Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Shifting allegiance to our basic goodness

"At some point, we need to stop identifying with our weaknesses and shift our allegiance to our basic goodness". - Pema Chodron

I've been at a work conference all week and the quote above was my exact challenge. It's a new job and I'm asked to make a huge cultural change in the company and I have has very little feedback or concrete support so I feel like I am out on a limb.  And in being a exposed, as soon as any negative feedback comes in I go right to use identifying with my weakness rather than staying grounded in my basic goodness.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Birthday day!

I am lying in a bed in Denver because I have to attend a conference for work. I'm jittery with anticipation, the same excitement that you feel when you are 5 and you wake up and realize it's your birthday! Anticipation for another year and all of the new things that are to come. Anticipation for turning a new, blank page, knowing you can be whoever you want to be now that you've hit this new milestone.  I'm 35 today.  Sometimes I feel 85 and sometimes I still feel 25. But whatever the number may be, I am optimistic and the year ahead and continuing down this beautiful path that I have found and call my own, surrounded by infinite love from amazing friends and family. I plan to revisit my 35th birthday manifesto ( often so I never forget to soak in all of the beauty that surrounds. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Month of Me 2014: Achieving Authentic Power

Somehow I completely forgot that springtime last year, I had the 'Month of Me' - genius! I
t is good to see what I keep setting myself on the right path by coming back to myself, even if I occasionally step off and walk through the brush and the weeds, I seem to keep coming back to the path that is right for me.

Gary Zukav said on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday episode that Authentic Power is 'the alignment of the personality of the soul'

I wonder at what point I will stop coming back to the 'month of me' to give myself the space to find Authentic Power...and when I will start living it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

'Resurrection happens in the dark when you are alone and scared'

I spent the weekend with Grace. No boys to chase, no boys chasing me. Just Grace and I.  When she went to bed, I had solitude to reflect.

The immediate reaction of panic came and instead of reacting, I breathed through it. I told myself if I could get through the nights alone, a new day would come and life would continue to move forward - and hopefully I would feel more engaged with it.  

I focused on letting all of the pain of the past go, letting the fear of being alone go.  I didn’t try to ‘move right or move left’, I just sat in the middle with the passing emotions.  And a funny thing happened - some of the anxiety of isolation fell away and I just focused on what was happening in the moment.

I went to church on Easter Sunday and our ever-wise Pastor preached about how we frequently look for God in the light, in the good - but the resurrection happened at night.  That resurrection happens at night, when we are alone and scared. How true! It was like she was speaking directly to me.  I can’t say that come Sunday morning, it was some miracle moment that all of the sudden my fear of being alone is gone, but it felt new & different, like progress, like evolution.

Little Buddha emailed this morning saying that patience is the key to what I seek.  That it is hard to wait for life to evolve, but it is in that patience that the evolution actually happens. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

“Maybe the only way to find yourself is to stop looking for someone else”

I was telling a friend and trusted advisor of how I felt lonely/bored and chased someone to escape the loneliness (see Loneliness, Panic and Being Cool) when this exchange occurred:
Me: I think the more time I spend doing ‘Diana stuff’, the less I’ll chase. I’ve spent the last three years with meeting someone as my priority but it will certainly be much more free without that!

Friend: Yes! Ad of couse, the only way to find someone is to stop looking.

Me: Maybe the only way to find yourself is to stop looking for someone else.

Friend: Ohh pretty deep for 10:30am!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Loneliness, Panic, and Being Cool

I chased. Although my motto is no energy spent on weak people, love the present moment - chasing an unavailable guy is a long-standing bad habit, and the minute I was bored & lonely I chased.

The good news is: I caught myself!  I chased, I stopped. I’m trying not to beat up on myself for it and just let it go - no harm done, I don’t need to protect some super cool image, I just had a lonely moment and went back to old habits.

