Comfort food? Or Lying Bastard food?

This has been showing up in my life for some time, but has been at the forefront of my mind the last couple of days and showing up in my life…. Thus… let’s talk ūüėČ

What is a treat? Ever think about it? I find myself saying that I’m going to treat myself. However, what I’ve noticed is what I’m going to treat myself to… Often it is food… and generally it isn’t greens. For me that means candy. But often it is those comfort foods.. the foods that “make me feel better”…

But what am I really doing? I mean, what am I treating myself to? A belly ache? Joint pain (if it’s gluten)? Diarrhea (if it’s nightshades)? Yes. To all of these. That is exactly what I ended up treating myself too. Sooooo many times. Even when I knew that it was going to happen.

Those “make me feel better” comfort foods… What a misnomer?! 1. Those foods don’t change what happened to cause me to want to “feel better”. 2. If they do impact my mood, its not in a positive direction. 3. They make me feel worse physically and hurt my body! So, comfort food should be renamed to … I don’t even know, “Lying Bastard Foods”, maybe. (Perfect title, btw, I’m totally using it!)

And where does this idea of treating ourselves come from anyway? Doesn’t it make more sense to be nice to myself all the time? I mean, if I have to bribe myself to get myself to do something… maybe it would be better to just not do that thing to start with! Radical idea! Or at least allow myself to do those things that nice often enough that I’ve got the energy and resources for those things that aren’t as fun.

Today, Being My True Self means identifying those things that don’t resonate with me, in whatever way, and saying no to them and Yes! to My True Self!

Focus or Flow?

I struggle with this on a regular! It seems to me that I am either very focused or very in the flow… But rarely both. Seems as if I have been this way my whole life.

I certainly can be focused… granted, my ADHD type brain does wrestle with this one more than the other. But I do get focused. Grad school and research papers certainly is proof positive of that. In fact, at times I am hyper-focused… like a dog with a bone kind of focused… bordering on obsessive. And when I’m in this frame of mind I can crank out some work …

When I’m in the flow, I am doing what feels right in the moment… In the flow is the most natural state of Being that I am aware exists. Flow is bigger than this though. Flow is about allowing things to be and exist… whatever that looks like. It means not struggling against what is, to make it what we think it “should” be. Its about listening to the universe, guides… My True Self, and following its guidance.

Focus is certainly the one that is more associated with work, but I can get very focused on play things as well… a new video game, for instance, or crafting project, when I get a new idea.

And Flow is associated more with play. But there are certainly times when I am in the flow and its not particularly fun… even though I can accept things for what they are, I don’t always like them.

This distinction though…. Where does it come from? I think, in general, we associated focus more with work, because a lot of the times we would rather be playing. In these moments we have trouble focusing, because our bodies are asking… sometimes begging for something else. But because we feel like we “have to” do something else, we ignore our bodies and force it to do something else instead.¬†And why? Many times its because someone else said it was more important than what we wanted to do.

I know this is true for me. In fact, I think I lived many years of my life doing what other people thought was important… never even asking myself what I thought was important… At times I thought I was doing what I thought was important, it just turned out that it wasn’t actually my idea.¬†As a result, I became so deficient in fun/play, that when I finally did start asking myself what I wanted, the only answer it seems I ever got was “play.”

I guess … what I just figured out… is that what I’m really wrestling with isn’t between being focus and flow, it’s the same old struggle of Being My True Self and identifying what is important to me and actually listening!!

Today, Being My True Self means getting in the Flow of life and living out my soul’s desire!!

The Voices in My Head

Lol… Mental health joke… It’s ok, I’m a mental health professional and I am not truly making fun of psychosis. And I don’t have literal voices in my head.

I’m talking about the voices of all the people in my life that have influenced me in some way over the years. Sometimes all those voices make it really difficult for me to hear my own voice.

When I was younger this caused me issues… many times… when it was time to make a decision. What would happen is that when I was trying to decide something, I would hear someone else ideas more loudly than I heard my own… leading me to make decisions that weren’t truly right for me. And a lot of grief… at least at the time. Now, I am able to see the wisdom gained from those experiences… lessons, rather, but dang they were painful.

