“I’m interested in liberating the human spirit. I’m curious about the beliefs people invest in. I adore sincerity, laughter, loving-kindness, and mindful commerce. I think that we’ve got a surplus of mediocrity and a shortage of encouragement; that contradictions can be beautiful; and that eventually love wins. I don’t believe in destiny- life really is what you make it. This is an invitation to shine.”
I solemnly swear, I’ve been up to no good.
The past several weeks I’ve been struggling. The struggle has no name, face or blame but my own. I’m a YES lady by nature. Yes, I’d love to help. YES I’ll make the time. YES I can, I will and no need to worry about the toll on me, I’ll find a way to make it happen. I genuinely want nothing but greatness for all! It’s a worthy goal and most of us wish wonderful things for our loved ones. YES is a knee jerk reaction and I find that suddenly YES sinks my ship over time.
We want to be there for our friends to support them, to cheer them on and sometimes manual labor is required. We’re fortunate to have such gifts in the form of loved ones so of course we’re happy to lend a shoulder, a meal or a truck complete with extra arms for moving stuff. I LOVE to share my talents when someone can benefit from them. I feel so uplifted when I can spark someone’s creative mind and have found some amazing friends that way. I have learned more from walking with some wonderful friends through life’s journey than I could have received in a traditional classroom setting. Highs and lows, it’s been a blessing to be a part of such a colorful quilt of friendship.
I’m always seeking an answer to something… constantly as inquisitive as a 4 year old, I enjoy learning. Thank goodness for Google, the world is a quieter place since I can find all answers online. I’ve been feeling a funk coming on. You know, the place where your just uncomfortable in your skin but no clue why, just off. I have learned that those are the times that I need to stop and ask deeper questions of myself. Usually, I’m in need of making some changes or maybe the changes are manifesting but I just haven’t wrapped my noggin around it yet. We’ve had our fair share of strife and loss in the last few weeks so I was sure my blue-ish feelings and lack of rest was the behind it all. Mom’s have a knack of pushing themselves to the back burner so keeping with tradition I dismissed the warning signs and plowed on. I woke in the middle of the night in a panic. I jumped out of bed and raced around checking to make sure the kiddos were safely sleeping. Every fiber of me was screaming with a terrified energy. I plopped on the couch in the dark and cried out of total frustration. Why? Why was I feeling so scared, confused, upset and trapped? I just let it out and decided to take it to the mat. The practice of yoga enriches my life and helps me clear away the cobwebs so I can think with new perspective.
Meditation is not just for the all knowing peeps in the sacred places. The rest of us can really benefit too! I’ve been teaching yoga for many years and yet as I hit the mat in the wee hours of that morning, all that I could hear in my head was Willow Smith singing “Whip My Hair”. REALLY?! I needed life’s questions answered and whipping my hair was probably not the fix all for this such occasion. My favorite series of poses is The Sun Salutation. I could do it in my sleep. Each breath pulling me closer to my core and wringing out all that miss channeled energy. I found myself struggling with my breaths. Ill timed and wonky, I was SO outta whack. This added to my frustration which in turn stole me away from my peaceful place. So I sat on the mat, cried big fat frustrated tears and started again.
As my mind drifted into a quiet zone and my body went through the motions, it hit me like a ton of bricks… I YES’d my way into a tight confined corner. All noble and good things but I was selling myself short. Spreading myself so thin that I was taking the joy out of everything. I wasn’t giving 100% to anything because there was too much. My Prince was edging his way to a funky place too. Running 3 businesses, a house full of kids is a busy task, add to it and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We needed to put the breaks on, get to the root and teamwork our way through. I needed to learn how to not be afraid to say no.
Scary but guess what… I said no and my girlfriend still loved me anyways. We RSVP’d no to a party we didn’t NEED to attend and they’re still coming for a BBQ next week. I shared with a friend who is overwhelmed herself, when she asked for a “big favor” that I’d love to if she’d be willing to do it when we were available. She was thrilled and grateful, even if she had to wait a few weeks. I even said no to the cashier when she asked if I wanted to round up for charity. I felt good for a second, so proud of my “no thank you”… then put the 14 cents in the jar. Progress, didn’t say that I was totally there! People can respect boundaries but if you don’t allow them the information, your only going to find yourself resenting those that you love. So when I started being honest, yup some people were bummed we couldn’t jump and run for them but our relationships actually became more respectful. People opened up more after I expressed my heartfelt wish to do this or help with than BUT that I am short on time and need to keep my family first. It’s a universal struggle! Hey Joe. Are ya busy? I said no. Push the button with your left hand…. Ever heard that camp song? Repeat the song until you have hands, feet, knees, head, shoulders, hips, elbows all pushing a button at the same time. How ya felling now? Don’t wait until your extended so far… I break for me and what makes us tick! It’s still your life and only you can allow others to put upon you and empty your joy jar slowly. We need to refill and thrive too! Otherwise, we’re no good to us, our families and loved ones either.
