Who Is This Person?

IMG_1409Who am I? Good question, I guess we could start simply with just a name and for most people the name is the recognized part of you, it does become part of your energy field.  Maybe it’s your face, sometimes people have trouble remembering names but they don’t forget a face. If you spent any time at all talking to someone, you do remember facial expressions like a smile, a laugh, a frown, the voice and tone of it.   But does anyone really know you? Do you even know yourself?

For the second time in my life I was pushed down a path of self-discovery and each time, there were more and more layers peeled, discovery, gratitude, healing and growth especially in the last two years.

At this time there are many in my life going through big changes in relationships with spouses and they are turning to me to inspire them with wisdom, strength and courage. Always with the question, “How did you do that?” My response is, “I just did it”. I jumped into action, Survive, Survive, but I wanted so much more than that, I wanted to live, really live, enjoy, laugh, be peaceful!  I’ve been wondering just what it is that I’m supposed to learn here. What does this mean for me? While my story did end up with the peace, love and happiness that I desired for this moment I’m left wondering why so many around me are having so many difficulties and asking for ‘my’ help all at once. It seems overwhelming to think about it.

I have been telling my story over and over again for the last couple months and sometimes over and over again.  I suggest books to read (some I still read most days), send cute sayings with deep meanings, ask people to keep a gratitude journal or just a journal where they can vent frustrations. I used my computer to vent frustration, as I have many a saved document that expresses the raw feelings. But tonight I came across my Gratitude journal I started on February 26, 2012 and read all the entries.  It brought tears to my eyes as I looked at the dates and read each entry…..I saw that I really did do the one thing that I have asked everyone to do and that is to be Grateful.  When I ask people to try to keep this type of a journal in the middle of so much pain and uncertainty, I get a funny look, like I don’t have time for that or what good is that going to do, it won’t solve my problem…….. I am asked how did I find courage, how did I keep it together, how did I make decisions when all I wanted to do was hide under the covers?

Back to my journal, as I read the entries tonight  I remember each date, the pain and there in my own hand I was showing appreciation for little things and big things, I could feel the genuine appreciation, I felt the motivation and the posts just kept getting better and better, it was getting easier….WOW! But as I read it what I found was who I am, not just my name and not my face, but the person, the whole package. I had courage, I could find happiness in the moment, I was going on, not just surviving with the tools that I was using, I was digging deep to heal. I was strong. I was determined. I see the compassion I had for myself and everything around me., I found me! I took care of myself in the most loving way, the same way I help my friends. I see that I have good qualities, many of them.  I am proud to stand before you, telling my story and I am proud to have had the chance to get to know me!  I am humbled by your faith in me and humbled by my faith in myself!

I also found this written in my Gratitude Journal:

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment!

So now I see why those around me have brought their problems to me, it was for me to understand who I am and how I got there.  If you just remain Positive, you will learn to be Grateful too!

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Peace

 

ImageIt has been a long time since I have written and I will say that when I’m in the middle of turmoil it is a lot easier to write, the words come so easy when I’m on edge and I hope and pray that being on edge doesn’t happen too many more times in my life but hopefully I will handle it better next time. It’s been almost 2 years now since my world turned upside down and I had to do everything I could to save myself.

One of my goals the last two years was to find peace. I really would have bet the farm that it wasn’t possible.  But as a dear friend told me at dinner the other night when I asked of her impression of me 2 years ago, her response was that I was very “determined” and I loved hearing that about myself. Sharing her impression with me was such a gift.  I was determined then, as I am now, I’ve read, I’ve listened, I’ve practiced and practiced. Breathing in…..and…..out, in……and ……out,  in…….and……….out, clearing my mind, surrendering to quiet.  What is Quiet?  Is quiet the same as peace? What happens in the moment that we are finally able to quiet the mind? Does it change anything? 

