Archive for August, 2008

On Vacation

Before I get totally crazy with last-minute tasks, I will take a few minutes to write. Actually, everything is pretty much taken care of. I just need to do one more load of laundry before I can finish packing my suitcase.

Whenever I go away on a major trip, there is a need to tie up loose ends. Although it could happen any day that I don’t come back home, a trip across the ocean brings that truth closer to home. So I want to use this opportunity to thank all you readers and commenters out there. Originally I started this blog because several people told me it is the best way to promote a book. In the meantime, it’s so much more than that. It’s been a learning process which forced me to overcome my fear of technology and helped me realize I’m not totally incapable and can in fact figure things out. And it has been a wonderful communication experience with people around the world. There is something magical about having a new friend — in South Africa or Valhalla, for instance. Wow!

So I thank you all and look forward to a visit with family and old friends. After that I look forward to returning back here and writing and corresponding again. And four days after I return, I start my new job. Yahoo!!

I wish everyone all the best. Take care! See you in September.

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August 16, 2008 at 11:03 am 6 comments

Quick miracle update

I have been rather busy lately — with visitors coming and going, preparing for my trip to the States next week, and with my daughter. Things have taken such a turn, it continues to amaze me. It’s not so much the tangible change in appearances, but the feelings. It seems like now that my love for her has resurfaced from the depths of hopelessness and resignation, she feels it and is blossoming as well.

Last week I met a friend and we visited her sister’s ceramic workshop. She had a group of elementary school children there who were taking a pottery class for the week. It was nice. Afterwards, I wondered if she could use some help. First I asked my daughter, if she would be interested and if she wanted to me ask. She did. Thus we were able to arrange it.

What happened? My daughter was removed from the daily routine, dealt with a very kind person who was happy to have her around and showered her with compliments about her ability, creativity, and natural talent. All compliments are true, by the way! The children loved her and were happy to see her each day and glad to have her help on their projects. The first day she came home and said, “Mommy, B. said I really have a gift for working with clay.” She was quite pleased. The responsibility of getting up on time, getting the right train, and doing the job well was quite beneficial. And of course she was pleased to earn a little spending money.

Yesterday she planned to stay longer, but was concerned about the lunch break. What should she do? She doesn’t know that town so well and didn’t want to be alone. I asked her if she’d like me to join her. She did. I went to the shop and she showed me what she’d been working on. (She was allowed to make things as well.) She’d made a chalice for burning incense and such things. On the rim, she’d written the word “peace” and on the stem she’d written my name. I nearly melted with happiness.

We went out and had a nice lunch, really talking. I think she talked to me more this week than she did all year. It was a delight to listen to hear, to see her believing in herself again. It’s another little step on the path, and we’ve definitely passed a sharp turn along the way.

Now I am almost sad about my upcoming trip home. I will travel alone. When I made the arrangements, I couldn’t wait to get away. Generally whenever I went away for a few days, I was relieved to be alone. This time I will enjoy it, but I know I will miss her more than usual. That is a nice feeling.

I had burrowed in my disappointment and sadness, nearly abandoning those I love most. I am immensely grateful to have found my way back. It is still saddening to think about the lost time, but instead today I focus on the possibilities of today.

I hope the reader will be encouraged to believe in change. As we make discoveries and gain insight, that can help us to make change. It doesn’t happen overnight. “Slowly but surely” is a good motto. Even for relationships that have derailed, there is hope.

August 15, 2008 at 11:16 am 2 comments

Sunday’s Goddesses

Lately I’ve taken a break from consulting the Goddess Cards. For quite a while, every time I picked a card, they either told me to go out and get some fresh air, to do my art/music, or that I am strong and independent, and everything will turn out for the best. After I’d heard that several times in a row, I decided it was time for a break. I mean, if you get the same advice over and over, maybe it’s time to follow it instead of repeating the question.

During the past weeks I have been out more. I went to the Buddhist monastery again, to the rock circles on the mountain (our mini-version of Stonehenge), and to the lake. I have also taken more time to be with good friends. That has helped.

On this bright sunny Sunday morning, I saw the cards on the bedside table and they seemed to beckon. So I figured, what the heck? Why not see if they say something different today? Obviously they did, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have written.

I picked Isolde and Irene. Isolde says: “For affairs of the heart, there is help all around you, as well as within you. Your inner wisdom might have been silenced by the pain, but trust that your healing will be effective and fast, and that you will truly heal from the inside out.

First your heart must be healed from all worry, loneliness and feelings of betrayal. Be patient, it may take some time. Be as gentle and considerate with yourself as you would be with anyone else who is suffering. And then, go out into the world. (I knew this was coming!) Not into the raw everyday world, but into the world of forests, parks, and other such places. They will help you view the world in a friendlier way. Nature is a great healer. That’s why I like to be among the trees and flowers. They appear still, but if you open yourself to them, you will soon discover that they are quite communicative. Spend time in forests, under trees, with flowers and animals, and soon you will return to the living. I promise you that your heart will heal and that you will in this way also be of help to others.”

