Friday, January 30, 2015

" Wake up ... "

Movements come and movements go
Leaders speak, movements cease
When their heads are flown
'Cause all these punks
Got bullets in their heads
Departments of police, the judges, the feds
Networks at work, keepin' people calm
You know they went after King
When he spoke out on Vietnam
He turned the power to the have-nots
And then came the shot

Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

~ Rage Against The Machine ~ Wake Up ~

Those moments when you were awake enough but hit the snooze button anyways.  Those moments when you pushed away precious opportunities.  Those moments when you were actually postponing your life.  Those moments.

We all have those moments.  Some are on purpose, others unintentionally, yet we identify with them.  Time when we didn’t take action because we were afraid ... we told ourselves weren’t enough.  And we build on those moments.  We sabotage ourselves, we get in the way and we ignore all the signs.  Until ... (roll the music) ... THE wake up call.  

There is a great deal of casual talk about wake up calls.  What it is and whether or not you’ve had yours.  I saw casual talk because in some circles, it seems to as frequent as ordering a daily latte.  I use to wonder how come all these people say they are having wake up calls but they’re behavior stays the same.  Well, I can honestly say that I’ve had mine.  And albeit loud and clear, I’ll admit, I still have a habit of hitting that snooze button ... when it isn’t convenient or simply because I am paralyzed with fear.

Prior to my diagnosis, I would say no to opportunities that pushed me out of my comfort zone.  Afterwards, I struggled with the idea that I could start living this life fully, regardless of the cancer in my body.  Yet I knew that this moment was designed for a purpose.  I’ve reflected on how one moment, one event,  has changed my entire world.  There has been great pain and enormous sadness, that I couldn’t just push away.  I had to accept that life was happening through me.  It wasn’t something to escape.  I started to lean into that moment of extreme grief which brought extreme clarity.  I knew that I needed to make a drastic change, that my life wasn’t over ... yet, and I had to stop acting like it was.  I had to start to care, about me, I had to start living for me because reflecting back, I think I was just giving up.

we don’t have to wait until your wake up call 
becomes a full blown alarm.

We are aware of the many things that are happening in the world that appear to be unfair, yet when we wake up, we become aware of all the beautiful things.  Without the ugly, we would never know the beautiful ... and beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyhow.  

are you running on your autopilot or inner pilot

I am learning that going through the pain is a necessary part of moving into a space of joy.  Wake up calls help us to experience the full spectrum of emotions, not just the ones we feel we can control.  The last few years have been some of the hardest moments that I have ever experience, but they have also been the most beautiful moments.  I am no longer okay with postponing life.  Maybe because I don’t know how the real plans for this dis-ease.  I realize I have no control, so I am learning that living consciously is about taking control of my life.  It is about thinking about my decisions rather than making them without thought, about having a life that I want rather than settling for the one that befalls me.  

Awareness is the enemy of sanity, 
for once you hear the screaming, it never stops
-- Emilie Autumn

Saturday, January 24, 2015

" Dismissed ... "

“Now you're talkin' like I've never played the game before
Save your empty words 'cause I don't wanna hear no more
Basically you're trying to take control of me
But you're not what i wanna be

Do your best to try to pull me down
I'm never goin' back even if I see you around, no
No, I'm never goin' down like this
You've been dismissed “

~ Zoegirl ~ Dismissed ~

Think about the last time you expressed yourself and heard ... "cheer up, don’t feel that way, sorry to hear that or I hope you feel better soon".  How did it make you feel?  If you read between the lines, some are saying ... I don’t want to hear about it.  So therefore, all it is is a disguise of casual politeness.

Of course this doesn’t happen ALL the time, but such exchanges occur a LOT of the time.  You just have to listen carefully ...  

So here’s the deal ...

Whenever you talk about how you’re really feeling or what you really think, especially if it is deemed “negative” ... people get uncomfortable.  You see them fidget, squirm or maybe even criticize you sideways.  They may try to shut you up, censor you, change the topic, distract you ... or the most delusional of all ... make it seem like it’s “allllll good”.

Setting boundaries are different than invalidating someone.  It is odd to think that you are indefinitely available to other people and they are to you.  However, if they ask and you share and then they deflect your thoughts and/or feelings, you have been dismissed ... after all, they asked didn't they?  

