Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Year of Letting Go

Numerologically, it’s a 9 year for me. The hallmarks of a 9 year are change, completions and endings. Some experience the 9 energy by moving to a new area, changing jobs, leaving a relationship, or an interest of long association. The purpose of the 9 year is just that: to remove outworn and no longer useful personal relationships, things, attitudes, involvements and interests from your life thus making room for new and more vital levels of growth and existence. It is also a time when one is more likely to scrutinize old values, ideals, and the ideas that you thought were important. It’s a year of giving and looking outside of yourself. The 9 year often makes you aware of a lure to commune with nature as well.

It began in January…of course it did :) I let go of some-thing that was literally a soul mate to me in every way. I left my Enchanted Cottage…I loved that place more than any other place I have ever lived in my life. I’d lived in much bigger and much fancier homes, but this place had Soul…this place felt like an extension of myself…my second skin. I was so completely identified with it, there were times when I think I wasn’t clear what was me and what was the land I was on. I felt so at One there with the birds, deer, trees, stream…the lines at time were blurred. I lived in a continuous state of how one glimpses with a great love…that moment in time, while making-love, when you almost seem to MERGE with each other and you’re not quite sure where you begin or where your lover ends…you are One if only for a moment. This is how I felt on a daily basis at what I immediately dubbed The Enchanted Cottage. In the 4 years that I lived there, I honestly don’t believe there was EVER a day that I wasn’t in deep gratitude for the place or for some ‘happening’ there…baby deer just born…bleeding heart flower just bloomed, hail in June, communing in the afternoon with an elf owl on my bathroom window…you know…the usual, magical things that occur in a place that in truly ‘enchanted’.

Through a series of events… kids moving out and going to college, sister wanting to move in with me somewhere different, current relationship, etc…I left my soul-mate, The Enchanted Cottage…a piece of me will always remain there as I will also carry the spirit of that place in my heart for eternity. It will forever be a part of me. I had a love affair with that place that transcends time.

In March a job that initially was my Dream job…that in the beginning, I loved every minute of, fell by the wayside. At first it could not have been more perfect. I once said to the owner, “If I gave birth to a company…it would look just like this.” It was in the health and wellness industry, endorsed by my favorite guru and author of 20 years, Deepak Chopra, it was an Ayurvedic product, I got to speak around the country, start a woman’s group and assist conscious people in building their business… all the while promoting the amazing health benefits of Ayurveda and the great Chopra Center…including taking the seminars myself on the path to becoming a Chopra Certified Instructor!! Anyone who knows me would get how PERFECT that was for me and I for it! However, it became apparent to me that the ideals I had for the company and the owner’s desire for power and greed were no longer an energetic match. When the time came to part ways, it was the right thing. However, the “death” of what I had thought to be so perfect and the dreams I had for this company, that I had felt so much ownership in was difficult for me to let go of. I truly LOVED that company and put my heart, energy and soul into it. It never felt like work.

In April, I went to Bora Bora…probably one of the most beautiful and romantic spots on the planet and ended a relationship with a man that I adored. Only to briefly get back together with my prior 4 year tormented relationship and regretted it instantly. Ended that one for good…for this life and any future lives to come. Then spent the rest of the spring, summer and early fall processing my past relationships and ways of being. Shed a lot of old belief systems that I had grown up with and knocked down the fortress that had been around my heart almost since birth. Got clear about who I am what I desired to create. Cut out a lot of people, acquaintances and activities in my life that were no longer in alignment with my re-found Self. It was a pretty solitary, lonely yet extremely transformative and productive time as well.

I didn’t jump back into the corporate work force…I somehow knew the importance of the shift and transformation I was undergoing and mostly just meditated, did yoga and wrote…mostly alone.

Some of the other things I have willingly let go of were my BMW and nice, new apartment and shopping addiction. Could have kept them…could have just gone out and got the big J-O-B again and gone on status quo. Time for a change. I have completely embraced every step of this process…not saying it hasn’t been difficult or painful…just perfect.

