Self Care Sunday – Willingness & Ability

Art

One of my spiritual mentors recently taught me that for someone to grow, spiritually or otherwise, they need to have – Willingness and Ability. Willingness and ability also are needed for any relationship to be successful. I’ve been thinking about willingness and ability in recent weeks. So what does willingness and ability mean?

Willingness – means being willing to do the hard work. To grow we must be willing to expand our consciousness and allow room for change. Being willing means showing up; it means opening our awareness and at times seeing things in ourselves we don’t always like. Being willing to grow and change harkens back to our “free will”. God/Spirit will never violate free will. We must choose to grow and change freely. Once we say yes, God/Spirit will direct us to growth opportunities.

So how do you say yes to growth and change? How do you let spirit know you are willing to grow and show up spiritually? It’s very simple. Establish a one on one direct connection with your higher power through daily conversation and prayer. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or complicated. You don’t have to go to church to talk to God or Spirit. Just talk to God throughout the day. You just need to trust your prayers are being heard; let your faith support you as you move through the challenges of every day life.

Willingness means we are ready to do the work in life and show up for the hard stuff. To grow you have to be willing to change and grow. We also have to be willing to let go of who we thought we were going to be so we can be who we are NOW called to be. As our consciousness expands, our needs will change and our relationships may change as well. As for myself, I ended relationships that were no longer aligned with my highest good and I distanced myself from folks who were disingenuous towards me. As I became more rooted in authenticity and became more self aware, my intuition became clearer. It was easier to see the folks in my life (including coworkers) who were using me. I am better and stronger for making the hard choices and protecting my energy.

The other part of the spiritual growth equation is — Ability. Does someone have the ability to grow? This one is a bit stickier. To grow spiritually, you have to be able to live in faith. Living in faith means you do not always have concrete proof. Do we have the ability to offer compassion and empathy to others? Is our mind open enough to allow for exploration of higher consciousness. Is our mind and heart open to love and differing opinions? Can we accept our failures? Do we hold ourselves accountable for our wrong doings? Can we apologize when we hurt others? The ability to grow spiritually means having emotional maturity and keeping an open mind and heart.

I demonstrate willingness and ability by praying and talking to God throughout the day. More often than not, my conversations with God are just off the cuff as I go through my day. I talk to God while I drive, as I walk, while work, etc… Talking to God/Spirit is just part of my every day life. I also use a few other spiritual practices to ground me:

I use mantras. Remember Seinfeld “Serenity Now”? Serenity Now was actually a mantra. Mantras are words, sounds or phrases that are used to calm the mind and bring peace. It can be anything that brings you peace. My go-to mantra is “Everything is always working out for my highest good!” Another manta I use is Aad Guray Nameh (see below). Aad Gurey Nameh is a Sanskrit Mantra and it is especially effective in opening the Heart Chakra and balancing Heart energies. It’s known to protect and project Heart Chakra Energy. This is my go-to Heart Opener. I say it three times in a row whenever I need to soothe myself or need to open/balance my heart. It’s also good to say this three times just before going into a big meeting, driving in traffic or just when you need a little extra protection. If this mantra does not work for you, find your own word or mantra that you can recite during times of stress and discomfort.

Aad Gurey Nameh

I use Affirmations. I usually start all of my affirmations with “I am so happy and grateful now that I _____”. You fill in the blank with your wish or desire. When you use this affirmation, speak as if it already happened. For example, I wanted to move into a condo on the beach in the fall of 2013. I started saying this affirmation everyday in October 2013, “I am happy and grateful now that I live in a condo on the beach”. I moved into my condo on the beach in January 2014. Make your affirmation personal and say it throughout the day.

Affirmation

I use numbers. I believe in Numerology. I believe numbers have meanings. I am especially mindful of 11:11 and any other repetitive number sequence. When I see 111 or 11:11, I set an intention or say my affirmations. When I see 222, I say “everything is always working out for my highest good. The love I give is returned.” 2s are symbolic of LOVE for me. I often see 333s and 444s after I pray. That’s may sign that my prayers were heard.

We don’t always get what we pray for. If we believe everything is always working out for our highest good, then we should take comfort in knowing that what is meant to be will be. Sometimes life sucks. I’ve trained myself to focus on “Everything is always working out for my highest good”. This gives me comfort through challenging times.

Repeating Numbers

Numerology

As for myself, I choose to believe in “The Spirit in the Sky”. Having faith in a higher power, praying to angels, saints and spirit guides and maintaining a spiritual practice gives me strength. Leaning into the uncomfortableness with the support of my faith makes me stronger.

My question today is do you have willingness and ability for spiritual growth? If the answer is YES, open your heart and God will bring you opportunities to grow. Lean into those around you who are grounded spiritually. Remember – just because someone goes to church every Sunday doesn’t mean they are spiritually awakened. There’s a difference. Spiritual awakening is more about keeping your heart and mind open so that you can hear your intuition guide you than it is about showing up at Mass on time and confessing your sins.

A note about Soul Mates, Soul Mates are deep spiritual connections. They can be romantic but can also be with friends, family, parents. If you have a Soul Mate who is in your life, take comfort in your connection. It’s a special connection sent to you by God to support your growth. Lean into your Soul Mate for support, friendship and unconditional love 💙

The new spiritual book I am reading is “Deep and Simple; A Spiritual Path for Modern Times” by Lozoff. This book is meant to be a simple guide to changing your life by having a daily spiritual practice, living simply and dedicating yourself to being of service. I heard about the book while watching the documentary about Mr. Rogers “Mr. Rogers :& Me: A Deep & Simple Documentary). “Deep & Simple” was one of his favorite books. I think I watched the documentary on Amazon Prime.

Deep & Simple Lozoff

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As an update on my a previous post, my doc couldn’t get the super expensive RX for SIBO covered under my insurance. Instead we are using a low dose of a systemic antibiotic (Doxycycline) for 14 to 28 days that has been shown to be effective plus Digestive Enzymes. The good news is, it was covered under my insurance and will probably help my Rosacea too. The bad news it is a systemic antibiotic. This means it’s giving me a headache, making me tired and my stomach is VERY upset. My doctor said that should all pass in a couple of days. I hope it passes by Tuesday. I have to fly on a little puddle jumper plane on Tuesday. That plane can make my stomach turn even on a good day 😂😂 I am keeping my eye on the weather. There’s a chance we won’t fly if the weather is too windy anyway. That would be a bummer since I have been looking forward to my one to one with my organizational administrator. The affirmation I am currently using for my career is…I am happy and grateful now that I am a permanent employee of ______ 😊😊💙

I chose this song because I love Ol’ Blue Eyes & this song was actually playing in my dreams. i😊I woke up singing it 😂😂 I think Spirit was trying to tell me something 😉

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Self Care Sunday – Are You In The Arena?

