You Deplete Me


You know who I’m talking about.

God forbid, sometimes we might BE that person. Let’s pray not. I hope never to return to that state of being.

The people with such powerful negative energy that you can feel your joy draining as you draw ever closer to them. The vampires of enthusiasm, the black holes of happiness, the terminators of positive re-enforcement.

The saying about the five people you hang around most? It only takes one. But there are many available to latch on to you during your downward spiral. You must be ever vigilant, especially around those growly bears you live with and love.

The key to living and/or loving growly bears is to consistently work on changing yourself only. NEVER attempt to change the growly bear. This only exhausts you, and causes resentment in the hearts of both parties concerned. Simply working to undo the damage you have done with your own attitude can be a fine example to others.

I used to think fighting fire with fire was the only way. Now I know that’s an excellent way to burn everything to the ground. Creating twice as much gloom and doom is not the answer. It erodes even the tiniest bit of peace I can find.

When I got tired of not having a haven to be happy, a refuge of peace and support, I began to look inside myself and build one. I had to start with me, and continue with me. Sometimes, I had to just walk away, then gently set a few boundaries of self-respect, and once in a while~ a little straight talk (very KIND straight talk).

Like every other practice, with repetition and re-enforcement, I am learning to deplete the negative forces in my life by removing my energy and focus from them. I focus on the good, the possibilities, the gratitude for the awesome that is right now. It is so true that what you feed is what grows.

Please don’t feed the growly bears.

Breaking the Chains


Time is a factory

where everyone slaves away

earning enough love

to break their own chains.

~Hafiz

 

The funny/sad part of this is~the love we are working so hard to earn is our own. The respect we want is self-respect. The eyes we want so badly to smile at us, are our own. We want to be proud of us, to know that when all else fails, the love and integrity we are will carry us. We will be victorious, we will break our own chains.

The other funny/sad part of this is~we put ourselves in the chains we need freed from. We are the ones who set the limits on our achievements, dreams, and willingness to take risks. We are the ones that said, “NO! Do what you should, not what you desire.  Be responsible, punch the clock, take the crap, do the duties, dim the light, don’t be ridiculous, foolish, stupid, wrong.”  We did that to us, no one else even helped until we gave them permission, WHICH WE DID!

I can be who ever I want, and do what ever I want. So can you. I can be a writer, poet, healer, teacher of meditation, mother, wife, daughter, friend. I can be and do all of these things. I can be a chaser of dreams, a healer of hearts, a lover of beauty, a sharer of joy. I can be a guide to the heart, and an example of how to know if you have one to find! You can’t stop me, nobody can, except me.

We live so small, think so small, dream so small. When we begin to transform ourselves by asking the first questions of who am I? and what do I want? we step into a power so astounding that many step back out quickly and consider themselves lucky. I’m more like the character in Pleasantville who refused to give up the color she was starting to see in her gray tone world. I’m with you sister, I like living in color and I’m not going back.

Back to the Dark Side


Today started out wonderfully, I woke up early enough to begin my first of 21 consistent mornings of yoga before meditation.

Those were the two wonderful things. The rest of this day has been a bit of a struggle with familiar irritations, and reactions. My ego saying “yeah, I’m right, and I will obliterate you with it!”. I wrestled with these things, but as of this moment haven’t allowed my feelings to negatively affect my behavior. I’m pretty black and blue on the inside though. Ha, ha?

Health insurance rates doubling for my people at work, a variety of ridiculous crap to address  after taking a day off Friday, a rare headache, some personal sadness with co-workers, and then the super effort required to keep myself in line when I perceive  repeated attempts of others to brow beat, manipulate and control people I love. I am doing my level best to change my perception to “repeated cries for love, attention, and self-esteem boost”.

I’m not there yet. But I am behaving as if I am so I don’t have to regret anything I put into play before I gain some truth and settle back into my heart.

Everybody has the occasional off day, but it feels like a hair shirt to me after a long stretch of balance. Tomorrow is a new day, and I can forgive myself for my insides without having to apologize for my behavior outside. This will be a red-letter event for sure.

I used to think (and sometimes still do) that it takes stepping up in the face of, the courage to confront, willingness to wield the mighty sword of justice to kick butt and take names to truly be a person of strength.

Now I know how much strength it takes to stand firm, speak the truth with dignity and grace, and be willing to be kind and forgiving to myself and others.  Unfortunately for me today, I have a lifetime of the last paragraph, and these new perceptions are brand new. So quite honestly, I have seriously pulled muscles withholding that which I must not bestow on others.

I am building my character, and it is painful pulling back from the Dark Side, but it is worth it. It will be. Tomorrow.

