Thursday, October 28, 2010

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

I'm reading Brene Brown's awesome book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and knew that when I read this quote I had to post it.

"To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight-and never stop fighting."  by E.E. Cummings

It's absolutely crazy that we have to fight a lifelong battle to be who we were created to be.  What a messed up society.    It's easier to pretend to be what everyone else wants or expects you to be than to be who you really are.  Why is it so hard?  What are we afraid of?  I know, we're so worried about what others will think of us.  Maybe they'll think I'm a little nuts or maybe they'll think I'm some kind of weirdo, OR maybe they will admire you for your guts and maybe they'll find the courage to be themselves too?

Which brings me to my all time favorite quote:

  • "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."         by Marianne Williamson

Monday, October 25, 2010

Asking for a Little Encouragement

This is so unlike me to ask for help but I know that I'm going to need it!

For the first time in a very long time I woke up this morning thinking positively about my day.  Each minute I have to monitor my thought process.  My mind so easily wanders back to it's normal, negative way of thinking. 

A therapist I went to  many years ago told me that your thoughts travel a familiar path in your brain and when you find them heading down that path you have to intentionally shift them, creating a new path.  The more you do it you will train your brain so that this becomes it's default pathway.
I believe there are two reasons for my waking up this way. 

1.  I have spent the last two weeks basically living at my daughter's apt. helping her with her new baby, my first grandson.  Just being away from the house and my unhealthy routine has been good.  And, of course, seeing my new little grandson everyday helped too!

2.  Reading the following blogs.

A Design So Vast
Life Through a Cracked Lens
Ordinary Courage
Erica Staab

So, I'm asking for anyone who feels like it to encourage me in my minute by minute quest to staying positive today.  It's an uncomfortable feeling asking for help.  I'm proud of myself!
Thank you ladies!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Change, Do, Feel

I've always talked about "midlife" as an opportunity, not a crisis.  Ironically, I now find myself in a crisis.   But really, they are the same thing aren't they?  Crisis brings opportunity.

This is my opportunity to allow myself to live authentically.  True to who I know that I am but have never really fully become.  Though difficult, it is exciting.

It is, and always has been, my thoughts that keep me from living a full life.  I need to take control of my thought life.  I need to intercept the negative and replace them with the positive.  It'll take practice.

My therapist and I talked about CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) the other day.  She said that first you have to change your thoughts, then you change what you do,  and then you will feel differently

This is helpful to me because I always think that I need to feel better before I "do" better.  Now I know that I have to work on changing my thought process and "do" what I know I want to do and then I will feel how I want to feel.  Am I making sense here? 

Here's an example.

I wake up in the morning and my first thoughts are about how my house isn't the way I want it to be and that I'm somehow flawed because I can't keep it the way I want and that I'll never be able to do it.

I would then deliberately change these thoughts.  Shift them to the positive.

The house doesn't look the way I want it to, but that's o.k.  It doesn't say anything about who I am.  I am not flawed because there is unfolded laundry in the living room and dishes in the sink.  Today I will  take steps to get things the way I would like them.    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  Phil. 4:13

Then, even if I don't feel like it or don't feel capable or whatever, I begin to straighten things out.  It's after the "doing" that the "feeling" comes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Me? Write a Novel????

Ever since I can remember I've said that I wanted to write a book.  I took one creative writing course about a million years ago.  I haven't really ever completed writing anything.   Actually, the title of this blog is the title of a memoir I've thought of writing about my wonderful Nana.

Anyways, I've decided to try something crazy, especially for me.  I'm going to try and write a novel in a month!  Sounds nuts, right?  I agree.  The whole idea is to basically free-write.  No editing, nothing.  Just write.  You can read more about it at NaNoWriMo.

I'm pretty excited about this, but nervous too.  For someone who's never really written anything, to write about 1700 words a day is a daunting task.  Add to that that I'm not real good at follow-through on these types of things.  I'm really going to try.  Whatever I do accomplish will be awesome!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The "Digital Age"????? Phooey!

I am a lover of books, libraries and bookstores.  I love how a book feels in my hands and how the pages smell.  I love the smell of old books in the library and brand new books in the bookstore.  Once in a while you can find me hanging out in Barnes and Noble with a stack of books next to one of those comfy chairs.  I stay for hours!  hmmm....I haven't done that in a very long time.  I must go soon!

So, anyways, my husband bought a Kindle.  I get that they're cool.  I get the whole idea of saving the trees and stuff.  But, come on!  It's NOT a book!  We joke about this all the time.  He says I'm living in the dark ages.  He says I'm an old fart.  Well, I found this quote over on Kim's blog, Life through a Cracked Lens, and will be sure to show it to my husband who thinks he so "hip"!

"Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change, windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind." 

