Monthly Archives: January 2016

Stumbled on the Carpet

It is Sunday mid day and I am back to laying in bed. I am so very exhausted and have been learning that I can no longer keep pushing at myself. If I need rest then I shall have it. Ok, Mr. Jones has a voice in helping me here, let us be honest.

As I lay curled up, I try to read a magazine and to think, but my mind is full and says no thank you. I was prepared for the week yesterday and am grateful to not have chores to do. So the question is what do I do? Nothing is what comes to my mind.

I journaled my feelings early and have some questions I need help with. I took out my pen to paper as coach would say and wrote for my twenty minutes on all the questions and help I seek; then reflected while I listened to Kiss in the background. Yup, odd choice of music to reflect to but it works for me as I lay here in my Pat Benatar t-shirt.

I reflect on how many times I keep stumbling on the carpet, having my down days and then finding something to be grateful for and picking myself up and moving to the next day. This is quite the roller coaster of bruises and wounds. Each one feeling as if I am ripping the band-aid off for the first time. The pain is still there but I seem to continue adapting how I look at it.

I see this as such growth. Kind of like watching the growth of a flower from a seed. Maybe right now I am sprouted and growing tall in my pot but need more space to take off to really build a strong stalk and be rooted firmly in place.

I question and wonder what miraculous event or feeling will transpire. Will I one day wake up and be like today’s the day? Or is all this, (Spook is being my Vanna here) the progression, the reflection, of what the event is? The emotions I feel or the beauty I see, is this the destiny, the journey? I may put more thought here when I feel up to it.

Last night was one of odd dreams, but luckily no nightmares. I believe our dreams always share lessons and such insight to us. Due to the nature of it I am thinking deeply about it  as long as my brain chooses (my brain says or not). My thoughts take me to somewhere else and I am thinking about how I reassure others I am doing ok. I’m just growing and a little busy taking the “me” time, the nurturing time I need while I do it.

It is taking some time to bloom, (especially when there is snow) but as I have been feeling the sun on my face and squinting my eyes, I know the heat and the growing season are coming. Please be patient while we work on the flowers environment and until the greenhouse opens and the blooms are ready.

“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes. ” Mark Nepo

P.S Miss Tubbins (the cat) is sitting beside me interjecting her comments as I write. I so far have heard a lot of rawwwr, meeep, eeerra, and a few meows. I hope you speak cat. Please do not judge me on the mis-spelling of her words, it such a hard language to learn.

 

 

 

 

Imperfections are Perfection

I see we had a visitor last night, naughty old witch. I say this with love and affection. She is still cackling in the corner.

Do you remember the game Perfection? Or even Simon Says? This is when I really began to see this part of my mind striving for ultimate perfection.

It was a cool day and I raced to my friends place on my bike that fall, I was pretty young. We had no idea what we were going to do and after a while of humming and debating we settled on the Perfection game.  I had never played this before and so I was being informed on the rules. Put all the pieces in before it popped up. I was thinking how easy this would be.

The game began, over and over we kept playing and aiming to master our skills so it did not pop up and still have pieces in our hands. It frustrated me. How could I not get all the pieces in the time frame. We moved on to other things to do and I kept bringing her back to the game. We would sit in her bed talking and there I was still trying to figure it out.

Now if I categorized all the pieces would that help? If I quickly took all in one area and figured it out in sections would that make it easier. Finally I figured it out and beat the clock.

That moment showed how inside I had this ultimate need to control the situation and become my version of perfection. This is how my life became a strive for this “perfection.”

I aimed to be the best in everything I did; from basketball, track, school, volunteer work, work, my brain would constantly look at every task and aim for its perfection. Like the clock on the game I did not give myself room to take it all in. I wasn’t always in the moment. I wasn’t always grateful for it. I sometimes would strive so hard I missed the point till later and then had my a-ha moment then or a clearer understanding.

To others and family I had a perfection point or as I would say, just call me Martha. (I truly love all she has taught me.) at some point I didn’t give myself the room to make a mistake and if I did, wow did my self critic come out swinging and mad. How could I make this simple mistake, how did you not catch it? Not to mention all the worthless names he would tell me I am.

