Hey!! Wake Up!!

July 26, 2018

I am borrowing the beginning of a song that my son is writing.  He is a very creative rapper in the making.  He shared the lyrics with me tonight.  The first line makes me think of people that slog through their lives, kind of half-asleep, letting everyone and everything around them choose their direction.  It could be from habit, or just not getting the memo… you get to choose!!   It is time to Wake Up.  This life you have is your own.  You are in the driver’s seat.  You are directing the destiny that you are headed for.  Think about doing things today with more thought.  Breathe and notice the oxygen flowing into your body.  Oxygen creates fuel for your cells.  Breathe deeply, getting that oxygen flowing…  Do it every day for a week, you will notice the difference.   Eat consciously.  It is so easy to go through a meal without even noticing the food.  Stop and chew.  Savor and notice what you enjoy.  Are you eating in a way that nourishes your body?  Can you make some tweaks that will benefit your health?  It is worth a few minutes of contemplation.  Hydrate.  Drink more water, your cells need it.  Move.  Start out with walking, or your favorite dance or yoga moves.  Even a few minutes a day will make a noticeable difference.  Get those endorphins flowing around in  your body! And always listen to your body, it knows when it is time to rest, and when you are able to push forward a little with movement.  Take care of yourself.  No need to move to the point of hurting.

Individually, these seem like little things, but because we do them every day, some conscious decision making about the way we do them adds up to big positive changes over time.  Take note of these little things.  They matter.  Don’t sleep-walk through your days and miss the chance to notice and begin to feel  your decision making power.  When you start small, you will notice the changes and be ready to take on bigger decisions in your life.  Are you AWAKE?

Put those heavy suitcases down!!

July 22, 2018

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We all carry around some old baggage, don’t we?  An old grievance or two.  A past hurt from childhood, maybe many of them.  We tend to hold the stories of all the hurtful things someone said to us, did to us and the emotional and physical traumas that go with them.  Physical trauma can get ‘caught’ in your cellular memory, as well as emotional trauma.  Our brains are wired to run and re-run those negatives with an emphasis on keeping us wary and on the lookout for more danger.  This is one of the brain’s functions.

We, through the breakthroughs in neuroscience, now know that we can use our minds to help re-wire the brain when it is holding on to negative patterns and stories.  There are many techniques that can be helpful.  Try writing a letter to the offending person(s), not with the intent to send it, but with the intent to get clear about what you have been holding onto.  Write down every instance of the negative situation.  Write about how you felt at the time these things happened.  Write about the wisdom you have gained by living with these circumstances. Then see if you can find a way to see other perspectives on what occurred in the past.  Realize how much holding on to the negative zaps your energy for your present and future.  Feel into the possibility of  living without the emotional charge of what happened.  Burn the letter!!  Recognize that you are carrying around some heavy bags, suitcases, on in each hand that are weighing you down!  Then visualize in your mind, setting those suitcases down!!!  Just watch yourself drop them, listen to the dull thud as they hit the ground.  Realize you don’t need to be burdened by them anymore.  You don’t need to be carrying that weight around. Don’t even look back at them. There’s nothing you need in there.  Walk free without them, feel a surge of lighter energy filling that space with healing.  Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Here is my story.  In my case, my mother was raised without much love or support,  she worked her buns off to raise 6 children, but isn’t someone who can easily show emotions.  I have worked through these scenarios in my mind many times.  Finally, I was able to breakthrough some of the deeper layers of the negatives in this experience.

These are the new perspectives that I have gained on my situation:

My mother has given me great insight about what I want to create in my life by the absence of many things that I desired growing up.  I am now focused on building relationships where emotional support and connection are mutual.

She wasn’t given any example of how to show loving emotions in her childhood, she was without a role model.  I can see her as a scared child that went without emotionally, in much worse ways that I did.

She gave us much more than she was given as a child, in that way, she grew and changed and expanded upon what she was given, for my benefit.

She has an incredible work ethic, and is an incredibly intelligent and creative person.

She is a fabulous business woman, trustworthy to the highest degree.

