02/17/19 ~ mega DING! DING! DING! day

Yesterday reverberated with Ding! Ding! Ding!  Too aha many aha moments to share at once – will give a taste here & savor more fully throughout the day.

My ahas opened up at church, at a brewery & at an evening event. With the exception of one evening awakening, each was more a gentle homecoming than a major revelation. Some involved experiencing longtime situations in a fresh new way, while others flashed out of the blue. Each happened because of being in a particular place where I’d chosen to be.

Ding!s ranged from responding in a wholehearted – not broken – way, to accepting the okayness of not agreeing with concepts being shared as general wisdom, to a brsnd new take on a longtime, limiting trait.

02/17/19 was a great & glorious day where life cracked open & unexpected illumination lit up my mind body soul with grace gratitude joy.

Till there was you

There have been key moments of my adult life when it seemed my energy level shifted & a fresh, different, more ME experience flowed into being. When I fell for John, when Mom reunited with her O Best Beloved, when Mim slipped from us, when I saw “We do family,” when I read The Greatest Salesman in the World (one chapter a month, read multi-times a day).

Without realizing it, in each of those situations, a clear intention paired with at least one elevated emotion to create a freshly cleared pathway welcoming different genuine bodacious.

John was the kick off. I chalked it up to his eyes being the first in which I could see a best self I’d never suspected. Well, a dozen pages into Joe Dispenza’s just published, Becoming Supernatural, things looked different.  See, John completely set my world on its ear. My desire for a wedding that HE (who wanted just a small ceremony, with our mothers our sole  witnesses) enjoyed was my #1 goal – a clear intention teamed with an elevated emotion. Success unexpected in common hours –  John had a ball!

Each point in time where I made quantum leaps forward teamed a clear intention with an elevated emotion.  But it all started – and continues – with my Keet. For thirty years, my intentions within & for our relationship have changed, but each always pairs with an elevated positive emotion, which is why our marriage continues to grow & deepen. The stress & distress are teensy compared to the commitment & hope. From Day One, our love has been both super AND natural.

Beloved – there were bells on the hills, but I never heard them ringing till there was you.

Stepping away from unconscious

It feels like women have, through the ages, expected to get through their lives by welcoming being unconscious, tolerating this negative thing, doing everything in her power to right this unrightable problem, forever cleaning up utterly avoidable messes left by people who maintained a blissful ignorance that meant never seeing, appreciating any of it.  Of course it was done – – that’s why SHE was there.

For most of her life, my mother was the queen of unconscious.  When anything didn’t fit into her view or if something she did went horribly awry, in her mind it didn’t exist, never happened.

It was pretty jaw-dropping to experience. Before I was married, probably 33+ years ago, Mim, Mom & I were in a conversation. Can see the three of us: Mim & Mom at the end of the dining room table, stsnding near the door to Mom’s room, while I was across the room, sitting at the breakfast table. For some reason, the fact that Mim didn’t love me came up. Not as a slam or to hurt, just a reality.  Mom was flustered & protested that of course my sister loved me, turning to Mim to back her up. Instead, Mim stated – “But I don’t love her.”  Again, Mom protested; again, Mim calmly, dispassionately, stated she didn’t.  Mom said not a word, turned on her heel, went into her bedroom & shut the door.  Unconscious. She never brought it up again.

I wasn’t hurt by Mim’s honesty; had been conscious since age eleven of my sister’s antipathy.  What mattered less to me, then & now, that Mim did not love me & more that  I loved her.

Far more serious was the time, in 1997, when all hell broke loose due to Mom going emotionally unconscious.  She did something that blew up in her face & responded by completely wiping out any memory of what she had done. Since the other people in loved had no clue about Mom’s tendency to go unconscious when it suited, they chalked up the mess to me.  Mom never did regain any memory of what happened & to this day the others place total responsibility for the nasty fracas that ensued squarely on my shoulders.

Mom was all about being unconscious. The pain of being aware was too sharp, painful, dangerous. She was not unusual for a woman born in 1910.  Sadly, such a tendency – one that disguises itself as self protecting when it is anything BUT – still messes up too many lives. Men have probably fallen prey to its wiles, but women remain particularly susceptible.

In her own “final four,” Mom did step away from unconsciousness & raised uncomfortable clarity above her once cozy blindness. Wishing the same for any unconscious soul, man or woman, old or young.  It wasn’t easy, but oh the unexpected rewards – –   bold new experiences, astonishing connections & an unexpected use.

Assigning high value to stress

Ding! Ding! Ding!  I finally get it.  Only took 30 years. John assigns high value to stress.

That would explain why he works until 3:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day making the hand-made cards he knows I treasure in spite of that driving me nuts, why he doesn’t say the simple thing that will soothe my troubles & what he does say only  compounds the very things that roil my spirits & rip open my heart.

If John assigns high value to stress & none to ease, all of those things that have made NO sense become clear.

Am intimately familiar with people who give value to stress, who devalue  – distrust – things done well without nail-biting effort. Such folk make life hideously hard on themselves while wrenching others’ peace apart, especially the hapless souls who do things effectively, efficiently AND without over taxing their energies.

It feels like the possibility of doing things with greater ease doesn’t register with John, in spite of my best efforts to give him a clue. Instead, he waits to the last moment, puts in a massive effort that saps out the joy for me, left by myself in bed feeling invisibled, vulnerable & unvalued.  Did my best to get him moving before 12/24/18 & he still made Christmas tags into the wee small hours of 12/25.  Ditto today’s Valentine’s Day card(s). It would explain why he always takes great pride in making the bed AND occasionally being skimpy, pulling the sheet & blanket up just enough to allow material to barely brush my shoulders.

