Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Rise and Fall of a Modern Day Pollyanna

I am working on some new stuff that I am being a little covert about right now....and so the revelation in counseling this afternoon gave me pause.

am I still a Pollyanna?

or

maybe the term "Modern Day Pollyanna" fits me better now than before?

Today I framed something and used the term "...being a pollyanna..." to which my counselor rather quickly injected, "No." stating that wasn't what I was doing at all...she then proceeded to define "being pollyanna" for me, and then what I was doing....(she saw it as growth BTW)...

I was facing something and naming it...as it truly was...no whitewashing, excusing, or explaining.

Ummm....

What?

I had to have it broke down for me.

Bless. My. Heart.

#facepalm

I would like to offer myself up as Exhibit A that grades, degrees, awards, accolades, etc. do not a single strong brain make. *Eye Roll*

I tease. Myself. Kinda.

I mean sometimes.

In 1750 Benjamin Franklin, in his Poor Richard's Almanack, observed the great difficulty of knowing one's self, with: "There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond, and to know one's self."

I believe Ole' Ben was onto something.

Some days I climb into bed at the end of a day, slap my own forehead, clasp my hands and say a prayer to God, and simply go to bed. Sometimes that all happens in a very fluid motion...read that as flurry of activity at bedtime.

I just can't even. Myself. I can't even over myself.

My counselor is proud of me.

Right now...and most days, that is the most I can ask for...and all I hope for...because I need the millimeter of progress her affirmation can confirm for my disrupted spirit.

The lessons are just coming so very fast.

As such, the lessons are coming ALMOST as fast as the blessings. Lest I lead the reader astray that this season is joyless, it is NOT. There are many many blessings.

My Very First Sunrise in Haiti, June 2013

Do you ever as an adult watch a movie you saw first as a child and think....I wondered what would have happened to those characters if they kept filming?

Yup...me too.

I wonder what happened to Pollyanna on that train, after surgery, as she grew up. Did she hold any lingering wounds or bitterness? Did she find love? A counselor? What happened to her family? Her relationships? Did she have a career?

Then I think....how many times does a person have to be knocked down before they simply don't get back up? How many times wounded? Heart broken by someone? Abandoned?

How many licks does it take to get to the center of the tootsie roll pop?

Did I just age myself?

I digress.

There is a beautiful song by Lauren Daigle entitled How Can It Be (click on title for link to You Tube lyric video), and this line...
 
Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You

I have been writing a lot about this concept of "rising" and so tonight I am struck...is it...

...the number of times you fall?

...the number of times you rise?

...who you fall with?

...or could it be who you rise WITH?

Hmmmm....

The book of James in the Bible will rock your world.

This week I was supposed to read a chapter a day or the entire book every day. I was ambitious and thought the whole thing every day...then LIFE happened along with 15+ hour days (Monday and Tuesday)...and I did not. :/ So now here I sit on Wednesday reading through the whole thing...Like. A. Boss. and remembering why I love it so.

The best experience I have EVER had reading and studying James was on a trip in Haiti with a team and my dear friend IV. Read James in Haiti. Talk about having your head spun.

I digress.

Again.

James is rich with words about wisdom, humility, serving, rising, and falling.

After the past two days, I know why the enemy wanted me distracted from re-reading James daily. Yet another reminder to hold fast to what God puts on my heart.

So here I am wrestling with myself...wrestling to know myself....wrestling to heal...wrestling to persevere...to rise...to live...to love.

Maybe even Pollyanna grows up.

Maybe even Pollyanna must allow perseverance "...to finish its work..." so that she can be "mature and complete..."

God loves us.

God is doing a good work in each of us.

Let go and let God...do. that. work.

...and with that I lay it all down once again at the foot of the cross.

