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Monthly Archives: June 2011

#3 I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

The author says: “Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.”

I not only suppressed my feelings, I wasn’t even aware that I had any! I’ve always had a positive attitude about life. I bloomed where ever I was planted. I did that by being aware of the needs of the people I loved. The people in my family, my friends and the people I worked with as well. I paid close attention to what it was “you” liked and what it was “you” disliked and lived my life accordingly. So, for many years I took extra good care of my children and my husband, my parents, and my friends. My life worked very well….all my dreams came true. I had a good husband and healthy children. We bought our first home in San Mateo and when we out grew that one we were able to buy a larger one in San Jose. I was very happy. After my husband’s first heart attack I went back to work and that was an added pleasure in my life. I was really complete. so I thought. Then my husband died and everything changed. Oh I still had a positive attitude. I was gracefully carried through the grieving process. When people came to me grief stricken and broken hearted I was able to uplift them and in the process uplift myself. It took me years to really grieve the losses in my life but at that time I did not grieve much at all. I had to be strong for my children and everyone around me. I was single for six years and then married a man with five children. By this time my children didn’t need me as much and I had lots of time to deal with myself. For the first time in my life I developed some physical disorders. I suffered severe headaches, constant lower back pain and digestive challenges as well. What I’ll share now is the thimble version of what happened. Over the next few years, through a series of workshops, some counseling, working a 12 step program and the care of a doctor, I discovered that I was codependent. For me what that means is I paid more attention to the needs of people around me than I did my own needs. I didn’t know what color I liked best, what kind of movies I liked best what restaurant I wanted to go to….oh wait a minute the truth is I knew o.k. but I would not voice an opinion at all….I just say what color would you like to paint the house, what movie do you want to see, what kind of food appeals to you today. Ignoring my needs and wants. Avoiding conflict as much as possible. Slowly but surely I started making changes. It took courage to speak my truth And…it took taming of the committee in my head. I had to look at and set boundaries for myself. I started saying no to everything. The funny thing is that when I said no even though I felt guilty, I felt free also. Then I would say, “ I want to think about that and get back to you.” Sometimes my answer was still no but sometimes it was yes. After taking time to think about my answer it became a heart felt, resounding yes! For many years I thought that being a “people pleaser” was an admirable way to live my life. I liked pleasing people it made me feel good and in control, until one day I was asked, “Anne how do you feel when people don’t do the same for you?” Well I can’t say that I became resentful but I sure was disappointed. That was an “aha” moment for me. I realize that I had ulterior motives. I also realized that I was going overboard for others because I wanted them to like me and do the same for me. When that did not happened I was very disappointed. Over the course of several years I started healing. With the support of many people who suffered the same way I did, I became more courageous, spoke my truth and I set firm boundaries. Learning to speak my truth, be in touch with my feelings and owning them is a skill and a process that is still going on today. It’s a skill that needs to be fine tuned along the way. Progress not perfection is my motto. Today once I become aware of a change that needs to happen and I achieve some success, I remind myself that there is more work to be done. I realize today that I can never reach perfection here on planet earth and once I gained that insight, I was in a better position to tame the committee, and step upon the next rung of the spiritual ladder. There I meet the next challenge. There is always more work to do and more is revealed, when we are ready, and if we are open to growing and changing. For me that’s the only way to live on planet earth. I realized that you can’t just blurt out what you think and feel. My prayer became “Lord help me to speak my truth and share my feelings from my heart.” I would know right away if I was not being loving by the sound of my voice and or the reaction I received from whoever I was talking with. That’s when the adjustment came in. I was then led and am still today, to paying attention to my words and my tone of voice. I when I fall short of my ideal I adjust my attitude and apologize. Today my greatest challenge is with customer service people. Just yesterday I wanted to cancel a credit card that I no longer wanted to use. I had to apologize several times during the course of our conversation. These poor people are expected to review all the benefits you will miss by canceling and on top of that they are required to ask many questions of you before they can cancel your card. I wanted to get on with it! I became very impatient, my tone imparted impatience and rudeness. That poor woman took a verbal beating from me just for trying to do her job. When the fog of frustration cleared in my mind I took a deep breath, my heart softened and I apologized. My apology was heart felt and she understood where I was coming from but…… my goal is not to sound that way any more. O.K. so what do I do now. Well I don’t let the committee beat me up and I look at and honor the progress I’ve made, especially with my husband. I’ve had lots of opportunities to to adjust my attitude and change my conversations with him. Over time….like about 34 years as of July 2nd, I can say and he will attest, that I have more times when I am patient and fewer times that I have to apologize.

