Today is my 39th birthday and it's been a roller coaster of a year. I've stretched my wings and learned so many things about myself. I've even come so much closer to my true north and my calling in life.
My 38th year was filled with grief, but that was countered with so much growth. 2010 had it's definite ups and downs. And through it all I learned and grew.
My birthday wishes are for all of us.
I wish us peace this year.
I wish for love and happiness and growth.
I wish that we can hold our tongue and be kind in the face of attack.
And that we all have a strong support system for the difficult times.
I wish for the courage to reach out both TO help others and FOR help at every turn.
I wish for the spirit of giving to grow in us all.
I wish for the wisdom to look back on our trials with gratitude.
And also the wisdom to love everyone in our lives.
I wish for us all to be accepting of others regardless of their differences.
I wish for this year to be the best one yet, and for the years to only make us better.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Isn't it funny how life changes your vision? This is how it works with me, anyway... I get a vision of what it is I want to do. It's a broad spectrum at first. Then, as I pay attention to the signs, it gets focused in.
I have been planning, getting my ducks in a row. And the focus has been becoming clearer and clearer to me that phase 1 of my plans absolutely must help people with grieving. So off I go.
Phase 1 of my 2011 plan will help people with their grieving process, and it will be unveiled by February. Phases 2- infinity will be carried out afterwards.
2010 taught me more about grieving than anything else. I've seen all the ways people grieve. I've seen grief empower people. I've seen it destroy them. I've seen people drown in it, with no-one reaching out to help them. That just isn't acceptable to me. Grief weakens a person. It can destroy their foundation. I want to give them tools to build that foundation back up. To help them trudge through the muck and come out the other side stronger than before. In 2011, that is what I will do. I will help them to not only survive their grief, but learn from it.
I sound awfully sure, don't I? I am. Not cocky... just extremely familiar with grief AND in my ability to help. I've been paying attention.
Are you grieving? How can I help you?
Sunday, December 26, 2010
As 2010 starts winding down, I'm led to take inventory. I do this periodically throughout the year. Often in the Spring, always in the Fall, and at New Year's. I look back to see where I've been, and I look forward to see where I need to be. Then the planning begins. I do a lot of planning.
Sunday, I had a 12 hour road trip. That is a LOT of thinking time. And I recalled an episode of the Big Bang Theory in which the boys created a liquid that also acted as a solid. It was simply cornstarch and water. But it flowed. And when it wasn't flowing, it was solid. And I realized that I need to be *that*. I need to be solid. But I need to readily flow.
So... with flow in mind... I'm questioning the path I've set into motion. I'm wondering now if I've been true to myself. I think I have... but I'm wondering if I've allowed for the flow...
This week, because of my inventory taking, I believe, it will all become clear.
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Merry Christmas Everyone! I'm feeling a bit sad this morning, thinking of family member's we have lost. But also thankful for the time that I had with them. This photo was taken by my Dad, who loved the sunrise and sunset. I ache to call him today and tell him Merry Christmas. I do know, however, that he is in my heart, and that he is alwsys with me. So, Merry Christmas, Dad.
I hope that your day is all that you had hoped it would be! What special traditions do you have? How do you honour those you love?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Looking back, 2010 was an extremely tough year. I lost my father in February, my stepmom in March, and my sister in law in September. Through my grief I blogged, though sometimes intermittently. I learned to lean on those around me, and was completely supported by love extended to me.
My father's funeral was such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. My ex husband and his girlfriend drove about 1800 miles EACH way to take my sons to their grandfather's funeral. I still am amazingly thankful for that and my heart swells just thinking about it.
I struggled to find my self without Dad. I still am struggling with that. But I've settled in, and know that my daily life includes honouring Dad. I strive to do my best. I push myself. I remember self-care and staying away from crazymakers.
But 2010 wasn't totally about all the lessons I learned through grief. It was about finding my true north. It was about stretching my wings and FLYING. In fact, in 2010, I learned to soar... and I'm pretty sure that 2011 will be about stretching my wings even more. After all, I have Dad and my amazing tribe to guide me along the way. How could I go wrong?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
In addition to being fierce and tender... 2010 taught me to EXPECT MIRACLES. So many miracles have happened directly to me in 2010. In 2010, I was able to create an online Artist Empowerment Class, and offered it twice, both times to amazing groups of women! I was able to jump into making leather journals, stretching my wings. I got out of a marriage that wasn't a good fit and am creating the perfect life for myself. So many miracles.
I discovered how important an online community of women is in 2010. For me, that is a huge miracle. I've always been a loner, always the strong one. And now, I honestly don't know what I'd do without these women. At some point, I'd love to meet these women, be able to hug them in real life, and honestly, I think that will happen. Perhaps not in 2011. But it will happen.