It would explain why John NEVER just says, “Oops – sorry that I did/didn’t…” & seems genuinely taken aback that I’d expect it.  Why he ALWAYS springs to his own defense, which makes no sense when it is obvious the paired sheet & blanket come to the curve of my shoulders, even when I scrinch down the bed to maximize, the bed clothes tucked in too firmly to just pull them up in my tossing turning half sleep.

It would explain why my Keet ALWAYS counters my frustrated, heartbroken response with “I didn’t mean to make you sad,” when he should know after thirty years that phrase will drive me further around the bend because how could he NOT know after so long – decades – of the same issues & the same reactions, the same tear-stained, howling responses.

If, as I now finally suspect, John puts value on stress & zilch on well-planned, well-timed ease, all would  explained. And, for me, what can be explained – not shrugged off & excused. but understood – can be born.

Anchor – – AWAY!

Ten years ago, I had the unexpected delight of teaching Biology & Health to at-risk high school students, kids & young adults to whom stress was as natural as breathing. Their attention wandered more times than I’d like to admit, but they were all attention when our studies turned to how the human body responds to high stress situations, the different physiological systems that kick in to help us deal with the immediate challenge, even danger.  They leaned forward, hearing how this response is meant to be short-term, over in seconds or minutes – at the most, within hours. Even the rowdiest seemed interested in learning about the impact of stress, that the longer it lingers, the more difficult it is for our physical, mental & emotional states to be restored to a sense of balance.  They’d never considered the power of balance, never seen stress as a real life, real time disadvantage.

Unresolved stress becomes compounded. Relive a difficult time in the head & the body doesn’t know it’s not experiencing the original event – or a  version of it – over & over. It sends the same messages to the body as the ONE time it happened & the body responds in kind, on an endless loop, with the same survival mode chemical responses – over & over & over, not just several times a week or a day, but within each hour, constantly anchoring the brain & body to a damaged & continually damaging past.

The great challenge in moving past trauma – layers of traumas – is that we think the memory is simply in our brain. If only! Whatever the event, its memory becomes paired with emotion. When we suffer from unresolved, too often unrecognized, stress & trauma, we stop responding to the actual memory & start reacting to the feelings left in its wake.

Left to go its own way, memory attached to emotion brands itself into the brain.  Unrecognized, unresolved, the experience is seared into our neural circuitry, with the corresponding feeling taking up residence in our body.  Working together, thinking they’re acting to protect rather than harm, our brain & body unintentionally do us dirt, biologically anchoring us to a messed up past.

My family – the oldest siblings & my parents – were each & all, individually & as a group, anchored to a messed up past. It left them most comfortable being in an never spoken of, unreconciled past.

It feels FANTASTIC to acknowledge the terrible damage that was done to them & (through osmosis) a clueless me, and just let it go. My sails are set, the wind fills them & – like Moana – am all about Away! Away!

Not being anchored, even slightly, to a messed up whatever is glorious. Not my past, never was.

Returned, refreshed & renewed

Today, I was one of a circle of incredible women. Shook me to realize that each probably thought much the same. To them, I wasn’t out of place – I was there.

Mind you, I was brought up short by the exercises. Felt constrained, stilted, artificial working through them, as if someone was peering over my shoulder. Felt off-key, off-kilter… OFF.

After the workshop, after feeling out of place & disconnected, I heard Jane Kerschner’s voice telling me, in her straightforward way, that when I do things then I am doing them MY way.  And I knew in that moment that my 5-year ~ or 3 year or 1 year or 1 day ~ goal is not to feel multi-dimensional. My right-now reality is that I am.

Lean into it, celebrate it, express it in as many ways as yammer to be brought up & out. No more Wonder Woman wearing too-tight tights.

Over the past five years, I’ve discovered ways of living that work super well for me, perspectives that enlighten, attitudes that pair joy & accomplishment. Bring them front & center, set them in motion, leaving no room for gunk that holds back, limits, restrains.

If living in survival is living in stress, I am modeling how living in tranquility is living in JOY.  Fill the rest of my days with things that bring a sense of exhilaration & love & giddy happiness. Let the multi-dimensional shimmer & shine, unleashed fearless bold.

I went to the 90-minute workshop out of curiosity; throughout it, felt penned in; came home refreshed, renewed & ready to roar.

Yeah, but… – questioning Jen

Gotta build off Jen Sincero’s words for the day, 11/27 – – “By being inquisitive about, instead of a slave to, your reactions to other people, you get the double whammy bonus of not only setting yourself up to forgive them much more easily (because you realize that it’s really about you, not them), but you receive the great gift of being enlightened to some of your own not-so-special traits so you can grow & learn from them.”

Yeah, and there sometimes comes the day when you realize that ~ try as you might & as much as you avoid putting interpretations on things, realizing that you just don’t know what’s actually going on & accepting that probably no one else does either ~ certain situations people relationships are just plain toxic & the thing you’ve been carefully tending & loving & propping up is a dead & long-gone corpse of something that was once alive & flourishing, yet is no more.

The core problem of keeping something toxic in your life is that it tends to poison everything.  It compromises the emotional immunization system, which can then attack the spiritual system, inflicting gruesomely damaging pain.  Ask any bacteriologist – – holding onto something dead is NOT GOOD for anyone.

So, yes – – it’s essential that we stay inquisitiveabout our emotional reactions to others, but comes the day with some folks or situations where the answer to that inquiry is, “It’s time  to walk away or risk far worse to come.”  Sometimes the light that dawns tells us that this is not a place time person from which we can learn anything except how to say goodbye.