Plot Twist

this is not about me

Plot twist: My story isn’t always calm. But, it’s my story to tell, and in my own way.

The key to my own happiness has been consistently and mindfully letting go of expectations and outcomes and letting it all unravel one glorious moment at a time. Letting things be what they are and not what I’m expecting or hoping for has been a labor of love and worth every effort. Being grateful and seeing the glass half full leads to feelings of peace, pleasure and calm. But, instead of finding the strength to be grateful, often we settle into feelings of entitlement which leads to bitterness, sadness, or frustration. Both of these ends of the human experience spectrum can be born from both chaos or calm, the reaction is always in the hands of the person enduring the circumstance. Even if the pain and the struggle are real, we all process emotion and produce the resulting behavior according to our inner process, motives and our needs in the moment. And that is human.

We all find a different lesson in the same mess. So, what’s YOUR process?

One choice is catastrophozing (an irrational thought process leading us to believe that something is far worse or much more intense than it actually is) a situation or outcome and I wonder if this behavior serves people well or if it is simply a negative attention-getting strategy. We often create a happy-chaos or good-madness just to be surrounded by drama. Some people exist better in crisis mode, or at least feel more relevant or needed when there is a problem to solve.

The opposite of catastrophizing is occhiolism (the awareness of the smallness of your perspective) which may help you stay more grounded and capable of navigating the authentic storms when they pass through your life. Or maybe the opposite of catastrophizing is magnificentizing… it all depends, and it’s all ok, just let it go. It’s really not about you, no matter how much it feels like it is. Too much self-concern can overwhelm a person to the point of having no room left for humility. Too much narrow focus on your own problems creates a warped vision and experience of reality. (Google synonyms of “selfconcerned” for a more detailed list of the mean and negative words that this practice can lead to… spoiler alert: narcissism)

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure” Henry Kissinger. So what becomes of the coal that cannot stand the pressure? It becomes dust, even though it had the natural potential to be a diamond. It’s not always easy to stay present and let go of the urge to fall apart and catastophize, but think of the potential for that little piece of coal that was able to grin and bear it… it becomes something that cannot be broken… But, sometimes being broken is human. “She was brave and strong and broken all at once” -Anna Funder

So, imagine yourself happy and let go of expectations. What is your current process? If you begin to be mindful and more aware of your process, will that lead to more moments of calm? There will always be storms and there will always be rainbows. The key is to find the lesson in the mess.

Becoming a Butterfly

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“Does the caterpillar know it is turning into a butterfly or is it in panic, stuck to a tree feeling all fat and crispy” -Becky Walsh, Mind Body Spirit Magazine

Our world is filled with BIG and FAST, so we may be conditioned to get what we want right in the moment we want it.  But, transition takes time and patience.  Change for the better is best achieved thoughtfully and slowly.  Nature gives us plenty of examples to support this theory like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly. We don’t know for sure what goes on inside that cocoon.  I wonder how that caterpillar feels as it creates it’s new home.  Does he have time and space to prepare for this change?  Is he looking forward to becoming a butterfly or was he happy being a caterpillar?  Let’s assume he is simply following his instincts and having faith in the process.  Wouldn’t it be comforting if we were all capable of that kind of trust and belief in our lives as we experience our own changes and transitions?  Sometimes enjoying the journey takes endurance and poise and sometimes you just hang your head out the window like a happy dog feeling the wind.  It all depends on the day.

“You can be presented with some rather difficult situations that bring about the transformation needed for you to fly.”  -Becky Walsh, Mind Body Spirit Magazine

The good news for the butterfly is that when it emerges it will be able to fly.  The process to get there may be unpleasant or it may be cathartic, that we will never know.  The process is private and looks different for everyone, and every caterpillar.  The key is to be kind to yourself and remember that the things in life worth waiting for are usually the best things we encounter.  Often at the other end of a trying time is a realization that you have come to know yourself better from your experience.  When you figure out the thing or things that you want most in this life it’s hard to sit still and wait, but manifesting change with intention takes time.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” -Billy Crystal as Harry in When Harry Met Sally

Love may be the easiest way to demonstrate that feeling of eagerness and craving when it comes to transition, but there are several things in life that work that same way.  Anyone who finds themselves feeling stuck in a career and suddenly has a realization that there is something better out there will relate to this process as well.  The process of learning what you need to know to start a new career may be slow and tedious, but in the end, after all of your preparation, you feel strong and ready to charge out of the gate running.  Anyone who has a dream knows the anguish of waiting and working towards the hopeful day that it will come true.  The important component in all of this is to take your time and put intentional energy into getting to know yourself and learning to be at peace with your life’s path.

