Bees and Wasps…

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bees and wasps

 

I am definitely not an expert when it comes to insects. I know very little, in fact, except for what I have observed and experienced since moving here 18 years ago. Georgia has a lot of bugs and I just see yellow and black and I know there is a stinger there somewhere! It is spring here in Georgia and George and I, my companion of the canine sort, have been getting out and walking around the neighborhood. In doing so we have seen our fair share of bees and wasps or wasps and bees. Whichever. You know, things with stingers! Everything is blooming and it is beautiful but that means bees, wasps and other biting insects are buzzing around. So far we have experienced no stings, despite George’s nosy behavior, (must smell, all things, everywhere) but I am keeping my eyes open none the less. My husband has had the painful and unfortunate experience of being stung, a few years in a row now, by a yellow jacket, a kind of a vicious wasp like creature that lives in the dirt here. So I am diligent to keep my eyes on the ground when we take our walks. The bites he received caused his leg to swell up twice it’s size and it was very painful. ūüė¶

For a good part of my life I have been a bit of a trusting person and a fairly open book to those that get to know me well. I have tended to believe that people wouldn’t cross certain lines or do certain things because I wouldn’t. That has been painful at times. And it is child like “magical thinking”. Like a dear friend says, “we see people how we are.” It is a fairly egocentric way to look at people and we are all egocentric to some degree. We believe people believe like us, think like us, react like us and so on. We tend to develop an attachment to these ideas or expectations. That being said I have been caught off guard by the behavior of many people at times for that very reason. Shocked really. When that happens I never really see it coming, and some things that have occurred still really puzzle me to this day. I guess my intuition was on the fritz or something and I just didn’t expect it¬† because I thought I had a firm understanding of who that person was. Maybe it was more about who I wanted them to be. None the less, that is a mistake I have made consistently and I’d really like to prevent it in the future. Walking makes a person think and ponder things and I wondered why people sometimes “sting you” when you least expect it and this week bees and wasps came to mind.

Bees are funny little creatures.¬† They are really methodical, organized and all about family. They just want to do their jobs and go home. They don’t have much of a social life outside of the hive and they thrive on togetherness with loved ones. They just want to build and maintain their hive, take care of the kids and make their honey. They really are not very conscious of others that are not bees and often see those that are different than them as a bit of threat. And quite honestly, sometimes, others are a bit of a threat to them. History has proven this to the bee and that is all he really has to go on, being a bee and all. It seems others like his honey and do try to take it at great expense to him and the hive. This kind of pisses the little bee off, quite frankly. It can cause the bee to become a little hypersensitive at times and very reactive to anyone that crosses his path or especially gets near the hive. People and animals often get stung, erroneously, because of the flawed perception of the bee, when they accidentally cross his path. But can you blame the bee, really? He doesn’t have the capacity to make observations or ask questions, he just sees a possible threat. All he has is his experience to go by and a deep desire to protect those whom he loves. The little bee will die to protect his loved ones and the hive and once he stings someone it will mean certain death for him. The bee has no regard for his own life. He is about his family. He is about the hive. You truly have to respect bees. They have very important jobs and without them we would be in serious trouble. Their shrinking population is having terrible consequences for our agriculture. Their presence is very crucial and we really, really need them. Bees don’t have the ability or the luxury to be objective as they are not conscious beings. They will sting when they perceive a threat, period, right or wrong, and always in the interest of protecting what is dear to them. Most people that “sting” are like the bee. They have lost objectivity, unable to see the whole picture and are just trying to protect what they perceive is being threatened. When you get stung by this type of person try to understand his or her perspective and understand that it is likely very limited because of painful, past experiences and history. This kind of individual is not “bad”. They are just very unaware. You might do the same thing in his or her shoes and most likely have at one point or another. We are all bees sometimes. But, do be wise and protect yourself.

Wasps are different in my opinion and very likely in the opinion of those who have had the unfortunate experience of accidentally crossing them. I truly don’t understand the reason for wasps if I am honest. I quite dislike them. I have been known to use some very unsavory vocabulary regarding them. Let’s get something straight. Wasps are not nice! Wasps do not sacrifice themselves when they sting you, for them it isn’t about that! If they can manage it they do not bite you just once. They keep coming! Wasps seem to enjoy hurting people and animals and bite over and over until you can get away from them. (again, I am not a insect expert, just drawing a comparison). Wasps are self serving, vicious, calculating and vindictive! (In my opinion) If you have ever experienced being stung by one you know how relentless they can be. The aftermath is extremely painful and it can take a while to heal after being attacked by a wasp! It is the gift that keeps on giving! While I think most people can be bees, from time to time, I do believe there are a small minority that fit into the wasp category. If you have ever met one, and experienced their wrath, you will understand what I mean. If you are under the impression they don’t exist or are really just misunderstood then I can guarantee you will experience one, one day. Sorry, I used to think that way too and that kind of thinking tends to draw them to you. Bees just want to be left alone. Wasps clearly want a fight and they look for the most vulnerable, trusting and unsuspecting person or animal to attack. I guess by now you know I am not really writing about insects.

