Can You Do It?

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“Don’t make any decisions, just sit quietly with your feelings.”

 That was our assignment in yoga today. I didn’t think much about it at the time but the words brought about a sense of relief. After class, the words reverberated in my mind. How often are we comfortable or patient enough to just sit with our feelings? How often are we willing to let them come without the need to jump to their defense? We the people love to react. As soon as we feel slightly uncomfortable, we immediately jump into action. Perhaps we need some practice in accepting our feelings until we learn to find some comfort in the uncomfortable, peace in the panic and confidence in the confusion. What do you think? 

I’m So Offended!

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Seriously, when did this become our new national anthem? Can anyone say anything anymore without saying, doing or posting something to offend someone? Have we really become so overly sensitive that writing Trump on a college sidewalk drives our students straight to a therapist? I was reminded today of a very special aunt who was a large part of raising me. She used to say something back then that I didn’t understand at the time but I sure do appreciate now. Whenever we became upset or angry she would tell us to “scratch our mad spot”. Little did she know that we would end up living in a time where everyone was angry and offended all the time. Her lesson was simple. Move on. Get over it. Grow up. I miss her so much these days. We need more people like her.

True?

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Nobody can hurt me without my permission.

Mahatma Gandhi

I read these words today and for a second I felt confused. Could this be true? Is it possible that I decide who hurts me and when? Sometimes I know I am just too sensitive but other times I am able to logic my way through someone’s words or actions and not be affected by them. So what is that fine line, the in between of being able to blow something off or be completely shattered by it? I still don’t know so for now it will remain a mystery to me. Do you really think the words in this quote could possibly be true?

Can Distractions Become Habits?

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As I tried to write a complete blog post, start to finish, something became apparently clear. The dog was banging at the door so I would let him outside. Messages were popping up at the top of my phone and I struggled over whether to write another sentence or answer the message. I couldn’t finish one single thing. Not a complete thought, not a single decision. My mind was all over the place much like my racing heart. I had to stop for a minute and ask, are all these distractions the reason I have felt so anxious lately. Could the answer be as simple as putting down my phone and only checking it certain times a day? I can’t even imagine how much time I waste surfing through nothing new and checking a screen when there’s nothing important there. On the other hand, that distraction is what makes the other distractions a little more bearable. Are we stuck in a viscous mental trap we may never be able to escape? 

Habits are so hard to change, even the good ones. We get so used to going through motions that they become almost robotic. We just move with no intention or thought behind what we are doing as our mind lies dormant and unstimulated. We become comfortable or maybe even unknowingly numb and when something is really, awesomely good, we don’t have the capacity to feel it anymore. 

Wake up, smell the coffee, enjoy every sip and linger in every moment. Show up for your life. Don’t miss the only chance you get.

Are You Grateful Today?

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Do you ever wake up in a fabulous mood bursting with excitement? What if you woke up every morning feeling just that? How different do you think your day would be? Imagine how drastically your life would change. As someone who just finished a long stretch of feeling unmotivated and depressed, today I am so amazingly grateful for how good I feel. Sometimes it takes feeling really down to celebrate and appreciate feeling so good. It’s easy to take some things for granted like a pain free day or a simply a day you feel a little extra happy. So today, pay attention and feel gratitude for whatever it is that makes the difference. Gratitude really is an attitude and it sounds like a pretty good choice to me.

There Goes My Life

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Have you ever come, undone, unglued? I feel like I have spent years building a life that is slowly starting to slip away. I peeked in on the kids sleeping last night. There was a time not so long ago that it wan’t easy to find their tiny bodies in bed and now it’s so odd to see them fill the length of the bed. It didn’t happen over night but I feel like I missed it maybe. Was I too busy stressing over the things that never mattered or was I overwhelmed by the challenges having small children brings? How in the world did I get here so fast? Count your blessings. Be grateful. That’s what they say but no one tells me how to work through this pain. Letting go of the grasp I have on my kids and the years of my life is a difficult process. For me, it presents itself as depression. I can’t deny it anymore. It is time to make friends with it and figure out a way we can coincide in this life, this body together. I have to find a way to silence the panic and come to some kind of peace with the fact that time keeps moving forward and there’s nothing I can do to make it stop. I used to think raising kids and being mom would last a lifetime. In a way, I guess it will but not the same as when they were little. It’s exciting to watch my teen drive down the driveway but my heart also breaks a little each and everytime. Sometimes I listen to my sons contagious laugh but the smile fades from my face as I realize that beautiful sound will eventually fade from the background.  We are all living in these walls together that one day at a time built our little family, but how much longer will that last? I look back and think, where did all the years go? My bones and joints are stiff and sore but inside I don’t feel any older. But when I look back, when I go to that place, its like a blow to the side of my head. It’s a reminder that I am 44 and at the very least my life is half over. What if the next half goes just as fast? I walk around with this deep, dark sadness that haunts the hell out of me from time to time. The years, my life falling away, spinning out of control with no way to slow it down. I don’t think we talk about this much with anyone else. I think we think, if we ignore the feeling, it will go away. But it’s there. Sometimes time visits me in the middle of the night. It taps me on the shoulder and reminds me that it’s there lurking , ready to rob me of another day. I have a great life and I am so very blessed. Sometimes, my excitement for the future is stifled by my loss of the past. I know there are so many moments ahead that will fill my soul with happiness that I can’t comprehend in these dark little moments. I have to allow myself to feel the pain so I can move on. The old me, life as I know it is gone and I know more than anyone else that you have to feel the loss to heal the loss. It also reminds me to live in the moments and to pay attention to them as they are happening. It urges me to focus on the details so they will always be fresh inside my mind. It reminds me to be kinder, to worry less and to live better while I’m blessed with the opportunity and still can. Everyday is a gift. Unwrap it and celebrate this journey that you are on. No two journeys are the same and there is only one you. Don’t waste your life, love your life and inspire others to do the same thing too.

