Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Website Has Moved!

Hello beautiful people!  After lots of work, more internal than external, my new website is up!  You can now find me here:

and on facebook here-

Hope to see you again!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Life is Epic, and Messages from Goats

Life has been feeling EPIC lately. 

I mean EPIC.  Feels like my chest is swelling and my chin raised is raised.  Like I am right on the cusp of something completely Earth shattering.  Like life is about to never be the same again, or at least I am going to be so changed that I'll never be able to see it that way again.  Like I'm cloaked in courage with a cloud of fear swirling around while huge, seminal things are being shattered and destroyed.  Apprehension, Anticipation, fear in the pit of my stomach, driven to jump out of my skin and act heroically. Like I am about to burst from all of this pressure leading up to this huge thing and its intensity is more than I can bear.  Like my stomach is in knots almost to the point of being sick.  Like there is something huge caught in my throat both wanting to jump free and be swallowed and buried.  Like I desperately need to use my muscles in strong, forceful, desperate ways.  Like whatever is going on is so huge I can't just sit by and watch, I have to do something, have to take part. Like every bit of me that can be tested is being tested.  All I need is a ring or a sword or a wand or an arch nemesis.  Something to focus this feeling on, to explain its existence. 

 I have many friends who are going through epic things in their lives- huge family and marital challenges, cancer, death, moving cross country, babies coming too early.  On a larger scale there is the possibility of making war more widespread than it already is.  I'm sure I'm picking up on quite a bit of that.  But in my own personal life. . . I don't know.  I'm having some health challenges that have necessitated setting aside our homeschool groups for a few weeks at least.  Life has slowed down, and I have been challenged to see what is the MOST important in my life and make specific time for that.  Which has been a challenge.  Also learning to actually really and truly take care of myself. I'm slowly making progress with that one (which is a positive way of saying that I kinda suck at it.  But I'm not saying that. ;) )  I have realized, I can ALWAYS make myself busy and come up with more things to stress out about having to do even when I'm staying home and not going anywhere.  I only have the energy for a few things, though, so I have to really decide (UGH! I want to do it ALL!)  That laundry list of things I've always thought I need to do but didn't have the time because I wasn't home constantly.  Yeah, had to toss that after I noticed that I was making myself worse and was ADDING things to my days that were sucking up my energy but really didn't matter that much right here at this moment.  I have been learning to be slower, to reduce my time multi-tasking, to eliminate things that aren't either true necessities or bring us a crazy amount of joy.  (Most of those things on my list were not happiness-inducing.  They were there because I thought I needed to be doing them to be doing "enough".  Which is a whole other post on its own!)  Still, though, there's been this feeling inside of me calling me to step out beyond fear, to march forward bravely, to be heroic.  To stand on a mountain with my hands on my hips, taking a deep breath with the golden sun shining on me just so, butterflies trying to burst out of my stomach and about to leap off into the perilous unknown.  How on earth could my current life be epic?

I responded to the feeling by making a John Williams Pandora station.  Because if my body isn't doing something epic, at least I can give my feelings a place to play, to wind and dart and stab and swirl and puff up their chests and wield a sword.  The station has been amazing, and I highly recommend making one of your own.  Even if John Williams isn't your thing- grab some of your favorite movies and make a station for the composers.  FEELING the stories in that way, without involving the mind in the plot, has been so incredibly helpful to me. 

This epicness has been going on for close to a month now.  At times I feel so close to victory.  At times I feel that all is lost and there is no possible way to win.  Intense, intense, intense.  And again I've wondered, how could my life possibly be epic?  How could what I'm feeling actually apply to my life right here, right now?

