Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Humbling Nature of Failure...aka Growth

I have been a perfectionist, a pleaser since I can remember the happy feeling of making myself or someone else happy. That joy in your soul from happiness. From getting something right, completing a task, surprising someone with a balloon on their birthday, A's on a report card, being teacher's pet, a science report on solar panels-- it didn't matter. I wanted to make _____{fill in the Blank} happy.

I am not perfect by any means, I am overweight, I am a horrible housekeeper. The secret is I can shut off the perfectionism. But not completely, which is where the inner anxiety comes in. Thoughts or feeling come in my head caused by my failures or even sometimes things I have said or done when  I think I  did not live up to my expectation of what they should have been and this scene will loop until I can calm myself or meditate it away. This is my perfection, This is my anxiety. So I can clean to perfection and make my mind at ease or I can half-ass it and leave my mind to possible be exposed to the dreaded pressuring anxiety to be better.

There are larger scale things that we are expected to succeed in buying houses, marriage, career, having kids, etc. And what if you find yourself failing in one of these categories? How do you rebound? How do you stop and find the growth and feeling like for eighteen years you knew how to own a house or have a career but then poof? Failure. Or actual it's just perceived failure because all fails are actually a place to stop. Literally and take a breath and contemplate, Where am I ? Where Was I? Where do I want to be? How Can I get There? Because with the big stuff we rarely stop and reflect on our progress enough, do we?

But to know you failed, you the person who usually gets things right. The one people go to for answers about that thing. The person who at one time may have even criticized others who were in the position she now finds herself. It is humbling but it's the gift of growth. I am rarely wrong this big. To be wrong on a scale this big means for me to reevaluated on a scale of a real FBI investigation like Nixon years.  

Yet, I cannot ponder yesterday more than a moment in need for knowledge to mold decisions before reminding myself. That I have today. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.  I am happy today. My Failure has brought me back to me and I am happy. Now on to a new volume in Dany's life.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today is the gift we have. Who are you sharing it with?

How many people will you see today? Two or two hundred? You have the opportunity to share something with each person that you come in contact with-- yourself. The bit of yourself could be a smile, a short conversation, holding a door, or a long uninterrupted conversation without any electronic devices. We all have enough time to give to others. It doesn't take more than a second to smile. That person you pass in the grocery may not have spoken to any other person all day, maybe that few seconds you take to say hi, nod and ask how they are-- will be some of the best human contact they get today.

I had an awakening recently and became more aware of how I was projecting in those moments when maybe no one notices; Like the grocery store or walking down the halls of work. I realized I was only smiling when I saw someone but instantly went back to a sour face mainly because I had been suffering from migraines and was in pain. Now I find that I smile whether someone is there or not. Part of my new meditation is breathing and smiling during daily mundane tasks. I find a distant sound to focus on humming of the fluorescent lights or the running of a fan. And I am learning to shut out all other thoughts and just smile. Bliss. No thoughts. The ability to turn it off for short periods is like a massage for your brains cells. And the smile is the gift you give yourself and others because smiles are contagious as well as their byproduct-- joy.

I charge you to try and smile when no one is looking. Not because it is magical, it will not make you money or solve all of your problems. It may even hurt your cheeks a bit as you get used to this new exercise. But you may just start doing it without having to "force" yourself to do it. Or you may be smiling when no one is watching but secretly someone is. And secretly it made them smile to see someone doing some task like push a cart, just smiling. Happiness is all around us, we just need to make it be.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Resurrection of the Soul

the revitalization or revival of something: Oxford Dictionary

Revival--restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc.

For the last eleven years, I have celebrated Easter Sunday with the Catholic church. This year I celebrate the resurrection of my own soul. You do not realize you have buried yourself in another. I have seen others do it over the years whether it be their job, kids, or spouse. I did not think I had done that. I thought I know who I am. I am me. Then slowly I wasn't. I was in the same room at work and at home. I had boxed in literally everywhere I went.

It started with headaches in January that led into February migraines. Then I had the a-ha moment that I needed to start looking for a new job. The pain in my mind eased up once I admitted my work was a stressor. My soul felt better. I started watching the want ads and looking into the job market and assessing how I and my skills set could fit into the every changing market that I have been out of for so long. It could be a full-time job to find a job.

Once I started on that path, then the soul needed to go deeper down to what brings me joy. What hobbies, skills, things do I love in life that I can translate into a new path to make money for my family but also bring a new level to my soul. I want to come home fulfilled and not come home drained with nothing to give my family. I need to be able to get off work, and go do and be with my kids. I have missed too much. I am looking through life with a new lens. A new focus. I am not afraid.

So today is my revival, My resurrection. My life is back, More vigor, more strength through yoga, more consciousness through meditation, more vigor through the joy and mindfulness I find in all aspects of my day from start to finish. I was blind and now I can see. I was dead and now I am alive.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Thank You Dave Chappelle-- Synchronicity Part 3 aka my 250th BLOG!!!

Every day we have the opportunity to make a change we think and talk about without procrastination. Sounds cliche but these last few days and weeks I have been analyzing my life, not it in a whole but all aspects. Particularly thinking about the memories I make with my kids and the lessons I need them to take away from their time with me, which in turn makes me look back to my time with my own parents. I probably reflect on parenting more than most people because I am a social worker and I see how parental action affects children daily and in the long term. It actually is the main reason I started looking for other fields to work in. The stress is too much for my soul to bear.

Watching new Dave Chappelle comedy special he brings up Sunday Dinner, a whole spread of food almost like a small Thanksgiving or Easter.I instantly pictured a table covered with dishes of veggies, steaming mashed potatoes, meat as the centerpiece, and everyone passing this and that around while talking about this and that. So I did. I went to the grocery the next day bought a turkey and had a mini Thanksgiving invited my Cousin, daughter's boyfriend, a family friend and we had a great First Sunday meal. Since starting this blog, we have done a second one-- taco and fajitas dinner with another cousin's boys as the guests of honor along with my immediate family. Two weeks of success!

Dave Chappelle lives in Yellow Springs-- which is where I am applying to work. The only job I really want, Admission Counselor at Antioch College. On Saturday, I was cleaning out one of my sheds part of my lent/spring cleaning/minimalizing our junk from our lives that we don't need and I came across a postcard sent to me from the Assistant Director of Admissions when I was in High School. This is the position I am applying for. This could be something I do in my dream duties. Sending out positive vibes, I put the postcard in my wallet. The week before the Sunday dinner revolution, I had found one of my Antioch School Ids. Meaningful coincidences? I hope so.

Silly Dany, you didn't tell your readers how all this really ties together. My fourth year (senior) at Antioch either during finals or while I was finishing my Senior project on the Creation and Childhood of Serial Killers, Dave Chappelle came to visit on campus where he was friends with one of the dudes on my dorm. He had just released Half Baked and the grandness of it all had most people running to kiss some ass. I was the one trying to finish my thesis and was bothered by the "star's" dog running up and down the halls.I was unimpressed and may have been a little vocal about it. It was straight out of a movie like PCU. Overworked college student losing their mind over a dog barking trying to finish their senior thesis! So, my first meeting of Dave Chappelle was in 1999 at Antioch College when I yelled about his dog not being controlled...

This was the last person I ever expected to bring a family tradition back to my life. But Dave, Yellow Springs and Antioch are all saying yes. So thanks, Dave. We are enjoying Sunday Dinner and maybe we will meet for times two, three and four in Yellow Springs some day after I have published my books and have been hired by Antioch.

Do you experience Synchronicity in your life? Comment below I would love to hear from you. I would love to know how others experience this.