Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let it BE...

*Sigh*... I am finally breathing with an air of relief; after a long period of feeling as if I had been holding my breath…
We (my family and I) recently found ourselves in an unexpected and most uncertain situation. After relocating to Az. for a job, my husband’s chronic back condition unexpectedly made it impossible for him to continue working. This presented a whole list of questions and concerns as to where/how we should live, how we would get there, and what would be best… We were in limbo… A most frustrating place to be… Waiting for answers to arise from outside our own realm of decision making capacities…
I struggled with this scenario greatly; refusing to even discuss the situation with most everyone for fear of facing the full magnitude of insecurity, frustration, and utter uncertainty that these unanticipated, undesirable, conditions ignited within me. I found myself feeling utterly helpless in the wake of undetermined scenarios and completely unable to “do the right thing” while waiting for the undecided factors to play out and give us a course to set out upon... Have I mentioned that patience is not my strong suit? And that instability and uncertainty make me incredibly uncomfortable? (Duh!)
During this time of trial, I have tried to practice trust, and faith, and told myself (as has proven true time and time again) that all things happen for a reason, this too shall pass, and sometimes the path we cannot see is exactly the path upon which we are meant to travel… I tried to keep my energy and thoughts positive and focused on the here and now. I made a conscious effort to BE where I am fully, and tried wholeheartedly to “allow” the situation to unfold in due time. To let the cards fall as they may so to speak. However, during this time of “waiting” I was actually avoiding a large portion of the “now” which I was experiencing. I was fooling myself, and not truly being engaged in the “now”. I was not voicing my feelings of insecurity. I was not being honest with myself or others about my own inability to fix it all away. By avoiding discussing the details with my friends and loved ones, I was practicing a form of denial disguised as faith. It wasn’t true faith, for I was too afraid to face the actual situation for what it was and admit that I was not in any semblance of control.
I finally conceded to tell the children the details that we did know, as far as when and where we would be moving, how we would get there, and that as of now,(then) we were still uncertain where exactly we would be living upon arrival. I spoke to family members and told them all that I knew (questions and everything). I stopped resisting what was. I began to allow myself to feel the fullness of that moment, unanswered factors included instead of avoided. I practiced true faith in my own admittance of powerlessness. Within days the unanswered variables had been resolved. Our questions were answered. We finally have a plan! *Sigh*.
Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way in life. I’ve learned an important lesson about honesty, and true acceptance. Accepting the “unacceptable” aspects as well, and allowing them to BE. To "Let it BE". I think by resisting what was, I was blocking the way for what would be to come through! Lesson learned… This time anyway! J

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Shift...

Forgive me upfront, as I am about to go on a rant. You may or may not like what I have to say in this particular blog, in fact you might even disagree with me, which is your right. And for those of you, whose sense of self may feel threatened by my thoughts and suggestions, please believe that my intent upon writing this is not to cause anyone any distress. While I have the utmost respect for others and their beliefs, I am only “calling it like I see it” so to speak. This is my truth. I hope you can find some benefit from my sharing it with you.
I find myself grappling right now to understand, no, to even begin to comprehend a society in which a natural disaster can bring about a wave of humanity driven care and effort and then be followed immediately by destructive, violence driven tactics in another part of the world. How is there this disconnect when it comes to the value of a human life? Why is it that casualties of war are socially accepted while casualties of uncontrolled events are travesties???  Isn’t the idea of a civilized society to prevent unnecessary death and suffering?
I think people on this planet have forgotten the basic rule of human interaction… DO UNTO OTHERS. We teach our children, not to hit or act out of violence when they are upset and yet the adults who run this world act like unaware, undisciplined toddlers when it comes to negotiation and policy making. Where is the TOLERANCE? I am not suggesting that we allow people to be massacred or oppressed and stand idly by while others are abused; but honestly what are we accomplishing by fighting? As long as we are willing as a race of humans to take it to that level and “fight” it out, there will always be “a reason”. It is time for a shift in how we cope with adversity. Nay it is waaayyy past time. It is bordering upon too late.
If what we need as a society is to get to a certain point where we stop and say “ENOUGH”! This is not who we choose to BE. Then I for one say that time is now! Look at this Earth, look at the consequences of our unbalanced society. Look at the way nature is reacting to our ignorance. We can not as a species stop killing ourselves and our planet… We poison our water… our air… our food…  We strive for material comforts and distractions all the while turning a blind eye to the grave injustices that make it possible for the few to have much and the many to have little.
Until the people begin to recognize that we are all connected, the Earth and all of Her people.  Until we begin to make decisions based upon the well being of ALL, this terrible imbalance we’ve created will only magnify, and multiply until the entire planet literally expires under the strain of intemperance and unawareness. When we begin to truly see that what happens on the other side of the world happens to us as well, when the illusion of separatism begins to dissipate, we will no longer be able to fool ourselves with temporal reassurance and diversion. We will be forced to see the truth, that what we do to others so too do we do unto ourselves. And perhaps, maybe... if we shift our perspective fully and soon enough we may have a chance to create a true family of humanity and experience a greater joy and peace than we have ever imagined.
In every moment in all of your personal dealings try to keep this in mind. Try to give the love and consideration that you’d like to receive and not get caught up in the I/me/mine mentality that nourishes this dysfunctional situation. Keep your focus on the light, give it your attention and together we can overcome the darkness. We can as Gandhi says, “Be the change”.