*It is emotional to include this photo, but even more so to the share the backstory. I took this photo my first morning (ever) in Haiti. It was at Jumecourt, overlooking the orphanage next door (Source de la Grace) and where I would meet Tacura (the next day). I remember walking up there with my coffee, watching the sunrise, and hearing the children next door rising for the day....and singing. I was entranced. Completely. That might have been the moment everything changed for me. Nonetheless, when I started counseling and specifically the EMDR, the counselor asked me to come up with a "happy place" and without hesitation, I said the rooftop at Jumecourt at sunrise...and I cried. Today, for the first time in a long time, the counselor had to invoke the happy place and I instantly (through tears that were already falling) smiled...and she asked what I felt...and I said, "Happy." followed by, "I miss Haiti."...and I do. I miss everything about it...especially the children...and I miss the me I am when I am there. In some ways, I think I am more me in Haiti than anywhere on earth. *Ugly Crying* So...here is to each of us figuring out our happy place...and finding the truest parts of who we are...along the way. Healing, true healing, is found there.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

All The Four Letter Words

The truth is that I love Jesus, but I cuss a little.

YET....I have found that as I am finding more inner peace (#counseling) my potty mouth (insert litany of excuses here) and idling high tendencies have subsided greatly, and I do mean GREATLY.

So...wonder of wonders when in the past two days I have nearly come unwound over (to some degree) trivial stuff by comparison with all of the very BIG stuff God is shuffling in my tiny corner of the world. I am perplexed and frustrated that I cannot get it under control. I mean what about all of this newfound healthy coping mechanisms?!?!?

So one of my dearest friends sent me this photo today via text....


"...chosen for this moment that is at once great and terrible."

Oh yes....yes, I get that....completely.

Here is what happens when you start changing....other people Freak. Out.

Sometimes that "other people" is YOU.

I am just going to #micdrop myself right there.

Let me tell you....growth is HARD. If it wasn't, everyone would be doing it....and trust me, they are NOT (says someone who resisted growth for a few decades under the guise of "I got this....and this...and this too. (insert eye roll here)).

So....for all of us out here busting our behinds trying to grow and do better and be better....for all of the prayer warriors that are on their knees daily praying for us (and praying for the herd of angels charged with watching over us)....for those that work with us, live with us, befriend us during these sticky-icky-tricky seasons - lets give ourselves an "all the four letter words" day pass because some day(s) growth just gets the best of us or someone near us and those do not count as a #bestdayever and that is A-Okay. Promise.

Promise.

How do I know that?

Because you are a daughter...a son...loved by a Father without rival. It is a love that is MORE than all you could need on your worst day. Yes, that worst day.

I am the first to admit, I am L O A T H I N G this personal growth season I find myself in, but I would also be the first to tell you I have more HOPE than ever before that God is bringing me through this to something more true, more fulfilling, more authentic to my specific soul imprint...than I have ever known before...I guess you could say I "believe outrageously."

So I am not going to let my heart be discouraged because there are those around me freaking out...or because I am freaking out. I have hope in them....and in me...because I have hope in God.

Also, as I shared elsewhere today....emotional growth should be an Olympic sport. Just sayin'. ;)

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Rise & Restoration

If you could see my bed, or the floor, or the side table, or my bag, or any number of other places in my home....you would LAUGH out loud. Books, notes, more books, more notes, pens, highlighters, and used water bottles....EVERYWHERE.

I am writing...and prepping...and writing some more.

Okay...there are also dirty clothes, my yoga mat, two suitcases (not fully unpacked), tennis shoes, and Birkenstocks.

I am living in a pig pen.

I cancelled the house cleaner this month because I didn't have enough energy to clean it up before she got here.

Yup. I just wrote that sentence.

I bet I have listened to a half dozen podcasts, taken over 100 photos of things I need to remember, written dozens of notes in my iPhone app, saved a few voice recordings of "ideas," and have a ton of songs on repeat....

Because. Writing.

All of this.

I have all of this, but the single email I need to send I have not...I cannot send.

I know that once sent, I can't put that genie back in the bottle. I know my life changes. My heart changes. One single email signifies the further unclenching of my fists, of the control I have cherished like a new puppy for more than three decades. It means nothing and yet everything.

Back in 2012, I was in the single hardest year of my life and I have often joked that it was Josh Garrels' song Rise that helped me survive that year. I would listen to it on repeat over and over and over again during hours upon hours of windshield time that had me running between cities, offices, homes, and lives. I wrestled God like an alley cat that year which seems strange since the only reason I remained upright was because God propped me up. I was on fumes. Nothing but fumes.

