Novel approach to healthy eating habits.
This post is about a tremendous AHA moment I experienced on Friday. It is so powerful that I needed to share it with all my fellow seekers out there. You see, like many others I am aware of way too many moments in my daily life where stress, anxiety, depression, and a sense of despair threaten to undermine if not destroy my happiness. With all the daily practices I have in place to increase my conscious awareness, I still am a work in progress and prone to ruminating about the tragedies in my past and fretting over my future.
I begin each morning with a silent gratitude session, before my feet even touch the floor. This small ritual is a fabulous way to set the tone for the day. After I drink my deliciously flavored coffee, finish with my personal hygiene, and dress – I then have my morning meditation session. There are days when I am not as religiously adherent to this schedule as I would like myself , but on the whole it is a steady routine of mine. Later on, typically about 6 PM, I have an evening meditation session and finally about thirty minutes before I go to sleep…..or attempt to go to sleep at least…..I put on one of my self-help relaxation CD’s and drift off. Sounds good, right? So what is the problem…..you might ask? Well, even though these steps have positively impacted my physical, mental,emotional, and spiritual health…..I still find myself in states of extreme anxiety throughout the day with a feeling that there is a giant boot poised right above my neck about to stomp down and crush the life out of me.
So, I muddle through day by day, seeking solutions and tools that will help me increase my life satisfaction. I am a firm believer in the concept of Go Give. I find that by giving back and helping others…..even in small ways such as offering a smile to a stranger…..I gain just as much satisfaction as the person I am helping if not more. One activity I do in that vein is volunteering as a legal advocate in the local courthouse for people who want to file for PFA’s…..or protection from abuse orders. This is where, on Friday this week, I met her.
She was a well dressed middle-aged woman with piercing green eyes wearing what looked like elasticized bandaged sleeves on both her arms. She was glad she had made it here….. in the tiny coat closet sized room given to the woman’s advocacy center I volunteer for in the basement of the courthouse. As is my custom, I offered her a seat and a box of tissues and asked her how could I help her and what brought her to here this day. As she began to tell me her story, I found myself so captivated that time just seemed to stop. Over the next hour, she shared with me story and why she was seeking a protection order that day. But it was not so much her story that hit me like a bolt of lightning hurdled from the sky…..it was her attitude, the peace and love that radiated from her, and the sense of unflappability that she displayed. The universe was speaking to me, through the form of this brave woman…..and I was listening this time.
She is a survivor of childhood incest and adolescent rape. By 24 she had given birth to four children and escaped from a tortured and abusive marriage. At 37, a devastating car accident landed her in a coma for 17 days and more metal in her body holding her together than I can imagine. Then at 45 she started the journey of dealing with the big C…..stage 2b metastatic breast cancer. This lead to lymphedema which is why she was wearing support sleeves on her arms. She had psychiatric hospitalizations for earlier suicide attempts and takes medication daily for bipolar depression. During that time of mental health crisis, she found herself in the wrong place with the wrong people and is now facing two separate legal battles that could potentially send her to prison for decades. Oh, and they found tumors in her uterus so she is undergoing a hysterectomy at the end of this month. She found herself on this occasion filing for a PFA for her 3-year-old grandson against his biological mother’s new boyfriend. Wow…..and that is the short story.
As I was struggling to comprehend the enormity and pain of her journey through life and offer her support and compassion, I realized that I was more shook by her account than she was. Is it my imagination or is she just exuding this amazing steadiness and calm? And it wasn’t an act…..she truly gave off a vibe of peace and serenity that I have only witnessed before in yogis and advanced meditators. I politely asked if she would be willing to tell me her secret for seeming so happy and at peace while facing what seemed like overwhelming circumstances. She paused for a moment, taking a deep breath, and said she would be happy to share it with me.
