Thursday, July 12, 2012

Celebrate the little victories

I dropped a friend at the airport this arvo... then I made a mad dash to the bank to put a couple of cheques that have been burning a hole in my wallet into my account.

I looked at my watch, 10 to 4.  Sweet!  Just made it. 

Walked in the door and 'ding' - my hourly alarm for my check in exercise went off.  I looked at my watch, 3.50pm.  Then I looked at my phone and it actually just after 4pm.

I'd made it into a bank after 4pm!?!  And the guy who served me was a total dude. That shit doesn't happen to me.  I'm usually the person who gets to the bank to find them locking the door.  Not this time!

As I walked back to the car I thought how effing awesome it was to have luck on my side today!  I took a moment to celebrate the small victory.  Something totally went my way.

Then I thought about all the good little things that happen in a day...
even on a bad day there is magic and beauty and things going your way... if you are willing to look for them.

And some days it's that little thing that turns your day from utter shite to pure delight.

A text from a friend, a sea eagle perched unfazed 10 metres away while I'm on my daily run, a random dog coming to say hello or my own dog placing his head on my lap, my thoughtful husband coming home armed with chocolate... magic is happening all around me.

I am lucky! I might not have won major in the lotto, or a Boystown house... yet... but I have these little victories every single day.

So, I'm going to focus on what's going right in my life, not what's going wrong.

I'm taking the time to celebrate the little victories... after all, in the words of Meredith Grey (yes, quoting Greys Anatomy... I'm not even going to back that up with a justification):

“Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories... At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.”

Lapse of Sanity

A couple of days back I had a temporary lapse of sanity.  I jumped to a misinformed conclusion (I guess one might call it a massive assumption - you know, the mother of all fuck ups) and I felt a surge of anger rise through me.  Usually, in my right mind, I'd think about why I had that thought, consider if it were true, how I might approach the situation and see both sides (well, all sides) of the scenario.  I'd then diplomatically proceed with caution.
This time... no.  I just pounced!  I didn't consider anything... that perhaps I'd jumped to the wrong conclusion because of the amount of pressure I've been under... that this person would not intentionally hurt me.  I turned into a victim of the highest order and paranoid delusional freak.  I acted without thinking of the consequences.  I acted in anger.  I acted passive aggressively and wanted to make this person feel guilty.  I acted this out through an IM on facebook.  Low!  
The very second I hit enter... I felt immediate regret.  Something clicked.  What had I done?  I had acted in malice.  I apologised, I apologised and I apologised.  I cried, and I cried, and I cried.  I was still crying when I went to bed that night.  
There were lots of outside factors that brought me to this breaking point.  None of which are excuses, but they do help me to understand why I acted out.  Something needed to shift.  I could feel myself slowly falling back into dum... dum... dummmmmm... depression. 
Part of my melt down happened because I'd taken on responsibility for another persons feelings. I was trying to avoid this.. and do that... just to make her feel okay.  But it was making me miserable.  I was beginning to resent it... and her.  I misdirected this anger towards someone completely undeserving.  If I really think about it, I do this quite a bit.  I don't often let people know when I'm struggling for fear of worrying them.
Yeah... I know, letting people dictate how I feel.  See it's great to have all this knowledge, but when you are drowning in your own thoughts it's really hard to find a clear track out of that space.  Today I realised I'm only human and it's okay to have dropped the ball momentarily.  Something needed to shift, obviously, and I feel like I've moved a big tree from the road ahead.  I was shitting myself that I was falling into depression again... thankfully I saw the signs and was able to put in place some rescue strategies.  
Micko has been great.  He is one of the only people I really have, in person, that I can turn to.  He sees when I'm struggling and fishes for communication - I like to shut down and shut everything and everyone out.  I have this belief that I need to do it all myself... on my own.  Which is then mirrored back to me by friends not coming to my rescue when I need.  I can't blame them, if I don't ask for help or for what I want, I can't expect to be given it - especially when, if I'm honest with myself, I won't allow it.  I can't be weak... I have to be the strong one.  What a ridiculous standard to have set myself.
I'm going to let the walls down.  Truly make myself vulnerable.  It's okay not to be perfect and have your shit together all the time.  Hell, it's everyone's story.  I'm certainly no alone on the struggle front. 
I've understood and implemented the 'everyone is fighting their own battle', but this morning it really hit home EVERYONE (including ME) is fighting their own battle.  Doesn't matter whether it's someone who seems to have it all - the uber rich and famous, the friend of facebook that seems to be living the dream, the person sitting next to you in the office, or train, or standing behind you in the supermarket, or myself, EVERYONE comes from their experience and inner battles.  So, I'm going to forgive myself my indiscretion and move forward with love and compassion - not just for everyone else, but also for me.  It's true, we are our own worst critic.  What would I say if a friend made a mistake?  Don't worry.  You are a good person with a good heart.  Take what you can from this and move on.  Let yourself off the hook.
I pride myself on being open and honest, and for the most part I am.  But I fear rejection and judgement just like everyone else.  Shame most of it actually comes from within... what's going on around me is a reflection of what's going on within.
When I got up this morning I saw a facebook status of a girl I recently met.  A couple of years ago her husband broke his neck playing football. She is not only a Mum, a full time carer, a volunteer in the women's network but she also runs her own business.  Incredibly inspiring.... anyway, here was her status:
Am apprehensive, a little bit nervous, but mostly excited ...

