Changing

 

I read an article a few days ago offering advice to respond to situations in a new light. Change old habits of impulse reactions, particularly ones that involve anger, negativity, resentment. Note the usual reaction, stop, and try a new way. Changing thought patterns. Clearing a new path. I like it. I like the suggestion. It feels, I don’t know, hopeful? I actually  practiced it the other night. As I lay thinking about a friend who has hurt me on so many levels, I found my anger rising, my body tightening, and then….I stopped. I acknowledged this almost habitual response and decided to consciously process my response differently. In a more constructive or at least less negative-feeling way. What I have noticed is when I start to feel this anger and hurt, it snowballs. My body and mind pay the price. So in this moment I took a deep breath, placed one hand on my stomach, my center, and one hand on my heart and I let it go. Did it make it hurt any less? Not so much. But what it provided was a place where that hurt could no longer control and weaken me. It was a safe haven of sorts. And I did’t have to physically go anywhere.

It is all here – within me.

Be

I’m trying, trying to demonstrate how I want my own boys to be

How I hope they will treat others…

But I am pushed back, not by them

I am not allowed to provide them the example I wish for them to witness

I have done all I feel I can, and then I try more

And my heart starts to ache, my breathing increases, but shallow

Don’t they deserve more?

Who are their role models?

How will they be better fathers and husbands if they haven’t witnessed a better example?

My purpose in my life was without a doubt to be a mom

And I will always work to be better at my purpose

 

Be kind, be considerate, be unselfish, be giving

Be love, be happiness, be compassionate, be alive

Be nurturing, be supportive, be forgiving, be strong

Be a hero in your future children’s eyes

….and do not allow a moment to slip by when you can be everything to them

 

Renewal

In 2017 there will be a renewal of…

absolutely, positively hope. yes, a renewal of hope

love, love, love. you may have gone astray at times, but I challenge you, love, to a renewal

meditation. from the candle gazing ceremony last night where the flame represented change to the seconds of deep, conscious breaths, meditation is surely up for renewal

without a doubt motivation will stand strong. you have been by my side for as long as I can remember and 2017 will be no different

magnified compassion. pushing its limits. to overcome.

ADVENTURE. oh where did you go? Surely you must know you did not show up nearly enough in 2016!

and of course peace. peace within my heart. within my soul.

happiness. that radiates. that shines from my eyes and leaves a dusting. everywhere.

Are you ready 2017? I am!

 

Serendipity

Just last weekend I had the good fortune of being invited to a house party to watch the movie “Bad Moms.” Because it was a friend of a friend, I was in a way the “odd man out.” It was a group of women who all lived in a particular neighborhood…except for me. While the movie is definitely well worth watching – and let me just say I picked up more of the sentimental excerpts the second time around more than likely because the first time I was just laughing so much I simply missed them – it was the conversation prior to starting the movie that cements in my mind. Let me share….

The woman hosting made reference to her “soon-to-be-ex-in-laws.” This is a mom of three, full time mom and full time social worker, a woman of great humor, what sounds like a very trying past, and one I met through a mutual friend on a ski trip about three years ago. After that ski trip I honestly didn’t even remember her name. I had seen her maybe twice in passing usually at the school. But we ended up at yet another mutual friend’s home just a month ago and I became part of a conversation that included getting together to watch the movie “Bad Moms.” So here I was a bit of an outsider at a gathering with women I mostly did not know, but I knew the laughter for me would be medicine. However, the night presented me with another surprise.

This woman told me during the ski trip about three years ago she remembered starting her car to warm it up before making the three hour drive home. (She had only stayed one night so we didn’t share much conversation up until this point). When she came back in to gather the last of her belongings, our mutual friend and I had been discussing my separation. At this time, my husband and I were sharing two homes – which we continued for a year and a half. I remember the woman telling me I should travel and give presentations on how to separate in a healthy manner. I took this comment with a grain of salt. She was a social worker and I knew she was trained to be a good listener. And she was…she was listening. Before we all knew it a solid hour had passed and she suddenly remembered her car had been running this whole time.