 

Witness Your Life


I learned a new word in this morning’s meditation. Recapitulation. I was like “what??”, but then it was defined , and my “deer in the headlights” look  went away so I could carry on with my journey. I do come to my altar every morning with an open mind, but I have moments where I think I may not get what I need when I open my heart. Isn’t that silly after all I’ve learned so far? I guess I will always have moments when I slip too easily into convenient habits of thinking that perpetuate weak living. May they be few and far between.

So I recapitulated my morning from the time I woke up to the moment I sat down to meditate. I hadn’t been up very long, so in a few minutes I was able to picture myself and everything I did without judging. Such a simple practice taught me something~I wasted most of my time dealing with the results of my behavior the night before! That’s not what I need at all! I picked up, put away, finished and trashed as was needed. No, no, no.

I understand that recapitulation is what we should do right before we sleep. A quick five minute run-through of our day so we can decide if that’s what we choose to keep doing, or to choose another way that better serves us. In my case, a two minute mental visual of an hour of my day taught me that I needed to re-evaluate my focus and put a new plan into play.

Being a Silent Witness to my behavior uncovered the sorry fact that I am handicapping myself. I am not serving myself well, or giving myself what I need to be at my highest potential for the day.

Because I’m a fledgling, a lotus just beginning to rise to the sun, I really need all the help I can give myself at any given moment. Mornings are critical to me~I cannot allow myself to sabotage them, and therefore the rest of my day.

I want my every morning to fuel my heart; to carry me through my day with grace. My mornings need to do for  me what the sunrise does to beautify  the morning sky, and revive and rejuvenate me like the breath of God breezes through the leaves on the trees.

That may sound like a tall order, but it’s not. I can make that happen. I just have to do it on purpose. It seems to me that the greatest lessons in meditation are to be aware of  NOW, calmly look around and evaluate what works and what doesn’t, and live my life on purpose. This makes sense to me, since I have always felt that I was an accident or incident waiting to happen, at the mercy of powers beyond my control. There are so many things, most things, that are out of my control, but I don’t have to be. I do have the ability to be who I am, react how I choose, and plan according to my priorities. Learning to review my day before I sleep is an excellent tool to do that, so I’m excited to see where I go from here.

This practice is where I’ll find my time for morning yoga, and more time for meditation, and the quiet drinking of my tea with my pups laying beside me as I sit on the porch watching the sun rise, and the flowers bloom, and the breezes blow.

May all who read this choose to live your moments in ways that truly matter to you!

Silent Rage vs. Meditation


I am uplifted, absolutely lit up, with the symbolism of the violin in my guided meditation this morning.  That the ability to create something beautiful requires “a balance between flexibility and measured tension, like the strings of a violin. If they are strung too tightly~they snap, but when the tuning is balanced, the violin can endure massive force, and produce the most powerful, and tender music. “.

This is an exquisite portrayal of the changes I feel inside since I’ve begun a committed practice of meditation. I was more frequently than not on the verge of snapping. Internally, within both heart and mind, and externally in reaction to people or situations. I didn’t realize how miserable I was in letting my thoughts and behavior be directed by circumstance. I didn’t  admit to myself that my ego was running me, that I allowed the moods of those around me to determine my own. I had become so high-strung that I could not help but notice it in myself. My internal anger at everything was growing faster than my ability to restrain my volatility.

I am so grateful for the relief, the quietness, the peace of mind that I have experienced since beginning this morning meditation practice. I have a sense of ease, acceptance, joy, and am even excited when I wake up knowing that I am changing from the inside out. Instead of a vision of endless monotony, I feel a sense of adventure in finding the guts to do something everyday to step toward my goal of  writing for a living~no matter how small my effort.

I have no idea how I tricked myself  into conforming to the status quo, to minimizing myself and my dreams into hobbies I didn’t have time to pursue.  I don’t know when or how I became so angry, resentful, and cold. I only know it was a god-awful feeling, and I am not going back there. Ever.

I will take care to respect myself and my gifts. I’ll become more flexible in my heart and in my thinking. I will honor differences between myself and others~in fact, I will celebrate them! I will encourage others, “give heart to” those who dare to do what they love, and I will encourage myself.

As I say every morning after meditation, I will honor the light in me, and recognize and honor the light in others, understanding it is the same Divine Light in all of us.

Life is awesome.

Soul Question: Who Am I?


This morning during my guided meditation, I was following my breath, sinking into the calm that has become so critical to my day, when something happened that I didn’t expect. My inner vision was guided down a long hallway to an elevator where I pushed the button and stepped inside when the doors opened for me. I was hurtled towards the roof at such high-speed that when the elevator stopped, my feet actually left the floor a little. When the door opened, I was on the roof top of the highest building on the highest mountain in the world. All I saw was a sign that asked “Who Are You?”.

