Falling Upwards

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The rest is still unwritten February 5, 2014

You know, this personal growth thing is a roller coaster ride. No sooner do I think I’m getting close to the top, hearing the click click click of the belt as it pulls up my coaster, then I dip right back down to what feels like the bottom. Or, I’m riding that fast ride up but don’t realize it’s a loop-de-loop (is that what it’s called?), and I’m right back at the same level I started. It’s enough to make a girl feel like she’s making no progress.

In the few years I’ve had this blog, I’ve broken up with a boyfriend, which led me on a path of enlightenment, only to be sidetracked when I met my twin soul, with whom I had a non-relationship that put me off my path of personal growth for two years. He came back into my life like an unexpected maelstrom last autumn only to depart just as quickly and with as much confusion this past month. I would like to say that these unfulfilling, negative romantic relationships I’ve had have put me off of them for good. It might be nice to have an easy ride down the lazy river and live a quiet life of no romance, desire for self-improvement, growth or change. It might be peaceful. But, I would take Magic Mountain rides over Disney rides any day.

Even though it’s so frustrating to be near the bottom again, I think it’s worth the hard work to get back to the top and be able to see the view and feel the cool air on my face again. And, what does that work entail for me? I was just gonna describe them as a paragraph, but then I realized it’s a laundry list of things. So, here goes:

Meditation – I used to do it daily and worked my way up to a good half hour, at least. Now, I can barely meditate for a few minutes. Time to get back to my daily, morning routine of meditating. It’s a great way to start my day as it helps me start off with good energy and an openness. And, I personally think of meditation as that time during which I listen to God/dess/Universe. There’s much wisdom to be gleaned there.

Journaling – I, again, used to do this daily especially while I was with and just after I broke up with the Ex. My journaling, much like my blogging, is a lot of personal rambling that helps me organize my thoughts. It helps me get out my frustrations and insecurities without burdening others with them. But, I also try to be a cheerleader for myself and write down my hopes and dreams and desires. It’s definitely interesting to read back on those pages to see how much I haven’t changed but how far I’ve come.

Practicing Compassion – I can be super-critical (especially of myself). It’s a terrible thing I inherited from my father. But, I have a choice as to how I view life and those around me. And, I have the ability, as we all do, to put myself in someone else’s shoes (it’s called imagination). That grumpy, old lady who was snarky to me today…? maybe she’s in some physical pain or her kids haven’t called her in months so she’s lonely. Maybe her best friend just died. So, my reaction to her doesn’t have to be equal snark. It can be gentleness. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with remembering not to take things personally. How someone behaves towards you usually has nothing to do with you.

Experiencing Nature – whether it be a hike through the woods or a walk on the beach or even just sitting next to a city planter full of green stuff, touching base with Mother Nature is always soothing to the soul. Looking up at the sky at night and seeing the millions of stars above reminds me that the Universe is vast, and the mistakes I make in life will hardly impact anything. Watering my lemon tree, whose life depends upon my care, reminds me that I am responsible for the well-being of other living things on this planet, so my actions do matter. Feeling the wind upon my face lifts my spirit and reminds me of those things unseen that surround us and are a part of us all.

Creating Art – as a photographer, this should be fairly easy. But, it’s not the only art-form I want to “experience.” I enjoy painting and drawing (even though I’m not very good at either) and scrapbooking (yes.. it’s art!).  For me, this is really about creating. After all, life is about creation, isn’t it? My art can be on paper or canvas, on the computer, or even a delicious dish I’ve cooked up. The very act of creating is soul affirming.

Practicing Gratitude – this doesn’t have to be formal, like a gratitude journal or a list or anything. Even if I take a few seconds out of my day to just appreciate a flower and send a quick, little thanks to the Universe for showing me Its beauty, I find that practicing gratitude gives me joy. There’s no room for complaining when you’re truly grateful for…whatever.

