Tag Archives: fear

Keep Letting Go.

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My young adult son has been going through some deep emotional struggles in the last couple of weeks. He reached a point that felt like a bottom of sorts; a feeling of being in a pit that he did not how to get himself out of. My deep, raw, maternal instincts kicked in, not only because he asked for my help, but because he is my blood, my being, my child. So I went to him, helped him through the darkest parts, and stayed close by to be near as he healed. 

 

At various times over the last two weeks, I have felt like he was a small child again, and I was his protector, his guardian, his mommy. That has shown itself in various ways, in me breaking down in tears as I saw him at his most vulnerable; feeling lost, alone and afraid about what might happen next; wanting to clean his house, buy his groceries, and take care of his every need. I would feel it, resist it, and feel it again. It was like one of the most intense roller coasters that I have ever ridden. 

 

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And today, I am getting off. 

 

Today, I go back home to my world, the life that I have built with him, and since he went out on his own. I feel scared, and sad, and worried as his mom. I wonder if he will be okay at moments. Yet I know that he will be. I see him as capable, and free. And I know, that any time I hold tightly to him, or anyone, that is Fear showing itself. And, although understanding and accepting Fear can help with self love, compassion and understanding, I still get afraid. And, I keep going forward. Keep remembering that feeling fear is normal, and that I will always encounter it in my life, I feel certain. Yet, to release it is a gift.

 

Letting go is always hard for me on and off in my life, with family members, friends, co workers, even in traffic. Letting go has been hardest for me in the last nineteen years as a parent, as a mom. A small being that is so vulnerable that you have to protect them from everything, who keeps growing, expanding and evolving and becoming more self sufficient. More independent. They not only grow up, but grow away. It is beautiful, and scary at the same time.

 

Yet, in that time, we have built beautiful bridges and structures of Trust, Love, Forgiveness and Understanding. That is what we stand upon now. I have come to deeply appreciate how capable, strong and willing my son is to grow, to heal, to keep expanding and loving himself more and more. And, I will probably continue to have lessons in my life of when I hold on tightly, and when I need to let go, again and again.

 

This morning, I see clearly the beauty in the Letting Go. The Freedom that it allows us both. The capability that we both stand in. And, I embrace it with open arms.

 

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I Am a Writer.

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I said no, probably at least three times in as many ways. I was not going to spend $297 on an online course about writing. Why bother? I knew what I had to do to write- I just had to DO IT. I didn’t need writing experts to tell me that. I don’t need creative writing prompts and ideas. I have many ideas in my head- I just lack the discipline and drive to get them onto paper.

 

Today, I am eating the ENTIRE humble pie. I am grateful for humility. I am grateful for politely, yet firmly, telling my arrogant know-it-all self to shut up. I am grateful for my remembering that I am worth investing in, and that I can afford. I am grateful for pleasure, self love, and being playful. For laughter and vulnerability. I am grateful for Waking Up.

 

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After three no’s, I said Yes to easily, one of the most profound experiences of my life, completing the Setting Your Writer’s Voice Free course. There was no doubt that once I began it, that I would complete it. But, what I didn’t know definitively was what I was seeking in it, at least, not in the very beginning. What I thought the reason was that I decided to yes to this course, was so that I could increase my chances of getting published, which has been a long held dream of mine, albeit out of reach in my mind. I also believed that it could help me to become a writer and get paid for writing opportunities. I was even pursuing some at home writing options to be able to stay home, get paid, and in between, work on my big book. I thought that by getting the ears of two well known, published writers in this course, one of them being SARK, whom I have adored for years, I would then know the “secrets” of becoming “successful”. 

 

And, I was scared shitless to find out. And, to encounter other writers who, most likely, would be better than me. Who would judge me secretly for not writing “stories”. Who would live in different parts of the country, or the world, that enabled more success in these efforts. I was scared to be judged, and to find out that the dream of being a writer would only ever be a dream. 

 

In our first session, we were reminded by Dr. Scott that we each have our own unique voice, our own perspective of the world, and it is our contribution to the entire symphony of the Universe. Although, intellectually, I understood this, I wondered how that could be true? I mean, wasn’t the sign of being a good writer that people could easily identify with what you write about? How unique could our voices be? And, was there really room in this world for so many unique voices to be heard? To be published? To be successful? I was, again, so filled with fear! Wanting to defend myself to people that I hadn’t even met yet. I was afraid to read the writing of others, and see how much better they were at expressing themselves than I was. 

