I have now spent a month reading and thinking about transformation and it seems like there are a few areas I need to continue to work on transforming in my own heart and brain. One is how I define success. There are days that I know I am successful because I am clear I am doing what I am supposed to be doing in and with my life. Then there are those moments when Zoe has to pull my head out of my ass because I feel like a failure.
Those moments seem to come when I start to evaluate my life based on the ideals of others and when I have not been giving myself my daily affirmations. I have to be intentional everyday about affirming myself. I cannot depend on anyone else to give me those affirmations. Being self-affirming has to be intentional and some days I fall back in those old habits of beating myself up instead of building myself up. Sometimes I fall, but then I get back up again and affirm myself for being able to do so. Read More
Thanks for the slap upside the head. I was listening to Mandy Harvey sing on America’s Got Talent. Her story about losing her hearing and how it erased her dream of being a musician. She sang this song called Try. Her lyrics really spoke to me and the changes in my life due to my back and nerve damage. She wrote, “I don't feel the way I used to The sky is grey much more than it is blue But I know one day I'll get through.” When I lost the feeling on my right side I did not feel the way I used to, literally. I did not know how I was going to learn how to do things when I did not know where my foot was and had to learn how to think my leg into moving. There were days that I was grieving the loss of my independence. I grieved not being able to drive anymore. I grieved There were mornings I would be so frustrated and cry because I could not even put my sock or shoe on by myself. On those especially tough days I would tell myself I will get through.
Just when I thought things could not get worse, they eliminated my paratransit services, which made it possible for me to go out, have fun, and hang with friends. That bought about one more loss and one more thing to grieve. There were days that the sky was grey, so I found myself being intentional about doing things in my life to keep myself positive and making my home such an amazing place to be that nobody who came here, including myself, would want to leave. I knew this would either be my prison cell or an ashram, so I opted to transform it into an ashram. Read More
It is funny how sometimes it is a comment from a total stranger that opens up a wound we thought had been healed and provides us an opportunity to take our healing to the next level. I am so grateful for those opportunities which inspire me to continue to grow and evolve.
For the most part I am a fairly positive person and remember to affirm myself on a daily basis. However, sometimes I fall off my Four Agreements wagon and take something personally. Then I have to do the work of remembering to not take something personally because it is not about me.
One of the struggles that I work on is remembering that I am not a failure, even if by other people’s standards I am. I am grateful for the days I remember to affirm myself as I know I cannot depend on anyone other than myself to believe in me. Read More
So today is November 7th. It is hard for me to believe that in some respects I turned 7 days old today. It is hard to believe that on November 1, I almost died because both my kidneys became obstructed at the same time and I could not pee. When I think back to last Saturday, it seems so surreal. I still remember the emergency room doctor coming in and telling me I was in acute renal failure and my creatinine levels were 10.77, far above what those who need to be on dialysis have. I remember thinking how did this happen? How did I go from having no kidney problems, to being in acute failure over night? The reality is that I will never know what caused both my kidneys to become obstructed at once, preventing me from being able to pee. What I do know is this. You ensured that all my needs were met. You sent me to the emergency room when I needed to and surrounded me with people who were able to save my life and restore my ability to pee. Two days later, my creatinine level was back down to normal and in some respects it was easy for me to think this was all a dream, but I know it was not. Read More
I woke up in the middle of the night last night feeling unsuccessful. I know that is a lie, so I had to begin the work of figuring out why that thought resurfaces so that I could pull it up by its roots and eliminate it. I came to realize that it has nothing to do with anyone else, it is all about me, and how I have defined success. If one were to look at my resume or CV, one might perceive me as successful. I have won national and international awards for my scholarship; I have a bachelor's degree, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate. I have a number of small businesses that I operate and teach part time at a local university. I have two furry feline sons, a wife of 12 years who loves me unconditionally, and a circle of friends who have journeyed with me through good times and bad. Read More
half of learning to play is learning what not to play
and she's learning the spaces she leaves have their own things to say
and she's trying to sing just enough so that the air around her moves
and make music like mercy that gives what it is and has nothing to prove
she crawls out on a limb and begins to build her home
and it's enough just to look around and to know that she's not alone
up up up up up up up points the spire of the steeple
but god's work isn't done by god
it's done by people”
other day I was going through some of my old poetry and found a poem I had
written years ago, actually more like decades ago. I called it Afraid. I am not
sure why it spoke to me. Perhaps it is because a friend asked me the other day
what I am afraid of. So that question amongst others is what I have been
meditating about this week. Sometimes I wish my brain would not be so deep and
reflective, but that is how I am choosing to be at this time in my journey. Read More
There are nights I wake up to one of those infomercials trying to sell you something I do not need. If I am smart and realize they are not the solution to my problem, I turn off the television and roll back over and go back to sleep. However, I know there are people and times in my own life when that was not always true. There were times that I wondered if that machine, that diet plan, that whatever was going to be the solution to my problems.