Remember “Progress not Perfection,” is our goal.

My heartfelt love goes out to each of you. May you experience much peace, love and joy today and everday….Anne

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

#2 Continued….

June 14, 2011

Once again I’m nudged to continue with #2. What I neglected to write in my last post is that along with meditation as a tool to quiet the committee in my head I used affirmations. But first I want to describe what that committee in my head sounded like and when it would attack me.

When I first became aware of this damaging force in my life, it was strongest when I woke up in the morning. The sense I had… was that it was sitting at the foot of my bed waiting to attack me before I was fully awake.

It would tell me every mistake I’d made the day before and it would critique almost everything I did during the next day. Without knowing it I’d let these thoughts in my mind rule the way I felt about myself. For many years the only way I knew to numb these thoughts and feelings was to eat too much or to eat way too little. But that’s another story for another time.

So before I could sit and meditate effectively I had to tame “the committee” in my head. So I used affirmations, scripture, memorized prayers….long prayers like the prayer of St. Francis, (Make me an Instrument of you Peace, etc). I think you get the idea. I had to force out the negative thoughts with positive thoughts and prayers. I had to be vigilant and not give up until….one day I woke up thinking, Thank you God for a new day, instead of…..Oh God it’s morning ):

Taming “the committee” has been a process that continues today. Yes, I meditate on a regular basis but I’m also vigilant about guarding the door of my mind with prayer. I now have a tool box that helps me continue to have peace of mind most of the time. If I can’t shut up the committee I call and talk with someone and share what’s going on. For me that’s a form of surrender. To reach out for help is saying I can’t do this by myself. I need help. That was very difficult for me in the beginning. I’m a do it myself kind of person…..but I’m ever so grateful for my willingness to grow and change at any cost. Today I know that all I’ve done has come together to help me be the imperfect……peaceful, loving, human being that I am today. Of myself I am nothing….with the help of God and lot of people that God works through…… here I am writing a blog.

Can you believe there was a time I could not even write a simple thank you note? My committee told me I could not write and I let those thoughts make me anxious and avoided writing anything…. anything at all for many years.

May your feet walk in holiness and

your steps be ordered by your Maker.

May your hands be tender and helping,

blessing those in need.

May your heart be humble and

receptive to one another

and to the of things your Higher Power.

Anne….Please feel free to comment and or ask questions.

 

 

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on June 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Regret #2 continued…

June 10, 2010

I being nudged to think and write more about regret #2. I’m not sure how to write about what is bugging me so I may ramble a bit before it comes to me.

There have been times when I’ve driven myself too hard. Pressured from inside to do more and to move faster and faster.

No one as far as I know suffered except me. Oh my…. this thought just came to me, I think my behavior probably was annoying to people around me because I would become impatient if someone got in my way of my doing what I wanted to do. Oh, oh I think I’m on to something.

When I had colon cancer surgery 20 years ago…..yes I’m a 20 year survivor… Thank you God!!!….I had to have an irreversible colostomy. I did not ask, “Why me Lord?” No… I asked, “What do I do now and… what is this saying about me and my life? I hung out with that question for a long time and the answer I eventually got was….”Don’t be so anal Anne!!!” “Lighten up girl, play a little, take time to smell the roses, read more, sing more, dance more, enjoy life, take a few risks and see what happens.!!!

Developing and setting boundaries for myself was in process. I could say yes or I could say no and mean it. Sometimes I had to say no….think about it and then decide if I wanted to say yes. But more was revealed.

I needed to set a firmer boundary with the committee in my mind. I needed to train myself to ignore it and eventually shut it up completely.

Well that boundary is firmly in place now because…..I am pretty faithful to a daily practice of meditation. Sometimes for 5 min….other times much longer. I’ve been meditating for about 40 years but more regularly in the last 29 years. In the beginning I could not sit still for even 5 minutes but little by little it grabbed me and now if I miss a day or two I yearn for the quiet and the profound Peace that comes over me in this state of mind.

Meditation is very simple. Here’s the way I do it most of the time. I sit erect in a cushioned chair that allows me to  put my feet flat on the floor in front of me. I take a couple of deep breaths to relax my body and then I simply pay attention to my breath going in and out of my nostrils. If my mind wanders I just notice it, no criticism, no judgement, I just notice it and return to watching and feeling my breath going in and out of my nostrils.

