Sunday, January 31, 2010

DD#18:Unplugged or not...

I'm feeling pretty lazy today. I seem to be stuck in the notion that one of my weekend days should be an "unplugged" day. I cram everything into one of the days so I can stay in my comfy warm house and be Ms. Domestic the other day. Interesting that I've only begun to recognize it over the last few months because it's been a pattern for MANY years. The things you notice when you're committed to being conscious and aware, huh?

So now that I recognize it I must apply my own formula for change: shine a light on it, name it, claim it, take action to change it so my body/mind/spirit connection will incorporate it into my daily life. What small steps can I take today to create a change in this behavior that I have processed to the point of claiming it? Just a small step for today because I'm an imperfect human making progress but far from perfect. Hmmmm, what small step? I can clear out some of the clothes I want to take to the consignment shop for resale. Yep! I think that will do for today.

What can you do just for today to create a positive change in your life? Shine the light on it, name it, claim it, and take action. Are you willing to shine the light on something that's old and no longer serving you? Have courage, take baby steps, and see how wonderful it can feel...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

DD#17: A long day

I finally got to see Avatar 3D at IMAX. I wanted to watch the movie with a man I was seeing - someone I thought might be a good match. We made a deep connection and I had hopes for what we could be as a couple. I re-scheduled seeing it a couple of times because we wanted to see it together - a shared experience to invest in our memory bank for our future. It was a good intention, but he's no longer in my life.

I still wanted to see the movie with someone I love as a shared experience. Today I saw it with people I love very much - my sister and my niece. Both had seen it before but wanted to see it again. My sister is an artist and considered it a "visual feast" to be enjoyed multiple times. I admit that it was a unique movie and I'm glad I saw it with them. They'll be in my heart and life even if I never meet the man who's the best match for me...

Friday, January 29, 2010

DD#16: Mom stuff

I am so grateful for my friends and family. Everyone has been loving and supportive during this challenging time with my mother's health. I'm grateful every day for the connection I feel with HP, myself, and others, so it's not like this is new for me. The thing that's new is my awareness that so many of my friends have been through this with close family members. They're speaking from their own personal experience - lessons they've learned - wisdom they're generously sharing with me. This is the soft cushion they place under me and my worries - it cradles me in loving arms, strong enough to support my inner turmoil and encourage me to continue to see this through with soft eyes. My friends remind me of who I am and why I'm here in the midst of my forgetfulness when something like this occurs. I'm so inspired to be a better friend...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

DD#15: Soft Eyes...

Even though this would be DD#16, it's DD#15 because I didn't blog yesterday so I guess it'll have to be 90 blogs in 91 days.

Yesterday was consumed with dealing with an aging parent. My mother lives nearby with my sister and two nieces. She's legally blind and uses a wheelchair but so far has been able to transfer from her bed to wheelchair and from wheelchair to bathroom on her own. With a few accommodations, she also sees enough to be able to do small things for herself: microwave prepared food for meals, change her own clothing, take care of her own hygiene, watch her big screen TV, and interact with the family. By doing the work that supported this comfortable, but limited lifestyle, we always thought of these daily tasks as small things which allowed her to be self-sufficient enough not to require skilled nursing so she could continue the sense of independence by living with my sister.

Well, these are NOT small things - they're HUGE things. How do I know this? Because two days ago she had a stroke, fell a couple of times and could no longer transfer to and from her wheelchair. Now we have a BIG problem: Mom has become completely dependent upon someone else to do all of the SMALL tasks she used to perform on her own and is no longer able to live virtually unattended except for the care required to support her independence.

We also noticed increased disorientation, mumbling, and a lack of awareness of the use of her left side, bruises and pain from the falls, and a general inability to function as she had before the stroke/s. None of which portends a sunny outcome.

