Authentic Allowing

This has been a trying couple of weeks. Lots of stress and moments where I just wanted to throw in the towel. However, good things have happened too. I have seen in my professional and personal life that hard work does elicit results and progress, if you hang in there and wait it out.

I started back to school this week with a class on Tuesday evening and a class today. Both turned out to be good, but it did add to my stress level. Today in class we did a color personality test and it was reaffirming of who I really am as a person. I am a bright blue, with secondary green. Which means that I am relationship based, feeling, honest, compassionate and creative. I also crave authenticity and see the potential in people and help to cultivate it.

I have been trying to cultivate my own authenticity for a long time, but I wasn’t really owning up to who I am. Instead of cultivating my authenticity, I became very skilled at perceiving what others needed or wanted me to be and building what I presented to the world based on that design – all the while becoming disconnected from who I really am.

I worked hard to heal some of that last year and I have been tested with maintaining those healthy changes in the last couple of weeks. Last weekend, I had a tough conversation with one of my best friends. Over the course of the day we both laid our deepest fears on the table and I think we were able to help each other through the process of fighting our dragons and seeing the shadow sides of ourselves.

Today, I was feeling uneasy about the state of one of my relationships. Again, I was not honoring what I was feeling inside and experiencing, but instead taking other well-meaning perspectives as truth about the situation. One of my other best friends was able to reconnect me to my honest, authentic feelings about the way this relationship is progressing and that gave me peace.

I am learning a lot about myself in this relationship and when I am honest, it is developing exactly the way it should. I am being present and I will have to make changes if it starts to progress in a way that is not healthy for me, but for right now it is what I need and I am embracing the not knowing for now.

I am skilled at designing and orchestrating how I think things should go in my relationships and in my life. I occurred to me this last week that I have exerted control over all my relationships for almost ten years. I have designed a life of little risk and minimal involvement in situations that would lead to rejection or success.

Now, I am in a dance of getting to know someone for who they are by what I experience and what they tell/show me instead of deciding who they are based on my own agenda. It is still scary and a large part of me wants to run again, but I am choosing to remain in the fire of my fear and allow the relationship to grow without my design. I am not a bystander, since I am participating, but I am surrendering to the process this time around.

This relationship might not look just right to someone from the outside, yet I know in my heart that it is what we both need right now. I am also understanding that those needs change and so will we. Whether we change and evolve within the walls of this relationship or go our separate ways is not really a concern in this moment. I am enjoying the time we spend together and learning about myself and him as we go.

I also spent three hours revising a short story last night. I wrote it three years ago and even though I liked it, I knew it needed a lot of work. I was looking for another document last night when I ran across it. I decided to re-read it and suddenly I was reworking sentences and tightening things up. It felt wonderful to be shaping a story again and getting each word right. It energized me and inspired me to write more.

That is my authentic self – a bright blue with green undertones who is a storyteller, teacher and healer. I need to be seen and heard, I need to be touched and my spirit embraced. I need to laugh and learn and grow.

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Celebrate the Season With Someone You Love

I’ve been enjoying these ruby-red grapefruits for breakfast this last week and it was so beautiful, I had to take a picture of it.

These last couple of days have been wonderful. Quiet and peaceful.  It has been nice to be still. I’ve watched movies and read. Listened to music by the fire. I needed this time to be quiet and reflect on the year and this journey.

I have been blessed with many things this Christmas season. I’ve had time to spend with good friends and family. I’ve gotten some wonderful surprises as presents. I’m looking forward to seeing my brother for Christmas and I’ve enjoyed talking on the phone with him more. It’s nice that he has initiated these conversations.

I had to stop writing when my battery died and then we ate dinner and did some presents with a family friend. I have laughed so hard in the last two hours that my sides still hurt. Who knew the Forever Lazy would be such a hit!

Even though it’s 10:30 pm, we will be unwrapping most of our presents tonight so I better wrap this up.

I am blessed to be at home with my family tonight. So much has changed this year, not just with me, but with the people around me. I am excited to see what 2012 has in store.

I’ve made a decision to continue this blog next year. It has been such a big part of my evolution and I feel like there are still things to tackle. I also had such success with putting myself out there, I want to continue.

I still have more to say, but it’s time to get our Christmas on….

Talk soon!

Trying to Find My Way Home

This is my first official picture. It was taken a couple of hours after I was born. I have been looking at it a lot lately and wondering to myself how I can get back to that pure innocence and trust that I would always be cared for.

I don’t usually post until Wednesday, but seeing that it is almost 11:30 pm on Tuesday, I am figuring that it’s close enough. I finally finished the first lesson in A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson. I have been working on it essentially since the beginning of 2011 and tonight I was able to write out the last of my feelings and fears that have been holding me back from living in truth and authenticity. Marianne asks you to write out all of your thoughts and feelings on twenty-five words that represent the bricks in the wall you have built around your heart as pounds of excess on your body. These words include shame, embarrassment, inferiority, greed, selfishness, disdain, burden and heartbreak. She asks you to not go unconscious and to write it all out.

