Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Just Turned 40 and I Want to be Like Gumby

Today I turned 40. Fooorrrty. It looks weird in print. That kinda seems like a big number. And ya know what, it is! It is a fricken' big rockin' number. I'm really stoked to be 40. Much happier about it than I thought I would be actually. I feel a little older, but in a good way. I guess it's not really older I feel...I believe it's actually wiser. Wiser. Yes, wiser. I like it.

This last year of my 30's has been interesting. A lot of growing and changing came to fruition this past 12 months. A bunch of stretching (physically and otherwise). Twisting and turning, sometimes painfully. I mean growth isn't painless now is it? We all know about growing pains. Growth spurts hurt a little. But, when the soreness subsides, you are stronger, in whatever way it was that you were supposed be.

I am excited about my new decade, I feel like big things are afoot. I feel like this last bought of growing cracked me open pretty wide. Like, wooosh, out I flew, all lit up and on fire. So I've thought a lot about what I want to be. The presence I want to be in this world we live in. What do I want to leave behind? Not when I die, but when I leave a room. How do I want those people left behind in that room to feel? And why do I care? I want them to feel loved, I want them to feel heard, I want them to feel embraced in a big cozy tight hug. I want them to feel understood. I want them to feel a little bit of joy in their heart, if even for a few minutes. Why? Why do I worry so much about what other people are feeling about themselves or their lives? I'm not really sure honestly. I just know I want to bring the light to every dark space. I believe in being forthright. In not beating around the bush and in just being real. Being who you are, right now, at this time in your life. Because I know we have SO much to learn from one another, if only we realllly knew, reallly knew what other people were living. Now, I know...everyone is not comfortable with that. Just reading that probably made some people barf in their mouth a little. And I'm not saying we all need to have these major revealing heart emptying conversations with every Joe Schmo we end up in a room with. All I'm saying is I believe we would all benefit from authenticity.

So what does all of this have to do with Gumby. And, for the youngsters reading this....who the hell is Gumby. For your reference I will add a picture :) I've decided Gumby had it all figured out and was pretty much a green rubber yogi. Let's look at these very convincing points:

Gumby was super bendy. He was so extremely flexible. Like that guy could take his leg and wrap it around his own neck! So why is this important and why does that make me want to be like him? Well, besides the obvious fact that I think every girl I know would like to be able to throw her leg around her neck and show it off if she could, it's the bendiness itself that is the qualifier here. Bendiness in life is crucial. We have got to be able to move with the punches, to go with the flow. Some of us are born bendy. Naturally flexible, and not ridged, Easily adaptable. Willing to see the grey, and not only the black and white. Those people...well, I was not born one of those people. I have worked the last 2 decades at being bendy, at purposefully relieving myself (and the people around me) of the "my way or the highway" (which of course was the RIGHT way) characteristic that I was born predisposed to. As far back as I can remember I was that way. I was bossy, a stickler for the rules and laying down the law, color blind and stiff as a board. I just took a long, cleansing, relaxing breath after writing that, because just remembering it made me tense. That was it...constant tension, like a guitar string strung way too tight. You can't really grow in that place. There is no room in your little box for anything to stretch out or open up. Not your body, not your mind, and most definitely not your heart. So if you, like me, have to put work into being flexible, I encourage you to do it. I know it is uncomfortable at first. It hurts to stretch. But if you can not bend you will break and that isn't going to do any of us any good.

Gumby was strong, like freakishly strong. I can attest to this because I distinctly remember trying to cut his foot off. I can't tell you why, I wasn't a violent child, but I did like to use my scissors. All my barbies had bad feathered Charlie's Angles hair. So anyway....I remember trying to cut his foot. It was impossible. The rubber was tough and the wire underneath was strong. Maybe if I had a pair of gnarly wire cutters, but I didn't have any of those in my "make up kit". We all want to be strong. And admittedly, sometimes we nedd to have thick skin. We can't take everything personally or we would be a big ol' mess. But to be the right kind of strong is the key. Strong AND bendy...that is the magic. Strong in love. Strong in joy. Strong in determination and perseverance. Strong in mind and body.....and flexible. Abracadabra,