I wanted to finish well the many tasks I had in my hands...a specific job, a relationship, a family, volunteer tasks, homes, boards. I knew I had too much. I was dropping balls. I just wanted to sit them down...ever so gently...and walk away with a pure heart, a clean heart...with everyone knowing I did my very best. No regrets.

I was precious (insert sarcasm font).

It never goes that way. Well, at least not when this particular lesson is happening to a control freak.

It took me a long time to heal from many of those balls, and some I am still healing from....to this day.

One thing that hasn't changed...ahem, healed...is my innate need to "finish well" whatever "it" might be. So imagine me in Sunday School yesterday as we study I Samuel 12 and we get to verse 20:
 
"...Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart."

Finish well.

I think so many of us never step into our calling, our dreams, or any number of good good things God has for us because we are afraid of all we have done before...every misstep, every mistake, every sin, every shortcoming. Everything we have ever messed up is flashing in front of us on a neon sign. It is daunting. Overwhelming.

*Deep Breath*

In 2012, I could not have imagined all that God would bring me through - the bad, the good, the heartbreak, the health issues, travel, new friends, old friends, work, joy, family, words read, words written, experiences, and yet...

I sit here cross-legged on the edge of my bed....and I have to turn on Rise again. Click HERE to listen.

Rise

I hung my head, for the last time
In surrender and despair
Before I’m dead, I’ll take the last climb
Up the mountain, face my fears
The time has come, to make a choice
Use my voice for the love of every man
My minds made up, never again
Never again, will I turn round

Though they may surround me like lions
And crush me on all sides
I may fall, but I will rise
Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords
Only through, your love, my lord
All we’ve lost, will be, restored

Take courage sons, for we must go under
The heart of darkness, and set them free
But don’t lose heart when you see the numbers
There’s no measure for, the faith we bring
It’s given us, to overcome
If we run, where the spirit calls us on
The greatest things, have yet to come
With the dawn, we will rise

Though they may surround us like lions
And crush us on all sides
we may fall, but we will rise
Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords
Only through, your love, my lord
All we’ve lost, will be, restored

Restoration has been a beautiful theme that has flowed through the past four years like a gentle stream. Coming to me in the perfect times and in the most unique of ways. God has loved me so well that it takes my breath when I will sit still long enough to allow him to wash over me.

"...Never again, will I turn round..."

Those are powerful words for me.

There are doors we walk through.

There are doors we tiptoe through.

Then...there are doors we must rise to meet.

Lord, I pray for strength to rise to meet the door in front of me. Your love brought me to here and only your love will get me through...I lay it all down...trusting you only.

The story lies in the Rise & Restoration.





Saturday, July 30, 2016

Enabler : The Private Pain & The Promise of Hope


I'm not sure I can pinpoint EXACTLY when in the past nine days I came to the realization I was an enabler, but I know exactly the moment in time when I used the word for the first time to describe my actions therefore having the realization CONSCIOUSLY for the first time...That was today.

*Deep Sigh*

I just googled the word enabler and read the definition, and then....because I am a glutton for punishment...I read an article on how you know when you are one. In the words of Jeff Foxworthy, "I are one."

I coach enablers. How can I be one? I am sitting here stunned.

I wish someone were here right now so that I could physically collapse in their arms and be held why I sob. My entire body from top to bottom needs a bone-deep cry.

If the first step if acknowledging you have a problem, then we can check that one off the list. Next.

I have known for awhile...especially since February...that there was a problem, but hand to God I really thought the problem was that I wasn't enough, wasn't managing someone or things enough, that I was too much or too little...hell, one of the handful of reasons I started counseling mid-March was because one particular person in my life had me convinced of all of these things. The joke is on them, I did need counseling, and it continues to be the best thing I have done for myself...maybe ever.

