Thursday, March 31, 2011

thoughts on a new year

Another year began yesterday and while I have spent probably more time than suggested reviewing the past year, I feel it only appropriate to take a few days off. Some much needed time to renew my mind, body and soul before jumping forward.

Every once in awhile I believe it's good to stop altogether. Quiet your mind and sit in your thoughts, reflect on the past and really get a sense of what you want to for the future.

It's in those moments that you have the ability to see clearly what you truly desire.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One year down, three to go

One year down and three to go. With that written I feel it only appropriate to have a look back at a year that has been both progressive and challenging. Of the 40 things on my list to do, this is what I have managed to achieve:

knit a scarf - thank you Jennifer for teaching me. I have so much to learn!
learn to make croissants - interesting and brutally time consuming. I will probably not be making them again
rock wall climb - so much fun. Thanks to Julie for getting 100 ft in the air.
go to confession - something every Catholic should do at least once every 20 years
do hot yoga for 20 consecutive days - adhering to the practice was great for my body and mind
learn to meditate properly - again thanks to Jennifer for taking me to the Zen Center and sharing with me something so close to her heart
fly alone - the one thing I'm most proud of
snowboard - incredibly hard
skinny dip -enough said
write something for publication - done. catch me every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at
throw a party - overwhelming and fun
attend a comedy show - a laugh a minute
fly a kite - umm, sadly overrated but on the plus side my husband is now a kite lover
attend a concert - never liked big crowds or live music and this was an attempt to get over that...fairly successful yet I still don't see what all the fuss is about
find a career path - done. sealed. and delivering.
volunteer - now a board member of a group dedicated to Human Trafficking issues.
read the bible - in an attempt to know what people keep referencing I thought it would be a good move. sorry to say that I've stalled in Deuteronomy
eat at benihana - a silly childhood dream realized.

It looks like a lot and while most of the items are small they helped me to break out of that unhappy spot that I was in a year ago. Over the past few days I've been trying to think what, if anything, all of this has done for me. In a lot of ways I don't feel any different. At times I've been feeling like nothing has changed but when I look carefully and am honest with myself things have shifted and my life is on a new path. As subtle as change can be at times we must remember that there are no constants in life. Everything is always changing and I know that through my own design I have been able to create that change and move my life in the direction I truly want.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

small steps to living the life you want:

1. Think about what you truly want. I know it sounds easy but when you really truly analyze what you want vs what you think you should want you can find some surprising answers.
2. Write a list and refer to it often. By looking at the things you want to do you're getting your juices flowing.
3. Pick one and get started. Don't overwhelm yourself.  Break it down into easy little steps and get started.
4. Never think that you've failed. Whether you just gave some thought or took a step forward and two back it's all progress. Allowing yourself to have space to create the life you want mentally is an opening.
5. Nothing is set in stone. Always give yourself to make changes along the way. Tweak the list, change it all together, it's your life after all.

Getting started can often be the biggest challenge. Most of us don't really know what we want or aren't honest enough with ourselves to admit that we aren't living the life we exactly wanted. There is nothing that says you can't create the best life possible for yourself. Hopefully, this won't sound to spacey but the universe wants you to have the life you want and don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

there really might be sun behind the clouds

Finally, the sunshine is beginning to break through the clouds. I was beginning to think that my bad mood was a permanent shift in my being. Honestly, when you start yelling at homeless people asking for money it's pretty obvious that you are not only a massive bitch but in a very very bad place. It's embarrassing to realize how nasty you can be. I'm going to blame it all on March. It's always been a miserable month for me. Everyone who knows me knows that if it's March chances are that I will think that the sky is falling and for me it is. It's a time when I just want to withdraw into my mood, do way too much thinking and figure my life out. It's a work in progress but at least there is progress. At times life may not feel like it's moving in the direction you want or even at all but if you can just sit in that feeling you might just notice that it's a great opportunity to make those little adjustments that you are in need of.

Monday, March 14, 2011

observations of a bad mood

So last week sucked for no other reason than my mood decided to shift. According to my Buddhist friend we are to feel each emotion completely, not fight against it and allow ourselves to just be in that moment. I have to admit that although it was a struggle, especially when my mood was telling me to cuss out the car that just cut me off, I did it. I felt like total and complete shit (for lack of a better word). I was angry at the world and I was sitting in it. Up to my eyeballs in defeat, rage, sadness and any other word you can think of to describe someone who feels as though they've made to many sacrifices and are no longer with options to change what they created.

Not a pleasant thought, I know, but sometimes life isn't pleasant and it's not real to pretend otherwise.

In attending to those feelings with acceptance I was able to see things more clearly. It was almost as if I was an observer of myself. OK, so I wasn't perfect in the process but then again I'm thinking that the Buddhist thought would be that whatever I was is what I was meant to be. At some point I saw what was lying beneath those feelings-why it occurred, where I became bitter, why I'm angry. What happened next was unexpected, I found a sense of peace. I don't really want to associate with giving up but something all together better. I am no longer struggling with myself or an ideal that I'm trying to attain. What is simply is.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

random thoughts on the end of friendship

It's a curious thing when friendships run their course. Perhaps just as curious is the phrase "run their course". It's not as though relationships have a use by date but lately it feels as though many of my relationships have been falling by the wayside.  Their expiration date passes and we're suddenly pushed off into different directions only able to glance back quickly wonder why and how it all happened. Of course I reassure myself that it's all for the best- two people, two directions. Mine conveniently perceived as up. Theirs conveniently troubled and pathetic. So happy we are then to be free of the others weight.

As time quickly passes and more friendships reach their expiration date I have to wonder if it isn't a matter of up or down at all but two souls going on their way to live their life intended.

Friday, March 4, 2011

traveling can do funny things

It's been a long time since I've been on a plane by myself. It would be vaguely heroic to say that it's because I've been busy being a dedicated wife and mother but that is simply not true.  I've just been a total chicken about it really. In the past I've even gone as far as to purchase airline tickets only to back out a couple days before the flight. While I'm certain that didn't go over well with my traveling companion I rationalized that it would be her burning corpse that would plummet to the earth and not mine. At which point I could triumphantly say "I knew it. I just knew this would happen." Only my premonitions were more or less...not.

I haven't always been such a morbid reluctant traveler. It's even safe to say that being a traveler was a way I defined myself but then lifes events tend to add up (emergency landings, bus crashes, my son, my parents equating my travel to a death in the family -you know, the normal stuff) and neuroses take over. Case in point, me. Every comment or thought became a premonition. Morbid thoughts of flaming planes, catastrophic natural disasters, train derailments, etc. invaded my mind. Most disturbing was that in addition to seeing every horrific detail, I'd feel it. Oh yes, totally and completely rational thought, I know. Which is why nearly a year ago, with a quivering hand, I wrote the goal of flying alone.

Today I'm proud to say that I actually did it, a week ago today I boarded a flight to New York. Sure cocktails and anti-anxiety medicine was a key part of getting me on the plane, both ways, but I did it. I did it because I needed this trip more than anything. So evey time my mind would go to that dark morbid place an unrecognizable voice would reach up and yell "SHUT UP!"

Thank you angry little voice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's the MET I bet...

A few snapshots into one of the best parts of an incredible weekend.