Hindsight in soft focus

Hindsight in soft focus

As the days pass, and periods in your life resurface,  look over them kindly and with open eyes, for THEY are what helped mold and shape you.

Grow to know and better understand the meaning behind the expression “hindsight being 20/20.”

And as distance allows a new clarity, and without losing sight of the opportunities and moments in which you are currently living, let those periods CONTINUE to help mold and shape and grow.

Knowing all the while that as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into years, not unlike eye sight, the details behind hindsight soften and fade.  So choose wisely on what you focus.  

And as the year 2020 comes to a close, choose wisely what you retain. 

Namaste Sunshine

Amy Hege Atwell is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids, available on our site, at The Painted Mermaid in Southport, NC and on Amazon.

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Goodbye Eyebrows!

Goodbye Eyebrows!

This week, I waxed my own eyebrows. I did NOT do a very good job. They are sort of thin, sort of thick, sort of just plain wonky. But I did it. I tamed them into a weird submission. I did them because they needed it and on a normal day, in a normal year, in a normal life, I would have gone and gotten them done by my favorite waxer. Alicia is amazing. She is quick, funny and just an amazing person. I really like her. So much, in fact, when our state was starting to close down in March, I ran to her to get my waxing done. I was so hopeful that by the time I needed it again, we’d have gotten rid of COVID-19 through staying home, wearing masks and washing hands.

Imagine my surprise when we couldn’t even manage to wash our hands or wear a mask to help others.

My eyebrows, and let’s face it, mustache, and beard started growing in nicely. Thicker and thicker with every week that we had to stay locked away. Thicker and thicker as people were mocking our stay at home order. Thicker and thicker as people were laughing at this “flu”. Thicker and thicker as there was a presidentially-approved kidnapping plot against our governor over being locked down. Thicker and thicker.

This week, while cases are soaring, it became time to just wax it myself. So, I did. Was it a pain? Well, yeah. And again, did I do a good job? NOPE. But it is done and in 4 weeks, I’ll do it again. I’ll do it again because I have to stay at home. I don’t have the luxury of being able to laugh in the face of this virus. See, with his many medical issues, if Hank gets a cold, he loses a ton of weight – which is hard since we wrestled with failure to thrive for so long. If Hank gets the flu, we have to worry about how long it will last and whether or not he’ll have complications that will cost him his life. COVID-19, even for those who survive it, leaves lasting medical injury.

COVID-19 can kill one of my babies.

I saw, last night a troll on a friend’s Facebook laughing and mocking her because the father of her children has COVID-19. I removed a friend who ranted that people were putting more concern on COVID than other issues and she was sick of it. I see people on my community Facebook page angry because a restaurant had to be closed due to employees getting this virus – not that people aren’t staying home, but because they couldn’t go out to eat.

I don’t know how much longer we have until we can get over this virus, but I am hopeful that 2021 is our year. I am hopeful that under a new administration, we can, as a country, bring back science – therefore protecting all of us, even ones who laugh at those of us with wonky eyebrows.

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the truth about Solitude

the truth about Solitude

Rule #4… Accept

This may be the hardest of all the rules in 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth.

Acceptance is “consent to receive (a thing offered)”. Once we establish stillness in our heart. It magically speaks to us. It proposes a truth. Our truth. An offering… but yet, the kicker is, we must be willing to accept it, receive it. Own it.

Acceptance is also defined as to “believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct”. How often do we hear those speakings and refused to believe it is what is best for us, our true nature? The brain wants to argue and debate and rationalize and legitimize. The heart brain will not argue…it simply patiently waits until the acceptance is complete and willing. Once we rid the mind of the harmful self speak, we rid our lives of toxic people and habits…

This is where we sit in solitude. Calm at first, peaceful and grateful for the stillness.  The initial  “purging of the soul is exhausting. It is an emotional release of all the burdens and pain we have carried for so long. Sometimes we even lack the willpower to move even a step forward. We never feel the true weight of those capes until we release them. You know those moments…maybe you have had a gut wrenching cry with your best friend. Sometimes the purging appears as an impromptu sing along to the car radio so loud someone can hear you three cars over. Or maybe it is an off the cuff rant over a parking space or a slow driver. Release of emotions leaves a hollowness in our chest, our belly. We are so used to the “fullness of energy in our bodies in constant propulsion that when we find some “out of character” way to release it, it leaves a void…a space where that anger, sadness, guilt or longing once resided.”

