Archive | February 2016

When ‘No Shows’ Are Necessary

I know this is a good topic for my blog. I know it because I and a lot of close friends have been struggling with it lately. Yet I’ve put off writing it because I’m uncomfortable and I’m still dancing around the topic. Let’s start with, I hit the ground running from the very start of 2016.

burn-231306__180I rang in the New Year in Ojai at Jen Pastiloff’s Manifestation retreat. I did a lot of mental and spiritual preparation to do many, many things I’d never done before. It was fantastic, it was uncomfortable, it was transformative. After arriving home, the next day I got back into my regular routine with Saturday morning Yin Yoga. I briefly and reluctantly considered whether to participate in my studio’s 31 days of yoga in January challenge. On January 3rd, I committed to participating, and I fulfilled it admirably. It was another fantastic, uncomfortable and transformative experience. So much so that before it was over, I was looking for another challenge for February. Along came the beautiful soul, Ellie Hodges with her An Emergent Life Facebook page. She offered an A-Z Mindful Living email series for the month of February. And so, a new endeavor was discovered and accepted. All of that in addition to working full time at an extremely stressful, demanding job, attending 12 step meetings, fulfilling community commitments, attending yoga classes, going to a writer’s workshop and a visit from my Mom.

This was just the first six weeks of 2016! I was halfway through the A-Z Mindful Living series and it had taken a lot more mental, emotional, spiritual and physical energy than I anticipated. This journey of building my brave and learning to live from my heart can be downright exhausting at times. But’s it’s fucking worth it.

Dawny called last Thursday morning while I was driving to work to ask if I would spend Saturday with her and her mother, celebrating her mom’s 70th birthday. I was touched beyond words. You see, Dawny is my best friend and her mother, Doris, is my spiritual advisor that I write so glowingly about here in my blog. Doris’ birthday wasn’t until the following Wednesday but last weekend was the best time for us to celebrate. When given the choice of doing anything she wanted for her birthday, Doris decided she’d like to hang with Dawny and me because we have so much fun together. Dawny made it clear that she didn’t know what mom wanted to do, but we’d be with her all day whatever it was. I was down for the cause. Friday after work I headed to Party City to get a special tiara and feather boa for the birthday gal. 12745510_10208945878666462_3205983360356035760_n

However, when I got home after a fully exhausting week of work, I seemed to have hit a wall. My alarm went off Saturday morning at 6:30 am to get ready to go hiking with my other BFF Sarah. Then there would be my 9:30 Saturday Yin Yoga class to get to. When that was over, I was to rush home to shower and get ready for Dawny to pick me up to head down to Doris for her Birthday adventures. I made a conscious (Executive) decision to go back to sleep and not show up to hike or for yoga class. There was just no way I was going to have the energy to do those things and spend all day with Dawny and Doris. I gave myself permission to not show up and it was the right thing to do.

It wasn’t easy and I felt  really guilty about it but I did not allow something that was difficult and guilt-inducing stop me from giving myself what I needed. Rest, Restoration, Recharge time. Why is that so hard for us loving, busy, productive women to do? I know I’ve struggled with showing up for most of my life. But now that I am showing up? Sometimes a no show is self-care. I highly recommend it once in a while.bed-945881__180

This entry was posted on February 27, 2016. 3 Comments

I’m Sick Of Being The Grown Up in This House!

Let’s get right to the catalyst for this latest frustrated and slightly (SLIGHTLY) petulant tizzy of mine. Baby Bub got her belly button pierced. I am not happy, to put it mildly, and I didn’t speak to her for two full days. Then she started being nice to me because she knew I was mad. Nicer than usual, because she’s not really all that nice to me. She’s not mean either. Just kind of indifferent, as only a 20-year-old can be with her mother. Yes, she is 20. Yes, she is a good girl, who is NOT boy crazy, nor does she wear crop tops or suggestive clothing. Yes, she makes her own money. Yes, I know it could be worse as in a nipple or genital piercing. Yes, I know she ALREADY has a nose piercing and a tattoo. Yes, I have two tattoos myself. Most of those statements are in response to what my friends commented on Facebook when I posted the picture that Baby Bub texted me with the caption “Yes, it is real”. I didn’t speak or respond to most of those friends for a couple of days too.12745710_10208948483971593_498954440331755961_n

Here is the rub and why I finally approached my ex-cubicle mate at work, Kristen. The one who made the “she’s a good girl, remember that” comment and therefore, had been on my semi-shit list. Baby Bub is leaving on a trip to Nashville tomorrow for a long weekend. I can’t have my daughter flying across the country and something terrible happens while I’m angry and not talking to her. I’d never recover from something like that. But I was still mad! I’m running this all down to Kristen, with two other friends that work in her new cubicle, who are also Facebook friends that posted comments about this situation. When I told them the part about Baby Bub being nice to me, Kristen interrupted to say, “Of course. She’s probably scared of you like we are.” That shocked me and took quite a bit of the wind from my sails because Kristen is goddamn scary when she’s mad, so I thought that was kind of hilarious that she’d say that about me.

