Tag Archives: self help

Happy Belated Beltane and First Blog of the Year!

Since my last blog, I have taken the errant remnants of my sexuality and integrated them with the rest of me. I can be in a room with males that lust for me and not get triggered. Even after I have given them my “no” and they appear to be unconcerned about that. I’ve had a chance to see how some men change once they like a girl and think they have her. I have had a chance to feel so many things that once triggered me. So much suppression has softened since I last posted that I feel like a different person.

In my period of reintegration, I’ve had a chance to look at why I’m not finishing poems. When I think I have the answer, something else comes up. So, I decided to let go, to allow myself to lick my spoon and my fingers in public. I let myself sleep naked and read for pleasure again. I let my anger loose inside myself instead of wrapping it inside a cage in its own chains. I made decisions to help me feel empowered and let go of obligations. All of which helped me recharge enough to see that I have less than one week until I am finished with an almost two-year journey of learning to heal others by healing myself.

I am still afraid to write certain truths, though I’ve decided to slowly let my secrets out. I was confusing nice with kindness. Reconnecting with my ancestry has helped me see that I must let go of silence. I understand so much more clearly how I’ve been wronged in the past, and how I’ve wronged others. Some deserved it, and sometimes I deserved it. Sometimes the bad went down and that is just how the chips fell.  There is so much richness here for word-smithing.I challenge myself to let myself play and write. To go to nature for a week in the month of June so I can recharge properly. I didn’t know how much I needed nature for self-care until I started spending regular time with her.

I have about 26 poems for completion for one of my “Tormented Love” volumes. I decided to start with “Angels and Demons” and put my love and my pain there. I had no idea I was “pulling” my emotional punches as hard as I was until I realized that no one would know who or what I was writing about. None of my poems are that obvious. I blend experience with my observations to create snapshots of feelings, and use imagined experiences to highlight concepts. My work aims to be a sensory burlesque show of the human heart, the human experience exposed. Tormented love is what happens when you love with your heart guarded and without trusting yourself. I will be happy to complete the volumes and grow the seeds of “Variations on a Theme”, the next poetry volume concept that takes an insider’s view of common mental health issues.

I am still letting myself lick my spoon in public, to wear pigtails in my 30’s, and to talk to people when I feel like it whether I know them or not. The inner child “practice” has been so healing. I let go of “broken” (along with those that invite broken into their lives), and have embraced “bent and loving it”. So far, so good. I feel like a flower the bees want, yet only a hummingbird can pollinate. Thank you, Beltane, for the boost.  I have less than a week to go, then a short rest with a belly full of one more accomplishment. Then I tackle the hallway before me with many doors connected to it.

Love and Heartbreak

https://zoeyhart.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/place/

“Place” written by Zoey Hart

I write about love as I see it on my blog because I don’t remember what it feels like to be loved by a lover or partner. I have been sitting for over a month with my recent heartbreak.  I wonder how I got here. I planned well. I avoided love by way of having lovers. That’s what divorcees do, right? Protect their hearts while they raise their children alone. Or do they do what seemingly half the divorced population does and marry again within a year or two? I’m the other one. I open only when sparked, and that happens very rarely.

I prepared for heartbreak. I set up the perfect situation, but I forgot pieces of myself that I’d closed off in my younger, depressed years. I also mis-remembered certain important details of my former lover’s situation. Diversity is exciting, yet sometimes differences can break a relationship if communication isn’t happening(yet appears to be happening).  In hindsight, it clearly wasn’t happening.

I am left feeling, for lack of a better term, used, which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  This feeling tells me that I created illusions in order to be ok with something I missed. My lover was clear in this, but our understanding of what love is and how it is demonstrated was definitely different. To me, love is a sharing. An honesty. A reveal of the things I fear about myself, an unveiling of parts of me that not everyone else gets to see.

Love is a dance of many veils being removed, one after another until you stand naked. As is. If it is good love, love that edifies, you want to dance in it because there is so much joy. If the love is fearful, full of anxiety, or selfish, it hurts. There is a range of this, which is why I often think back to the times when things “almost worked”.  Why do I do that?

I am left vulnerable and open, trying to figure out why I loved so hard, when they were clear that they didn’t. Perhaps if I had felt treated with respect in more than a sexual way, in this case, I think I would be less angry. This one was not intended to work, and I was ok with that. It hurts more because the lover I knew, the one I thought was also unveiling to me wasn’t.  I just wish there had been more honesty and consideration.

