Monday, February 24, 2014

Love is Like Forgiveness

From Evolved Eating Facebook Page:  Screams my name!

”I have learned, that the person I have to ask for forgiveness from the most is: myself. You must love yourself. You have to forgive yourself, everyday, whenever you remember a shortcoming, a flaw, you have to tell yourself, 'That’s just fine.' You have to forgive yourself so much, until you don’t even see those things anymore. Because that’s what love is like." ~ C. JoyBell C
☾.¸¸.•´¯`♥ ☆ Susan ☆ `•.¸.• ✫*¨`*✶♪• ☾

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Goodbye Girl and 1977 Is Calling Me

God gives small little signals to let me know I'm on the right path and I'm learning to be aware to see them, feel them and take them in.  It's a little hug of acknowledgement from the Divine one.

Over the weekend, my mother told me about an Oscar special on TMC.  I love Oscar time as you know.  In looking at the cable guide, I see "The Goodbye Girl" movie was on the same channel and on a lark, I taped that too.  On Monday afternoon, when I am sitting in carpool listening to the LOVE channel,  David Gates comes on singing "The Goodbye Girl."  (Hmmm)

The melody just sticks in my brain and stirs the great romantic in me.  Yesterday, I began watching the movie again as I had seen it many years ago and Marsha Mason draws me in.  Even through celluloid, I am moved, touched, and enamored with someone and I'm not sure why.  If I dig into it, I usually find out some connection. So of course, I look her up on IMDB and see that she hasn't been in many movies lately.  She was divorced from Neil Simon and that I had recently watched her on "The Middle" as Frankie's mother but no other big revelations.

On to this morning, I turn on Oprah's radio channel sometimes after I drop off the girls in carpool (because they do not want to listen to Oprah!). When there is something good on I will listen on my phone while I walk the dogs.  Today, it was an Oprah shows from 2001 and I hear a female voice talking about subjects near and dear to my heart.  And I think, who is this?

And then I hear Oprah call her Marsha.

Really! Are you kidding me?

Why is this 1977 movie stalking me?  LOL

I am able to rewind and listen from the beginning of Marsha Mason's segment.  She talks about making friends with fear.  That we generally run from it (our compulsions!!), but she found she had to stop, sit down and be with those feelings alone.   Oprah called it riding the waves.  Marsha said that many intense emotions can come up.  (Yep!)  She also talks about living her life as a half (as in half of a couple) and having her identity was from being an actress and when the roles dried up and she was divorced, she didn't know who she was anymore.  Her journey was to be a whole person.  She advised the use of a life coach, a therapist, a priest, and someone piped up and said...a dog! (grin)

Whenever I hear someone describe the same journey that I have been on in their own terms, it's so heartening.   This journey I'm on can feel isolating and alone at times because it's rare to come upon people who talk about consciousness in my daily walk with carpool, science projects, basketball games and laundry. Yet, my heart leaps for joy when I randomly (or not so randomly)  hear it!  I didn't go looking for it necessarily, but it found me in a roundabout way.

And I had to giggle when I saw Richard Dreyfuss in the movie practicing meditation with incense and chanting.  Mindfulness presented through comedy.  His character, Elliott Garfield says "I am not nervous. Because I have meditated, I am relaxed, calm and confident." I watched the movie years ago, so I'm sure this settled in my psyche somehow.  And of course, I'm in a meditation class right now.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Contemplation as Divine Therapy!

From Richard Rohr's daily Meditation today:
I have heard it said that the gaze of delight between a mother and the baby at her breast is the beginning of the capacity for intimate relationship. We spend the rest of our lives hoping for that moment again: that kind of safety; that kind of security; that kind of feeding; that kind of living inside of one world, where we are delighted in and loved. That is the True Self. Perhaps the most perfect image of this we can find is the Madonna with the Baby Jesus. This is the most common painting in Western art museums, I am told, probably because there is absolute wholeness mirrored in the gaze of love between mother and child. As Jung said, we paint the images our soul needs to see.

