Monthly Archives: February 2011

Communicating in pattern and rhythm

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Every morning, I draw a card from a deck of 44 Native American medicine cards. It always starts my day reflecting on my connection to living creatures and the earth, and each card has a corresponding meaning, which is described in the book that goes along with the cards. In almost all cases, the card that I draw seems consistent with something that I am working on at the time.

Today, I drew the Dolphin animal card. One of the ways in which the Dolphin would bring medicine to the Native people, and how it brings that medicine to me, is in the nature of its communication. Dolphins are known to be highly intelligent, and communicate in very specific ways. The Dolphin knows and uses communication in pattern and rhythm as a way to get its message heard.

I thought about that description after I read it. And, besides the fact that Dolphin vocalizations are distinct, humans also communicate in pattern and rhythm. How we send our messages to those around us makes all the difference in how connected that we feel to others, and how clearly we feel understood. When I am intentional, and present for the words that am using, then I feel like I am in tune with the pattern and rhythm of the messages that I am sending to others. When I react, grow harsh, or hurry myself in my responses, I am out of synch with effectively communicating, with no real pattern to my message. More than likely, when I react in that way, my communication not easily understood.

I want to learn to communicate more effectively, and find myself working harder on that each day to be clear, direct, and truthful in what I say to others. There is always the temptation to say, “It’s fine”, or lie about something that I should be transparent about. When I lie, I feel a part of myself crumble, I feel out of synch with my world and with those that I care about. I lose my rhythm.

So, in the spirit of my Dolphin medicine, I am working more diligently at being ever present, ever intending in what I say, believe and do. And, as a result, I feel connected to the very patterns and rhythms of the world in which I live.

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Confessing the dark truth.

Truth is so much a part of the work that I am doing with the Handel Group. Being honest with myself in my heart and mind, and then coming clean about it. Now, I feel pretty confident and comfortable coming clean about most of my truths, the ones that even though they might be uncomfortable to admit, they are a bit more pallatable than others. At least, that is what I assume about them.

When I was talking with my coach today, we talked about those darker truths; the ones that we acknowledge to ourselves, and yet, we keep them hidden from the outside world. In some cases, like with my alcoholism, that was denial helping me to keep from really looking at it. And, the longer that I didn’t look at it, the longer that I didn’t have to face it, or heaven forbid, have to tell someone. Convenient, hmm? Today, I feel so much freer in my sobriety, and knowing that when I tell my story, it allows me a bit more freedom to truly be myself, and to trust myself and my Higher Power that I will, indeed, always be cared for.

Yet, there are more darknesses that lurk inside of me. Ones that I write down and admit at times, and feel a bit yuckier about being open with. The ones that are related to my character traits that I am working hard to take down, my Secret Judger, my Snotty Know it All, my Glossy Liar.

So, this post is an exercise in freeing myself from some of those very things that keep me captive, and keep me from being honest about who I truly am. I am saying these things to let you know that I am human; I am flawed; and I want to be free of how they have held my soul captive. They are not said to self depricate, or to batter myself in public. Merely to let you know, if this applies to you, too, that you are not alone. And, to admit it freely feels amazing.

I judge other people. One group of people that I persistently judge are those that have plastic surgery to improve their looks.

I want to look good and don’t like people to think I have fucked up.

I don’t like not knowing the answer to something, so I act like I know it all even when I don’t.

I lied about how much I worried about my drinking for years.

I made it a regular occurrence to drink and drive, even with my kid and partner in the car.

I can be really bitchy, nagging and bossy to the people that I love the most.

PHEW! Okay, that is enough for today. And, I feel lighter. More flowing and real. Able to move forward with my integrity built up just that much more.

I don’t want to be a fraud anymore, I don’t want to be a martyr anymore, I don’t want to be a liar anymore.

I want to be free.

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My Control Freak, and being DONE!

I am working diligently at taking down my character traits, those aspect of self that I have held onto for most of my life. Many of them are not pleasant, however, have been effective, or so I thought, in meeting some of my needs. So, all of my life, I have held onto them and use them over and over. Believe me, I have done some serious damage to my closest relationships with these babies.

When I began on this journey of Life coaching, through the Handel Group, I really started working hard at facing up to and taking down my traits. They don’t go down easily. They are sneaky and ugly and don’t want to be found out. However, I am bound and determined to take them down. The one that is close to be taken down completely is my Control Freak. This has wreaked havoc in my closest relationships, and under its influence I transform myself into a nagging bitch. Of course, the story that I have told myself my entire life of this, is that I only have the other person’s best interest in mind, when I tell them what to do and control all aspects of daily living. I mean, EVERYTHING. From chores, to money, to pets and laundry and parenting. What a big responsibility!

Of course, no one deemed me with all of these duties but myself. Yet, I managed to exert this control AND at the same time, blame all the people around me for not pitching in and saving me from myself. Silly, right? I have learned to laugh at the ridiculousness (?) of this type of stuff, so that I can see the humanness in it all, and get motivated to change it without calling myself names.

