The Constant of Change

Another holiday season is behind us, and another new year lies ahead. We’re already 4 (almost 5) days in and we still have about 360 days to visualize, plan, incorporate and live the changes we want to see in our lives. Like many others, I have already thought about where I am right now and where I’d like to be by the end of this year. Some of the big transitions I want to see in my life are desires that have carried over from last year and the year before that. On one hand, I continue to remain excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and how the unknown will pan out. But on the other hand, I am working hard not to let into my spirit a sense of anxiety that seems to be lurking.

There’s different factors playing into the feeling of anxiousness. I had two luscious weeks off from work and was able to spend a significant amount of time with my family and loved ones. I always tend to get a feeling in the pit of my stomach when I’m hours away from returning to my job after being off for a long while and having to prepare for the regular 9-5 routine. It was hard to leave my family in NY and come back to DC, but I adjusted. I had a chance to spend quality time with a special someone, but now we are back in our individual spaces and I am having to adjust again.

I am fully aware that life is constantly about adjusting, but there are times when the adjustments challenge me. It is all a part of staying present and remaining focused on the work of detachment. Not living in the past and not worried about what the future will bring. But speaking to the latter point, there is also anxiety about what I have not changed; namely my career. At the end of 2012, I thought for sure I’d be in a different place by the end of 2013. At the end of 2013, I thought the same for 2014. Now here I am at the starting line again. The biggest – and most important – difference though, is that I personally feel different. Stronger. More mindful. Aware of the tools I have developed and am armed with as I grow and encounter and overcome challenges that have come about on my journey towards my most authentic self. Whereas at this time last year I would have been emotionally blindsided by feelings of anxiety, I can now see it coming from a mile away. That means thinking positive thoughts and reciting positive affirmations to myself. Instead of fretting about how quickly my two-week break has come to an end (something I really want to do), I am reminding myself to be grateful for the time I had to myself. The time that allowed me to nurture relationships that are important to me. And while I may not love my job, the work comes in reminding myself to be grateful that I have a job to return to. The transition into 2014 found me kicking and screaming about going back to work. This year I am focused on acceptance and gratitude. As my Yoga teacher and mentor always says: The quickest way to change a situation for the better is to constantly be grateful for it. It is my intention to approach tomorrow morning, and the hundreds of emails that are likely waiting for me, with a most triumphant attitude. Perhaps this will make the biggest difference in me being in a different place career-wise by the end of 2015.

At this time last year, I did not desire to be in a relationship and spent most of my time consciously not dating and making overdue investments in myself. Now I feel like I am ready and more adept at being able to truly coexist with another. I want to know what that will look like and when and how it will happen, and while I have “a feeling” there will be big changes in the romance department for me this year, I know that I have to approach this in the same manner as I am approaching everything else. Acceptance of what isn’t. Living fully in what is. While in the past I may have moaned and groaned about being single, I now know to fully embrace this time I have to solely dedicate to myself and my son. The freedom that comes with not being in a relationship allows me to consider new career options that I otherwise might not be able to if I had a significant other to think about. I have often understood in theory the importance of guarding our thoughts. I can now see the value and benefit of actually applying this theory to real life situations.

It’s funny. As I write this, I think about how I strongly desire change in my life. But my intention when I sat down to write was to channel the anxiety I feel about the changes that are occurring. I guess sometimes you have to talk through your own situation or step outside of it, to see it for what it really is. What I really want more of is the change. What I want less of is the anxiety. That has been the focus of my Yoga, learning meditation practices and grounding myself more in faith and spirituality. I also want to write more and so perhaps it is a good thing that I’ve done so on this 4th day of the new year. Especially since it’s been months since I last wrote.

“They” say the only constant in life is change. That statement is a juxtaposition within itself, but I get it. In the same way that I want to bring about change in my life, but am anxious about it once it happens. Even though change is a constant, it is also a process. And with every process there must come a level of patience. For me, it is having patience with my job, patience with my Yoga practice, patience with relationships and most importantly, patience with myself. I believe I have personally changed for the better over the course of 2014. I look forward to and embrace all that is to come with 2015. We’ll see what I’m writing about in 360 days.