It deflated me, and then I would have to start rebuilding my wall to keep me sheltered from it all and those around me including my self critic (myself). I had to ensure it didn’t happen again, or by some people, they choose to remind me constantly as an example and those same feelings were always being heaved up.

This week I signed up to learn how to paint. The techniques, the type of brush strokes, and the biggest and best reason is to draw out the emotion that sits in the centre of my body that is so black and hangs on to my guts with such strength. I had read a post recently and it is so on point. Here is to getting covered in paint, making tons of mistakes, being in the moment, to embracing the darkness inside in the eyes and seeing me, the real me.

“You can’t hide from inner shit. Nope. You can’t sleep it off. You can’t surgically remove it. You can’t eat/buy/wish/exercise it away. You have to turn towards it and embrace it. Look into its eyes. Be patient and so @&$?ing tender. Then get intimate with it until it shows you another way, a different you.” Thug Unicorn by Tanya Markul

Love your imperfections!! The Woman in Process

 

Breaking Down the Walls

A Spooktacular Evening to you all!

This is Spook and I hope you have some broom riding plans for the weekend. Mrs. Jones is relaxing this evening (I saw a glass of red wine in hand) and has no idea I took over her computer to write to you. I am sure she will be surprised tomorrow but oh well, I want to share and I do not get to comment much lately. Cackle Cackle!

Here is the short story on the fall of Mrs. Jones. Little did the old gal know that this had begun a few years before she was told that it was ptsd that she was dealing with. Lately she has really begun to break down the walls and look back on the incidents. She has been figuring out when and where things drastically changed for her. What situations prompted it, what her feelings were then and now with each one and how to move forward and not let those emotions paralyse her in fear.

Man that woman is tough, and so weak at the same time. She took each sad situation and dealt with as though there was a personal family member involved. She took bad situations and tried so hard, to help, be kind, be firm and strong when the situation called for it and do what was best; the safest to protect those around her.

It eventually caught up to her and I watched as her life began to be put on hold. Her dreams, her desires, and her smile each day began to fade and disappear. She started to become a faded painting in the sun. One that use to be bold, bright coloured and had such a meaning; then one day it has become faded, dark, shadowed and no one knows the beauty it held. I did, but hey what does 147 year old witch know. Maybe a lot!

I pushed at her, poked her, tried so hard to wake her up and it seemed as if she was too far gone, she was haunted. She had died one too many times and then a miracle happened, she started to wake up. She struggled, she was scared and she cried, man did she cry. I do not believe there was a day that went by that she didn’t and then things started to get better.

Her therapist laughed that she was like a a dog with a bone. (I am privileged to attend all those sessions, to know all the dirt, my book will be out in Spring.) The knowledge and info she heard, she kept working hard and ta da, here she is; a Woman in Process. She may have her flaws but she is pretty cool. (Don’t tell I said that.) I give the old gal a rough time some days but that is what I am for, plus to hold her when she is down.

Oh, Oh, I hear her so better finish up, she is probably coming for another glass of wine. She is always leaving her writing with a quote so I will add a favourite of mine.

“A witch lives and laughs in every woman. She is the free part of each of us. There is no joining witch. If you are a woman and dare to look within yourself, you a witch.” The Witch Manifesto

Use your intuition and trust it. Spook 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritually Balanced

I sat across the room just watching and seeing what they do. They were getting their meal ready, laughing, chatting and then one of them quickly said a prayer, crossed her chest and sat down. They do not know I watch them all so much.

I listen to them as they go by the offices,  I hear their laughter in the halls and see how they are working. I hear their change of tones when they are stressed and hear the change of their steps as they walk. They have no idea I am always listening.

I see the frowns on their faces, the smiles they share and the scowls when they are being challenged in their lives.  I see their physical changes of hair colors, style changes, I am always watching.

I am truly paying attention to more than the normal tasks that everyone assigns. This comes from the early years, I call them omnipotent years from being a bartender. You try to give attention to everyone and provide what they need, a compliment, a smile, a kind word.

Yes, I am now tired and some days I feel the energy drained because of it, maybe it’s too much; so for this week I am aiming to try and balance this better. Some days are quite easy but it seems other days you have large tasks and energy being given all around you that takes your extra power. I feel like Atlas, carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.