It is not really my job, nor should it be, to label who is a bee and who is wasp and honestly they can be difficult to tell apart. If I can help it, I won’t be getting that close. I will leave that to my Creator. He is the Judge. What I do need to do is be wise either way. Both sting but I need to stop assuming I understand a person, one way or another, and just be aware, awake and vigilant. Just like long sleeves, a hat and a nice pair of thick Levis make one less vulnerable to being stung, appropriate boundaries in my own life are probably the best way to protect myself and those whom I care about from stings. Aggressive behavior on my part, stinging back, will stir up and anger both the bee and the wasp, so the important thing is to give them their space and carefully observe them from a good distance. There might also be a time to be defensive and take action but only if necessary. In time maybe I will figure out which is which but safety comes first. The important thing is to not put myself or others in a position to be injured. That is wisdom and love in tandem and I am hopeful the next time I happen upon something with a stinger I will see it before it sees me.

Cheers!

April

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Resistance

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re·sist·ance
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  1. the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. 2. the ability not to be affected by something, especially adversely.

    In the natural world there seems to be a sort of an order. The wind blows and the rain falls. Water freezes when it is cold and melts when it is warmer. The tides come in and they go out once again. We can work with that order or we can resist it. We have a choice. We can fight, struggle, strain and wrestle with something or we can simply, calmly move with the flow, drop our hostility and resentment and simply trust in Someone bigger than ourselves.¬†He is the author of that order. I¬†remember when I was in labor with my daughter understanding this about half way through that experience. I had a difficult time with my first birth, that of my oldest, my son, and that labor ended up in a c-section after 24 hours. Thankfully, we were both OK. At least physically. Although, I wasn’t left with just a c-section scar. I had another, on the inside, in my mind, that continued to haunt me. My c-section was very traumatic and I had painful complications after his birth. I had a difficult recovery and a bout with fairly severe postpartum depression. With my 2nd pregnancy, my oldest daughter’s, I was determined to have her naturally. I really didn’t want to go through that again but as my labor with my daughter ensued I began the same familiar battle with my body. I felt a tremendous amount of fear overtake me. I fought and struggled with every painful contraction. It was soon apparent that I was getting no where and the doctor was once again hinting at the possibility of another c-section. He said he would let me labor throughout the night and evaluate where I was in the morning. If I had not progressed when he came to see me in the morning he would then do another c-section. At some point in the early morning hours, with my husband sound asleep in the corner of the room, I had a realization. I realized that I needed to cooperate with the pain, stop fighting it and let it wash over me. Just let it flow. I needed to experience it even though I was frightened. I needed to just let go. As a first responder, working in emergency rooms for years, this kind of thinking was very contrary to the way my mind had been programmed to operate. I was used to surpressing my emotions, being quiet and strong, and remaining in control but something deep inside of me was telling me to do something entirely different. Strength, I would find out, isn’t always about resisting pain. Sometimes it is working with it, moving with it, through it and finding out where it leads. Pain, properly honed, can give birth to progress and growth. It doesn’t have to swallow one whole as I feared and understood properly it isn’t for naught. It can lead somewhere wonderful. So I stopped fighting and struggling and when the doctor checked me in the morning my baby girl was on her way. I gave birth quickly at that point. My doctor struggled to get ready in time, because whether he was ready or not, she was on her way! It was a peaceful rainy morning when she made her appearance and I was at peace as well. Not only had my daughter been born healthy and whole, something inside me had healed.

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So, this last weekend we traveled to see my youngest son. He is in a facility where they work with young boys with severe behavioral issues. I have talked about this before but I will refresh your memory just in case you forgot or maybe this is the first time you have read my blog. My son is adopted from the foster care system and he has what is called reactive attachment disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, and that manifests in all sorts of severe, constant, out of this world, often criminal behaviors. He was put in care because he became dangerous to other children and we honestly could no longer function living like that anymore, as a family. So if you didn’t know before, now you know. That, by the way, is the short, extremely sanitary version of what our family has endured. So use your imagination, or maybe don’t. I don’t know. But at least now you have a little context.