Practicing Forgiveness – yeah… that sounds weird. But, I find people just carry so much anger within them. I do, too. I’m not talking about being angry at anyone or anything specifically. Just read comments on any article. Even if it’s inspiring, there’s always at least one person who’s just pissed for who-knows-what-reason. I know I get “justifiably” angry at whatever social injustice I come across. That anger is a weight on my heart. It’s negativity that I don’t need to carry. So, yes.. it would be great if we were all on the same page in this world so that there would no longer be bigots and their like in this world. But, I have to remind myself that we are all on our separate journeys, each at our own pace. And, we’ll eventually arrive at the same place, given time. So, yes, I have to practice forgiveness, a lot. Release the anger and send out love.

That’s it. Just those few things. Some of them are even fun. Some of them are a lot harder than they seem. But, I want off the easy, lazy river ride and back on the roller coaster. My coaster car might keep coming down — there’s fun in that, too — but at least I know I’ll keep climbing up. Ok…so maybe a roller coaster isn’t quite the best metaphor here.  heh heh

Definitely, though, I think the song I chose for this post is fitting because, even with all the ups and downs, my life is still before me. It is still unwritten.

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined
I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

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The Commitment November 30, 2012

A couple days ago, I had what I thought would be my last phone call with my life coaching group. I had told them a month ago that our Wednesday afternoon time slot was not working for me so I would have to leave the group if we couldn’t change it to another time. Well… after much discussion (some of it quite emotional), we didn’t change the time. And, I’m not leaving the group.

You see … after a month of trying to figure something out, with some of the ladies expressing that they’d be very sad not only for me but for themselves were I to leave the group, two of them spoke up with a bit of anger and annoyance towards me. They felt frustration; that my excuses for not being able to re-arrange my schedule to accomodate a standing, weekly engagement was just that — excuses.  They felt they were getting an ultimatum from me but no commitment. And, though I felt a twinge of hurt, I wasn’t offended at all nor did I take it personally. Because… they were right.

In the months we’ve been having our conference call sessions, the last 10 minutes of this call taught me the most about myself and my life.  Heck, maybe it taught me about life in general.

I realized that were I to make a definite commitment to being in the group, that were I to make it a priority in my life to participate in those calls, all those conflicts I said I had would begin to fall away. I realized that the Universe would shape around me, my desires, my goals so that I can my commitment.

After all, if we want something bad enough, we make it happen, right? Even if our goals aren’t accomplished the first time around, we keep trying, push past the failure, until we get what we want, or something that is better.

“We go from pimps to prophets, liars to logic
Zoo to drug abusers, survivors of the projects
My mind sets to clarity, predicting me well
A sign past the tragedy, commitment to self”

A conscious breakthrough I had in that group “meeting” is that I’ve been hesitant to make any kinds of commitments in my life these past few years. I can make excuses like (yes, this is the one that popped up in my head immediately) I’m unconsciously waiting for a great change to occur what with the 2012 shift coming and all… but, really? how’s change supposed to occur if we don’t consciously make the effort for it?

“I will live my life full of conscious
I’ll be the god amongst monsters
I’ll exercise more often
I’ll walk my talk and keep talking”

And, day after day, while I sit here at my computer desk trolling through Facebook and dating sites while watching t.v. and just baffled by the fact that I get nothing done and my house is a mess and why can’t I find time for myself and my kid…. gah! and, duh! I had made no absolute commitments – to helping my son with his college apps, to losing the 10 lbs. I gained this summer, to getting my home in working order, to really, really making a go of my business (which is gonna be my only livelihood in less than a year). I think about those things, but I didn’t, in my heart, commit to making those things happen.

And, why? Well… my inner shrink tells me I have a fear of failure (I was diagnosed with it in college). And, there it is again — fear. Now that I know what it is, now that I’m aware of it, I can change — my outlook, my actions, my verbiage even. I can create, or re-create, the reality around me.

“In the midst of the risk we became better people
Life is a movie, I’m a change the sequel
We owe it to ourselves, evolve out of Hell
Even for my folks behind bars in the cell
Stay well, it’s still a challenge
Reflect upon greatness, embrace it to your balance
Ultimate awareness comes from when you seek the truth
See, life is a journey, plans and patience
Know that you’re worthy, transformation
Manifestation of creation as we know it
Red’ll rip redundant abomination of culprits
The life they giving you is all subliminal
Now we must commit and take back our principles
Turn hate to satisfaction, anger into action
Greed into giving and passive into passion”

The lyrics above say it perfectly. I’m changing my story, my sequel. Do it with me … come on… change your reality, change our reality. Make the commitment. I have.

