In This Moment….

May 8 Waterfall

Today, I sit in my favorite spot on top of my favorite waterfall. The water level is less than it was only a few weeks ago when I had such an amazingly fun time.  I am also aware that next month there will possibly be no refreshing water at all cascading over these rocks. It is a challenge to enjoy the deliciousness of this moment and to accept what is true at this time, in this place. The sun, the breeze, the birds and the cool water all provide a banquet for my heart and soul.

I went for  an annual exam at the doctor.  I like to hear everything is ok and working as it should.  Only, not this time. Hmm… what’s this lump. Of course it is a lump, why did I not notice it myself?  Which led to another appointment, another test and then yet another.  And the expectation of more to come.  Words we really do not want to hear from someone in a white coat. Not what I had in mind for my summer plans. I can take this moment to stay here, accept what is truth and not fight it, yet not make it more than it is.  I know I am stronger than I feel.

I can remember back so very long ago a  situation with a tumor which grew to be as large as my unborn baby.  The fear and struggle from that time tries to fill my heart and soul.  I have to remind myself, “This is now, not then.”  I am in such a different place.  Of course, I can remember the good lessons from that time- love myself, love others, don’t sweat the small stuff , keep a sense of humor and stay in the moment- don’t get ahead of yourself. I just have to look at my amazing 6′ 5 son to remind me of the miracle of that time.

So, here I am  in this moment.  I am free to choose courage over fear.  Acceptance over striving. Peace and grace in this moment.  I can enjoy and celebrate all the love and support from family and friends. Decisions will need to come. Summer plans and goals will adjust and change. Tomorrow, I will deal with what comes my way in the strength of that moment and the next and the next.  I will gratefully return to my waterfall perch in times when I need to refresh, renew and remind myself to accept and thrive in this moment.  There may be an abundance of water or none at all, but still I can choose to embrace this time.  Kind of like my life at this moment.

How can you embrace this moment for yourself?

 

7 Ways to Play Where You Live!

Fun times with my daughter!!
Fun times with my daughter!!

Yes, I will admit it.  I have been running away quite a bit. I have had some great times with loved ones where we had such fun times.   Considering the hectic pace of my life this summer, I am saying it is good stress management.  However, traveling from  my last getaway, I was thinking, “When can I  go again?”   Somehow, I would need to arrange my life in a way where the day to day routine is more exciting and inviting.  While it might be good stress management to have breaks, it is not healthy to  only be ok when I am away from home.  We all do it, though. While, I love to getaway to the country and hike and 4-wheel, the people there just use their 4 wheeler for work, and not play.   This idea spawned my

“Play Where You Live” plan. Continue reading “7 Ways to Play Where You Live!”

“What did I do to Deserve This?” How our questions influence us forever.

cropped-garden-of-the-gods.jpgWe were driving home from a very frustrating doctors visit, with a doctor who knew little about dementia or how to deal with a dementia patient.  I was looking for assistance with home health for bathing and medication for her anxiety.  Instead, I came away with paperwork on cooking for a patient with high-blood pressure… sigh.  My mother-in-law had already forgotten about the traumatic visit and was distracted by the huge cumulus clouds banking all around the sky.   Suddenly, the sky opened up to a huge downpour. The rain was so heavy and strong even the wipers on full blast could not keep up. It was a bit terrifying for me, who loves storms, trying to see and keep on the freeway.  She was in quite a panic.  Then she asked, “What did I do to deserve this?” Continue reading ““What did I do to Deserve This?” How our questions influence us forever.”

Courage to Be Yourself

Come on jump into the fun of being yourself!
Come on jump into the fun of being yourself!

Throughout our lives we have received input on who and what we should do do be ok.  Some of us have huge ideas that are impossible to reach or often these ideas are conflicting.  We read magazine articles or books trying to improve ourselves and if you are like me these are sometimes helpful and sometimes make us feel a little less than or never able to measure up to others.  Other people look like they have life easy and have achieved perfection or gotten it all together.  So,we try harder and sometimes we are successful and other times fall on our faces.  For me the break though came when I realized no one really has achieved this perfection.  Everyone puts on a nice smile and gets dressed the same way I do!  I can learn great things from others in one area or another and they can actually learn from me in another.  I am so lucky to have a long time friend who taught me to be more structured and organized with my days with young babies.  She is highly gifted in this area.  She in turn says she learned from me to relax more and have more fun with her kids.  We all have strengths and weaknesses.  The challenge it to grow in both of them; to understand and accept our own unique selves while continuing to grow! Continue reading “Courage to Be Yourself”

How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!