The thing about counseling...at least good counseling...is that you get better. Your eyes are opened. Fears are faced. Tough truths are met head-on....and you grow. I have two guests in the middle of mine too - God and the enemy - they are wrestling for my heart, mind, body, and soul. Sometimes....like last Friday, last Sunday, and every day this week...I am sitting at the edge of the arena watching them....blow. by. blow.

*Tears*

{cold washcloth time}

I have been suffering silently for many, many years about many things...but none more than this. I just didn't know what "this" was...and now that I do, I am struggling not to feel completely foolish. So tonight I am allowing myself the space and time to grieve that feeling of foolishness....and the shame that goes with it. In the words of my nephew, "Mistakes were made." Many.

Another week of counseling...Another epiphany.

I don't know what your private or silent pain is, but I know you have one. I know that in fact the struggle truly is real...for you, for someone you know, and for every single person populating this earth. For many of us we suffer out loud - In. Public. For many still, this private, silent pain is within a much smaller group...and for many within only their own heart and mind.

For me...counseling has been a God-given miracle. It is the most painful thing you can imagine wrapped up in a beautiful box with Christmas wrapping. On most days, I equally loathe and love it. I also know it is healing me from the inside out. God is meeting me in these spaces of my life and my past that I have hidden...and some that I never knew existed such as the deep, private lesson of enabling shown to me this week. A week of pain and lessons and learning I could not have imagined just six months ago.

If I ever get a tattoo...the word restoration will be a part of it somehow because as I look back on this journey of the past four and half years, I see that word like a flashing neon light in the night sky all along my path....again and again. I could (and have...and did again tonight) weep over the loss of time and people and things in my journey. The reasons vary, but my own responsibilities in there are many. BUT....but there is also hope. Great hope that God will use the restoration he is creating in my own life. Hope that I will rise up and try again....Hope.

Hope.

"Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy." - Psalms 126:5

Last Thursday, I was in a prayer room and given that verse...and tonight it spoke to me once again. There is no shame in the tears that I am shedding through these lessons and my own healing. A healing I am claiming once again tonight.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My Struggle For Boundaries

I must confess I have never known a yes I didn't like.

*facepalm*

Lunch?

Yes.

Dinner?

Yes.

Coffee?

Yes.

Volunteer?

Yes.

Meet at dawn? 

Yes.

Give money?

Yes.

Meet?

Yes.

If you ask me a question, I say yes. If you send me a text or an email, leave me a VM....I am a quick response. My go to is to respond quickly, make you happy, and work to find a way to say yes to you.

In the past year, maybe two, I have made strides at using the word 'no' more...or at a minimum, 'get back with me in six months.' Why? Because I have yes'd myself into exhaustion.

The problem is that my yes problem is not the sole culprit; I also have a problem with boundaries. 

By problem, I mean I have none.

By none, I mean none.

I can be whipped into a frenzy by an email or a crisis or simply someone using the phrase "I need you" in a sentence. Your emergency (real or imagined) or lack of planning or crisis or issue is now equally mine. You no longer have to sweat it, I will worry for both of us. Worse are those that simply want company in their state of upheaval. "Join me, won't you, in my emotional hurricane," they say without saying.

"Why yes I will," I respond as if I am in a trance (envision wide, spinning eyes like in a cartoon).

*Ugh*

Yesterday, I heard myself audibly say, "No." I got a "look" in return. I then double-downed with, "I am instituting some boundaries." More "looks."

This is where you go, "So proud of you. High fives. Woo Hoo."

Stop.

I just got the worst night of sleep in weeks.

*Shaking Head Here*

This is the post where I share that implementing change and wisdom into your life and your circles (read that as friends/family/tribe/work/sphere of influence) is HARD. Your people "get" you and by that I mean As. You. Have. Always. Been. They have a vested interest in keeping their world "as is" and so adjusting to your newfound "wisdom" may not be welcomed with a ticker tape parade. 

#thestruggleisreal

Worse (and yes there is a worse) your heart might wilt a little under the looks and resistance you feel from them and so you cave. 

Stop.

Change is hard.

Growth is hard.

Do it anyway.

