Self Care Sunday – Learning To Be Kind To Myself

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday – IG @highestgoodcoach

This Self Care Sunday is about me working on accepting that I am human. I make mistakes and it’s ok. I have a tendency to expect perfection from myself. When I do slip up, I am often very hard on myself. I am working on being kinder to myself. So here’s what happened….

I went to Philly for the weekend. My great niece graduated grade school. I went to Philly to see family and go to her party. I was feeling a bit off most of Saturday. I had a lingering headache in between my eyes which eventually passed as the day went on. Since there is a rife in family I was also uneasy about going to the party because my niece’s parents are part of the problem. I felt a kid shouldn’t be punished because of the actions of the parents so I went to the party. I also went because my Mom wanted me to go with her and I needed to to be a good daughter to my Mom this weekend. After all, she’s been my only parent since I was seven.

The party ended up being much more enjoyable than I expected. I made plans to bring three of my five great nieces to my house for a weekend in August. They all play tournament softball. They work hard and play ball EVERY weekend all summer long. My niece going into high school pitches over 50mph and is already being scouted by colleges. They are going to Nationals in Myrtle Beach in July. After they get back from Nationals, my nephew is letting them take a long weekend off from ball to come to my house for beach time the first weekend in August. It’s about teaching them to create balance in life. I live on the beach with a pool. We can also walk down the boardwalk and catch fireworks on Saturday night. When the girls are with me, they are just kids at the beach for a weekend. I am hoping to teach them having fun and balance in life is as important as working hard while playing ball.

Anyway, back to the story of how I screwed up… My Mother lives on hill. Normally when I am staying with her for a weekend, she lets her neighbors know. Then they leave me a spot out front of her house so she doesn’t have to walk up the hill to my car. When got home around 11pm last night. All the spots were filled and I had to park at the top of hill. When we went out this morning for breakfast, she asked me to back the car down to her house so she didn’t have to walk up with her cane. This is when I screwed up😂 I am a VERY careful driver but for some reason while I was backing up, I lost my bearings. I backed into a parked car because I didn’t see it in my blind spot. It wasn’t a lot of damage but a good dent and some paint was scraped. It was my Mom’s neighbor’s daughter’s car. After I parked, I went and knocked on their door. Told them I would pay cash for the repairs and take care of everything. Then the daughter said, “Sorry, we know to leave your spot open when you come to see your Mom. My boyfriend parked in it and I forgot to tell him to move.” I thanked her but made it clear it was my fault not hers. The parking issue is just another issue why I can’t wait for my mom to move especially now that she uses a cane and can’t walk up the hill.

My Mom’s neighbors were fine. Very understanding and accommodating. They know I am going to pay for repairs. They weren’t even upset. They actually felt bad they didn’t leave the spot open. It was me who couldn’t let it go. I was beating myself up trying to figure out how it happened. I kept telling myself I should have just went around the block. Until my Mom looked at me and said, “would you STOP”. Everything is ok. There wasn’t much damage and you are taking care of it.”

As I drove home, I was fairly annoyed with myself. I was trying to figure out why I couldn’t let it go.Why was I punishing myself for making a mistake. Well, it’s gonna be close to a $500 mistake. Ouch! I’ve only had this new car for 10 months and it already has been banged up three times. That makes me a little worried. The interesting thing is if I wouldn’t have been rear-ended three weeks ago, I would not have known how to handle the situation without cops or insurance getting involved. So when I put my car into the shop on Tuesday to get the body work done from that accident, they can also touch up my paint from this morning’s boo-boo😂

When I got home, I went for a four mile walk on the boardwalk. I had enough sun for today so I am now sitting on my balcony writing this blog. I am also working on accepting I am human and accidents happen. It’s interesting that I am often kinder and more understanding with others than I am to myself. That’s is an opportunity for growth for me. It’s something I will be working on with my own Holistic Wellness Coach and fellow IIN Alumni, Stephanie at www.findyourbrave.co. Stephanie has become a close friend, accountability partner to me and she is a great Coach!