Gumby was colorful. I mean he was bright green. I still tend to gravitate towards muted colors and neutrals in terms of my dress. My closet is a sea of grey, tan and black. But colorful doesn't necessarily mean I have to wear coral, I can just feel coral. I don't have to paint my house turquoise, or even my nails for that matter. I just need to feel turquoise, and to see it. To take in the color all around me. The beauty that is everywhere if we choose to find it and focus on it. For some, being colorful is a tough one. They aren't as able to find the beautiful colors in the drabness of everyday life. But that is why it's so important for those of us that can, to share it! To point it out, To shine the light on it.

I started practicing yoga about 6 months ago. It has helped me tremendously in all of these Gumby like areas. I haven't just been working on my body's strength and flexibility, I've been working on all of me. I've been learning to accept my predispositions and remember the person I believe that I am in spite of them, and really because of what they have taught me. I have given myself permission to not be great at it right away. There is so much to learn, so many itty bitty details to each pose. I have to be graceful with myself. I give myself credit for the work I put in and progress that I make. I keep in my mind's eye where I want to be, and I keep stretching, and growing and learning. It's fun. It makes me stronger, more peaceful, more forgiving of myself and others. It helps me to be bendy.

So here's to 40! It's gonna be awesome, I just know it. I feel it in my bones guys! Thank you for journeying with me.

Big love!

<3 Trisha

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Who Are You Going to Let Drive Today?

The day I started this blog was a day of awakening. You can go back to my first few posts to see it unfolding for yourself. The little girl inside of me, my true self, was so done being pushed aside and ignored. She had enough and wasn't going to quit jumping and shouting until I took notice. It was like getting lit on fire from the inside. I was finally AWAKE and there was no denying it, no turning back, no more ignoring or patronizing. I was awake and I had a mission.

Almost a year later, and here I am. Still awake and on fire. Wanting to learn more, wanting to share more, wondering what I can do next. It was a long weekend, I worked a couple of nights in a row, and was pooped today. Hubs was home and hanging out with the boys, so I went to try to take a nap. I secured my soft sleep mask over my tired eyes, got under the covers, and took a few deep breaths. Ready to sleep some good deep, drooling on the pillow, snoring out loud, kind of sleep. It didn't happen. The creative energy inside of my body was pinging around like a pin ball machine, lighting up little parts of me as it moved through me from my head to my toes. I tried to breath through it, tell it I'd get to it later, but I know by now....when it's there it's there for a reason. You are meant to be acting, in motion whether with your body, or mind, or spirit. I took out my journal and jotted down the ideas that were begging to be heard. They weren't new ideas, they have been there a while, but are getting ready to be realized. Ideas that are ready to be realized are relentless. They are so full of excited energy and longing for their debut. They can't help but dance around singing and shouting. Although the sleep I was hoping for eluded me, I felt grateful, really grateful. Grateful that I am awake enough in my soul to feel these stirrings and inspirations.

Although I have always been this being, this soul, I went through a long time in life in which I lived in my head. Always thinking, analyzing, picking things apart and putting them back together in an attempt to make them better, more efficient, RIGHT. I, for the longest time, believed that is who I was and that those were my greatest qualities. The doer, the go getter, the make it all happen the way it needs to happen regardless of the feelings involved, matter of fact, uber organized.....machine. There wasn't a lot of time for creative living then. I was too busy. At the same time, I never doubted my depth. I've always known mine was an old and creative soul. A little complex, strong, and contradictory, but meant for things. Was my truest of true self just waiting for the big 4-0 to make herself known? I mean, she knew when I'd be ready. When I would accept her for who and what she really was, and harness her power. When I was strong enough to receive and share the gift of her.

