Be In Every Moment

photo by Patricia

The cold comes to New York, sweeping across the state like white tundra hurling mountains of frosted snow. Looking out at the swaying trees briskly bending in the wind, I shiver unconsciously. Though braving the below zero temps to dig off over a foot of snow from the sidewalk the day before, this day is too bitter.

Not exercising brings restlessness, but time in the studio quiets me, working and dreaming of spring when these latest mosaics will be planted in gardens not already adorned with glittery pieces dancing with light beams in the sunshine.

There is a feeling of well-being in springtime and summer that cannot be fathomed during wintery days in the usual way, just basking in sunlight. But other past-times can be explored. Looking for the light in other ways includes coffee laced with cocoa, puzzles while watching a favorite movie, coming to the present moment while the slinky cat stretches her long body down my legs until they go numb and I must move her… and on the list goes; simple pleasures, sweet pleasures.

Upon waking the reminder of the work that must continually be done goes home to my center. Don’t run from feelings, go deeper into them, and into my body. Do not let fear keep you from what is real, and what is you. Unprocessed traumas from so long ago manifested itself into every moment making each one feel like a crisis constantly looms.

One of my jobs is to quell the ever present anxiety erupting from childhood where terror festered inside becoming a constant beast to bear embedded into my wiring. Breathe, let the shoulders soften, allow relaxation into the body down through the calves to your toes.  

You’re OK. You always have been, you just don’t know it.

 

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Little Girl Grieves

photo by Patricia

Feeding the empty heart with food causes havoc and pounds, making loving oneself even harder, impossible really. Eating quells panic. It always has, but a different pain takes its place, not a sufficient pay-off.

Thoughts trick me into believing it is OK to ingest food when if really connected to my body there would be more reserve. Yet the hungry girl looking for love still grieves.

Once again coming to reality, it is time to count what goes in. When beginning a new exercise regime at the community center, food intake goes awry. When food intact is closely monitored, exercise isn’t. One or the other, but what about both?

It is as if an instinct clicks in that this won’t do. You are fatty Patty. You don’t deserve better, a message since childhood with the cruel name crooned my way heaping more pain upon pain.

That is who I became, fatty Patty. The cookies at Grandma’s sneaked from the plastic Tupperware soothed what happened in the night, even at Grandma’s where I should feel safe. Chet made sure to stay when I stayed.

Feed your soul with love not food… a seemingly impossible task, but glimmers of hope sparkle. The spirit of resolve hovers. Keep reaching, working, and trying.

Keep the Peace

photo by Patricia

How to keep the peace? Luxuriating in this period of deep, long winter sleeps, then? No falling asleep. I could feel it. I could feel the restlessness in my brain traveling to emotions with the chorus of warning bells clanging louder as the time sleep should have come— not coming.

A call from a loved one earlier in the day set the string of past memories in motion. Not one to let go of hurts, they pile up inside embedded into the already existing quagmire of brokenness.

Much effort has gone into reducing that ball of red-hot pain, cooling it, down-sizing it to manageable proportions. It has shrunk from molten lava…rage, to earth’s crust, mostly cool except for sporadic eruptions. When flaring, even a simple phone call ignites pain churning the unhealed turmoil. The bell dinging wouldn’t be soothed.  

Just take what you need, don’t wait till midnight or 1 AM. Resigned to taking medication sleep came within the hour.

How to keep others from interfering with internal peace? Go deeper, or be less attached? The answer always lies within if you possess the courage to look. This is yet another FOG, another fucking opportunity for growth. 

 

A New Year

photo by Patricia

Do better, be better. And, or, allow for my humanness which provides softening in one’s soul, a soothing that all is OK even when it’s not. Because it never is all alright. There is a pull of tension then the relief of satisfying peace. This ebb and flow is a part of life. Acceptance rather than fighting offers the peace you seek.

Why does one relationship drill me to the bone causing pain that keeps me awake in the night, even nightmares that ring in my brain days later? Is it the other person, or is it my reaction to them? It is only my reaction under my control, yet the same old reactions occur year after year causing the inevitable feeling of failure that I am not in control of at least myself.

