moving forward.

I have had time today to sit back and reflect on yesterday.

yesterday was a real day:  we attended the MS Society Pacific Chapter awards breakfast.

which, for both of us, included some more sinking into the reality of MS.

some scary facts.  such as MS may cause my brain to shrink.  fabulous.

but thinking beyond the scary…which no one can ever control…the question popped up after we got home:  was the breakfast more about celebrating MS?

I think it really was more that…than anything.  d’uh!

there is so much support for this non-profit!   blew us away.   I’m talking >$100K in support from one peep!

but it was the couples who raised the most money.  one of them has it, the other one doesn’t.

turns out, MS pushed them forward.

it was fascinating for us to watch the couples.  it was like we were watching ourselves.

we talked about it afterwards.  either couples overcome.  or they don’t.  those that were at the presentation had overcome.  it was so clear.

I’m sure there are 10x as many who don’t.

MS is a rocky dysfunction that sits on top of any pre-existing dysfunction.

it will either make or break you.

Tim and I agreed:  we will make it.  and can’t wait to figure out how we can give back.

xo

dreamland.

finally.  I have started to dream again.

fun~I love dreams!

in life coach training (LCT) we discussed how dreaming means things are starting to shift, move forward, change.  after being fairly dream-less for the last six months, it’s a relief to adventure into dreamland again.  yeah!

sidebar>>>though there was the one dream…the only really lucid dream I have ever had…that I played in a few months ago.  that was way cool.  I even levitated!  because I wanted to.  so I did.  after successfully completing the tests to confirm one is dreaming and not awake, I took control.  weird actually now that I think back to it.  I wasn’t walking in it.  hmmm.

dream analysis was one of my favorite modules from LCT.  the tools we learned are a combination of Martha Beck and Carl Jung.  both awesome.

analyzing dreams:  fun.  creative.  it opens up doors that many people have slammed shut.  it gives peeps a lot of insight into their own psyche.  you can even solve problems in your every day life, by closely examining your dreams.  I have seen this happen in my practice coaching sessions last year.  how cool is that?!  very.

so, I have had a classic recurring dream over the last fifteen odd years.  yikes!  it shows up frequently when I’m stressed.  which means it has been around a lot the last few years.  ha!  I probably had ten episodes of this dream last year alone.  before my legs conked out.  more than any other year.  then I shut down the last six months.  note:  shutting down = minimal dream activity.

the theme of this dream is always the same:  I board a plane knowing that it’s going to crash.

airline is always different.  or sometimes unknown.  and usually a large aircraft.  at least a 767.  one time it had a glass ceiling.  the airplane always takes off from a different airport.  heading to an unknown destination (except when I was on a plane that was going to plunge into the red rocks of Sedona!).  sometimes the plane hurtles between buildings and ducks under bridges in a metro city (Chicago, New York, and London…for example).  in one – we landed first – but the plane was still scheduled to fail on the second leg!  ugh.  I still remember that dream vividly.  actually, most of them I can recall.  occasionally I have friends with me, but more often I’m flying solo.  (like with everything…much better when friends are around.  🙂

so here’s how it plays out:  shortly after the plane takes off, it starts listing to one side.  oh sh*t, I think, it’s happening.  I look around me to find the rest of the passengers calm.  sedate.  a few are looking at me, wondering what’s wrong with me.  (think William Shatner in the Twilight Zone.)  or they’re asleep.  but, I can’t tell them that I know what is about to happen.  so I remain silent.  just very agitated as I’m staring out the window watching the ground move toward us.  having zero control.  before the plane hits the ground, I wake up.

end of story.  that’s it.  anti-climactic.  huh?

every time I wake up breathing hard, and unable to fall back asleep.  borderline panic attack.

Saturday night I had this dream again.  but with a twist.

for the first time, the plane was not going to crash.  I knew I was going to be okay!  but still a bit bewildered…why I was on a plane that wasn’t scheduled to crash??  the one thing I do remember is that I felt very protected in this dream.  so protected that I was comfortable walking the aisles.  chatting and laughing with the flight attendants.  for once, the plane was protecting me rather than the opposite.  um…that would be not-protecting me.  ha!

I was ecstatic when I woke up Sunday morning.  so I quickly ran this dream through Martha Beck’s dream analysis (or dream deconstruction, as I like to call it)…

1.  identify each symbol.

sidebar>>>for the following questions, it’s a bit wild and crazy…one must become the symbol!  crazy, I know.  but it works beautifully.

2.  provide a description of each symbol.

3.  what purpose does each symbol have for the dreamer?