Are You Mad?

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If you could add up all the time you spent feeling angry, how many years do you think you would have wasted? I see angry people all over the place. Just yesterday, we were seated behind a woman who complained about everything and anything. I tried so hard not to listen but I couldn’t help myself. In fact, I moved from the table I was sitting at to allow her and her two family members to sit down since there were no other tables outside with more than two chairs. I did a really nice thing and they brushed it off like they were entitled. The thing is, when you are consumed with anger and resentment and negativity, you are not able to see the good that is all around you. When every word is a complaint and every thought is driven by literal madness, life will deliver more of that to you. It’s important to ask yourself, how am I feeling today? The answer might determine the day you are about to have. What about you, how do you feel today?

On The Side of The Road

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I know most people wake up thinking what could possibly be worse than Monday? I was driving my son to school this morning. It was raining and foggy and well Monday. I saw a squirrel sitting near the middle of the road, tail in the air, ready to sprint. As much as I hoped and prayed he would stay put, he took off like Speedy Gonzalez. I closed my eyes and kept driving. When I looked in my rear view mirror, there he was, lying still on the side of the road. My heart was broken. He saw me coming, why did he have to run? I can’t help but see the parallel in my own life. I have been that squirrel, making a move at a time I knew was not safe. Why do we make ourselves vulnerable like this? Why do we choose behaviors that purposely put us in harms way, whether physically, mentally or emotionally?

I couldn’t help but wonder how different life would be if we were forced to look in our rear view mirrors. Imagine, after every interaction, conversation, having to look back and see the damage or harm we might have done. Imagine having to look into the eyes of someone we had just destroyed with our actions or words so we were forced to see their pain. Most people don’t ever notice, they never could. They are too wrapped up in the eyes on the road syndrome to even consider a quick glance back.

Sometimes I wonder if people are just one way or the other. Notice or march on and pretend it isn’t happening. At the dinner table last night, my son asked if something had happened. Two of the other three looked dumbfounded. Huh? What? Why? But my son, he notices things. He notices when someone is quiet, sad, upset and he actually cares enough to find out why. He uses his rear view mirror. He is a “noticer”. I often wonder what defines a person as one or the other. Is it conditioned, genetic, a stroke of luck that you end up one way or the other?

I’m sad about that squirrel. I will think about him the rest of the day, how he was there belly up, dead on that road because of me. Ask yourself this question today, do you notice the effect you directly have on others or do you trudge through their lives, never once looking back to see if are you killing them or helping them feel more alive by being part of their life. It’s a tough question but I dare you to ask.

Comfortably Numb

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Uncomfortably numb
A statue of the woman she used to be
So cold, removed
She stares blankly, the light is gone
She doesn’t recognize the reflection staring back
She longs to be invisible
She wants the world to go away
She is a rigid version of who she once was
Her smile does not reach beyond the confines of her face
She moves through the motions, she’s forgotten how to dance
Her emotions are slowly fading away
No pain, no disappointment, no anger
No love, no laughter, no joy
A shadow of a person who nobody sees
She cuts herself off from the rest of the world
She prays for time to heal
Time is a mirage, it stands still
She stops chasing her shadow
She loses hope
She learns to embrace feeling comfortably numb

A Moment Of Hope

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While I was walking around the house getting everyone ready for school, the most amazing blend of colors caught my eye through the window of my front door. I’ve been down lately. It happens, the natural ebb and flow of life. Today, I was feeling hopeful. It was a new day, a fresh start and thankfully my little guy was finally well enough to go back to school. If I had to describe a color of my life the last few weeks it would have to be gray. It was like a rainy, gloomy two weeks where I was stuck in the house and trapped in my own negative thoughts. Somehow, the colors faded from my view. I became the gray, until today when I witnessed the beauty in a simple sunrise.

Here’s hoping you notice the beauty all around you. Look for those moments so you don’t miss them. Even when things feel like they couldn’t be worse, those moments are there waiting for you to notice them. Here is a picture of mine. I hope you enjoy it.

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