Tag Archives: spirituality

A Date With My Imaginary Sweetie

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When he takes my hand and pulls me into his world, he uses only his voice and that look he knows I can’t resist. That look says he wants to spend time with only me and I know I need that time. It’s just him and me. I get to choose, here in my imagination.  I choose the music and the setting.  Create him based on my preferences. His dark hair is soft and frothy under my fingers. His skin is olive and flushes pink when he’s shy or embarrassed. His eyes pierce me and I can’t decide if they are green, grey, or blue. His glasses frame the pointy prominent nose that lends his face more character. He’s tall to me, between 5’10 and 6’3. His hair is a bit longer than mine is now and I like watching him touch it. He smells delicious naturally and takes care of his body, his mind, and his heart. He feeds his spirit good things, so that when we get together he asks perfect things and perfect questions like: “What do you want?” and “What’s on your mind?”, and he means them. He’s genuine and consistent. Respectful and spontaneous. He is the kind of man that knows when to pick me up by the waist, gently twirl me around and kiss me breathless until he sets me on my feet. He asks after my self-care and offers his strengths to help fortify my weaknesses. He let s me teach him things too. He doesn’t make me feel small. He encourages me to shine, unafraid of the vastness inside of me. He knows he has his own vastness and our leviathans don’t need to compete when they complement each other so well.

He repeats the idea of my communication back to me for understanding and makes sure we’re on the same page. He allows me to show him things he didn’t know and deepen his knowledge of things he thought he did. We feed the foundation of each other with the understanding that we will arrive in similar places for different reasons. His lips feel like joy, like coming home, like the prelude to a wonderland. When he kisses me I feel electric, like me on fire on even more fire. He makes my light even brighter and we add to each other’s wisdom. We share. This body, this gift of life. I hold him close until my real sweetie arrives, though I’m not sure if this one will ever leave me.

We sit, eating our dinner with the world tuned out. Sharing invisible touches on the others arm and hand as we converse about the sweet things in life that juice us up. We lean in close, brushing our sides as I show him the rough new poems I’m frustrated by. My inability to feel into the truth of them stumps me. He reminds me that I am still afraid to speak my truth, and that confusion is a truth on its own. Clarity isn’t always present.  He reminds me that it’s ok to contradict myself sometimes.  That a feeling is a feeling in the moment, and in the next moment, it can change.  I decide to let myself surrender to each poem and not cage the words. Then he kissed me. And when I could think again, I realized the poem was complete except for a title.  He is so good for me. I look forward to more time with him.

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.

Intensity and Growth

I’ve been quiet a long while, as life has torn me apart and remade me a few times since my last blog. Recently, I had the pleasure of a spiritual dalliance that was so much more than I felt ready for. I only knew I was on the cusp of something I had never touched before and I didn’t want to regret another opportunity. I was afraid of the intensity of how I felt. It has been so long since I allowed myself to think about surrendering to pleasure, to vulnerability with another. Yet there I was, with this man whose energy is sensuality and sex, and I was able to allow him touch me. Not sexually; I think I would have bolted if it had become outright sexual. All I could feel was my desire to surrender, to let go. To be whatever and wherever I was in the flow of those moments with him. And so, I did. I felt a fire grow in me, one I have tasted of long, long ago, yet never like this. So sharp. So full. So dangerous to my control. Once I thought something was left unmade in me, as I had never experienced what my girlfriends described. Until him.

Was it because it has been so long for me? Was it a response to him and the irresistible call of his body? I think both perhaps. To touch him so innocently and feel him react against me had me fighting for control, with the taste of his neck on my lips and an inferno in my body. It was all I could do to just stand there and breathe, pressed against him, praying that I would not let loose this thing inside me that threatened to wreck us. The intent of our meeting was not the removal of his clothes, and there I was trembling on the edge of a massive loss of control. I rode it, learned to let the energy move through me and not to hold it trapped. Eventually the intensity calmed, to my relief. I was shaken, scared, yet still salivating. How could this be happening? I have felt so alien for most of my life, as desire does not move in me often. I’m the woman that needs to be coaxed with consistency, with impeccable word, with a slow seduction before I surrender my body. Before I’d even think to allow it.

My body was so there with him in those moments, along with part of my mind. The other part was throwing up warnings like checkered flags that the rest of me ignored. What happened next?  The moment changed, got quiet. I closed up, the fear caught me and had its way with my center. I felt his eyes on me and my mouth opened. Jagged glass fell out, and I vomited a river of fear. The last remnants of the blockages I had been healing splashed onto his feet and I couldn’t stop it. All I could do was feel, be there in my past pain and not stop the train of my very human moment. When I came to myself, the damage was done. Strangely enough, the feedback I received helped a lot. It has been a very long time since a man seemed to hear me and reflected back what he heard intelligently, without trying to fix it. He was beautiful in those moments, which he always is to me, just differently so.

I feel a shrinking in me when I think about what happened, yet I know that night couldn’t have happened any other way. We were both messing with things it was clear we weren’t ready for. Lesson learned. I know with much more clarity what I am transforming within myself, I just don’t know what will show up to effect the work. He has been a wonderful teacher via experience for me. That flavor of fear I no longer run from. I know that accepting pleasure is honoring the divine within. I will not forget that again. I feel more womanly than I have in over a decade, and that I will always cherish. I feel like thanking him for the divine spark jump-start, though I am unsure if he would understand. Those moments allowed me to shed the skin of beliefs that no longer serve me and hear that quiet inner voice more clearly.

I have no idea what will happen now that this fire that has been lit. I know I can choose to put it back to sleep or to let it out and teach it to dance with me.

