I can’t be the only one who does this? Gets sucked into the vortex of whatever it is, lives it, breathes it, eats it and comes out the other side refreshed and renewed … Or gasping for air … Or a little of both?
Interestingly enough, the older I get, that hasn’t lessened. In fact, if anything it may have deepened, and perhaps the opening myself to the lesson at hand become easier … At least for the moment.
And there is just SO much going on right now. So much that I believe is universally designed to DEMAND our attention, to make us STOP and to make us THINK. So much that can pull us in one direction or the other, spin us out of control, suck us into a vortex.
And our individual reactions can be surprising. And they can vary from day to day, or even hour to hour …
I come in and out of my bubble. Sometimes drawn, sometimes pulled, sometimes down right dragged kicking and screaming. And I see now that not only is that ok, but it’s normal, and it’s for the most part, healthy.
I had to MAKE myself stop this week and regroup on some of MY keys to survival – take a basic yoga class, eat real meals, drink less coffee.
And on the grand scheme of things, THOSE things seem overly simplistic, almost selfish, counter intuitive. But they’re not. In fact, they are quite the opposite.
So here’s my point. It’s about finding the balance. It’s about discovering, digesting, retaining, putting into practice, the lessons. It’s about staying grounded yet moving forward. And it’s about doing ALL of that at the right level of comfortable/uncomfortable, for you.
And when when you do get swept in again, and you will, know that it’s ok. Know that be it consciously or unconsciously it is important to allow those experiences to happen because it is through them we become stronger, more open, more confident and most importantly, more ourselves.
So take some time Sunshine. Take a break, take some time, take care of you, and I’ll see you when you get here ❤
ˈpərpəs: noun 1. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
It is … motive, motivation, grounds, cause, occasion, reason, point, basis, justification …
It is our intention or objective …
Some days aren’t great. I am not great.
So I sit.
I stay quiet.
I fold and release anything not serving me into this gracious earth.
Some days I just lay on my mat.
… and that’s okay.
Some days I am not my best self.
Today I am angry, irritable, bristly…
After 44 years of people telling and labeling me as bitchy, a complainer, self-centered … I have learned (in order to save a lot of heart aches of being misunderstood) to sense my own prickliness as it arises …
and remove myself.
To just be still,
hover around the periphery and release control.
This way I don’t inflict my progressive emotions on others.
I have no right to do that.
Today for that matter, this week …
I feel those thorns pushing through the surface of my skin almost as if it were a physical sensation.
I know the beach, the surf and the waves, the wind, the sand, the warmth…
it will help provide a retreat simply because of the expanse of space, sound, and water …
the distractions are many … for us all.
As everyone filters in their respective directions, I can be still, contemplative, thoughtful,
or at least that’s what it seems to others.
When in actuality, I am protecting them.
“I give you space to explore, to be you, so I can withdraw and be me.”
I can’t find me with all these sharp external sensations.
I love those around me enough to know and see who I really am in these moments.
Everything we do has a purpose.
I watch for a while …
the structures they build in the sand,
the strength building,
the shell seeking,
the next project,
the next shell…
My purpose really is seclusion …
But I walk,
my chest tight.
I am alone with all this now.
Meditation isn’t easy even for yogi of 14 years.
It’s a concerted effort.
So I listen,
Just the breath.
Not the shells
or the waves
or my surroundings.
I don’t care what it looks like to others.
I need to find me.
There are two steps per inhale and two for each exhale.
So I note
It’s forced at first.
There is an inner dialogue …
“You need this …
They need this …
Be still …
50 steps or so …
it is still purposeful.
then it’s not.
We so often stop …
right before the break through.
The distractions pull us away …
I feel the sand blowing abrasively on the backs of my legs.
It pulls me away.
I hear yelling child.
I am torn again.
The breath pace broken as I bend to knee.
“Find it again …
It is there …
even with distractions.”
inhale, inhale … exhale, exhale …
“It can be paced …
in the storm.”
“Oh look, that’s what I need for _____.”
inhale, inhale… exhale, exhale.
I gaze forward. I see my loved ones…
my pace quickens.
I notice this.
“They will be anxious because I’ve been gone so long.”
I feel the ground.
Heel, ball, toe…
and finally I walk as if my feet are kissing the earth.
Minute details are noted.
The etching in the sand of the spine caused by the waves.
