Today’s Challenge To Myself

To have a beautiful life,
find the beauty in everything.
Sarah Marie Thompson

Ok, I need to play this out. This is the month from hell. Rethinking it as beauty, is today’s challenge to myself.

My daughter, her husband, and my grandson are leaving.

Sadness

Beauty

I will no longer take care of my grandson 3 days a week. What a gift it has been to have been allowed to care for him for nearly 2 years.
I will miss the time I have spent with this daughter.  She was so insistent that I get involved with her passion.  So, I spent time volunteering to stuff envelopes, run errands, and help out at events. I was able to be part of the magic that is First Stage, a children’s theater academy.  I was able to help my daughter but I ended up feeling like part of a greater family.
I worry for my daughter.  She has left friends, family, and a job she loved to make this move. I am proud of my daughter.  She loves her husband so much.  She is, selflessly, turning the spotlight on him right now. That’s true love.
And the hardest part of all is that they will all be so far away.  Thankfully, there are such things as Face Time now.  Video chats can happen every day, if we choose.

I am moving too!

Sadness

Beauty

I somehow found myself renting a place that actually faces a nature preserve. This beautiful space has been my meditation space for 3 years. I am moving closer to another daughter.  We can easily walk to each other’s place whenever we want to.
When I first moved here, the animals that came out of the woods, scared me a bit.  Raccoons would peer right into my patio door at night.  Now, we have become comfortable with each other.  I will miss their visits. I, now, have such a beautiful appreciation for the gentle nature of animals.  They have taught me so much about resilience, risk taking, and simply being gentle with myself.  Their messages will live with me forever.
The paths into the woods were just steps away from my back door.  Walking these paths has become a time of true meditation. I have found something that brings me peace when I am troubled.  I know, now, that it’s worth a small drive to spend time in such a sanctuary.
Why would I leave such a beautiful place?  Rent!  My income will not increase but the rent goes up each year.  That fact makes it too difficult to stay. My rent will go down substantially with this move allowing me the extra cash I will need, now, for airline tickets to visit my other daughter and grandson.

You know, I think this worked. Maybe just for the moment but this was a great way to refocus my brain.

I Write, I Write. Everyday, I Write

Journal Entry - July 26, 2015
Part Nine of how Morning Pages(my journal) 
helped me process through a change.

I write.  I write.  Every day, I write.  Yesterday was everything many dream of.  A quiet, peaceful day with nothing to do.  And I did nothing. Oh well, that’s not exactly true.  I cleaned my little home, then went for a walk in the woods.  Someone had told me that mosquitos don’t like the smell of vanilla.  I had to try that out.  Come to find out, it’s true! It’s a little messy, spreading vanilla extract all over yourself and I walked through the woods smelling like a cookie but it really does repel mosquitos!

Then, back here to just sit and decide what next.  I watched a lot of TV and then got sad thinking about my grandson.  If they move away, this will be my life everyday.  This quiet, peaceful existence…everyday…BORING!!!

I didn’t want to dwell on it.  I’m trying to let God handle it.  I went to bed early and slept until 5:30 am.  It felt great.  And now, laying ahead of me, is today.  It’s Sunday.  Nothing to do.  House is clean.  Plants watered. Weather beautiful.  I’ll walk the woods this morning and maybe again this afternoon.  I can’t spend money right now.  I need to save for other things.

It’s a strange time, right now, in my head.  I’m empty of light.  I read through other’s posts and I don’t care.  I try to think of something to write and I come up dry.  Empty. I wanted to be that person who could help guide others to the light.  Right now, I think “Find your own way!”  I’m in protective mode.  I’m waiting for the bomb to drop.  I’m working out how I’m going to respond on that day when I hear the words.  I’m trying to be ready in case God’s plan is to move them away.  Slow, deep breathes…Slow deep breathes.

When I walk the summer woods, it’s hot and humid and still.

IMG_8464 IMG_8467Animals move slowly. Birds sing a little less during the day.  I breathe in the oxygen of the leaves and I walk, trying to think of nothing.

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Then, in pops thoughts of a brother who died homeless, and an ex-husband who took his own life, and I feel guilt.  I should have done more, tried harder, been better.

I’m alone, right now, maybe because I deserve to be!

I need to STOP taking the blame…or the credit for every other person’s journey.  I am not that special!  Remember?  My brother and my ex-husband did as they did of their own accord.  To think that I caused it is being pompous.  Each of us has our own power to play out our life the way we want.  I, right now, have the power to get on with mine!  Find other interests, meet other people.

But, right now, I don’t want to.  Right now I am choosing to be alone.  I am choosing this!  It is not a punishment.  As I chose, yesterday, to sit and watch TV, I will choose today to maybe do the same.

We’ll see.

Last Thing I Wrote Was “Help Me Breathe” And You Did Just That

Journal Entry July 20, 2015  
Part Four of how Morning Pages(my journal) 
helped me process through a change.

Been gone from here for three days.  Went to Dancing On The River’s Edge, our little tradition that started when my brother died.  Today, I return to dealing with thoughts of my daughter moving away but for three days, I had the beauty of the Wisconsin River, love of friends and family, a little good music, and mosquitos to take my mind off of it all.

I asked you to help me breathe.  You did just that.

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…Then, I was home; sitting, relaxing.  I get a text from my daughter with a request to watch my grandson a couple extra times in the month of August.  My heart says “Absolutely”.  My mind says, “Let her figure it out without me.”  And so the horror of them leaving replaces the beauty of the river, the peaceful flow, the incredible sunsets and sunrises, the sounds of the cicadas and frogs, and the music.