Over the years I started to recognize my own voice… but, truth be told, it was a while. And it was a slow process. It really feel like I woke up… quite literally… one day and went, “Who am I? And what am I doing?”

But, from that point forward, I could feel myself being propelled forward… toward my destiny, so to speak… really its more like, toward my true path.

And its so interesting to me now, to look back, and realize that I started on this path as a teenager. When I was a teenager, I decided I wanted to help people. I wanted to be on the suicide hotline (this came after my own issues of low self esteem and thoughts of suicide). I even called them and was told that I had to be 18. But, it solidified in my mind what I wanted to pursue as a career. So…. I was all prepared to do just that when some influential voices in my life voiced a concern about my desire and gently suggested that I choose something that had more potential to actually become a way to make a living. Naturally, I started college with an engineering major… (I see your eyebrows going up :)… ¬†I am also good at math, so, naturally, engineering was a logical choice and had more potential as it was a growing field at the time).

Needless to say, I am not an engineer today and that career path ended rather disastrously as my junior year of college I began failing my engineering classes.

This is all good. I see it all as a blessing that lead me right where I am today. I am thankful for the experiences and know that they are what make me who I am. I went on later in life, to come back to where I left off, after I could more clearly hear my own voice… my soul’s voice… and finished college with a B.S. in Psychology and went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Counseling.

Being My True Self ¬†means finding my voice in all the voices in my head…

Ownership

Owning what’s mine… including the good stuff!!

I have always had a problem accepting a compliment. I used to dodge them or deflect them. Maybe you know what I mean. Someone says they like your clothes and you say, “This old thing?! I’ve had it forever.” I used to do that… until someone pointed out that what I was doing, in essence, was telling that person that they have bad taste in clothes…. I was dumbfounded.. shocked.. and suddenly felt guilty for every time I had said that to someone in the past.

I vowed, “No more!!” And I haven’t. I might say, “Oh, I’ve had this forever, its my favorite too!”, but I don’t put down the compliment or the person giving it. So, I realize now that I didn’t really get better at accepting compliments, I just got better at not insulting people… which I certainly never wanted or strove to be good at!

I have continued to work on this over the years. But recently I realized that I avoid getting compliments… I will stay in the shadows, so to speak, to avoid someone noticing me. Sometimes. I don’t always do this. When I am fully in Being My True Self, I don’t think about things like this and I dress and behave exactly how I want to and don’t worry if someone notices me or not. However, it is an issue. For whatever reason, there are times when I don’t want to be noticed or complimented.

When I am complimented in these moments… I can feel myself shrinking inside… kind of looking around to see who they are talking about, because they couldn’t possibly be talking about me. So… what is that…? When I ask that question, the answer I get is that there is some part of me that doesn’t believe its true, that it can’t possibly be true. Some part of me that believes I am small and insignificant…

Wow… But there it is…. the truth that gets in my way, the way to Being My True Self. I can see (in my mind’s eye) My True Self skipping along my path when this belief pops up… sometimes like it sticks a foot out to trip her and others like a brick wall that seems at first glance impossible to get over/around/under.

So! Today, Being My True Self means owning what is mine, including the compliments! Which, really, are just other people recognizing something that is already there, that already exists, that is already true…. its them connecting with that truth in a very authentic way. And THAT is beautiful!!!

Too Damaged?

I started this writing a few months ago… Wondering about this idea of being “too damaged”… Is it possible to be too damaged? Too damaged by the life experiences one is exposed to in the process of learning and becoming all that we set out to accomplish?… I don’t believe it is…

Yet, I wonder sometimes. Maybe on one level it is possible to be “too damaged”… But, its not really that we get to be “too damaged”. That would be the words that we have found to describe it. Maybe that’s the problem I have with the phrase.

I think that there are times when people act or behave in a way that seems to be counter to our life’s purpose as a whole. But, I believe that some experiences are simply too much for some souls to bear. And they lose sight of their intended goal.

I think the phrase is misnomer. I don’t think its possible to be too damaged. I do believe that I have experienced things in my life that will mean that some people won’t get me. And I think, many times, those are the people that would say that I am too damaged. Or, I have found myself saying this to myself.. usually when I was trying to fit into a group of people that couldn’t get me and then felt left out or ostracized… and my conclusion was that there was something wrong with me.