Theodore Roosevelt quote

I am a lifelong learner. I am intellectually curious. I crave knowledge. I consider myself a student of life. I am a risk taker. As Theodore Roosevelt says, “I am in the arena”; I show up in life.

Self Care for me includes personal growth, professional development, self exploration and learning from every person I meet. Every situation I am in presents me an opportunity for deeper self awareness and knowledge. Since I am an eager “student”, I am always looking for online courses to take, lectures to attend, mentors to work with and books to read. If you’ve got something to teach me, I am willing to learn from you.

A few years ago, my boss at the time recommended I read “Your Intention Difference” by Ken Tucker, Todd Hahn and Shane Roberson. In the book, you work through exercises that help to identify reoccurring themes in your life and then associated that theme with one word. That word becomes your ID Word and represents the dominant theme in your life or it’s your Intentional Difference. My ID Word is growth. It was really enlightening to read this book and see this in myself. While I always knew I was growth oriented, I never really thought about making decisions so I intentionally put myself in situation where I could grow; it just happened. That’s an amazing piece of self awareness that has changed my life. Since reading that book, I now intentionally make choices that honor my need for growth in all areas of my life.

I changed a lot in the last few years. I’ve changed because I intentionally focused on putting myself in situations where I would have room to grow and stretch; I put myself in situation that honored the truth of who I am. For example, I returned to school to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in 2017; I wanted to learn how to take better care of myself. When I interviewed for my current job, the interview panel asked “Why are you interested in this job?” I said, “Because GROWTH is my ID Word and this seems like the perfect opportunity to stretch and grow”.

Having a growth mind-set and being willing to learn from everyone has been very beneficial in my life, especially in my career. As I’ve been exposed to different people and situations, I’ve been able to learn from each person I encountered then use that knowledge in work situations. For example, a few years ago a coworker was working on redesigning websites in SharePoint. I had no idea how to use SharePoint let alone build a website it in but she needed help and was willing to teach me. I became her student and learned everything she was willing to teach me. In the last few weeks, I’ve been building a website in SharePoint using the skills she taught me. I sent the development site to a few managers for a concept review.

OH MY GOD! So much positive feedback; it blew me away. They didn’t know I could design websites and I didn’t know they need someone who understands SharePoint. My stock went up again this week😂 I am finishing the design and development in the next week or so. I demo it for our “Big Cheese” in early November and then I’ll start socializing it in staff meetings and webinars through the end of the year.

Professionally, growth and development will be my main concern as my temporary assignment at work starts to wrap up in the coming months. I am reminding myself “GROWTH” is my ID Word. I will be evaluating my professional options according to my need for growth and development. I am cautiously optimistic that my current organization is working to find a way for me to stay permanently. Things take a long time where I work so I am still waiting on the dust to settle but we have time to work thing out. The bottom line is I believe there is more room for me to stretch and grow in this organization than the one I worked in formerly but I am trying to keep my mind open. For now, I will pray God puts me where he needs me the most and I pray I am in a position where I can do the most good. I will trust everything is always working out for my highest good.

Since I deactivated Facebook 26 days ago and I have been been limiting my Twitter time, I’ve been reading more. I am now reading “Dare To Lead” from Brene Brown. I’ve read a couple of her books already and I just love her style. I love the way she talks about vulnerability and shame. I especially love how this book reflects on how leaders who are empathetic and vulnerable are actually the strongest. It’s a great read for anyone –especially leaders. If you don’t like to read, it’s also available as an audiobook.

Dare To Lead

Lastly, I suppose worrying about my stomach biopsy & the appointment at Jeff Gastro took it’s toll me the last few days. A mother of migraine hit me early Thursday morning. While I went to work on Thursday, I was in a lot of pain by the time I got home. I took the meds but it was past the point of return. I vomited all Thursday night from and pain and have been taking the meds every six hours which means I haven’t been able to leave the house or drive because they make me sleepy. I guess it’s not all bad. I’ve been enjoying reading and enjoying the rest. It finally broke Saturday afternoon.

My question this Self Care Sunday is are you in the arena or sitting on the sidelines?

I am in the arena. I like being vulnerable and taking risks. As Brene says, “If you are not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am NOT interested in your feedback! If you are in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am open to your feedback and insights!”

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Overstimulation is my Kryptonite

Rumi quote

I am highly sensitive and an Empath. My intuition is super charged. I can feel the heaviness of emotions around me. I am empathize to the point I take on another’s pain. I can tune into another’s heartbreak until I become incapacitated. I can feel the sadness of those around me. It’s a gift and burden. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl. People have always commented about how sensitive I was. My family used to tease me about my sensitivity until I would be in tears. I learned to hide it as I got older until I was eventually old enough to self medicate it with wine and beer.

In recent years, I’ve learned how to manage my sensitivities and embrace the gifts God gave me with good self care practices. I’ve also learned OVERSTIMULATION is my Kryptonite 🤢 Actually, it’s Kryptonite to anyone who is sensitive and empathetic. I’ve found inner peace, harmony and balance can only be found by managing external sensory stimulation.

So what is overstimulation? Overstimulation means too much sensory stimulation from lights, sounds, people, etc. It can include loud music, incessant talking, chaotic environments including work environments, bright white lights, perfumes and scents, too much screen time, too much TV especially NEWS, too much socialization, big parties and social events, not enough sleep, not enough alone time and stress even good stress can be over stimulating. When I am overstimulated, I become snarky, agitated, emotional, controlling and stressed out. When I am overstimulated, I clench my jaw subconsciously. When I am overstimulated, I worry and obsess. If I continue to be overstimulated for too long, I become depressed and can get sick.

I’ve learned as someone who is highly sensitive and empathetic it’s necessary for me practice good self care by giving myself plenty of alone time to recharge. I’ve learned to control how much TV I watch. I’ve learned to opt for quiet music instead of loud music. I’ve learned to stay in bed a little longer and to rest. I’ve learned to use soft lighting in my home and I’ve learned to be selective with whom I socialize and which social events I attend. My biggest overstimulation trigger was revealed to me a few weeks ago and it’s rocking my world.