My brother lost the love of his life, to an unexpected death. I put a shout out to my online community and raised enough money for gifts for his 3 kids for Christmas and for money for the family. What a huge miracle. But it didn't stop there, the tribe all sent gifts to the kids AND Christmas cards were sent to them from around the world.
Through all of this, I have discovered my true calling in life and will have the means and the support to dive in this coming year. What a miracle that is! These are all so huge to me. But there are smaller miracles every moment. I wake up in the morning, have my coffee on my deck, look out to my view and it's a miracle. I live a life that is authentic to me, and will be even more so in 2011.
What miracles have happened to you in 2010?
Friday, December 17, 2010
2010 Started with a bang. I had huge plans and tons of motivation. I had a plan. And I dove right in. I talked to Dad several days a week and he was my biggest cheerleader. I was completely enamoured with photography and with the connection it gave Dad and I. I entered photo contests, and I was constantly out with my camera, getting awesome and different shots. Fast forward to early, early morning on Feb. 13. I received a call from my brother that Dad was non-responsive, but the EMT's were working on him. A hour or so later, he called back. He said "I'm sorry, but he didn't make it." I crashed hard. Part of my world was gone. The next month or so was a blur. His funeral was amazing, such an outpouring of love from the entire community. I don't know if this is just the way it's done in Small Town USA, but people came out of their businesses on main street to see the funeral procession and pay respects. They stood there, solemn, on the sidewalks...
Since that day, I have only been out with my camera maybe 5 times. The connection is not there, though I would like to get it back. I began to bounce back from the loss a bit about 3 weeks after Dad died. I was spending hours on the phone with his wife of 28 years, hearing lots of stories about Dad. His love for Benny Hill, for instance. I was so thankful for that connection, because it was a tie to Dad. Then, 28 days after Dad died, she passed away as well. The doctors said it was from a broken heart. And the connection was lost. My heart spun out of control again, and I was so tender.
I have never been one to cry much. But 2010 has made me more tender. It has also made me connect to people I wouldn't have before. It has made me reach out to those that are hurting. It has taught me more than I ever cared to know about grief.
Oh, one other very important thing happened in the early part of the year. Shortly after Dad's death, a loved family member, but known crazymaker did the unthinkable and waged an attack on his character to me. Love, grief, death and struggles made me fierce. I would not tolerate such an attack and so far it's been unforgivable. So... tender and fierce. Odd combination, huh?
At the end of September, I got the call that my brother's wife had passed away in her sleep. Days before her 32nd birthday, leaving 3 children and my dear brother. Seems we weren't done learning about grief. I see the struggles Tony is going for and my heart breaks. I am thousands of miles away, so all I can do is talk to him, be there for him. I cry often now, thinking of his broken heart. Thinking of his 13 year old daughter who reminds me so much of myself. And I would claw anyone to pieces if they hurt them.
2010 has taught me that life is fleeting. It has taught me that love is worth fighting for. It has taught me that sometimes fierce and tender live in the same body. It has taught me that there is some behavior I simply will not tolerate. It was a rough year, indeed. But the lessons were plentiful.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I struggle with enough. Not *having* enough, I always know that I have everything that I need. I struggle with BEING enough. I am a very driven person, and that is ok. But what is not ok is my feelings that I need to be more to everyone. That I am letting people down. I have been feeling that a lot lately with one particular person. Someone that I've been in disagreement with. In all reality, this person is angry at his/her circumstances and is projecting it onto my life. And they seem to have the power.
It is time though. I am enough. My life is amazing. And I will not let this person affect how I feel any longer. The power is mine, this is my life and I can hold my head with pride at how I am living it.
So. Today I will be repeating things to myself. I am enough. I. Am. Enough. My life is mine. I hold the reins.
What are you struggling with?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
So... without exposing too much, I will say that I have had this ongoing argument with someone in my life. This argument is about the future of someone else. We both love and cherish this person. And we both are absolutely convinced that our viewpoint is right. The only one not drawn into the argument is the 3rd person. Hard to follow, I know.
Yesterday was one of those days. Arguing, each of us beating our head on a brick wall. And I felt like crap all day afterwards. I thought all day about how I could ease this situation, knowing from experience that I will not be heard.
Last night, after I went to bed, I had a complete A-ha moment. I will stop participating in these discussions. They don't accomplish anything anyway, except creating bad feelings between me and this person. I don't like the bad feelings, so no more talks. Can it really be that easy? I think it can. Why didn't I think of that before? I was caught up in my own righteousness, that's why.
So... no more arguments. And arguments can't occur with just one participant. Ahhhhhhh.... breathing.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
The holidays have a way of bringing crazymakers in close proximity of us... even if we've more or less gotten them out of our lives. The holidays also have a way of making each of us into a crazymaker, spinning out of control with busy-ness and stress. So, I'd say the chances are that you will have some contact with crazymakers real soon... and you may become one.
