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When She Wakes She Will Move Mountains

me time and bucket lists

I had to give myself a break recently. I had to tell myself that I was not any less woke or carefree or mindful because my bucket list was lame and I don’t always feel at one with a higher level of consciousness.

I actually was late to the bucket list party. I didn’t even know what one was until a few years ago. When I looked up “how to make a bucket list” these are some of the ideas that popped up on the internets:

  • Ride camels in the Sahara
  • Meet ___________ (insert celebrity here) in real life
  • Have a flat stomach
  • Visit _____________ (insert exotic location at least 5,000 miles from anywhere here)
  • See an Icelandic horse in the wild

Okay, this is just not my reality. When I first read all these bucket lists, I have to admit I felt like I wasn’t living my best life. 🙂

My bucket list was more like:

  • Start a new trend in which stretch marks on the stomach are the new washboard abs
  • Have some bladder control
  • Visit a nice restaurant and not be so tired that I nearly fall asleep waiting for my dinner
  • Become a hermit

It’s good to have dreams, and if you want to see an Icelandic horse in the wild, you go, girl. Follow your dream.

But I realized I don’t have to feel compelled to do those kinds of things. My life can be complete and fulfilled with less lofty ambitions. It doesn’t make me less of a person if I would rather stay home with a good book than ride camels in the desert.

I also realized that I was thinking for a moment that if all of my dreams don’t come true, my life is somehow less. But it isn’t.

And fulfilling a dream alone won’t solve my problems with feeling overwhelmed or not living my best life.

Sometimes it can even be like putting a band-aid over something that may need stitches….I know that as soon as I get back from riding the camel or soaking in the sun, life is still there, and reality is still brutally un-tranquil. And everything will hurt worse.

Getting Away Versus Running Away

It took me a long time to figure out “me time” and “getting away.” I never loved it much because I didn’t know what to do with myself. I finally realized that I have to truly plan to refresh and strengthen my body and spirit, instead of just running away.

Before I go away for me “me time”, I try to have an idea on what I’m going to accomplish. Sometimes it’s literally just sleeping. Sometimes I realize I need to take part in nature because I get stuck in the house too much. Sometimes I go see a concert to inspire and lift me, but I always try to have a purpose in my “me time.”  And I try to choose things that will make me deeper, stronger, and more able to sustain a peace within myself that will always be there, for when I can’t get away to Iceland to see a wild horse.

And it’s work. But it’s the best, most relaxing (although sometimes tearful) kind of work to try and create peace within myself.

Becoming The Peace I Am Seeking

I love what philosopher William George Jordan has to say on the subject:

Calmness comes from within. It is the peace and restfulness of the depths of our nature. The fury of storm and of wind agitate only the surface of the sea; they penetrate only two or three hundred feet; below that is the calm, unruffled deep. To be ready for the great crises of life we must learn serenity in our daily living. Calmness is the crown of self-control….

The man who is calm does not selfishly isolate himself from the world, for he is intensely interested in all the concerns the welfare of humanity. His calmness is but a Holy of Holies into which he can retire from the world to get strength to live in the world. He realizes that the full glory of individuality, the crowning of his self-control is the majesty of calmness.

Do I have a depth of calmness, my own personal Holy of Holies?  A trip to Hawaii or a Saharan camels aren’t going to give that to me. It can help me and strengthen me, but I have to become the peace I am seeking, rather than try to go somewhere or do something to find it.

It’s been a hard lesson to learn, but I am beginning to understand it. Maybe this next 50 years I’ll finally get it!

 

sometimes we have to give up

I don't mean forever.

But sometimes we need to stop. Stop trying to forge ahead, just stop.

And breathe.

I am so very, very bad at that because I am a fighter.

To a fault.

Sometimes, I kid you not, I am contrary just for the sake of being contrary.

Being contrary is my one weakness.

Anyway, in my dottering old age I have discovered that not only are there instances were it's okay to stop fighting, it is absolutely necessary to grow and perfect oneself. Quitting is, contrary to popular belief, not always a bad thing.

There are days when I lose ground. Maybe I thought I was doing great recovering from an illness, and then one day it kicks my trash again and I have to be back in bed. Maybe I really was going to try and paint my entire living room by myself and then what was so obvious to everyone else is finally painfully obvious to me--that I am in way over my head.

Some days I realize that it is all I can do to maintain what I have. I mean, I know we are supposed to be reaching a higher level of consciousness, looking 20 years younger than we are, homeschooling our kids, keeping germs away from our homes, keeping our germs away from other people, and also starting a side hustle and learning a new language during "the COVID", but I am kind of at my limit as of right now.

I don't want to reach a higher level of consciousness. At this point, if someone offered to knock me into unconsciousness, I might consider it.

Yes, I have to admit, almost begrudgingly (because I hate to quit anything!) that it is often wiser to maintain what I have rather than bite off more than I can chew and choke on it and then possibly upchuck all of it everywhere.

And sometimes, when it's very dark and very hard and very overwhelming, the battle can't be won. It just can't. Maybe it's not the right time. Maybe it is a kid who just won't listen, no matter what. Maybe it's a diagnosis that feels like a life sentence. Maybe it's a family member whose addiction has gotten the best of them.

In those heartbreaking cases (and they come to all of us), I have learned that there is no shame or failure in falling back. Sometimes losing the battle is the only way to win the war.

Honestly, it use to be that when I was finally forced to admit defeat, I would stumble into my base camp and sink in despair and spiral into a void of self loathing, Netflix and stress eating (or non-eating, depending on the defeat). But I've changed.

Now, I still stumble in, but then I take the time to bind up my wounds, rest, heal, and strengthen myself.

I take the time to get myself to a place where I can genuinely and sincerely be grateful for the ground I've gained and to mourn the losses I've experienced. (And sometimes that does involve a little Netflix and ice cream! )

And then, then--when I've gotten myself together and I'm ready, I put on my armor and get out there, stronger and more skilled to go on to victory. And I know eventually I will win the war. 

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. --Theodore Roosevelt

petrichor.

I went to the ocean to let go. I have to do that sometimes. I get these layers and they cover me and I forget who I am underneath it all. The ocean strips it away and makes it better.

I was sitting, watching the waves and the storm coming in. I closed my eyes and smelled the rain mixed with the salty air. It is my favorite smell on planet earth.

The storm was still far off and there were lots of families playing, kids laughing with their parents, fishermen, surfers…and they all seemed relaxed and happy. And I was struck by how short life is and how much of it I spend worrying. Because I’ve suffered through death and loss, I too often worry about, well, death and loss. I try in vain to attempt to gain some control over all of it, and it’s an illusion. And then heaven whispered,

“They’re all terminal, Misty. Everyone is, you know. You aren’t the only one who is going to die. Everyone eventually will.”

I felt peace remembering that a Higher Power is in control and in accepting that we are all, indeed, terminal. All of our days are numbered. And that is alright. There is more than death at the end. At the end of this journey there is life, more beautiful than we can comprehend.

And life is eternal and love is immortal, and death is only an horizon, and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

 

 

 

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