"Books are humanity in print. " 
 Barbara W. Tuchman
So, what do you think?  Which side do you weigh in on?  (I promise not to yell at you if you pick the wrong side!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Practice of Yoga

I took one yoga class, several years ago, at a local YMCA.  I loved it.  So, why did I never take another class?  I have no idea!  It really doesn't make any sense at all.

So, as I begin to create this part of my life, as I work at living like my authentic self, I think that I will try a yoga class again.  I love the spirituality of it , the focus, the intentionality, the love I give myself when I do it.

In my meanderings here in the blogosphere I came across Judith Hanson Lasater's blog about yoga.  She has been practicing yoga since 1971 and has written several books on the subject. 

I love this Tweet of hers from Oct. 9th:

To practice is 2 remember the Self; to remember the Self is 2 know God;
2 know God is to be free; 2 be free is to remember the Self. Jai!

I am really looking forward to learning from her and beginning my practice.  Just the thought of it brings me PEACE.

Meet My Beautiful Grandson!

My first grandchild:

I think he's pretty close to being perfect!  I am his Nana after all!
Ever since I took my Perfect Protest pictue I've been wanting to change it.  Am I obsessing over it and wanting it to be perfect?  Probably.  I also want to tell why it is the way it is, but I'm resisting that.  The picture is just fine the way it is.  It's honest and true.

Each day I check out Brene Brown's Bog, Ordinary Courage.  From there I hopped on over to Gene Smith's blog this morning and just love what he says here!  I believe that the first sentence is something his Zen teacher said. 

Who you are right now is more magnificent than anything you could imagine turning yourself into.
Don’t wait another moment for someone to rescue you. You have the power. Turn your life on!

I am going to repeat this over and over to myself today.  I want to believe it.  I do believe it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Perfection is for the Birds!

Although I don't think that they're capable of it either! 

I joined the Perfect Protest over on Brene Brown's blog Ordinary Courage. You should check it out.

 Perfection is something that can never be achieved.  So why do so many of us try to be perfect?  Do you know anyone that's attained perfection?  Me neither.  It's impossible.  So let's stop trying.  I know that I'm tired of failing at being perfect or doing things perfectly.  It's exhausting and demoralizing.

I berate myself for not being able to keep a perfectly clean and organized home.  I think I'm a bad mother and wife because I don't like to cook and rarely have a meal planned.  I'm overweight.  I have depression.  I don't have a lot of energy.  Blah Blah Blah.  There's more, but I won't go on.

None of those things say anything about who I am.  However, these things do say something about me:

I am a follower of Christ
I an an encourager
I am caring and compassionate
I read non-fiction
I let my hair go to it's natural gray at the age of 40
Family is incredibly important to me
I am selfless (most of the time)
I cannot tell a lie

As of this moment, I am going to concentrate on my good qualities.  I'm going to "ixnay" expecting myself to be perfect.  I will live in the moment and be gentle with myself.  I will stop comparing myself to others.

I am on a mission to let myself be me.  What I do and even how I dress will soon match the me on the inside.  I'm excited.  I'm scared.  I am determined.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Baby had a Baby!

"It's so hard", she said. " First you go through nine months of an uncomfortable pregnancy, then 24 hours of really hard labor and delivery and then you come home and have to learn how to nurse and take care of a brand new baby when you are exhausted!"

I told her that I remember how hard it is and that she and her husband will get through it and the baby will be fine!  But daughter's don't always listen to their mothers.

On October 8, 2010 my baby gave birth to her gorgeous son.  I can't even explain how it feels to be a Nana.  What a miracle!

I've had the priviledge of staying with my daughter, her husband and the baby for a few days to help out.  They generally utilize me in the middle of the night when my poor daughter is totally stressed out, the baby is crying, and spitting up what he just drank.  The other night I finally convinced her to let me feed him a bottle so that she could get some rest.

The baby had his first appointment with the doctor and is doing very well.  He's almost back to his birth wieght and is getting the hang of nursing.  My daughter and her husband are very relieved.  Of course, I told them that he was fine, but they needed to hear it from a professional.

I understand.  22 years ago when my daughter was born I wouldn't let my mother tell me anything, let alone help.  Darn pride!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

Back in January 2010 I received some news that was shocking, difficult and happy at the same time.  Hearing this news caused an instant paradigm shift for me.  Everything felt and feels different to me now.  I am questioning all that I thought that I knew about my life and the plans that I had for it.  I am devastated.  In the past 3 months I have behaved like someone other than myself.  I betrayed myself and others.  I'm at a loss.

All that I know to do is to put one foot in front of the other.  No longer is living authentically an option.  If I am to go on living, I have to be me.

I will keep my chin up.  I will believe in myself and trust the plan that God has for my life.

So, the posts here will mostly be about my journey to living authentically.  However, I will also go off in other directions like photography, family, books I'm reading , etc.

I hope that you will enjoy your time here.

Many Blessings,