Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My word for 2011 is .......

Tis the seaon of New Year's resolutions.  People all over the world are deciding what they are going to do differently in 2011.  Starting January 1st there will be more diets and exercise programs started than any other day of the year.  Well, actually its January 2nd, because the 1st is a holiday and no one starts anything new on a holiday.  How long do those resolutions last?  I don't know about anyone else, but mine lasted about 24 hours.  I was never big on the whole resolution thing.  It was just one more time in my life that I got to prove to myself that I was a disappointment.  So I gave up on resolutions many years ago.

In 2009 I found myself feeling the need to jump on the resolution band wagon again.  Something inside of me was stirring.  I thought it was the need for change, so I looked within and tried to come up with the perfect New Year's resolution.  One that I would follow through on.  One that I could not self-sabotage.  I was coming up empty-handed and the New Year was just around the corner.

Then I started noticing a trend is some of the blogs that I was reading.  These bloggers weren't setting resolutions, they were setting intentions.  They were setting intentions by using just one word.  One word to describe what their New Year was going to bring for them.  Something inside of me started stirring again.  I could do that.  Surely I could pick a word.  One simple word to describe what 2010 was going to bring for me.  My word for 2010 was Shine.  I was going to allow myself to shine.  I was going to live fearlessly and be the shiny person that I was longing to be.  I believe that I did Shine in 2010.  I faced some fears head on and came out victorious.  I have had one of the best years of my 44 years in this life.

So now the time has come to pick another word.  Another word of intention.  Its turning out to be harder than I thought it would be.  I'm struggling to come up with the word that resonates with me.  There are a few that I'm contemplating and I think its going to take looking within and meditating on each word.  I'm going to get a lesson on patience and listening to my heart. 

I'll check back in a few days and let you know what I come up with.  What about you?  Is there a word that you feel connected to?  Instead of a resolution can you set an intention?  Please share your word when you come up with it.

Just my thoughts.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A holiday blessing from me to you

May your heart always know the joy and wonder that this season brings forth.  May you love and cherish family and friends all the days of your life. 

An abundance of love to you,


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Shine: Peace on Earth

“In each of us, there lies a divine connection to a power more powerful than hate or violence. Today is the day to attune to that power and use it on behalf of peace on earth.”

~ Marianne Williamson

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Here it is!!! Shining Life Healing!!

Well I've taken the next big step in seeing my dreams come true.  I am releasing my new website for everyone (or no one) to see.  I'm stepping way out of my comfort zone here.  I know that the site will be evolving over the next few months, but I just couldn't keep it to myself any longer.

At the beginning of this year I proclaimed that I was going to live fearlessly and allow myself to shine.  So here is to living fearlessly and shining.  Come on over and check out Shining Life Healing.  Feel free to give me feedback.  I love how the opinions of others leaves me feeling supported. 

Thank you for so much for coming here and for being a part of my healing journey in this life.

Just my thoughts.

Monday, December 6, 2010


There are times when tears must fall.

There are times when the sun must hide behind the clouds

and sadness wraps itself around the soul with a tight embrace.

These are the times when the heart is preparing to open

and reveal a light so bright that tears dry into a smile,

the sun peeks out from the clouds and sadness gently releases its grip

so happiness can take its place.

There are times when tears must fall.

~ Me

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Shine: Dr. Suessism

You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

You're on your own.

And you know what you know.

You are the guy who'll decide where to go.

                                                                                      ~Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


There are times in my life where I allow myself to escape into a world of fantasy.  Days when the Littles energy level has me overwhelmed.  Or the house being in a state of cluttered chaos is beginning to weigh heavy on my spirit.  Or when having an extra income would be very helpful.  I like to just sit and wonder about how things *could* be.  I don't do this in an "oh, how I wish my life were different" manner.  Its more of a "my life could be different if...." daydream.

Today I find myself wondering how my life could be.  So I'm going to indulge myself and share what I want to do today.  Today my Littles are all grown up and living productive lives in their own separate homes.  They all get along and stay connected with one another.  And every Sunday they come to my house and hang out.

Today my home is a clutter-free and serene environment.  The only toys in the house are for the grandkids to play with when they come over and they are tucked away when they are not in use.  I enjoy sitting in my 4 season porch sipping coffee and watching the birds in my back yard.  There is no tv on during the day.  And in the evenings the lights are low and the only sounds to be heard are peaceful music and conversations with my Mr. Man.

Today I have enough Reiki clients to keep me happily busy.  I am contributing to the income of our household.  I am meeting amazing people and contributing to their healing journeys. 

Its ok that what I want to be doing is far from where I am today.  Its ok to go within and just let myself pretend for a moment.  I don't wish for a different life.  I don't wish I were single and childless.  I used to.  My moments of pretend used to be frequent and I kept it to myself.  I don't have to keep things to myself anymore.  I can ponder a different life and not feel guilt or shame.  Taking the time to indulge in a little harmless make-believe renews my spirit.  It puts a warm glow of peace in my heart when things feel cold and overwhelming.

I live a full and blessed life, but everyone experiences a bit of unrest.  I choose to acknowledge the unrest and and let it have its say.  Now I feel renewed and happily content to continue on with my day.  Complete with unruly Littles, clutter galore and pockets that are emptier than I would prefer.

So go ahead.  Indulge yourself the next time you're feeling stuck or frustrated with where you are in life.  Let it be a little look into where your life could go.  Then embrace your life for what it is right then.  Let your life unfold the way it is meant to.  Happy daydreaming!

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Shine: Harmony

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I Am Grateful For (and when)

I have a love/hate relationship with the Thanksgiving holiday.  I had a whole paragraph typed up of the things I love about it and the things that I hate about it, but the things that I hated seemed to have more power over the things that I loved.  It felt like there was just too much negative energy attached to it, so I deleted it.  Instead I'll just say that in our house we discuss what really happened back when the pilgrims came to America and then we stress that we celebrate Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks for all that we have.  We talk about how special it is to come together with family and/or friends and let our hearts be grateful and peace-filled.

As a child the only thing I remember feeling grateful about on Thanksgiving was the food I was about to inhale.  I loved sitting around watching the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade on tv in the morning.  I loved the smells that filled the house.  Even though we all lived in the house together and saw each other every day, we seemed to be able to all get along on that one day.  There was an energy that didn't exist on all the other days.  (I think that that is kinda sad.)  As we grew older, it became special when one of our siblings would 'come home' for Thanksgiving.  Then it would be special when I 'came home' for Thanksgiving.  It was that feeling of 'coming home' that I loved.

I want my family to feel that everyday is special, but I'm aware that that is not realistic.  Bickering happens.  Tempers sometimes flare up and toys fly through the air earmarked for a siblings head.  People get sick.  SAD comes to visit.  So I'm thankful that there are certain times of the year that we are able to put our differences and stresses away for a day.  It used to bother me that most of these celebratory days are christian holidays, and since I'm not a christian I would feel a tad bit hypocritical.  I have since stopped letting that negative way of thinking change how nice it is to come together as a family.  Yes, it may be a christian holiday or a holiday with horrifically sad roots, but I celebrate the love of family.  I celebrate the joy that the Littles feel when they are celebrating another special holiday.  I celebrate being thankful for all this love and joy.

