Change, Daily Life, Death, Growth, Healing, Inspiration

Loving Mom and Letting Go

My dear friends’ mother is close to leaving this life.  They have moved her to hospice where she will spend her last days.  He is 500 miles away and I can be of little help. I can send loving thoughts and words, I can give him space to move though this time that is filled with fear and also amazing gifts. But I cannot do it for him, this is his path.

Still,  it is weighing on my mind.  It brings up the stuff around my mom passing all over again. Wounds I thought were dormant open up.  Memories I have placed aside reappear. Tears that have been shed, are shed again. Do we, must we, keep feeling the pain over and over?  How do you heal? Maybe you don’t .

I guess I  have thought of healing as one and done. . Like when you heal from a cold or illness you are well and you are done with that process.  But cuts leave scars, some illnesses leave weakness.  Here is a timely and perfect example.  7 years ago we had big fires in our area of CA. The smoke was bad and for me, toxic.  It made me sick. Then the airs cleared and time passed. I recovered and was fine.  But ever since then when there are fires and the air is smoky I am easily affected by it. It bothers me way more than it ever did before the toxic smoke.  I have a weakness now, left from the first fire.

And I guess I have a weakness for people dying. I have experience with it.  I know how it feels.  And right now the mom experience is knocking back at my door. But here is what I know, I am stronger now.  The gaping wound left when she passed is smaller.  And opening of it is gentler. There is a lighter touch to the wound.  I can feel the pain and still breathe. And for that healing, I am grateful.

Its been over 3 years now and the memories of my mom have faded from the harshness of her last couple of years.  Now I look at the mom that was happy, who was loving and had a future in front of her. But still, I have the lessons of how life can change and bring unhappiness and bitterness if you allow it, or invite it.  And mom did that, I need to be honest about that, so I do not fall into the traps that she did. If her life is to show me some me lessons, well, I need to see them.

Back to my friend.  I am so sorry your mama is leaving you. I am so sorry for your pain right now and your loss. I am sorry you have to see your father and your family lost and sad.  I am sorry that this moment is upon you.  But I am not sorry you have had a mother you grieve to lose.  I am not sorry you get to learn compassion. I am not sorry you will have growth. I am not sorry you will learn more about your amazing strength. I am not sorry you will experience the love and compassion of friends and family. I am not sorry you are living life and seeing complete cycle. I am not sorry, my dear, that life has graced you with this most important lesson of loving and letting go.  May Peace and Love cover your every breath.

Namaste

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Change, Daily Life, Growth, Healing, mantra, Self

Turn the Page

Change, transition, acceptance, release. surrender…..oh my gosh, turn the page. Sandy, just turn the page.

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?”
Mary Manin Morrissey

I have been noticing mantras in my life lately.  So mantras are good to have.  I can’t really accept a mantra that comes from outside myself.  I can read them and think oh that sounds good.  I like that.  But to have it in my head and working in my life it has to come from my Source.  And I have to pay attention to those. I have a really good one right now “I am a money magnet, it’s the Law”. That comes up for me, a couple times a day.  It feels good, it feels positive and it feels authentic.

And here is another one, and this one comes up more frequently and has more struggle around it.  Turn the page. Well  it feels bigger, turn the page, turn the page, turn the fucking page. Everywhere in my life, just stop with the past, embrace the present and live right here, right now.  Turn the page.

Sometimes I do it visually.  I see a face like in a book and watch a page turn to cover it up. Turn the page, let it go. I see a way of life that has passed, turn the page. I see a friendship that is completed, turn the page. I see an unhealthy habit I no longer need, turn the page.  I see a role in my life that has played out, turn the page.  I long for my old home, turn the page. I mourn relationships past, turn the page.

But here is the problem, I can turn those pages from here to eternity but if I am not stepping into something new, I will keep going back.  Turning the page and seeing the blank slate scares me.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I am so free in my life. I really only take of myself.  I only have a couple of relatives left and both of them are adults who have their own lives. Sure if they need me I am there to help, but in daily life no one is dependent on me. I don’t even have a boyfriend. So what do I do with all these blank pages?  I don’t know and I think that is why I am stuck.  And I turn the same pages over and over.

