Category Archives: Life Change

Do you pay attention to your inner senses?

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film strip

 

Do you have déjà vu’s?   It means “already seen” in French.  Have you had premonitions of what will be and then it happened?  Do you pay attention to what you’re intuition, your inner senses are telling you?

I have what I’ve come to call “flash forwards.”  They are rapid pictures of what will unfold… fast quick flashes, much like a slide show, each a diorama of what will occur.  There’s typically a trigger that brings on the flash of knowings.  This “skill,” for lack of a better word, started mid-July 2014.  Completely conscious, I will in mind’s eye flash forward to possibilities/probabilities that exist in relation to the person(s) I might be speaking with, or if alone, in relation to my own life-path.

The first occurrence happened while I was speaking with a gentleman I’ve known for 20 plus years.  Standing in my family room, he spotted the series of young adult sci-fi fiction books in my bookcase and asked if his daughter could borrow one of them.  “Of course,” I replied, pulling the book off the shelf and handing it to him.  As he took the book, both of us each holding a side, I “saw” a series of events that would occur between us.  Disoriented, it took great effort to focus on what he was saying in the present, and be in the events of what would unfold, all existing at once.  After he’d left, I wrote out what I had retained thinking, “No, this wouldn’t happen, I don’t understand how these circumstances would ever occur.”  And I put it aside after a few days, going on with everyday life not giving the inner mind slideshow another thought… until everything I had seen unfolded in reality just two months later.

In November, 2014 another flash-forward occurred, this time involving the unfolding of experiences that would affect a friend’s life.  I was not directly involved in the events.  I told her what I had seen, and advised her to take the information to heart, to make the appropriate changes where needed.  The events unfolded that December just as I had “known” them to unfold, with some major consequences affecting her life-path.  Because she had not made the recommended changes, the results were unpleasant.  The ability to see what would occur had now extended out to others lives, not just mine.

Many flash forwards have occurred since, some pleasant, some unpleasant.  I have learned to pay attention and if necessary, make different choices where needed before the actual events occur, consequently changing the outcome.  This skill is different than seeing someone’s past or sensing someone’s physical illness, which has been a life-long skill-set.  This particular ability provides instant knowing, with one catch.  It’s not something I can do at will.  This occurs randomly, as if the Universe is handing me a filmstrip ahead of time saying, “Here, this is going to happen, and if you make a conscious choice, it will turn out differently.  Pay attention.  Don’t disregard.  Be prepared.”

So I pay attention.  Another flash forward occurred this last Thursday.  I had picked up four ceramic coasters of Lake Superior that my bff from Wisconsin had gifted me… it was a trigger.  I flashed forward to being involved in a relationship (which I am not currently in).  I could not see him, but felt and saw events unfold quickly leading to the intersection where this relationship would manifest.  It felt fantastic.   Even though these flashes of knowing have been ongoing for several years, they always leave me in awe.  I’ve stopped doubting myself and to trust what I feel and see.  Let’s see what this new adventure holds!

What’s your experience with gut feelings, inner senses, or premonitions?

We are more than this…

 

 

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Here’s to a New Year!

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Hey all. Do you have big plans for 2019? Were there goals you set last year that didn’t manifest? My big goals for this year are to:

  1. Listen to my inner voice. Being preoccupied with to-do lists, writing more chapters for the second book in the Life Journey series, helping my adult children navigate “adulting” challenges distracts me. So. #1 – Sit, Listen, Manifest.
  2. Meditate more and get out of the same routine. I’ve been meditating for nearly 50 years, using the same techniques forever. It’s time for a change. So the nano is going to get a whole set of new songs, (yes I still use it), and the guided imagery scenery will change. Lately, I’ve been using Jason Stephenson’s YouTube channel. Good stuff!
  3. Cook some new dishes. Clean eating is a way of life for me, but the same recipes over and over has got to go! Time to look for some new clean-eating, autoimmune friendly meals. (Ideas? Anyone? Anyone?)
  4. Head over to the coffee shop to write, work, blog more. I love my sunny ceiling to floor windows here at home, but I think it would be cool to soak in the coffee smells.
  5. Romance – More to come on that one. It’s been on the back burner.
  6. Imagine more awesome things for 2019. Maybe monthly.