Fun time or stressful.  The choice is mine!
Fun time or stressful. The choice is mine!

It is so easy to look at the lives of others and think about how amazing they are, and then compare our family and life to this vision.  We see our own foibles and feel somehow like we fall short of the dream life and family.  The truth is there is no perfect life or family.  The reality is that life is a roller coaster.  We can however, choose our focus and the meanings we place on events.  Care for an example from my crazy weekend trip?

Continue reading “How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!”

It’s Gone!!

English: Early morning in Urbana, Aug. 8, 2005...

I love my morning walks.  The peace and quiet and calmness in the air.  Getting out, moving, breathing in the cool of the night, before beginning the business of the day, is a special time.  There are other runners and walkers, and we greet each other with a nod or quiet, “Good Morning”.  We all accept each other in this unique camaraderie.   Two days of the week are different.   On these days everyone in the neighborhood sneaks out early in the morning, toting all the items in their home they consider unwanted at this time;  placing them on the curbside ritually, ensconced in tombs of white or black plastic wrappers.   Then as if by magic, these items are never seen again.   Those of us who inhabit the streets at this time know the secret.   We are aware of the large trucks and burly men who stealthily roam the roads, graciously gathering all the offerings and leaving nothing behind.    I have lived in places where trash disposal is not quite so seamless and automatic, so I do not take this service for granted and am in awe at how easy it is.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if we could dispose of all undesired emotions, thought  and hurts of the past just this easily.  Every week, just make a choice and decide, “This is not serving me, I am letting it go.”     Last week I cleaned my MIL’s apt, then we went out and did some running around in the car.  The whole time, I was wondering which one of us smelled bad.  This smell got worse and worse as the day went on.   Finally, on arriving home, I noticed I had not stopped at the dumpster and deposited the trash, but had been driving around all day with it in the back seat!!  This is what we to often do with our emotional junk.  Either we continually wallow in it, bringing it up in every conversation, using it for an excuse to not go forward with our lives or we stick it in the truck, pretend it is gone and yet it continues to drag us down, use up our energy and make us feel less then.

 

What would life be like if we noticed our junk and had a plan for getting rid of it on a regular basis??   For me, I think “FREEDOM!

 

What I like about Life Coaching is that it is present and forward thinking.  Where are you going and how can we get there?   There are times though, when you have to realize you are driving around with some crap in your brain or heart.   You know there is fear there.  You know you react to situations or people, based not on the present, but on the past.  We want to be forward thinking and living, but how do we get rid of old hurts and hangups?

 

While many of our past stuff shows up in emotions, the easiest way to change it is noticing the thoughts and beliefs we have picked up on our journey in life.   They often feel like such a part  of who we are, we don’t notice how incongruent they are with our present life.

 

Whenever I have an overreaction or feel a way I don’t want to, I ask, “What do I have to believe to feel this way?”  Then, is this empowering to me – pushing me forward toward my purpose or is it dis-empowering and limiting.   How can I change it so that it serves me and the world?

 

Example-I had some one in leadership, make a decision concerning me without consulting me or discussing the facts with me.  This felt like a violation, since I knew the correct facts and did not feel respected or part of the team.  I replayed it in my mind, getting angrier and angrier.  I knew it was an overreaction, but still was caught up in the drama of it.  (To be fair, I was on an anti-viral medication which made me agitated, but still I knew it was not consistent  with who I am).    When I asked myself, “What am I believing to feel this way?”, I was amazed to come up with, ” In order to be valuable in life, people need to listen to me.”    Hmmm, I usually have very good boundaries and know my value can not be based on what others do or think.  Somewhere though, this thought had snuggled inside my heart as an idea that made sense to this youngest of seven kids.   It came up in the present, in a situation where I was feeling pushed back into this role.    So, I told myself the truth, very strongly replacing this thought with one that is empowering.  ” I am acceptable and accountable to God.”  “No one can make me feel less than unless I allow it, and I don’t !!”     It helps to do something physical with the old one.  Write it down and – burn it, flush it down the toilet etc.  Then, write the new one and place it where you can see it and repeat it often during the day!   This changes my reaction.  I can deal with the decision from an adult place.   I may not agree with it or like it, but really it does not affect who I am.

