Tag Archives: honesty

A Beautiful Surprise.

Amaryllis!

A few months ago, I was given some plants from a friend who didn’t want them anymore. It is only in the last couple of years that I have begun to feel confident in being able to make things grow, thrive and bloom, so I was excited to have more greenery in my home. One of the plants given to me was an Amaryllis bulb, which was big and not showing much growth. I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to do, but I kept watering it and waiting.

About a month ago, some rather large green shoots started to show in the pot, and it was pretty amazing to watch them grow each day. Then emerged the stem, and I could see how what was forming was going to be the bud of a brilliant flower.

However, I had NO IDEA how beautiful it would actually be.

At some stages, it looked rather odd; the petals when they were only partially opened, looked a bit lopsided. But then, yet another stage of development was on its way, and the results, are what you see above. It is an amazing, beautiful surprise, to see such a result and to have it feel, in some ways, so unexpected.

When I thought about the Amaryllis this week, as I watch it becoming more and more brilliant, I thought about the love that I am cultivating with my partner, Brenda. From the beginning, I knew that I wanted to, and I was ready, to bring new love into my life. I felt like I was new to really having what it takes to help love to thrive, to grow and to be cared for. Although I have loved many times before, I don’t believe that I had the “green thumb” necessary to keep love going; I wasn’t always willing to do my part to keep it alive.

So, over the last seven months, I have been part of a team that nurtures, waters, and cares for the love that we are cultivating. And, the results have been a beautiful surprise. Even though I knew that this was the love relationship for me, from the beginning, some of the ways in which it has opened up, and been revealed to me, have been astounding. The levels of honesty; integrity; openness; and vulnerability were something that I didn’t fully anticipate.

lotus flower

So, like the flower has been opening, changing and showing its beauty more each day, so will our love continue to be. Open, brilliant and ever changing.

It is a beautiful surprise.

flower in a box

Honesty before Clarity.

inspiration!
Last August, I had been in the Coach in Training program for two years. I was getting ready to graduate, I had clients, and I was deeply committed to the methodology. Then, one day, I really got honest, and realized, more like admitted, that I didn’t want to do it. That although helping others manage their own lives is great work, I decided it was not for me, not as a coach anyway. When I came to that decision, and said it out loud, I felt free, clear and able to create the bigger vision for myself.

When I got honest, I got clarity.

Sometimes, I have avoided making new choices, or moving forward in my life, because I didn’t have a clear picture in my mind of what I wanted, so to me that meant that in the meantime, I should do nothing. I also thought that I had to get clarity, and be absolutely clear about what I wanted, or where I wanted to go next in my life, before I could tell the world, tell those around me, or even be honest with myself.

This week, I have been thinking about this a great deal, and I don’t believe it anymore, that clarity comes before getting honest. The truth is, about the truth, that if we don’t get honest with those around us, or, especially ourselves, about what it is that we want, or don’t want, we can’t ever get clarity.

When we are hiding our true feelings, for instance, about being unhappy in a romantic relationship, we won’t have absolute clarity about what to do next, whether that be stay in it or leave it. To me, that is because when I am not honest about my feelings, ESPECIALLY with myself, there is a fog that lingers in my mind and my heart about what to do next. There is confusion.

Also, when I am not being honest, I hold onto all of those icky feelings of guilt, shame, negativity toward myself about deceiving other people. I get mad at myself for trying to pull one over on me.

I don’t want to have those lingering feelings anymore in my life. I want to create deep, honest relationships with everyone around me. There is no time or need for dishonesty, or withholding, or pretending to be someone that I am not. And, the big payoff is, that I get to then have complete, crystal clear clarity of where I want my life to go.

Clarity doesn’t mean that I always know the how. So, I may know where I want to go, without having a precise idea of how I will get there. Clarity doesn’t mean how; it just means the destination, the final stop. The how comes as I start and continue on my journey to the goal.

Today, I recommit to being honest with those around me, and remember that only by keeping that honesty present will I have a clear vision of where I want my life to be.

243898_10151395533143136_748651713_o

Image

 

 

Last week, I had a situation come up with my daughter.  She was upset, and posted something on her Facebook page about having the worst Monday ever.  I wasn’t going to be seeing her for a few hours, so of course, I figured out a story in my head of what was probably going on.

The first thought that I went to, is that something happened to her, that a person in her school, in her life somehow, was hassling her, teasing her, bullying her, being mean to her.  However, the fact that I wanted to create a story out of it all wasn’t the interesting part.  The more interesting part for me, was my response.

I was furious.  I felt ready to physically inflict harm upon someone, adolescent or adult, who had brought hurt or harm to my daughter.  Just like a Mama Bear.