I’ve really missed dancing.

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.

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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?

Love and Silence

I could start this blog with a post about all my mundane basics, about my past struggles, my obstacles, or my “win’s” in life, but I won’t. I’d like to start with something near and dear to my heart, something I never thought I’d be able to feel or express in any kind of healthy way. I’d like to start with a post about love. Sitting on a bus full of rowdy kindergartners, I experienced a moment for love that was so beautiful that I was moved to tears. My past self would have been irritated and tense, overwhelmed by the noise of the children and not have felt any kind of connection at all with my daughter as she chattered excitedly about the farm animals we would be meeting when we arrived at our destination. I’d like to take a moment and explore love through my own perception, to hopefully highlight just how profound all small things can be.

Love can be a dirty word for some, spat out like an epithet with all the bitterness and bile of love gone wrong, love betrayed and misused, love that was full of manipulation and pain. These are great examples of love expressed in the negative. Love in its truest sense, has no real requirements, no limits, no boundaries save for the comfort level of those that experience it. This concept is demonstrated best after a child leaves home to live on their own, and how that changes the relationship after the illusion of interdependence is shed. Love is freedom in a way that most adults never experience, because by the time we are under our own power we no longer see or understand love in the innocent way a child does. We see love as manipulation, because that is what society agrees it is. You give me this thing, and the gesture means you love me this much. If you want to get married you propose with an expensive diamond ring, and anything else is not “good/big/expensive/insert other superlative” enough. A person won’t share love with you in a sexual manner unless you give “fill in the blank”. If you love me you will (or won’t) “fill in the blank”. Love in the adult world is full of exchanges laden in expectation and obligation. Where is the freedom in that?

Alternative lifestyles like Polyamory and open relationships are on the rise and have been getting lots of press in the last few years (shout out to San Diego’s own Kamala Devi and Showtime’s Polyamory). Why? What makes people turn to things like that? What would allow people to open up and try new things, to love with more perceived complication? Love opens up many things when expectation, obligation, and insecurity are made transparent and handled/processed in a healthy manner. When you awaken unto love as a state of being, all things become possible. Why? Simply because when you are full of love, nothing can be taken from you. Everything that is you can be shared with others at no cost to yourself. You are free to move as you please and will, taking into account the clearly set boundaries of self and others. The need for approval from anywhere other than self falls away, and what is revealed is joy.
From joy and love comes an ease of connection with trusted others. It is from this state of love and joy that some of my most profound moments of connection have come. How did I learn to experience love as a state of being? That could probably be a series of blog topics. To sum it up, I stopped judging myself and others so much and started accepting instead, and looked to myself as the generator of my emotions. Acceptance and allowing are the first steps to really loving something or someone. It is the process of looking at self with fewer and fewer judgments and criticisms and seeing what is there, not through a filter of fear/insecurity/attachment/past/insert your favorite blockage here. Just look and see it for what it is, as if it were outside yourself. I often was hyper critical of myself in self talk, the way I speak inside my head. Saying I don’t like things about myself is saying that there is something wrong with who I am. There is nothing wrong with me, I am just in my body. Experiencing. Growing. Evolving. I look again at myself and I see my body. As it is. I love those things I saw as “imperfection” because they are pieces of me, and I am worthy of love in all of its forms.

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Here I was on my middle daughters first field trip to a farm. I was surrounded by rowdy kindergartners on a bus and she was so excited that she couldn’t stop asking questions. My middle daughter is very special. Special for many reasons, but the ones I speak of here are about behavior, mental capacity, and energy. She is a high energy child in a physically adventurous way, highly intelligent beyond her grade level, and very curious. She knows exactly what she wants, where she wants to go, and what she wants others to do, too. So, we were on this noisy bus and she, as always, was asking a million questions about animals and the farm. I only had so many answers for her. We arrived, explored, and learned together. I had this amazing time being a student along side her, for once on equal footing (sort of) and surrendering to the leadership of others for a time. Too soon, it was time to go. I sat next to her on the bus, with her near the window because me being the protector I am, I have to sit on the outside. She took my hand in her tiny one and rested her head on my shoulder, pretending to sleep. The noise of the chattering children and that of the rhythmic shifting of the Diesel engine fell away, and for the space of the 20 minute drive back to her school, we sat in silence. She lay heavily against my arm, completely relaxed and trusting, more quiet and still than I’d seen her in months. I stared straight ahead, lost to this rare moment of connection in which all the noise faded away, and all I could feel was the pulse of our hearts loving each other in silent communication. I wish I had better words to describe it, but I don’t. Time slowed down, and I was hyper aware of the weight of her hand in mine. In many ways I felt her energy like I used to when she was an infant, this tiny hurricane of intelligence and spunk held in the palm of my hand.
Suddenly, I was filled with acceptance and my heart felt so full, like it would burst into a geyser of joy and rain all over everyone riding with us. I felt my shoulders relax and suddenly tears slipped slowly down my cheeks. My heart was so full, I was so full of love that it had to spill over. Since I couldn’t share it, it spilled over through my eyes. So I sat, just feeling with my heart and sharing this moment of connection with my daughter. In those moments my frustrations and hurt feelings that had built over the last few weeks fell away, my resentments dissolved, and suddenly I could see her, my energetic, sensitive, little leader in the making. I loved her more deeply with my filters and responsibilities no longer blocking the way.
When I am in this state of love it is much easier to see her motivation for her actions and help her learn healthy ways to meet her own needs and to ask for help when she can’t. Being in this state of love helps me be a better parent and enhances all of my relationships. My goal is to have as many of those heart-full moments as possible. Those moments are priceless, and make life worth living.