What are you up to? Any good recipes? Romance advice? Favorite meditations? Please share with me. Happy 2019 trails!

Trust Without Borders

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Wow what a ride!  This life journey sure is a blast.  Took a minute for me to get to this place of acceptance and yep, discovery.  It’s a whole new world for me (I sound like Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin… wait let me get my flying carpet out).  

Didn’t think I had it in me to make such major life changes, especially being 63 and all.  But who says we can’t do, learn, become more than this in the senior years of our lives? (and what’s considered senior nowadays?)  No one.  It’s our own perspective and the limits we set on ourselves.  

Health challenges pushed me out of the comfort zone into the unknown.  Oh no!  Let me just say, this Pollyanna chicklet was freaking out.  (and maybe sometimes I still do a little, for a few seconds when I wake up in the middle of the night and think what the he**)! 

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When I relax into the web of knowing, into trust of Spirit and All That Is, I do OK.  So far, every need has been met.  Every.  Single.  Thing.  The right doctors, the right tests, a work-from-home job I can do in my p.j.’s.  And not just any job, it’s a job that not only uses my writing and blogging skills, but allows me creative freedom (this is very cool).  I work in the sunny south windows with my trusty sidekick Francis aka “Frankie” the long-haired chihuahua, sipping hot chocolate from Penzy’s (the best) and snacking on tasty Envy apple slices.  Oh yah. 

Let it Be (John Lennon), Be Here Now (Ram Dass), Que Sera Sera (Doris Day) and of course my favorite We Are More Than This…  Trust without borders. 

Crosses

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Months and years of family and health challenges left me exhausted with more questions than answers. What the heck Universe, what’s the story? “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!”  Hmm… does it, because I was pretty darn wiped out and not feeling strong in any way.  Good thing I have an awesome sense of humor and strong belief that we are more than this…  While gabbing with a friend on FaceTime, the collection of  crosses on my wall showed up behind me on the screen. She noticed the crosses. “They’re pretty aren’t they?  Each one unique and different.”  I said.  She asked if I had named them,  (in other words, the physical “crosses” I bear).  Interesting perspective, a perspective I had not considered and made me laugh.

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For me, crosses represent the intersection of Spirit with matter in order to experience physical life as human.  However, I sure appreciated my friend’s fresh perspective.  The challenges presented over the many years and months could very well be named as my “crosses.” They are the intersection of Spirit experiencing life in all of its Fullness.  Living experience.  Energy of the Collective Whole, Spirit, God in all of Its glory, living out unique, creative, beautiful experiences.  Some tough and challenging, others easy and fun, still others wild, out-of-control crazy!  So hold on tight! We are witnesses and companions to the unfolding and manifesting Spirit.  There will be good times and not-so-good times on this journey. All part of our experience as more than physical, as more than this…

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”  ~ Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Myriad of Things

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God

Disguised

As a myriad things and

Playing a game

Of tag

Has kissed you and said,

“You’re it—

I mean, you’re Really IT!”

Now

It does not matter

What you believe or feel

For something wonderful,

Major-league Wonderful

Is someday going

To

Happen.

~ Hafiz, “You’re It”

 

Tag. You’re IT!  Do you believe something wonderful, major-league is about to happen?  I always have.  I want to keep believing.  These days it’s meant believing with a whole bunch of challenges.  Health challenges, financial challenges, life-purpose challenges, all abounding around.  In the midst of it all I see and feel God, as a myriad of things, encircling me.  In the presence of the people I am with daily, in the winter sunshine pouring through my home office window, in the trees wearing the winter snow, in my pup’s wiggly butt as he brings me his favorite toy for playtime, these, each and all living God.  So maybe someday is not here yet, and the major-league wonderful is still coming.  In the meantime, the myriad of things gives me joy and keeps me going. Tag “You’re IT!” Living God.