I have an abundance of gratitude within my heart.  Gratitude is free for the taking.  I challenge you to find the things to be grateful for in all situations.  Good and not so good.  I challenge you to do this daily.  Start by beginning and ending each day with gratitude.  Yes, even on the days when the washing machine dies and the stomach flu is making its way through your house.  Gratitude is there.  Waiting to wrap you up like a warm blanket.  Write your gratitudes down, so that on the days you are struggling to come up with one, you can pull out your gratitude list and be reminded. 

I love seeing all the blog posts, tweets, status updates and magazine articles on gratitude this time of year.  It is my hope that all of this gratitude is being felt all through the year.  In the spirit of how I celebrate Thanksgiving, I will end this with a condensed version my own gratitude list.

My Mr. Man
All the Littles and the Not-So-Littles
My amazing daughter-in-law
My beautiful grandbaby
My 2 brothers and 2 sisters
All my fabulous friends
Mother Earth
my spirituality
all of the Sacred Texts and the guidance they have provided for so many
Divine Guidance
learning how to let go
My home
Comfy chairs
My quiet time in the morning
the shining sun
cool Fall nights
the rain (just not everyday)
Vitamin D
music of all types
dancing of all types
beautiful photography
beautiful poetry
all the blogs I follow
my new website that is being developed
the internet
running water
clothes on my back

food on my table
the love that is ever present in my home
that all the Littles feel safe and loved
my beautiful, shiny spirit
your beautiful, shiny spirits
for finding my voice and letting it be heard

I would love to see your gratitude list.  Feel free to email them to me at shinyjill (at) gmail (dot) com or send me a link to your blog if you have a blog post of gratitudes, and I'll compile the links and lists into a Gratitude page on my website.

May gratitude be ever present in your hearts and may you experience Thanks-giving every day of your life.

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Shine: The joy of sleeping in

I'm celebrating today.  I'm celebrating something somewhat odd.  Today I woke up pain-free.  Yes, pain-free for the first time in months.  I have suffered with lower back pain in the morning for a couple of years now, and it has been very severe since I developed a bulging lumbar disk.  I am an early riser for 2 reasons.  One, I love the quiet of the early morning.  Two, if I stay in bed past 7 a.m. I suffer from severe back spasms for most of the morning.

Today I slept till 8 am and had NO pain at all.  No lower back spasms or pain radiating down my left leg.  So my Sunday Shine post is dedicated to the gratitude I have in my heart right now.  I wasn't aware how much the pain dimmed my mornings, until I arose without it. 

How did this happen?  I may not have any scientific proof to back my theory up, but I have a feeling that the daily Reiki self-healings have something to do with it.  I don't know if I'll wake tomorrow this way, but it doesn't matter.  Today is the only day I need to focus on, right?

So I leave you this bright, sunshiny day with one of my favorite songs. 

Keep it shiny!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Shine: Inner Strength

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Shine: A valuable Poohism

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

~Winnie the Pooh

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A new chapter begins

I'm straying from my usual Sunday Shine post today because something occured yesterday that has changed my life forever.  The story of my life has taken a twist and as I write this new chapter I am filled with wonder and anticipation.  The title of this next chapter will be "Grandmother".  Yesterday, October 30, 2010, my beautiful daughter-in-law brought a shining baby boy into this world.  Thus the next chapter in my life began. 

As I held this tiny wonder I was filled with so much Love.  My thoughts kept going back to "Can I be a grandmother?  Can I have even more Love to extend to this miracle I am holding in my arms?  Can I be a mother to young children, tweens and adults and still have room to be a grandmother?"  My mind was swirling, but I heard the soft voice of Spirit tell me "Just be here.  Just be in this moment and you will be everything that you need to be right now."  So I eased into the moment.  I let myself stare in this little wonder's eyes and see all the Love that he has brought into this world. 

This tiny little man has changed so many lives.  My son and his wife begin their chapter on parenting and I am sure they will be wonderful.  They are a very young couple, yet they have an incredible strength that most young people don't possess at 17 & 18.  Yes, they will struggle, but they will find their way as parents.  They will be just the parents that they are meant to be.  I am so proud of them.  They did a phenomenal job yesterday.  I hope that they realize how strong they are.  I hope they can take that inner strength with them through this chapter of their lives.

So I say welcome to the world, Little Wonder.  I say welcome to parenthood to Not-so-Little #2 and his beautiful bride.  And I step into the world of Grandparenting with nervous anticipation, hoping that I will have the strength to be the best Grandmother that I can be.

Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shining Life Healing

My stomach if full of butterflies today. I have decided to take a step toward making a dream come true. My dream of reaching out to others and offering my services of Reiki, to be exact. I was going to launch this when my website was completed, but I just felt like I needed to do something while the website is being developed. So Shining Life Healing has entered the world today by way of Facebook. Yup, I just started a simple Facebook page. Its a small step, and I feel like I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but it also feels incredibly empowering. I'm excited and nervous all wound up together. Hence the butterflies.

It’s pretty bare bones right now, but its movement forward. I need to keep moving forward. I get stuck pretty easily. I could blame my stuckness on other people or circumstances, but the truth is, that I get stuck because of Fear. My beautiful friend (who is helping me develop my website) had a beautiful baby a month earlier than she had anticipated. Fear jumped in and said, “Sweet! Now we can just sit back and wait till she’s ready. We don’t need to do anything until then.” Fortunately my Spirit is bigger and stronger than Fear. My Spirit kicked Fear’s ass. Right. out. the. door! My Spirit gently led me to today. She gave me the courage to just take a step. Getting unstuck never felt so good.

I can't wait for the reveal of my website, its going to be wonderful. I might have put the horse before the cart, but I'm just really ready to share the gift of healing. I have been on an incredible healing journey and all I really want is to make sure others have the same opportunities that I have had.

I'm still working out the details. I'm still healing from a bulging lumbar disk and can't get around at the level that I need to to do a full hands-on Reiki treatment. I can do distance Reiki, I can continue to get a logo developed, I can continue my Reiki III training and I can put the word out that healing can happen for anyone.

Fear has left the building, but its hanging out on the other side of the door. So I will stick close to my Spirit. The Spirit is a warm, comforting presence on this cold, blistery day in Minnesota. I'm excited to see where Shining Life Healing goes.

Just my thoughts.

You can find the Shining Life Healing Facebook page here.