Namaste.


The Journey to Self-Love

“To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.”

I came across this quote yesterday and found it to be quite beautiful. I am a true lover of love and these kinds of words just speak to me. But as I spent time in front of my meditation altar this morning and reflected on what I like to call “my heart space situations,” I reflected on this quote and had a simple but seemingly profound realization. While it’s important to know the songs of those you love, it’s more important to know the song that lives in your own heart. What is it that makes you sing? In other words, before you can fully love another, it’s important to love yourself first and foremost.

The road to self-love is not an easy one. In my 20s, I always thought as soon as I’d hit my 30s, this feeling would take over and I would simply fall in love with me. I will be turning 37 in just a few days, and I can firmly say that has not happened. Instead, it’s been about experiencing the highs and lows of life and learning from how it has all shaped me.

I have always been a seeker. I’ve explored different religions and I’ve always wanted to find a place of peace within myself and know what my life’s higher purpose is. In that way, I have always been on the journey of self-love. But it’s the work I have been doing over this past year that has really put me on the path. One of the most significant lessons I have learned during this course of time is summed up in one word: Non-attachment. I have often heard of why we shouldn’t be attached, but it took me a long while to finally and fully grasp this concept. When it comes to me, I have learned that I attached my happiness to people, things and circumstances I have no control over. By doing so, I put myself in the front seat of an emotional roller coaster. When the things I was attached to were going well, I was happy. When they were not so great, I was down. And when things are down, you feel like you are suffering.  Attachment is the foundation of suffering. But as my Yoga teacher always told us during my Yoga teacher training program, “If suffering can be avoided, it should be avoided.” Over the course of this past year, I have learned not to get too caught up in the high moments of life, and not to get too down during the low points. It’s about trying to find and maintain the balance between it all.

Life situations happen that can make it easier said than done to simply detach yourself. I know this firsthand and often find there are days when I’ve made great strides, and days where I feel like I’ve taken ten steps back. On the good days, I allow myself to celebrate the small victories but I also remind myself that a more challenging day can be just around the corner. And when the challenging days happen, I remind myself that I am still a good person and I am still on the course. It can be a hop, skip and a jump into absolute despair if we are too hard on ourselves during moments that seem like personal setbacks. We fall in love with people who don’t have the capacity to receive love and/or love us in return, or who simply are not in a space to act on that love. We are in jobs where we feel that if the people we work with or the job itself would change, we would be happier. We often feel like we are stuck in life, with no options for things to get better. We feel like that one thing that will make us truly happy is an arm’s length away; something you can see, but just can’t touch. I believe – or at least, I have learned – that loving yourself is knowing life will go on if that person you love doesn’t love you back, or you can find a new job or take the time to finally explore something you’ve always been interested in and seeing how it opens up new doors for you. It’s about knowing the song that lives in your heart and singing it to yourself when you have forgotten.

Before we can ask anyone else to love us and meet whatever our personal needs are, we have to know within ourselves what it is that makes us happy. What makes us sad? What can you learn to live with? What is it that you can’t seem to live without? Looking back on my life’s journey so far, I realize I placed expectations on other people by making them answer those questions that I ultimately had to learn to answer for myself. It’s taken me this past year of choosing not to date, of choosing to spend quality time with myself, of choosing to do the work of looking within. At almost 37 years-old and wanting companionship and more children, it admittedly is a little scary (to me) to make a conscious choice not to be in a relationship with anyone. But through meditation, Yoga and seeking counsel from my spiritual circle of trust, I have learned to be at peace with what is not and better accept what is. There is a future I want for myself, but I have had to learn not to attach myself to that specified future being the outcome. Instead, I have made a conscious effort to focus on continually refining what my life’s purpose is and the work I need to do in this world. I have often heard that when you learn to fall in love with yourself, everything you desire in your heart will begin to attract itself to you. I am learning my song. More importantly, I am learning to sing it to myself.