I have some advice for this... First of all, at those family gatherings, where you have limited contact with a crazymaker, do NOT overshare. You can see them nagging, being negative about everything, don't give them a chance to know your dreams, your goals, or things you have going on. Don't give them the ammo to attack you.
Be polite, talk about the weather, talk about something on television. Don't let them into your life or your heart.
Don't sell out others to the crazymakers. Don't join in their talk about crazy Aunt Mary. If they persist, mention something nice about whoever they are attacking and change the subject.
Try to stay away from topics where they can attack someone (even something as inane as the turkey can start an attack on the cook, the tree could bring lots of attacks about the tacky decorator.
Go back to weather, a tv show, something you read in the newspaper.
If nothing else, allign yourself with someone who is not a crazymaker. Go hang out with "Crazy Aunt Mary" who always has a smile on her face and only nice things to say. You may make a new friend.
My Dad's last words to me were "Stay away from them crazymakers." Feel free to borrow that if you need it!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The other day I was talking to one of my tribe... telling her that I was struggling with balance. I was lamenting to her about how I have to help people, but that I also struggle with finding a balance between that and doing all I need to do for myself.
Guess what she told me. She said "Get over it, you are a nurturer."
And it was like a spark went off. All this time, I've been swimming against the current, struggling, struggling, struggling with finding a balance. With changing this zebra's stripes.
Once her words sunk in, I breathed deep. I realized that I don't need to find a balance. I do what I do. I help others. And in the process, that fills my well. What an epiphany.
What AHA moments have you had recently?
Friday, December 10, 2010
In life, I have always been a loner. Always self-sufficient. My first husband was military and I became that way out of necessity. I had to be able to run the household without a hitch if he got deployed. Every aspect fell on my shoulders several times, from child-rearing to bills and moving household. I am not complaining at all, that is the life of a military wife. After our first move (there were many), I stopped making friends so readily because it was so hard to say goodbye.
But a shift has been occuring in recent years. I now have a tribe of amazing women that I chat with, brainstorm with, vent to, lean on. Everything happens in it's own season... and it's time for me to not be a loner. My tribe is comprised of budding authors, jewelry designers, knitting and crocheting gurus, small business owners, mothers, wives, real women. And did I mention they are amazing?
Someone posted on facebook yesterday a picture of a Starbucks cup that said something how there is a special place in hell for women who refuse to help one another. I can't find the exact quote this morning, but I so get that. I am learning the power of women. And from my recent experiences, if a group of women puts their hearts and heads together, there are NO limits to what can be done.
Today I am so thankful for my tribe. As I am everyday. They enrich my life and all in it. Thank you ladies! You Rock!
What are you thankful for today?
Don't forget my sale at www.robynsart.etsy.com put BLOG20 as your coupon code to get 20% off!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I woke up very tired today... have been dragging all week. But last night... last night I had an amazing brainstorming session with my Soul Sister. And I have so many plans to move forward with. Some of the plans cost money though. So, I'm having a sale in my etsy shop. Use the coupon code BLOG20 to receive 20% off your entire order!
I am percolating, and I love that feeling! 2011 is going to be amazing, so many exciting things coming to fruition!
What do you have in store for 2011?
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I receive an email called Daily Karma. It always gives me food for thought. Today's Daily Karma said:
"Be aware of What you fill your Head with"
I am pretty good at keeping all of my negative self talk out of my head. Pretty good when I'm not pms'ing. But while thinking about that, I realize that I don't filter quite as well as I could. I let hurt from others in quite readily. I let negativity both about others and from others in. I am working on this.
Part of my issue is a certain environment I am in. And I'm working on that.
I learned long ago that I'm a work in progress. And that's ok. Baby steps are ok, as long as I am moving forward. The speed forward doesn't matter. Just. Gotta. Keep. Moving. Forward.
What things do you fill your head with that you need to work on?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Besides being a mom, a cook, an employee, a friend, a lover, a writer, a coach... I think the most important thing that I am lately is a juggler. I am perfecting my juggling... well, not perfecting, I am sure. But I am getting to where it's not quite so exhausting.
I am back to carrying a notebook with me everywhere I go and making lots of notes. That frees up my brain for creative endeavours.
What do you do to make juggling easier and more effective?
Monday, December 6, 2010
One thing about me that I've been noticing more and more is that I have clarity when other's are concerned. I can troubleshoot issues for others all day and all night. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel for anyone, and help them find a clear path to reach that light.
But when it comes to me, my vision gets a bit more clouded. I can absolutely see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the path gets a little cloudy. I am working on that.