Sounds insensitive but they got what they asked for and they didn’t like it.  Now it is about you and you are are the problem ... maybe they question how you really feel, shouldn’t feel, should feel and will feel ... in a subtle way, you have just been censored.

“Defensiveness is usually someone silently screaming 
that they need you to value and respect them in disguise. 
When you look for deeper meanings behind someone’s pain 
you can then begin to heal not only yourself, but others.” 
― S.L. Alder

A great place to begin is to ... lighten up.  You are not the problem.  You may be temporarily experiencing a negative emotion.  But the sun came up and it will most probably set again today.  You see, your emotions may be alerting you to problems in your thinking, but you may not have a problem with the way of feeling.  It is always what you do with that feeling, respectfully and peacefully.

Realize some are simply uncomfortable with HOW you are feeling.  Rather than taking responsibility for their own discomfort when you talk about something that's too emotional, they will blame you.  Because they are unwilling to get emotional, or to be fully present, or to genuinely accept that you feel the way you do.  

Usually others don’t want to experience your negative emotions because it is painful.  Painful when they realize that you may become their problem when you voice what 
they cannot accept in their own self.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

" Starting Over ... "

It's been so long since we took the time,
No-one's to blame,
I know time flies so quickly,
But when I see you darling,
It's like we both are falling in love again,
It'll be just like starting over - starting over,

Why don't we take off alone,
Take a trip far, far away,
We'll be together on our own again,
Like we used to in the early days … 

Let's take our chance and fly away somewhere alone …

~ John Lennon ~ Starting Over ~

There are many reasons we must hit our reset button in life … death, birth, divorce, marriage, layoff, end of friendship, relocation.  But what if your current life is sucking you dry, every minute of every day.  What if you just start over by choice??

Now why would I start over you ask … because simply put, you are unhappy.  And maybe you feel a sense of guilt, or ungrateful because what you have, you don’t really want.  You find yourself years later either in the dead end job or jobless … with a collection of material wonders only to be penniless.  Sounds extreme, you’d be surprise how many identify with this.  So what do you do … you hit the start over button again.

Perhaps a scary thought, but even scarier if your life is full of regrets.  It really is about creating the life you want.  And you are only late if you are six feet under.  Besides, there is really only one thing you have to do … give yourself permission to change.

So, begin by looking at what you really wanted to be when you grew up and you will find a common thread, theme or tendencies in your present life.  Personally, I’ve always wanted to help others.  And I’ve found there is a fine balance between helping others and hindering yourself in the process.  Yet, it doesn’t halt me from doing what naturally feels good.  When you realize there is no security in anything, all is impermanent, why not make the most of it … life that is.  

… allowing is so powerful … 

We are very good at hiding our own brilliance.  We are often afraid to stand in our truth, stand in our power.  We sabotage ourselves thinking we are not good enough or don’t deserve it.  We beat ourselves up every single day.  Hence some of the best and simplest advice I’ve received is the only way to begin is believing you can.  Believing that if you lived in your most passionate self and allowed yourself your full potential, you would have lived your purpose.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

" Unknown ... "

“ This doubt is screaming in my face
This familiar place sheltered and concealed
and if this night won't let me rest
don't let me second guess
what I know to be real
put away all I know for tonight
and maybe I just might learn to let it go
take my security from me
maybe finally I won't have to know everything

I am falling into grace to the unknown
to where you are and faith
makes everybody scared
it's the unknown the don't know
that keeps me hanging on and on and on to you “

~ Lifehouse ~ Unknown ~


Would you call it a crisis when you realize that you really know nothing?  What about all that education and life experience, does that qualify you as being wise?  A realization ... what you thought you know, you don’t, what you can count on, you can’t ... and frankly, you are not alone.

Not a pessimistic view, a realistic one.  Those certainties in your life, don’t exist.  That "one" you had is no longer in your life.  That job you had secured is no longer available.  The happily ever after are just words.  And it goes on ... life, not as you planned.

Shift happens and so, you course correct, readjust and move forward.  Even if moving forward is the last thing you want to do.  Why?  so that you don’t become stuck ... stuck in your own muck.