Merriam-Webster lists these as part of the definition of epic:
~telling a story about a hero or about exciting events or adventures
~very great or large and usually difficult or impressive
~extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope

I got to thinking, what about the people who are the subject of Hallmark films or documentaries or biographies?  I wonder if they realized right at the start that they were destined for big things or if it just happened as they set one foot in front of the other?  I wonder if they looked at the choices they made one day and realized they were changing the entire course of their lives; lives that would go on to inspire others?  I wonder if they thought of themselves or their choices as unimportant just to look back in 30, 40, 50 years to realize that they had played a really important part in one life or many lives or the history of the world. 

So, could my life be epic right now because the choices that are in front of me, needing to be made will shape my life in a way I couldn't have imagined?  Are they going to redirect my life, put me on a completely different trajectory?  Will I look back on my life and see that this moment in time was pivotal even though I couldn't see why at the time?  And if so, maybe it would be helpful to take the choices before me a bit more seriously?  Instead of brushing them off like I have for many, many years and continuing to ignore them; what if right now I took a stand for what is REALLY important in my life, what I feel deeply called to do, what I pray I don't die before doing?

A sidestep here to my goats.  We have to tie them up because they like to rub up against the fence in the bird yard and if they keep at it they're going to destroy it in short order, among other reasons like not having a proper fence to keep them in.  (If it won't hold water it won't hold a goat!)  As long as we put them and their house in an area with lots of good stuff to munch they're happy.  Or so I thought.  We've had them near the ducks and their pond to deter foxes.   But they've pretty much eaten everything there is to eat.  

Silly the goat without much to eat.

I have an area on the other side of the yard where I want to plant lots of fruit trees but right now it's a mess of brambles and poison ivy and saplings dotted with random stumps that makes it too hard to use equipment to clear.  But goats LOVE to eat all of those things!  So recently I unhooked both goats and walked them over to the other area.  They were quite happy and excited to walk with me.  They were unsure but interested in all of the tasty things when I hooked them up.  And then I walked away.  And all of a sudden they were DYING, just DYING.  If you've never heard a goat who is sure she is dying I'll paint you a picture: her tongue sticks out the side of her mouth like she's choking, her eyes bug out and she makes the most pathetic, urgent MAAAAAAAAA  you can imagine.  Heartbreaking and comical at the same time.  They were miserable in the center of what should have been goat paradise!  

Nilly with lots of yummy food in a place she doesn't want to be.

 I tried this a few times, in a few different locations even, and it all ended up the same.  They weren't on the right side of the yard, they couldn't see the bird house, the view was too different, and so they were going to DIE, DIE I tell you!  I was getting really frustrated, and then a little voice said "look for the message" and so I did.  Here they were, surrounded by what they love and what nourishes them, but because they were in an unfamiliar place they were miserable.  And I understood- there are all of these things that I want in my life, but I want them in my life the way my life is right now.  I want things to change without changing.  If I were picked up and dropped into the middle of what I wanted but in  a completely foreign place, I would be freaking out and begging to be put back where I was before too. 
So with that in mind, in the middle of all of these epic feelings, I've been checking in- am I getting what I want here?  Am I upset because things have changed too much but really I have more of what I want?  And what DO I want anyway? (Kind of important to know if I'm trying to recognize if I'm getting it!)  Hmm. I want the time and space to do what I feel directed to do for ME (write and paint), while still being able to take care of my health (no more "either write and paint OR sleep"), and supporting my family and enjoying life with them while still meeting their needs and helping them get what they want.  Is that happening right now?  Heck no.  CAN in happen in the way we've been living our lives?  I don't see how.  It's been hard enough fitting in actually taking care of me without adding time to create, and things had to change to get us to the place where I could do that.  Tonight I'm sacrificing sleep again because I absolutely had to get this out so I can move on.  