One thing is for sure, in terms of Pema Chodron’s advice to sit with ‘cool loneliness’, I see more and more that when the lonely feeling comes in and I immediately panic and try to change it (by chasing someone or getting attention!).  I immediately panics at the slightest twinge of loneliness. Interesting, isn’t it? I’ve always said that I hate feeling lonely, but I actually do enjoy being alone.  And I know I’ve associated being lonely to mean being unlovable my whole life. But I never realized how much I panic and seek to change the lonely feeling rather than just let it be and let it pass.

This urge to erase the feeling of lonely reminded me to revisit Pema’s writings:
“It’s tough going, because it goes against the grain of an ancient neurotic pattern that we all share. When we feel lonely, when we feel hopeless, what we want to do is move to the right or the left. We don’t want to sit and feel what we feel. We don’t want to go through the detox.  The experience of certain feelings can seem particularly pregnant with desire for resolution: loneliness, boredom, anxiety. Unless we can relax with these feelings, it’s very hard to stay in the middle when we experience them. We want victory or defeat, praise or blame…...When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down”.  You can read more about Pema’s thoughts on Cool Loneliness here.

So next time I have the urge to immediately change the feeling, I will try to take some deep breathes and sit with it, breathe through it, and let it be until it passes.  It feels refreshing to imagine doing just that!

What do you do when loneliness sets in?  Can you sit with it? Do you immediately seek to change it too?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Karma Police

After experience firsthand the recklessness with which people are treating each other in the era of, I decided to enforce a little karma police on some egregious offenders.

Offender #1: A single dad who emailed me from for weeks, asked me out & for my number and texted for another week – and then dropped off the radar, never to be heard from again.

Offender #2: A guy I met in the bar who texted for 2 weeks, asked for my instagram name, and then dropped off my radar after seeing the no make up pictures of me and plenty of shots of Grace.

I thought it was important that they know there is an actual person with feelings on the other end of their thoughtless behavior in hopes that next time are about to treat someone as if they don’t really exist, maybe they will pause and consider acting differently. 

I told Offender #1 that asking someone out and then dropping off was a hurtful thing to do and in the age of, perhaps treating someone like a convenience is standard but I hope not and that we all continue to treat each other as we would like to be treated ourselves.
Response: None.
My thoughts: I feel bad for his baby’s momma and any women who meet him going forward.

For Offender #2, I asked if it was seeing pictures of me without make up or pictures of my kid that caused the drop and noted it is pretty sucky to give someone a window into your life, only to never hear from them again.
Response: He said it wasn’t that case at all and he was just busy with work. 
My thoughts: Maybe, but it was awfully funny timing! Either way, it was nice to receive an acknowledgement.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Living Well

Following my manifesto for my 35th year, I have been giving thought to what I can do to love the present moment.  There are so many moments where I’m choosing to be lazy or indulging in sad feelings, rather than seeing what is all around me – or more so, creating more in my life.  What I’m trying to say is, I was in survival more for at least 4 years (fertility, pregnancy + 2 after the divorce). The last year things have really settled down and I shifted from survival mode into existing. I didn’t realize I had made the shift but my life stopped being crisis after crisis and instead starting being little waves that ebb and flow, some bigger than others, but no huge tsunamis right now. But instead of filling my new-found non-crisis management time with things I love, I spend it watching the DVR or aimlessly playing on the phone (some of this is hazard of cold temps outside, warm fleece sheets and a dog cuddled up next to me).

My goal for my 35th year: Live Well.  No more survival more, no more merely existing. I want to live well. It is the difference between eating your dinner standing up at the counter and sitting down at the table and chewing slower. The difference between decorating the house with things I love, and avoid decorating all together because I just don’t want to make the effort.  Effort – that’s a good word. Living well means to me putting in the extra effort to things that will improve everyday life.  I may not be able to ‘live well’ in the Thomas Crown sense, but I can certainly make the best of my environment and use of my time. I think this will be a big key to loving the present moment because everything will be focused on making each moment the best it can be.

These are some ideas of living well living well means to me – what does it mean to you?