The other task I see is finding and keeping my spirit alive while working. This too requires such energy but the reward to hang onto it and practice daily is crucial and critical to my health. It enables me to keep the demons at bay and no one would recognize if they were duelling inside me.

My spirit comes from meditation, a practice I learned many moons ago from a yoga instructor who trained in India. (This is before yoga was trendy) She focused every session on not just the correct form but the spirit and higher power. I feel lighter, happier, physically healthier and ready to keep going; not to mention the clarity I get. I have tried first thing in the morning, yet find an afternoon session is most beneficial to my body. This too, is a task I will continue to master for a few minutes of solitude in my own head to be a better person.

I aimed at finishing my post last night but after a crazy run, (picture me running as Phoebe from Friends) a great meal I was so exhausted and needed to rejuvenate. I fell asleep sitting up and was lucky to make it to the bed when I had a moment my one eyelid clicked opened. Today I aim on taking imperfections and challenges and twisting them into an easier workable Rubix cube.

Here is to an amazing Friday!

Love from the Woman in Process

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day, unless you’re too busy then you should sit for an hour.” Old Zen Saying

 

 

 

The Black Cranium

I have to chuckle, I am so vague sometimes to people’s questions. Recently I was doing a usual style of meet and greet with others like me. I was asked if I was on holidays they had not seen me for a while. I responded, “No” then asked if my health was well, “Yes” was my response and it continued with my one word answers.

I was not being rude, I just felt the person did not need to know nor do they always have our best interests at heart. They were just being nosy because that was their type of personality. This is them.

We were having a conversation the other day. We still see at our age, the “mean girls” and “mean boys” and you have to question were they like that all through school? I would consider the person that was chatting with me a mean boy. He is selective and very instant judgemental of people, especially if he does not agree with you.

They are the first to take your information and spread it to others, they are the first to judge you if you do something wrong and they are the first ones to point our errors or flaws to us but they are believing they are so perfect. The realism is they are worse then our self critic. Get them some luggage and send them packing along with your critic.

And then today I saw the other side at the same time. Caring and compassionate people who are there for the right reasons. Those that dealt with a situation, those that remained calm, those that went to bat for others to the “mean” ones. Those that joined together as one. It was amazing, it was a blessing, a blessing of the true gift of the human race.

These people didn’t have capes on, they were the normal person that you pass by on the street. The ones who may hold a door for you, may lend a shoulder to you, or an ear to bend. So I challenge you to the following quote and ask yourself how would this change your life?

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” Og Mandino

PS the Black Cranium was a supervillain out for themselves until an encounter with a kindly monk made them see the error of their ways, now they fight for good.

You can find your superhero name online. Spook checked hers out, and is still laughing: Doctor Microbe.

Enjoy your blessings from a Woman in Process.

Missing Puzzle Pieces

I swam as hard as I could, I tried so desperately to reach her and I tried to save her, I didn’t and today I feel heartbroken and I hurt inside. It was a long night of nightmares and when I get up I have this feeling, like my brain is just not quite right. It didn’t reset after the nightmare and I head to work tired and feeling already deflated and emotional for the day.

I remain brave, focus on the tasks, answer questions to the best of my ability and get through the day. I feel off; my body unstructured and this underlying feeling of unpleasantness in the pit of my stomach. I am more vocal to everyone now and I have opened up more than before, I am grateful for that. I will focus on it for the day; this will get me through.

I am still missing a few pieces of my puzzle in my head. I think they may be lost for good or swept under a carpet and that makes me so sad, and I cry. I know at one time I was so happy but these days when the feelings take over I am stumped, I cannot seem to turn it around, I just need to sleep and pray tonight I am exhausted and crash hard.

I aim to focus on the good, how I can help people, yet I am still saying in this small little voice deep inside me I need more help, maybe I am not as strong as I think. These are the days a hug makes me bawl, a compliment brings a tear to my eyes. My heart is on my sleeve and I do not want to see it crushed, please be gentle with me. I know great days will be here again, one day.

As I try to pull each piece from the box and build the vision I see in my head I am thinking, just maybe that I haven’t learned the lessons they bring. Maybe they are the beautiful outcome and special moments that have not occurred and are my future. I hope so. I will believe they are and that gives me a lighter feeling in my chest. I am a mosaic. I love that idea, I am a work of art in process; I am a woman in process.