I wish you peace, love and light on your journey towards self-love.

Namaste.


February 14

I’m a pretty emotional and sentimental person, but I’ve never gotten too crazy over Valentine’s Day. Well, maybe in my teens and 20s if I was in a relationship at the time. But as I’ve grown and matured, and gotten more in touch with my emotions, I have found that I see Valentine’s Day as a special day, but also just another day.

Perhaps this is a coping mechanism, as I haven’t been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day in quite a while. When I was in one 2 or 3 years back, the person I was with didn’t make a big deal of it either and I just rolled with it. Don’t get me wrong, I love to receive flowers at work and I wouldn’t reject a Valentine’s delivery, but I’m more of a, “I sent you flowers just because it’s Wednesday” kind of girl.

My perspective on this day is personally interesting. I am reflecting on how for so long, and I mean years, I strongly desired to be in a relationship and almost felt undefined without one. And now, here I am, homebound with my 6 year-old son for a second day due to a snowstorm. Outside of work, I don’t have any plans for this day. I have no expectations for a delivery to come to my door. I know that when I check my social media outlets later, they will be flooded with “look at what I got!” pictures. And yet, I’m content. Instead of being sad or forlorn about the relationship I don’t have, I’m grateful for what I do have. And that is a day at home with my son. Another day I was given not to make the hour-long, traffic-filled drive to and from work. Another day to save money. Another day to not have to rush. And to top it off, Monday is a holiday, so there is more time to look forward to. The hottest date I have planned for this weekend is taking my son to see the new Lego movie he’s been asking me about. And I’m okay with that.

This is not an anti-Valentine’s Day manifesto, nor am I writing out of bitterness from not being in a relationship. I absolutely love love and I’m sure if I were in a relationship, I’d be making some kind of plan for the night or weekend. I just felt the urge to write “Happy Valentine’s Day” to my readers and as I started typing, more words came to mind. That’s how this writing process is for me at times.

I do still desire to have and share true companionship and a partnership one day. But one of the most valuable lessons I have learned along this journey of mine, is not to fight against the current and instead, do my best to go with the flow. After my last relationship, I fell into a space where I became my top priority and I feel I am very much still a work in progress. We always are in a way, but it’s more about feeling a sense of peace deep within. I believe that when I feel completely at ease with who I am and what my purpose is, everything else will fall into place. Some days are certainly harder than others, but I do my best to remind myself of honoring the current space I’m in. I know it’s the relationship with my self that needs the most nurturing right now.

If you do feel a little down today, know that it’s okay. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Each and every day is different and sometimes, you just don’t know how you’ll handle it. But try not to get stuck. Focus on changing your thinking and reflecting on something positive. The smallest shift can make the biggest difference. I am making baby steps with this, but everyday, I learn a little more about the importance of controlling our thoughts. They are the roots of what manifests in our life.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Loves. Namaste.


Ahimsa

Tree of Life Prayer BeadsWhen I first came to my Yoga mat, I came under the impression that Yoga was simply the physical movements that many of us are used to seeing. Enrolling in a Yoga teacher training program years after practicing with my first at-home DVD, I have quickly learned that the poses are just part of a larger path. There are actually 8 limbs of Yoga, of which asanas (the poses) are one.

Two of those limbs are the Yamas and Niyamas. “Yamas” are moral observances; our guiding principles for how we deal with others. “Niyamas” are our personal observances; the principles of how we deal with ourselves. There are 5 principles both for Yamas and Niyamas. For the purpose of this particular blog post, I am going to focus on one of the Yamas: Ahimsa. Ahimsa is Sanskrit for compassion – showing kindness and non-violence to all living things.

I am by no means a perfect person, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I was already incorporating some of the Yamas and Niyamas in my life before I ever knew or even heard of them. Compassion has always been one of my guiding principles. And when my son was born almost 6 years ago, I knew without a doubt that of all the things I could teach him, what would be most important is showing him how to be kind to others.

