Category Archives: Spirituality

The Winds of Change

 As I sit here engulfed in the winds of change I am optimistic, hopeful, full of love and anticipation as well as nervous, cautious and unfamiliar with my future path.

Today I have 10 more days of being an employee and then I am off on my own to sail the seas of this life. (That might sound a bit dramatic, but work is a larger portion of who I am than is proportionate to the other things that define me).  It is a bit unnerving.  I have always been tethered to the American lifestyle by working sometimes multiple jobs not because it was always necessary, but because it was what came natural to me.  After a while it was how I defined myself. It was how society defined me to a certain extent.  It was how I “took care of business” and my child…and then children.

This life has been kind to me. I honestly believe that.  It hasn’t always been easy, I haven’t always made the right choices but it has never been catastrophic.  Others opinions in this regard might differ, but largely I have fond memories and have come to terms with my skeletons.  (In certain countries skeletons are talismans and I can appreciate that. Without my skeletons I would not be who I am, as whethered as I may be, literally and figuratively. )

The past couple of years have not been easy, I have managed to work two sometimes three jobs while maintaining a happy marriage, a teenager, a child in the midst of family crisis and a baby who is now a toddler, all while being in the midst of an illness that is undefinable and evasive.  Largely I have been successful.  As a result, my family has made a collective decision that it is time for me to be a mom and to be my toddler’s human experience and not just the daycare shuttle and nighttime tucker-in’er.  That it is time to love my daughter and support her in her challenges in attempting to understand who to become after being subjected to scenes that a grown woman would be challenged to face, to stand resolute in what is love and health.  Her heart has been broken at what she considers to be a great loss of a brother – even though as adults we know that divorce is not a literal death, even if it feels like it.  It is time to be a wife who does laundry again and handles the household so that her husband can rest and renew.  It is time to guide my 17 year old into the tides of his life and be a bouy to his journey. 

It is time for me to do what I am passionate about.  Spending time with people with a sincere desire to change their lives and their health and to face the fears emotionally and physically.  To communicate with them and to help then choose a path of freedom from the constraints of what their bodies have become and help facilitate pursuit of their goals and dreams.

What more could I ask for?  This is my dream life.  Nonetheless, I am nervous. I am nervous about learning to master a new form of balance.  Of who I will become and all of the possibilities in my days.  I am nervous at the amount of responsibility I will have and the value of such to my family and others.  I am nervous that my finances will suffer, if I didn’t acknowledge that out loud I would be dishonest.

I have prospects, I have fallback plans, I have opportunites but most of all I have FAITH.  Faith in my god, faith in my friends, community and family.  Most of all, I have learned to have faith in myself and my strength and most importantly, my future.

Confessions of a Concrete Convict

by Sheron Mason

 

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I have been working with Crissy for seven months and I could have never imagined that she would take me this far.  I was running and working on losing weight before I started working with her but once I started her program my gains increased tremendously.  I have always had a really tough time losing weight.  I have not been able to stick with anything.  Crissy has an amazing ability to push you without making you feel like you can’t do it, or that you are not good enough.  She pushes you to perform harder and longer than you ever imagined.  She also has amazing creativity with her exercises.  She keeps you guessing and that is one of the things I have learned make such a difference in your ability to stick with any program.  Your mindset is what will get you through this struggle.  You will have days when you feel like you can’t go on.  Days when you feel like everything hurts so bad you wonder what you are doing it for.  But when you realize you have gone down 2 or 3 dress sizes, that you can run the mile and a half in 12 minutes and 34 seconds and you can do any exercise she asks you to do without  being in excessive pain……..you KNOW it’s worth it!

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For Jeanette

Ji,

Just look up…and smile.

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman

Hot Still Summer Days

Today I woke up with this scene in my head from childhood and I keep yearning to seek out –  a hot summer day, to ride my bike out through the flat fields of Maryland.  I used to love to ride my bike like that out into nature where the people were few and far between. Where there was just me and the sound of my bicycle chain out there in the hot still summer day.  Maybe it is because it is so damp and chilly right now, or maybe it is the stillness and warmth that I am yearning for.  I am immersed in a season of movement, change and flux.

…A crossroads of sorts. 

I am searching out the simple, basics and necessities of life – hopefully. 

I want my children to know the comfort of a mom when the aren’t feeling well. I am not convinced they do -if they fall ill on a week day, it is usually a caregiver that fills in for me because I am uncomfortable missing a day of work, as work is how I define myself.  Of course, on a weekend they get all the mommy they can handle, but well, that just isn’t enough for me these days.  I have been a mother for 17 years and 6 months and never has this been a plight I carried around with me until recently.

I want to sit in the yard on a summer day with my two little children and laugh and marvel at how beautifully amazing they are and what a gift I have received in them. 

I want to hear the squeakiness of a bicycle chain because all I hear now is the list of chores rattling through my mind and the rumblings of prioritizing of such tasks for efficiency. 