  • Free online college courses to learn about new subjects
  • More time spent communing with my piano, less time spent playing on phone
  • Reading
  • Reading outdoors
  • Walking with Grace and our dog
  • Bird walks at the nature center
  • Volunteering to walk dogs at the local animal rescue (this is already in the works)
  • Having really nice tea
  • Having really nice tea with my favorite people
  • Learning how to cook new meals
  • Lying in bed and watching TV with the dog…for a while

Monday, April 7, 2014

As I approach my 35th birthday...

I absolutely love this Facebook post from Anne Lamott:

I felt so moved by Anne Lamott's raw honestly, that I wrote my own, as my 35th birthday approaches:

I'm turning 35 and I've never been stronger or more tired! I have everything I could ever want - amazing friends and family and friends who have become family - yet I keep looking for more because I miss the fact that I already have enough.
I've lost the ability to live in the present moment, but it's possible I never had it to begin with, maybe I will find it this year.
I've aged more in the last 4 years than some people do in 4 decades and I've endured pain so suffocating I didn't think I could take one more step (maybe you have too).  I still feel weak on a daily basis yet I am strong in ways that make me wonder if I am super human.
I realized I was born without the 'guard' that one should 'keep up' and this requires much smarter choices as I get older.  I found out I'm an endless optimist when it comes to people. And no matter what someone says, I refuse to see anything but their best.  I'm not letting go of this at 35 or 85.  This isn't hard when it comes to those closest to me because they really are the absolute best people on the planet.
At age 35 there is so much more I want to do but instead of 'should haves' and 'could haves' I am going to slow down and see the beauty in each moment.
Perhaps un-age from the past few years.  Definitely breathe more.
Hold Grace tightly three times every a day and never miss a chance to stare at her in wonder.
Finally plant a garden together and laugh when it grows sideways.Take long walks hand in hand and wax philosophical over the 'yellow flower' dandelions that bring her nothing but delight and the rest of us nothing but angst. Splash in my mom's pool until out hands are wrinkly and then go eat more ice cream than anyone should consume (and then consider investing in Petrucci's stock).
We will say our thank yous to God each night so that we are constantly reminded of all that we have and that nothing is more is needed.
I hope my 35th brings sickening sweet birthday cake, irresponsibly expensive champagne, and the recognition that light and love are all around, all of the time.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Square Two

On Sunday, after the river of tears finally dried up, I watched an Oprah Lifeclass on dating - the premise being that women settle because they are afraid they won’t find anyone better and will be alone.  The crux being that it goes back to a sense of worthiness and knowing you are worth more than what you are getting.

Fast forward 24 hours and by Monday night I still hadn’t heard back from a text I sent to Officer Hottie on Saturday night.  Though I was advised to just let it go because clearly the hot & cold treatment isn’t what I want, I had that urge for an answer so I texted and asked what was up. I gently said that not even a nod in two days from someone sends a message and he just doesn’t seem up for this.  He apologized and said it was messed up that he didn’t text back.  He cited that he is ‘jaded when it comes to women’ and that he doesn’t know what wants or is looking for but that he isn’t sure he can give me his full attention at this time.  I said that I had a great time hanging out with him, but half-effort isn’t fair to me. And I’m all for taking things slow but it has to be mutual.

So I cut it off with him - and while I am pretty sure I just chose love for myself over fear of being alone, I didn’t really feel a sense of relief so much as bewilderment at the fact that I’m right back to square one...again….again...again. The same place I seem to keep landing.

But is it square one? Because before...before...before I would have drug this out, allowing him to string me along, holding on to hope that maybe he would have a change of heart and decide he wanted to put effort in.  This time I 'moved out of the path of the storm’.  I could feel it brewing, I knew I was setting myself up for pain by letting this continue, so I ended it before he could have a chance to ask me out again and then shift back into cold mode after that.

Does that mean this is square two? Because I stayed on my path. I didn’t chose the one that I knew would lead to false hopes and disappointed expectations.  Imagine if I would have cut things off with Chap as soon as I saw the storm brewing, as soon as I had evidence that something wasn’t right?!

Maybe I’m back at square two - further along my path, even if it is alone.