Alcoholism and Intuition

There is a lot of alcoholism in my family, and I have had a hard time making peace with my own drinking over the years. I have enjoyed a glass or two of wine every night. It relaxed me, and is something just for me in a life of being a caregiver to my family.

For some that is a lot, for others it is not enough, but the point is, is it ok for me? And, I decided it’s not. I have too many past feelings and emotions surrounding alcohol. I’ve discussed it with Matt, and because he has not dealt directly with alcoholism, he does not understand my fear of one or two glasses a night. He is supportive, but cannot relate. What can these few glasses hurt? I drink responsibly, so why can’t I allow myself this? That makes perfect sense, except for the nagging feeling within me that it’s not ok.

I’ve learned, over the years, and especially with raising a child with more needs, a lot about self-care. It is a must. I also have learned to shut out other people’s “Shoulds” for me, and listen closely to my intuition and follow my own direction.

So, I decided to stop this glass a night drinking. I will still enjoy a few cocktails with Matt on the weekends, but the habitual week days, no. So, on my last shopping trip, I did not buy any wine. I admit it was hard. I had grown to rely on that glass for my relaxation. But, I know, to quit a habit, and be successful in sustaining it, I must put something positive in its place.

I heated myself some decaf tea, stirred in a big, sweet spoonful of my neighbor’s homegrown honey, took a cozy fleece blanket outside and sat on the back porch. The cat hopped up on my lap, and her purr motor was very lulling. Soon, Wil found me outside, pulled his wagon out of the garage, full of toys, and he pulled it around the yard singing to himself.

Positive reinforcement for kicking a habit? Hell yes! This experience is exactly what sat right with me deep down.

No matter what anyone else says or does, living at peace with my inner self and beliefs is what fulfillment is really about. There are no if, ands, buts or shoulds about it.

So, I raise my favorite tea mug from my back porch to yours, and I pray we all find the strength to bring forth the joy within ourselves to live the lives we personally choose to live.

Shine on in your own way, every day. We are worth nothing less.

life_is_good_half_full

REMEMBER: BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOURSELF

Flexible

There was this girl, and one day, she felt like she was missing something, but couldn’t for the life of her figure out what it was.

There was nothing unusual about her day. It was full of the usual busyness.

She had three children involved in three different activities, she was training for a distance race, writing a book, teaching a few classes and training a few clients.

Yes, her life was busy, but it was of her choosing, and she enjoyed it.

Except for that day. What was missing?

She knew some days were simply harder than others, but she knew how to conjure up excitement and energy within her.

She focused on why she was doing what she did, what the outcomes meant to her, and allowed those positive emotions to flood through her. That was always enough to recharge her batteries and fill her with excitement and energy. But, try as she might, it wasn’t happening that day. What was missing?

She started to get upset with herself. Why couldn’t she get it together? Was she being lazy? How had she lost her excitement?

Her husband offered to bring home carry-out, which was a huge relief. One less thing. When he walked in the door, she gave him a big hug and just hung in his arms.

A tear streaked down her face, and she whispered in his ear, “I just don’t have it today, honey. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I love this life, but something is missing. I just don’t have it in me today.”

He leaned back so he could see her face, and said, “You have a lot going on. You just need to be flexible with yourself.”

That was it! That’s what she was missing.

She hugged him so tight, and whispered, “Thank you, that was exactly what I needed to hear.”

A huge weight seemed to lift from her shoulders. She wasn’t being lazy, she hadn’t lost sight of her goals, she simply needed to remember to be flexible with herself.

Her husband placed the huge tray of pulled pork he had brought home on the counter, and opened up the lids of bbq sauce. They didn’t grab plates or forks, they simply stood there, laughing and talking, picking up pieces of pulled pork with their fingers and dipping them in the sauce.

Her carefree, happy self was back again. She had back what she was missing.

That night, as she sang her son his favorite bedtime song, unknowingly, she peacefully fell into sleep next to him. She was woken by her daughters, kissed and tucked them into bed, and went into her own bed, next to her husband, and contentedly fell to sleep.

Her alarm went off very early the next morning, and she got up and dressed for a run in the cool winter air.

As her heart started pumping, the snow crunching under her feet, the sky big and black, she felt that familiar excitement flood her body again.

As she ticked off the miles, the previous day’s story ran through her head. She decided, when she got home, she would share her story. She knew, someone else was out there, feeling like they were missing something, and just maybe, they would stumble on this story, and receive the gentle reminder they needed, just like she did, to always be flexible with yourself.

Life Lesson # 210: Going to School in a Black Plastic Garbage Bag

mom and me

(My beautiful mother & me ❤ )

Maybe this is a sign of getting older, but I chuckle at the fashion magazine article advice about “what’s hot and what’s not.”

I do enjoy seeing new styles and new makeup ideas, but what I laugh at is, how they dictate what is hot and what is not. How did they become the authority on what looks good on each of us? What’s hot for one, may look ridiculous on another.

There was a time when I listened to these fashion authorities, and took their advice to heart. It was of high importance that I wear certain brands from certain stores. Even if I could only have one pair of jeans, instead of 10 at the discount store, I chose to have the one pair.

I knew what looked good on me, and what didn’t, but only within the confines of “what’s hot and what’s not.”

I’ve broken out of that fashion jail, and now live in fashion freedom. I dress in clothes that are an extension of my personality, rather than within the confines of the fashion police. They are too busy with the likes of Honey Boo Boo to mess with me, anyway.

Though it took time to grow, this seed of fashion independence was planted in me back in elementary school:

I was in 4th grade, and my grandparents came to stay with my sister and me, while my parents were out of town for a few days.