I did write it all out. It took many months, but I did write it all out. Seventeen pages to be exact. It is freeing and liberating to finish all of that work. It was work. Hard work. I would spend hours working through a couple of words and then not touch it for weeks or months. It was too much to work through. However, now it is done. It is out of my body and my mind and I can move onto the next lesson.

I had an epiphany today during a conversation with one of my best friends. We sat outside in the shade on her parents deck and discussed our lives and their complications and wonders. Later on in the afternoon, we discussed someone from our past. He had hurt both of us in different ways and in varying degrees. The kindest words I can use to describe our tumultuous relationship would be to say that he destroyed something in me. Do me a favor and scroll up to my first official picture. He destroyed my sense of innocence and turned my heart into a battle field for many years. After our demise, I learned how to build walls and deny trust. I learned how to avoid vulnerability at any cost, because it just wasn’t safe.

I also learned from the actions of others around me who continued to allow this person to remain in their lives that I didn’t matter. My life and my pain wasn’t worth enough for them to stop spending time with him. I didn’t matter at all. As I verbalized this today to my friend, I was struck with how profoundly sad it was. I gave all of these people the power to shrink me. I gave everyone else the power to harden me with lies and shame.

I have been trying to find my way home again with this project. I have been attempting to break through the bricks I have stacked around me in an effort to protect myself from any more harm. I know it is impossible to get back to the little person pictured above. I know that even the people who love me the most aren’t always good at taking care of me and my best interest. However, I am learning or trying to learn how to take better care of myself.

I long for the chance to lay all my baggage at someone’s feet, shrug my shoulders and say, “This is me. Warts and all. I am scarred inside and out, but I am capable of great love. What do you say?”

They will look me up and down with eyes that drip with kindness and compassion. They will open their arms and their heart and say, “Welcome home, baby.”

This journey will not end anytime soon. Em, thank you for being honest with me, even if I get defensive and start to push away. Thank you for being quick to apologize and embracing of my whole self. You are helping me to dismantle all this hurt and find my way home again. Thank you for pushing me to be brave.

Seeing the Light

Today was one of those great spring days when you catch yourself enjoying your life. Those small moments where you realize that at that exact moment, you are perfectly content. In the past when this would happen, the realization would break the peaceful spell and I would go back to life as usual, but today I felt the happiness last all the rest of the afternoon.

I had class all day, but I’m learning such great stuff, it didn’t bother me. My brain hurt by the time we were dismissed, but I know that it’s just because my brain is  trying to soak it all up! I know that what I’m learning will make me a much better educator.

Later, after class, I spent some time with one of my best friends and her family. I hadn’t seen her in weeks because of being sick. It was wonderful to be with her again today and to get a baby and puppy fix too.

We talked a lot about relationships and all their intricacies and complexities. We talked about another friend of ours who is in a difficult relationship. We talked about how marriage is difficult, even when you are with the right person. We talked about our siblings and mothers and fathers. We spoke of healing relationships and healing ourselves through our relationships – good ones and bad ones. We discussed how even the trying relationships are a valuable use of our time in preparing us for the next step in our journeys.

We discussed my own evolution in relation to my relationships. I have been working hard on being present and at the beginning of this project, I was still uneasy with some of the relationships in my life. For years every time I met someone, I would travel in my mind to the farthest point in the future – trying to put us into a box of my own creation. I know now that this was another attempt at self-protection and only served to keep me isolated and alone.

Now I am staying present and allowing. Allowing the natural progression to take place and appreciate it as it’s happening – not what it will be like in ten years or even thirty minutes. I’m learning to be inside my relationships right now.

My friend was pleased to hear about this development and expressed that she had been hoping I would have this shift in thinking for a long time. It felt like a confirmation that I am still on the right path with this inner journey. I’m beginning to see the light about my self and my connection to others. It’s beautiful. Like catching colorful reflections of light on a perfect day. Or understanding that being content with my life makes this day perfect.

Sleeping Beauty

A weeks worth of sleep deprivation finally got me last night. I came home from a birthday party and essentially crashed. I had homework to work on and a post to write…but instead I was asleep by 9 pm. Sorry for being late twice this week.

I had a wonderful evening with a friend on Friday. I hadn’t seen him in about a month and it was refreshing to spend time with him. It’s one of those friendships that gets better and better. We enjoyed Indian food and then went for coffee at one of our old haunts called Pablo’s. We spoke about my concerns about having enough room in my life for a great relationship and he gave me some wonderful feedback on the matter. He said not to worry about the man of dreams not fitting, because he will be so in step with me when we meet that he will automatically fit perfectly. I will have to make time to see him, of course but that will be easy.

This was exactly what I needed to hear. We laughed a lot and I felt lighter just being in his presence.

I have been working on changing my attitude toward relationships and love. Even making some small adjustments in my attitude seems to be making a difference. While my friend and I sat at Pablo’s, I received many smiles and offered many smiles in return. It might be small, but I know that something has shifted in what I’m sending out into the world. It’s nice to get some positive reinforcement from the Universe.

This is a picture of my coffee from Pablo’s. The barista might not have meant anything by it at all, but it was a nice nudge that my efforts aren’t going unnoticed.

This week I’ll be focusing on catching up on my Mt. Everest of homework, getting back into my grid, going to bed earlier and creating my  big relationship list.

Talk soon…

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