I can take today and enjoy it, and honestly I will.  I will have a good day, I will talk with friends, smile at the world. I am off work this week  so I will relax and enjoy myself. But somewhere in the back of my mind and buried within my heart is an echo of “I don’t know what to do with myself and I am a little lost.” And then the past calls me back, and I have to turn the pages all over again.

I don’t know how to step into the future except by one breath at a time. Yesterday I was out walking and I had a moment of fearlessness around the future.  I had a moment of my heart saying “I will say yes to everything placed before me”. I had a moment of releasing the past and being right in today.  I had a moment of freedom. I had a moment of endless choices and the ability to move into them.  I did have that moment. Can I have more than a moment, can I have a day, a week, a month?

Was yesterday my baby step into the future?  I believe this to be a truth for me.  I need this to be a truth for me.  Otherwise I am spinning my wheels and wasting my time.  And I don’t really have time to waste.  So I am going to remember my baby step and that is page I am holding open. Here I am, free and available to the Universe for a beautiful and fulfilling future. Perhaps Tupac said it best:

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.”
Tupac Shakur

So I really have to be willing to leave the past in the past.  Yesterday I cleaned out drawers and closets, filling bags with things that no longer work in my life. It is a step forward, to let go of what does not fit, what never fit, what someone else thought I should have, what is worn out, torn, stained, simply over. My closet is a microcosm of my my life.  A snapshot of who and what I am.   I kept the most precious, I kept what works in my life and makes me feel good.. The rest I release to the the Universe. If i can do that with clothes and shoes I can let go of thoughts, ideas and habits that no longer support my growth and my joy.  Let it go Sandy, turn the page.

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Choice, daily practice, Growth, Healing, Love, Relationships

Go Where the Love Is

You know how phrases get caught up in your mind.  You could call in an affirmation, a mantra, or simply something that is stuck in your head.  For a few days now this is mine….Go where the love is.  I have struggling lately trying to get my footing again in the world.  I make a few steps forward and then life comes along and blows me down a different path.  And I need some healing, some way to stay in my center.  So, go where the love is.

Love is everywhere.  It is not a person or a place.  It is that and more.  Love is a feeling of being wanted, being welcomed.  Whether walking among the redwoods or laughing with a friend, there I find love.  Love is a feeling of peace in my heart, I can find that in a sanctuary or by the water.  I can find love in a good meal, a good book, watching a little league game or while writing this. Love is a state of being, a calmness within that allows me to recognize I am supported by the Universe and that God wants only to give me my good.

And my good is love.  So why not go where the love is? Why spend any time in places or with people that do not support this?  Sometimes I am strong and I can go out there and be the love of the world.  I can take on the haters and show love anyway.  I can let their opinions and negativity roll off my back.  I am armored in love. I can lead the way.  Those are amazing times.

And there are times like now, I am more fragile, I have broken pieces.   I love this practice from Japan.  How they fill the cracks with gold and the piece becomes even more valuable.  I want to fill my cracks with love. That is how I will heal myself. fill with gold I will be richer, more valuable and have more depth in my soul.  I will let these jagged pieces smooth with love.  I will patchwork myself back together with love.  I will breathe in love  and I will breath out peace. Love is the strongest force in the Universe.  Love always wins.  Love is stronger than hate, sadness, fear, despair, anger, apathy.  So letting love heal, I will be amazingly strong.  My cracks and fissures full of the most valuable energy ever known.

So I have to go where the love is.  And that means listening to the call of my heart.  That means saying no to the people, places and things that do not love me.  In those circumstances where I know I am out of balance I have to step away.  I must close my ears when I hear things that do not support loving me.  When I feel uncomfortable or anxious I have to look at what I am doing and who I am with. I have to be willing to step away and say this does not support my healing.

That can mean letting go of people or circumstances already in my life. Although I am pretty careful about who I let in,sometimes someone comes in through a crack. Perhaps I am lonely or emotional.  Maybe I think they need me, my ego wants stroking.  It could be an outgrown job or social connection.  Old friends, who somehow have hung on.  And it  is mainly me, holding on to fears and outgrown ideas.  Hanging on to the past to avoid the future.  Clinging to today because tomorrow seems scary and unknown.