 If this is indeed an epic time, then epic changes are likely on the way.  I'm not a big fan of change, but I am ready to stand firm with courage to change my little part of the world into a place where we all, even the mama, can thrive.  And maybe I'll look back and realize it was the most important thing I could have done.  It's taking a whole lot of fear conquering, a lot of walking down dark and uncomfortable streets, a lot of letting go of the things I thought I needed with me.  It's taking the courage to walk into the completely unknown, following the light of my heart that says it's time to let it shine and that all the world will be better for it even though voices scream to the contrary.  It's taking getting up and moving forward again after I've been knocked down and feel like giving up. It's taking trusting that this is big and is important enough to strive for, even though on the surface it may seem petty and pathetic.  I haven't placed much worth on myself for most of my life, but it's time to now.  It's vital now.  It really, truly matters.  *I* really, truly matter.

*Deep Breath*
And step forward once again. 

How about you? Has life been feeling epic for you lately? Is it time to allow yourself to have worth?  To stand firm in the bright and strong knowledge that YOU really, truly matter?  What do YOU really want in your life?  Are are you ready to let things change so you can have it?  It's an epic life, because it's the only one we each have to live.  Let's treat it that way, if only for a bit.  Let these be the soundtrack to our lives right now!  (Or something similar, if this music doesn't do it for you. ;) )

Or tell me, what music would YOU pick?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Love You, I'm Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank You

So today is an important day.  Those of us who are old enough to remember it don't have to be told what 9/11 means.  It's a day that created a lot of terror, pain, incredibly deep sadness, anger, and hate, 12 years ago.  It's a day we "will not forget". 

But what does it mean to "not forget"?  Does it mean to always hold onto anger and hate? To bitterness and sadness?  Is that what we want when we remember?  Is it possible to remember without it?  Is it even possible to forgive that kind of act?  To find peace?  To find trust in the world again after it has been shattered by an unthinkable act?  Is the kind of world we want to have even possible if we all hold onto the feelings we felt that day?

And if it IS possible, then how?  How can we move beyond that terror and anger and wish for revenge?

This post has been hanging around for awhile, not sure when to come out.  I think today is possibly the perfect day, and if not the perfect day, then certainly as good a day as any.

Have you ever heard of ho'oponopono?  A friend shared it with me about 3 years ago.  It took me quite a long time to be able to say it the name!  But barely any time to learn and understand the amazing value of the prayer.  When she introduced it to me, I already understood that the things that annoy us in other people are the things that annoy us about ourselves.  When I am furious at my neighbor for not respecting my property, it is often because I'm furious at myself for not respecting my property.  When I am irritated at my child for being too shy and not wanting to join in a game with other children, I am probably more irritated at myself for being too shy and not joining in with others as a child, or maybe even still today.  In both cases, I can try to push my neighbor or my child to change what they are doing to stop my fury or irritation.  But the most effective method is to heal that fury and irritation towards myself, and then, quite often, the external situations either fizzle out and disappear or I am able to see them from another angle and with compassion and love, which is much more helpful and likely to produce a solution.  This can be a hard pill to swallow at first, because we have learned that our life experiences are largely "out there" and beyond our control.  It is so much easier to blame someone else and tell them to fix it so we can be at peace than it is to look within, see where we may be contributing, and create the peace ourselves.  When talking about this with respect to our kids, I like to compare it to pouring water into a bathtub.  The bathtub is overflowing and I am flipping out!  I see that my child is pouring water in, cupful by cupful and I need her to stop NOW because there is already too much!  I can yell at her, pull her away from the tub, punish her, take away her cup.  But until I see that I am standing there holding a hose, the bathtub will continue to overflow.  I have to see what I am doing first before I can help her stop.  And often, just the act of me turning off the hose causes her to drop the cup and walk away.

The tendency can be, at first, to then just place the blame on myself.  "It's MY FAULT he won't join in the game!  I'm ruining his life and making him a social outcast!" or "I deserve the trash my neighbor throws on my lawn because I don't take care of my own stuff" or "The bathroom is ruined because I was too stupid to turn off my own hose". Unfortunately, that point of view tends to just shut us down, collapsed in a sobbing pile of shame.  That helps no one!  However, if we can look at it from another angle, amazing things can happen.

