May 31st – Running the month away

Dear me, 

I ran my final race for awhile today. A bucket list event that nearly every serious San Diego runners eyes. The Rock n Roll half could have been an opportunity for a PR as it is a relatvely easy, level or downhill course.     Of course, training time went in the toilet with my mom’s fall so instead this became a “just finish it without hurting yourself” event.

I had to do some mental gymnastics to see it through to the end, especially those last 2 miles, but I did post my 2nd fastest time ever which felt great! I spent a good deal of that run reflecting on the past month. Some really great things happened around a traumatic event that, I feel, gave us all strength and greater clarity on the path to take to keep all our heads above water. I had some wonderful days just sitting with my parents. I reconnected with old family friends and shared many deep, belly laughs along the way. I leaned on a few folks when needed and they came up aces. Alex and I have spent some wonderful lazy nights together talking about all sorts of things and laughing uproariously at each other, the cats, and whatever tickles us. It’s so fun to be able to be so open with him. Plus, I had a few triumphs over my lifelong insecurities allowing me to keep my heart centered on myself. I’ve got a long way to go still to make that the default setting, but I was happy with my overall progress in silencing my Inner Mean Girls.

Bring on June!

Be kind, be loving, just be  

May 29th – Messages

Dear me,

(I decided to re-listen to the audio files from Matt Kahn from a retreat he held earlier this year and make note of the messages that are resonating most deeply with me – this is a data dump from the first full session.)

No one has time to think about me.

Most people are living in their own world of self denial and self criticism – they have no TIME or ENERGY to think about you!

No one thinks about you.

So, what if I started thinking about me?

What if I was the one who thought about myself most often? Contact yourself like you reach out to a friend. “Hey, how you doing? Just thinking about you. Just want you know what a great job your are doing. Love you!”

Treat yourself as you want others to treat you.

Live in a constant state of celebration of life. Whether you are with other people or not does not matter. Just being with yourself is a party! The celebration goes on constantly.

What if I’m the only one who needs to think about me? What if when I wonder what other people think about me, I am taking away time that could be spent thinking of me? It’s not selfish. I can give myself as much attention as I want, and no one goes without. Attention is like oxygen. If I breathe deeply, the person next to me doesn’t get lightheaded! If I pay attention to and love myself, then I actually become more loving and it I create a more loving environment for the people around me.

“If only people would make time for me!” “Well, then why don’t YOU do that?”

Love the one you’re with, right? ((There’s a song about that :)))

What’s the one thing that the characters in your life are not doing that you want the most? Do it for yourself.Do it for others.

What’s the one sentence you need to hear most often from the world (family, friends etc)? Say it to yourself. Say it to others.

What I want from others, I offer to them, what I am waiting to hear, I speak to all.

You’ve got to be all about you, so that you can receive the gifts of the universe and then be available to support others.

All of this is for me, and by allowing it to all be for me, I take nothing from anyone cause I already have more than enough for myself so I don’t even need to look on someone else’s plate. All of this is here to serve me, and when I let it all serve me, only then can I serve the grace of all.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

So one of my classic insecurity nerves was put to the test today – feeling left out. What is it about receiving messages/lessons and then immediately getting tested on the topic?! The universe has such a dark and twisty sense of humor. So, I danced on the wall with my insecurities for a bit. I asked her about this…why didn’t she tell me she was there ( or going?)….oh, don’t be silly…you couldn’t have gone today..you can go tomorrow….if you’d had the freedom, you would have preferred to go today too…yeah, but it’s still weird she didn’t volunteer the info to you when you asked…whatever…is it any skin off your nose really? No. So stop dancing with those thoughts. I’ve got plenty of time tomorrow, I can just relax and go with….ME! Throw that insecure bitch off the wall now, would you please? Thank you!

Wait…no…give her a hug first. Tell her thank you for teaching you over the years. There’s been some good laughs for sure. I mean, she made you think some crazy thoughts and do a few nutty things that are pretty darn amusing. I get it – she thought she was protecting you FROM being hurt instead of actually being the one doing the hurting. She meant well. She/I just needed to feel loved. It’s all good now. She can go off and play on the swings for eternity now.

I got it from here.

I am healthy, I am happy, I am abundant, I am free!

Be kind, be loving, just be.

May 28th – Wiped Out

Dear me,

I am sitting down to write and am beyond exhausted so let’s just go with gratitude again.