 

One thing that I love about myself, is that even when I feel afraid, I plow through and try something anyway. I take a risk. However, with that comes a canoe full of self doubt. An ocean liner, for that matter.  THE TITANIC. Yep, it feels that dramatic at times. So, I started slowly, reading the samples of writing that other persons in the course were posting. I made comments, but would worry if I sounded genuine or fake? Am I over the top in my praise? Then, they might not have clicked “like” on my comment (this is a Facebook page) so I wondered, what does that mean? Still, I kept going, I kept reading, and I started posting my own writing on the page. Many people saw my posts, but hardly any likes or comments. What did that mean? Oh no! I suck! People don’t get me! Yet another external “confirmation” for me to see myself as a freak, an oddball, not fitting in anywhere. Yet, I kept at it. I kept reading, and I kept writing. I even posted a link to my blog, and wondered if that was “too much” of myself. 

 

Beautifully, something shifted in me after our first two sessions. Something broke open that had been locked up within me, and although I perceived that something as being unavailable to me, I was wearing the key to unlock it around my neck. I don’t know if it was belief, acknowledgment, or a deepening understanding. But, one day, I just suddenly saw myself as a Writer. I no longer called myself a person who likes to write, who is taking a course, a person who wants to BE a writer. I put the key in the lock, turned it, and heard it click:

I AM A WRITER.

 

I had never said it before. The word writer gets used for those that are paid for their writing. Who have their words published on paper. Blogs don’t count- that’s not REAL writing. I had been invested for years in not seeing myself as a writer, even though my love of writing had been encouraged and nurtured in me since I was ten years old. It filled me up, it brought me joy, and flutters to my heart, butterfly wings in the soul. My writing drew persons to me, bees to the flower, by the dozens. Yet, I only saw the action, I didn’t see who I really was. The moment that I unlocked those self imposed chains, I was free. Free to write endlessly and fearlessly, just for me. Free to savor lusciously every tidbit of writing that others posted. Free to gush and goo and revel in all of that magic deliciousness. As I read the writings that my fellow writers shared, I remembered that there is an open invitation and space for all of our voices, and, that all of our voices together is what creates the most beautiful music. 

 

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Sure, solos can be exciting, and having a spotlight just for me can create a sense of importance. But, it is fleeting. It disappears quickly and I am left with emptiness. Community of voices is pure, unique, inviting, and warm. It is the first hot chocolate of the fall. It is delicious, satisfying and comforting. It reminds me that I am not alone. I am among friends. I am love, and I am loved.

 

I am in the nurturing stage of turning the soil, planting the seeds patiently, and caring for each tiny vessel to burst to life. I write wildly every day- at home, at a cafe, at the office, when I travel. I am filling books and using colorful pens. I am stunned at how different I feel when my words appear in purple ink, rather than the standard black or blue. It calls the joy of it back to itself. It is savoring the richness of chocolate cake with an inch of frosting, decadent and delightful. Every bite more delicious than the last. 

 

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I have tools and solutions if I feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or unmotivated. I have a community of new friends to cheer me on, and I get to do that for them, too. I am writing poetry, prose, and inspiration. I have set myself free to fly high, and to ride the wind and trust that it will carry me where I will best and most safely land. I can trust that this path is not only my writer’s path, but my Spirit path.  I am Home. 

 

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Work in Progress.

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I think I have spent many of the last 45 years of my life, on a diet, or exercise regimen of some sort.  I’ve done Weight Watchers, TOPS (Taking off Pounds Sensibly- where you got on the scale backwards and they would announce in front of the entire group whether you gained or lost weight since the last meeting), Gloria Stevens, which was an exercise center when I lived in New Hampshire, Intensati, liquid diet, running- and probably many others.  Always, the goal was clear:  lose weight and get into shape.  To meet up to an image that I thought that I should maintain, and feel better about what I would see when I looked in the mirror.

 

Or, so I thought.  