On a side note, I asked my Mom to do the DNA Ancestry test and she said, “Nope! Grandmom was off the boat from Ireland; she had a Brogue. PopPop’s parents were off the boat from Ireland and Germany. I know what I am. Your Dad was the mutt; not me!”😂😂😂 I also did some research. 23andMe considers Ireland to under England. That’s why mine came up mostly British. My Mom and I went through all of my sister’s photos from out west. I found out she went out west a few times to visit a cousin who was in the Air Force and stationed in Montana. She went to South Dakota, Montana and Iowa. She took the train coast to coast. I think I would like to retrace some of her steps in my trip next year but I am not sure about the train coast to coast, maybe only one direction 🙂

Are you a perfectionist? Do you beat yourself up when you screw up? Do you know how to be kind to yourself?

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

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Self Care

Reaching For The Moon – Poetry

Reaching For The Moon
By: Linda Long

I was
Uncomfortable
I was
Frustrated
I was unhappy
And then
Then I got pissed off
I was pissed off
That my life
Was not
The way I wanted
It to be
I was frustrated
That I had
To change
I was unhappy
That I had
To let go
Of everything
I was convinced
Was meant for me
I tried to do
Damage control
A few months ago
I tried to stop
The emotional
Tidal wave
From taking over
I tried to stop
It from escalating
The harder
I tried
The more frustrated
I got
Until I couldn’t remember
What I was fighting for
As I became
More aware
Of my feelings
I could no longer
Ignore the truths
Truths in my life
The truth was
I changed
Therefore,
Things had to change
I was transforming
Into a better version
Of myself
I was
Seeing all the opportunities
For growth and expansion
I was becoming aware
Of every unfulfilled area of my life
I starting seeing
Things clearly
I was feeling
The emptiness
Of every void
In my life
I knew
I couldn’t ignore the
Truth anymore
My body
Started breaking
From the stress
Of trying to hold on
So tight
My body
Started clenching
Trying to hold back
Words and feelings
As I wrestled
With choices
I prayed
And prayed
Meditated
Chanted
Slept and went inward
Looking for answers
And all I heard
Was
Follow the signs
Cautiously
Timidly
I started following
The signs
As they led me
To one bridge after
Another in my life
At each one
I contemplate
If I should cross
I asked myself
Should I stay
On this side
It’s safe
I am unfulfilled
But
At least
I don’t have to
Change or let go
Should I cross over
I don’t know
What’s like
Over there
I don’t know anyone
I will miss
What I leave behind
My heart
Isn’t sure
It can start over
My soul
Doesn’t want to
Let go
I am comfortable here
It’s ok to stay
Right?
I deserve
To be happy
And fulfilled

I heard the voice
Within
Whisper to me
I am capable
Of doing more

It Rang true
In my heart
It’s no longer
Comfortable for me here

I knew it was the truth
As the words
Flashed across
My mind
As I accept
That it is time for
Me to welcome
Change and transformation
Into my life
I pray
I am strong enough
To let go
Of what no longer
Is meant for me
And courageous
Enough to
Open up to
New possibilities
As I welcome
The new version
Of myself
Just over the horizon
I hear
I can
I will
I must
Make a difference

And so the decision
Was made
To cross the bridge
Being thankful
For every experience
And growth opportunity
I had along
The way
Thankful
To the people
Who God brough
Into my life
As teachers, mentors and friends
I trust and have faith
Those who are meant
To be in my life
Forever
Will remain
What is meant to be
Will find a way to be
I pray
For protection
Blessings
And the support
Of those who
Care about me
As I choose to
Try something new
Not sure
Of what’s
On the other side
But knowing
I can’t stay
On this side anymore
I can no longer
Play small
And accept less
Than I want and deserve
It’s time
For me to open up
And reach for
The moon and stars
Within my own soul
It’s time to welcome
Something better in my life
It’s time I welcome
A new version of myself
A healthier, happier
And more fulfilled
Version of myself
It’s time
For change
(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Life is best when lived passionately

 

 

NOTE

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have noticed I removed several posts. This is because I thought the journal entries had too much information about my personal life in them. If someone Googles me and finds a blog of poety and essays, that’s ok. But I don’t want folks finding every detail of my life. While I am still keeping a journal with those thoughts in them, it’s set to private. I guess you can tell by this poem, it’s a time of change in my life. I’ve decided I can no longer play small. I deserve to be happy and fulfilled. I am nervous and excited to see what will happen but it’s now too uncomfortable for me to stay as is.