“It didn’t happen overnight, and it hasn’t been easy,” she replied “but I have finally learned to deeply love the person I am. You see, I have been at rock bottom for most of my life and it got to the point that I only had two options left….end my life or turn things around and go up. Naturally, I tried the former approach first and when that didn’t work I began to research and look for ways to radically transform my life. I spent my whole life trying to give…..it was my job to keep everyone else as happy as possible. I didn’t mind giving to my children. I wanted them to have a happy life. But I didn’t give to myself and I didn’t know how to receive anyone else trying to give me help. ”
Boy, did that hit a nerve with me. How many of us are programmed to give but don’t have a clue about how to receive? I was just mesmerized by her and wanted to hear more. “I learned that if I am constantly putting energy out and not allowing any back in, the message I am sending out into the universe is there is no space for abundance in my life. I also needed to learn to love myself and appreciate the moments, people, and things I did have. I spent so much time and energy worrying about what HAD happened to me and what MIGHT happen to me that I never got to appreciate what really WAS happening. When I finally learned how to be present in the moment…..to live in the now as they say…..I feel like my whole life changed and I became almost reborn.”
I have read about this concept before. I do try to practice being present and enjoying the moment that is. Yet, I heard this from her as though it was a brand new revelation. For whatever reason, this time and in this space with this woman, I got it. If she can take the practice of living in the now and implement it in her life in a true deep way to make it automatic, then I can too. This woman came into my life looking for my assistance and help, but instead gave to me a gift that is truly so precious. Live each moment as if it is the only moment, because it is truly the only moment that ever matters. And practice loving yourself as deeply, truly, and profoundly as you give love to others. Pay attention, bring conscious awareness to your thoughts and emotions. Allow yourself to feel and to think as you may, but stop and witness these thoughts and feelings and consider that you do not have to act on any of them…..only acknowledge them and watch them. Live in the now…..what a concept! Hey universe, I heard you this time.
We MUST continue to educate everyone on the impact of domestic abuse, the warning signs of abuse, and the resources available to help victims. This is one small effort I make to help that goal be achieved. If you do not now follow or read the blog that this post originated from, I highly recommend you check it out! It has great stuff written by great people trying to make a great difference!
Abuse isn’t always easy to recognise. Many victim of abuse are confused and have been conditioned to believe that the abuse is normal behaviour.
Some abuse is subtle (discounting or belittling) and some abuse is overt and quite obviously abuse (hitting, punching or locking you in a room). Abuse does not have to be physical to be recognised as abuse, all form of abuse are damaging, frightening and confusing for the victim.
Here is a checklist of abusive behaviours.
This list is by no means exhaustive, as each relationship is different, but it gives an idea of the most common behaviours of abusers. If you think you’re in an abusive relationship please get help as soon as possible. There is a list of helpful organisations on the resources page.
- Ignore your feelings
- Disrespect you
- Ridicule or insult you then tell you its a joke, or that you have…
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I found this OH SO appropriate post by a contributor to The Daily Love…..a blog curated by Mastin Kipp. The author of this masterpiece is Kute Blackson, speaker and life coach and one of my newfound sources of inspiration! I hope you all find it as moving and touching as I do and that it helps…..even just a little bit…..through those tough days we all have.
When your life as you know it falls apart, it is a great blessing.
In that moment realize that your life is actually falling together even though you might not see it.
If your life falls apart then you are ready for something bigger.
It falls apart because it was too small for who you are becoming.
It falls apart because there is something more that is seeking to express itself in and as your life.
It falls apart because what you were living is no longer in alignment with who you are.
It falls apart because life is letting you know that perhaps you have gotten too comfortable where you’re at and need to grow to the next level.
Life is change. Life is growth. Life is a cycle of Creation-Life-Destruction. Every birth is another form of death. And every death is another form of birth.
Often when things fall apart we become afraid, we panic, we resist and fight life. We hold on to what we know, even though it no longer works or serves us.
This only keeps you stuck.
Holding on to the old will not bring what is new. Resisting what is new will not transform or change what is old.
When life falls apart you can resist or fight, which ultimately only leads to suffering and struggle.
So, what do you do when your life as you know it falls apart?
Simply, LET GO!
Perhaps it’s a relationship, job, or a house.
Let Go! And Trust.
Trust that what no longer remains in your life is no longer meant to be there. And that the Uni-verse is just making room for what is more in alignment with your highest good.
When things fall apart, the Uni-verse is trying to make space for something greater.
When life as you know it stops working and falls apart this is the moment to let go of your ego, as it can only take you so far. This is the moment to let go of your ego’s attachment of how your life should be, and surrender.
In every crisis is an opportunity to let go of what is inauthentic and live with more integrity.
In every breakdown is the blessing of a breakthrough.
In every challenging situation is the gift to help your soul evolve and become who you were really meant to be.
So if your life as you know it is falling apart give thanks and…