Before school one morning, as my sister and I were about to run out to catch the school bus, a heavy rain started. I had outgrown my raincoat, so my grandmother promptly cut three holes in a large, black plastic garbage bag, and plopped it over my head.

I immediately cried in protest.

She calmly responded, “Be a leader, not a follower.”

I knew I was no match for her, so off I ran to the bus in my shiny, new raincoat. As I walked down the bus aisle looking for a seat, I heard the inevitable, “is that a garbage bag?!”

No one outwardly made fun of me, and I think some of it had to do with my disposition. I was absolutely mortified, but I was more than prepared to duke it out with a teasing kid rather than combat my strong-willed grandmother.

My grandmother had the same attitude when I wore designer jeans in junior high school. “Why would you pay money to wear someone else’s name on your clothes? They should pay you to put your name on their clothes.”

It has taken many years, but I’ve finally come to her way of thinking. No, I don’t confidently strut around in garbage bags when it rains, or request Mr. Klein stitch out my name on the back pocket of his jeans, and that will be $80, thank you very much, but, I get where she was coming from.

What looks good on you is not what someone tells you looks good on you. Be your own person, and be proud of who that person is.

Years later, shortly after my grandmother passed away, I remember  Julia Roberts married Lyle Lovett. It was a shock to many, as she is stunningly beautiful, and Lyle is, well, Lyle.

Discussing this marriage and the obvious differences in outward appearances with my mother, I’ll never forget when she said,”Lyle is immensely talented. That, in itself, is attractive.”

Yes, she is my grandmother’s daughter.

With one big difference, she would never send me off to school in a black garbage bag(though we still have some good laughs about it!).

My mom values fashion and has an admirable sense of it. She believes in confidently wearing things that are “you” as an expression of who you are. She doesn’t follow any fashion rules, she follows her own. 

My mother has a beautiful, creative taste in clothes. Some of her outfits might look outlandish on some, but she never fails to pull it off looking fabulous. That is because her clothes are an extension of her true, fun and energetic self.

I now enjoy that wonderful feeling of fashion freedom, and am not confined to the limits of a label.  When I wear an outfit, I rock it like my name is written all over it 🙂

Trekking the Positive Path

Wilbackpack (2)

What you focus on, expands.

I read this statement in a book, and I started paying attention to it.

I found it to be true. So, I decided to make a very conscious effort to keep my trek on the positive path.

I am an optimist by nature, so starting out on this path was a familiar and easy one. I was lightly floating along, my mind full of happy thoughts, until…

SMACK!

In my blind optimism, I didn’t see the boulder in front of me, and I walked right into its unmoving force.

I discovered, just because I had a positive outlook, didn’t mean that roadblocks and obstacles would magically disappear. To maintain a positive outlook requires a very conscious effort.

The roadblocks and obstacles are our teachers. It is where we learn to focus our thoughts, and based on our decisions, our reality expands in that direction.

My choices at that moment were:

1. Dwell on the pain, and blame the boulder.

2. Be scared of encountering another boulder, so do not advance any further.

3. Acknowledge the pain, how it happened, then step around the boulder and move on.

I tried blaming the boulder for a while. It didn’t change anything, and only served to make me more upset. I had given the power to the boulder, and not myself.

As I got closer to acknowledging this roadblock and doing the work of walking around it, I became scared. What is on the other side? Will I get hurt? Will I encounter a full row of boulders just like this one?

Again, I was giving the power over to the boulder.

I sought the support of friends. They encouraged me to do what was needed. Even with their encouraging words, I was the one responsible for keeping my focus on how I could succeed, not on how I could fail.

I stood up, and took my steps. I decided, whatever was on the other side, I would handle. I wouldn’t be scared by it, I would do what I had to do, as it came.

I made it around, and I will tell you this, it was the most empowering feeling in the world. Yes, it was scary, but keeping a positive forward focus, was a strength builder. I sought out any bright moment to empower and encourage me.

I continue to trek the positive path, and every day I get better at it. I have left that blind optimism behind, and make an effort every day to seek out and create bright moments. If things are looking bleak, I’ve found that sharing time with supportive friends, meditation and exercise always serve to refresh my outlook.

I have developed a deep faith in this way of thinking, and it has carried me through many rough spots. Sure, I still stumble and lose my focus, and get caught in the negative net. But, its much easier to catch myself, and use the tools I’ve learned to free myself of it, and find my way back to the positive path again.

I am thankful to the author for sharing this statement, as it has made a huge positive impact in my life. I hope in some way, sharing my experience is helpful to you!

Please feel free to share your stories that made a positive impact on your life!

Be well!

Christie

No Excuses!

special olympics

Its amazing what can be accomplished when we kick our excuses to the curb.

Our excuses become so habitual, we don’t even realize we are making them….they have a subtle, but very effective voice.

If you’ve always wanted to accomplish something, no matter how big or small, but can’t seem to find the courage to do it, stop for a moment and do a “check in” with yourself.  You will find that excuses are what is holding you back.

Excuses are sneaky. They know exactly when and how to speak, so you don’t even realize they are there. When you do discover them, they are quite convincing of all the reasons you shouldn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t.

Like a silver bullet to a werewolf’s heart, questions are the downfall of excuses.

Question their validity. Be relentless in your questioning, and you will find excuses are rarely based in fact.

Once you see excuses for what they are, tell them, See ya! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

You, my friend, free of that noisy nonsense in your head, can hear loud and clear, the exhilarating: I will, I can, I did!

Be well!

Christie

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