But, there is no such thing as “too damaged”. There just “is”. On this journey of Being My True Self, this is one of the things I have discovered and come to believe. I am who I am. And I express myself the way I do, in part, because of my life experiences, and it may be different than … everyone else. I believe what I believe, again, in part, because of my life experiences, and yes, it is a slanted, biased view… because its mine…

All of these things are also influenced by my soul … My True Self … and the way my soul chose to express itself in this lifetime …¬†the lessons my soul wanted to learn … the lessons my soul is working on … The closer I get to Being My True Self, to allowing myself to be who I am without questioning or doubting, the more and more I look like my soul. Which is beautiful beyond words. (So is yours.)

Listening to Openness

Sometimes Being My True Self means listening…

Listening to what? Listening to your favorite music.. that music that makes ¬†you cry or laugh… that makes you dance in the shower or in your car (yes, its possible to dance in the car while you are driving).

Listening to those around you when you are in the store.. their conversations, whether they are on the phone or conversing with someone they are with. Listening to a friend… if they need a shoulder to cry on or someone to celebrate them.

Listening to all the non-verbal communication. I may take this a bit for granted. It does happen to be something I am fairly good at naturally, but my training in counseling fine tuned it. I don’t even know I am listening in this way much of the time, I suspect. However, it is very important. Think of the times when you knew your partner was angry and they hadn’t said a word. It can be helpful to pay attention to the details that lead you to that conclusion. It is fallible, by the way, so you can’t trust it 100%, but it can be helpful and at the very least can lead to a conversation that is helpful in sorting out miscommunication.

Listening to my body… I have worked very hard to develop this one. This one probably came naturally to me as a child, but through my life, society and culture beat it out of me. Told me to listen to them rather than my body. And I did. And I got so out of touch with my body that it got sick… Listening to western medicine did not help which lead me on a journey to discover for myself what was best for me and my body.

But, when it comes to listening, maybe one of the most important things to listen to is spirit… and our own soul (which is closely connected to spirit, intricately so). Listening to those super subtle nudgings to go a certain way or do a specific thing… at the time you may even wonder where the thought came from. Those come from the very deepest part of us. And they have a wisdom that comes from being able to see the bigger… biggest picture… and how we fit into it. Sometimes its scary to do the things that come to us in this way, but they are in our best interest and sometimes even in the best interest of mankind.

Listening to this deep part of me, My True Self, is not easy. I miss stuff all the time!! I know I do because later I can see what I missed (usually as I kick myself). But, when you follow the rainbow that shows up, right in front of you, when you are trying to figure out if this thing you’re about to do is a good idea or not… Follow the Rainbow! But first, be open to signs like this that will help lead you along your chosen path… Being My True Self means listening to that deep inner voice guiding me to be everything I was meant to be… in this lifetime and beyond!

As always, with Light and Love

Identities

Identities are an ever present concept… as with many things, it has positive and negative connotations to its meaning. My intention is to refer to it in a positive way here.

Identities are simply ways that we identify ourselves. We have different ones, because we can be identified in different ways depending on the perspective one takes. I want to make sure to distinguish it from roles. While we may play a role or an identity may represent a role we take on in our lives… I think of them as different… maybe in part because of the stereotyped roles that we often think of in our society…

So, when I speak of identities here, I am not talking about stereotyped roles that we fall into or stay in because we feel like we don’t have a choice or don’t recognize that is what we are doing. These identities, to me, are conscious and purposeful choices we make about how to define ourselves… a framework, so to speak.

Ultimately they are frameworks so they are malleable… flexible. That makes sense though, doesn’t it? Because as I learn and grow as a person… as a soul, even… it will be necessary that my identity be able to change and evolve with me. Letting go of the hierarchy nature of such concepts… its not about better or worse… its about different, changing, evolving. And even though evolving can have somewhat of a comparative sense to it, I challenge you to think of it as more fluid than that… as moving around in 5D space rather than on some line… and even a continuum is still linear in nature.