One of the most painful letting goes I have had to face has been my daughter Hannah moving to Maine to live with my mother. All my kids have had cycled through being my favorites and Hannah has been the closest to me for many years now. I love that child so much. Since she was a baby I have called her my sunshine. She has been that for me…in my darkest and saddest of days, the mere sight of that child has brought me the greatest joy. She has been my best little friend and greatest teacher. I remember often sharing with her what I felt to be the mysteries of the Universe and her just looking at me with this knowing grin. I say to her, “You already know this stuff, huh?’” She just smiles back, not in a condescending way but as a mother looks at HER child… “…yes, Momma.” Such an old soul and beautiful spirit that I can’t even write about her without tears streaming down my face. I miss her so much.

Our kids are not our own. They came here to have their own experience, not ours. We can guide…they get to direct their life. Force is not the way of love or growth. This child of mine is strong, she wanted to claim something for herself and she created it and I am so proud of her.

Through this process an acquaintance of mine became the dearest of friends. During my months of solitude, she was sometimes the only person I would see…still is. She is and has been a beautiful, bright light in my life. She is an amazing example of truth, integrity, courage and spirituality. I can always count on her to tell me like it is…that’s one of the reasons I love her so much. She is true to herself and her beliefs. I live in her home…we’re roomies…and she is LEAVING in December for 5 months!!!

Definitely a year of change, endings and completion….

Good grief what more does the Universe require of me?? Well all of this started this morning when I dropped off my 11 year old, beautiful son at school. We were on time for the first time in a while…I said before he got out…cause it looked like he was going to forget…”give me a kiss, Bud…” His eyes got big, he shook his head and said, “I love you, Mom.” I said, “whaaat???...come on…are you kidding me, you’re not gonna give your Momma a kiss???” He quickly opens the door and tells me he loves me 2 more times as he walks away to be with his little 6th grade friends.

This happens just after I had just been thinking about Christmas on the way to school and was talking to my son about being with his Dad, Hannah being in Maine, and not sure what my college gymnast would be up to…and without a real significant other…feeling a little loneliness coming on…then NO KISS….I lost it…good thing I had sunglasses on…cried driving out of the parking lot down the street and then……

The beautiful Universe that loves me so much presented a beautiful family of about 12 adorable quail on the side of the road and I cried more …then I turned the corner heading east and the magnificent sunshine was just beginning to peak its head over Mount Olympus…it was breathtakingly blinding…you know when it’s so bright and you can see each individual ray shining through….I burst into tears…not in sadness…but in terrific joy…at how supported I have ALWAYS felt my entire life…in spite of everything…I can honestly say that I have always felt like the Universe holds me cupped in its hands…I have never really felt alone…whenever I even come close, that big, blue, beautiful marble shows me something amazing…often it’s a rainbow after I have gone through something heart-wrenching and remained in gratitude, or hawks flying over head when I’ve been missing the Enchanted Cottage…or a beautiful sunset every night from my bedroom window…or a new friend that “sees” me…or an old one that still loves me…

When I arrived home, still crying, there were 5 deer in my back yard and all I could say was, “the Universe freakin’ loves me so much”….everything speaks to me…I live in a beautiful world…It’s a beautiful life…and in the words of a favorite song of mine “…the sun may come up and go down again, I still swear it’s a beautiful life…” even if my son will no longer give me a kiss in front of his friends.

Friday, November 5, 2010

On Being Authentic and Be Do Have

I was on a second date the other night…our first was a 2 hour lunch…we had exchanged a few emails before that…nothing extensive. So I got a compliment that had me pondering into the next several days. He said to me, “You seem so comfortable…like you have no need to pretend to be anything that you’re not or act a particular way to try to impress me. I find that most people have such a wall up and are trying so hard to create some kind of image they want others to buy into. You seem very authentic.”

My first reaction was, “… well I’m just being me… but thanks.”

As I continued to think about this, I realized how easy it has become for me to just be ME these days. I thought about how comfortable I now am in my own skin. How ok I now am with ANY emotion that happens to come up…I now know that I no longer have to repress my feelings like I have done most of my life…especially the negative ones.

