Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shiny, happy & free

What do you see when you look at this photo? I see a young girl who is shining with joy. So joyful that her smile takes over because it can't help it. So free of pain and unhappiness. Innocent and sure that she is loved.

That little girl was me way back when. I have no memory of this photo being taken. I don't even remember where the location was. I don't remember being joyful as a child. I don't remember being free of pain and unhappiness. I don't remember feeling as if I were loved. Yet, here is this photo of me just bursting with happiness. Did someone say something incredibly funny right before the picture was taken? Was I really good at faking happiness back then like I could as an adult? It doesn't matter. The fact is that this photo is exactly what joy looks like. I can look at this photo and feel joyful energy, so I know that it was real.

For whatever reason I don't have many memories of my childhood. At least not good ones. Again, it just doesn't matter. My purpose is to be happy, joyous and free. Whatever happened in the past does not get to dictate how I feel today. My spirit is always going to shine, as long as I allow it to. Children are so good at letting their spirits shine. As they continue on their life path, events and people in their lives begin to get between them and their spirit. That is what happened to me. Even though my life was not perfect there I was beaming from ear to ear with happiness and joy. This is the proof I needed to see that children can go from sadness to joy just as quickly as adults. I needed to see that there were times in my childhood that I was letting my Light shine.

I feel that joy now. I feel that my spirit is soaring and that it can carry me as far as I will let it. I love feeling the energy that my spirit releases. I love smiling and laughing. As a matter of fact, I laugh at myself way more than anyone else does. I love doing that. When a person is shiny, happy & free they are beautiful. Inside and out.

The next time you see a child beaming from ear to ear, tell them they look so beautiful when they are happy. Help them to see that joy feels good. That being beautiful is not about what you look like on the outside, but rather how you feel on the inside. Now, start telling other adults the same thing. Especially yourself.

Just my thoughts.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

That was then, this is now

Wow!! This week has been so exciting for me. I can't say that anything monumental happened. I guess its monumental for me. I have found a spark. A spark of inspiration. That inspiration has been this blog. I have been thinking non-stop about blogging. I have added many new blogs to my blogroll. I read blogs, I read about how to blog and I feel so much energy filling my spirit. Good energy for a change. I have no idea where this obsession with blogging will take me. I am not interested in knowing that, I simply love feeling so alive. I love feeling like what I have to say is important. Even if it's only important to me. This wasn't always the case.

I started this blog February of 2008. At that time, I didn't want anyone to read my blog. The thought of someone actually reading it made me nervous and insecure. It was supposed to be a way for me to get my thoughts out, so that I would not get bogged down. I only posted 3 times in 2008. I guess I wasn't ready to speak. I started posting again in March 2009. I was still very insecure, but with the encouragement of my sister, I started blogging again. I knew that she was reading it, but I was ok with that. She truly inspired me with her blog. On the same note, I was also intimidated with her blog, because she had followers. I started comparing my blog to hers. Listening to that ego-voice in my head saying that my blog would never be read by anyone. I would never have anything exciting to blog about like her over at Stark Raving Zen. Stark Raving Zen sounds so much more exciting then Just My Thoughts. Boring!!

I feel like I have come a long way since my first post, Coming out of my comfort zone. It is June and I have only posted 12 times this year. I have told my ego to kindly be quiet. I didn't really say it that nicely, but I am trying to keep it clean here. I am happy to blog about whatever my heart wants to say. I love it when people read me, but it is ok if they don't. Because I am here to let my spirit have a voice first. I still love my sister's blog, but it is now pure inspiration instead of a reason to compare. I feel a strong desire to better my writing skills. I also want to make my blog more appealing to the eye. I may take a writing class. I have a feeling the appearance of my blog will change these next few months, as I experiment with design. I am very open to any tips I may get from more experienced bloggers and I am going to come out of hiding and start commenting on the blogs I do read.

I feel so clear for the first time in my 42 years of life about what I need to be doing. I need to explore this writing thing. I also need to learn how to balance this passion for writing with keeping my home running smoothly. Right now the passion is definitely bigger than the home running smoothly thing. Funny, though, we all seem so happy. Even amongst the clutter and chaos my kids and my husband seem genuinely happy. Isn't it awesome what joy can do for a family. Sometimes it just takes one persons joy to keep the happy energy flowing. I better go clean the kitchen now. Or maybe I'll play play-doh with little #6.

