Monthly Archives: November 2013

Who I Am.

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I had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday, in all regards. I spent Thanksgiving Eve with new family and friends. I sent off my daughter to spend it with her other family. I prepared food and drink all day long with Brenda, and enjoyed the entire process. I met some amazing people, and laughed and enjoyed it all.

I was in the space of love for the entire holiday.

I have been thinking all week about who I am in the world, and as a result, what I see in the world. Even though I make my interactions with the world complicated at times, it really comes down to something quite simple. Whoever I am in the world, is what I will experience and get back.

So, if I am full of fear, I will encounter people that are scared, and scary. I will see in others attitudes that are frightening and that challenge my safety. If I am full of resentment, then I will see around me people that are resentful and blame others for the shortcomings in their lives. If I am full of shame and remorse, then I will see the world as being full of people who are remorseful, full of guilt and unable to forgive themselves.

What I see in others is not always the true story, however. What I mean by that, is that even though I may see people that are only afraid, or resentful or blaming, it doesn’t mean that is the truth. It is only part of the truth. I am not just a scared human being any more than you are only that. I have many facets of being that exist in the world, only parts being shown at any given time. Yet, the lens through which I look at the world, and through which I view myself at times, is what it is that I will most often take in.

When I look upon the world with eyes of love, it is amazing what miracles come my way. In those moments, I am open, I am free, I am able to see the beauty and unique qualities in everyone around me. At those times, it doesn’t matter if someone is quiet, or preoccupied or boisterous and loud. Each person has qualities all their own that make them special.

Who I am in the world is directly proportional to what I receive back. So, when I give love to the world, I get love back, even when in those moments when a part of me wants to believe that I live in a loveless world. I know that is a lie that I don’t have to believe.

What I choose to believe instead, is that I am love, and the world is love. When I choose this, my heart is full of joy and promise.

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Always Do Your Best.

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I continue to read, and to reread, The Four Agreements, and keep finding treasure in it. I find that the more that I read it, the more that I understand what I really believe about myself as a human being, and my ability to live a fulfilled life.

This week, I went to a routine doctor appointment, my yearly checkup. Before I got there, I knew that part of the process would mean getting on the scale. And, although I have been making great strides in how I view myself, my body, and my weight, I still hit a bump now and again. And, I was nervous to step on it, yet thought that I knew what it would read.

I was wrong. Although I felt confident in how my body felt to me, and what I thought I weighed, I did not expect to see 141.8 pounds on the scale. I felt disappointed in myself, and discouraged beyond belief. I had started two weeks before to be more consistent about exercise, doing my indoor walking routines several days a week, working up a sweat, and getting motivated with my coworkers. I had even been coming to an acceptance of what I see in the mirror, in a really deep way. Yet, the numbers on that scale seemed to put all of that into doubt, in a flash.

So, since that day, I have thought of various ways that I want to address it. Mind you, I don’t HAVE to do anything; but there is a part of me that wants to do SOMETHING. The fear for me that always comes back around in terms of my body image and weight, is that I will keep gaining and gaining, if I don’t monitor and pay attention. Even when I eat healthy and work out, I still managed to gain more weight than I am comfortable with.

So What? a part of me screams. SO WHAT? While another part of me is scared to keep gaining until who knows what happens! My mind can really go to town with this. What I understand today more than I have before in the past, is that I want to love what I see in the mirror, AND be fully tuned in to what I need to do to stay in a weight range and size that feels healthy and fit to me. I CAN do BOTH at the same time.

Where does the Four Agreements fit in? The fourth agreement is to always do your best. In any given moment, if I am doing the best that I can do, there will never be a need for regret, for resentment, or to criticize myself for my efforts. If I am always doing my best, it doesn’t matter if I gained 22 pounds in a year; it just matters that at any given time, I am present to my life and giving it all my best effort.

With this agreement, if I truly believe it, there is no room for telling myself that I messed up, that I am a failure and a loser. All it means is that my best effort will not always look the same, but as long as I am doing that which I am called to do, in the best and most present way possible, there is nothing wrong. All is well. Life is a gift.

Today, I feel strong and capable to be in a body that I cherish and am happy to have. I know that I have it within me to nourish and care for it in the most loving way possible. I know that I can and want to, stay connected to this life as fully as I am able.

I know, that I will always do my best, and that will be enough.

