Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fear and Faith go hand in hand

As most of you know, I am super psyched to be the blessed winner of Jen Loouden's Life Organizer. It has already brought me insights, peace and direction.

Yesterday, I found myself on the edge of anxiety, worry and even palpable fear. I paged through the Organizer in search of something to grasp on to. These words jumped off the page at me:

"Sew yourself a string of prayer flags to flap invitations to patience, clarity and authentic trust into the heavens."

Wow. So beautiful and elegant is this directive. It sits on a page that asks a provocative question: "What you worried about? What are you afraid of?"

I am going to speak my fears out loud here. I am worried with a sick to the stomach feeling that something awful will happen to my precious child. I have just seen myself and my son through his surgeries. He is doing well. It was a rough few weeks, but following him around with a cup of gatorade and plenty of cuddles worked out just fine. So what on earth am I afraid of now?

The dialog bordering on argument in my head goes something like this: Breathe. Relax. It's a routine set of procedures. Everything is going to be fine. Oh, my poor baby. What if there is some random complication? You've been down this road before. It will be just fine. She has sleep apnea and all these allergies. What if she stops breathing. Relax. It's a routine surgery. She is going to be sleeping better than ever in a week. But, really, what if something happens to my child? I can't contain myself! Ok, stop it. Worry and fear are signs of a lack of trust. Pray. Calm yourself down. Trust God. I know I know. But, what if....?

The truth is that I am really afraid. I am afraid because I love this child more than I can express in any way - words or otherwise. Her vulnerability and the remotely marginal possibility that some harm could come to her frightens me beyond comprehension. I know that my love is what makes me afraid. And yet there is no rationality to justify this fear.

Fear and faith go hand in hand.

My fear is an opportunity for me to practice faith. The trusting part of me know that this is a time for prayer... trust... faith.

So, to sewing flags of prayer we go...

I am choosing to relish every moment of this process. I have converted her room into a salon. She is getting hair washed and braided. We are painting her nails her favorite colors - pink and purple of course. We are picking out a pretty dress to wear to surgery tomorrow. I have purchased her a book about ballerinas as her gift to enjoy tonight. We are singing, dancing and saying prayers. Lots of hugs and cuddles are being showered everywhere.

This is the only way I know to cope with my fear and channel it faithfully. Deep breaths.

"Sew yourself a string of prayer flags to flap invitations to patience, clarity and authentic trust into the heavens." I'm sewing!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A few minutes ago, I posted this status update on Facebook:
Gayatri Sethi wants you to know that it is a crime of the highest order to beat down, discourage, belittle, withhold praise or even in the slightest bit cause self-doubt in a young, hopeful, confident and capable spirit full of promise. If you have even the desire to snuff out the light that shines in others, know that I will personally come and take you OUT!

What on earth prompted that outburst? Really? I threaten to take somebody OUT for taking others out? I know approach never did and never will solve anything. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. I know. I know.

Let me tell you, though that this is passionate anger at its best. How so? I realize that a key part of my life's work has to do with offering support and encouragement to others so that their inner light can shine even brighter in the world. That is what I am here to do.

Today's outrage came from a conversation I had with a new client in which she shared the pain of experiencing belittlement, lack of confidence and inordinate degree of self-doubt at her former job. I must add that she worked for an international social change organization that claims to CARE for the world. You catch my drift? I was overcome with anger at the hypocrisy of caring so little for the young shining stars at your organization and claiming to save the world. Rant over.

Well, not quite. The truth is that I have experienced (over and over) this kind of discouragement in workplace settings and especially in graduate school. I continue to deal with and attempt to heal from the deep wounds that were inflicted. At some point through the pain and struggle of it all, I realized that I was being prepared by these awful experiences to develop the kind of empathy, compassion and understanding required to do my life's work.

True. For many of us, our life's purpose lies in transforming our own pain into a positive force in the world. I know. Airy fairy grandiose speak.

Seriously though, what I'm saying is something you already know. Find what angers and pains you, and know that this same darkness could pontentially light up the world.

