Monthly Archives: August 2013

Savor it All.

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Today is my birthday. Although I am usually very excited for my birthday, for days before it even comes, this year I didn’t feel that so much. I was happy that it was birthday time, but my regular level of excitement seemed to not be there.

At first, I thought it must be because I had a really busy week at work, being the only one in my unit, and doing many tasks on my own that I had not done before. However, that didn’t seem to really make sense to me either.

What I figured out it is, and it is a great reason, is that I am pretty excited for my life, every day, for years now. I have grown, learned, and continue to do so in every moment. Sometimes, the lessons come unwillingly to me, meaning, I don’t ask for them, and I even deny that I need to learn them. Other times, I seek out the knowledge and understanding for what it is I am working on in my life.

The bottom line for me is, I am abundant, each and every day, and I am quick to acknowledge it and appreciate it. I feel full and complete. I appreciate the people in my life, and look forward to connecting with new friends and faces. So, a birthday is a great day to celebrate, yet, I feel like most days, I am celebrating who I am, where I am going, and who is in my life. It is beautiful.

In the birthday card that my fiance gave me this morning, there is a quote that says it all for me:

“I asked for all things so that I might enjoy life; I was given life so that I might enjoy all things.” Unknown

I don’t need things, special days of the year, or events to create my life. I am creating it, moment by moment, savoring all of it, even the challenges and setbacks, and that means that every day feels like a gift, a celebration. I am blessed beyond words.

The biggest difference for today being a celebration, is cake. 🙂

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Waiting on the world to Change.

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I have been a bit obsessed with John Mayer for awhile now, but most recently it has intensified because I got to see him in concert last week, a surprise from my beloved. So, even though this post is not strictly about John Mayer, I used this particular song title to write my thoughts for today.

I have been spending the majority of my adulthood focusing on what other people around me need to do to change. Even though at first glance, I led myself to believe that their changing was what was in their own best interest, the bottom line was that it was my agenda. I wanted that person to change, to benefit me in some way. Those benefits were not always cut and dry; sometimes, I would want them to change to make it easier for me to not have to confront being unhappy in a relationship. Sometimes, I would want them to change so I could keep looking good in my own eyes. No matter what, the focus was often on the other person, and not myself.

Today, I tend to spend less time focusing on other people changing for my benefit. Yet, it still comes up, usually most often with those people that I demanded the change with most often in the past. And, the kicker is, if I still have an expectation for the other person to change, and they do things in the same old way, I immediately have a response to cut them to shreds.

My best, worst example came again this week, with my ex partner, who I know is my biggest opportunity to learn this lesson fully. We go through times of getting along poorly; then getting along well; and most recently, when it is somewhat neutral most of the time. I want us to have this happy, balanced friendship, that is based in not only coparenting our daughter that we share, but also as former partners who still love and respect one another.

When we hit a rough patch, and she responds to me in a mistrusting way, my first thought is to judge her, then want to change her, and to curse her for not “evolving”. It is a sick cycle that I am in with her much of the time. So, this week, she expressed mistrust in my actions, I immediately defended, in almost an obsessive way, and then, I told a story in my head of how I will not make any attempts to connect with her anymore.

Then, two days later, I asked her to have dinner with us.

My human mind and heart is complex at best, and frustrating as hell at its worst. In this moment today, I want to set my sights on two goals: to stop waiting on those persons in my world to change, because I DON’T know what is best for them; and, to stop JUDGING them and myself for not getting it exactly right all the time.

I know that I am evolving, as she is, as everyone is. I am changing in this moment as I write this, and I will continue to do so, as will she, our daughter, and everyone else who reads this and beyond. The trick for me, is to see the changes and keep using them to grow.

This is a neverending story.

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Photos courtesy of my IPhone; taken of John Mayer’s two most recent CD releases, Born and Raised, and Paradise Valley. vlw

We hate what we don’t understand.

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Yesterday, at my office, my office manager saw something on the floor in the office, and couldn’t figure out what it was. When I got up to investigate, I saw that it was a baby snake. I wasn’t sure how it got in the office, or why, but it was there. On the floor. And alive.

I don’t have any dislike of snakes; as a matter of fact, snakes are one of my totem creatures. But it startled me that it was in the office, just sitting there. I asked my manager to take care of it, and as he was trying to catch it to put it outside, me begging him not to kill it, he said, “I hate snakes”.

