Friday, February 24, 2012

Taking care of myself - Changing of the guard

I am happy to report with the changing of the guard here at work business has been brisk. I have had people just show up ready to purchase. It is very encouraging to say the least.

I had an opportunity to go to a kirtan tonight. It is a couple hours away at the ashram I visited around new years. It sounded it great with a lot of chanting an music but a little far and I would get back really late tonight so I opted out.

I have to work tomorrow and have a few people coming in to see me and an appointment after work. As an introvert being with people drains me and it has been non-stop all week and again tomorrow. I have been going home every night and crawling into bed.

I use to say to myself, what is wrong with you? You are such a party pooper. I didn't know that 50% of the population are introverts and that when we interact with people we have to have down time to recuperate.

I also have volunteered my home for a birthday party for a friend on Sunday. This is the other reason I decided a late night tonight might not be such a good idea.

I have learned to take care of myself and not to overbook. Say my energy for the things that are the most important to me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Discipline - Do I need it?

The word discipline keeps coming up for me this past week. I have always considered myself pretty determined but never disciplined. Discipline is for athletes achieving a life time goal. I was just strong willed and pushed through anything that stood in my way.

I never gave myself credit for what I accomplished. I wasn't achieving I was just surviving. I didn't have time for basking in the spotlight of self-admiration I had to get to the next thing on the list. Nothing was ever enough.

I didn't appreciate my own discipline and my ability to get things done until it was gone. With the grief I lost myself and my ability to make myself do anything. What I did get done was done by a ghost of my former self. I barely made it through each day and this went on for years.

During that time my spirit refused to listen to any gentle coaxing or not so gentle threats I made towards myself. I felt totally lost without this part of myself. I had to learn to love a person that accomplished nothing achieved nothing. This isn't easy when you have spent your life tying your self-worth to the number of things you get done in a day.

I think that was the point for me anyway. I finally got to a place of acceptance and told myself well this is the person you have become so get over it.

Now it seems I have returned, not exactly the same, but a wiser version of myself I have to say I learned some other things too. I have learned just how much you can do without. Just how many days you can do little or nothing and still survive.

Most things on the to do list can stay undone the world won't come to an end if you don't live up to your own expectations or the expectations of anyone else. I learned that the pressure comes mostly from me and besides food and shelter(food can sometimes be optional) you can survive.

I not suggesting that anyone take the same trip that I have but maybe just question the belief that everything on the list is so important. That the world will stop spinning if you don't meet your commitments for one day.

In my world I am happy to report that today there was some monotonous things of my list of to dos. I told myself I had to get them done and felt grateful that my spirit went along with it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I woke up to the sound of chain saws this morning. We have had a lot wind here and some of the older trees are losing their limbs. This is perilous to the trees because it strikes fear into their homeowners and inevitably someone decides they need to get rid of their trees.

It was a big one and seeing it lying by the road made me a little teary. I am a sad tree hugging liberal. Silly I know, crying for a tree, but that is who I am.

Maybe this love of trees is from the indoctrination of the 70's conservation movement. Us kids did our part to save the environment only to have it all go by the wayside in the 80s and 90s. I am glad so see we have come full circle again.

I remember the sad Indian Chief standing on a litter filled beach. Just the right marketing to make me a lifetime tree hugger.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pedal to the Metal

It is warm and windy here in the south. It doesn't even seem possible that it is February. I called friend and we went for a walk in the woods. I felt a tremendous amount of joy today unlike anything I have felt in a long time.

It feels so strange to be happy. I was actually skipping down the trail. I felt the way I did when I was a kid and had the summers off with little or no supervision.

I think I am closer to being that child of eight now than I have ever been since then. I don't worry too much about anything and I am impatient to get on with the next adventure. I have practiced being still until I am just sick of it. Lets just do something.

I know what you are thinking, what about your recent meltdown over the job situation. It is true I was tired of feeling like my life is hold. I wanted God to just tell me which way to go and with the owner dragging his feet I thought maybe it was a sign that I should move on.

He did sign. I am a co-owner of a business I have been running for the past year. It was anti-climatic after the stress of last weekend. The day he signed he hadn't even read it he was just stalling because he everyone was telling him to think about it.

What a difference a week makes the day he signed I was over it. I have been having the urge to just break free and start running as fast as I could. Do I really want to do this? Can I really make a living doing this?

When I spent the time a month ago writing my resume it made me realize what I have accomplished in my life so far. It really put thinks into perspective for me. I realized that if I could do all those things I am capable of making this business work, if anyone can.