It’s the every day Sunshine. The big stuff is obvious, but it’s the day to day that can get weird. It’s the day to day, no news is good news, ‘I was just thinking’, where do I start, HOW do I start that can get weird.
It’s the days that have no ‘in your face crisis at hand drama’ It’s the meals that have no designated celebration. It’s those moments when whatever project has landed or friendship has moved to the next phase and you stop and you think ‘now what?’.
And then we complicate things. We over analyze and over think. We tear apart the guest bedroom for the sake of organizing or make announcements about ‘needing space’. We plan big shopping trips for the sake of ‘eating right’ or take on a friend’s project for the sake of avoiding our own. We run, plan, move and do because we can’t seem to figure out how to just be.
And sometimes, when we finally realize that yes, just being can be a GOOD thing, and simple is often INDEED best, we don’t know how to un-do. We’ve collected too much, or said too much.
There are moments Sunshine, when yes, we’ve said or done something that hurts so much that there’s no going back. We can move forward, but things will never be the same again. And those moments are hard, and those moments are painful. Yet, those moments are rare.
In those moments when you’re feeling … Something. That emotion on which you can’t quite put your finger. Is it guilt? (I really didn’t have that money to spend, and I will never eat artichoke hearts no matter how glowing they will make my skin). Is it lack of confidence? (Dammit I shouldn’t have called I’m sure he/she is tired of me at this point). Is it lack of control? (Why the #!% did I pull apart the bedroom, I haven’t even finished the garage??)
Whatever it is, just stop. And just be. For even a hot second. Take a deep breath, and remember. You can return, donate or gift the artichoke hearts. You can close the bedroom door and head back out to the garage. And you can stop and think how nice it is to RECEIVE a phone call, so why wouldn’t someone else like to?!
Get over yourself Sunshine. Get over yourself and get started. Pick one thing that overwhelms you, and just get started. And if you get interrupted or have to shift gears take a minute to just be and then get back to the task at hand. Don’t stir the pot for no reason. Don’t work yourself into a froth. Don’t create a problem that wasn’t there. Regroup. Refresh. Just be. And for the love of Pete, appreciate and enjoy the simplicity of the day to day.
My life seems to be in a state of suspended animation, waiting for clarity on any number of things … the direction our country is heading, how long this pandemic will have an impact, the long-term implications of social distancing, online learning and high unemployment, the ongoing social disruption, what my life will look like next year … 2020 has been a lot.
And it’s getting to me.
My normally productive self struggles to meet deadlines. My generally organized brain takes large chunks of time to process routine information. I’m uninspired to try new things, hesitant to do the things I usually do with ease, reluctant to imagine next week, next month, let alone next year.
So I surrender.
Not in the “I’ve lost and surrender to you” way, but in a true sense of surrender, allowing the unknown to present itself in its own good time.
Not forcing it, not demanding answers, but standing in surrender, with grace, to what may come. Waiting for clarity, for inspiration, for direction.
As I wait, I accept that I’m not as productive, organized or inspired as I’ve been in the past. Is it gone for good, or is this just a by-product of our current lives and times? In my surrender, I realize it doesn’t matter.
There is a reason I’m feeling this way, although that reason is shrouded in fog at the moment. There is something for me to learn through this experience, although the lesson is hazy.
Maybe it’s enough that I’ve learned I can’t know everything, plan everything, be in charge of everything. Maybe it’s enough to have a certain amount of faith that the understanding will come when I’m ready for it.
Meanwhile, I pledge to myself that I’ll accept the external unknowns, and my own personal questions. For now, it’s okay not to know, not to understand, not to predict or control.
an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something,
especially a theory or an abstract idea.
I am always looking for a great book to read. I found out some of my Oak Island, yogi friends were reading E2 by Pam Grout about manifesting your intentions.
Small 48 hour experiments for even the most steadfast skeptic.
I am done Existing. I am done sitting back and patiently for the universe to send me what I need. I now feel worthy … almost.
It’s time. My time. So I bought the book and I started reading.
Let me preface what I’m about to tell you…
But here is the catch.
I doubt sometimes…
Whether it is self esteem or those pentacostal teachings of humbleness or greed…
there is always a tiny seed of unworthiness or doubt deep in my heart.
But I was ready to give this E2 experimentation a good old college try!
