Falling Upwards

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one thing I can tell you is you got to be free… March 26, 2010

… come to together
right now
over me
— The Beatles

I haven’t posted in ages ‘cuz I thought I’d pretty much given up this blog. This cyber-world had become a place for me to vent and re-create myself. I, now, no longer really need to vent –the anger is almost all gone — and, I’ve been working internally and with awareness to transform myself into a truer Me. That being said, I’ve often thought of posting if only to share the wonderful books, blogs and websites I’ve come across in my journey to Self. So, I’ve decided to share what I’ve found. They’ll make for shorter posts, which makes for easier reading. yay! 🙂

Today I’m reading, and recommend, Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love & Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist. This book is considered to be ground-breaking and a classic.

Granted, I’m no longer in a relationship, but had I known the concepts introduced in this book a couple years ago, the Ex and I would probably still be together, and in a loving, truly committed relationship. (My Ex says the same.) And, in reading this book and understanding its concepts, I know it will help me in future relationships. As with some of the other books I’ve recommended, Passionate Marriage goes deep into the concept of “differentiation.”

Warning — the author does get very explicit with some of his patients’ sexual acts and sexuality. Also, this book is over 400 pages. But, hey… the time investment is well worth saving your relationship, right?

Here’s the link to Amazon for this book.

More posts and references to inspiring and helpful books, blogs, websites and podcasts can be found in my category “resources.”

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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

 

i am the girl of a hundred lists December 9, 2009

The other night, when I was hanging out with my gal pals, one of them mentioned that she was just now coming out of the hole she’d dug. She is finally settling down into her new home, built after the old one was lost in a wildfire two years ago. She meant that she is now ready to see people, entertain and stop being reclusive. And… that her hole was a self-made one.

Her words were visually appealing to me, especially since I realized only very recently myself that I’ve been in a hole (for nearly a year) and am finally pulling myself out of the darkness and into the blessed fresh air and light. When you’re in a hole, every days things can get.. forgotten. Things pile up, and you can imagine why and how.

This past weekend, I was in the light long enough to realize that I want — I need — order in my life. I’ve read time management books in the past, have tried different methods, to be more organized so that I’m not mired in a pit of endless things weighing in the back of my mind. I think was able to accomplish that this week.

My fall back time management device is the Franklin Planner System. I started using it long before it was acquired by Covey, and it’s based on Benjamin Franklin’s notebooks.

The system is simple.
Write a daily task list of all the things that need to be done.
Prioritize them by marking each task with “A”s, “B”s and “C”s — the A’s being most important.
Then, prioritize those in order of what needs to be done — 1, 2, 3, etc.
Simply do the tasks in order.

As you complete a task, cross the item off. If a task needs to be done later, because of follow-up or what-have-you, “forward” that task the to correct future date (tomorrow, next week, next month, you get the idea).

My challenge is to make sense of the multiple roles I play: as property manager, as mom, as artist and as my own woman. Franklin Covey has awesome tabs you can get for your planner and which you can mark for your separate roles. But since I work from home and can be flexible with how I use my time, it’s helpful for me to have everything written on one page, split into the different “categories.”

I started this on Monday, with a bit of pre-planning on Sunday. I got everything on my task lists crossed off or forwarded … before noon!

It is unbelievable how free I felt. My mind had no clutter, no worries (since everything I was thinking about had already been written down into one date or another as a task)… just …
well, let’s just say that not only did I have a feeling of accomplishment, I also had enough time to work a bit on my art, try out some new ideas, and just sit on the couch with the puppy (an excellent form of meditation).

It’s too soon to be a habit, and yeah, tasks lists are endless (like dishes…ugh). But, if I can remember that feeling of freedom and appreciate the “found” time, then I know I’ll be super-focused as I make these lists and complete these tasks. Because then, there’ll be time and space to dream, and create, and play and…. the possibilities are endless.

Lost Time by Rabindranath Tagore
On many an idle day have I grieved over lost time.
But it is never lost, my lord.
Thou hast taken every moment of my life in thine own hands.

