There’s a spider in my swimsuit

The other day I put my swimsuit on, to go sit in our new-to-us hot tub after a day of power washing the house in preparation for upcoming staining. I had one leg in, and was just putting my other foot through when a ginormous spider crawled out of my swimsuit and onto my hand.

Lord of the RIngs Spider

Totally felt like this.

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F’ed up, or balanced?

heart rock balance

I was having lunch with a friend, and in catching up on our lives the talk turned to personal awareness. She shared that she was taking the initiative with her home projects instead of waiting for others to get her hints to begin. I shared that I was learning to recognize my own feelings versus becoming consumed by my empathy.

fed up

“What do you mean by ’empath’?” She asked. Read More

A simple daily practice for greater capacity of ease and joy

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Maybe you’ve heard of metta, maybe it’s new to you. It’s a simple concentration practice in which we send lovingkindness to ourselves, and then in a series of expansions we send it outward to others.

Said another way, it’s prayer.

Try it along with me, here:

I find that taking a deep breath in and out and placing my hand over my heart, helps me focus, get centered, and have a better experience. So, please join me in this as well!

First, we begin with ourselves.

  • May I be happy.
  • May I be safe.
  • May I be free from all forms of suffering.
  • May I live my life with ease.

Next, we send this to someone we love.

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be safe.
  • May you be free from all forms of suffering.
  • May you live your life with ease.

Then, bring someone neutral to mind. Send it to them.

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be safe.
  • May you be free from all forms of suffering.
  • May you live your life with ease.

Now, think of someone who is oh, let’s say… difficult. Yep. Send it.

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be safe.
  • May you be free from all forms of suffering.
  • May you live your life with ease.

Well done. Now, send the blessing to all beings, everywhere.

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be safe.
  • May you be free from all forms of suffering.
  • May you live your life with ease.

I’ve heard this called the “compassion meditation,” and I like that very much too. The point is to be intentional with good wishes and benevolence for yourself and for others. Inviting love, while allowing what’s here.

The funny thing is, the more we practice this the more the people around us seem to improve… 

I’m finding that a regular practice of this encourages me to be as mindful as I possibly can in my relationships — with myself as well — and then to leave the rest up to Life.

All is well.

Okay, how do you feel? Which was harder today — sending this to a challenging person in your life, or sending it to yourself??

kindnessrockmetta_is_betta

 

Two magic words for when Life is moving too fast

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I feel like the rabbit.

When I stop to think about it, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately. That’s why I don’t let myself stop to think about it often. My calendar shows I have another month and a half to go before I will get a real breather, but I know that I need to change my attitude about that. I don’t want to spend my days just getting through them in order to be able to get to a state of grace, I want to live my days already from a state of grace no matter what is happening around me.

We’ve all got full lives, and at times feel overwhelmed. Do any of these sound like you?

  • project deadlines converging for work
  • doctor appointments on untimely days
  • repair parts are on backorder
  • a plethora of weekend celebration gatherings
  • unexpected funerals
  • empty kitchen cupboards — again
  • where did the dog go?
  • weather uncooperating for necessary outdoor tasks
  • date night gets canceled
  • kids’ after-school games and meets are at the same time in different towns
  • all your underwear is in the laundry
  • the clutter buildup is out of control
  • your son starts a new job
  • your daughter is still looking for a new job
  • you can’t keep up with your spouse’s mental flip-flopping as they work out when they’ll need your help with their project
  • your spouse can’t keep up with your mental flip-flopping as you work out when you’ll need their help with your project

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I realize that the way I’ve been approaching my current overwhelm is to strategize, attack, and conquer my tasks and calendar events. And I’m getting even more worked up in the meantime. As I cross one item off of my Must-Do List, two more are rightfully added on out of my control.

whirlwind

Once I conquer, then I can breathe. Once I can get through this period of time, then I will feel grace. But then I remember how to feel grace, now. How to breathe, now. Without even having conquered my situation.

It’s the opposite of conquer: it’s surrender.  And two magic words get me there instantly:

It’s okay.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to not be on top of things. It’s okay to run out of milk. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to just keep plugging along. It’s okay to feel any emotion that happens to show its face (thank you, Pam Grout). It’s okay to name it, acknowledge it, and allow it.

It’s okay.

It’s okay.

It’s okay.

And so am I.

It’s okay that I’m even struggling with this right now.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Do you feel that way now? What do you do when you’re in it? Is it new to you, as it was for me, to just have it be okay as it is?

Okay doesn’t mean give up. Okay means I am enough in this moment.

receiving-magic

It’s time for the gloves to come off

toddler-with-boxing-gloves-1930s

As we travel along on Life’s journey, we face challenges. It’s just part of the deal. What challenges have you experienced? Divorce? Diagnosis? Death? What challenges are you living right now? Maintenance and repair of home? Maintenance and repair of relationship?

It’s awesome when we work through, overcome. Life experienced turns to lessons learned turns to spiritual leveling-up turns to more Life experiences. And the wheel turns.

“And how did you enjoy yourself?”

“Magnificently! But not at the time.”

I wish I could remember — or find — who said the above. I stumbled across it years ago, and although someone like Mae West comes to mind I just haven’t been able to find out for sure. If you solve this mystery, please share with the rest of us!!

But if I identify with overcoming my challenge, do I accidentally keep it near me? Am I holding the struggle in my back pocket, like a handy glove? A glove fits like a second skin and is a layer of protection.

Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Oh. That explained some things! I embraced recommended medication but declined the subscription to an arthritis lifestyle magazine and membership in a community support group.  (I am not a doctor, and I am not making medical recommendations for ANYBODY. I am simply sharing my own experiences.)

Now, everyone is different and we embrace our challenges in our own way. In this case, mine was to go inward instead of outward. I sat down and had a little chat with RA:

“Hello! I see you. You seem to have a lot to say.

You are welcome to be here, and I will always listen to you. You can absolutely stay — as long as you behave. If you are not going to behave, then you need to leave. That’s the deal.”

And then I went on about my life.

I faithfully took the prescription, not to kick RA out but to enhance comfort and embrace ease and joy. When it spoke up I listened and responded accordingly. Again, comfort, ease, and joy. I can see now that what I did was invite a partnership with my challenge rather than fight and overcome my challenge. (“Magnificently, but not at the time…”) 

I did not keep an RA glove in my back pocket, wearing it as a second skin and protection — for myself, from myself, from this challenge, from the world.

I just went about my life, in partnership as host with this guest.

And I forgot that I had RA.

Of course, this was not all fully mindful on my part at the time. I do have clarity in hindsight, however — now that the doctors are telling me twenty years later that I do not have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I’ll let them continue to muddle over whether I was misdiagnosed (positive bloodwork markers aside!), or whether remission has turned into mystery disappearance. I know my Truth:

RA wasn’t an attack, it was an invitation. It had a lot to say, and what I initially thought was about it being heard for itself was really about it having messages for my highest good.  And apparently I finally truly got the messages for the long haul, because my guest no longer needs to stay.

All along I thought I was here for my challenge guest, when in Truth my guest was only always here for me.

Magnificently. But not at the time.

Do you identify with Life’s challenges, or do you evolve with them?

Think of a past challenge. What is one small hint of a possible partnership that this might have been, with messages on guiding you toward becoming your Highest Self? What is a current challenge you are experiencing? Can you see it differently, while you are in it?

What if our guardian angels are not helping us through our challenges, but are showing up as our challenges? Does that change how you feel about what you are experiencing? Do you feel more cradled in your process?

Holy Wow.

 

 

 

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