If you have any questions or are at all interested in a Reiki healing email me at shinyjill (at) gmail (dot) com. I would love to answer any questions you have. Keep it shiny!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Shine: Peace

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”

~ Peace Pilgrim

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Teach your children well

So lately I've been struggling with severe spasms in my lower back and hip.  It has knocked me off my feet.  I spent most of last week in bed with a heating pad, getting up only to get my Littles to school and back again.  This week I went to a chiropractor and feel a bit better.  Still in pain, but manageable. 

Now that I feel better I also feel like I need to deal with the mess that my house has become.  Don't get me wrong, my house is usually somewhat of a mess.  Housekeeping has never been a strong suit of mine.  However, even I am uncomfortable with the level of clutter and chaos here.  I have a mountain of laundry to do, dishes piling up, floors that need to be swept and vacuumed, and groceries that need to be bought. 

Wait a minute.  I just described the condition that my home is in 90% of the time. (I told you housekeeping was not my strong suit.)  The difference now is that I can't do the work that needs to be done.  On an average day I can decide whether or not that today is going to be the day that I get things taken care of.  Today I can't do it even though it really needs to be done.

I know what you're thinking.  (I always know what you're thinking.) You're thinking, "Jeez lady, why is your house such a mess when you have a ton of Littles in the house and a Mr. Man?"  Well, let me tell you why.  Because I (and Mr. Man) have failed to involve our Littles with daily upkeep of the home.  There! I said it!  It is my our fault.

Did it take me getting injured to realize this? No.  It is something that I have been aware of and struggled with for a very long time.  The Littles do each have a job that they are responsible for, and they do it.  Most of the time. When I ask them to help do other things, however, I am usually met with resistance.

I know that young kids resisting with helping out is not all that uncommon, but I feel like they are getting to an age where it shouldn't be that hard to just be helpful.  I find myself getting frustrated and angry with them when they won't willingly help me with things.  Am I asking too much?

My answer to that is yes.  Yes I am asking too much because I am expecting them to be something they are not.  They have not had the opportunity to learn how to be helpful, because I we have not allowed them to be helpful.  There have been so many times that I have turned help away from a Little because I was sure they would not do it the 'right' way.  There have been so many times when I would allow them to help only to stop them so that I could get it done quicker.

So here I sit lay needing them to step up and help and they aren't doing it.  They are doing their own thing, which is important for them to do.  But....it is also important to be part of a family unit.  Being a part of a family unit means helping each other out.  It means stopping what your doing and getting the work done that needs to be done.

I'm not talking about taking care of my messes.  I'm talking about taking care of their own messes.  Picking up their own things, doing their own dishes, folding and putting away their own clothes and even doing their own laundry if they are old enough.  I'm talking about know how to sweep a floor or clean a countertop or even, heaven forbid, clean a toilet.

For so long it has been laid upon me, by me, that I need to take care of everything around the house.  Which is probably why I suck at it.  Who willingly wants to be in complete charge of a household with 6 children and a Mr. Man?  I didn't.  I still don't. 

I only have 4 Littles that I need to worry about now.  My oldest son and his wife are living here, but they are in the basement and they take care of themselves.  They don't leave messes for me to pick up.  If I asked my #1 or #2 Littles to help me out, I think they would do it.  I hope they would do it because they love me and don't want me to have to do things that cause me pain.  I wouldn't want them to help out simply because if they don't I will be mad at them.  I have had a tendancy in the past to react angrily when a plea for help has been ignored.

So things aren't getting done around my house.  1) Because I'm writing this blog post.  2) Because my back can only take so much before I need to take a break.  3) Because I'm patiently teaching my Littles a lesson on being part of a family unit.

That #3 reason is a biggie.  It is important and it needs to be done right.  Slowly, without judgement, shame or guilt.  They need to see that being helpful and part of a family is a beautiful thing.  That doing for others is one of the quickest ways to live their lives with their hearts wide open.  Ready to give and receive.  It is a lesson that my Not-so-Littles may have missed out on in their childhoods.  And for that I am sorry.

I'm not holding on to guilt about the way I have parented my Littles.  I we did the best that we knew how at the time.  We all do the best that we know at any given time.  I really believe that to be true.  At this time in my life I feel like things need to be different.  There needs to be a shift in my household.  A shift that will meet the needs of the family as a unit, not just the individuals living in it.  There is a balance that can be found.

Feel free to share with me any ways that you have guided your families to work together as a unit.  Any thoughts that you may have about children doing household chores are welcome.

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Shine: Joy!!!

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”

~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

My wish for you is a day filled with joy.  A chance to renew and replenish your soul is a gift that I hope you can give yourself today and everyday.
Much Love to you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pure Love

This post was hard to write.  I think I started it over about a gazillion times. I'm feeling some hesitation about posting this because I'm not a writer. I may write, but I'm no writer. I often feel like I'm not getting across what I want to say or that I'm going to offend someone. But I am posting this because I know that for me to keep these thoughts to myself doesn't feel right. Maybe someone out there needs to read these words, or maybe I just need to get them out so that I can continue on this amazing healing journey that I am on.

I have recently been through an extremely powerful and life-changing event.  To most people it would seem like simply a beautiful event, but to me it was 'knock my socks off' amazing.

On Monday of this week I had the honor of being present at a dear friends home birth.  All of my Littles' births were in a hospital.  I was also present at another friends birth at a hospital a few years ago, which was also a beautiful experience.  I mean, lets admit it, any birth is a beautiful thing.

But this one was different.  This birth experience felt like it was going to be powerful for all who were there.  I can't speak for the others present, but for me it turned out to be truely life-changing.

The energy in that home was intense.  I could feel it in my hands, in my feet and in the top of my head.  To be honest I can still feel it. Tingling of the hands is common for me since I started doing Reiki, but this whole body sensation is new to me.  
I can't begin to express in words how proud I am of my dear freind and how honored I am to know such a strong and courageous woman.  I truly believe that anytime a woman goes through any kind of birth they are a hero.  They are doing something that only they can do.  All of the husbands and doulas and midwives and nurses and doctors and support people are simply there to help.  Those mamas are there to do the hard work.

I watched this dear friend transform from fearful and uncertain to courageous and empowered.  I looked into her eyes and said, "You can do this.  You ARE doing this." and she nodded.  The fear and the uncertainty had faded away because of all the support she had from her husband, the midwives and her friends.  Through her hard work and determination a beautiful baby girl was born.  As soon as that precious little mermaid made her way into this world the whole room filled with such an overwhelming energy of Pure Love.  I know I'm not the only one who felt it, but it was something I had never experienced before.  I know what you're thinking, "But, Jill, you had SIX babies! How can you say you've never felt that before?"  I'll get to that.

I left her home a few hours later and, like I said, I'm still feeling the effects of that monumental event.  I am sure that I have been witness to the perfect home birth.  And by the tears of joy that mama and daddy shed, I think they thought it was pretty perfect as well.

So here's the life-changing part.  Fast forward to today.  Three days later.  I'm still feeling giddy and tingly and just generally loopy.  Kinda like I've got a good buzz on, but I haven't been drinking.  I ended up straining my hip and leg, while helping during the birth.  I was having a hard time with the pain, but hadn't taken time to take care of myself.  In other words, the Reiki practitioner wasn't practicing on herself. 

Wednesday, I decided to take the time and do a Reiki healing on myself.  I just wanted to lessen the pain, but what I got was so much more.  What I got was a total healing of the body, mind and spirit.  I hesitate to explain how this happened, because I know that some people just don't connect with Reiki.  So I'm going to just say that through the healing process I was able to reconcile the emotional pain that I experienced with each of my births.

I was able to feel this Pure Love that existed at each of my Littles' births, that I could not feel at the time of their births.  I was in a different place back then.  I was a guarded and insecure woman.  I kept Love to myself.  Only to dole it out at certain times.  I definitely felt love for all of the precious souls that I gave birth to, but it was not the type of love that I feel today.  It had to get through a wall that I had built up in my heart.  This wall has slowly been crumbling over the last few years.  I don't keep love to myself, but I also didn't share it as freely as it is meant to be shared.  Today that thin veil has been removed.  This Pure Love that I felt the moment that precious baby made her appearance, I still feel today. 

It was there when all of my Littles were born.  It is my belief that it is there when any new life is born.  Whether is be human, animal or plant it doesn't matter.  They all deliver this Pure Love into the world.  I brought it when I was born, but I misplaced mine for a long time.  As I slowly began my healing journey, I found bits and pieces of it.  I feel today that I have fully recovered this Pure Love that I brought into this world.

What a beautiful world this would be if we could all remember that we are Pure Love.  That there lies inside of us this Divine Light and from that Light comes Love.  You don't have to create a new life to spread that Love.  You just have to share what you already have inside of you.

Just my thoughts.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Shine: Look to the stars

“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” 
~Eskimo proverb

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Shine: Happy, joyous & free

Let us all be happy, joyous and free. Let us all be the Light beings that we are meant to be.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Shine: The Sound of Sunshine

Even on the darkest days the sun is not far away.  Enjoy!!  Keep it shiny!

Just my thoughts.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sometimes you just have to reach out

So I'm attempting to cut caffeine out of my diet right now.  I started feeling generally icky everytime I drank anything caffeinated, which has always been my cue to cut back.  When the heart is palpitating daily and the chest pains start I tend to listen.  So as I always do, I quit cold-turkey.  And as always, on day 2, the crabbiness sets in.  Unfortunately day 2 fell on the day that I was to be hosting a baby shower for my daughter-in-law.  Needless to say I suggested that Mr. Man bring home a large coffee so that I could make it through the event.  All was well with the world as soon as I took the first sip.  That was last Saturday.  Today is day 3 and all is still well. 

Yesterday I woke with the most horrific withdrawal headache ever.  It was so bad that my vision was being affected.  While I was driving the Littles who school to school, the white lines on the road actually looked like they were floating above the road.  Very trippy.  I made it home safely and immediately proceeded to do Reiki.  It wasn't working.  I ate some cucumbers and did more Reiki.  Still nothing.  I could feel the energy, I just wasn't getting any relief at all.  So I did something uncharacteristic of myself.  I reached out for help.

I jumped on Twitter and put the word out that I could use some extra energy if anyone wanted to share.  Lo and behold, I got some responses.  Some angels from the Twitterverse reached back and within 20 minutes my headache was completely gone.  I never felt better.  The headache was gone, the irritability was gone and the cravings were gone.  Very trippy.

So as I continue on my way to freedom from the clutches of caffeine, I will continue to reach out when things feel out of control for me.  Reaching out for help used to feel like a sign of weakness and now it just feels empowering.  It leaves me feeling like my heart is growing and glowing.  Healing isn't something I have to do by myself.  Healing can only happen if I listen to my Spirit and hear when she says, "You need help." 

Just my thoughts.

I still have 3 distance Reiki sessions and 5 of the 30-minute hands on sessions available from my Reiki Healing Offer. Click here to see details on the offer. Please let me know if you are interested.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

One small leap

Babysteps.  That is my approach to taking on a task that seems daunting.  Just take babysteps.  Don't try to take on too much.  Just get your feet wet.  Gradually work your way to the pace that is comfortable to you.  Right?  Sounds like good, sound advice.

But.....Isn't there usually a but.  There are times when taking a small leap can make the spirit soar.  I am taking a leap this week.  I'm doing something that scares me.  I'm putting myself out into the world.  Ok, at least my small corner of it anyway. 

I took a new path to healing earlier this year when I began practicing Reiki.  I learned Reiki for me and for my family.  Mostly for me.  I had researched it to death and decided to give it a go.  I absolutely love Reiki.  Being able to use Reiki as a means to help my body, mind & spirit heal has been life changing for me.  Now that I am able to send distance Reiki, my life has been enhanced even more.  Knowing that I can be of assistance to someone who is suffering in some manner really makes me feel like I have yet another purpose in my life.

So here's the leap.  I've taken my love of healing to the next level.  I have given my Reiki practice a name.  Shining Life Healing has been born.  Its my baby and its still developing, but it feels so right for me.  My intention in this life is to live it as shiny as possible and to share that shine with anyone who is ready to accept it. 

This new addition in my life, brings forward so many possibilities and challenges as well.  Balancing my home life with this Reiki practice is going to be tricky, because I have a tendency to try to please everyone at the same time.  That is a recipe for disaster.  I have first hand experience with disasters like that and I can't let it happen again.  I know that I will experience some growth along with this new adventure and I am looking forward to it.

So here's another leap that I'm willing to take.  I have my eye on a portable Reiki table that I think will meet my need to share this healing practice with others.  I know that my Mr. Man would have no issue with us purchasing this table, but I would like to be able to purchase this on my own.  So I'm going to make an offer to all of you.  I'm going to be doing 10 thirty minute Reiki sessions for $15 each and 10 distance Reiki sessions for $10 each.  These sessions will run for the next 2 weeks.  Being able to raise this money on my own and not having to ask Mr. Man is very empowering to me.  We can all use some good empowering, right?

You can let me know if you are interested in taking one of these sessions by reaching me at jklenzmeier (at) frontiernet (dot) net.  Or you can notify me on Twitter @shinyme.  I would love to be able to share Reiki with each of you. 

Phew! That was one small leap I just took.  I'm a little shaky, but I know that putting myself out here like this is going to be yet another small step I take towards being the best shiny me I can be.

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Shine: Love until it hurts

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

~~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Celebrating my Self!!

September is my birthday month, and I have decided that this year I will spend the entire month celebrating Me.  Does that make me vain?  I think not.  Does that make me nervous?  A tad.  I'm not one to embrace celebrating myself.  It isn't going to come naturally.  So I'm going to babystep my way through it. 

Most days I'll probably just do a little something to celebrate who I am.  I'll throw a few big somethings in as well.  I'm excited to see what I come up with.  My heart is really open to this true celebration of my true self.  Long overdue, I might add.

Today I think I'll just spend some time in front of a mirror smiling at my beautiful self.  Sounds easy enough, but I know that it may seem awkward.  We're not taught to smile at ourselves.  We're told that looking admiring yourself in the mirror is vain and that you should not marvel at your own beauty.  I say phooey!  Look at yourself everyday and force yourself to see the beautiful you that resides there.  I know how hard this is to do.  I have spent most of my adult life avoiding the mirror.  When I would look in a mirror I would not see beauty, I would see a grotesque monster.  I did not allow myself to believe that there was any beauty there.

As I became focused on living my life as shiny as possible, I dropped the self-hate and can now see the beauty that is in me and around me.  Looking in the mirror has evolved into a time to reflect on what lies within.  A time to honor my true self and embrace this body as the vessel that my spirit resides in.

So join me in my celebration and look upon your reflection in the mirror with the warmest, most loving smile you can muster.  Close your eyes if you have to and allow your shining spirit to reveal itself to you. 

Just my thoughts.

Friday, August 27, 2010

August is hard for me

I hate it when I take big breaks from posting, because I never seem to know how to begin again.  I feel like I should be all apologetic and go into a big, long reason for my absence.  Truth be told, I just haven't felt like sharing.  August has been a difficult month for me for the past 3 years.  I always seem to come unglued for part of the month because it marks the last month of summer with the Littles.  It reminds me that soon some of them will be off to school.  I say some, because 2 of the 4 school-age Littles homeschool.  This will be the 3rd year that there will be a "first day of school" in our house.  I have to admit that it is definitely easier than the first year, but it still leaves an empty space in my heart.  It still makes me kick myself for putting them in school in the first place.  If I hadn't put them in school, 2 of them would never had decided they liked it. 

However, since beating myself up has lost its charm for me, I have gotten better at letting them go.  It doesn't have the same effect it did 3 years ago.  I gained 75 lbs that year.  I was an emotional wreck, who was convinced that I had damaged my children by homeschooling them.  The 2nd year I was pretty sure that I was damaging them by keeping them IN school.  When 2 of them decided at Winter break that they did not want to return, I breathed a collective sigh of relief.  I was getting my children back.  I was sure that the other 2 would come to their senses before the summer was through.

Alas, the summer is winding down, and the other 2 are still excited about starting school next month.  I am just as relieved as I am disappointed.  I am happy that they are getting a good experience in school.  I like that they will be happy to go.  I am disappointed because it means a lot of driving for me and a lot of homework battles.  I'm not going to go off on a rant about the evils of homework, but it is a very sore spot with me.  That being said, I have been good about keeping my disappointment to myself.  I don't share that with the Littles.  Its not what they need to hear.  I can be supportive and encouraging even though my heart is heavy. 

So even though this month has not been good emotionally for me, it is not as dark as it has been the last 2.  I am hopeful that the Littles in school will be happy there.  If they decide that it is not working for them, they can come home just as their siblings did.  I trust them to know what is working and what is not.  I trust my connection with them, to know if they are struggling.

In a little less than 2 weeks, they will be off to school.  Ironically, their first day is also my birthday.  I guess I'll have to treat myself extra special this birthday to compensate for whatever pain I may experience that day.  I'm looking forward to seeing how well I can spoil myself. 

Just my thoughts.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Addiction revisited

So it seems that I am being revisited by my old friend food addiction.  I don't have a very typical view on food addiction. I posted my take on it here

When I came out of the 12-step recovery program for food addiction, I was completely defeated by food.  Food had me in its grip like it never had before.  I put a lot of blame on the 12-step program.  The shame and guilt that that particular program focused on felt like the reason I fell into relapse. 

Here's my take on that now.  I don't think that the program put me into relapse.  I fell into relapse because I wasn't really getting recovery.  I was simply working a program and burying the dis-ease that made me overeat in the first place.  I buried that dis-ease deep. 

So when I slipped, I slipped hard.  I fell and I could not get myself back up and stay up. I was told that I would be doomed without the program and I believed it.  I was too ashamed to go to meetings, knowing that I had relapsed.  So I just gave up.  So the program didn't make me relapse, but in my mind, the program was keeping me from another chance of recovery.

Here is what I need to stay recovered.  I need to know that I am not damaged goods.  I need to be able to know, in my heart of hearts, that I am able to choose.  If I am to believe that I can not choose to be free from food than I shall never be recovered.  My Spirit wants to be happy, joyous and free.  My Spirit doesn't want to be pushed aside and told that I am a hopeless case and that food will eventually kill me.  My Spirit wants to show me that I am a beautiful, shining soul and that I have what it takes to heal.

So if I know all this then why does food seem to be tempting me more?  Why do I find myself turning to food for ease and comfort?  Why do I find myself wondering where I'm going to get my next fix of sugar?  Here's why.

Because I need to heal.  Yes, I said that right.  I need to heal.  I have to heal some buried dis-ease in my Spirit right now.  My response to stress and pain is to pick up food.  The difference this time is that I know that I need to heal a wound right now.  I'm not into the food because there is something wrong with me, I'm into the food because there is something wrong within me.  There is some form of healing that needs to manifest and the pain of facing this healing is putting me in a vulnerable position.

Practicing Reiki has been a gift that I have given myself.  Reiki heals the body, mind and spirit.  Wherever the healing needs to happen is where Reiki does the most good.  At this point in my life I have some healing to do.  I have been getting some pretty obvious signs from the Universe that food is taking over again.  It is my belief that Reiki is helping me to recognize those signs and not disregard them.  In the past I wouldn't have even noticed.  I would have simply put on my blinders and jumped into food and misery.

So yes, I see myself struggling with food right now.  I also see it as a message that I am going into some heavy healing.  The joy is that I see this.  I see that I am picking up food instead of going within and letting the Divine lead me.  Does knowing this mean I'll stop eating crap food?  It definitely helps, but I still need to be careful and be aware of where my thoughts are going.  I will not search out the nearest 12-step meeting, but I will reach out to my friends and family for help.  I will be hopeful and thankful that I can make it through all the yuck that is coming to the surface.

I am blessed.  I am blessed because I have the awareness and the ability to see that I am walking on thin ice.  It could be very easy for me to give in to this addictive behavior like I have in the past.  I will not, however, because I know that recovery for me is a choice.  I get to choose what happy, joyous and free looks like.  I get to listen to my Spirit and let it shine.  I get to heal.

I would like to say that if you find yourself struggling with this, please reach out to someone.  Reach out to me.  We can all use a little love and support.  If your support system leads to feelings of shame and guilt then change your support system.  I can be reached at jklenzmeier (at) frontiernet (dot) net.  I would love to hear from you.

Just my thoughts.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beauty in the World

This song is my absolute fav right now.  It has been going through my head for days and will be with me while I begin this huge decluttering project.  There IS beauty in the world and I will feel it all the more as I lessen my clutter load. 

I was going to play this song over and over as I work, but I would be too busy dancing to get anything done. :)

Just my thoughts.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Can I do this again?

About a year ago I started a massive decluttering project that took about 2 weeks to complete.  It was overwhelming, scary and exhilirating.  I was so full of pride and joy when I saw the last load of boxes and bags hauled away.  A total of 54 boxes/bags were cleared out of my home during that 2 week period.  Unfortunately that was just a drop in the bucket.  That was from the main living area of our home.  We have a lower level that has still not been decluttered. 

A year later my basement is overflowing with boxes of excess stuff.  I have 3 rooms to go through and the task feels like too much to handle.  I know I can do it.  I have proven that I have the strength to do this.  My struggle is in getting started.  I find myself getting very excited about having those 3 extra rooms cleared out, but as soon as I commit to getting started my feet suddely feel like 50 lb weights and I can't get myself to go down those stairs. 

What lies down there is just clutter.  It is just stuff that my family and I really don't use or need.  I don't even know what is in half the boxes.  Part of me wants to just haul the boxes out, unopened, to the curb.  Part of me wants to go through every item in every box and make sure that I'm not getting rid of something important.  I often find myself saying, "But, Jill, if its so important why has it been moved from box to box and room to room for so many years?"  I have no answer for that question, just a sheepish grin.

Something else lies down in my basement.  Something that has been following me around for most of my life.  I have managed to keep it at bay for awhile now, but have never managed to release it completely.  In my basement lies Shame and Guilt.  Everytime I try to get anything done down there I am overcome by their presence.  I don't want to hang out with them so I scurry back upstairs.  Magically, as soon as I reach the top of the stairs I am free from them.

But I won't be truly free from Shame and Guilt until I release them.  I am holding on to them through all of my clutter.  I am a master at burying things.  I often have a pile of papers and things on my kitchen island.  I know exactly where everything is there.  I know exactly where Shame and Guilt are.  I have strategically buried them amongst the clutter in my basement. 

I am on a path to healing right now.  I am getting stronger and stronger each new day.  I know that Shame and Guilt's days are numbered.  Here I am a year later and getting ready to once again begin a massive decluttering project. I still feel overwhelmed, scared and exhilarated.  I still feel a heaviness come over me when I try to commit to a start date.

Its time.  Its time to begin.  Beginning is hard for me.  Sometimes I have to begin many times, before I really get started.  Maybe beginning won't be hard for me this time.  Maybe I'll march downstairs, tell Shame and Guilt to get the hell out of my way, and just dive right in.  It could happen.  I'm in a different place now.  I have tapped into an amazing healing energy that I didn't have last year.  I am a much stronger woman than I was back then.  I have some things I didn't have then.  I have Respect and Pride and Love for myself.  I have Confidence and Strength.  I have Joy and Patience.  I have quite the arsenal to bring downstairs when I go up against Shame and Guilt.  They are cowering down there, waiting to be cast out. 

Yeah, I think maybe I can do this.

Just my thoughts.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

True friends

I was having a discussion with Not-so-Little #1 yesterday about what being a true friend looks like.  We have had this discussion many, many times over the years.  As I explained my take on it, she seemed to agree with me when I said that a true friend doesn't get mad at you when you make mistakes.  A true friend loves you no matter what.  A true friend doesn't try to beat you down or make you feel like they are better than you because they haven't messed up as much as you have.  A true friend doesn't take advantage of friendship.  And then I said something that stumped her.  I said that there is only 1 person that she needs to be friends with.  I told her that, first and foremost, she needs to be a true friend to herself.

Thats when I lost her.  Thats when she tuned me out.  Her eyes glazed over and she just looked away.  It was like I was looking at myself at her age in the mirror.  I too could not bring myself to be a friend to me.  I too struggled with keeping friends.  Everytime I walked away from another friend it hardened my heart a little more.  I blamed the friend for leaving me, but in reality it was I that was doing the leaving.  I didn't think I deserved to have friends, so I made sure that I didn't have too many.

I often think about the friends that I have walked away from in my life.  Some of them would probably not give me the time of day today.  Some of them would joyfully accept me back into their lives.  I have reconnected with some old friends over the past year, and I believe that the only reason that I was able to do that was because I friended myself.  By loving myself unconditionally it helped me to return that love to friends lost. 

I have also made some very special new friends in the last few years.  Opening up my heart to myself was what I needed to make the kind of friends I have right now.  If you feel good about yourself, you attract people who also feel good about you.  If you don't respect yourself you will attract people that also have no respect for you.  I knew this for years before I was actually able to do anything about it.  People would tell me the same thing I told #1 Little.  And as soon as they said those words, "you have to be a friend to yourself first", my eyes would glaze over and I would look away.  I knew full well that that was not possible.

Its possible today.  Today I am able to love the me that I am.  When the Spirit is allowed to shine and be free, self-love can blossom.  When I stopped listening to the lies in my head and started living my life on my terms I became a conduit for Love.  I finally became a true friend.

Its my hope that Not-so-Little #1 doesn't wait till she's 40 to friend herself.  That is a miserable life to live.  I wish I could say that its so simple.  Just accept yourself and live your life joyfully.  It sounds simple, but its not.  Its not easy if you've got your Spirit hidden.  The good news is, that once you let your Spirit shine even a little bit, it starts to get easier.  You start to experience bits of joy and that leaves you hungry for more. 

I believe that we all hold the key to true friendship within us.  Even the nastiest of people that we encounter in life hold the key.  Just remember that their key is misplaced, not lost, just misplaced.  Extending compassion to those angry people could be just what they need to see a glimmer of their shiny.

Is there someone in your life that needs some compassion?  Is there someone in your life that needs to friend themself? Could you be a conduit of Love for them?

Just my thoughts.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shine on

I haven't been blogging very regularly for quite some time.  It wasn't that I planned on taking breaks, it just happened that way.  I guess I'm just really trying to honor my Spirit and my Spirit has not felt drawn to this blog.  Over the last few days, however, I have felt a tug at my heart.  I started to miss the time I spent writing down my thoughts here.  It started to feel like there was an emptiness, like I was missing a good friend.

So I came here today, just to see how it would feel to let my thoughts flow.  It instantly felt comforting.  Like it used to feel when I first started letting my Spirit out of captivity.  It has taken me many, many months to get to this point of living freely.  I still struggle with days of not listening. Times when I let my ego try to push that voice I hear away.  My Spirit is stronger than the ego now.  These days its harder to dim my shiny.

I've been through so much emotional & spiritual growth these last few months.  I thank the healing art of Reiki for this growth.  I have progressed in my Reiki study to a Reiki II.  I hesitate to call myself a practitioner, but that is what I am doing.  I am practicing Reiki healing, both hands-on and distance healings.  I have a dream of practicing Reiki either out of my home or in a peaceful healing room in another location.  I have had this dream for some time now, but only recently have I committed to following through with plans to live this dream.