As a child, I remember spending sun soaked days down at The Point on Oak Island. It was a peaceful time. We swam and sailed and threw sand and chased gulls. If we needed our mother, we could always find her knee deep off the sand bars with a bucket full of sand dollars and one of shark’s teeth.
So here I was.
Remembering that I had never found a whole sand dollar on the island.
There were only pieces that teased that they were just beyond my reach.
And, of course, my mother had found hundreds of them.
(So can I)
So I cast my net so to speak.
“I will find a whole sand dollar today.”
I went to The Point. I sat and enjoyed my view where the Intercoastal Waterway meets the vast ocean. I talked with a friend. I prepared my paddle board for an evening ride.
I guess I was giving the universe ample time to get that sand dollar and put it in a place where I was sure to find it.
And I said my intention over and over.
Out loud and in my heart.
In my mind…
and again out loud for good measure.
I nudged my friend…
it was time.
As if I was professing to the universe… “Wake up.
I am ready for my gift from the sea.”
We headed right to the sand bars. Got down on our knees and began to dig. We laughed and played and talked.
(No need to doubt right?).
That’s what the book says.
We dug for at least an hour…
dug to China,
pulled embedded shells out of our knees and rubbed our sore backs.
No sand dollar.
So I decided it was time to take a walk.
(Surely if the universe didn’t bury my sand dollar in the exact location I chose to dig, it would just be lying out in the open on the beach for me to find… despite the other 400 beachcombers out that day).
It WAS just waiting for me.
I didn’t cling…
I only doubted … a tiny bit…
as the sun started setting.
Soon we would take to water and paddleboard a bit. How long could I encourage my friend to be patient with the universe?
In all fairness
(I told myself),
you ARE supposed to allow 48 hours for your manifestation to be revealed to you.
It had been what, 4 hours?
But I have never been known to be patient.
We walked the sandbars and dodged crabs. I stopped “looking” for my treasure/gift from the sea. I just rationalized and schemed how I would find time to get back out to The Point within my 48 hour window.
I didn’t make excuses or lay blame or chastise a busy universe. I just decided it was time to enjoy my day and stop searching.
It would COME to me.
That’s what the book said…
I didn’t need to search for it.
(That was my Type A kicking in)
So as we rounded the last sandbar and casually discussed our children, I ventured toward the water to rinse the sand from my hands, one last time before paddle boarding.
The slow ebbing wave eased out to be part of it whole again.
in the sand…
poking out just a bit..
Oh my god!
I reached down.
Rubbed my fingers over the knobby exterior.
Its color brillant.
Buried almost fully.
I dropped to my knees and had to tug to free it from its grainy home…
It seemed as if it wanted to stay and again become part of the earth from which it came.
On my knees,
The Universe spoke to me.
Not a whisper.
Not a reassurance.
It bulldozed me!
and I cried.
This was not my sand dollar.
My friend looked confused.
I could not speak.
I rinsed it, turned it over,
rubbed and loved my channeled whelk.
My friend offered to place it in our bag and I refused.
To hold it for me…
This moment was undeniably one of the most profound in my life.
I held my friend’s hand…
then began to explain when I saw his confused gaze.
“When I set my intention upon the universe earlier that day, there was a streaking thought.”
“I wish I could find a large conch.”
“But I never find them whole or even bigger than a finger. Not ever.”
“So … I conceded …
I will ask for a sand dollar. My mother found millions here. I WILL find a sand dollar today.”
And so my mantra went…
It was a self assuring way that I knew the Universe WOULD NOT,
COULD NOT let me down.
But here I was,
on my knees holding the largest conch I have ever seen, let alone found, in its natural habitat.
It’s easier Sunshine, much, much, MUCH easier to just sit and watch from the sidelines. We sit, shake our heads, and just watch. Perhaps we FEEL something – anger, shock, horror – but how often do we DO something about ANY of it?
We know that one vote can make or break an election, one bad grade can fail a course, yet we sit and think of ourselves as ONE. One person. One action. One word.
We see what power of one terrible action all day, every day – too many times to count – yet we still think ‘what good can I do? – I’m just one’…
There is no room for judging a book by its cover Sunshine. None. On any level. The EYES are the window to the soul, not the size, shape, age, gender, background or color of the skin.
And there is no room for ugly – ugly words, ugly actions. I recognize that lashing out is frequently a response to hurt or fear, yet violence -verbal or otherwise is NEVER the answer.