Just my thoughts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Find your voice

I am really feeling the need to be heard. My spirit is trying to bust out and I am not going to keep her quiet anymore. Actually, I can't keep her quiet. If I hold in what my heart is longing to say I will die. Maybe not a physical death, but definitely a spiritual death. I also believe that we can get physically sick from not honoring our true spirit/self.

I do have to admit that it is very difficult for me to always speak up. I have struggled most of my life with giving, giving, giving and asking nothing in return. That is a hard habit to break. I can convince myself that if I think of myself first, that I am being selfish. I give in to the mindset that says once you become a mother you need to sacrifice certain things and live for your children. Sorry, but that is bullshit. When I sacrifice for the sake of my children, I am not showing them how to truly love. I am showing them how to put others in front of themselves and silencing that joyful voice that wants/needs to be heard. I don't want that for my kids. I don't want that for myself.

I'm not saying that giving of myself is bad. I'm saying that giving of myself at my expense is bad. If I am giving with resentment that is not giving. That is being a martyr. There are too many martyrs in this world. Giving of myself freely and joyfully is unconditional love. I am much more able to give unconditional love if I am loving myself unconditionally also. I am admitting here today that I often struggle with giving unconditional love. As I become more aware of this, I see that I only do it at those times in my life when I am not using my voice.

When I don't use my voice these things happen. My kids take advantage of me, my husband and I resort to idle chit chat as a means of communication, I gain weight, I get sick, my body aches, I am incredibly bored, my house becomes an absolute disaster, I am very judgmental, I become very insecure, I am full of resentment, I don't like my kids or my husband, I stop feeling joy and sorrow. You get the idea. All of my life is affected by my use of that joyful voice in my heart that needs to speak. We all have that voice. It can show me the way to truly living as the authentic/spiritual being that I am.

These days, I do whatever it takes to get that voice out. I read other blogs to see how others do it. I practice saying the first thing that comes to my mind, instead of the 3rd or 4th. I read books on how to tap into my spirit. I have been spending a lot of time on the computer lately. Time that I used to feel guilty about. I am doing this for my best interest. It is paying off. I am seeing, feeling, hearing and speaking from my spirit for the first time.

Now, I need to go do a ton of laundry. I can do this freely, without resentment, because I have taken some time to let my voice speak. I have put my needs first and am able to joyfully do laundry now. Did I just say joyful and laundry in the same sentence? A true miracle.

How are you going to use your voice today?

Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Self Value = Balance

I have been reading a lot about balance lately. Things like the importance of balance in your life, how to notice when you are out of balance, and steps you can take to keep your life balanced. Yet all of this reading has not really helped me in my path to a balanced life. So then I wonder why I can't seem to take all of this awesome advice and balance my life. Is there something wrong with me? Am I incapable of implementing self-improvement steps?

The answer is yes. Something is missing. That thing is self value. I'm not talking about liking myself. I do like myself. I do not give value myself, however. I came across a quote today that opened my eyes to what the missing link was. M. Scott Peck said that "until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will do nothing with it." After reading this, I instantly saw that that is what I do. I do nothing with my time. I do nothing with my time because I do not value time. I do not value time because (big collective sigh) I. Do. Not. Value. Me. All the time that I waste doing nothing has got to be one of the biggest reasons that my life is unbalanced.

When I say that I am doing nothing, I mean in all aspects of my life. Not just the day to day tasks that I should be doing. I mean the inner work also. I am doing nothing physically, emotionally or spiritually. Some people call this laziness, some people call it depression. I am neither. Well, ok, I do believe that I have become spiritually lazy to an extent. The only thing I can think of to call it is valueless. I am without value to myself. I feel I am very valuable to my family, but not so much to me. No wonder my life is out of whack.