What does it mean to have such a clear clarity for others but not so clear for myself?
This week will be about luminating that path for myself. About putting one foot in front of the other to move beyond the shadows.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I am doing much better today. I don't think the struggle is quite over, but I didn't have nightmares last night, so I'm claiming that as a victory!
And tonight is a tribe chat... re-filling my well in so many ways. I've known that this struggle was temporary, but when you are in the thick of it, that is hard to remember. Luckily, I have some amazing people in my life to remind me.
Today I'm thankful for a break in the war. I'm thankful for my tribe, my family, my ability to keep my head above water, with and without life supports.
What are you thankful for?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I am almost all the way off my headache meds... and I feel like I'm slipping into an abyss. I will make it through to the other side, but right now, I'm exhausted... have been waking up screaming or crying the past two nights...
None of this is like me, and I have to step back from the situation to see that it's just the medication. I have to buckle my seatbelt for the rest of the ride. I know that I will be ok, but right now I'm tired. So very tired.
What I do know is that this will be all over in a week or so... and I can start to feel normal again. Then there will be no more night terrors. No more feeling like I don't belong in this skin, this life. No more chemicals in my system screwing with me.
I'm so thankful for my tribe... for all the support I've been given... I'll make it through this... I just have to ride it out.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I am becoming very well versed in shifts. Personal shifts. I remember studying plate tectonics in school, and this journey reminds me of that. I am often surprised at the shifts occurring. Yesterday, for instance, a kinder, gentler Robyn appeared at work. Work is the one place that I am most guarded. Most un-authentic. But a merge is occurring.
I am receiving clarity in so many areas. Areas that I had not even thought that I would receive it in. Work. Planning for the future. There are major shifts going on, and I'm riding it out, quite happily.
At the close of every year, I take inventory, and I make plans for the upcoming year. This year is no different... and vastly different. It has been an amazing, heart-wrenching, huge growth kind of year. I could have been devastated by the events, instead, I have grown. I have faced each and every challenge and worked my way through it. I feel like I'm approaching 2011 with a much clearer path, with a knowledge that I've been working towards this particular year for a very long time.
*raising my glass* Here's to walking through the fire, riding out the shifts, and receiving clarity.
Monday, November 29, 2010
I made a big realization the other night about myself. I was helping someone, coaching them. And I said to them that they will get to a point where they are thankful for the trials in life, because it will help them to grow.
The realization was that I believe this to my core. I have trials, and I struggle. But I am thankful for them because I have been a witness to the fact that during those times (and immediately after) is when the bulk of growth occurs.
This has been the most difficult year of my life, with so many family deaths. I have grieved so much for them. At the same time, I have become utterly familiar with the stages of grief, making me more able to help others through it.
Every single thing has made me the person I am.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I have had chronic headaches for 17 years. In that 17 years, I've maybe had a month of days without a headache. So, 3 years ago, I was put on a med to help me to not have them. After rounds of tests, and finding no reason, yes, I've had my head examined :-). The med never got rid of them, and I've quit it cold turkey several times, spinning me into a dark abyss. So I would go back on it.
I am in the process of weaning off of the med, now, slowly. And there is a view of the dark abyss, but I am staying out of there, moving slowly around the edge of it to pass it.
So... if I seem a little 'off' or maybe short, or cranky, that is why. I'm fighting a battle. But I'm doing it the smart way and I'll move past it. And soon, the real me will be back.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Many of you have taken my Artist Empowerment Class, and you know that there is an Artist Empowerment Class, Part 2 coming up in the new year!!! However, for those of you who haven't taken part 1, I'm offering one on one coaching with you to work you through class 1 and get you ready for class 2. Contact me at email@example.com and I will send you an information sheet, with the rate and all the details!
My class members have been moved by the class... and yes, extremely empowered. Please see their input on the link above. I can't wait to see you all in my part 2 class... Let's get you to the same point they are!!!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
This quote greeted me on facebook yesterday.
"When you feel inspired, what appeared to be risky becomes a path you feel compelled to follow. The risks are gone because you're following your bliss, which is the truth within you." ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
I stand here before you today to testify to you that there is nothing more true than this quote. I have some huge things I am working on. And I should be scared sh*tless. But I'm not because I am *so* inspired!!!
I'll reveal more soon... and I call this photo "The God Cloud" do you like it?
I've written a post before about how important my friends are to me. Yesterday I posted on facebook that I need to have a gathering of my tribe, my girlies... I have some really important things to discuss and there are times the tribe is the only way to move through something, past it, to the other glorious side.
I was telling another friend about it and she was like 'you have a tribe?' I've never used that term before, but it's as good a term as any, doncha think? Most of these women I have never met in real life. And I really don't think it lessens the value of the friendship a bit.
