Friday, June 29, 2012

Lots of Therapy and Inner Work Gets You This...

This came around as I have been trying to put words to how I have felt my life change.  This is inner work that you can't physically see but it's been hard to name.  And it is very nuanced.  Yet this is EXACTLY where I would begin to describe what I have felt myself moving towards. Numbers 10 and 11 having to do with judging are instrumental in letting things go with myself and those around me.  Changing these thought patterns is slow but oh so freeing.  I didn't know I had thoughts that were making life so difficult.  Thoughts still pop up but now, I examine and let them go so much more quickly.

Letting go of fears is the next whopper.  I have come to understand that what gives me the most anxiety is what I "think" about the worst thing that could happen to me.  And what if it did?  My thoughts about it could either send me spiraling or I could grieve and make the best of it.  My thoughts and thought patterns are so influential to my quality of life.
I can see how my thoughts have changed in doing remodeling work to the house.  I have elicited the help of a interior decorator and had to trust what he tells me and listen to my own intuition.  This is new territory for me, to speak up and say what I think and even to have the esteem to have someone help me in the first place.  I didn't feel worthy before.  Also as I learn to do something new, I make mistakes.  My kitchen floor was not the ideal, and then a great friend of mine said, "Oh, I have made plenty of mistakes in choosing things for my house!"  That one statement helped me understand that it's okay to make a mistake.  Letting go of perfection is so unbelievable freeing.  I just had the exterior painted and I tried something new and I began to get worked up and in a slight frenzy.  I stopped and thought, it is not the end of the world, it's a paint color.  I spoke up, tweaked the colors where I could, and voila, it's not perfect but it is more than acceptable.  There is a lot of downside to perfectionism.  Acceptance of life which is what number 1 is talking about.

I love this list and am so happy I came across it.  Think it and it will happen.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Snake Slithers By

I had been immensely enjoying our backyard.  We had put up our summer pool, and the kids were really enjoying it.  We planted flowers.  I would sit and appreciate the spring time and feel God's closeness in our little square footage of nature in suburbia.  I watched the grass turn green, listened to the birds, spotted a slug making its way across the concrete, it was wonderful.

And then comes the snake.

Uggghh.  My husband excitedly beckoned me to come see something and the girls were going bonkers.  I thought what is this?  And IT was on our back porch.  I watched it slither, and what a good word that is.  It is so creepy to observe.  So quiet, so stealth and it turned my stomach immensely.  I had never seen a snake in the vicinity of where I lived.  As I shared my snake story, I heard multiple stories from friends who had one in their bedrooms, living rooms and backyards.  This may be the first but it will not be the last time I spot a snake.

It occurred to me, this is life.  You begin to think you are coasting along and whammy, life throws a wrench.  The girls have not wanted to go outside since then, more than a month ago.  I didn't want to go either and yet as I talked to one of my neighbors, it dawned on me how I handle this is how the girls will.  My neighbor would have preferred us to catch and release in her yard than kill it which is what I ordered George to do.  She said her dad sat her down and explained all about snakes and may have even handled them.  So we had a talk about how to handle it- our style.  Basically with my girls when we see another snake, I know it will end up being scream and run.

Another friend said, "the only good snake is a dead snake."  I am caught in between.  I know snakes have a purpose but I don't know which are poisonous and which are harmless.  I just know they are all creepy.  We have been slow to go to the backyard.  When we first saw the snake, I was looking everywhere vigilantly and now I have slacked off.  I want it to wear off because I want to continue enjoying our yard.  I know there will be snakes and it is all in the way you look at it.

Buddha was right.  If I think it is bad, it will be.  If I think, I will be okay when I see another snake, I will be.  I have to put that in practice and repeat that to myself over and over.  Snakes and wrenches are a part of life, it will be okay.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Full Circle Moment on Sunday Morning

I have written about overcoming the judgement I have placed on myself as well as judgement that I perceived from church services, revivals and other varied experiences that I encountered in my youth.  It has been slow to heal these wounds and my perception of God who appeared to not be a loving God, but one who just wants to sit back and decide if I'm going to hell.  I didn't respond well to that presentation of God but I still internalized it and didn't realize I needed to step away.  God was out THERE and I didn't feel his/her presence at all.  Religion was full of shouldisms.

