Self Care Sunday – Finding Yourself is Remembering Yourself

Finding yourself quote

The intention of my Self Care Sunday posts is to shine a light on a path of self-discovery for the readers. I hope readers are inspired to reflect on the topics I discuss and use those reflections for self-exploration.

I believe self-exploration, self-knowledge, is the key to finding true inner peace, contentment and happiness.  I believe living in authenticity (truth) and being honest about your needs, wants and desires is a powerful change agent and can spark personal and spiritual growth. Self-Knowledge grounds us in our authentic personal power.

But how does anyone really understand their self and explore their own path to inner peace, contentment and happiness if they are always surrounded by “noise”? How can we tune into our inner wisdom if we are blinded by external expectations, duties, obligations and perhaps even a little afraid to change? So many of us walk around unfulfilled because we are living someone else’s truth or we are living in our past glory instead of embracing reality as it is today. Things change, people change, relationships change and so must we surrender to the truth and change. It’s been my experience, we keep ourselves busy, we stay in constant motion, so we don’t have time to look or feel the sticky uncomfortableness of our discontentment. Believe me I’ve been there. The below meme accurately depicts me trying to block out the truth in my life 😂 #NotTodayBitch

Not today bitch quote

In my experience, I only started to hear my own inner voice when I separated myself from the noise that surrounded me. It was in the quiet moments my intuition spoke to me. My inner voice started speaking so loud that I could no longer ignore it. I knew I had to change my life no matter how much it cost me. I was choosing to walk the path to happiness even it meant I lost everything or everyone in my life. I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I just didn’t give a crap anymore. I was going to be happy!

Once I let go, I could see I was walking around half alive but mostly unfulfilled everywhere; that was no way to go through life. Once I broke free I could clearly see that I was unfulfilled and unhappy because I let my duty and obligations to family, jobs and other relationships override my relationship with myself. I didn’t honor our own needs, wants and desires. Heck, I didn’t know what my needs, wants and desires were at that time. I had to give myself time and space to sit with the sticky discontentment in my life and listen to my soul’s guidance to figure it all out. I finally saw that I was living out of alignment with my truth most of life. I can tell you for sure no one has ever found fulfillment living out of alignment of their truth.

I since learned how to honor my needs, wants and desires. I’ve learned how to take care of myself holistically. I’ve learned I am a powerful creator but mostly I’ve learned who I truly am after I wipe off the mask I wear every day. I can honestly say I love and accept myself now. I am authentically Linda now and that level of self-awareness is true authentic personal power.

Authenticity quote

At this time, I encourage you to take some time to focus only on yourself. Not matter what anyone tells you, honoring your needs is not selfish. Folks my judge you; they may say you’ve changed. They won’t be able to manipulate you anymore once you see the truth. That’s good. You are allowed to change. I encourage you to fill your cup up first, then pour from your full cup to help others.

I give you permission to rest, heal, try new things and disconnect from the world if you need to for a while. I encourage you to set boundaries, distance yourself from unhealthy relationships, embrace new beginnings and ground yourself in self-knowledge. I say to you LOVE yourself as much as you love others. LOVE yourself unconditionally. Instead of finding yourself, I encourage you to remember who you were before duties, obligations and expectations told who to be.

Over the next few days, I’d like you to reflect upon these questions:

How can I love myself today? How can I honor my needs, wants and desires TODAY?

Then allow yourself the space to hear the answers from within. Let your authentic self speak to you in the quiet moments.  Tune into your inner wisdom.

All of your answers are within you!

I honor those of you who are brave enough to live authentically and allow yourself to see the truth in your life. I honor those of you who are courageously letting go of all you’ve known for most of your life to explore new paths to happiness.  I honor those, like me, who chose to answer the call to “wake up” to the truth in your life. I honor, celebrate and wish all of you brave individuals the ride of a lifetime as you reach for your highest good.