What if, instead of exploding at the grocery store because the check-out person is being to slow, and instead of saying "Ugh, it's MY fault this check-out person is being too slow and bothering me because I am always too slow and I can't stand it!"; what if, once we realize what's going on, we look at the check-out person with gratitude and silently thank them for bringing this feeling up so we can see it and release it?  What if that check-out person is being too slow JUST to help us create more peace in our lives?  Not consciously, of course.  But what if that person has been placed there as a gift to bring us a happier life?

What?!? That's BS! Wake up and get out of your dream world, you are obviously not living in reality. 

That's totally cool that you feel that way.  I am not saying you have to change your perspective.  But the option is there, just in case you want to try something other than anger and forcing people to change and being helpless to effect the things that happen around you.  Which perspective FEELS better to you?  Which would you rather go through life seeing from?

Back to ho'oponopono.

I am not a historian, so here is what I understand about it.  Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian prayer of reconciliation and forgiveness.  The modern understanding and application can be read about in the book Zero Limits by Joe Vitale and Dr. Len.  An excerpt of that book can be found here.   

According to Dr. Len, everything outside of us is a projection of what is going on on the inside.  So, any pain going on outside of us can be healed by healing ourselves.  He was able to heal a wing full of criminally insane people by healing himself.  By looking at their pictures and saying "I'm sorry" and "I love you".

Woah, hold it, stop right there!  Are you trying to tell me that all the crazy evil people out there are my fault?  (Insert long string of expletives)

No, I am not saying that because, once again then we have placed ourselves in the blame and shame and unable to function perspective.  (I can't speak for how Dr. Len would reply, however.) What I AM saying, what I have found most helpful, is that everyone in my consciousness (even the crazy murderous ones) is a possible messenger, a possible gateway to greater peace, love, and compassion for myself.  And the more peace, love, and compassion I can create within myself, the more I can create in the world. Said in another way, everyone "out there" is a reflection of a something inside of me.  A chance for me to see a piece I hadn't seen before.  We have SO MANY hurting and angry and fearful pieces of us that are hiding out, away from view.  Loving them helps us to become whole, healthy, peaceful people.

So how does this work with me?

Think of someone who really bugs the s#*@ out of you.  Open the door to the possibility that maybe this person may be a messenger of greater peace for you.  Now, move into your heart and say "I love you, I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you" both to the other person and to the part of you that they are showing you. Over and over again until you feel a shift.  Feel what comes up and let it blow away.  You may need to do this for days until you find that peace within you.  And watch what happens with the relationship.

Some people start with "I'm sorry" and say "I love you" at the end.  That's awesome if you want to do it that way.  What I've found for me, personally, is that if I start with "I'm sorry" then I often have a snarky, bitter attitude like I had as a kid when I was being forced to apologize and really didn't want to.  I just naturally fall into the blame and fault perspective when I start that way.  However, if I start with "I love you" I can connect with the power of love which then guides the process and it flows more easily.  It helps me connect with the love my higher self has for their higher self- that complete unconditional love that's hard for our minds to grasp while we're in these human bodies.  But it's always there, ready for us to tap into it.

So you're saying we can use this to heal the parts inside us where we hold terror and hate and revenge? And that that will actually make a difference in the world?  I still think you're nuts.

That is what I'm saying.  And heck, I still think it's nuts quite frequently!  But I've experienced the peace that comes from it and how my outside world changes, so it's a nuts I'm quite willing to participate in.  And it's important enough and powerful enough that it's a nuts I've decided to share with you anyway.

I love you,
I'm sorry,
Please forgive me,
Thank you.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fiction is a Need

For most of my young life, I was a book-aholic.  I was always trying to get finished with my assignments so I could read some more, had bookshelves and bookshelves full of books I'd read and couldn't bear to part with, was always immersing myself in some other life via the printed word. I had a nightlight next to my bed all the way through high school- not because I was afraid of the dark but because then I could read all night long without getting caught by my parents.  When I read I would become fully immersed in the book.  A soundtrack would run through my mind.  I would BE there.  And leaving would be like ripping myself out of a new home, one I may have felt more comfortable in than my own.  Looking back in the past, I always saw that I had been using books to escape.  To run away from my own reality into something else.  Now I'm wondering if there was something else at play, too.