It is in this stillness that we start to panic. There is a tendency to grasp for the old, the familiar no matter how toxic it once was to us. But…  maybe… just “maybe if we thought of this space that was left, not as a void but a place of stillness, a quietness where we can listen, our “purges” will come with less guilt and shame and less of a dramatic performance.”

Only in solitude can we reconnect with our true nature. Our heart’s speakings. Our truth. And THIS is a regular meeting you need to have with that dear friend, your heart. We are inundated daily, with messages, sabotages, angers and frustrations. Take time each day to reconnect with your truth. Your stillness. It may be simply taking a walk in nature and pacing your footfalls with your breath, or a hot soak in a salted bath, or sitting in your favorite chair with your favorite candle burning while you simply follow your breath.

Take time in solitude.

You need it to reconnect with you.

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Becoming You

Becoming You

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 ❤

This post first appeared on The Painted Mermaid‘s Facebook page and is posted here by permission. Amy is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids.

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the truth about Purpose

the truth about Purpose

Everything we do has purpose… 

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, 

quiet, 

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 swim, 

the socialization, 

the structures they build in the sand, 

the bonding, 

the strength building, 

the fortresses,

the shell seeking, 

the next project, 

the next shell…

My purpose really is seclusion … 

the quiet. 

But I walk, 

brisk pace, 

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, 

watch … 

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 

and focus. 

It’s forced at first. 

There is an inner dialogue … 

“You need this … 

They need this … 

Be still … 

Notice.  

So 

50 steps or so … 

it is still purposeful.

Until …

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 _____.”

Come back…

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.”

Then…

I feel the ground. 

Heel, ball, toe… 

inhale… exhale… 

and finally I walk as if my feet are kissing the earth. 

Everything stills. 

Minute details are noted. 

The etching in the sand of the spine caused by the waves. 

The tiniest sea glass. 

Slow-motion details. 

It’s almost as if I’m swimming through space. 

My breath nonexistent now. 

My heartbeat slowed. 

My mind has softened. 

There is an acceptance. 

A love. 

A peace. 

A knowing. 

The result… 

My purpose forgotten. 

Having no purpose is healing. 

A knowing without answers. 

A stillness in the moment.

Be still and know…

Micki is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Originally posted on Tree of Life Yoga Studio’s website on Our Voice Blog.

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Now What?

Now What?

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.

See you when you get here ❤

This post first appeared on The Painted Mermaid‘s Facebook page and is posted here by permission. Amy is the author of 10 Little Rules for Mermaids.

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The bliss of surrender

The bliss of surrender

There’s so much I don’t know right now.

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.

I surrender … and it feels right.

Carol Pearson is the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life and the founder of the 10 Little Rules book series.

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the truth about Manifestation

the truth about Manifestation

man·i·fes·ta·tion

ˌmanəfəˈstāSH(ə)n,ˌmanəˌfesˈtāSH(ə)n/
noun

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…

I believe. 

Most days… 

But here is the catch. 

I doubt sometimes… 

kinda. 

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. 

Every. 

Single. 

Time. 

 Buckets full! 

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. 

We walked…

I professed… 

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. 

There…

in the sand…

poking out just a bit..

Oh my god! 

Get! 

Out! 

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…

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…

I refused. 

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. 

Full.

Unbroken.

Beautiful. 

The Universe told me loud and clear…

“You deserve everything!”

“Never doubt me!”

Be Yoga. 

Namaste

 

Micki is the author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth. Originally posted on Tree of Life Yoga Studio’s website on Our Voice Blog.

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