“She never seemed shattered; to me she was a breathtaking mosaic of the battles she’s won.” Unknown

 

A Day of Meh

It is quite cool out and we just had another dump of snow on us. It is dark out already and I am beginning to feel the Hulk ready to roar at the top of my lungs because I need some sun, longer days and oh I need to BBQ.

I have no energy today. Even as I sit here and type I am feeling “MEH”.  The ultimate word of the year. When you do not have the energy for anything else, you really have no emotion or feeling. It sums up everything. It is short, sweet and can be said with a simple syllable, meh.

I am sitting in the quiet with only the sound of the fireplace running in the background. Two kitties both sleeping and snoring away with an occasional meow or purring as I move to get more comfortable. I am contemplating life in general.

Yet normally when I am thinking, I have expressions of yeah I got this, I can do this and this, and today I feel the need for absolutely nothing. The sound of silence all around me. I have to wonder if you can get a keyboard that doesn’t make the clickety clack sound, as that would be a great invention.

I am grateful for these days as it does provide a complete break in the feeling of trying so hard to keep it together. A meh day makes it simpler sometimes, no major thoughts, distractions; just an opportunity to be.

And my therapist just jumped into my head saying yes! When I was off it was easier sometimes to just be. Nothing to distract you into feeling a need to create, do or organize. I feel this could be my mind just saying knock it off and tomorrow will be brighter.

I believe we should rally together and Mondays should become a day of Meh, just like Sundays is recognized for worship, why not a day of meh and then I bet all our productivity and thoughts would be through the roof the rest of the week, well maybe, some speculation here.

So today I want you to celebrate your meh; not think about your to do lists, not trying to start a new project but to sit and pretend you are watching the paint drying on the wall. You may become amazed at what one meh day can do mentally and physically for you.

Disclaimer: Spook does not encourage multiple meh days in a row. Multiple meh days can result in a loss of complete productivity, bad hygiene and not knowing what day it is.

“I shall declare today as the international day of meh.” pandaandpolarbear.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me & Mr. Jones

Mr. Jones is cooking me breakfast. What a wonderful husband! I slept in late and he wanted to check on me and make sure I was okay.

I shared with him a remarkable story about love. A couple I met, was sharing their Christmas surprise with us the other day and I had to ask how long have they been married? 43 years! That is an ultimate lifetime already.

In their video you could see their true love. They come across as reserved and very much jokesters but to see that, it was inspiring. The tears, from him when he saw how happy she was and his planning, that took a lot of effort. The tears from her on what a wonderful, thoughtful and loving husband she had. You can see it; they will be together always. I have no doubt.

She was very open and shared how she had such an appreciation to him. He worked hard for their family, was gone from home a lot and she focused on that appreciation every time he came home. What a woman! He too talked of how much he appreciated her, what she did to keep their family going while he was away.

I have to wonder how many people actually are together for that many years? Do these individuals getting married, do they know and understand the commitment that you make to each other? Is this the same as when I married my soul mate, as that was a long time ago? (We have been together for 20 years. Longer than I lived with my parents and siblings.)

The day I said my vows, I cried through them, and had a hard time saying them. (Mr. Jones says, “I think you have to say them”) I giggled at that moment. I was so emotional, happy and scared because this man wanted to spend his entire life with me.

With me? For better or worse? God knows we have had our share of worse and sickness but he still is there and we keep working at it. What a gift!

Everyone has someone out there that loves, their wake up look and thinks they are beautiful. The days you are moody, the days you are sad, they hug you and appreciate that you are there with them. The snoring, the other wonderful parts of being human (Spook is cracking up here and saying just say it!) The days we have amazing journeys together and the days we hold each other as family members move on.

Today I just encourage you to hug your loved one closer. Appreciate them. Think of all the amazing challenges and moments you shared. Not that they forgot to take the garbage out. That will be there tomorrow, they may not be. Hold their hand and let the sunshine in. Have an amazing Sunday together!