The thing I find myself wrestling with today with regard to identities is how difficult it can be to change them when its called for… I mean, now that I say all that I have said about them, it seems kind of silly (even to me) to be saying this… but grant me some grace here… this is a flashback of sorts and the writing of this is the fleshing out of the idea or notion that started this whole thing!! Which, honestly, began as a rather heart wrenching experience for my human self and a soul searching/exploring one for my higher/True Self…

As people, we get stuck on an identity… we are reluctant to let go of it. Many times the identity was a hard won identity in the first place and we don’t want to “lose” it. I think, other times, it is more simply that we don’t realize we are holding on so tightly to something and its because we are afraid that if we let go of that identity… we won’t know who we are any more….

But in either case… what’s so bad about that? I mean, if it was a hard won identity… that’s fine. Letting go of it to move on to a new identity does not negate the fact that we obtained the accomplishment of achieving that identity in the first place. And in the latter case… so what if I don’t know who I am in the moment. In fact… that’s kind of a beautiful thing in and of itself. I mean, it means that I am evolving into something new with endless possibilities!

When we hold on to an identity out of fear, we limit the universe’s potential for us. As I evolve… at each stage, I can only compare where I am to where I have been… because I don’t know anything else, so, of course, where I am feels like the best or the ultimate. But there is always something else to evolve into and because we can’t possibly come close to imaging the universes possibilities, we severely limit ourselves when we hold on just because its the best we can imagine.

Even when the place we are doesn’t “feel” great… it doesn’t mean that its not evolution. Even when I am feeling “horrible”, its a different kind of “horrible” than I felt like before, because I’m in a new place myself, because I know more. If I am feeling more pain at a loss, its because I have since experienced more love and/or joy since the last loss that I experienced. That is something to be thankful for and to honor as growth/evolution.

So, today, Being My True Self means honoring ever-evolving identities, letting go of current ones to make way for new ones… that are bigger and brighter and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined for myself.

Love and Light to my fellow evolutionary Beings!

Be Together, Not the Same

Ok, so its not my saying, I just saw it on a commercial… one of the cell phone companies… but it was cute and relevant. A rock, a piece of paper, and a pair of scissors… the paper is being bullied by scissors until a pair of scissors befriends him then they come upon more paper bullying a rock of whom the scissors is afraid of and the paper befriends the rock… the three of them go off down the street together…. even though they aren’t the same.

Just brings to mind this idea of accepting each other as we are. We each have our own strengths and talents that we bring to the table. Which is a good thing. I mean, if we all had the same talents and abilities… well… it would be boring, but it also wouldn’t make much sense.

I mean, I came here to work on different things than other people, so how could it possibly look the same. Even if I am working on a similar thing, my experiences are going to be different, so its still going to look different.

Why can’t more people accept that we are supposed to be different and appreciate each other for what we are and what we do? I have spent my life feeling like I am not acceptable for being or looking or feeling the way that I am… whatever that might be at any given moment. There is always someone out there ready, willing, and able to tell me how I am supposed to be, what is right… As if they know what is better for me than I do. As if there is only one way to do … anything.

It is possible to acknowledge and celebrate the differences between us. Even if I do not want to spend time with someone because of our differences, does not mean that I can not appreciate someone else’s journey.

Tonight Being My True Self means recognizing and celebrating my own uniqueness… owning my own special ¬†talents and gifts for what they are… what makes me, Me! Thank you for Being You and sharing this time and space with Me!

Stress… Being Weird and Ungrateful?

I’m stressed and I don’t know why… well, that isn’t completely true. I know why, but it doesn’t seem like its “ok” to be stressed about what I’m stressed about. I know… isn’t that odd to say?! But think about it? How often does that happen?

I hear myself and others¬†say “I am stressed” and then follow it with “but I don’t know why…” Like, “I don’t know why I’m so stressed, I have a beautiful house, a great husband/wife/partner, a job I always wanted….” or “its not like I have a hard job” or “I don’t have kids… or I only have one child… or I only have _____ children and don’t have to work outside the home…”

How many times do you hear someone say “I’m stressed about x, y, or z”¬†and then you hear someone else (or that same person) then say, “well, at least you/I don’t have _________, like so-and-so.” As if to say that because my circumstances are different than someone else’s, I can’t be stressed…

I mean, first off, I know that there are millions of people in the world that have circumstances worse than mine. Being stressed about my circumstances doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate what I have and it doesn’t mean that I am minimizing those other people’s circumstances either. It simply means that I’m fucking stressed!

