Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016's Word of the Year is Listen

Because old habits die hard, I didn't do much after the first couple of months of the OLW project last year; however, I was much more aware of my compassion toward myself over the year, so I call that both progress AND success.

I've been struggling again the past few months with my health and another medical mystery tour, so I feel like listening to my body is going to be extremely beneficial for me. 

As well, I keep seeing this graphic pop up, and it has really resonated with me, so listening to understand will also be part of the goal:

Do you choose a word for the year? What's your word for 2016?

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Connecting with My Chakras Before the New Year

Warning: dippy-hippie-woo-woo ahead.

This is from a post on MindBodyGreen.

Muladhara (root chakra)
1. How's your physical vitality?
Right now, it's in the crapper. The stress of the last three months and the ensuing medical mystery tour (likely a result of said stress) has left me achy, exhausted, and in low spirits.

2. Are you taking care of your finances?
Yes, I believe so. Is there still work to do? Absolutely.

3. What do you need in 2016 to feel more grounded and secure?
I need financial security: I need for us to continue with the improvements we've made in the last year. I need to focus on my health, both mentally and physically: I need to incorporate more whole foods and move my body every day; I need to continue to advocate for myself medically and push for answers when I don't feel "right"; I need to listen to - and trust - my body. I need to get in touch with and explore my spirituality. I need to continue my journey of personal growth.

Svasisthana (sacral chakra)
4. Are you satisfied (or, better yet, pleased) with your sex life?
No. My libido is in the crapper with my physical vitality, and the two are definitely linked. This isn't "normal" for me, which is another sign something is off.

5. Are you stimulating or fueling your creative passions?
Mmm, not entirely. I ended up overwhelmed by the mess of my craft dining room table, so I packed up 75% of it; I've not touched the remainder since.

6. What are you going to create or bring into the world in 2016?
I've rediscovered both colouring and cross stitch; I also did a Paint Nite at work recently and LOVED it - it's definitely something I'd like to continue! I'd also like to play with my (real) camera some more and explore knitting.

Manipura (solar plexus chakra)
7. Do you find purpose in your work?
Yes, I do, and if the proposed new position pans out, I think this feeling will increase.

8. Do your personal habits support who you want to be?
Sort of: I make progress, then slack off. I've made great strides from where I was a couple of years ago, but there's room for improvement.

9. What do you want to achieve in the world in 2016?
Honestly, I want to be "selfish" and focus on self-care and self-love so I can come from a better place to be in the world.

Anahata (heart chakra)
10. Do you feel you are open to receiving love?
I think I do a decent job of being open to others; I think I have more work to do in loving myself.

11. Are you happy with the love you're giving to your friends, family, and significant other?
On the surface, yes; however, I think that love could come from a stronger, more genuine place if I fill my own cup first.

12. What will you do to cultivate love in your relationships in 2016?
I will operate from a place of authenticity, speaking up for myself and being clear about my needs: I too often come from a place of obligation, and I'm sure that shows.

Visuddha (throat chakra)
13. Do you feel like you've been speaking your truth lately?
Lately, yes - at the very least, I'm getting  better at speaking my truth.

14. Are you committed to your word?
Ha! My gut reaction was, "of COURSE I am!" because I was thinking of my word to others; however, I'm not so good at committing to my word to myself.

15. Is there anything you wish to tell the world in 2016?
I wish we would all employee some basic human decency by treating each other the way we want to be treated.

Anja (third eye chakra)
16. Do you feel you have insight into why your life looks like it does?
Not on a specific level, but on a more general level, I believe there is a lesson in everything and that nothing goes away until it teaches us what we need to know (thanks, Pema Chodron!).

17. Do you trust your intuition?
Again, ha! (See my last post.) This is something I'm slowly improving upon - I'm learning I *can* trust myself/my gut.

18. What would you like to know in 2016?
That my loved ones will all be safe, healthy, and happy.

Sahasrara (crown chakra)
19. In what place or during what activity do you feel most at peace?
Walking (more so with the dog than by myself).

20. Do you take time for yourself to recharge, relax, and just be?
Again, this is something that gradually improved over the last year; I've realized that I'm the only one who can - who needs to - give me permission to take down time. I feel like I'm finally getting how important it is and that not taking it will only make me angry, more stressed out, and prone to acting like a martyr.

21. What activities or practices can you cultivate to feel more connected in 2016?
More meditation, yoga, and journalling. More listening and being in touch with myself. More reaching out to others.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

On Trusting Your Gut

When the dog and I left to walk this morning, I saw a guy in a dark hoody with the hood pulled over his head and a backpack on his back walk up to the rec center across the road(ish) and try one of the doors. It was 7:15am, dark, and cold, and something about it sent my spidey senses tingling. When that door didn't open, he went up a set of stairs and tried the upper door, which opened. At that point, we had proceeded up the sidewalk enough that I could see a vehicle in the parking lot - he did NOT come from the parking lot/that vehicle. Simultaneously, I saw him prop the door open.