When I became a mother, I gave up fiction.  I actually wrote about it here.  I believed that I got too grumpy, the ripping out was too painful, and I turned into a mother that I didn't want to be when I read fiction because of how deeply I got into it.  So I just quit, and instead I read non-fiction that I could easily put down when interrupted. 

And that worked for awhile.  Last year we listened to the last couple Harry Potter books and a few other longer ones that I really got into.  And once again, I couldn't just walk away from them.  Sometimes we'd pull up to the house and sit outside for 30 more minutes just listening.  I got grumpy when my listening got interrupted.  And I, uh, accrued a sizable library fine.  So we stopped listening for awhile. 

But recently all 3 of my kids have become interested in listening to chapter books.  So at bedtime we all hang out in the girls' room and read some fiction.  First it was Frindle, and then the stories of Willy Wonka, then George and his Marvelous Medicine.  Then Ralph, the mouse with the motorcycle.  Then A Wrinkle in Time.  And now The Secret Garden

When we started A Wrinkle in Time I kinda kicked myself for picking that one, what with the really long chapters and the huge unfamiliar words.  But they were interested and listening and I figured that if anything, I was helping increase their vocabulary.  And I realized, we were reading the book for me just as much as them.  Maybe more.  Some chapters I'd feel a release in my chest that I didn't even realize I was carrying.  Words were put to the feelings I was having that I couldn't describe.  I'd read a chapter and know exactly why we'd read it that day.

And tonight we watched "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix".  I wrote a little over a year ago about wanting to run away into a Harry Potter movie marathon.  Well, I never did it.  I kept holding myself back because, well, I guess because part of me is stuck in the idea that it's not REAL.  I need to stay here, in REAL life.  Not waste my time on fantasy that doesn't apply to my day in day out existence.  I think somewhere along the way I got the idea that losing myself in a book was a waste of time, too.  I still did it when I was young (but then, I was also a bit more stubborn about doing things people told me I shouldn't ;) ) but I think I had my books with a side of guilt.  That really, I shouldn't be sitting here on this beautiful day, I should be doing something worthwhile!  Reading books isn't worthwhile.  Hmm.  So for 10 years I've been avoiding this thing that will just waste my time and instead I have read things about the real world, or at least stories written by real people about their real lives.  And it has been good and stuff.  I've been staying in my real life better by refusing to escape reality through books.  But tonight, when the movie was over and I was filled with these overwhelming feelings and I was agitated and HAD to write, I realized I have been missing something vital from my life.  Something I have really and truly needed. 

I am a sensitive person.  You probably don't have to read much on this blog to catch on to that.  I often feel things that other people don't talk about, that make "no sense" given my physical daily reality.  But they are THERE.  And sometimes it feels like they are huge and insurmountable and there's nothing I can do but tolerate them being there.  They FEEL epic even though my life isn't.  Talking with other sensitive people and learning about different systems and modalities I have come to understand that what I often feel is the pulse of the collective consciousness.  Like we all have themes and feelings that are coming up to be experienced across the globe.  Like there are waves of emotions that effect is all on some level.  Some of us just notice them more than others.  It has been very helpful to learn to separate my own experience from the collective experience.  And still, it's there.  And sometimes, it's all I can do to get through my basic life without being crushed by it.

