Archive | October 2015

Not Always Rainbows And Butterflies

butterfly-765126__180When my alarm clock went off this morning (Monday) I actually whimpered when I realized I had to go to work. I’ve never done that before unless I was physically sick and it took most of the day to wrap my head and spirit around that. I posted it as a status on Facebook this morning  with #ThisIsMyLife and #GodPleaseHelpMeHelpMyself. I’m sure most of my friends thought I was being funny, but it felt awful and shocking. I spent extra time in prayer and meditation, which I’m convinced was the only reason I made it out of bed and eventually to work. Most of you familiar with my blog understand how I feel about my job so that isn’t new. This feeling I woke up with was about me and  how I felt about myself, my life. When I’m in this dark, self-doubting, self-critical space in my head and spirit, work is not a good environment for me. This had been coming on before Monday.

I struggled this weekend with showing up. I didn’t want to go to yoga class or the Janet Jackson concert. That’s right, I wanted to stay home scrubbing it in my pj’s doing nothing but wallowing in this dark cloud. I wanted to hide from myself and the world. The problem with that is (1) my cable tv was on the fritz- AS IN NOT WORKING FOR SOME UNGODLY REASON, (2) I got rid of 95% of my romance novels and wasn’t really sure where the ones I kept were in my new place and (3) that’s not how I deal with this anymore. I showered and made it to yoga class, which put me in a good enough frame of mind to join some friends for a late breakfast afterwards. Ah, but then my darkness descended again and I went home to nap for the afternoon. I tried to get up the nerve to call or text my two girlfriends that I wasn’t going to the concert to see Janet with them. I mean, that was the real reason behind me making sure each of them had their own ticket before we left work Friday. This darkness had been creeping up on me since the middle of last week. Well, I got up at the last minute, threw on a hat, because I can rock that, a cute top, some Capri jeans and wedges. I even managed to put on some make-up! This was Janet after all and I paid good money. This is my girls and me from work in the parking lot before heading off to the venue. 20151017_183022-11

To top it off, my #2 child, who I call Ahbuh, was in town for the weekend and he never made over to my place to see me while I was home. He’s lived in Northern California with my sister and brother-in-law for nearly two years now. He’s been home to visit before and always came through and stayed here. For whatever reason, his triflin’ ass did not come to see me and that hurt a lot. He’s a grown man of 25 and still firmly in his “knucklehead phase” so I shouldn’t be surprised. I really shouldn’t because he does shit like this to people all the time. This is a first for me, though. He did make it by my new place with his older brother, my #1 child, Barley, who lives here in Southern California. Only they came through when I was at the Janet Jackson concert! I found out through a text from Baby Bub (#3 child) that said “Your sons showed up and are eating our food.” I replied, “BOTH of them??”. She said “Yes.” I begged her, “Please, Please, Please take a group selfie for me!!!” The heifer replied, “Sorry I don’t do group selfies.” All I could do was sigh… I last had all my children together in July of 2014 at their granny’s memorial service. I’m posting a picture because I can and I know #1 and #3 will hate it!  11705271_10207545855746764_6495839124635710842_n

So you know what my head told me about that right? Because I was such a shitty mother when I was raising them, they don’t want to spend time with me. This is my Karma and what I deserve. These lies and so many other nonsensical self-destructive thoughts can be the background music at any given moment when I’m not taking care of myself or just plain feeling low and blue. By the time I made it home to get on the phone with my spiritual advisor for our weekly Monday evening call I really needed to let all these emotions and thoughts out. Oh, and I had an hour before company was coming by to go over the planning of a Halloween event for a community committee I belong to.

It turns out I had a lot more fears, feelings, emotions and thoughts going on than I realized. It seems I was doing a good job of believing them without really hearing them. Some of you will know what I’m talking about, those that don’t know- consider yourselves fortunate. My beloved spiritual advisor helped me sort through things by talking it out, asking questions, making suggestions. I really have started to feel some relief and was given a good plan of action for the coming week. (1) Be gentle with myself, (2) listen to the voices of my ego/human, without engaging in what they are telling me, (3) take it easy, slow down and get some rest. Those are things I can get behind and I’m already breathing easier.