Hidden in the heart of things thou art nourishing seeds into sprouts,
buds into blossoms, and ripening flowers into fruitfulness.

I was tired and sleeping on my idle bed
and imagined all work had ceased.
In the morning I woke up
and found my garden full with wonders of flowers.

 

I am Woman, hear me roar December 6, 2009

Last night, I went to a good acquaintance’s house (I think she and I need to hang out more to be considered friends). Four of us women: two of us recently split, two happily married for over 16 years.

The divorcee and I are good friends. She has really been there for me since the beginning of the end of my relationship. She herself asked for a divorce from her spouse over a year ago, when she finally decided that she could no longer live a life that clashed with her principles. Her husband had been having emotional affairs the entire 20 years of their marriage. It was supposedly “ok” because they had never been taken to the physical level.

The other two women were spouse-less for the evening. One told us of how she and her husband got to know each other as pen-pals before he went to Hungary to meet, then propose to, her. A true love story. The other woman made mention, during certain points of the conversation, of how she was now digging herself out of her self-constructed hole. She had lost her home in San Diego’s Witch Creek fire two years ago, and we sat there in her freshly constructed, newly decorated replacement dream home. She had needed the quiet time of self-imposed reclusiveness to … well, recover, I suppose.

It was an evening taken out of a movie — a “girls’ night in” evening in which the characters got insights into each others’ lives and caught glimpses of each others’ true selves. And, as I watched our scene and listened to the stories, a feeling of immense gratitude came over me. Here I sat with three amazingly strong women. Each incredibly courageous in her own way: in rebuilding a life for her and her family, in pursuing a new life in a new land, in leaving a life that was emotionally destructive.

I briefly wondered how it was that these women came into my life, at this time, when I needed to remember the equally strong and courageous woman I have been in the past. But, I know in my heart, God/the Universe/Source…whatever you wanna call the Almighty Being that connects us…has reason for everything. People come and go in our lives to teach us and support us. And, we are in their lives as teachers, too, whether or not we know it.

And,… I feel grateful.

As a side note on resources and the concept of people in our lives for a reason, you can google “soul contracts.” Also, a book I recommend in a previous post is Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential by Caroline Myss.

 

Left Unfinished November 16, 2009

“Why was I born?
Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
Been times when
I wish that I had just never been
Why did you have me?
Or better yet why’d you leave?
So to the parents who could fuck
But then abandoned me ”
– Machine Head

This doesn’t really apply to anything except that I was looking for a song lyric or title that said what I wanted — “Left Unfinished” — and this is what popped up. Funny that.

It’s funny because one of the books I’ve read in the past basically says that most of our issues comes from our parents, and their parents. They’re handed down through generations.

I haven’t been writing here for a couple of reason. One, we broke up about 2 1/2 months ago. But, the main reason is that I felt this blog was so negative. It was getting me down, and the thought of writing was getting me down. Recently, a friend from college found me. Turns out, he’s got his own blog and is also going through a divorce. So, he inspired me to, at the very least, finish this thing I have started. And, bring it up to a positive level.

One thing about this blog that has been nagging at the back of my mind (that happens when you leave things unfinished).. I’ve been meaning to list the books that have really helped me through this whole process, if only to help someone out who is out there looking for this info. I know I’ve mentioned a couple of them in past posts. But, here’s a list of a few I started off with:

Extraordinary Relationship: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions
by Roberta M. Gilbert, M.D.

The Monogamy Myth
by Peggy Vaughn

Dance of Anger
by Harriet Lerner

For those with a Christian bent –
Jesus: The Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived
by Mark W. Baker, Ph.D.

For those with a Buddhist bent –
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

For those who are Both –
Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality
by Anthony de Mello (a Catholic priest who sounds like Buddhist)

For those with a New Age bent (like myself) –
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life
by Judith Orloff, M.D. (an energy psychiatrist)

I am also currently reading

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

The Power of Intention
by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential
by Caroline Myss

and,
The Artist’s Way
by Julia Cameron

There are several more not listed here that I’ve devoured the past few months, but this’ll give you a start.

From here on out, I’m definitely Falling Upwards.