My therapist told me over and over again that my thoughts are just stories and not reality. The books that I have been reading the last two years pretty much said the same thing, thoughts are just stories of things past or stories of the future, how I imagine things to be, not reality. Stay in the moment, stay in the moment…..this moment, this moment…breathe. When I slow down long enough to observe the moment I find quiet because when I push the thoughts (stories) out to observe the moment most of the time I feel peace and I will find myself smiling, grateful  for taking the time to do this. Awe that wasn’t so bad. Think about it, right now in this moment things aren’t as bad as your mind is telling you it is, unless the building is burning around you, you are being assaulted or threatened, you get the idea.  Well practice does makes perfect, and while my life is not always perfect I will say that most moments in my life are now filled with peace. Peace, to me, is the result of releasing control and accepting all that is as it is. It is born out of the quiet that I work so hard to master each and everyday. Quiet + Peace = Nirvana. With the peace comes tremendous feelings of love, love of all that is around me and love for myself. Even on the grayest of winter days, there is beauty all around. Smiles come much easier.

I owe so much to a few people that patiently helped me and I now find myself in a position to help others going through similar situations and I will say that it has been very intense.  So as I promised in a past post, I am paying it forward. At times I do wonder why all of a sudden I have been given the opportunity to help others but in understanding that you are never given anything you can’t handle I feel grateful  for this opportunity.

Today I am positive and grateful for all the experiences in my life that have brought me to this moment, this moment. So yes in learning to quiet my mind, I’ve found peace and it really does take a lot of work to keep it flowing…… But it is so worth it!

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What a Difference a Day Makes!

What a difference a day makes! Each day brings new miracles to be grateful for!

I will always be amazed at the twists and turns that life takes. I know that this is the year that I would have lost a lot of money in Vegas! Why you ask…I fell hopelessly in love with my husband many years ago, really enjoyed every minute with him no matter what we were doing and never thought that we would have any walls between us or any major problems that we couldn’t easily work out. Well when the year started things were so different, for months this became a very strained relationship that was utterly devastating to me to say the least. I honestly believed that it was all my fault that I was doing something so very wrong but really couldn’t put my finger on just what that was. But by the first of March 1st would have bet the farm that: 1) I would have been divorced, 2) I would have moved to NYC, 3) I would be partying till dawn everyday, 4) I would never fall in love again let alone every get married again.

Well shucky darn…I would have lost all my money. I was packed, ready to go and I remember clearly the night my husband asked me to please stay and try to work on this relationship? I was amazed to say the least, since he had made it clear that he didn’t want to work on it just a few days before. Talk about confusion!.I decided to stay on the advice of my son (he’s smart as a whip), he said, “If you don’t try you will spend the rest of your life wondering ‘what if’.” Geez that would have been another problem and aren’t there enough already.

I did decide to stay and it’s been WORK, don’t you just hate 4 letter words! Sometimes the work is exhausting and there have been many times I wanted to run away,  it took determination, great patience and faith to stay. I’ve done a lot of interpersonal WORK this year and the outcome was learning to be more compassionate, forgiving, peaceful. Everyday I am grateful that I am peaceful again, I am relaxed, I am hopeful and I found that I can trust again. Trust in myself and my husband. He dug deep to find out what makes him tick, bared his heart and soul with the profound honesty that only a person with courage could do. Beyond the courage and humility I again see the amazing potential of this wonderful human being realized! The potential I saw many years ago.

I am once again excited about the future. I am determined to finish school and realize my dream of becoming a Naturopathic Doctor. I am positive that the many lessons handed to me bringing me to my knees, making me reach to the deepest level, painfully gutted my insides and bringing me to where I stand today….Happy! Happy that I was given the opportunity to work on myself, happy that I stayed and happy that my future looks amazing today!

I ask that the universe brings special blessings to my therapist, Phillip,  for teaching me over and over and over to live my life in the moment, not the past, not the future, although most times it was painfully hard to do, for making me verbalize each and every feeling I had and for making me feel the feeling. His faith in me to do the right thing was profound.  He never had a doubt. I am also Grateful to all the people that come to my Wednesday and Saturday CoDa group for all your love, friendship and continued support. If I get off center, I know that a meeting with all of you will bring me back to center!

