Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Learning Curve

I want to relay a learning experience I had yesterday morning.

I have only posted three times on my blog, and each time, I text the post's link, from my phone, to my contacts.  Yesterday morning, an acquaintance texted back and asked me to stop sending her the link.

Now, intellectually, I understand where this person is coming from. I hardly know her, and out of the blue, she is receiving three random texts, from me, a woman she hardly knows, referring her to a personal on line journal? At 7:45 am, I might add.  I get it.

But inside, I felt ashamed and embarrassed. Rejected, I wanted to roll up into a ball, like the little, black, roly poly bug.  Just shut down all together. Yes, I realize, it's just one person's input, but putting myself out there hasn't been easy.

The realization:  I'm generating spam.  Shameless self promotion.  And this is from a person who claimed she wanted to be anonymous.  How's that for irony? Gosh, bumping into myself can be down right spooky sometimes.

I'm confident this is just part of the learning curve, but man, it can be startling.  

Have you ever bumped into yourself, and became startled?

What happened? 

What did you realize?

Monday, April 28, 2014

What is in a name?

Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.  
- WordPress, 365 days of prompts, 2013

My modus operandi  is to be driven to extremes.  As I stated, on Wednesday, in my first blog post, titled, Here we go.., I'm famous for hurriedly Scotch taping together a fledgling future, only to tear it to pieces by my own hand.  I'm the type of chick who is able to make a good first impression but unable to follow through.  

My blog is a perfect example of my infantile ego demands. I felt super positive about my first post last week.  As I stated, it took me months to access the strength to do something like this, and I felt a self-satisfaction that I could get used to.  

A flourish, if you will.

It wasn't until Sunday morning that I posted again.  Why?  Because, child like feelings of fear constantly dogged my step.  Unable to secure a psychic stronghold, in the wasteland of my mind, my whispering thoughts taunted me, 'The first time was a fluke, you're not going to be able to write something half way decent again; you may as well stop right now, you have no business doing this.'  So, I hid - lest my humanness hang out.    

A flounder, no doubt.   

Welcome to the turbulent flux of my mind.   While writing this, I can't help but smile.  My false beliefs have the force to get every cell in my body firing on a narrative that the twelve year old inside of me has concocted.  I have tried so hard to hide my brokenness by rejecting anything I will not be perfect at on the first shot.  This blog is about me consistently showing up.  Broken or fixed.  Flourishing or floundering, I am determined to connect with my humanity.  I trust that my writing is the way.     

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Gift of Desperation

Out of complete desperation, I began meditating, in early December of 2013.  

In October, of that same year, attempting to out run my problems, I fled to my home state of Texas, to stay with my family.  Realizing that, I had met myself at the Houston bus station, two months later, I scrambled back to to San Diego.  I was losing my mind.  A debilitating frenetic energy teemed within me.  It had my skin crawling, my legs bouncing, and my mind racing in panic.  In a short time, I ran fifteen hundred miles to Houston and fifteen hundred miles back to San Diego, in my inadequate effort to eliminate myself of me, all the while prolonging my pain.  And there I was, at a crisis house, in Oceanside, broke, alone, no where to go and out of ideas.  

A darkness overwhelmed me.  My body was polluted with chemicals and negative thoughts.  The necessary strength and fortitude to reclaim my life was not there.  Any fight, that once lied inside of me, was finished.  The fight against alcohol, against mental and physical illness, against the ex boyfriend, against my family, against my mortality, all of it - gone.  I was down for the count.  

My counselor, Jim, invited me to a group he would be leading, in a guided meditation, that evening. I accepted the invite, all the while knowing, I'd never go.  Smiling politely, I thanked him and went back to bed. My only plan was to sleep into oblivion.  Yet, next thing I knew, I was in the group, settling into a mahogany, leather, over sized chair, while tears streamed down my face.  

Sinking into the cushion, I was reminded how much I dreaded being awake.  Soft instrumental music played in the background. It was impossible for me to sit still for longer than five minutes without being overtaken by exhaustion.  Jim stood and turned off the lights.  He asked us to close our eyes and to begin to focus on our breath.  He then asked us to visualize ourselves in a green lush forest, sitting near a pile of leaves, next to a stream.  He asked us to take a few moments to smell the air.  To feel the soft grass between our toes, and to listen to the stream water moving.   

Jim acknowledged thoughts were still going to arise for us.  We were to acknowledge our thoughts without judgement.  And when the thoughts arose, we were to place the thought upon a leaf (from the pile next to us), set it in the stream, and watch it sail away.  

My thoughts assaulted me:  

What am I going to do?  I placed the thought on the leaf, set it in the stream, and watched it sail away.

I'm never going to make it.  I placed the thought on the leaf, set it in the stream, and watched it sail away.

He doesn't love me anymore.  I placed the thought on the leaf, set it in the stream and watched it sail away.

After a few minutes of practicing the visualization, Jim invited us to open our eyes and come back to the room.  Relaxed, I immediately went back to my room and lied in bed.  Alone, in the dark, my thoughts mugged me again:

What am I going to do?  I placed the thought on the leaf, set it in the stream, and watched it sail away.

I'm never going to make it.  I placed the thought on the leaf, set it in the stream and watched it sail away.

He doesn't love me anymore.  I placed the thought on the leaf, set it in the stream, and watched it sail away.

It's been over four months since I first attended that guided meditation group.  My meditation practice has grown to, at least, one thirty minute sitting a day.  No longer in a crisis house, and I am about to move into my own apartment again.  I am part of a grant writing internship and will soon be training to teach yoga.  

My thinking has come into focus and I have the realization of a loving God, that is within.  Wherever I go, He is and I have tapped into a strength and courage I have never known.  I have far from arrived, but I have new found hope in my ability as a human being.  All I need to do is sit, close my eyes, breathe, and awaken, once more, to the stillness deep inside.




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Here we go...

Hey.  My name is liz.  My heart is fluttering like a hummingbird's wings right now.  I cannot believe that I am starting a blog. 

Only recently have I become comfortable with social media. I've had - hmm - how shall I put this?  A delayed adulthood. I'm almost forty years old, and I am barely beginning to get the hang of living my life.  And due to delayed development, I usually joke, that, the last thing I need is to be found.  

My delusions of grandeur whisper, the ubiquitous 'they' are looking for me, and if I put myself OUT THERE, the long lost friend from grade school, looking to recapture our memories of the monkey bars, will find me.  It pains me to imagine an ex boyfriend (who is, probably, successful in every way, I am not) stumbling upon my Facebook wall, smirking while, reading my latest post about how another one of my fledgling futures, I somehow Scotch taped together, has been dashed, once again, by my own hand.

No, anonymity is the way to go.  But, I want to write.  And I want others to read what I write.  So, is anonymity what I really want?  This is where the rub lies, people.

Only people who have their shit together would start something like a blog.  But if one's past helps to predict one's future, my fine day may never arrive.  

I need help in disciplining myself to write.  The only way I am going to get better is to practice the act of writing.  I've been consistently writing in my journal lately and I wanted to kick it up a notch.  This lead me to begin reading and researching other people's blogs.  I began to think that I, too, could start a blog.  In my search for accountability, I contacted several writing gigs posted on Craigslist and submitted various writing samples.  Many have replied and all have been positive.  My momentum mounted.  I decided to bring my blog uncertainties to my meditation practice, and in spite of all my limiting beliefs I feel compelled to write.  Secretly, I think that the recent uncontrollable urge to put myself OUT THERE is the necessary nourishment I need to heal.

So, here we go....