Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Silence Please

Do you ever just take the time to sit in silence? Until about a year and a half ago I really didn't. I was constantly on the go, in the middle of one thing, just to be thinking about the next thing. I was never really in the moment. And I never made time for stillness or silence. Who has enough hours in their day for that crap?! I'll enjoy silence while I'm sleeping, maybe, if I'm lucky.

I always thought I was too busy. I was living in my head. My ego was the boss of me and it did not want me exploring quite time.

Why do ya think our egos throw all these road blocks in the way when it comes to self care? Any thoughts? Well, of course I have one or two. I know, surprise surprise.

Our egos are like little control freaks in our heads right? Like little task masters. All stick up their butts, black and white, right and wrong, obsessive little army sergeants. Our egos like to puff us up about the things we are good at and constantly remind us of all those things that we aren't. They like to make us feel like we are spinning our wheels, like we are treading water and have no extra time, or energy for things as frivolous and pointless as enjoying some silence.

Because, guess what? When you find a little teeny bit of quiet, you begin to see the ego for what it is. In just one still moment, you can find peace, fleeting, but peace. And you realize, in that moment, "Oh my God, Ego, you little devil! You didn't want me to come here, to do this quiet time thing, because it exposes you for the bully and liar that you are. I see you now, Ego. I got your number!"
That awareness may not last long, an your ego might Rico Suave his way back into your good graces, but it happened. That moment of realization happened, and you won't forget it. Ego will try to point out how, as you tried to sit in peaceful bliss, you kept thinking. You weren't able to stop thoughts from coming and going. You weren't really very good at that sitting silently thing at all. It wasn't really working. But don't let him fool you, it was. Ego might even decide it's time to pull out the bug guns. If making you doubt yourself isn't enough, he's going to start shoveling out the anxiety and fear. He'll start poking and prodding in your tender spots. Reminding you there are things that you don't want to think about, sit with, or feel. Reminding you, that you are avoiding those things for a reason. If you let down your guard, if you quit running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, if you let silence in, those thoughts you haven't wanted to think and those feeling you haven't wanted to feel are going to invade. And then, you are going to loose your shit and be miserable. All because you thought you wanted a little bit of peace. I call bullshit Ego.

Little by little, you find yourself wanting to find that place again. That beautiful place, where all was still and calm for a few moments in time. Where you could hear yourself breathing, you could listen to your heart beating, you could inhale deeply into your belly, deeper than you ever had before. The place where you sat with your back straight but it didn't feel like you were trying to be Miss Perfect Posture, you just felt centered and strong. The place where your heart was open and full and your mind was awake and alert but felt light and flexible.

Every one of us has time. Every one of us can benefit from quiet. We live in a loud, uber-stimulating, much too virtual world. We are constantly being pulled out of ourselves, into places and situations in which we don't necessarily want to be. But during these few moments, you can decide where to put your attention, and intention. You can silence the sergeant and give yourself a gift. The loveliest gift of being inside of yourself. Not pulled in a hundred different directions. Not taking in everyone else's energy. Not living in your head, but in your soul.

You can sit in a chair, or cross legged on the ground, or lay down, or walk slowly (preferably in nature, but wherever you can will work). You can close your eyes (which I prefer) or you can keep them open and focus on something beautiful and inspiring. You can play soft relaxing music, or sit in complete deafening silence. Give yourself permission to just be. Thoughts will come. Let them come and let them go. Pay attention to your physical body. Where are you holding tension? Breathe into those tight areas and breathe that gripping right out. Let what ever is happening happen. Let go of what you think it is supposed to be, and just let it be what it is. The more you do it, the more you will want to do it. The longer you will be able to do it. The more you give yourself this gift of intentional silence, the less control your ego will have.

Quiet time is really yummy you guys. However you "do it", just do it. Let yourself rest inside, all safe and snuggly.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Locked Up

There are parts of yourself that you keep stashed away, in the deepest corner of your closet, under lock and key. Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, they are there. No matter how many years go by. No matter how much you ignore them, push them aside, pretend that they don't exist, have never existed. There are parts of yourself that you don't want to know, or acknowledge. There are parts of yourself that you feel you can't possibly share with other people. If they only knew! What would they think of you? They would never look at you the same. There are parts of yourself that scare the shit out of you. There are parts that are tender, like a finger with a splinter. It's there, you feel it. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you can pretend it's going to heal on it's own. You aren't going to have to dig it out. You aren't going to have to get the tweezers and poke at it...removing some skin to expose it. You're just going to leave it alone, feel the pain when you bump it against something, then push it aside again. Ignore the discomfort. Ignore the infection. It will go away, on it's own, it will go away.

Do ya think it will? Do you really, truly think it will go away if you pay it no mind? Do you think if you ignore those parts of yourself that seem out of place, wrong somehow, that they will disappear all together? You can forget they ever made an appearance and you can go on, being normal.