I ended up catching it and putting it in a cup, talking to it all the way while I took it outside and released it into the grass. My coworkers took pictures, and were fascinated by how that tiny creature came to be in our office, and as they googled what kind of snake that it was, they found out it was nonpoisonous, that it was one of the more social breeds of snake, and that it would show its underbelly if it felt threatened.

As I was relaying the story to Brenda last night, we talked about the fact that as humans, when we say we hate something, it is from a place of not understanding. I have always known that hate comes from fear, fear of losing what we have. However, her statement also made complete sense to me.

I don’t say that I hate something very often, yet if I really think about it, when I have felt that, it has definitely come from a place of not understanding something. I used to hate spiders, and snakes, and insects of any kind. When I became more in tune with the creatures around me, and have a deeper understanding of why they are around me, I had compassion and love for them.

Even in terms of humans, I know that it makes sense to me that when a person says that they hate someone, or a group of people, it is most likely from a place of fear for sure, but fear that is based in not knowing what that person is about. If we don’t take the time to understand that which we are not familiar with, we will most likely view that group, person, thing or circumstance as threatening.

So, without sounding too saccharin, it seems that one way to resolve the hate that exists in our worlds, is to make a point to gain more understanding about those around us. Not to just love instead of hate, but rather, to understand rather than hate.

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The message from the Universe.

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I really believe in messages from the Universe. So, when I feel connected to living creatures around me as I take a walk around the lake, that is a message to me, of what I am here to do. When I am delayed in getting somewhere, I believe that is a message of why I was not supposed to be there earlier. When I don’t get what I think that I want, I believe that even when I don’t admit it, there is a message and bigger purpose in that for me.

However, I do get the message wrong at times, about what the Universe has in store for me or what it is that I am called to do. One of my most recent messages has to do with my interactions with a previous partner of mine. I have been working on building a relationship with her, one that I believe can take us into the future in a new and more balanced way. To me, the message that I was receiving, the one that seemed to be my bigger purpose in building that, was to be nonjudgmental, and patient with her as she figures out whether she wants to connect with me or not. In other words, I thought the message was for me to be a doormat, and to stay swirling in guilt about having left the relationship. For me to keep making amends.

The true message does include being nonjudgmental. However, when I really tuned in to what the true message is, it is more about how I view myself than how I view her. The true message is that I get to take responsibility for my own actions, and THAT’S IT. I don’t have to own her stuff; I don’t have to judge it or put a value on it either. In addition to that, I get to remember and acknowledge my own innocence, meaning, my own, pure perfect self. After all, we are all unique representations of perfection, flaws and all.

I am not here to defend my position or to guard myself from someone else and where they are at. My work here is to be truthful; to be myself and to love myself; and to let go of that which is not mine. When I am willing to examine my life from a broader perspective, I see that it really has little to do with the other person.

We are always receiving messages from the Universe, our Higher Power, God, whatever you may call it. The key is to be clear on what that message really is.

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Just a memory.

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At times, I have a very poor memory. A week after I see a movie, I may not remember the details that others who saw it with me remember. I don’t recall past fun events that I have shared with others in conversation. I don’t remember when I have had certain conversations with someone; for example, I asked my fiance the same question within minutes, not remembering that I had already asked her.

For many people, that type of an interaction may seem normal, especially when I am only days away from turning 51 years old. Our systems age as our bodies age, and there are times when we may not remember as clearly as we have in the past. There are some times when this happens and I feel light hearted about it; not concerned about anything. Then, other times, I feel scared and vulnerable. I wonder if I am in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. I wonder if I will not remember people and things around me. I am full of fear.

Brenda posed a question to me to consider, what are memories for anyway? A way to recollect that which we have done in the past? A way to still connect with those around us? What purpose does it really serve?

If I think about it from that perspective, I come up with many things that help me to give it less importance. First, the supposed memories that I hold may not be real; even though they feel real to me, the brain can be flawed in the accuracy of what it recalls, especially if we are talking about something from in the far away past. Secondly, whether or not I can remember a detail of a past event or not, does not indicate how important that event was to me. Just like a trinket from an activity that I have enjoyed isn’t required to be able to recollect my fondness for it.

The biggest realization that I keep trying to remind myself, is that I am living more and more in the present moment. I am right there when we walk the lake, go to a concert or spend time with my family. I am not anywhere else for most of the time when I am there. So, if I can’t remember it later on, who cares? I have enjoyed it immensely, and am getting about the business of enjoying another aspect of my life next.

A memory is just that, a memory. Whether I easily recollect it or not, it is in my past, and today, I get to live in the now instead. And let the future unfold for itself.

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