gratitude 30january14 forgiveness empowerment

i am rather amazed at my ability to meditate. it has taken me many months to achieve those few valued minutes that my mind goes quiet and i feel a sense of peace flow over me. in those precious minutes; i feel empowered. i focus on my breathing — breathing in light, love, positive and exhaling the dark, doubt, and fear. i repeat that pattern and those words. the inhale and exhale is soothing, the words calm and a part of me.

deep within i feel the healing of my spirit. it’s like peeling back the layers of an onion and the tears that come with that process. sometimes for no reason i have a good cry at the end of my meditation time. initially i tried to stifle that urge. in time i let the tears flow as they would demand. kind of like that saying “tears are the result of too much pressure on your heart.” over the years i now realize i never allowed a true healing of my hurt. i never allowed a complete forgiveness to take hold. i allowed a scab to form but i would continue to pick at it, leaving that wound open and raw. i believe you have to find that place that you say “no” to picking at the scabs. you have to allow the time it takes for a complete healing. i once wrote a writing called “rolling in shattered glass.” unknowing to myself at the time — it was an expression of my need to heal and not knowing how.

today i used my meditation time to focus on forgiveness. to not forgive is a horrible prison to lock yourself in. to forgive is to no longer give another that negative control in your life. forgiveness places you in a position of power. it keeps you centered. i meditate the feelings of anger and hurt into feelings of empathy and healing. as i write this i continue to keep in my mind that slow and deep rhythm of breathing. bringing the positive into me and the negative away.

today i am thankful for ..

  • the wonderful pleasures of a fireplace, internet, cable and heat
  • the beauty of a clear blue sky
  • my family and friends .. my heartbeats

my body may be shoveling and digging out my car from another snowfall, however, my mind is here ..

via pinterest.com

via pinterest.com

affectionately yours, Laura

 

within me ..

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“in the midst of winter, i found there was, within me, an invincible summer. and that makes me happy. for it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger, something better, pushing right back.” albert camus

Gratitude 28january2014 Hello, Old Friend

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After my shower this morning and seeing myself naked in the mirror.  It occurred to me there is something wonderful about losing weight. Aside from the fitting in that lower size, not huffing and puffing when moving around, just the overall feeling better. It takes away the anticipation of seeing my medical team and the lectures. Most important, it is that looking in the mirror and seeing yourself and thinking “Hello, old friend. I have missed you.”

It is looking at my body and feeling good and loving towards myself. Not the old pattern of thinking or wishing I did not look the way I did. I am embracing myself. I like my curves and contours of my body; even the sagging from my loss I have made peace with. I like how my body has changed as I have aged. my gray hair (everywhere!), the gentle droop of my breasts, the widening of my hips, the softer texture of my skin that glows. I have had many surgeries over the years and used to think of my scars negatively. Now, I just slide my fingers over them and think how grateful I am that those scars represent what I went through to get healthy. I am not so fond of the whole dimples on my ass and thighs though.

It is the feeling that all of the hard work is paying off and my body is rewarding me with this new and improved image. Since last September I have been focusing on what I eat in terms of size proportion. My friend often teases me because I eat my meals in a bowl. I eat less that way. I haven’t been dieting, really. If I crave something, I eat it in moderation to satisfy that yearning. What I have been consistently doing is walking, yoga, meditating and working on the “inside” me. I am beginning to understand the image I see in my mirror is more about mental than the actual reality of the image. When we feel good inside, we relate it to how we look on the outside.

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via facebook.com

Last April, I got brave and sent a picture of myself in a bikini to one of my besties. Kind of a hold myself accountable to change picture. The term apple bottom had a picture of me next to it in the dictionary! At that time i weighed in at 152 with a 29.+ body mass index rating. I am going to get brave and take another this April and put them side by side. Then i’ll probably reward myself with a pizza and bag of Brookstone dark chocolates! So much for moderation.

Today I am thankful for ..

  • Waking up this morning happy and filled with gratitude
  • An Uno tournament with Santi
  • My massive pile of paperwork is dwindling down slowly
  • The comfort of making a decision
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via pinterest.com

Today i am wishing you the honesty of your true beauty when you look in the mirror, inside and out.

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 27january2014 i admit

over the past few years i have come to a place in my life that i don’t put a lot of energy into drama. this past year has been focused on learning tools of yoga, meditation, affirmations and the occasional glass of wine to release, rather than let it upset me. i have also come to a place in my life where if i am wrong — i admit it and move along. if i offended — i apologize and get on with life. what i still struggle with is being accused or set-up when it truly was not me. 

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via pinterest.com

in my past i have not always been a nice person. i could and have the potential to be a real bitch and do mean things. that has not been my present or my foreseen future. i have gone above and beyond to appease and go with the flow. it’s sad, really, when situations are such that accusations are made up. when people are unhappy and transfer it onto others. i get it. i have been there — done that. but not anymore am i in that place. because of that i have a sense of great empathy and sadness. okay, i admit, it’s mixed with my struggle to not back slide into past behavior. 

here i sit shaking my head wondering how i bought into the hype. when you do everything, say everything to make it all okay and it still is not an honest reflection of what was understood. i am to the point of not hiding anymore. i am not going to sugar coat it anymore. i am unhappy where i am at and that will change quickly. i have the support of my team, legal help and family and friends. it’s time to get brave and take action. 

today i am thankful for .. 