What a difference a day makes, when we WORK to make that day different in a positive way, the days start to add up to be a very profound life experience. Thank you!

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Originally posted on positiveandgrateful:

Movin Day

June 8th, moving day came and went! This was the weekend that the moving truck was coming to get my precious boxes. You remember the ones that seemed to take forever to pack. Well most of them are now unpacked and most everything is put away. The rest of the boxes will be next weekend’s project. I decided that in order to put the relationship back together I did not want it to be easy to leave. In other words I’d have to start packing over again. Oh yuck! I know it sounds completely crazy but since I have felt like running away for over 6 months and finally initiated it, I knew that at the first sign of discomfort, I’d head for the hills since I’m so very tired from all the unhappiness. I’m worn out at the thought of another argument……I just wanted to…

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Moving Day

Movin Day

June 8th, moving day came and went! This was the weekend that the moving truck was coming to get my precious boxes. You remember the ones that seemed to take forever to pack. Well most of them are now unpacked and most everything is put away. The rest of the boxes will be next weekend’s project. I decided that in order to put the relationship back together I did not want it to be easy to leave. In other words I’d have to start packing over again. Oh yuck! I know it sounds completely crazy but since I have felt like running away for over 6 months and finally initiated it, I knew that at the first sign of discomfort, I’d head for the hills since I’m so very tired from all the unhappiness. I’m worn out at the thought of another argument……I just wanted to work on me and get on with my new life. Free to think and do for myself whatever that might be. Sure it’s nice to have a constant loving companion and I did for many years but sometimes good things come to an end. Close the door and a new one opens……I didn’t realize my new door was a revolving door and this time I want to exit on the right side. Which side is that you ask? Good question. If you asked me 6 weeks ago my answer would have been east but as each day passes I think that good old Tulsa Oklahoma may be home for some time to come.

Well technically I did leave town this weekend but I’m back now.  I went on a business trip to Boston with my husband. I did pack (I hate packing) a suitcase last week and I really didn’t know what to expect and how well we would travel together at this point. Like so many things traveling was something we did well in the past. Trips in the past were fun, filled with adventure, relaxation, good food, smiles and laughter. Business trips were busy but still included all the things I just mentioned and I always looked forward too! I felt very lucky and blessed to be able to go and do all the things that I got to do with my husband.

We did get to spend time this weekend with very dear friends that we hadn’t seen in a long time and it was such a blessing to feel their love and support for both of us as we try to put this relationship back together. It was good to get input from outside of our relationship and ponder another perspective. Sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees, as we get tangled in the vines with our own thoughts. And sometimes we get stuck in the mud and can’t get out without the help of a friend.

I did talk about energy in one of my previous posts and that town is full of it old and new.  A lot like what I am going through in my life now. Old and new! How do we reconcile the past and make it work with our future? Is it too much to ask that the best of the old still be there when you want everything to change? Do I really want everything to change? There really were so many things that were good.

I did get the best of the old this weekend as my husband seemed to hold my hand and never let go and I must say it felt good. The loving energy coming from his hand couldn’t have been better! Hand holding was something that we did all the time and I loved it! There was a time a few months back that he took my hand on a walk to help me up a hill and I was repulsed by how dead the energy in his hand felt so much so I wouldn’t let him help me the next time.  So it seems we’ve come full circle in the hand holding department and I couldn’t be happier.

We laughed, we explored, we ate good food, we never argued and this made it a great adventure! We did have some time to talk and share feelings and that was a good thing. Yes we did buy more of those useless trinkets, except they will only need to be packed up if my husband decided to leave as they are in his collection not mine!

