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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Head Over Heels

I was driving in my car this morning and "Head Over Heels" by the Go-Go's came on the radio.  If you listen closely to the lyrics, it has managed to sum up the contents of the past six weeks of my life perfectly. 

This blog is very personal and I feel that in sharing it with all of you, it can help anyone who is struggling with some of the things I have been working through lately.  I feel a lot of this type of suffering in a lot of people right now and if one of you is able to relate now or later, this blog has served its' purpose.

I am a high achiever, a hard worker, and a very driven person.  These are all very positive characteristics to posses, but as someone very wise pointed out to me yesterday (Ken)- all of these things can have a dark element to them.  Over the past few weeks, I have been very, very dark.  It's very unlike me, and people asked me over and over again what was going on, what was wrong, and pointing out that I did not seem like myself. 

This is true, but I was too bogged down in bullshit to realize it.  All of the sudden, it smacked me in the face.  I woke up one morning and I was miserable.  I did not want my life anymore.  I wanted changes and I wanted them now (did I mention I lack patience?).  The problem was, I had NO idea what I needed to change.  I was confused, afraid, and very, very unhappy. 

I began to blame everyone else for what was "wrong" with me (there really is no such things as "wrong" though- everything was just right- just not comfortable).  My thoughts were entrenched in negativity and suffering.  Everyone else has it so easy.  No one works as hard as I do.  I'm pulling more weight than I should have to pull.  I can't do everything.  I can't fix everything.  Negative, negative, blah blah blah. 

Then after talking it out with family, friends, the lead minster at my church, and a therapist, it finally hit me:  I am doing ENTIRELY too much. 

My life is insane.  Literally.  I am a full time doctoral student, a full time mom, a full time wife, I babysit at the gym, I go to the gym 5-6 days a week on top of the babysitting, I volunteer, I to to church, I blog, and some months, I eek out a social life, try to volunteer at Molly's school, try to go to Nate's shows, hit up family functions, and try to throw in a yoga class in the mix just for kicks.  Oh yeah, and I'm trying to add in therapy once a month.  Then emotional chaos piled up on top of the life chaos and BOOM- Implosion. 

How did this happen???  Ummm...you guessed it.  Me.  I did this.  I created this insanity.  The chaos I created for myself was affecting my marriage, my relationship with my friends, and my relationships with myself.  The closest relationships to me suffered the most because they are the easiest to take for granted and to abuse.  My husband was the easiest person to neglect, to blame, and to make the scapegoat for all of my problems.  I wonder how many other married people do this? 

So I was given this piece of advice:


Once I was really ready to hear it, I took that advice to heart, slowed down, and did some serious self-evaluation.  It took me awhile to understand all of the good advice people were giving me because I really had to give time to let my heart soften and let the message permeate my being.  And when it finally did, I felt the shift.  The shift was beautiful, peaceful and stamped the tornado Jane back into a little chaos tumble weed. 

So now I'm back.  Ready to stop neglecting the people who really matter to me.  Ready to slow down the chaotic pace of my life.  Ready to dial back the pressure I put on myself to look perfect, get the perfect job when I'm finished with school, and be everything to everyone.  I wonder how I completely lost focus of what is real and what is important?  My husband, my kids, my family, my friends.  Oh yeah, and MYSELF.  Self work is something we tend to neglect in the chaos of life.  I am such a work in progress and I need to sit with myself and work through these issues of perfectionism, control, and people pleasing.

Long blog short:  I'm scaling my shit DOWN, yo!  Focusing on what is really important on the ways I can share my gifts with others in a way that is helping them become their best selves and me to be my best self.  I am not focusing on 6 pack abs, getting a nicer house, prestige, or other little things my ego needs to feel adequate.  I am perfectly adequate just living, being authentically me, and...



Friday, June 1, 2012

Earth Speak

Whenever I am going through a difficult time, I find myself time and time again drawn to one of my favorite stores:  Earth Speak.  For those of you who have never been there, it is a new age hippie shop smack dab in the middle of Kimberton.  They have crystals, sage, books, candles- everything an incense burning love child like myself could desire. 

Today Lilah and I drove there so I could get some crystals, sage, a feather, and five minutes of serenity.  If you have never picked out crystals or stones, it is a really cool experience.  Usually the piece you were meant to find sticks out like a sore thumb.  You read the description of the energy it is supposed to work with and usually that shit applies.  It directly connects in a way that is far beyond coincidence.  At some point, I would love to use crystals therapeutically.  I have used color meditations before, but never went full on crystal hippie on people.  I think that is something I need to be more open to incorporating in my psychological practices with others and have less fear about people thinking I am bat shit crazy. 

The earth and nature have so many incredible lessons to teach.  We can connect with it in ways that we can feel, but never logically understand.  I feel this when I am hiking, at the beach, or holding the right crystal during a meditation.  There is something magical about the smell of burning herbs and essential oils that resonates with me in a way that feels calming, grounding, and peaceful.  During times of turmoil, I try to make a more conscious effort to connect with the earth and connect with what is "real." 

If you have never been to Earth Speak, you have GOT to check it out.