Embrace Your Unconventional Self

MeAsBabyWithMomAndDad
That’s me as a toddler with my mom and dad!

Today is my birthday! It’s a time when I tend to reflect on the past year and my life as a whole. I would like to share one of the many lessons I learned from my mother.

I owe my mom a great deal.  In my opinion, she did many things right.  You know, children don’t come with instruction manuals and the last time I checked, there wasn’t a return policy on them either.  I know there were times I tested her to the limits….as I guess any child does, yet she was there for me and loved me (so did my dad).  As a side note to this tale, I must add that I always knew that I was wanted and loved very dearly by my parents.

One of the many things mom taught me was to enjoy and embrace my individuality.  That can sometimes be a hard thing to do as a teenager growing into adulthood.  The peer pressure in high school can be quite daunting for those, like me, who weren’t in the ‘cool crowd’.  While I wasn’t the prettiest girl during those teen years, you know, the awkwardness of growing into an adult body and face can make one the target for bullies or sharp, hurtful remarks.  However, in spite of some of that,  I knew I had a good head on my shoulders and I was smart.

As a result of the encouragement my mom gave me about being unique, sometimes I think I have tended toward the unconventional.  One thing that helped me along that path of individuality was learning how to sew.  One day, after I completed the eighth grade mom said to me “No daughter of mine will not know how to sew.  I am taking you to a seamstress to learn”.

Well, it took me by surprise, but I was really excited about the prospect of learning how to sew.  After all, I had watched my mother sew all my life (all of 13 years at that point in time).  I was fascinated by the process and loved her trusty, reliable Singer sewing machine.

The seamstress was someone in her 70’s.  She had sewn all her life.  We went over the basics and I started my first sewing project, a pair of cotton pajamas with French seams.  What a disaster.  The lessons with this Sage of the needle and thread lasted all of three weeks.  I never finished those pjs, BUT I did learn enough of the basics to venture out on my own, with my mother’s guidance.

That summer I got my first sewing machine.  It was a sleek new Singer model.  The sad thing was the machine didn’t have the quality of my mom’s machine, which was probably a good 20 or 30 years older.  I struggled with it, the snarled bobbin thread balling up under my attempts at straight seems.   Making button holes with an attachment that did more eating of fabric than actual sewing.

In spite of all the machine frustrations, what started to happen was something magical.  I will never forget it.  In addition to a wonderful bond that started to grow with mom, I began to experience the understanding about expressing my individuality through the clothes that I made.  I could choose a pattern, find fabric that appealed to me and I had an outfit that no one else had.  I was unique.  I was becoming my true self.  And I was embracing my unconventional self who really didn’t want to be like everyone else.  It was great.

One of the foundations of my life was put into place that summer.  Discovering who I am, what I love, what makes me me.

Three years ago a friend introduced me to Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book, Simple Abundance.  Her goal is to help people find their authentic self.  At the start of this year, I am venturing into the world of simple abundance once again and I am well on my way to being even more of my authentic self.

Whatever terminology one uses to describe it, the common thread in all of this is understanding, finding and embracing the person you are meant to be.

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Mom & Me on the top of Pikes Peak. She loved adventures.

Thank you mom and dad for everything.  I miss you both, love you and keep you in my heart.

Namaste.

In the Land of I Am

Recently I listened to a song performed by Jennifer Burnett.  The lyrics affirm what I have been learning through my meditation practice  “I am Wishes Fulfilled”.

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The lyrics of the song are:

In the Land of I am,
I am more than I have been,
I am more than I will be,
I am all that I am

Powerful and profound in their simplicity.  Especially since I have been listening to the sounds that represent the “I am” mantra in the Wishes Fulfilled Meditation.

In 2012, I feel like I re-connected with the teachings of Dr Wayne Dyer.  I started meditating to his CD that is comprised of the Moses Code tones.  It’s a fascinating process, which I would like to share here.

Utilizing the “I am” mantra, I have been able to reinforce very positive affirmations, such as “I am perfect health”, “I am a creative soul”, “I am happy”, or “I am confident”.  This allows me to express my dreams, desires, wishes to the universe and expect positive things to happen in my life.  It may sound weird and I was a bit skeptical at first, but the positive events that have started to happen over the past 6 months are proof to me that this works.