And, I mean it. If you have the slightest inclination to dim the light of others, I will not take you OUT. But, I will take you ON!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getting Free and Feeling like a Winner!

Here I am again after a long silence. Still stewing, folks.

Today's entry is actually a heartfelt note of gratitude I sent to Jen Louden, The Comfort Queen.

And since today, one of her suggestions for getting FREE is to send an email or two without spell-checking, I sent this note to her typos and all. And I am posting it on the blog unedited. (holding my breath) and affirming that I am perfect in my imperfections! (smile)

Here goes:



I can't tell you how delighted, thrilled, grateful and just plain psyched I am to WIN a truly special life-giving gift from you! The Life Organizer has been sitting in my cart on Amazon for months... maybe years. Wow! I am just to thankful. It's not just a book. It represents a whole lot more to me!

Last week, I had NO cash in any of my accounts. None. Checks outstanding, two kids to feed, bills to pay. Nada. I chose not to be afraid or lose it. But, I was anxious all weekend. I kept affirming that the Universe provides. It is bountiful. I have ALL that I need. I kept in that space. Boom. Monday: freedom from self-improvement. Wow. Just what I needed to organize my thoughts and intentions for this month. I am SO on board. That day, I go to brunch with my beloved, and decide to charge it. Guess what? I win 200 points and win a free lunch worth 25 bucks. Ok. I am grateful. I then walk down the street, sit at a cafe and for the first time in years, count out the change in my wallet to decide if I can afford to buy an iced tea. I notice that this is new and different, and how to so many, I lead a very privileged existence. I am privileged in that moment to appreciate what it feels like to count pennies. I accept that gift.

I open my book and begin to read from Life is a Verb (loving that book): I read the message of how to be better, kinder, generous strangers. I accept that lesson. I walk outside to make a call. I follow my instinct which tells me to walk away from the stores to a quiet path. I am approached by a young man, "can I ask you a really embarassing question? Could you spare me some change?" Wow, I think. This is profound. I am paying attention. I know that truly my heartfelt desire is to give more freely, not just of resources but of myself. So I empty out my change in his palm, but I pause to speak with him. He is taken off-guard. He shares some of his story with me. I listen. I ask him questions. Ten minutes later, he thanks me for taking time to speak with him, and I thank him for the same.

Days like that are quite a gift from the Universe, eh?

Well, today was even better. I joined you in declaring freedom from self-improvement. Instead of spending the day doing online searches to help me figure out my life and the next thing I need to be doing for my kids, I just let go. I chose to be present and just honor my inner desires. I danced with my two year old daughter. I played with her. I ate with her (this is rare - long story here). I walked in the sunshine with her. I showed her how it's breezy in the shade, and we appreciated the shade and the breeze. We enjoyed each other. We reached out to some friends with the swine flu, and went to visit them with chicken soup. Who cares if they might be contagious? I felt the need to connect with them face to face and not just on instant messages. I received bounties today. I started a dreamboard that I have been planning to do for a while. Do you know what was on there? A retreat with you. I claimed it. One day... soon... I will go on retreat and actually be in the presence of Jen Louden. This is a must-have life experience for me. Right alongside a personal intellectual artist retreat in Paris sans enfants, para-sailing, doing yoga on the beach somewhere, learning yet another language, oh... wait a minute. I pause here because I don't want to get caught up in the trap of self-improvement. But I note my desires and I put them out there into the Universe, trusting in the Law of Attraction.

I had no intention of seeking clients. One came to me. Thankful. I love when kids spontaneously say "I love you." I got a couple of those today. One from the playroom while I was in the kitchen. I sure relished that.

And at the end of the day after karate and gym classes as I am hurrying to get them in the bad for qiuck bedtime, I check my messages. I won a book from Jen Louden! Wow. I attracted - visioned - dream boarded my way into a win today. But, mostly I know that the Universe is sending me some significant messages right now. I am paying attention.

Thank you for being such a precious part of my life's journey.

heartfelt thanks and hugs!