Tuesday, September 20, 2011

a great fear

It always amazes me how the right quote shows up at just the right time.

Today, Anne Ortelee, who shares an insightful weekly Astrology Column, tweeted one of those quotes that hits you right between the eyes when it is a message you need to hear:

"High Noon Clarity: "Our worst fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Nelson Mandela"

I won't give you the dirty details. Let's just say I have been treading water. My days have been feeling like Ground Hog Day. Or, at the very least, I've been living my life in shades of gray. This might work for some folks. Heck, it might even be the life they aspire to. A life where there are few surprises and little risk. But, for me, someone who has mostly lived life by the motto 'experience all you can, every moment you can', living life in this holding pattern has felt like suffocation. Stifling and dull. And, my spirit yearns for more.

So, the quote comes to me today with a POW! and a not so gentle voice saying "What have you been thinking!?!?!?" Breathe girl! Yes, live your life full of breath! Stop standing still and get out of that holding pattern. Of course, that voice of fear starts to raise the volume. It too wants to be heard. But, I remember what it is like to live a life out loud. To live a life moving forward. Action creates more action. It all starts with one step, then two. Sometimes those steps turn out to be a whoops. Let's consider those opportunities to gain some wisdom. Learnings from which to make the next step.

As I wrap this up, I leave you with the full quote. Nelson Mandela was quoting Marianne Williamson from her book "A Return to Love". May the wisdom of Marrianne's words speak to that inside of you that is greater. And -- perhaps, just perhaps, it will encourage you to take a step towards that which is calling forward.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everyday Wisdom

Some days you see something that sits with you. A thought that you might pull out over and over throughout the day for a little inspiration. Thanks to my friend Jen for recently sharing this little dose of inspiration.

I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. - Lucille Ball

Monday, February 28, 2011

Like a Toothache

In 2004 after 14 years of marriage, my former husband and I went our separate ways. With no children and both of us with full-time careers, it was a pretty straight forward and amicable divorce. We found a way to remain friends and I am truly happy to see him when our paths cross.

Six months after Dave and I separated I met what some folks refer to as Dave 2. I've always gotten a chuckle out of that and I think he did too. It was a whirlwind romance and within our travels, dinners, entertaining and conversations I found a part of me I hadn't previously known. I liked her. Life was fun, we lived it at full throttle, I felt deeply loved.

Somewhere along the line things shifted. It came with a sense that things weren't quite right. Call it intuition. Whatever it was, I put on my detective hat and snooped. Had I come up empty handed I may have chalked it up to irrational fear of having a good thing. But I didn't come up empty handed. I was hurt, he felt violated. Many conversations and we knew mutual trust was something for us to work on.

But the cycle had begun -- intuition, snooping, validation, hurt, feelings of violation. Wash and repeat. Wash and repeat. Wash and repeat.

Sounds pretty horrible when you read it, but it wasn't all bad. There were many joyful moments and experiences and a deep love for one another interwoven with the pattern.

It always felt like a toothache to me. While things looked good and there was happiness in our shared lives, there was always a low level pain. It was like going to the dentist and him saying, "That tooth is acting up, but it is a good tooth and until it is really screaming at you I wouldn't extract it."

This past weekend, after a long time coming, the tooth was extracted. And like a real tooth extraction, there is relief. There is also some bruising and tenderness and an empty space. The bruising and tenderness will heal. The question comes -- what to fill the empty space with?

After six years of a meaningful relationship, filling it with another person doesn't quite feel right. Although I must admit my thoughts have turned to that easy distraction a time or two. For now it is self care and reconnecting with myself. I'll kick it all off with an upcoming trip to Mexico and when I come back home I'll settle into yoga, piano, being outdoors and time with friends. With that and my work, the empty space will come to feel a bit less empty. And, then there may come a time when it feels right to make room for a little something more.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

my first great love

Today my thoughts turn to my Dad. Really, I think about my Daddy just about everyday. But, yesterday was an anniversary of sorts. It was 13 years ago and at the age of 56 that Fred Columbus Compton took his last breath.

If I am honest about it, I was not quite ready for him to go. I was 30 when he passed. I'd learned to appreciate him in the years before, but felt there was so much more for me to learn. Like how to make his world famous potato salad and tangy baked beans. I hadn't thought to ask before, when he was ill it was not important, and now there is no one that can get that recipe just right. Every try is a miss. A little thing I know, but a reminder of what was left to ask.

My Dad was the strong silent type. Tall...6'4", with baby blue eyes and a kind face. He was a handsome man. The kind that turned heads but never seemed to know it. He believed in doing what is right, doing your best in everything, and never missing the mark on anything. He served his country as a soldier in the Army for over 27 years. I think he would have made it to 30 years if the Army hadn't planned to send him on his 4th tour to Germany. He was ready to settle in and grow some roots at that point and another overseas tour just wasn't what he had in mind.

As an Infantryman my Dad was gone alot. Sometimes for thirty days or more it would be Mom and I living our everyday life just the two of us. Even so, he influenced how that life was lived. In addition to having high expectations for himself, my Dad expected the best from his family. Not in a harsh way, but in a 'I know you can be the best you can be and be that everyday' kind of way.

Yes, my Daddy had high expectations, but he also knew what being human is. When I pushed the limits as a teenager (and for the record I REALLY pushed the limits) he was there to guide me through the rough road I had gotten myself on. I don't remember scolding nor berating. What I do remember is a kind underlying support I could lean on until I got back on the right track. Which I did pretty much did each time.

I so wish that Dave could have met my father. Instead Dave hears stories of a man that lived his life by morals and values and ethics. A man that loved and served his country. A man that could be counted on no matter the circumstance. A man who worked hard, played and won at cards, drank beer, tended after his yard, drove on back roads, listened to Merle Haggard, watched basketball, never ever judged others, and saw the best in others so they could rise to their greater selves. A man who true to form at the time of his last breath was not afraid or focused on himself, but instead expressed his worry for those he would leave behind.

This is the first time I've written of my Dad. It is scratching the surface and there is so much more to say. For now, I am sending love and thanks to my father for protecting and providing for me. I lived a childhood knowing I was safe, accepted and cared for. I knew there was always a rock of a man for me to lean on. Now I know that was a great love. Thank you, Daddy, for everything. I miss you and celebrate your life. A life well lived.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

sitting in the quiet

For years I have practiced meditation in an on again off again style. I've believed what all the new thought / spiritual leaders have had to say about the value of meditation. You know, sitting in the quiet helps you connect with spirit and that little voice of knowing that helps guide us through the twist and turns of this thing called life.

Yep, I have believed it is a valuable tool, but I struggled getting it into my daily life.

Six weeks ago I began the Science of Mind Beyond Limits course. While there are many facets to this teaching, a cornerstone of successfully integrating the tools and beliefs in one's life is...you guessed it...meditation. So, I committed to giving a meditation practice another go during the 10 week course. While I may slip a day or two, it is nearly a daily practice for me right now.

As my post yesterday shared, there was a bit of drama with a family member. I stayed amazingly calm and focused on what it is I would like in the relationship. Last night I reflected on why. Certainly the works I am studying have laid a foundation, but upon reflection I believe meditation played a larger role than I gave it credit for.

Just fifteen minutes a day of reading an affirmation and sitting in the quiet are giving me a clearer focus on the day. And when those bumps and zingers show up, I find myself feeling capable to handle whatever comes my way with a little more ease.

Two sources I am currently using for daily affirmations:
- Creative Ideas by Ernest Holmes
- Science of Mind magazine