Let me just say that those of you who have dealt with this situation can attest to the mixed emotions it creates. It's agonizing to witness a failing parent no matter your age. My sister and I have a troubled relationship with our mother. It has been less than we'd like it to be, but we have been dutiful daughters and worked through our old resentments and trauma over our childhood as much as we could. We have provided for her care over the past 15 years of her decline into her current condition. Now it has reached a whole new level of care and we are torn about how to handle it.

Along with my concern for my mother is the blazing heat of my concern for my sister and me. What will we do if there's no assistance for her? How can we pay for her care? What if she lives in this limited capacity for years? What if she passes quickly? How will I feel if I don't do everything possible to make her life comfortable? What would a good daughter do? How would a loving daughter respond?

Fighting among these thoughts is the darker self who says she's already given more than her mother deserved. Why doesn't she just die and relieve us of this horrible responsibility? God! Did I actually think that?!? I'm a horrible person who should be ashamed. She's my mother and she did the best she could! I need to be grateful for everything! The lifelong inner battle over my feelings for my mother has taken on a new intensity.

It has become even more important for me to address these dark thoughts in the light of Divine love. How can I acknowledge the dark thoughts and not let them control me? I can take some of my own lessons and apply them during this challenging time.

I can see my mother with "soft eyes" - from that safer, saner middle ground between the hard edges of love and hate. I can accept that she's in God's hands the same way I am. I can be a model of love and acceptance for my family. I can pray for all of us. I can remember the good things she did for me and forgive and forget the neglect and abuse. I can remember that she truly DID do the best she could and that it was much better than her her parents did for her.

We each have the opportunity to see the events (past and present) in our lives with soft eyes - it's part of how we free ourselves from our old beliefs and fears. It's a good way to create a new paradigm of hope, faith, and trust in the knowledge that we are all connected to the Divine Universe and that we're not in control of anything but our attitude - right now. Just for today I'm choosing to see with soft eyes. Pray for us...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DD#14: The 3 R's

Yippee! I'm celebrating the 2nd week of blogging daily - I CAN do it! It's amazing to me how much commitment and accountability factor into my ability to follow through with doing what I want to do to get where I want to be. (Does that make sense to you? It does to me.) While I am in the beginning it seems such a huge task, but when I step into my "just for today" perspective, I can break it down to daily tasks that will get me there - one day at a time.

"A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step." Sound familiar? It's the Three "R's": recycle, reuse, re-purpose - everything "new" is recycled ancient wisdom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

DD#13 More with the Expectations!

Learning every day has its advantages! It occurred to me recently that we don't even know that we have certain expectations about our lives until they're unmet and feel the disappointment, loss, or sadness about not getting what we think we want.

I look at these as gems or nuggets that are discovered while being watchful - aware - searching for them subconsciously as we stroll along on our journey. They're waiting there for us to notice them beneath the layers of denial and avoidance. I'm committed to seeing with new eyes what is waiting and offering me yet another way to stay in touch with my authentic self. Where will this take me? What will I learn? I'm open, completely surrendered to being who I am and living my purposeful life. Deeper, I'm diving deeper every day. Strap on your diving equipment and jump in with me!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

DD#12 Keeping the Lesson

One of my favorites is Will Rogers - his down to earth humor hits home on so many levels. I'm reminded of this quote from him: Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Today I remember that everything I've learned has brought me to this point in my life. I am the culmination of all of my experiences.The most important thing to remember is to keep the lesson and apply it while creating my next new story...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

DD#11 - Changing Stories

I'm learning so much these days! My learning takes place when I'm confronted with my own stuff, therefore I'm presented with the opportunity to change an old story.

My old stories keep me stuck in the pattern of continuing to have the same behavior or belief while expecting a different outcome - the definition of insanity. Along the path of recovery I decided that I was no longer going to be defined by my traumas. I am not broken. I have scars aplenty, but our scars tell us where we've been, they don't define where we're going. My scars are a reminder of all of the experiences I have to draw on - the very wisdom of learning from my mistakes and applying what I learn into my life. When I rewrite a new story based upon who I am now, it frees me up to begin receiving incredible gifts from the Universe.