When I was pregnant and found out I was having a boy, I admittedly cried for a day or so. I am the baby sister of 5 older brothers (between both of my parents’ first marriages) and I really, really, really wanted a girl so that I could complete the trifecta of my mother, me and my baby girl (yes, I actually did think this). Although my brothers had mostly girls between them and the family was actually lacking for boys, I wanted to add my girl to the bunch.

I always had to tag along for my one brother’s high school and college football games. Every Sunday, I had to sacrifice my cartoons or a show I was watching for whatever seasonal sporting event was on. While I had grown up surrounded by testosterone, I didn’t think I’d have a clue of how to raise a boy. Sure, my then-husband would help, but by time baby boy was born, I knew our marriage was on its last leg. I became a single mother before my son turned 2 years-old and as the primary parent, most of what he would learn would come from me. Like many parents of little boys, I want my son to be strong, confident and have some athletic prowess. I long ago accepted that I would not be able to teach him how to be a man, but I certainly could teach him how to be a kind and decent human being. And that has been my mission.

My message of compassion seems to be paying off. My son genuinely shows concern when someone is hurt or crying. When I have my own life moments that I am unable to hide from him, he always comes to me with his favorite toy or stuffed animal and tells me they can sleep with me in my bed so I’ll feel better. There is a little girl in his school who is visually impaired, and while it may take a little nudging from me, because he notices something “different” about her, he makes a point to speak to her and play with her when the other kids stay away. I see the kindness in him, as have friends of mine. While he is a little boy, I am always conscious of the fact that I am raising a man. One day, he will go into the world with the values I’ve instilled in him and learn how to balance that with the values he develops on his own.

Today I came across a Huffington Post article about the things every mother should do for their sons. The article was written in light of a sexual assault of a teenage girl that occurred in Steubenville, Ohio last August. The author suggests that we, as society and parents, help to create a culture of such violent acts, especially by pushing our boys to be “tough guys.” We praise athletes and athleticism, while encouraging our girls to be demure and supportive. It is the author’s belief that certain measures can be taken to avoid another Steubenville. The first of her suggestions is to teach our boys to be kind and to teach them this as early as possible. Being that kindness is something I’ve been working to instill in my son since birth, I wholeheartedly agree.

I continued to think about the article long after I read it. I thought about how some parents and people are of the belief that boys shouldn’t be showered with hugs and kisses because it will make them “soft,” while doing so for girls is acceptable. We tend to focus on the fact that our daughters need to see and receive love at a young age, so they will know what it should look and feel like when they begin to engage in relationships. And it’s not to say that we shouldn’t focus on this, but what about our boys? I don’t necessarily want my son to be a “mama’s boy,” but I have no shame in hugging him, kissing him and telling him I love him multiple times a day. I may make him wipe his tears right away when he falls, but I want him to be comfortable with love. I have had enough of my own relationships with emotionally limited men to know and believe that, for the most part, they did not receive enough affection while growing up. I can admit there was also likely something within me that attracted these types of men, but reading the Huffington Post article confirmed my personal conviction. We teach our daughters how to give love and be dutiful partners, while we teach our sons to be the protectors. I am not against this, but I think we should also teach our sons how to receive love. Sure, some of the discomfort with love may be a nature thing for boys and men, but I believe nurturing plays a big part as well. I say show them the beauty of love to the best of our abilities, so they will be better aware of treating love as a gift that should not be abused or taken for granted.

Being that the Yoga teacher training is a huge aspect of my life right now and being that I am a single mother, my son pretty much doesn’t have a choice but to take this journey with me. He doesn’t attend classes with me, but he is impacted by the time I invest in the training program. It can be hard at times, because my particular program is a weekend-based one. I work a full-time job during the week and then for 2 full weekends out of a month, for the next 6 months, I am in training. Add on to that a job that requires travel and our time together can really be limited. But I know I must see this through and I try to include him by doing Yoga with him at home and teaching him a few asanas he can do on his own. In the end though, I know the most important thing is to continue teaching him about Ahimsa. He is already practicing this Yama in his life. And just like his mother, he doesn’t even know it. Yet.

