Someone Like Me…..

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I LOVE  that two years ago I came up with this for the name of my blog.  You know why?  Because…..I am just a regular gal, trying to find my way in this world.  I don’t necessarily ‘have it all together’.  In fact, in many ways, I Am Unlovely.  By that I mean, I would not stand out in a crowd.  I’m not the life of the party.  I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t stand up in front of people and pretend I have figured it all out. I am not slim or particularly beautiful.  I don’t wear the finest clothes or drive an expensive car or live in an expensive house.

I’m figuring it out, just like you are, day by day.  And I personally think that is our lot in life – to figure it out.  We don’t ‘get there’ – in my opinion.  When we finally DO get there, well, I believe we’ll be ready for the next phase…beyond this world as we know it.

I have seen myself at my Very Worst.  I have been in a place in my life where there was nowhere to go but up.  I have lived through my own personal hell, and that experience has made me a much, much more humble and grateful person.  And it has made me see that the human spirit is SO incredibly strong and we can choose, honestly, to get through the darkest nights and live to be stronger and deeper because of them…or we can choose to live in bitterness and angry frustration instead. Our choice.

So, I’m here to say, whatever you might be going through, that if Someone Like Me can get through it – so can you.  And if I can help by being a mentor on here with my words..then I would honored to do so.  And if I can help in any other way whatsoever, just being a listening ear, perhaps…then let me know. But, I don’t have all the answers. In fact, I believe most of the answers actually come from within ourselves.  We KNOW we need.  But sometimes we are too far away from ourselves to even believe that.  And if that’s the case, then it’s our job to return to our self…so we can hear that voice within us.

We’re all in this together, as far as I am concerned.  So maybe we can join hands and help each other out in this big, crazy, wonderful world called Life.

2015 – Shall We Bring Compassion?

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compassion

Life is starting to settle down now after the holidays.  Not sure about you, but I’m glad to be getting ‘back into the swing of things’ once more.

In years past, my first post of the new year was about my new year ritual – intention setting, looking back, looking forward, deciding what changes I need to make to become the person I wish to be in the coming year.  But not this year.  This year there were no rituals.  Why not? Because I’ve grown darn tired of trying to ‘fix’ myself.  What if I’m ok, just as I am? What if I’m good enough, right now, just as I am?   Of course I am!!!

For those of you on my facebook page, you might remember my AHA moment in early December. I realized, during a yoga class, of all places, just how much I’ve been warring with myself – particularly in the area of my body.  But thinking about it even more, I’ve been warring against myself in many other areas as well.  I’ve never really felt completely at peace with where I was.

In this new year, at long last, I DO feel at peace, right where I am.  I don’t feel the need to always be at war with myself about how I need to do it better, or differently.  Or how I need to always be pushing myself to become something else.  So, if there’s one thing I’m bringing into 2015, it’s more compassion.  More compassion for myself, most definitely. And also more compassion for others.  Because we are all on our own journey. We are all working at learning the lessons life throws at us.  And some of us approach those lessons differently than others.  So what?  I believe each of us are doing the best we can  with the tools that we have.

Recently I was listening to a speaker on youtube.  She suggested that what is inside of us is what we project into the world.  If that’s chaos, then that’s what we’re putting out there around us.  If this is true, then I’d much rather be giving off peace than a constant feeling of dissatisfaction, worry, or self-loathing.

Now, I consider myself a pretty confident, strong woman.  Some might say I’m driven to becoming better and better version of myself.   And I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with that!  But I am starting to believe that ‘becoming better and better’ needs to  be paired with a great amount of compassion for ourselves.

So, perhaps some of you will join me in bringing a larger amount of compassion into your own self-care, and spreading that compassion into the lives of those around you.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2015!

Into The New Year….

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It’s 5;20 a.m. where I am, and I am awake. Why, I’m not sure, because I did not go to bed till almost 2!

But, here I am.  I awoke thinking of the New Year.  Every year, once Christmas is over and sometimes even before it’s over, I turn my thoughts to the year ahead – and the year that is now behind me.  And usually, I make plans to put into action.  But this year, I’m choosing to be more ‘still’ around this time than I have been before.

I’ve  been reading last year’s action plan.  And I must say that I could very well choose to feel like a failure around this past year. You see, for the past 6 months my mind was locked in some strange kind of overwhelm.  Something didn’t ‘feel’ right about what I was doing.  But I had a job that I’d always thought I wanted – a work from home online job.  Courses were being offered to me and while I tried to take them, the overwhelm grew big..and bigger still.  I was encouraged to become a health coach and given all the resources I needed –  but still the overwhelm and inner feeling of confusion grew.  And instead of listening, I grew impatient with myself.  I berated myself because it seemed, outwardly, that all was right – and I couldn’t understand why, inwardly, all felt entirely wrong.

And you know what?  There is nothing bad I can say about the job itself, or the people I worked for, and with.  They were, and are, awesome  The problem lay somewhere inside myself.  And it took me a long, long while to begin to listen.