Tonight, after the movie was over, the feelings I've been experiencing lately were amplified.  They had been touched by the story.  I was perceiving them in a different way than I had been before the movie.  The story had changed them.  And in my agitation, a thought floated up kinda like the triangle in a Magic 8 ball.  What if fiction IS real.  And not real in the sense that Middle Earth is really a place or super heroes actually patrol the skies.  What if they are real in a sense that they are the tool with which we are able to work through those feelings that come up that many of us are barely aware of.  Give those feelings a voice, a purpose, a solidity that may just not be possible in our physical reality.  In a first world life with first world problems, how can we express and find solutions to the feeling that "we're not going to survive" or "our very lives are in danger" or "I am so young and inexperienced yet the responsibility to change my world lies with me"?  But at the same time, how can we NOT feel those feelings when so many of our brothers and sisters around the world lie awake at night engulfed in them?  Even though they don't match our daily life, and others don't understand and may say to just shake it off, some of us feel them, and feel them very deeply, nonetheless.  Maybe the only way I can work through some of these overwhelming feelings that don't seem to be mine, because probably they're not, is to go to that very real place where we go when immersed in a story of heroics that is not our own.  In a story of magic and wonder and fantasy and impossible becoming possible.  Maybe that's the place where those feelings reside.  Maybe every time I go there and walk alongside someone else feeling those things in huge overwhelming ways, and walk with them as they take their steps and maybe fall and take more steps, and look fear in the face and keep moving; maybe when I come to the last page and they have changed, maybe I have changed too.  And maybe I have helped those feelings to change on the only plane where I have access to them.  Maybe the twists and turns and changes that have led to courage and love and friendship and solutions that were not possible before have increased my capacity, even the world's capacity, to do the same. 

I've denied myself fantasy.  I've denied myself pretend.  But I don't think I can function to the best of my ability in the real, physical world while keeping the door to fantastic and imaginary and impossible tightly closed and barred any longer.  Somehow the two need to coexist side by side.  I have to have both to live a full, REAL life. 

I am open to all possibilities around this balance.  I'll let you know how it goes!  And any wisdom and experience surrounding this merger is absolutely welcome.  I love feeling how others create their lives.  <3

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Keep Breathing

Today has felt really, really weird.  Maybe it's a consequence of only getting 2 hours of sleep on Sunday night and not really making up for it on the nights since, maybe it was the powerful storm that was coming tonight, maybe it is all of the social interactions I've had scheduled lately that have been out of my element, and the lack of alone time I need to balance it.  No matter what was behind it, I felt odd today in a way I haven't really felt before, or at least not in quite awhile.  I have some coping mechanisms for when I feel particularly "off" or like I'm suffocating or like I'm crawling out of my skin, but none of those seemed to fit today.  The song below kept running through my head, reminding me to keep breathing.  Sometimes that's the best thing to do.  Just keep breathing, attending to the breath in and out.  Let all of those outside things that I may or may not be able to do anything about fall away if just for a moment.  And connect with the cycle of in and out that keeps me alive, in this body, experiencing life in so many beautiful and painful and perplexing ways.  Sometimes the best thing to do when you feel like you're drowning in the intensity of the world is to just breathe and breathe and breathe until you feel like you have a handle on life again, even a teeny tiny one.  And so I wanted to share the song with you today, just in case you need the reminder too.  <3

"Keep Breathing" 
Ingrid Michaelson

The storm is coming but I don't mind
People are dying, I close my blinds

All that I know is I'm breathing now

I want to change the world
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me

But all that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now

All that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing

All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now

Monday, June 24, 2013

How Life Is Like a Video Game

The title of this post will probably either leave you nodding your head in agreement because you've thought it many times before, or wondering how I could make such an absurd statement.  Actually, there are many ways I feel life is like a video game, but today I'm just going to talk about one.

There are many different types of video games.  The type I've been thinking about lately is called a side scrolling video game.  If you've ever played Mario or Sonic, you've played a side scroller.  Typically, you start the level at a point on the left, and as you move right, towards the end of the level, the camera follows you with a speed that matches your movement.  You can be as slow or as fast as you want.  If there is no one in the area coming to attack you and you really have to pee, you can leave your little character standing there until you come back and everything will be hunky dory.  My kids have done this multiple, multiple times.  We'll come back from somewhere and realize the game has been on for HOURS and the character is waiting right there.  Maybe yawning or asleep, but none the worse for wear.

