Monthly Archives: September 2015

The door is open again

I’ve written about the beauty and joy of closed doors in my house. Specifically of the beauty and joy when the door to my daughter’s bedroom is closed. Because when it’s closed, she’s home. She may be shut inside her room with a friend and I’d feel guilty knocking to interrupt them, but she’s home.

Well, she was home, and now she’s not. Not this home at least. She’s back home at her other home in Minnesota. Her door is open again, all the time. Her bed is made and her room is neat.

As much as that’s the way things are supposed to be, it’s also not. Or at least it sits weird at first. I know I’ll get used to her not being here again, but I’d gotten used to her being here. And her being here is more fun for me. Much more fun for me.

I’m happy that she’s back at school. I’m happy because she’s happy. And it’s been a few days so the open door and made bed and neat room are no longer jarring. At least not as jarring. I know I’ll get more and more used to it as days go by.

I don’t mind the sadness at her leaving, because it means I so enjoyed her being home. (This home.) This parenting thing is so weird. You birth them; you raise them; you (in many ways) focus your life around them, and they focus their lives around you. And then, if you’ve done it right, you send them off.

I think other cultures know what they’re doing when they keep extended families intact in one home. Or at least one town or one neighborhood. It’s nice to have the people you love the most close to you, if not closest.

But it’s also nice, albeit nice in a different way, when you see them fly off on their own. Soar in fact. When you hear how happy they are and how engaged. When they share how much fun they’re having, and how much they’re learning and growing.

At least that’s how I feel when I hear it.

I miss her. I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t true. I know she’ll be back – at some point for some time – but I miss her.

I could close the door and pretend she’s still here. But I don’t. I enjoy the open door – and the texts, calls, and snapchats. I’m in the “open door” phase of my life again. It gets more and more normal every day.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Recovery

The way to have more is to accept less…and then focus on the more

It seems contradictory, but I think it’s true.

The way to have more is to accept less…and then focus on more.

Because when I want more, and I get stuck on wanting more, I get stuck. Really stuck. My thoughts circle and circle and circle, and I can’t see my way out. I think it’s a mild form of insanity to think the same thing over and over and over. At least it feels like a mild form of insanity. And when I can’t let go of what I want, I’m there.

I’ve got something that’s bothering me right now. That’s really not sitting right with me. That I’m not very happy about. And I keep thinking it over and over and over, and through and through and through. It doesn’t seem to help. I find my mind wrapping itself around what’s wrong and what I’m not happy about and all that I want that I don’t have…and I feel worse and worse and worse.

But when I accept less, it all eases. When I even think about accepting less – or accepting things as they are – I remember to breathe. I feel the tension release, my shoulders relax, my mind stop it’s endless repeating and justifying and perseverating.

I know this, so why do I forget it? Why do I find myself in the endless loop again and again? Thank god for my yoga practice, because it was (of course) my yoga instructor who reminded me. Well, she reminded the class, and I happened to be present enough to hear her.

And to breathe. And to accept less.

But then the focus on more part? That’s my addition. Because when I accept the less that I think I have, and stop fighting and pushing against everything (and anyone), I feel better. And when I then focus on the more that I actually do have – because there is so much more and wonderful and blessings in my life – I feel even better still.

I really have the power to change my life by changing my thoughts. Or at least to change my mood and my day. I just forget. Or get lazy.

I really have the power to have more by accepting less…and then focusing on the more.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Recovery, , , Tags:

Choose to be here

I was meditating the other day. It’s been a while since I’ve sat intentionally to meditate, and although I try and stay mindful moment to moment (okay, I catch myself and return to being, or trying to be, mindful moment to moment), I thought that intentional, actual meditation might be a nice idea.

I was listening to a guided meditation by Tara Brach. I love listening to Tara Brach. She offered that, in that exact moment, we could choose to be right where we were. Or something like that. I’m not actually sure exactly she said, and I am actually proud of myself for not remembering exactly what she said. It means I was more in the moment and actually choosing to clear my mind and meditate, than working to remember what she was saying. A step in the right direction for me.

Either way, however she said it, her suggestion resonated with me. I can choose to be present, in this moment. Or I can not. I can choose to pay attention to where I am, what I’m experiencing, how I’m feeling, what I’m sensing, what’s going on around and inside of me.

Or I can not.

I hate to admit that I spend much of my life not present and not aware. I’ve gotten great at paying attention to the wonderful moments – even the mundane ones – like the breeze on my skin as my daughter drives me to the gym, or the beauty that surrounds me on vacation in Ecuador (or on my porch in Pennsylvania), the love that courses through me as I parent my kids or laugh with my husband. But there are many, many more moments that I allow to pass me by, unnoticed.

Each breath into and out of my body is an opportunity for gratitude, peace, and joy. The sound of my son and his friends arguing over poker or Minecraft or which teacher is better is an opportunity again for gratitude, and to smile at the normalcy of his childhood. The walk up the street, the run in the morning, the endless dishes and laundry that seem to make up my days – all these are a chance to choose to be present and aware.

To choose to be here, exactly as I am, exactly as I feel, exactly with what is.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

Categories: Hope and Amazement, , , , Tags: