Monthly Archives: March 2014

Short and Sweet #57 – Letting Go an Explanation

What resonates so loudly for me here is that one point; by trying to figure out why something happened, you are tethering yourself to the situation or idea. You can’t let go if you’re tethered, anchored, or attached to an idea, relationship, place or person. It’s not always important that we have a reason to let go. I think it’s only important than when we must, we simply do.

Tim Custis

Letting go is a process to begin awakening, it involves the use of awareness to identify any behavior, emotion or belief that no longer serves us or does not support our True Self. This is extremely important; you do not need to figure things out to let them go. In fact, the desire to figure something out means that you have to hold on to it until you figure it out. This wanting to know or understand will either stop the process completely or slow it way down. Logical thinking will not be able to figure out most of the things you want to let go. Therefore, you will be stuck where you are unless you release your desire to understand. I always ask my clients what is more important to them to figure it out or just let it go. How would you answer? I have found in every…

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The Heather Went Down to Georgia

After a weekend spent learning how to heal minds, bodies & spirits, nothing is more welcome than a good old-fashioned adventure, even if the reason for such an adventure is a funeral. It doesn’t matter what ignites the spontaneity, but just the impulsiveness itself that creates that special brand of anticipation and excitement that only road trips inspire.

I dutifully printed off directions to my destination out of fear that my phone would lose it’s navigation capabilities at exactly the wrong moment. Ironically, I learned that my own map reading skills have grown quite rusty in the same way that I’ve also forgotten how to spell, can no longer memorize phone numbers, and have all but lost my ability to tell time on a regular clock. Thank you smartphones for dumbing us further.

Of course, if I hadn’t had to turn around four times, I may have actually arrived at my hotel in the 3 hours the directions allotted, instead of the four I spent back-tracking, turning around, and second-guessing myself. I wish I could say that I took my time, that I stopped to take pictures of the beautiful horses clad with peace-sign patterned coats, or that I stopped into a few of the junkyard antique stores peppered along the way.

What I can say, however, is that along my journey, I did manage to count exactly four dream homes, one large eerie commune conveniently neighboring an old cemetary, and more than 3 abandoned grocery stores that had been transformed into mega-churches. And all along the way, I had the most incredible monversations. (Yes, that’s a word. I just invented it!).

What this guesscapade has reminded me is that getting lost is fun. I suppose anything is fun when you’re Jones-sing for a change. It’s even more fun when you don’t have anyone fussing at you for making a wrong turn, going the wrong way, or not accurately following their expert navigation. Of course, I am so ‘male’ in that anyway, because I would rather drive around for hours than stop and ask. Asking is too logical, and takes away all the adventure, which also zaps away any possibility for humor.

I think it was at the point where I saw an old crotchety sign that read ‘nifty, nifty, jill is fifty’ (and probably 80 now, or worse…), that the humorous thoughts tumbling around in my silly head stopped their horsing around and sat for a philosophical pause. Here’s why.  People live in these tiny little ghost towns off the beaten path, and may even spend their entire lives spending each and every day looking at the same sights. Maybe they’re stuck there because of poverty. Maybe they stay because they have no desire to see anything outside of their own streets. Maybe they’re afraid of adventure, or take on an ‘if it ain’t broken, why fix it’ approach. And maybe they never leave.

There is something so dignified and praise-worthy about that kind of commitment on the one hand. But to adventurers like me, the whole idea of staying within the same mile your whole life and never venturing out, seems almost tragic. Don’t get me wrong. I love the small city in which I was born, raised, and am still living. Still, the older I get, the more curious I become, because the more I see, the further I want to explore. Life is short enough as it is. Our time is limited. Our world is limited. What is not limited are the possibilities we have to experience our surroundings. Just the adventure itself will open up your mind to new and uncharted hopes and dreams, not to mention those truly interesting, unquestionably ridiculous monversations.

So GO on. Get lost. This Heather Went Down the Georgia, but it wasn’t a soul she was trying to steal. It was simply time away, beyond the mile, beyond the beaten path of the familiar.

