Tag: Change

Fairy Wisdom

It’s amazing when we step away from our daily routine into a new space, how our perspectives can change.
We see things and people and ourselves differently. And sometimes it isn’t pretty. But it also provides an opportunity to learn and grow. Removing ourselves from complacency is not only refreshing, it’s enlightening.
We are different. The world is different. Life is different.

Anything Is Possible In A “How-To” World

Pretty sure we live in the “How To” era. It’s a virtual world of self-help everywhere we turn. How to feel – sleep – eat better, live longer, save money, fight fat – depression – chronic pain, change our DNA, our life, become happy, aware, creative, organized, joyful…or the biggy –  find peace.

Is it working? Maybe. Maybe not.

My kindred-spirited good friend told me she will never find that zen-like state of peace no matter how hard she tries. Why? Because of what she calls a History of Horribleness.

Yea, I get that. Kind of hard to feel the zen when we’ve endured a lot of crazy and it sometimes still surrounds us. Oh she’s happy, but the undercurrent of inner peace? Forget it.

And it’s not just dealing with whatever is going on inside our own life – family, job, health, finances – all our personal “stuff.” There’s crazy stuff happening in the world right outside our front door. Anybody else notice that the outside world is the same, pretty much every day?

We get so caught up in it – all of it. Why do they do this. What are they thinking. Why are they acting like this. What are they doing. When will they fill in the blank. Doesn’t matter who “they” even is.

Life’s intensity can often define the parameters, and it impacts us. We try to explain, understand, make excuses, deal with whatever is happening – from the world-view all the way down to our bird’s-eye view. But sometimes we can’t figure things out. Or know what is really going on. Or worse, change or fix it.

We can’t always choose the parameters. So, Zen is easily thwarted.

But life itself seems to be paradoxical. It’s the ultimate bliss and torture, beauty and heinousness. And we’re supposed to somehow both manage and accept the paradoxes to obtain a sense of peace. How do we choose the parameters?

From the unlimited supply of “how to’s.” And thank goodness there are plenty to choose from. Key word? Choose.

We can choose to see things differently, feel differently and act accordingly no matter who around us doesn’t. We can choose to flow through it all as if the horribleness is just part of it. We can choose to infuse moments of sucky reality with acceptance. We can stay focused on our personal intentions, hopes and dreams in spite of “them” or “it.”

We can “create” with whatever we “choose.” It takes some serious commitment, especially after a history of horribleness. But it’s true. Choosing changes everything. 

Loving that How To.

There Really Isn’t A Magic Pill That Produces Perfect Health

This may go down for me as the year of getting well. That’s my optimistic way of saying since the flu shot or antibiotics or even Purell doesn’t always work, I must be building up my immunity. I’m now on round four of a plague that seems to cycle around bimonthly. I’m no stranger to the chronic infestation of the moment, or chronic anything really – it’s my middle name.

I shared that a couple years ago with a well-known and well-respected women’s health guru who then “prescribed” me some seriously top-shelf multi-vitamins and supplements that she swore would change my life – and I bought right in.

It only took a couple of years to learn that trying to keep up with the rich and famous is just dumb, because the top-dollar price of this magic “prescription” pretty much broke my bank. When you could buy a car with what you’ve spent on daily vitamins, you know it’s time to quit.

But what if I really need them? And how do I really know? I had a lot more energy and my hair and nails grew fast, so I assumed they truly worked. But a cure-all they are not, no matter who says they are. I still wrestle with the same old chronic health issues and seem to catch the nasty bugs in spite of their expensive claims.

So I headed on over to my local Whole Foods and checked out the alternatives. Even those at half-the-cost of the magical ones were just too much to spend. Why are vitamins so expensive? Is this a marketing craze because people are gobbling up the concept of special daily pills in search of perfect health?

I was. And I’m still on the fence. Some of the wisest people I know swear by a daily handful, but what do you do when you can’t afford what they say will make you well? “If you can’t afford to invest in your own health then you don’t really want to heal,” someone said.  Um, that could not be less true.

Life is just a balancing act. Sure it may be easier for those rolling in the dough, but I don’t knock that abundance isn’t always about dollars in the bank. Although when I saw my checking account balance the other day I flashed right back to college…it gave new meaning to the words “lean years.”

So I’m rethinking my path to perfect health. And I’m pretty sure healing comes from within. That’s not to say that daily vitamins wouldn’t help, but I’m changing how I think about how to feel physically good. Because I don’t think it’s all the ingredients in a vitamin as much as the ingredients in life.