I’m angry and frustrated because there are better things Baby Bub could and damn well should be spending her money on. Like saving for a car. She really needs one and we had an opportunity for her to buy one about four or five months ago, but she backed down and let it fall to the wayside. She blew her savings on snowboarding equipment and travel trips to Nashville. She doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a car, being responsible for gas money, insurance and upkeep. More accurately, she’s afraid of it. We went through the same thing when she failed the driving test for her driver’s license when she was 17 years old.  She refused to even try to take it until 3 weeks before her 19th birthday. This is not about her using my car either. She walks to and from her job when I’m at work. She’s limited in the kind of jobs she can work here in our small town and it has to be within walking distance. She is a great worker with a solid work ethic. She hasn’t missed a day of work from her job at Dunkin Donuts and often times they schedule her to open the store at 3:30 am.

My friends say I have to talk to her about why I’m upset and they are right. Communications between her and I have not gone smoothly in the past. I also am not sure about the fine line between pushing her too hard to grow up and insisting she takes on more adult responsibilities like owning a car which would give her more freedom and opportunity. I’m sick of being the grown up in this household. I’ve been doing it for 28 years since I gave birth to my oldest child. I’m ready for my girl-child to grow up. teddy-bear-567952__180

This entry was posted on February 25, 2016. 2 Comments

Accepting God’s Revision

silhouette-809145__180I had grand, bold plans for 2016. They centered around moving forward like gangbusters to fulfill my Mission for Work and Life. I had smaller goals in place to meet the financial requirements to accomplish my plans too. Ah but then my Higher Power revised my plans. Not with anything specific mind you. Just a couple of “Whoa Nellie” moments to rein me in. A few time frame adjustments came along with the “whoa Nellies”. Then there were opportunities and teaching moments placed in my path.

I’d like to say I responded to each of these Divine Revisions with grace and acceptance. But since I’ve been blogging through all of this, y’all would know I’m lying. What I have been able to do is break through my disappointment and resistance much faster to get to a place of acceptance, then grace. I’ve grown stronger in my Faith over the last year based on experience. Last year at this time, I was lost, scared and depressed because I felt I had stalled in my quest to determine what my Mission for Work and Life was. I had most of it figured out but felt clueless how to proceed forward with determining the rest of what my path should be. It was a pretty brutal time. On the one hand, I was in therapy every other week working on myself. But when I wasn’t in therapy I was desperately overworked, unhappy and stressed at work. I was sedentary on my couch, stuck at a home I’d hated for a long time, zoning out on television, emotionally overeating and re-reading romance novels about time-traveling druid lairds. There were trips to a local casino I affectionately referred to as “my boyfriend”. I went every other Friday (payday), rarely winning, nearly always feeling worse and more ashamed than I did when I arrived.

I can smile and almost reminisce fondly about those days. Almost, but it was a truly miserable existence where I had no real faith in myself to change or make my way out of it. Ah me of little faith only a year ago. Looking at where I am now with my life, I’m feeling pretty damn good. No, I’m feeling better than that. I’m writing, blogging regularly. I’m a bonafide yogi with a yoga practice.mindfulness-1158310__180 I’m mindful and present in a way that I’ve always wanted to be but wasn’t sure I was capable. So the Yoga Teacher Training won’t occur exactly when or, maybe not even where I planned. It will happen. My trip to Bali for advanced Yoga Teacher Training most likely won’t happen by year’s end. If it is God’s Will, that’ll happen when it’s supposed to as well.

What is being shown and revealed to me gives me more knowledge and strength of self. It’s showing me where I need to increase my knowledge and strength of self. I’ve been approached by a trusted angel-friend about joining a women’s entrepreneur group with a host of information, resources, and tools. I’m using professional resources that I was guided to and receiving a lot of useful feedback and direction. Feeling this mindfulness with inner knowledge and strength helps me deal with a job that hasn’t changed for the better. I moved to a new place, where I took the time and energy to make it feel like a home. I love walking into my home after I’ve been out in the world.

More importantly, I have the profoundly transformative experience, strength, and hope of the past year to solidify my Faith in God’s Revision. He has helped me create safe spaces within myself and outside of myself. The truth is if He’s taken me from there to here, there is just no limit to where He will place me this time next year and beyond. No limit but what I might place on myself.stock-photo-no-limits-written-on-desert-road-320095181

This entry was posted on February 23, 2016. 2 Comments

My “Just Another Day” Valentine’s Day

beautiful-day-852115__180I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this but, it was an occurrence or milestone of sorts, mainly because it wasn’t an occurrence or milestone. I believe this past Valentine’s Day was the first one since I’ve been single where it was just a really good, ordinary day which happened to be a Sunday. My mom was in town for the long weekend as a pit stop on her nearly month-long vacation from her fabulously retired life.