My spiritual journey has made me realize that not many things in life are really that important. I don't just want a job anymore I want to do something that is fun and interesting. I guess because I am older I feel like my time is more important than the money. If I can pay my bills and do something that keeps me interested then I am in. Only time will tell.

It was a long week and I feel like I can finally move forward both in my work and personally. I am going to enjoy this pause before I put the pedal to the metal and get the business moving forward. I am finally officially behind the wheel.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Expectations - How low can they go?

I was riding to lunch with my partner the other day and we were talking about expectations. I told here she would be happier if she lowered her expectations. She thought that was the most ridiculous thing she had heard. Why should she lower her standards.

I didn't really get into all the reasons why but I remembered how miserable I was before the program taught me about the perils of expectations. I was so self-righteous and indignant about how people acted and treated me.

It was all about me and every time something didn't go my way I took it as a personal attack. I knew what was best and if they would listen they would be better off. I had to learn the hard way that nothing is really about me. What a blow to my ego.

It has taken me many years to see just how self-absorbed I am, still working on that. I hid it well behind my good deeds and martyrdom. It was part of my facade to be the victim in my life. The regular people help to keep this delusion going by agreeing with how badly you are being treated.

This doesn't work with people in the program. No one lets you be the victim anymore. Besides it is really time consuming and draining to talk about your woes all the time. I had a lot woes and luckily my sponsor was a patient woman and would regularly tell me to get off the pity potty.

I can admit it is still all about me. The difference is that now I know that it is like that for everyone. We are the center of our own universe and like it or not no one is really thinking that much about anyone but themselves. They got their own universe to manage and I will never be the center of theirs.

How did I get off the subject of expectations, I am not sure I really did. Life is nothing but one big expectation and this is what makes us unhappy not getting that expectation met.

Our expectation assumes that we have the best plan and other people just need to get on board. Because don't they want happy like I am. How do we know we have the best plan, we don't.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I go straight to crazy and work my way back from there.

I had a long day yesterday obsessing about the work situation and feeling like my life is on hold. I decided to just go with it this time instead of trying all my usual tricks to get out of it.

I have learned that there is no bad feelings just feelings that make you feel bad. They only feel really bad when I resist them by saying to myself that I shouldn't be feeling this way or that I am wasting my life.

That is what it is like to be awake without the barrier of denial to protect me from all my feelings. Sometimes I long for the days when I was unconscious running from task to task filling up every moment so I didn't have to feel anything.

This doesn't work me anymore. My journey has taken me to a deeper place where I am seeing what it is like to just lean into those feelings. Being OK with being human and vulnerable.

I stayed in bed most of the day and it didn't kill me. I am scared and alone and no matter how many people I talk to about it they can't make me feel any better and it tires me out to talk about it over and over.

It is normal to be scared and afraid when uncertainty is looming over your head. I have been told that I handle uncertainty pretty well but every once in awhile I have a total freak out.

I am over it today and decided to go to work and wait for the verdict. It is almost
6 PM and we haven't heard a thing.

I have gone straight to crazy and have worked my way back from there at this point. I can't stay in the fear place too long and I must gather my belonging and leave Crazyville and get on with my life.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wishing my life away.

They tell you to savor every moment but some moments suck and I wish they would just move on.

I feel like I have been in some weird holding pattern in my life. Since I woke up from my menopausal coma I am anxious for things to happen or really just for some happiness and stability to come my way.

The business deal is stalling and my fear is that it isn't going to happen. I know only a few weeks ago I was thinking about leaving the industry. Then I decided I could do both and now I may be forced to leave after all. Projection.

I am tired of so much change and instability and it came to a head yesterday. My heart was racing and I thought I was going to have a panic attack. I can't take it anymore and nothing seems fun or interesting to me these days.

That was yesterday and today I had two appointments and collected two checks. I had a couple of new people come in for future appointments. So life goes on even if I am ready to give up on everything. I do try not to take myself too seriously. Really!

In my angst yesterday I decided to retreat to movies and saw Chronicles. This is a very low budget Blair Witch Project kind of movie where the character carries a camera through the whole movie. I was relieved when it was over even if the last third of the movie was pretty decent. This did not relieve my anxiety.

I had to recover from the movie and went home and watched Ferris Bueler's Day Off and favorite movie from my youth. I pleasant predictable movie where the lens wasn't bumping up and down. I had a tuna fish sandwich for dinner and hot cocoa for desert.(not together that would be gross)

I am better today but I still feel like I am grasping looking for something I can not find. I am wishing to get past this period in my life but my fear is that I will always feel this way. Out of control.

That is what letting go is all about being comfortable being out of control. Trusting that everything is exactly as it should.