The Thursday before my husband and myself left to visit our son for the weekend, I started to cry. I cried and I cried and I cried. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t stop! I could hear the ego/flesh (you know, that little idiot that lives in your head who has a real smart mouth, bad attitude and sucky timing) chime in about how silly I was, how ridiculous I was and if I didn’t stop this, now, I might never stop! But, no matter how it badgered and insulted me, I just couldn’t stop. The flood gates were open and out it came and the ego gave up and shut up, thankfully. The anguish that I had been holding in, for months and months, was now pouring out at an alarming rate. Finally I decided to cooperate and just let myself feel it. And I did‚Ķ..and eventually, thankfully, it did stop.

So, we went to see my son two days later. He is living on a rural farm learning to work with animals. He builds and plants things and is focusing on his academics. (Not too much time to focus on schoolwork when you are plotting to take over the world, so he is quite behind, from years of such endeavors.) He looked healthy and he has gotten taller. We took him out to eat, spent time with him walking around town, bought him a watch he was wanting, something to share with the other boys and then took him to the movies. We had a pleasant day. I thought to myself this is a friendly, intelligent, talkative child that happens to have no remorse about his behaviors nor any empathy for anyone, but I have no bad feelings about that. It simply is this way, for now. This is where he needs to be and I do wish him the best in his life whether with us or not. I honestly quite like him and after all the trauma he put our family through that feeling really surprised me. I understand why he can’t live with us or function well in our family. I don’t know if that will ever be possible and it’s OK. I am not resisting or fighting or struggling. I am just trusting and surrendering to my Creator. I was frightened but I decided to cooperate with my pain rather than battle it. I allowed it to wash over me, worked with it and I am working through it.

And….. I am OK.

Something good is being born.

Cheers!

April

 

 

Reposting….Attachment vs. Love

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(Originally written in September of 2015 by April M. Novoa)

The Spiritual condition is central, in some way, shape or form, to all of the physical ailments and conditions we find ourselves suffering with. This is my firm belief after many years of trying desperately to address raging fires, mine and others, with little squirt guns full of herbs, supplements and nutrition and prior to that with drugs and surgery. Not that these things do not have merit, at times, but they are not central to true healing. So, I hope you will indulge me in these thoughts, understanding that I cannot look at this journey to health by merely observing the surface and accepting the outward conclusion that things “just happen”, when they don’t.

So moving on…..

This realization has been building over the past few years. I am beginning to understand this like never before:

To him Yeshua said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and keeps looking back is fit to serve in the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

All of my life I have had an unhealthy attachment to many things that I interpreted and believed to be an expression of love.

Unfortunately for me, attachment isn’t love. Attachment is just the opposite. The culture I was raised in and still live in perpetuates this misinformation and our egos readily accept it as truth. It makes sense to us. It makes sense to us because we are flawed. Attachment has resulted in untold suffering from the dawn of time. Truly, attachment is the root of all suffering.

The story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Issac has been looked at from many different angles over the ages. I dare say I think I have heard most of them. This story always puzzled me. The explanations puzzled me even more than the story. I think that is because I was looking at it from my own limited perspective and from the surface. I think that is because I was also trying to understand it from the limited perspective of others and through the culture I was raised in. Our perspective is very limited, no mater what your culture, race, creed or religion is. It is just a fact. Scientists have come to the conclusion that we only perceive a maximum of 4% of our universe and surroundings. 96% of it we are not able to perceive with our senses. We are truly limited in our understanding. This is just a fact. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that for now, “We only see in part.” How correct he was! We only see in part and most the time just what is on the surface and not at all the substance of what something truly is.

What is love? Do we understand what it really is? Again, I believe this to be another limited concept that we do not truly understand. Our ego, our flesh and society tell us one version but I am beginning to believe that version to be fairly warped.

Isaac was truly everything to Abraham and Sarah. To lose him was unthinkable and beyond painful. My husband and myself, years ago, suffered with infertility. We lost our first baby to miscarriage and another later on. I can attest to the desperation and depth of pain of losing a child and then wanting to hold on like hell when you finally have one. Let me throw this out to you and¬† please try very hard to put everything you understand about love out of your mind for a moment. Look at it as objectively as you possibly can. What if the day Abraham thought he was sacrificing Issac it wasn’t really Isaac he was sacrificing? What if what Abraham was sacrificing was “attachment” and not Isaac. That day “attachment” was slaughtered, not Issac. The Creator made sure of that because that was the point! When you let go of your attachment, what you were holding on like hell to, that love is given back to you, but this time it is pure. This time it really is love. What you had before you only thought to be love, but it wasn’t. You didn’t love it until you released it.

