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.