Throughout my life, I've experienced little things that make me go "hmmm..."
Humming a song and then turning on the radio only to discover that song playing. Thinking about a person and then hearing the phone ring and discovering the person on the other end is the person you had just been thinking about. Once I was actually thinking about a person so intently and a really strange thing happened. I was sitting in my kitchen thinking about her, and suddenly this little musical box that she had given us which was sitting on a shelf in my kitchen started playing. I had to wonder if there was some sort of cosmic cause and affect thing going on. That lead to a series of spoon bending experiments and lottery ticket buying. Alas, my spoons are still straight and the lottery ticket buying has had little return, except for what I'm considering "investments into my state's education system". (as the lottery goes to higher education grants and such...)
I've had a couple bigger, more private and highly emotional things happen that are simply beyond coincidence and are downright weird. Any remnants of skepticism within me continues to shrink to the point where I'm wondering just how many "winks from the Universe" I need to receive in order to stop questioning and start believing. Not that these synchronizations would ever become a mundane part of life, but they are becoming so common that I don't freeze in stupor of astonishment that the very fabric of the Universe is unraveling before my virgin eyes. It's harder and harder to stay naive and shocked. In fact, the winks are becoming more meaningful as they land a bit closer to home. It seems like it's becoming less random. Some just seem like weird coincidences, and others seem to be absolutely life affirming.
During the last meeting of my Self Nurture Group, we wrote letters to ourselves. From our Wise Self. Savannah would mail these letters in a couple weeks as a simple reminder to nurture and love ourselves. I got into a really sweet, knowing spot in my heart and wrote my letter. I sealed it up and then gave it to Sav. Then we all got to choose a random Goddess card (like tarot cards) as a fun little boost. The cards were all facing down, so we didn't see have an opportunity to see what we were choosing. We drew straight from the heart and if there was meaning, just to take it in...
Here's what my letter said:
|pay special attention to the underlined words. I REALLY wanted myself to see these words.|
And here's the card I drew:
|Kind of looks like she is sprinkling summer over winter, doesn't it???|
You know from my previous few blogs, I'm struggling a little bit in my personal life. ;)
My previous post was about processing a situation that has brought up some huge insecurities and how that left me feeling vulnerable and unworthy. I am committing to focusing on the lessons I've learned and loving with my whole heart, but it still stings when I see things on Facebook that trigger those feelings of pain and rejection. Facebook in general has lately become a place where I "dwell" and not just visit, also, so in order to regain more balance in my home life (which I tend to avoid because...HELLO, CHAOS OF SEVEN PEOPLE!!!), regain peace in my mind and in a move of self preservation, I decided to slip quietly into a Facebook fast. I desperately wanted to focus on sitting with myself, my thoughts, and see what came up.
The synchronizations started in the morning when I opened my email.
From DailyOm Horoscope:
April 18, 2012So DailyOm can see directly into my soul. WHATEVER.
An Unadulterated Peace
Taurus Daily Horoscope
You may feel exhausted and tense today, drained by recent catastrophes or periods of intense labor. Since you are likely having difficulties relating to people with patience and tolerance, you may feel compelled to withdraw from the world in order to restore balance in your mind and soul. However, your decision to spend time alone, away from your loved ones and peers, can leave you feeling isolated. Should you find solitude more lonely than relaxing, remind yourself that there may be aspects of yourself that you can only rediscover in a calm and quiet environment. If you endeavor to slip into solitude as you might curl yourself into a soft blanket today, you may find that its embrace becomes comforting and a source of grounding energy.
Often, slipping into solitude represents the simplest way of combating feelings of isolation. While seemingly counterintuitive, it is only in peaceful seclusion that we can access the complex web of emotions that forms the root of the sense of disconnect plaguing us. Stillness encourages contemplation, and tranquility offers comfort as we delve deeply into our inner landscapes. Freed from the demands heaped upon us by others and social schemes that compel us to play roles, we remember who we truly are and can reconnect with the values we deem precious to our experience. Such periodic cerebral journeys of understanding can help us live a life of unadulterated authenticity. The time you spend alone today will complete you, reminding you that you are a whole and capable individual.
I spent the morning enjoying the kids, doing the morning shuffle, and making a plan of attack for cleaning the house. The kids had a half day at school, which left me with an afternoon free of shuffling kids and time to dig into housecleaning and cleaning the cobwebs from my brain. I surfed TEDtalks app on my phone for something to listen to while I scoured the bathroom. I clicked on a talk by Brene Brown and pretty soon I'm sitting there stunned again as she starts talking about she's done all this research on those feelings of unworthiness, vulnerability and shame and how intertwined these emotions are. Do yourself a huge favor and watch this video:
Here are some excerpts that GRABBED me.
"I wrote a book, I published a theory, but something was not okay -- and what it was is that, if I roughly took the people I interviewed and divided them into people who really have a sense of worthiness -- that's what this comes down to, a sense of worthiness -- they have a strong sense of love and belonging -- and folks who struggle for it, and folks who are always wondering if they're good enough. There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. And that was, the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they're worthy of love and belonging. That's it. They believe they're worthy."