Monday, March 14, 2011


It’s summer here. Well, at least it feels like summer (to me) here. Cool in the morning, blazing by noon. The birds are chirping excitedly as the sun comes up…
 I have skipped right over spring fever and have been flung headlong, straight into summer mania! I am finding myself assaulted by tangible summertime associations. I can smell the morning dew, taste the watermelon, feel the refreshing sensation of a dip in lake water… I can hear the cricket’s endless song in my mind… The tree frogs serenading an evening filled with fireflies and the lingering smell of dinnertime barbeques… The sound of distant radios and laughter, the clinking of ice in sweating glasses filled with something light and fruity to drink… The scent of suntan lotion, and bug spray, Skin So Soft, and chlorine pool water… Sweet, sticky babies and children all drippy from ice cream cones and popscicles…
Mmmmm…  Summertime…  Nostalgia at its very, very, best. I will smile all day just thinking of this. J

Friday, March 11, 2011


Mothers (and women in general) feel pressured to be perfect. To keep perfect homes, perfectly behaved children, perfect hair, perfect bodies, and perfect relationships with their “perfect” husbands…
Most of the time we go around keeping up a perfection façade; rarely allowing even those closest to us to see that we struggle with all of the same issues. That perhaps our homes are messy  (disastrous even), or we run out of patience and yell at our children, or that we don’t buy all organic food, or we do or we don’t vaccinate, or we argue with our husbands or we feel disappointments, frustrations, fear, sadness, uncertainty, selfishness, unappreciated, inadequate, inept… That we doubt ourselves and look to those around us for clues on how to be “normal”.
We are all in this together; learning as we go. The most wonderful gift you can give to yourself and others is to acknowledge your flaws, to be open and honest about your struggles. Share your experiences with your girl friends, your acquaintances, allow the women in your life to know that you are not perfect, that you struggle with your own burdens. When we go around presenting a false persona of perfection, it creates a dangerous atmosphere in which we are constantly comparing, competing, and judging ourselves and others. It breeds bitter rivalry, gossip, and all sorts of unkindness toward our fellow mothers and all of womankind. Offering compassion to ourselves and others is the key to being happy and secure in our own skin. Being strong enough to portray vulnerability and honest enough to admit our own imperfections. Asking for help and seeking out opportunities to share even our ugly truths with others will liberate our spirits, build interconnectedness, and strengthen us as mothers/women; making us better wives, mothers, sisters and friends …
When we stop exuding insurmountable amounts of energy into the upkeep of an erroneous pretense of perfection, we can begin to put that energy to good use. Utilizing that energy instead, to strengthen our relationships, cultivate our talents, recognize our strengths, and to give that liberation to others. The next time you see a mom or a woman friend, try to see the beauty behind the façade. The flaws that make her human, that make her just like you. And remember if she hides those flaws or tries to appear flawless that is just her defense mechanism against a society of image conscious, media induced, perfection mongers. Offer her thoughts of peace and strength. Send her consideration and understanding with a smile. Recognize that she is just like you in her own way. Our individualism is what makes us special, and our sameness is what connects us. It is time for honesty, openness, and a new level of bravery to emerge.  We are not each others adversaries or competitors we are each others strength. Give the support and consideration you’d wish to receive and reap the benefits of compassion and truth.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Excavation...