I am very grateful for the staff at Vista Knolls. Yes, even the ones who took longer than should have to respond to a patient’s call button. Overall, they were all truly caring and effective and the therapy staff especially were just fantastic. I think they were happier than us when the ortho cleared my mom for bearing weight and they got her up and around and ready to go home in 8 days. Even working with her over a 3-day weekend.

I am grateful for all of us having a really healthy sense of humor and generally upbeat outlook. It made the days so much better and allowed us – especially today – to laugh at many, many absurd events.

As a note – men of any age when left to care for a house on their own immediately revert to bachelorhood habits. My mom walked in, took one look around at every surface that was covered with papers, notes or laundry and said “Take me back!” Four hours later we had it all sorted and put away so that she wont feel so overwhelmed tomorrow.

I am super grateful for the next door neighbors who were the ones who initially helped her the night of the fall and who were there waiting for us when we drove up to greet her and see that she was truly OK.

I am grateful to my youngest son who willingly came along, patiently assisted in all sorts of tasks, and even offered to go back next week to take her on another grocery run. He has stepped up big time and made this whole thing tons easier on all of us.

Mostly I am grateful for everyone who wished us well, and helped out remotely and/or physically.

I know in the past I addressed the notion of asking “how is this serving me?” . I told my mom that for her it was a way to clearly STOP and focus just on her and to start asking for more help overall. I got her to start thinking more about WHAT she should be asking rather than bother with SHOULD she. Yes, ASK. Apply for every discount or aid you can get. Question every bill, ask for discounts, and don’t just keep accepting the status quo even from long time companies.

Actually, I think I am MOSTLY MOSTLY happy to see May fade off into the distance. I think I had pillars for the month. I cannot begin to revisit what they were or how I did.

Be kind, be loving, just be.

May 26th – Almost home!

Dear me, 

My mom got her discharge date today – Thursday – yay! That means she will be home less than 30 days after the fall. Pretty darn impressive! 

Meanwhile, I took a little bit of my soul soothing time back and went to the neighborhood yoga class tonight. Such a different experience to be going there without carrying any of the Inner Mean Girl voices in my head! It’s probably been almost 2 years since I last went to a class so it was like being brand new and yet I didn’t once give two shits about how I looked or whether I could hold a pose or how far I could stretch. I didn’t glance sideways at the others and do any mental comparisons. I just focused on the instructor’s voice, let my body do what it could and stayed as heart centered as possible without toppling over 🙂

I felt the energy traveling from my toes to my fingertips and was able to relax and stretch a tiny bit more with each exhalation. The time just flew and I certainly feel as if many tight muscles were loosened and opened up. 

It’s wonderful to open up the connections to my neighbors and feel engaged in my surroundings more deeply. 

It’s also going to be much better for me long term to incorporate yoga (and dance) into my fitness regime to hopefully prevent any falls like my mom took. 

Also, memo to the universe – I see what you are doing – as some abundance shows up, something immediately pops up to swoop it right off. Various out of pocket health care bills, Alex’s college costs, a bee hive in my front wall. Yeah, I see it. Testing my ability to stay focused and committed to using my abundance wisely. No extra trips, no frivolous purchases. I get it. Act like a non-profit and reinvest it all right back here at home. 

I am happy, I am healthy, I am abundant, I am free.

Be kind, be loving, just be.

May 25th – Perking Up

Dear me,

So this morning I again woke up feeling sluggish. Not *as* badly as Sunday, but still not 100%. Renee responded to a text describing herself as being in “adrenal fatigue”…I don’t know exactly what that is, but the word fatigue does line up. Though it was as much mental as it was physical. Some heavy drizzling didn’t help either. After yet another post feeding the cats nap, I meditated and then turned on another Matt Kahn video to listen to while I made breakfast. Focusing on his voice really helped pull me out and then he started talking about something that rang so true to me – he said:

“Treat yourself the way you want to be treated.”

Not, treat OTHERS, but treat YOURSELF. Pay attention to the self talk going on in your head. Would you talk to someone else that way? Would you want someone ELSE talking to you that way? Would you let them? Or would you get angry and hurt? If YOU spoke to someone else like that, wouldn’t you expect THEM to get angry/hurt and lash out?

Then why do you think it is OK to talk to yourself in anything other than a loving way?

Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.

I love that concept.

I asked my 18 year old tonight if his inner voice was critical and negative. He said “yeah” immediately. Fascinating. So I brought up the concept to him. Thought I might try to sprinkle the seeds of a different way of thinking into his head now.