I used to think that about people as well. Read More
For the last few weeks, I have been spending quite a bit of time reflecting on the agreements I have made about perfection. It has not always been easy, but it has enabled me to release some things I did not know were still part of my agreements. It also enabled me to see how much I have grown, how much I have already discarded, and what I still need to work on. What I had come to realize is that this image of perfection sets me and everyone else up for failure. Once we are domesticated then we are not perfect for others or ourselves. Nobody is perfect in our eyes and we are not even perfect in our own. As I came to think through this, I came to a new understanding of what perfection is for me and that is love. Read More
Trying to undo all these years of internalized negativity and oppression is not always easy. I have clearly made progress in my pursuit of living the four agreements. I have made significant progress in terms of never saying anything negative about others. It seems like that was the easy part, although there are a few times when a student will say something, which I allow to get on my nerves for a moment. Then I have to stop and ask myself “why are you taking this personally, this is not about you?” This just happened to me recently and as I worked through it, I realized that I had internalized some fear from a conversation with someone a few years ago. I had to release the fear so that I could let it go. The thing I am happiest about is that I have learned how to make these moments commercials and not allow them to become full-length documentaries that take over my day. Read More
The goal for today was to plan this great adventure to some place we want to go and go there. my great adventure is to go ride the ferries in New York state. I love ferries. We were to write about what permits us or doesn’t permit us to have what we want right now. We were to write down what the world of our wealth is right now. She also suggested we right about how the state of your birth, the feelings of your future, and eh wanderings of today affect and show who you are. Write what you know about rebirth in living. Write what your soulful self wants you to know.
So if I were really going to have this grand adventure, I would do one of two things. Read More
I have been thinking quite a bit about this whole notion of life, birth, and rebirth. Life for me is the entirely of my journey from birth to death. Birth is the moment I came into this world, until then and since then I was and am a work in process. For me, the time in between birth and death I am in a constant state of rebirth, whether it be conscious or unconscious. Every moment of every day there are countless cells in my being being regenerated, so physically at the end of the day I am not the same person I was when I woke up that morning and I am not the same person I was when I went to bed the night before.
The same is true in every other aspect of my self, every movement that I make in my life consciously or unconsciously which takes me to that higher place of spiritual evolution is about my being reborn Read More
This is a list of the endings in my life and where I was at when they were happening. Read More
The minute I saw the exercises for today, my brain went to this poem I wrote a few years ago called, I am enough. I thought this was a great place to start with the negative messages of the past and flip them over. so I decided to insert lines in italics that were the flip or the reinforcer when they were already positive. Read More
Well, the reality is that the ones I wanted to begin with were numbers 2 or 3. Then I had to go hmm, so you do not want to write on number 1 why. Well if I write about a secret fear or trouble within myself, then it would no longer be a secret would it. But if I write about it then I have to be honest with myself about it and I can’t keep it in one of those deep dark places where it is safely hidden and has been for a while. So it would be easier to write about what I have and have not done well or the rituals in my life, etc. but if the whole purpose of my doing this is to stir my own waters and move through stuff, then I have to break open the secret vault and not always play it safe.
So one of my secret fears is that if I lose weight, ok, let me change that, when I lose weight people might find me attractive and someone might try to abuse me again. Read More
well as I have spent a good part of today in my head thinking about love and myself and what I am doing and not doing for myself out of love I guess I know where I am heading here. I think the most amazing gift of love that I have given myself recently was making the decision that I would no longer allow anyone, including myself, to abuse me. I had an epiphany that others could only abuse me because I was allowing them to and they were only treating me as well or unwell as I was treating myself. The worse I treated myself, the more I allowed others to abuse me. Then there was this day that someone pushed the envelope and abused me in a way that was just not ok. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. It was the day I stood up and questioned my abuser and they came at me with everything but the kitchen sink. Read More
I want you to know how much I love you and how proud I am of you. I know it has not always been easy, but you have never given up on yourself and that takes courage and commitment. I remember you suggesting to a few of your friends that before they began dating anyone else, they should date themselves and fall in love with themselves. While I know you are already with Zoe and that she is your soulmate. I wanted to take this time to read my vows to you because lovers and friends can come in and out of our lives, but I will always be here for you. so I want you to know my love for you is eternal. I have been with you from the moment you were struggling for your first breath and I will be with you on the day you take your last one. I have been and will always be there for you in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad. Read More
Lol – so this is too funny, because one of my clients came today for our spiritual journaling group and the image I had for her to reflect on was mud. I kept seeing lots of mud in her life and wanted her to think about the mud and what could be made out of the mud, whether she needed to stay in the mud, or how she could wash away the mud. Then I come to my own time to journal and I get to number 3, which basically asks me to do the same thing I asked her to do. For different reasons, but in some respects the same concepts.
I am really not sure I want to wash away the debris. I am so much more into reduce, reuse, and recycle. So what is the debris and then how can I reuse it in my life. How can I repurpose it and make it a blessing. Like if the debris is mud, then how can I use the mud to create something, which is inspiring, not blocking. I don’t think it is about letting it wash away. Read More
Ok, so I know that these were the inspirational things to think about as I reflect about risk taking, but as I was reading what Janelle wrote about risk taking, there was this one sentence that stuck out to me. She wrote, “Every time someone shares a struggle, he or she is saying that this is what counts and I’m trying to learn how to live it.” It made me go wow. For the last few weeks, I have been thinking a lot about why I have felt so compelled to share my journaling on my website. At the core of my being, I knew this was something I had to do. I have been thinking to myself, how can I expect others to do the hard work along the way of this journey if I am not willing to do it myself. And I felt like it was important to be transparent with those I am journeying and say look it is not always easy and sometimes we all fall down, but then we get back up again. So reading Janelle’s statement made me go hmm – I am a risk taker. Read More