I deactivated my Facebook account 18 days ago. 18 days ago I stopped using Instagram every day. 18 days ago I started limiting how much time I spend on Twitter. 18 days ago I took control of my Social Media habit and in doing so I realized Social Media was huge trigger of overstimulation for me. I also realized it’s an addiction. The first few days without Facebook were like detox. I kept wanted to go back but I held out. The first few days, I wanted a fix. I held out. I got through it and now, I am calmer and less keyed up because of it. Not only I am not triggered by what I see on Social Media but I’ve also greatly reduced my screen time. I’m sleeping better too.

The biggest benefit to my Social Media withdrawal is that I have more time back in my hands. I am back to reading books before going to bed instead of having my face buried in my phone. I now turn my phone off more often when I am writing or listening to music. I even started watching some shows that partial subtitles and I enjoy it. Something about watching a show with some subtitles makes me pay attention to it more which means I can’t look at my phone. It’s actually pretty relaxing. I am not sure how I feel about Facebook anymore. I am going to go 30 days without it and see how I feel about it then but I am thinking I am just going to leave it deactivated. I actually don’t think it was good for me. I also greatly reduced my time on Twitter too. I am actually happier and more relaxed without all of that noise in my life.

As I sit in my quiet room under warm blanket on a Saturday night writing this blog on my iPad Pro by the soft warm light of my Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp, I am thankful for the wisdom life has given me. I now write on Saturday nights and schedule my posts to go live at 6:00am on Sunday mornings. I am grateful I learned how to shut out the noise and tune into my inner knowledge. It’s been helping me manage my thoughts and stay calm in stressful situations. Sitting in silence is often the only way we can hear our own truth. My soul talks to me in these quiet moments. When does your soul talk to you?

SELF CARE CHALLENGE: Are you up for it? Deactivate Facebook for seven days. If you make it for seven days, go for 30 days. See if you are as addicted and overstimulated as I was.

Other updates, I had another great work week. I am designing a website for my Program and I got some good news about one of my projects that was stuck in our Legal department. I gave another successful presentation to leadership on Thursday which was fun. I enjoyed it. This has been such a great professional experience for me. It’s allowed me to really work to my skill level, use all of strengths and grow at the same time. With regards to my tummy troubles, my appointment with the Jeff Gastro is Wednesday. My local docs say Dr. Michael DiMarino at Jeff Gastro is worth the wait and he is supposedly an excellent diagnostician. I am looking forward to getting some answers and relief. While the pain isn’t horrible every day, it’s definitely not going away and hasn’t gotten better. It may even be a little worse. The waves of nausea that come on suddenly followed by a few other symptoms are uncomfortable. I pray for courage, strength and healing.

Staying tune to my hippie soul, I chose Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the music on this post this week. Their music speaks to my soul. I love their harmony. “Carry On” is one of my favs from them because it’s about Love. When the melody changes in the middle, is usually when I feel the need to dance, be free like a flower child and wish I still “smoked” 😂 I might need a medical script 😇 😂 I digress… in my opinion, “Deja Vu” is one of the BEST ALBUMS of all time by any artist – hands down! I also attached a link to a “Legends” VH1 documentary about them.

Music Deja Vu, CSNY

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Self Care Sunday – Happy, Peace, Fire

Eckhart Tolle Quote

I’ve been writing about heavy stuff lately.  I want to write lighter for this Self Care Sunday.  Here are some things that make me happy, bring me peace and set me on fire. These lists are not all inclusive but a start towards remembering what makes me happy and makes me who I am 🦋

Things that make me happy: 😊
Writing ✍️ Writing makes me happy.  Writing is my art.  It’s how I adapt in this crazy world. It’s how I express myself. It’s how I process situations and emotions. It’s how I heal. I write on my blog and I write in my journal.  When I write – this goes for work and at home, I prefer to use only blue pens 💙 I especially love blue gel ink pens.  They write smooth.  It may seem weird or OCD to have such a ritual but I don’t like black ink – period 😂

The first sip of coffee each day ☕️ There’s something about that first sip that makes me happy and comforted all at the same time. The rest of the cup is great too but that first sip is the best part. I also love the smell of coffee. I prefer Dark Roast coffee. Dark Roast is bolder, has more flavor, less acidity and less caffeine which means I can tolerate a large DD or Wawa Dark Roast coffee without any negative effects 😊☕️ If the coffee is organic and single origin, that’s even better.

Fresh clean sheets 🛏 I hate making the bed. It’s big and has a few layers but once it is made with fresh seats it extremely comfy and cozy.

Living on the beach 🌊 I love living on the beach. I also love living in an area of the country that is so accessible to so many major cities, mountains and beaches. More importantly, I love the change of seasons. I like a rainy day like today. I like a hot sunny beach or pool day. I like a chilly day with with boots and hats. I like snow. The perfect day for me is around 70 – 75 degrees and sunny 😊

My Mom calling me honey😊 “Hiya, Honey!  How ya doin?”  That’s what I hear on the other end of the phone.  It always makes me happy.  My Mother and I have had some crazy battles with each other.  My Mom LIKES TO FIGHT!  No joke, she will take you out!  We both can have a tendency to swing first and ask questions later but I have learned to control that impulse. My Mom, however, will go a few rounds before even thinking of asking the questions. Fighting is cathartic for her; I think it’s probably why she’s 79 years old and healthy. Family members routinely try to slide out of her crosshairs before she really gets going on something. If you can go a few rounds with her once in a while, she will love and respect you forever.

Mom and I have said horrible things to each other, embarrassed ourselves and the entire family in public and at parties with our antics but it’s been a fun ride with her.  I was outside of work one day having a screaming match with her when a coworker/friend walked out.  My coworker asked if I was ok.  I said, “It’s ok. It’s just a crazy old lady driving me nuts.”  My coworker laughed.  My Mom said to me on the phone, “Really Linda?  The old lady comment was a low blow!”  We laughed.  It was over and we moved on to another topic.  That’s how we’ve always gotten along. We fight, bicker and annoy each other. Mom is no weak flower.  I am grateful that 4’11” Blue Eyed firecracker is my Mom. The below photo of my Mom and I was taken yesterday at a 30th birthday party for my niece’s fiancé 😂💙

Hanging out with my sisters 💙 Sandy passed away in 1999.  I have two sisters living.  DJ (Diane) is a straight shooter, like Mom. If you don’t want to hear the truth about something, don’t talk to Diane.  She’s full of common sense and will gladly set you straight on any topic.  Terri is my silly sister. She’s the one always made me laugh in church and then I got into trouble. Terri is funny. When Sandy was intensive care the last week of her life, Terri and I were breaking the tension by being silly.  We were making blowfish on the window of the room.  Well, all we heard Diane say was, “you two are fucking idiots” but she also was laughing.  My sisters have been my biggest fans and most loyal trusted friends.  They make me happy.