I am positive that for this moment I made the right decision to unpack those boxes and cancel the move. I am grateful for this trip because sometimes a change of scenery does a world of good. But most of all I am grateful for the fun relaxing weekend as my life for the past several months has been anything but relaxing.  Live from Boston…Cheers!

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Signs

One thing for certain is that there are signs. They are everywhere, even in the middle of the desert, well maybe not in the middle of the ocean. Signs let us know the name of the business we are seeking, some give us information such as the national debt and that one will make your head spin. Billboards are the very large signs meant to catch your attention while you are driving 70 MPH. There are:  street signs, signs announcing a birth, a wedding, a garage sale, help wanted, welcome and keep out signs. Signs give us direction and tell us when we have arrived. There was even a song that touched hearts about signs written and performed by:

The Five Man Electrical Band

And the sign says “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”
So I put my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said you look like a fine outstanding young man, I think you’ll do
So I took off my hat, I said “Imagine that, huh, me working for you”

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs
F*****’ up the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign

And the sign says “Anybody caught trespassing will be shot on sight”
So I jumped the fence and I yelled at the house
Hey! What gives you the right!
To put up a fence and keep me out, or to keep Mother Nature in
If God was here, he’d tell it to your face, man, you’re some kind of sinner

Oh, say now mister, can’t you read
You got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
You can’t watch, no you can’t eat, you ain’t supposed to be here
And the sign says “You got to have a membership card to get inside” – uh!

And the sign says “Everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray”
But then they passed around a plate at the end of it all
And I didn’t have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said, “Thank you Lord for thinking ’bout me, I’m alive and doing fine.”

 Above are the obvious signs but there are others, the subtle signs that you need to pay attention to, signs that come from others in the way of a message or a day filled with numbers that repeat. Something appears even though we looked in that spot a million times before or getting a call out of the blue from someone in your past. Illness is a sign, there are times when we contract a bug and I’m sure that’s not very controllable but then there some illnesses that are a sign of our emotional, spiritual and physical state. Sometimes we get a feeling (sign) in our gut and ignore it.

 I’ve had so many signs in the last few months telling me my path was right at the time only to have another sign pointing me to a different path and then another sign pointing me again to a different path. This calls to mind another song by Tommy Roe: Dizzy- It starts with the statement – I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning Like a whirlpool, it never ends. There are days I feel like that! What are the answers? What do the signs mean? Am I reading too much into them? Are they really signs at all? Am I grasping at straws?

I am positive and believe with all my heart that my higher power sends me signs all the time. I do try to pay attention to everything that happens to me. I asked my therapist about all of the signs that made me feel like I was in the spin cycle in slow motion and he made a statement ‘that the future hasn’t been written yet go make it what you want.’ Funny but isn’t that the same thing that Doc Emmett Brown says to Marty McFly and Jennifer in Back to the Future 2.

If I haven’t mentioned it before I work for my husband and he is a doctor. A patient that hadn’t been in for 10 years called out of the blue, I just happened to answer the phone and she said her name and asked me if I remembered her. I recognized her voice and name immediately and remember that she was a very nice woman that would bring the best triple chocolate cookies that I’ve ever eaten. She made some sweet statements about being free from the ailment that was treated in our office for the last ten years and complimented us on the good care she received and that the problem that was treated never returned. She was extremely grateful and wanted me to check the dates, so I found the chart and her memory was amazing for a woman of 86 years old. Then she said to me that I had a tenth anniversary coming up (I was shocked) and asked if we were still happy. I really got choked up and said “of course”, as I didn’t have the heart to tell her all the turmoil of the last few months. She said that she had a disease that was terminal and would I please send a current picture of my husband and me to her. I relayed the story to my husband with tears in my eyes and he touched my face in the kindest, gentlest way and said “of course we are happy and it will get even better!” Well I had the picture taken yesterday and I put it in the mail right away since she was nice enough to bring me a message from my higher power.

