Tag Archives: commitment

How About A Hug? Part 3: Give your arms a Rest.

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When I decided that I would spend an evening hugging persons blindfolded, I had no idea what my level of energy and stamina would be. I had a hunch that I would feel completely invigorated physically, because of the excitement within me around the project. And, to some degree, I was correct in that.

However, there were periods of time that I was holding my arms up for awhile, and they would get tired. I would lower them for a few seconds, stretching them out, and then put them up again.

But, something really interesting happened along the way, and it happened a couple of times before I realized it. Even when my arms would get tired, as soon as a person would come up to me for a hug, and I would wrap my arms around them tightly, after they would walk away, my arms would not be tired anymore. If anything, they felt well rested and light.

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Now, some of that relief was bound to happen, because in one sense, I was putting my arms down, and resting them on another person. Yet, my muscles within my arms were tense and strong when I would hug the person, and the rest would literally only be for a few seconds. So, I feel sure that the energized feeling my arms would experience were directly related to the experience itself, my own opening of my heart.

At one point, I had a person come by, who told me as she hugged me that she had hugged me earlier, and came by for a second one. Then, she went on to tell me, that her purpose was to help me to relax.

She told me after giving me a second, beautiful hug, to give my arms a rest. Her voice was gentle, kind and compassionate. And, her words went right to my heart. Right to the core of me, and was yet another confirmation of why this project felt so fulfilling to me.

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To be offering a gift to the world around me, with little anticipation of what would happen, and little ability to see what would happen, was opening my heart plenty. But, to then receive from a person, in such a genuine way, was to understand that my offering was how I was to deeply receive.

My life is so full of magic, wonder and peace. And, that continues to expand every day. Yet, to be in that small chunk of time, and encounter so many miracles of humanity, has exponentially increased my awareness and deep appreciation for the humans in the world around me. Even when we are so bombarded with how messed up this world is, there is kindness and love at every turn.

What a miracle.

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Saying No.

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So, I have been contemplating a new job for the last few weeks. I was approached about an opening within our company, to do something pretty different than what I am doing now. It sounded exciting, intriguing, and like I could make a difference in this new position. It would be working in schools, helping young people to help themselves. I had been thinking recently of how much I enjoy spending time with my daughter and her friends, and it seemed like a logical transition.

I was called up for three separate interviews over the last three weeks. I felt like I had a great chance to be hired for it. I was thinking about the changes that would come, welcome changes for me. I had been feeling discouraged and not fulfilled by my current job. It seemed like just the right combination of factors for me to have a good, solid change in my life. A job that could see us through to the next phase of our lives in a couple of years.

Now, as you all may remember if you read me here on a regular basis, I am often advising and believing that we should say Yes in our lives whenever possible. My thinking in regard to this has often been that if we say no to many things in our lives, we disconnect from opportunities and ways to engage in life, to take a risk and even have some fun. Say Yes, I would say. And, that still holds true.

However, with this job, I thought about it a bit differently. At first, I was sure that this was an opportunity that was not to be missed. I felt flattered that I was so highly recommended; I felt encouraged that they had met with me three times, which led me to believe I was still in the running. Yet, something about it continued to nag at me a bit.

This new job meant travel, and while I love to travel for my job, this one had potential to be A LOT of travel, overnights frequently. And, that is where I had a flicker of doubt. You see, I have spent the last few years really building a LIFE for myself. With my daughter, I have been diligent about opening up communication and being available to her. Watching her grow and fly on her own. In love, I have said yes to all of it, and that means, meals together, early morning meditations, and everything in between. I love my life, right now, just as it is.

Yes, I have been feeling a bit discouraged and done with my current position. But, that isn’t about my workplace, or job duties, or hours. It is all about ME, and my attitude about my work. My aspirations for something different. My itchiness for the next, big thing. This job was to be an easy out.

SO, I said NO, firmly and honestly. I said no to this job, and yes to my family and my evening meals with my love. I said no to this job, and yes to my current job, my work friends, and an environment that I can count on and feel good about. I want to stay in the comfort and warmth of what I have now, and feels so good.

I said no to this job, and yes to the warm embrace and waiting arms of full, unbridled love. And that not only brings love into my life, but a deep sense of peace as well.

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Commitment, not Perfection.

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Over the last month or so, I have been more deeply and purposefully been focusing on my overall health and well being. I have used a variety of methods in which to do this, including reading books on holistic health; walking daily; and tuning into my signals of hunger and food cravings. In addition, I have been considering and making decisions about western vs. holistic medicine, veganism or not, and tracking my food and weighing myself vs. tuning in more.

The results are astounding. The results that I have experienced are weight loss, without really focusing on just that; good sleep; an overall feeling of health and wellness; and a deep sense of knowing what I can do to create and maintain overall health. Instead of believing that I need to use methods that are outside of myself to create an inner sense of balance and harmony, I am trusting myself more and more to take care of my needs.

In addition, I leave room for seeking outside assistance for those areas that I am unsure of, whether that is supplementing my food intake with vitamins, and if I were to have a health crisis or injury of some sort. I am committed to living healthy, tuned in to my body, mind and heart, and seeking help when it is called for. I feel a sense of freedom in making these decisions, as well as clarity and focus.