Namaste.


The Art of Forgiveness

"Forgiveness from others is worthless, if you can't forgive yourself."

“Forgiveness from others is worthless, if you can’t forgive yourself.”

I have been hearing a recurring message of “letting go” lately. Whether expressing frustrations to friends, calling my mother with emotional meltdowns or talking about life challenges during a monthly meeting of the women’s social group I’m involved with, the advice given has been the same: “You have to just let it all go, Rachel.” While I understand “letting go” in theory and believe I have been working on that for the past few years, especially through therapy, I find myself wondering: what does letting go actually look and feel like? One response I recently received was quite simple. Forgive others for any hurt they may have caused me. And most importantly, forgive myself.

These past five years have been somewhat emotionally tumultuous for me. I chose to walk away from a marriage and as a result, went through a pretty sticky divorce. I became a single mother (or “co-parent,” which I try to use more often) in a state that is 4 hours away from any of my family members. A year after my divorce, my house caught fire, causing my then 3 year-old son and I to live in temporary housing for 9 months while our home was repaired. I lost a very dear and close first cousin to breast cancer at a relatively young age during that same year. And while I did find love again, that relationship came to an abrupt end last year shortly before I was in a car accident that kept me out of work for two months. I don’t state these things as a means to say that I have been through anything worse or more difficult than anyone else. In fact, when I hear stories of other people’s life challenges, or a news story such as the tragedies that took place in Newtown, CT., I use that as a perspective for my situation and I remind myself that things could always be worse. Yet, in working on letting go, I’ve had to ask myself if I’ve really worked through these challenges or did I just put them down somewhere and get into survival mode?

I don’t harbor any animosity towards my ex-husband or the man who I was most recently in a relationship with. I am not angry at the Creator for having to lay my cousin to rest. Although frightened, I was not angry that my house caught fire or that I now have a car note as a result of my paid-off car being totaled in the accident. I believe I have made a conscious effort to look positively at the lessons learned from all of these experiences. Admittedly though, there are days when something will trigger a memory and I find myself hitting an emotional wall. For example, my ex-husband and I have to work together in the best interest of our son. Married or not, co-parenting is no easy thing, and there are days when we just do not see eye to eye on something. When those moments flare up, I find myself going back to the moments in our marriage when I was most unhappy. I have tendencies of reacting to something in the past, even though I am dealing with my ex-husband in the present. I also find that I tend to blame myself for making the choice to get married, for if I hadn’t done so, then I would not have been faced with the choice of leaving that marriage and ultimately subjecting my son to a one-parent household (that caught on fire). I have no regrets whatsoever about bringing my son into this world and as I have continued to work on myself, I have allowed myself to better understand that without my ex-husband, my son would not be the exact person he is. I just have these moments where I am very hard on myself about the choices I made for my happiness and the impact they have had on my son, even though I know in my heart that my happiness is the best thing I can give my son at this point in our lives. So why do I still feel frustration at times? Why do I have moments where the hurt from a past situation will be as vivid today as it was when the moment happened? Haven’t I forgiven my ex-husband and my now ex-boyfriend? I don’t wish them ill will and in fact, I still want the best for each of them. I think this is where forgiveness of self comes in.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can be my own worst critic. Whether I am always consciously aware of it or not, I tend to place very high expectations on myself and when I feel I’ve fallen short of those expectations, I can be extremely hard on myself. While there was a point in time where I solely blamed my ex-husband for the demise of our marriage, that turned into me blaming myself for getting into the marriage in the first place. But as I continue to reflect on the notion of letting go, I am beginning to better understand that without these life experiences, I would not be the woman I am today and the woman I continue to become for tomorrow. I wouldn’t know all the things to consider when making the decision to join your life with someone else’s through marriage. Without the fire, I wouldn’t have gotten all the repairs I desired for my house (but couldn’t afford) before the fire happened. Although the car that was totaled was paid off, it was also coming to the point of being on its last leg. Without the accident, I don’t know that I would have received the same value for that car had I continued to drive it and then tried to sell it or turn it in on my own. I also would not have gotten two much-needed months off of work as a result of injuries caused by the accident. I am not sure that I have a reasoning for losing my cousin to breast cancer, but I will be forever moved by the grace and dignity she exuded during what she knew to be her final days. That is something I will always carry with me. I just have to remember to forgive myself. To let go of the person I was when I made some not-so-great decisions, while accepting the person I am as a result of those decisions. My therapist most recently reminded me that some of these life experiences will never really go away from my memory. They are a part of who I am and it is only human if I have a moment or even a day of reflecting on them and further allowing myself to feel the emotions of those experiences. The important thing is not to get stuck; in the past, in being angry at the person or situation that hurt me and in being hard on and unforgiving towards myself. In her words, she simply said: “It will all be okay.”