Signs 🌟 I ask my angels and guides for signs. It makes me happy to receive signs from spirits and intuition. I ask mostly ask for repetitive number and coins as my signs. 222 is my favorite repetitive number series. 222 is symbolic of partnership, love and highest good. When I receive 222 or see 222, I always say to myself, “Everything is always working out for my highest good. The love you give is returned.”💙🦋

Things that bring me peace: 🙏
Writing ✍️ Writing brings me peace. It’s cathartic.  I share my deeply personal stories and thoughts to heal myself, bring myself peace and perhaps help others heal too.

The stillness of early morning just before sunrise 🌅 It’s my favorite time of day. I switched my work schedule almost ten years ago so I would be up at or before 5:00am on work days. I like the early morning peacefulness in the office. I like driving early in the morning and driving while the sun is coming up. I also like sunset and the slow down that occurs in the evening just before dark.

My Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp 🔮 I love the warm glow in the room when that light is the only light I have on at night. Having bright lights on at night is too stimulating. I like warm mellow lighting in general.

Prayer, Mediation and Mantras 🙏💙 I talk to angels and guides all day long.  I pray throughout the day.  It brings me peace. It stabilizes me on tough days, it motivates me when I need a lift, it centers me when I need to be grounded and calm.  Through prayer, I can be the eye of the storm.

Things that light me up and set me on fire:🔥

Knowledge and learning 🌟🌸 I love to learn. I want to expand my awareness and consciousness. The more self aware we are as individuals the better we are as citizens and leaders in society. Take our President for example. A little self awareness on his part would go a long way. Every good thing that has been accomplished by him is being overshadowed by impulsiveness, rhetoric and over reactivity.

Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl, beautifully said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space…In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and freedom.” Choose your response instead of reacting in the moment is the lesson in his words. You can control the narrative and shift the conversation in your favor with a calm controlled response.

I grew up in a “swing first; ask questions later family” I trained myself over the years to not react. I had to have the self awareness to see I was a reactor and then learn to pull back. I had to learn to strategize the best way to respond instead running down the hall to flip out on someone or firing off a heated text or Tweet. Folks who tend to be hot heads benefit having people who can talk them back in their close circles. Anyone who intentionally fires you up, instigates you and intentionally points you in someone’s direction, is NOT a good influence. Self awareness is the hallmark of good leader and it also includes looking at your circle to be sure you surround yourself with good calming influences. Self awareness is key. Control the narrative. This is a little of the “coach” in me coming out on this topic. 😊

Growth 🌟🌸 Personal Growth through adversity, tapping into my highest good and using every last drop of my own personal power lights my soul on fire. Professional growth is also important to me. I currently find myself in a unique position professionally. While I am advocating for approval for a project I care about, I am also considering career paths that could be open to me at the end of the temporary assignment. I am not sure my current role will stay a full time gig. In my current Org, there are other opportunities in Leadership Development where I could use my coaching certification. There are opportunities as program manager and project lead in other areas. I have an interest in the Chief of Staff role. The current actor is only there temporarily. I am curious what experience would I have to gain to end up in that role. It’s nice to have options and somewhere to grow 🦋💙🌟👍

Poetry 🦋💙 Writing poetry is my art.  My soul speaks through my prose. It’s truly my passion.

Service 🙏 Being of service to others, helping people reach their highest good, motivating people, inspiring people and witnessing for people sets my soul on fire and is extremely rewarding to me.

Blue Love sets me on fire 💙His eyes light a match in me 🔥

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

Viktor Frankel quote

Rainer Maria Rilke Quote

Showing Up Anyway

Glenn Doyle Melton

One of my biggest issues about Facebook and Instagram is that everything on Social Media is an illusion. It’s all smoke and mirrors. You only see what the person posting wants you to see. For example, I had a conversation with a coworker a while ago. From what she told me in person, there is a A LOT of drama in her life and her family life is challenging. However, on Facebook, it’s all big smiles, family photos, beautiful pictures of happy times and long posts about her wonderful life and vacations. Her Social Media image does not match what I saw in person. My coworker isn’t the only person guilty of this. Almost everyone does it on Social Media. I bought into at first too. Folks take 35 crappy selfies and only post the one that turned out good. They use filters on their sunset photos so it looks extra beautiful and make sure you only see what’s good. Social Media robbed us of authenticity and reality.

I disengaged from a Facebook a few months ago. I have no regrets. I am still on it because my family is on it and they post photos of the kids there. I also find out where my nieces softball games are so I can go watch. I enjoy that. I don’t post. As I scroll through posts, I can’t help but wondering how did we all get conditioned to think we always have to be positive, have a beautiful back yard or live in a big home? Why is it everyone thinks your life is wonderful if you are eating dinner with 20 other people or checking into four bars every night? When did we give up our right to have a messy complicated life? Why can’t we ever be pissy, have a bad day, be sad, admit our holidays sucked and God forbid post a bad picture of ourselves on Facebook?

This post isn’t a rant about Social Media. It is about a complete lack of authencity. No one wants to own the messy parts of themselves that aren’t camera ready. No one wants to admit they have depressing thoughts sometimes. No one wants you to see their darkness anymore. I am writing this post because the truth is I am messy and complicated lately. My thoughts are sad and depressing. I am worried and scared. My tummy is bloated. I am in pain and I just am fucking over it. Why should I continue to lie and pretend I am positive and happy when I am not. I am just not…

Don’t get me wrong… There are positive things in my life. I like where I live. I am enjoying my job. My career is going great. My family loves me. Yesterday I got to watch my great niece pitch over 50mph at FastPitch Summer Nationals via North Myrtle Beach Park’s field webcam. Tomorrow is her first elimination game. Her team, Philadelphia Spirit (Fast Pitch Softball), is in seed one in her division. They are undefeated in the tournament so far. I hope I can catch part of the game. My nephew is a good dad and good coach. That makes me proud and happy because I’ve been keeping him straight since I was 10 years old. We fight like brother and sister BUT he listens to me. I get through to him and I know I played a role in making him the man he is today. That makes me happy and proud especially when I see him with his kids.

