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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Silence

I love being under water.  The weightlessness.  All sounds fade away.  My entire body is being touched all at once by the softness of the water.  It’s such a strange feeling because when you are fully submerged, you don’t feel wet.  It’s just comfort, like a warm cozy blanket.  The few seconds of time that I am able to hold my breath are magnified because I feel completely present, completely at peace.  All problems or cares cease to exist.  Even though I may fear what is in the water or that I may step on something unknown, the feeling of being within the water is enough for me to take my chances.  It is one of my favorite experiences.

This place reminds me of my childhood and the creek and lake that are in my old neighborhood.  I spent so many summers swimming in that lake.  I’ll never forget that I always had to keep moving or the fish would bite if I stood still for too long.  My mother called me a fish because I would stay underwater for what seemed like an impossible amount of time for my little lungs.  Like a ribbon in the wind, I would glide through the water just above the sand for as long as I could stand it.  This was my escape from all my fears, an escape into what felt like a dream world.  I could allow all my thoughts to come out in the silence.  No one could see me there under the greenish-brown water.

I remember traversing the creeks on the other side of the subdivision.  I always felt like it was undiscovered country.  I would fearlessly walk through the creeks to explore the other side.  It was so exciting and dangerous, or at least it felt like it at the time. When my mother and I hike in the mountains out West, I still feel that playfulness I had as a child.  The two of us encourage one another to overcome our fears and head into the unknown.  Decades later, it makes me happy to still carry those feelings and even more so when I let them out to play.

These were my thoughts as I walked along the wooden pathway.  The water here is frozen and covered in hard, crunchy snow, yet something made me think of summer and what it’s like to play in the water.  Everything is very still.  Unmoving.  Quiet.  And eerie in a way.  The dark tunnel only amplifies the eeriness.  It is a far cry from the splashes and squeals of summertime.  My footsteps on the cold bridge now sound off their echo.  The noise within the hollowness is a bit of a comfort now.  It’s funny how silence can be scary at times.  Like there is nothing to ground us, nothing to make us know that we exist.  Or maybe it is the fear of our mind being left to its own devices.  If there is no noise, no distractions, we may hear something we do not want to hear.  We may have to listen.  Listen to what we already know but thus far have been successful at tuning it out.

Yes, that is what I am feeling.  That is why this quietness frightens me.  I don’t want to be by myself.  I don’t want to listen with a clear head.  It will require action.  It will mean that I know and I can’t take that back.  My steps begin to slow down.  I do not want to come out into the open.  What was once spooky and dark has now become a safe haven.  I am hidden here.  It is like being under the water and no one can see me.  I stop.  It feels like a stand-off now.  Something out of the Wild West!  How did I come to this?  I was just thinking of happy childhood memories and now I am frozen in place.  I know I am only facing myself.  I know it is a more peaceful self.  A happier self.  Yet it is truly frightening.

I begin to pace now from side to side.  It is colder here in the shade and I feel the need to move.  There is an anxiety building in my chest and I am finding it hard to breathe.  I start to talk to myself.  I tell my self to calm down, that everything is OK.  I force myself to take some deep breaths.  Just then, as if whispered in my ear, I hear that I am safe.  I am safe.  These words come to me as a knowing.  I already know that.  I laugh a bit and smile.  Of course, I am always safe for it’s just me.  My soul, my guiding light that only ever wants what is best for me.  The one that wants me to stop and listen more often.  The one that tirelessly tries to show me and lead me towards my highest good.  The wave of fear has left me now.

I take a deep breath and walk into the light.  I will stand there and I will listen in the silence.

 

Photo courtesy of D. Campbell.


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It was easy there.

Just days ago, I was on a trip like no other trip.  It was not a vacation where we run to and fro collecting as many sites and experiences as possible, but rather an exploration and awakening of my soul.  A meditation retreat.  A place where I found safe haven, love and life-long friends.  It was easy there.  I shut myself off from phones, computers, television and family.  I could breathe unencumbered by daily chores, work, family distractions and most importantly, my own go-to forms of distractions and excuses.  I was cared for by loving people making my food and providing me with a clean room to rest.  I was guided by mentors who graciously shared their knowledge as they were born to do.  We were all handed this bounty of love on a beautiful silver platter, there for the taking.  Of course, we all partook.  We all made commitments.  We all created intentions.  We all faced our past, our heartaches, and our fears.  And we all resided in a place of pure love.

