challenges, Change, daily practice, family, Growth, Relationships

It is Time to Release the Mantra

I don’t even really know where to start.  2 weeks ago my grandmother passed away and I have so many feelings about it.  They are all mixed up.  She was 94 and lived every day of her life.  Her illness was not lingering, she was not suffering.  She basically lived up until the final day.  The day before she died she sitting up in intensive care talking to me, loving me, and living life. The next day she was gone. That cannot be a bad thing.

But for me, I miss my grandma. And now I am looking at another loss.  I see this news headline and 7 children died in a fire.  How do parents survive that?  I mean, that is a tragedy.  That is a loss.  Everywhere I look I see losses that seem to me greater, more significant than mine.  I think for me, it is just adding them all up. And I feel like it is wearing me down.

My life feels so different now. Quick view:  3 years it looked like this:  I was living in my home of 20 years, I had a mom, I lived with my son and our 2 dogs, my sister lived on the next street, my sister was healthy, I was healthy, I liked my job,  I had a grandmother.

Now much of that is gone, I lost the house, my mom died, my son moved out, we had to put one dog to sleep (old age) and re home the other.  My sister and I live miles apart.  My sister had a health crisis and our relationship is changed.  The stress comes out through a variety of health issues. One of my best friends moved away. The work environment has changed and I am unhappy at my job. I tried to have a romantic relationship, that failed. I am trying to get on feet financially and help my son, it is a constant daily struggle. Now my grandmother has died. It is all adding up. I did the lifestyle stress test, I am in trouble.

And I can feel all of this in my body and I have to fix it.  I am starting to have more nocturnal anxiety attacks. My hair continues to shed, I am tired, I have gained weight.  Everything feels like a struggle and I have no emotional reserves.  I was so drained from the whole losing my mom, my home and all that went with that.  I was just starting to get it together when my sister had a big health crisis last summer.  She is my best friend, and now it has changed so much.  And now a few months later my grandmother is gone. Could all of this just please stop?

I can tell you I am trying to mitigate the stress as much as possible.  I meditate daily, I take long walks to clear my head.  I pray.  I try to spend time with friends but it seems that laughter and fun are missing these days.  Everything seem intense. I really just need to fucking relax and let it go. If you have to work at relaxing is that really relaxing?  I don’t think so. But I have to start somewhere.  When I see my son, what I say is “are you having any fun?”  Could I say that to myself?  Because apparently I am on a roller coaster ride these last few years. I guess I need to learn to love the ride.

I keep thinking of losses, I have lost this, I have lost that. That feels sad, that feels pathetic.  It is a pity party.  The truth is I have lost nothing.  I still have a mom and a grandmother.  They are not in physical form,  but I will always be a daughter and a granddaughter.  The souls we share lives with are never away from us. I know that to be true. And that goes for every being, human or not, that I have loved. Everything else is simply stuff.

I still have a home, a different home.  My relationship with my sister is different, but perhaps there can a deepening from the shared journey.  My son, he loves me, but he lives his own life. Isn’t that what i raised him for? Friends?  Well, even the ones I don’t share my time with now, I can love them and I can know they love me.  And I can welcome the new relationships into my life. Work?  I can keep in front of me the knowledge that I can only do my best, I am not in charge of how others respond.  Because at the end of the day if I have loved some, laughed a little, relaxed, been honest with myself and others, prayed, meditated, had a good meal, took a walk and breathed in nature, and laid down my head safe in my home, what more can I really ask for?  That is life, that is the good life.

So I have to accept change again.  I am doing this guided meditation with Deepak Chopra and the end he says “it is time to release the mantra”.  My mantra has been ” I have lost so much.” It is time to release that mantra.  Because it is not about loss, it never was.  It is about change, and change will always happen.  Change causes me to grow, to stretch myself, to look inside, to be honest, to be brave, to be compassionate.  Change makes me better.  And I will always ask for that, to be better.  And if change is the price, than so be it, I am willing. So no more loss, this is about growth. This is about life. And I am grateful.

And so it is.

Advertisements
Standard
Daily Life, family, Growth, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, Self

Becoming My Own Example

So I think I am becoming my own example.  Today my grandmother is pressing on my mind.  I am thinking of her passing and the influence she had on me.  My grandmother (Maxine) was really really alive every day.  She lived until 94, every day celebrating being alive. And she has been such an inspiration to me.  She lived all alone the last 20 years, but was never lonely.  She had an active social life, church life and family life.  She never quit, ever. She told me, don’t stop. Be thirsty, be honest but caring. Grandma had her nose in everything, she was curious and loved to laugh.  She did not let life get her down, she kept going.