I've met these amazing women on twitter, facebook, etsy. They are the most real people that I know. They are smart, articulate, motivated, thoughtful. Overall amazing :-)
So... I am getting by... with a little help from my friends. And I'd have it no other way!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I am embarking on the biggest, most rewarding journey of my life. And I was struck with the realization today. What I realized is this:
Every. Single. Thing. So. Far. In. My. Life. Has. Brought. Me. To. Where. I. Am. Today.
Amen, I say, after this hits me like a lightning bolt.
Every ounce of grief has taught me compassion for the human condition.
Being the caregiver for a bedridden mother taught me the same, along with perserverance.
The knowledge that even though my grandparents were very strict, bordering on abusive, the knowledge that even though they dealt with me with a strong hand, that they loved me absolutely and did the best job they were equipped to do.
Being a job developer for developmentally delayed adults taught me how to think outside the box and create opportunities.
Being the administrator of an alzheimer's unit taught me how to deal with staff and encourage them to perform their job duties well.
Working for a temp agency exposed me to jobs I never would have considered previously. Working the job I've now held for 5 years has helped me learn so many things.
My post-marital relationship with my first husband, and the amazing co-parenting we've done has taught me about fighting against the odds. Even my chaotic, drama filled 2nd marriage taught me so much about how people deal in certain circumstances, and how interpersonal relationships are affected by factors both internal and external.
Every single thing has brought me to where I am. And for that, I am thankful!
Friday, November 12, 2010
I see my goal, can practically reach out and touch it. And I want to zoom forward at the speed of light. I mean, I am so ready. But things take time. And things take money. And I spin my wheels in anticipation of the amazing outcome.
I may not have to wait as long as I'm thinking right now... I need to have some conversations with some amazing people. I am on my way, and this new life I have been carving for myself is already wondrous beyond my belief.
What are you working towards? Are you running into speed bumps? Brick walls?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I am inching forward towards my goal, and at this point, it should be a reality within the year. I can see it, totally see it as a reality. Another thing I can see is Dad being proud of me. That's a good feeling.
I am working towards a more authentic life. One that fits me like a glove and isn't concerned about what the people who don't truly matter (those who are heavy with opinions and no action) have to say.
I am so excited... and all this is happening before I'm even starting the Artist's Way... I'm in for a wild ride!!
What do you have going on that is exciting and thrilling you?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Yesterday I ached. Muscles that I never knew I had hurt. Why? Because we got a playstation Move game that had sword fighting in it and I had gotten quite a workout the day before ;-). It is seriously addictive, and it's a LOT of physical work. Two very good things, eh?
But I was sore. It hurt to move. It affected my mood. I felt a bit defeated, actually, throughout the day, moving around like an old lady. I wasn't as upbeat and positive as I usually am. My physical affected my emotional. What an eye opener that was.
I am working with someone who has chronic pain. Mine was a very small window, but I can understand a bit more about how she might be affected.
I did two things yesterday that were out of character. One, I bought myself a small gift. Something that I had been wanting for years, but the last time I went to buy, the shop was closed. I happened upon the new shop yesterday and made the purchase. The other thing I did. Despite my aching, I made myself play that game again. I know the muscle aches were due to a good workout, so I did it again. And I'll do it tonight as well.
I learn lessons every single day. I don't know how to NOT.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I have been thinking a lot about life lately, and my true North has presented itself to me. Initially I thought that I couldn't share it with anyone in my life for fear of being laughed at. But now I've told some people and they feel my sincerity. I feel myself being propelled forward. I am moving in baby steps, but I am going forward.
I have been filled to the brim with an excited energy for awhile now. My mind is always going, with a million thoughts. The best ones are the excitement on working towards my goals and my gratitude for all that life has to offer.
I sincerely hope that each of you is feeling the same sort of excitement in some area of your life.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I spent a lot of time this weekend pondering my true North. Thinking about what it is that I want to be. No, that's not right. I spent a lot of time this weekend having things strike me in the head to get my attention. I now know beyond a shadow of a dowbt what my calling is. I absolutely know the direction I'm headed. Everything is not absolutely defined, but I am so much closer.
I revere so many creative women. I watch the progress... see how they take each step so sure of their selves. I often wonder "how did they get here?" and now I'm seeing that in my own life. Amazing!
I've written before about how Fall is a time for renewal for me. I take cues from nature, and I see the leaves falling, I see the trees standing before me, naked, and perfect. It is a magical time of year for me. Looking back, I often start some amazing journeys during this time of year. And so it is this year as well... working towards my true North, and beginning The Artist's Way again.
I believe I'll be starting next week, and from that point, the next 12 weeks (or more, depending on how the holidays extend it) will be a wild ride. I am already buckling in and getting ready...