I have known for years, living in an area of the country that bears are commonplace, that they are typically shy and don’t want to be bothered with humans.  However, I know enough that you don’t EVER mess with their cubs; for a Mama Bear will go after anyone that even tries to interact with their babies.  That protective instinct is pure and intense.

I felt that type of urge, that instinct and senses awakening when I thought of my child, my cub, being hurt by another.  What I found so fascinating about that however, is that even though I have always been protective and nurturing of her, I have not often had that intense response to protect her, that results in an urge to harm those that bring harm to her.  Although in reality I didn’t see myself really punching a teenager in the face, who hurt my daughter’s feelings, it felt rather comforting to know that I have that in me, to protect those that I love.

In the past, I have felt the urge to think the best of others, and to believe that no harm could ever come to those that I love, and that has dampened down my feelings of protectiveness.  I often believed that bad would not cross my path, that a stranger wouldn’t ever approach my little girl, that a gunman would never enter her school, that she would never be bullied or harassed.

And now, although I still believe in the good in others, I also know that bad things happen in the world, bad things may happen in my world.  And, even though I am raising a strong, independent and confident young woman, and will continue to do so; and even though I want her to be able to always fight for herself, I will ALWAYS fight for her too.

It is a great comfort to have rediscovered the Mama Bear in myself.

Giving to others

photo courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

For most of my life, I have taken great pride in being a giver. Being willing to give of myself and my expertise or service to others. Sometimes, that giving was part of the job that I was doing at the time, and meant going above and beyond my job duties. Sometimes, it was offered as a volunteer, as a gesture of kindness and goodwill.

In the last year, I have discovered so much about my giving to others, and what it really has meant to me. A part of the giving that is less admirable to look at, yet is truthful and has brought me great knowledge of self. Many times, my giving in the past has been so that I appear to be a hero, the person that is the only one to save the day, that is essential to a situation being resolved. I wanted to be acknowledged for being kind, and willing to help out. So, my giving was with an agenda, as sad and sick as that sounds. The agenda was my own, to gain personally from what I was giving freely.

I don’t beat myself up for this realization; however, I also don’t use it as an excuse not to take down what brought me to that way of doing things. Through my coaching, I have upped the ante as far as how I want to figure out these ways of mine in the past, and how I want to live a life that is cleaner, and that I feel proud of. So, my giving to others has taken on a whole different dimension. I had to go back to basics.

For me, going back to basics means really getting to know who it is that I am, and what I really want. That means writing out my dreams in all areas of my life, and making promises to achieve those dreams. That has been hard work; however, it has helped me to truly live a life of integrity, and to finally be the person that I let on that I was, but wasn’t in reality. I had to realize what was keeping me from opening my heart and truly giving from that place, a place of compassion and selflessness.

So, I meditate, every day. When I meditate, I envision light, warmth and love. Compassion for myself and for others. Pure energy that I send out into the Universe. And, now, giving feels completely different to me. When I give, I give fully and completely, for the first time in my life. I am not giving parts of myself away that are then gone from me; I am giving of my true heart, my love and compassion, which is endless and boundless and always replenishes itself when my soul is fed.

So, I am still giving, and it has taken on a newer, deeper meaning for me. I am so grateful for growth, change and deeper understanding.

Being my best self.

One of the biggest parts of this work that I am doing through the Handel Group is evolving myself to live my life more fully and more authentically. For me, that means that I will be living my life with integrity and impeccability.

Now, as I have written here before, that doesn’t mean perfection. It doesn’t mean that I won’t say harsh words, make mistakes or make others uncomfortable. However, it does mean that when I do that, I clean it up and make amends for it right away. It means that I take full accountability for that which is mine to own. The good, and the less shiny.

To live a life in integrity means that I will be the happiest that I have ever been; that I will have full and authentic love for my self, and an open heart and full compassion for others. It means that I will not seek approval from others about who I am or what I do, and that I will feel confident in my ability to be true to who I say I am.

A life of integrity means that my thoughts, actions and knowledge will be consistent: I will represent what I say I do, and I will do what I believe in. There is no contradiction in a life of integrity, and when I feel a contradiction, I know that on some level, I am not being honest. Then, I need to get honest and get back in balance.

Bear in mind, this is tough work, this thing called a life of integrity. I feel tired many days, but these days, that tiredness is a real full feeling, like that I have lived my day as fully as possible, and now I have earned the rest to prepare me for tomorrow. That kind of tired. I like that.

I know that I have always believed, and portrayed, that I am living a life of integrity and transparency. But on many levels, I have not. I have ignored and avoided the tough conversations, I have lied about and hidden my true feelings; I have judged others. In a life of integrity, there is no room for that, because there is no need for it.

To live a life of integrity, to be my best self, is not arrogant. It is me loving my self as fully as I can. And, when I am able to look in the mirror, and see only beauty reflecting back at me, only then can I authentically and fully give myself to the world.

Photos courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net