Being present and really hearing people, the lessons of 2017 December 19, 2017 14:20

As I sit here at the second coffee shop of the day, the view is quite magical here in Coeur d Alene, Idaho as the trees are blanketed with snow and Christmas is less than a week away. I am contemplating what a big last two months it has been for me.  I turned 50 in October and I wrote about it but Ive had some really strange dreams and the conversations with friends has been real thought provoking and brilliant.  If feels Ive been more present than ever and slowly I am becoming more and more authentic with myself in just the little things.

My conversations with lifetime friends has taught me more than Ive taught them and Ive had such a sense of better security and some sadness that has turned into lessons that are life changing. 

"Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place."

There's been convos of friends quitting jobs, ending relationships, dressing for themselves instead of for other women, unconditional love, abandonment , change, fear....you name it , its been discussed.   It has been so nice to have theses meaningful conversations that has me off track on some parts of life but soooo important.  Ive been discouraged, felt scared, loved , appreciated and joyful!

As you know , I have a camp coming up and its in February so every Dec and January I start to gather and ponder my lesson to share for one hour on Saturday at camp. It always works out and seems to come when I need it most but this year is a little different because there has been some new growth on my part.  I wrote about it in "becoming 50" a little and wanted to touch more on it.

Since leaving Costco three years ago it has been a constant challenge to find balance and structure in a unstructered life.  I no longer punch a clock or have a boss .  I have been lazy at times and have been making a point to get up at the same time, enjoy a morning cup of tea or coffee, which sometimes turns into more than an hour. Ive had then intention to dress up and feel good about myself even though my new lifestyle allows me to wear sweats andn hoodies everyday if I wanted to but , Ive been putting my little makeup on and getting cute just for outings.  I noticed that I had dressed for occasions for so long that it dawned on me that I needed to dress for me instead of people or occasions.  This got me into speaking with a friend who is a stylist and asking my sister, among other friends who they dress for and it just became a topic to research and ponder.   Who do you dress for ??? I sure hope you all dont dress for husbands and other friends!!  You should dress for you and dress into what makes you feel pretty and comfortable ! Wear lingerie or those pretty panties underneath those sweats if you have to but do something to make you feel good in your skin despite what you weigh, how your hair looks etc....

The other conversations have been with friends at crossroads and that age where they are finally looking for more for themselves and tired of living a life of unfullfillment.  They wonder why they aren't happy and sometimes make drastic changes, only to find that nothing has changed about themselves, just their environments and they remain stuck.  These ladies have the courage and are making the change but they aren't seeing it yet but they are so inspiring!! 

"Trying to find absolute right and wrongs is a trick we play on ourselves to feel secure and comfortable" Pema chodron

I did this for so many years when I was protecting myself in fear and I only thought i was doing it because it was the right thing to not surround myself with things that were hurtful or confrontational.  Usually when one is faced with hard things or change or hurt it brings us to make some really big decisions and some of us will keep making those decisions instead of learning from them and working through them. This is so important to understand !!  You are doing so well by changing your story but it wont go away until you know the why!

When you are protecting yourself you think you are being KIND to yourself , YOU ARE NOT!!

You become more fearful, hardened and alienated! I learned this from pema chodron the author.

" This seperatness becomes like a prison for us, a prison that restricts us to our personal hopes and fears and for caring for only the people nearest of us"  "Yet when we dont close off and we let our hearts break, we discover our kinship with all beings"

So this is how Ive felt joy and love these past few months, its because Ive let that childhood protection down and interestingly enough, the people Ive known from the first year in Coeur d Alene have been the ones Ive had the conversations  and feel good moments with. Ive felt joy because I was open to hearing their stories and learning how far Ive come and being authentic rather that being closed and protected, you wont get a thing out of it.

The moral of the story is, are you protecting yourself out of fear ? and not realizing it?  IF you aren't happy its most likely you are robbing yourself of self love .  A lot of times its not your life or the things you don't have or think you should have.  You don't get happy from getting , you get happy from BEING authentic!!  This I know is true! 

Happy Holidays from peace within!