Sunday, December 25, 2022

Doing it for Me

 The theme for the next couple of weeks is "Doing it for me."

For a long time, and still sometimes in the now, I become paralyzed at the thought of screwing something up. I have anxiety about going to work, paying bills, going into unfamiliar stores because I think I'll do something or say something wrong. They'll know I don't belong, that I'm not an adult. I'll be late or check the wrong box or I'll forget to submit.

Now these are things that happen. I misread something or misinterpret. I stand in the wrong line or turn the wrong way. I err on the side of am I really worthy. Happily, I am learning to forgive myself. After all, I can't know some things until I do them. And yeah, I can throw the words "common sense" and "pay attention" at myself all day long, but in the end, I'm still gonna have a different perception than others and I'm just gonna have to do something in order to learn how to do it. Which means moving through the fear.

Part of releasing the fear is remembering what I am doing it for. Why am I paying the bills? Why am I going into this store? Why am I going to work (especially when it's so difficult to get out of bed?)

Because I want to. I like having heat (especially today!). I want to explore the pretty or useful (hopefully both) things in the store. I love the people I work with and the things I do. Basically, I am making choices to do things that bring me joy, even if I feel freaked out. 

And some things are less joyful in the moment (like getting off the couch and doing my morning yoga) but they lead to joyful things (like being able to bend further tomorrow than I could today.)

And some things feel like I should feel guilty - like when I just sit and watch the world and take multiple pictures. Loving the beauty and communing with the trees. Shouldn't I be cleaning or answering emails or playing with the cats? 

No. I get to choose.

That is the whole purpose. I get to choose what is right for me, or what I think is right for me. I get to do it for me.

Even posting this is something I am, in the end, doing for me. Because I like writing and I like creating a sense of community for myself. And I like rereading my stuff. And it helps me articulate my philosophies in a kinder voice than if I was just talking to myself. (Because as much as I love myself, sometimes I can be a real b... mean person to myself.) And finally, it is the practice of finishing things. So many yay me! moments in posting.

What would you like to do for yourself today?

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

It's not real until it's out there

 If you're like me, you have a lot of daydreams, a lot of plans. You can visualize possibilities all day (and all night) long. You feel you have the passion, the drive, the ability. Anything can happen.

Inside our heads.

And, if you're like me, you find yourself sitting on your bed at the end of the day wondering where it all went? Where is the disconnect between the visualization and the manifestation?

The answer, for me, is breath. 

Whether it's an affirmation, a prayer, a dream of world domination, or a plan to clean the house, it doesn't actually have life until I say it out loud. Until I give it the possibility of existence with my breath.

Now, I am really shy about saying things out loud. Because people remember them. And they ask me about them later! (darned accountability) So oftentimes I don't want to share the possibilities because then later I'll have to admit to failing to bring them to fruition. 

Concurrently, I don't know how many times I've change my mind once I've said it out loud. How many times stating something, into the universe, brought the shudder of "Oh, hmm. Maybe not." Because in my head everything is lovely and possible and amazing. But out in the world, it just might not be time yet, or I don't really have the energy to expend.

On the other hand, if I don't talk about it - like doing a blog or writing a song or looking for a job - it doesn't feel real. It only exists in the realm where the stories exist. 

So, if you're like me, the first step to realizing, manifesting, starting a dream or project, is saying it out loud. Stating the intention. Hearing what it feels like to have that possibility in the mouth. To state it as a part of my being. 

And part of that step is also the ability to say, oh, nope. I don't like the sound of that at all.

So? What would you like to happen today?


Wednesday, November 30, 2022

I don't have to wait for the light

 I love sunshine.

I really love sunshine.

As I currently live in the Northwest, I have learned to appreciate every day, every moment the sun shines. Especially in the Fall/Winter time, when dawn seems to come later and later, and I don't always get to see the sunrise. 

Yesterday was a day of snow, and the sun shone briefly in the afternoon. (But it shined. Yay!) So this morning, when I came out to my living room and saw the pink orange glow behind the hills, I was so happy. I get to start the day with sunshine! 

But it's 7 am. I have morning routines to begin.

Part of me wants to honor and acknowledge the sun by waiting and working in the darkness. I don't need to turn on a light, because the sun is coming! I want to experience it in all of its glory. I should not diminish its struggle by turning on lights so I can see. And be more comfortable. Just wait. The sun will be here.

But I like seeing. I like the light. And I really don't think the sun is offended if I use other sources of light in my day.

Though you know what, it doesn't matter. I get to do what is right for me. The sun (and the clouds) are going to do their thing, and I am going to do mine. And while it is joyous to start my day basking in the sun, waiting for the light works a lot better in the summer, when I can stay asleep while its dark instead of needing to stretch and feed kitties and wake myself up so I can do work I love.

So, I turn on a light. I allow myself to be comfortable and see easily. I begin my routines.

And the sun beams.

I hope your day is bright and warm!


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Self-Care is Work!


When I think self-care, I think of bubble baths and alone time, spa days and reading in the sunshine.

But self-care is a lot more work than that.

Self-care is eating what feels right to my body.
Self care is getting up and doing yoga; resting my brain or meditating at the end of the day.
Self-care is regulating my thoughts and my actions so that every moment, I feel the way I want to feel, physically and mentally.

Turns out, that kind of self-care is really hard for me. 

It's easy to stop at the end of the day and reward my hard work with a book. Or two. (just one more chapter, I swear!)
It's less easy to close the door, turn on the computer and do the next yoga lesson or dance class. And I love yoga and dance; it's simply a lot less effort to read a book. Especially at the end of the day.

