Wednesday, April 30, 2014

greater than through love and support: an inventory

Over 25 years ago I was given the gift of a tool in which I could do a daily inventory. The trick...but not really a trick, but the process to get to this was to really be willing to take a look at myself. What were my patterns? What were things that cause obstruction between me, others, my higher power, whom I choose to call God? I worked with others and learned how to take that deep and searching inventory and out of that came this wonderful view of myself that continues to evolve to this day. "wonderful" does not mean I am absorbed with ego. "wonderful describes that feeling of being able to "see" myself in a more objective way. I spent most of my life being so hard on me...being downright ugly. The things that floated around in my head were vile, and I took out my frustrations on me! The inventory required that I look at both character defects and assets. That I begin to see myself as a human greater than or less than...just a human and by doing this, I was committed to working on breaking patterns that distrupted my life, hurt others, caused a lack of health and wellness..

Well, I have never gotten this down perfectly, but I am more aware of my own behavoir and very willing to make change when needed. In the begnining I can remember someone gave me format by which to take inventory and I did it night...actually, I journalled religiously for the first 4 or 5 years. But, I started letting that go and relied mostly on prayer and review at the end of the day.

Recently, with all that has been going on, I have been thinking so much about this and thinking about wanting to do it in the more formal, wrote way that I did when I was first starting. But the guide for this needs to be based on who I am now and some of the goals and things that I want in my life and have grown to understand. So, I have written my own nightly inventory. I can certainly add to it, but right now I want to use this and follow through on it.

It is such a great keeps me more honest with myself and those around me...

1.)did I pray today?
2.) did I give the equal amount of time to listening as I did prayer
3.) did I actively listen to people in my life and be present when with them.
4.) did I eat healthily today?
5.) did I exercise today?
6.) did I do something for someone else (without sharing it).
7.) did i do something loving for myself?
8.) did I ask for help if I did not know something today?
9.) did I steer away from conversations that were not postiive and affirming of others?
10.) did I attend to details in our financial matters at home
11.) how did I achieve humility today by fulfilling my excellence?
12.) did I forgive today?
13.) did I seek to understand?
14.) did I seek to be compassionate?
15.) did I seek peace when confronted with conflict?
16.) did I stay silent when neccessary
17.) did i seek my spirtual connection instead of filling anything negative with behavoir?
18.) did i have some fun?
19.) did I stay in the moment, the day?
20.) did I see the wonder that is this creation?'s a high bar, but why not? Why not strive this way. I know that in each of these things that when I do them, life is better. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Greater than through love and support: another day

The last time I blogged was December. No coincidence. It was around that time that my back went out the first time. Through working hard and resting, I began to recover only to have sciatica come up and take me down. So, here is is the end of April and today was the first time I can remember that I stood up without being in pain. It is a marvelous feeling I want to keep....but one that I have some reparations to myself before that becomes a sustained thing.

Here I am 5 years into this journey of better health and wellness and I find myself not on the decline, but having had some set backs. None of it happened overnight. In fact, I have had some time lately to sit and do some breathe and I can almost track the moment I veered off. I was sitting at daddy's bedside as he was dying. He always kept a huge bowl of candy for children who visited and for himself with his diabetes in case something came on quick. It was full to the brim as he had been on that damned feeding tube for so long. I sat there holding his hand as he slept so it would wake me in the night if he tried to get up in his he was slipping away, but so full of morphine..and when i would wake..I just would reach down and eat that candy to squelch whatever..fear, loneliness, anxiety..all of it.

It had been so long since I had had any and it was like crack. It eased me..and I ate it all in those remaining days. But what was happening was me trying so desperately to hold it together. It was a tough time and lots going on. I had never been in this place before. I called people, I prayed, I cried a little...I thought I was doing what I needed...but this, this was hard, and I never took the time to really decompress from it. From all the things i found myself doing for him at the end that I never imagined I would see or do. The things I listened much. And so, what did this addict do...I "fed myself to comfort". It is one of my favorite is so true. I do not drink or drug...but there in all that, I allowed myself things I KNEW were not good for me...and I attempted to satiate something in me that was insatiable. Daddy passed and I went right back to a place that was not the right fit, to a huge event...and then there came another opportunity and I went to it and while it was amazing in what I learned and grew and the people I met, I never slowed. I never stopped..I just kept going. After all these years of hearing and repeating, of knowing on many levels that I am not a vacuum, that when I am filled with emotions and disturbed in some way that It just does not just disappear into the I was...and old patterns did a return of about 25lbs....

Losing weight has never been what this is all is about living the most healthily that I enjoin myself and this life with the maximum opportunity to enjoy it and to be of service in it. That was what I felt so akin to in the changes that came to me...and yet, eating out became more regular, eating things that I would never eat (pizza, burgers, pasta...butter)..etc became more regular and for a while I was able to maintain because I was so involved in the building of the field and it was so physical...and i was still able to run. But as I added a little more weight back on, the joints did not like it, I was more fatigued again and I just could not stand the pressure I was putting on me. I gave way physically to what I was not dealing with spiritually and emotionally.

The ironic part is that I could see it, but just could not get a handle on it, until someone I care for very deeply became ill again. It brought up in me all the crying from a year and half ago I had not done and it held up what had been going in so vibrantly because as much as I want to do, as much as I want to be there, as much as I want to be available, I was not physically well myself. I had to take a long hard look at where I was and see that, while this last almost two years have had spectacular things, I was not doing as good of a job taking care of me as I needed to....and the journey that I was so blessed with...well, that is where I needed to be again.

I remember when my friend Celia's husband had cancer. She is writer and she said that she was going to stop while he was being treated, because it was hard to find humor during that time. I get that. When someone you love so very much is dying..dying in a way where there really is a timeclock, there is pain and there are days when you see them in ways that make you wonder God's plan, Garden parties, galas, fundraisers, and well, just about anything just don't seem so.....whatever. I found myself in need of getting back to basics. Pairing down some of the things I was doing, and really looking at what it was that I could do to be there for those I love and take care of me in order to do that.

Because of you all...because of grace...because of so many gifts, I know how to exercises, to eat right, to do things that I could never do before. I just had to do what I have always had to do when I let things get to this level...and that is MAKE A DECISION. A lot of people say they "turn things over". Well, I don't think I have that power. The power in my life whom I choose to call God takes that which I am willing to decide to let go of. All I have to do is make that decision. I have done so.

Mind you, I am as common as a daisy in the summer. I am surrounded by people that have this all the time in their lives and I am particualy mindful of the fact that my issues are some pretty "high class" problems compartarively. That, however, does not mean that I don't have to feel, walk through what I am going through, and practice those things that keep me healhiest and most prepared for the good and the bad as it happens.

What I find most extraordinary though is that by such love, by such grace, I am given this moment to see it...and to move into the right direction and stayed tapped into the ability to make those decisions.

There is a lot going on in my life right now..but being with my loved ones comes first...and if I am able to do more right now, it will be because it fits with how I am treating myself and will ensure that I can be fully there at that time.  To give more than I am capable of and still be healthy makes me a martyr, to give less means I am hiding. I seek neither. Being right sized...and usually that means being in the moment.

Writing this is my inventory in so many ways. I leave so much vulnerable when I share with others...but that was the commitment I made when I was given this gift. I am still transformed, nothing has changed there, I, however, am in a place where I am learning another of life's opporunities to embrace the moment and truly walk through it a day at  a time.

Trust that I will be writing this regularly...for me. :)

I remain so very very grateful.

Thanks be.