Soul Search & Rescue

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One of my favorite past times is to gaze into the hearts and minds of others and see what makes them tick, what gives them the ticks, or what ticks are feeding off of them. I’ve sat idly by and actually watched as someone starts with one negative situation, and single-headedly thinks there way into a great big mosh pit of negative thoughts. Such negativity reproduces quicker than rats, bunnies, and bacteria combined. The outcome is the same too. All we get is a great big mess of poo, which leads to piles, that lead to mountains, which…well you get the point. There is no point in this, except that eventually (at least hopefully) the person will see the err of his/her ways and laugh it off at the end just following a big hysterical cry, whereby we can call them crazy. But what it really is, is healing. Hysterical cries, in some ways, are like that great big vomit when you’re feeling nauseous. If you can just get it all out, you’ll feel much better.

So yes, I’m saying we should all be crazy, because in some respects we are all on some level of CRAZY. If we hold in the crazy, we’re just repressing the urge. And repression is at the root of all institutions, which is why there were so many crazy people during the Victorian era.

Why do so many of us repress our feelings? There are as many answers to this as there are circumstances, like anything else that I write about generically. (Insert movie man voice here) In a world where…people are bombarded with marketing campaigns, tv shows, social media, knowledge at the press of a google, we are quite simply DESENSITIZED. Only we’re not…because we’re still human. And when the world is silent (which we should regularly force it to be) we are left with only our own thoughts and emotions with which to contend. This is the world where we should escape our own escapes, cope with our own souls, and live within our own hopes. It may hurt at first. We may not like our own reflections. But take it from someone who has devoutly given up the boob tube for almost 3 years. It’s well worth the silence. To become acquainted with yourself again isn’t scary. It’s necessary if you want to give up the mindless cycle of unhappiness you’ve subscribed to.

If you’re not unhappy, by the way, stop reading this sermon. You are the choir. For those of you not in robes, follow me.

Into a world where

We do not pour our thoughts into fiction. We must talk to each other, or even ourselves, because there are no other forms of entertainment. Follow me into a world where there are ‘relationships’ because we are relating to each other instead of blanketing human interaction with scenarios of extraordinary events. After all, I’ve never broken up with someone only to have him race to me with an organized  flash mob singing our song right into a Hollywood happy ending. Life imitates art? Not so much. But maybe we cover up life with art.

My challenge is simply to unplug a couple of nights each week. Talk to your kids. Talk to your husbands, your wives, your mothers, your fathers, sisters and brothers. Check in with the people you love. Check in with the people you tolerate. But most importantly, check in with yourself. You have doctor check-ups, dental check-ups, even teacher meetings, why not set time aside for a self-check. If something isn’t working for you, ask why. Write about it. Blog about it. Sing about it. The point is to simply think. No one can hear his own thoughts with so much distraction. The distraction will not heal you, it will only prolong the process.

Make yours a world where you are aware; where you are your own leading man or leading lady. That’s when you start writing your own script, formulating your own plot, and creating your own happy ending and get by with a little help from above.

Letting Go

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It’s the most difficult thing for us to do as grabby, stubborn, stuck-in-our-way humans, but it’s as necessary and vital as breathing. Letting go means change. Letting go means opening yourself up to growth, but it also means opening yourself up to the the possibility of more hurt. And we don’t like hurt anymore than we like emptiness.

Something that we tend to forget is that letting go can also be liberating. Remember getting rid those helpful training wheels; falling over and over again before you finally – after hours and hours of persistence – gain balance? I will never forget the day I learned to ride without them. My dad was a bit of an extremist. So, he sat me at the top of our very steep driveway, and pushed. I learned maybe a little too quickly, because I had no other choice!

Remember how it felt the first time you coasted on only two wheels, and how once you had it down pat, balance was yours for the keeping? Remember also letting go of the handrails on a roller coaster for the first time, and how freeing that was. I remember thinking, ‘why was I ever even scared?’.