It's an interesting place to be. Knowing suddenly who lives inside, underneath everything. I am still a doer. I still instinctively make a plan when there needs to be one, and put things in motion to bring it all to fruition. I still prefer to be organized and like my space to be tidy and aesthetically pleasing. But that's not what makes me who I am. My heart does <3. My heart's intense desire to reach you deep inside. My heart's need to share. My heart's hunger to bring light to the world, to draw attention to what really matters, to offer acceptance and encouragement. The prior version of me...the one that lived exclusively in her head, never would have recognized this version of herself. It's the whole ego versus soul thing. Are you living in your head or living in your heart? When you are living in your head, your ego is in charge. You are separate from the rest of the world. You are self focused. You find it easier to feel frustrated, judgmental, or resentful than you do to feel compassionate, accepting, or grateful. When your heart and soul are in the driver's seat, things like forgiveness, peace, and understanding come without much effort. Of course, when your ego is behind the wheel, it's hard to see it. It's almost like a shield, a veil. You might catch glimpses of the light, but they are fleeting, and you wonder if they are even real. But when the time comes, when the veil is lifted....WOW. That is when you start living intentionally, with feeling and purpose. With true concern for the well being of everyone, not just you and yours.

I still find ego trying to drive some days. Trying to push my heart and soul aside and go for a ride, coercing me to live in speculative thought instead of contemplative. Sometimes I even let it happen. God gave it all to us ya know. He blessed us minds and bodies and hearts and souls. He gave us free will to use them, for better or worse. To heal or to harm, ourselves and others. So many things can effect our decision on which way we live. The way we grew up, our past or current circumstances, our physical health, our financial situation, long held beliefs which may or may not serve us presently, on and on and on. So many.....excuses. But, we always get to wake up, and decide. Ego or Soul. Darkness or Light. Holding On or Letting Go.

Who are you going to let drive today?

With so much love <3 Trisha

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

So Many Stages

Do you remember being a new mom? It's been almost 10 years since my first born son gave me the title. I thought I was ready. I was 30 after all. Starting later than some. Had already been with my husband for over 10 years. It was the logical next step. I wanted to be a mom and I was gonna be good at it. My kids were going to be the bees knees and I was gonna be the bomb digity mommy. They were going to be adorable and good looking, well behaved, have advanced intelligence, and be talented in several areas. They were never going to eat on the couch, or in the car, and were going to be respectful and polite. I was going to be the mom after all. I would just set the rules, spend the extra one on one time with them and make it happen. How hard could it be? I wasn't going to be THAT mom at Target with THOSE out of control kids. You know the screaming and arguing, running through the aisle, mom whisper yelling with that extreme look on her face, telling them they are NOT going to get those trading cards she promised them if they do not stop RiiiiiGHT NooooW. I would look at them, that mom that had no control and obviously was not doing her job, and those kids who just needed clear boundaries and an appropriate reward system, and would think to myself "Good Lord Lady. Get control of yourself and your kids would you?!"

Baaahhhaaaa! I almost laughed so hard just now that I peed a little. You should see me and the boys roll up to the store together these days. We pull up in my dirty car (with it's interior complete with half empty water bottles, gum and granola bar wrappers, and discarded McDonald's Happy Meal toys). Usually one of the kids will have conveniently forgotten his shoes. I, determined to get to the list, am walking maybe a step ahead of one, while the other one hangs on the back of the cart, half way underneath. The boys asking for popcorn and Minecraft cards. I engage them for a short time in helping Mom find the things on the list. They make a game of it and all is well, for about 10 minutes. Then the fighting starts. One of them starts antagonizing the other. Yelling, pushing, crying. Me charging down the aisle, plucking stuff off willy nilly, trying to remember my list that I left in the car. Oh yeah....good times. I have my shit together, just like I always knew I would.