Since there wasn’t, my exit shouldn’t be a surprise. I do love myself. I look forward to further exploring what that means as I continue to let go and move forward with the rest of my life.  I just want to meet more people that really understand how to use healthy boundaries and sharing.

Credits:

A big heartfelt “Thank you!” to Zoey Hart (https://zoeyhart.wordpress.com/author/zoeyhart), for agreeing to let me use her poem on my blog. I caught it on twitter and it was perfect for use here. She gave me the courage to post this instead of just writing it to myself.

The Love Environment

I woke to the angry tapping of my window glass against the frame as it sat restlessly in the pane, the once sweet slumber of my bedroom’s sole occupant destroyed by the harmless wind that had no idea how hard it was for me to get to sleep last night. Tossing and turning, I tried to shut out the noise. Of course, I couldn’t. Thoughts churned in my mind, turning over and over on how love is about embracing and accepting things that don’t always rub you the right way. Love has a way of stretching us, of taking us past our comfort zone and teaching us about ourselves through the lessons it gives. I know I have learned the most about myself in my love experiences, from the painful ones to the joyous ones.

Photographer, D. Sharon Pruitt.

Photographer, D. Sharon Pruitt.

Friendships are with people you love. At least, I hope so. I’m going to assume (cringe @ ass-u-me) your friendships are with people you care for and not void fillers. Love has many flavors, many shades and expressions that can look like anything we understand or receive as caring. The love I have for my children is different from that of a lover, another family member, or a friend. Even friends have their different levels of closeness and depth. All are different aspects of love. I have yet to meet a person I could not love or try to love in some way. Some of these people have no idea how much I care, while others second-guess it. That is ok. Love is something you can feel on your own; however, the expression of it/the action bits require some form of mutual participation.

Balance plays a big part in the perception of love and how well a relationship functions. Most people see balance as tit-for-tat, or you give me this and I pay you back (and vice versa). That is a trade relationship, in my opinion. Last time I checked our interpersonal relationships are not business transactions. Our relationships are about connection, and everything I’ve seen involving keeping score brings an element of competition to relationships that degrade the foundation of connection. Viewing love with expectations, which are about your viewpoint rather than what the other person sees, is a sure way to place distance and stress on a relationship. Being in a curious state of mind, seeking to understand instead of to blame goes a long way in keeping connections flowing freely.

Checking judgment is also vital to the love experience. How many times has someone shared something with you that was just as surprising to you as it was for them to actually say? In a space that is safe, where you know retaliation or negative speak will not come, is the space of non-judgment. I am a highly sensitive person, and if I see judgment on someone’s features (or worse out of their mouth) I am not likely to be very vulnerable with that person again. Opening up is a risk, and is an indicator of how safe someone feels with you. Being in a place of non-reception is a disservice to the honor a person gives by handing you a piece of them. Stowing thoughts about what you would do in someone else’s shoes is a great way to begin active listening and bridge the gap of understanding. Which moves you closer to true connection, something we all want.

photo credit: Gerhard Singer via photopin cc

photo credit: Gerhard Singer via photopin cc

Curiosity and empathy help to edify communication and freedom. Asking “why” and double checking your reception of statements help your loved one feel understood and heard. What an amazing feeling to experience and hold inside as you move through the world! Empathy is closely associated with compassion and is more than just trying to logically understand where someone is coming from. Empathy means pulling from your own similar experiences to viscerally understand where someone is in their experience of the moment. It means remembering that once you were not as knowledgeable as you are now, and that we all learn as we go. We take in our experiences and grow from them, or we keep experiencing them until we do.

How we communicate our level of caring, the words we choose, the space we give them to be themselves, how well we listen to understand, and how often we reach out creates an environment of trust and acceptance for others. Hopefully, we are creating a similar environment that we would also like to feel at home in. Love, trust, and communication is a doorway that swings both ways. Working together with an attitude of flexibility and empathy brings us closer to having the best experience of love each relationship brings to our mutual table.

Death and Freedom

What is it about death that makes me ache to let go of my limitations? Maya Angelou, Robin Williams, and now an Uncle are gone. Their light snuffed out forever. I look at the projected time I have left and know that I still have my training wheels on. Why? Why have I been so afraid to assume my own talents and passions? The answer is simple. They don’t look like societies version of life.  How many of you hate the idea of nine-to-five work? Me, too.  I can do it. At least, I have in the past. With fourteen years of military service under my belt, I’ve done more than the nine-to-five. It doesn’t fulfill me. Working for someone else’s dream makes me feel like a robot, and that is merely existing to me.

