Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Year in Review

Looking back at 2014 actually seems exhausting to me right now. When I'm honest with myself, I can say that many good events and changes took place. When I'm feeling down, I may say that the year was tough and days were difficult to get through. I have a couple of people I know who are battling different types of cancer, and there by the grace of God go I. Really I am blessed and not dealing with a life-threatening illness. It is hard to keep that in perspective, however.

There is a wonderful saying that I think about in times of pain and stress: "Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind." Bruce Lee.. Many days I am the stiffest tree--in fact more than I'm comfortable with. It's when I notice that I'm being rigid that I need to get busy and change my patterns of behavior and my attitude.

I've begun again listening to Rod Stryker's Four Desires meditations. My favorite is the Bliss Meditation. It gives me the relaxation I need, the peace of mind, and the practice gets my head in the right place. If you haven't tried meditation, I suggest you do. Rod makes it so very easy with his soothing voice and simple instructions. It does take time to get used to sitting still and clearing your mind, but with patience and fortitude, you will get all the benefits promised.

At times I think I'm going backwards with my growth. When things do not go according to plan, I feel I am slipping. Not so, I have to remind myself. Maybe my soul/spiritual guides/God have decided that I'm ready to deal with the difficult situations that have needed to be addressed, and now, with the skills and tools I've gained, I'm ready to confront them.

What I do have going for me is that I am a willing participant in my life. I find ways to better myself through doctors and a therapist who makes me take hard looks at myself, but does so in a very gentle way. For anyone who has ever considered or wanted to try therapy, I fully recommend it. Honestly, if anyone has ever told you that it is shameful to go to a therapist, then you absolutely must change your thinking. My sister once said to me that people had often asked her why she chose therapy years ago, and she said, "Why wouldn't you?" And those simple words got my butt into therapy all those years ago.

Here are some of my wishes and suggestions for anyone who has taken time to read this: You are the most important person in this world. It took me years to figure that out. If you are not healthy in mind, body, and spirit, then there is no way you will be your best with your family, friends, and colleagues. Take the time out of your busy schedule to take care of yourself. In the long run it will be worth it. When I had my first child, I was afraid to be away from him. Going to work after my maternity leave was one of the hardest things I had to do. A dear friend of mine saw the struggles I was having and told me to get into an exercise program. I didn't have time and I didn't want to be away from my family. She actually told me I was doing my family no good in the state I was in. She was dead on right.

Please do not get the idea that I get this right all the time. I don't. Not even close. You teach what you most need to learn--not sure who coined that aphorism, but it is true. So looking to the new year, I will continue my self care and discovery, and my wish for all of you is that you take the precious time you need to refuel and re-energize your life so that you can live it to the fullest. Namaste.