——-

As for what’s going on with me, I start a Book Writing course on Monday and I am still working through interview process for two different promotions at work. I will share that a potential 3rd option was presented to me on Thursday 😂👏👏It is so gigantic and exciting that I shouted “SHUT UP! O-M-G!” while talking to a GM on the phone. She was cracking up! Folks down the hall heard me and laughed. They had no idea why I was so excited – I can’t tell anyone the details yet – but trust me – if the 3rd option happens, it will be a dream come true for me. It will mean the seeds of a vision I planted last year while on a temporary assignment bloomed. Wish me luck because this would not only blow the other two opportunities out of the water but it will also make the decision process a heck of a lot easier for me. I should know for sure next week🤞The Universe is AMAZING! #Grateful

One last note about embracing change – I walked into the hair salon on Friday to get my greys and dark chocolate roots touched up but I unexpectedly walked out a GINGER 😂 I was told it suits my firey and passionate personality 🔥😂 I may delete the photo in a week or two to protect my privacy but I did want to share that somehow I became a redhead without really planning to do so and it’s all good 😂🔥✌️#GingersDoItBetter 🔥😂💙

Ginger hair color

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved
img_0819

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Self Care Sunday – Ge’ah

Art

Ge’ah
She moves
Through me
As a force
Of Nature
Yet
Lovingly
Guiding me
Ge’ah

She dances
In my
Soul
Sways my hips
To the
Rhythm
Of the Universe
And
Divine creation
Ge’ah

She rises
In me
As a Phoenix
With
Power and
Self Confidence
Tempered
With grounded humility
Ge’ah

She is
Fire
The fire
In my belly
The fire
In my eyes
The fire
That burns
In my soul
With
The alchemy
Of love
Ge’ah

She is
The love
That is rooted
Deep in
My heart
Igniting
Passion
Stirring
The pot
Of love and lust
With the
Divine
Feminine power
That is
Within me
Ge’ah
(C) 2018 All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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NOTE

Ge’ah ~ means strong feminine power in Hebrew.

This Self Care Sunday I call upon Ge’ah to move through me, empower me, energize me and stabilize me as I move through this time of my life.
_____

If you have been reading my blog regularly, you know that I’ve been working through some heavy dark issues in my life lately. I’ve chosen to share the work I am doing within myself on this blog as my way to heal and perhaps help others through my own experiences. Maybe reading my story and seeing how I am working towards healing will help someone else have the courage to do the same.

I’m not afraid to go to the dark places within myself. I am not afraid anymore. I don’t really feel like I have a choice anymore. It rose up for a reason. I can no longer push it down. Heavy emotions and feelings around things that happened to me in the past have come to the surface of my consciousness; to ignore them would be denying myself an opportunity to deeply heal.

The emotions I’ve been feeling lately are complicated. I feel repressed anger. Disappointment in people who were supposed to love me. I feel shame, not necessarily for my actions, but for not being strong enough to let myself heal years ago. I’m cycling through depression and anxiety mixed with a bit of frustration.

The New Agey folks would say to me, “Forgive and it will set you free!” I say “FUCK THAT!” I’ve confronted my attacker twice in front of people. He’s never apologized or even acknowledge what he did even though he knows its true. I’ve learned not to expect anything from him. I just cut him out of my life like he’s a Cancer. But his actions caused trauma in my life and left scars.

Unfortunately, I have to tolerate the jackass on holidays and family parties knowing he has no remorse for what he did to me. My tolerance of him shouldn’t be mistaken for forgiveness. It’s maturity on my part. Let’s be clear. I protect myself. I won’t be alone in a room with him. I won’t drive in a car with him. I will NEVER sleep in a house he is in and for many years I would not even sit on a sofa near him. But for the sake of his family, who do not know – I’ve never told them – and for the sake of my mother, I am cordial to him. She deserves to have all of her kids together on holidays. My mother and I had a long conversation last year over coffee about those events and how they affected my life. She sat across the table from me sobbing and saying, “I’m sorry” the entire time. But she finally understood. She now understands & respects my boundaries. I will say hello and that’s about it. Cordial doesn’t mean friendly and it certainly doesn’t mean forgiveness. I’ve learned one thing through therapy. I don’t have to forgive anyone who doesn’t ask for my forgiveness or take responsibility for their actions. He’s hasn’t done either one.

What I have to do is let this darkness come up from my soul. I need to let this pain and anger see the light and be released so I can open myself to love —— I don’t have to forgive. As I work through this, I will be writing about my experiences on this blog. I am done pretending it didn’t happen. I am calling on Ge’ah to empower me to heal, release and open myself to love again.

Moving on to another topic, I’ve had long term issues with a chronic form of Gastritis. It’s been really flared up for the last couple of months. I had a Endoscopy on Thursday. When the doctor talked to me after the procedure. He told me he did biopsies but then said he didn’t want to talk too much about anything or give me any recommendations until he got the pathology back. A friend drove me home; we chatted the whole way. I came home, ate and went back to bed. Later that night I read the report from the procedure. It said they did find Gastritis but they also saw irregular cells in my stomach and Gastric Polyps. They did FIVE biopsies. That explained why my stomach was so sore. They called me early Friday morning to find out how I was doing and told me I could be sore for another day or two because they took so many biopsies. Pathology should back in a week or so. It was good thing I was off from work Friday too. I was sore well into Saturday. It’s calming down now.