The Commitment – by Sabac Red

 

I have died everyday waiting for you February 26, 2012

Filed under: awareness,love — frannymarie @ 11:15 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

“…Darling don’t be afraid I have loved you
for a thousand years
I will love you for a thousand more.”
—Christina Perri

Last night I saw my “soul friend” (I’ll call him “Milo”) for the first time again in a year. There was no hug, no hello, no good-bye. And, he tried his very best not to talk to me, though we were seated half a table away from each other. Just the thought of it now makes me sad. Last April, he’d made the very difficult decision to stop talking to me. He thought our friendship was hurting everyone around us. The only time he broke his silence was to reprimand me for gossiping, or so he thought it was me feeding his girlfriend (ex, at this point) lies about the two of us. It was causing her hurt. Never mind the pain it caused me to be accused of something like that…

Two weeks ago, I had sent him a final email telling him that I will love him for the rest of my life; that, whenever he feels lonely, he only needs to remember that there’s someone out there (here) who carries love for him and sends it to him, energetically, daily. Two weeks ago, I had “abnormal cells” that might have been pre-cancerous. Last week, after surgery to cut out those cells and knowing I had done everything to I could to complete my karma with Milo, I erased his number from my cell and archived the hundreds of emails. I think both the surgery and my actions were physical ways to wipe the slate clean.

“…How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall..”

Last night, as I was sitting at that dinner table, trying to assess my feelings and still give off positive feelings to my friends and son around me, I got a sad text from my sister. She had just had a very difficult conversation with the man she had just started dating and who she obviously (to me) had already fallen in love with. Turns out he decided he doesn’t want children. And, my sister has been trying to have a child (even before she met him). His feeling is that they do not continue the relationship because it would prevent more pain in the future. If she succeeds in getting pregnant, that would be the deal breaker for him and… what if… what if he, and she, are more attached at that point. There would be a lot of pain.

Why are we all so afraid?

Last night, I made a conscious decision to go to that dinner. I did not want to skip out on spending time with my friends (and all-you-can-eat bulgogi) because I was afraid of my reactions and being around one of the guests. If, at the last moment, it didn’t feel right to me, then fine… I would have left. But, I did not want Fear to make my decision for me ahead of time.

Why would this man my sister is seeing make a decision to cut short their possibility for happiness now because he’s afraid they may both be hurt later on? It is already inevitable. We hurt those we love, we are hurt by those we love… sometimes, there’s a happy ending, sometimes the ending sucks. But, in between it all, there is that wonderous, beautiful time. And, that love may still exist afterwards. What’s so bad about knowing that someone loves you, and you return that love, even if you cannot be together?

Does it take the possibility of having cancer for people to value the time they have? Life is so short. Tomorrow, I may… well, I may not have a tomorrow.  So, let me love you for today, for this moment.

“…Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this
One step closer…

I have died every day waiting for you.
Darling don’t be afraid
I have loved you
for a thousand years
I’ll love for a thousand more.”

 

Karma, Karma, Karma Chameleon November 13, 2011

you come and go,
you come and go….
Every day is like survival.
You’re my lover, not my rival…

11.11.11 has come and gone. Soon it will be  2012. And, if the estoterics and mystics are correct, big big changes are soon coming. If these past few years in my life are any indication, I think those changes have already begun and are now really gearing up to go.

I had started this blog as a result of large changes in my life. Though the events two years ago were painful and put me in a mental fog (never a fun place to be), what happened is exactly what I needed to happen… to get on with my life, to get out of a bad relationship that I was unwilling to change for myself, to open up my life and heart to be able to accept better things.

The changes didn’t end there, though.  That was just the beginning.  And, maybe because 2012 is fast approaching, this past month has been a doozy. Outside of my intention and control, the Universe has been dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s for me (yes.. I blame it on the Universe, but in a good way). Relationships I have (had) that, in the back of my mind, had unresolved issues have firmly been ended; some very neatly, some in a messy messy way. They have been relationships from both this life and past ones.