Most of us are way ahead of the game because we can afford to eat. We have food and fresh water and even wine – that’s doing pretty well. We have shelter and heat and clothes and jobs – again that’s not too bad. Some of us are even fortunate enough to have unconditional love. No, it doesn’t always pay the bills but it certainly helps the soul. Throw some fun and laughter in and I’m betting that all beats a pill.

I just took my last handful of what I thought would change my life, but real change means making different choices. Then time will tell. Just like recovering from the flu, change takes its own time.

Time Changes Everything, Most Notably On New Year’s Eve

Is it me or does New Year’s Eve come with a lot of pressure? Why the big deal? Yea, it’s the end of the old year – time moves on, just like it does every day. But we celebrate this particular end of time as if it’s truly the end of time so we better kick it up a notch or three. The build-up mounts in the weeks ahead, “What are you doing for New Year’s Eve?” If you say “nothing” you kind of feel like a loser.

img_2616-1I’m happy to do nothing and cozy up with my honey, a roaring fire, a good movie and a bottle of bubbly. But this year we went out to a jazz club I haven’t been to in over a decade. I was pretty excited actually. The millennial offspring had dispersed after a week of family time and Sir Husband and I were loaded up with Visa gift cards for our night out on the town. Zero pressure.

So there we were sitting in the dim light at our awesome tiny table inches from stage, drinks in hand, waiting on the show to begin while people poured in to the cozy space, and my phone lights up with img_2620a text from my youngest.

“Hey did you hear about the shooting in the nightclub just now? A couple of people dressed up like Santa started shooting everyone.”

BUZZKILL. And startlingly uncomfortable. OMG where? I wrote him back, silenced my phone, stiffened up and started scanning the room. It was on the other side of the world, but Jesus that can happen anywhere, even here, on our big New Year’s Eve night out – you know the important night of celebration and romance without the pressure of worrying about the kids. Shit.

This is what we’ve come to now in the world. Miserable, nasty, sick people think they can shoot you because they want to. You see it on TV and you cringe then disengage, going about your business trying not to think about that kind of horror in your own airspace. By the way, the Times Square ball-dropping celebration was surrounded by SWAT teams and homeland security. Wow.

Change is everywhere. I was surprised when we got to the club (I had frequented annually with my former husband,) to learn it had not only doubled in size, they moved it down a few floors in the building and eliminated the cityscape view from the walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. Bummer.

I said a little prayer in my head thanking the invisible Divine for keeping my boys and us safe while we all did something special on New Year’s Eve in our own respective locations, then I sat back and enjoyed the scene with the love of my life.

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Anyway, Happy New Year. It’s here with plenty of new pressures – like resolutions. Mine is to learn to really embrace change. Although you know what they say about resolutions. Statistics show…they don’t last.

 

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Fall Is Back, It’s Time To Look Forward

fall-dayI’m a few days behind on my autumnal equinox recognition, but like its meaning, it gave me time to reflect on the past season’s abundance, of which there was plenty. Traditionally this changing of the season from summer to fall was celebrated as the second harvest, extolling gratitude for our blessings before the stillness of winter…horns of plenty and all that jazz.

Astrologically this is the time of balance – between light and dark, space and time, ego and soul – a time to remove old limiting patterns and Divinely renew intentions and desires for manifestations. Or simply put, work on our dreams coming true.

victoryFunny thing is, we don’t often realize a dream has come true until hindsight reveals it as such. Sure we have those jump-up-and-down moments when we get some acknowledgment we’re on our way, or validation that we’re on the right path. Those celebratory moments feel good – like baby dreams coming true.

dream-is-realBut if you’re anything like me you dream big – real big. And you start out on the path ready to face and embrace the miracles as they occur. And you have no doubt that there will be miracles because you believe in them. Even in those doubting moments you still keep the faith, keeping the dream alive.

Whether we use vision boards or gratitude lists or just share our dreams out loud, sometimes in the back of our minds we wonder, will this dream ever come true? So we plug away, invested, determined, focused, trying to execute whatever we think will help us reach our heartfelt goal. Every day we try to “get there,” on that road to success. Or we think it’s the road to success.

change-your-thoughtsWhile thoughts become things according to Universal Law, we don’t always know if what we’re thinking is right, let alone what we’re doing, when we don’t see tangible results. Are we on the right path? Or do we need to make a U-turn, better yet get on a new road?

