This Day…….

This is the day we have set aside to collectively give thanks, acknowledge even the smallest blessing in our lives. As I look around I see reminders of goodness and this gives me hope.

I have always been an ‘old soul’. Most times I yearn to lighten up but I am learning to lean in, to accept all that I am, to ALLOW. Being thankful and grateful offers a gateway to the best of both of those worlds while offering little conflict with my true ‘old soul’ nature.

Daily I try to be thankful for all the wonderful things and people that make up my life. I am thankful for a sunny- yellow VW bug that makes me smile every time I see her. I am thankful for the unending love and devotion of my one true love. I am thankful for blue hues everywhere. I am thankful for those that left their mark on my heart even though their stay was all too brief. I am thankful that I am gathering my tribe of creatives that envelope me in their support. I am thankful for good times and good friends, my family. I am thankful that I am on a journey to myself, that this very day, I am more of who I am meant to be even if I can’t always articulate what that means.   I am thankful that when words fail me,  I am but a moment away from others that are on similar paths and in their words I oft times find my voice. An on-line friend of mine, Darlene Kreutzer, has an uncanny ability to see into my very soul:

‘The words swallowed whole, gulped down in a fit of desire come out fragmented from lips that no longer understand how to speak the language of a life changing inside of her.”

I am thankful for my life, even when the words are just out of reach, leaving me with emotions just at the surface.  I am thankful that we can always re-write our stories, our happily ever afters.  xo

Recognizing…….

Summer is fading. I can smell, see,  and feel the autumn coming in and I love it! sumMEr was full for me but I would be remiss if I did not admit that somewhere along the way it fell just a bit short of my expectations. The guest bloggers were fabulous and more than I could have ever anticipated but I don’t feel like I upheld my end ~ to myself. Once again, I let the days pass by in a blur with sumMEr just on the tip of my tongue.

Then I remember to be gentle with myself.

Many people commented that sumMEr helped them, made them more aware and I recognize it did the same for me.

I now recognize more of what I do and don’t want in my life. I recognize I want more care-free-ness, more play. I recognize that I want more writing, more yoga and more books, less stress. I recognize that I want more singing and dancing. I recognize that I want to be more comfortable in my skin, the only skin I will ever have. I recognize I want relationships that are deeper and more meaningful. I recognize that I want a simpler life. I realize I want to live ~really LIVE~ my one precious life. I recognize that it is up to me, each and every day, to take steps (as small as they may be) toward my goals, to embrace what is while making what will be. I recognize I have to actively ALLOW and keep my eyes and heart gentle, be less judgmental while finding my true, authentic self.  I recognize that I create my own reality.

I recognize this is what life is – more about the recognizing, not so much the fading.

Today……

I have an outline of my focuses for this  sumMEr  with the main point of all this being:  How to change my relationship with me so that I will be better equipped to help others and connect with my soul’s work and the Goddess that I am? I know it all starts with me – no one else can do this work. We all have magic to share and we must take care of ourselves and believe in ourselves in order to be able to share that magic.

I am becoming more aware of how I speak to and about myself, aiming to be gentle. I am putting in place rituals that feel right for me and organizing so I have a calm reprieve to physically land when I let my mind get out of hand. I will make better food choices and start taking better care of myself. I will listen to what I need most and stand firm, not apologizing, remembering that when I say ‘yes’ to something that does not serve me, I am saying ‘no’ to something that might. I will not give into guilt. I will remember that ALLOW is my word of the year and I will make sure to have quiet time at least weekly, where I can reflect and offer gratitude. I aim to lighten up and not take everything so seriously, acknowledging that I only get this one life. I will enjoy the things and people that I love most. Everyday I will honor myself and in doing so, create a safe place for others.

There are many books and ecourses  and retreats that I want to delve into. I started this sumMEr off with an online class hosted by Liz Lamoreux and an art workshop at the studio of Jenni Horne. I am now joining Liz in her Inner Excavate-Along and Catherine Just in her Soul*Full Summit .  My lovely friend, Jenn Borek, has invited me to participate in her ecourse which involves one of my favorite things in the world: sticky notes! 😉 Rounding off my sumMEr will be the Artist’s Way Bookclub that the fabulous Jessica Brogan.

I invite you to poke around and see if any of these things call to you.  You might want to take this sumMEr to go inside yourself and reflect. There is no wrong way to do this – the ‘being aware’ is the most important part; it’s all in the becoming. Go at your own pace. Notice how you talk to yourself . Reflect on what you really want from your one precious life. Lean in. Live your Poem. xo

 

MCTD………

I have not really mentioned health issues in this space because I feel like I am so much more than the ‘yuck’ that I deal with but after talking with a special person today that just received the same diagnosis, I wanted to share a little about my journey. Forgive the fuzzy memory, just one of the many pleasures of dealing with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease.

