Monthly Archives: June 2014

In That Moment

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I work for a non-profit. Many of you may not know that about me. During my daytime hours, instead of fulfilling my heart’s desire to write, I put my skills to use at an addiction treatment center. I took the job because when it landed at my feet I was just finishing my memoir. The book that chronicles how growing up surrounded by addiction set the foundation that, albeit gut-wrenchingly difficult, provided the necessary launching point to become the writer and healer that I’ve become.

Yet, there are days when my energy is tapped due to this added occupation. At times I question if this endeavor is simply a detour or derailing me completely. There are days when I grumble when as soon as I walk through the office doors the voice within my soul tells me just what I need to write – knowing full well I can’t. I no longer have the ease of unconfined creative freedom.

But I’m still helping people. And my personal knowledge of addiction provides a level of compassion that is helpful to the agency. Not to mention, they utilize my peace, passion and drive to help people discover and claim their value. They saw all of this within me, and no doubt it’s why I landed the job. I do grow weary, though. Having a passion that can not be expressed on whim is not an easy plight. And so with that I find myself silently asking Spirit – why. Why the detour? What in this is allowing me to serve my purpose?

Then, as if one cue, I found myself sitting in a photography workshop that I had orchestrated. One in which the photographer, whom I had just driven all about town in an effort to gather publicity shots for the agency, was teaching a room full of women’s residential recovery clients the power of using photography as a tool to stay in the moment. Everyone had to give their brief story. All were touching. All were sincere. I absorbed the instruction being taught, then remember I’m terrible at photography. But as everyone filed out of the room one woman stayed behind. She looked at me, then asked if I had just written an article for a local woman’s magazine. “Yes,” I answered. She smiled.

She said she’d never picked up that magazine before but when she did it opened to my article. She said tears streamed down her face as she stood engrossed in my words. She said that I write beautifully. But that my words, resonated deep within her. She wrote down a few key sentences of mine, and took them with her to therapy that evening as they meant so much to her. Mainly, the one in which I said I had to come clean about living a life that didn’t honor me. And choose a life that does.

And there it was. In that moment, Spirit provided my answer. If I hadn’t taken this detour, I wouldn’t have written the article that is an overview of my memoir. Had I not been sitting in that workshop, I would not have been able to hear first hand how my writing impacts another. All I want, dear reader, is to remind others of their worth, their beauty and their purpose. To nourish their soul because, this life of ours has little to do with all that we see around us and everything to do with what our soul is wanting to accomplish. In that moment, I was shown that this wasn’t a detour that I am on, it’s the road I was meant to travel.

So walk on. Walk knowing that even the roughest roads are roads your soul knows you need to traverse. Pay attention, though. Learn what you are meant to learn. People and experiences are brought your way for a reason. Whether to awaken something within you, or to bring to light something you work hard to keep in dark. Life is the playground on which all of this happens. Go with it. Not against it. Your soul is busy whether you know it or not. Life is at its best, when you notice the work your soul is up to. So, go with your soul. Trust me, life becomes better once you do.

Sane

Let it Grow

Let it Grow

The decisions you make, the thoughts you think, these things, they are like seeds. And what you plant today will become your garden of tomorrow. Your life is your garden, largely, by your design. It is a joint effort. Things will come your way that are truly destined from above. Obstacles and joys. But as for the growth, as for the plants that you will one day love or loathe, they came from the seeds of your choosing. Moreso, they come from the intention behind the choice.

It is dangerously easy to get caught up in the flurry of today. We go through the motions and do our best to exist. We have days when things unfold well. We have days when all hell breaks loose.  We live in a reactionary state of being. Your mind is quite capable of reacting, and can do so in excess. Yet, it’s better at being purposeful. To put it another way, when we live in a reactionary state it’s because we never bothered to deliberately and carefully choose the seeds we were busy planting. From there, well before the first sprout emerged, we never tended the soil, either. We never put the time, energy or focus into creating fertile ground. When we spend our lives reacting, then subsequently pulling out weeds that seem unending, there is no space in our lives for our dreams to take root. We’ve filled the garden with doubt, day-by-day living and planning for the worst. But thoughts have a life all of their own. Every thought you have has energy. Each thought has the energy of intention. Intention forms the seed. Intention is what defines you.