Those answers may or may not clearly come. Ultimately we’re getting somewhere, this is just life. But we have to pay attention to the invisible-visible signs. When the confirmation is confusing, our dreams can take a detour, and we can feel quite off-balance.

still-growingAlthough we may be on our yellow brick road, it’s hard not to depend on others to help lay the bricks. That’s when we get into trouble of course – pinning our hopes on others. But in some cases it’s the actions of others that help make our dreams come true. Like writing a successful blog – it takes readers to excel. I’m nearly 950 posts in, but its growth is going slow.

I invest a lot of time and energy, but is a daily post too much? I get deep satisfaction from doing my soul’s work – I know I came here to write, and it feels completely good. But the perfect recipe or secret of success? I just have no idea.

keep-goingMaybe I’m missing the point. While I’m waiting for the miracle, I’ll look to the end-result…the big picture.

“You can’t expect to see the miracles during the journey,” Mike Dooley says. “You don’t see them until after you arrive.”

We have arrived at the autumnal equinox and I’m grateful for so much. But as the seasons change, so must we. Maybe my focus needs to shift toward fulfilling another dream of writing a book. I’ve thought about this since I was young and who knows if it will fly. But I guess while we’re here, all we can do is try.

horn-of-plentyI’ll still post at least once a week and please weigh in anytime ~ any thoughts, suggestions and ideas are welcome. Thanks to all of you who read, from the bottom of my heart. Abundant blessings to you all, and while I mention it, welcome fall.

 

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Sometimes We Don’t Realize Just How Far We’ve Come

Don’t you love when you stop what you’re doing and notice you’ve accomplished a lot? I can squeeze in a whole day before noon – and let’s cut right to the chase – daily life can be a lot of work so it’s good to knock it down.

Besides my usual routine, yesterday I had to scan nearly 200 pages of my former medical records one slow page at a time, for my new – old – medical team. I’m going back to doctors I saw a long time ago, before I moved away. And sheesh, those 200 pages were only the records from the previous three years.

going-placesIt’s easy to take for granted when we stay settled in one place and our life remains compact. As simple as we want to make it, it’s not easy to move, although I have embraced it over and over as a opportunity to recalibrate, welcoming fresh starts as a vital part of healing from whatever wounds I may have. Clean slates are refreshing.

But this was the first time I moved back to someplace I’ve already been. I didn’t try to or plan it, it just simply worked out. I was thrilled of course and had some expectations which without a doubt were normal. I assumed I would see people who never left, whose lives just went on peacefully while I was participating in my own ongoing drama. I tried not to think about going back in time to a life that used to be, but how could I not?

fought-to-be-meThen it occurred to me. In the years I have been gone I have moved in and out of three states, gotten divorced and remarried, my children have grown up, I have changed my name three times, my hair color a lot, I’ve lost an internal organ, grew and removed a (thankfully) benign breast mass, gotten glasses, become a professional writer, I am not the same.

When I look in the mirror sometimes I don’t even recognize myself. I still feel like me I guess, a little bit, but the image continues to change. Which I just decided should work in my favor. I realized as I was scanning all those records, I have actually reinvented myself. And not just once. Then I started thinking – do we all do that anyway? Is that just part of steadily (or not steadily) advancing through our lives?

processWhen I go see my old doctors they probably won’t recognize me at all. Will I tell them it’s me and throw in a “how have you been all these years?”

I saw a story about past lives online as I was contemplating my old-new self. It said “the question isn’t who are you, but who were you?” This of course was relative to examining lifetimes. I believe in that, but it seems I’ve had plenty of lifetimes in this very one. Then it asked a fundamental question. “Why are you here now?”

fullsizerender-1“It is best not to trudge through the remnants of a distant past, slogging through random moments in order to discover little gems from bygone eras. Rather it is good to know that somewhere buried in your subconsciousness lies the memories of pivotal moments which have shaped your personality and have guided you toward the lessons that you are encountering in this life.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s about making peace with our past.

Don’t you love when when you stop what you’re doing and notice you’ve accomplished a lot?

 

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Toxic People Feel A Lot Like Getting A Nasty Flu

flu-seasonHere we are at flu season again, when all of those toxic germs decide to invade. It comes on strong some years, jumping in before we’ve even gotten our flu shot. This happened to both a friend and my son – the flu virus before fall rolls around sounds pretty toxic to me.

I am quite familiar with toxicity. Not just from years of my own health’s invasions, but from being around emotional toxicity too. That’s the worst form because it can latch on and never quit. Not like a sickness that eventually goes away, emotionally toxicity when it’s in our airspace can cause some serious harm.

