Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The DVR and My Soul Being Covered By A Thousand Veils

It's Memorial Day 2014.  I have a cold.  I was in bed all day yesterday and I read and watched TV.   The most physical thing I did was get up and go to the kitchen to find food to feed myself, because of course, the family rallied to take care of me.


I digress.  Needing to rest, my activity in the horizontal position was to clean up my DVR.  I was determined to get rid of the shows I evidently don't want to watch because I had them taped for weeks or months.  And then there are the Super Soul Sundays.  I don't watch them in a timely manner, yet I know they are good for me.  I resist them but…

They never disappoint.

This one was an interview with Elizabeth Lesser, the author of Broken Open.  She had recently given her bone marrow to keep her sister alive.  She asked her sister to go to therapy so that they could work through their sister baggage.  She wanted the bone marrow to be released and received in the most positive and healthy ways possible.  Oprah asked what was the biggest lesson she learned from all of it:

I am enough, just who I am, just showing up.

My soul is enough. Not what I do, not who I am. (not what I wear, what I drive, what my job is, what my house looks like, what restaurant I eat ate, etc.)

We think we have to BE someone, to do something to get that acceptance we so look for everywhere but in ourselves.  As Elizabeth Lesser says our "golden, radiant core is enough."

That is what it all boils down to. We arrive in this world as beautiful lights of being and then we become veiled to our selves and our souls over time from various messages from those around us and society. We are told to be quiet (a veil comes down), not show our emotions, (another veil) etc.  Oprah and Elizabeth talk about a quote from Hazrat Inayat Khan about "the soul being covered by a thousand veils")
And yet we already have our own answers to who we are and what we can do (as Glinda the Good Witch says in the Wizard of Oz said - "You had it in you all along").  Elizabeth says there are many way to peel back the veils: psychotherapy, coaching as well as getting healthy physically.  Our unhealthy bodies are a veil.

And Oprah says: our bodies are a literal shield. 


My Aha came speeding down the pike: I think my weight is a literal shield of a boundary to keep people away until I can maintain the boundaries that I need on my own.   The weight in the past has kept me from trying new things and new activities.  I am learning to have boundaries with other's expectations of me.  What others think of me, and expect of me is not my concern.  I am learning to disengage from it and it is a slow evolution.

Irregardless, my golden radiant core is enough.  Thank you Super Soul Sunday!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Middle School Honors, Home Depot, Dogs and Grief

My daughter's Middle School Honors Program was two days ago.  Ten minutes before I am due to leave to attend, I break down in an ugly cry.  The feelings came swiftly and seemingly out of nowhere and these powerful emotions surprise me, but they were so cathartic.  The thoughts came in my head that I missed my mother in law and wished she was here and how proud she would have been of Riley and bam, the waterworks spewed.

Today would have been GaGa's birthday.  We lost her to nasty, ugly cancer two years ago.  

I miss my mother in law's unconditional love and enthusiasm for my children.  She loved them as if she had given birth to them herself.  As a mother, I wanted to keep that person on my team. 

This relationship with my mother in law didn't start out glorious.  It took the nineteen years I knew her to work through excitement, dread, commonality, and then unconditional love.  I learned how to have boundaries with her, especially while she was dying, and that was the greatest gift of all for this recovering people pleaser.  

Over the weekend, we found cushions that fit in the patio chairs that had come from her apartment.   I had a verklempt moment in the middle of Home Depot when I realized that they would work and they were pretty and we could keep this little part of her around.  

But she IS around.  My inconvenient crying prior to school events is her letting me know she is with us.  I'm sad she never met Annie or Brinkley.  She would have loved those dogs.  For this reformed cat lover, dogs are more active expressions of unconditional love. (and work and love…)  I know she must have been the one to help wear me down to Mallory's pleas  to agree to get the first one.  

And the second one.  

But GaGa, we are done with adding dogs for now!  And as Mallory has given up on begging for a puppy, I will not get a bunny either.   Two dogs, two cats, two kids.  We are brimming with four legged love. 

I know you are with us.  You are still a part of the team.  Happy 82nd Birthday!  Love you and miss you here walking beside us, but I still feel your presence.  


P.S. Riley would like to make mention that she won a merit medal for Science, is on Principal's List for All A's and was recognized by the Duke Tip program which she made me sign her up online which resulted in another trip to the stage to receive a certificate!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Puppy Story

Watching a Lifeclass with TD Jakes and Oprah.  It is like being at the best church revival ever AND EVEN I want to say AMEN.  And that is saying a massive amount of HUGE for me to want to be in a fundamental church and listen to his style of speaking.  But what he is saying is so dead on and thoughtful.