I will be distracted tonight I am going to a party. The theme is chocolate. I am hoping to meet some new people and maybe alter my thinking or escape from my head all together. What a nice thought.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Seeking Approval - Do I need it?

I seem to be in a pretty surreal place today. Like watching the world from the outside.

I did some journaling on my self worth last night. Given that I almost had a panic attack over defending my worth yesterday. I didn't want to write I didn't feel like a voyage to the deep. I did it anyway. It was helpful to identify where the idea that I am not worthy came from and it is just an idea in my head.

I thought I had stopped letting the opinions of others affect me but wanting recognition is really the same thing. If you want the praise and appreciation it isn't given, you are giving the person the same power. See me, look at me, validate me.

If someone says your great then your great if they say you aren't then they are wrong. If they say nothing at all it leaves a longing that makes you want to try harder. I found in my journaling that the important people in my life never or rarely give approval.

Even worse when I did get that long awaited approval and it came with a critique or in some back handed manner.

This brings me to my greatest tool, the mirror. I had to ask myself, do I withhold praise myself? Do I critique along with praise? The answer is yes. I can honestly say I don't do the backhanded compliment but I am an natural critic always looking to improve. You spot it you got it as they say in the program.

Am I suppose to be mature enough to go through life without praise and validation? If I am not going to take criticism seriously I can't take praise seriously either.

I think I have to say yes. I have to do my best and take both praise and criticism with a grain of salt. Everyone is entitled to their own truth but I don't have to see it their way or convince them of mine.

I can listen and decide whether anything they are saying is true without defense. If I don't take it as an attack I can make changes the will make me a better person. If I can't find anything of value I can decide that it is just another view and move on, holding no resentments.

The situation with the customer taught me something. First the lesson of self-worth and second that I need to be clearer about my fees and send invoices in a timely manner. So this was a good thing for me to experience and I am grateful.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Selling myself short - What am I worth?

Reinforce a sense of sovereignty within yourself, despite any self-limiting beliefs, habits or appearances to the contrary.

The above is from one of my daily readings. Fake it until you make it my friend that is the word today anyway.

I have always struggled with my own value. What I bring to the table and I am not sure if that is because I have lived most of my life without any positive feedback or is it because I somehow think it is bad to toot your own horn.

As I have mentioned before I am a worker bee stealth in my actions. Working for the personal enjoyment of producing and completing a project. This has hurt me in the past because until I am gone no one realizes just how much I was doing. This is true in my personal and professional life and I am not sure what to do about it.

The idea of worth keeps coming up for me. I sent an invoice to a customer who wants me to justify the work I completed for her in writing. This is how design is and once a project is finished some people discount the value.

It feels personal and takes me back to the part of myself that thinks maybe I am not worth it. I am once again trying to get my self-worth from other people. If I don't believe I am worthy how can I expect anyone else to.

I can feel a shift within. It has be slow but after a year of scraping by I feel I am starting to come to terms with this and to stop selling myself short. I really have nothing to lose if no one wants to pay me then at least I will be free to do something else with my time. Instead of doing work I am not getting paid for.

It comes down to some basic desires. I want people to love and appreciate me. I want them to value the work I put into creating a lovely space.

In the words of Byron Katey, turn that around, I need to love and appreciate myself. I need to value the work I put into creating a lovely space.

How do I convince myself that I am worth it?


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Trusting myself - Commitment Phobe

Tomorrow is the big the day when the business gets signed over to us. Maybe. It all depends on whether the owner agrees to the terms. I feel both excited and terrified at the same time.

Granted I have prepared a resume to hunt for a new job in an old career but I am moving forward with this at the same time. The uncertainty I see in everything is a reflection on my own inner inability to commit.

I have a hard time with commitment because once I am in it might be decades before I resurface. This is my story if I choose to believe it. So I am straddling the fence per say while moving forward at the same time.

I know myself well enough to see that I am pretending not to commit leaving the door open so I can run off at any moment. Have I ever done that planned an escape route or ran off. Nope not ever.

I have documents in a folder with my name on a new corporation. Scary stuff that sounds like commitment to me. I am still pretending.

I keep thinking that if I am not suppose to do this he will not sign those papers tomorrow. I am trusting in God and my own process for working through this and I will listen carefully to my gut tomorrow.

I want to be free and if we can make a success of this business I will have freedom. If I don't focus on all the things that could go wrong or the mountain of obstacles my mind has made up this could actually be fun and exciting.

I will keep you posted.

Hey does anyone know how to remove the underlines that suddenly showed up on my blog.