But I have done it before. And I know how awesome it felt after. And more, these days, I know how blech I feel if I don't. (Sigh.)

So, if I want to feel better, feel happier, feel more flexible and strong and capable, then I gotta put some focus into my daily self-care routine. I gotta give my body and mind the same respect and attention I would give to my other work. Not as punishment or homework or something I HaVE to do, but because I will feel so much happier after I do it.

Self-care does equal happiness. (And if I say it enough, I will believe it.)

All Right. Let's get to work!

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Whoop, there it is!

Some years ago, I joined Threshold Choir. It is an international group who sings songs for those who are crossing a threshold, most often the sick and dying. Most of the songs are written by (very talented) members. 

Soon after I joined, there was an international gathering in California, so I signed up and attended. Members led workshops; we learned new songs; there were meetings and greetings. It was lovely. 

The next year, the gathering was in Chicago. Not only did I attend, I led a workshop and I presented a song I had written. And someone made a comment, congratulating me on bursting onto the Threshold Choir scene. 

A comment which confused me for a very long time.

Because from my point of view, there was nothing sudden about my presentations. They were the natural result of my interests, the work I had done over the years, and a cumulation of the emotional and spiritual journeys I had completed. And to condense everything I wanted to say into those two formats, I had worked and written and sang and rewritten and agonized and rehearsed. There was absolutely no bursting. No wishing and it suddenly appeared. Just lots of energy put into it. And lots of dithering.

But from anyone else's point of view, looking back on the timeline, yes, I certainly burst onto the scene saying "Here I am! This is me!"

I think that all of life is like that. It may seem like things appear suddenly, or happen out of the blue, when actually there is a chain of events that lead, one step at a time, to an outcome. The best representation of this for me is the rune Ingwaz - the rune of the seed.

A seed is planted. Granted, a thousand seeds are planted. A thousand random thoughts flow in and out: a new dress, what's it like to fly, could I do something like that, that sounds good for dinner, did she really say that, I should clean my room. The butterfly flaps its wings over and over and over. 

And one or two of those seeds are going to take root. I would really like a new dress. I might like to have a clean room. One air current catches another air current and becomes a little stronger. 

And then the seed is watered and the current joins other winds - oh, I like that dress. Nope I'd never wear that dress. Ooh, let's try that one! Ugh, I can't believe I bought that. Try as I might don't look good in that color. I'd love to wear that but I keep looking at these. I do NOT need another olive green shirt, I want a dress! (Did I say I was going to clean my room?) 

Water and sunlight and some weeding out of the things we don't want to bloom and then, one day, Whoop! there it is. The perfect dress. The amazing job. The lovely sunset. The number on the scale and the final draft and the best meditation and the right dance teacher and the clean room. The wind that rushes musically through the trees. Because we sorted and sifted and focused and and connected and allowed it to come into being. 

We see and hear and think of so many possibilities. And we're (hopefully) going to focus on what we like, on what brings us joy, on what feels good. On the manifestations, daydreams, yearnings, energy that brings a smile to our face and peace to our heart. And when I can take a moment every day to give some focus to what I really want in my world, it will appear - whether it's the energy to do the job, or the random decision that leads me to the right store - a rush of wind through the trees, a bloom that wasn't there the day before.

And so, at this time of the full moon and Easter, may we all have a little extra fertilizer for the seed that we really want to see bloom next. Let us take a moment to believe in it and to know that is waiting, just under the soil, for the perfect time to burst upon the scene.

I hope you are having a blessed day!


Monday, November 15, 2021

The middle of November

 And now, we’re at the middle of November. Can you believe it? Already here. And the perception shifts. Because the middle of November means it’s almost Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving means it’s a month until Christmas. And Christmas is a few days after the Solstice. And the Solstice…

…the Solstice is when the sun starts coming back. Woot!

And so, I do my best to enjoy every day. To be in it. Because if I want the happy, long, getting warmer and warmer days to last, I have to let these days last too. It goes so quickly, it seems. Summer to winter to summer again. I barely have time to make plans before the sun is in a new seasonal pattern.

I still prefer the warm.

But suddenly, the annoying cold is tempered by the future, the promise of warmth.

Yay November!

Friday, November 12, 2021

A gloomy day is just a gloomy day

 Ah, dear November. Thank you so much for helping me realize there is a difference between a gloomy day and a gloomy mood.

Today was a very good day. I enjoyed the work I did; I had interactions with humans (which is always nice); I snuggled and snoozed with my kitty; and I received some good news. 

But weather wise, today was what I used to call a miserable day. Low gray clouds. Drizzle all day long. Fog everywhere. Hard to find the beauty, for me, because everything seemed the same color. Even the cars all looked gray. And no sunshine anywhere. At all. (Sob, whimper, whine.)

I think, from my surprise at my inner joy, that I am used to letting the weather be the barometer for my feelings. If it's a gray "nasty" day, then I'm going to end up in a nasty mood. Sorry, folks. That's just the way it is. Blame the weather.

But I wasn't in a nasty mood. I was in a good mood. Which means that not even the weather can dictate how I feel. (Triumphant fist in the air.) Yay!

The weather gets to be what it's going to be. Mother Nature is who she is and the seasons want what they want.

And I get to be and feel whatever I want to be and feel. Regardless of the excessive heat, the gloomy skies, the glorious sunsets, or the picture perfect day. 

So bring on the gloom -- oh, no, actually don't. I can accept the gloomy wintery days and still prefer the sunshine. Bring on the sunshine. But I can quietly accept that there will be future gloom.

And I can feel happy.