 We need to pay attention to the signs (messages) all around us because we are guided and I am grateful for that phone call because for right now, in that moment it felt good! And since we only have this moment, this moment, this moment, it was a good one! I will try to remember that moment when the next moment of frustration comes.

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Turning it all around

When you’ve traveled down the path of thinking you are crazy, a failure, that your inner voice has failed, how do you turn it around? While there are still a lot of things that I could have done better I forgot the most important thing and that was to love and care for myself. Today I am struggling with caring for myself again, there are moments when I think that I get it and then life rears its ugly head and I find myself reacting in old ways. Self-care is hard to do when there is underlying anger, saddness and fear. At moments I still want to run away and at times these moments come on for no reason whatsoever.

Will I ever be able to trust my inner voice again? What is really funny is that I heard this voice telling me the truth last year, I was sure, so sure! I didn’t listen and now here I sit a year later feeling all the emotions that a person should feel when their life has turned upside down. Why does this happen? Why is life so difficult? Will I ever be able to trust again? Will I truly be able to forgive? Most of all,  will I be able to trust that I can do this without wanting to run away every minute that there is conflict? I’d never in my whole life been a person to want to run. I was strong, I dealt with issues.

 A few months ago I didn’t have a choice to stay or go, so I had worked really hard on envisioning my new life and feeling the excitement running through my blood. Packing and planning kept me focused on the good and off the sadness. After all, the last time I lived in the New York City area, I never truly had the complete experience as my ex-husband hated the city and never wanted to go there and do anything fun! Now that I look back, early 20’s, New York City and no fun, really!

 Years ago someone said to me that moving just changes geography not the problems. While some of the problems have to do with other people, the core issues are definitely me. Remembering that keeps me from hopping in my car and moving 1500 miles today. But relationships are complicated and the burning question is do I spend another New York Minute learning to trust my heart, my inner voice to stay in this relationship? After all none of us is getting any younger and 55 is still young enough to dance the night away!

 I found an old box of cards and letters from my husband and sat reading them. I remembered all the moments and years of great joy and realized that maybe this really is worth staying for.  Many people who knew us were shocked that we were parting because we had been that couple with the ‘Magic’. At first when all I could feel was my broken heart, I thought that all these years were just an illusion but it was very real! I feel blessed to have had those years, after all how many people actually experience that kind of love. My relationship with my husband was the best thing that had ever happened to me and while I’d rather wave a magic wand to make it all good and whole again, that would be a true illusion. I know that it will take work to get back to that point and look forward to it being better than ever.

 My mind is constantly wandering backwards to those feelings of anger, mistrust and fear. Damn, if only I could find that TV remote and hit pause. Staying in the present moment is what really helps me to feel good. Believe me that takes work! But it’s worth it because I do get a tremendous sense of peace and joy in that moment. I try to remember that this moment is all we have, right now, right now, right now, right now, right now, etc. It really takes the pressure off and frees you to breathe, smile, love, feel as one with the universe! Now if life didn’t get in the way with all its problems, I imagine that I could be a better person not overreacting to the negative all the time, being more compassionate, smiling more and helping others. I imagine lots of smiles, joy, laughter and love all the time! All positive things.

 I’m still reading a lot, going to meetings, therapy and meditating staying away from mindless things that suck our energy like TV and I see it is making a difference. So in the future I will try to stay focused on the moment and ask myself “How important is it?” You know that any 12 Step program works with wonderful simple slogans that get right down to it. The one I just mentioned, if you take the time to think about it makes so much sense and frees you to move onto the next moment and again ask yourself “How important is it that I’m right, that I didn’t win the lottery, that I didn’t get that job, that the cute little black dress was gone when I went back to get it?” Focus, be open to the feelings of others, let go of fear, let go of anger, let go and trust. Trust that there will be another lesson worth learning in your future. Trust that all this was in the plan, that all this was a lesson that will help us to connect to ourselves and the universe around us.

 So again in this moment I am positive and grateful!

Peace!

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