The Story Of My Life – Bohemian Gypsy Meets Intellect

J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “Not all who wander are lost.” This resonates with me on the deepest level because it that is very much the story of my life. I have a bit of a gypsy soul but was also fortunate enough to have book smarts too. I’ve been this duality of bohemian artist meets intellect my entire life.

My Mother saw the gypsy in me when I was young. My father died when I was seven. My Mom raised five kids on her own and knew life was tough but would be tougher for her wandering gypsy daughter. Being a “Drill Sergeant” type of Mom she insisted I focused on using my intellect, learning “real” life skills, as she said called them, and getting a good education. Because my grades were high and my family’s financial situation, I was lucky enough to get a grant that paid for half of my tuition at local all-girl catholic prep school so I had a great high school education which has left me with some life-long friendships. After high school I wandered from one college to the next. I ended up having to drop out of La Salle University with 90 credits because I couldn’t afford my tuition the last year of school even with having two jobs. After taking many years off from school I finally finished a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in 2007 in Business Management with Thomas Edison State College.

My professional journey over the years gave me the opportunity to grow and expand in many different directions and for that I am very grateful. Once again the gypsy can’t help but breaking loose at times it’s like a drunken sailor in port when the mood strikes her. I am working on containing her enthusiasm a bit. It’s getting easier as I get older because I simply don’t have energy to keep up with her. From my early 20s to mid 30s I worked for three different retail companies in the buying and planning departments as an analyst, buyer and merchandise manager and coördinator. Since leaving retail I’ve been a Hostess a local restaurant, a Receptionist for a local realtor, a Driver for a Home Care business that serviced the Senior Citizen population, an Accounts Receivable Representative and I even worked for a summer making Hoagies or should I say Subs for those not from Philly. Oh trust me, I can make a mean Philly Style Italian HOAGIE! I still work for owner making HOAGIES occasionally on holiday weekends. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease last summer I suspect I will not be able to do that anymore because the roll dust could make me sick.

Over the years I’ve volunteered for numerous local non-profit agencies. By a strange twist of fate or divine intervention in February 2002 I ended up taking a part-time job working as the Business Administrator for a small non-profit historical Museum and within six months I was promoted to the full-time Executive Director. I had no idea how much I would love that job or how that job would make a permanent impact on my life and relationships. It changed me and I am forever grateful for the experience. That job allowed me to use my full skill set and challenged me to be better, act better and do better in work and in life. That job gave me invaluable experience and taught the importance of good people skills. In many ways I grew up while working in that job.

While working as the Executive Director for the Museum for four years, I was introduced to a man who changed my life.  He took me from a girl full of unharnessed power and potential and helped to mold me into the woman I am today. His name is Paul and he was the President of the Museum when I worked there. Oh, let me tell you. Paul and I had our go-arounds. We are two head-strong people and when the door closed we often were screaming at each other or at least having a heating discussion:-)   But, we also respected each other and liked each other. And, we ALWAYS had each other’s back. As much as I bucked him and tried to steamroll my way through things and people he showed great patience with me. He slowly nurtured me and guided me like a trainer breaking a wild horse. By example, Paul showed me that I could get what I wanted in life without being a bitch, dick or asshole. He taught me to be strong and express my opinion without being arrogant or full of myself. Paul showed me the importance of compassion, empathy, patience and good people skills. Paul led me and the organization by example. He was never afraid to take on City Hall. He stood up for what he believed in. He was never afraid to take a stand and didn’t care who he pissed off if he believed in something. He was always respectful even when he was kicking your ass. I’ll never forget him saying to me one day, “Linda, you don’t get into a pissing contest with a skunk! Walk away. You’re better than that.” Words I live by to this day! Paul and I are still close. I now loving call him “Dad”. As my father died when I was seven, it’s nice to have a father-figure in my life.

Unfortunately, all non-profits struggle for funding. As the budget got tight, the organization asked me to work part-time again. I couldn’t afford to that. Because of budget constraints they eventually laid me off. But, that still remains my favorite job and it gave a solid foundation of experience working in every aspect of the non-profit arena. I now volunteer my services in many capacities for other local non-profits. The part of the job I loved the most was the Public Relations aspect and, actually, I even enjoyed Grant Writing. Call me crazy but I like it.