Friday, November 5, 2010
This is the barn outside the gate at my work. It collapsed on January 13, 2010. Exactly one month before my Dad passed away. I took this picture yesterday. It is fading away, moving so little that we can't even tell, yet, it's shifting and going back to the earth.
My grief is the same way. It shifts a little each day. It will always be part of me, but like this barn becoming the earth, my grief will meld and not even be visible after a time.
I consider this barn to be one of Dad's gifts to me. He loved old barns and we went out to photo some in Utah on my visit. I believe he knew I would draw lessons from this old barn that I drive by every day. And I'm thankful.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I was going to write today about my mourning journey. But I have a specific set of photos I want to include so that must wait til tomorrow. Instead, I've been thinking a lot about my quest for authenticity and I'm in process of some chats with some people who I know have come a long, long ways in their own authenticity. I'm thinking about making that a regular topic.
But today, a small rant. I was talking to a family member yesterday. She actually blamed some HUGE mistakes she's made in her life on others in the family. They didn't check on her when she was grieving, so she did stupid things. She didn't like it very well when I asked why anyone should check on her when they were ALL grieving. And I also asked if she had bothered checking on anyone else.
She didn't like what I had to say and ended the conversation. My real point is that I'm done enabling. I am done trying to soothe the crazymakers. Some may want help, may accept things said to help them. Then there are those that don't want anything but more attendees at their pity party. No thank you!
Sorry for that. I had a rant. Sometimes a girl just has to vent, you know? And now I feel better. In fact, all of this *is* part of my quest for authenticity. No wounded birds, not getting sucked in by the crazymakers. It's very important.
What revelations have you had?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have put my quest for authenticity on the back burner. I will not be focusing on it. I know enough to know that if I work on my goals throughout the month that authenticity will be a natural side effect. It will just happen.
And besides, if I were totally honest, I'm light years ahead of the life I was living just 5 years ago. 2 years ago. 1 year ago. I am traveling towards true North so fast that if I tried to calculate my head would spin.
My other goals, they are coming along. Slow and steady wins the race, yeah? I do feel a bit like I'm spinning my wheels already.. but I must remember today is only the 3rd. Breathe.
On a side note, I'm still raising funds for my brother and his children's Christmas. The donate button is on the upper right of my blog.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I wrote out a list of goals for the month yesterday. Broke them into 4 categories and wrote VERY specific goals.
This is a first for me. To be so organized in my goal-making.
But I have to. This is a big month for me. Holiday sales on Etsy, NaNoWriMo is starting (I am not participating, but I do have BIG goals for my novel for the month).
And last month I felt like I was paddling, paddling, paddling, and getting absolutely nowhere. I don't like that feeling at all.
So now everything is outlined. I have people who will hold me accountable. And now it's time. Time for the hard work that makes goals so difficult to keep.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
One of the definitions of "goddess" is 'a woman of great beauty and grace'. I didn't really think about this definition when I made choices for a Halloween costume. And the pic above shows me... in full costume. Fake hair, quite a bit of help with a more enhanced bustline. Lots of makeup. That is what Halloween's all about, isn't it?
But it made me think. We are all Goddesses in our own right. This week, in addition to my quest for a more authentic existence, I'll be seeking ways to bring out my inner goddess.
What does Goddess mean to you? How will you draw her out?
Friday, October 29, 2010
I am tired, sick, feeling spread too thin. No... what I really am is disappointed. I had a deadline to meet where I was relying on others... each had one small piece of the puzzle. And that fell apart. Had it all fallen into place, what I would be feeling right now is elation, not exhaustion. Funny how we are so wired into things happening around us, isn't it?
I've had an angel on my shoulder for this journey I'm on and today I will continue to be thankful for her. The rest? For the rest, I'll put on my big girl panties and continue to forge onward.
My mantra for today is that I know I'm on the right path... and things will work out. If not this moment, then I'll keep working, always keep working.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I have not arrived. Please don't put a mint on my pillow or turn down my bedding... I'm not ready for that. But I have checked for flights, and I do have a better idea of the direction I should be heading.
I am getting closer to my true north. Closer to buying the ticket and settling on my destination.
I am getting there. I will share so much more with you soon!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I have been doing a lot of soul searching over the past few weeks. Honestly, a lot of it is due to my Artist Empowerment Class. The connections made are so amazing. The atmosphere is contagious, the growth is too. And it hit me today. I have not been living an authentic life.
I thought that when this new life started in March, and I moved out of the home that I lived with my husband in, that it would be authentic. However, I'm still working at the same job, still associated with the same type of people.
My residence changed. It is now time for some other areas of my life to change.
Much of me is resistant. I have a healthy relationship with the "Yeah, but..."