God is Spirit and to the carnal man spiritual things are confusing on the surface. I get that. I don’t believe to fully understand that story in the Scriptures, and most others, that it can be received with fleshly eyes. It is deeper than that and not what it seems on the surface at all. On the surface many stories in the scriptures are honestly preposterous and confounding. We can not swim on the surface and wade in shallow waters and ever hope to grasp the depth of understanding our Creator has for us. There is so much more if we dare to go deeper and only He can take us there. Your intellect is completely useless in this endeavor.

I was thinking about all the things I have had attachment to throughout my life:

People, relationships and friendships

Situations remaining the same or changing at my preference

Dreams and desires

The outcome of anything and everything i.e. my plans

Food

Income

Patriotism or allegiance to a government or country

Etc., etc.

I dare say that the attachment to these things, in other words, the expectations I placed on them, has resulted in a tremendous amount of pain for me and often others. I believe, now, that even though I thought I “loved” all of the above, and more, that the mere act of attaching my expectations to them was in it’s essence premeditated resentment and resulted in deep disillusionment and disappointment. Pain! My attachment, to everything, save my Creator, was the polar opposite of what love truly is.

So, what is love anyway? True love isn’t about “self”. It lets go when it needs to. It trusts. It hopes, but it doesn’t have an agenda, nor does it attach itself to an outcome. It doesn’t cling to what is not true. It doesn’t cling to anything but it’s Maker. It is freedom. It is truth, objective not subjective. It is secure and it is strong. True love is powerful but not coercive. It is kind but not foolish. It is resolute. It is not afraid or co-dependent. And most importantly it is not a “feeling”.

I believe after 46 years I am beginning to understand what love is and what it isn’t and what it is is not is attachment.

Letting it all go…..

Cheers,

April

p.s. let go of another 1/2 lb, yippee!! How is that for letting go of an attachment?! ūüôā

Comparison

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There are so many things that I know now that I wish I knew then.¬†Isn’t it always like that?¬†Could have, should have, would have?¬†I remember being a child and thinking about how little I knew the previous year, compared to where I found myself at that time. “Look at second grade April”, I would say to myself, “she didn’t’ even know how to multiply last year. Boy, she was stupid!” I would judge and compare the little girl then to the person I was at that time and I think I did that just about every year. It became very subconscious, these comparisons, and at some point I started to drag other people into this self-imposed, mental torture, comparing myself not only to my former self, but to others as well. It is so ego based and emotionally driven. Stepping back and observing these patterns is an interesting thing. I was in competition with the old me and everyone else and pretty much finding myself on the losing end every time. It is a sick game our minds play with us. Most everyone else does it too and are probably highly oblivious to their patterns. “Comparision is the thief of joy.” It truly is. I think this is no where more evident then on social media. What a sad state of affairs that can be!

At some point, probably like 40 years later, it occurred to me that most the time I was doing the best I knew to do at that time utilizing the limited information I had at that moment. At about the same time it also occurred to me that that is also the case with most others. People don’t normally set out to consciously make mistakes or victimize one another. Except for a small minority of sociopaths, narcissists and psychopaths, most people don’t intentionally hurt other people¬†or make bad decisions on purpose. People, by and large, erroneously, emotionally react to the circumstances that they find themselves in and subsequently hurt themselves and others in that process.¬†So judging, competing or calling out ourselves or others regarding mistakes and poor decisions made in the past is largely a waste of time and energy. If you would have known better, you would have done better, but you didn’t. I didn’t. We all do what we know, at the time, with the information and often highly subjective perception we have at that time. Our perceptions are largely shaped by our understanding. Our understanding is limited and often stunted by our emotions. Emotion is pretty much all we have until we become more conscious and consciousness, for most of us, is a long process depending on how much trauma and stress we have suffered and how we have reacted to it. When you start to see things in that light, and it is a light, you begin to understand that resenting yourself or others and the pain you or they have caused is really counterintuitive to growth and maturity.

So many decisions I have made have been the wrong ones and it’s tempting to succumb to a sea of regret. ¬†Looking back, however, there is much good that has come from the disasters I have lived through, often at my own hands. There are things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise and I honestly wouldn’t be the person I am today without having faced those trials that were largely the product of poor decisions. I honestly like the person I am today. I think she needs to grow more and shed a few bad habits but all in all I like her and the person she has become¬†and is becoming.¬†I am learning to love the person she was before as well. I really feel for that person because she embodied a lot of qualities that I know come from a very unconscous place. She was a very traumatized individual. The people that hurt her were also very traumatized individuals.

