Feeling…supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

So I mentioned that I had some good news…I’ve been thinking about how to share some of my “wisdom” with others and I kept coming back to Louise and Sam’s rules for life that I blogged about previously. Louise Dietzel has an office in my state and so I decided to write her a letter and ask if I could share her rules in a children’s book (Sam passed away years ago).

I carefully crafted a letter reminding her of our previous encounters years and years ago. I explained to her that I have been healing from depression and that I feel a need to share what has helped…I asked for an opportunity to discuss sharing her rules.

And now for the best part: the minute she opened my letter and read it, she called me. I was in the midst of making pancakes and cutting up melon while 5 kids set the table. To say it wasn’t a good time would’ve been an understatement. But I took the call, listened and answered and asked if I could call her back in a little while.

After I hung up the phone, I started to jump up and down. I was smiling ear to ear and couldn’t find any words to describe the feelings…the kids asked, “do you have to go pee?” I smiled and told them that I was really really excited. It’s only a couple weeks later, on the eve of my resulting meeting with Louise, that I finally found the word to describe how I was feeling after that phone call:

SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

Stay tuned to hear about my wonderful meeting with her!!

Advertisements

One person can make a difference…

I truly believe one person can make a difference, and I use this blog to do this in my own way (hopefully it’s working😉). But when I see others who think the same, I like to bring attention to it.

Now this guy has a voice, notoriety, a well-established platform and an Emmy…but it’s for his work with sharks. I want to highlight his why…and he has conveniently provided a little film for us:

WATCH THIS!

I love this film because he is open and honest and vulnerable, sharing how he always felt different. I think it’s important to share our stories to help others, and to remind young people especially, that being different can be a good thing. Accepting your own weirdness or quirkiness can unlock a whole new world for you, and it can free you to find your niche, where you feel belonging and connection and find your passion!

And of course, there’s a beautiful message here about conservation which is incredibly important…all creatures of the sea are connected and impacted by humans and what we put into the oceans. And one person CAN make a difference!

I’m not perfect

News flash: I’m a little messed up, a little broken, a little crazy, and a little muddled.

I make mistakes.

I piss people off at times.

But I try to be the best person I can be when I’m able.

People believe what they want to, but unless you’ve had first hand experience, or been part of a situation, you have no idea what has transpired between two people.

The insecure will cling to the worst possible scenario and spread their negativity. The strong will keep their mouth shut and take the high road. I’m trying so hard to take that high road but I get so furious when the insecure try to make something so simple and positive into something ugly and unkind.

Deep breath.

I’m not perfect. I’m just…me.

Which one of my biggest “failures” brought me the most value?

I love this question because it takes me all the way back to why I write this blog: I failed to care for my own needs after several family issues demanded I care for others first. I ignored my need for friends and connections, my need for physical health, my professional goals, and my emotional well-being as well.

And while it’s not a choice I would make, this failure led me to where I am right now, and the value in that is immense: I AM FINALLY ME. I broke as a result of that failure and as I unraveled my failure, my life, I learned about myself, and slowly became the person I always wanted to be.

Now I am doing my best to take care of my needs, because I cannot afford to fail again, at least in that department!

Connection…it starts with me!

Photo by Stacy Brown

As my son finishes up his 6th lacrosse season, I finally feel like I’m connecting with the other parents. His first season, I was shy, and nervous, especially because all the other families seemed to know each other so well, while my son had been an outcast early on because of some behavior issues.

Anyway, some of the parents were actually unkind, and others just doing their thing. There were definitely some parents that were inviting and helped me feel at ease. But as I watched the boys gather after a tough championship loss, I felt more connected to all of the families than I ever had before. And while it’s true that over time, those relationships develop, I think it was more about me: I wasn’t connecting with myself.

I was a mess, insecure, emotionally volatile, and couldn’t meet my own social and emotional needs. I feel like now that I’m listening to myself, and meeting my own needs, I’m more open to connecting with others. And in turn, people are more open to connecting with me. Feeling proud and happy today, truly. What a feeling!

Yes, I do need to be my own hero

I just got home from paddling and checking in with a friend, had a nice conversation. Came home, put some of my stuff away and opened up my social media. Lately, I’m digging Andy Grammer and his new video was posted. I gave it a listen and before it was half over, I was saying to myself, “that’s exactly what I have to do, what I’ve been trying to do!”

Check out this inspiring song

So in the interest of following what strikes me, I am going to be my own hero. I am going to look within, and look at my skills, and notice the positive impacts I can have on the people in my world. I am going to be my own hero.

Please feel free to share if I have affected you in a positive way!

Little by Little, part 2

I’m making progress, little by little. As I’m seeing things more clearly, I’m also discovering a little more self-discipline. One of the things I’m getting into the habit of, finally, is spending time in the dirt.

I’ve always liked the feeling I get after working in the garden, but depression robbed me of the “get up and go” that used to drive me. Now that I’m becoming myself, again or for the first time (not sure which), I’m spending time tending to my plants every day. Whether I’m pulling a few stray weeds in the sandbox while the kids play, or turning the soil in the garden, each time yields some peace. Gardening calms me, in every sense of the word, but especially the freeway of thoughts that never wants to slow down on its own.

Just looking at this fuchsia, I start to notice the tiny parts of the flower, the unique shape of the leaves and petals, and beautiful combination of colors…and my thoughts slow down, and shift. Gratitude and awe creep into my mind. And how wonderful is that? And there’s the begonia…the many layers amaze me, but I also notice that there are different shape blooms from the same plant. How can I possibly feel anything but surprise and wonder?

