Week 14 – Whispers of True Self

I was really excited to find out about a Photography workshop in Italy with 2 master photographers. This trip sounds amazing and I would be going with a group of fellow artists and photographers, one whom I know and am from the same state. This would be an opportunity of a life time and a dream come true. I have always wanted to go to Italy and my spirit has been longing to go somewhere. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I then found out it was right before and may even overlap our MKMMA Kauai Mastermind and my heart was torn.

I tried to push Italy more; I even made a post about it to Facebook to sell some Calendars of my work to help raise the money. I really wanted to experience Italy because it’s something I have told myself I would do some day… but something else was telling me that the time is not now. Something deep with in my heart. The more I think about it, I’m not sure what role Photography will play in my future and that I wouldn’t know until I finally figured out my dharma. I could sense that my husband was not super enthused about the idea about me going, and if I did,  it would push us farther apart. Before I get defensive about his assumed feelings, I want to probe this deeper. If I went on this trip, I would be leaving just after my son’s 5th birthday and be missing my husband’s birthday. We had been through a lot to be together and we’ve never even been on a honeymoon. It doesn’t seem fair for me to go abroad for the first time with out him, yet it is also not the most romantic scenario for a honeymoon as I would be attending lighting classes all day with a group of people that he has nothing in common with and doesn’t know.

It wasn’t just that, when I thought about the trip, I felt anxious about all the details of traveling alone and meeting up with a group in a foreign county. The thought made me want to turn to my husband to take care of the details and hold my hand along the way. I wanted him there and didn’t want him there at the same time so I could focus on learning. Then there was the matter of equipment. They would be using all sorts of lighting, mostly speed lights and strobes, which I do not have and can not afford to purchase at the moment. If I can’t practice what I learn, how am I going to retain it? I also thought about my DMP and where I was at with it. The last time I wrote it, I didn’t even mention photography. Why? I also haven’t wanted to use my camera much the last couple of months as nothing has really inspired me.

Hawaii is also a very important place for me. It’s where I went on my first honey moon and realized that I had made the biggest mistake of my life. I finally saw myself and how unhappy I was. I was on the wrong path and Hawaii was my awakening. I have vowed to come back someday after I concurred the mountain of my body and mind. Well,  I have shed 200lbs and a bad relationship and kept it off for 11 years now and am now remarried with 4 kids. Now here I am with MKMMA mastering my mind. Full circle.

I filled out the week 13 survey and saw the video for the Kauai retread and was instantly emotional upon seeing the green mountains and waterfalls again. I went to my husband and told him how I felt about Italy and that I wanted to go to Kauai and that I wanted him to come and we would have our Honeymoon. My ideas were met with compassion and we researched costs and the island. Everything feels right and I think he is on board.

So, listen to your heart and analyze your emotions for clues and you will find the way. Everyone has intuition, but you have to learn to listen to it. I will see you soon.

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Week 13 – A Spark

While I was in the car, I heard a wonderful piece in NPR about our local waste and recycling facilities looking to reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill and incinerators by 40% by 2030. This is great! Being that I have a passion for environmental issues and a background in waste in recycling, I was really impressed that a government run, county owned facility was taking such a open minded approach to how to handle our waste. This really stuck with me and I felt the urge to connect with them and see if there was a spark, some way I could fit into the mix, but I never wrote down his name and information. Months went by and I never tried to look it up or act on it. I would think of it here and there and consider the actions needed to find out who to contact and how to contact them seemed too time consuming in my busy kid filled life and would shove it to the back of my mind as another missed opportunity or failed goal.

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Kent County tries new approach to reduce waste in trash on Stateside -NPR

http://www.tinyurl.com/grvlfw5

Well, today I just did it. I was sitting in front of the computer thinking about my DMP and  it popped in my head again. So I looked up the recycling center’s number and then found the recording on NPR’s website, which had the Director’s name and simply called and asked for him. I had hardly thought about what I would say and the receptionist said one moment… and he answered.

I simply introduced myself and told him I had herd his interview on NPR and complimented him on his goal. I told him about my background in waste and recycling and our efforts to do some of the same things. I then found out that he knew of our work and we likely had met before. I scheduled a meeting with him just after the first of the year. Wow, that felt great. Completing the circle of thought and the outcome going as planned. I still don’t know where this will if anywhere, but the idea of being able to get involved with something so big as to change public opinion and habits towards more sustainable practices has got me excited and refreshed.

Now to go back to that DMP. 😉

 

Week 10 – Don’t Criticize, condemn, and complain.

I came up to get dinner started and saw that I had waited too long and that my husband was starting to make something for the kids. I stood there for a minute talking with him and he came over to me and gently gave me a hug. I thought this was nice, then he started to whisper that he wanted to be able to talk to me about things that bothered him and was gently trying to discuss the matter of the carrot peels and smashed strawberry tops on the floor from yesterdays dinner. He said that it makes him feel that I don’t appreciate all the hard work he does to clean.