 

A diet, always, every time, no matter how it was presented or set up, felt like deprivation to me.  It was not as much a list of foods that were best to consume, or even to do what was best for my body.  It was not being able to have any of the foods that I liked the most, or so it seemed every time.  I went through much of my life, not eating cheese or nuts, equating that with bad food choices. Lettuce?  Yes.  Apples.  Great.  Anything that I craved, that was crunchy or gooey or extra tasty?  Forbidden.

 

I would obsess about what I did, and did not, put into my mouth.  I would rack myself with guilt, for “falling off the wagon”.  I would binge on forbidden foods like chips, candy, fried foods, all because I had messed up anyway, so why stop there?  Same story, different day, year after year.

 

Exercise never felt like my friend, at least, when I called it exercise.  In my childhood, I would ride my bike or walk around town, but I didn’t ever move a great deal.  I preferred to watch television, or hang out playing games.  So when I started to believe that exercise must be part of the equation to lose weight, I would obsess about that too.  I would run, even though I didn’t really enjoy it.  I would do workout DVDs or go to gyms and feel good about it for the moment, but didn’t feel excitement about going in the first place.  Yet, I felt like I had no choice; I had to do it.

 

This has been my pattern my entire life.  Looking for an external motivator to make an internal change.  And, it has worked over the years.  I would feel so proud to be 118 pounds, wearing a size 2 or 4, seeing how tiny I appeared to myself in pictures.  Then, a few years later, seeing my body after having my child, at 200 pounds, and being mortified.  My love of myself was completely connected to how I judged my size and my shape.  

 

I understand that change takes time.  And, gratefully, I have compassion for myself and my many evolutions.  I am an ongoing work in progress.  yet today, I feel so inspired to have tapped into where it is that I need to be and to stay- I need to come from a place of Love.  Love deep within myself.  For myself.  And, starting from that Love, I get to ask myself every day, what would feel really good to do for me, and for my body?  What would feel really good to put into it?  What energizes, excites and inspires me?  

 

I am on a new path, a path that is not about deprivation, but Abundance.  I am ready to give myself this beautiful gift.  I am on a path, finally, that is not me telling my sad story, about struggling with my weight my whole life.  I am telling a new story- a story of Love.  Of Choice.  Of Nurturance and Care.

 

A story of an Extraordinary Life.  

 

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Sweet Freedom.

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Recently, I attended an event that I had a lot of anxiety about.  I kept telling a story over and over in my head, about how it was going to turn out; who would be there; and down to the details of where would I sit, who would I sit with, who would talk to me, and how long I would stay.  I was thinking about it on a daily basis for easily the last two months.  In that time, I thought of all of the reasons that the people there, the weather, the circumstances, were holding me hostage in a way that created discomfort for me.  Like the situation itself was making me unhappy.

 

Then, the event came, and went.  It unfolded in a pretty predictable way, the world didn’t end, and I actually ended up having a good time.  But the only thing that created that scenario was me; it was me, setting myself free.

 

You see, I was going to be spending time with some people that I haven’t, in a long time.  Things have happened. Bad feelings have moved in and gotten comfortable, among all of us.  I became resentful, judgmental, and felt hurt and judged in return.  It became an endless cycle of hatred of self, hatred of others.  I mean, if I am not loving myself, or them, it is hate.  True love has no opposite, but I wasn’t truly loving myself through this.  

 

In true love, I accept myself, and the other person, precisely as they are.  I let the events unfold as they will, and all I need to do is be present, and be myself.  So that is what I did.  I showed up; I was myself; and I found myself looking at others with softer eyes.  With loving eyes.  

 

I realized fully that nothing was holding me in chains, except me.  The longer that I held others hostage, wanting them to be who they were not, the longer I held myself hostage at the same time. The longer that I denied forgiveness, to myself or others, the longer that I would get to suffer.  The more that I could fret and worry and obsess over something that only needed to be let go.  To be set free.

 

And with that, I set myself free, to be me and let others do the same.  Which means, I set them free as well.  When I remember that I hold the key to my own cell, that I only need to drop what is creating suffering for me, and I will be set free.  Into a world that is bursting with opportunities for me to be with my dreams.

 

Freedom is sweet, indeed.  

 

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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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