Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Change....

So this title probably freaked you out a little....  Since I'm usually going on about how things change and you change and everybody changes and you need to suck it up and go with the flow.

This post is a little different though. 

I find so many people forcing themselves to change because someone else wants them to be different and then becoming miserable with life because they don't know how to get back to where they were!

For instance; you can spot someone a mile away that looks like they are totally uncomfortable in that flashy new outfit that new boy/girlfriend loves on them.  Doing something like this for someone we care about is a noble act, but does it make you feel more the way you want to feel?

I think we may do this because we don't trust ourselves and sometimes we have no sense of who WE are and what WE like or we question ourselves because maybe it doesn't fit the 'norm' mould that others would love to place us in.

Maybe you are a couch potato, video game playing, pyjama junkie and 'new person in your life' is a little more outgoing.  Do you find yourself feeling guilty if you don't enjoy the social scene?  Do you find yourself questioning who you are?  What about criticizing or judging yourself because you'd rather be home cuddled up with hottest new XBOX release instead of out on the town stuffed into a 3 piece suit?

Of course it's not just new relationships and it's no big deal to go out once in a while to make someone's day.  Some of us grew up with the sense that someone knew us better than we know ourselves.  No matter what the scenerio, it happens to each of us at one time or another.

Heck, if it were up to the opinions of others I wouldn't still be blogging (especially that guy who once commented that my blog was a waste of space)!  And I certainly wouldn't be pursuing my passions in healing and teaching!

I can totally see the appeal of giving someone else control of who we are and what we will become though.  I mean if we don't know for ourselves then isn't someone else better off with that job?

I've had experience being someone who has given away that control, as well as one who has tried to change someone we love (haven't we all?). 

I can't count how many times I've wanted change for a friend more badly than the friend wanted that change.

Or how many pairs of brand new, never been worn pants are hanging in my husbands closet from the times I insisted he try a different style than what he prefers.

It's important NOT to change just because someone would prefer it.  It's important to not to give up your outspoken enthusiasm for life.  It's important to not give up your personal style, love of the arts, creativity, authenticity and wisdom.  It's important to dance to the beat of your own heart.

It's important to stand up for WHO YOU ARE!

Because if you don't you'll be robbing the planet of the incredible gift of the authentic YOU.

**Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it.  Not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. ~ Buddha**

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I have a virus....cough cough!

Well, not the kind of virus you think I have.  Not a physical body virus but the kind that is even BETTER!  Even more time consuming, energy sucking and frustrating!

A computer virus!


If there was ever a day when I wanted to totally revolt from technology today would be that day!

A call into 'AOL' Customer Support had me directly sent to a company who not only did not know how to help me change my email password (my only request btw). But proceeded to tap into my computer to 'help' me find what was wrong with it.

Well, imagine my shock when the tech showed me a screen that stated I had 501 viruses and 62,000 errors!

And why I didn't jump on the $299.99/year subscription to their top notch anti-virus protection program totally baffled her!

This is the point where my intuition started banging on the pots and pans to get my undivided attention. 

I said to the girl "how do I know that screen you just showed me is my computer?  How do I know that isn't the standard screen for the completely clueless so that you can wrangle them into your contract?"

No answer.

The call was redirected to another tech support person who tried the same pitch.

I hung up.

I just spent 3 hours on the phone with Customer Service India and still have yet to get a new AOL password. 


Welcome to the age of technology.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Life is a Blog Post

Today was one of those amazing days that hands you a blog post on a platter.

My oldest son booked his G2 drive test for this morning.

Now in my 'cool Mom' way I hadn't been worried in the least about him getting to drive himself everywhere.  In fact, I was pretty sure I welcomed it!

No more late night rides home for the girlfriend.  No more having to get him to the show on time or pick him up from a friends house.

Doesn't that sound like blissful freedom?

I thought it did.  Until from the inner depths of my Mom being came emotions I had no idea I owned.