And because I did not listen, I began to lose myself in some ways.  My self care began to suffer.  Good things I had set into place for myself went out the window. “I don’t care” and “It doesn’t matter” began to rear their ugly heads again.  But I didn’t see it – until the day came when things changed and I made a decision that I could no longer work there.  That decision gave me a HUGE amount of relief.  But the time it took me to make it had taken it’s toll on me.  My self confidence paid a price.  My belief in myself wavered.  I began to second-guess myself.  September and October were difficult months for me.

To get back on track, I spent a few hours with my counselor.  And I’ve come to realize that, for me at least, if it doesn’t feel right, I’ve gotta listen. Even if I can’t discern why.

What I’ve learned is that sometimes, even something that looks really good on the outside is just not a good fit.  I’ve decided that’s ok!  It’s nobody’s fault – it just is – and in order for me to stay in a healthy place, I really, really need to listen to what my inner self is saying.  That feeling of constant overwhelm – that small voice that is saying – something isn’t right for you here – I NEED to listen.

And while I’m still trying to figure out what that whole time was all about, I have realized a few things.  One, I am not a visual learner.  I get overwhelmed when faced with pages and pages of script that I need to use to learn something.  I need to be hands-on.  Two, I need to be out in the world.  Working online is too solitary for me – I need to be with others.  And three, the teaching itself was triggering for me.  It seemed to me to be very black and white. “If you’re not getting ahead in THIS – that means you’re not doing THAT.  It brought back memories of my church going years where many of the teachings I sat under were the exact same thing.  “If you’re not feeling strong in your faith, it’s because you’re not doing something right!”  And that kind of talk just triggers a lot of unhealthy stuff in me, personally.  I spent a lot of time healing from just that kind of black and white thinking.

And I guess that triggers me because I no longer believe that life, or people, or situations, come in just black…or just white.  There are a lot of grey areas in life.  There are a lot of unknowns, and people (at least this person!) cannot be made to feel that because they feel a certain way, or are not getting to where they ‘should’ be, that  they’re doing something wrong.  I just don’t believe that is healthy for anyone.

Anyhow, I know it’s going right for a lot of other people.  It just was not right for me.  This is just my story, no one else’s…

Learning to listen to that inner voice, I’m learning, is a life-long education.  Just when I thought I was doing really great, another lesson comes along to teach me not to get too cocky. 🙂

In the meantime, something else is in the works that I’m not free to talk about at the moment, but is very exciting and I will share with you when I can – in a few months time. And though not all is clear, I have never felt more at peace.  “At peace” is one of the feelings you will experience when you begin to listen to that all-knowing, inner voice – I call it my ‘God – voice”.

And you know what?  We all have one! But sometimes, in the din of society and people telling us how it ‘should’ be, it can be very hard to hear!

A Christmas Wish…

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I’m back, blogworld.  After almost a year of silence, I’ve decided to return – and I’ve missed being here. To those of you still following, thank you!

There’s something on my mind, today, this being the eve (of the eve!) of Christmas day.  And that something is my relationship with God.  The way I see things nowadays is not the way I was brought up to believe how things were.  You see, I was brought up to believe there was only one way to God.  But I cannot believe that anymore.

I am a Reiki practitioner, and have been for almost 10 years now.  And as a practitioner, I have had the honor of  sitting in sacred circles with men and women of all beliefs and religions.  Men and women who’s hearts yearn for God as much as my heart has yearned – for most of my lifetime.  I used to believe that there was a certain protocol that needed to be followed in order to have a relationship with God.  But being with these committed people of so many different faiths, I have come to believe that God meets us right where we are – regardless of our chosen faith or belief system.

Now, I realize that some reading this might think I’ve gone way off the beaten track, and that my own eternity might be in danger.  That may be!  But I can no longer believe that there is an “us” and/or “them” where God is concerned.  I just cannot believe that anymore.  Period.  I believe God loves each and every one of us just the way we are – and is ready and willing to meet us as soon He/She sees that tiny speck of desire to know Him/Her more.

And, within these sacred circles, I have seen exactly that.  I have seen the Muslim woman with a deep love for God as she knows Him/Her.  I have seen Indigenous peoples with a sacred knowledge and belief system that blows me away and causes me to long to know more.  I have experienced Reiki from those who are not sure of their faith at all, but know that there is something greater than themselves out there in our vast universe, and are seeking to know more.

Something that I’ve found interesting is to learn that there was another gospel not included in the Bible as we know it – the Gospel of Thomas.  And guess what?  In that gospel, ALL will enter the kingdom of God.  Now, I’ve got to wonder why that gospel did not get included! (And, too, there are many other books that were not included in the Bible)!

God, as I know and experience Him/Her, is a loving God who longs for a personal relationship with us.  I believe He/She is all around us, and in us – every one of us.  That may offend some, and I’m sorry about that.  But how can a loving God say – well you can come in, but sorry, you cannot?  Could we say that to our children?  Sorry, son, but you’re not allowed – but daughter – I open my arms to you!  I Just. Don’t. See. It.

Anyhow, while I’m not here to argue religion with anyone, I am here to wish everyone who is reading this a very Merry Christmas, however you celebrate it, and however you understand it.  God, however you understand God, is omnipotent, and omnipresent – to all of us.