I have learned to EMBRACE each emotion, feeling and thought as it arises and allow my mind, heart and body to ACCEPT and experience whatever is there is to experience. Whether it’s fear, anger, anxiety or excitement, joy, surprise and humor…I ALLOW myself to be completely present with the emotion. A quote from the first Chopra book I ever read, I believe it was Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, that has stayed with me for over 20 years comes to mind, “Be ONE with the pain”…and may I add, the fear, sadness, anxiety, joy, bliss, etc. Be ONE with it, embrace it, feel it, experience it, bless it and release it. There no longer remains any fear in me of what others may think if I cry, laugh, am sad or insecure…I just get to share whatever is there.

I have been living in the practice of open-hearted-ness…because of this space that I have created for myself, I feel much more authentic and genuine. I no longer feel the need to put on a happy face when I am feeling sadness. This has generated a great feeling of peace and calm within me. I love myself more and have more compassion for myself and my feelings than I ever have. In the past, I believed crying was a sign of weakness…I never allowed myself to cry and would berate myself for having any feelings of anxiety or upset. Now when feelings like that arise…I think of myself as my own child…and treat myself with loving kindness. I allow the feeling to arise, I acknowledge it and honor it for the great teacher that it is…I am able to get the gift that it represents and often am able to quickly release it in gratitude.

This has been a major transformation for me…it feels as if my DNA has been re-written. I no longer even think the way I used to think. I have removed many old belief systems and shed layers and layers of old emotional baggage by allowing myself to feel and experience all the things I had repressed in the past. I think I may have cried all summer long…I spent most of my time in solitude, processing, writing and FEELING. Talk about therapeutic.

As a result, I love myself more than I ever have. I am the person I’ve always desired to be. I have more compassion and understanding for others because I now have it for myself. I feel I am capable of being truly authentic in the world, I know who I am, I am ok with my emotions, I am comfortable expressing my feelings to others.

This idea of ‘being’ led me to the next thought of ‘doing’…which is simply an outgrowth of the being. I am now doing what I’ve always dreamed I would get to do…writing, speaking, coaching and making a difference in the lives of others. I’ve had lots of knowledge for a long time but it wasn’t til recently when all of this knowledge in my head made the leap down to my heart and became a wisdom of sorts. I’m now able to communicate and articulate this material because I now feel it…it has become experiential as opposed to just reading in a book and forming an intelligent opinion.

As I read over my journal entry about the above, the old sales trainer in me kicked in to the Be-Do-Have presentations…I had written about ‘Being’ and ‘Doing’…isn’t it interesting I thought, how the ‘Having’ part for me has now taken a back seat, when it previously had a starring role. I got into sales and the window/construction business to make lots of money so I could HAVE everything that I wanted to have…and I did…I just didn’t know it at the time…all I could see then is what I DIDN’T yet have and what I wanted more of.

It’s funny how I have had less, materially, than I ever have and yet I have been happier, more at peace, experienced less anxiety than at any other time in my life. I have had everything that I NEED. It has actually been nice to live without the excess…it’s curbed my shopping addiction, I buy only what I’m going to eat (the deer are a little disappointed as they were the lucky recipients of my waste…don’t worry, I wouldn’t let them starve), I have learned the value of one dollar, I am much more appreciative and grateful for the things others do for me, I have learned how to save money and make a little go a long way. I got rid of my BMW in exchange for a VW bug…it’s been good for my ego…letting it go…along with the things that don’t matter.

As a result of living in my dharma, I know the ‘having’ piece will come…it can’t help but come and is a natural outgrowth of being who you are, following your path, loving what you do and assisting others. It’s just not center stage anymore…it’s secondary to being a bright light in the world, sharing myself and the gifts I’ve been given and knowing that as a result, the Universe will provide me with everything I’ve ever desired that matters.

Things don’t matter…people do…relationships do…kindness and compassion matter…a smile is a beautiful gift you give another…it’s fun to be nice…it’s nice to care…it feels good to your soul to have a good cry or to support someone through theirs…sunshine is a miracle…stars are a wonder…trees are my friends…friends are for loving and appreciating…snuggling with someone you love is the best…love is not over-rated…it’s all there is…and it’s free when given from the purity of your heart…