So in the interest of drawing my attention outside on my tough days, I created a small garden corner on my deck. When I’m in the kitchen, the window to my right gives me a view of my little patch of color. Sometimes I’ll go out there thinking that I’ll just pick a couple faded blooms and then go back to whatever…I usually end up out there for an hour. I even set up a chair and a couple wind chimes, and it has become a cozy spot to relax at the end of the day with a hot cup of tea. Here is a peek:

It’s a work in progress, but that’s the fun part! And hey-there are days when I really only spend a few minutes in the dirt, but forming the habit takes away the pressure, gives me a sense of pride, and promotes my mental and physical health.

I’m too much sometimes

I’m learning that sometimes I am too much for people. What I mean is that when I connect with someone, and I feel something positive, I open my world to that person. And though I’ve had some success, and some reciprocity, it’s difficult when I come on too strong and there is a retreat by the other person. Even more challenging is when it seems like it’s accepted, and all of a sudden, I am met with silence.

It sucks. But that won’t stop me. You know why? Because I am finally myself. I no longer feel a need to stifle the real me. I accept the rejection because if someone doesn’t want me, I know it’s their loss.

And I also know that sometimes, a person needs a little push…a reminder that they are worthy of friendship, and that they can contribute to another persons happiness, and of course, that they deserve kindness, belonging and connection.

This song, I’m not giving up…, reminds me of what I said to my friend, Laura, when she started to push me away at the thought of moving. Sometimes it’s too hard to care, sometimes it’s too scary, too risky, and sometimes, we walk away. I fought for her friendship, and I won. She is a clear case of someone who needed the fight, needed to hear that she was worth the effort.

But this songs makes me think of my dear friend lately, who just doesn’t have it in him to be my friend anymore. I am too much for him. I have to accept that. It sucks, but it’s his loss. And yes, I did fight for our friendship, “…until my heart was black and blue,” but at the end of the day, his friendship came with so little reciprocity that it wasn’t good for me anymore.

I’ve paid tribute to the friendship in so many ways, and I’ll always treasure the personal growth that came from it. And if he ever decided to let me back in, I’d still be myself…but of course I’m still discovering who that is. For now, I’m just me. Open, honest, blunt, flawed, emotional, scared, brave, whole, vibrant, alive…and I’m grateful for the color that came into my gray world when I needed it most.

*and did I mention that this song is absolutely breathtaking?!

I Can Only Imagine

Finally saw this movie, which is so unlike me…but a friend of mine saw it awhile back and said it had a powerful impact. So I’m finally watching it and I’ve been in tears off and on the whole time-and I’m only half way through. Had to pause it to write.

  • All it takes is one teacher, one manager, one person to have faith in you to make yourself the authentic and real you
  • Songs as an anchor…they can reach you in a profound way and carry you through tough times
  • The sunsets and sunrises in this film make me want to travel (well, not really but almost😉!)
  • When you have passion and hope and faith (in yourself or something bigger) things will come together as they should
  • Perseverance
  • Sometimes your passion about…whatever…will be too much for people. It’s their loss. Share it anyway
  • Trauma, perceived and literal, stays with you and shapes you…better to accept it than fight it, to heal and grow.
  • “What are you running from? Let that pain become your inspiration.”
  • It’s hard to trust the change in someone, the one that triggers you, when the trauma is still so fresh for you
  • “I got a lot of questions about myself” What a powerful statement-it opens up a whole world of vulnerability
  • Knowing what another person is feeling, thinking, or at least having a window into their world can create understanding, build a bridge between two islands
  • Choosing to forgive…there’s great power in that, though I don’t think God has anything to do with it…I think it’s about putting down the heavy load you’ve been carrying…whether you give it to someone/something, it’s good to set it down and let it go
  • “Like junk, like to fix things, make something out of nothing”…metaphor for redemption
  • This blog is my journal. I choose to share it, but I do it for me. “It feels really good”
  • “I’ve never told anybody my story…” sharing his song, was important for him and his healing…that resonates with me and that’s how I feel about my book. And when your story is embraced…what a feeling!
  • You never know what will open up your soul, your curiosity, your sense of wonder and engagement in the world…stay open, let it happen, and grow from it

Everything happens for a reason…I don’t always know what it is, but I believe we are shaped by everything we touch and are touched by…it’s strange, my friend says he sees himself as the monster, but I see him as the little boy who grew up with a lot of unresolved trauma, who is working through it still. I only hope to see what kind of man he becomes someday…

Knowledge is Power: a super power, so keep learning

When I was a student, I thought this was a load of crap. Why on earth do I want to spend my time studying? I’m never going to use this stuff in real life! But you never know what you will or will not use. Now that I’m much older and wiser, I get it. Education and knowledge have only enriched and enhanced my life, my career, and my roles as leader and mentor. Have you ever heard anyone say, “I wish I didn’t know so much” and mean it?

Now here’s the kicker…you can apply the phrase Knowledge is Power in a variety of ways. Book smarts, math smarts, science, art…so many areas for this to apply! But I’d like to draw your attention to emotional smarts, or emotional intelligence. I was introduced to this concept at a conference this fall by the keynote speaker Debra Cannerella. She uses emotional intelligence as a tool for companies to maximize employee performance and ensure leadership success.

Emotional Intelligence is defined by Dr. Dick Thompson, President and CEO of High Performing Systems, Inc., as a person’s innate ability to perceive and manage his/her own emotions in a manner that results in successful interactions with the environment and, if others are present, to also perceive and manage their emotions in a manner that results in successful interpersonal interactions.

Learning to read facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, as well as your triggers, stress management techniques, all of these can give us information that we can use to maximize our interactions. But it also makes a big difference to know your own emotional intelligence skills, impacting interactions, and decision making.

Anyway, what I’m saying is this…keep learning. Embrace it. Seek it. At least now that I’m an adult, I can choose what I want to learn about, when, and how I learn. Growth of the mind is a valuable thing, and should never be taken for granted.