Everything in me was screaming that something wasn't right: there's rarely ever anyone there that early on a Sunday morning, and I was worried this guy - who my gut was telling me didn't belong - would run into the employee/vehicle owner and something would go wrong.

We ran back to the house so I could grab my phone (I teased Chebbar for "jinxing" me because he asked if I had my phone before we left, and I told him I didn't need it). In the course of those 30 seconds, I started doubting myself and second-guessing my gut, looking to Chebbar for advice on how to proceed: what if the guy DID belong there?

As we went back outside, we watched another vehicle pull into the lot and a woman walk up to the front doors - where I've seen every other employee enter (I can see this place through our front window from the couch) - so I made the call.

Long story short, police ended up dragging someone dressed like the guy I saw out that upper door and down the stairs in handcuffs: he did NOT belong there. Thankfully, the staff were safe.

When I gave my statement to the officer, I told him I hesitated to call, and he reiterated that it's always better to be safe than sorry. I just know I wouldn't have been able to live with the guilt if I hadn't called and someone had ended up hurt.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

This is Why I Love You: Reason #21

#21: Not only do you throw my pajamas in the dryer to warm them up before I go to bed, but you also take your electric throw and stuff it under my blankets to warm my side of the bed, too.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Stacy Fucking Campbell*

Dear Stacy Fucking Campbell,

Shamelessly stolen from Facebook

I don't remember how I even first "met" you (I hate that I don't remember) - I never had the honour to meet you face-to-face: ours was one of those connections forged via a series of pipes and tubes. Our Facebook messages are gone, as are our Gchats and emails (I hate that I've lost them). All I know was the amazingly stunning woman with a razor-sharp wit and an incredible talent with words was talking to me (ME!), and I was starstruck: how did this magnificent fucking unicorn even notice me?!?

I've started and restarted and erased and started again and deleted and read other posts and closed other posts and I just don't know (I hate that I just don't know).

I don't understand.

I knew you hurt. I knew you struggled. I knew you had your demons. But I didn't know (I hate that I didn't know).

I refused to believe it.

As I waited for confirmation (nonononono), to find out it was true (nonononono), to learn it wasn't just some kind of fucked up joke (nonononono), I rocked back and forth chanting my nonononono mantra like some kind of talisman with the power to FIX everything.

It didn't work (I h.a.t.e. that it didn't work).

I had therapy the evening I found out we'd lost you. I went in there a hot mess: she took one look at me and said, "You're not okay," and I lost it. Again. (I spent a couple of hours bursting into sobs, scaring the shit out of the poor dog who could do nothing more than lie at my feet and whimper in solidarity. Thank god for him.)

I told her I didn't feel I had the right to grieve, since I didn't know you-know you, that my grief was selfish. Grief's funny that way, though: it sneaks up on you in ways you don't expect in moments you don't see coming. And just like everyone grieves differently, everyone affects people differently, like you did, Stacy.

I told her that perhaps the worst thing about suicide is that we wait until it's too late to tell the person how much they meant to us, what a difference they made in our lives, how much they mattered, how much we loved them (I hate that I waited). Sadly, I've seen it more times than I care to count, and all I've ever been able to think was, "God. If you could only SEE how much love there is for you here." That being said, this is partially our... fault. I'm not saying it's our fault someone makes the decision to die by suicide; however, it's kinda our fault for not being more forthcoming with kind, loving words until after the fact.

We discussed the decision you made and how undoubtedly this wasn't a decision you didn't come to lightly, that whether or not I liked your choice, it was one to respect because it was yours. I didn't walk your path. I didn't wear your shoes. I didn't fight your demons. I cannot judge your decision.
"You still have work to do. You’re still letting Them win. You will stop this, but you will never forget.
You will suffer loss of people you love; a loss to death, argument or time. You will be, at times, so consumed with grief that you don’t think you can go on, that going on without your loved one isn’t even worth it. You will get through it. Cry, let yourself grieve. The tears will stop, I promise. It will take some time, but you will find peace in the memories. You will know that they are always with you, that you’re never without them in your heart."                                                           From Stacy's letter to herself 20 years in the future - this is a hard read.
Your wise words ring true. I only wish they had returned to you in time (I hate that you didn't somehow magically stumble upon this and that it didn't somehow magically make everything better). I hope to hell you have found peace - that's all I want for you now.

 I'll never forget you, Stacy Fucking Campbell.

Love always and forever,
Chibi Fucking Jeebs

*Please don't get your knickers in a twist: this was a running joke she had with more than one person.

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