So I am learning to “let go” through the art of forgiveness. And like love, forgiveness must start within our own individual selves before we can extend it to another. I know that I have to go easy on myself and not be my own worst critic and friend. I understand that sometimes, I will have to learn to say “no” as a means of saying “yes” to me and honoring my needs. Before sitting down to write this blog, I did a quick Internet search of quotes on self-forgiveness and I came across one that stood out to me the most. The author is unknown, but the words are quite powerful: “You can’t undo anything you’ve already done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness. And let God do the rest.”

“Let God do the rest.” My beloved mother’s mother, my Grandmother Ruby, who transitioned just a few months before my son was born in 2007, used to say something quite similar: “Do your best and let God do the rest.” Perhaps this is why I was so drawn to the quote I found through my Internet search. I cannot undo my past, but I’ve been doing all that I can to learn from it, and I try to be honest and truthful in sharing my experiences with others through conversation and this very blog. I am working on better forgiving myself. I suppose that is all I can do as I continue to put one foot in front of the other on my life’s journey. And the rest…well, according to the unknown author and my Grandmother, is up to God.

“You are yourself, and as you are, you are perfectly good. Accept yourself.” (Osho) Love your self. Honor your self. And always…forgive your self.

Until next time…


The Road to Happy

Wayne Dyer

I recently caught up with a friend who I haven’t seen in a long time.  During our conversation, they asked how I’ve been doing. “Good,” I replied, which was followed by “not great?” from my friend. I paused and thought for a moment before I responded, “I guess I could say great, but I don’t because I am still on the road to what I deem my personal greatness.” My friend acknowledged this statement and our conversation carried on after that.

Thinking about this the next day, I realized a more appropriate response would have been “I’m happy,” because I am. I still have much I am striving for and working towards, but overall, I am actually okay with the space I am in now. I am sure to remind myself to embrace and appreciate this feeling, because it took a long time and a lot of work to get here.

My life since turning 30 has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve been married, divorced, became a single mother (I try to use “co-parent” more often), was laid off due to downsizing, then re-hired in a new position a few weeks later, survived a house fire, laid both of my grandmothers and two dear cousins to rest, had love, lost love and most recently was in a car accident that kept me out of work for two months. There’s more, but I think you get the idea. I don’t list these things to complain or compare my life challenges to anyone else’s. It’s more about reflecting on the valleys I’ve endured and how I’ve managed, and continue to manage, to stay positive and not lose sight of finding what I call “my free.”