As you move through life, and life moves through you, consider your thoughts. Think about your decisions. Are you making choices with the intention of squelching a fear? Are your dreams dictated by doubt? And when you make a decision is it to make other’s comfortable – if so, dear reader it’s because you are not comfortable with you. You are here for a reason. You occupy this space in time, using the flesh and bone vehicle that is you, with the mind and personality quirks that you have, for a reason. It is the filter your soul chose when it set out and wanted to experience this world. I believe that even our worst traits are given to us so that we can work through them. Many of those that enter your life are given to you for the very same reason. Some are heinous. Some are divine. Both are opportunities sought by your soul.  You are more than your mind. Remember that your mind is limited, your soul is not. Your soul gave you the choice and ability to plant whatever seeds you choose. Imagine if you had planted with purpose. And then when life threw you something dastardly, it would have landed upon solid, fertile ground.

Life is not so much about what rests before your eyes. It is about what rests behind your eyes. Sit with that idea, dear reader. Your thoughts are the offshoot of your intention. They are indeed powerful. Look at your intention, it reveals everything about who you are and where you are along your journey. It also reveals your future.

So with that I will leave you for today. Ask yourself the bigger questions. Not about others, but about you. And when it comes to your thoughts, think well. Start planting. The harvest you desire will grow, if you let it.

Sane

Return to Me

Return to Me

Last night I sat at a vineyard. With the sun setting behind me and lavender wisteria hanging from above, I focused on one thing and one thing alone – the colors I painted onto the canvas in front of me. On the table sat my wine, neglected by me. And for three blissful hours I returned to me.

I would trade my walk for no other. I’ve come to the point where I know my purpose. I will admit, life changes when one walks with that particular knowing. I’m honored, however, that something within me is here to help heal something within others. Yet, I often forget to heal me.

I often overlook the hits that I too have taken. I downplay the void left within me, as my deepest prompting is to uplift, help and heal. And when it comes to those I love, this prompting is like breathing. It has become my default reaction. And it’s now what’s most natural to me. It took years to get here. To act less from the place of my often puny ego, and more from the place of my soul. I’m very steady within. Truth be told, I’m nurtured when nurturing others. I like this about me. It’s the beauty of my soul.

Yet there comes a time when something whispers softly, “Now let the same love you give others heal you.” And so with that, I sat patiently in a sundress on a warm evening and tried desperately to paint a steady line. I wasn’t hard on myself. I tried not to compare my work to the others. Instead, I was content with me and what my small hand could do. I got lost in me. And it was divine.

I felt my soul and mind recalibrate. Both fell back into line. None of this wiped away the many difficult moments of the last few years. It did not blot out my mother’s recent emergency room visit. It did not bring my father back, nor did it change my mother’s prognosis. It did not fill the void of the loss of my friend. It did not answer even one of the intimate questions I’ve posed to God, nor did it make up for the myriad of unfortunate circumstances that have littered my journey. My ego still questions many of those moments. My soul never does. Each one caused a recalibration within me. With each one, I developed further into who I was meant to be. Each time my ego and soul were redefined and realigned. Each one offered the opportunity for me to stand upon a new level within myself, if I chose. More often than not, even when painful to do, I chose to step up upon these new platforms. Last night, I stepped up on the platform that nurtured me.

Now, I’m going to stand here for a while. I’m going to look at who I’ve become. I’m going to look at how I’ve handled all of these many moments that have brought me here. I’m pleased that most of the time I’ve chosen to operate from a place of love and not fear. That I’ve acted out of compassion instead of anger. That I’ve allowed myself to shine through. It hasn’t all been graceful. I’ve fallen many times along the way. But then I stand, again. And once standing I step up. It takes no courage to step backward. It takes all the courage held within to move forward. So now, and for a while, I will rest. With my feet upon this newly formed, but very steady platform I’m just going to return to me.

Sane