Without going into detail, each end of each instance of relationship (friendship, business or otherwise) served to do something for my life. One ending fulfilled a karmic debt from a past life. Another severed my connection to a very negative person and dark set of people. A third ends a decade-long relationship that always had possibilities which were never filled or explored but was left hanging; a loose thread that needed to be cut to tidy things up.

Last night, I had a very bad fight with my son, resulting in him being grounded for the first time in his 16 years (maybe the first time I’ve really had to act like a parent). This morning, I gave him a letter telling him of my love for him and asking him to re-set “us.” It is a new day, after all. And, with this day, we can each make a choice… to continue our relationship the way it has been, combative, anxious and lacking patience.  Or, we can each choose to change how we react to the other, to be aware of each other’s needs and issues, to be loving and kind without taking things personally, knowing that, in our relationship as mother and son, we are both here to teach the other a life lesson.

I do not know what my son will choose to do.  It is his choice. I have no control over that. And, though it will hurt me tremendously if he decides to continue his side of the relationship as it has been, that is his path, his journey to his life lessons.  I can make my own choices: to be a gentle, loving but firm mother whose purpose is to bring light into her son’s life.

The Universe has plans for me. Far be it for me to sit idly by without helping it along and making changes for myself, for my own life.  I think this is where we are all at right now. We all have to make these choices… what kind of person do we want to be? what kind of relationships do I want to have? how will I choose to view my life and the opportunities it presents? And, we have to intentionally do something about those things. I think the Universe is done waiting for us to act so that these changes will happen with or without our consent because, I think, it’s a matter of survival now… for the World, for all of Humanity.

“Because the truth is, it doesnt really matter who you used to be. Its all about who you’ve become….” — Live Love Laugh (Facebook)

 

hey soul sister… May 21, 2010

You see, I can be myself now finally
in fact there’s nothing I can’t be
I want the world to see you’ll be with me…

… Hey Soul Sister
I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do
tonight
— “Hey Soul Sister”, Train

A few weeks ago, I started getting to know a man I’d met last Fall. We’d only said “hi” in passing at the martial arts studio my kid attends. But, God only knows how or why, we’d started texting; about the studio stuff at first, then more esoteric stuff. I guess it happened when I put myself out there and texted something to the effect of “I’ve known you before.”

About a week before that text, I was talking to another martial artist at the studio. He was telling me that he and his partner are soul mates, and in his beliefs (Judaism), God splits a soul in two, puts each half into two persons who are destined to meet in this life and complete each other. A neat and tidy understanding of soul mates. From my end, I was not surprised when my text friend answered that he knew, as much as any man could know anything, that we have known each other before.

My understanding of soul mates is not typical. First, I don’t believe that you can have just one — because, frankly, I believe Love to be boundless since God is boundless. And, my understanding of soul mates is atypical in that I believe those connections are created over Time, through several lifetimes. (Mind you, I wasn’t raised to believe in past lives, but only a dozen years ago learned the truth of them.) I have a high school friend who is one of my soul mates. She and I went to a psychic fair 12 years ago and decided to talk to a past-life psychic on a lark (neither of us believed in past lives). The psychic told us details of one life we shared together, when she and I were mates/lovers. Other people in our current life were also there. My friend and I looked at each other, both a little freaked, and knew, just knew, that what this woman was saying was true. My friend and I are soul mates. And, somehow, we knew that instinctively from the moment we started hanging out. We have a strange connection, perhaps some would call a deep friendship, so that no matter how many years have passed, it’s as if we’ve never been apart when we do re-connect. And, we are very attuned to each others feelings when we are together. Makes things between us… easy, synchronistic, effortless. It was through our past lives together that we developed this friendship.

I’ve come to learn, over the past couple of weeks, that when you refer to someone as your “soul mate,” there is a romantic, intimate connotation. This saddens me because I’ve been referring to my new friend as a soul mate though I know that, in past lives, we were not romantically connected — just playmates. I think I’ve caused a bit of ruckus in telling other friends about him, though I’ve made clear that I’m not interested in a romantic involvement with him at this time. Besides, he currently has a girlfriend, and having recently been on the “innocent party” end of an affair, I cannot bring myself to play the role of “other woman” — not now, not ever.