How can I teach my daughters to get to know themselves and to step into their dreams; how can I ask my friends what their passions are and how they move forward on their passions, yet not do the same for myself? I’d be a very hypocritical leader and teacher if I didn’t embody my own advice. I’ve had opportunities coming in small waves for over a year now, and I’d been to insecure to take some risks and step into my dreams. No longer. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle. It can be fulfilling, even if it doesn’t look like what everyone else is doing.

freed

 

I know that I’m not the only one with my interests, though it seems we are a dying breed. Maybe that is why these passions burn so brightly in me, to bring them back into the light. Either way, there is no known second lease on life. Being here is a one-way ticket. Looking hard at this, I feel compelled to live as fully as I can, deeply, with as much love and excitement as possible. Bring on the adventure. Bring on the color. I want to be on the roller-coaster of hills and valleys with my hands held high and not clenched in my lap.  Life is too short to live it less than fulfilled.

Is there someone you always want to get to know better, but are too nervous to talk to? Do have a passion you hide from your friends and family?  Are your friends telling you what a great story teller/artist/singer/insert- your- thing-here you are?  Why not take some baby steps toward making those passions a reality? Why not allow yourself to shine in the way only you can? Join me as I step into myself, and into freedom. It is time to take the training wheels off and ride like the wind.

Follow Through

Several recent flirting expeditions brought to my attention how I see follow through in regards to relationships. Follow through? What is that? It looks like many things. Follow through is completing projects, calling when you say you will, and showing up when you say you’ll be somewhere. We all know that things happen. Sometimes something comes up, social anxiety hits, you get sick, etc. Part of follow through is making sure your excuses are not just excuses that land you on the sidelines. Did something come up just this one time and you followed through on the next attempt? Yes? That is acceptable. The problem with lack of follow through is in the consistency of it.

Follow through is not a desire or motivation issue, contrary to popular belief. It is a discipline issue. Teaching yourself to finish a goal is a matter of perspective, and is accomplished by breaking a large task into smaller, more manageable ones. You want to call that guy or girl, but anxiety is keeping you down? Text is ok for a while. Introduce playful banter, and then ask them to call you. Make it a game. Are you overwhelmed in the writing of your first novel and swimming in a sea of words, lost in your own timeline? Try note cards, a science project board with images and handwritten notes on it, or use a dry erase marker and your bedroom wall. The thing is to do something out of your ordinary, something you won’t forget or lose track of, which helps with consistency.

 

triumph powerful

 

In relationships, lack of follow through is a breeding ground for resentment and mistrust. It leaves the balanced power of a healthy and loving relationship extremely vulnerable to sabotage from inside, suffocating one (or more, if you’re polyamorous) partners power. Consistent lack of follow through can be a major reason a dating relationship never grows into more, and why an established relationship falls apart. The ability to date even after the relationship is “secured” by living together, domestic partnership, or marriage is imperative to the strength and health of the partnership. Lack of follow though in the long-term relationship creates distance and an imbalanced power dynamic. It affects dependability and respect, (yes the all-important “R” word). I find it extremely difficult to respect a friend or partner that has trouble with follow through. Mind you, if this is a known issue and the affected is really working at discipline, i.e. trying different methods to spark creativity, or using multiple reminders to remember appointments, etc., I tend to rethink the “R” word and cut them some slack.

woman triumph

Again, consistency is key, and we are not all machines. The ability to grow and evolve are very attractive qualities. Someone that knows they have an issue, that sees it, and instead of letting it victimize them uses that knowledge as fuel to grow and move toward balance, well…that is quite interesting. Admirable. Sexy. Inspirational. That is the kind of person I want to know, to be close to, to be friends with or possibly more.

You are not stuck with your “flaws”, they are pieces of you that are ripe for growth and evolution. They don’t define you, and they are definitely not all of who you are. Vulnerability is not just opening up about feelings. It is about honesty. One of the highest forms of love is honesty. Loving yourself is the first step to empowerment. Empowerment is about knowing yourself, why you make the choices you make, and knowing that you can make new choices.  Being able to change things in your life gives you freedom, which then leads to happiness. Empowerment is about seeing and effectively using personal power in a healthy way.  Lack of follow though is often an issue that can be investigated, troubleshot, and corrected if you approach it as an area that needs growth instead viewing it as a weakness you’re stuck with.