And when did they decide to show up?  Yep, that's right, on the way to his test appointment.

My intention was to stay as calm and cool as possible.  The reality is the control freak from Mars was more than willing to rear her ugly head (again....cough) and somehow try to zap him back to being 5 years old and needing to hold my hand to cross the street.

Thankfully, I knew what was happening, so when he said to me "you are so worked up, what is your problem?" (with his usual 'oh my God I can't believe you are my mother' tone of voice) I knew how to explain myself instead of getting all worked up about it.

The truth is that no matter how much I think I have it all together, I'm still a mom.  I'm still learning how to deal with these new experiences, my emotions surrounding them and the inevitable truth that he is one day no longer going to be living in my home getting my kisses goodnight.

This experience called me out!  Had me on my knees begging to be spared the agony of seeing him drive off without me and having to endure the depth of motherly emotion I was not expecting!

Thankfully, God is on my side on this one and thinks he needs to stay under my protective wing for a bit longer because this attempt at his G2 was unsuccessful.


Even prayers from oblivious Mothers are heard.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Always learning something

There are so many wonderful perks to being a mentor to a young girl. 

Of course one of them is spending one hour of quality time per week, painting, drawing, sculpting with play-doh, shooting hoops and playing board games.  All of these things I don't slow down enough at home to enjoy.  I love that I come home with glitter glue on my shirt sleeve or dried play-doh stuck to the bottom of my shoe.

And of course being a positive influence for a young girl, sharing one on one time, helping her to realize how special and important she is in this world feels amazing!

I was told by many that being a mentor would benefit the child immensely, but that it would change my life forever.  I experienced that on the first day of meeting her, I felt so blessed to have the time and opportunity to be a positive influence to a young girl, and the sense that greater changes are to come hasn't lessened at all.

Being a mentor to this young lady puts me in a space of extreme responsibility.  To myself.  Watching her interact with her sister and other kids reminds me of when I was that age.  Unsure of myself, quiet and accomodating.

A time when it wasn't odd to be called names, teased about my size and made to feel like a complete waste of earthly space.

When I see her reactions to certain people I can feel that emotion that lives inside of me.  That still scared little girl.  That little girl who is so afraid that someone will notice yet one more thing that is wrong with her.  Who feels obligated to nurture and please others before she nurtures herself (if nurturing herself was even an idea to be entertained in the first place).

That little girl scared to say what she really feels, afraid to lose the affection and 'love' of the people around her.

The self abuse, self judgement and self criticism inflicted on this inner child has left scars so big I'm surprised they can't be seen by the rest of the world.  Except, if I really honest about it, they can be seen if you're looking close enough.

They can be seen in the way I disconnect when I feel someone getting too close.  I'd rather be alone than run the risk of failing someone and losing their love.  They can be seen in my need to be perfect, maybe not so much in the cleanliness of my home anymore, but definitely in other areas of my life.  These scars affect my weight and eating habits too.

This mentoring role seems to be shining a spotlight on the things I thought I had handled pretty nicely at the time, but that I'm finding I had just put into a closet and walked away from.  It's helping me understand more deeply what makes me tick and how much more I need to forgive myself than anyone else.

So it's true.  Becoming a mentor will most likely change my life more than it will change the child's life. 

Because, it already has.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Topic of the Day

The latest topic of conversation in our home has been all about stepping into your power aka "stop taking shit from other people and acting like a victim expecting someone else to fix things for you".

Hubby has been dealing with some workplace 'bullying' issues for the past 9 months or so.  You know the drill, employees having a conversation and then stopping abruptly when you walk in the room, ignoring you when you speak to them, keeping vital information about the operation of the building from you, accusing you of coming on too strong when there is an issue at hand.  Oh and my personal favourite screaming that you are a 'fucking asshole' then telling your manager that you are having difficulties at home to cover your sorry ass then never having to apologize for your behaviour.

Ahem.  Sorry I get a little passionate about this subject.