Uber easy to move into a crazy place of unknown, fear of not being prepared for whatever comes your way.  But you are you ever really ready?  Are you ready for the chaos that follows the pivotal moment when you decide ... what do I want?

Ask the question but drop the guilt, shame and judgement.  Open up to vulnerability.  Open up to the truth.  Open up to whatever comes.  Because there is no control, there is no rhyme, there is no reason.  There is only space for acceptance, for surrender.  There seems to only be space to BE.

Having the courage to ask.  The courage to stand in your own truth.  The courage to believe in yourself, by yourself, for yourself.  Trusting you can handle what you are experiencing.  Knowing you can.  Now what ... what now?  Whatever you wish.  

Having the insight that nothing is permanent and “this too, shall pass”.  The transient nature.  The flow.  The change.  The waves.  The tide.  Allowing it to occur as it will ... believing all is as it should be.  Check in with your faith ... 

Times when you don’t know about, anything.  Leaking fear and anxiety into your chest, near your heart, in your throat.  Feelings of guilt muddled with regret, with overtones of panic and an undercurrent of fear ... like a vice grip.

With present focus on breath, accepting that there is no right answer.  Just feel beyond the emotions and to trust.  Having the courage to work with what is in the present moment and respond at best with kindness.  Beginning with self first.

Begin to enjoy the indecision to be free.  Free to all possibilities and the relief that follows.  Free to embrace the joy and peace which is tickled with lightness ... realizing faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

" Events ... "

“Mark it on a calendar and walk away
Forget the stories forget the pain
They mean nothing to you well they mean nothing to me
But the memories wont let me be
Take the pictures to remember the day 
I'm forgetting the voices what they have to say
They mean nothing to you they mean nothing to me
But the memories wont let me be 

And it is only the strong survive
And that is only the biggest lie ... 

I blacked my soul last night to feel like you ...
And I need to think of something to say 
before we all are on the floor “

~ The Front Bottoms ~ Events ~

An event, big or small, happy or sad, surely you’ll see many you haven’t seen for a while.  Words are expressed with an embrace, observations are made and expectations are set ... and then what happens, absolutely nothing.  I can’t keep count how many times I heard ... haven’t seen you in a long time, we should get together, how have you been, gosh, you must be so busy, life is really hectic, so much going on, we really need to spend time together, how are you feeling ... moving lips and then what happens, absolutely nothing.

And so what’s the point?
It is so easy to believe you are connecting, you can pick up where you left off and you know what is going on in someones life.  Isn’t it just as easy to peek on their profile, snoop on their wall, and check out their social media outlets ... ?  

... we become perfect strangers ...

Perfect strangers whom meet when it is required, expected, and an obligation.  Sad?  for some ... because initially there is a sense of excitement, to reconnect, to rekindle the magic from when you were a youth.  It’s easy to romanticize the past.  Yet inevitably somehow along the way someone will see you in the same light ... can’t see past your faults, your flaws, your past.  Perhaps your new found identity threatens them and their existence.  Who are you now and where to they fit in?  So to them, you have never changed.  To them, you are same.  To them, judgement is a one way street.

WE change moment by moment.  So isn’t it odd to hear that nothing is new.  EVERYTHING is new.  So what is it about then?  Can they just cant be bothered to share with you their joys and sorrows?  Or maybe they don’t think it is that big of a deal ... their life that is.  Or maybe they are still stuck in the past, holding on to a grudge, even at the saddest times when all that is desired is comfort.  So, they give you the highlight reel ... the great trips, the awards their kids win, their latest purchase, their latest gadgets.  

Life is just so terrific.  So they say.  Yet their faces are full of suffering and because maybe they can't bare their soul, have a real conversation and really express how they are.  Perhaps the reality of their situation is too much to handle.  So you see others going through the motions ... saying the right things, doing the right things, and being seen where they need to be seen.  They lose the point ... of why they were present.  Perhaps a harsh observation but one that is usually not spoken.  And, yes of course, judgement as well.  

But how do we really feel?  
Aren’t there times when we just want to scream and say ... f*ck it?  
Isn’t that expression REAL honesty in the moment?  
Isn’t it okay to say that you are NOT okay? 
Isn’t it okay to ask for help?  