After my call, it also helped tremendously to get out of myself for a little while when my friends came over to finalize plans for the Halloween event in two weeks. We even set dates with tentative plans for a Turkey Day Leftover Potluck on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and a Christmas Tree Lighting/Cookie Exchange for the week before Christmas. Good Googilamoogly the holiday season is upon us!

This entry was posted on October 20, 2015. 2 Comments

Ghosts of Grief and Echoes of Old Patterns

grave-15623__180I’m finding that grief is a funny thing. Funny “queer’, not funny “ha-ha”  to quote one of my favorite movies, Sling Blade. I’ve spent more time crying, even sobbing on a couple of occasions this past week over the unexpected story of my dad’s final moments 17 years ago, than I thought possible given how long he’s been gone. It’s been draining and I’m feeling some residual sadness. Then there was the Facebook post from my cousin Gloria on Tuesday with a picture of herself looking so much like my Aunt Julie (her mother and my mom’s younger sister) that it startled me. My Aunt Julie, who I simply called Julie or “Juicy” because she was only 12 years older than me and much more of a friend to me than the Queen Aunts on my dad’s side of the family. Julie died about 10 years ago, unexpectedly from diabetes complications. Another loved one I didn’t realize I would never talk to again after speaking to her on her birthday in 2005. I spent A LOT of childhood weekends at Julie’s house while my mom was going out. I was the flower child at her wedding. I was five, she was seventeen. So seeing her daughter, Gloria, looking so much like Julie made me feel like I was being visited by ghosts this week.

There was different kind of ghost contact I experienced this week which poked a little at some regret and grief. I received 2 emails from a former friend. The first one was clearly one of those hacked emails that try to get you to click on a link to nowhere or a virus. I deleted it immediately. The second one was definitely a deliberate attempt to contact me. Nothing about renewing the friendship, only an inquiry over a lost article. I responded I didn’t have it and that seemed to be the end of it. Except now that situation has been on my mind, just when things were fading to black.

In the past couple of days, I’ve been feeling a sense of stagnant deja vu. I hate feeling the way I did 9 years ago when I worked for a different company that measured me by numbers and metrics, that defined me by the goals I’m not meeting. That’s how it’s become where I work now and it’s understood at all levels, including management that it’s going to get worse. I know I’m a different woman now than I was then. I know it, but I’m just feeling discouraged about my ability to move on from here. I’m so much better equipped now to handle this better than just quitting and cashing in my 401K like I did years ago. Yet, I still feel powerless and helpless. I tell my friends all the time that feelings aren’t facts, but DAMN. This shit is demoralizing. I’ve been speaking my Mission and Vision into existence, into intention but for some reason I feel like I’m faltering. I’m afraid and unsure about how to take the next indicated step. And I don’t know how I got here so quickly. Just last week I was feeling sure and now… I’m questioning so many things right now, most of all myself. tunnel-746185__180

Ok, so I know I’m really tired which means I need to get some sleep. Perhaps I will reach out to my spiritual advisor this weekend instead of waiting until Monday. I’m supposed to go to a Janet Jackson concert tomorrow night and I really don’t want to go. In the past, I would just not show up. That’s what I want to do, not show up.