I often see this image in my mind when I ponder these thoughts. I see us all at an amusement park and we are in bumper cars. We don’t really know how to control the cars we are in. It is a strange and new experience for all of us! Some people are just trying to avoid being hit but they keep getting hit anyway and running into others no matter how they try to maneuver their vehicle away from everyone else. Some people think they will come out on top by gunning for others so they hit first but in the process their car gets pummeled. Everyone one is pretty much running into everyone else and there seems no end to it.

In life it is unavoidable that we are all going to run into one another, no matter what our intent might be, because we simply don’t know how to handle the vehicle we find ourselves in. No one is born with all the answers and honestly we need to be working on finding them for ourselves rather than spending time pointing out that others don’t seem to have them! Depending on how many “hits” we have sustained our internal guidance system often malfunctions or stops working altogether. When this happens we either run from conflict and appease others for our safety or we set out on the attack hitting before we are hit. When the guidance system stops working all together, that is dangerous. These individuals do really intend to hurt others, but for most of us, thankfully, our guidance system is merely malfunctioning.

Give yourself a break, you did the best you knew at the time and if you would have known better, you would have done better. So stop judging yesterday’s you! Give others the same break. They did the best they knew to do at the time and if they would have known better most of them would have done better. This doesn’t mean that the minority isn’t still out there, the ones that really are intending to inflict pain. Watch out for them and have appropriate boundaries where they are concerned. But don’t resent them. We become what we hate and if that is the case you really don’t want that guidance system to stop working altogether!

Cheers!

Know Thyself…..

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I haven’t been here in a long while. “It” has been inside my head but I couldn’t get “it” out! Something has been blocking “it”. Painting and pouring it out on canvas helped but was definitely not as satisfactory as writing. It happens once in a while when I get tired or I am occupying myself with things that just don’t fit properly in my life. It’s like the “flow” just gets clogged up and I can’t access “it” until I figure out what I am doing that is violating my soul. I don’t know if that will make sense to many but I guess at this point a little update is in order. So here it goes‚Ķ.

So last we spoke I mentioned I was still muddling through grief and healing from the last decade or so of a very stressful situation in my life that pretty much had me living in a state of fight or flight continually. Although still healing, I am doing better now. ¬†Just to recap, this has taken quite a toll on me, mentally and physically. Not just me, but my family as well. We were trying to raise an adopted child with a complex disorder known as Reactive Attachment Disorder and a host of other initials I won’t bore you with. If you have never heard of it before that doesn’t surprise me much. People tend to think “adoption, then happily every after!”. Unfortunately, many times, that is not the case. No one prepares you for it and no one likes to deal with the reality and eventuality that this disorder can lead to but it is very real and very painful for all in involved. As a very idealistic person it took a very long time for me to face the truth of our situation. Sometimes a person is just too broken and the damage too great. I wouldn’t have believed that 10 years ago but I know it to be true now. Someday he might heal and be an asset to society but right now he is a danger to many that encounter him. So¬†after much effort, prayer, tears¬†and a gamet of different approaches (you just wouldn’t believe how many) it was decided that he needed more help than we could give him and he is now living in a residential treatment facility out of state where he can no longer hurt the people in our household and in our community. This was probably the hardest decision we have ever made but it has been one of the best for all concerned. That was November 1st, 2015.

So, in December the job hunt began in an attempt to help pay for his care. I landed a job at a Chiropractor’s office. Having a background in Alternative Medicine (Neuromuscular Therapist, Doula, Herbalist etc.) I thought it would be a good fit but it turned out it was not. This coming Tuesday will be my last day. I have enjoyed getting to know the doctors and the patients. I feel like I had to be there to learn about myself and others and I did. I had to learn who I am and who I am not. Where I fit and where I do not. And how that is OK. Like my husband said I am just not made to work for others or at least in an administrative/sales position. It is very stifling to my creativity and doesn’t reveal or stimulate the best version of who I am. Even the best “jobs” can be a soul killer if you don’t fit there. I have been self employed most of my adult life and I am a creative person and what might be fine for many is not a fit for me. Working late and not being around to be with my family, particularly my youngest who has ADD and needs a great deal of help with homework was also a big problem. So the plan now is to reinstate my license to do massage therapy, see a small handful of clients from home and homeschool our youngest child who is a sweet, kinesthetic learner that doesn’t fit in public school. Just like me, she needs to be in an environment that brings out the best she can be, rather than power through something that just doesn’t fit. I would also like to work on a writing project I have started about Feminism, the good, the bad and the ugly. Big topic!