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Nobody can really identify what causes a toxic personality – whether it’s short lived from some temporary circumstance or if it’s truly inborn – but it’s identifiable and real because it’s something when we’re around it we feel. It’s as draining and debilitating as a virus or the flu. And like that, everybody encounters it at some point in their lives.

its-about-themSir Husband and I were recently exposed to an invasion of emotional toxicity from someone, and for years during each interaction with her we got sucked into a dark place.

That feeling of being pulled into a pit that makes us feel sick, that’s what is referred to as toxic. We don’t need a Merriam-Webster definition, what defines toxic is strictly personal. We know it when we feel it, like getting an unwelcome shot.

It doesn’t matter the reasons or the rationale, realistically dealing with a toxic personality is hard, ugly, it’s stressful and it hurts. But how do we get away from it when an unhealthy entanglement runs deep? It’s not so easy to do. Or is it?

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We go through life with our belief system of what is or isn’t right, what should or shouldn’t be, we feel good or bad based on our situations, we work to balance our external world with our internal one – it’s a ongoing process at best. But when someone tries to manipulate or force their beliefs on us, or tries to make us be someone we’re not, demand we comply with them, judge us for being ourselves, and our lives conflict to the point we feel sick, something has to change.

When they won’t shift their perception – and usually they won’t – we have to. I might add that to them it’s us who won’t shift ours, and that’s perfectly fine. So how do we deal with people who feel toxic? We change the way we think.

We can’t reverse time or the relationships we’ve had, but we can change the story that reels through our head about whatever doesn’t feel right. We don’t have to keep reading old pages and chapters that don’t feel good, instead we can close the book. They may keep the old story going, but we don’t have to engage.

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When it comes to people in our lives, it’s up to us how we proceed, and when necessary, even opt out. There is no antidote, no shot, no medicine that will remove someone who feels emotionally toxic to us, we have to do it ourselves. We always choose to fight the flu, but toxic people? That’s up to you.

 

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Feeling Yet Another Change, But Actually Change Is Nothing New

IMG_6110Today many lives in the Northeast changed. It’s back to school time. Dreaded by kids and loved by parents, the alarm clocks rang for an early rise and we’re starting a new daily routine. But this year is different in my house, as it frequently is. We are no strangers to big change – both with routine and in life.

tyler kindergartenMy teenage son is stressed out because he has to forge a new path as an incoming junior in a new high school in the town where we just moved. The thought of it even stresses me out  – the kid has endured a lot. But he’s not the only nervous wreck, Sir Husband actually is too.

For the first time in maybe 20-some years, Sir Husband is going back to school. And even he is surprised himself, that he’s about to attend — yes — Harvard. This a pretty huge deal for the man, he struggled way back in the day when his college years didn’t include a particularly noteworthy academic performance.

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But there’s something to be said for time and all the change it brings.

Change is in the air. I’m struggling with it myself. Not just the uncomfortable midlife change, or our recent hectic move, or my deep empathy for my son. It’s happening everywhere. My shaman-therapist retired, so that’s been very hard. I have to find a new source of income, and that’s another big deal. But what’s intriguing is that so many people are speaking out about their own changes.

A good friend just put a question on his Facebook page asking what people think about change, and how they see it. He said he tries to respect it and roll with it without fearing it. When I read that post what caught my eye were the words “think” and “see.” To me change is about how we feel it and how we experience it.

trustMy former shaman-therapist said as she felt her way through her own changes she ran toward calm – focusing on whatever felt calm to her. If we’re lucky we can move through change without feeling a lot of chaos and experience it as a normal, functional, even useful aspect of life. Because just fighting change itself can add its own layer of chaos.

For a long time, maybe most of my life, I have not experienced change feeling calm. Change for me always came with a lot of stress and dysfunction, so it was uncomfortable.

But if we think about it, new stuff happens every day. Change happens on some level every, single day. So if we cling to what happened yesterday, we don’t really have room to let new stuff in, and that’s when we get emotionally tripped up, or mentally clogged up and stuck, even physically and energetically. That’s not to say it’s easy, feeling change can take time.

Sir Husband would never be able to sit in a classroom with students at Harvard University if he did not let go of the past, welcome change and feel calm. I hope my son in a short time will do the same. And me – I have some work to do. Although time always shows that change itself, is really nothing new.

