Change, Daily Life, Gratitude, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, Spirit

Everything Changed, and I Don’t Have a Plan

That time of the year that brings out the best and worst in me.  Because as much as I am about light, joy, love, tucked away inside are pockets of sadness, fear and loneliness.  And holidays exacerbate that.  Those places of pain keep floating up.  They come up when I am alone, they come up through music, they come up when a harsh headline catches my eye, when I waken and see that I am alone.  I am fragile this time of year.

Perhaps it is autumn.  The very brilliance of nature displayed before my eyes every day.  And yet the earth is giving her last beauty before shutting down for the winter.  The days are shorter and home calls everyone sooner.  I miss living with a family.  I feel that more in the fall and winter.  My father’s favorite time of year was Fall.  He died Nov 6, 1997.  I miss him every day, but most especially right now.  My mother,  she received her cancer diagnosis the week after Thanksgiving 3 years ago. November is hard for me.

Everything has changed, and I don’t have a plan. All the ways I thought my life would go, this was not it. I never thought I would be alone so long. I have been divorced almost 20 years.  It was never my plan to stay single forever.  I have always been longing for that relationship that would enhance my life and take to the next level.  My fear is that I am running out of time.  I fear I will die without having ever been really loved.  I am not talking about family and friends. I know I am loved. But to have that sharing, loving, interpersonal relationship with one person, that is missing. It is like I go through the day and say nope not today. I go through the week, the month and the year, and say ‘not yet” keep waiting. Stay open, be available to what the Universe has in mind. But really this was not my plan.

I am in 50’s, my son is 36. I don’t have any grandchildren.  He gets to live exactly as he chooses, and I love him unconditionally. But this was not my plan.  By the time he decides to have children (if he does) I am afraid I will be too old for us to really fully enjoy each other.   I just thought there would be grandchildren in my life at some point.  It is another relationship that is missing from my life.

So I feel melancholy, wistful for the past, wishing the present was different.  I guess my biggest fear is that I am running out of time.  The months and years are passing, and I am getting older. And everything has changed, and I don’t have a plan. Do I just run with that?  Be okay with no plan, no goal, no agenda.

I am simply living my life everyday, as best I can. Is that enough?  Because right now I am kind of living on faith.  Faith that at some point all of this will make sense.  Faith that this path with all of it’s twists and turns. the sunny and dark spots is leading somewhere. Faith that somehow all my lessons and growth are steering toward that time in my life when I can say “yes, this was where the path was taking me, I am home” .

I did an online search to see if anyone else supported not having a goal or a plan.  This is the only thing  I found..

Effort within the mind further limits the mind, because effort implies struggle towards a goal and when you have a goal, a purpose, an end in view, you have placed a limit on the mind.”
― Bruce LeeTao of Jeet Kune Do

Everyone else thinks you need a goal, a plan, an agenda to move you forward in life.  I like the Bruce Lee one, I like not placing limits.  I want to be open to the Universe and whatever path It takes down.  But then, we are back to faith. I know things are going to change in my life.  I know at some point I will live somewhere else. I know my son will fall in love and have babies.  I know a new relationship will come in my life. I will make new friends, have new experiences, say goodbye to people, places…..  I don’t have a plan for of any this.  Is that okay?

In my faith, Centers for Spiritual Living, we recognize that we are God manifesting on earth.  That everything is God, everyone, every being, no exceptions.  We all walk through life made up of the same substance that God is. And we know that we work together with God to manifest the state of being we find ourselves in.  We understand it is God working through us to experience life on this plane and it is God’s great pleasure for us to live in joy.

And that is my faith.  And that is what carries me through the dark sides of my life.  I know experiencing these feelings, sharing them, living them helps me to grow and be more humble and compassionate. Talking about my fears brings them to the light. I don’t have to hide away and feel different and alone.

I know I have been blessed, so very blessed.  I grew up knowing love, I have been able to bear and love a child.  I have loved in many different ways, friends, lovers, pets, family, nature, God.  I am way ahead of so many people. And I know this, every single day.

But I am human and complex and my pain and fear is valid also. I don’t have to be homeless, battered, disabled or the many other states that people struggle through to have my feelings.  I get to have my feelings. I get to have my dark places.  I get to be lonely, I get to be wistful, but I don’t get to stay there.  I remember who I am and why I am on this path.  And when my step falters, I pause and feel my feelings,then I  take a deep breath, and say “This too, is God”

And so it is…….

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Daily Life, Gratitude, Inspiration, Relationships, Self, Spirit

What am I Spending my Time On?

How are you spending your time? How am I spending my time? I have been learning lessons along the way from sister while she goes through her rehabilitation to regain her life. I am her greatest supporter and cheerleader.  I also watch her carefully for bumps in the road that she might not see coming. She is in the thick of it and I am outside so I have a different perspective. And what I know is her resources, both physical and mental, are limited. And how she uses her resources (energy, time, thoughts, habits) are going to determine the quality of her life to come.

So I say to her ” I know you are not hungry, but when you do eat make sure the food is healthy and good for you.”  ” I know you get tired, so spend your time on things that feed your soul, that make you happy.”  ” I know your mind can only absorb so much right now, so don’t take in information that will not help you heal and recover”.  And we work on that, making sure she uses her resources in a way that will support her recovery.

We all need to do this. I need to do this.  I have been down this road myself but my sister has reminded how important it is. How am I spending my time, and what am spending it on?  Does it make life better, does it make me happier, have more joy, more love, more peace, more growth?  And if does not, why am I doing it?  I don’t have to be in crisis to spend my time wisely and mindfully.

