Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Six Types of People Not to Share Your Story With

Last week, I watched Brene Brown on Super Soul Sunday.  Fabulous.  The key to being a whole hearted person is being vulnerable.  Her extensive research proves it.  But as I have learned much about boundaries and trying to be vulnerable with the wrong people, I told my good friend, she hasn't talked about that.  Well, this is from part 2.  She talks about it!!  I started cheering when I saw it.

6 Types of People Who Do Not Deserve to Hear Your Shame Story

Last night I had an experience with someone who responded in the: "How did you let this happen" mode.  It stuck in my craw.  And the kicker, she's in the helping profession.   Just because someone is in the helping profession does not mean they are an empathic. So again,  I learned, just how far to go in sharing my story.  I think I want to be heard so badly, that I take risks that are too high.  Oprah repeated again in the episode how we all want to be heard, and feel like we matter.

So, so true.  Yet, taking the risk of being vulnerable must be done within carefully chosen boundaries.

Divine Timing in the Ladies Room

I tried a new Spiritual discipline tonight completely and utterly by chance.  Prior to that, I had walked out of my current Sunday evening study and felt heart heavy.

My goal attending this particular evening class is to use it as practice for speaking up.  I have never felt brave enough to speak my thoughts in these types of mixed settings.  The vibe in this class though is very different from the ones that I have been deliberately choosing to change my image of God.  Most classes I have been in of late, have been swathed in spiritual oneness, and compassion and have been healing my religious wounds by leaps and bounds.  I have never had one snarky comment made towards me.

Well, that occurred tonight.  The trick about speaking up is that your words can come back at you in positive or negative ways.  I could continue to remain passive and just listen but  I really want to grow through this, yet growing requires uncomfortableness.

And I am growing RIGHT NOW.

In contrast to Sunday nights class, I attend a class at our Spiritual Formation Center on Sunday mornings and I felt at home from the first visit on.   I don't ever want to leave.  After months of speaking up, I was called out for being a "Spiritual Pilgrim."  These people speak my language and are having the same aha's I have been having.  When I hear people express the very same thoughts that I have had, it is so affirming.  It is exactly the opposite of what I felt leaving my class Sunday night.

We ended early, I ran into the bathroom and one of my favorite spiritual teachers happened to be in the stall next to mine. She invited myself and the other bathroom inhabitant to participate in Taize.

Hmmm.    My stomach turned slightly.  This is brand new and I had never experienced it.  Uncomfortable.   I asked how long it would take.  Twenty minutes, which would have me leaving at the same time as the study normally did.

Perfect timing.

I must GO FOR IT.

On this night with my heavy heart, I came into our conference room whose floor is a labyrinth and it was dimly lit with candles.   This meditative walk is an ancient practice used by many different faiths for centering, contemplation and prayer.  One walks slowly on the path while quieting the mind and focusing on a spiritual question or a prayer and stops in the center to sit, kneel or pray and then walk out the path once again.

As I walked the heaviness of my heart dissipated.  I decided to repeat the mantra of, "woundedness out", "love in."  I practiced breathing that as well.  I breathed love in, and exhaled woundedness as I have learned in yoga.

This is exactly where I needed to be and the experience I needed to have to affirm God's presence in my life.

It was perfect divine timing in the ladies' room.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From "Sex and the City" to "Fifty Shades" and Feeling Wanted

I came across this young country singer named Hunter Hayes.   He is a homeboy who hails from Breaux Bridge, LA.   I listened to one of his songs called "Wanted" and it made me chuckle.  I downloaded it from iTunes and it is one of only four songs that I am able to listen to on my new Iphone.  (I REALLY need to figure out how to load the songs from my old phone.)

I listen to the song now repeatedly when I walk the dog and it makes me chuckle each and every time.  I think of my high school boyfriend.  We spent a lot of time alone unsupervised at his house, and in this one instance, he told me he "wanted" me.  I naively responded, "what do you want me to do?"

He had to explain it.

This both makes me laugh and it makes me sad.  It brings up lots of angst regarding my lack of sexual education and a resulting attitudes that sex was something shameful, wrong and to be hidden.  I now understand sex as an integral part of how we were made, and it's importance in committed relationships.  It was the Big Guy (or Gal)  who made us sexual beings after all!

I even had a hard time admitting how much I enjoyed watching "Sex and the City" back when it originally aired because A) sex was in the title and B) these were four women having sex outside the bonds of matrimony.  All to be considered bad, bad, bad.  Yet I LOVED this series for so many reasons.   I still watch reruns that I have seen numerous times and it is like spending time with an old friend.

My lack of sex education and desire to change it, made me extremely receptive to a sex therapist, Dr. Laura Berman, whom I saw on Oprah.  She is so forthright, comfortable and delivers the best information regarding all aspects of sexuality.  She's the bomb.

And months ago, I read all three of the "Fifty Shades" books (and thoroughly enjoyed them, thus why I read ALL three...)  I could not admit that either.  I had difficulty sharing with even my closest friends.  My old wiring said, oh, this is "bad."  My new wiring said, okay, it contains mutually consented S&M,  but more importantly, I learned that I like erotic literature and it is a wonderful tool to add some spark into my 16 year old marriage.