Isn't all of this behaviour 'kindergarten 101'?

This behaviour isn't the real problem in my opinion. 

The real problem is that hubby has decided that these people are right.  That they know him better than he knows himself and that he isn't the capable leader he once thought he was.

When I ask him what he feels he needs to do to get back in the groove of things he answers "get my confidence back".

Wrong answer.

Doesn't the thought of 'getting your confidence back' seem a bit daunting?  I mean, how do you actually do that in an environment that is breeding anger and resentment?

If you think you've 'lost your confidence' where you do you think it went and who do you think stole it from you?

Nope.  No matter what situation you are in, your confidence, skills, natural born qualities have never disappeared.  Fear has simply come in and thrown a sheet over it so that you can't see them temporarily.

I'm sure lots of people can relate to feeling just the way my hubby is feeling.  So, what do you do about it?

Can you remember a time in your life when you felt alive, passionate and purposeful?  I reminded my husband of the times he's spent starting up new treatment facilities.  How did that feel?  Did he question himself?  What was the outcome?  Was he respected for his role or was he degraded?  Was it hard for him to step into this role and get the job done?

Then we went through the steps of what is happening now, what it feels like, how it differs from those moments of triumph and purpose.  Has it been difficult to keep your mouth shut and let these people run all over you?

Now, if you could make a choice to be the person in the first scenerio or the second what would you choose without hesitation?

Of course, you'd choose #1.  It's who you are!  It's who you were put on this earth to be!

So maybe the key to changing your situation around is simply a choice to do so.  No homework, no extra reading, no programs or training.  Just a choice.

To Be or Not To Be.....  THAT is the question!

And that fear that is masking your greatness?  Well, it's just an illusion.

If he steps into his power what is the worst that can happen?  He won't lose his job because apparently you can scream 'fucking asshole' to your superior and not get fired for it.  So that's not a legitimate fear.

Your co-workers are already behaving as though you murdered their best friend and then set him on fire, so the fear of disconnecting from them is illegitimate as well.

And let's say he will need to find a new job, well there will be a new job waiting for him because the Universe gives to those who give empowerment to themselves without hesitation.  That's how it works.

So to everyone on the planet who seems to be up against a brick wall, where there seems to be no support or 'easy way out', instead of worrying about it and wondering what you can do to change it.  Just make a choice to be you (not the you others think you should be), the you that is magnificent and wise.  The you that knows just what to do when you need to do it.

And above all remember this:  You cannot live your life based on another persons emotional wellbeing.  You cannot walk around doing and being the person that will least ruffle feathers.  It just doesn't work and this world is in need of some feather ruffling.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Snapshot of my Life

Every morning is basically the same around here.
I lay in bed until 7:10am and I can hear the teenagers winding down their school prepping.

That signals that it's safe to enter the kitchen (a moment too soon could put me in the middle of the "there's nothing to eat in this house" war).

I walk up the stairs, say my good mornings and remind Nathan that there are dishes piled in the sink that need his attention and Evan that there is a cat clawing at the patio door looking to be fed.

You'd think these things would be obvious, and that after months of these reminders they would become automatic, but I live in the land of testosterone.  And I am convinced that testosterone causes blindness in men.

The occasional conversation about whether or not I'm willing to drive to Tecumseh to drop off a girlfriend that evening may ensue.  Depending on what my answer is, I may have to put up with a little 17 year old whining.  Which isn't totally unbearable since I know he can only stand there and whine so long before he needs to be out the door.

Evan usually is waiting by the door for his kiss and hug good-bye while these conversations take place. 

I wonder if he minds being the middle kid?

It's not long after Evan takes off for the day that Nathan gets his things together and walks out the door.

If he wasn't happy with the way the conversation went earlier, I may get a moon shot at me as I wave good bye and wish him a happy day.  Yep, it's gonna be a good day.

As much as getting mooned by your son in the morning isn't all that pleasant, this next part is even scarier. 