This is not to say that every day has been a good one. I’ve definitely had my moments of staying in the bed all day with the covers over my head, or having to work through anger while simultaneously making more of an effort to focus on forgiveness. I have also had some help along the way. About a year after my divorce, I started meeting with a therapist in order to better understand my self, my choices and what some of the root causes of my personal struggles were.  I always say my therapist is the best relationship I’ve ever had. I’ve been working with her for two and a half years now, and unless she kicks me out of the nest, I don’t have any intention of discontinuing my future appointments. I have friends who wonder how I can be so transparent with something that most people are very private about. It’s not that privacy necessarily equals shame, but for me, I have never been ashamed of the fact that I do see a therapist. In fact, those who are closest to me even know her by name. The reality, though, is that there is a stigma associated with therapy and other methods for supporting mental health. This is where my transparency comes in. My hope is that others, especially those who may be struggling with something internally, will see that therapy is actually pretty harmless and quite helpful. I’ve always said it’s like my personal GPS. When I feel I’m getting off course, I take 45 minutes out of my week to solely focus on redirecting myself in a positive way.

Looking back on some of my first appointments with my therapist, I remember telling her that I wanted to find peace within myself and be happy. Over the course of these 2.5 years with her, I’ve had walls broken down, plenty of “aha” moments and learned to understand the power of my love. I’ve expressed to her my desire to remarry and hopefully have more children by time I reach my “scary age,” if not before. When I started seeing my therapist, I was 32 and the scary age was 35. Well, as it turns out, I will be 35 in less than two short weeks and I am nowhere near being remarried or having another child.  I’ve already gone ahead and pushed the scary age back, but what is important about this, is that I am okay with it. When I got married the first time, I can admit there was self-imposed pressure of turning 30 and wanting to be sure “marriage” was something I checked off my to-do list. I don’t regret it, for without the marriage I wouldn’t have my son, but I did learn the most valuable lesson of patience. So while there is still a desire for companionship in my life, I am able to keep it in check and focus on the other areas of my life that are also in need of nurturing; mainly, my continuous work towards my free.

When I recognized my response to the question of how I’m doing should have been “I’m happy,” I knew this was another big “aha” moment for me.  I realize I am finding the peace within myself I have been searching for. There is still much more I want to attain, but personally, it is a major accomplishment for me to be happy in a space that is not exactly the space I thought I’d be in at this stage in my life.  In his book, “The Alchemist,” Paulo Coelho says that when you set your heart on something, all the Universe conspires to help you receive it.  I knew I’d want to write a blog about the experience of finding my happy and sure enough, as I was checking my Twitter feed the other day, did I see another quote from Coelho that said: “The path to wisdom is to be yourself. Stop ‘seeking.’” I was immediately able to wrap my arms around this and felt it tied in perfectly with what I wanted to write. I know I am on the road to happy because I am learning to look within myself more. I am learning to trust myself more. Everything I need, every answer to the questions I have, every desire I seek, is rooted within me. As Coelho implies, for each of us, the answers to what we are looking for are within our individual selves.

A few nights ago, I was talking with my mother and she expressed her desire to see me have the relationship and family I’ve always said I wanted. Normally, I would have had a defensive response to this, not because of what she said, but because deep down, it would kick up a feeling of frustration over something I have no control over. Now I am learning to understand how to coexist with the unknown. So I was able to calmly say, “I know Mommy, but I’m really okay with where I am now.  I’ve got a lot on my plate to focus on and I think the Universe wants to see me accomplish those things before I get into another serious relationship.” Not that I am being unreceptive to love; I am just okay with letting it find me in its own way. In the meantime, it’s like the song says, if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with. Right now, I’m pretty happy loving and being with me.

I wish you peace and happiness on your journey. And may you never stop searching for your free.

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Love Is…

A friend of mine posted this article on Facebook today. It is a very interesting read and personally quite timely, as I continue to learn and grow on the relationship journey with the man I love.

Growing up, I believed in a fairy tale love just like many of my female counterparts. In my 20s I believed it was about what a man could do for me. Now that I’m in my 30s, I am learning that “real” love is not any of those things. Of course it’s great if the person you are with treats you like a princess, but we shouldn’t expect such things. Love is about mutual respect, trust, communication, patience…amongst many other traits. Most importantly, it’s about not losing our individual selves while in the process of sharing our “selves” with another. Love should complement. Not complete.

Check out the article for some great insight into this thing called “Love.”

 

“What is Love?”