For example, as a result of putting myself out there in the dating game, I recently came face-to-face with an old story of mine: I can only be with a man who chooses me. I'm not worth enough to freely choose for myself. I've been with many men who chose me, desired me, wanted me, needed me - but didn't ever know me. It's not their fault - I never revealed myself to them because I didn't have a clue who I was either. I lived inside a fortress of denial and self-deprecation - a people-pleasing whore for approval. I would sacrifice anything for their love. The problem with that story is that I was burdened with resentment for them for not knowing what I wanted or who I was. I was looking for answers outside myself about my value as a woman, mother, wife, human being.

I made a conscious choice to change my story when I was faced with the desire to run as fast as I could in the other direction when in the presence of men who mirrored my old story back at me. I knew that updating my story gave me the right to choose who and what I wanted in my life - that I have an amazing life - that bringing a man into my life is not like finding a missing part of me. I'm changing my stories as they're revealed to me. I invite you to look at your life and see what stories you can change - it's totally worth the effort!

Friday, January 22, 2010

DD#10 Short and Sweet - Accountability

After two days of writing whole chapters of my experience, I'm taking a writer's break by making a brief entry in my blog today. I'm feeling very grateful for a lifetime of tools available to me to work through anything and everything that comes "up" for me. I've been a slave to my many addictions over the years.

Each time I've made a conscious commitment to ridding myself of a specific addiction (and there are many) I've given myself permission to indulge in another addiction. I never thought of it like that but realized recently that immersing myself in a trade-off addiction allowed me to release one that was impeding my progress more obviously. I thought the most challenging was food - nothing could be harder to give up than the foods I couldn't stop eating. Well, it's been nearly two years now and I've developed a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating and I'm in a normal size body.

Much to my chagrin, I've discovered another addiction that's just as powerful as food! I got caught up in a pattern of wasting time with a computer game. I was spending more and more time completely absorbed in this darned game - yet another way to anesthetize myself! I made a commitment to my sponsor to close the game and not open it unless I called her first. Done! Finalized! Over! Right? Wrong! I have craved opening that game and playing it much more than I craved the foods I no longer eat! The only thing between me and that darned game is the commitment I made to my sponsor! This is why accountability must be built into anything I want to change in my life.

So what "lesser" addiction can I rely on as I give away the computer game addiction? Well, as it turns out, it's not a "lesser" addiction - it's an amazingly powerful one. I'm practicing an "addiction" to my connection to the Divine and Gratitude for the amazing opportunities open to me to make choices that keep me living my purposeful life. Always remembering that I AM my purpose - it is not something apart from me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

DD#9 Chapter 2 The Rights of a Single Woman

Meanwhile back at my computer! After the rough start with Man Meet #1, I decided to check out more options on the singles site. OK, let me check on available men closer to home, yep, that would be more convenient - a quick meet for coffee, then dash off to whatever else I had planned for the day - no harm, no foul. I thought maybe I could get this down to a science and when the right man showed up, I'd be a fine-tuned relationship machine - there would be no more mysteries for me about how to be in a strong, loving, healthy relationship. I'd have it down pat. Oh my, the things we can delude ourselves into thinking are endless!

So, after culling through men that were too old, too young, who didn't post their photos, and men whose photos were, shall we say, not appealing to me, what else could go wrong? Oh, and did I mention men that couldn't write a complete sentence or spell the easiest words correctly. (Is this where I mention that my judgmental snob rears her ugly head over errors in the spoken and written language? Remember, I already admitted my obsession with the power of words).

"Am I being too picky?", I asked myself.
"Of course not," I answered. "You want someone who's at least your level of intelligence and education. It's your right to ask for what you want."

