Move The Mountain

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They say a situation will keep presenting itself until we finally learn the lesson. I always believed that because I’ve experienced it in my own life but what dawned on me today left me breathless. I have always been an advocate for my son at school. I have devoted years of my life fighting on behalf of kids who couldn’t fight for themselves. As I got ready for our annual meeting today, I became completely debilitated. I was hunched over from pain in my stomach as a result of my anxiety. I thought I had overcome this. I made the effort to forgive and move forward but today caught me totally off guard. It was so clear to me that if you face a reoccurring situation and have not yet healed from the pain the situation caused, when put back in that same scenario, the pain comes back. I had to remind myself that although I had to face my past, I was not that same person from back then. My foundation is strong now and I am no longer a prisoner to those days. Tonight I make the decision to release this pain. It’s finally time to let it go. I’ve been carrying this mountain for too long and it is time to put it down and leave it behind. If there is something inside of you that has not fully healed, now is the time to release the grip it has on you. We have enough to carry and past pain does not need to be one of them. Seriously, move that mountain out of your way. You don’t have to climb it anymore.

Why So Much Noise?

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Today I woke up fully understanding how much of what we do can be a catalyst of stress for another human being. Sometimes it is intentional and other times, like in this example, it is not. 

I have this intense need and desire for calm. I moved out to the country because part of feeling calm requires a certain level of quiet for me. I don’t like noise and several noises cause me anxiety. Last night it was the wind. Oklahoma wind is not ordinary. Winds here cause amazing damage added to the fact that my house is on tornado alley, contribute to the anxiety that stirs inside of me. The neighbors are building a garage and every morning I wake up to hours of banging. Bang, bang, bang added to the wind already affects me.  I think part of the reason I love yoga so much is because it is the only place I can seem to find that offers the level of calm and quiet I crave.

This is just a reminder that what we do has an effect. It travels out like a wave and causes some type of reaction in other people. Remember to stay aware. Remember our words and actions and posts reach far beyond what we ever imagine. As for me, I will be in search of some quiet today, at least until this storm inside of me quiets down so I can tolerate the one outside. 

The Storm Inside

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I saw this meme a few weeks ago and was reminded of it last night. I was trying to sleep but I could feel that old, familiar anxiety that shakes me just enough to keep me awake at night. The storm was brewing outside and the crack of thunder nearly made me jump out of my skin. I didn’t realize how on edge I was until I noticed the storm inside of me was much larger than the one going on outside my window. Sometimes anxiety strikes at the oddest moments. I had been a difficult week with me being a continuous advocate for my son at school. My daughter had her last and most important swim meet of her senior year and I was trying to remain calm underneath the palpable chaos. The stronger and louder the noise became outside, the more I felt at ease. I had no idea the storm inside of me was so great until I could compare it with the one blowing hail up against my window. Calm down Kim, I thought to myself. Feeling anxious cannot become your new norm. I took a few deep breaths and let the sound of the rain falling on the house slowly put me at peace. It’s so important to check in with yourself from time to time and put down what isn’t yours to carry. When you become accustomed to carrying more than your share, you forget the relief you feel when your hands are finally free. That was my last thought before I finally drifted off to sleep.

The Lesson In Healing

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Healing. Every tragic storm is followed by the most beautiful sunrise. It may take days or weeks but eventually the clouds disappear and the warmth of the sun melts the most bitter cold.

I’ve suffered from depression for a few years now. There was a time when I didn’t believe I would ever feel a moments worth of happiness again. In fact, I wasn’t sure I would ever feel anything at all again. The guilt that came along with that swallowed me whole. In my mind, I didn’t think I had anything to be depressed about. My life was good so why didn’t it feel that way to me? Slowly but surely my life has come full circle. I have fought my way back and my heart feels so full today as I sit here in the pickup line at school counting my endless blessings. I am me again and I am so grateful that time has healed the pain that temporarily found a home inside of me. 

The most important lesson that came out of this dark time is that I am not in control. I will never be in control and I had to make peace with knowing that is a reality. There will be things I want to change in my life but dwelling on them and resisting something that is just going to be does not change the reality of the circumstances. I had to live in my own uncertainty. I had to find calm in my own discomfort. Anxiety became a normal that I was forced to live with and I learned to breathe there. Sometimes we do not understand what is happening to us but there comes a moment where we trust that in the end, everything really will be okay. In that place I found myself again but even more importantly I found an unshakeable faith that carries me through the happiest and darkest days. My sun is out and I can feel it shining right through me and onto others. I pray the sun comes up for you as well. It is there, I promise but sometimes it is just hidden behind an innocent cloud. Try and feel the warmth until the day you finally see it again. It may not be tomorrow but eventually it will come back out.

The Sky is NOT Falling

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I do believe we don’t have to look very hard to find something we need to work on. The last few days have taught me that no matter how we respond to something, the end result will remain the same. I used to freak out over things and I guess I probably still do but I am desperately trying to get better at staying calm.  Every night I calmly remind myself that even though the sky may appear to be falling, it is really safely in place. I am actively focusing on not making things a bigger deal than they need to be. Last week, my dryer broke. Not the best timing right before a holiday but what could I do? A few days later my car broke down and needed a new battery. That same day we bought a computer that resulted in making forty minute trips to and from the store for three consecutive days to find out our brand new computer was oddly broken. I could have been crazy but I quietly repeated to myself, the sky is not falling. Sometimes we have to wade our way through some temporary setbacks until eventually life gets back to being as normal as possible. It can be exhausting waiting for the normal to roll back around but fighting against what is will not benefit anyone. Why spend precious time having a bad attitude when the only thing that will do is make everyone around us miserable. One thing is certain, we can work on having a healthy reaction to the unpredictable curves thrown in our direction or we can let ourselves be overcome with crazy. The choice seems simple. 