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Change: The Me I Used To Be

Not sure if anyone else is like this, but I tend to be uncomfortable with change. Even good change comes with these strange sensations that bring on some level of anxiety. Technically change happens for everyone and everything in every single moment, but I’m not talking about cellular change or things that are out of our control. I’m referring to the stuff that we are in control of – striving for what feels better, or to do better, better our circumstances, our mindset, our jobs, our health.

I’ve noticed this a lot lately during so many of our changes – moving five times in seven years, getting out of a horrible marriage and into an awesome one, changing jobs, dealing with my kids normal but massive life changes – the status quo of change wore me out, even the good ones.

160501DebbieKeyboard1Another recent change was moving my blog from being hosted by WordPress – you pay the annual fee and they control your site, to a self-hosted blog – which will allow me more flexibility and control of my own website.

Since I’m not technical I enlisted genius help to manage the details of the move during a blog-writing break. She waved her magic wand but encountered some technical blips from WordPress that were out of her control. This changed what I hoped was a seamless transition of change for my blog. Who doesn’t want seamless change?

13615380_10155148083348569_4074241856109201196_nWe hoped for that with our recent out-of-state move back home. Although it was one of the best changes, it was also the bumpiest. As we have tried to work our way over each technicality and hurdle, I started thinking about how change really changes people on the inside too. Some people change for the better, others not so much.

I’m not the same person I was when I lived here seven years ago and as I try to reconnect with some friends I lost during all the upheaval of my life’s heavy changes, I wonder what to say. Hi, It’s been a lot of years. I’m not the me I used to be, I’m different, and better. How are you? 

I have some anxiety around the expectations that come with change.

But really, change is the only constant. We change our clothes, our minds, the channel, our tune, have a change of pace, change of scenery, of direction, of heart. Today I changed my website. It looks the same on the outside, but inside is a whole new story.

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What’s Beyond Our Comfort Zone? Maybe A Welcome Surprise

Comfort zones for most people extend well beyond billowy soft cotton tees or bed linens. Well beyond our physical body. And well beyond the walls we call home. As I ventured out for my first visit to a new hair salon – which demands that comfort is key – I got more and more prickly as I drove the six short miles. The scenery drastically changed, so did, well, everything.

But let’s back up. I love the city and proclaim to be an urban girl. I am, within limits. But I stepped outside my comfort zone when I got out of the car at this center city salon. It’s Aveda – a well known, upscale, organic, chi chi international chain that is fairly overpriced yet interestingly desirable.aveda

I started going to an Aveda salon by mistake, when I lived in the ‘burbs about 50 miles from our new digs. Back in the day, Aveda was just coming on the scene and everybody wanted its botanically-based products, especially those of us with an aversion to chemicals. While I welcomed that, when my longtime stylist said she was switching to Aveda I was naturally a bit hesitant. I’m a creature of habit and worry about change. But I trusted her, and after the first round I was hooked. It smelled better, looked better, even felt better. So I sucked up the cost every few weeks to ensure I didn’t sport any gray.  (And a quick side note – I feel very fortunate, this is a first-world situation I know.)you smell like aveda

Through the years and several moves I frequented the local Aveda salons nearest me, and grew accustomed to the the familiarity. My color formula transferred easily from place to place, I never really missed a beat. I was comfortable.

But now, out of the burbs – I’m actually embarrassed and ashamed to say – I had a little hesitancy as I drove through some unfamiliar-looking territory. I don’t pay much attention to lifestyle but sometimes it catches my eye. We live in such a different world now, pretty much nowhere is technically “safe.”

Whatever it is that knocks us out of our comfort zone – and it can be anything really – we notice. Our senses heighten, our posture straightens, our mind and heart may start racing, it’s really only natural, and admittedly happens to everyone.

perfet hairI drove around the block in circles at least four times looking for a parking space outside this new salon. I parked the car with hesitancy, went inside, and decided at that moment this place was not for me. Sure it was Aveda, but it didn’t feel the same. I couldn’t leave though, I would be charged for missing an appointment.

And here’s the crazy part. As the experience unfolded, much to my surprise, it was simply wonderful. The stylist and I were totally compatible and chatted as if we had known each other for years. The crew was just my speed, the expertise beyond compare. I felt completely at home in that Aveda salon. That’s a pretty big endorsement coming from a new but seasoned color client.

Life has a learning curve, and for some it may take years. When it comes to comfort we need to learn to stretch, because it may reveal something we never knew was there. Growth is pretty amazing. And good hair color definitely is too.

comfort zone is a beautiful place

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