There I said it.

And it feels good!

Now, I did not admit it to my Sunday night study at church of mixed company.  It was brought up in a negative light and I failed to mention that I read them.  This I guess might be a sin of omission.

I can live with it.

For now.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

It Must Be the Luck of the Irish (or a lot of mindfulness)

It feels like forever since I have sat down to write.  And I really miss it.

This morning I had very profound thought and now it is gone.  It was again along the lines of weight and acceptance.  It seemed deeper this morning.

I think it was that although I really do want to lose weight, it is NOT about the weight.  Loving and accepting myself is my goal.  I feel as I continue to learn to love and nurture myself that my intuitive eating will kick in again and again.  Nurturing myself which is something I badly needed is beginning to become second nature.  I listen to those nudges when it is time to rest, when I need to tell the kids I need to be alone.  When I need to turn everything off and have silence.  I am amazed at how often I just need silence.

Before the Parade.
It's coming back to me now!! I think my epiphany moment came after I went to a St. Patrick's Day parade.  It occurred to me that I had not thought once about my body or my attire and how it would be received by others.  I spent time with people I had not seen in months and months and I would have worried about this in the past.

I was just "IN" the moment, experiencing the delight of seeing old friends!

The only time I thought about my body was that I kept pulling my shirt down as I raised it to catch beads but that because it wrinkled up each time.  I thought I need to wear something better for exercise next year! ha ha

You don't know you are there until you are there.

I am thrilled that the self-conscious thoughts are slowly extinguishing over time.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spiritual Lessons From Unlikely Places, Thank You Jenny McCarthy!

I have been reading for leisure a bit more and reading my favorite type of books which are biographies.   I download them for free from the library.  Free means I am not particularly choosy, but of course there has to be a spark of interest.  I have read Justin Beiber's mother's book as well as Lauren Scruggs, who walked into the blades of a small plane an eye and part of an arm.  I have found some nugget in each of them and I kept reading but if I don't, I return it to the digital library with no guilt attached!  No more loyalty to books, moves or tv shows that do nothing for me!  Codependent no more!!

Currently I am ready Jenny McCarthy's latest book, "Bad Habits: Confessions of a Recovering Catholic."  I had seen she and Jim Carrey together on Oprah and they discussed their spiritual journey so that perked my interest.  I did not want to read her first book about pregnancy because it seemed crude about farts, hemorrhoids and other occurrences in a woman's pregnant body. True but unmentionable to my prudish self.

Thankfully I have relaxed since then and read as she thoughtfully questions all authorities about loopholes in Catholicism from an early age (as well as describing dry humping with her boyfriend while the Jesus pictures on her wall grimace at her)  I have learned from listening to others in small groups at my church that everyone has religious baggage, it just comes in all shapes and sizes and it is all based on individual experiences.

Then here comes the nugget!  I am reading along and she describes how to handle "emotional rashes" which are those massively uncomfortable feelings that come up.  Jenny's sister reports how she will sit on the toilet "to let it all hang out."  Instead of numbing it with shopping, drinking or food, this is what the sister describes,

"And then I allowed myself to feel the pain.  Sometimes I have no idea what it is, but I learned that sometimes you don't need to attach a thought to it.  Just feel it.  Just sit in it.  And when it moves past you, like a storm, the other side is rainbows"

And Jenny says, "Or a big deuce in the toilet."

Jenny then describes her first experience of  allowing waves of pain in her soul go through as her sister had instructed her.  It is exactly what I have been practicing except I don't sit on the toilet and it doesn't involve farts.  But if I did sit on the toilet, I might fart.

There I said it.

I simply adore when I get these conformational bits from unlikely sources in unlikely words.  It is resounding proof that I'm on to something.  

Thank you Jenny McCarthy!  The spirit moves in strange and mysterious waves.  I just need to stand back and allow it to happen.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Taking Hits From the Peanut Gallery

These are my fancy new prescription reading glasses with large round lenses.   George helped me pick them out.

Mallory's reaction: "Creepy"

Riley expressed similar sentiments when I later picked her up.  And I thought "what a tough crowd."

The next day, I wore them in a store, and it hit me, "I am a person who wears glasses now."  Wearing readers was just stepping into it halfway, this is full on new territory.

It is settling in.  There are a multitude of physical happenings in my body right now and a lot of acceptance that is settling in.

On the same day that I got the negative reviews from my children on my eyewear, I looked up and saw Jennifer Aniston in an ad on television.

I did pause it and show it to the peanut gallery.  Although they really don't know who Jennifer is.  That is okay.

Momma has new glasses and I like them.  I don't need Jennifer Anniston to have a very similar pair but it doesn't hurt as I am learning to accept the inevitable changes that are occurring.  The kids need time for acceptance just like I do but I did have to teach them to say it in a nicer way.  Mothers have feelings too!