It took a moment for me to realize that tears were just falling from my closed eyes and I was trying unsuccessfully to wipe them away repeatedly. Who am I? I have struggled so much with that question. Yes, I am a wife, daughter, mother, friend, sister. Those are only parts of me I extend into the world. Who am I? A lover of my family, animals, yoga, reading and beautiful jewelry. Those are my relationships, my hobbies, my activities, my responsibilities.  They are all descriptors of me at different times, but those things are not me.  My body, skinny or not so much, my hair, my abilities or lack of~none of these are Who I Am.

Several thoughts came to me over the next few moments. I am God’s poet. I am a unique creation of God, an expression of Love through the written word (in my case) so I can pass on the love, joy, light, hope and healing given to me.

I am not God any more than all those parts of who I am are really Who I Am. None of us ARE God, but each one of us are created to be a descriptor of  Who God Is.  We are God’s expressions of  musical, physical, artistic, written, philosophical, healing, and pure Spirit.

Just as I marvel at times when I read something I have written, and it has a pure note of truth in it, I imagine God looks at each of us at different times and marvels at the pure note of Truth in the Divine creation of us.

I am going to do my utmost to be that Expression, not waste the Divine Effort, and be the Pure Note of Truth I was created to be.  Even if I fail at times, won’t it be amazing what I’ll achieve? Won’t the effort and the journey itself be a wonderful adventure?

Who Am I? I trust the Divine Universe to give me the answer, to handle the details, all I have to do is the work.

Not So Fairy Tale


Today was awesome. I leapt out of my bed in a  single bound.  I listened to the problems of the United States, and in fact, the entire world while drinking a cup of coffee and not saying a word to protect myself. I held off great forces of negativity while still in my jammies, and evaded certain doom by escaping to the bathroom to clean up and don my super hero outfit before venturing out to confront the great Dragon of Baditude.  With great and powerful skill, I took the fire spewing from the dragon, formed it into a flaming sword and slew the Baditude-leaving only the dragon behind. Then I went shopping. It was an awesome day.

The End

Well, not really.  This is just a powerful victory story to someone who handles controversy by either not dealing at all, or by finally exploding into anger after holding it in for a LONG time. I can tell you that neither of these methods solve any problem, or facilitate positive communication. If you are familiar with these two methods of  “non-solving by avoidance or over reaction” (this is a very technical term I just made up), you will notice that you keep coming face to face with the same problem. Yes, you do. Usually over and over, just maybe wearing a different hat.

When you become aware of doing this, and you accept your part in the endless “groundhog day” in your relationships, you can choose to allow yourself a spine. One of the things I learned with my interaction with the Handel Group is that the very thing you do not talk about because you fear it will be the end of your relationship~is exactly what will be the death of it, if it remains unsaid.

Speaking the truth of how you feel with strength and grace is absolutely not the same as screaming it in a fit of angry retribution for an injury to the heart. Even if you use the exact words. It’s like a horrible sword fight, only instead of limbs being lost, it’s respect, and love, and hope, and trust.

Changing the way you communicate with the people in your story can start with the small things, and as your spine and heart and self-esteem grow stronger, you can take on bigger challenges with confidence.  You must beware the dangers that await you though, the usual “make you feel stupid” ploy, or someone using the “nut-job” phrase, or the even more popular “you’re the one with the problem” strategy. There are all sorts of avoidance tools and methods that have worked for years that will be brought forth as usual. If you do not engage, and you have your cloak of invincibility on, by remaining calm and non confrontational, you can leave the field having truly expressed yourself with respect, hope, love and trust intact (at least for the time being).

It is not easy at first. Maybe it never will be. What it is~is worth it. You’ll see the first time you actually resolve the first tiny little (20 year-long) relational issue. You will find you have super powers. You will face the dragon each time, knowing that you and the dragon will win by your doing so.

The most key thing to remember here is that you must be this same super hero when you are the one at fault on an issue. You must accept responsibility for your part, your behaviors, your tone, your careless wandering into a sensitive area that hurts another, or makes them defensive.  Heroes and Sheroes aren’t perfect, they are just growing and learning. So don’t be an ass about what you’ve taught yourself, be grateful for it, and kind, and forgiving. That which you would have another do for you.

Lastly, I leave you with the cloak of invincibility~pray, meditate, and know your heart so you can share it well. Only those who know their own infinite worth have the ability to wear the cloak, so begin by learning to hold yourself in high esteem so that you can teach the dragon how to do the same.

The End (really this time)