We also become the God we connect with. That’s why it’s so important to know the true God, and not some little, punitive, toxic god, because then you don’t grow up, but live in fear and pretense. Contemplation, as Thomas Keating says, is the divine therapy. We know God and we know ourselves by inner prayer journeys and not by merely believing in doctrines or living inside of church structures. God’s way of dealing with us becomes our way of dealing with life and others. We eventually love others, quite simply, as we have allowed God to love us, which should create quite a loving world.

From Carolyn:
Wowza, the last paragraph speaks, actually sings to me, so very much!

"Contemplation is the DIVINE THERAPY.  We know God and ourselves by our inner prayer journey and not by doctrines…"  

I am learning to live into this and these words are so powerful and true for me.  God was so far away and judgmental for so many years even though I was in the church all of my life but now I'm experiencing love in a whole new way.  Therapy actually led me to God.

 "God's way of dealing with us becomes our way of dealing with life and others."  And until we fully believe how much God (or Higher Power) loves us and we open ourselves to seeing that, we then are able to give it away.  It's not even hard to give it away, it just comes bursting out as something that you have to do.  It's a way of life.


Learning How to Parent From The Obedience Trainer

My children have taught me the most about unconditional love.  They came into this world as I planned for them.  They look at me, expecting love and guidance unceasingly and they give it back to me with their whole hearts.  They NEED me more than anything has ever needed me.  It is an awesome responsibility and privilege.

I had to learn to have boundaries with them.  They need boundaries and I didn't know how to do that.  I had instincts but didn't know how to follow through.  I have learned so much in this area the last few years.

On a lighter note, the dogs are teaching me in the parts where I missed the lessons with the girls and needed secondary training…

Annie has been in our house since Father's Day 2012.  She owned the entire house.  She slept in our beds and sat on our furniture and peed and pooed on our carpet even though she was given other options to do so outside.  I never thought to confine her to one area.  Well, we did put her in the crate a couple of times in the very beginning and she howled and we didn't use it after that.

All we needed to do was not let her own the house…

And then came Brinkley, the barker and biter, who blew everything out the water.  I had to learn boundaries and in a hurry.  With the assistance of a very competent dog trainer, we had to teach him, that we, the humans, are in charge of the house!  Could the lesson be any more appropriate?  This issue WAS my issue.  Was I, the mother,  in charge of my own home?

I didn't own my own power.  I didn't know how to listen to my God given instincts.   The instincts serve me so well and I had to clear my head of thought processes that didn't work for me at all.

I now regular put Brinkley on a leash with a correction collar when we have guests and I have to knock him in the nose if he misbehaves.  This is uncomfortable but I see how totally necessary it is. We now confine Annie on a regular basis and there has been less dog pee in our house.  We instruct her to go potty outside and give her treats when she does.  It is a high maintenance training for the long haul.  She's an old dog learning new tricks.  Just like me.  I'm well seasoned but still so happy to be learning.


Monday, February 17, 2014

I've Got Other Things to Think About...

At the end of last week, I was down on myself.  These spiraling thoughts come and it seems like I can't stop them and it feels like they will never go away.  It's about weight and size and while I'm in the middle of it, it feels like the end of the world.  And then sadness sets in.  And I want to fight to get out of this SO much.  Yet "fighting" it just prolongs the temporarily massively uncomfortable feelings.

As I drove to my therapist's office for my regular scheduled appointment, I felt the heaviness that something needed to be expressed but I wasn't exactly sure what it was. I bring up the body image feelings going on, and I'm advised that there must be a disconnect going on.  A disconnect as in,  all is not well with my soul, (or my sense that on a general level I'm o-kay).  When this disconnect occurs the first place that I attack is ME and I start JUDGING myself unmercifully!
I watch a tv show and think, wow, that woman is so thin and I'm not.  And I see my body and think horribly judgmental things about it.

So back at therapy,  I bring up a few issues and I guess that combined to make a disconnect.  This is the thing, I can't prevent these feelings from coming (which is what I want to do!) I just have to warmly embrace the feelings of wanting to escape who I am for a few days!!

I can see when the judgmental attack of myself is over that it was just a blip and it lasted a few days.  The feelings come and if I just tend them with care and curiosity (Thank you Mary O'Malley)  as to why they came, they dissipate. (And there doesn't have to be an answer to the questions of curiousity either.)
But paying attention and being curious will bring me to areas that I can attend to.  And if I had a job outside the home, with job performance reviews, they would be called "Areas of Growth Opportunities!!"