4.  what is each symbol trying to tell the dreamer?  what message does the symbol contain?

talking through this with another, is always more effective!  while deconstructing a dream, the dreamer is usually in their right brain…and more details surface while it’s being discussed.  it is probably one of the coolest things to coach a peep through unraveling a dream to make life-awakening connections.

so…my conclusion for this very specific shift in my recurring dream…

  1. everything is going to be okay.  pretty obvious.
  2. it’s okay to sit back and enjoy the ride.  huh.
  3. let God take care of the rest, especially the future and things I cannot control.  I get it.

this morning, I woke up to an invitation to return to church.

interesting stuff, huh?

hope you peeps all have sweet dreams tonight!

xo

shift happens.

I have been thinking a lot about faith…you know…since I have some free time on my hands. might as well keep busy. ha! as my therapist said to me last week (and I paraphrase) a mind not being occupied by work, allows you to access more power than you ever knew was there. huh.

knowing without knowing. and trusting without seeing. that’s how I sum up faith.

you probably have your own description. words that you use to describe your faith. I have been reading a lot about faith the last two weeks. and with the opening of my mind, I experienced an epiphany driving to my therapy appointment last Friday while listening to Caroline Myss’ audio book: Energy Anatomy. (she is genius by the way…and from Oak Park, IL! I always knew intuitively good things are from Chicago! 🙂

the moment was mystical and magical. unlike any moment I have ever experienced. it riddled my body with goosebumps on top of goosebumps. it cannot be easily described with words.

but…I finally get it. I understand why and how I made it through all the years not knowing who I was and why things happened the way they did. and I am finally at peace.

sidebar>>>remind me to tell you about an amazing mediation I had last week. lights flickered. seriously. it was wild. turns out God doesn’t always clearly show or tell you the way.

especially when you’re not paying attention…as I had been doing for most of my life.

let me take you back in time – abridged version.

as a baby in Belgium and England, I was never baptized. but grew up to attend an Anglican elementary school. I was ashamed that I was on the outside, looking in. so I tried to hide. I felt like a charlatan in my little pink and white gingham school uniform. I didn’t feel worthy of understanding the Bible. I never paid attention in Sunday school when we would visit California – it didn’t matter because I had never been baptized. turns out that at six, I was already plugged into an ancestral universal belief – thou shall not lie.

insert all the moves back and forth from England to California – and then California to England – and then back to California – here.

I formally turned my back on God completely when we landed in California for good.

God? who’s that? if he/she/it does exist where is he?? I wanted to shout.

my world was crumbling before my eyes, and I could not believe that any God would allow that to happen. one of my friends in tenth grade took me to a religious lunch. I left early. it made my skin crawl. or did it? she asked me afterwards why I left. I said, I don’t believe in God, I don’t want to, not to mention I have never been baptized. she said, give it time. plus you can still be baptized as an adult. I walked away from her. she doesn’t get it is what I told myself.

fast forward to husband #1. the feeling that God left me alone on that one intensified. but I survived by my own inner strength to get out. little did I know then that God was there all along. gently guiding me.

then my career took off and I got super busy paying attention to what I thought was important in life – make money, pay off my credit cards, continue to move up in the ranks at work, do a good job (and all will be well!), invest in a beautiful piece of property, and take great vacations – but all decisions were made with no regard for whether or not those things actually contributed to an authentic sense of fulfillment and contentment in the present. or contributed to saving the world. ha!

another sidebar>>>through all that, I fell in love with an Irish-Catholic! who attended Catholic school until he was 18! sidebar#2>>>I knew I was going to be with him in 1999, just by seeing his name on an org chart.

God was clearly watching me. but I chose to ignore that minor detail after meeting my future husband.

God wanted to see how I would use the gifts He gave me: curiosity. courage. resilience. intelligence. creativity.

but I still discounted my gifts. self-saboteur is my lot-archetype in life. ha! more work to do on that one!

so He threw me a few bigger curveballs to see if I would really pay attention. first time was when my left eye stopped working. that was just interesting. but it didn’t shift my view on life, despite the literal physical shift in how I saw the world.

then when our condo hit a wall and flipped us upside down.

followed with major changes at work. layoffs. tons of hours. unhappy co-workers. and staff.

still no shift. no, I take that back…it had started to wiggle in 2006. shift happens. slowly. sometimes quickly.

so I started reading a lot. and exploring. self-help. I read up on different religions. and then decided a-ha! that’s what I’m missing – I should be baptized – that will solve everything!! so I was baptized in early 2010. and then realized that just by participating in the act of baptism does not change one’s life immediately until one is ready to completely let faith in.

end of 2010, I started to pick up speed and I knew I had to stop running away from and back into my past. so I signed up to be trained as a life-coach in 2011. and hell, did that melt down a lot of my life long beliefs and exacerbated every insecurity I have been carrying around for years.  in order to learn and grow.

then MS took me for a ride half way through the year. which grabbed my attention to the point that I could not look back any longer.

so back to my epiphany.

turns out what I labeled BIG things in my life didn’t mean anything. at all. other than they just got me to where I am, right now.

everything that comprised my life story and how hard it was on the inside and outside – really was insignificant. all just gentle nudges from God to start paying attention to what I can do to give back. and make my own way. to start appreciating the present. to figure out who I am, on my own. listen to my inner voice. and use it. start writing.