I woke up (and by woke up I saw the light side of 4:30 a.m.) and wrestled (until the coffee pot finally kicked on) with myself and God and the headache I woke up with about the whys and wherefores of the past 36 hours. Why can't change be easier? Am I doing this all wrong? I have been back from a much needed vacation for a mere 24 hours and I am exhausted. Why is this SO hard...I might have whined like a small child on that last part.


Boundaries are not about saying no. The truth is that they are all about saying yes. To yourself. To the highest and best use of your time, your day, your life. BUT, but before you can get to the sunshine and roses of your best life ever, you have to withstand and survive the reality of teaching those around you that you are no longer their yes man or yes woman. That my friends, is the secret. Surviving the transition. Saying no is EASY. Not caving under the gasps after you utter it is the truly hard part.

We teach people how to treat us. I have believed that for years. That said, we are also teaching people standards of living by how we live our own lives.

That Heather is a go-getter, works all the time, driven, busy, and on and on. That all sounds pretty good. Right?!?! 

Well....

I would rather be known for working hard and playing hard - and even more - knowing the difference.

I am jealous of those that I see fighting for balance and winning. So what is the difference between them and me? They aren't caving when they get pushed back for going against the standard they have set for themselves. It is easy to blame the world, but the world didn't make you agree to work 80 hours a week. The only one in that room was YOU. The world didn't make you open that email on your vacation. Check your phone at 4 a.m. Agree to a 7 a.m. meeting. 

So as I approach this second day back from vacation with a calendar that looks like a toddler vomited on it and email that has still not been touched after a first day back where I went from meeting to meeting from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. and then spent the next 2 1/2 hours reviewing proposals in emails from my cell phone, texting about said proposals, and one phone convo at 9 p.m. #forthelove πŸ˜³πŸ™„...I am going to be kind to myself. I am going to use the word no (possibly audibly πŸ˜‚) and ignore the quizzical responses to said nos. I am going to fight  for my balance as hard as I fight for everyone else's. I am going to work to live out what I expound on daily and stop being a GIANT hypocrite. I am going to focus on breathing to the rhythm of the waves (if only in my head). 

We are asking too much of those around us. Period. To correct that, we first have to stop asking too much of ourselves.

Boundaries.

This might just be the toughest lesson I have to learn...yet.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Lessons In Play - #Family

The kids are already teasing me about my sappy end of vacation post(s). Am I THAT obvious?!?! πŸ˜³πŸ™„πŸ˜‚ 

When I was a little girl (4-7 years old), we had an International Scout. After the twins were born, the backseat was full with two car seats and my older sister in the middle, my (biological) parents of course in the front, so my father would pack (Sis has (and exceeded) his packing skills) the back in a semicircle and then place my toys on the inside of the circle, and then make a pallet in the very center. This was the 70s so the fact that I was packed in the middle of luggage in the rear of a tin box with no seatbelt was a-okay (don't say I haven't lived on the wild side). πŸ˜³πŸ™„πŸ˜‚  I was probably born a great traveler, but environment contributed as well so clearly the wanderlust in me runs deep. I still like to be snuggled in like a sardine in a car, plane, boat, hotel room, hostel room, etc. Pack me in and tuck me in; I'm good. 😊 I like adventure and new views, roadside dives, sleeping on the move, and stamps on my passport or shells from a new beach or photos I have taken along the way; whatever "marker" of/for the travel works. I like plans and also freedom from plans; I am a walking conundrum that way. I'm always looking to the next getaway (small or large). Always in prep mode and struggling to BE in the moment or season of my present. 

This is me.


Except...we can change.

I love my family. I adore them (truth be told). Having been born into (and out of) a family that has burst into flames time and time again over mine and my Sis' lifetime, I see our united little family of six as a Phoenix rising from the ashes (of sorts). We aren't as big as the kids want us to be and certainly there are obvious (and less obvious) missing pieces for each of us, but we rise...day after day we RISE up and fight for our little family, for each other. We love hard and fight fair and laugh like hyenas. In some freakishly weird way - we are a (unique/new) blended American family. (I just laughed out loud. πŸ˜‚)

Last year we fought for the time and saved our money and searched multiple spots in search of somewhere we could have a family beach vacation. We had a great time (hence round two this summer), but in some ways we landed there (maybe just me) sliding and crawling and clawing our way to some down time. It was beautiful and perfect, but there was something missing (again maybe just me).