I SO wish life were like this at times.  I am fully aware that there are things I'm meant to do in this life, some of which really freak me out.  And my default setting when freaked out is to resist and procrastinate and refuse to do anything even semi related to that thing I'm supposed to do.  Maybe you're familiar with that setting?  I wish that I could sit down and refuse to do anything and still have the time and opportunity to do that thing.  Because I really do WANT to, I'm just not ready quite yet.  But life is not like that type of video game, because life doesn't sit and do nothing when I'm refusing.  I can't find a safe place to hide so I can avoid that next challenge for as long as I want, because that challenge may not be there by the time I'm done avoiding it. 

The type of game I'm thinking of I don't have a name for.  Timed side scroller?  I don't know.  Anyway, in this type, you start on the left and move to the right, but the camera moves at a constant speed.  Here are two examples:  (Neither of which are me playing. :) )

In some of these games, if you're too slow and you're touched by the edge of the screen on the left, you die.  In others if you hang back too far, the left edge of the screen shoves you along until you get smashed by something or stuck, and then you die.  On the bumblebee level above, if you get squished then you come out of the circular door on the left side of the screen right where you left off.  On Mario you start over. 

My kids often try to be the fastest on these levels and end up dying just as frequently as someone who is being too slow because when you're pushing the edge you can't see and prepare for what is coming next.  And pushing the edge doesn't actually make it go any faster, it all happens in its own right time.  It seems the best place to hang out is somewhere in the middle of the screen- you can speed up if you see something you want to get but won't be able to reach if you wait, or you can slow down if you're not correctly positioned to go through a certain obstacle.  Sometimes you decide that it's not possible to get all of the coins or bubbles and stay alive so you have to pass them by, or maybe you decide to sacrifice a life or two to get something you especially want.  But a few things are certain- you WILL get to the end when and only when the screen takes you there, and unless there is a cheat in there, you have to go through all of the challenges to get there.

This is the type of game life is feeling like right now.  Time continues to march on, to move me forward just as the camera does in the game.  When I try to stand still and prepare (or avoid) I just get shoved along.  And I can't do nothing and manage to float along and arrive at the end goal unscathed.  Often I get squished, or have to move around really fast in a panic to get around things or align myself correctly, or miss a really cool prize that I just wasn't able to get to in time because I wouldn't allow myself to try for it until it was almost past the window of opportunity.  There is a lot of pain and extra stress caused by letting the edge of the screen shove me forwards.  There are times when I venture out into the middle where there is more room to maneuver, but there is a security and solidity in that left side of the screen.  It helps hold me up in some ways.  It's solid when everything else is transient. Sometimes it feels like it takes all of my energy just to deal with the life that's coming at me and I just don't have the energy to move forward on my own.

But then there's that pain and stress caused by hanging back to far.  That's why I'm writing this at nearly 4 a.m., with my body aching and my eyes half closed.  I've been ignoring my need to let the creative energy out this past week.  I haven't even journaled much which is normally what keeps me at baseline.  I understood today that I either needed to write or paint, and although I got the table cleaned off so I could paint I didn't, and by the time I got the kids to sleep the pressure building up inside me was such that I knew it couldn't be resolved by just writing in my journal.  This is the extra energy, the extra push that helps me actually write here.  But not without loss of health status- I'm going to be really, really low tomorrow after staying up so late!  I know hanging out in the middle of the screen could spare me that loss by doing things when I have the flexibility to speed up or slow down, but that's a balance I just haven't figured out yet.  Or maybe I'm just too afraid to leave the left side of the screen and propel myself on my own?  That would require things like self care and allowing things through even though they're not at full pressure yet.  That would mean seeing the inherent value in them (to a level at least equal to if not higher than things like the dishes and cleaning the house) that would make it okay to use my precious daytime hours on them.  That would mean continuing to take nurturing steps forward even though part of me is shaking in my boots and pleading for me to stop.  It would mean keeping my eyes focused on what I really want to be doing, NEED to be doing so I can thrive, and keep moving that direction.  Those are my next steps, and I think I'm ready to take them.