If it’s me and only me that I control, then why can’t I do better? Why can’t I go with the flow and let the silliness of what’s going on fall off me like shedding water?  This dilemma doesn’t seem to soften or improve. Or if there are improvements, I’m not noticing them. Maybe this tension filled relationship is just here to stay. Lighten up. You’re not alone. We all have those who we learn the most about ourselves from.

It is not easy. It is often painful. But the work needing to be done is the same work everyone works on, to grow oneself. To expand, dig deep, and do better.

 

ONE

photo by Patricia

Connectedness to my inner being so elusive grounds me like a deep rooted tree when it finds me. Adequate sleep is essential, also elusive. Having guests, my son, his wife, and our precious grand-daughter, would usually mean so much anxiety that sleep wouldn’t come. Except for one night, the night after my other son and family also spent the day, blessed sleep has given me adequate energy to enjoy their visit.

Deep rooted anxiety from the unprocessed PTSD in childhood from the sexual attacks by beloved brothers has stolen much of life. Parts of me, like busy electrons, spin around never connecting. It is only the past several years where being in my body while feeling safe has occurred— first only moments, then longer.

The gratefulness felt for having what most others take for granted fills me with blessedness and peace; wholeness, connectedness and feeling rooted in my being where the filigree of electrons intertwine into one is a quiet internal joy unparalleled. 

You Are Alright

photo by Patricia

Feeling lost and alone is not uncommon, you’re not alone. And especially during this holiday so jammed packed with memories, melancholy and feeling as if something is missing because it always has been missing. That is punctuated particularly sharply as all the supposed good cheer is spread around.

And there is cheer in my soul where there once resided only a void, a chasm so split no reckoning took place. Over time some of the writhing pain was allowed expression; writing out all the deep dark secrets my family didn’t want told, the hurling of journals full of anguish and rage into the ceremonial fire, years and years of meditation where moments of being present while feeling safe were experienced while the constant anxiety ebbed even for just those few moments, a mother dying whose hold on me locked in all those secrets to protect her other children…the abusers, one event after another opened the channels from head to heart, from a robotic life to one more fulfilling because wholeness and self-acceptance had begun.

Yet there it still lives, the disbelief that others could truly like me, even love me. Wanting it, yet pushing it away due to the danger of it. Wanting it yet unable to accept because love of self is still only just blossoming.

Stringing days together where being in the moment is doable for longer periods, along with success at healthy pursuits of good nutrition, exercise, appropriate sleep, and the constant challenge of negative thoughts replacing them with positive ones based in reality…then?

Something, too often the something is unknown, disrupts sleep, eating, exercise, and thoughts. Anxiety rules. Where did all the calm wisdom and self-acceptance go?

Start again. There are countless ‘start agains.’ Even my little life where I’ve cultivated a safe place is invaded by others I care about, and who care for me. The ones I love become the enemy, digging up wounds that never seem to heal. One moment warmth, the next, you are up to something and dangerous.

Easy, easy, my mantra in the night waking up with my heart beating against the pillow. You are alright, you are alright, you are alright.

Every one of us must face this aloneness. You are not alone. Many wake in the night with the same. Many face their days with the same. Pull in the threads of the universe and connect. You are not alone.

The Eating Monster

Any tiny thing upsets the delicate ritual of falling to sleep. If a sleep aid is used too often self-discipline is replaced by self-pity driving me to the kitchen to eat in a way that began at age eight. The next day feelings of self-hate either drive the eating more or cause a snap back to reality with care towards health and love of self.

This latest detour from self-care lasted too long. Christmas gifts arriving, Challah bread, chocolates, cheese and sausages, all things not usually consumed, instigated the binge, along with sleepiness in the day due to the night-time medication used to induce sleep.

Eating to escape the present. The hate for self hinges on eating patterns developed early on to survive the un-survivable. That excuse doesn’t fly now but the pattern used to escape the now is still used like a knee-jerk reaction. 

The pattern takes me from the present to a place that soothes yet causes such severe pain how can it be useful? What is it you really need? What is it that is bothering you. Do you need to cry, even if you don’t know why? Do you feel sad, even if you have so much, and others tell you not to?

Concentrate on the present moment no matter what it holds. What was once a survival tool now causes harm. Remember the work of loving yourself.  Work on what it is you need so desperately by being present, keeping still, and asking the questions. Stay. Be.  .