My whole life has been one dream after another, that I have always let go. For the first time in my 40-something years I have a plan and I can see the dream and I'm not letting fear get in my head.  I'm taking action.  I've tried the lets-just-see-where-things-go thing.  This time I'm not just waiting to see what happens.  I'm making things happen.  I'm doing what needs to be done.

I can't afford to rent a space right now, and my home is not ready for a separate healing room yet. In the past, those two things would have stopped me in my tracks.  I would have thrown my hands up and proclaimed that that dream wasn't going to happen either.  Today I am busy making preparations to get a space ready in my home to practice Reiki. My family will have to work with me and be patient while I insist that they are quiet during certain times of the day.  Sacrifices will be made by all of us, but I am not going to let these small blocks keep me from moving forward.

My call to heal came months ago.  I knew that I was a healer. I just didn't know what type of healing I would be called to do.  I listened and I waited and I listened some more.  I found crystals and Reiki.  I am focusing on Reiki, but I use crystals when I feel intuitively that they will benefit me.

I'm not so special.  I believe that we are all healers.  I believe that we all hold the knowledge that we need to heal at any time.  Finding the type of healing that is for us doesn't have to be hard.  You just have to let your Spirit guide you to where you need to be.  You just have to be willing to let your Light shine.  By merely living your joy you are healing.  You're healing yourself, which in turn can lead to the healing of others.  There's no limit on healing.  The more people that do it, the better world we'll have.

So can you get your shine on?  Can you accept your healing ability and share it?  Just so you know, healing can come in the form of a hug, a smile, comforting words or even a good belly laugh.  It doesn't get much easier than that.

If you could pick your very own healing gift what would it be?

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

On This Day

Recently I started a practice of setting an intention for each day.  Upon arising I head into my living room and have my time of quiet.  My daily intention will usually just come to me.  I don't have to sit and think of it, it just comes in.  I've been sharing these intentions on my Facebook page and I just really wanted to post them here as well.

I have been starting each intention with "Just for today", but this morning those words didn't feel like mine.  There is a reading in the 12-step meeting that I used to attend called "Just for today", so I felt like I was borrowing it.  So I've changed the beginning to "on this day".

I have no idea how long I will continue this practice, but for now it feels right and it has really been helpful in getting my day started on an uplifting and positive note.  My world is a better place when I start the day feeling shiny.

  On This Day

On this day, I will have my eyes open, so that I can see all that is good around me.

I will not let things get complicated. I will let the day unfold, rather than force it to bend my way.

I will make sure that my needs are being met. I will value myself enough to know that self-care is important to being happy, joyous and free.

I can let those around me be who they are. I can remove my expectations and just embrace the differences that make us all the spiritual beings that we are.

On this day, I will allow my truest self to shine. I can look within, instead of towards others, to define who I am.

I will be free of fear, anger & resentment. I will choose to let Love lead me through each moment.

I will live in the moment. No wondering about tomorrow or pondering yesterday. Accepting that I am right where I need to be.

I choose to let change happen. I choose to step back and let life happen the way the Divine has planned. I choose to trust.

On this day, I'm going to be gentle with myself and replace the word "should" with the word "could".

Have a shiny day!!

Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Seeing the Light after the Dark

It always amazes me how serene and peaceful I feel after a bout of depression.  Well, that's not exactly true.  It didn't used to amaze me, because I never really used to see serenity and peace.  I just felt relief that the sadness had passed and waited for the day that it would return.  Today, however, I see the Light after the Dark.  I see it and I embrace it.  I am in a healing process right now.  My body, mind and spirit are all healing together and it can seem a bit overwhelming at times.

I began practicing Reiki because I was being drawn to some type of healing.  I thought it was because I wanted to play a role in the healing of others.  I am beginning to sense that Reiki found me, because I needed to play a role in the healing of myself. 

I find myself intrigued with all forms of energy healing.  I sometimes spend a bit too much time researching the many types of healing available.  I listen to my intuition and I let my spirit decide which ones I may look into further.  For now, Reiki, is my way to healing.  Even when I resist it because fear is telling me that I can't handle the healing that may have to take place. 

I know that there may very well be some more dark days ahead for me, but I hold on to the belief that on the other side of any pain there will be an abundance of Light & Love waiting for me.  Healing past pain is the only way that I can hold on to my "shiny".  If I want to stay shiny, I may have to face some of the Dark.

Just my thoughts. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Testing the water

It appears that I have taken an unplanned break from blogging. I didn't intentionally not post anything in over a month, it just happened I guess. My last emotionally charged post threw me for a loop and I slipped into a bit of a depression.  Ok, it was more than a bit, but it was a depression, none the less.  Maybe I'll talk about that depressive episode one of these days, but today is not that day.

I have just recently been feeling a gentle nudge from the Divine to get back here.  To post something.  Anything.  Sharing my thoughts has always been a very healing experience for me. It has always been a way to clear out the clutter that builds in my mind.  So here I sit with a very much cluttered up mind.  I sit here feeling like I've got so much to say, but don't know where to start.  I know that in order to heal I need to bring those thoughts to the surface.

Instead of forcing myself to just pick something, I'll wait.  I'm not in a hurry. Healing takes place at it s own pace, not mine.  Some things are meant to share and some things are meant to be kept private.  Private can be good, as long as it doesn't turn into isolation.

So I'm slowly wading into the blogging waters and letting myself get used to the feel of it again before I jump in head first.  If feels pretty safe to me, but I'll take it slow. 

Just my thoughts.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A story that needs to be told

I have been sitting here for hours trying to figure out how to get the thoughts that are flooding my head out.  I have started and re-started this post several times.  Someone might say that if it is so difficult that maybe I should take that as a sign that I should not post these thoughts, but that is not the case.  I just have to figure out the best way to say what it is that is weighing on my mind.  Its a touchy topic.  Its a deeply personal and private topic.  It is not something that I have shared with many of those close to me.  

I feel compelled to share because I know that there are many people out there who have been through this or something very similar.  Ah, who am I kidding?  I mostly need to share because if I don't I'm not sure I can fully heal.

16 years ago, I was a single mom with 2 Littles to watch over.  I was also quite the drinker.  Not every day, but definitely binged on the weekends that I had no Littles to tend to.  On one of those weekends it was business as usual.  Go to the club with a friend, get good and drunk and then go home and pass out.  That is usually how it ended up.  Until one night when things didn't exactly go as planned.

Here's what I remembered the next day.  I went to the club, I got separated from my friend and then I recalled standing outside after the bars had closed and having a complete stranger ask me if I was ok and if I needed a ride. The next morning I awoke to a severe headache, a large egg on the back of my head and bruises on my neck.

To those of you reading, it is probably very clear that I had been physically and more than likely sexually assaulted.  To me, at the time, I had messed up big time.  I had had sex with someone because I drank too much.  I couldn't explain the bump on my head or the bruises on my neck, but I was pretty sure that I was never going to tell anyone what had happened.  Everyone would know that it was my fault for drinking too much and for leaving with a stranger. Even though I didn't remember leaving with anyone.