For a moment, I was breathing again. In amongst the stress and commotion of the camping trip, you helped me see that life exists all around me and it’s stunning and beautiful.  I just have to open my eyes and look.

Thanks for the reminder.

Searching For Guidance

Journal Entry - July 16, 2015. 
Part Two of how Morning Pages(my journal)helped me process through a change.

Searching for a way…to reconcile my feelings with what will, inevitably, happen.  I walked my woods looking for a sign.

There was the robin, never leaving my path.

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“Let go of the drama and allow as much joy and laughter into your life as you can.” (S. Farmer, 2006)

Dragonflies have been plentiful, as well, and I have been ignoring this part of the message because I felt safe.

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“Be on the lookout for any falsehoods, deceit, or illusions that are clouding a current situation or relationship.”

In the pond, turtles are poking their heads up between crowded lily pads.

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“At this time, pay particular attention to the shifting sensations in your body, as these are, energetically, resonating  with subtle changes in the vibrations of the earth. Get out on the land and walk around at about half  your usual pace, using it as a meditation.”

Then, the geese.

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“This is a time of good fortune.”

Ah, it doesn’t feel like that, actually.  

“Call on your ancestors for guidance and protection and once you do you’ll notice a significant increase in your spiritual awareness.  Even though it may not always appear to be so, you are very well protected.”

Then, I came upon a deer, too suddenly, and scared it a bit.

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“You’ve been involved in some aggressive, negative circumstances and need to seek out safe, nurturing situations and people.”

And, that’s what I did last night.  My head hurts from a bit too much wine, but it felt good to listen to the prospective of another (outside eyes).  She gave good sound advice even through my tears, of which there were many yesterday.

Ok, so here it is again…my daughter and her family are working on a move to North Carolina.  Her husband is committed to finding work there and has indeed interviewed, now twice, with a company.  My daughter is pregnant with my second grand baby. It doesn’t matter. My other daughter and I have tried so hard to help with their son, giving them opportunities for nights out, even whole weekends for small vacations, not to mention providing weekly childcare so he has never had to deal with the rush of a morning schedule, or leave his home.

I think, my daughter wants to go 100%.  My other daughter thinks that she has to want this for her husband. She doesn’t have a choice.

Still, yesterday, I nearly lost it when I realized that this daughter sought out guidance, from a trusted shaman, on how to deal with ME!  I had picked up vibes that something was going on, so I asked her if her husband was interviewing for another job.  When she said “yes”, my only response was, “Where, this time.” I stayed quiet.  No tears.  Still she contacted her shaman.  As I reflected on that, further, I did, indeed, feel as though I had become a burden; the one obstacle in the way for their true life.  Here, I had been thinking that I was working hard to be a great help.  I called my other daughter, sobbing. She helped right my sinking boat for the time being. Yet, still today, I feel old and in the way.

But then this daughter calls  and says,

“Could you come early today.  I have a meeting at 8:30.”

And, of course, I will be there.

My grandson doesn’t know the ache I feel, right now, anticipating lost moments.

Finding My Flow

July 15, 2015
First in a series of journal entries that 
mark my path through a deep and hurtful change.
Writing, in a journal, each 
day helped me see my thoughts
on paper and guided me to my strength.

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Breathe deep!  Just let life happen.  I knew it would come.  It was inevitable but still my gut aches. My head pounds.  My body feels heavy.  I need to find that place inside me that gives me the strength to move through “this” because “this” will happen whether I move through it or not.  That is how life goes.  Life moves, keeps moving…forward.  I choose to go with that flow or become a puddle off to the side, where, of course, I will soon dry up and disappear.  Right at this moment, I’m leaning towards the puddle idea.  That’s how my body feels, that’s what my head wants me to do, pull out of the flow.  You, kind of, think that if you do that, you will somehow be missed and “this” flow of life might reconsider because it wants you in it.  But who are you kidding?  Flow doesn’t stop to notice a leak.  And, you are just a small leak in a massive, powerful flow.  Don’t think that you have the power to make a difference in this forward movement.  So, it might be better to just go with the flow.   But what does that mean?

The current has changed.  The direction has changed.  I will not be in the front, now, helping to lead the way.  I will be further back…important but not necessary.  Does that make sense?  Well, it does to me.  These are powerful forces that have picked up your movement and added new energy to it.  Your work to get to this spot was, indeed, important but the new force can take it from here.  You are being told: “You can stay in the flow, if you want.  Thank you very much for your service, but we can take it from here.  We’ll always remember and appreciate the work you have done.”

Stay with the flow or go?  Stay with the flow or go?  How much strength do you have?  You don’t need to be a small leak that puddles off to the side.  You could forge a new route of your own.  It’s, for sure, scary.  I mean, what if you don’t have enough strength to cut through the rugged terrain?  It’s also lonely.  I will have to have strong conviction and belief that I can do this alone because I have no guarantee of followers.

Stay with the flow or go? Am I a follower or a leader? Do I really want life to just happen or do I want some control?  It’s scary.  It’s lonely.  But, right now, I am basically just going with the flow and I don’t like the lack of control.  Some days, I’m important.  Other days, I’m in the way.

Ok, I will not block forward progress but I think, no I believe, that I am a leader.  I forge my own destiny.

Stand up straight, then.  Be strong, focused, energized.  It’s time to choose your own adventure.  It’s time to follow your own light. And don’t be surprised if you find out that you had actually been a drag on their flow.  Celebrate your skill, your own power, your own freedom.  Let them celebrate their’s.  Let life flow as it should.  Now get out there and find your own flow.