However, I am not perfect. There have been countless numbers of times in my life, when I have began on a journey of self exploration, or a new task or interest, and I focus on it like a laser beam. That in and of itself isn’t a bad thing; the down side is when I expect myself to be perfect in the maintaining of it all. Even though I know, in theory, that I am not perfect, I still strive to be perfect at times.

What occurs to me as I go forward in my new perspective of how I want to live my life, is that I can, and do, have a commitment to being a healthy person, a good mother, and an available partner. However, that commitment isn’t any less so, when I fall short of my own expectations. I want to succeed, sure, but what is the purpose behind my commitment?

When I ask myself that, I come back to basics. I don’t want to be a good mom, so that I can say that I was perfect in my mothering in all ways. I want to be a good mom to my daughter in order to give her a base from which to grow from, and to let her know she is free, and cared for, all at the same time. I want to take good care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual health, not to be perfect at it, but rather to live the most fulfilling, present life that I can live. I don’t want to be a great spouse to always get it right, but rather, because I want to openly offer love to my partner in all ways, and receive that in return.

I will get discouraged; I will find times in my life when I know I am doing my best, yet focus on where I have fallen short. Yet, I know in this moment, that all I can ever expect from myself, is to know the purpose of why I am doing what I do, and to do my best at it.

This is what it means to be human.

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Complacency, cravings and how to stay sober.

So, for the last few weeks, I have not been attending any AA meetings.  Now, I have stayed sober.  I haven’t even had the craving for a drink.  But, I had the notion, that I was doing fine without meetings; that I wasn’t having any trouble maintaining my sobriety; and I could do fine on my own.

 

That, my friends, is my story.  However, the end of last week changed my perspective quite a bit.

 

You see, I have been going through this transition, when I want to be able to just give up, or take up, things, activities and rituals that feel good to me, simply because they feel good, not because I NEED to do them.  God forbid, I keep a consistent schedule of doing something, because I have a need to do it to keep me balanced and healthy. 

 

So, I tried myself at not attending meetings.  I enjoyed the free evenings, or Saturday mornings when I would typically attend.  I enjoyed embracing my sobriety without hearing the stories of others, or telling my own.  And, I felt totally confident that there was nothing that could shake my commitment to staying clean and sober.

 

And then, Friday happened, that terrible day in Newtown, Connecticut.

 

No, I don’t know anyone that died that day, or whom even had connections to anyone that died.  But I felt sick inside; sick for a community torn apart; families losing loved ones.

 

And, the children.  The babies that were taken decades too soon.

 

After believing that my sobriety was well in hand, and that I had no worries when it came to cravings or triggers, I found one.  In that day, and the days that have followed, I have thought long and hard about how I would most likely respond if a person that I love, and especially, my child, were to have some serious, life threatening event occur.  

 

I would want to go right away and park my ass on a bar stool.  Or, by a nice sized bottle of anything alcoholic and go to it, to numb away the emotional pain of loss.  Of grief.  Of not wanting to deal with the reality of a bad situation.

 

Since then, I more deeply understand how delicate my sobriety is.  Not my commitment to it; that is rock solid.  But, in an instant, I can sacrifice it all, to deal with a situation that life may throw at me.  

 

So, I know that I need to stay humble.  I need to continue to be grateful to my Higher Power, my Source, my Great Spirit, for keeping me sober for today.

 

And, I need to keep going to meetings.  Yes, I need to.  Because my sober life, my happy, sober life, is too important for me to let go.

Learning to profoundly say yes, and, no.

This concept has recently come more acutely to my attention, by the President of the Handel Group,during one of our training calls. In order to live our dream lives, and feel inspired and happy in all of our life areas, we need to get really good at speaking our yeses and no’s profoundly.

That made so much sense to me, and I knew right away that it was something that I needed to get better at doing. For most of my life up to this point, I have not been very effective at saying no. Or, at saying yes for that matter. I have often said yes to things that I was too scared to say no; and avoid saying no to something by not following through. I have never felt particularly profound in the answers that I have given.

However, I am living my life much differently now. My time is precious to me, and I am honoring it in deep ways. Therefore, what I say yes, and no to, has to be thoughtful and deep as well. So, when I am planning my life, creating my promises, and going toward that which I most desire, I want it deeply. So, I say a profound, unwavering YES. Yes to my workouts and my dream body. YES to my deeper relationships with my family. YES to a relationship with money that I am proud of. And, what I am learning about more each day, is that with each profound YES that I speak, and live, I must say a profound NO to something else.

The types of things that I say NO to today, are things that are not the best ways to spend my time, like NO to excessive time on line; NO to avoiding calls with my family and friends; NO to not living within my budget; NO to ways that I spend my time. When I add something profound, deep and meaningful, I need to take away what is not directly related to my journey toward my dreams. I am getting more clear, solid and committed to what is most important and meaningful to me.

I am ready, I am focused, and committed to living my life in line with what I truly desire. I am saying YES, I am saying NO, with pride, confidence and love.