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Joining.

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Lately, I have been pretty focused on joining more with my family. Since I came back from the family wedding I was at three weeks ago, almost a month ago now, I have been feeling more compelled to be with, and spend big amounts of time with, my family and loved ones. I have made another trip to New England to be with my aunt, and started writing letters to those that I don’t get to see that often.

I started reminiscing about the weeks in the past that several of us would spend at the beach. We would travel by caravan to Oak Island, North Carolina, and for ten early summers, as many of us that could make it would come together there, and spend a week of drinking, eating, sunning, and spending time together. Sometimes there would be kids there; some years, only a handful of people total. Yet, it felt like a connection that we looked forward to all year long, and an ability to have a bigger dose of family time than just a couple of days here and there.

I decided that it could be fun, and inspiring, to try to get that organized again. To come together, all of us that had gone in the past, and anyone else that may be able to go now, and spend some time together. So I started thinking of ways to organize that, and get people interested. I felt like I was putting all of my hopes into that, to rekindle something that happened once and is now a beautiful memory.

There are obstacles. There is distance, money, time, and factors such as space, and who is compatible with whom in a house for a week’s time. There is the fact that some people may not be interested in going there again, and others, would be willing to go somewhere else, just not there. Yesterday, after being awakened to the fact that I assumed this could happen easily, without considering all the reasons that it might not be possible. Or, that it might be possible for less time, or fewer people.

I realized, after many tears and words, that it all comes down to fear. Yes, I want to spend time with my family, as much as possible. But part of my recollecting times of past is because I am afraid of getting older, of my family members aging, of people dying. Of never being together again as a family.

Yet, when I think about it, when I stay in the present moment, and really enjoy and embrace gratitude for what I have right now with each of my loved ones, I am rich beyond compare. I have all that I could want, even more than twenty of us in a house for a week. I feel completely blessed, and joined in a way that nothing that come between.

Joining with others is today for me, the knowing that I have what I need and want right in this moment, and that I can make this moment into anything that I want it to be. With any and all of those that I love.

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Change.

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There has been many changes that have happened in my life over the years. Changes in my family, immediate and extended; changes in my physical appearance and condition; changes in my job environment and in what I do; changes in where I am living. At the time that those changes were occurring, there was often excitement and anticipation; others there was that, and some nervousness. With some changes, there was even sadness, anger or resentment.

Change, without sounding too canned, is part of life. Things change. WE change, in every moment, believe it or not. The person that I am as I write this blog post is slightly different from who I was when I woke up this morning, and who I will be when I drive to work. It may be subtle changes in the course of a day, but over time, changes within ourselves, and in others, can be seen.

I have believed at times in my life that things didn’t need to change; that the situation as it was, was just fine. However, change is not always up to me. I see change as being two types. The first type of change is that which is mostly out of our control, the unexpected changes. Death and sickness I see as being the biggest of these examples. Although there are things we can do with our bodies and minds to keep them more healthy, sometimes illness occurs in spite of that, rather unexpectedly. Same with death; although we may know when it is we will die, often it is unexpected.

The second type of changes that I see are those that we are in control of to some degree. This includes starting a new job; entering a new relationship; moving to a new place. In the example of these changes, we make a conscious choice to have something different in our lives, and then decide whether to go toward it, or not to.

There is a subtle variation on this type of change, which I also believe is in our control. If we begin to feel unhappy, unfulfilled, or uncertain about part of our lives, we may believe that changes just “happen”. For example, I used to believe that people just fall out of love, that relationships just change. When I was in my relationships with some of my past partners, I thought that our familiarity, and assumption of routine over time, just “happened” to us. When I would go through brief bouts of feeling depressed and unhappy, I felt like it was just happening to me, and that there was nothing that I could do to avoid it.

I know better than that now. Part of that is my own growth, but most of that is because of a purposeful intention to think about change in a different way. Today, I understand and believe that change, most change in life, is in my power and control. My choice. If I want to feel sad, or I want to let my relationship become routine and no longer spontaneous and magical, I can do that. If I want more quality relationships with my family, I get to create that. Most occurrences in my life are in my control as to how they will turn out.

I get hung up sometimes, and forget that I can create the change. That it doesn’t just happen. However, when I do remember, which I always eventually do, I get to embrace change as transformation. And, transformation creates pure beauty in this world.

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