I began replying to emails I received from men who were interested in me. They were dropping like flies! Fewer and fewer were qualifying to be in the running for my perfect match. I was disqualifying them based upon how quickly they responded, how interesting their replies were, how expressive their emails were - my head was getting bigger and bigger - after all, I was a real catch! So my list dwindled down to a couple of guys who were local and met my stringent requirements. After all, I have a right to ask for what I want, don't I?

Here was one that seemed appealing: a retired psychologist who's quite the poet with his emails. Hmmm, he sounded interesting. There he stood in his photo with a huge grin on his face (I like smiling faces) and it's a friendly face - so he looked interesting, too.

He emailed me his number and I dialed him with my number blocked, but his phone wouldn't accept blocked calls! OK, now I had a real decision to make. My list had narrowed to two guys and this one seemed more intriguing, so should I call him with out blocking my number so his caller ID would give him not only my number, but my name, too? Be brave, Toni, take a risk - so I called him anyway and he answered the phone saying hello to me by name. That shook me up a little but I regained my composure and started hitting hard with my probing questions after a little small talk to break the ice.

As it turned out I started hitting hard but I didn't have to continue my questionnaire - he completely dominated the conversation. He would ask me a question but before I could answer he would divert the attention to himself and begin another monologue. Don't ask me why, but I agreed to meet for coffee at 11:00 the next day, wondering what had happened to the strong, communicative woman who had the right to ask for what she wanted because what she really wanted was to hang up and delete this guy from her 'possibles' list.

So as I prepared for a meeting the following morning I took extra care with my clothes, makeup, hair, and scent all the while knowing I was to meet a man I didn't even want to meet. I wondered what was up with this attention to detail, but cast it from my mind as I rushed out the door. Like Blanche DuBois, I'd think about it tomorrow.

At 11:00 I arrived at the coffee shop and placed my order. He was nowhere in site, so I decided to check my voicemail. In a moment of weakness I'd given him my cell number just in case there was a problem with either of us on the way to our meeting place. I was hoping I wouldn't regret this because this guy now had my full name and both of my personal phone numbers. If he was a stalker he could easily find out my address, too and I could become a victim of my desire to find my life partner! I cleared my mind of any fears around this and listened to the five (yes 5!!) messages from him within a 20 minute time frame.
Message #1: 10:30 - Problems with starting the car: couldn't make it to the coffee shop. So sorry...
Message #2: 11:00 - No problem - AAA arrived and jumped the battery - he'd be 10-15 minutes late - please don't leave.
Message #3: 11:10 - On his way, should be there in 10-15 minutes.
Message #4: 11:15 - Was only 5-10 minutes away.
Message #5: 11:20 - Was just down the block and hoped I was still waiting.

Exhausted from all of his messages, I quickly checked my home and office numbers in case there was something I need to address quickly. OMG! There were 3 voicemails from him on my home phone, too! Fortunately he didn't have my office number so I had one safe haven from his voice.

I sipped my coffee, read the paper and watched for him to arrive, the whole time wondering why I was waiting. (I suspect it's just my sense of common courtesy - my Mom really pounded that into us.) I saw him drive up and park and emerge from his car. I was stunned - it was another old man! He wasn't dressed like an old man but he moved like an old man and looked like an old man - how old was that photo anyway? And he was only about 5'3" - I'm 5'4" and was wearing high heels, making me about, say 4" taller than he. (I have a real issue about men shorter than I am. My first husband was significantly shorter than I and had a bad case of short-man complex so he was obnoxious and rude and pushy to everyone to compensate for being height challenged. I wasn't ready to take the risk of having another man like that in my life so I avoided short men.)

I took a deep breath and told myself to just relax and ride this one out - hug, hello, no it wasn't a problem to wait a few minutes, etc. He then launched into about a 50 minute monologue about how he was a perfect match for me, complete with prints of his contributions to blogs to prove his politics were similar to mine (something I requested in my profile)and very poetic compliments about my beauty, intelligence, and desirability.