I was 18 and could not get out of bed unassisted.  I just felt sick and knew this was not normal. I was scared. After two visits with a Rheumatologist in Alexander City, AL, I was told I had lupus-like tendencies, given Plaquenil and told to have my eyes checked every six months as permanent damage to the retina was a possible side effect. In less than a year I felt pretty much normal and decided to stop my medications; I’m stubborn like that.

Andy and I got married (after dealing with the false positive for syphilis) and life carried on with aches and pains here and there but no true issues aside from us not getting pregnant which I always felt was due to what I now know as MCTD. We bought our first house almost 8 years ago and I was thrilled with the above-ground pool. Couldn’t swim a lick and hate bugs but I was out there as much as humanly possible enjoying the perks of my new home. Life was good. Then I got sick again.

Looking back, I realize that the sun exposure was the trigger. I was extremely fatigued, a fatigue that even excessive amounts of sleep could not remedy. My joints ached.  It was a chore to get out of bed each morning, my muscles and bones hurt and my range of motion was nonexistent; I even got to the point that Andy had to literally dress me. Deciding I could no longer function in this manner we sought out medical help.

And here memory gets patchy: after several doctors and Plaquenil, chemo treatments, evil Prednisone, and other various drugs I was told I had lupus. I never fully went into remission but life resumed.

Andy got a new job and had to work a third shift on the weekend. I would stay with him at night, trying to sleep in a camping chair. This routine went on for a while and brought on another flare. More meds, another rheumy and more tests later, I had a new diagnosis of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. I was happy to trade in the lupus for this lesser sounding issue. Then I went online to read that now I was the proud new owner of not just one but multiple auto-immune diseases…… I am an overachiever like that. I remissioned but held my breath. Physically, I was recuperating but mentally, I was paused. Chronic pain is a personal path that can not be seen by the casual glance. Thankfully, Andy never thought I was crazy or doubted that my pain was real.

I now live with a few limitations (I am highly sun sensitive and still battle pain and MCTD claimed my uterus, to name a few) but I have a new reality and I have made peace with that. Maybe I am at the point where my story will help others feel a bit of comfort when they hear a diagnosis that turns their world upside down and is compounded by lack of information, knowledge and understanding. It is scary but it will be fine. You will be fine. xo

Overcome……

I am overcome. In the best of ways.

Andy is making his dreams come true and that makes my heart sing.

I am ALLOWing and that feels wonderful and freeing.

I have so many supportive people in my life and I am leaning into all this goodness.

I want to live as authentically and in the most genuine spirit as possible and I know this is the year for grand things.

This fills my soul: “The gifting of oneself and one’s talents is a most honest way of sharing with those around us, because it forbids pretense, and demands that we give others something real, something tangibly experienced. Far too rarely do we truly enact this kind of gift-giving—this sacrifice, even—but when we do, something holy and unexpected happens.”~Kinfolk Magazine

xo

Support

I am fortunate to have wonderful friends and family near but I also have a tribe of artists, spanning the globe,  that I proudly call friends. They uplift and encourage and know exactly where I am coming from. It is a remarkable group of talented, beautiful souls and they warm my heart and make me believe that anything is indeed possible.

Two of these lovelies honored me with blog posts (linked below)  – I am so humbled by their enthusiasm and support !!! xox

http://shellsinthebush.blogspot.com/2011/11/happily-ever-after-charmed-life.html
http://quilthexle.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-i-found-in-my-mailbox.html

Full…….

I try to be aware and grateful each day of my life but there are certain times or events that bring into sharper reality how much I do have for which to be thankful. My life is full. I have an amazingly supportive husband and a marriage that makes my heart swell with pride; no words can ever encompass how he truly completes me. I have a family that, even in the midst of conflicts, is supportive and bands together. I have an extended family through very close friends that I adore.  I have my pup and cat that give unconditional love. I work with caring people and am pursuing creative endeavors that round out my life. But while my life is full, my heart heavy.

Last week my best, good girl lost her mother. My heart is broken for her. I can not begin to imagine the pain she has been going through or will have to endure. I know she will make it through this and it will make her an even more remarkable person (if this is even possible) but I am sure that losing her mother consumes her; it would consume me and my best, good girl and I are connected at the heart, so I have this on good authority.

I want to say to you, my best, good girl: you are brave in your sadness. While your world is topsy-turvy and nothing will ever be the same and I am sure nothing makes sense right about now and you doubt if it ever will, remember: you are the constant and you will take all the words and love your sweet mama gave you and you will make this place so much better than you already have, just by being you, my sweet. When you want to scream, cry, talk or just sit remember you have so many people who love you and want to surround you with support but you have to be gentle with yourself, as gentle and tender as you are with everyone else.

Today, more than any to date, I am thankful for the survivor in all of us.  When our road seems hopeless, there is some way through and we will be able to make our lives and the lives of others better, in some way, from everything that we experience. We just have to know this and believe this. xox