A lot can happen in a year.

I love Timehop. It would be so cool to have my whole life on it. Year by year, the journey unfolds. On Jan 3, I got the notification of what I wrote about 2015, and I thought wow, where has the time gone? So much has changed in the last few months that writing has been on the bottom of my list. But, here I am now!

New Year’s Eve, 2015: I was in a cottage in the country, drinking champagne and making intentions with my partner, Robert. I said I was going to leave behind “I can’t” and make having more compassion be my main intention. I believe I have been successful with the former and hope that I am making progress on the latter.

New Year’s Eve 2016: I was home, babysitting my three-year-old granddaughter while her now single mother worked. And Robert was also at work. Making intentions was the farthest thing from my mind. After the little one finally went to sleep, I was glad to just sit and watch a movie!

Caring for a young child twice weekly so her mother can make ends meet was not something I anticipated a year ago, or ever, for that matter. But, when circumstances change, what are you gonna do? Although at times it exhausts me, I am glad that I can be there for my daughter and have a special relationship with my granddaughter.

Speaking of grandchildren, 2016 brought me two more! The announcement came in early spring – my second oldest son and his wife were expecting twins! And they arrived, two healthy boys, in mid-July, right after I quit my job. And, with that freedom, I make a weekly 120 mile round trip across Houston to spend the day with them and give their parents a bit of a break. wp-1483928846636.jpg

In other very major news, Robert and I are now engaged! After three amazing years together, “in spite of it all and because of it all” (as he and I often say), we have taken this step of commitment. He asked me on November 29, on bent knees, and I said yes. I never thought I would want to marry again, but when I thought that, I hadn’t met Robert!wp-1484019838009.png

Then in early December, I got my birthday wish! I turned 60 and my deepest desire was to have all my children together. Robert threw me a wonderful party, and all seven of them were there,along with some of their spouses and all the grandchildren. It was quite a feat! My dear sister Ellen and her husband drove down to celebrate with us, and my closest friends were there as well. It was wonderful, marvelous, unforgettable!wp-1484019648440.pngwp-1484019669518.png

Biggest plan for 2017: we are going to move house. Going to go north of Houston, away from the city and the refineries I’ve lived by all my life. Going to where the air is cleaner, but close enough to the grandkids to continue the current relationships. It’s a leap of faith in many ways, but I’m ready for this next adventure!

I am continuing to study with New World Ayurveda, and applying what I know to my life and sharing with family and friends as much as they are interested and want to know. I  will finish this course in April and take another trip up to Maine for the final intensive. Robert is in this class too, so will travel with me. With the completion of the course, I will be qualified not only as an Ayurvedic Practitioner, but I will also be a Spiritual Counselor and meditation teacher. Since I am also certified and registered as a yoga teacher, I feel a sense of pride in accumulating these credentials over the last two years.

But since the priorities of my life have shifted unexpectedly, I haven’t started a practice as I had expected. And I feel ok about it, and whatever else may change. I am blessed to be able to work part-time from home doing medical reviews right now, because there’s just too much going on right now for me to start a business!

As I was readying the little one for bed tonight, and taking some time to hold and cuddle her, I was reminded that this is what is important. Just being, and loving, not always doing.

The message I have received in my spirit – my intention, my vision for this year and beyond:

 Whatever choices I make on the path of life, as long as love reigns over all, nothing else really matters.

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I asked a question and got an answer

I had a challenging week at work.

The job itself hasn’t changed. Management has changed and is magnifying and micromanaging. On Thursday I found myself being aggressive and impatient with people. This is not what I want to do. This is not my true nature.

When I first started this job five years ago, I felt like there was opportunity to help people. I used to go to work with a prayer – let me make a positive difference in someone’s life today. And I would, either a patient or a coworker. I haven’t been doing that lately.

Thursday evening I discussed my feelings with Robert, and he suggested that I ask a specific question directed toward God, the universe, my guides, the cosmic consciousness. And expect an answer.