Yesterday, I attended my first service in a church that would fall into that category in many, many years.   I was an hour late, but no worries it went on for another hour and a half.  My watch is broken and I felt bad going into my purse to check the time repeatedly on my phone but it was only going to be over when it was over.  It was a celebration for a family member and I wanted to be there.  My kids and I had already been at our own church for 2 hours and I had no idea that the service would be that long, I had forgotten.  We Methodists are methodical, as in an hour in and an hour out and no room for the movement of the holy spirit within the service! {smile}

As the guest pastor talked in his sermon and brought up hell, a small discomfort arose in my body.  Finally, he reached the end of his sermon and here comes the altar call, whereby he asked us to stand.  Everyone did and put their heads down and he proceeded to goad us into coming forward to be saved or make our declaration?  It occurred to me for the first time that this act of walking to the front of the church is more for the pastor than the members of the congregation.  He said what would it hurt to have the Holy Spirit in your life? He began pulling out a few psychological maneuvers to get people to come to the front.  I began to get hot under the collar, and then I had a full circle moment.

I am no longer eight, or twelve or  eighteen and my relationship with God has come a loooong way.  I feel God's love in my life like never before and am aware of it like never before.  More importantly, neither is my church nor how I need to follow the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  It works for this congregation but not me.  I don't need to judge myself, AND I don't need to judge this denomination!

Whew!  What a revelation!  I can now see that this was an opportunity to see how far I've come in my thinking. Instead of wondering what is wrong with me that I don't want to walk down to the front of the church,  I can determine that this branch of the church does not work for me.   Many other things work for me but this does not.  What does work is the group I love that meets at my church during the Sunday School hour and feel God's presence mightily.  We discuss books that resonate with me, and so many times, I'm close to tears because the discussion is hitting the marrow of who I am, and what I have struggled with.

It was amazing to feel the anger just dissipate and I moved on, and completely let go of the experience. It was simply wonderful to let go of that judgement of myself.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Disney and the Inner Journey

I have been MIA and really missing my writing.  We were at Disney for the last seven days.  Disney is magical, yet exhausting. It enables one of a kind fantasy experiences yet is relentless on the feet and senses but now the 2012 trip is in the bag.  All that is left is downloading the photos, printing pictures for the official album, unpacking the suitcases and washing clothes.

It has been three years since we last visited Disney and GaGa was with us for that trip.  Prior to that visit, I had embarked on my intentional journey to lose weight which turned into understanding who I really am.  It is hard to measure progress in an inner journey.  My Aha moments tell me that I am evolving but how do you add that up?  A couple of things stood out to me taking the same exact trip three years later.

I didn't worry about things like I did the last time.  I remember wanting to perfectly plan things out.    I wanted to be in line first for the popular rides after acquiring fast passes for the MOST popular. I wanted to tour the parks in the most efficient way possible on the right day.  I wanted the girls to do what they really wanted to do, yet Mallory had no awareness of what was out there and Riley learned what she liked as we went.  And these things are not bad but my thoughts were consumed with them.  I have learned the difference between planning and rolling with it.  Perfection is not a good thing.

There was a tropical storm that caused rained for two of the days for the major portion of the day.  In a past life, I would have melted down over this!  But this time we put on our rain gear and forged on and it did thin the crowd a bit.  And if you have this attitude of rolling with it, the children will follow.  They do really learn from us, not what we say to them but our actions.

And I learn so much from them.

Riley is Miss Efficient (her end of the school year certificate is for being Responsible!)  She kept track of us in very helpful ways noticing things that I missed.   Mallory is "stop and smell the roses."   So many times she would get left behind looking at whatever caught her eye and I would stop to find her and remember to "be in the moment" with her.  As I am learning to love who I am,  I am learning to appreciate them for who they are and try not to change it in ways I don't even realize I'm doing.   They were born to be who they are.   I think I can teach them how to be but they are showing me who I should be.  (Insert Lady GaGa's Born this Way)

We visited the Bippity Boppity Boutique for the second time.  Mallory was down for the whole big package: princess costume, hair, makeup.  Riley said no.  As the time approached I could tell that she might want to do part of the process.  I thought she had outgrown the "princess" part of it, but she still wanted to be pampered - what girl doesn't want to be pampered?  George, bless him, obliges all of his girls in their pampering.  She ended up with a BBB Tshirt and a frilly skirt that went with the hairdo that she really wanted.  She ended up taking off the skirt and voila - who she was meant to be.

The girls with Princess Merida of the upcoming movie "Brave"

We watched the "Wishes" fireworks at Magic Kingdom at 10 p.m. (!)  (something this early to bed, early to rise girl would never want to do because it involved keeping the girls out past their bedtime and leaving the park en masse) but the story included the line, "Always let your conscious be your guide"

Even Walt Disney is in on my inner journey.