So right here and now this is my mantra, this is my daily prayer…..Go Where The Love Is.

And when that moment is done, again, Go Where The Love Is.  and again and again.  Stay where the love is. Only accept love.  Fill myself body and soul with love.  Seal those cracks with love. Be Love. Live Love. Breathe Love. Stay where there is Love. Because that is what will save me, Love will save me. Love will make me whole.  And then, armored in Love,  I can step out as warrior for Love.  So then, when you need to “go where the Love is,” I am here for you.

Namaste

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Daily Life, friendship, Growth, Honesty, Love, Self, self love

It’s Okay if You Don’t Like Me… I Like Me

Is the quickest way to peace of mind to love yourself?  For some reason this week this statement has been running through my mind “It’s okay if you don’t like me, I like me” I don’t even know why but all of a sudden I am kind of falling in love with myself.  And it feels good.  It feels peaceful, no struggle, no trying to fix myself.  No trying to change for someone or appease someone.  No thinking they are right about me and I am wrong. I am simply relaxing into who I am.

katieI think most people like me, but not everyone.  At one point I would have been wondering why.Did I do something, was I offensive, do they disapprove of my lifestyle?  How can I fix this?  Can I make them like me. Well no I cannot. And is that okay?  Yes.  You can not like me, you can not want to be my friend. I like me and I will be my friend.

The more I am loving myself the better I am to the world.  The better to my friends, my family and the community I live in.  It is like stopping a struggle, the struggle to prove myself.  I get it that I am not everyone’s cup of tea.  And that is okay, there are many flavors out there.  And what I know is, I cannot please everyone. I have to start with myself.

There are certain people I have great respect and love for.  These people, I do care what they think.  I do listen to their opinions and it is important to me that they like me, that they approve of me. But that is a handful of people, and honestly at the end of day if they cannot love me for who I am, I still cannot pull myself in pieces trying to be who they need.  They are just going to have to need me to be as I am, and love me anyway. Everyone else, take me, or don’t.

Okay I am not perfect.  I see things in myself I want to change.   I can jump to conclusions.  I am defensive, I can be self absorbed.  I will let my emotions rule my head.  Sometimes I talk too much and forget to listen.  Other times I don’t talk at all and shut down. I will overshare and then undershare.  I will take way too much crap and then be mad at others and myself.  So I guess I am human.

But I am also amazing.  And I don’t even need to list all those things, it is enough that I know them.   Also,  I am a work in progress.  And I am learning more every day and trying to apply it.  It is all about baby steps.  One after another.  I can look back and see progress.  I am way less concerned with how the world sees me and more connected to my own vision. I am not afraid of you anymore.  I am not afraid of your opinion.  I don’t not have to change for you. I am free, or least on my way.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

– Louise L. Hay

Someone I loved gave me a box of darkness…. I have spoken of that before. My mother, one of my great teachers.  She did not like herself, let alone, love herself. I watched her push the world away one by one.  I heard her say  so many times things like “Well, I don’t like me.”  And I thought, I love you, can’t you see that?  Can’t you see how amazing the world could be for you, if you would stop this, and starting loving yourself.  She never did, until the very end, she pushed us all away. And I do not want that for myself.  I do not want to repeat how my mom lived.  I do not want to not love myself. I saw what it could do, it was not beautiful, or loving, or peaceful.

The more I accept and love myself the better I am to myself.  I recognize that it makes a difference in the foods I eat, I sleep I get.  I seek out people and circumstances that feed my soul with joy.  I make sure I relax and not be demanding on myself.  I speak well to myself about myself. When I am in a state of self love, I can go out there and change the world.  I can go out there spread love.  I can be joy.  I can be compassionate.

And the struggle to be something we are not can end.  When I know I do not have to change for you to like me, I also know you do not have to change a thing for me.  You are perfect, you are amazing.  You are a beautiful, unique and irreplaceable. You get to celebrate that.  We can each shine our light, our perfect light out into the world saying “Here I am, there is no one else like me and for that I am grateful”.

Namaste

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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.

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