Random Happenings, Thoughts and Occurrences In The Life

relax-955798__180My company, the one I’m not very happy with, hired massage therapists to come into our office to provide 10-minute chair massages. The first round was last week and I refused to sign up. I had good reasons too. A 10-minute chair massage at work is a tease, especially since I’d have to come back to my extremely stressful desk afterwards. I have a phenomenal massage therapist that gives full body massages for an hour in a beautiful, peaceful space. An hour is worth taking the time, in my opinion. Not 10 minutes in the corner of an office building somewhere. However, many of my co-worker friends around me got massages and they were very happy with them. Human Resources sent out another e-mail Monday announcing the therapists were back again this week, for those that did not get a chance to sign up. The sign-up sheets were in the lobby as we come and go, but I stubbornly refused to participate again. (You know where this is going right?) Everybody kept talking about the massages and encouraging me to sign up. The idea was growing on me and of course, when I was willing to be honest, I just didn’t want to give my company a chance to do something nice for me and make me feel better. So I took a ride down to the lobby late this afternoon to see what spots were left. There three spots left at 4:30, 4:40, and 4:50. I get off work at 4:30 and it suddenly struck me that I could get a 10-minute chair massage AFTER I clock out and go HOME instead of back to my desk! They said the massage therapist really hit some good spots and I need some of my spots hit badly… IT. WAS. FABULOUS. Real shit fabulous. There was soft music playing, the chair was very comfortable, with places to rest my knees and arms. They were right, the therapist had really good hands and fingers, hitting my spots for sure! Oh man, I went right down to the lobby afterwards and signed up for 2 more massages tomorrow at 4:50 and Friday at 4:40!

While driving home feeling relaxed, listening to Corrinne Bailey Ray, I thought about how stubborn I’d been to resist and deny something offered to make me feel good. I started to wonder what other opportunities and blessings I missed out on because I’d been unwilling to let go of resentments, old ideas or fears. Then I recalled on our weekly Monday evening call that my spiritual advisor recommended I “allow” and “not hold on” to things in my life. Hmmm, its seems her words and suggestions have taken root.

This weekend I found out, quite randomly and out of the blue, the exact circumstances of my father’s last moments when he died. I know he died 17 years ago on September 22, 1998, in Johns Hopkins Medical Center because of complications from a kidney transplant. He had had a kidney transplant probably about a month earlier at Johns Hopkins and it was a success. He was released from the hospital, back home and I think he had even gone back to work. Then a few weeks later he went back into the hospital because of complications. No one knew his body was rejecting the kidney at first. I even talked to him the first day he was back in the hospital. He was in good spirits, we had our usual love banter about nothing and I told him I loved him. I was at work, having just started a new job, and I had no clue it would be the last time I talked to him. His health went south quick.

This weekend I got a call from my Aunt Patty, my dad’s youngest sister. She had been diagnosed with stage4 lung cancer recently as I mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts. Aunt Patty is quite chatty and it felt good to listen to her fill me in on how she was doing, how she was dealing and how the family was dealing. Just hearing her East Coast-tinged accent gave me a warm feeling, I was reconnecting with some of the most important parts of my childhood and past just talking to Patty. Even with the subject matter, Patty’s sparkling, snappy personality and outlook on life was intact. I was smiling and just enjoying my Sunday afternoon with “home” when she started to tell me about some paperwork her oncologist gave her about end of life care. In essence, a “DNR” as in do not resuscitate or use extraordinary measures such as life support at the end of her life. She wasn’t sure what she should do and she mentioned that she wanted her daughter, Sonya and her adult grandchildren to all agree unanimously what to do in that case. Suddenly as an example she said, “You know Tam, when the doctors called us down from Harrisburg to Johns Hopkins the night Billy died, they had all of the family in a conference room. They told us Billy’s kidney was completely rejected, he was in renal failure and he wasn’t coming back. They told us that our decision to remove him from Life Support had to be unanimous. Well, I knew I couldn’t do it, so I got up and left the room. I went straight to Billy and climbed into the bed with him. I just laid there with him and the others came in after a while to say their goodbyes and kiss him. They took him off Life Support and I was holding him as he took his last breath.” I really don’t remember much of what she said for the next few minutes because I was crying from the emotional punch to my solar plexus I’d just received. Eventually, I pulled myself together and tuned back into what Patty was saying. She talked for another 40 minutes or so. We said our goodbyes and I love yous. Patty is doing well with chemotherapy for now. Me, I’m still dealing with  the emotional aftermath of the revelation of Daddy’s last moments even now.