My husband and myself just returned from Spain a few weeks ago. It was a belated anniversary/roots trip for both of us and something we have needed to do for many, many years but could not because of our situation at home. We both have Sephardic roots in Spain and Portugal. We had a wonderful time in Spain and it gave me a lot of time to think and soul search. It is a wonderful thing to step outside of one’s life and take an objective look at who you are, your life and how things are fitting or sometimes, not fitting. Yeshua (Jesus) said, “Know Thyself‚Ķ..(see below)”. I really feel like that is a big part of what this journey is about. ¬†Recently I took the Meyers and Briggs personality test. I am an INFJ, which explains a lot of my self imposed misery from time to time, but it also explains the depth to which I feel things and the isolation I struggle with at times because I feel so different. It also explains how I can appear to be an extrovert because of my passion for the things I care deeply about but can become drained easily because I am really an introvert fueled by quiet time to recharge my mind. It explains why violating core principles I hold dear is a soul sucking experience for me and I cannot tolerate it for long. It explains why I like my circle small and intimate rather than big and shallow. It explains why I would probably be the most loyal friend you’ll ever have. I care deeply for people close to me. I read people extremely well and sometimes I wish I didn’t although I am fairly long suffering. I don’t wan’t to believe what I see. I see between the lines and I am trying to learn how to *see* without placing a judgement on that but maintain a boundary at the same time. This is an honest struggle and quite a juggling act for me but my awareness is growing in this area. When people hurt, I feel it, and I sometimes have to escape to keep from drowning in their hurt. This is me. I love it and don’t love it all at the same time, but it’s me. I fit some places and I don’t fit other places and that is finally OK with me. At my age I am not looking to be anywhere I don’t belong. I wish that I hadn’t wasted so many years trying to tailor my life to others and societies expectations but the struggle I endured in those situations resulted in learning so better late than never I guess. Know thyself..that is wealth.

Gospel of Thomas:

(3) Jesus (Yeshua) said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.

Hot Coffee

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This morning it is 26 degrees where I live. That is pretty cold for our neck of the woods. The coffee is more for warmth than drinking this morning. I think I am absorbing the heat out of it as my hands grip the hot cup because it is cooling pretty quickly. I really prefer cooler weather because I sleep better but it is the waking up that can be tough when I am sleeping this well. My dreams have been vivid lately and the kind that I should be writing down. They are so entertaining that I want to keep sleeping to learn what the end will be but I always seem to wake before they are done. Man! ‚ėļ

I meet the most interesting people while I am out and about and pretty randomly. I ran into one of my Trader Joe’s buddies yesterday. I drive way far away to do our grocery shopping because we try to eat clean and TJ’s has amazing prices on a majority of the things we buy. (This is not a paid endorsement) Anything I can’t get there I pick up at Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods (joke is getting old I know, but it is true $$$), and then head home. Anyway, Trader Joe’s hires some of the coolest people I have ever met. I have a few friends there but this gal is on a similar journey and we talked about not reacting to other people’s drama, remaining calm and objective and many other cool things we are learning. She tends to absorb and feel the struggles of others like I do and also has the same knee jerk reaction of trying to fix things. Learning to manage and control that urge to right other people’s world that is not something people who don’t struggle with that understand very well. It is a meeting of kindred spirits I guess and a cool experience when it happens. It is nice to feel a little less alone. The problem with trying to fix things for others is that it robs them the opportunity to “see” themselves and it sucks the life out of the person trying to be the “hero”. We both have experienced that and are learning to observe and walk away when need be. Bad habits die hard!

Diet on track. Exercise not. I am trying to figure out how to adapt it to my new schedule now that I am working outside the home and still not feeling 100%. I think this is the longest head cold ever! So trying to be patient with myself and not fall into self condemnation. I will get there. One foot in front of the other.

So enjoy this little tune and stay warm!

Cheers!

April

Some Days…

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It is funny how difficult it can be to get back into a routine after having time off. I recently had a 3 day weekend and it was so nice! I was supposed to have 4 days off but a co-worker needed me to cover her day for her so I went in yesterday.