  • time with my grandson and grandpuppy
  • the support of those i trust and love
  • the calm of make positive choices
  • the excitement of my future

thank you for reading my rant. it always helps to see it in black and white. that and to know i am not the only one who struggles.

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 21january14 shake it off

i recently heard a story that has become my mantra. it went like this — a farmer’s prize bull fell into a deep hole. unable to get him out, he gathered his neighbors to brain storm on how to get his bull out. they were unable to come up with a workable solution. they came to an agreement that the humane thing to do was to put this bull out of his misery since he could not be saved. they began to shovel dirt into the hole. with each shovelful, the bull shook off the dirt and began to stomp the dirt under him. after a time, the bull was able to climb out of the hole because of the dirt they shoveled into the hole. the bull just kept shaking it off and slowly climbed to higher ground. 

it’s how i feel about my life right about now. i feel like i am in a hole. and while it seems i am stuck, i have to remind myself to “shake it off” just like that bull did. little by little time will pass, my situation will change, bit by bit my debt will decrease and every day i stay focused on my goals with positive choices. like that bull, the day will come that i climb out of this figurative hole i feel like i am in. each day comes and goes and with it my life is closer to how i wish it to be. 

today i am thankful for …

  • fascinating conversation with my godson
  • a taste of the colder weather isn’t so bad
  • a safe place where i am free from any harm
  • deep inside is a calm i can’t quite explain

hopefully, in the very near future, my writing will get back to a daily blog. i apologize to those of you who have sent me messages here, on facebook and email that i have disappointed. life is challenging right now and my internet resources are limited. never fear, i will be back! wishing you the courage to “shake it off” and climb!

affectionately yours, Laura

 

gratitude 11january14 put yourself first

while on my latest airplane ride, i paid attention to the instructions given before takeoff. i am guilty as charged of normally not paying attention from flying so much during my business career. out of habit, i automatically find my exit doors and count my seats to that exit. i look down to make sure my light strip along the aisle are on and no bulbs out. i reach up and make sure my fan and light work over my seat. i buckle up and then i settle in for the ride.

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via google search

while listening to my airperson go through the air mask demonstration, he made kind of a joke to the women. “ladies. always, always put your air mask on first.” i heard chuckles and i thought “you know what, he gets it.” there is a very good reason you are instructed to put your oxygen mask on yourself first when needed in an airplane. the valuable seconds you use helping another could kill you. as women we are raised to care for others. that is our role as daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers and friends. we nurture and more times than not, we do not take care of ourselves first.

i believe there is a fine line to taking care of others. i am not down for the “martyr” who is sick, dragging themselves around, yet, still being there to help and “do their part.” all the while looking like shit, telling you how worn out they are and shaking their hands at the universe “why me?” take care of yourself! or, i am very guilty of being a “help you first” person in exchange for love and acceptance. then wearing myself out and/or simply having nothing left to take care of myself. i become the person i described above, shaking my hand into the universe “why me?”

my first journal entry of 2014 included this sentence “in 2014 i am going to be selfish and take care of myself.” i am going to put my oxygen mask on first. i am going to make sure i drink fluids, feed myself and have enough energy to exercise by taking care of myself first. the irony of it all is the true logic; of what value are you – really – if you do not take care of yourself first? not being first for yourself, makes you second best for YOU and everyone else. my life lesson with my emotional barometer is i use my emotions on people and things of value. it’s not that i don’t care or don’t love, it’s just taking care of myself. the hardest thing of this revelation is; now understanding very clearly why people have had to leave my life. and i cannot in good consciousness wish harm to someone for needing to take care of themselves.

today i am thankful for ..

  • we’re having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave
  • an excellent cup of coffee .. thank you ‘mille and jimmie
  • life lessons
  • my grandbabies ~ santi and lucy who make my heart beat happier
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via pinterest.com

wishing you a day taking care of yourself. put that oxygen mask on and take a deep long breath!

affectionately yours, Laura

gratitude 10january14 my pigpen challenge

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pigpen from peanuts

i have had this self-image of myself as pigpen from peanuts for a very long time. i see myself shuffling around in a cloud of dirt that is the baggage i carry around — self doubt, fear, depression, disappointment — you get the picture. lately that image isn’t as vivid. yet, i have had it for so long, it is hard to replace. i believe the blessing of self growth is the freedom it brings. as my life changes with new choices i am making, my cloud of dirt is dissipating as i am ridding myself of the excess stuff and baggage

a huge piece of luggage i no longer carry everywhere has been my choice to no longer “own” depression. awhile ago i wrote that i had renamed this illness “gershom” which in the biblical context means a sojourner there. it is not “of” me; rather, a visitor passing through me. it is not “who” i am. setting that piece of luggage down has given me a skip in my step. a freedom i am unaccustomed to. the other luggage i have set down, yet, haven’t sent away is the self-doubt i struggle with. however, setting it down and not lugging it with me, is a positive step. i haven’t figured out the whole new image, yet. i imagine water will be involved though! something like this …

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new image … open to infinite possibilities

today i am thankful for .. 

  • the freedom of change
  • making healthy choices
  • rumor has it — it will be in the 30’s this weekend
  • an exciting weekend ahead

my favorite quote seems to be apropos for this time in my life. “the important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” wishing you the brave to step outside of your comfort zone and soar. take a moment to pay it forward today. you will cross someones path who needs.

affectionately yours, Laura