I found an incredible book that has really helped guide me recently. I’ve been following Danielle LaPorte and could not wait to get my hands on a copy of her new book, “The Fire Starter Sessions”http://www.amazon.com/The-Fire-Starter-Sessions-Practical/dp/030795210X. Danielle has a way of writing that makes one feel as if your hanging out with a close friend. Does she hand you the BIG answers? Nope, the coolest part is that she offers your mind and soul tidbits to leap from. She’s not saying things that haven’t been said before, it’s the way she delivers that allows you to ask better questions of yourself and keeps you thinking. I’ve had SO MANY mini break throughs in places that I was stuck while reading this. My mind is racing with possibilities and creative ideas. She tells it like it is and asks simple questions that drive out the very best in you. I’ve been writing like a mad man… just for me. Exploring places and learning things about this very cool person that I kinda like… me. Run, don’t walk and ignite your spark too with ” A soulful + practical guide to creating success on your own terms”. Danielle knocked this one right outta the park and I thank her for her time and wisdom! Self help books get a bad rap. I’d proudly announce my purchase over the loud speaker with this one! Ever had someone validate exactly what your feeling today and still light a fire under your rump roast? Read it… you can thank me later.
We’re finding this month to be extremely hard emotionally as well. Once upon a time we defied all odds and got pregnant with our precious son “Sam”. At 18 1/2 weeks along, an ultrasound showed that we had lost him. Very similar to what the Duggars went through with their “Jubilee” except I didn’t have the strength or faith that they did. My Prince almost literally went to hell to bring me back. I am so sorry if you have been there, I wish no one ever had to go to that dark place! I lost it. All things for a reason but yet I can not find the beauty nor light in this situation except that what could have broken us, only made our marriage and family stronger. May 27th, just a day… a day that we’ll have to replace the sad with deliberate acts of joy. It’s so hard. SO very hard. I accepted an offer to speak at a women’s retreat about Sam, the end of the month. Maybe I’m crazy because I can hardly breathe when asked about that time but I’m looking at it as an opportunity to fully express myself in the hopes that my small words can help another grieving heart. These are the places where we meet and grow. I don’t have the answers but I wear those shoes everyday even though they pinch a lot. My attempt to rise and shine in spite of anything and everything life can dish. I owe it to him and everyone I love to make this brighter. If not for them, for me. It’s not about your scars, it’s all about your heart. Ripping a band aid off quickly… No reason to quietly hurt when there are others to learn from and share with.
I have allowed this month to make me feel broken. If you could look into my chest, I’m almost sure my heart would look like a tattered mess of pieces incapable of sustaining life. I may be up against the ropes right now but life certainly under estimated this gal. I know I’m stronger than the average bear… I know because I earned my stripes and keep coming up swinging. The skin doesn’t fit because I’m growing out of it and into a better place. I was taught by my sweet friend Gina to Just Believe. Everything we need is in there, tap it. Just believe you can… keep believing because your worth it! I fall and bump my butt. I cry on the sofa in the middle of the night because I’m scared and don’t feel equal to the challenges. That’s OK, we’re doing well and getting places! We’re a people in progress, learning the real truths of life together and loving each other along the way. I have a beautiful life, wonderful children and a marriage that I thought only existed in books. So much to be grateful for! Why do I fell like I’m never going to heal? Time and hard work will get me there. Not giving into the under tow, swimming sideways to beat the current. I hope you dance, just like the Lee Ann Womack song. There is NOTHING we can’t dance through. We’ve been through much. We still picnic dinner on the roof, we still dream, we still cry but we KNOW hope and love will win in the end. In the darkest of days act as if the light has already come.
Wishing that I could leave you uplifted. Never intending to take the yolk off in front of you but if I can, so can you. We all have those things that make us stumble and fall. The real work and rewards comes from standing back up, dusting off and taking on the world again, wiser and kinder than before. Hang in there with me… better and bigger are just up the road! It’s OK to come apart, it’s the only way we can put ourselves back together the way we wished to be in the first place.
Keeping It Real,