So much has changed this past year, yet three weeks ago, it was a calendar announcement/challenge from my counselor that shook me out of a fog and got me moving again. The more I moved, the more a-has I had...and I realized I wanted more from our vacation this year...I wanted more FROM me FOR my family. I arrived at this vacation rested and ready. Now as we start winding down from it, I am proud to say I gave this time with my family All. I. Had. in the tank (and then some). I played hard, beached hard, slept hard, and gave all. Frankly, I am in awe of ALL of us because I feel like we got 27 hours out of every 24 hour day. It has been AMAZING! ☺️ I have also read and written like my pen was on fire (used up two of them). True rest helped me listen to my spirit again...and my mind - the creative part that never gets to play in my normal life full of leading and decisions and numbers and strategy. I am already plotting how to hold onto that creative energy because I love that part mostest about myself (if I am truly honest). 


To know me well is to know that one of my very favorite quotes is from Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech. I re-read it again this past week. As cheesy as it may sound to some, for me showing up at the arena this week has looked like being fully present and all-in with my family at the beach. I believe I did...including the facedown part...literally (beach volleyball found me diving and landing facedown in the sand...A. Lot. πŸ˜‚) and it was AMAZING. Truly. 


In Brene Brown's book "Rising Strong" (which I re-read this past week) she writes that we don't have enough "honest conversation about the hard work that takes us from laying facedown in the arena to rising strong..." and I agree with her. Everyone wants to tell and live the being brave part, but who really wants to share how many mouths of sand, bruises, and foolish-looking moves you have to survive in order to rise? Anybody? The truth is we need more people showing us how to both be brave AND how to feel our way back up. 


This morning a friend and I were texting about an idea we have...we had lunch together a few months back and it sorta flowed out of our mouths. I was scared into silence. Literally. How could we? I? Do this thing? I texted her 36 hours ago and said, "I'm ready." Somewhere between the arena of this week at the beach and a world in pain, I heard God so clearly...this idea isn't necessary or perfect because you two know what you are doing...it is perfect because you don't; others need your willingness to walk out how to stumble through this...feel your way through it. I wept. 

Maybe the world doesn't need more people to be brave as much it needs more of us to be transparent about what being brave looks like on the other side. 

So you were brave and went to Haiti...but what happened when you got back?

So you were brave and started a business...but what happened when you made mistakes, cash got tight, employees acted out, or ideas failed?

So you were brave and put on the workout gear and walked a couple of miles in front of people...but what happened when you got halfway through that first mile? First week?

So you were brave...

...what happened next? What happened when you failed? How did you get up and do it again?

So what did I learn on my summer vacation?

Above all else I learned that the "arena" truly looks like many things...but this past week it looked like a beach vacation with my family where I was active and present...where I played and competed....where I listened and observed - where I didn't die when my Fitbit registered 12,000+/day - where owning my body and my age felt like an afterthought instead of frontal-lobe concern - where I was able to experience my childhood memories as just that, memories. 


Which reminds me...I love to play. I really do. I want the ball. I am a born competitor. I am curious. I am, in many ways, still that girl in the back of the Scout - packed in for the ride - except...for the very, very first time in a long, long time, I remember that young girl's ability to be present and enjoy where she was at and make her own play - even if it was a make-shift playroom on a five hour drive to Memphis to visit relatives. I have missed her.

Now to integrate her into my every day life. 

Counseling starts back up Tuesday. Game on.

Swoosh - just passed a sign - Playground Ahead ❤️☀️


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Uncomfortable In My Own Skin

I have only been truly comfortable in my own skin a few times in my life. Yet even as I type that, it feels like a big fat lie.

*Deep Sigh*

The truth is that I am not sure I have EVER been comfortable in my own skin. I have struggled with body image my whole life - I am sure you can guess the cycle - too much baby fat to being too skinny to being too fat, too tall, too plain, too pretty, too sexy, too boyish, too girly....getting my point?

