Taking the Long Way this Autumn

There’s a white-throated sparrow proudly singing his song outside my window, with a wren crooning in the distance. The breeze coming in through the window is cool and crisp. The leaves, soon to be exploding with color like fireworks, are beginning to crunch under my feet as the trees have started shedding this year’s attire.

As much as I hate to see summer end, I find this time of year is truly majestic, and it’s even more symbolic for me THIS year.

Nature’s cycle of life can teach us all a lesson. Each day makes its individual mark of beauty amid the subtle changes which culminate in the end of a cycle. When it’s time for a change, which could very well be a massive change similar to autumn, do it the way nature does…with complete enthusiasm and gusto, with as much color and pop as possible. Then, nurture yourself with sleep and comfort as you adjust and prepare to spring ahead with newness when the time is right.

I am experiencing my own autumn, so to speak, and am becoming who I am meant to be. Even though I’ve been quiet here on my blog, my brain, my typing fingers, and my pens have not. The fountain has been tapped and the words, held hostage for so long, are finally finding their way out and gushing onto my notebook pages and type screens.

Not all words will be shared or meant for publication, and not all words have to do with my Mission from the Universe. Some are quite honestly an amalgam of crap, but they are words that have to be set free from the jail cell in my brain.

Others are deep-rooted, symbolic, filled with hope and promise…words I never thought would end up on paper but nonetheless appear.

Those are the words guiding my path right now. They are directing my journey to the backroads of my Mission from the Universe.

I’m taking the long way this time, and every single step along this less-trodden path so far has resulted in insight, joy, and a renewed appreciation of life.

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The Wave Is Here

I am happy to say that my pain and fatigue seem to be check, which makes each day better than the last. Here’s hoping that the “good day” streak continues…it will, because like I wrote in a previous post, my purpose is stronger than my pain, and I must believe that.

I’d like to share something else with you, something pretty extraordinary that I’ve alluded to in previous posts, but now it is most certain…

Imagine that you’ve lost something very special to you. It doesn’t matter if has sentimental or monetary value. When you realize you cannot find it, that it’s truly gone…that sick feeling in the pit of your gut begins to churn. It starts out small but gets worse by the second.  It feeds a frenzy of worry as you search for it, lifting up cushions, throwing clothes all over the place, making a colossal mess. As you retrace your steps, that sick feeling almost becomes unbearable. Part of you wants to vomit, while part of you wants to curl up in a ball and cry. You pray to Saint Anthony, hoping that it is returned to you, or to a higher power as you ask for help. Through the tears, you drop to the floor and admit defeat.

“It’s gone,” you say, crestfallen. “I’ll never have it again.”

If you imagine the above scenario with losing something physical, like a piece of jewelry or a $100 bill, you might consider posting a picture of your lost item on social media. Whether or not you find it again, life will almost certainly return to normal as you go about your days.

If it is a person you lose, it will undoubtedly be a longer grieving period. You might never recover from that absence in your life.

In my case, the thing I lost is very personal to me.

It’s my soul. Or at least, part of it.

There’s been a huge hole there for so long, a missing piece of the puzzle per se. My whole purpose in starting this blog was a way to “sea”k my soul so I could maybe find my focus, find my purpose, to fill that soul hole with what’s been eluding me for so long.

I’m sure you have sensed the longing in my posts over the past year and a half.

The best way I can sum up that feeling is to describe how I feel when I listen to the song “Encore” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Anthony Kiedis sings some very poignant lyrics, each line with a very personal meaning, almost like it was written just for me. The music is an escape, while simultaneously, a trap. It makes me look around curiously at what physically surrounds me on the external, and also go introspective and look at what is internal, what surrounds my soul.

When I listen to “Encore,” I think of times past for a fleeting second. I’m reassured I’m in the right place even though I am adrift and incomplete…”Hey, you’re fine…hold my hand…results are gonna vary now…”

At the end of the song, I feel a longing so large, but no idea what I am longing for. I am empty, yet content. I am safe and secure, while simultaneously uncertain and vulnerable.

One big, giant, bewildered, unfulfilling yet satisfying sigh…the best way to describe that feeling of longing.

Don’t get me wrong…there have been many extraordinary times in my life filled with adventures and laughter, accomplishment and happiness and wonder.

All the while, that hole is there just under the surface, surrounded by pieces from every single experience thus far on my life journey that fit together as one.

I prayed to St. Anthony in a feeble attempt to find what’s missing. He usually helps me when I’ve lost something, even though I’m not Catholic or overly religious, and when he does I am very quick to thank him. But when I asked him to come around so I could find the missing piece that would make my soul complete, his answer was an emphatic NOPE. “You are on your own,” he said.