I have to wake up Ben.

Ben hates mornings.  Or I guess I should say he HATES mornings!

I pull down the covers from his head (he knows what's coming).  Kiss him on the cheek and rub his hair.

I try to be gentle waking this one up.  But no matter how sweet I sound, the words "Ben it's time to get up for school" always throw him into a fit of flailing limbs.

Usually, I can avoid getting a foot to the face.  Other times I'm too slow (mostly because I'm just waking up myself) and I get caught in the chaos.

He manages to get dressed and move to the couch.  Like clockwork I threaten to send him back to bed and call the school to tell them he won't be in.

I know you're all thinking that I have that one backwards, however this child will not miss school unless he is deathly ill.  He thinks it's a crime to miss a day and just the thought of missing schoolwork and having to catch up makes his stomach turn.  So as soon as I mention calling the school he is up and sharing his thoughts on my threat (that's a whole other blog post).

We get through breakfast and lunch prep relatively unharmed.  This morning he spends his extra few moments plucking out a tune on his bass.

With each tick of the clock I know I'm getting closer to the time when my day really starts.  The kitchen clean up, the bathroom wipe downs, laundry sorting and thoughts about dinner.  Today life will throw in a Reiki client, a distant healing and a networking event to balance things out.

This is my life.

And I love it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You are worth the effort of forgiveness

How do you forgive?

A couple of nights ago I held a forgiveness meditation on the beach in my town.  It was awesome!

I had a great group of people attend and you could feel the collective apprehension as they gathered and got cozy.

I could totally relate to their apprehension.  Of course, we all want to forgive, but we've never been taught how and it's a bit scary to think about letting go. 

I mean, if we let go of and forgive those we've been unwilling to forgive for so long, how will we feel?  What will happen next?  Will we survive without that story of unforgiveness?

These are definitely unchartered territories we are stepping into.

But, when the meditation was over I could see the physical changes in the way they moved and the brightness of their faces.  There was excitement in their voices.  Some were still very quiet, contemplating the enormity of what just happened or maybe trying to figure out how to maintain this place of peace.

The truth is, even the most stingy of people want to forgive.  It's our natural state of being.  We just don't know how.

Many people talk about forgiveness like it's no big deal.  Just forgive and let it go.  Let go and let God.

That's easier said than done.

Painful memories and hurt feelings keep us stuck in a cycle of unforgiveness.  A cycle of victimhood.

When you don't forgive someone you say things like "So & so did this TO me and I will never forgive her" and "My parents were unavailable emotionally for me when I was a kid and that is why I am like this today".

Some people won't forgive because they think the wrong was so big and so bad that forgiveness is undeserved.  There is a 'status' or 'label' put on the wrongs that we've encountered, some are worthy of forgiveness and some are not.  To be honest with you, if you have a status system going for your forgiveness, you aren't in a forgiving space to even forgive the smallest of hurts.  If you dig a little deeper you will find that you have never forgiven anything, you are harbouring experience after experience in your memory bank labelled 'unforgiven'.

When you don't forgive someone your body starts to show signs of wear, you become easily fatigued, distracted and frustrated.

Do you find that unforgiveness becomes easier and easier for you as you go on?  When you feel you've been wronged, you don't give it a second thought.  Unforgiveness just shows up as though it's the reasonable thing to do.  It's what is 'deserved'?

This is because unforgiveness and victimhood are cumulative.  They grow with each and every situation that you don't forgive or choose victimhood over empowerment.

I don't believe in snapping your fingers and "poof" forgiveness is found.  I'm sure there are people who can accomplish this, I am not one of them.

For me, it helps if I spend time with the stories that have been playing over and over in my head.  Getting acquainted with what I have been unconsciously telling myself gives me a perspective I might not have had before.  Where did these stories come from?  Are they true?  Can I find compassion for those involved in the stories?  If I can see things from a place of compassion and honesty then forgiveness streams in effortlessly, it just takes over and I find myself filling with love, empowerment and fulfillment.