And then I thought of my mom who passed 3 years ago, and all the inspiration she gave me.  She was bold, fierce.  She took crap from no one. Honestly my mom had other issues and ended up allowing her demons to push away many friends and family that loved her.  But the parts that inspired me, she would fight for what she loved. She never let anyone tell her what to do. She was artistic, flamboyant and in your face.  She loved strongly.  She was amazing.

My dad’s mom, Grandma Stell  passed away more than 20 years ago.  She had a laughter to her life.  She always wanted to have fun.  She was southern to the core and sweet tea was always in the house.  She would take 3 different artificial Christmas trees, make them into one and called it  “pretty”. Married multiple times, again a woman who never gave up.   She loved hard, she loved me, she loved my dad. Oh my gosh, she would defend her family,

So all of these women who have loved and raised me are passed now.  And I am a mix of all of them.  All of their examples, all of their lessons have found their way into me.  Everyone of them was strong and stood on her own in her own way.  I realize that I do not have to be Mom, or Little Grandma, or Grandma Stell, I get to be Sandy.  And that takes nothing from them.  They did not live in another’s shadow but shone their own light.  I shine my own light, I beat my own drum.  I take the best from all, and become my own example.  I become my own inspiration.

All of these women lived and died a simple life.  None of them became famous, none of them left a mark beyond their own family, friends and lives.  No one wrote a book,  they were not politicians or great humanitarians.  100 years from we will hard pressed to find a memory, but I remember. And I am here now, and that matters.  This is how life goes on.  We lives our lives best we can.  I take all that I have been blessed with build my life.  I leave my mark on the world, be it simple or not.

So more and more I become my own example.  I live my life no one else’s.  I honor all of those women before who lived their own lives.  I see how different they were and each life was beautiful.  They made their choices, they became who they really were, no apologies. And I can do that too. I become myself, no one else. And I make no apologies.  I can see other examples, I can see the fierceness, the laughter, the lovingness, and the strength.  And instead of saying that is how I want to live, who I want to be, I can just be those qualities.  It takes nothing from those who have gone before, there is enough for everyone.  So instead of saying, this is who I want to be, I become it and say ” This is Who I Am.”

And so it is……

Standard
challenges, Daily Life, daily practice, Gratitude, kindness, life

Kindness Matters………

Kindness, that is what is on my mind these days….

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Plato

I have an event in my life right now that has made me more fragile than usual.  My grandmother passed away this week.  I can go into that more at a different time, right now I have been thinking about kindness and how everyone needs this.  I go out into my day and I am wounded.  I am sad,  I am feeling a loss, an important one. And 98% of the people I meet have no idea.  The people in line with me at the stores don’t know, the person I pass on my walk has no idea.  Many people in my church today had no reason to know.  At my work this only a handful of people knew.  Of course my friends know and are helping me.  They reach out, they are gentle with me, they are loving to me.  They understand I am little fragile right now.

But what about the others, the majority of people I interact with everyday. Well, what a blessing, most of them are kind. They smile and the smile reaches their eyes.  They greet me happily.  They wish me well.  They are nice to me. And they do not know I am broken inside. What I am thinking is that most of them are too.

Plato did say it “we are all fighting a battle”.  The women in line at the grocers, maybe she choose food instead of fuel.  The person walking past me, does their car run? Do they have one? That person that greeted me, are they well, is someone they love sick?  They child that is smiling, do they live in a loving home?

I could go on forever, you know what I am saying.  It is hard out there. Life is not just an easy slide to heaven.  There is work do be done here.  There are lessons to be learned here.  We have to break our own boundaries and our own barriers.  We have to love and lose and love again. We have to have sickness and then heal. We have to stand at the edge of disaster and feel the power in ourselves that comes from recovery.  All of us, everyone, has pain, frustration, loss, sadness and longing. All of us, everyone, needs to know we are loved.

And how can we show that to the world?  We can be kind. Yes, it is easy to be kind when you know there is a problem.  I am telling you right  now, there is always a problem. We just don’t know it. It doesn’t mean it is not real.  It doesn’t mean the problem does not deserve love or respect.  If we are not told or are not a witness,  does not the pain still exist?  Yes, we know it does.

So we can be kind.  We can assume that everyone we meet needs love, needs a smile, needs gentleness. Be kind, if nothing else, just be kind. Have a moment to say you exist, I acknowledge you.  I know you are fighting a battle somewhere, somehow, and I am fighting my own right along side you.  We don’t have to talk about it.  We don’t have to share or know everything.  We can just start by being here, available and human.  We can recognize that each person has a whole life and parts of it are hard.  And we can show kindness.