Of course, letting go of people is a bit more difficult. Whether we must let go because of death, or we force ourselves to let go because the relationship is simply unhealthy. The pit of emptiness feels just as empty, and the task feels just as impossible. Just like riding without training wheels, the grieving process is nerve-racking, breathtaking (in the bad way), and even painful at times. There will be scars, scabs, and bruises all over the inside. Sometimes we feel we have it licked; like we’re balancing just right. We feel momentum kicking in, and everything feels manageable again, until we again are confronted with those little speed bumps & potholes. But as time goes on, the road becomes smoother, and the distance between obstacles broadens until one day we barely even notice them.

That’s not to say that the memories are gone, or that we’re completely ‘healed’. I’m not sure ‘healing’ ever really happens completely, at least not while we’re alive. There will always be scars, but those scars remain as reminders of what we’ve learned.  And hopefully, if the coping process was a healthy one, we can chose to hold on to the good memories, and extract from the bad ones only the lessons – letting go of what was to discover that what is left is someone stronger, wiser, and more balanced – and the coasting gets easier.

When I hear people say that ‘time heals all wounds’ is garbage, I am baffled. If we spend our time confronting the pain head-on, then time does its part in the process of letting go. I’ve had my fair share of ‘letting go”. I’ve let go of both parents, all grandparents, and lots of relationships. None of these were easy. Some were more difficult than others. But one underlying theme has remained the same; Time heals the hurt, I mend the memories, and the rest is in God’s hands. In truth, nothing is impossible not matter how much the grieving hurts in the process. I am still here, still recovering, still growing and still learning to ride without training wheels.

A Visit from Nancy

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We all dread her. She’s nothing but negative; always complaining, griping, defending herself, trashing others, and she’s always called Negative Nancy. She came to visit tonight, in the midst of children’s laughter and the laid back relaxation that always comes hand-in-hand with Saturday. It’s my most favorite day! Why doesn’t she understand that she’s not welcome here – not today. I thought I had left her trapped in yesterday’s gloom & doom, to wrestle herself and work out her own problems.

I was wrong.

And it’s all thanks to the dreaded IRS. Isn’t it always? I’m happy for my employees at this time of year. They work their tails off all year, and barely earn enough to pay their bills. They scrimp & scrape by to pay for doctor’s visits, hair cuts & classroom fees for their children. I always want to do more to help them, but can only do so much. Then, before you know it, it’s tax time. And each of them receives between 3K – 8K back in refunds. When they do come in to work during this time, they have manicures, tans, new shoes, new toys for their kids, and sometimes even new cars. I have nothing but enthusiasm for them. I love to see my girls happy. But what doesn’t make me the least bit happy is that, inevitably, there are those few who decide they have every reason in the world to not work.

And Negative Nancy enters my body at that moment…at this moment…on a Saturday night of all times.

One of my employees, we shall call her ‘Missy’, texted me that she will need to be off Monday because her daughter-in-law (who only today had a baby) will be having surgery. It’s so nice of her to be supportive. I’m not knocking that. BUT there is the little problem of her having had a huge complaint from a customer only yesterday. And we will need to go back and completely clean the house over. That has NEVER happened before. So, yes, Nancy warned me of her visit yesterday. Tonight she burst in without even knocking first. She is not welcome.

Even the most positive peeps lose their vigor when Negative Nancy visits. And this is life after all, so she will come around from time time. She will not be included on my Christmas Card list this year. Neither will the IRS.

Driven to be Driven

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With so much talk about positive thinking, belief, motivation, inspiration, and affirmation blinding us from every direction, it’s difficult to understand how many of us still choose to remain in a rut. It’s a decision, people. Do some of us  ‘have it easier’ than others? I don’t know. Do some of us ‘fall into luck’ more than others? Not really. I mean, look at it. Have you ever had a day where you drug yourself out of bed, scampered into the bathroom, mulled through your normal morning routine & day without a single thought? Unless you are a zombie, an actual dead person, the answer is NO. We have 60,000 thoughts every single day…on average. Big deal, I know. But these thoughts are not just useless meanderings, whimsical lights flashing through our brains. No. They are opportunities; possibilities to change the course of our day.

