Lately I’ve been sticking my big toe in the water by telling more friends about my desire to give talks about my story…and uncovering my spirituality. So here how it’s going. Kinda ok, kinda weird, kinda trying not to have expectations around reactions. Yup it always, without fail, eventually digresses to religion. That is so not what my thing is about. Then it moves on to self-improvement and transformation. Ok, I get it, it’s pretty much that but according to my experience and with a big picture outlook. Then comes forth the forwarding of workshops, or merely speaking of workshops they’ve done, the books they’ve read and they think I’d like to read and so on. As my husband said, everyone will react through their own experience of what this brings up for them. I can’t remember exactly what he said but that’s the gist. And he’s right. I’ve decided it’s way better to have a friend share what this brings up for them, and try to connect with me on what I’m sharing, than go to dead silence and the conversation ends. So in that respect it’s going well. However, I’m not quite sure if they’re wanting me to read these books or attend a workshop because they think I’m still a work in progress. Perhaps they’re assuming I could benefit from these books and workshops because they see me as transformation girl now? Here’s the deal. I am a work in progress. I’ll always be a work in progress. That’s how the life thing works in my opinion. We learn, evolve, grow, and keep learning, evolving, and growing. That being said, I’m ready to step up and share the big learning I’ve learned. What my process was…and is still. As very wise sages once told me…You don’t need more classes. They’re right. I’m getting huge lessons every day by just being me. I’m done thinking I’m not enough. I’m done thinking I need to be more before I start to do my thing. To stop thinking that I need to be more perfect, learn more, be better, before I can share my gifts. Otherwise I’ll be waiting to be ready right up to when I leave this earth. That would be a huge missed opportunity. So, oh hell no on any and all before I’m ready statements. Well intentioned friends are just that and that’s lovely. Next time I’ll speak up and ask why do you think I should go to this workshop? If they say it’s to meet the people who can hire me to do a talk, then I’m good. If not, I speak up and tell them…thanks for thinking of me but I’m good thanks. I’m ready to get out there. “Be and do” the wise beings said. It’s taken three or so years since I heard that. Sometimes it takes a minute for me to believe in myself.
Joy is the key that unlocks my creativity. When I’m joyful, I feel creative, new ideas are born and I feel empowered to step up to act on them…however uncomfortable the stretch for me is.
Though joy can be elusive. It takes a bit of focus to cultivate it. Being sure I’m doing what it is I love doing, as much as possible. In my case, I like lots and lots of time with just me. When I feel joy I also feel more connected to my intuition. I love feeling connected to what is always present, supportive, and guides me to stretch myself to become more me. And oh do I ever need my intuition when it comes to moving forward with my talks. For my joy this morning, I head off to the gym, then I head back home to create topics for a conversation group. There’s one unjoyful task today in that we have to take Alberta to the recycling center. Alberta was an Alberta Spruce that we over watered, as was evident when we dug up the roots. After that I’ll make time to start a new painting, based on the photo below. I’m learning about composition and I’m not too sure about where to place the building on the canvas. Perhaps not smack in the middle as in the photo? Still learning about how to make a painting captivating. Two women, very different artists, are owners of a gallery we went to a couple of weeks ago. While their work is very different from each other we loved all of their pieces. I shared that I have to paint from a photo but I’d love to be so inspired to have an idea and start a painting my idea rather than a rendering of a photo. One of the women offered me great advice. She suggested I look at the photo I want to paint, put it away, and just start painting what I feel. It may not end up looking like the photo because I may want to add different colors, objects or whatever else I feel at the time. I am so trying her very cool advice and using my intuition too boot. Let’s see what happens.
Seems I’m at a point where the challenge of being my true self is here. I’ve looked at myself to make changes to have a beautiful life. For approximately three years I worked with a coach. An intuitive spiritual coach and a wonderfully direct person. I started keeping a journal while releasing old habits that did me no favors. Taking on way more beneficial and supportive habits, ideas, practices, thoughts, eventually I could look at my past. There were confusing, scary, super sad experiences to look at but I stuck with it and eventually became clear about all that contributed to my beliefs about myself. And I took ownership about the part where I kept believing those thoughts long after I became an adult. Releasing whatever I can is an on-going process that shows up whenever I’m ready to look and let go of more. Now I’m able to speak up for myself, put myself first, and cultivate joy by doing all the things I love to do. While it may sound selfish, it isn’t. It allows me to become a more healthy and balanced person, and therefore, to be of more service to others. I also started this blog to become more comfortable being authentic. Around the same time I started this blog I started a conversation group in my local town to find a community of others also looking to create new versions of themselves. So what’s next? There’s volunteer work and I’m very sure I don’t want to just fill up my free time. I am never bored and never looking to fill my time. I love my free time because I decide every day what I want to do with it. Read. Hike. Paint. Write…you get the idea. And in the past my experience with all the volunteer work I did was not unlike my experience with my career in the corporate world. Some of it felt like busy work. In other cases all I was doing was supporting someone else’s mission and vision. Great ideas but they weren’t my ideas. At this point, creating my own thing is so much more meaningful. However, I did find a volunteer opportunity that feels good to me and I’ll be starting that soon. It requires me being me and connecting with others to create space for them to share whatever they feel and, if they choose, to share who they are. So what’s next? My talks. To keep reaching out to see if I can speak at various groups. To share my story because there’s something there of benefit to share. Being authentic in front of others is big for me because it’s requires vulnerability. If I cushion and mainstream my story there will be nothing of value that I’m sharing. What’s next? To become more open and share some of my experiences, thoughts and what my passion is. When I don’t share huge parts of me it makes for very superficial relationships. Things are going really well for me and I could stop here. I love my life just the way it is. But there’s so much more that will appear if I step up. Becoming more me. With friends, family, audience members, members of the conversation group, and here in this blog.