It also saddens me that society’s understanding of Love is so limited. I have been, for two weeks, trying to figure out a way that I can be friends with this man without that friendship hurting anyone. Here’s the thing with my soul friend (I’m dropping the “mate” because of those stupid connotations) — we seem to have a connection that defies explanation, logic. With intent, we are able to pass energy to each other. Draw from whatever belief system you prescribe to — that energy.. it’s Love. In the presence of this man, my spirit calms, I am aware of everything around me, I am present, and when I feel his energy, I feel bliss. There is nothing romantic or sexual going on. There is just joy. In the words of a spiritual person, I am in God’s Love. How can that be a bad thing?

It became a bad thing when one of my closest friends sobbed in my ear last night, as I was telling her of my feeling for this man, that I am having an emotional affair and how could I do that? She divorced her husband of 20 yrs because he loved another woman though he never had a physical relationship with her. And, she reminded me that I was more hurt by my Ex falling in love with another and not-so-much that he had sex with her.

But, this morning, I can’t help but think that those hurts had more to do with the agreements between the parties. My agreement with my Ex was one of monogamy; an agreement he broke without my knowledge. And, for me, the pain wasn’t so much that he could fall in love with someone else — after all, Love is boundless –but that he kept the truth from me; kept it all a secret. I’d like to think that I would’ve been understanding if he’d come to me and let me know of his growing feelings for this other woman. Then, we could’ve changed our agreement. It was the pain of all the lies (those of you who’ve read this blog know that more lies came to light eventually) and his inability to be completely truthful that led to our break-up.

So, last night, out of perhaps undue influence of my friend’s tears, I sent my soul friend some text messages that … were mostly not my own words. I had forgotten, in the cloud of tears, my Truth, my understanding of Love and friendship and told him we could not be friends. I could not separate the emotions and the limited understanding of those around me from what I know, in my heart, to be truth — that …

We are all capable of incredible, boundless, limitless Love. That we are all soul friends to each other. That we are all connected through this Universal Energy some would call God. And, in these connections, there is bliss, compassion, awareness … all those things that our religious leaders, mystics and saints preach, pray for and hope for.

But, it is up to each Individual to accept this concept. And, it’s up to each and every one of us to strive for it, fight for it, desire it … as an outcome for our civilization.

If, because of my hasty words my Soul Friend, I never connect with you again in this lifetime, then please know that I am grateful for the lessons you taught me these few weeks; for the knowledge that I can live in bliss because the joy is inside me, and you showed it to me. Thank you. And, to You and all my other Soul Friends — I send you Love.

 

blue skies…smiling at meeee…. December 30, 2009

..nothing but blue skies
do I see….

When I started this blog, it was all about emotion — raw emotion — and an outlet for it. I’ve since done a ton of reading, had many appointments with three different psychologists (gotta shop around for the one who fits) and taken up, among other things, meditation.

What I have learned with all this is that emotion does not serve a person well. It clouds your judgement so that you cannot make decisions well. And,… it’s usually so cloudy that you can’t see the blue skies behind all the bad internal weather, and there always are blue skies.

I read a quote recently that said something like “A breakup is the Universe’s way of telling you that you deserve better.” And, yeah, I’m sure it goes both ways. ‘Cuz even if I convinced myself that my Ex was perfect for me in so many ways, and I for him, there was still something there that was not quite right — not for either of us. Otherwise, things wouldn’t have gone done the way they did. So, once you go through all the darkness and pain, all the rain of teardrops, the thunderstorms of emotions.. what’s left? I think if you’ve ever been through a thunderstorm, you know.

As my clouds clear away, the skies are looking pretty bright and clear. Clarity has come to me by way of a new perception, a different way of living and looking… and … being.

There are no more woulda, shoulda, couldas. And, no more regrets of what the future might have been. Instead, I’m learning to live in the present, be grateful and joyful of my life as it is Now. And, I’m learning to take personal responsibility for my current situation, knowing that I am where I am in my life because of choices I have made in the past — none of it wrong. It just… IS.

I’d told myself that, in this blog, I’d include the resources I’ve come by that have helped me in this process. One of the things I’ve been learning about is (Zen) Buddhism. Here’s a great website that explains it: http://www.zenguide.com