There is extreme power in forgiveness.

How do you forgive?

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's a Girl Thing.....

Okay...  I'll give you fair warning.  I am going to share too much information here...  And it may get terribly disgusting I haven't decided yet.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

I haven't been to my doctor in 3 years.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

I know the ladies will know JUST what I am talking about.

And if it hadn't been for hubby having a bum knee and needing to get it checked out, that little bit of information would still be a secret to my doctor.

But no.

As soon as the 'Merritt family' file is opened the cat is let out of the bag.

Because...I am WAY overdue for my pap smear.

And it seems my doctor wants nothing more than to get that job done.  I've been hit with letters in the mail and phone messages asking me to call in to make an appointment.

Deep breath.

Personally, I feel pap smears are a violation of my right to keep my legs closed.

As I put it to my husband the other day "I don't even like spreading my legs for pleasure, let alone business!"  (Thank goodness he's used to my melodrama, he did not take this personally).

There is of course a million reasons why women detest pap smears!  They put you in the most vulnerable position you may ever see yourself in.  Not even child birth compares to the feel of cold clamp thingees being fed into your cavity and then cranked to spread you open like a turkey being prepared for stuffing!

I used to make these yearly appointments as if someone had a gun to my head.  Sweating profusely and stammering over words as I speak to the receptionist.

Then I lay on the bed with my knees spread in the air, I try to find my happy place before my mind starts wandering onto all of the horrific possibilities that could take place as I lay there open to the world.

Things like...what if someone pulls the fire alarm? Or......worse than death itself........gas!

Okay, okay I know there's the whole 'cancer' thing it's supposed to help detect.  However, I'd like to meet the lovely being that decided that this was the only way to get that kind of information. Just like I'd like to shake the hand of the fellow that thinks squishing a breast between two metal plates until you almost pass out is the only way to detect breast cancer! 

Notice I don't want to shake the hand of the fellow who invented pap smears....

I digress!

If we can get a man to the fucking moon, why can't we find an easier way to find 'private part' (I'm trying to be discreet...is it working?) cancer?

Another deep breath.

I'm sure that a yearly pap test is pretty much a walk in the park compared to the possible result of not finding cancer in time, but right now I just can't see the possibility, I'm too busy trying to find a body double to take my place.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Giving it up

Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to give it all up?  Not a suicidal moment, in fact not a thinking moment at all.  Not a negative experience, just a real experience.  A moment where it seems nothing is real and if you woke up tomorrow and it was all gone you would feel relieved?

I had one of those moments yesterday.  It was a split second visual of life up to this point flashing before my eyes and my brain wondering what it's all been for and my heart totally reaction-less.

It was strange and surreal and.......strange.

Strange mostly because this is not how I normally feel at all about my life.  So (of course) I questioned the validity of the moment.  Where did it come from?  Why did it exist at all?  What purpose does it serve?  Is it something I need to look more carefully at?  Was it fear?  Would I really be relieved if it were all gone tomorrow?

Honestly, I answered yes to that last question.

Maybe it's my addiction to the tv show 'House Hunters International'.  Seeing all those people give it all up to move to a remote location and live their dream life is SO appealling to me.  I feel like I could literally go with one suitcase and start a fresh life.   

As strange as the moment was.  It definitely felt like I instantly became clear about the concept of nothingness.

Nothing exists and yet we put so much emphasis on that nothing that it becomes something we are attached to and cannot live without.  We become emotional about it.  It stresses us out and causes us to behave in ways that we cannot explain.

So, how do I feel today?  The same.  The remnants of that moment are lingering, twisting and floating in my mind and body.  I'm not questioning it anymore though, I feel like it's a piece of wisdom that is living inside of me.  There's nothing for me to do.  There's nothing for me to need.  I am here and that is all.

This wisdom has most likely always been living inside of me, it's only now I know it's there.