it.  I thought about it for so long and with no results, that I began to panic.  What was wrong with me?  I never did come up with an answer.  When we all reconvened and I had nothing of worthiness to report, I thought I sensed the questioner’s slight disappointment.  It was humiliating.  I felt like a total failure.

If we don’t know what we want, we will simply live a life of reaction to everything and everyone around us.  Every ache or pain will become our focus.  Every person that annoys us will distract us.  Every little blip in the road will be greeted with our undivided attention.  We will allow ourselves to be dragged into other people’s drama.  The options for distractions are endless.

How can we know what to do and where to go if we really have no idea what we truly want?

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At the beginning of the year, I had to make a change (remember that work I hated?), but I seriously had NO clue what to do!  I asked and I listened (OK, maybe I pleaded a bit) with no answer, but I decided that I had to have faith and believe that it would come.  And it did.  I wanted to teach Pilates and I wanted to finally sit down and write.  Within seven months, I completed my training and am now teaching.  I also started my blog….I am finally writing.

I have to be honest though, some of my “life diversions” have led me to grander things and seemed to have served some purpose to where I am now.  Maybe it’s more about knowing when to get off the path that has become too treacherous than getting on; however, I also think we often take the back winding country roads, when we could have taken the expressway.

Every day I am practicing to be aware and to “read the signs,” because they are there.  Life is speaking to us every moment in every way imaginable and unimaginable.  If we would only stop and listen.


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Calm in the midst of storms

Calm is not a word that most people would use to describe me.  When problems arise, or what I perceive as a problem, I get agitated.  Degree of agitation is dependent upon the imposed degree of the problem.  Reasons for my agitation would most likely be that I don’t like things messy.  I like to have control (ding ding, Type A).  I don’t like being side-tracked by an issue that now needs my attention.  And mostly because I worry.  A lot.  I am an excitable person about everything, not just problems.  So on the good side, I would squeal and do a happy dance for something as little as my husband actually going on a bike ride with me.

The good side I like, that bad side, not so much.  It is something I have been working on for years and have actually made some progress on; however, for the last two weeks I have been quite zen like in the face of problems…

The beginning started with a doozy.  The simmering volcano that was my marriage, finally erupted.  I did it.  I said the words, “I want a divorce.”  I wasn’t scared.  I felt only peace and the lightness from the burden that was no longer there.  I didn’t have any fight or care left in me.  I knew without a doubt that this was it for me.  I should have been worried.  Financially, I really should have been worried.  But I wasn’t.  I had faith.  I knew it would all work out no matter what.  I was calm.

Then came the pleading, begging, and crying.  Two days later, I could only take so much and I cracked under the pressure.  I made ultimatums.  He made promises.  I don’t know if it will last, but everything is different.  It is better than I can ever remember it.  It’s sad that it had to come to this.  It’s sad that we both had to suffer for so long.  The hardest part was actually going back on what I knew was right for me, getting a divorce.  I felt that I had betrayed myself.  I didn’t trust that he would change, but I allowed myself to give it time.  I allowed myself to breath and be calm.  I gave myself permission to try again one last time.

Doozy #2.  It was late Monday evening and because I can never sit still for long, I got up to grab something.  I went down a step, my foot twisted at the ankle, I heard an awful snap, crackle, pop, and I went down screaming.  Right before my eyes flashed my career for how ever long it would take me to re-coupe.  I had just finished my Pilates Barre certification and will be testing out soon for my Mat cert and now I can’t even walk.  I was raring to go and finally get a job!  I need and want to work.  And now I am reduced to a couch potato.  What can I do?  Maybe the universe is telling me to slow down.  Maybe the universe is telling me to sit down and write.  Maybe the universe is telling me that I suck at Pilates…Nah!  Whatever it is, this ex-mover and shaker is actually calm.

Doozy #3.  There is a thief among us.  A day later, my husband came home from work in hysterics.  Apparently, some items had been stolen at a warehouse in which we operate a business.  It could be our new employee.  It could be the other company’s employees that share the space.  No one trusts anyone.  (What happened to the good ole days where you didn’t have to lock shit up?)  My husband’s crazy eyes were caused by the thought of having to let go of our new employee whom he felt was irreplaceable.  First of all, no one is irreplaceable.  My husband also thought that I was going to have a fit because I tell him all the time that he is too trusting.  He relayed the story to me like a teenager trying to tell his parents that he wrecked the car.  I listened with the calmness of…an angel?  Buddha?  The sea?  A stoned hippie?  Well, I think I’ve made my point…I was freakin’ calm.  I was so calm in fact, that after relaying my thoughts and solutions to the matter, my calmness had transferred unto my husband who now looked like he needed a nap.

The most important question here is, how has this happened?  Actually, more importantly, how can I get me some more!  Maybe it was the 21 Day Mantra I had signed up for.  (Just between us, I only completed 6 days.)  Maybe I had reached some internal breaking point and just decided to let go and let live.  I think the change in my marriage has had a huge impact.  I am less stressed.  I don’t feel like I’m walking on egg shells.  I know that I won’t go back to the drama, so I have a peace knowing that I am strong enough to walk away if necessary.  It is really awesome being calm in a crisis.  I just want to skip around the room whoopin’ and hollerin’!

 

Photo credit:  askinyourface.com