I am also learning to be more gentle with my observations about my grandmother, seeing her as someone that suffered from depression, without a way to work through it.  Imagining how hard her life was, and dropping the judgement that she should have done more for my mother.  That judgement only keeps me imprisoned.  And I want freedom!

I am able to nurture myself in ways that I need now.  I know what I need to feel safe, loved and cared about.  I am in charge of that for me!!

It took time and focus to come to these insights.  To get clear that my desire for freedom means so much to me that I was willing to find a path through the pain.  And then I was ready. Ready to set the suitcases down!!!   I did!!  It feels absolutely wonderful. When you are ready,  I invite you to put those suitcases down!!!

July is Alignment Month

July 8, 2018
Don’t we all have those dreams in the back of our minds…  You know what I mean, those things you always thought would be so great to do… take French cooking classes, learn to draw, learn to play the guitar that you bought two years ago, change careers, write books for children…  Your list will be unique to you.  So if you have thought about something for years, and NOT moved any closer to doing it, there must be a reason.  Think about it for a minute, some little voice in the back of your mind telling you, that the timing isn’t right, your family wouldn’t approve, that you don’t know how to go about it.  And that barrier stops you in your tracks.

Now take a step back, it’s YOUR LIFE,  it’s going to go by whether you do the things YOU dream of or not!!!  And you are the one that gets to choose.  You are the powerful director of your own destiny.  I challenge you to pick something that has been tugging at your heart strings and do it!!  I can tell you that on the other side of the fear, which is temporary, is the magnificence of experiencing the desires of your heart.

Case in point, I have been paddle-boarding for years, a good friend got me started, at first it took me a while to catch on, as I am not particularly athletic, and I had to get the balance thing down.  So I finally got that far, and find it magnificent to paddle-board as the sun drops down at night, soaking in the radiance of the sun-set. It is truly a soul-filling experience to be in the middle of the lake by yourself, taking in the astonishing beauty of the water, and sky.

All of this is perfect.  And I only go out when the lake is like glass, because that is my skill level on the board.  Then I see my friend learning to race and realize that you can balance on a paddle-board in 3 foot waves in the ocean, and SURVIVE!!  My mind was blown.  I want the skill to paddle in waves, maybe a little smaller than 3 feet, but I want it, and I want it bad.  So I learn the race move techniques.  I learn about different boards, and how they need to match the water conditions you expect and the racers height and weight.  I learn about new fancy light weight carbon paddles.  Now here comes the tricky part.  I am afraid of the water.  Not to the extent of being terrified,  but still too afraid to push the boundaries of my balance, and go be out when there is noticeable wind.  I just don’t want to get knocked off the board, because I can’t swim!!  I attempted to learn a few years ago, and a shoulder tear stopped that attempt in its tracks.  So I am back to that dream of being comfortable in the water, feeling skillful if the wind suddenly kicks up, and I decide to take action.  There is a triathlon near my house.   You have to swim 300 yards.  I know if I enter, I will have to figure out how to swim.  I enter!!!  Now the time frame is a known quantity.  I have to know how to swim by August 4th.  Pushing myself to move on my dream worked!!  I had three friends willing to get in the water with me and show me the ropes.  I have a friend from New Zealand recommend the Total Immersion Method, I am learning that by videos, and I am practicing the art of just being in the water and letting the fear go.  All baby steps, but it is working.  I have  just under a month to finish training.  I am getting in shape, slowly but surely, I am asking for help from those who know and taking their advice (only to the degree that it fits for me!) And I am following what my body is telling me is right.  Pushing forward, but not to the point of injury or exhaustion.

I challenge you right now to take one of your dreams off the shelf, dust it off, and decide to do it!  Take the plunge to bring it to life.  Do one step today.  Make time in your life for the things you dream of.  Align your life with the passion your dreams will bring to you.   Dreams do come true.  YOU ARE THE CREATOR!!  Go for it.  You have permission!!

A little Air, Please!!!