So I filed the attack away and went on like business as usual.  Went to work on Monday with a headache and faint bruises on my neck.  I made it 3 days before a fellow employee finally cornered me and asked me why I had been acting so off.  Apparently I wasn't very good at pretending.  She was an angel.  She had been through a date rape experience and she encouraged me to go the doctor and then to the police.

Some of the details of the attack had been coming to me over those 3 days.  I remembered where the attack had taken place and I remembered who the person was.  It was a friend of my friend's boyfriend.  I didn't remember his name, but I knew that I could find him if I needed to.  I kept that information to myself.  I didn't want to find him.  I didn't want him to tell everyone that I had willingly left the bar with him.  I didn't want to get my friend involved.  So I told her that I didn't know who he was.  Just some guy from the bar.

My co-worked told me how I would feel so much better if I reported it.  She said that I would feel more empowered and safe.  She went with me to the police.  I did not feel better.  I felt embarrassed and ashamed.  The police officer was very kind.  He assured me that it was not my fault and that I shouldn't feel bad.  Then he had me take him to the scene of the attack.  All I could do is shake as we walked into that wooded area.  More details came to my mind, but I couldn't share them.  Too disgusted.  He found some evidence and then told me to go right to the ER and get myself checked out.

At the ER it was determined that I had sustained a concussion.  I was not pregnant and I would have to wait for the HIV test to come, but the attacker had used a condom, so I should be thankful for that.  I went home feeling dirty and ashamed again.  I never talked to the police after that.  I couldn't even see that I had been viciously attacked even after I had been told that I had a concussion. In my mind I was still to blame.  I asked for it.  I filed the experience away and every now and then I would bring it up in one of my many stints in the counselors office. I even had been able to embrace the notion that it was not my fault and I thought I had moved on.

But today my thoughts kept turning back to that day 16 years ago.  I found myself getting more and more emotional about it.  I knew that I had some more healing to do.  I recently began the practice of Reiki.  I'm not going to go into what Reiki is right now, because this post is getting long enough.  Simply put, it is an ancient Eastern energy healing technique for the body, mind & spirit.  I knew that I needed some healing in the area of this past trauma, but I had no idea what that meant.

This afternoon, as I performed Reiki, the memories of that night came flooding back.  Things that I had long forgotten and some things that I had no idea I even knew.  I was finally able to understand why I could not remember so many details.  I had been drugged and I had been mislead to believe that this person knew where my friend was and would take me to her.  I had been a victim of a terrible, brutal crime.  I relived all the pain and fear of that night.  For these past 16 years any tears that I shed about that night were tears of shame and guilt.  Today, for the first time, I let the tears fall freely for the pain that I experienced  that night.  I cried silently, so that I would not upset my family, but I didn't hold it in.  I released the experience.  I felt fear, pain (actual physical pain) and anger. I felt vulnerable and small. Nothing I felt tonight has resembled shame or  embarrassment or disgust.

I'm shaken, but I am also healing.  I am finally, after 16 years, feeling all that I should have felt that night.  I am finally seeing what happened as the tragedy that it was.  I feel safe and protected and I know that I am going to be fine.  I am being guided through this healing process from a combination of sources.  Both divine and human.  I am not doing this on my own.  This is bigger than me, but I am stronger because of it.  I am a little freer today and little lighter knowing that I am loved by many and that I will not be judged by this event any longer.

There are people that I know that are going to read this and they will probably going to be taken aback and maybe feel awkward around me, but that is ok.  Healing doesn't just need to happen to those of us who have experienced this.  It needs to happen to those who are affected by it in any manner.  I don't want people to look at me and feel sorry for me, I want them to look at me and think how amazing it is to heal from something so sad.  I have more healing to do, but I know that I am up for the experience.  I am ready to let my spirit shine and be fully free.  That day is coming.

I don't know how long I'll keep this posted.  I may decide tomorrow that I don't want to expose myself to others this way.  For today I will hit the 'publish post' button and I will hope that what I have gone through can be a beacon of light for anyone who may have experienced the same thing and just wants to heal once and for all.

If you have gone through any kind of physical and/or sexual attack, please tell someone.  Allow yourself to heal and to see that you are a beautiful, shining soul who only deserves to be loved and safe.

Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I became a mother today

I became a mother on this day 22 years ago.  For these past 22 years now, I have loved being a mother and I have hated it.  I have made many mistakes in my mothering, but they were all mistakes that I had to make.  Some people say that being a mother is a job.  The times that I have hated being a mom have been the times that I believed that being a mother was a job.  In my mind, mothering is not a job.  It is not something that I can call in sick from.  It is not something that I will ever receive monetary compensation for.  It is not something that I can, at the end of the day, clock out and walk away from.  That is how I view a job. 

Mothering is a part of who I am.  It is a piece of me that will never be absent from my life.  I will always and forever be a mother.  It is a role that I have been fine tuning all these 22 years.  Am I the perfect mother?  Absolutely not.  Is there a perfect mother?  Absolutely not.  Is being a mother perfect for me?  I believe so. 

I stumbled into motherhood at a time in my life when things were not going well for me.  I was drinking too much and I was not taking any part of my life seriously.  I was not the person that I wanted to be, but had no intentions on changing.  Then I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl.  She filled my lonely heart up with love the second I laid eyes on her.  She was perfect.  Becoming a mother turned my life around.  It would be many years till I was to become the shiny person I feel I am today, but my life definitely changed that April 14th for the better.

On that day, I became important to someone else.  I couldn't think of just myself any longer.  Yes, it was hard being a single mom.  It was hard feeling like I was all alone in the world with this tiny baby.  I doubted myself as a mother, but I never never doubted my love for my precious Little.

The relationship that I have had with my first born has been complicated and fierce at times.  It has also been rewarding and meaningful.  I wish her to be happy and joyful and to love herself as I love her.  I wish her to find her passion and turn it into a way of life.  I wish her to be thoughtful and responsible and to surround herself with the same kind of people.  Most of all, however, I wish her to know that I love her and I will wait patiently as she finds her way through life.

I can no longer financially support her in any way, but I will always emotionally support her.  I have boundaries in place that will not be crossed.  I hold those boundaries solidly in place because I love her and I want to model to her what it means to not allow others to take advantage of us.  I don't want her to take advantage of me and I don't want her to be taken advantage of either.

Being her mother for these last 22 years is something that I would never change.  I don't wish I could do anything over.  Every experience, every ounce of pain and joy I have felt, was exactly what it was supposed to be.

Happy Birthday, Not-so-Little #1.  I hope that you know in your heart that I love you fully and unconditionally.  I hope that you are able to make your life into all that you hope it will be.  Thank you for choosing me as your mother and helping me to begin my journey into motherhood.  I love you!!

Just my thoughts.