First off, I haven’t felt lonely or depressed about Valentine’s Day in God knows how long. I am a woman who has learned to truly enjoy her own company and to treat or pamper herself. But when my children were young, I used to make a big deal about getting them cards, candy, and balloons. As they got older, I gave them more age appropriate Valentines gifts. But Baby Bub is 20 years old now and does not care one hoot about the holiday. Her brothers are 28 and 25, and it hasn’t occurred to me to get them anything in years.

Honestly, the weekend was about enjoying my visit with my Mom. I got to reconnect with myself and the things I enjoy as well as reconnect with my mom. I made it up and out of the house early on Saturday morning to get a hike in with my BFF Sarah and another friend before hightailing it over to my yoga studio for my 9:30 Yin Yoga class. After that, my mom and I joined Sarah and her hubby Rod for breakfast at a local diner we all like. Then she and I went to get pedicures. I posted a picture of both of us getting pedicures with #SelfCare #SelfLove #BeingMyOwnValentine. But you know what? My toes were jacked up and long overdue for one, so I would have gotten them done even if it wasn’t Valentine’s Day. It was just more special because I got to share the experience with my mom. My nail salon knows me well so they treated my mom well. We had a grand time.10367177_10208893598319486_6039565577986402010_n

On Sunday, which was actually Valentine’s Day, I fulfilled my regular service commitment in the park in the morning. When I got home, I decided to take my mom to a quaint little tourist town in the mountains called Julian for the afternoon. There are shops and restaurants along the main street with a lot of foot traffic. She loved it. In fact, after finding a fabulous parking spot and crossing our first street, we came upon a llama. That’s right, Pava the llama was standing placidly on the street corner taking pictures with folks. I couldn’t believe my eyes and just laughed because I really shouldn’t be surprised at what I encounter in Southern California anymore. She took a picture with him and I briefly considered taking one too until it’s owner told him to turn his head towards the camera and I saw how big his TEETH were!12743865_10208901030665290_7249224039040456154_n In any case, after Pava, we moved on to some shops where my mom was in 7th heaven buying some fabulous things. We stopped at a streetside winery called Blue Door Winery to get her a Sangria, which she said was delicious. We went on to have a yummy late lunch at The Julian Grille before heading back home for a nap. The weather was just perfect so the drive to and from the mountain town was just as pleasant as the excursion itself. I honestly would have forgotten it was Valentine’s Day if it wasn’t for the Facebook posts. It was just another great sunny day in February for Southern California. How cool is that?

Gearing Up

mind-767584__180I’m gaining a lot of insight from the A-Z Mindful Living series with Ellie Hodges. She’s up to M for Meditation, but I haven’t read that one yet. So far there have been mindful exercises and suggested practices for Awareness, Breathe, Compassion, Embodied Experience, Flow, Grounded, Honour, Interdependence, Journey, Kindred, and Less. The daily emails are accompanied by Ellie’s written experiences with each word/practice in her personal life and evolution. She asks us to post our thoughts or experiences with each word/practice in our closed Facebook page. I have been very open and consistent in providing my thoughts, insights and experiences and she gives a lot of good feedback or encouragement. I’m getting a lot out of this and I’m enjoying the process but one of the unexpected and unforeseen consequences is how exhausting it is expending energy being mindful and present so much of the time. I was talking to my spiritual advisor tonight and she asked me what being more mindful has meant for me. In retelling my experiences to her, I started realizing how tiring it is to be mindful and present in the ways suggested by this series. I’m feeling things more intensely, I’m more aware of so much that would either go unnoticed or I just ignored. My responses are from a more thoughtful, deliberate place inside of me as well. I told her it’s only in remembering just how I unconsciously existed through my life before that I get why I’m so exhausted now. This is some serious work. Worthwhile and uncomfortable yet rewarding, but work nonetheless. It’s also a skill set that will be essential in carrying out my Work and Life Mission. As with any skill, it will take continued practice for it to develop and be useful. Nor will it always be exhausting as it becomes a regular practice for me personally and professionally.woman-1000769__180

Another situation that’s come up for me concerns my anticipated yoga teacher training. I reached out to a resource I’ve been corresponding with who co-founded and helps run an international yoga school. She is also a Life Coach and we’ve been exchanging emails every month or so. I recently asked for her opinion on teacher training programs as I have some questions and concerns. She gave me some extremely helpful and clarifying information and direction. She wrote that she was sure I have enough business background to recognize some of the points and issues she wrote about. She ended with instructing me to do my research and use my gut. I was taken aback by two things. One, she assumed I had a strong business background and intuition, which is another word for “use my gut”. Two, I wasn’t entirely sure or confident in my business background or intuition. Which is a little ridiculous in some ways, but also something for me to look at further developing. As those are also needed skills for my new professions.

All of this continues to give me more confidence in God’s timing in how the Universe unfolds. This is all part of the process, my process, and evolution into who God is calling me to be. When I feel myself getting discouraged, frustrated or resistant I remember the intention I set for myself in Ojai for 2016. To be Open and Allowing… In this case for gearing up.rock-climbing-equipment-76881__180