Tomorrow we're headed to the gold coast hospital to have a consultation with a plastic surgeon who specialises in muscle and tendon transfers for peeps with spinal cord injury ... hmmmm, talking about splitting the bicep and putting it into the wrist or hand so that hopefully one finger or thumb might work.

Would be a long and somewhat unpleasant process, with a difficult recovery, but if it came off and was a success - wow what a difference having a finger or thumb that worked would be!

Like, being able to pick your own nose?!!! :-)

Watch this space ...

Oh, and if you want to know more - there's an awesome website with heaps of video's that quad's have posted
Reality check!  I mean seriously... This guy is about to go through some torturous surgery just so he might be able to pick his nose.  The things we take for granted.
What have I got to complain about? Not much, that's for sure.  The one thing I do have to remember is that although my struggles aren't as hard as some, they are every bit as valid.  Sometimes it does take a bit of a nudge to see the silver lining.  
So I'm making some changes.  Focusing on the things that make me feel good - for a start. Today I've set my alarm to go off every hour and I'm taking a moment to check in and shift.  How am I?  Emotionally, spiritually, physically?  What needs to shift between now and the next buzzer to make my day even better?  I'm 5 buzzers in and feeling good.  
I'm going to be open to allowing good things in my life.  I'm gong to be kind and gentle to others and myself.  I'm going to be unashamedly me.  In one particular aspect of my life I've been a prisoner of my bad experiences... but they do not dictate my future unless I allow them to.  
I'm changing the record!  Change is a foot at the Circle K.  
I am perfect in my imperfection.
And so are you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

New me, meet old me.

Lately I've been feeling a little isolated... and lonely.  This is not a new feeling.

I first became properly acquainted with isolation when I moved to the Mid North Coast.  I knew no-one, worked from home and was suffering from depression.  I was isolated - geographically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

When I moved back to Byron I had anticipated to be back 'where I belong'.  I'd be surrounded by friends and family and it would be an end to my isolation.  Social occasions would be a plenty... there would be no time for loneliness.

Only, that wasn't the case.

I felt just as lonely and isolated as before.  In fact, more so. I missed my wayward bunch of friends I'd slowly collected over the three years I spent in Nambucca.  I'd worked so hard on myself and pushing my boundaries.  I became a new and improved version of me.  Hanging with people who inspired me.... and I, in return, inspired them.  It was easy to be the best version of me.  No one had any pre-concieved ideas of who I was.  I was the 'right here, right now' me.  But then, I moved back.  In some ways it was like stepping back in time... to the person I used to be.  The person I'd worked so hard to leave behind.

I struggled a little.  Felt somewhat like I was starting... again!  Learning to meld the two me's into one.

I realised that isolation (unless extremely geographical - like living in the middle of the antarctic) is an outward expression of inner reflection. The world is my mirror.  What was this reflecting to me?  I had isolated myself... from myself.  I had buried the old me.  I didn't like her very much anymore.  She was everything I had worked so hard to move on from.  She was judgemental.  She had very little compassion.  She was a bit of a gossip... and a lot of a bitch.  She just wasn't me anymore.  But I could feel her bubbling up to the surface once back in her natural habitat.  I was trying as hard as I could to swallow her down. 

Then, a friend of mine came to visit.  An old Byron friend who moved away - coincidentally, she came to the Bali Retreat.  My worlds collided once more.  She knew both of me.  She'd been a part of my life prior to my work on self... and she knew, and loved, the new me.  However, she also knew and loved the old me.

** Insert lightbulb moment **  I am the old me... and the new me.  In fact, the entire time I've been nothing but me.  I've been shaped by my circumstances and experiences... and without the old me, the new me wouldn't exist.  

We are one and the same.  While the new me always tries to come from compassion and without judgement she wasn't extending the same courtesy to herself.  The new me needed to give the old me a break.  After all, she had been hurt... and was hurting.. and it was her (or me) who started the healing process.

She and I... we've done the work.  We'd let go of the past and forgiven those that who had hurt me, only now I finally included myself on the list.  Thankfully, my journey has given me the tools to recognise and overcome those parts, the beliefs, that no longer serve me.  Coming back to the start, doesn't mean you are back at the start.  I'm not the acorn... I'm a healthy tree starting to sprout leaves... there is no going back now.   

I got out of the house on the hill.  I braved Byron on a Friday night.  I went back for more on the Sunday night.  I saw old friends I had long forgotten.  I saw the recognition on their faces... a genuine warm welcome home smile.  I remembered all that I had loved about this place.  All it takes here is to be a friend of a friend and you are treated like family.  A 'you look really familiar' and it's like you are a long lost sister.

I had found 'home' once again.

Because I had come home... to me.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You learn something new everyday...

Generally speaking, most people aren't great mind readers.  So, in order for you to get what you want, you need to ask for it.  


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