The body stuff didn't stop with my actual skin. Oh no. It was also just a hop, skip, and a jump to criticism to how I dressed and when you grow up without a lot....not having the "right" clothes is as much about not having clothes to not ever learning how to dress yourself - stylishly/appropriately (just keep filling in the blanks).

So....lets just say that I am mortified to own this, but the truth is I have always struggled with body image and dressing said body. Like All. The. Time...up to, and including, this morning.

I have hid this (or tried to) by being overly confident (a lot of bravado there), hiding in clothes, and my personal favorite - wearing the same clothes over and over (after getting positive feedback). Body-wise, there have been a few times since high school that I was in really great shape (physically) and I would undoubtedly sabotage it after a bit of time due to the attention I gained that I couldn't handle (emotionally) OR my body would simply fail me (health issues). *Eye Roll*

So....imagine my utter disbelief and surprise in learning that both of these things are connected....all of it is connected....and just like all of the other shit I have toted around emotionally (and physically), there is a way to work through it and find some healing...maybe complete healing. Of course, I have to deal with said "shit" (which makes me sigh and then laugh because.....c'mon) by doing the work.

Do. The. Work.

Anybody guess how all of this came bubbling up?

Well, it seems I don't breathe well. I have a lot of "acknowledged" anxiety - some previously there and some being revealed via counseling. So...my counselor has been recommending the gym to burn off the anxiety, and I have resisted - for weeks - with excuses. Then, the breathing came up and the suggestion was yoga. These little "subtle" recommendations in counseling (and in a book I am reading ) were not lost upon me....and believe me I have been thinking about it. Like why I was acknowledging both would be helpful....I have enjoyed working out in the past...enjoyed yoga....but there was a block. So....yesterday my counselor informs me that we will not see each other for three weeks due to her vacation and mine.

Say what?!?!?!?!

Without saying a word to her or anyone....I left counseling. Drove straight home. Put my workout clothes on. Drove to the office to send a couple of emails and make a couple of calls. I then went and walked a couple of miles (blew up that damn fitbit) and walked home and did some yoga.


There might have been an "Eat Pray Love yoga mat scene" when I rolled out my yoga mat last night. :)

I then proceeded to sleep like a baby for about nine hours (hello 7 a.m.; goodbye 5:45 a.m.).

Let me say this. I was more clear-headed that three hours of walking and yoga than I have been in I don't know how long. I also cannot remember the last time I slept that long (when not under sheer exhaustion) peacefully.

I did a lot of thinking too...with all of that new head space to dream and plot and plan.....oh and not for nothing, but to talk with God.

Hmmmm....

My God and I walk through the fields together....

One night and three hours don't cure me. I am not naΓ―ve. I know that.

I think that is why tonight after walking another couple of miles and then in the middle of yoga....I found myself needing to write. I need to document this next step in the journey of healing. The truth is that I am learning who I am. What I like. What I don't like. What I need. What my body needs. I am also learning how to negotiate my brokenness and find healing.

If you think it is weird to be 45 finding yourself, You. Are. Right.

It. Is.

My latest goal in this journey in counseling is to pinpoint why I am uncomfortable in my own skin and get some healing there....even as I start working my body again - which is the real gift of yoga as it is re-introducing me to my own body - the one that is carrying me around all day.

I want to cry (good tears) typing all of this out. I don't know if I have ever said these words out loud. I haven't even said them in counseling. You can't hide within your own skin (that you are already uncomfortable in) if everyone knows your struggles with it. What would be the point? Maybe I am giving up some of the power it has always had over me with these words. I pray so.

I sent this post-walk/post-yoga selfie to my Sis last night. I needed a cheerleader.
Earlier tonight, I wrote a mini-post (they come out every once and awhile on my social media pages and like here - spontaneous) and I closed it with a line I cannot get out of my own mind...

"This is the work of my life really - getting well, being whole, and living a life with no regrets. I hate everything about it, but this....that inch-by-inch, God is showing me his glory and his deep love for my heart and the healing we are fighting for together."

...I can't say it any better than that.

Amen.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)