So right now i am little fragile, but mostly I am really grateful. And every time someone is kind that gratitude grows.  And it makes me want to be kind.  I want to smile at you. I want to share a kind word. I want you to know you are not alone. Whatever you are fighting, whatever your burden, we are in this together.  So the next time you have a chance, be kind.  It may be the best thing that happens to that person that day.  We never know where our gifts end up, but we do know that kindness ripples outward and spreads peace and love.

May kindness visit every day, many times……

kindness jewel

Standard
Change, Daily Life, Growth, Honesty, Inspiration, self love

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

So what story am I telling myself, and is it even true?  Something happened today that made me take a look at the stories we tell and where they come from.  How we build lives around them, make decisions around them, and was the story ever really true?

Someone I know (my son) has been living this story that today proved to not even be true.  He bought a car 1 1/2 years ago.  In order to register it in his name he had to have it smogged.  This car had modifications to the engines (guys car) so he said it would not pass smog.  He could not finish the registration and transfer because of this.  Time goes by, he gets an extension. More time goes by, he gets a tickets as his tags are expired.   He cannot get the tags, because its not in his name.  He gets another extension.  We have multiple conversations around this. He tells me there is an engine light causing the problem.  To fix it would mean much work and many dollars.  More time goes by, he gets another tickets.  Next move is impound.

There is much stress, anxiety, many conversations around this.  My sister tries to help, my brother in law gives advice.  Finally I say I need to tell my mechanic exactly why it won’t smog.  Tell me what the smog people said. My sons says “well I never tried to have it smogged.”  What?????  Deep breath…… Okay son, take it to the smog people, get an exact reason it will not smog and we can go from there. Today he takes the car in.  It passes smog.  There is no problem.  The story was not true. He built a whole piece of his life around a story that was not true.

our story

Our stories are important. We define ourselves,  we connect with others, we make decisions, all around the story we have decided is our truth.  But we have a responsibility to ourselves to  question these stories.  We cannot live blindly or stuck in an old story.  That does not do us or those around us justice.  Every now and then we need to check in and say is this still true?  How did we start believing this, was it ever true?  Looking at that will help us move forward and grow.  Maybe the story is still true, okay then we know are on the right path. We have to be wiling to look at ourselves and what we believe about ourselves every now and then.  Otherwise we are living by default.

One story I tell myself is that I am not the kind of woman a man wants to marry.  Where I decided this I don’t know.  I think it was to protect myself from being rejected.  This thought helped me get through failed relationships, giving me an out (not my fault),  after all I am not the kind of woman that men marry.  It couldn’t have been that I picked men who were emotionally unavailable, or younger and wanting to make a family. It couldn’t have been that I did not want to be married.  Shouldn’t every woman want that?  Isn’t that the dream?  How could I not want that?

Here is the thing, that thought helped me get through some really fragile years.  Years I should not have been thinking of marriage or any long term relationship.  So that belief served me well. It protected me, it gave me time, time to grow. I came out of a 20 year marriage and I had some healing to do. So that story that I told, well it helped me then.

But now, maybe I need to look at that again.  Because I still say it, and I am not so sure it is true anymore.  I think differently now.  I have grown in many ways and now my life has changed and so have I .   But if I keep thinking that and saying that, I will be stuck in an old pattern.  A pattern that doesn’t fit anymore.   Yes, I am independent and tend to need alone time, but I am sure there is someone out there that I am perfect for.   I am changing my story.

Our stories can be good, they can be empowering.  One of my mom’s stories was that she was lucky. And she was!  She was always winning contests and jackpots.  She went through her life saying “i’m lucky” and it served her well.  So how about some good stories.  How about I say I am smart, funny, capable? How about I believe that I am amazing?  I could say I am lucky in love, in finances.  Just plain lucky.  I could tell the story of how I survived a divorce and came out on the other side with my sanity. I could believe that I am available to be a wonderful partner. My story could be I am a great mom. My story could be I leave a blessed mark wherever I go.  My story can be whatever I want.

But I need to look at it.  What am I telling myself, what I do believe to be true?  And is it? No more hiding, no more fairy tales.  The princess is a queen now and stories are in the open.  Whether pretty, ugly, sad or uplifting, I own them.  I invite you to look at your stories.  What are you telling yourself, and is it true?  We all have many stories through our lives.  We can change them, we can write another chapter.  It is all in our hands.  But mainly be sure the story still fits.  Don’t try to live in outgrown skin.   Make a new story, and fill it with love.