I have an appt with my Gastro doc tomorrow morning. I am hoping for answers but I don’t expect to get any tomorrow since I will need a scope and probably a cat scan. The pain is all around the left breast which is where the stomach but it is also where the heart is. My BP and Heart Rate have been stable and beautiful. Hopefully that means my heart is not the problem. Either way, I need to figure out what this is because it’s wearing me out.

I just decided it was time to be honest and show authenticity on this blog. Sometimes life sucks. These health issues are taking a toll on my stamina and wearing me down. That is nothing but the truth. Why should I act strong when I am not? Why shouldn’t I allow you to see me? Perhaps I allow folks to see me this raw, others will feel liberated and will drop their masks too. Perhaps someone reading this will see I am sad and know it is ok for them to be sad too. Maybe someone will see it’s ok to be messy and afraid. Show up anyway… Show up in life anyway… The below poem is messy and afraid Linda writing authentically about how she’s been feeling lately. Please open your mind and heart a little before reading this. Allow your compassion and empathy to feel what I am feeling rather than judging me. Then you will understand authentically how I feel.

In gratitude,
Linda

Showing Up, Anyway
By: Linda A Long

I can pretend…For your benefit…That I am well
That my…Mind, body and spirit…Are harmoniously unified
I can pretend…That I am…Determined to…Remain strong and optimistic
That I have…Control of my emotions
That I am…Filled with…Inspiration to rise up…And fight, fight
The adversary within…My own body
Undermining every…Step forward…Pulling me back…After every victory…Weighing me down
With worry, anxiety…And ceaseless attacks…On my body
Weakening my mind…And slowly…Breaking my spirit
I only fought…This long…Because I didn’t…Want you to…Think I was weak
I only fought…This long…Because I believed…I could still…Win
I believed…I could still…Live a full life
I thought…I would still have love
And be able to…Share my heart…With another
Joyfully living my life…In a state of gratitude
But…It is very hard
To be grateful…While feeling…Constantly defeated…By a body that…Attacks itself
It is hard…To be optimistic…When every day…Presents a new physical challenge
With little answers…And even less support
Everyone wants to hear…“I’m great”
No one wants…To know the truth
Or even really…Look in my eyes to see my truth
No one wants to…Stop looking at…Their phone for five minutes to have a simple Conversation
And actually mean it…When they ask…“How are you?”
I’ll just go on…Pretending…“I’m great”
And you all…Just go on…Doing whatever makes you feel good
With your heads…Buried in your phones…Too preoccupied for human compassion
Being too wrapped up…In your own life…To really care…About mine
I go on pretending…To make it easier…For everyone…Who says…“I am here for you”
But really…Just want to be here…When I am great…And not when
Life is heavy and complicated…
I’ll pretend…You care…While you feel…Good about yourself
I know the truth….But
I will keep pretending…For your benefit
If it helps you…Get through the day
Broadcasting fake friendship…On Facebook…While phone calls and texts…Go unanswered
I know who…I can really count on…I know who…Really cares about me
But…I will pretend…For your benefit
Everything is fine…Even while I silently…Want to let go
Because I am tired…
From fighting so hard…To be well…It is exhausting me
Fighting alone…Is disheartening
I am just not sure…I know my reason…Anymore
I don’t know my…Reason to fight…For this life…Anymore
And I am not sure…What difference…It makes
I am sorry…If my true thoughts
Scare you or hurt you…
It just scares me… That I don’t know what my reason…To live is anymore
The next time…You ask…“How are you?”
I’ll smile and say…“I’m great!”
Simply because…It’s what you want to hear
Not because…It’s how I feel
Know this…When I ask you…“How are you?”
I want to hear…The full truth…Even if it is…Messy, complicated and sad
Let me hear your heartache…Let me share your burden…Let me lighten your heart
I want you to know… You are loved…And have a reason… To live
Even if I can’t…Find my own reason anymore

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Have You Checked In With Yourself Lately?

Marilyn Monroe Quote

How did you take care of yourself today?

It’s important to slow down and take a look at your life on a regular basis. Incorporating a weekly check-in with yourself to assess if you are balanced, energized and happy can go a long way to your holistic wellness.

A few weeks ago, I started a weekly check-in with myself in a few areas of my life. In work, I started a 15 minutes check-in with myself on the last day I work each week. I take 15 minutes to whiteboard or think through what I did that week and what I need to focus on the next week. That practice has been helping me prioritize and stay focused. How do you take care of yourself in work? How do you prepare for your next week? What practices do you have to help you stay focused?

As I was driving home last night, I started to do a check-in with my body. I was tired. My temporary dental crown was bothering because it’s too high. My mind was tired from working full time, learning a new job and going to school. I was feeling over scheduled. I was scheduled to be off from work today and I had two annual checkups scheduled with different doctors. I also was planning on doing some homework. Something happened while I was doing my check-in with my body. My intuition spoke up and told me that I needed to slow down. I needed a pause. I asked myself why I was pushing myself so hard in every aspect of my life. Even with making doctor appointments I was over scheduling myself just to get them done. This is what I do. I over schedule myself, push myself, work too hard and then crash. Not this time. I decided to take the pause and slow down. I called and rescheduled both doctors appointments while I was driving hands-free from my car. Neither appointment was urgent. I also made an appointment today with the dentist to get the temporary crown filed down a bit so I could chew better. Both were better choices for my body. Because I checked in with my body and paused long enough to notice I was tired, I was able to sleep late today. I could take my time moving around the house. I could rest a bit today and finish up a couple video lectures while drinking my coffee this morning. I am going back to the dentist to get the temp crown filed down today; that is good self care because my bite has been off the last few days which is aggravating my TMJ. I also wanted to do it today since I’ll have all weekend to see how it feels. My permanent crown doesn’t get put in until 3/13 so I still have ten days to go and I want to make sure I protect my jaw as much as possible. Getting it filed down will help the bite and help my jaw relax. This was good self-care. Have you checked in with you body lately?