When we strive to become more authentic, we remove all the distractions, the image, the layers and the stories.  We bare who we TRULY are.  The shell is gone and we have no where to hide.  Kindness is always always ALWAYS necessary - especially towards self.

Gentle reminders of gratitude ... 
These events happen to teach - teach about who we are, what we are made of and what we are capable of dealing with.  We are all fractured souls trying to put the pieces back together.  We are all trying to figure it out.  So these moments, these events give us a chance to dig deep, sort out what works, what doesn’t.  These are the moments help us maneuver through life and all it’s glory.  And let it be so ...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

" The Grudge ... "

Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity
Calculate what we will or will not tolerate
Desperate to control all and everything
Unable to forgive your scarlet lettermen

Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Justify denials and grip 'em to the lonesome end.
Clutch it like a cornerstone. Otherwise it all comes down.
Terrified of being wrong. Ultimatum prison cell.

Give away the stone. Let the oceans take and
Transmutate this cold and fated anchor.
Give away the stone. Let the waters kiss and
Transmutate these leaden grudges into gold.

Let go ...

~ Tool ~ The Grudge ~ 

Recently during various conversations, I found myself saying within “ pick your evil “.  And with differing opinions, it made sense ... 

So what exactly was this in reference to?  In a nutshell, grudges.  Yeah, grudges, because I am learning that love, forgiveness and holding grudges work together.

... depending on your definition of a grudge that is ... 

Some will hold a bitter grudge against anyone who looks at them funny.  A full body grudge armour approach brought to a battle of one.  If you find yourself easily provoked into fury, seek help.  Yet, if you are aware of your mood, spiral down the vortex of negativity whenever you encounter a certain someone ... hold that grudge.

... a grudge can work for you rather than against you ... 

You see, if you acknowledge another’s foibles, you have the choice to keep yourself at a safe emotional distance from them ... because simply put, unless shown differently, they could mess up your life, again ... so, hold that grudge.

Perhaps we humans underestimate how hurt will affect us over time.  We tend to assume that the more painful injuries, the big ones, the ones committed by loved ones, will cause the most pain over time.  It seems that when our hurt is major, we find ways to reason ... yet when pain is minor, we boil and stew and stew and stew.

So if this whole concept doesn’t work for you, how do you decide who you forgive and who you don't?  why do you nurse grudges about small things, but forgive the big ones? ... and do you recognize a biased nature, supporting the those horrible actions seeking redemption, only to judge and jury another who merely littered in the street?

We owe it to ourselves to let go whatever it is that no longer serves us.  Trust yourself, the answers always lie within ... and I hear “ pick your evil “.

Monday, January 5, 2015

" Embrace The End ... "

" The ending
That peace could grow inside of you
Inspite of me ... Humanity
I hope you’re out there somewhere ... 

Does anyone care
To disagree with me
Admit defeat we bleed
In disbelief
I hear the whole world

Welcome the way that we
Embrace the ending ...

I hope your out there somewhere "

~ Mushroomhead ~ Embrace The End ~

Endings are not always easy, even when you see them coming.  Loss is traumatic, even when you prepare yourself for the experience.  Yet with endings comes new beginnings, an opportunity for transformation.

Beginnings start to shape into something joyful yet painful ... exciting yet uncertain ... all at once.  You could stay focused on all of the newness to avoid the farewells, but then you miss honoring the very best parts of what came before. By acknowledging the joy and the sorrow, you can bring your loves and lessons into your new beginning.

We may initiate some of the beginnings and endings, but ready or not, many happen on their own schedule.  I have found that it is more productive to drop the judgement and begin by embracing the end ... 

I am open.  
I let go of my need to hold on to the past or attempts to control the future.  

I allow things to unfold.  
I notice the small shifts as change can occur at snail or warp speed, regardless of my preference.  

I ask for help.  I admit that I don’t know what I am doing.  
I am grateful for the support which helps me find laughter and joy in the process.

I don’t filter my feelings.  I own them 
... I tell a friend, I write, I release them in a un-harmful way.  

I find stillness.  I can’t stop time but I can make room to pause and access before moving forward.  

By becoming aware that change in upon us, we can embrace endings with calmness and truly trust the process of life.