June 29, 2018

So, I am training for a triathlon,  I am NOT an athlete,  my reason for doing this is twofold, I want to age gracefully and be dancing when I am 100, and the other reason is that I knew it was a way for me to push myself out of my comfort zone and learn to swim!  I have never been a swimmer, even trying lessons a few years back with no results, other than feeling like a failure at swimming.  Paddle boarding is my THING!  I love it, and go out many nights in the spring, summer and fall to watch the sun set over the pretty little lake that I live on.  So peaceful, I go out when the water is just like glass.  As time go on, I realize there are other dimensions to the sport.  I learn a few of the racing techniques, they feel good!  A way to stay in shape without being rough on any joints,  I want in!!  I see racers in their later years riding, actually nearly surfing waves over 3 feet high in the ocean.  Men and women, and surviving!!  And loving the adventure.  I know I am a long way from doing THAT, but I am hooked, I want to ease into it.  I practice the strokes, then I learn on a narrower board.  The racing boards are narrow, light and FAST.  I need to rewire my balance, and strength little by little for this.  And I realize that my slight fear of the water, because I don’t swim is holding me back from enjoying anything on the lake other that those days when the water’s surface looks like a mirror.  So I want to swim.  And the triathlon is my method of pushing the boundaries.  It is a baby one, only 300 yards swimming, 9 miles biking and 3.1 miles running.  So here I go, training…  I walk the running section.  Cool.  I bike a few miles, my kids are WAY ahead of my.  I didn’t think biking on a flat, black-topped surface was going to be an issue!  I try again, same thing,  I try to do the whole route, working hard.  And everyone that goes out with me is NOT working hard.  I am a little perturbed.  So here’s the funny part.  I FINALLY figure out, after trying my son’s bike, (his the tires were full of air) that my tires were close to flat!!  I did know enough to feel the tires, felt fine to me… I just didn’t know what soft bike tires felt like!!  Valuable lesson learned. Got that down.

SO, when you want to get somewhere, literally, figure out if you understand the logistics of the trip.  A tiny tweak in your methodology may be all that’s needed to propel you forward.  A little knowledge can catapult you into the newest and best version of yourself, no extra effort may be needed! Moving slow can change in an instant, be on the lookout for that little bit of knowledge, strategy or upgrade that you can tweak.  It can make all the difference.  A small change make your journey a  whole lot easier and much more fun!!

June is Receiving Month

June 29, 2018

It is June, the long awaited June that my son graduates high school!  And me, his crazy mother is jumping up and yelling GO ISAIAH from the stands and he received his diploma.  People think I have lost my mind.  Totally don’t care!! A few weeks pass, family comes in from out of state for the open house, friends and relatives all come to share in his special afternoon.  The weather was gorgeous, the late spring irises and tree peonies: stunning.  And there are lots of gifts.  Cards with the most awesome sayings, wishing my son well, and encouraging him to find his passion, and pursue his dreams.  I was truly blessed to read the kind words from so many friends, written to my son.

So, a few days go by, and my daughter and I bring up the idea of writing the Thank Yous.  I know, what 18 year old boy would look forward to that task?  He tries to buy time, then has excuses, then scientific reasoning and debate as to why it doesn’t need to be done. He did talk about being very appreciative of the gifts, just didn’t find it necessary to write the notes.   I don’t flinch.  I say totally fine, you don’t need to write the thank yous.  As the Thank Yous show that you are receiving the gifts, and that is your choice, you could also choose NOT to receive the gifts.  You can send all the gifts back to the recipients.  Totally fine, and your choice.  We let the situation settle.  A few days later, he figured out a way on his own to write the Thank Yous in his way, digitally, and include personalization in each.  And we were all happy.  He found a way to use his own creativity, to honor the gifts given, and to do it his way.  No drama.

Life is like this.  It offers us many gifts.  A smile from a perfect stranger, the idea to talk to a certain person-that becomes a great friend, the exquisite beauty of a sunset, a hug from your child, an uplifting quote on your phone, left by your special someone. We have the choice to receive them.  To really stop what we are doing, to feel into those amazing examples of the universe supporting us, of having our backs, or to be a little too busy to notice, to pass by the stranger, to miss the sunset, too busy to appreciate the magnificence that is surrounding us.  Or we can stop, breathe into the beauty, and realize it reminds us that life is good.  (Nobody said anything about PERFECT)  But, good it is.  And good is enough.  It keeps us going, fills our tank, and lets us feel the love to which we are all ultimately connected.  Stop and smell the roses.  Literally. Drink in the natural beauty around you.  Give and receive an awesome hug.  Feel your energy rise.