Well, this brings me to today. I am very grateful for the job I currently have but I feel it is important to keep my blog separate from my current professional identity so I won’t go into any details of what I do for a living now or who I work for. But, all I will say is I am lucky enough to live and work near the beach. I was fortunate enough to have the skills to land a job that affords me a nice lifestyle in a great location. That makes me happy. On my days off during the summer you will usually find me on one of the local beaches enjoying sun and surf.

In my free time, I am a passionate Yogini. I was planning on doing Yoga Teacher Training this year. But, I need to postpone it for another year because I need to tighten the belt a bit this summer. I am an art LOVER. My first trip to an art museum was when I was in high school. I took the train into Center City Philly by myself because no one else would go with me to see a Diego Rivera Exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum.  I enjoy writing this blog, erotic poetry and am starting to write guest blogs and freelance articles. I hope to write a book one day. I am a Reiki Level I practitioner. I am preparing for my Level II training by practicing and I plan on doing Reiki Master training by next year. I have a VERY active lifestyle. I powerwalk. I do Pilates. I golf. I sail, parasail and want to zip line this summer. I meditate which brings me great peace. I live and breathe the law of attraction. What you think about you bring about! I am spiritual not religious. And, I firmly believe in KARMA. Protecting my Karma is very important to me. This means choosing right actions by taking thoughtful action instead reacting in most situations.

In the last four years, I’ve gone through a series of transitions which changed not only my body but also my relationships and hobbies. The hardest part of transitions is letting go yet it is also the most important step in healing and moving forward. Through these transitions I’ve learned to embrace the duality that lives within me and enjoy the gypsy nature of my soul while using my intellect and intuition to make good solid choices. Mostly I am learning to be grateful for every experience I’ve had in my life as they made me the woman I am today. I am strong, compassion, driven and open to change and growth. While the gypsy that lives within is my true self, I’ve also learned the benefits of stability and the power of dependability in life.

This post is dedicated in loving gratitude to my Mother and all of my teachers, mentors, spiritual counselors and personal heroes along the way. I am who I am because I was lucky enough to have you in my life.

Lastly, one of my favorite books is “The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. If you are going through a transition or need some spiritual soul food, check it out. It helped me along the way. I am now reading it again for the third time.

Peace, Love & Happiness to all
Linda

Photo Credit

Midnight Red – C.M. Cooper American Impressionist Painter

Retreived from: 

http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/

I Opened My Hand And Let Go – Daily Post Poetry Writing Challenge

I Opened My Hand And Let Go – Daily Post Poetry Writing Challenge
By: Linda A. Long

In opening
My hand
I let go
Of everything
I tried
To hold on to
Too tightly
Reminding myself
Where
I was
What
I overcame
Who
I am now
Changed
Forever
By the wave
That swept
Through my life
Innocently
It started
As a ripple
As one
Decision
Lead to another
And pulled
Me down
To the very
Bottom
Of my soul
To find
Authenticity
For the first time
Traveling down this
Rocky road
To peace
“Stop”
My mind
Shouted
“Go back”
My heart pounded
“This is too hard”
My body wept
“I can’t”
A small little voice
Deep within
Proclaimed
“I must”
Asserted
My soul
Not knowing
Exactly what
I was choosing
Only knowing
Life was forcing
Me to start over
I can’t remember
Consciously
Making the choice
I don’t remember
Saying
“Yes”
I can’t reflect
On the exact
Moment
It happened
It happened
Every day
With every
Choice
Letting go
One day
Holding on
The next
Having faith
Meaningful things
In my life
Will remain
Trusting what is
Rightfully mine
Will return
I opened
My hand
And let go
Finally
I see
The very best
Of me
For the
First time
I accept
I am powerful
Confidently
I stand
With tears
In my eyes
Because I
Finally
Set myself
Free
In knowing myself
I let go
By Trusting
Myself more
Than listening
To the advice
Of others
I finally found
My peace
Because
I let go
Of who
I was
And who
They wanted
Me to be
I timidly
Courageously
Started walking
My road
To peace
Through
The valley of
Of self-love
And
To the mountaintop
Of self-acceptance
I found
Happiness
Within
No longer
Needing
Validation or approval
From others
I pinned my
Happiness
To the beat of
My very own
Heart
Simply
Because
I opened
My hand
And let go
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