Various affirmations from Isolde are: “No matter how things appear on the outside, your partner’s love is eternal. – You are presently in the process of ending and healing from a relationship. – You are healing from some other type of loss. – Let go of an old relationship to make space for a new one. – The love that you spread into the world is an essential part of your godly calling. – Loved ones who have died are well and send their love.”

Irene says: “Even if things seem to be chaotic, I assure you there is a larger plan in effect. The ever-loving power supports you fully. Relax in the arms of godly love and let go of cares and fears as you breathe out. Concentrate on happily recognizing every blessing that you receive. Your gratitude will bring more blessings into your life.”

Various affirmations from Irene are: “Leave your cares and fears to the sky. – Pray – Meditate – Do whatever strengthens your inner peace, i.e. yoga, sea salt baths, massage, quiet pauses, music, playfulness and such things.”

Today’s cards are assuring me that I am on the right path. I feel that healing. Lately I’ve truly had the sensation of coming back to life, walking again among the living. Through the process, I have found my way back to my daughter as well. That alone is enough of a blessing, but there is much more. Life seems worth living. I no longer feel trapped. I can make decisions, take steps, and be aware of what is going on. People appreciate and like me. I am not a victim. Life is incredible and I am grateful.

I just wanted to share this because, as usual, it might be helpful to someone else as well. Have a beautiful day!

August 10, 2008 at 10:43 am 9 comments

What’s a miracle?

I don’t know what happened. I wrote this piece and then hit a key by accident and damaged the document and I don’t seem to be able to get it back. Needless to say, the first version was better, but I’ll try.

Since I’m asking the question, you can be sure I have an answer in mind. My daughter just called to ask me if I think it’s a good idea for her to take a cab home, since it’s turned rainy and cold. I told her it’s a very good idea.

Why is that a miracle? It’s a miracle because her voice was different. She somehow seemed more open. For the past few years she’s been angry and distant. I understand that because I’ve felt the same way, though I tried to hide it. I was disappointed with my marriage and continually withdrew into my own little world. I had my hobbies and pursued them with a vengeance bordering on obsession. Only recently did I realize what was actually happening – that I was abandoning what I love most in this world.

There had been much anger and disappointment. Many times I’d thought to myself: “If my husband doesn’t come through, why should I?” Meanwhile I was blind to the fact that I was giving up and withdrawing from my children as well.

During the past six months, I have had many revelations. Now that I have come clear about my feelings and rediscovered things close to the heart, there is a new energy inside me. Instead of going through the motions with the sense that I’m just doing my duty until I’m finished, there is a connection there. Love has come back. I deserve to express my love for my children. I have a right to give them my support, time and love, regardless of how things are with my husband. I refuse to punish myself or my children any longer by resigning from life. I am now taking steps for change, following them in trust, as I don’t see the big picture just yet.

It has been painful to recognize my resignation and withdrawal – and the insanity in such behavior. I am sad and not at all proud of what happened. I made a lot of mistakes during the past 16 years. Adolescence is not the optimal time to set about trying to correct these mistakes. On the other hand, if that’s when the realization comes, that’s when it’s time to fix things. At this late date it will take more effort, but it is possible. I will not give up.

This is a difficult post to write. I’ve read various blogs by mothers who are totally there for their families. They are involved in working relationships with their spouses and they are devoted to their children. Often I feel a tinge of envy when I read their posts. I am ashamed to say that I failed miserably in this department. Yet I did the best I could at the time. And now my eyes are opened and I see the damage done. Today I view these successful mothers as encouraging possibilities, and I can let go of the envy.

The path I’m on is the path I’m on. There is no other way to go. So, for today, I am working to build the bridge back to my children. I let them down and we have all suffered because of it. My daughter suffered especially. She is very sensitive and aware. Plus she is disappointed in me as a role model. But lately, through the realization of what happened, memories have returned. I remember how happy I was when they were born, how I marvelled at their development. I remember all the things I did with them when they were younger, and how I used to spend days just watching them in amazement (and with pride). I remember the fun we had. All is not lost. When love is there, healing can occur.

In the meantime, I’ve also learned not to beat on myself for past mistakes. That doesn’t help. It is much more helpful to assess the situation and see what can be done to improve it.

Tonight the connection has been reinstated. Does she sense what is happening? Have I already changed so much that she feels the difference? Was it simply because I bent over and kissed her goodbye on the top of her head before she went out tonight? (She was sitting down, otherwise I’d have to stand on my tip-toes!) Does it matter?

A miracle is love.

 

 

August 9, 2008 at 11:44 am 3 comments

The confidence connection

This confidence thing has set off quite a process! Not only am I focusing on it on a daily basis, but the depth and ramifications of the word continue to impress me. For example, a friend of mine was recently in an uncomfortable situation in which she was falsely accused of a minor offense. She told me about it yesterday and said it took her two weeks to respond.