I ignored my inner voice for most of my life…until now…whaaaat? crazy, huh?

I’m officially unplugging from my life long beliefs that do not serve me or others. and starting to really live and heal in the present.

from what do you want to unplug? I would be honored to hear!

PS>>that was a long one, eh? 😉

leaning in…

…slowly.

nerves a-plenty for my first go at yoga this morning…since before MS took me for a ride.

yikes!

did not like where I found a spot for my mats: the last row on the end was already taken…my usual spot for my practice in quasi-solitude…

(you know, where no one is watching you. ha!)

note to self: if when I go again, push no shove my way to the back of the room.

~

I am wobbling while waiting in line for the class beforehand to finish, shushing my initial gut reaction to bolt right then and there…I hang onto the rattan chair behind me, snagging my yoga pants in the process…and soon find myself mildly overwhelmed by the transition as folks from the last class exit, and peeps from my class push their way in.

but I stay put. throw my Uggs in the corner and make my way slowly into the sweaty studio. unfortunately, the wobble and slowness does not help me with my mat placement options.

once I find a home in the center of the room and acquire all my items (two blankets, a block, and a strap), I lie back on my mats stretched out. finally. I look up at the ceiling half expecting a spotlight to turn on overhead.

okay, not so bad from this perspective, I say to myself. plenty of room on either side of me. I can do this.

but then…I look over to my right when I hear feet padding towards me. you’re not going to stop. please don’t stop near me, I repeat. watching as I see a guy getting ready to roll out his mat a foot a way from mine.

ummm…too close, I hiss at him in my head.

too late. like a good yogi, I get to my feet and move my mats over and away from him. seriously, people!

I ignore the fact that now I’m too close to the woman on my right. though, grateful that I did not fall flat on my face with this stealth move.

the instructor takes her place 10 feet in front of me, and has us sit up and cross our legs.

actually not so bad now, I can actually see her from the almost center of the room.

she begins by saying, “there is peace in the stillness.”

okay, I breathe. I like this girl. she talks my talk. she even almost quoted my pendant that I’m wearing from one of my best girlfriends. and she’s in damn good shape. note to self: good inspiration.

she says,pay attention to what our bodies are saying to us. this is how we use our intuition.

uh huh. right. my intuition has been on hibernation for the last six months.

listen to your body, and pay attention when something hurts or doesn’t work right.

ok, that I can do.

take a child’s pose whenever you need a break.

sweet! oh wait, I’m not in the back of the room, I can’t do that. people will notice. whatever that means.

I then suck back the tears as my legs start to buzz. I would love to know what my body is trying to tell me. (coincidentally, my therapist had just emailed me with this suggested technique.) I try to listen closely to the buzz from my mats. I touch my feet to see if I can feel them buzzing with my fingers.

nothing. I got nothing. on both counts. but they’re buzzing on the inside. how do I listen to them from the inside? I abandon that thought and start moving my body.

though, I start to hear something after we move off the floor. my legs and arms begin shaking after doing repeat table, cow, and scared cat poses…everything wants to keep moving.

keep moving no matter how much you have to modify the pose…or abandon ship half way through a pose if it’s just too hard, is what I hear. but keep your body moving.

so I pay close attention to how my body likes the poses or doesn’t like them. I don’t even attempt to balance on one foot. and I stay on my knees when we are supposed to be lunging and twisting our hearts to the heavens in Crescent pose.

it is exhausting.

after a few sun salutes, I wonder, hmmm…will anyone notice if I leave right now?

yes, yes, they will is the answer that comes back.

I make it to the end of class. sighing with relief as soon it’s time for Shavasana, which I think goes by way too quickly.

wowzer. on the way home, the reality sinks in: MS has definitely taken its toll on me. that is very clear.

but I have to keep moving. it will win if I don’t.

~

tomorrow I will go to restoratives. where all I have to do is lie around in completely supported poses…and work on my meditation skills.

that is more my style. for the moment. 🙂

xo