Monday, November 26, 2012

Grateful For The Hateful

Gratitude.  It's a powerful force.

I found myself in front of the washing machine again last night, marvelling that all I have to do is put dirty clothes into a machine, press a button and VOILA! clean clothes.

Then I turned around and looked at the five piles of laundry that still needed to be done.

One part of me was very grateful for the ability to wash clothing so easily, that I had access to hydro and clean running water to make it all happen.  Another part of me was frustrated that I still had five piles left to do (knowing full well that it would easily be six piles come morning - how does laundry multiply so fast?).

This morning I woke up and ran through my daily 'things to be grateful for' list, then made my way upstairs for the dreaded 'wake Benjamin up for school' task.

Again one part of me could see all the things to be grateful for (a good nights sleep, a warm bed, my health, etc.) but when it came to waking up my son that gratitude went right out the window.

Do you see a pattern here?

Does this pattern seem familiar to you?

I didn't realize this was happening.  In fact, I thought I was doing a pretty good job in the gratitude department.  Making my neat little lists, taking time during my walks to look around and find things to be grateful for.  Focusing on gratitude before I fell asleep at night.  These moments of gratitude were filling me with a sense of peace and purpose.  Being grateful works!

But what about when the shit hits the fan?  Where is my gratefulness then?  That's where my challenge lies.

Gratitude moves you forward, my experience has been that any amount of feeling grateful is a very good thing for making positive change in your life.

I wonder though what kind of powerful force gratitude would be if I applied it to all those other times in life when things aren't running so smooth.  You know like your car breaking down (aka paying that hefty mechanic bill), physical pain or an unruly child.  These are the moments when gratitude is needed the most and when we don't acknowledge that, it slows the forward motion down, sometimes causing it to come to a screeching halt!

Gratitude 'should' be something we automatically feel, no matter what is happening around us.  I think though that we've become so busy with doing things and buying things and keeping up with things that it's not as natural as it was; once upon a time. 

So I would categorize being grateful as something you have to do on purpose.  It's something you have to be thinking about on purpose until it becomes a natural part of your personality (PS, it really is part of your personality but it's been hiding, practicing gratitude brings it back out into the open again).  Especially when you are being grateful for the hateful things in life, and there are sometimes a long list of hateful things. 

So....I am grateful that there are ONLY five loads of laundry left to do :)  And I am grateful that my son is healthy and strong enough to fight me off when I am trying to pull him out of bed :)

There, that's better.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Thought I Knew...

I thought I knew who I was... 

I thought I could say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was an unconditional lover.  That I was living my purpose on purpose, loving myself, full of happiness and joyful abundance.  I thought I could maintain peacefulness, patience and a loving demeanor throughout a challenging situation.  That I was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound....Ah, okay, maybe not that last one.

Then I found out I was only human.  Ha!  Imagine my surprise that my 'unconditional' love turned into love with hoards of conditions!  Imagine my surprise when I began to put someone else's emotional needs before mine (again) and proved to myself that I indeed did not love myself as fully (or unconditionally) as I thought!  Imagine my surprise when life began to place in front of me people and circumstances of all shapes and sizes whose sole (or soul) purpose was to mirror for me the things I had missed about myself, the flaws, the faults, the things I had tried to hide so neatly behind my smile.


And then, the vulnerability, the shamefulness of this realization.

"Oh what a fool I have been" she says dramatically as the back of her hand rests on her forehead, head thrown back in anguish. 

Personal realizations like this one are probably the number one reason why many people don't even look at themselves in the mirror, for fear of being 'found out'.

That used to be one of my biggest fears, or at least the thing my ego would scream at me the most "what if people find out that you are a big ole fraudy pants?"

I think that subconsciously I knew what my shadows were and I knew I wasn't proud of them but I had no idea how to use them to my advantage.  So instead they became something I feared.  The very idea of the closet door swinging open to expose all of my skeletons made my skin crawl.

And here we are, the closet door has been kicked in and I have been staring into the deep empty eye sockets of those skeletons for over a month and you know what?  They are nothing more than plastic props made in China used by the ego to keep me stuck in fear and worry.  That's it!

I wish I could say that facing these skeletons didn't affect me emotionally, mentally or physically.  They definitely did.  But there was something that I kept in mind every time one of them would peek out of the door. 

I kept in mind something that I heard Joyce Meyers say on one of her programs.  She said "God knows every inch of you, He made you just the way you are, nothing you do surprises Him.  So there is no sense worrying about every move you make and wondering if you'll ever become the perfect person because in His eyes you are perfect.  So just live!  Go out there and do what you do with passion and forget about what the 'devil' is trying to tell you through your faults.  God loves you beyond your faults."

I used that quote/reminder like crazy!  It made sense to me and it brought me back from the brink of insanity.

I like that!


All Hail Chiropractors!

So last week I decided it was GO time in the self care department.

After three months of living with more opportunities for stressful reactions than I can count; I hadn't been sleeping well, was experiencing WAY too many headaches and well, after one deboched (I don't care if that's a spelling error) speaking engagement because my brain forgot where I was; I figured it was time to take a look at what all of this stress was doing to my nervous system (clearly it was wreaking havoc, but I needed proof). 

Remember that commercial of the eggs frying in a pan on the stove and the announcer saying "this is your brain on drugs"?  This is kind of how I felt walking into the chiropractic office last week.  I should have been wearing a "this is your nervous system on stress" sign.  I was a walking freak show, science experiment!

My symptoms included:  fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of joy/purpose, depression, diarrea, regular headaches ranging from low grade constant to occasional migraine, stiffness in my neck and lower back, brain fog/mental confusion, insomnia, unfocused thoughts, quick emotional reactions to the slightest incident, lack of interest in anything that usually brings me excitement and passion.

