Monday, October 2

Walking A Mile in Another Person's Shoes

This weekend I found myself wanting to make some cash and to do something fun. So I got on over to Craigslist and under the Help Wanted, Events, I found a gig as a cashier at a carnival about an hour away. I had applied on Friday and the position had been filled, but early Saturday I received a call and the position was offered to me. YES! Sounded like fun and I've always wanted to go to Wilcox, where the Apple Orchards are and it's even apple season. Super Cool!

Twelve to twelve, a twelve hour shift of standing basically in one place and then the clean up! Ugh!
I was exhausted and every inch of my body hurt and I had an hour drive home at midnight. The owner felt sorry for this old lady and told me to come in Sunday at noon instead of eleven. Okay.

I thought of my sister and her recent breast cancer surgery and her unwillingness to rest and take care of herself. Although I've accepted that she gets to live her life the way that she wants to, it also saddens me that we're a society where there are so many taboos around self-care.

Then I took another look at what I just did and will do again next weekend. The very same thing, pushing through in order to make a buck. Now, that's not the whole truth of it all, but that's the part that surfaced for me and I was able to understand my sister's decision better.

I also got to feel how it feels to be so completely exhausted that you can't speak. Of course, I've felt this many times in my life, but in the near past, I live a pretty stress free life. I was having a hard time understanding when my current roommate arrives home from work, he grunts like a caveman for hello. Now I get it! You're just too exhausted to do or say anything else.

To balance it all out, Sunday morning I took the time to explore Wilcox, a produce stand and an orchard before my shift started. It's fall and the corn maze, hay rides, pumpkin picking and children laughing all were in full swing. The hour drive back on Sunday evening in the desert twilight was pure magic.

Being able to see things from another person's perspective is helpful in living life free of judgements and with compassion. And the ultimate hope is that we can be as compassionate and judgement free for ourselves.

Remember to Be Good to Yourself!

Sunday, September 17

Day 16 - Body Image Meat Suit

Why is this so hard to get?

From my time in Ireland with a shaman, I came to appreciate the fact that not all souls have the privilege of having a body and no matter what kind of body we have, it's a gift!

In this life, our bodies help our spirits to experience things that they can't without one. Our bodies are really God with Skin on. As important as Spirit is in our lives, we're just that important to Spirit because of our bodies.

And so, it's so sad that so many of us... including me... struggle with our body image. Gratitude... that's the appropriate response for our meat suit.

Growing up in SoCal,  I did all the things one does to keep in shape, because heaven forbid... I didn't want to be one of those fat old ladies! And then life goes on and you find yourself just able to get up and breathe each morning and nothing else mattered... And my body had changed.

Taking Aquatic Massage, my instructor lived at a clothing optional hot springs.  She wore a suit during her sessions because she said the space between the client and therapist must be neutral. I asked her about her personal experience of being naked in the hot springs as an older women. She simply said, "I feel nothing but gratitude. Just look around. That man took off his leg before entering and that woman has only one breast. There are all shapes and sizes. It's all good!"

Why then do we have such trouble? Of course... we want to be healthy. But beyond that there is a feeling lurking around many of us of being not good enough. Good enough for whom? We have a meat suit! Wow!

When I was about 50, I spent a summer in a small town in So Az and because I had no money for air conditioner, I found that if I didn't wear clothes, I didn't get hot. And because the property was completely fenced, it was doable. Still trying to accept myself completely as I was, I took it one step further and for a very short period that summer, I began watching porn. I know... but it was the only way that I could see the bodies of other women and give myself permission to have my body. We basically all have the same parts... beautiful!

I thought that I was completely over body image, and while I'm clearly not, (refer to Day 13) I find the gift in this challenge is to once again remind myself of the gift that a body is to the soul. To accept, love and appreciate all of its parts and allow myself the space to grieve the loss of the parts no longer with me... my appendix, uterus and ovaries. It is with deep gratitude for the joy they've brought me as a woman. I'm thankful for the reminder of this challenge... to love and accept me... all parts of my meat suit. 

Day 14 - Self-Care Awareness Challenge - UNPLUG - GET A LIFE!

The invitation for Day 14 of the Self-Care Awareness Month Challenge was to UNPLUG... I suppose to unplug from anything that we are too over consumed with, but in our society today, unplug from electronics. For me, I even unplug from the news and daily morning news talk shows.

I'm not sure when it became the 'norm' to be available to everyone 24/7. I know the excuses; My work... I have children... I'm in a relationship, etc. Not to even mention how we've become addicted to social media, sharing every last thought, what we ate, what we're doing, and we give our opinions and viewpoints on everything under the sun, even things we know nothing about.

In my world, unplugging is easier than plugging in! My phone is always on silent, not vibrate and my texts only come when I turn my phone on, which allows me to be present in each moment with whomever I'm with or with whatever I'm doing. I know, it seems a bit antiquated, but it works for me. I'm not always jumping every time a text, email comes in. And I don't get regular updates on social media, I only know what's happening... when I physically choose to go to their pages and take a look.

What can I say... it gives me peace and I feel calm. I get to keep up on whatever... but on my terms. (Now that's true Self-Care!) No one is so indispensable that they have to be available whenever someone else decides. By unplugging, I put myself in control of my life.

But... you say, "What if someone needs me?" I would argue, that not being available to them 24/7, gives them time to figure out things for themselves. We're giving others an opportunity to grow. The hardest part of unplugging is that we can feel the void of not being needed or having a purpose in life. There's the real invitation... GET A LIFE for yourself and you won't be so plugged into everyone else.