It came to mind that this reaction is related to lack of self-confidence. When I have confidence, then I trust not only in my self and my ability, but also in my perception. Thus if someone verbally attacks me or falsely accuses me of something, when I trust in my perception, I am better able to respond in the moment. If I am insecure, then I blame myself, feel angry and hurt but remain silent, withdraw and think about it for a while. Perhaps I’ll also discuss it with a few girlfriends to see what they think and ask their advice. Then, when I’m sure my perception is correct, I will act on it, if that is still appropriate. Sometimes it’s too late.

When I am confident in myself, I trust my perception, my creativity, my empathy, my energy level, my personality, my intentions, my love – and the list could go on. This trust enables me to feel secure and accept my self exactly as I am.

This all sounds quite simple, but for me it is a major breakthrough.

By the way, I am presently translating my book into German. With my sharpened perception for lack of confidence, I noticed that it was present before I ever met my husband. I guess I chose him to push my buttons.

During a walk with a dear friend yesterday afternoon, I burst out laughing when I realized that I should be grateful for my husband. (I already am, but this is a different reason.) I do believe that we pick our partners to learn something, and I need to learn to stand up for myself and say No. I need to let go of the victim role. So I laughed and said to my friend: “I am grateful because he offers me an unlimited supply of opportunities to learn to be confident and stand up for myself!”

My antennae have been activated and I am ever watchful for anything related to confidence. By the way, it also has to do with acknowledgement of my limits. Sometimes I push myself beyond what I can do, because I otherwise feel inadequate. With confidence, I accept these limits as being legitimate.

Confidence is connected to so much. I’m sure this will not be the last post on confidence. These realizations and connections have brightened my view and I want to share the brightness with you!

August 7, 2008 at 9:08 am 2 comments

What should I cook for lunch today?

Expansion of consciousness can occur on various levels. A headline somewhere about what to cook struck off a thought. At least once in their lives, many mothers (myself included) sigh and say, “What should I cook for lunch today?” Some (myself included) have even been known to say, “I’m tired of cooking lunch every day!” All of a sudden, it zapped me how fortunate I am. My concern is what to pick out, what to prepare from the massive amount of foods available at the local grocery store (or stored in my pantry and freezer). I don’t want to lay any guilt trips, but just want to offer this as food for thought. Often we forget what we have.

Today I am aware of the abundance in my life. And I am grateful.

What does this have to do with eating disorders? Well, I think it is a big step when we learn to view food as something that keeps us alive rather than the enemy. I remember that was a huge breakthrough for me.

August 5, 2008 at 9:04 am 3 comments

A comment that became a post

With a sheepish grin on my face, I feel like a kid who got caught because she didn’t finish her homework assignment. Njord the Wise gave me a generously long-winded response to “Confidence revisited” which got me thinking. As I was writing about people who inspire me, it did occur to me that their self-confidence was at the base of their success. Just imagine if Patti Smith hadn’t believed in herself?! For myself, I probably would not have survived adolescence if it hadn’t been for her. I’m not kidding.

I was given the advice to forget about the other words and just focus on confidence. It does not happen in just two days. So I will do that. I will focus on confidence, pay attention to body language, speech, carriage and my thoughts as well. And I will carry that piece of paper with me as a tangible reminder when I start to falter. I will reach into my pocket to feel it, breathe deeply and be quiet (if possible) until confidence is restored. It is true. Confidence is the foundation, upon which all the other qualities become quite accessible.

I got a few compliments today, and I just decided I will accept the recognition as honest and not think that people are just saying it to be nice or because they feel sorry for me. They have no reason to lie.

Another thought: I remember my brother told me it would take six months to learn to play the guitar (basic chords at least). That gave me the determination to continue over the early frustrating months. I trusted that I would eventually get it right. I trusted that I just had to practice and not give up. Once I’d tried to learn to play guitar when I was 14, but gave up after two days, because it was too hard. I used the same chord diagrams from a Pete Seeger songbook both times. Need I say more?

The German word for self-confidence is Selbstvertrauen. It literally translates as “Trust in the self”.

There is a great song from Jimmy Cliff that fits here. I used to listen to it a lot while I still had the bulimia. By the way, if you haven’t already guessed, I am truly thankful that such wise people read my blog and share their wisdom in comments. Thank you!

 

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last

Persecution you must bear
Win or lose you’ve got to get your share
Got your mind set on a dream
You can get it, though harder them seem now

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last
I know it, listen

Rome was not built in a day
Opposition will come your way
But the hotter the battle you see
It’s the sweeter the victory, now

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last

You can get it if you really want – I know it
You can get it if you really want – though I show it
You can get it if you really want
– so don’t give up now

August 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm 2 comments

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