“He broke down her walls without her noticing. And when he rebuilt the walls he added windows to let the sunshine in. ” Unknown

 

 

Running From My Demons

I began this running journey in November and it took everything I could do to get on the treadmill. I just wanted to stay in bed, plus I couldn’t stop crying to see. Everything was hopeless it felt. Nothing would be back to how it was and I felt doomed.  I found a pair of shorts and started at a slow and steady pace till I was able to work up to running without stopping. I aimed at a couple times a week or even a walk, a snail walk. I needed something as I was home alone and still needed exercise, an outlet.

Today, I spend my time on the treadmill working my butt off huffing and puffing. I reflect on each day and what I need to do to keep moving forward mentally. The biggest is to keep running; one foot in front of the other and work through all the emotions that embark on my journey. (There seems to be a lot sometimes.)

I had to purchase a few items recently and chatted with a friend as I used her expertise on running supplies. She thought I looked great and asked what prompted me running again. She too has suffered from some demons and it was easy to share with her what had taken place and the feelings I had.

“Not too worry, we all have some crazy in us that we need to run out.” Her words just gave me that bit of pep to put into my step. I was on the right track, plus I had some fabulous new running gear as my reward.

I worked harder on running intervals, sprints and as I cried more I ran faster. As the demons came I would focus on one spot on the wall and aim to reach higher intensity levels, increase my incline and run till the water pours off me. They would chase me as if it all happened yesterday, so I definitely need to be faster than them.

Not bad for someone who suffers from other health ailments and didn’t think this would be physically possible. When your doctor tells you are in the category of having a heart attack at my age you have to sit up and listen, too much stress she said. (Spook says it is about time I do listen or I won’t make it to her age)

I have made this one of the most important things in my life, it is self-care and have no problem saying no to other tasks as this one gives me strength of a two fold. The other day I had a conversation with someone in regards to how I came across as stronger. The stronger was not only the strength my body has developed physically but the strength from the focus it has provided and the discipline.

I have a long list of running goals to accomplish now and after looking back on the two months of it, it is starting to get more consistent in my pace and the recovery. I am so looking forward to spring and the ability to take this outdoors to enjoy the scenery on the route.

One more great thing it brought, Mr. Jones has been taking advantage of walking on the treadmill. Good on him! I haven’t convinced him to run though, that’s okay. This way we can take full advantage of the training and get ourselves back into the mountains. I feel the need to yodel and hear the echoes of nature.

“It is a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable” Socrates

 

Through the Shadows

I contemplated a lot last night what I was going to write. I have a wonderful story about the love of a couple I recently met. I thought about the happiness I am bringing back into my life. Then I thought about the strong emotion I saw in Mr. Jones face the other day, as he sees changes in me. I came back.

That triggered a thought, a stitch, one that even while I slept it would not let go. I woke up and had that a-ha moment of clarity when all these emotions and troubles popped themselves into a timeline and I could look back and say I now know what that was. It is becoming less of a hold on me.

But still in my head, all I see the other day, is me peeking up over my computer while I cried writing and Mr. Jones watching me intently. He says, ” you know you are healing when you keep letting it go like that.” I cried more.

Mr. Jones wrapped me in a big bear hug after I finished writing, tearing while he sang to me. I could feel so much in that hug and the words. The feelings he had about me. Scared, not sure what our future held, feeling relieved and seeing positive changes in me. I am so amazingly blessed that through all the shadows, he keeps pulling me back to him.

Isn’t that what true love is? One that gives you strength, a partnership, lifts you and still after all these years you have such an incredible connection of emotion. I can see many changes in him as well, since I, (more like we) began the “Bootcamp Therapy” we spend more time talking over music, like we did so many moons ago. Sharing thoughts, dreams and looking at it now as luminous time for us.

It is quite early but we like to get a start to the day now that it feels more like living than before. I snuck out to refill my coffee and to see what Mr. Jones is doing. He is reading in his chair. He loves to read and is quite the smarty pants. (Spook says don’t tell him or it will go to his head.) I find I too, spend more time just watching him. Realizing even more each day how much I love him and am filled with gratitude that he came into my life.

I leave you with J.R.R Tolkien’s quote. It resonated with me from the darkness, the nightmares and the challenges that I thought would break me. Yet somehow it didn’t. Was it because of the strength around me that I pulled from Mr. Jones or was it from love?

“You can only come to the morning through the shadows.” J.R.R. Tolkien