He proceeded to go into great detail about his history - professional and private, and how he would treat me as his partner. He explained everything like I couldn't understand what he was talking about without his elucidation. It all sounded great except for the part about where I never get to make a decision, speak, think for myself, or have an idea of my own. This guy would definitely be the expert in the family - he knew everything, just ask. Oh wait, you didn't even have to ask - he'd tell you anyway. By now there was a metaphorical axe hanging over this guy's head. Giving up my role as family expert would have been nearly impossible, that alone would have disqualified him.

I interrupted him long enough to look at my watch and make a grimace about the time - I had to go back to work - sorry. Yes, it was real nice, ok, maybe we could go to dinner some time - I looked up and to my horror, he was heading towards my mouth for a kiss! I quickly turned my head and he caught my cheek. He actually tried turning my face towards him to score on my lips with the second effort. I pulled away just in time and jogged to my parked car.

There was yet another voicemail waiting for me when I got home telling me how much he enjoyed meeting me. That evening there was a very long email full of poems to me and points about how we were such a great match. The next morning I sent my "Dear John" email - which I had now saved as a draft.

I was beginning to notice a pattern that reminded me of something. I had now met two men who were willing to turn themselves into pretzels just to be with me (their idea of me) and I couldn't get away from them fast enough. What was the pattern that was a smokey feeling in my memory? OMG! I had come face-to-face with my old me! I had an overwhelming feeling of sorrow for how sad I was and an equally overwhelming feeling of forgiveness for every man I'd met who didn't call me back or return my calls. I'd hated them all for leaving me and not loving me enough but now realized that they couldn't love me because I couldn't let them. I was too needy and clingy and traumatized, full of anger and fear. Just being with me was toxic and now I had a feel for what that must have been like. Those poor men! I forgave them and forgave myself for not knowing any better. I'd just been doing what I knew how to do, stubbing my toe and cursing the darkness as I stumbled around hoping to be rescued.

I spent the next couple of days wondering why I hadn't just told him "No!" "No" to the meeting, "no" to my cell phone number, "no" to the monologue, a huge "no" to the attempted kisses. If I had a right to ask for what I want, why did I still act like I couldn't say "NO"?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Daily Discipline #8 Chapter 1 - Getting Started

This is the story if how I got back into the Dating Game: Redux. In the next few blogs, I'll share my story with you, because, in my experience, whether you're in the dating game, avoiding the dating game, or with your partner, there is always more to learn about how we do relationships. So buckle up your parachutes and get ready for the great leap of faith this requires.

Bright Idea: I'll enter my profile on a singles site. Alright, I've downloaded the photos my sister took in her back yard. Let's see, which of them makes me look the very best? Well, that one makes me look sleepy, and this one shows too much of my wrinkled chin and neck, and this one shows how fat my midriff is, my smile's a little goofy in this one, and, well, I've narrowed it down to three shots that are OK. I sure hope the right guy sees these and thinks I'm really hot!

Now I have to write just the right words in my profile - enough key words to create interest but not THAT kind of message so they won't think I'm too free and easy. How can I convey what I'm looking for in a partner without being too wordy, too quirky, too intellectual, too picky, or sounding sex-starved?

This is going to be tougher than I thought. Because words have such power for me, I have to dedicate lots of time to writing, editing, re-writing, and re-phrasing my message. You'd think I was writing my PhD thesis.

It has to be the real me but not too bold or too weak - me in moderation. (Who am I kidding? I don't even know the meaning of the word moderation!) I feel kind of like Goldilocks looking for the "just right" profile to attract my ideal man. Ahhh, I think I have it, so let's hit "post" and move forward answering all of these meaningless questions. They give you options that are close to what you would choose, but not ideal in my world of exact expression. Oh well, I'll have to settle for the ones that are closest to what I'd say if I could simply write it myself. (I think I now get it - why they give you multiple choice options instead of letting you give your own answer to some of this stuff - not everyone has trouble with defining EXACTLY what they mean, nor do they want to write their own answers. Those are not the men for me.)