I know that I'm nearly to the end of this level, the conclusion of which will be my new website.  I can feel the birthing pains.  I can feel the difficulty level increasing and the challenges with narrower possibilities for achievement that are requiring that I shed much of my baggage and increase my abilities.  But I can see that the left side of the screen is not going to escort me there this time.  Or at least not without extreme discomfort and an exorbitant amount of squishing.  Time for me to move forward of my own volition.

Game on.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Why I Can't Cry

So the other night after I posted that I Can't Cry I felt a noticeable shift.  My tears didn't seem quite so blocked and that was a really interesting feeling to have!  I watched the movie that I hoped would help me cry, and it did to a degree.  And then, even though it was really, really late and I had big things the next day and I could come up with tons of reasons why not- I got out my paper and I painted.  Which is big because I hadn't painted in a long time.  And what was even bigger was that I finished the painting which has not been my norm lately!

I have been playing around with doing intuitive message paintings for maybe close to a year now.  I figure out what question I want answered, or what I want support around, or what I want the painting to illustrate, and I come up with a question to be answered by the painting.  I also have a piece of paper nearby to jot down any messages that I hear coming through to answer the question.  Then I get in a meditative state and ask the question over and over again with my breath.  I often write down the message first, and then move to the painting.  I never know what it is going to look like when I start.  Sometimes I have a bit of an inkling, but often I don't.  I just follow as I feel led- put red paint here, green dots there, yellow swirls here.  And when the directions stop, the painting is finished.  It's really fun to paint this way, and I have been completely blown away by the answers and images that come through, especially when the focus is on a question for someone else.  I'm amazed at the messages that are NOT what my mind would have chosen that end up being completely accurate or perfectly what the other person needs to hear.

So that night I decided to ask a question about my crying, or lack thereof.  I asked "Why can't I cry?" and this is the answer that came through-

Tears were the easy way to let it through, back when you had no other way to communicate.  But now you do and it's important to let it through in a way that communicates your awareness of it to help others become aware as well.  Crying was dumping it so you could move on, get back to life as usual.  Painting and writing are letting it through in a way that helps you and others, and the world, and consciousness to grow.  Each release in the form of communication is a leveling up instead of a release through tears being simply a crisis intervention, a pressure relief valve to allow things to continue as they were.  It is a gift.

A huge weight was lifted once I got that message and finished the painting.  And I'm amazed to say that my tears have been flowing easier than ever.  Especially when I take the time to write or paint or share my awareness with someone else.  It can be so hard to talk about your experience of life when it's far from the one you're "supposed" to be having. It can be so hard to talk about feelings with other people, especially when you're always "too sensitive" about everything.  I had come to believe some time ago that my sensitivity is a big part of my gift, of my reason for being here.  But I can't say that there hasn't been a part of me that would have been more than happy to dump it for a more "normal" experience of the world. Oh how much easier life would be, right?  Except I don't tend to pick easy things, I tend to go for the challenges so it makes sense that I would have picked a life with them.  Especially challenges that could potentially have a big payoff in the form of helping others be more at peace with themselves and their feelings and beings.  I have experienced before that when I am honest about my experience it can really help others find peace with their own.  I can see now that it may help me just as much as it helps them. 

Thank you tears for refusing to flow until I could understand that. I am so grateful that you stood firm even while I tried my hardest to get you to flow.  I am sorry I thought something was wrong with you.

Love and hugs to all of you out there reading this.  Thank you for helping me, and I hope I am able to help you just as much.  <3