It’s been a light week or two and I’ve got nothing as they say. But I do have an update to my last post about the bike mix-up my nice gym boo-booed. A good cardio workout, such as a cycling class, allows me to feel fit again and that’s great for my overall well-being, my confidence, my bad-ass persona that’s needed when I give my talks. Ok, I’m not really going for a bad-ass persona, I just loving saying bad-ass. But it does take A LOT to stand up in front of others and be authentic. That, plus the little detail of fear of public speaking is enough to warrant feeling secure, rather than insecure. And working out, getting exercise, being outdoors, painting, and sailing, are all some of the ways for me to feel my best. I don’t become Tony Robbins but that’s not my plan anyway. First off, there is no plan…isn’t that awesome? Second, I automatically spoke up to let the gym handle the small issue that day. I gave myself a pat on the back for that one. You see, in the past I would have backed away and let the other person have the bike. That’s the polite thing to do right? No. That’s not being polite to myself. I always wanted to be liked way more than I wanted to take care of myself. “Oh no you take it”. “After you.” “No really, that’s ok.” “No, that didn’t bother me.” From big stuff to small stuff, I was constantly putting other people’s needs ahead of my own. However the other day, without thinking, I asked that we let management figure out the mistake. #13 bike didn’t like that but it was a major thing for me to look back at and notice how cool that was. Ok, so I didn’t make a new friend but any of the “friends” I ever made from making myself smaller, or not speaking up, or putting someone else’s needs ahead of mine, were never the greatest friends anyway. My intuition over the years is helping me to see the choices I have. In this case, I could choose to stay annoyed at her annoyance towards me. But that’s just silly. I love my biking class and I love feeling good. Why feel annoyed? So I focus on my workout, the music, and for a few minutes I focused on how I feel nothing but good feelings towards me and her. As I was biking, and this might seem weird, I imagined white light streaming down on us, nice birdies flying around her (think 3 Dwarves movie), a bunny rabbit showed up, and a golden retriever sat at her feet to cheer her up. I’ll spare you all the other animals that made an appearance. Weird as that was it worked for me. Not too much later I had no animosity and I full-out enjoyed the class. I even recognized myself in my biking neighbor and felt compassion for our totally all too human doo-doo. Now every time bike #12 (me) and bike #13 (her) are in class together all is well.
I love cycling classes. At my gym, the Friday cycling class is taught by an energetic, upbeat pregnant woman that means business. The front desk gives me a pass for bike number 13 (that should have been a clue right there). But when I get to bike #13 someone is already there. She has a pass for #13 (her favorite bike I should add) and I have a pass for #13. Hmmm. She seems annoyed at me. Oh well. I suggest we go up to the front desk and they’ll straighten it all out. I just want to know which pass is the correct pass because the class is now full. We talk a bit on the way and I tell her that I’m pretty sure my pass is from the previous day because mine is gray and hers is pink. It is. Pink is the Friday color, gray was Thursday. It’s confirmed the desk person gave me the wrong pass. After apologizing they say they’re happy to reserve me bikes for the rest of the month. Nice! Oky doke. I go back down to remove my water bottle I’d left on the bike when we went upstairs to the powers that be. Bike #13 lady and I chat and she suggests I wait to see if there are any no shows but I say no I think I’ll go for a nice hike. We smile and all is well. Since I didn’t bike yesterday I set off to the 9:30 cycling class today. Today our bikes are next to each other. My expectation was that when I see her again we’ll both joke about yesterday’s “bike-gate”. It appears, not so much. I say “hi!”. She looks at me, says “hi”, turns her back and talks to the woman on the bike to the left of her. Well, la-dee-dah. What’s up with that? I didn’t even get to the part where I say “Ha! Wasn’t that funny what happened yesterday?” My expectation is totally blown. I feel myself feeling a little hurt and then annoyed because 1-the mix-up wasn’t my fault, 2-didn’t it all work out? She got the bike and I went to go hiking. 3-wouldn’t it be nice to introduce ourselves and be friendly? This is a great opportunity to let it go, keep my happy feeling and enjoy the class. How can such a little teeny tiny thing be so irksome? I’m irked that she’s still irked. There’s lots of irking going on. How to effortlessly let the little things go? Or, hardshiply (new word Merriam Webster!) let it go?
Taking advantage of today’s one-word challenge prompt from WordPress… Shiver
The word shiver reminds me of my divine connection. There’s a part of me that shirks from using the word divine. Us non-religious types, or at least this non-religious type, struggles with what words to use to describe the connection I feel. I do know this…it assists me, guides me, encourages me to lighten up, sends me experiences I can learn from, and unconditionally loves me. My higher self? Guides or angels? God? All of the above? Whatever it is I sometimes feel it physically. I feel it when I have a significant thought or pay attention to a thought I just had, or when a special moment happens, or there’s a nice connection with someone I just met. It happened this morning as my husband was leaving the house after we said goodbye. A simple, common, seemingly insignificant moment. As he locked the door behind him, it hit me how incredible it is that he’s even in my life and that I’m also standing in our home waving goodbye to my husband. How did this all happen?! A few years ago I was unhappy in my relationships, my career, and very underwhelmed by other human beings, and life in general. So in this seemingly insignificant moment, saying goodbye as my husband left to run an errand, I felt the good shiver. I was reminded of how much has happened, all the things I’ve experienced and learned, to get to wherever I am now. It’s a strong tingly feeling that sometimes brings confirmation, often a feeling of connection, and sometimes emotion. Then it’s gone. This time I took advantage of being alone in the house and spoke out loud about how fortunate I felt and also how fortunate that I could share the moment with…whatever keeps me company and supports me in this lifetime. And then I went back to doing whatever I was doing before my shiver worthy moment.