 

You are the Hub of the Wheel

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hub of the wheel

Imagine yourself as the hub of this wheel that daily life revolves around, make the spokes of the wheel as connections to those you care for most. The wheel’s activities, its responsibilities surround you, spinning and spinning through each day, week, and year. You are central, the key to keeping it all balanced. Recognizing this, it’s important you care enough about yourself in order to preserve your mental, physical, and emotional health. And consider this… when you’re out of sorts, the wheel’s balance is too. If you haven’t taken the time to give yourself the nurturing you require, the wheel can lose balance and begin to wobble!

Some years ago while on vacation, I recognized my own wheel-wobble. I wondered why I couldn’t put more oomph into just having fun with my family. Doing my job, both jobs, 1) taking care of my family and 2) working a full-time job, took every ounce of energy I had. I had nothing left to give. Fun, what was that? Playing cards or a board game, going to the museums, taking walks, watching movies just didn’t seem as needed as keeping the house clean, doing the laundry, running the errands, getting my youngsters where they needed to go, you name it, I was doing it. The “work” side of the wheel was heavier than the fun side, and I was wobblin’ big time!

Who suffers when we don’t care for ourselves? Right us, and not just us, but everyone we come into contact with. We are home base for our family, the safety net everyone falls into. It’s important for us to be rested, happy, healthy and nurtured. Use the lists you created from the last blog, “Me Time,” to help you do this next exercise.

ACTIVITY: HUB OF THE WHEEL:

  1. Draw a circle or other shape in the center of a blank sheet of paper and write your name in the center.
  2. Choose another color to draw spokes outward. Label each spoke a responsibility or commitment you have to someone, i.e. husband, wife, significant other, children, pets, church, school committees, civic organizations, fun activities with friends, etc… Anyone or anything you have day-to-day or week to week contact with should be included. Whatever takes time in your life, write it in.
  3. Using another color, draw branches off of each spoke. These will represent duties and responsibilities you perform regularly for that individual, pet, or organization.
  4. Finally, choosing one last colored marker or pencil, encircle your responsibilities connect them one to the next, surrounding the spokes like a tire revolving and spinning on the hub.

Now take the time to look over your wheel and reflect. Who do you spend the most time with? Who or what is an energy drainer? Who or what do you wish you might spend more time with? What do you want to change? Use this visual tool to evaluate your life activities. Do it every week if necessary to get a visual for where your time goes. Turn the autopilot off and make the conscious decision to LOOK at what you do. We will use information from this exercise in later modules to help change your focus to areas you have passion for, or goals you wish to take steps toward.

JOURNAL ACTIVITY:

  1. Who or what do you spend the most time with?
  2. Who or what do you wish to spend more time with?
  3. What do you want to change?

Kudos for this activity:  A workshop participant emailed me several weeks after doing this particular exercise to tell me that he had taped the wheel to the refrigerator for the entire family to see. He wrote, “The kids were amazed at how much I do on a day-to-day basis, other than going to work. After studying my “wheel,” they decided to pitch in to help where they could. Thank you for bringing the awareness of how much I do not just to me, but to my family as well.”

Give it a try. Post your “Wheel” and see what reaction you get from family members, friends or colleagues.

 

Primary Caretaker – Me time

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Me time

Art from lineleoff.com

 

Over a 25 year period, I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate self-awareness workshops. What I found is that there are countless numbers of us, both women and men, who have taken on the role of primary caretaker and as a result have put aside our own self-nurturing and self-care. This is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves to develop a life lived with joy.

In some of these workshops, taking care of oneself seemed an almost alien concept to some. “What do you mean by self-nurturing?” They would ask. We raise our children while maintaining a healthy environment for them. We promote education, gently guiding family members in particular directions when a talent is recognized. We are there to “lift up” our spouses, significant others, friends and colleagues when they’re blue. We rise in the morning thinking of others. We go through each day, each hour, sometimes each moment planning how we will care for our family members, friends, or coworkers. We are the nurturers of the world!

