Sunday, May 9, 2010

To each a season...a time for everything

“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” William Drayton

I have come to realise that change needs to be viewed as a positive step. One needs to choose to see life's changes as part of the process of growing and living. With growth, comes the ability to contribute to others, to life.

Growing up, I was scared of change. I felt fearful when things changed. When friendships changed, I felt guilty for letting go of them. I played by the rules and took few risks. I was deeply ensconced in my comfort zone. I was also, unbeknownst to me, not living.

Over time, once I started taking risks and living in the present rather than the past or future, I came to the realisation that life is rhythmic, it has seasons. I learnt that beginnings and endings are an integral part of life. For new beginnings, one must experience endings. Feel the pain of loss and look forward to the joy of new experiences.

As a result, I started to "let go". However, I very quickly realised that this way of living is not commonplace. I found myself joyful in myself, more settled than ever before, but still wondering what is it others were not "getting" that I had? How could I share what I had learnt with those around me, if I didn't understand it fully myself.

I still don't fully understand the change that took place in my way of viewing life, but I did learn some tools I would like to share. It has occurred to me recently that the reason I don't have words to express my learning, cos I felt the change...I lived it...this is something I have to share in action...not just in words.

Firstly, feeling the loss initially is good, it's cathartic, as long as it remains truthful. To truly feel the pain, the fear, the loss of what is no longer in your present, is all part of the healing and life process. For me, this has meant that I truly recentre myself. I get back in touch with me. It is also important to note that the minute one feels oneself wallowing in the negativity, one needs to stop. Be still and breathe...I have found that in times where I have teetered on the brink, grounding myself and realising where and who I am in that present moment is invaluable. And then I allow myself to dive over the cliff, take the risk and feel the vibrancy that is life.

Secondly, it is important to see life as a whole, as an abundant creation filled with the beauty that comes with each season. Winter, with it's bundling up against the cold and evenings next to the fire; Spring, filled with new life, blossoming new possibilities; Summer and sunshine, laughter, vibrant colours and activities and finally Autumn, filled with the warm colours of red, orange and yellow, a time to slow down. Each season brings with it change and each one is special in itself, as are the seasons of our lives.

All things are connected and symbiotically form, what is life. We are in the opportunist place to make choices without limitations. Those choices then impact the next season of our life. The second tool I use is to view the impending season, with optimism and remind myself that life is FULL of beauty and is a gift, to be enjoyed.

How then can "bad" things have a negative effect on your life? They can't...there IS always good that comes from every challenging situation, every ending, every change, every choice, every experience.

I believe every new day should be greeted with open arms and expectancy. You WILL learn new things each day, if you approach the day positively. You will be ready for the changes that are part of every day.

For me, a reknowned non-morning person...this has been a constant challenge. I learnt recently, that we actually decide what time we are getting up, when we are in our best night. HOW I get up, well THAT is the morning decision. I choose now to get up smiling...I listen to the birds in the park or the rain, quietly drip dripping against the window pane...I slowly allow my body to awaken to the new day, from the tips of my toes to the top of my head... and I sing!!

What an epiphany this was for me. I am no longer, a grumpy snooze-queen...I am actually quite a cheery, sunny morning person now. Each day is an awesome gift, full of opportunities and it too is a new beginning, overnight things changed, time literally changed. The awesome wonder of a new day lies ahead.

I choose to wake up determined to be curious, to play, to laugh and smile often, to go out on a limb, trying something new, doing something ordinary in a more extraordinary way and most importantly, to keep learning and growing.

Over the past year, I have lost two of the most significant women in my life. Both were strong, beautiful, vibrant women. One of the most helpful comments made to me was: "It is now your turn to share what they taught you with others. They shared it with you, believing you are capable of carrying on their legacy." Wow!!! THAT was inspiring...and so true. Both women lived through massive changes, but both remained positive. Both retained their love of life and one of the lessons I now need to share with others is, how to appreciate every moment, how to love people deeply, the life truth that change is normal and it is good.

Change is a natural, organic process...not to be feared or viewed as "bad", but rather it should be celebrated.

I have grown from fearing change, the unknown or unlearnt lessons, to rather availing myself to the undefined, to new, good and exciting adventures.

“The key to change... is to let go of fear.” Rosanne Cash

Life needn't happen to can take charge of it and make your choices, taking risks, step into the new undetermined territory. The most amazing thing about life is that we don't know the future, it's exciting to live in the present, consciously aware that change and new seasons lie ahead. I have chosen to take risks and actively look for opportunities to learn new lessons and to grow as a person and contribute what I know to be true with those around me, to live a joyful life.

Monday, May 3, 2010

True Siren Feeling...

"You need to stop thinking"...heard it before? Well I have. I heard it, but didn't understand it. How, I wondered were you supposed to do that? How would things get done? How would you sort things out without thinking about them?

Over the past few months I have had many "lightbulb" moments. I have realised the power of thought, the power of the mind. I have read the Law of Attraction. I KNOW instinctively, that when we think positively, positive things happen.

