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

 

My life thrives in companionship

Companionship is the feeling of fellowship, the feeling of friendship, the feeling of closeness.  The past 3 weeks I have been relishing in companionship.  My dear friend, Erin, allowed Journey and I to stay in her camper right next to her home in Moab during that time.  We worked together, cooked together, hiked together, enjoyed disco spin, laughed and shared stories daily and honestly loved every minute of it!  We quickly fell into a routine that supported our individual needs of time together and time apart.

I have great friendships, yet this was something completely different.  Daily companionship, sharing the workload of life, while having shared interests was spectacular.   Having someone look out for me, include me in their life’s business, joyfully sharing their home, their friends and taking me to their favorite places truly touched my soul.  Tears come to my eyes as I write this.  I realize that companionship is what makes my life thrive, and want to have that in the future.

I left Erin to begin my journey to Sioux Falls, SD for the summer.  Along the way, I stopped to gather up more companionship from a high school friend, and to spend 2 nights at the Circle View Ranch.  This ranch is special to me in so many ways.  First, it is where Jack the Jackass who kissed me a few years ago when I needed it most.  Second, this family welcomes me in a way that touches my heart.  They included me in feeding their baby calf immediately. I was then picked up by the young 10-year-old girl, who reminds me of how much strength and freedom lives within every woman, to escort me in style on the farm 4-wheeler to see Jack, my favorite jackass.

All of my choices led me to where I am today.  As I finally recognize the companionship all around me, I am delighted with every single choice I have ever made.  Some have been so damaging and heartbreaking.  Yet those choices cracked the frightened exterior of my heart and now the light shines for all to see; including me.  Companionship over the past 3 weeks has me thriving in a whole new way!

Namaste!

Kristin Springfield
Joyful One

 

 

The power of words and feelings

The first agreement from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is be impeccable with your word. Words have the power to lift another or cut them off at the knees.  We chose our words sometimes that choice is with love and compassion, while other times we say things without thinking.  We may believe we are being helpful while sharing information that really is none of our business.  I think when choosing our words we may optimize our message by remembering to take care of our own business.  Business falls into 3 categories: Our own business, Other people’s business, and God’s business.  If we stick to our own business and are impeccable with our word, imagine how different life could be.  Other people’s and God’s business are NOT our responsibility.

I was reminded how damaging thoughtless words can be.  A wonderful friend received feedback that hurt her feelings.  The feedback was delivered from a person who simply did not understand the complexity of the situation and on top of that, it was about other people’s business.  Even though my dear friend intellectually realized the feedback was not something to get upset about, her feelings begged to differ.  Witnessing her struggle brought back so many times where I have allowed words to cut deep into my heart.  We all navigate painful words differently.  I tend to retreat, walk, write, cry and then clean like mad to rid myself of the funk.  The pain lingers way too long for my liking!  I also try to shift emotional gears and look for the lesson in the situation.  There always is one.  Often times the lesson for me is to stop giving a fuck. (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is an awesome book!)

Kind loving words build me up yet in a different way.  Self-love is an inside job.  External validation of words can only do so much.  If I don’t feel good about myself at the time then the loving words seem to bounce right off because I don’t believe them.  The thoughtless words hurt so much because they mirror some negative belief that no longer serves me. My goal is to savor the positive words with as much vengeance as the thoughtless words do. I want those loving external reminders to dominate my days and linger just as long as the painful ones do.   I suppose the next step is to stop craving the external reminders at all and simply love life as it is in each moment.  How convenient that the second agreement is do not take things personally.  Uggh!

Namaste!

Kristin
Forever learning
Let it go