The interesting thing about this is I am not even that upset or worried about it. I am so beat up it hardly affected me. I never had Gastric Polyps. I never heard of Gastric Polyps. I did have Precancerous Polyps removed from Colon five years ago. My three year check up was clean. Of course, I Googled Gastric Polyps. Apparently, they are rare. Best case scenarios are H. Pylori bacteria or a reaction to a medication. Worse case scenario is Cancer. I’ve made my peace with each scenario but I will be honest I am not up for a big long battle with Cancer. I am not. Game over.

As far as work goes, I have a feeling my project is going to be squashed by Legal or its going to be a big long fight to keep it. I would still have a position in the group just not the project that I pitched two weeks ago. I’ll know for sure this week. Honestly, I’ve put it out of my mind and have just been focusing on taking care of myself. It’ really doesn’t matter anymore.

I am open to the divine direction and will allow the Universe Flow to guide me to right position. Honestly, it’s not really about opportunities anymore for me. It’s about which group would be the healthiest and most supportive place for me to work at this time of my life. That feels like the group I am in right now. The work environment is quieter, less chaotic, not as much drama and I don’t feel taken advantage of by my management as I did in my former role. In my former group, I had two bosses who were both men. I enjoyed working for both of them. Both would remind me what was mine to do(worry about) and what was NOT mine to do (or worry about). They helped me maintain balance. I would be HAPPY to work for either one of them again. Once they both got promoted and moved on, the managers who took over for them did not shield me in any way. They just constantly asked me for more and pushed me harder. I tried to tell them what they were doing to me. They would back off for a week but then it would start all over again. For God Sake, they couldn’t even work a keyboard in briefing on their own without calling me for help. Stuff like that doesn’t happen where I work now. Also, I don’t do those stupid employee engagement surveys with the personalized link. A personalized link means it’s not anonymous 🙂

Having five days off of work has worked out good. I needed more time to heal from the Endoscopy than I originally thought I would need, I’ve been relaxing and sleeping A LOT.

As of yesterday, I decided to call on Ge’ah to help awaken the power within me. While I’ve always been a warrior, I am finding I need some assistance these days in lighting my fire. I should mention that taken to the extreme Ge’ah divine feminine power can be shown as pride and arrogance. I’m not looking for that. I just need a little power boost 🙂

If you are a personal friend, all I really need from you right now is patience, understanding, support, a reason to laugh and maybe a hug or at least a text with a smiley face 😊 Or if you are the praying type, I could use prayers too🙏

I love this Native American Proverb

Native American Proverb

“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac is for my three sisters. They’ve always protected me and have been my best friends 💙🦋 The song took on special meaning to us all during the last two weeks of Sandy’s life.

Self Care Sunday – Honor Where You Are – Monday Update at bottom

http://www.jpreece.deviantart.comhttp://www.jpreece.deviantart.com

Go to the bottom for the Monday Update:

My friend and fellow Holistic Health Coach Stephanie at Find Your Brave writes a lot about honoring where you are in the present. Stephanie coaches women to honor their feelings and emotions as they are right in this very moment. I am honoring where I am emotionally in this Self Care Sunday post.

I am grateful. I am truly grateful for all of the people who love me now and loved me in the past. This includes my family, friends and men who have been in my life. I am grateful for every person who played a role in my growth, protected me along the way and helped me become the woman I am today. I am grateful for my job. My job provides me stable income and health care which allows me to live comfortably at the beach as well as help others with my abundance. I am grateful for my apartment on the beach. It is truly my sanctuary and is a beautiful place to rest and live in peace. I am grateful for my body. My body has been through a lot and it continues sustain me. I am grateful for my tenacious spirit. It helps me rally in tough times. I am grateful for my big heart; it gives me the capacity to love deeply and truly. I am grateful for my old soul. I have the soul of an old warrior. I’ve experienced many tragedies and suffered more than most but my soul used those experienced for growth. I am a very fortunate woman but…it’s not enough. It’s all just not enough.

It’s only been in recent weeks that I’ve allowed myself to see the true price I’ve paid in the name of self protection in my life. It’s only been in recent weeks that I’ve began to understand I lost so much more than people in my life, I lost love and my ability to choose without fear. I am only now starting to understand what was taken away from me by the actions of men. I am also starting to understand what my life could have been if I didn’t close myself off so long ago. I can now see how expensive suffering has been in my life.