A blank page, an open slate, a place to lay my thoughts to rest. Yet where to start and what to say? Some thoughts are too deep and buried to make their way to paper. I struggle with concepts and ideas that plague my mind, that I wish to convey in eloquent meanderings for your appreciation. So here goes; excavating some “deep” thoughts…
Sometimes life challenges us. It shakes us up, and spins us round. Sometimes it masticates us, chews us up and spits us out.  Life has a way of shirking our expectations, and overhauling our plans. Often times in life you’ll find yourself in a position you never expected to encounter. Faced with circumstances you’d never have chosen, given opportunities to practice either, patience, acceptance and faith, or resentment, frustration, and sorrow.
Life often leads down dark and unsavory avenues. We find ourselves cornered sometimes in narrow, seemingly inescapable alleyways. Life is said to be full of choices, but there are moments in life when choices are made for you, and there simply aren’t a whole lot of options to consider. Times where all you can do is make the best of a bad situation. Find the silver linings in the everyday moments that make up your circumstances. Remember to be joyful even though you have every reason to be distraught. To find the balance between control (or lack there of) and trust; trust in the purpose of all things. Trust in the unknown… the unseen… the unfathomable.
 It is vital to take the time to appreciate the little things that bring a smile to our faces and make us glad to be alive, even if we feel overwhelmingly put upon or strained. Times that seem hopeless are meant to cultivate hope. In times of darkness we are being reminded to seek out the light. Lightheartedness, lightmindedness, lightbeingness. (Yes, I’m making up words again!) In every situation everyday there is something to be grateful for… thankful for… glad about. Something as trivial as the sun shining, the taste of a favorite food, a child’s contagious laughter, or a stranger’s friendly smile can bring a balance to our moments of fear and uncertainty. And perhaps, with much practice and time spent noticing and cultivating those moments, we can tip the scales. So that when we are faced with trials and tribulations we can draw upon that strength of character we have been nourishing, we can see the good through the bad and even come to value the challenges for the appreciation they foster.
When we are faced with uncertainty, fear, and doubt, when our situations challenge, defeat, and dismay us, when we feel considerable anxiety and worry, when we have no choice or don’t embrace the choices we do have.  That is the moment when we can be certain that we are being reminded, to alter our focus; to really immerse ourselves in the depths of life’s ocean. To allow its current to carry us to the places we would never find on our own. In order to grow and strengthen our spirits; creating within us the resilience and recognition necessary to truly embrace the full extent of this amazing, frightening, rewarding, beautiful, heart wrenching, indescribable adventure.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Other Day...

My husband had a pain management procedure done on Tuesday. Thanks in great part to some wonderful new friends; I was able to be with him for this one.
I went to the hospital, sat in the waiting room, and held his hand while he waited to be called in. We’ve done this before, many times before, though this isn’t something I’ve done in quite some time. With three children, Dr.’s appointments are usually solo excursions whenever possible, and to be honest with his chronic medical condition there is no way I could accompany him to every appointment nor would I want to. This one felt different. This was a new (to us) procedure to “burn” the nerves in his back which are likely the cause of a great deal of his pain and discomfort. So I wanted to be with him, because I knew he was scared, and I knew he was hopeful, and I knew he needed me to be.
After meeting the nurse, the anesthesia prep person, and the Dr., having a chance to voice my concerns and ask my questions, I was pleasantly directed to the waiting room while my husband was escorted to the place where the anesthesiologist (“Dr. Feelgood” as he likes to refer to him) would meet him and give him something to keep him calm and make him “comfortable” while they inserted three needles into his back and basically micro-waved the nerve endings.
As I sat in the waiting room trying to no avail to read, a man in his early fifties came out of the examination area. I watched as he leaned his small figure on his cane and made his way gingerly across the room to the nearest chair, lowering himself into it with great strain and effort. I watched him close his eyes and grit his teeth against the spasms of pain that wracked his body. I saw the goose-bumps on his arms and the death grip he held on the handle of his cane. I heard the hiss of his breath as he struggled not to cry out loud in agony. In a moment I saw all of these things, and I recognized them. I’d seen my own husband in that sorry state more times than I care to recount. And in that moment I found myself moving closer to this man (whose name I later learned was Joe) and gently placing my hand upon his shoulder in hopes of offering some minuscule amount of comfort to ease his obvious distress. I imagined in that short interlude that he was someone I cared about very much and I longed to ease his suffering with the strength of my love. He spoke of how “they” sometimes hit just the right spot with the injections, and the “moment” was over. I took my hand from upon his shoulder and we passed the rest of our time comparing “treatment” stories, his and my husband’s. A woman and her grown daughter joined us and we all chatted lightly while waiting for whatever each one of us was sent to wait for…
When my own loved one came through the door into the waiting area, I was happy to see him. Anxious to touch him, love him, and comfort him. As we were slowly making our way out to the elevator and then the parking lot, the mother, and then downstairs, the daughter with whom I had been chatting both said goodbye to me, and smiled and offered best wishes for the day. My husband laughed and said “You’ve been making friends?” Yeah, I said. “Of course you have.” he said.
I wound up being glad that I chose to go along for this particular appointment. It left me with a sense of purpose, and an overwhelming urge to give loving energy out to everybody I meet. I have no idea how to apply that yet to my everyday life, but it was none the less gratifying and inspirational. An experience I won’t soon forget.