I have a feeling that I will be fighting with myself for the weeks to come... hopefully with some amazing results. I will keep you posted as much as I can.
Some will have to remain private for a time. Other parts of it will be easy and amazing to share.
Thank you for joining me in this struggle.
Monday, October 25, 2010
I have decided to try blogging in the evenings again. A close out of the day. And today was quite refreshing, I must tell you. Things weren't as busy at work, I didn't feel so frazzled. I got off work on time. I had time when I got home to get some chores done and I had the energy to do them. It was quite amazing.
Tomorrow morning (today, as you'll be reading this), I have a roast in the crock pot and it will be ready by the time I get off work. After eating, I will begin prep for the next day's dinner.
I also need to fit some time in for writing this week, my class chat is Thursday, and I have journals to make. Life isn't likely to slow down any time soon. I think the answer is for me to make small changes until I find what's right for me.
I know this journey is not done. I absolutely will find a way to fit all that I need into my life. In the process, I believe I'll be discarding some things that I don't.
What journey are you on?
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I've been exposed to some people online... some people that I *love* and it seems to me that everything they touch turns to gold. They amaze me, along with so many others. People flock to their classes. They swarm to buy their products. I could be very jealous. Instead, I am in awe of them.
I do deal with jealousy, don't get me wrong. I also deal with my feelings of inadequacy. My feelings of being quite inferior.
But it hit me today. Just like a cast iron skillet. It wacked me right in the head, it did. I do affect people's lives. My reach may not be huge. But I've had students in my Artist Empowerment Class. I have helped them. I have changed lives. I have helped them to believe in themselves. That, my friend, is powerful stuff!
I will carry on. And help a small group at a time. Maybe that... THAT is what I'm here for.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I have to tell you that what makes my Artist Empowerment Classes amazing is the participants! So many amazing, lovely souls. We've been focusing a lot on fears and how they relate to our creativity. And this week was about granting ourself permission. The chat last night left us each with some challenges. I challenged them individually, and two of them challenged me. They granted me permission to write for 3 one hour blocks over the next week. With my ultra intense work schedule right now, that seems really daunting. But I'm going to do it! We are all working so hard to spread our wings and break down our barriers. There were other challenges issued to me, but I'd like to keep those secret for now.
So... for all of you not in my class, how can you spread your wings in the coming week? Do something that scares you. Do something that when you think about it your inner self says "nooooo..." or "but..." Just do it. Push yourself, and let me know how it goes!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I'm finding out more and more that if I do small steps whenever I can on a project, that's still forward movement. What I mean is... I often don't have large chunks of uninterrupted time. So, I make slow and steady progress towards my goals.
I do, still try to carve out large chunks of time, but it's so rare these days. Work has gotten so busy and so exhausting that many things have fallen by the wayside. Like my novel. I've been needing to get back to it. And photography. I've been feeling called back. Soon...
And for now, I'll do the small steps because it's still forward progress. I hope to be listing new journals soon, as I have 3-4 partially completed.
How do you cope with a lack of time?
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I've been receiving a lot of motivation lately. Pushes forward, reasons to not look back. I feel like I'm working towards a better life, a better existence.
The above photo can be found in my shop with a motivational quote on it here.
I am in the thick of things... and my mind is going a mile a minute... as it calms, I will let you in.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Good morning! I listed (and relisted) some photos in my Etsy shop yesterday, including this spinning wheel photo! Also, please check out my SALE!!!
I had a really nice weekend with an old friend. We had a great time. We took him to see Multnomah Falls, The Portland Saturday Market, and Powell's. Sunday we went shooting, and throughout the weekend we played lots of wii. I had to wrap my mind around the visit so many times. We had each grown, so much... and we were so not the same. This was my first love, my boyfriend for years, my confidante... and yes, I'm still trying to grasp the changes. None bad, per se... but we have grown so differently.
Anyway, I hope we can all make this the best Monday that we can!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
My brother Tony, as I've shared on here is all of a sudden a single dad. His children are without a mother. Misty passed away unexpectedly at the end of September. She was 31. Tony is hurting in ways he never had imagined. The full extent of the pain has not hit any of them yet.
The children: Marissa, 13. Austin, 12. Vanessa, 10.
This year has been amazingly hard on this family. In February, our dad died, their grandfather. In March, his wife died, their grandmother. And now they've lost their mother.
I am writing this to plea for help. I want to do something for my brother's family, but I can't do it all alone. Let's give these children a good Christmas, despite all their pain. Let's reach out to this family and show them that there is an entire group of people who care about them.
Please help me. The donate button is on the top right column.
Friday, October 8, 2010
There are precious few times in my current life when I feel authentic. I'm moving towards that sweet spot of authenticity, but I'm not totally there yet. However, one of the times when I am is when I'm teaching my Artist Empowerment Class. The weekly class chats are absolutely magical.
