Oh yeah, the big P word.
I have to admit it can be my kryptonite so I know what I am talking about here.
The very worst thing you can do – whether it is MS related, life related, and love related is to stop.
Life happens to us, or with us. MS is going to be there regardless of what we do, or don’t do, and it is easy to throw our arms up and just say it’s too hard now.
I went through a spell not long ago, when the weather where I am, was over 110 F/42C and I literally couldn’t go outside. The pain was intolerable, the fatigue was horrible. I was losing eyesight, and patience, and I am not going to tell you that I just breezed right through it. It is very depressing to have to be a prisoner to an AC unit…but that is how I was living. So yes, I felt like, “this is too much, I can’t take it” I will just sleep my life away.
And guess what? I DID!!!
Ooh ooh that isn’t supposed to be the moral of this story!
The point was, that I was actually missing out on so much during that time and I am sure there were things I could have done. I could have painted, or written or crafted. I could have read inspiring books. But I didn’t.
There is nothing wrong with vegging out in front of the TV from time to time…we all need that. I think people with chronic illness sometimes have to have it when the pain is insurmountable. But if it become our life, then I think we are heading down a dangerous road.
I had a friend who committed suicide because of the pain of MS. She felt like she couldn’t go on. I understand. But the world, and her friends and family, lost a beautiful soul with much to give, because she gave up.
So how do we combat this little problem?
I am so serious about the word I had it tattooed in white ink on my wrist so I could see it everyday.
We keep going and we find something useful that lights us up and gives us strength to move forward.
What do you love?
Is it cooking, writing, listening to music?
What could you do with that?
What gifts do you have to give the world?
Oh you think you don’t have any? Trust me we all have them.
Even if you have no arms or legs that work – Can you speak? Can you tell stories? Can you sing?
There is never, ever, a reason to give up completely.
The irony is that the treasure lies just beyond the point of giving up. Right at the place where you feel all is lost, you only have to cross the bridge and find your pot of gold.
Haven’t you watched enough movies to know that?
Nobody got anywhere by saying, I CAN’T or I WON’T !
Drop those words from your vocabulary because I guarantee you, they are not doing you any good.
And while you are dropping, you can erase…………….
at the same time.
If you ever find yourself dealing with the dreaded B word, remember this:
That is why you came to earth with an…
Turn off the TV – and IMAGINE. You might be surprised at how fast you have created something to do that you truly enjoy.
Perseverance is the key to achieving every goal and reaching every dream. Whether you have Multiple Sclerosis or Fibromyalgia, Lupus, or the flu, there is no reason for you to let life just fly by you as if you were it’s passenger – scoot on over and get in the driver’s seat.
Hey I rhymed! Have a good one!
No Birthday Cake!
It’s my birthday and there are no calls, or gifts, no party or even, my nemesis, that big beautiful sugary-icing birthday cake.
But whooow there, cowboy, calm down!
Don’t feel bad for me just yet.
It is not because everyone on Earth forgot my birthday, it’s because early yesterday morning I sent out this message to all of my family and friends
I will be unplugging and going into solitude all day tomorrow for a full day of regrouping, refocusing and renewal. The phone will be turned off as well. Thanks for understanding.
A full day of The 3 Rs
Every now and then I feel the need to use the day of my birth as a way to commune with my spirit and this year I am in big time need. The past few months have tested my strength, I have felt lost at times, sad at others. My search for meaning and a new purpose had me promising to create courses that would impact people’s lives and help them build a better tomorrow. But, in the process my purpose became dim.
I have two goals – First, I want to help people with Multiple Sclerosis have a positive, can do attitude, I want to introduce Art as a healing method…and Second, I want to reach young teens, mostly girls, who are still trying to figure out who they are and how to listen to their inner voices and follow their dreams.
These are my peeps… the ones that keep me up at night wondering how HOW, HOW to make a difference for them?
After writing the note, I had a full day of teaching to do. One of the joys of my life is to sit in front of a class of smart, curious, charged up students who really want to learn. I was teaching a university class called, “Myth in the World.” Lots of introspection, self analysis and discussion involved. And sadly, yesterday was our last class.
After most of the students had gone, a young woman walked up to me and told me I was her hero. (we had talked about The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell) She said, “I want to be you.” (I took that to mean later on in life when she finishes her degree. Etc.)
But wow! I was floored! What a heavy responsibility there.
In all modesty and fairness, I have to admit, it is not the first time I have heard that or some variation of it, from students, both young and old. Each time I mentally give the same response.