“The key to transformation is simply this: the better we know ourselves, the better equipped we will be to make our choices wisely.”  -Gregg Braden, Mind Body Spirit Magazine

The Awakening

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About 2 years ago I felt a spiritual awakening begin to happen within myself.  The process has led to many changes in my life including a change in career and a complete shift in my physical body.  At times I’ve been surprised by what I’ve discovered and other times even delighted at what I’ve been able to learn from all of this.  When you open your heart and begin to pay attention to your intuition, beautiful things can be brought into your life.  But it doesn’t always come easy and there are a few lessons to be learned along the way.  “If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are … a different game you should play.” -Yoda

During a time of transition such as this, you may be stopped dead in your tracks by some unforeseen circumstances and realize that you have to stop fighting so hard against all that is coming at you.  You learn that there is nothing to gain when you blame others for the things that have happened to you and that complaining about frivolous things does more to push people away than to bring them in.  You learn to shed the beliefs that you’ve outgrown and realize that people don’t always do what they say or say what they mean.  You realize that integrity, honesty and bravery are worth the effort and being the better person really does mean something.  It’s a time to assess and redefine in order to discover the difference between what you want and what you need.  If you do all of this from a place of truth, then a rising sense of self-confidence is born and you learn to become more self-reliant and feel more secure in your decisions, possibly seek less counsel from others.  In turn, others may start to seek more counsel from you.

Writing has been my companion on this journey, and I can now look back through the phases of my transformation marker by marker.  When I feel that I’ve hit a new marker I tend to go back and not only read through what I have written, but try and go deeper into the thoughts that were beginning to manifest during that leg of the journey.  If I had not documented this whole journey, my mind would have jumbled the details into a mess just as it has some of the other phases of my life that I chose not to archive.  When you script your testimony you create a memoir for the ages that may have otherwise never been shared.  These memoirs can be kept for yourself or shared someday with your loved ones, that is up to you.  But, writing things down in the moment and keeping a running dialogue with yourself can be extremely soothing and even healing should you need it.  It’s amazing how often I’ve needed my own hand to hold over the last few years.

Every awakening comes in phases.  Some happen suddenly and come to an abrupt end and some last for months or even years coming in waves and you risk being swept up by the current at any time during this often unsettling time.  However, the better the foundation you create for yourself, the more likely you will be to withstand the vulnerability of it all.  Ride the wave the right way and you deepen the learning in a way that can only happen during such an unpredictable time.  It is during these times that going back and reading what you have written during less grounded phases will be a well earned reward.

And sometimes, during these times, the most amazing things can happen.  Suddenly things that have been buried deep or long abandoned can find beautiful renewed meaning.  This journey, after all, is about getting back in touch with who we really are and what we really need to truly be our happiest selves.  The one person who knows the answers to all the questions that you’ve been out there seeking is you.  “Already know you that which you need.” -Yoda

Photo courtesy of my friend Devon Delricco and his fishing boat

 

Watching The Quiet Things

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Goal Reached!  Now What?

Maintain.  Sustain.  Don’t gain.

Being healthy makes me happy.  Feeling light and unencumbered is something I haven’t felt since long before I started growing my family.  Twenty pounds lost and I’m moving through the world differently.  My list of things to do is ever growing, but my reserves of energy are never ending!  Instead of feeling heavy and overloaded with burden I feel joyful and poised to prevail!  It’s amazing what you can convince your mind and body to feel when you have the motivation.

Sometimes when I watch my family doing the quiet things they love, it’s in those moments that I remember why I made this promise to rise into my best self.  The journey needed to begin with shedding toxins from my body and that will be an ongoing process.  But, it is going to be those glimpses of my beautiful daughters sleeping or my husband out enjoying his garden that will remind me of why I continue to do the work that may not be as noticeable to the masses as the reformation of my outer shell.  Now that I am learning a more healthy way to feed my body, I have to keep finding better ways to nourish my soul.

myhappypromise

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