Yesterday was set to be a 9 1/2 hour day but turned into a 10 hour day with no breaks. So I hit the ground running and today my body is feeling it. In addition to that, I am still getting over a cold and it seemed to be better but has returned some along with some Peri-menopausal unpleasantness. This is probably due to not eating as well as I should have in December. I am open book, so sorry if that offended anyone but if you know me you know better than to expect me to be anything but real with you. You will just have to put up with my kvetching for a bit if you don’t mind. Thanks. ‚ô•

This is real life and it is real, not pretend. The last few days have been a struggle emotionally. I know what I am feeling is not real in terms of anything externally wrong. I know this is all virus and rogue chemicals but the experience internally feels real and frankly it sucks. Not every day can be a ‘victorious one’. That was one of the things about mainstream Christianity that I had a real problem with. Or maybe fundamentalist Christianity. Or maybe just our culture in general. Probably all of the above. I don’t know. I remember a friend and former mentor telling me, “just fake it hon, the devil don’t know the difference!”. What a load of crap. Sorry, love that woman, all due respect, but that is a lie. That isn’t real. That isn’t the human experience. I still have to live in this body last I checked and it has some issues. Some days are just a struggle. As adults we forget to be honest about that and it is inferred that we shouldn’t be and I believe that is why our struggles tend to last as long as they do and are even more difficult to get over. I believe that is one of the reasons we get angry and depressed. It is the same in any language and kids are honest….unlike most adults, sadly.

So honesty it is. Feeling rough today. Hoping it will pass soon. I might cry in my eggs for a bit (I am a “Paleo eater” after all) but in the end I will pull it together,¬† get on with it and do what I have to do. That is the great thing about honesty. Once it is out, it’s out. I think she made it to kindergarten and had a better day, don’t you?

Back on track diet wise. Feeling crummy so no exercise today. I will get there. One foot in front of the other.

Cheers!

April

 

Her

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Little Girl Superhero

 

So I have stopped by today without a clue of what I am going to write. I usually wait for some inspiration but I have begun to wonder if the belief that I have to wait for some sort of “ah ha” moment to write something is an erroneous belief. So, I am just showing up. Cease talks a lot about “not planning” and that most creativity springs forth from not knowing or planning what one is going to say. Masters says the same. He also talks about being comfortable with fear and being cognizant of it rather than trying to deny it’s existance or resenting it. Somehow with the mere observation of “it”,¬†fear will begin to diminish and shrink. It doesn’t like to be “seen”. He will often say he doesn’t know what he is going to say, it just happens. Many other gifted speakers and writers say the same. So I have decided to bridge out from sitting, waiting and hoping ¬†for some sort of inspiration to hit me and just walk forward and do my thing, sink or swim. No plan.

I have been thinking a lot about why I haven’t finished a novel yet. I have started and stopped 3. It is not about not being capable because if one looks at the amount of blogging and journaling I have done over the years I could put together 10 novels. I was listening to a well known author talk about the impedes behind different sorts of author’s writings. Some writers can write all the time no matter life’s circumstances. Words come forth from their souls like water from a fountain and it is effortless for them. They have no belief that they couldn’t do otherwise. So, they just do it. Other writers have to experience the difficulties, trials and tribulations of life and that experience serves as their inspiration. They have to push through dense walls of misinformation accumulated from years of negative programming. These individuals struggled with self doubt, fear and a lack of confidence but at some point they got back in touch with what they once had and who they were as a child and overcame those obstacles. I am a member of the latter group. I am in that process of tearing down walls of misinformation and wrong thinking. I really believe we are all given gifts and purposes that we are fully aware of as a child but at some point, sadly, for most of us, those flames are doused and put out. Well meaning adults, family, friends, society, culture and even religion say and do things that attempt to extinguish any remaining embers because many of us have a poor ability to shut the world and it’s worthless noise out of our minds.¬†It has taken me well over 40 years to gain awareness that many of my thoughts and beliefs were never really mine to begin with. Nor did they proceed from the heavens, they came from the opposite to be frank. They were inserted there and because I was a fairly fearful and traumitized child open to suggestion the world gave me they invaded my being. I unconsciously consumed this misinformation like poison and it became part of me. Those lies are the me that is not me. They are useless and harmful programs that somehow made their way in my programming and I am seeing them now and purging them on a continual basis.

When I was a child one day I was a cowgirl riding the range in the wild, wild west. The next day I was a spy in a foreign country somewhere on a secret mission to save the world. The day after that I was trapeze artist, flying through the air, doing flips and soaring above heads of a stunned and delighted audience. Every day nothing was impossible and I could do anything. The world hadn’t told me anything different, yet. My mind could take me anywhere and everywhere I wanted to go. That changed for many, many years. The child went away. I thought, for a season, that she was gone for good and that felt like death. Thankfully, I am rediscovering her again. She looks a lot different on the outside but she is still in there on the inside demanding I wake up and hear her once again. She has a plan. She giggles and gleefully whispers it in my ear. “Come on” she nudges, “let’s do it!”

So, let the adventure begin!

Cheers!