I ask God, Angels and Guides, is this it? Is this all there is going to be in my life for the next 5, 10, 20 or 30 years of my life? I ask this question because it’s become clear to me that life, the way it is, simply is not enough to sustain me long term. You may ask me what does that mean. The truth is I am not sure what that means. I only recently admitted to myself that I felt this. I talked at length about this with my therapist this past week. She honored what I was saying. She didn’t try to put happy face on anything. Her closing words stuck with me, “It’s not your fault. None of it has been your fault but your heart is carrying all the burden(s). Everyone reaches a breaking point.” It’s not that I can’t handle stress and suffering. It’s that I’ve been handing it and dealing with it since I was seven years old. The sustained pressure is breaking me down on every level. I am worn out.

What does this mean for my future and my life. I am not sure. The only thing I know is I am no longer as strong as I was. I am weary. When I get knocked down, I don’t get up as quick as I used to. When I need to rally and fight, I am just not sure it’s worth it anymore. What the hell am I fighting for anyway? To live another 5, 10, 20, 30 years in a life like this? I am not sure I want that. In honoring where I am today I allow myself to write in complete authenticity and honesty. I am allowing those who are reading this blog to truly see me and understand the burden I am feeling.

On a work related topic, In this role I’ve learned to be a Program Manager in the “company”, you need to play office politics. I have the knowledge, skills and strategic abilities to be a fantastic game-play politician. However, being a politician lacks authenticity; that doesn’t vibe well with me and it actually stresses me out. I am good at this job. I have skills necessary to do this job. The whole point of taking this temporary assignment was to explore opportunities to see how they fit. For the most part, this role fits me. However, I still say the perfect role for me is something more along the lines of a Senior Advisor to leader. In that type of role, I could do program management, project management and also offer support services to a leader without being in the middle of the politics myself. I feel like I need to “take care” of someone. Doing that is rewarding to me. Actually, I am not fulfilling that need in any area of my life right now. Also, My body is not handling stress well anymore. Perhaps it never did it’s just more noticeable now that I am older. That has been on my mind a lot lately too. It reminded me that I used to have a boss that would tell me to “STOP” “BREATH” 😂 I don’t always know how/when to stop myself. It was helpful having someone who knew me well enough to see when I needed to be pulled back.  I don’t have that anymore.

Have you been honest with yourself lately? Is your life, the way it is now, enough for another 20 years? Can you live like this for another 20 years?

I encourage you to honor how you feel and where you are on this Self Care Sunday. Sit with yourself.  Feel whatever it is.  Stay soft in this unkind world💙🦋

MONDAY UPDATE
I spoke my truth this morning to my boss and another manager. I told them my temporary status and the project drama was starting to cause me anxiety. First, we spoke about my project; we have a resolution. It’s still moving forward 🙂 It’s in a Legal Review now. Fingers crossed everything goes well and I should be able to start meeting with vendor by next week. Next, we spoke about the anxiety I am starting to feel about my future and the temporary status I am still in. They understood what I was saying and allievated some concerns that came up last week. However, I won’t feel completely better until I am permanently sitting one place or another. I learned through this experience long term temporary assignments are not good for someone with an anxiety disorder. It creates too much uncertainity. It’s giving me too much room to worry. If I ever do something like this again, the maximum length I will agree to is six months.

The funny thing about our conversation today was what my boss said to me. He’s a Ph.D. He,of course, had to explain my anxiety in scientific terms and with a picture😂 He stood up and drew a graphic on the board and explained the “Anxiety and Performance(Arousal) Axis. He explained to me that there was a study done that proved that high performance requires a higher level of anxiety. People who are high performers tend to be more anxious. You actually need anxiety to push you to perform. The key is operate at the peak of curve abd manage the anxiety so you don’t slip down the slope. Below is a photo similiar to the graphic he drew; click the photo for the link to the article on “Anxiety and Arousal”. He told me to Google it. When I googled it, I also found a helpful article on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After I read that article, I reached out to friend who lost her son in a car accident and we scheduled a call to catch up for tonight. Hoping we can help each other 🦋

Anxiety and Arousal Axis
ef=”https://www.gracepointwellness.org/1-anxiety-disorders/article/38465-anxiety-and-arousal”>Image depicts anxiety can positively affect performance. [/cap

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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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