When I first started meditating, I know I was doing it all wrong.  I used the music as a tool when I was walking outside.  There are two tracks on this CD, each 20 minutes in length.  I questioned how I could possibly find 20 or 40 minutes in my day to meditate.  So I thought, well, you could start by meditating on your Sunday morning walks.  Ant that is exactly what I did.

During my first walk, something started to happen.  Even though I wasn’t still, with my eyes closed, with that careful in / out exhalation of breath,  I started to experience a clarity of sight.  I noticed things that I normally would not.  Birds flying overhead, some watching me from the pasture fences I passed.  The wildflowers had a glow to them.  Looking at Pikes Peak in the distance, it had an other world quality to it….bright, glowing and even more breathtaking than normal.  I experienced a sensation of almost leaving my body.  I felt different.  It was a very surreal experience.  When I finished my walk at the end of 40 minutes, having listened to both 20 minute tracks, I felt rested, invigorated and calm.

At first I wasn’t even doing things right with the “I am” mantra.  I sort of got the mantra, but not really how to do it correctly.  Ok, I know it’s not that hard, but when I finally grasped the concept.  On my breath exhalation I would say things like “I am a problem solver”, “I am creative”, even “I am beautiful”.  The principle is on the exhale, you are telling the universe your desires.  On the inhale of breath, the universe answers those prayers/desires.  All of this takes place in your mind, honestly I wasn’t walking out on a country road saying those things out loud.  Now that would have been interesting in and of itself!

You know it’s one of those things where I always wanted to meditate, but didn’t really have a clue how.  I tried to read a bit about it, but nothing ever seemed to give me the outline of how to go about doing it.  Well, between Dr Dyer and Chopra, I got my answers.

In spite of my rather flawed start at meditation, some things started to happen.  My work was selling better.  I felt better.  My outlook was improved.  New ideas came forward.  It’s a growing process and as with everything, it takes practice.  In November, I started to become more serious about my meditation.  I started the 21 day meditation challenge by Deepak Chopra and that helped me to understand how to meditate better.  I made time for those 20 minutes of quite, still meditation.

My personality is such that sometimes I find things like this to be a bit of mumbo jumbo.  And yes, I felt silly initially.  Once I started to experience the benefits, see positive changes in my life, my thoughts and derive some of the material benefits of telling the world my desires, well, it is not silly to me any more.

By the end of last year, my art jewelry was in another gallery.  I found myself receiving messages from the universe to start writing.  Something I have wanted to do for some time now.  Sure I could sit back and keep saying, “Boy, I’d really like to write”, but if you don’t act on that, you’ll find yourself in the same place…doing nothing and wishing it would happen.

Part of what I want to accomplish this year is to work on my writing.  This blog is part of that practice.  I hope people will find me and be interested in what I write.  If not, that’s ok too because I am doing something about my desire to write….I am writing.  And yes, one of my meditating mantras is “I am a Writer”.

You see, I have found that you have to believe.  Believe in the Universe, Believe in yourself.  Those thoughts alone will bring about a huge shift in your life as Dr Dyer would say.

So when I heard the lyrics of that beautiful song, I realized that I have started living in the land of I am.  Yes I am more than I have been.  Yes I am more than I will be.  I am all that I am.  I know this because it lives inside of me, waiting for fulfillment.  I am responsible for my own happiness.  It’s great to start to have that awareness of what lies within me to make me stronger and better than I was.

I will leave you with this.  I Believe. I Believe in Me.  I am all that I am.  I am a Writer.

Writing from the heart

In 2013, I will be actively exploring the experiences of writing.

For a long time now, I have found a great deal of pleasure writing.  I find the words truly flow when I write from my heart.  At this time, I have no idea what I will be writing about.  This is more of a personal exploration for me to see where the written word will lead me.

In November of 2012, I took on the 30 day novel writing challenge.  I knew it would be a mental challenge to work at writing over 1000 words per day to reach the 50,000 word challenge for the month.  While I didn’t complete my novel, it felt good to have tried.  I did write over 8,000 words and for someone who had never tried that before, it felt like a good first effort.

Sometimes I feel like I have many things to communicate and share.  Personal stories, fictional stories; I don’t know what path I will take.  I do know the path of words will lead me in a direction as long as I just write.