I felt my whole body recoil and as he spoke those words, involuntary tears started rolling down my cheeks. I was completely defeated. I tried really hard to show him how much I appreciate him by making a huge meal from scratch yesterday. We had BBQ ribs (I have to admit, I had pre-cooked ones from Costco here and I was not impressed), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, asparagus, carrots, even homemade brownies and fresh strawberries. All while taking care of the kids, getting them food, plating his food and cleaning everything up except the floor. That was putting away all the food, putting everyone’s dishes in the dishwasher, washing 2 sink fulls of pots and pans after spending an hour and half on dinner while he was on the phone taking care of something. And… I’ve has gastric bypass surgery so I can only eat like 1 cup of everything I made. I made a genuine effort to make his night easier by doing everything… except the floor because it was all wet from washing the dishes and I thought it would be easier to do after everything dried out, then never got to it before he noticed. The next day I even made an extra effort to keep the house a but tidier and kept the counters cleared off and made sure all the coats and shoes were hanging up and put away before he got home.

We’ve been reading that you can decide how you want to feel about something, but I found no time to consciously digest what was being said let alone attach a feeling to it. A negative feeling was already there and he was reinforcing it. Logically, I understand where he is coming from and in no way is this meant to disparage him. He does work very hard and is sometimes not the best at expressing himself or seeing the bigger picture. He did just mop the floor a few days ago and now there is a strawberry top smashed into it. I am a messy person and an even messier chef, but it’s not that black and white and what are you really going to gain by pointing out something someone did wrong? All it’s going to do is make them defensive and build a wall. You are not going to change their behavior by addressing them in this manner. Dale Carnegie 101 here. It’s like a double-edged sword because I also can’t really say anything to him about saying something to me as it also creates a wall. He wants his point of view to be heard and not challenged. The only possible answer then is love. I love him for all that his is, even his thick skull and lack of emotional skills.

This reminds me of a story I read the other day about two best friends walking down a road. One friend punches the other and he writes in the sand, “today my best friend punched me” and they kept walking. The friend that got punched in the face slipped and almost fell off a cliff, but was saved by his friend that punched him and he then wrote “Today my friend saved my life” in a stone wall. When his friend asked him why he wrote that one in stone instead of sand, his told him, “We write the criticisms and hurtful things people have done in the sand so that time can wash away the pain and write the good things people say and do in stone so we can remember them forever.”

I’m trying to keep that one in mind for dinner tonight. I’m thinking Frozen Pizza sounds good for the next month. Don’t worry, I have already forgiven him, but I did need to start the mental diet over again. This is also why I make a conscious choice not to say anything about the little things my that bother me. I know I’m not going to change him and his habits. All it would do is build a wall. Instead, I love and accept him just as he is. I hope that next time I will be able to respond in a more composed and logical manner and think this is a trigger for me. I’m coming out of a pretty dark place and kind of lost it there for a minute. I pretty much feel like I am drowning as a mom and a housewife. I had no idea this job was so hard and on top of that it threw me off my game. I almost forgot who I was, but I am slowly finding myself again. This was a great measure for where I am at in my journey.

Week 9 – Intuitions

I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down to rewrite my DMP. I feel like a lost soul drifting amidst the fog. I still don’t know what I want in life. After all of this time you would think I would have figured it out. Is it wrong to just want balance? Not too much of one thing or another? Putting on my observer eyes, I look at myself in procrastination, or in flux. I am waiting for something, maybe a sign. I hear the wind whisper in my ear and I feel a pull from with in. I know I’m being called to something great, but I’m missing something.

Next year my son will be in school full time and then kids will no longer be my excuse for procrastination. Then what will I do? I’ve been trying to run my own business for years and find that I like everything… except that whole running the business part. When I work for a company, I find that I don’t like rules and I need freedom of expression. If I worked for someone else, I would want the company to be environmentally conscious and be involved in recycling or some how related to preserving the environment. Maybe that’s what my business should do? Sometimes I wonder if my passion for the environment and sustainability slows my ability to fully immerse myself in the view that the world is already perfect. Are we not supposed to think of the world as perfect as it is and find no faults in the way we do things? If there is nothing wrong with the world, should we not look for a more sustainable way to exist, to leave the world in the same condition or better than it was left to us? I have more questions than answers.

As I sit here and contemplate my purpose in life, the door bursts open. There stands a four-year-old blond hair, blue eyed boy with his blue blanket and a big angelic smile asking me to cuddle with him on the couch. You can schedule all the family time in the world, but you can’t schedule a moment like that. It’s important to plan and work for the future, but we still to remember to be in the now. Sometimes the now interrupts the plan, but we learn to adjust. I will let myself get lured into his trap of distraction as long as he’ll have it for I know one day those will be the memories that I will cherish most and they will carry me through my darkest times. Therefore, I will consider this the scenic route on my journey and I will start this day with love in my heart.