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you reading this, and may 2015 bring lovely surprises to you all!

And, I’ll see you in the New Year!

xxoo

Chere

It’s One O’clock am, And What Am I Doing Here?

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I cannot sleep.  It might have something to do with the wind, which is howling outside my bedroom window.  It may be because I have my window full on open, so I can hear the wind howl.  I love windstorms – ever since I can remember I have loved them.  Thunder and lightning as well, though we don’t get that so much in the part of the country I am in nowadays…

Why am I so wide awake?  Is it because this evening I poured over some of my old journals, and they took me back? Back to both good places, and not so good places.  They made me realize just how far I’ve come these past few years…and that made me feel proud.

It might also be because lately, I’m finding that I feel more intensely than I ever have before.  This morning, as I sat in a restaurant for breakfast, at the table next to me there was a 3 year old girl crying.  At one point her father told her that she’d better stop crying or he’d take her out to the truck and leave her there while he and her mother finished their breakfast.  My heart felt as if someone had stuck a knife in it, and I grieved for that tiny child.  In my heart I cried out to that father…please….please don’t say things like that!

And later in the day, as I stood in line in a grocery store I watched as a young woman turned a tiny boy (maybe two years old?)  over to a young man…..a separated couple, perhaps?  Maybe Dad getting custody of his son for the weekend?  Just speculating, but that little boy was upset.  He did not want to leave that woman, and he clearly did not want to go with that man.  His sobs got the attention of many of us standing in those grocery lines…and I found myself praying for that tiny boy, asking God to wrap arms around him and calm him…asking that the man this boy was going with would not become angry with his cries…

Somehow I can’t stop thinking about those two children that passed through my life  today. And thinking, too, of my own two year old grandson, who is loved beyond words.  Children are so incredibly precious.  They arrive here on earth so innocently, asking  little, yet teaching us so, so much!   And sadly, still, even in this day and age of awareness,  too many  come into this life and are robbed of the love they deserve.

Children are a gift from God.  I believe that, with all my heart.  And it is for us as adults to cherish them, to honor them, and to handle them as carefully as we would handle precious jewels…because that’s exactly what they are…..precious jewels.

In my prayers recently,I have been asking God to help me see the world through His/Her eyes.  Is this the reason for my intense feelings of late?  Today, those two sad children made my heart hurt.  

Is that how God feels when we are sad?

Amidst The Unknown

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I stand here

In this strangely unknown place

A twilight zone, of sorts

Learning to be content

With not seeing

I left behind familiarity

Though, troublesome as it was

Was still routine

Predictable

This place that is between this

And that

Here

and there

This place of discomfort

The In Between

I do not like this place

And yet,

I’ve been here before

Many times

And that voice within me

That God-voice

reminds me once again

to have patience

to have faith

to trust

and things will unfold

as they are meant to

in time.

And so I stand

and when I can, I take a step or two

when I see a clear path

a way to go forward

But mostly I wait

in expectation.

On the edge of something, though I’m not sure what,

Waiting for something, something new,

To unfold.

The Beauty In The Fog

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fogIt’s 9:10 pm here in Victoria, BC, and I’ve just come home from walking the dog.  It’s foggy tonight, and has been foggy all day as well. In fact, the fog is so thick in this part of town that I can see maybe 10 feet in front of me, and beyond that, only thick grey mist.  It’s pretty spooky, and for a moment I imagine myself walking in a street in England,  a street out of a Sherlock Holmes movie, of course it had to be the movie about Jack the Ripper – what else could scare me more?  I hurry the dog along.

This dog likes to sniff every other blade of grass, so our walks are always in slow motion.  But tonight, even the dog is nervous, pulling at his leash and hurrying me along, too, which I don’t mind at all!  In the distance, the lonely fog horn moans at regular intervals,   a sound that has always left me feeling lonely and somewhat in awe, as I think of that one lone lighthouse out in the vast blackness of the ocean, protecting both our coast and any boats that might have the misfortune of travelling through the thickness of this night.  The sound adds to the gloom that surrounds us as we walk.

There is no one in the street except us, but I look around nervously expecting to see dark figures dart across the street behind me.  At one point, standing under a tree waiting for the dog, huge drops of water fall down on my head, and I look up.  Is it starting to rain?  Oddly enough, I see stars beyond the mist, and wonder where those drops come from.

We continue walking, and I look up again, through the naked branches of the trees, and see something even more mysterious…and beautiful.  The tree branches are heavy with drops – dew drops from the fog.  And against the lamp these big drops of water glisten like someone had taken the time to attach a multitude of diamonds to the whole tree.  As we keep walking, I notice that every tree has these big drops that glitter against the street lights! For a few moments I forget my nervousness and gaze in wonder at the beauty shining through those trees.  I’ve never seen such a sight!  Who would have thought that these naked, January tree branches could be beautiful?  Not me.  I am once again amazed at the beauty there is all around us, even on a dark and foggy night when no one should be walking in the streets….

But, I was glad to get us inside and turn the locks in the door, shutting out the cold, the dampness, the mystery.   And thanking God for the safety of being inside on this spooky winter night….