Gratitude

It’s been awhile, I know. While  much to say, I just couldn’t find the time to sit and write. But I have been processing…a lot. After four years of contemplating meeting with a counselor, I finally made the decision to talk with one. And she is perfect. Funny, she did ask me “So why are you here? You seem to have it all together?” My answer “Guilt. I don’t want to feel guilty anymore.”

With my meeting Ellen (that is my new counselor’s name), my runs, my now daily sun salutation practice, my now daily meditation practice, and my overall being a bit more present, I have found a new place inside of me. However small, it’s new. And one strong realization of this place, is that as much as I feel more present, and I am able to think clearer, I am still very aware of my avoidance of feeling. It’s a blocking actually. Surely, it’s a defense mechanism. It’s an unhappy place and reminiscent of my past. And I so don’t want to go back to that feeling.

Which brings me to the purpose of my post today…gratitude. In the words of my yoga teacher “Find something to be grateful for, we are all fortunate people,” I am doing just that. Every time she speaks these words, my mind immediately thinks of my two boys and my lips curve into a smile. Gratitude does not have to come from something momentous. Find it in the smallest of spaces – like a cup of hot chocolate or a vase of fresh wildflowers or a warm fuzzy blanket. So much surrounds us, so many itty-bitty miracles. The only thing preventing us from seeing them is ourselves.

So in no particular order, here are 10 tiny, itty-bitty parts of life that hold space in my tote bag of gratitude…..

My adirondack chairs that welcome pause…my handmade tea cup molded with my manager’s hands and so thoughtfully given to me…my Runner’s Magazine for all it’s inspirational stories and words of motivation…my camera to capture so many amazing moments that I can reflect upon…my new sneakers because they make me feel like I am running on clouds…my barn door because other than being exactly what I had wanted design wise, it was built just for me…my thieves oil for starting my mornings with a calming smell…mason jars for their versatility and simple beauty…the candle in the window I plug in every night as a small gesture for our soldiers…my hair elastic for just simply pulling my hair back.

What are you grateful for?

Epiphany

Just got back from a run. No longer running with headphones listening to music, I listen to the sound of my breath, my sneakers hitting the ground, and the vibrations of my thoughts. Suddenly during this run, it hit me. My ex-husband is a version of my mother. Their personalities are plagued with anger and manipulation. I suppose there was no irony in the fact that during the time of my separation I was also creating distance with my mom.  The need to free myself of this world I had lived in my whole life was great. It all makes sense. It makes sense that I do not want my sons’ worlds to be contaminated with these harsh emotions. Although it is a reality, a space needed to be created to allow for a healthier life. For all. I had been continuing a life when I got married that I had lived as a child. And as a result, providing that life to my children. No longer. They deserve better. And I think I do too.

It’s all coming together. Piece by piece.

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

What Are you Running From?

A marathon. 26.2 miles of running. Endurance, perseverance, mental toughness. In less than four weeks, I will complete (I hope!) my first marathon at the MCM in D.C. Please someone tell me what I was thinking when I agreed to do this? Wasn’t a year of divorce and being diagnosed with SIBO enough? Aah, but that is not my style. Never has been. I tend to push myself to limits. Why? I don’t want fear to prevent me from moving forward. Pushing myself through thick mud allows me to see and experience the other side.

Yes, my yoga teacher has stopped me several times now asking “So did you figure out what you are running from yet?” But I’d like to think I am running towards something. “Ha,” she said, “keep telling yourself that….” While running the other day, the question popped into my head. From the divorce. That is what I am running from. The divorce. But….I think that is too much the obvious. Although I think it’s a piece of the pie, it’s not the whole pie. Anger, sadness to the point of tears, and even elatedness surface during running. So what am I running from? Maybe it’s all those feelings and where they stem from? Maybe it’s from my old self? Maybe it is simply from the divorce? Memories? Hurt? Disappointment? Maybe it is from fear? Could it be that this time it is fear that is holding me back, holding me in? Interesting right? I push myself throughout my life to basically give the middle finger to fear, yet, right now I may be running away from it?

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– A.A. Milne

50 Happy Things…and then some

img_6712

yoga, deep breaths, fall air, carved pumpkins

sleeping babies, running hugs from my nieces, smiles, holding hands

salads, pizza, hummus, chocolate chip banana pancakes

a wink, toes in the sand, surprises, a kiss on the forehead

fresh herbs, burnt marshmallows, a vase of just picked flowers, a thank you

dreaming, reading a good book, HGTV, learning

a strong run, a solid race finish, a good stretch, a massage

a passionate kiss, a beautiful love affair, a gaze, cuddling

a clean house, a trimmed lawn, hydrangeas, a sunset

ocean waves, salt air, meditation, heart shaped rocks

awakenings, opportunities, hope, peace

families, friends, carnivals, farmers markets

my boys, my boys, my boys, my boys

 

Sometimes it’s nice to notice all the wonderful, happy things in my life. What a nice way to start my day! Can you take a moment and notice all the positive things in your life? Positivity spreads…happy energy is contagious. Begin now.

 

Bloglovin

 

A Happy Space

While on a run today it became clear to me that we put quite a bit of pressure on our relationship. There were so many pieces that fit but there were significantly bigger pieces that did not. As we struggled to make those bigger pieces fall into a perfect place, we actually ended up putting strain on the well-fit pieces. Does that make sense? Our intentions were aligned. We didn’t want to fail. But what I felt on my run today was a Happy Space. We slowly have eliminated the pressure of trying to make pieces fit that just would not and could not fit. By doing this, we opened up a space which allows us to focus on the pieces that do fit. This isn’t failure. It’s acceptance. It’s respect. What I felt today was peace. And it felt so wonderful.