Week 11 – Revitalized

I am so far behind. I still don’t have my DMP hammered down all the way and I hadn’t even been to the alliance area until week 10 and when I went there, I didn’t really see it. Does that even make sense? I saw it, but I didn’t go deeper, I took a quick look and either got distracted or went on to a different area dismissing that one before giving it a good look. That seems to be a reoccurring pattern of my old blueprint. I’ve been back and I’ve posted, but I am still trying to figure out how it all works in there and I still need a partner. Now I realize it’s been part of our requirements all this time. Well, I am starting now.

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Sometimes I feel like I am failing all over again, but I’m in this too far to give up now. I have tasted the sweetness of success and I know I want more. My old blueprint seems to be winning some days. Why am I refusing my purpose? I genuinely try to accomplish my tasks though out the day and know that so many other people who have it worse than I and are still doing the work, but then something comes up or someone needs me. It’s like “Murphy’s Law” and I’m sick and tired of Murphy controlling my life. I used to think somehow the kids would conspire against me so that I would never accomplish anything. It never dawned on me that good old Murphy is really my old blueprint. It feels a bit like I’m in an episode of Scooby Doo and just pulled the mask off to reveal the real villain. Now that I can see my self sabotage and call it for what it is, then I can finally break this cycle and get out of this rut.

I’m actually looking forward to this break so that I can catch up. Just because there is no call, doesn’t mean that I can’t spend that time re watching a webinar or connecting with others. I am proud that I have worked every free moment I had today on MKMMA activities. Sometimes I have a lot to show for it in visual work, but other days I break through mental barriers that leave no visual trace. That kind of progress is harder to measure, but I am finding I see it when I speak to others and in both the tone in which I speak and the tone I notice from them. I have often times left a conversation feeling sorry that a person is locked in their own mental rut and notice that from my perspective their problem or wall is clear to me, while to them they are in a middle of a fog with no way out. Just as with me, when I feel lost in the fog, there are others that can see the way out just as plain as day. I guess you won’t see it until you are ready.

Week 12 – A Powerful Story

My husband and I were in the middle of a residential dispute over a house we were leasing and trying to purchase in a neighborhood that was sought after and that we desired. I was pregnant and on bed rest for preterm delivery and taking care of a 6 yr old and 15 month old. We decided things weren’t looking good for us to acquire our current residence (I forgive you Jake and Sarah) so we started to look for a new house with in the same desired neighborhood. We looked at every available house in our neighborhood and none of the was “the one.”

My husband found a house just down the street and around the corner from where we lived. This house was perfect, it sat atop a small hill on the end of a cul-de-sac and was surrounded by tall red and white pines. It sat against a cornfield with 200+ year old majestic oaks that lining the back of the property as a natural fence. The house looked empty, but it wasn’t on the market. We thought it was a foreclosure, but we couldn’t find any information on the status of it. A couple of months went by and my husband drove to that house every day after work just to see if there was a change. I joked with him someone was going to get suspicious and call the cops. We had also looked at 5 other houses in the surrounding area and none of them were “the one”.

We were out of time. On top of that, my son decided to come a month early and we still didn’t know if we were leaving or staying in the house we were in. Despite our best efforts, we lost the battle in court, the down payment we had put down to purchase the house and were forced to quickly find a new place to live, which would end up in my parents’ garage during the unusually hot May of 2012 with a 9yr old, 18 month old a newborn and a dog.

We had looked at every house in that and the surrounding neighborhoods and couldn’t find anything that was it, when suddenly; a house became available 4 houses down from the one we were living in. It was even built by the same builder, had an extra lot next door and some woods in the back. It was a bit smaller than what we wanted and a lot more than we planned on paying, but our options were looking bleak. After a lot of discussion, we decided to put a bid in on it and crossed our fingers. I was so ready to settle into a place and the urge to nest was overwhelming. That night I got the urge to get online again and check the house listings in the area. I could not believe my eyes! The mystery house on the hill had finally hit the market and there were pictures of the inside. What were the odds that the house would finally come onto the market once we put a bid on another house? There was a huge pit in my stomach as we looked at the pictures. This house was gorgeous and it had everything we were looking for and was cheaper… but we had just put a bid in on that other house.

I have never wanted something to fall through so badly in my life, but there was no undo button. We had to wait it out. That night we prayed that our offer would not be accepted. We found out the next day that we were outbid by $300. That’s it, $300. Our realtor was quite surprised at our happiness and we swept in and purchased the foreclosure before there was even a sign out in the yard. Wow, everything happens for a reason and persistence really does pay off. This was years before I learned about MKMMA and manifesting my own reality or the power of thought, but even then I could not ignore the blessing that had happened in our lives.