April

 

 

 

 

Obligatory

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It’s rather cliche, the whole New Years resolution thing. Obligatory promises have a habit of ultimately being violated. Always and most of the time without fail, as it is the nature of our flesh/ego to self sabotage, history has shown we do. So, I don’t make them, resolutions, and I don’t give the 1st of January any real significance in my life. I don’t party or stay up until midnight or do anything else one might think of as a “proper bringing in of the New Year”. Not because I have anything against having a drink or two or foregoing sleep for a bit of fun. There is just too much from an historical aspect that gives me pause about giving any special credence to this day. I have to say, this year, I am grateful to have some time off from work, so I am not complaining. I need the rest. So, I don’t consider January 1st in and of itself a new beginning really. I don’t have any issue with others doing with it what they will, and there is no judgement towards anyone, but I consider each moment a potential new beginning, not just one day. So that being said, that is where I will start, here and now. I will leave the historical facts about the history of this celebration, as fascinating as I might find them, out of this blog and focus on the present. If you want to know more, just ask. I have found that most people don’t want to know these things and I find forcing information on unwilling recipients to be be rather coercive. So, I will respectfully leave it there.

The present is where I find myself and intend to stay.

Yesterday and tomorrow are mere figments of our imaginations. They don’t exist in the “now.” And “now” is all we have. Tomorrow has enough trouble of it’s own so leave it alone. Don’t look back from the plow, there is nothing for you there, as it is gone and passed way. This is the way I choose to shape my thinking and it brings me peace. I am the thinker, not the thinking.

I have spent the last 8 weeks recovering, in a good way, from the changes that have occurred in my life and in the lives of those closest to me. My mind made more steady progress than my flesh as from time to time I would have panic attacks, a racing of the heart and a feeling of my throat closing in, for no apparent reason. I was familiar with these sensations as years ago I suffered the same malady for about a period of a year after being in involved in a serious car accident. They defy logic, these episodes. There is no “present” reason for them. The body is processing past trauma and the mind has little control over it. Somehow the awareness of the chemical reaction taking place in my body has lessened the frequency of them, these attacks, over time, and made them a lot less frightening than they were 28 years ago after my accident. I expect them to slowly fade and stop occurring hopefully soon. “Seeing” or “Awareness” is half the battle in everything we face.

I immediately went to job hunting after getting back from dropping off my adopted son in the residential treatment home he now resides in. Four weeks passed and I finally landed a job. It felt like a year as I dumped resume after resume into the black hole of the internet. Finally success came in a string of offers and a choice had to be made and was. One thing I have come to learn from this process is that once someone has been self employed, as I have, it is very difficult to transition back into the corporate world. I like the people I work with but learning the job has been difficult and challenging as there was not much time taken to train me. I had to figure it out mostly on my own. Sink or swim. Things are done ways that I would not necessarily do them and I have to adapt to a philosophy that I don’t fully grasp. So I have had to make a lot of mistakes and errors and learn from them without condemning myself in the process. I work with the public and they are not always as gracious with my learning curve. I have become very aware that my tendency is to unconsciously aim for perfection and then berate myself up when the outcome is less than satisfactory. I had to examine that and understand the irrationality of such thinking. It is rooted in people pleasing (an old pattern of mine) which is ultimately rooted in putting people on pedestals’ where they don’t belong. To be blunt, people worshipping. Or at least their opinions. The fear of man is a snare. Indeed it is. Respect is merited but subjugation ridiculous. When I “saw” this things got easier. I won’t say that I don’t struggle with it still but I will say that I “see” it and like the physical panic attacks, I started having after dropping B off, this irrational thought pattern seems to be evaporating as well.

My¬†eating¬†hasn’t been ideal since November 1st, nor has my exercise. There is a time for everything and I needed to focus on mental and spiritual recovery in my being. That had to be the priority and some things needed to be left alone for a season. The strict standards I had given myself prior to November needed a respite while the healing began and continues. Meditation was about the only thing that I have been able to do, consistently, since then. I accept and embrace that.

So, now, yes now, I am ready to start disciplining my body once more. I will not condemn myself for having had some time off from that journey. I needed it. I needed to step away and deal with my wounds, heal from the trauma and stress of a very difficult situation and that is OK. I will trudge forward now because I am ready and I now want to, and not out of guilt or obligation. Not out of self condemnation or a desire to punish myself. I will take it slow, easy and lovingly. I have had a history of being harsh with myself and I honestly do not respond very well to that. I don’t think most people do, at least for very long. It very likely adds to my adrenal stress which is counterintuitive. This is not a New Year’s resolution, nor an obligation or even a promise, it is just a new day full of freedom and pregnant with potential new beginnings.

Cheers!

April