Since we seem to be looking steadily backwards in time “in the life”, I want to go back to Friday night. I got to see my grandbabies and my daughter-in-love Mary! There were in town for the weekend at the last minute (YAAY!) so Mae-Mae (that’s my grandmom name) got to be with her hearts. Ava is 3 1/2 and Charlie is 20 months. I call it Mae-Mae time. We walked to a local restaurant in Old Town, then walked around to the shops, taking pictures. It was the greatest balm after a week of work! I’m going to see them again in two weeks and I’ve been invited up for Thanksgiving again this year. Despite the random happenings, thoughts, and occurrences over the past few days, it’s the euphoria from their visit that sustains me the most. Yet  I remain fortunate to be fully present for love, grief and growth.FB_IMG_1444884803946

This entry was posted on October 15, 2015. 3 Comments

The Importance of Vision

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare- Japanese Proverb

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It’s amazing how much can happen in a week. Last weekend I blogged about the need for rest, research and refocus. I accomplished that and proceeded into last week refreshed and focused. However, it didn’t take long for my life to be life, as it is what it always is, at this moment in time. The best part of that is I was either in a better position to deal with my life, or I had healers that helped hold space for me  to deal. Seriously, my yoga teacher, my therapist and the smudging by my massage therapist were Godsends last week.stones-451329__180

The main reason I needed the 3R’s last weekend is because a couple of weeks before, using The Path by Laurie Beth Jones, I finished the last part of my mission statement for work and life.  My mission is  to communicate, facilitate and inspire healthy meaningful connection with spirituality. I believe working as a life coach and a writer will help me to accomplish this. However, the next chapter of the book was Creating The Vision Statement. I started that chapter a couple of weeks ago and answered half of the questions. The exercise is designed to help me visualize what the end result of living my mission would look like. I needed to stop and pause because I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer the rest of the questions. Hence the research about what type of life coach I want to be and which coaching certificate program might work best. I didn’t even realize there were different types of coaches before I read about them. Interestingly enough I learned there was such a thing as a Yogic Life Coach I immediately dismissed it and went on to look at other more traditional coaching types such as a spiritual coach,  a wellness coach, a success coach and many more.

I didn’t figure out what coach I wanted to be, but that wasn’t the point. I’m still in the research phase. On Tuesday evening, my fabulous yoga teacher tagged me on an Instagram post from Awakened Life School of Yoga. I found it the next morning and went onto their website. It was very informative and the more I read, the more interested and caught up I became with the idea of allowing yoga to be more of a focus in my coaching life and personal life than I had originally planned. You see, it has become crystal clear to me in the past few weeks that yoga would be a part of my spiritual practice. I just hadn’t considered that it could be more of a focal point with my coaching career, which by extension would be a focal point in my personal life. Or vice versa. The point is, I hadn’t considered it, but my yoga teacher had. Oh, and the best part of Awakened Life School of Yoga? They provide intensive Yoga Alliance certified INTERNATIONAL Yoga Teacher Training programs in Bali and Costa Rica!!!! Needless to say my heart, my imagination and my spirit are on fire. In the past when someone suggested something this amazing and phenomenal to me, I would immediately start telling them why I couldn’t do it or why it wouldn’t work. But for the first time ever, I started thinking, “how can I make this happen?” None of this means I’m going to run off to Bali or Costa Rica next week. But I am more than open to the possibility or path that can lead there.

I thanked my yoga teacher when I saw her next on Saturday morning for tagging me on Instagram. It turns out the founders of the yoga school are former students of hers, a husband and wife, who are also life coaches! She thought I could reach out to them via email to let them know I am a student of hers (wow, I’m a yoga student!) and that my life’s path is guiding me towards coaching. She is hoping they may be able to provide some suggestions or guidance for me and possibly be a resource. She was also excited that I was so fired up about the training programs they offer. Well, I did more research on Awakened Life’s website and then sent an email to the founders as my teacher suggested.