He tells a story about a female dog that gets hit and loses use of both of her hind legs. She gives birth to puppies who are perfectly healthy.

The puppies drag themselves because that is what they see their mother doing.  That is what is modeled for them.

They are perfectly healthy.

Oh my.

This speaks volumes to me.

You learn from whom you are surrounded by.  Do you like the message you are receiving?  Do you like the story that you tell yourself about who you are which repeats itself unceasingly day in and day out?  Is this who you authentically are?



Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Spirit Led, Heart Led.

From Richard Rohr:
Spirit-Taught Morality
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Loyal Soldier is largely what Freud described as the “superego.” He said that our superego usually substitutes for any real adult formation of conscience. It is your early voices of guilt and shame that keep you under control. It is merely preconditioned responses, and not yet God encounter. The superego feels like God, because people have had nothing else to guide them. Such a bogus sense of conscience is a terrible substitute for authentic Spirit-led morality, yet it is what much organized religion teaches. We used to call it “pay, pray, and obey” religion.

What reveals the bogus character of this level of conscience is its major resistance to change and growth, and how it substitutes small, low-cost moral issues for the real ones that ask us to change, instead of trying to change others. It normally takes the form of “straining out gnats while swallowing camels” (Matthew 23:24), as Jesus says. (I am thinking of Catholics who are self-centered and live materialistic lives, and the only thing they confess is that they “had three distractions during Mass”!)

God, life, and destiny have to loosen the Loyal Soldier’s grasp on your small self, which up to now has felt like the only “you” that you know and the only authority that there is. To let go of the Loyal Soldier will be a severe death, an exile from your first base. However, have no doubt, discharging your Loyal Soldier will be necessary to finding authentic inner morality, or what Jeremiah promised as “the law written in your heart” (31:33). Most need guidance—and failure—to cross this boundary.

Oh my gosh…
Richard Rohr sums up so much of what I have come to know in my studies of compulsion.  This morning I woke up thinking about all of my lessons have been about "giving up control."  In essence, realizing that I don't have control and the divine does.  
I love that the law is written in your heart!  The heart continues to be on my mind and what needs to rule.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My First Red Carpet…

Recently, a good friend and I attended a Red Carpet Gala for a fabulously intimate downtown theatre.  What was the reason to make my introverted self buy a new outfit and get dressed up on a weeknight and drive downtown by myself?

Rick Springfield!

The last few years, I have been stepping out and doing all sorts of things I would normally not do.  I lived in fear. Before, I wouldn't have left the kids, I wouldn't have wanted to find a dress and deal with body image issues. I wouldn't have driven downtown. I would have worried about parking.  I would have worried if I was "good enough" to be there because I thought everyone else was "better" than me. All of those ideas are non-issues now, but they held me captive.  Those were the stories I told myself.

And this is what my soul journey is all about!  Letting go of what has held me captive.

Our night started out good, took an immediate downturn and then perked up, and ended spectacularly.  Before we even arrived to the venue, walking from the parking garage, I dropped my friend's phone and cracked the screen.  Not a good start.

I knew in that moment, I had to let it go because I wanted to enjoy the evening.  It was an accident.  After the shock, she had to let it go as well, it was her phone!  I offered to help pay for it, and she said she needed a glass of wine so off we went.  We started chatting with acquaintances.  It was still in the back of my mind but I pushed it back enough to let go and have a good time.  I had a small shame spiral the next day but it flowed through.

I knew a lot of people there and we enjoyed our pre-concert time.  There was a booth to take pictures with Rick cut outs and it was a raffle with the prize meeting Rick after the concert.

Guess who won?

In preparation for the concert, I dug out my one Rick Springfield Greatest Hits CD and checked out his autobiography called, "Late, Late At Night" and began reading and listening. His story was compelling.  I watched present day interviews when he became tearful talking about his life-long depression, suicide attempt and use of meditation, writing and the love of his family to survive.  This is my kind of rock star.  Tortured, vulnerable, talented and truthful.

I hadn't listened to any of his recent music since the 80's but started finding it on the web and was fascinated.  All day before the concert, I did my research.  I have to prepare before I go and refamiliarize myself with Rick and his current endeavors, including his newly releasing fiction book.
Up until yesterday, I still had two chapters left to read in his memoir and I put off finishing them.  I didn't want to say goodbye to Rick.  It was such a fun night of great music, dancing, and a thrilling chance to meet him.

I have now finished the book.  I have now written the blog.  And I can always reminisce about this great memory.  It will always be a great memory and the possibilities of what can happen when you step out of your comfort zone:  the good, the bad and the spectacular!