It was easy there.

As our time came to a close we began to gear up.  There was work to be done.  There was commitments to uphold.  Not to the outside world, but within ourselves.  I ebbed and flowed between the excitement of a child with a new toy to be explored, to a passenger on a crashing plane bracing for impact.  I was scared.  I was fearful that I would fail.  I was fearful that my life would suck me back in to its numbing chaos.  Even with my fears bouncing off the walls of my mind, I felt a knowing that I had turned a corner and there was no going back.  On our last day together, a beautiful soul whispered in my ear, “I keep hearing, ‘Keep going, keep going.'”  It was what I needed.  It was precious fuel for my tank in case I began to run on fumes.

So here I am, days later.  Back home.  Back to the reality I have created.  I was not granted a warm welcome.  I was denied a welcoming of love and happiness. I look out the window now and it is snowing.  Much different than the rains of Costa Rica that washed away the heavy heat.  I don’t mind it.  I don’t mind the weather greeting my journey home with freezing temperatures.  It is all beautiful.  But I do mind the way my husband, the one who is supposed to love me unconditionally, greeted me.  Since my feet have landed onto US soil, I have been hailed upon by his insecurities.  He would not grant me his love and happiness until he felt secure in our relationship.  Only after an argument, only after him blowing off my feelings of disappointment in his reaction, did he try to turn around and express his happiness for me.  He does not hear me.  He does not listen to my pain.  He had flowers and a sweet card for me.  It meant nothing.  I wanted to laugh hysterically.  I could literally feel their emptiness for there was no love behind them.

So this has been my experience upon arriving home.  A barrage of insinuating and ridiculous questions.  A “love you” one minute, and anger the next.  My head is spinning.  As if on a hyper-speed roller coaster, I am desperately trying to reach up and grabbed my head, grab my heart and hold on for dear life.  Hold on to all I have experienced.  Hold on to all the love I was so freely given.  Hold on to the self that I am.

My throat has been sore since the day I arrived home.  I looked it up in Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life.  It states, “Holding in angry words.  Feeling unable to express the self.”  Yeah.  That pretty much sums it up.  Her book also says that the throat is where change takes place.  Whether it be resisting change, going through change or simply trying to change.  I am a bit of each, I suppose.  I am resisting dealing with my husband.  I am definitely going through changes within and it is a taking its toll.  It is work.  It is work waking up early to meditate.  It is work to calm the mind, set aside all the busyness and write from my heart.  However, I know it will get easier.  I know every little piece, every little crevice of my life will be better for it and so I continue on this path.

I feel I am gearing up.  Gearing up for battle?  I don’t know, but I do know I am not prepared to act on  my marriage right now.  I am not strong enough to go through a divorce again in this moment.  I need to build an internal army that will keep me strong, protect me, shield me and most importantly, guide me.  I am OK with this.  I will know when the time is right; I will feel it in my gut.  It will be loud and clear.  I have been there before and I will recognize it when it is time.  Now is time for me.  Now is time for me to grow in my awareness.  Time to look at everything with a renewed curiosity.  Time to connect with God, Source, the Universe, My Higher Self, call it what you like.  I have been away too long.  It is time to look beyond the veil, return home and…

“Keep going, keep going.”


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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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How are you going to go out?

The Secret Of Life.

This short little video above is about life, but instead, it really made me think about death.  As a young child I had an abnormal fear of death.  I remember several occasions when I was very young, laying awake at night in a layer of sweat worrying about dying.  These episodes subsided as I grew up because like most people, I became quite adapt at shutting out topics I didn’t want to think about.

As the years have past, I am not sure if I have done well avoiding the topic or if it is simply something most of us think about but rarely talk about.  Each decade of my life that passes, I seem to think about it more.  It’s there looming of course, and becoming ever more a clearer reality.

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OK, I really am not wanting to write some depressing post…no, seriously!  In fact, this post is about letting go of the fear of death and the fear of LIFE.  In the video, there is a line, “The fear of death is completely obsurd because if you’re dead you got nothing to worry about, so you’ll be alright.”  It sounds stupid simple but it makes a good point.  When I really stop and think about it, I am more afraid of being in pain and/or suffering than not existing on this planet.  The whole non-existing thing well, depending on your beliefs, it just might be the most amazing thing ever.