Be kind, be loving, just be.

May 24th – Laying Low

Dear me,

I went to bed Friday feeling like I had squeezed the most out of the day.

The last two days I’ve had a very hard time getting myself motivated to move after feeding the cats!

I used to call those “foggy days” and I would just sort of go about the day aimlessly and pretty much avoid social contact. I wasn’t necessarily in a bad mood, just in a “meh” mental space.

This time, I allowed myself to take it slow in the mornings. Saturday I did go to boot camp, but I was pretty quiet on the group coaching call and I didn’t push myself into doing the full grocery shopping. I did go to a neighborhood pizza party and was able to be focused and engaged and have some really wonderful conversations with everyone.

Also, for once, I didn’t criticize or second guess myself about what I brought to the party and I barely felt awkward at all.

Today though, I *really* shut down. No run, a nap after feeding the cats, and just generally puttering around on the internet was about all I could muster. But again, I knew I needed to pull it together to go see my mom and that ended up being completely easy.

I suspect that this weekend is just a bit of recovery time. It was a big week with my mom making such huge progress and knowing that she will most likely be sent home next week, the planning for that transition is on top of our minds. Then the loan maybe, finally, (maybe), closing this week after all these months! I was able to spend some time looking at what this will mean for my budget for now, but this is also only Step one. Step two is refinancing the second which will make a bigger impact on the monthly cash flow. I know I need to keep focusing on wishing abundance to everyone and then back to myself.

While this may not sound like much for most people, this was pretty huge for me to pull myself out from within and engage with everyone – and to end up enjoying every moment of it.

Be kind, be loving, just be.

May 22nd – What if you had to write your eulogy?

Dear me,

(shhhh…I signed loan docs tonight…wiring money to escrow Tuesday…..shhhhh)

In the coaching group that started me on this whole journal writing process, the coach brought up the topic of writing your own eulogy. Apparently they did this last year with some great results but I hadn’t joined yet. She is bringing this assignment back around again and through all the other things going on, I’ve only been able to roll the idea around in the background of my mind, but in the last couple of days, things settled enough for me to find an area of focus and I found it SO interesting/ironic.

As I’ve been trying to understand the essence of ME and identify and reduce my insecure voices, what was THE Big One?

“You don’t really have any friends. You are too weird. You say odd/offensive things and push people away. You desperately WANT friends, but you actually don’t know how to be one.”

Of course, when thinking about how people would remember me RIGHT NOW if I were gone I went right into thinking about the times I *have* been awful. Unfriendly, cold, snappy, unkind, impatient…BUT…for once I didn’t dwell in that. Those thoughts bubbled up, and I washed them away with a wave of compassion for myself.

Then I remembered.

I may be (up until recently) have been awkward at the *everyday* functionality of connection and friendship, BUT…I have had some significant moments with various people. And I don’t mean with expected family members.

For whatever reason, the universe has placed me in front of people when really awful things have happened and I have NOT backed down, NOT put up walls, NOT been afraid to walk into the situation and be of comfort. In one situation, I literally watched all the other co-workers scurry AWAY. In another, someone actually called me in to help and then tapped out.

And while I have not necessarily maintained tight friendships with the people who I’ve comforted, I know that in that moment when they felt like the world was going to swallow them whole that I threw them a lifeline to get by the next minute, the next hour, whatever it took to get them home safely to family.

In fact, I’ve realized that my previous most awkward moments when I viewed myself as flailing, what I was actually doing was reaching out to be vulnerable and connect with people who I admired/respected/enjoyed being around. THEY just couldn’t handle it! But then when someone else is hit with a loss unexpectedly, they suddenly NEED someone willing to just hold them and let them cry without a word. Bring a tissue. Listen to you scream without shushing you. Because I am not afraid to walk into that fire with someone. I *want* to be that person holding your hand through it. Because no one should have to walk it alone.

Like I did.

Like I ended my marriage with no one really on my side.

And it sucked

Like I got the news at work that my best friend at the time had died and no one really knew what to do. I had to go outside and cry and call Marcus so he could talk me down, but no one was there to hug me, no one brought me tissue.

And it sucked.

And now the lyrics to James Taylor’s You’ve Got a Friend are running through my mind, but really…that is it. THAT is my eulogy. “You just call, out my name, and you know, wherever I am, I will be there…yes I will. Cause you’ve got a friend.”

Be kind, be loving, just be.