I do a lot of guided meditation primarily because my brain is always way too busy. I need help to control it into a meditative state. Maybe that means I’m weak but who cares. This works for me. One of the best YouTube channels I’ve found for guided meditation are The Honest Guys. No clue who they are, but I like the British accent and they do a great job on their voiceover. Here’s one of my favorite ones. Enjoy!
I don’t think there is any linear progression to grief. For me, it’s like a wild animal living inside of me. Sometimes it’s asleep, at other times just growling. And then it wakes up and feels like it’s going to tear me apart with its sharp teeth and claws.
I’ve written about my narcissistic mother before and how difficult she could be.
My mother died on January 8 this year from lung cancer. She could have treated it but refused, insisting that the “Lord” would heal her. That was her choice of course, but it was a choice that created a lot of tension and caretaking on my part.
It’s an interesting thing to take care of someone who feels no gratitude for your efforts and, as I found out later when my sister discovered my mother’s journals, considers you the enemy. Not only was my mother narcissistic it turns out she also had a strong persecutory delusional disorder and believed pretty much anyone that tried to help her, was out to get her.
Although I got frustrated at times, the strange thing was I did not and do not resent my mother. She was mentally ill and therefore tortured both emotionally and physically, especially in the last six months. Mental illness runs in my family and she was also terribly abused as a child. I can only imagine how awful it must have been to be inside her mind all those years and I hope she is happy on the other side and resting from this terrible lifetime.
Here’s the thing. Continue reading
Stress is just the ego’s way of making fear acceptable.
Last month I wrote about the eye of the hurricane. Since then I’ve found out that even my dog has cancer, apparently a very aggressive form of osteosarcoma. We elected to remove the tumor, which meant taking out 60% of his collarbone. My canine athlete, running partner and studly ski jor partner is now limping around the house with a 14-inch scar running across his shoulder. My heart breaks for him but I know he has more living to do. I’ll have to run without him, which sucks. Also, my stubborn mother who refused to leave her house to move into assisted living fell and broke her hip and her hand. She’s now recovering in a nursing home, the very place she was trying to stay out of.
And that leads me to my latest revelation in this year of challenges. There have been many lessons in 2014 but probably the biggest one is that most of my suffering has come from trying to avoid discomfort. I’ve tried to avoid the grief of losing my dear mother-in-law. I’ve tried to be in denial of my mother’s illness and her lack of love for me. I refused to call my breast cancer “cancer” and downplayed it so much that several people didn’t even realize I had radiation. So many emotions I’ve tried to escape, at the same time projecting the worst that could happen and giving myself the worst anxiety I’ve ever had (and that’s saying something) topped off with a case of hives.
Last week I got a message from one of my guides. “Run toward it,” he said. “Run toward it with joy and wild abandonment. It’s part of a perfect plan.”
If that wasn’t a “DUH” moment I don’t know what is. I have been able to find peace inside of all of this chaos but I’m still hiding in there. What I need to do is jump into it, let it throw me around like a towel in a washing machine and see what happens. I need to stay in the moment and experience every single dirty, painful, “why me” moment of this lifetime. Because there are more miracles ahead of me.
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” -Kenji Miyazawa
Dr. Raymond Moody is perhaps the world’s leading authoring on near death experience. I’ve found his work very comforting as I support my mother, who is in hospice. Although his more recent videos, including those with Dr. Eben Alexander, are excellent I still find this original video “Life After Life” to be one of his best. Real, credible people explain their experiences with Dr. Moody providing his analysis and data between the stories. And the ’80’s hairstyles and clothing are kind of fun too. I hope you gain as much from it as I have. More information on Dr. Moody and his work can be found at the Raymond Moody Institute site.
Thanks to Hooplaha for sharing this video with reasons to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!
This is not a post to complain about the challenges in my life. The intention of this post is to help you understand how the universe and and the laws of nature have taught me that peace, not happiness, is the true aim. Everyday I envision myself as the eye of the hurricane. You should try it too.
In order to understand this exercise know that the eye of the hurricane is calm because the strong winds directed toward the center never actually reach it. Instead, a force of nature called “coriolis” deflects those winds creating a rotation around the exact center, or eye, where all is calm. This rotating force is caused in essence by the rotation of Earth itself.
Brief science lesson over…back to the circumstances in my life. A little over three years ago my sister, with whom I have the only close relationship in my family of origin, was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer. She is thankfully in remission now but I was terrified as she has been my only real “parent” figure since my father died when I was 19. Next began a series of events that led to my husband and I nearly divorcing and my business coming close to bankruptcy. My marriage and my professional life both stood on the brink of failure for more than a year. At one point I was so stressed I went to the gym, took off my sweats to run on the treadmill and didn’t realize I had forgotten to wear my running shorts underneath. I almost made it to the treadmill before I realized I was in my underwear, much to the consternation of a couple young gym rats.
Gladly, my husband and I eventually repaired our issues and my business also began to mend. As I began to finally breathe a sigh of relief, however, one of my closest friends was in a car accident and paralyzed, making her a quadriplegic. Her family is quite dysfunctional so another friend and I became her main support through her rehabilitation over the next year. One year after that accident, again as I began my sigh of relief, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. 2013 was spent trying to coax her to treat the cancer, to no avail, while still being a main support to my friend.
in January of this year my husband’s mother passed away after a devastating and cruel illness. In early May of this year we learned my own mother’ cancer had metastasized to her bones and she was diagnosed terminal. To top things off three weeks later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I finished a course of radiation and surgery six weeks ago. Oh, and I should probably also mention that my niece has been battling anorexia for the past couple of years.
I’m a pretty resilient person and endured a couple of severe traumas before I turned twenty. However the breast cancer seemed to be the last straw that broke this camel’s back. I was in full fear mode, not only worried about my own health but devastated that I would lose part of the time I had left with my mom. During the awful wait for my surgery results I had some of the worst panic attacks of my life.
But I had a little secret tool. Continue reading
Today I was thinking about how great my life feels when I let go of every expectation. And I mean EVERY expectation, of my husband, my job, my family and friends, anything. This is something that I have known for a long time but this morning I was thinking about whether or not I had really learned it.
To me, the difference between knowing and learning is this: When I know something it’s familiar to me. I read it in a book and think “yes that’s right.” When I’ve learned something it’s integrated into my life and daily behavior. This learning can be good or bad. From my mother, I learned that love is conditional on how much I do for the person who loves me. I learned early on from my family that it is best not to trust anyone and that being vulnerable was the same thing as being exposed to attack. These are things that I’ve been trying to replace with new learning for most of my life.
Here is my inventory of questions for creating a year full of beautiful moments in 2014, based on the difference between knowing and learning:
- What can I be grateful that I’ve learned that is healthy and positive for me?
- What has that learning replaced?
- What have I learned that I would like to replace with new learning?
- What do I know that I would like to truly learn instead of just knowing?
Truly learning to have no expectations is one of my answers to the last question. I was deeply disappointed by someone’s behavior recently. Was this because I had developed certain expectations of this person? Or because I have expectations that if I allow someone into my inner circle (i.e. moving from co-worker or acquaintance to friend) I have expectations of how they’ll behave?
Fortunately I was able to recognize this disparity between my expectations and reality quickly, and could remove the suffering that went along with the experience. It still hurts and disappoints but I am not suffering because of it. I guess this lesson and this experience, which was the furthest thing from what I wanted, was what I really needed to start my new year off right.