Namaste

Standard
attachment, Daily Life, Growth, Love, Relationships

Can I Really Dis- Attach?

Attachment has been coming up a lot for me this week.  Attachment to things, situations, relationships, all kinds of things.  It seems like each time I check out Facebook there is some kind of quote on attachment.  Attachment reminders are all around me these days.

I keep wanting things to stay the same, it is like safety net in some ways.  For instance, I had a possession that I have been holding on to for awhile.  Even though I didn’t really treasure it, I always thought well, if I ever need it……    But this last week it was taken out of my hands.  I let someone else make a decision around it.  I gave that person instructions about letting go of it and she disregarded that and made her own choice.  Before I knew it, it was gone. At first I was taken aback, but then I thought a different way.  The clinging to it, the attachment was gone.  Not by my hand, but maybe that is the way it had to happen.  Because I felt a little freer. Like I could not quite make that choice, so the Universe made it for me.

I have a relationship in my life I am attached to. And I can see some shifting around that.  I might have to let it go. I don’t really want to, it brings me joy and pleasure.  But some things have happened around the relationship which may bring it an end. Is that Life’s way of saying “let go”?  I am not sure yet, but I at least have to look at it.

A feeling of aversion or attachment toward something is your clue that there’s work to be done…….Ram Dass

I have to listen to those signs.  What is coming into my awareness?   When I am sleeping (even though awake) it is easy for me to pass by the clues that I don’t really want to see.   If I see, hear or feel something, but disregard it, that does not mean it is not real. It means that I choose not to acknowledge it because it challenged my attachment.  The more I am attached to something the less awake I am to change and growth.

Because I am awakening it is harder for me to ignore the signs along the path.  And more and more I know everything means something.  All kinds of signals come my way.  I heard what you said, I saw the sign,  I felt the wrongness in my stomach. I knew it felt bad, I could feel the loss of personal power and choice.  Because I am attached to the idea, the belief, the person, the possession. the safety, the status quo, the past, my story I disregard the signals.

I am attached to so much, and does it serve me?  Only to a point.  When attachment impedes my growth it is not serving me.  When attachment holds space in my life keeping out newness it does not serve me.  When attachment keeps me feeling safe, that is an illusion. When I am attached to an outcome that is a set up for frustration and disappointment.

attachment So can I let go and let life happen?  I want to.  I did this week, a baby step.  I let go of a possession that I had been clinging to .  And I did it gracefully.  After a small feeling of shock and feeling an empty spot, i let go.  I even said thank you to the Universe for helping me dis attach. The relationship?  I am not sure yet, but at least I am willing to look with fresh eyes.  To not cling blindly and without thought.  I may make a choice which seems the same on the outside but has been made from a different mindset.

Sometimes I confuse attachments with love. It is easy to do.  Both have similar feelings for me. But they go down very different paths, and that is the trick, staying on the path of love.  Not straying off into attachment. Because attachments have expectation around the outcome, and often those are not met. For instance, I love my son. Simply love him. But I do have some attachments around that. Way less that I used too, but I am attached to the idea he loves me back.  I am attached to the idea he will stay in my life. I love him clearly, without judgement, without needing to change him, without wanting to control him.  The attachments I have are around how I want our relationship to play out. And I have to keep that separate in my mind.  When I become frustrated or hurt, this is not about the love, this is about the attachment.  And the attachment keeps me a little needy and a little powerless.  So if nothing else, I can recognize that and take the lesson.

I know this, attachments seem comforting in the beginning.  Whether it is a thought, a belief, a person, a situation, a possession.  But at some point when the agreement is not given freely attachments can become my burdens.  They stop me from living from a place of choice and freedom.  So I work on that.  I recognize when I am attached and look at how important that is to me.  Can I let it go?  Can I be free of that?  Can I have a different thought? Can I take a different path?  When I can do that I am free to enjoy what life has placed before me.  I don’t look to see where this is going, I don’t push the river.  I can be in the moment, I can dis attach and enjoy my life. I let go of worry on the future, I release the bindings of the past.  So this week that is what I am working on.  Dis-attachment and simply staying in the moment.  Letting Life take me down the road.  Because I can never be empty.  The Universe will always fill the spaces I open when I release.  I am open to the joy and love coming my way and I am making room for it.

Namaste

Check out our Facebook page, Edge of An Angel.

Standard