So here's the profile I submitted first:
Seeking a man who's honest with himself - has looked inside and been willing to change what he thinks needs changing and love what he knows is genuine. I'm a spiritual woman who believes in a Higher Power and want someone who is the same. You must see the humor in life and be able to laugh. Please be playful and positive. Good conversation is essential - you don't have to be my best girlfriend, but enjoy a good conversation. And, finally - chemistry is important - gotta wanta kiss ya!

Sounds good to me. So after the first few responses where guys were saying "Yep! I sure want kiss you!" I thought maybe I was giving the wrong message. They weren't getting it - I have to want to kiss THEM!

Now comes the waiting game as I watch for emails from interested guys. There were a ton of computer generated matches, and a few flirts and emails from members started coming in. Let the games begin: email exchanges with those who sound (and look) like I'd want to know them better. After a series of email exchanges, they'd ask for my phone number. The one thing I have learned from being in this space in the past, is never to give my phone number to anyone - get their phone number and a good time to call, then block my number on caller ID and dial them. Have a minimum of two probing conversations with them before deciding to meet in a very public place.

Applying my fool proof formula: email exchanges, then a couple of phone conversations before a decision as to whether we should meet for coffee and I'm thinking "OK", this is progressing nicely. I have a few men I'm interested in meeting. One is a few hours out of my area and I inquire how he thinks he can keep a woman living several hours away from him happy in relationship, he bats that back to me with the answer that it's not a problem and he can make it work for the right woman. I agree to meet this pilot who has his own small airplane - only a 45 minute flight from house to house - piece of cake, huh?

He agrees to fly in from NV to meet me and spend an afternoon together. No pressure there - the guy's flying in to meet me and spend time with me! What if we take one look at each other and want to run in the other direction? Well, I'm grown up so I make it clear that this is JUST a meeting and that at any time either of us can say "this isn't working for me" and end it - right? He agrees, but keeps reassuring me that he's confident that we're meant for each other. I, however, am more skeptical - remember, I gotta feel the chemistry before I decide if I even want to know him at all.

D Day arrives - I'm nervous, but feel like I've been clear in my message - both written and verbal. Checking my look before departing: clothes, makeup, hair, and scent. OK, I look pretty good, so I walk out the door to meet him at the small airport about 25 minutes from my house. I'm excited, nervous with anticipation. I pull up in my car as he's tying down the plane and there stands an old man - in old man clothes, and old man shoes, and an old man attitude! Oh no! I want to tell him to untie his plane, start it up and run, but my good manners kick in and this message floats through my brain: Toni, he's only 2 years older than you, give this guy a chance, there may be a real great guy hidden in that old man. I approach him and smile as we walk to my car already certain that I DON'T wanta kiss him.

I get in, he gets in, then he reaches towards me saying "how 'bout that big kiss now?" OMG! I'm paralyzed with shock! He thinks my message means that he's going to get a big kiss from me when we meet. I look at him with dismay and say, "I don't kiss strangers. I have to get to know someone before I kiss him." He patiently reminds me that my profile says "gotta wanta kiss ya". Now I have to go through the explanation about what that means - exactly.

"I have to WANT to kiss YOU. I'll know that in the first few minutes after meeting you. IF I WANT to kiss you, then I'll want to get to know you before I actually plant my lips on yours." Needless to say, we were not off on the best of terms already and I'd only met him 5 minutes ago. I won't bore you with the rest of the details of this dismal date. He flew away, I ran home and added the word "I" to "gotta wanta kiss ya", sent him a "Dear John' email the next morning telling him what a nice time I'd had and too bad we weren't a match and wishing him the best in finding his perfect mate, blah, blah, blah. OK, I'm not disillusioned yet, that's one down - surely HE's right around the corner. Little did I know that I was just getting started...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daily Discipline Day #7

Have you ever wandered around in someone else's head trying to determine what they're thinking and how to tell what they say or do REALLY means? For much of my life I spent way too much time doing just that. Trying to tell what people wanted so I could anticipate their every need or have answers ready for them when they finally spoke up - IF they ever spoke up. Wanting to be all things to everyone in my life made me feel needed and therefore valued. It also left me with more questions than answers.