Last night was this weeks chat, and I can't even begin to tell you about the amazing connections. There were 4 of us there, and there was so much love and compassion, and everyone was pitching in, helping the others. We were talking about fear, and each of us was so open about our fears, about what holds us back. It was amazing to see that. The chats are always magical.
I'm moving towards authenticity. When this class is over, I won't be offering another (I don't think) until after the new year, and that will be a sequel, for returning students from both classes so far. I've been toying with another Artist Empowerment Class squeezed in there prior to that, but I'm not sure. With the holidays and all... I've also thought about a pdf version of the class... a work at your own pace. But then the magic of the chats, where would that go?
So many things bouncing around in my head. On my path to authenticity... what's on your mind? Are you on the same path? What struggles do you have?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I have an extremely busy weekend ahead of me. Packing up and mailing orders, hopefully making more journals. But most importantly, cleaning the house to get ready for an old friend to visit the following week. Oh, and grocery shopping. And a birthday party for a two year old. And target practice. I'm tired already!
I slept so well last night. Finally! Haven't slept well in a week. All I need to do now is get through today and tomorrow at work. Work has been pure hell this week. But I can do it.
I took the picture above while visiting my Dad in Utah. It's one of my favorite photos. I went out with my sister in law and we found this amazing tree... I must say, I really love trees. Soon I should take my camera out again...
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I have been so sad. When my sister in law died, it was like all 3 deaths of this year were compounded and just came crashing down on me. All of a sudden, it was like dad had just died, and his wife, and now Misty. I tried so hard to just let the feelings flow. I even planned an emotional purge time, after work, so that I could just let the tears flow. That didn't work.
I have such an issue with showing weakness in front of others. And I grew up believing that crying was a sign of weakness. I'm evolving, slowly. And I know that crying is not a sign of weakness, that grieving for loved ones doesn't make you weak.
I've been so proud of my brother, being so open about his heartbreak, about how much he misses his wife. I'm hoping that will help him to heal. He isn't closing himself off to the feelings. He is a broken man, and he is not afraid of looking weak, he is grieving. I will do what I can for him, and at the same time, I am learning from him.
I will talk with his kids soon and put up some information about them. Along with a way for us to help them financially for this upcoming holiday season.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I listed this seafoam journal in my etsy shop last night. I love the texture of that leather, it feels like woven fabric. And seafoam green has always been a color I liked.
I have more journals in the works, but working 50 hours a week and all the emotions has made me tired. I've also been sorting through boxes. Boxes that have been moved from home to home. Most of it is stuff that I don't need, or that can be consolidated down into just a few boxes.
I hope that your week is going well. How do you deal with exhaustion?
Monday, October 4, 2010
I can count the number of times that I've cried i my life (since my mom died when I was 14), I mean really cried, on one hand. Maybe one and a half. To say that I had walled off my emotions was an understatement. I am the tough one. The clinical one, the one to take care of business. I couldn't get everyone taken care of and all the "business" of everything done if I spent my time crying.
And now, at 38, well, almost 39, there's been a shift. Tears flow every time I talk to my brother. I don't hide them, they just come, and I talk to him through them. I feel so much pain for him. I'm trying to figure out how this emotion fits into my life though. It's so foreign. I'll get there.
My brother has had some help from his kids' school. They have connections at a bank there and they know of a home loan with a very low interest rate for single parents. He is working on pursuing that, as he really needs to get out of where they are living now... out of the home his wife died in.
I'm searching my soul. Trying to figure out if I am meant to help him to get a down payment on this new home, or Christmas for the kids. I could use all the input out there on this one...
Friday, October 1, 2010
I called my niece Marissa last night. She is 13 and the day before, she picked her mom's casket. Just as I had done at 14. I can so relate to that girl, and I really wanted to make a connection. But I forgot. I forgot who I was at that age. I forgot that we are the same. I asked her how she was "well, I'm doing a lot better than Dad is." I knew that because I had talked to my dear brother, yesterday was his worst day yet. It hit him and it hit him hard. But back to Marissa. I was talking to her, explaining how I could relate to everything she was going through. And she was unreachable. She was in that same place I was at that point. She is the strong one, and she is watching out for everyone else.
"You want to talk to my dad?" she asked at one point. "No, I will talk to him in awhile, I called to talk to YOU," I told her.
Soon I will put some information up about each of the kids. Their dreams, their likes, general stuff about them. And together we will decide what to do for them for Christmas. I am being led to do this, and several people would like to help, so I will set up a dedicated paypal and will post several follow ups.
Nothing can take away this families pain. But we can help make Christmas more bearable. Their first without their mother (my brother's first without his wife), and also their first without their grandfather and grandmother.