On Sunday afternoon, I got The Path and my notebook out then finished answering the last half of the questions. They flowed from me as the answers did weeks ago for the first half of them. The very last question was to write out my vision statement incorporating my responses to all of the previous questions. While writing out my vision didn’t “flow” exactly, it came together magnificently with several rewrites!

The Path says “While a mission statement is centered around the process of what you need to be doing, a vision statement is the end result of what you will have done. It is a picture of how the landscape will look after you’ve been throught it. It is your “ideal.”  Your vision statement is the force that will sustain you when your mission statement seems too heavy to endure, enforce or engage. All significant changes and inventions began with a vision first.

I have my vision of what my mission will have done for me and my life. I am networking and researching with people while remaining open to what is put before me. I am grateful to be enjoying my journey. boardwalk-801723__180

Spiritual Cleansing

The modern-day practice of burning sage (or sage combined with other dried herbs) in personal smudging rituals and ceremonies is based on a combination of the spiritual, medicinal, herbal and cultural teachings of the past. 12106871_10208070154173897_3593429926685735107_n

Essentially, a smudging ritual or a smudge ceremony is performed to correct the energy in a home, in an office, in an object, or even in a person. This is accomplished by burning sage or sage and a combination of herbs, in a focused, intentional way to cleanse out negative energy and to replenish positive, healing energy.

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I found out shortly after I moved to my new place that one of my healers does smudging of homes with sage and I asked her if she would be willing. She said yes and it’s taken us this long to sync our schedules. Or if I’m really being honest, it’s taken me this long to slow my ass down enough and make the time for this. She had not been to my new place yet either so it was great to finally have her over on Thursday just so she can feel my space. She said it had good energy as she came inside. She appreciated what I’ve done with the place as well. We talked for a little bit and she told me some background about why she was drawn to this Native American ritual and ceremony. She asked if I was comfortable with her smudging me and having me be a part of saging my own house. I loved the idea and had secretly hoped I, myself would be smudged.

I won’t go into detail about our ritual because the act itself was deeply moving and personal. What I can say is it truly felt like a blessing, a cleansing and a shifting of energy for me and my home! I had a few situations going on with me this day surrounding family and work that I was actively working on accepting. I wasn’t quite there yet. However, the ritual moved me beyond acceptance to a place of inner peace. I hadn’t even thought of either situation until I got a text about my weekend plans falling through. I was perfectly at peace with it, knew that would be the  most likely outcome anyway. I now have time and room in my schedule for a couple of other activities that I believe I really need. The energy flowing in and through me and my home right then was A-MAZING! I  and my surroundings truly did feel incredible. The deeper connection I made and felt with myself and my healer felt so right. I was able to share with her some paths that are being put before me that I am giving major energy, consideration and intention to. She was so receptive and I got some really phenomenal feedback from her about her own unique experience on her path.

The feeling lasted with me when I woke up this morning. As I’ve mentioned here a few times, my commute takes roughly an hour each way. I still felt peaceful during my drive. So much so, I didn’t want or need music or the morning chatter of any of the few radio morning shows programmed into my car stereo. Instead, there was a vibrant humming silence and a beautiful morning sky! Check it out –>12096064_10208072144463653_4478809458653345768_n

 

 

 

 

Oh, and the weekend plans that fell through? I made other plans to attend a Chakra Invocation workshop at my yoga studio. Except that I got another text informing me at that the original weekend plans, ie family coming to town, were back on. Which I was over the moon about as I had not been able to spend anytime with this particular branch of my family since February of this year. But what of the workshop I signed up and paid for? Hello God/Universe! The workshop was cancelled and my card will be refunded. I just love the way my life works out most of the time… That’s right, most of the time and I think that’s a pretty fantastic attitude to have if I do say so myself.

I am grateful,  humble and open to what is continually put before me. It’s huge. It’s going to take an extraordinary amount of intention, effort, work and faith. I’m ready for the turn this ride seems to be taking! Are you still coming with? Stay tuned. mind-767583__180

 

This entry was posted on October 10, 2015. 2 Comments