Posted in Chronic Illness, coping, Resilience, Uncategorized

Giving Up is Not an Option

Over the last year, I have had to change my life quite drastically.  None of it was by choice.  I became very ill, had to stop working, and move back in with family.  At the age of 36, this is not something you dream about for your life.  I am not going to go into the details of it all at this point, but I will over time.  EVERYTHING that I worked so hard for- I lost.  My new job, my home, my friends, my health, my sanity.

This is how it felt.   I had to resign my new job because I was too sick to work.  I had to move out of my home because I couldn’t work to pay the mortgage.  I didn’t get to see my friends because it took all my energy just to get out of bed.  I felt like I was losing my mind because the mind and body are connected and my body was not okay.

I lived minute by minute.  All I could do was trust the decisions of my family members and doctors and contribute as much as I could to what I thought was best for me.  For months and months, it took every ounce of strength I had to not give up.  Everyday, I had to keep this speck of hope and faith that somehow I would get through it.  I was terrified every single day, but had to continue to put one foot in front of the other.

Giving up is not an option. And when I felt like giving up, my family would remind me how strong I am and that I am a fighter.  I fought for them.  I have come a long way since last June.  And I still have a long way to go.  I will share much more of this chronic illness story and what I have learned about life in the process.  I honestly hesitate to write about this because I don’t want it to define me.  I am so much more than an illness or circumstances that I cannot control.  So I will just say that none of this defines who I am, but it is a huge challenge that I have had to face. And in that regard, I am forever changed by it.

 

 

 

Posted in awareness, connection, counseling, dating, feminism, fulfillment, movies, psychology, relationships, Uncategorized

Only in the Movies

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My synopsis of romantic comedy movies.  

Typical precursors to girl and guy meeting:

  1. Neither person is really looking for someone to date
  2. One person “thinks” they are happy in another relationship
  3. One person’s significant other has passed away
  4. Big life change/adventure
  5. Coworkers/friends trying to meddle in love life

Guy and girl can meet under any or all the following conditions:

  1. girl and guy literally bump into each other
  2. sometimes a set up, but most always a random meeting
  3. guy notices and/or saves a clumsy girl
  4. spark at first sight
  5. some drama/turmoil is typically involved

The relationship evolution (I could write a variety of these, but I think this is one that is very typical in romantic comedies):

  1. girl and guy have fun at first, but things are left with uncertainty
  2. girl gets mad at guy for doing something stupid
  3. what really happens is typically a miscommunication, but girl’s feelings are hurt and she is not willing to listen or work things out easily
  4. the guy goes out of his way to make things better
  5. the girl comes around at the end to see things for what they are, and they live happily ever after

I do love romantic comedies, I really do.  I’m so happy when people who are meant to be together, find each other against the odds.   It’s entertaining and endearing.  But I do wonder how much of what we see affects our view of how healthy relationships really develop.

Here are a few themes that I notice in romantic comedies.

  • Girl is portrayed as clumsy and inept in some way, only to be saved by guy.
  • Girl is portrayed as bitch, only to be more attractive to guy.
  • Communication skills between girl and guy are absolutely terrible.
  • Girl typically does not like (sometimes hates) guy at first.
  • Guy does what he thinks girl wants in order to fix things.
  • Most of the movie time is spent in drama versus showing a loving relationship.

Relationship building in a romantic comedy nut shell: Inept. Dislike. Spark of Desire. Mess up. Terrible Communication. Band-aid. Brief Intense Happiness.  End of Movie.

I’d like offer some ideas for how healthy relationship building should go:

  • Girl and guy are both at a place in their lives where they are interested in and available for a relationship.
  • Girl is stable, kind, capable.  And so is guy.
  • Neither girl nor guy need rescuing.
  • Girl likes guy initially, good things don’t tend to grow from bad seeds.
  • Girl and guy practice communication skills ~intentions are clear and miscommunication is resolved quickly.
  • Girl and guy spend time getting to know each other for a while before deciding on feelings.
  • Girl and guy have fun together, and that does not have to include drama.

None of these things would make a good movie I guess.. but would likely lead to happier relationships.

Posted in ceramics, connection, fulfillment, grounding, intuition, mindfulness, minimalism, peace, Uncategorized

A Love Affair with Mugs

mugs

If I had to pick a “thing” that brings me great pleasure, it’s ceramics, more specifically, mugs.

I think they are so lovely to look at and hold.  I feel grounded when I hold a mug that was crafted by a local artisan. One that is not perfectly shaped, but fits the contours of my hands and fingers.  I breathe a little easier, heart beats a little slower ~ my hands were made to hold this life giving vessel.

uiiiiiiii8 (Miles, my cat, contributed this part)

When I am out and about, I am drawn to mugs.  I can’t help but notice their beauty.  Each one has its own history and uniqueness.  They tug at my heart, but I am reminded that I don’t really need any more.

What is this heart tug about?  I know that I have plenty of beautiful mugs.  I know that I will acquire more once I donate ones I no longer want.  But the heart knows what it needs and wants.  It seems to be about this feeling of staying connected to the earth.   

I don’t feel this way about many other “things”.  I certainly don’t breathe easier when I am holding my cell phone.  In fact, my hands tend to cramp up or fall asleep.  I find this difference quite telling about what my body knows it needs.

Whether it is an actual “thing” or something abstract, I’m going to keep listening to what my body is drawn to and what makes it happiest, and I hope you will to!!

Posted in fulfillment, intuition, mindfulness, minimalism, peace, poetry, Uncategorized

Desire

I’m back at peace now–

But for days, what seemed like years, I felt I needed this “thing”.

This desire felt so strong, and I was certain that this would be the next step.

It would definitely propel me to increased happiness and fulfillment.

However, this excitement transformed into a strong wave of anxiety that was about to engulf me.

Which is how I knew this couldn’t be decided now, not because I was giving into fear,

but because in that moment I realized that I am truly at peace with what already is.

The wave receded, for I knew that I didn’t need anything else.

I gave myself the opportunity to explore this desire, and listened when my soul said, I am full.