I use to have these negative body thoughts on a regular basis throughout the day, but that is ceasing.  So I was surprised that they came up with such a vengeance.  It's always a surprise, but this is the journey all along.

In the meantime,  this is what I will practice.  This stunned me when I read it, because I don't do this very well.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spent Time With An Old Friend Last Night

On a lark knowing I would probably enjoy it, I bought tickets months ago to see Barry Manilow.  (George said yes without even blinking.  Love that man!)  I hadn't intentionally listened to any of his songs in a while, so I pulled out my 4 CD Boxed collection.  I refreshed myself on which of his songs I loved the most and made my children despise him.  So the concert was last night and I was surprised by a few things.

I didn't put much thought into who the other attendees would be, but I was slightly taken aback with just how old the crowd was, even older than Elton John.  There were people using walkers and let me be clear,  good for them!!  Rock on!!  I hope that someone will take me to a concert when and if I have the privilege of making it to that age!  But on this night,  it made me feel young and George, at fifty-one, was a young stud in his new skinny jeans!

One of my best friends is a Fanilow and has attended several of his concerts.  She was on the front row with some of her family and they said some women cry at his concerts.  And I thought... really?

Can you see where this is going?

Barry Manilow is seventy years old, has had hip surgery and his movements are slower and more gingerly than I must have pictured.  It took me a few minutes to acclimate to this, and to stop worrying about him. Probably because I understand all to well,  the need to really pay attention to how I move my body.  One trip up, literally, and there are repercussions that can last for months.  Thank you sprained ankled from months ago.

Unfortunately I was so concerned about getting a good picture of him and putting it up on Facebook, I wasn't fully paying attention to his first few songs.  And then I heard... "I Am Your Child" and tears sprang to my eyes.

Barry and I go way back. In my tweens on the piano, I played "Ready to Take A Chance Again" over and over.  I have a forty five record of "Can't Smile Without You" that was well played.  His music just infiltrated my childhood and young adult years and I happily sang along.  He wrote the songs that made me romantic soul sing.

Back at the concert,  he announced it was time for his most romantic song.  And it is one of my very favorites.  He joked that if you don't get lucky after this song, it is not his fault!!

You can't see him in my video below, only the light shining on the piano but you can hear him and he is belting it out!

When he was taking his last bows and I knew it was over, I became verklempt again!  It only lasted a moment but I didn't want him to go.  The whole concert brought me back to my younger days and my naive belief in romance and love.  It also reminded me of my piano playing days.  I use to play some great love songs.  I remember oh so clearly, sitting, playing and singing "The Rose", "You Light Up My Life" and "Feelings."  So funny how these same themes have come back around again in my forties.  It is all about LOVE and romance. Barry even talked about finding your passion.  If you don't like what you are doing, change it because it makes all the difference in the world.  He remarked he is still shaking his hips at seventy because this is what he loves to do.

I'm glad I took a chance on Barry.  It was a great hand holding night out with my hubby.  I even sat down a few minutes ago at the piano for the first time in ages and plunked out a very rusty "Ready to Take A Change Again."

Can I say "It's A Miracle?"

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Power of Energy - Revisiting Newton's Third Law

Last night, I attend an LSU Ladies Gymnastics Meet.  It was proven to me once again Newton's Third Law of Motion.

What you put out, will come back.

I wrote about it here in September 2012. back

The young lady in this video is Lloimincia Hall.  I saw her "perform" last year or the year before and I knew that it would be good exceeded all my expectations and made me believe again!!  And luckily, LSU Gymnastics loaded the video so I could watch it over and over.  Riley can tell you how tired she is of listening to it.

But I'm not.

Ms. Hall takes to the mat and expects you to engage in her floor routine and I for one, can't help but get fully engrossed.  The self confidence and swagger just exudes from her demeanor.  She owns the floor. I LOVE it!

I'm sure I respond because for one, I had such little self confidence growing up and two, I am more open and responsive now.

And it doesn't hurt that she threw in a little "Earth Wind and Fire!"

And they beat Alabama.