Of those 60,000 thoughts, if you had to sit down and actually write out each one, how many would you remember? Probably only the tiniest fraction could be recalled, right? But out of that tiny fraction, how many are negative? I have done this myself more times than I can count, believe me. I’ll be walking into work thinking I wonder how many girls will call in today, Have I left off a customer?, I wonder how many girls will be in a terrible mood today, Did I remember to unplug the coffee pot, the curling iron, did I get enough sleep last night, how come my ex-husband still hasn’t found a job after 2 years?….see what I mean?

And those are every day thoughts that ALWAYS rear their ugly skulls. Some of those…like tho coffee pot, curling iron, etc. are just awareness thoughts. But some of them, about my employees, customers, ex-husband, are thoughts that can change the course of my day for the better if I re-think them right. In other words, I change the wording of my thoughts to I hope everyone comes in today, I think we have a solid schedule today, and I will say a prayer for my ex-husband that he becomes employed soon so that he can feel more confident as a provider to our son.  Wishful thinking, or ‘positive thinking’? Whatever you want to call it, it changes things. Immensely. Why? I think the answer is clear. Because it changes the ‘problem’ into a solution. In other words, your mind goes from trying-to-fix-it mode to I’m-letting-it-go mode. When that happens, the mind lets go of the negative & moves on to the positive.

So, the next time those negative thoughts leak into the 60,000 and make you uncomfortably aware – stomp them right out. Sure, if you can fix something, by all means – do that. But if there are things out there pestering you and littering your mind with the uncontrollable unfathomables that are just, well, inevitable – turn them around and re-direct them into the abyss of notmyproblemville where they belong.  Your mind, your day, and your body will all join in a great big THANK YOU! And I promise, you will actually FEEL the difference.

 

Life Blossoms

Life Blossoms

The sun is popping out of its long and frozen hibernation like a kernel of corn, transforming into yummy popcorn goodness. It’s not stretching. It’s a freebird. It’s sprinting from those guarded gates of winter, like it’s spent the last decade in dark captivity. The sun is inspiring, as are the daffodil blossoms, the small buds of baby growth on branches, and the faces of everyone out enjoying this circus we call life. You find them in parks, stores, coffee shops, hiking trails, restaurants, bars, book stores, and right outside your front door. They are life blossoms.

We are life blossoms. We have hope because of the holy spirit, and we have life because of God – just like the sun, flowers, buds, and even (yes) the popcorn! The miracle of spring is simply this; we know that every year the cold will sneak in, take-over, and eventually begin to smother us in its hopelessness. For a while, we hold onto it like a blanket, until we realize that its more of a grudge than a blanket. Enter our yearning for spring. We remember its splendor, if only vaguely. We reminisce. We dream. We long for the kind of hope that only happens when the Earth starts rousing in her sunrise.

Eventually, the universe grants us our wish through it’s masterful Creator, and we transcend from sorrowful and hopeless has-beens to elated and enthusiastic can-bes. And life is worth it again. It’s a cycle. We can’t appreciate Spring without first experiencing Winter. Not entirely anyway.

This picture was taken almost a year ago. I’ve lost my mom since then, and my boys have grown a combined 7 inches, and 15 shoe sizes. I’ve been through more heartbreak in one year than some go through in a decade. But I’m not complaining. I’m savoring.

Those sorrows have led to a deeper appreciation for life, so much so that Spring lives in my heart now. I don’t need to wait for it. It was in there all along, beneath the cold snow-frozen ground that encapsulated it. I don’t resent the Winter, the coldness, nor the sadness. Underneath it all lies me and the hope that lives in the knowing that life goes on, Love lives within, and Spring has sprung brighter because of the darkness.