It’s Sunday morning and as I was waking up, I realized I had gotten the answer. When I was meditating Friday night, very briefly I saw an actual hand, then felt the index finger apply pressure on my third eye. Then I saw gold, spreading out mandala style, and in the center, a lion.

The question(s):

Is my plan to stay at my job going to allow me to serve others as I blossom into this new place in my life? Does it really have a higher purpose? Can I have joy in that place? Is it possible to refocus on making a difference, a positive difference, and let the rest go?

I’d really like a quick answer. Like today, please. 

I wrote that Friday morning. And had that experience Friday night. I guess I needed it to sink in.

The third eye is about intuition. Sometimes I see color there, or an eye, or faces. This was much more tangible, with the finger and the gold and the lion. It’s like the finger was there to emphasize to me to take notice.  I did some research on the meaning of the lion and found this here:

In the realm of spirit animals, the lion wins the prize for most relentless fighter in the face of life challenges. The lion spirit animal represents courage and strength in overcoming difficulties. The lion symbolizes:

  • Strength, assertiveness, personal power
  • A common meaning for the lion spirit animal is predatory feelings, such as anger, aggression directed at someone else or towards you
  • Personal struggle to deal with these feelings
  • Lion spirit animals warn about a threatening situation or event in your life

Gold is the color of wealth and endurance. It is the color of the sun and the lion, representing confidence and courage. Gold also pertains to divine protection and enlightenment, and spiritual power in all aspects operating for the greater good.

What I am taking from this is that I have personal power. I am strong, and I can deal with the stress of work without being unduly stressed.  With this increased awareness, I don’t have to let anyone else’s “ickiness” get on me, especially the boss’s! And I can make a positive difference in someone’s life every day, no matter where I am.

The answer is YES, to all four questions. Yes I can!

 

 

Three ways to deal with stress

Do you have stress in your day?

Most of us do. The question is, how do we deal with it?

Some signs of stress can be low energy, difficulty sleeping, frequent colds and infections, indigestion, constipation,diarrhea, or nausea, headaches or ringing in the ears, mystery aches and pains, nervousness or shaking, and at its worse, shortness of breath and chest pain.

The most common response to these symptoms is to think that there is something physically wrong. ( And there could be.) But if you get checked out by your doctor, they can’t find an underlying cause, then it could be related to stress.

Sometimes we don’t take the time to digest our experiences. If we go from one activity to another, or have a lot of responsibility, or have personal relational or financial difficulties, and don’t take time for ourselves, then we aren’t fully digesting what is happening within, which can lead to some of the above symptoms. It’s rather like not chewing food well.

The first way that I have found helpful in handling stress is to only do one thing at a time. At work this is a huge challenge, as I have a lot of demands placed on me at any given time. Even though at times I slip and catch myself trying to multitask, I actually get more done with less stress and less error when I focus on only one thing at a time.

The second way is to sit with yourself. Meditation is the best way to do this, but before I started meditating, there were other things I tried that were helpful, and I still do some of them now. When I was in a bad relationship, I learned, through the help of some great people in Al-Anon, to give myself 15 minutes to have a good cry, which releases a lot of stress, then wash my face or take a bath or shower. (Or cry in the bath or shower!) If you cry more longer than that, things can just get worse.

Third, look at your eating and sleeping habits. Are you eating nourishing food on a regular basis? Try to eat 3 meals a day with the midday meal being the largest, and don’t eat after about 7 pm. Are you staying up late watching a marathon of your favorite show? Not the greatest thing for getting  a good night’s sleep!

Other ideas are to take a walk in nature, connect with animals, or sit by a body of water. I have found that just listening to the sound of birds calling or saying hello to a dog brings me a sense of inner peace. Take a gentle yoga class. Do something creative. Get away from social media or electronics for a bit. Read a good book, or engage in laughter through a funny movie, socializing with good people, or engaging in a pillow fight. It is best to try “old-fashioned” ideas – non electronic!

Take care of yourself, and remember to breathe!

“Every grain of experience is food for the greedy growing soul of the artist.”                       – Anthony Burgess