Sunday, September 23, 2012

Overwhelmed To The Point Of Tears

It has happened to me more then once recently.  I know when it's coming, too. Before, I never knew how burdened I was until I got down sick.  Sick and tired, and then I got angry because I was sick and tired. Now when I'm coming to a breaking point because of juggling all the things I need to do within a day, I feel the tears behind my eyes getting hot.  So I stop, I let everything drop, and I cry.  Stop, drop, and cry.  That's my survival skill.

There is something miraculous about crying.  Something magical happens when you just let everything go.  It's not giving up, it's giving over to the moment, because you see, sometimes the moment knows better then you do what needs to be done.  And stopping, dropping the "to do" list, and releasing the burdens through your tears is many times your best and healthiest option.  Those closest to us never like to see this either.  It's not for the weak at heart, or for the "fair weather" friend to see.  It takes strength to cry.  And a box of Kleenex.

I cried last week.  I sat on my couch and cried from deep down within me.  It was the kind of cry every overburdened mother knows.  Throw in a hefty dose of single motherhood, and you've got a recipe for a cleansing cry that will release endorphins you didn't even know you had.  Then you feel better.  Then you get yourself up, you make some tea, and set about the business of reviewing and revamping your life.  And for many of us, this will be the umpteenth time to do so. But not to worry.

Just do it.

Get ruthless.  Make a list of all the "stuff" you need to do within a week, and then cross out half of it.  Say "no" to the extra things you willingly took on, call those you promised to lend a hand to and tell them, "I'm terribly sorry, but you see if I follow through and make all those cupcakes for the class party, on top of the project I took on for my church, (neighbor, best friend, spouse, family, community, whatever),  I will have a nervous breakdown and scare the living hell out of my child, let alone all my cats, and I don't look too pretty when when I lose it".  Or, something else along those lines that would be less dramatic.  Be diplomatic, but be honest.  Something like, "I believe I have overextended myself and I must bow out of assisting you this time around", might be better then spewing what is really on your mind.

Then let it go.  No guilt allowed.  There is no virtue in being a multi-tasker.  There is no honor in "playing the room" and giving people what they want from us.  But there is great strength in allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, open, honest.  And there is great self-love in saying, "No".

I offended a lot of people last week by saying "No".  Be prepared for this.  Get a tougher skin and let whoever would make you feel bad about your decisions own their own feelings.  This is not selfish.  There are times in our lives when we have to focus on ourselves, our own home, our own needs and wants.   I have crafted a whole new weekly schedule for me and mine.  I have simplified my life (again), and I have narrowed my intentions onto just a few necessary tasks.  The world will be forever tugging at our sleeve.  People will be forever thinking you can take on just one more thing.  But, look around you.  Is your home suffering?  Are your children missing the time you used to spend with them?  Are you falling into bed at night at 12:30am because you had to stay up that late just to accomplish the tasks necessary so your home can run smoothly?  Have you been able to simply enjoy your home lately?  No?  Well then, get ruthless and cut out the superfluous "stuff" of your life.

"But I can't do this!  I can't upset my friends or family"!

They'll get over it.  Stick to your intention to simplify your life.  Get far from the "madding crowd" and ask yourself what you truly need.   And if it's nap, then take one.  Then get on with the business of streamlining the things that have made you crazy.  You're worth it.  And it beats the alternative, babe.

Don't end up getting down and sick and angry.  Cut it off at the pass.  Put yourself first, for once.  This is spiritual maturity.  This is wisdom.  This will be supported by the Universe, and once you re-prioritize and get serious about restoring sanity to your daily round, you will find an ease and grace return to your days.  And if you're not familiar with these companions, you're in for a treat.  You'll wonder why you waited so long to honor your needs.

And get out into nature.  Let nature heal you, let it show you how to stay within the season of your life. Watch how nature tends to itself without much effort.  Watch a tree blow in the wind, watch the branches bend without breaking.  Just watch, observe and ask for inspiration.  But first you may need to cry...