Its not helpful to tell myself or someone else that it isn’t ok or cool to be stressed about what they are stressed about. Because, frankly, they are already stressed! Its a done deal at that point, what the good does it do to tell them they shouldn’t be… (and ‘should’ shows up in the picture, of course, we knew it would)…. what’s helpful at that point is to figure out what they are stressed about.

I mean, we do get stressed about things that don’t make sense to be stressed about and often that means we are thinking or considering things that aren’t real in the first place. So, its helpful to explore what we are stressed about, so we can get rid of those things… if for no other reason than to save that energy for something that is real to stress about. But this is¬†hard to do when you get the impression, either from yourself or from someone else, that its not ok to be stressed.

So, I’m stressed because I don’t get to be outside in the sunshine. I can hear some of you right now looking at me funny… But, the struggle is real. I love… and I do mean love what I do… its my life’s work and my calling. But it means I am inside, rain or shine, and its really hard for me to be inside when I am craving sunshine. And I do crave sunshine, I have a very basic need for it, and living in Ohio… I don’t get enough of it (enough being defined by my own need for it, not some universal measure)… So, when the sun is shining, especially in the spring after long gray winters, I just want to be outside… I happily mow the grass so that I can be outside doing something.

So, even though I love my work, I struggle to be in my office when the sun is shining. This being said, I have sat with the feeling and explored it enough to know that when I’m with clients doing what I’m passionate about, I don’t notice this need. But as soon as I sit down to do paperwork or some other mundane task that is required of me in order to maintain the license that allows me to do what I do… I suddenly can’t sit still, can’t stand to be inside a minute longer.

So, what does this mean about Being My True Self?… this means revamping my work schedule. Another reason that I do what I do. Traditional work hours don’t work for me… I figured that out and accepted it a long time ago. So, I’m looking at my work schedule to figure out how I can do what I love doing while also honoring that part of me that needs to be outside in the sunshine when the sun is out… In Ohio, that means leaving the option open because in Ohio you can’t count on it being there just on the weekends or on your days off.

Today… Being My True Self means honoring who I am and my needs, even when they look different than everyone else’s and everyone else looks at me like I’m weird and ungrateful.

Don’t Wait to Take a Break

Being Me… means sometimes feeling like I’m losing my mind!! Or want to come crawling out of my skin! Or both… or that and a few other things thrown in on top! Lol…

But for real… there are days like that. Today was one of those days. I kept seeing the beautiful sunshine outside and wishing I could be outside in it! I made some phone calls… engaging enough to keep my attention, but as soon as I started to do paperwork I found that I could not focus. Eventually, I found myself beginning to say “I can’t do this any more.”

Well, I know I don’t want to be throwing in the towel on everything … don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water … I mean, I finally have the practice set up the way I want it and am doing what I have been dreaming of doing. But, the feeling was all too real.

So, rather than continuing to pressure myself to do the paperwork because “I have to” or because “its so easy”… (statements to be reviewed and torn down another day/time)… I just gave myself permission to go out into the sun for a little bit of time. I still value my client’s time, so I wanted to be back in time for my next session, but also value my own needs and wanted to validate them by giving them a voice and letting them know that they were heard.

A fifteen minute walk may have not been exactly what my body is craving or calling for, but it seems to have been enough to release the tension that was building. Because upon my return to the office… I no longer felt like getting in the car and starting to drive with no destination in mind and no idea when… or if… I would return.

So, today’s Being My True Self lesson… take my own advice and don’t wait until I need a break to take a break… and go outside, if that’s what I want to do… And, further more, don’t wait for other people to do it with me, just do what I think I need to do for myself… And trust that once I do, I will find exactly what I need.

I once again feel ready to do what I love doing. Now… to figure out how to marry the two… maybe a place where I can be outside AND do what I love doing?! That sounds perfect! Looks to me like Being My True Self means counseling clients on the beach under a sunny sky! I’m in!!