I stare at a blank page when I have so much to get out, so many words and stories to share, so many lessons to teach, so many laughs to enjoy, all on top of the urgency to live this crazy and wonderful life…

Words.

Stories.

Lessons.

Laughter and Life.

I think I see something here.

I know I’ve improved over the past year on finding the right words, and more importantly, in getting those words out of my head and onto a screen or paper. And I know I have a few stories currently living rent free in my mind that need to be told…it’s time they start earning their keep.

my-soulJust like that, I finally know my purpose.

  • Writing
  • Teaching
  • Living

Instead of feeling bewildered, I am wrapped in a blanket of assurance and certainty.

Why did it take this long to figure it out? It’s so simple and obvious. Again, I am the chump who fought seeing the truth, when all along, it was right here on the surface.

The wave is here, and today, I rise.

Instead of “I think” and “I wish,” it’s now “I know” and “I will.”

I will write a book (or two or three). I will write for my blog. I will write for my assignments from my magazine publisher. I will teach my lessons, both in the classroom and through my writing. I will laugh while living every single moment of every day.

I will use my time more wisely as I pursue my purpose and calling while completing my mission from the universe.

Being OPEN actually brought me clarity. I waited so long for it, and here it is, unwavering and true. As I was determined to be OPEN, now I am resolute to be FOCUSED.

I am already transformed.

And SHE says, “It’s about time.”

Time to write, with a focus on my stories.

Time to teach, with a focus on my lessons.

Time to laugh.

And time to LIVE.

It’s finally time for my “Encore.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something to SEA: Banishing The 4 Most Dangerous Words

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On my 45th birthday in February of this year, I held a little ceremony where I wrote down all of the things I regretted, bad decisions from the past, everything that made me feel bad about myself…you get the idea. I put them in an envelope, which I then shredded.  It felt great to officially say “goodbye” to the past.

I was set free.

Or so I thought…

Since then, I have been much better about not letting my past get me down. I’ve made progress towards living in the moment while planning for the future. In fact, I would guess that I am 93% successful in not letting my past affect my present.

Except when the 4 most dangerous words creep in.

When they do, and it’s usually when I least expect it, my mind starts playing its movie of imagined events.

Then my “head hamster”starts running backwards in his wheel, and my thoughts turn around and run towards the past.

And I’m lost again.  For a while.

When I regroup, I am very disappointed in myself.

Here I was, on my birthday, acting all tough when I said goodbye to regret and to the past, and what did I just do? Allow the past and my regrets back in, turning my good energy into bile!

Dammit, why did I let that happen?

Because I’m human, that’s why.

The truth is, with a self-estimated success rate of 93%, I’m doing a hell of a lot better than I have in the past (the past affecting the past…somewhat ironic!).

There was a time when I allowed the past to control me and bring me down all of the time. I couldn’t escape its poisonous grasp. I felt doomed forever, unable to break free from the chains of regret and remorse.

And it was all because of those 4 most dangerous words:

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Those 4 words cause nothing but misery and sadness, and most importantly, they waste my time and energy.

While I might not be where I thought I’d be at 45 years old, I am where I SHOULD be.

Every path, every decision, every step has led me here.  There’s a lot more of life to be had and living to do, as long as I banish those 4 most dangerous words from my vocabulary, and replace them with

WHAT IS AND WHAT WILL BE.

For example, the old me would have said, “I might have been a writer.”

But you know what?

I AM A WRITER.

That IS what IS, and it’s what I WILL BE.

Living in the present, a.k.a. WHAT IS, will allow me to appreciate the moments of today. There’s no more worry, no more lost time, no more gloom and doom. Rather, it’s taking in each moment spent with nature, with family, with friends, and with myself. It’s allowing the rain to hit my face, to feel the ocean on my feet, and to experience LIFE and all of its grandeurs.

While there’s always a “to do” list, I will no longer allow anything that sucks my soul dry to be written on that list. That IS what IS.

I will be mindful today while striving towards what I want MY future to be, a.k.a. WHAT WILL BE.

And you know what? It’s okay if I don’t exactly know what or where that is yet.

I’m definitely on the right path.  I feel it with every part of my being. Each and every step makes the journey meaningful, adding richness and color to the quest of life.

The old me would have been filled with fear when looking at a future that was uncertain and shaped like a question mark.

Instead, I now see uncertainty as exciting.

I’m ready for the adventure of life and every experience it brings.

That IS, and it will bring me to WHAT WILL BE in the most glorious way possible.

Until next time,

Jill

To see my 45th birthday post, click here.