Back in my flirting life, I’m having lovely conversations and getting to know some great people. What separates friends from potential lovers (if there was initial attraction) is consistency, follow through, and the ability to evolve. Attraction is different for everyone, and one person’s criteria for a perfect ten will be different from another’s. Remembering that helps me see that there is someone for everyone. Maybe even someone for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow through affects more than interpersonal relationships. Please see below for a few links with more information on how to transform this condition.

An article outlining was to combat follow through in business:  http://psychologyforbusiness.com/articles_psychwork5.htm

A more personal take on how to get past the guilt and negative self-talk that comes from lack of follow through: http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/01/your-problem-isnt-motivation/

Lovely article, “The Art of Following Through”: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/learn-the-art-of-following-through-5-steps-to-ensure-you-will-achieve-your-goals/

Transitionary Moments and Judgement

My oldest daughter recently promoted from eighth grade, and is now an official High Schooler. At her promotion ceremony I sat behind the mother and sister of a girl who had a solo with the choir. They sang a song about how the voice of one can make a difference, about letting go of judgement and ending hate. It was another of those moments where society and separation fell away from my awareness, and I felt so connected to the collective that I felt like I was that beautiful voice encouraging myself to dream, to do those things my heart longed for, and to embrace myself.
When the girl starting singing her part I heard the mother say something about not knowing she had a solo. I listened to the comments of the sister, about how beautiful the girl’s voice was. They both shared how amazed they were that she could sing like that. Part of me wanted to judge them in that moment. I wanted to say “why doesn’t she feel safe enough to share this part of herself with you?” but I didn’t say it. I sat with that thought, the feeling that came with it, and instead began to open myself to their reaction. There was no anger there, just genuine surprise and awe. That girl did a brave thing, standing up in front of her entire graduating class and singing her heart out, exposing herself and her passion. The tears welled in my eyes and spilled over, her vulnerability and courage as she stood stripped bare in that moment moved me. It moved everyone in the place that was present and listening. Several people around me discreetly sniffled at various times, apparently feeling very strongly as well.
I looked again at the mother and sister of that talented new High Schooler and noticed their beaming smiles, the joy on their faces. Maybe she didn’t share that she had a solo for another reason. Maybe she didn’t feel safe to share it before showtime. Maybe she wasn’t sure if she would really do it until the last moment. Who knows? It is not my place to make a snap decision about it. The point is that Mom and Sister showed up, participated, and got to share in an unforgettable moment. I hope they encourage her passion, hope they help her cultivate the talent and unrealized potential there. Passion like that needs the freedom to expand and the room to roam.

 

 

The power of one person can feel nonexistent, like a drop in an endless bucket that is the people on our planet. The kicker is that one person is more like a raindrop falling into a body of water than they realize, and once that catalyst touches the other rain drops, the energy casts ripples far and wide. We get to choose the charge of our ripples, be they negative, positive, or neutral. Have you ever been around someone who expressed an opinion about something and you felt bad inside, like you were less? Hearing about a tragedy or experiencing toxic people can feel like that. Experiencing feelings that trigger the negative can color how you see yourself, as well as how you see others. Suddenly you will be seeing the negative all around and feeling worse and worse. Have you had someone say something that resonated, that felt good inside your body? A feel good song on the radio that you find yourself nodding your head to? That woman down the street that always has a kind word to say or a genuine smile as you pass? A moment like that can make your whole day, and you spend it singing to yourself, dancing in your car at a stop light, or wearing a megawatt smile all day long. Sometimes your experience is neutral, no charge at all, just chugging along as you go. Either way the charge tips, there is a reason why you feel that way.
Putting awareness on the charge of how you receive communication can teach you so much about yourself. Noticing emotions can clue you in to when you are judging yourself, and gives you the power to transform that judgement into something else, thereby giving you the power of choosing and/or changing your charge as you need to. Letting go of judgement starts with yourself. How are you ever going to see how awesome you are while telling yourself that you aren’t, or not allowing yourself to feel your feelings? I see memes all over the internet that say things like “I just want to inspire people”. I think I understand the sentiment behind that statement, but not so much the focus on outside and external. Why not inspire yourself? Why not live those dreams and light the fire that lives within you? The ripples created by happiness, by people living their passions and their dreams ignites other by proximity. Enthusiasm is contagious. Love is contagious. That fire within you that is your passion (or passions) is love, which can be shared with others. The key about sharing is that you can’t consciously share what you aren’t aware that you already posses. Isn’t life cool?