Do You See The Yellow?

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I’m not sure what grade I was in, but I do know I was quite young, when my classroom teacher placed a picture on each one of our desks. She casually asked the class to take a look at it, and then, after a few seconds, she asked us to flip the picture over so all we could see was the white back side.

“Without turning your picture back over, who can tell me anything in your picture that was yellow?”

I wracked my brain yet I couldn’t remember a single yellow detail. Not a one!

A few hands shot up, and I looked around dumbfounded. How could I have looked at that entire picture only moments ago, and not remember anything that was yellow? What else didn’t I see?

Though I didn’t consciously register it at the time, this was an “ah-ha” moment for me. I was beginning to realize that though I believed with every fiber of my being I had seen the entire picture, I was really only recognizing what I had chosen to focus on, whether consciously or not.

Some 40 years, a husband and 3 children later, I found myself rushing around the house on a Tuesday night. Katherine and I were to leave for taekwondo within the hour, dinner was cooking, Wil had a book to read to me, Katherine and Elizabeth were intermittently asking for help with their homework, and I was still yearning for a shower since teaching a 2pm bootcamp class. Once dinner and homework were successfully completed, I zipped across my carpeted bedroom floor, headed straight for the shower in the adjoining bathroom, the movie reel in my mind replaying the same hurried thoughts over and again. Then, just as I was quickly padding past my bed, the glint of something at the edge of the bedskirt caught my attention. My mind and body stopped fast in their tracks….http://wilingness.com/2015/11/09/do-you-see-the-yellow/

Sky's the limit! (my son, Wil, age 5)

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

Makin’ it Happen

I woke up this AM without that usual get-up-and-go. I looked out the window and there was a heavy fog, the perfect excuse to feel sluggish and let the day happen to me.

I lead-foot it into the kitchen, thoughtlessly pour grounds into the coffee maker, and then, I go straight to the drug I know I must take to infuse some energy into this soul.

I look at them all splayed out in front of me without much emotion. I have many, in varying colors and sizes, and I randomly note how some of the smallest can pack the biggest punch. But, right now, I really don’t have much of a preference, I just know I need one now, so I quickly make a choice, and plop down in a chair with it.

I open it randomly, and look down to see my usual underlines, starred passages and earmarks on the pages. My mind is still a blank. I glance over at the coffee pot. Why didn’t I fill that stupid thing last night? This is going to take F O R E V E R!

I look back down, and start to read, with not even an ounce of enthusiasm. The only thing that doesn’t stop me from reading is the fact that I’ve been in this place before. I know what my day will be like if I stop now, so I give it some time. As I read on, I start to feel it, the smallest spark starts to make itself known.

Soon, that spark builds, expands, and in a short time these words are not just letters on a page. They are emotions, images and feelings! I may have read these verses over and again, yet their fire never fades. I allow the energy to course through my veins and penetrate that stubborn brain of mine, diffusing the withering thoughts. The world needs me to be an empowering light, not a selfish slug so easily affected by all that is around me. I am filled with enthusiasm and I haven’t even been caffeinated yet!

Oh, yeah, coffee! I glance over, and the pot is completely full. I realize it has probably been sitting that way, unnoticed, for quite some time, when it seems only seconds ago it was a frustrating, eternal drip.

I bounce over, grab my favorite mug, pour myself a divine cup of that lustrous, ebony brew full to the very tip-top, and savor that first sip right on the spot.

I saunter back over, coffee mug in hand, sit back down with my book, and set that steamy cup right next to it, filled with contentment.

Outside my kitchen window, the fog has lifted and the day has brightened. Time will progress and unfold in it’s many predictable and unpredictable ways, as is it’s nature to do so.

And, as for me, well, I am ready to happen in my very blessed way right along with it.

tea time

Friends Keep Your Heart Light

I was struggling with overload last night, and again this morning. Try as I might to pinpoint the source, so I could address it, it just wasn’t coming. I was a stressful blank….http://christieleightaylor.com/friends-keep-your-heart-light/

Wil Calendar 2008 004

Moms around the table

There is a small group of moms sitting together at a local restaurant. They are sipping on a cool drink, it’s an unusually warm day for early May in Michigan…http://christieleightaylor.com/moms-around-the-table/

IMG_0848[1]

Find Your Light…

wil star selfieDo not strive for peace…Do not strive for happiness… http://christieleightaylor.com/find-your-light/

Are you happy? Let me see

This morning, Wil was sitting on his bed and I was kneeling on the floor beside him, strapping on his ankle braces before I slipped his shoes on over them. He couldn’t see my face because I had my head bent down, focused on the task at hand.
Wil said to me, “Mommy, are you happy?”
Without looking up, I replied, “Yes, honey I am.”
“Let me see.” …http://christieleightaylor.com/are-you-happy/

silly bed time

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