Every once in awhile, in a moments notice, life turns upside down.
News hits your ears and shock waves ripple through your heart.
No one is exempt from these sort of moments.
They are built into the fabric of life.
When they arrive, we all stand, stunned. We almost never see them coming… and even when we do, we are shocked that they’ve arrived.
These moments- upon- moments-upon- moments, when time stands still,
crash into us
like a bolt of lightning. Electric and instant.
They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and feelings -- each one characterized by the
blind side that they bring to our reality.
Our brains scramble to make sense, our lungs struggle to take that much needed deep breath.
Our hearts beat wildly as we begin the next step… Processing.
Just the other night… I had one of these moments.
It knocked me sideways and swelled my heart with grief.
I felt heavy. Raw. And heartbroken.
After struggling with Infertility for the last (almost) 7 years, I find that I am particularly susceptible to emotional trauma.
Imagine a chronically ill person… they’re immune system is much weaker in many ways, and therefore more susceptible to a dangerous virus.
That’s me… only I am not chronically ill, I am living in perpetual emotional trauma.
It is strange to say that, but it is the most accurate way to explain my situation.
It is why I am consciously and actively vigilant to protect my heart. It is why I do my best to practice self care daily. It is why I say “No” to baby showers, and newborn hospital visits . It is why I no longer teach preschool, why I nap regularly, and why I choose to submerse myself in things that bring joy to my life.
My emotional well being depends on the amount of “defensive” work I do.
With all the work I do, to remain balanced and stable… I still know that I am going to have these blind sides… no one is exempt from these sorts of moments.
They are built into the fabric of life.
How do I cope?
I first let the wave crash. The one that follows the lightning bolt. I feel all the emotion in its pure form and let it wash over me. I observe it. I acknowledge it. Without judging myself, I let whatever I need to feel rise up and be present.
And then I breathe deeply. I hug. I remind myself of these important truth’s:
I am not in control.
This reality is painful, uncomfortable and unwanted… but it is here.
Therefore, I will do my best to accept what I must, change what I can and rise above the rest.
I am not in control.
And then I get to work, taking care of myself.
And for me that can mean many things…
A crying session. Writing. Painting. A brisk walk. Pulling weeds. Screaming loudly. Talking.
Tuesday night, after the initial shock wore off, and I began to process, I sang.
I sang my heart.
I sang on a stage, in a little bar. I stood, in front of mostly strangers, with a microphone, no musician to accompany me, and I sang.
And the healing power of art took over.
The music of my fellow open mic attendees and my own small set -- released the energy that had built up. It lessened the weight of the grief and sadness. It allowed me to move forward.
With each arrival of a new season I grow increasingly aware of my surroundings.
I breathe in the winds of change and I collect new memories. It is within these few transitional weeks that I find myself reflecting, observing and appreciating the world that surrounds me.
Life, in all its beauty is fleeting. If we don't stop to enjoy our days now... when will we?
It doesn't have to be a constant, grand notion... it can be found in the smallest of things.
Sometimes, all it takes is a tiny vase of flowers sitting on the windowsill dappled in sunlight.
Hello Dear Readers,
My goal for 2017 is to post at the very least, once a month.
Yet, February slipped right through the cracks.
Let's break it down and examine the two ways I looked at this.
Most of us... myself included... naturally and initially jump right to negative conclusions. We look at this kind of slip up as an indicator of Failure and as a strange opportunity to unleash our harshest critic. Ourselves.
Only the second month of the year and already I fell short of meeting my goal.
Several unfinished drafts, full of thoughts, are saved in the blog editor, various notebooks and my brain... but never made it to the publish button. What a waste.
This is a huge disappointment, to my goal setting self, my readers and my business.
How many times did I sit before the blank screen. A blinking line against a white backdrop. What is wrong with me that I couldn't take a moment to blog a few thoughts, words, or photos?
Maybe I am not a writer. Not a blogger.
Thinking like this is so damaging. It is like putting a giant "do not enter" sign on your dreams and goals and future. We start with words like Failure and they morph into others...
But there IS another way to look at it.
In the last five or so years, I've personally been growing. Leaps and bounds.
And the initial thoughts of self belittling no longer sit well in my company.
They do visit. But they are not as comfortable. They don't grab a blanket and overstay their welcome, getting cozy in the confines of my mind.
In fact, almost as soon as the Failure alarms sound, the new team I've acquired hop into action, and set to work organizing, banishing, and modifying unwanted thoughts...like triage or a particularly talented stage manager.
Soon, the crippling thoughts of Failure are replaced with more tender, well crafted, kindhearted, loving and helpful thoughts.
"February slipped through the cracks."
It sure was a quick month. Busy too. Remember those notes jotted on paper. I was sure hoping to expand on them in the blog space... I suppose I still can, later.
It never felt right, every time I sat down to blog last month... it felt forced and insincere.
The last thing I want to do is to start posting a bunch of random stuff just to meet a goal. HA. I am so transparent, I am almost positive that a blog post-forced would be a blog post- torture for the reader.
Perhaps there isn't any good reason for a month of silence. I am human. And my humanity affords me a fair amount of mistake making.
maybe there's a more significant reason. Perhaps I have been busy living out and fleshing through some very real notions. Needing the experience before I can articulate them on the page.
This has been true in the past, and now that I think about it... I HAVE been wrestling with a few topics haven't I?
And there is the big stuff too. The infertility treatment decisions and the business decisions. The extra naps, the traces of depression and anxiety trickling into some of my days. The several BIG idea projects holding space in my brain... not to mention the short story I've been writing... the short story that seems to be turning itself into a long story.
This is what my new thought process looks and sounds like.
Isn't it so much more gentle and understanding. It leaves room for growth and perspective. It encourages thoughtful reflections and ACTUALLY inspires.
It accounts for life, the messy complicated bits and it helps to remind me that I am not a production assembly line.
I am a living, breathing, mistake making, thinking, growing person. Not a failure.
furthermore... it sounds a lot more like how I would talk to someone I love.
More forgiving. More tender.
It makes me think of being a child at the carnival. You approach the coveted ride, hoping to God that your head will rise above the height line, the one that determines who can and who can't ride.
Failure- and our subsequent self talk tends to be like the carnival worker. Grimacing down at us, declaring that we are not allowed to move forward.
But life isn't a carnival ride... it is a grand and wondrous adventure... not a short term thrill.
We needn't hold ourselves back with negative thoughts, my friends. It isn't helpful.
My hope, in writing this... is that you, my dear reader, would find a path to a kinder, more tender self love.
That you could set to work replacing harsh criticisms and unrelenting negative self talk, when bumps in the road happen and they will.
That you would look in the mirror and speak gentle, encouraging, thoughtful, tender words to yourself, AND mean them... sincerely.
We need to keep moving forward
a whole lot of
a view of my writing nook
I love using words to connect with my fellow humans.