My last week of classes at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition is April 23rd. My last exam opens on April 30th. Graduation is in New York, NY is in late May. I am in the homestretch. Starting last night and going to April 12th, I am required to participate in a weekly 90 minute Coaching Circle Conference call with 7 other students and our mentor/coach. Honestly, I was dreading the call all day yesterday. I kept thinking 90 Minutes, ugh! What will we talk about? 😂 Actually, the call was great! 90 minutes flew by. I met a few new colleagues and friends. Our coach is great. The call ended with homework. I have to establish a goal in any area of my life that I can accomplish by April 12th. It should have Action Steps and I will report on it each week. I also need to do some work in defining success for myself in every aspect of my life and writing some high mileage questions to use when I coach people. High mileage questions are questions that get people talking. Everyone already has the answers to everything they need inside of themselves. A coach just helps them find the answers within. I have some other reading to do. But, I was highly energized and happy when the call ended. It was just what I needed. Enjoying the Coaching Circle came as a pleasant surprise to me. What was good for you this week? Did anything pleasantly surprise you?

I am traveling to DC on Tuesday on a puddle jumper to meet my DC bosses and my Program’s Sponsor in person. I am also meeting with an Advocacy group that my Program’s Sponsor sits on their Board of Directors. I am looking forward to Tuesday. This new job is exactly the growth opportunity I needed. It is pushing my skills. I am comfortably uncomfortable because I am stretching but I am well with-in my skill range and no where near over my head. My ability to build partnerships is really a great benefit in this role. I have no idea where this could lead but it feels like it will lead me somewhere I belong. My new group is doing research in Big Data Analytics, CyberSecurity, New Innovations and Aviation Research. I am learning about all of these so I help form partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions to help us do this research. It’s an exciting and interesting place to work. I am so thankful I had the courage to put myself out on this limb. What are you thankful for today? What are you excited about today?

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved
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If you would like to learn more about holistic wellness or would like to schedule a 30 minutes consultation to explore if my health coaching services would be of benefit to you, I invite you to either visit the Coaching Services page of this website and or contact me directly at:

linda@writingholistically.com

Please visit my Coaching Services Page:

https://writingholistically.com/certified-health-coaching/

If you are viewing this post on a mobile phone, please scroll down to the bottom to follow me and see my latest Tweets and Instagram photos 🙂

Today Was A Great Day

Art Brown Eye Peace

Today was a great day 🙂 I attended my first STEM Outreach Event at a local high school. There is a group of Engineers I am friendly with at work. They are working with the school’s Honors Engineering Class on Senior Projects. Once my Engineer friends heard my role changed to Outreach for STEM, Internships and Grants, they asked me to attend today. Actually, one of the Engineers I went with today has become a close personal friend. She’s been a good role model for me the last year. She mentored me a bit which helped me understand the technical aspect of her job.

The Engineers from work are helping the students by giving them feedback on their project four times a year and then judging their final presentation before graduation in June. Since I am joining late, I will not be a judge. However, I was able to give the students advice on good project management, scope control, schedule management and identifying the critical path. I was also able to give some of the really smart kids who talked in technical jargon advice about using plain language and how to relate to people in the real world. Lastly, I talked to them about careers in Aviation. It was fun and rewarding. It was really a great day.

I got my income tax refund today. For some reason, it made me reflect back on 2017. I took a lot of risks in 2017. I enrolled in school to be an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach…I started the Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC…I traded in a two year old car and put the down payment for the a new lease on credit card because my back just couldn’t handle the low car I had anymore…I asked for approval to take a long term temporary assignment because it spoke to my soul…And, most importantly, I finally chose something good for myself at the risk of disappointing or losing people I cared about. People wonder why my jaw was clenched for a solid year. But, here’s thing, in all of those situations, I felt like spirit was moving me. I felt like I was being directed by spirit and every one of those decisions has been pivotal for me in breaking through to a new level of growth. Well, I don’t know the car was about growth but my back does feel a lot better ☺️

I usually use my Income Tax Refund to take a trip for my birthday March. This year I am paying off two credit cards, getting a dental crown and also getting my custom night-guard made for my mouth to stop me from clenching in my sleep. While 2017 was all about risk taking, 2018 is all about stabilization. I am cleaning up credit card debt, doing the dental work and getting the guard to stabilize my jaw and long term health. I am settling into a new job. I graduate in May. I am still getting up to speed in my new job. I am getting comfortable with being slightly uncomfortable. I am getting my feet planted on this new level. Yes, 2018 is about stabilization. I am also forcing myself to slow down my roll☺️ If you know me, I mean really know me, you know that is hard for me☺️ TMJ forced me to see my body can’t keep up with the speed of my mind😉 That means I need to slow my mind down and bring them into harmony.

As a natural risk taker, my life wouldn’t be satisfying without me jumping into the deep end of the pool once in a while and swimming hard to the top to breath again. That’s who I am. I’ve also accepted I do not need a entourage and can’t be around low energy people, drama or gossip anymore. I see right through the fakes. Believe me, I know who my haters are…But, I just don’t care anymore. I am finally free. I will no longer shrink myself to fit in with group, personally or at work. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with that stuff at work anymore. Also, I would rather be alone than be with anyone who could hinder my progress right now. Right now, I feel like I am hitting my stride. I only want to align myself with like-minded people and grow together. Want to grow with me?

Yes, today was a good day. In relation to Integrative Nutrition, I am holistically taking care of myself by taking care of my finances, providing support to my jaw, stretching myself in my career and using my natural “Relator” skills to build relationships. Holistic wellness is about more than a number on the scale, how much sugar you eat of if you drank two beers with dinner. Holistic wellness is about having balance and fulfillment in all aspects of your life. It’s about honoring who you are and making choices that are in alignment with that truth.

How is your holistic wellness? Are you growing today? Did you feed your soul today?

Doing things that help you grow and nourishing your spirit can help improve your holistic wellness and even improve your health.

If you would like to learn more about holistic wellness or would like to schedule a 30 minutes consultation to explore if my health coaching services would be of benefit to you, I invite you to either visit the Coaching Services page of this website and or contact me directly at:

linda@writingholistically.com

Please visit my Coaching Services Page:

https://writingholistically.com/certified-health-coaching/

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Are you growing?

Art health coaching writing

I feel like I need to write about my day today. My head feels like it’s going to explode with new knowledge. I am writing about this today not as a journal entry but as an exploration of growth. I am growing. From a Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching standpoint, the type of growth I am experiencing crosses between the career and spiritual aspects of my life.