So, I started putting promises in place months ago to take it down; I kept them pretty consistently, and served consequences when I broke them. Recently, in an attempt to take down my Control Freak once and for all, I started writing down every time that I would use it during the day. That was hard, because the closer I got to taking this down, the sneakier it got. So, I found it out in the most common situations and with the most frequent persons in my life. And, today, for the most part, it is gone. It still manages its way in here and there, and I am learning about my triggers with it, yet it is much better than it was.

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The key for me is deciding what I want to replace this with; I don’t want to know myself, or have others describing me as a Control Freak. What I want instead is to be Full of Faith; to trust that others, and my Higher Power, can take care of those things that I have no control over. That I don’t have to do everything, nor do I want to do everything. What a relief, to only be in charge of me. The way life is meant to be.

I am getting done, and loving it.

The smiling passerby.

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Yesterday I was driving home from work. It had snowed heavily overnight, and we had several inches of fresh snow on the ground, yet the highway was dry and clear for travelling. As I drive home, doing the speed limit on the Interstate, it is not unusual for several cars to pass me by. As one large vehicle was passing me, I looked to my left, and a woman in the passenger seat was looking at me, and smiled. Not just a flash of a smile, but a beautiful, open, sincere smile. Full of compassion and good will.

It was absolutely incredible.

I thought about it all the rest of the way home. It stayed with me because it seems so infrequent that such interactions occur with human beings anymore in my world. So many persons are rushing around, trying to get from here to there. It seems that there isn’t much time for intentional smiles to one another anymore. And, the smile was just so warm, no strain, no lack of authenticity. Pure warmth.

At first, my interpretation of that brief, yet powerful exchange, was that we just happened to be looking in one another’s direction at the same time, both smiling and sharing a moment. Then, I thought about it some more last night. I truly believe that her warm, open smile was a direct response to mine.

What I realize more and more each day is how much I am learning to truly love myself. The deeper and more profound that love grows, the more open and bright I am toward my world. I believe that is what occurred on my way home yesterday. As I drove my way home, just enjoying my ride, my music, and the blueness of the sky against fresh, white snow, I felt filled with bliss and hope. I passed that message on, right out through the bright grin on my face. And, that is what that amazing human responded to.

Can’t you see the amazing power in that? When I say that I intend to change the world, I truly mean it. And, what I learned yesterday, is that I can begin to change my world, one person at a time, simply by loving myself, and letting the world know it.

Smile.

Finding my mission.

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As I wake up each day, and go forward with intention and purpose into my life, I understand more clearly what my mission is here on this earth, in this lifetime that I have. Although I am open to any information that the Universe sends to me, more than ever before, I also have some initial ideas of what I am here to do. To the timid, the list of tasks and dreams could seem quite daunting. However, I am unmoved from knowing that it is essential to live the happiest life that I can, and to be able to have full love, compassion and understanding with those around me.

One of my missions here is that of teacher. I walk this line in a very deliberate way, because in the past, I have assumed that my role as teacher, meant role as expert, as all knowing and the authority on what I thought that I knew. As the teacher, I have much to learn still, and in the last year, have had to give up much arrogance and self importance, and instead, realize that I have to be a willing learner and listener, in order to be the best teacher that I can.

Another mission along those lines is messenger. Through my coaching that I am doing with the Handel Group, I understand the need to pass along to others a message of hope, a message of encouragement that will faith in oneself, and knowledge of the heart, that dreams are possible and can be made real. Being a messenger feels like a much bigger task than even a teacher, because I am not just passing on what I have learned from others. I am bringing information to others that I believe and know to be true, because I have lived it or recognized it in myself. There is a subtle, yet powerful difference in that.

Another mission is that of storyteller. I have learned much in the last year, and one of the things that I have learned is that I assume that I know what my story is. In fact, I have never really asked the questions that I need to so that I can accurately portray the story of me. I haven’t even bothered to ask the questions of myself in order to know. So, as a story teller, I explore and find out, and then I tell my story, and the stories of our family and history, so that no one forgets or is left behind. This mission keeps me keenly connected to my Native American roots as well, in that our tribe can only carry on if the stories continue to be told.

The last part of my mission that I have realized so far, and possibly the most important, is that of healer. I am so aware of how much healing I need to bring to the world, in a humble and loving way. More importantly, I have brought so much healing to myself in the last few months it is truly an amazement to me. I never realized how much I had been hurting, until I stopped and listened to how much I had been hurting. It really was that simple. So, today, through my bringing healing to myself, I am able to bring the healing to others, the gift of self knowledge so that each person can learn to heal themselves. I no longer need to have the satisfaction that a person is whole because I made them so; it is such a comfort to know that through trust in others, I am able to allow them to free themselves from pain.

I love this life, I love my evolution. And, I truly know how much I still have in front of me to really live out this mission of mine.