Hello. It’s Me.

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I’ve ducked out for a little while, hiding underneath my blanket while the world spins further out of control. It hurts to watch it happen on every level. The complacency, corruption, manipulation, dishonesty, and lack of accountability are all around me. I want to shut it out but it knocks on my front door and although I choose not to answer, it just won’t seem to go away. Sometimes I feel like the responsible adult in a world full of incapable, incompetent, selfish children. Being the adult sucks the fun out of living sometimes. Being responsible and accountable and concerned stifles the wind beneath my wings. Slowly and steadily I start to fall until I reach that place of almost impossible to return. Taking care of everything wears me out and I mean that in a literal sense. The me fades away and all that is left is this robotic clone who has mastered perfection in going through the motions. I am there under the mask, close to numb, quietly breaking apart inside my shell.

We are all connected and sometimes the cross we have to carry for those who are unwilling or unable to do their share is impossible to bear. What choice do we have but to pick up the slack, hold our head high and keep inching forward. Sometimes I lose sight of my own purpose because I am so intertwined in the lives of people around me. Sometimes I put me on hold while everyone else goes full steam ahead. Sometimes I forget that I cannot do it all and need to find a way to forgive myself for the person I become when I am drowning in responsibility and the depression starts to work itself through my veins. Sometimes I need to escape the weight of the world that holds me back. Sometimes I just need a moment to breathe. Sometimes I just need to feel like the me I was years ago before I became the me I am today. Sometimes I need to say, hello it’s me until I remember again.

You’ve Got This

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Encouragement. Where does it come from? We all need someone to stand on the sidelines and cheer as we make the run of our life. We need someone waving us on with a smile and yelling, keep going, you can do this. We need someone to give us a little push when we feel tired and remind us the finish line is just around the bend.

The first thing I thought when I woke up was, I don’t want to do today. I want to go back to sleep and wake up a few weeks from now when this leg of the race had passed. I realized that sometimes I have to be my own best friend. I have to be the person who says, come on Kim, let’s just deal with one minute at a time. It’s a beautiful day, get up and enjoy it. I need to distract myself from what’s dragging me down and focus on those things that lift me up.

Today, let me be the person who says, you got out of bed and you are going to rock today. I am here waving you forward with a smile on my face yelling you’ve got this, keep going, I’m right here with you jogging beside you. When you get tired I will walk a mile in your shoes and then maybe you can walk a mile in mine.

Happy Friday! Have a great day and be kind to yourself. Focus on something that makes you happy and fight away those negative thoughts. Really, you’ve got this. We both do!

Until Then

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I woke up very anxious today. To my surprise,  that old, familiar elephant was sitting on my chest. I’m finding it hard to catch a deep breath. Part of me wishes I could crawl back under the covers and go to sleep but my mind is on speed. In fact I feel like someone took the paddles and jolted me back into my body. Ive been floating above it watching from afar and that has allowed me to stay comfortably numb for awhile now. Not numb in a scary way. I’ve just had a long stretch of feeling more like myself, free from the heaviness on my chest that forces me to long for hours on my yoga mat praying to feel grounded. Maybe I will go outside and put my feet in the dirt and stand there for while. Maybe I will do nothing and just become one with it. Fighting doesn’t help. Sometimes I just have to wait it out. Eventually it will pass. Until then…

One Less Problem Maybe

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I never realized how difficult we could make our own lives until the other day. It’s a silly story really but one I bet many can identify with. 

I joined a new gym last week and I decided I wanted to go to the yoga class on Friday morning. I woke up feeling pretty tired. It was chilly and gloomy which inspired me to stay at home. I went back and forth debating should I stay or should I go, probably why someone wrote a song about that in the first place. After 2 hours, I finally made up my mind to go. When I got there the entire room was packed. I realized that I was probably the only one who faced the dilemma of whether or not to show up and I turned a situation into a problem that didn’t need to be that way. What a waste of time and how silly. 

My lesson is simple. Stop thinking about everything so much and just get up and do it. I hope this motivates someone today. I think we do this more than we know. We need to find a way to stop our random thoughts from causing us unnecessary anxiety. We don’t have time for that and let’s face it, there are enough disconcerting problems in the world without creating our own.

Time To Move On

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I have wasted an entire year of my life. In just a few days I will turn 45. The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. I got caught in a sticky web of the things I couldn’t control. I let them own me. I called them boss. I can reflect back and feel disappointment or I can learn from my journey and choose a new, better road. I am excited about the path ahead and I won’t be turning around wishing I could go back. I am ready to leave it all behind and walk away feeling lighter. I am choosing not to carry that load anymore. I do have a choice and I am choosing to move on and let go. They say everything happens for a reason. I think we are handed a lesson and until we finally learn, it is given to us over and over again. For those of you who have followed my journey over the past year, I have finally found the courage to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights and not try and handle this school trauma anymore. I have let go and let God and whatever happens from here will have to be. Thank you for your support, encouragement and friendship during a time I let myself fall apart. I am forever grateful.