Yes, it was a new career opportunity that pushed me to leave the comfort zone but I did it because the opportunity spoke to my soul. It felt almost like a “calling”. I go where I am called.

My whole day today was turned upside down in work today but it worked out perfectly. I was having a hard time focusing this morning. I didn’t sleep well. I drew out my thoughts on my white board which helped clear space and gave me a plan for the day. By 8am found out my meeting with my Program’s Sponsor was postponed because she couldn’t leave DC. My morning was freed up👍

I decided to focus on Outreach but I was having a hard time drafting the email. I put it down & went to a meeting. When I came back the words flowed. I clicked send. Guess what? Within two minutes a Professor I emailed wrote me back. YAY 😀 They are interesting in collaborating and he wants to send students from his school to attend our STEM event in May. OMG! YAY 😁 That one little exchange gave me a tremendous amount of encouragement, hope and inspiration. Then I knew what to do next. I made my outreach list and will contact some each day 👍I had to struggle through the first contact to figure out how to move forward with the rest.

My afternoon opened up by a cancelled meeting so a coworker took me on a tour of the Aviation Structure and propulsion’s research areas😂 I learned propulsion means thrust; it’s energy😉😂😂 The goal of the tour was to learn the research requirements and what college majors/degrees would be best for our internships. Then I’ll target MSI schools with those capabilities. It was a success and interesting. My brain is full of words and concepts I don’t understand but I am also full of hope and inspiration. This is my third week in this new job and I feel like I started making progress!

Someone actually asked me today if I would be going back to my home organizing after this temp assignment is over😂😂 I laughed. I’ve only been in this job for like a minute. Give me some time, would ya? 😂I have almost a whole year to go. I have no idea what I’m going to do. All I know is I’m doing this NOW and I like it for NOW👍However, I have decided to keep an open mind and not plan to stay or plan to go. I am just going with the flow right now. I am working my best for the organization I am currently working in, learning a lot, stretching my skills and GROWING👍When the time comes, I will once again and go wherever my soul calls me. That may be my home org, it could be where I am now or it may be somewhere completely new. I am open to whatever the Universe has to offer me and manifests for me. I am open to anything. I will let the Universe lead my way.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been voting every day for a young woman who is pursuing a dream and who also wants to grow. I gave a donation the first time I voted which pushed her into first place. I see now she is in second place today and there is only 27 hours left to vote. I decided I am going to wait until last minute to vote tomorrow night. If she is still in 2nd place, I’ll buy her some additional votes and make an ANONYMOUS donation to Be Positive hoping to push her into First Place again just before the voting closes. I am strategically going to buy the additional votes right before voting closes so her competition does not get a chance to see it and can’t buy more. Well, that’s the strategy anyway. I am doing it because I like to support people who pursue their dreams and and also want to grow. Hopefully, my strategy works and she ends up in first place at midnight. I’ll buy the votes/donation – if she needs it – ANONYMOUSLY as to not draw any attention to myself 😉 I probably should have done that the first time.

My only bummer this week is that I went to the Dentist for a cleaning and found out I have an infected pocket under a tooth. The good news is no root canal but they did inject an antibotic under the tooth that will stay there ten days 🙄 It’s making nauseous 😦

Lastly, I’ve been seeing 222 and 2222 EVERYWHERE for four days now. I think my angels and guides are trying to tell me to chill the F OUT, have a little faith and patience. Everything is working out just fine 😇

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

NOTE: If you are viewing this post on a mobile phone, please scroll down to the bottom to follow me and see my latest Tweets and Instagram photos 🙂

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NOTE

Are you growing today? Did you feed your soul today?

Doing things that help you grow and nourishing your spirit can help improve your holistic wellness and even improve your health.

If you would like to learn more about holistic wellness or would like to schedule a 30 minutes consultation to explore if my health coaching services would be of benefit to you, I invite you to either visit the Coaching Services page of this website and or contact me directly at:

linda@writingholistically.com

Please visit my Coaching Services Page:

https://writingholistically.com/certified-health-coaching/

222 Meaning 2222 Angel Numbers

Love, Sex & Poetry ~ The Surrender

  
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word surrender. Life forced me to be a fighter at a young age. I never backed down. I never surrendered to anyone or anything.

As I’ve expanded my consciousness in recent years, I’ve learned surrendering takes courage. Often the only way for us to end one chapter of our lives and bravely start a new one is to first surrender to what is in our life instead of holding on to what was. We must surrender to the truth in our lives and in our hearts to find peace and begin again.

Once I started to understand that surrendering was a way to transform any situation into a opportunity for growth I started embracing the moments of truth that call me to change and grow. This poem is born out of those thoughts

The Surrender
By: Linda A. Long

As I surrender
To what is
Without knowing
What will be
I lay my
Hopes and fears
At your feet
And acquiesce
To the intuitions
I hear in my soul
And see in my dreams
Nervously trusting you
More than
I’ve ever trusted
Another person
I put my fate
Into your hands
I’m trusting you
With my destiny
Without reservation
And growing
Through the experience
Realizing I
Broke through
The old paradigms
That prevented me
From love
In releasing myself
From the fear of loss
I’m timidly opening my heart
To you
Balancing myself
Ever so carefully
Between
Releasing pain
From the past
And embracing
The possibility
Of could be
I surrender
To the budding love
I feel in my heart
And willfully
Allow my heart
To feel again
I surrender
(C) 2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

“Life is best when lived passionately”


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Art ~ Jonas Kunickas
Music ~ “Shut Your Eyes” By Snow Patrol ❤️ this song❤️❤️❤️

Growing Pains 

 
They don’t call them “Growing Pains” for no reason. Have you ever seen a Caterpillar break out of the cocoon and become a butterfly? The transformation process is a struggle! But then one day the Butterfly emerges and realizes it’s true potential. It’s simply magnificent.

This summer has been quiet strange and somewhat intense for me as compared to last year because I’ve been having “growing pains” this summer. Mostly these pains are self-inflicted as I’ve challenging myself in different aspects of my life to break old habits, smash the old paradigms of my thought processes, let go what no longer serves me and rise to be my highest best version of my myself. Yes, quite a change from last summer. Last summer allowed myself to stay still, rest and enjoy living on the beach. This summer, well, living on the beach is great but it’s time to focus on the other areas of my life that perhaps I’ve been ignoring or neglecting.