I know I have to go to work everyday to support myself.  I know that every day at work is not awesome. But I can still be awesome.  I don’t have to let my surroundings define me. It is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of stress and gossip that pervade my work place. But that is not me, and I can have a boundary around that.  And I actually do. Occasionally I slip into it. But I have to tell you I slip out it pretty fast.  I know that is not who I am. I know my basic purpose for being at work is financial. It enables me to live my life freely and without obligation.  But beyond I also know my purpose where ever I am is to be a loving presence. So yes, even though I spend 40 hours a week in an office and all that goes with that, it is my choice and a decision I have freely made.  I do not let my workplace define me.

So beyond the work week everything is my choice. I always can say yes or no. But I also know if something shows up in my life on some level I have invited that. Even if it is not comfortable or pretty or easy, it is still my lesson.  I can learn it now or it will just come back later.  The older I am the more I take the lesson now. Why not, I have to learn it to move forward.

And the older I am the more I know what I do not want in my life. I don’t want drama, I don’t want gossip, I don’t want negativity, I don’t want anger, I don’t want to be around people that will use me, I don’t want hatred.  And I don’t have much of that around me.  I see it, I read about it, I overhear it, but it does not come into my space very much. And I think that is because I have worked hard for the last few years on defining exactly what I do want in my life and spending my time watering those seeds.

So my life is good, I spend time making sure it stays that way. I spend time on things that feed my soul. I read inspirational writings, I spend time in nature, I spend time at church, I spend time with those I love, I spend time in prayer, I spend time in music,  I spend time in creating a safe haven to come home to. I spend time in my community. I make sure my family and friends know I love them.  I listen to them, I share with them. I also spend time on junk tv and on dirty jokes with my girlfriends. I spend time going to lunch or dinner, enjoying what world has to offer. I spend as much time as I can in laughter. I spend time taking photos of whatever moves my soul. I spend my time moving my body whether exercise, sex or a walk in nature. I enjoy my body, I feed it. I let it sing, I let dance, I let it live.

And that is what I spend my time on. And each of those things are choices I make day in and day out. I choose to spend my time on things that feed my soul.  I hope you do too. Life is fast and can change on a dime.  Don’t waste your minutes because they become your hours, and that becomes your life. Everyday you get to choose where you spend your time.

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Daily Life, Gratitude, Inspiration, Relationships, Spirit

The Gratitude Season

Starting November 1st I am doing 30 Days of Gratitude.  With all that has happened lately and the holidays coming up this seems timely for me.  And of course here in America it is the Thanksgiving season, so thankfulness, gratitude, appreciation, all of that is blooming.

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How my 30 days looks is like this:  I have  a Facebook  page and I will simply post each evening whatever I am grateful for that day.  In addition I am exchanging a gratitude text with my sister each night and maybe one other friend.  I haven’t heard back from him yet.  I want to do those personal ones because they are both so very important to me and sharing this will only strengthen our bonds.

I haven’t always been grateful, at least actively.  I took so much for granted.  I think that’s just being young.  I felt immortal, I was self absorbed. I was in a rush and the intensity level was high. I had many lessons to learn, one of them has been gratitude.

“I have learned over a period of time to be almost unconsciously grateful–as a child is–for a sunny day, blue water, flowers in a vase, a tree turning red. I have learned to be glad at dawn and when the sky is dark. Only children and a few spiritually evolved people are born to feel gratitude as naturally as they breathe, without even thinking. Most of us come to it step by painful step, to discover that gratitude is a form of acceptance.”
― Faith BaldwinMany Windows, Seasons of the Heart

I have to say I am pretty grateful everyday in all kinds of ways.  The older I am the more grateful I am, and it’s for the simple things. The blue sky, the rain, the changing leaves, a gentle touch, humor, a phone call, a text, a warm bed, food,….I think these were all today.  It has been a process, a Practice actually.  I have had to be conscious of my thoughts.  I have had to look for gratitude.  It did not bloom overnight. But now gratitude comes naturally, every day I am grateful. And I know, and I speak it and I share it.

With gratitude comes calmness, peace, harmony, joy, love, acceptance, all the things I searched for.  I find them through being grateful. And even when times are hard, there is always, always something to be grateful for.  And the more I feed gratitude, the more my life settles into a pattern of Peace, a pattern of Joy.

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

So yes, even though it sounds simplistic be grateful you wake up, start there. Be grateful for the coffee, or the tea, or the hot shower.  You could be grateful for 10 things first thing in the morning.  It does not always have to be the big stuff, small stuff matters.  Because the little things, those are the things that make up our life.  And when we have a pattern of gratefulness for the small things, when something big arrives, whether it looks like trouble or not, you can move easily and gracefully into gratitude.  It will be your “go to” place. Because all of our lessons are not easy.  Sometimes they are scary, hard, sad, confusing, even then stay in gratitude, It will bring you through with ease and grace.

I invite you to join me in 30 Days of Gratitude. Do it your way, whatever feels good to you. Write it down, whisper it to the sky, share with friends, have it be the voice of your heart.  There are no rules, you decide. Do one a day, three a day, whatever works. Say thank you.  You don’t have to believe in a certain God for this, you could say thank you to yourself. You could thank you to Universal Energy, you could say thank you to the Trees, you could say thank you to Father Time, Mother Nature.  It doesn’t matter, because this is for you, to make your life better, do it your way.  But do it. It is the path to Peace and Joy.

And for today, I am grateful to be sharing myself with you………

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