After a pretty average to good pregnancy, an hour of pushing, and even 11 days early, Carter was born and I was a mom. Oh God! The bliss of falling head over heels for the most perfect little creature. And then the anxiety and worry that I would do it all wrong. The awe of EVERYTHING about him...his fingers and toes and eyes. The way he breathed and held my finger. The fatigue and lack of appetite from that first year of total fricken' sleep deprivation. Your first few years are amazing and scary and you look back at it all in a blur of giggles and tears, peeks and valleys. I can remember having the baby in the sling, walking through Target in a daze buying diapers and frozen meal stuff. The baby crying just as we get to the check out. Me, frazzled, just wanting to get out of there with my Pampers and Lean Cuisine. There would be another woman somewhere nearby. A mom who had been there and done that. And she'd say "I know it's seems tough but it gets easier as they get older. Enjoy these moments while you can, before you know it they are grown." So you pull yourself together, get a coffee, and tell yourself...."this to shall pass, and it's gonna get easier. The wise lady at Target told me so!"  Well guys, I call BULLSHIT! It's been 10 years and it is not easier. It is harder. Of course some parts are easier. Like I don't have a baby on my boob half the day and I can (at least most of the time) sleep in my own bed through the night. But now...oh now, there is so much more stuff. Now that perfect little creature, that would sometimes cry because he was gassy and would wake up every 2 hours through the night, is in fourth grade. He is a boy, with a mouth and a voice and a will all his own. I mean he always had that will, but wasn't independent enough to push the point, He needed me, for everything. There was no debate. It was pure survival, eat, sleep, bathe, cuddle, repeat. If he was asserting his will and an inopportune moment, you could put him in his crib with a toy. Now it's so much more. Now we are learning life lessons.

Really once they are able to walk and talk the lessons start. Hot Baby...don't touch. Use nice words. Don't hit. Say your prayers. Say please and thank you. Blah blah blah. But NOW, in this pre-tween stage, the real stuff begins, the foundation of who this boy will be as a man. How he will handle life's challenges. How will will look at tomorrow... with a hopeful heart? How he will treat people. Will he respect and accept people that are different then he is? Will he work hard, persevere and not give up? Will he recognize his special gifts and have the guts to share them? How can I help? What am I supposed to be doing to help this little man grow into the best version of himself? Am I being firm enough? Am I being encouraging enough? Am I steering him in the right direction?

He just had his first experience with a changing friendship. Something happened between the boys, something my boy can't really put his finger on, but something just the same. He and his friend were no longer really compatible. they were rubbing each other the wrong way, getting on each other's nerves. His friend was feeling things, my little dude was feeling things. It was awkward and uncomfortable. The boy's Mom and I are friends, and his younger brother and my littlest dude are friends, so that just added to the weirdness. But it became clear, that my son and his friend were no longer friends. So, he and I and Dad got to discuss that. How he can continue to be in the same class with his former friend, have mostly all the same friends as him and still not be friends anymore. How he can still be respectful and kind. As Carter put it "Of course I'll be nice, there is no reason not to...I think we're just done Mom." Their friendship ran a course. It was not meant to be a forever relationship. So many of our friendships aren't. They happen for a reason, they teach us things, we enjoy some experiences together, and we move on. Of course there are those very special few. The ones that will be with you, through thick and thin, good and bad, always by your side, to laugh and cry, to hold you up and be supported, through decades of life. But those are different. Both types of friendships are blessings, both are meant to be in your life, some last your lifetime and some for just a short while. Both can be looked upon with gratitude in our hearts, even if the end hurts a little.

So we now have that life lesson under our belts. It's okay. He has handled things really well so far. I think I handled them okay too. My other little man will likely face something along the same lines at some point in the next couple of years. So what is all this babbling meant to say to you...what am I writing all of this for? Just this...we all have an idea of what this parenting thing is supposed to be, and how well (or not well) we will do it. We often think, the next stage of their childhood will be easier and we look forward to that like a light at the end of the tunnel, but at the same time, we turn around and look longingly back at the previous stage, when they were so young and innocent and sweet. We need to look at the one we are in right now. This stage. This is where we are. Right now is all that there REALLY is.

I like the stage we are in. It's not easy, but it's not supposed to be. In each stage we are meant to learn and grow, to find out even more about ourselves and each other. To strengthen our bonds. None of that happens easily. Easy is boring. I want more than easy for us.