In July 2010 I had a major heart event that was related to my Congenital Arrhythmia. This “event” which was not a heart attack but an electrical problem in my heart was the first sign that something wasn’t right my body. But then I believed ignorance was bliss. I got out of the hospital and met my “friends” for happy hour the next night. But that was just the beginning of what only can be described as a storm that totally ripped apart my life. Over the next year and half I continued to have rhythm disturbances. I wore a heart monitor for three weeks to be sure It wasn’t time for a pace maker. I took two medications every day and rarely missed a happy hour.

Well, the combination of too much medication and too many happy hours destroyed my stomach and polluted my Liver causing Non Alcoholic Steatohepitiis. That’s when happy hour stopped being happy. I was sick more days than I was well but I was still working full time. I hid how sick I really was from everyone including family, friends, coworkers & bosses. I hid it because I hadn’t made my decision yet as to what I was going to do about the situation. I knew my life would have to change. I wasn’t sure I wanted it bad enough. I wasn’t sure life meant that much to me to fight that hard. I wasn’t ready to let go and I sure as hell wasn’t ready to lose everything I thought I needed. “I thought I needed.”

I called my Mother after I had a doctor’s appointment with a specialist at Temple University Hospital in Philly. It was time for me to come clean with her. It was serious and she needed to know. She was the first the person I admitted the truth to. She was the first person I told just how sick I really was. I’ll never forget her crying into the phone and saying, “Linda, just so you know, I’m not strong enough to watch another one of my children die. If you chose to continue living this way and die, you will be taking me with you because I just can’t do it again. I can’t!”

Her words sat on my chest like an elephant. I almost couldn’t breathe when I got off the phone. After crying for a few hours I made my decision and started the hardest job of my entire life. I started reclaiming my spirit but diving into meditation and yoga. I started reclaiming my health but quitting drinking, smoking and eating gluten. I reclaim my emotional well-being by disassociating myself from people who as it turned out were just drinking buddies and not real friends. I reclaimed my heart from an unhealthy relationship and man who treated me like crap.

That was the day I said, “What the fuck! How did I let things get this bad? How did I neglect myself this much? Why didn’t I see it before now?” Nothing like a Mother’s Guilt to open your eyes to the truth. My Mom is and always has been about “keeping it real.” But, now I can say my Mother not only gave me life but she also saved my life that day with her words. I am 100% healthy now. My Liver is 100% healthy. My arrhythmia is for the most part stabilized. It only acts up occasionally. But I only take a very low dose of one medication. I’m still a non smoker and I still don’t drink alcohol. While the Liver specialist said I could have a glass of wine, beer or champagne now and again, I don’t indulge because it can and has adversely affected my arrhythmia. The Premature Atrial Contractions & Tachycardia that I get are innocent for the most part but can really freak you out especially when you wake up out of a dead sleep feeling like your heart just stopped. It’s not worth it.

But, back to the reason I am writing this blog. I didn’t mean to retell my story. If you follow my blog, you probably read it before. I’m very proud of myself for having the balls and determination to reclaim my life and pull myself back from the edge. But, I’m still struggling some areas of my transition. As a natural introvert, alcohol used to grease the wheels for me and help me interact socially without constant anxiety. Going to happy hour was a social outlet and after my first drink I was actually quite extroverted, popular, fun, animated & chatty. But this new authentic Linda is more reserved and quiet. It’s hard for to enter new social environments especially alone.

Some friends from my former life invite me happy hour with them and say, “Oh, come on. You can come out. Just drink a soda!” That cracks me up because I tried it. I order a soda and I am ready to leave after about an hour. They knock back two Martinis or glasses of wine and nurse the last one begging me to stay until they finish. Meanwhile, it’s hard for me to understand their version of English and I get a headache from the noise. It’s not fun. I LOVE going out to Dinner! I enjoy going out to Dinner! Can’t we please eat a meal together while you drink? Then I can enjoy dessert and coffee while you nurse your after dinner drink. We will both be happy😄👍 But, it doesn’t seem to roll that way. I would go out dinner ever Friday night I could find someone who didn’t need to go to happy hour. Thankfully, I do have a few true friends who make an effort for me and will have dinner or go out for coffee with me.

As I’ve stepped away from the bar social scene and my old crowd, I’ve been exploring other interests. But honestly, a lot of these activities require me to go into new groups, new environments by myself for the first time. That is very hard for me with nothing to grease the wheels for me. Last night I went to a new Drum Circle on the beach a 1/2 mile from my house. I went alone. I didn’t know anyone. But, I pushed through my anxiety and did it. I enjoyed it. The facilitator also owns a Yoga studio which is perfect. I will go back. It’s was a first step in finding a new social outlet and new tribe of like minded people.

I was telling my story about last night to my friend, Brian, earlier this afternoon. He and his wife own Herban Legend in Smithville, NJ. I bought my Djembe Drum from him last year. After I told him the story, he got a big smile on his face and proclaimed, “I am proud of you and you should be proud of yourself!” He made me laugh. I felt like I was five and my Dad just told me he was proud of me. I then told him next I was going to go to an Open Mic Night on a Saturday night at the local Coffee Shop and read some of my poetry. He laughed and told me I was starting to talk crazy and winked at me.

This brings me back to my first sentence. They don’t call them “growing pains” for no reason. But if you want to grow, you have to leave the comfort zone and be extraordinarily horribly uncomfortable time to time. There is no way easy way around it.

Well, now I will be working up my nerve to read my poetry out loud at the Open Mic Night some Saturday Night. I will tell you this… It won’t be tonight😁 I grew enough last night. It’s time to chill out and just “be” for a while😁👍

Are you experiencing “growing pains”? Are you pushing yourself to expand and be open? Tell me your stories! Motivate me! Inspire me! Challenge me! But, most importantly, grow with me!

(C) 2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

“Life is best when lived passionately”

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Art by; Jonas Kunickas

The song “Daughters” by John Mayer has always been especially moving to me. The truth is my Dad dying when I was seven was very traumatic for me and honestly fucked me up a bit in relationships. But, thankfulky, I have a strong Mother who not only gave me life but saved my life too. I’m the best Linda I’ve ever been. I’m finally ready to share myself and my life. I’ve finally grown enough that I am ready to let someone in.

GROWTH!