This realization is huge. I have been looking for outward things to help draw me into balance. What I should be doing is looking inward for what I value about me. I have received a message today. A very important message. A message so simple, yet not so easy to implement when you have never really given yourself value. I am feeling a lot of peace. My spirit knows that the key to balance and happiness lies within. Sometimes it takes my mind awhile to catch up with my spirit/heart.

Not many people actually read my blog, but I pose this question to anyone who may happen to find it. What do you value about yourself?

I'm going to ponder this one.

Just my thoughts.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Just be.

Just be. These words have been filling my head these last few days. I love the peace and serenity that accompanies them. Just be. Sounds so light and airy. So accepting and nonjudgemental. Safe and comforting.

There have been fleeting moments in my life recently where I feel like I am living this way. Sitting on my deck in solitude, doing nothing. Just listening to the birds. Watching the trees slowly sway in the wind. Smelling the lilacs next door. Just being. I love it.

Then I step into the house. (Poof) There goes my serenity. I have not yet figured out how to 'just be' in a house full of kids, toys, laundry.....Especially when one of the kids is a 3 year old, who is practicing how to be the best drama queen ever. Of course, I have been told that the chaos and clutter that I live in is just a manifestation of the inner chaos and clutter that I live with. I believe that I will not be able to 'just be' until all the chaos and clutter are gone. The truth is that I will not be able to rid myself of the chaos and clutter until I learn to 'just be'. When I learn to accept all that is, the ability to 'just be' will be attainable.

I readily admit that I am the one standing in the way. It's not the kids or the house or the stuff taking over the house, it is I. I have to let go of old messages and beliefs. I have to be able to accept myself for what I am. The exciting thing about that, is that I also get to choose what I am. I get to decide what is to make my spirit shine. I get to use my voice and live my truth. I also believe that in order to find my voice and live my truth I need to 'just be'.

There are 2 things that I need to practice in order to live my truth. I need to be able to go within and be quiet. I also need to learn how to set boundaries with my family so that I don't start to feel like I am losing myself. These 2 things are difficult to do. That is why I say that I need to practice them. I always tell my kids that in order to get good at some things they need to practice, practice, practice. So that is what I tell myself. Practice, practice practice. Find little pockets of time that I can go within and just be. Notice when I am feeling overwhelmed with all the noise and let kids know that it is time to take a quiet break. If I'm in the middle of something and someone asks me to do something for them that I know they can do for themselves, I can let them take care of it. Practice these things enough and they will become part of who I am.

Just be. Take a deep breath and let the peace embrace you. Now go back into your life and see if you can hold on to that embrace. That is what I strive to do.

Just my thoughts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't think. Feel.

This is one of those entries where I feel like I have something to say, but don't know what it is. I have had the words "Don't think. Feel", playing in my mind a lot lately. That's a far cry from how I used to think. I was definitely a, "Don't feel. Think", kind of person. I could overthink anything. Someone could tell me I looked really nice, and I would "think" it into an insult. Any feeling that I had, good or bad, was pushed away so that I wouldn't have to feel anything.

Feeling is so much funner than thinking. Feeling is joyful. How do you choose feeling over thinking when your life is being pulled in 100 different directions? This is what I did. (I got this idea from a good friend of mine, who heard it from another good friend) I woke up each morning and said to myself, "If there were no rules, what would I do?" I started having some fun. Serious fun. I didn't break any laws or hurt anyone, I just had fun. I stopped stressing about my house, my kids, my husband, the economy, my spirituality. I let it all go. I still brought my kids to school, even though I really didn't want to. I didn't stay in bed all day, when I had things to do. When something came up that I didn't really feel like doing, and wasn't going to hurt anyone if I didn't do it right then, I simply thought of what I would rather do. It wasn't always easy coming up with something else to do, but once I got the hang of it, I always came up with something better to do.

I used to spent a lot of time thinking about who I really was, what my interests were, what was my purpose, what made me joyful, and on and on and on.... When I stopped thinking about all of these things and just started being and doing I got a lot more answers.

I don't have all the answers today. I am ok with that. This journey is so much more fun when I don't think about the destination. I don't have anywhere that I need to be by a certain time. I just need to be the authentic me. The authentic me would much rather feel than think.

Just my thoughts.