From the sounds of these symptoms you'd think I had been in a major accident or something.  The only thing that was causing all of this was the fact that I was taking on too much responsibility for other people, taking things personally and allowing my negative thoughts to run around unsupervised.

After the kind doctor informed me of the parts of my spine that were out of alignment and the fact that I had been walking around with a rib out of place, we had a good chuckle and he asked if he could run a scan during my next visit.  He had a 'kid in a candy store' look on his face, like he just hit the jackpot!

We did the scan today and I got another adjustment.  The scan shows some pretty major 'deficiencies' in how my nervous system is functioning.  It will take time and gentleness with myself to get back into a healthy state of being.  I'm looking forward to it.

I left his office today with a print off of my scan as a reminder to be kind to myself.  I also left feeling like there was  hope for me afterall, that I wasn't some sort of zombie mom without a future (a little dramatic?  NOT!)

After just two treatments my creative potential is back; I'm gaining perspective on where I've been and I feel good about moving forward.  In fact during the first treatment I began to feel lighter and more joyful.

Say it with me  "All Hail Chiropractors".

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Back To Basics

Dog walks have always given me a great opportunity to be in nature while I pray and meditate.  I love to walk with Sundae and be in silence.  The only setback to this is that Sundae loves to pull me along, chase leaves and squirrels and almost pulls my arm off as she jumps after other dogs.  It doesn't matter if we've been to the dog park or not she has lots of energy, walks very fast and some days I just can't keep up.

It has been making me increasingly frustrated and embarassed.  Especially when she decides she needs to play and jump with every dog that we come across.

I feel like I'm wearing the 'bad dog owner' t-shirt when we walk!

So in my frustration (it took me a while) I decided it was time to call in an expert.  So I called my 'dog whisperer' friend and she gave me a crash course in getting Sundae to walk 'respectfully'.

Funny enough, before we could begin the walking instruction we had to go back to basics.  We had to start at sit and stay.  We had to go back to the beginning.  Something we hadn't done with Sundae.  She could sit, but she didn't stay.  We never taught her to do those things and so we couldn't expect her to listen to us when walking.

Funny thing.  This same thing applies to our own personal journeys.

Lately I've been searching (more desperately than usual) for a deeper connection to Spirit.  I've been searching for deeper knowledge and understanding of myself.  I feel like I'm at a time in my life when I am seeking and striving to become 'better' more than I ever have before.

I am literally a dog on a leash, I've read and listened and learned and now I am ready to go go go!  The problem is that I haven't really learned the basics.  I haven't learned to sit and stay (aka be still)! 

"Be still and know that I am God" is a scripture that I love but never seem to take the time to digest.

If what I am looking for is a deeper connection with God.  Then all I have to do is be still.  Nothing else matters but this stillness.

Once we know how to sit and stay everything else becomes effortless.  It's much easier to move forward without straining and stressing out after you've taken the time to gain clarity through stillness.  It's easier to speak clearly. It's easier to listen more closely.  Being able to sit and stay gives us the gift of deeper connection that we are searching for.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Love Affair

This Saturday I get to continue my love affair with public speaking!

The Some Ahhh In Your Life event takes place this Saturday @ Hilton, Windsor beginning at 9am.

There will speakers touching base on practically every area of life.  From health to personal growth to how to become more abundant financially!

Personally, I will be speaking about how you become what you believe.  So many of us don't realize that we are slaves to the beliefs we were fed as children.  Some of those beliefs serve us greatly, others keep us limited and stuck.

I'll be speaking from experience.  What I've learned about beliefs and how our lives follow the path of those beliefs is mind blowing and what I will share with the audience on Saturday will no doubt change lives.

I have some great tricks up my sleeve for this event and I can't wait to shed a little light and open some doors in the lives of those who attend this Saturday.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

That's What I'm Talking About

Tonight on the way to hockey with Evan we were talking about the usual stuff. 

Me:  "So, how's school going?  Tried any pot yet?  How 'bout drinking?  Sex?"
Evan:  "Nope.  None of that.  I'm not big on partying, it's so stupid.  Kids get drunk and do things they'll regret and then it's all over facebook and it's just dumb.  Schools good.  Oh, but did you hear about so and so?"

This began a conversation that blew me away!

I have always said that you really don't know how good of a job you've done as a parent until your children are set free and they begin to make decisions for themselves and they begin to experience life without you holding their hand.  And even then, they are who they are and their lives are meant to be what they are meant to be.

My son proceeded to tell me about how a boy in his gym class was being bullied.  His gym bag had been put in the urinals and the boys in the class were really making his life miserable.

Evan took this boy aside and shared how he knew how he felt.  That he'd been bullied all through public school into grade nine.  He shared that he knew it sucked but that he wasn't alone.  There is someone else that understands him.

The story goes, that all of the boys from the class were marched to the office to each share their side of the story.  My son got pulled into what he called 'the big boss' office' and sat for an entire period talking to the principal about what he knew and how he had supported this boy.  The principal already knew what Evan had done because the other boy had told him.  He supported Evan in his efforts to stand by this boy and shared how proud he was of him for what he did.  The other boys got suspensions.

If I wasn't driving I would've stood up and started dancing while shouting "That's my boy!  That's my boy!"

As my boys grow, I see them making decisions that blow me away!  They are compassionate not only about others but about themselves as well.  They aren't afraid to say what they need to say and they aren't afraid to stand up and do the right thing.

It's freaking amazing to see their lives unfold. 

I'd say I'm proud, but it's a very different feeling than pride.  I feel incredibly blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of their lives.  To be able to look at them and say "I am their mother."

My struggles as a parent are like everyone else's, but somehow I've learned to take those struggles and turn them into success.  Somehow, my children are growing into responsible, compassionate adults!  Somehow....  Whew!