I want to be responsible for building my childrens character more hours of a day than the childcare providers.

I want them to know the comforts of home and that the love we share therein is their foundation not just for a few hours of a day but for the rest of their lives.

It is my hope that they learn through all of these things I want for them that it is ok to be still. It is ok to be quiet.  It is ok to seek comfort in your mom when necessary and rest.  I want them to know that I too am in the moment with them.

Why That Word

I have been agonizing over my change in priorities for quite some time.  Why agonizing, I don’t know.  Probably because I am just learning about faith and it is new to me…

Nevertheless, I went to bed last night and told God that I was going to check in with him in the morning, first, before I check in with any other humans.  You know the first word that popped into my head as I woke up this morning. STUPID. Can you believe it? Stupid? What kindof word is that? Why was it in my head? Certainly God wouldn’t use that word? I never use that word.  Why was it in my head?

Contemplative Sunday and Rose Colored Glasses

What a beautiful Sunday morning.  My thinking candle is burning and the sun is shining through the skylight onto my face…Yellow Leadbetter playing quietly. 

People read my blog but seldom comment…please humor me…If you had to choose would you choose security over happiness?  A job that gives lots of money but you feel like you have to be greatful for and you muster up a list of bullet pointed crumbs of reasons for that happiness like you are convincing yourself.  Frivolous spending over creative freedom?  It’s ok, I can be creative with the things I buy even though I have little energy to enjoy them.  Would you choose your own control over faith in God? The control that has always been at the tips of your fingers, leaving you hungry and empty and you convince yourself that it feels good. Upon reading them the seem like no brainers, but actually apply them to a situation in your life….over your finances….over your security and control.

These are the things I have had my mind on this past week.  I have been sorta on autopilot.  Not really able to focus on the moment.  I have been praying almost constantly.  Waiting for “a sign”.  Found myself a couple of times, not being able to make any decisions…Chocolate or vanilla…? I say, “Well uh…what was the question again?…ummm what was the first option?…Uhhh, you choose”,  is what I finally decide. 

I’ve found myself wanting to take a walk and just check things out.  The first day this notion hit me I was home sick and it was raining outside…not a good idea.  Yesterday I did manage to get outside but it was a family walk, and well, I told you my ability to focus, or to be just in the moment is nil.  I have been very content to just sit and wait…to think about pansies and the shiney magnolia leaves in my yard.

My thoughts lead me to: who will I become?  now with such freedom I can get that little nose ring that is so shiny and pleasing…(Uh oh…I hear the collective gasp)…will I smell like patchouli (more frequently) and will I be BROKE as a JOKE and regret my decision and wish I could renig?

Will my house always be clean? Willmy house always smell of something good cooking? will there always be an art project on the kitchen counter as a work in progress? Will my children be growing and developing their little identities at a faster pace with more contributions from me?  Will my husband’s belly always be full and happy and will he be greated with happy faces instead of tired, dejected faces? 

Am I wearing rose colored glasses?

I have wondered several times this week what is going on with me.  I have always tethered myself to things I have control over.  Always opted for the secure route.  Always provided and happily chosen the path of provider.  Always defined myself by my work and reveled in my work ethic.  I have always also suffered from anxiety.  Sometimes worse than others.  For the past two months, no anxiety. No two ton elephant impairing my ability to take a full breath.  While anxiety resonates suffering when brought up in a casual conversation, what I am learning is that it had some positive attributes.  It kept the cogs greased.  Kept me striving for…something. Held me hostage to the control and the providing. 

What I am now finding, with my dear friend and beloved mate anxiety on vacation is that I am ok. I am ok, just the way I am.  That I no longer am fearful.  That I have examined my faith and rest well within it. 

I wonder what it will look like outside when I loosen my grasp to be more creative, to savor every moment of the sunny days ahead and the noisy giggles of my little children.  You see, when I am striving despite my aching body, when I push myself beyond what is comfortable for my moments, that is all I see.  I don’t see the vivid colors of a beautiful morning. Although I hear the birds I do not contemplate their song. I see that I need to start my car, carry 5 bags of “stuff” (some of them mine, some of them not) to the car, get my daughter to school, get that cup of coffee that starts my engine and get to work all in 20 minutes.  What is it in those bags I carry anyway.  I took a look. It tea bags, books, rose water spray, cough drops. All the comforts of home.  Plus the cough drops to ease the dry scratch that is so often my throat these days. 

Will the colors outside look more vivid? Will the dull haze of my daily schedule that reflects on my skin become radiant.  Will I giggle with my children?  Will the brittle fibres of my muscles begin to soften and become more pliable?

As I finish writing this, the song by Ben Harper “Walk Away” begins to play….

Is that my sign?

Doubt. (via Northern California Respect Festival)

So simple…but I make it always so complex.

Doubt can be a positive force when we learn to doubt our doubts and have faith in our faith. … Read More

via Northern California Respect Festival