Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Once Upon A Time...

There was a little girl at Fuddrucker’s tonight wearing a pink super cape and pink mask to go with her blinky-flashy canvas tennis shoes – she is my new Hero.

Even when I was her age, (4? 5?) I don’t think I would have done something so brave. From an early age I had a strong sense of what was “allowed” and what “we don’t do” so-to-speak. Don’t think I would’ve been allowed to go out for dinner in my Super Awesome Girl get-up.
That’s just what she was: Super & Awesome!

Her mommy and little brother we already inside and awaiting the arrival of “Daddy and Chloe” when we placed our order (I have Mom Ears…I hear everything). When Chloe arrived she hugged her little brother who greeted her with “OH HI!” and returned the embrace (SIGH! My kids never did that when they were little – hell, they rarely do that now as “growned ups”).
I want to be – no, I SHOULD be - more like Chloe!

Free to march around Fuddrucker’s (or any ole place I choose) as if it’s my personal establishment, flaunting my blink-flashy canvas tennis shoes and swooshing my awesome pink cape - with the lightning bolt on the back…yeah, and a mask too…a bit o’ anonymity is always good (besides, it completes the look).
Sadly…I am not Awesome, Super, Sparkly girl…I am boring, responsible, reserved, introverted little me. No blinky-flashy shoes, no cape, no mask…just my long-ish shirt (to cover my hip and rear bulges) and my plain old flipflops (comfortable but not fashionable) and my drab, capri pants.  As always, hindered by my perception of “what I am allowed to do/be/wear” in polite company.

It wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time I was that little girl – afraid of nothing (except maybe of NOT being/expressing who I was) and somewhere along the way I lost that.
When did that happen? When did I become a slave to the “rules” others have determined are proper? For that matter who died and made those people boss? Huh?!

I have photographic evidence that once, a long, long, time ago…I “dressed up”! I wore outlandish outfits and dwelled in a world fashioned out of fantasy and a vivid imagination. I built blanket forts and coerced my friends into helping me “play school” (I was pretty much always “the teacher”)and "Pioneer Explorers" in the canyons. I was free to be whomever and whatever I wanted.
Now, I play by the rules. I squash down that little girl and her Super Tendencies and I put my “professional” face forward. I work my 40-hour-week, collect my check, pay my bills and gaze longingly at those who are able to express themselves freely.

What the hell happened?!
To Chloe’s Mommy and Daddy I say: Thank you! Keep up the good work! You have a Super Awesome Sparkly Girl! Don’t let her lose that spark!

As for me? I will stive to be more like “Super Chloe”! Sparkly, Awesome, Blinky-flashy and most importantly SUPER!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Comfort Zone

^This quote^
I saw this quote the other day and it struck something deep within me.
Most of my life I hid beneath the cover of shyness.

Looking back I realize that the truth is that I was afraid. Fear was the paralytic that held me in place – halting forward progress.

Realizing this, and looking back over my life, it makes me sad. There are gifts that I was blessed with that I didn’t share because of this fear. Opportunities were missed because of the lies fear whispered to me.
The few times I was able to rise above the fear a powerful joy to take its place.

And then, one day, I made the choice to become a nurse.  
There is no room in nursing for the kind of fear that had filled my life up to that point.

In order to succeed at my dream I HAD to step outside of what I knew, outside my habits and what was comfortable, and be - *GULP* - uncomfortable.
An amazing thing happened when I chose to be uncomfortable – my definition of “uncomfortable” began to shift. The very act of doing something that made me uncomfortable allowed me to *become* comfortable doing it!

This phenomenon continued as I progressed through my nursing courses, after graduation and on into my personal life. What I define as my “comfort level” changes each day. I have stepped so far beyond the boundaries that previously held me in check that I can’t even see that place from where I stand today.
I still have fears – old habits die hard. Every day I struggle with choosing the uncomfortable over that which is familiar and “safe”.  That voice of doubt still whispers in my ear: “What if you fail?” “What if you totally suck at this?” “What if they laugh at you?”

What if it’s AMAZING? What if *I* am AMAZING?!
…go away fear…I am going to try “uncomfortable” today!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Are We There Yet?

Have you ever set a goal for yourself or embarked on a personal journey?
Maybe, it was a decision to go back to school and finish something you started years ago. Perhaps it was choosing a different profession that requires starting over, from scratch. It might even be something as simple as adding exercise to your daily routine.

Or, it might be that you just “became aware” one day that you are supposed to be doing a certain thing with your life – as if the Universe was nudging you in a specific direction.
No matter what the goal or journey is, we often form a mental picture of what achieving that goal will mean; what life will look like when we cross the proverbial finish line. That image becomes a focal point.

Every journey begins with that first step. Often, the first steps involve research and laying ground work for success on the journey we have chosen. As we map out the road ahead we are filled with the amazing-ness of what we are about to do.  It’s all very exciting.
And then, the real work begins.

The thing is, sometimes we start down a path only to realize that it’s a lot more work than we imagined. It might even take longer to reach the end than we originally thought.
There may be times when the work is just too much – when we just can’t anymore.

Sometimes life throws curveballs at us. We might be happily walking down our new path and checking items off the To Do List when suddenly a huge DETOUR sign appears before us.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a professional goal, school, a spiritual journey, physical fitness, or parenthood…there are always bumps in the road of Life’s Journey.

We know this.
Knowing is half the battle.

Allowing is the other half.
No matter how frustrating and painful the detours may be we have to trust that all things happen for a reason. ALL THINGS. There are lessons hidden in even the darkest moments we endure on our Journeys here. Allowing the lessons to come to us and accepting what they offer can enrich us beyond our wildest imagination.

Fighting against the bumps and detours only causes more pain – spiritually and physically.  Go with it – ask the Universe what it is that you are supposed to be learning (be sure to take note of whatever the lesson is) - and wait for the challenge to pass.
Always remember: you are not in this alone! We’ve all been there. Ask your fellow human beings for support!

Oh, and this is important: BREATHE!!
When we are stressed, worried or hyper focused we tend to forget to take deep, cleansing breaths! Breathing deeply, from the center of our being, is vital for healing and grounding ourselves.

All of us are on journeys. We are all working toward goals and dreams. Enjoy your Journey and honor others as they walk theirs.
The Universe knows the moment when you will arrive at the end of this Journey – be patient – you WILL get there. You may find that the end result is far more amazing than what you imagined. Sometimes our minds put limits on things that the Universe refuses to observe.  =)