So WHAT do we do with ourselves as ‘just one’?
HOW do we make a difference?
We speak up. We lead by example. We do what feels right in the moment to drive positive change. We change our way of thinking from ‘just one’ to ‘plus one’. We think big. We stand up for what we believe is right, all day, every day without question, regardless of who is in the room and THAT Sunshine is how WE make this world a better place …
My grandfather was a hard man – a very hard man. He loved me and my brother, but he made it very clear who he didn’t.
And he wasn’t gentle, even with us. I endured a lot of jokes at my expense, and I’m sure my brother did too – comments about my hair or clothes, all said with a laugh and designed to gIve the other adults in the room a laugh.
And it wasn’t always about color. We lived through a lot of comments about backgrounds, education, size, ‘intelligence’ about others.
My grandmother in particular would occasionally step in with ‘nod toward us and say, ‘Ed the children’. He loved her dearly, so it would stop. For the moment.
My mother in particular would explain later ‘that granddaddy had grown up in a different time’ and how this was ‘bad’. But I knew from the reactions of the others in the room when it was happening, that regardless of when he had grown up, it was bad.
I don’t know what would or wouldn’t have happened in my development having that influence in my background if I hadn’t also been given the gift of height.
In my time – and I’m not sure why, perhaps it made it easier for the teacher to see us all? – but I remember being lined up for various activities by height. Which put me in the back, with mostly boys, several of whom were black. And most of whom I remain in some kind of contact to this day.
Now I am a believer in the fact that children aren’t born being influenced by color. I watch my little guy on the play ground, and they ALL just accept each other as CHILDREN, but I also believe that even without influence, we all tend to migrate to what is most familiar, so I know that growing up tall put me in a unique position to grow a different level of comfortable with those outside my own race.
I remember them accepting me. I remember laughing. And I remember getting in trouble for being the one who couldn’t stop talking in line. (I know y’all are shocked).
And I remember growing more and more horrified by my grandfather’s views.
So here again, I’ve gone long in making my point, so let’s drill this down. It is even the SMALLEST of influences that can make the GREATEST impact. So inasmuch as I would love to tell you my family felt strong enough to push back hard against this hard man, I cannot. But I can tell you that what they were able to do in those moments kept my young mind open to accept children different from myself as being equal.
And does that give us the immediate change being demanded today? No, but it does help reinforce the long term POSITIVE impact of what I believe in my heart is coming.
So if for whatever reason you can’t separate yourself from whatever negative influence in your life Sunshine, don’t discount your own. Speak up when you can, however you can, even if it is after the fact.
Plant those seeds now and nurture them well as best you are able – for it is through our little people we solidify the change we want and very much need to see in this world.
Being on the road or overloaded stress wise can be extra tricky for me from a food standpoint, and getting off track even a little bit can REALLY put me off balance. Fastest way for me to regroup is concentrated nutrition on the form of a smoothie – in fact, at our house we call it the power smoothie. And how bad can something that tastes like a chocolate shake be?? Take care of you Sunshine!
… so here we go!
Mine always start with an avocado when I have it, a banana when I don’t, or both when I can. That’s what makes them creamy. If I don’t have an avocado, I add coconut oil – it’s the good fat I’m after, and arguably the most critical to eliminating any cravings and getting me back on track.
I add unsweetened almond milk, unsweetened cocoa, and organic local honey (I use what I sell) to taste. I add frozen unsweetened fruit to make it like a milkshake or ice.
Its all about the nutrition, so I frequently add mushroom extract and/or cinnamon. Sometimes a pinch of turmeric.
The rest of the day I focus on real food – no processed, no sugar. I rarely do any grains, especially wheat. But meat, vegetables, good fat (avocado, olive or coconut oil) and fruit are unlimited. (When I was looking to lose weight, I did less fruit than i do now, but I refuse to apologize for eating REAL food).
I intermittent fast, so if I eat at 8pm, I don’t eat again til at LEAST 8am. BUT bone broth doesn’t break a fast, so I will drink that with turmeric chipotle and sea salt (or whatever flavor sounds good- and make sure if you buy it, it is as organic as possible and NOT fat free – I add avocado oil when necessary. (Aldi makes for simple/affordable shopping for me).
That’s it! Happy to help where I can, so if you have questions, ask!