Fast forward to the present, and she told me that conversation was life changing for her. Little did I know, her marriage had been struggling. She had been desperately trying to determine a healthy transition to separate but had only believed that was in theory and could not actually be executed. My story…my experience!….actually gave her hope. It gave her the courage to move forward slowly, but positively. And at the heart of all this are her three young children. The unfortunate part is that her marriage is dissolving. But the wonderful part is that it’s amicable. And knowing that that is occurring as a result of me and I actually gave someone hope, in return, gave me hope. Hope! Serendipity…it was all serendipity.

Thanksgiving – Top Ten

A time of year to reflect on being thankful. It reminds me of 50 Happy Things…. and then some. When you take the time to focus on gratitude and positivity, happiness flourishes. So without further ado, this Thanksgiving I am giving thanks for…

having a purposeful job – helping to change families’ lives for the better

a strong enough body – one that carries me to all the places I need and want to go

access to beautiful, tasty, and healthy food – and the ability to create meals for my boys

my home – it keeps us warm, holds our memories tight, and safely tucks us in at night

the crisp fall air – it replenishes, repletes, awakens

connections – to family, to friends, to co-workers, and to strangers

forgiveness – the freedom that accompanies, the lightness

hope – and the momentum it carries along

moments – being present, recognizing

my boys – without a doubt the greatest gift and one I will be forever grateful for

 

I wish everyone a peaceful Thanksgiving, one filled with moments, hope, and maybe even forgiveness.

 

Today

Yesterday I was briefly listening to a podcast from Pema Chodron. Actually, I was half listening – multitasking. But, she said something that grabbed my attention. She talked about how we often blame today for past issues.  It’s true, our past may have resulted in today. And all too often we can get caught up in making excuses of why we are where we are. “Oh it’s because this happened”….”This happened to me”….”I shouldn’t have done that”….We are all probably guilty of using our past as a crutch of some sort.

But it’s all past tense. If we want to shape our future, it’s today, this moment that counts.

In many ways, hearing this felt good. Freeing. Letting go.

Although I may not express what Pema Chodron so eloquently stated, remember this: Today….there is hope.

Looking Back

It’s been a few weeks. My mind has gone astray. Yet so much to write, so much to say. What’s become apparent to me is how much perspective I gain when looking back. In the moment I’m stifled, but later I am free. And in this time of feeling free, I am able to relish in the memory. To learn what I need to learn. To strengthen my soul, my being. To realize my mistakes and clear my judgment.

I crossed the finish line of the Marine Core Marathon. 26.2 miles. (Actually, according to my brother’s Garmin, it was more like 26.7 miles!). Confident going into the race, albeit nervous, I started out well. Temperatures reaching 80 degrees, humidity making all runners that much more sticky and wet, I ran well. Until mile 18 or 19. Starting to fade, my strength, my knees and back aching, I started to walk. With small jogging intervals in-between and self-talk that included more of “I can’t believe this. I don’t think I can do it” than it should have, I none-the-less placed one foot in front of the other. Scenarios of having to tell family and friends I did not finish, replayed in my mind. My stomach felt sick. Knowing I needed nutrition, I tried to replenish but my body refused. The noise of people cheering along the populated streets, the music, all of it felt like sensory overload. I worried about the fine line I was walking between determination and requiring a medic. Fully aware anxiety can blur that line. My face spoke of defeat. Reaching the top of the last hill, short but steep, I started to jog. Crossing the finish line greeted by many Marines all smiles shaking the hands of those that managed to get to the “other” side, I continued with a feeling of sadness. I slowly and not proudly walked towards a Marine who placed the medal over my head. Smiling so slightly, he offered more of a laugh back at me. He, I am sure, has ran a true race of endurance. Protecting our country. And he most probably has witnessed more than I could ever imagine. Yet, he and all of his fellow Marines cheered us on this day, supporting us, encouraging us, pushing us. And looking back, I still understand how I felt. I know I didn’t reach my goal. I know why I felt defeated. But I now know, it was an amazing day full of lessons and gifts and love.

Over the past four years, I can look back and see more clearly what was happening. In the moment, it was blurry. Looking back, it is clear. There are always moments of hope, goodness, happiness. Sometimes it takes looking back in order to be able to appreciate and relish in them.

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Relish