I am grateful that I no longer have mini panic attacks over dying.  Maybe it comes with maturity, maybe it comes with being less fearful in life, or maybe it just comes when you’re plain worn out from life.  I am grateful for the fact that the older I get, the more I let go of fear, the more I want to do whatever the hell I want to do!  Amen to Bucket Lists!  I wish to God that I would have felt this way 20 years ago, but…no regrets.  Perhaps, this is exactly what I came here to experience.  Whatever the reason for my transformation, I now fear not living more than I fear death.
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What is important is only this very moment.  What are you going to do with this very moment?  Life isn’t about the drama, the temporary problems, or even that traffic jam that we overreact to (You know who you are!!).  Life is about that feeling you get when your child gives you the biggest hug for no reason, it’s about walking barefoot in the grass, it’s about making someone’s day, and it’s about whatever makes you STOP and feelhearsmell…or taste.

It’s so easy to romanticize, but it really does come down to a choice.  Your choice.  It’s not about “If that didn’t,” or “When that happens.”  It’s about right now, changing your focus, changing your perspective and letting go of the security blanket that is really having the opposite effect.  Sure, we all get down, make excuses ad nauseum, have bad days, or have bad things happen, but the difference is how long we stay in that bad place.  It’s like my writing right now, the longer I am “too busy” to write, the harder it is to get back to what I love.

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Now, how are you going to go out?


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Walking Like Sasquatch

I wrote the following Guest Post for the blog, Lessons from the end of a marriage.  Please be sure to check out Lisa’s amazing journey and wise insights into marriage and divorce.  Thank you Lisa for the Guest Post!!

Recently, my husband and I were on a walk and I was in a rather silly mood.  I was being goofy and started doing funny walks, a moon walk (MJ I am not!), skipping, a penguin walk, and then I began walking like Sasquatch.  I was taking long slow deliberate steps and slowly moving my head side to side, just like in the famous video played on TV a million times over.  Later that evening, we went to see the new X-Men movie at the Drive-In (Yes, we have a Drive-In…so cool!) and in the movie, there was an awesome slow-motion scene.  All this slow-motion business caused me to think about how we live life…there is nothing slo-mo about it.

My life was a prime example of being quick to draw.  I would immediately judge every situation and circumstance, and react.  If my ex-husband sent me a not-so-nice email, I would quickly respond with a biting tongue.  It was my current husband who opened my eyes to my behavior.  I would show him my responses to my ex and he always told me that I needed to wait, calm down, and then respond.  My agitation would not help the situation but only add fuel to the fire.

I acted quickly in all situations of crisis.  I don’t like loose-ends, I want to be in control, and if someone upsets me I feel they need to know it.  I also feared “bad things” happening if I didn’t act fast enough to try and “fix” them.  Life can quickly become a series of reactions.  When that happens, we are no longer determining our path, we are letting circumstances dictate our life.  We become like a computer where somebody is pushing our buttons and we react.  The computer does not make the decisions, it only runs its program (your mind) and responds accordingly.

Aside from my Type A personality, there was a deeper reason to my quick emotional responses.  I have since figured out that when I am not living my truth, my path in life, every silly little thing around me becomes my life.  There is nothing else, I am not creating anything else, so I create distractions that appear meaningful.  When I am living and moving in a direction that is purposeful, all the little distractions have less meaning and power over me.  They become little bumps in the road, no more, no less.  I no longer allow them to veer me off down a dead end.

Life happens and at times it seems to spin out of control.  We try to match the pace to control it by making impulsive decisions.  Our responses are often based solely on emotions, such as fear, jealousy, anger, and hurt.  Sometimes no action is best but we do not allow ourselves a moment to ask, is this really important to me?  I have learned to sit back, allow myself to think and then react if necessary.  I try to not let fear or my Irish temper control what I do.  Fear has controlled me for most of my life.  I no longer want to run that program.  As silly as it sounds, I want to live life walking like Sasquatch.  We can all make more conscious moves.  We can watch the world spin around us and if we want to join in, we can, if not, we can keep moving.


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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