So how then do I reconcile myself with stopping my over-thinking. I found myself longing to. And then I had an "epiphany". It's all about feelings.

For a long time, my whole life, I have felt love and a deep appreciation for the world around me. I love life and all that it has to offer. I have an intense love for people. This has gotten me into lots of bother, both friendship and relationship-wise. I have always had, what I believe to be a gift, to see people for who they truly are. I could feel it. I found myself in places where I had seen this beauty, encouraged it, nurtured it, and then found that I was so caught up, I had lost myself.

As a very little girl, I would stand alongside my friends and walk their walk with them. I would share my faith and love with everyone. I remember feeling 100% happy with life and felt a deep sense of fulfilment in being that person. I look back on those times with great sadness now. How on earth did I go from being that loving, free-spirited little girl to the over-analysing adult that I have become? My thinking, has gotten me stuck with that question for years.

In my teens, without going into too much detail, at some point, I put my feelings aside and started thinking things through. I thought through how to talk to people, how to support them in their life quests. That became the pattern. And I have realised I have become less and less effective.

The only times, I have truly felt in alignment with my life-purpose of showing true love and unconditional love, has been when I have spoken from my heart-experience. But somewhere along the line, I had begun to neglect my feelings in everyday life. I could feel that I had lost me. But had no idea how to get me back or where I had lost myself. I have felt numb and as if I was living life on auto-pilot. (Not all the time...but in times where I knew I SHOULD be happy or sad or angry...I thought it, but couldn't feel it).

About three years ago, I realised, I actually had neglected my feelings to such an extent, I had completely lost me. I could no loner distinguish how how was feeling, who I was or why I was here. Simple tasks confused me. I had come to a crossroads where I had to face the fact. I had given all of me and there was nothing left.

I have made HUGE headway with getting the simple feelings back, with getting my zest for life back. But something was still missing.

“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler.” Nietzsche

I have been very blessed over the past year, to have experienced an amazing shift in my life. I have re-realised my true calling in life and I believe THAT has brought me to the place I now find myself. I have felt love in a new way, I could hardly believe was possible. A non-restrictive love that has allowed me to grow into the woman I know I was always meant to be: feminine, with all the frilly bits...the playful, sensual and nurturing woman that I love being. I have walked a path, where I have been free to explore, experiment, experience, engage with, express myself and expand my world, life in it's raw beauty. I feel so grateful for this.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” Elisabeth Foley

I have been exploring my femininity. It has been an interesting path and I have finally come to this amazing realisation, that all the world needs from a woman, is her heart.

I believe that woman, have the ability to feel the world around them in a very special way. Woman notice the physical world around them and tend to comment on it more. I have always loved nature:Sunsets and sunrises; the mountains, the sea; the animals. I have a deep love for the African bush. I feel calm and peaceful and whole when I am appreciating it.

I love life. I love people. I am fascinated with how people think, how animals communicate. I feel sad when I see others not appreciating and valuing the world around them. I feel a deep sense of loss when people don't value themselves. When they feel lost or confused by their own actions. I feel deep pangs of pain when I can see beauty and others can't.

I feel the world around me, the gentle rhythm of life. For me, it is like floating on the sea...feeling the undulations of life, have a calming effect on me and I feel centred. Even the HUGE waves of life, though scary, they have their place in life. I know that there will be calm after the storm, just as there was before it.

Now I have THOUGHT this for a long time. I have known it deep down. The difference now is, I am feeling it.

With that feeling, there is an added dimension. I feel vulnerable. And it is scary. At times, I feel frightened by the wave that is about to crash over me. It IS is dangerous, it could potentially finish me off.

But I know I have the gift to "swim". I have that gift, because I know why I am here. Feeling, is a gift in itself. I know this, because I know how lost I felt, as a woman, when I couldn't feel, when I felt numb to life. I also know and feel hopeful, that at some point, I will be able to use this experience, when sharing with others.

“Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalized his emotions.” Borenstein

For years, I have advised others, as I learnt myself, that trying to avoid or go over or around an obstacle, is not the way forward. It will only turn up later in your path in a different form. Obstacles need to be acknowledged and faced. You need to experience them, feel them and that can move forward. So my added realisation about obstacles is...that when experiencing them, as a woman, one MUST feel them. Get honest, be positive, but FEEL.

This is one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn. But I am feeling elated, that at last, I truly "get" why I have made mistakes in friendships, my choice of friends. I truly "get" why relationships have had the same pattern. I finally understand why that self same obstacle kept turning up in my life. I had experienced it, but not felt it.

Finally, I believe that women have this gift to share with the world. Our intuitive feelings are the marvellous and awesome way in which we contribute to the world around us. Thinking is for the physical, man-made world, for our jobs, for solving problems. But with our feelings, we can CHANGE the world around us.

I desire to be THAT woman, who people look to for seeing the beauty of the world that IS and that has always been. The stunning, inspiring, sensitive, perfectly aligned world and life that we have been fortunate enough to be gifted.

“I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.”
Mahatma Gandhi