When I realized that this was because I didn't feel valuable or lovable to myself it created a new direction in my life - staying out of other people's heads was how I could BE ME not some distorted interpretation of what I thought others' thought I should be.

Over the past year or so, I felt ready to build a healthy relationship with the right man in my life, so a few months ago I stepped back into the dating game. Let me say that this was a very courageous thing to do! I knew that I could only work on a healthy relationship with a man by letting a man into my life - duh. Some people get that early in life. Then there are those of us who, after numerous poor choices, are still working on it at the ripe old age of 63. I heard someone say it's because some of us have a broken picker - a statement that fit me like a glove.

My request to the Universe was to bring me the appropriate man for me and help me recognize him. (After all, some things don't arrive in the package we're expecting:>)) I've met and dated a few men and seen some of my old self in each one of them. What a learning experience this has been - putting me face-to-face with my old stuff! It's been a marvelous way to find the old clutter hanging out and clean every corner - also to realize when I've fallen back into the old pattern of wandering around in someone else's head - where I definitely don't belong. I'm learning to BE ME and be OK with all of ME a little at a time. The good news is that I don't have to start at square one each time - I get to keep what I've already learned and grow from there. Try it - go ahead, I dare ya!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Daily Discipline Day #6

Softening around balance in my life is still a challenge at times (though as a sign of my progress, not nearly as often as it used to be). Being on the harder edge of each extreme in my emotions is sometimes still my initial reaction to people and situations - so I'm very grateful to learn how to get to that softer in-between where I have clearer perspective and choices. Life doesn't have to be either/or every time. Learning the difference between when it's necessary to be in my either/or place (important when it comes to boundaries regarding my personal integrity) or move into my softer, safer response and let go of the reaction.
When I dig deeper and move out of denial I often run to the other extreme and a need to immediately fix whatever "it" is - person or situation. It's interesting to learn about the many options available to me when I soften and seek balance. With the light of love held high I am charting the territory between "MUST Deny" and "MUST Fix".

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Daily Discipline Day #5

What's hiding in anger? Anger is such a quick, reactive emotion for me. In my dedication to living my life in conscious awareness - responding to life rather than reacting to it - I've learned to go deeper than the immediate anger that flares up in situations where I feel disappointed. A couple of things I've begun to understand are: the anger covers something older and is usually related to heretofore unidentified expectations. I've begun to allow my anger to burn through to what's hiding inside me.

Recently anger was my first reaction to feeling disappointed because I had expectations about my time with a significant man in my life. When those expectations weren't met, I reacted with anger. It was hot, instant, and completely out of proportion to the situation. Voila! Hidden under the anger was an older feeling of fear that he was abandoning me because I was unlovable. I'm still dismayed by how easily I slip into that most primal of feelings: fear that I'm not worthy of love from myself and others.

It takes me less and less time to move through my initial feelings of anger and into a clearer understanding of what's REALLY going on. Like the rubble in the aftermath of a disaster, I must uncover the truth, one piece at a time. I'm so grateful for the insights I've learned from being willing to go in search of the buried "stuff' in my life. These "truth treasures" are waiting to be revealed if we're willing to dig for them. Be courageous - go on your own personal treasure hunt - priceless gems are awaiting your light...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Daily Discipline Day 4

I'm sitting at my computer with a mix of music from an eclectic assortment of artists that I have enjoyed over the past six decades of my life. It reminds me that I am also eclectic - a multifaceted woman who has a full range of personalities, talents, experiences, and emotions. My music choices represent so many artists from Beethoven to The Boss. Music can calm me or energize me - let's see, do I want to relax or do I want to dance around the house while I'm cleaning? Am I preparing for meditation? Do I want background music while I work? Do I want to feel the energy of AC/DC - raw and wild? Do I feel like the gentle sounds of Nancy Griffith or Emmy Lou Harris?