Then she went on to talk about how she took it a step further and investigated what those people who believe they ARE worthy have in common:
"What they had in common was a sense of courage. And I want to separate courage and bravery for you for a minute. Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language -- it's from the Latin word cor, meaning heart -- and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can't practice compassion with other people if we can't treat ourselves kindly. And the last was they had connection, and -- this was the hard part -- as a result of authenticity, they were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were, which you have to absolutely do that for connection. "Short version. Those people who feel strong connections to others believe they are worthy of love, and are courageous in their authenticity. Interestingggggg....
"The other thing that they had in common was this: They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn't talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating -- as I had heard it earlier in the shame interviewing. They just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say, "I love you" first, the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees, the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after your mammogram. They're willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. They thought this was fundamental. "
And here's a big clue to unhappiness....when you numb vulnerability, you numb happiness.
"And so then I went back into the research and spent the next couple of years really trying to understand what they, the whole-hearted, what choices they were making, and what are we doing with vulnerability. Why do we struggle with it so much? Am I alone in struggling with vulnerability? No. So this is what I learned. We numb vulnerability..."
"And I think there's evidence -- and it's not the only reason this evidence exists, but I think it's a huge cause -- we are the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history. The problem is -- and I learned this from the research -- that you cannot selectively numb emotion. You can't say, here's the bad stuff. Here's vulnerability, here's grief, here's shame, here's fear, here's disappointment. I don't want to feel these. I'm going to have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. (Laughter) I don't want to feel these. And I know that's knowing laughter. I hack into your lives for a living. God. (Laughter) You can't numb those hard feelings without numbing the other affects, our emotions. You cannot selectively numb. So when we numb those, we numb joy, we numb gratitude, we numb happiness. And then we are miserable, and we are looking for purpose and meaning, and then we feel vulnerable, so then we have a couple of beers and a banana nut muffin. And it becomes this dangerous cycle."
For me, hearing these words yesterday really revealed a lot of truths to me. If you've read "waking up willa" (and the one before this) for long, you know vulnerability isn't an issue for me. I rather enjoy blogging about things that make most people cringe. I have people tell me frequently how they appreciate my transparency and they are experiencing something similar but couldn't articulate it properly or felt too vulnerable to let it be known. It's like an introvert high-5. But there's a difference between being vulnerable to the ether of blogland (no real risk) and being vulnerable in "meatspace". Face to face with someone where there is a SERIOUS risk of rejection, pain, hurt and loss. That's dangerous. To be DEEPLY seen? Holy freakin crap...."This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee -- and that's really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that's excruciatingly difficult -- to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we're wondering, "Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?" just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, "I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive." And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we're enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, "I'm enough," then we stop screaming and start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves."
God, I love it when things like that happen, it just LIGHTS up my soul. I needed to hear Brene's wisdom yesterday. And now I have a new life moto:
Another interesting thing happened. I was reading a comment in one of the posts on her blog, and saw that the comment author was a "Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach". I'd never heard of that and it sounded interesting, so I googled it. The more I read about it, the more my brain tickled with sparks of visions of seeing myself as a creativity coach. I'd researched becoming a life coach before, but it never quite felt "right". Not saying this feels totally right (I fantasize about doing all sorts of things like this...), but I've been quietly sitting with it.
Today my DailyOm Horoscope:
April 19, 2012
A Life Examined
Taurus Daily Horoscope
Your willingness to reflect upon your life's journey up until this point can become your greatest asset today. Whether you are in an introspective mood or seeking specific information about choices you once made, you may find yourself compelled to spend time apart from the company of others. As you search for the insights buried in your personal history, your perception of time can change, leaving you prone to becoming lost in thought. By simply making an effort to be more cognizant of the direction of your musings, you can consciously manipulate the course of your reflection to ensure that you understand how your past has influenced the person you are today.
Our lives, when thoroughly examined, yield great stores of wisdom that aid us as we push forward with short- and long-term plans. Frequently, we forge ahead, putting little stock in the insights of the past, convinced that all we need to know will be revealed to us in the future. However, the events we have lived through and the choices we have made as we struggled to gain understanding can tell us much about how best to triumph over life's many challenges. Through trial and error we learn to move through existence consciously and recover from the setbacks that threaten to derail our progress. A few moments of reflection can give us the strength to face difficulties head-on, with reason as our only tool. As you muse today upon all you have been and done in the past, you'll find that you are prepared to meet your future.
So now I'm paranoid that DailyOm has hacked into my isp and is compiling horoscopes based google searches. Seriously, how often do you hear the word "muse"? I find it totally serendipitous to hear "As you muse today upon all you have been and done in the past, you'll find that you are prepared to meet your future." in a time when I'm searching for purpose, clarity, peace and considering a career as a Kaizen-MUSE Creativity Coach. Or maybe at this point I'm just intently LOOKING for synchronicity. Either way, when I can find meaning in things, it is totally inspiring. Maybe I'm not just a particle of dust blowing through the Universe after all...
One last little tiny synchronicity for today: As I was writing this post, I was listening to Iron and Wine, and these lyrics spoke out to me...FROM THE GREAT BEYOND!!! ;)
Curiosity far greater than the fear
It felt so simple, so prodigious, at the same time
Incredible things are happening in the world
Magical things are happening in the world
Across the river there are all kinds of magical instruments
While we really keep on living like monkeys