And that's okay.  It's the beginning of strength.

Until next time...blessings upon your weary heart


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Handling The Storms

Well, it's been an interesting year so far.  I've grown in so many ways.  I've been tested, challenged, ridiculed, adored, fallen down, gotten back up, made a hard decision, known great joy, saw my intentions fall into place, and been scared out of my wits. But, I was able to perfect the talent of landing on my feet...every time.

I prayed for peace of mind.  I got storms.  I asked for a smooth road.  I got potholes. Man, I thought, what gives here?  Is the trick to not ask for what you want?  Well...

You see, all of these things have been for my personal growth, even though I never saw it at the time.  They are a gift bestowed by a benevolent Universe to show me that I have the chutzpah, the grit, the talent, the grace to handle whatever comes my way.  And don't get me wrong, I have days on end that are exquisite in their simplicity and joy, but my outlook during the rough times is what I believe paved the way for the good times to come.  I've learned to never ask for a problem-free life, but what I have asked for is the ability to be at peace amidst the upheavals.  We cannot control anything in this life, nothing is guaranteed.  Nothing.  The day I realized this is what led me to seek a way to keep my inner balance during the times that spiral out of control.  But the thing is this....everything comes round right again.

Have you even noticed that?  Maybe not according to your time frame, or maybe not in a way you wished for, but have you noticed that things have a way of righting themselves?  Grace is always at work in our lives.  I have been taken aback by people's anger, especially when I do not live a life of drama and anger myself, and I've been saddened by a sudden change of events, or the things I never saw coming, things that go against the grain of my life, and I've asked, "Why"?  But I don't stay stuck in the problem anymore.  I now ask, "Where does this lead"?  "What good can come of this"?  "How can I best respond in the face of this troubling situation"?  Then the answers come.

When the very core of your life is threatened, when you feel shaken, when you don't know how you'll get through, I have found it helpful to know deep within my heart that changing my perception of a situation is usually all it takes to turn it around. Every single problem that comes arrives with the answer already in place.  Our limited vision and small outlook is what hampers the swift recognition that you will be alright.  What we perceive as a problem is simply an opportunity to rise above and restore peace to our lives.  Does this sound simplistic to you?  When I first started on this path I thought this was a load of new age crap!  But I was so wrong.  So many of us can't see the answer because we are so close to the problem.  Da Vinci once wrote about stepping back from what you are working on, from what is troubling you, and taking three days to simply not look at it.  There's something magical about three days time.  When you loosen your death grip on your problems you allow new energy to flow into the situation.  We can get so hung up on a certain outcome, so focused on the details, when what is really needed is simply letting it go.  Now if your situation is dire, if you are being put out on the street for instance, there are immediate answers available to you in the form of agencies and resources that can help you now.  But even then, allowing a shift in your perception to occur, from "What am I going to do" to "Let's see where this leads", you have actually signaled the Universe that you are open to new experiences.  And the loving, divine, benevolent, all knowing Universe will come to your aid.  So next time it all comes crashing down on your lose your job, you lose your home, your best friend, your bank account, your very sense of safety and security....make a tiny effort to shift your perception of what's happening.  The most devastating things that we see as terrible and undeserved often lead to a whole new life, and if not that grandiose of a change, then they certainly lead to new opportunities.  We never know who's around the corner, what opportunity, person, friend, situation or event that will occur and change your life, and move you forward.  But it doesn't happen by just waiting for it to happen.   The work that is required is your baby steps.  Keep moving forward.

And the bottom line is this:  You are bigger then your perceived problems.  There is a center within you that awaits your acknowledgement, and it will empower you and show you the way.  In just knowing how magnificent you are, your innate brilliance and inner guidance will come to the forefront...and you will be able to handle the storms of life with grace.

I will leave you with this:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."  Marianne Williamson 

Until next time....blessings upon your heart