I am mother to five children (now ages twenty-one through thirty-eight). When they were younger, I remember getting up in the morning before anyone else was awake heading for the shower already thinking of the dentist appointments, what to cook later for dinner and when? How would I get my then sixteen year old to a German club meeting and still get to the event I had volunteered for? Mind moving on and on, all of these thoughts occurring within a moment or two’s time… once resolved, I moved on to the other challenges I’d face that day.

Back then, time for my own interests was difficult to find. Whether to begin doctorate work became an anxiety ridden decision. Who would help with evening homework if I wasn’t home? Would my sixteen year old bring a troop of friends over while I was out? How would I prepare any kind of meal before I left for the evening? And finally, was the coursework something I even wanted to do? Or was I feeling pressured by my peers and employer? Talk about stress. One simple decision became a masterpiece of confusion and anxiety.

Does this sound familiar to you? Knowing how to care for ourselves, how to journey through each day being gentle on ourselves, being just as considerate of our “self” as we would be toward a family member, friend, or coworker… this is what we need to work toward and maintain. From a young age many of us were taught to be caretakers, we were conditioned to believe that it was our responsibility to care for others while our own needs were put aside. Today, many of us are caring for children or young adults, while very possibly caring for aging parents at the same time.

When you have a few minutes, try the following activity. What are some of the things that you do for others on a daily basis?

DO: List what you do for other people on a daily basis, right down to the smallest detail. 

Here’s an example of what a typical day looked like for me while raising my children and working a full time:

  • Cooked breakfast before school and work
  • Cleaned up the dishes and started the dishwasher
  • Made school lunches and my lunch for work
  • Threw in a load of laundry in both the dryer and the washer
  • Made beds
  • Worked all day at the office
  • Fed the birds
  • Paid Bills
  • “Helped” the kids do their chores
  • Took recycling out to the garage
  • Did the banking
  • Helped my oldest write his resume
  • Called a friend in need
  • Stopped at the store to pick up household goods
  • Worked on insurance benefits

My list was for a full day and I’ve most likely forgotten several things since that time. When you listed your day, you probably found your own list growing longer and longer with responsibilities that you typically do on “autopilot” and promptly forget. What I ask you to do next is more of a challenge. How much of your day is spent doing something for yourself, something rejuvenating or stress relieving? Something educational or a hobby you enjoy?

DO: List your own self-nurturing activities now.

I know you listed fewer activities. And you’re not alone! The majority of the people that have attended my workshops have had shorter lists as well. If you aren’t nurturing yourself, if you’re operating on overload… Not caring for you can lead to stress-filled days, resentment toward others, and finally burnout. What I’m suggesting is that you take the time to attend to your own well-being, just as you do for so many others.

Are you over-doing? It’s time to take steps toward self-nurturing. You are worthy of the same care you provide to others. You are just as important… just as special. Incorporate a reality check into each morning of your day. Evaluate what you want to happen in the day and how you’ll put some “me” time into your schedule. Set that time aside and stick to it as much as possible. Check it off at the end of each day. It doesn’t have to be some long impossible list. Here’s an example of my activities list. I would choose one or two from the list to incorporate into the day:

  • Work out
  • Spend time walking in nature
  • Sit at the local bookstore and sip tea
  • Read for 30 minutes after dinner
  • Write uninterrupted for one hour
  • Answer friends e-mail
  • Lunch with a friend at work
  • Sketch in my journal
  • Read and post affirmations
  • Attend a cooking class
  • Join a book discussion club
  • Have friends over once a week to just sit and gab
  • Refurbish a piece of furniture
  • Garden
  • Listen to music
  • Meditate

What did you put on your list? Choose one activity close to your heart and begin incorporating it into your day or week. Make it formal by putting it on your calendar or daily schedule. Block the time out for you! I’d love to hear some of the activities you’ve incorporated into the day or week just for yourself.

Next week: “You are the Hub of the Wheel,” an activity that helps create a visual snapshot of your life activities and responsibilities. Have a fabulous week!