And totally out of the blue, by the way, my Superpower is World Class Hugs.  What’s yours?

May is Taking a Risk Month

May 9, 2018

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May is Taking a Risk Month

I am a licensed financial adviser.  In lots of financial talk, there is mention of risk versus reward.  How much are you willing to risk to obtain the desired reward.

So I am working with my son who is 18 and just about to graduate high school.  His anxiety is kicked into high gear anew, with the house overtaken by graduation plans, invitations being sent, to do lists being made, calls made to repairmen getting a few last minute needed repairs to be able to hold a house full of guests.  And band competitions, and performances and the graduation itself, all within the next few weeks. It put his mindset into overload. In the midst of that, he lost his wallet.

Present moment calm is a blessing to those with anxiety.  I model that for him and he starts to talk about which aspects of the upcoming activities are the most pressing for him.

How can we break down the lump of overwhelm into manageable chunks?

We decide on these things for tonight, after a preliminary search for the wallet turns up nothing, we access what is in the wallet that is of value: license, debit card and medical marijuana card.  He had been online, and his bank account hasn’t been messed with, so that is a good start.  After school tomorrow, we can go to motor vehicle department and get a new license underway, and the medical card won’t be needed right away, so we can keep looking for that.

Then, there is Friday’s band competition: I will call the school and see if they will let us drive him, rather than him having to ride the bus. If the school will allow it, it would help him through the stress of the bus ride to a town more than an hour away, with a busload of raucous students.

The invitations were weighing on his mind, and we decided to mail the ones he originally was going to hand out in person.

With those things in place, he decided to get up, get some water, move around and go out and get some air.  He also decided to use the tappers that we got a few weeks ago.  Feeling able to help himself is such a noticeable step forward.

His original text to me early in the evening was a giant leap for him. To reach out for help, letting me know that he wasn’t feeling well, before the major overwhelm hit is something new.  At other times, the anxiety would overtake him and he would be down and out with it for several hours.

So I am learning to tune in to the calm.  And he is learning that he can trust himself to communicate what he needs.  And we are working together on solutions.  We are learning to trust each other to listen with the intent to understand the other’s perspective. He took a big risk in reaching out to me.  I hope he feels like it was worth it.

Tuning in to your own inner guidance can be unfamiliar and feel vulnerable at first,  but the strength of it grows on you.  The reward is feeling connected to your own intuition, your own inner strength.  It starts out small at first until you learn that your own inner guidance has your back.  You can trust it. When you stop and tune in, its still, small voice is there, helping you out of dark situations, into the light of your own path.

From my own experience, as someone who has just recently learned that tuning in is possible for me, it is a major breakthrough!!  I have heard of “listening to your intuition” and “hearing your own inner guidance” for decades. I have read more new agey books that most people know exist, but I didn’t know HOW to get to work for me!!  A major trauma that my family suffered was a major factor in my feeling frozen and cut off from any feelings, from within, or anywhere else for that matter!!  A lot of healing was in order, and I was determined to set myself on a path of warming the frozen places, finding joy and literally discovering myself.

What have you found useful in helping a child, or another loved one through anxiety and depression?

April is Appreciation Month

April 17, 2018

Appreciation raises your vibration in a powerful way.  The things we appreciation expand in our lives.  In reverse, the opposite is also true!  Try rolling around in a mood of stress and anxiety for a day, and see that expand as well!  But don’t unless you really do want more of it!!  Momentum builds with every thought and becomes especially strong when your emotions are involved!

So let’s get back to Appreciation…

A few things I am giving my unabashed Appreciation to… My son graduating high school in a few weeks. He powered through some hard times, and is about to have those high school days behind him.  And my daughter jumping in to take over the Graduation invitations and decorations.  I want to hug and kiss her all over for that!!!  I am working on the menu and getting the garage organized for the first public gathering ever in my home, that all seems doable, but Martha Stewart, I am definitely not, so much Thanks to my artistically talented daughter for getting the fine details together. Everyone at the event will be the happy recipient of her attention to fine details!