WOW, I had no idea what I was going to write and am astounded how the muse takes over and spills my guts. Thank you for listening….

Blessings of Peace, Love and Joy,

Give meditation a go and see what happens for you.

Love

Anne

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

# 2 of the 5 Regrets

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

When my children were little, they were my whole life. At least that’s what I thought at the time. I enjoyed them a lot but….I did spend more time than was necessary keeping my house clean, washing clothes and hanging them outdoors and ironing (I even owned and used a mangle). I made dresses for my girls, prepared all our meals except when we went to visit my parents. I did a lot of baking and working in the yard. I spent a lot of time and energy doing all this stuff.

I guess I can say that my only regret regarding working too much is about when my children were little. I wish I had spent more time playing with them than cleaning my home etc.

BUT this is important for all of us to remember….Everyone is doing the best they can, if we knew a better way to do life we would do it. That’s true for me regarding my past as well as now and forever. We all do what we think is best at the time. We don’t know what we could have done differently until after the fact.

Blessings for Peace, Love and Joy abundantly.

Anne

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Five Regrets of the Dying!!!

June 8, 2011

There is a book coming soon in 2011 called: Regrets of the Dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness! This is a quote from the author that I could have written myself.

This is a truth that I live my life by but I know a lot of people that do not.

I was fortunate to be born with the gift of a strong faith in a Power greater than myself. This Power I choose to call God. For me there is only ONE God called by many names. Here are some names I have for that Power, the Holy Spirit sometimes refered to as Christ Consciousness. I also refer to God as the Source and Substance of everything. I even think of God as Energy. The Energy that holds Everything together, the Energy that orchestrates everything from our individual bodies to the bodies of the Universe.

Please note I said a Power GREATER than myself, not instead of myself. This power is everywhere, in everyone, in every situation and circumstance and is willing to work through us, to help us change and grow and in turn to help us change the world. In fact I believe our main purpose on earth is to restore sanity, peace, love and joy abundantly here and now. Starting with ourselves.

God will not impose God’s will on us. We always have to ask for help when we are unable to do what is necessary. However we MUST do what we CAN do. We must take action physically, mentally and spiritually and then this Power will do for us what we are unable to do for ourselves. Grace kicks in as soon as we move forward. Another wise person said something like, “Grace is in the wind all we have to do is raise our sails.”

Now for the regrets….

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

 

Being true to myself has been and will continue to be a process for me. One experience builds on the previous one and I keep growing and changing.

This is the good news….God does not put a desire in our hearts that God does not plan to bring to fruition. I started learning that a long time ago and have been moving through my life with God most of the time proving this to myself over and over and today I pray I continue to do so.

I took my first big risk when I told my father I wanted to get married. I was 19 years old, the man I wanted to marry was not Italian and not Catholic.

As far back as I can remember growing up, I wanted to get married and have children. My father wanted me to be a musician or at least a music teacher. When I told him I wanted to get married he accepted and supported me and never said one negative word about what I wanted to do or the person I wanted to marry. One day, a few years later he told me he was not happy that I wanted to get married. However he went on to say he could not have chosen a better husband for me. He was pleased with me and my family.

After my husband died my life changed completely. But I always followed my inner guidance, made some mistakes but learned from them and kept on trusting that my life would unfold according to God’s will for me.

I’ve shared a lot so I had better stop now. Until we meet again I send you and everyone in the world…..Blessings Galore for Peace, Love & Joy abundantly!!!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

I’m a slow learner….

June 7, 2011

Once again I had to jump through hoops to find this page. I’m grateful that I have learned to accept the fact that I’m a slow learner and be patient with myself. I know what I need to do in order to navigate this blog more efficiently I need to……just do it every day.

So right now I’m making a commitment to write every day. That is to write on this blog every day or at least more often than I’ve done so far. I write everyday….journalling which is not for public view, and several times a month and sometime several times a week, I work on essays for my memoir.

I’m amazed at how much I do write these days and how much joy I derive from writing. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t write a thank you note without tremendous struggle, doubt and self criticism. I’ve come a long way. This process started many years ago when I decided I wanted to leave behind the stories about my rich family history and my personal spiritual journey that includes stories about body, mind and spirit. Well I think that’s it for today….it’s time for me to go to the gym.

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Uncategorized