This hiding, it starts young. We start stashing pieces of ourselves away as kids. We have an experience, something or someone tells us, this particular thing that we have going on, this particular piece to our puzzle is wrong. We aren't supposed to be that way. We aren't supposed to feel that way. We aren't supposed to dream those dreams. We aren't supposed to talk about that. So, we realize that that little piece needs to be hidden away. We wouldn't want to be weird, or different, or wrong. We wouldn't want people to think we were bad or weak or peculiar. So we take the little puzzle piece and start a pile in the deepest corner of our inner closet. The discard pile. The pieces that don't seem to fit.
But notice something.....we don't throw them away. Why don't we just toss the misfit? It doesn't seem to belong, why keep it?

We keep it because it is part of who we are. We know, deep down, somewhere, that we need that piece. That someday, we might find where that piece actually goes. If we throw the piece away what would happen? We would have a puzzle with holes, with integral pieces just missing, with noticable vacancies. One day, many years from the moment that we hide the piece, we may actually NEED it.

The time will come for all of us. The time when life forces us to put up or shut up. To show our cards. We are going to have to tip toe back to that far dark corner, and sift through our discard pile.

It's not easy. You put those things there for a reason right? They made you feel inadequate or ashamed. It's hard to look at it, to feel it again. You might question..."Why do I have to be this way?" "What is wrong with me?" You might scream to yourself or to God..."I didn't want this piece! I still don't want this piece!" Yet still here it is.

Oh my love, these pieces, in the discard pile, they are so important to who you are. That is why they are still there. Waiting for you to acknowledge them. To see them. To accept them, and yourself. To put them into the empty spots. To complete your puzzle. To make you, YOU, in all of your glory and splendor. They are really the most important pieces. The hard pieces. The ones that finally, after so much effort, put it all together. This is it. This is your power! This IS who you are, and who you are for a very important reason. Without those pieces you couldn't be who we need you to be, love. You would be incomplete and insincere. You would only be a fuzzy version of you. We want the magical, messy, true, strong, vulnerable, knowing, warrior version of you. We need the warrior version of you, so we can be the warrior version of us.

Through pain and discomfort, through fear and anxiety, through darkness comes the light. There is nothing, nothing, as bright and beautiful and mesmerizing as you are...empowered, unabashed, quirky, different and WHOLE.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Just Stop It Already

My lovies, just stop it already....

Stop comparing yourself to others. Man, woman or child. Each one as individual as a snow flake. Each one with strengths, weaknesses, dreams, fears, insecurities, all their own. You are you, you don't look, think, see, sound or radiate the same energy as anyone else and you are not supposed to.

Stop feeling like you need to compete with others if you happen to share similar gifts. The world is vast. There is need for your gift, my gift, and everyone else's gift. Life is not a popularity contest to be won. You don't have to be the leader of the pack, just contribute and share from your heart. We are in it together.

Stop airbrushing yourself. Please. No more photo shopped or perfectly angled pictures. If you are going to take a photo or selfie, OWN it. Look like you, not some fuzzy, glittering, altered version of you. I know we live in a time and place when the standards and expectations for physical beauty are unrealistic and ridiculous. I know we all feel pressure to look a certain way. To have good skin, and full silky hair and straight white teeth. To glow and radiate youth and health. But let us be part of changing those false ideals. Let us be beautifully authentic. Love yourself for who you are. Find comfort and healing in that.

Stop beating yourself up. None of us are perfect. We make mistakes, thank God. What good would we be if we didn't? We wouldn't learn anything. We wouldn't grow. We wouldn't journey. We wouldn't discover. We would have nothing to share that meant anything. Think about what you are thinking and how you are talking to yourself. Be kind to your precious self. Give yourself grace and encouragement.

Stop taking it all so personally. Wow, this is huge. We are all living in our own dream. We are all existing together in this world, but carrying our own perceptions, walking our own paths, learning our own lessons. The guy in front of you on the freeway who is not using his blinker and driving way too slow....he doesn't have it out for you. He isn't just trying to piss you off, and even if he is...it's not because of who you are. It has nothing to do with you. Don't take it personally, wish him well, take a breath and go around. The person on social media who is blasting all the working mom's for their selfishness and disregard for their children's well being, isn't doing it because of you. It has nothing to do with you. Even if you are a working mom. You know your truth. What will it do to feed that nasty fire? How will it make you feel to blast her back and take what she is saying personally, to get into a back and forth argument over the validity in her statement? When you give it power, you accept it as yours. Scroll past that shit.

Stop running yourself ragged. Take a breather. I know you have so much to do, and feel like if you stop, you will never get it all done, and then you'll have even more to do tomorrow. You have lists to check off and time lines to adhere to. That is not always a bad thing, but if you don't give yourself a little bit of time every day, to breathe and sit in silence and gratitude, to talk a short mindful walk, to listen to music, be creative, enjoy your loved ones.... you are not living, you are trying not to drown.

Stop living in yesterday and tomorrow. Just for today, live in today. Live in today's blessings and hardships. The present moment is all we really truly have. The present is a lot easier to handle than reliving the past or trying to predict the future.

Stop yourself from being unkind. Do your best to live from your heart. To extend love. We all have grumpy days. Days where we don't want to be nice, when we feel out of patience and maybe frustrated or angry. Let us acknowledge those feelings and deal with them. Let us not take it out on the people around us just because the feelings are uncomfortable for us. Let us think before we speak and keep our words kind, honest and useful.

With so much love,