I am Appreciating making more direct communications with people in my life.  I have easily gone decades without actually asking for anything from friends and family.  It feels good to speak up and ask for little things.  I am working up to bigger things.  Clear communication feels so good!!

I am truly Appreciating filling my own bucket with the things I can do for myself!  How many Moms out there forget we are actually people!  (With desires for things like interesting conversations, travel, adventures and fun…) I am just now discovering that I can provide that for myself better than anyone else!  Yes, I look forward to the day when I find that right person who wants to share much of that with me.  And in the meantime, I am enjoying the deliciousness of doing that for myself.  The things that float my boat:  learning to draw flowers, trying new recipes, flying South for some sun when it is still 28 degrees in April in Michigan,  going paddle-boarding, dancing, and generally learning all I can about creating businesses may do nothing for you.  But I hope my specific examples get your creative juices flowing for imagining ideas that resonate with you.

What makes you giggle with excitement when you think about it?  Give yourself permission today to imagine, dream or envision 5 things that would make your day, your week, or your year!  What are they?  I would love to hear them.

My challenge to you…

Share a list of things that you enjoy most.

Can you list your favorite?

Even better… Your top Five?  Let’s see who can come up with the longest list of things they enjoy.

They may be things you’ve never even done before, maybe you have a ready-made Bucket List.  Or maybe, like me, you are just starting to create one.

What’s on your “Bucket List of Joyful Things?”

March is Clearing Month

March 4, 2018

Clearing out the cobwebs!!  Literally clearing and doing spring cleaning.  Time to look through the stacks of books piling up everywhere, and decide which ones to part with.  Hard to do, but necessary, as my house isn’t getting bigger, and I don’t want the books to overtake the space!!

Time to take things out to the garage for storage, and then cleaning the garage, taking in the recycling, taking things to good will.  The clearing feels freeing, making space for more life, more energy.  The Feng shui feels better as I make space.  Okay, that means I do have to go through the pile of unsorted stuff that has no real place, and decide whether I need it at all, or if it is better recycled or given away.  Does everyone have that stack, or drawer, or tote of mixed unsorted stuff that doesn’t easily fit into any category??

February is Relax into Comfort Month

February 19, 2018

February is the longest month of the year in my book!  I am ready for Spring, but it just isn’t here yet. Not in Michigan, that is.  So, it seemed like time to pull out old recipes of comfort foods, the soup my grandmother used to make with kidney beans, and greens, rice and garlic, of course!  I got to digging around for some new recipes and having fun trying new ingredients.  Just takes time to find recipes, shop and do the cooking.  So I am allowing myself time to relax into the idea of a slow month of comfort food, new tastes, and finding new favorites!  Meanwhile, the days get longer and Spring gets closer!!

What are your favorite things to do in February?

I am not actually opposed to the cold,  in fact, I dressed up warm one day last week and went on a walk and made a snow angel!  Hadn’t done that in decades!  That is enough to make you feel like a kid again!

January is Expansion Month

January 4, 2018

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Fruitful Ideas, Breath, Beauty, Companionship, Health, Travel, Joy, Alignment, Energy, Vitality, Gratitude, and Healing Laughter, Love, Vision, Natural Beauty and Emotional Support come to me from expected and unexpected places.

Thinking about the New Year:  making space for new things has been making me contemplate clearing out some space for the new things to be.  Clearing out some old patterns, learned from childhood, that run in the background, on the subconscious level, and making space for better feeling thoughts, that is my journey for 2018.

Tossing out a few layers of fear, making room for a few new layers of Joy!  I don’t know if it is just my age, I am 51, and that I am finally realizing that I just don’t really care much about what others think that I “should” be doing, or that I’ve just now finally figured out how to unbury layers of inner joy for the first time-either way, I am finding it easier and easier to follow my own path, the one that whispers quietly from the inside, whispering to stop and feel the warm sun on my skin for a few seconds longer, to stop and feel the strength I am gaining as I am newly learning to lift weights, to turn on the songs I like to hear and dance like a crazy woman, to feel the freedom of making choices that are mine, for no other reason than it just feels good; for the personal joy of it. No guilt, no explanation needed.  I give myself permission.  What do you need to give yourself permission for?