Sometimes I want to simply hear the music, but more often I want the lyrics and the music. The power of a phrase - the poetry of lyrics stuns me. It's how I know that it's a divine gift to have the genius to create such a powerful message with so few words.

With an open mind my music choices are without limits - just like life choices when I keep an open heart and stay connected to HP! How lucky we are to have so many choices - yes we are lucky beyond measure...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Daily Discipline Day #3

Yippee! It's Friday! I love Fridays because it's the day before my weekend begins and I love the freedom that weekends give me - even if I have a TON of things to do, it's not the scheduled time sitting at my desk working. I blogged about this "weekend freedom" in an earlier blog last year and here it is again. One of my intentions for 2010 is to clear out any obstacles in the way of earning my living doing what I love.

This is THE day! This 15th of January is the most powerful day to set our intentions and ask the Universe for what we want - and I'm affirming my intentions with an open heart deeply connected to my Divine Light. I invite you to do the same - find your voice and take the risk of asking for what you want...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daily Discipline - Day 2

So here I am on Day #2 of my commitment to blog daily for 90 days - creating a new habit.

My women's group last night was phenomenal. We dove deeper into our connection with that basic element of resilient power - dark and light - emerging as one light divinely guided.

It reminded me of a ceremony held by a group of women who follow Native American traditions - Women of the 14th Moon. Being honored as a "Crone" was so special and I wrote this poem as my contribution:

Going to the Well
My Journey takes me to the well - to look over the edge - into the abyss
Beyond what my head tells me - impractical but real, this need to draw the salty water up from the depths of my loss...
The keening
The wailing
The rocking
The tears.

Yet another death - the death of the needs of a child daughter.
Death of a mother's need to pull life around her like warm covers;
To fluff the pillows of her experience with love and laughter;
Smiling at her everyday miracles
Knowing she carries the well within her.

She knows it - there's a dark recognition in her eyes - an awareness of the bottomless depths.
Her dreams, her tears are ancient
Bearing the losses of all our women, all our daughters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters;
All the unshed tears - the salty water of grief and loss
The salty water that ebbs and flows and pulls us to the well.
The salty water of joy, birth, death, loss, love, grief, ecstasy
Heated by anger and grief
Cooled by love and acceptance.

As we push/pull our way to the well
Carrying our baskets of love, life, joy, fear,and anger
We cover the darkness of loss and grief with a veil of competence.

Do we see?
Is our path well lit?
Do we stumble?
Do we find our way with the seeing eyes of our ancestors?
Do we heal?
Do we love?
Do we cry,moan, wail, keen, rock as we draw from the well?
Do we honor the salty water with joy and courage?

We visited the well last night and expressed our gratitude for all of the healing we have achieved through our willingness to shine the light in the darkness of what we want to name and therefore, change...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Daily Disciplines

OK, 2010 is the year when I learn the practice of daily discipline with my writing. I know I can do it because I've done it with my eating - a dragon I never thought I could slay! I've heard that it takes 90 days to make a new habit of something, so my intention is to blog daily for 90 days and see where it takes me.
I'm prepared for some good stuff, some lousy stuff, some short stuff, and some novellas. This will be my writer's stream of consciousness - taking the way I speak into the way I write. I intend to learn plenty and hopefully, so will anyone who takes the time to read the personal meanderings through my mind and life.
A sponsor of mine once told me that nobody should be allowed to wander through their own mind unescorted, so I'm taking this journey with a prayer to the Universe to guide me and shed light on the dark, fertile stuff where we learn the essentials of who we are. Are you courageous enough to take my hand and join me? Yummmm, I'm excited on this auspicious day one - more tomorrow...