I had no idea!

We make choices along with commitments and have no clue how life will look as a result of those choices.  It is not just the damaging ones such as choosing to smoke that can have unanticipated outcomes. Yes, there is plenty of information to support that smoking is bad for you.  However, the long term results of smoking look different on everyone. Choices and commitments that we could all agree to be positive also have drastically different long term effects we can’t possibly prepare for.

About 10-ish years ago after much self reflection, I realized that changes in my relationship with myself were necessary in order to live a better life.  Self-improvement has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Yet that improvement was focused on external things like buying an old house to fix up, getting married, losing weight after pregnancy, physical fitness goals, and financial planning for security.  It was time to take the long-needed journey within to have a better relationship with myself in order to live my best life.

That may sound like a pleasant road with unicorns and butterflies leading the way to a magical land of healthy self-love.  Not even close, it is more like trying to swim in a tidal wave! There are times with great bliss, but there are also incredibly dark spaces that make it hard to breathe. We are stronger than we think we are, but recently I have been wondering when I might be able to catch my breath.  There has been a recent tidal wave of crap that has landed at my feet. Even though it is not my mess, I still have to deal with it while being true to myself at the same time. I shake my head in disbelief as I look skyward saying, “You have my attention.  What would you have me do?”

After making the commitment to live my best life all those years ago, things started to shift immediately.  I try to stay hyper-aware of making sure my choices are in alignment with my commitment to my highest self. As a human, I am prone to fall out of practice from time to time.  In this new way of life, the first thing to change was my friendships. The ones filled with negativity and drama fell away quickly. I simply no longer participated in the drama and then there was nothing connecting us together anymore.  In addition to not participating in drama, I no longer took responsibility for the emotions of others, or for the messes they created. Now that is precisely the decision that changed every aspect of life as I knew it. Yes, it is my responsibility to be respectful and kind to others, but that does not require me to be the doormat.  I finally, decided to stand up from the doormat position, grab the key to freedom that had been under me the whole time, open the door and walk through it.

In doing just that consistently and repeatedly, eventually, every key relationship in my life changed.  Some were for the better. The relationship with my parents and siblings blossomed. Authentic friends and experiences magically found their way into my life unexpectedly.  Simultaneously, the key players in my daily life including but not limited to my now ex-husband, stepchildren, job, where I live, and what car I drove, all vanished away completely and did so almost overnight.  

There was one particular evening about 4 years ago when I reached a point of no return.  The chasm of change became the size of the Grand Canyon with no way to undo what I started 6 years beforehand.  The Universe and God respond to our desires. We start a chain reaction with our thoughts, emotions, and efforts.  Coupled with continuous action results are bound to occur over time. There should be a warning that flashes before our eyes as we approach the point of no return.

On that particular evening, there was a conversation that resulted in feeling like I had been punched in the gut. I remember folding forward and sobbing the ugly kind of cry.  No words came out of my mouth as the verbal attack continued. Even though I no longer took responsibility for the mess and emotions that belonged to others it did not mean that the other people were supportive of that.  Actually, I found the opposite to be true. That evening was awful, to say the least. I managed to hold my hand up to signal, “STOP”. With much effort, I was able to end the conversation and leave the room. All I wanted was a tall glass of wine, a box of tissues, and my bed.  During the walk to my room, my daughter saw me and rushed to my side. Sadly, she had witnessed events like this over the past several months, but this one was different. She pulled me into her room and hugged me saying how much she loved me. No child should see their mother in this state, but there was nothing I could do to hide it now.  I gathered myself and said, “I believe that when you take steps to be your very best self the universe responds to guide you there. I just did not realize that might mean the key players in my current life would leave. I believe this journey is still worth it! I will keep walking toward my highest self.”

Life today as I know it, is completely different than that night so long ago.  Thank God! Surprisingly, there are still messes from the past that bubble up to the present that require my attention.  Standing up for myself sometimes leaves me standing alone. Even though it is not a mess of my creation, because it is laying at my feet, I am forced to deal with it.  Old patterns of fear, panic and sadness automatically arrive, but now I have better skills to deal with it! Love is bigger than anything in its way.

Dear Universe,

I look forward to seeing how this continued commitment to my highest self turns out, but I could use a little breather if you don’t mind.

Sincerely your forever student,

Kristin

 

Just a few pages left in this chapter

This chapter of my life is coming to an end, actually, there are only 25 pages (days) left.  I am moving away from the town that has been home for the past 24 years in order to find my next Youtopia.  Actually, I have lived here longer than anywhere else.  This is the place I have spent all but 4 years of my adult life!  Wow, that is a long damn time.  Where am I going?  The first 21 days are planned, but after that, who knows.  A Christmas gift to my self opened doors to move to the Wild West and explore with an open mind and heart.

24 years ago, I came to Danville, VA.  A new Occupational Therapist with bright eyes and big dreams of a family and career.  All of those dreams came true, just not in the way I planned.  My road to having a family and career took many unexpected turns, much like life does for all of us.  This town gave me friendship, love, marriage, a baby, divorce, a blended family, career expansion, divorce, loss of friendships, yoga, an incredible career, trail running, and the love of tree-hugging along with so much more.  The greatest thing I learned in this chapter is that I HAVE to love myself fully as I am right now and set myself up for emotional success.  Life has a way of working itself out once I get out of my own way.

The Christmas gift to my self was licensure to practice OT in all of the states that made my heart sing while on my Tree Hugging Tour in 2015.  After that epic road trip, I returned to treating patients rather than managing people.  Much to my surprise, treating people reminded me how much I love this work.  So now, I can nurture myself while exploring the Wild West doing something that brings me purpose and joy; traveling Occupational Therapy.

I am excited and terrified at the same time.  It feels like I may puke joy!   I hit the road with Journey, my beloved four-legged companion, on Good Friday as I March into the next chapter of my life.  I invite you to follow me on this Womanly Journey!  Literally and figuratively, it would be great to have you with me.  I will share pictures and blog posts as this new chapter unfolds for both of us.  I am on the ledge and it is time to jump with the faith that one of three things will happen:

  1. The net will appear
  2. I will learn how to fly or
  3. My baggage will turn into a parachute

No matter what happens, it will be an adventure! Those of you who know me well understand that not planning is out of my comfort zone, to say the least.  I understand that the magic of life is right outside of my comfort zone, and that is where I want to be; in the magic of this life!  This is not a reckless trek across the country; it is just an open-ended life opportunity without a defined plan.

I thank you, Danville!  You have been an amazing teacher.  I am grateful for all of the tears and love that you have given me and will carry you with me forever.  You are irreplaceable, comfortable, known and the keeper of 24 years of my life.  I bow out gracefully while admiring your growth over the past 2 decades.  I will visit so we can share stories of the good old days and compare adventures!

Namaste!

Kristin Springfield