 

This may sound like a lot of effort and it does require some thought and effort.  But really, how much effort and

English: A quiet Sunday morning in Trosnant Road

energy is it to carry around your junk all the time?  Get rid of it, let it go!!  Once it is gone, it is gone and you are released.  Yes, it is a continual process and it is always surprise when things come up now, but this means I am moving forward and encountering new situations that allow growth in new areas.

 

Sometimes, you can do this on your own or sometimes you might need a coach to walk you though this process, at least at the beginning and then it becomes a life long habit of freedom.  While I am not large and burly like my trash men, it is my passion to walk beside others, helping them  rid their lives of unwanted baggage.

 

What could you get rid of and how would that change your life?

 

Skating around the Circle of Life!

Yesterday was Titus/ Mimi Day!!  We haven’t had one in over a month and I had been missing him.    We went to visit  my Mother in Law and she so loved it.  She can’t remember who he is but knows he is special. Then, home where I had to remind my teenager to finish his English paper before attempting anything else.

Titus and his Great Gram!
Titus and his Great Gram!

Our lives are full of these moments of contrast.   It seems in relationships we have to constantly be adapting to different roles.  And within the role itself we must change as the years go by.   The role of mother to a baby is different than it is to a toddler, teenager or adult child.  The role of daughter as a child is vastly different than it is when caring for an aging parent with dementia.   Sometimes, I feel I have to adapt myself to meet these ever changing relationships and work to figure them out.   With plenty of time to ponder this, while playing in the sandbox, soaking up the sunshine and cuddles from the cutest grandson ever, I had an aha moment.   It is not really a change within me, that makes life much too complicated to feel I must constantly change (while of course I want to continue growing and learning also, it is a different feel than changing who I am, because a relationship needs to adapt.)

Then it hit me, Boundaries!!   This should not be a surprise, since I think boundaries are the most amazing freeing thing ever!! (Growing up as a youngest in a big family this idea took me years to implement, but once I got it, I really was able to live as if a huge weight had been removed from my shoulders.)

Maybe it is time to write another boundary explanation blog, but for today I will just say-  When you have a healthy boundary, you can separate your thoughts, ideas, feelings, acts, beliefs… from others thoughts etc.  In the  case of adapting relationships and roles I need to adapt how I respect others boundaries.   With a baby, whose existence totally depends on me, there really is little separation.  I do need to care for myself in order to remain sane and  healthy to meet all the needs this child has.   As a toddler, they are beginning independence, but with little experience and knowledge.  Yes, you can walk all you want on the sidewalk, but not in the street.  Do you want to wear the red pants or the green ones?   A teen is tricky, these almost adults who really think they are ready to run their lives.  I can release the boundary quite a bit, while showing there are consequences  for choices.  It is fine for you to blow off your homework, but there will be no workouts or video games until this grade is brought up.

The great thing about kids is we gradually can let go and with adult children, they are the  ones asking for advice and rather than controlling them, I can encourage their decisions and support them even if I do not agree.   I do tell myself someday they will be handling all my affairs and be changing my diapers at some point!   It is hard with elderly parents to be going the opposite direction.  Slowly taking more and more control as life circumstances dictate.   No, you cannot drive anymore.  This is where you must live.  I will take you to the store and you can choose what to buy, but I will handle all the money.   It seems so strange to treat another adult this way, especially knowing I will be taking more and more responsibility rather than less.   This is the circle of life and while not easy, it happens.

Through it all, I don’t have to change.  I can still be the same person, with my ideas, values and purpose.   I will always be loving, full of faith, and having fun in every relationship.   This simple rethinking helps me to relax and release the pressure and overwhelming feelings that come when  I am running around from one life event to another.     There is nothing better than a sunny day in a sandbox to bring clarity and new insights!