“You do NOT want to be like me!”
But her saying that confirmed one thing; how much I really needed this 3R day. The words smacked me upside the head, and I had to face the fact that something I was doing or saying, or the way I was doing or saying it, resonates with people who find it inspiring.
I get the jitters just typing the word inspiring, because I so WANT to be inspiring, I WANT to be relevant, and I want to be useful.
But I also want to know what it is that they are connecting to, because you see, if I can figure out that missing piece, then I can finally create what I have been wanting to start… an offering that motivates my peeps.
And so today I have been sitting. Meditating. Being alone with myself, listening to my inner voices, and as the day grows long I am still here, waiting for answers.
I told my sister last night about the student, and she gave me a sweet, but definitely biased speech about how I AM inspiring and how I have done so much with my life, etc. (My sister, bless her heart, is my #1 fan!)
She said, “It’s because you are FEARLESS!” And I knew she had that all wrong, because truthfully I am scared of well, a lot.
“Okay then, that means you’re courageous” She answered. “You go ahead and do things even though you feel that fear.”
“Yes, I do”, I thought, but I would call it more fool hardy than courageous. Save that badge of courage for the guy who rescues children from burning buildings. I am no lioness.
I am the other big cat.
Tigers go on the hunt alone, they are determined and stubborn, and even though they love solitude they are not unsociable. They are playful and self-sufficient at the same time .
Sadly, though, my Tigger spirit has been waning recently. Not much bouncy fun happening here.
The Question is: What took the tiger out of my tank?
So I continued to sit.
Late in the afternoon I started thinking about my first attempt to create one of those courses online…and, what a dismal failure it was. Not that people didn’t sign up for it, or even begin to work at the modules. They did. No, I have no one to blame but myself for this one. The Apothecary Cards
The concept was good, people with MS could creative their own affirmation or positive message cards to put on their table or fridge. To inspire (that word again) and encourage them to keep pushing even though life with chronic illness is difficult.
For sure, I was really on to something cool.
But all the way through the stages of Week One and Week Two there was an annoying little niggle that kept me from even completing what I had offered.
How sad. How tremendously sad.
And, what a lost opportunity for everyone. I said I wanted to help and instead I came off like a flake.
I thought about that class a lot, and in a moment, I realized what went wrong. I was not being AUTHENTIC! I was not doing ME. I was copying the style of a mentor, using her directions and style. Her delivery was seamless, and she had it so polished, (which I guess, is why I was stealing it…instead of trusting in my own gift.) I figured hers was better.
So in essence, The Apothecary Cards, BECAME her course, and I wasn’t invested in it at all.
I may be different, unique, eccentric, etc. (Words people use to describe me) but dang it, that is who I am. Too late to be a different version now. That train left the station ages ago.
And if I can’t be true to myself, then I am not really sharing anything of meaning, am I?
Wait for it~~~~~
My AHAAA moment had arrived!!!!!
After that little revelation I started envisioning my courses as MY offerings. Giving me the chance to do the things I do best, like listening, supporting and encouraging. Oh naturally there is art involved, there is ALWAYS art involved…and deep digging spiritually too, but I knew my task was to save the courses to save the courses with a hefty dose of Gypsyfay!
Obviously, this means I am back at square one:
- Start over
- Figure out what my PEEPS want from me,
- Why they would take classes from me, and
- What is important for them to learn.
Now I feel better.
Still no cake.
Oh well, there’s always next year.
Last night I was reading an article by the wonderfully awesome Leonie Dawson www.leoniedawson.com and she had asked the question,
What did you want to be when you were a Child?
Well the answer for me was a lot of things!
An artist was on the top of my list, along with a writer, a traveler, a famous rock singer ( I will explain) an actress and a nun. Never mind that I was the most timid pup in the litter…those were my dreams for my future.
She challenged me to do some serious thinking about what I have achieved….and the funny thing is even though I took a lot of twists and turns and even some detours…I ended up doing just about what I always said I wanted to do.
When I was a small girl I knew three people who would change the path of my life forever. One was the son of a woman who lived next door. He had some type of job in Japan…Now I have no idea what it was, it was that he was living in Japan that fired me up. Then, I went to school and met a girl named Susan Shelton, her dad was in the military and she had been born in….you guessed it JAPAN! I think that sent me off on a quest to do, and be, and live, everything Japanese. I ABSOLUTELY had to get to Japan.
But more than them, was my Aunt Ada who lived next door. I had no idea at the time how similar our lives would turn out to be. This was the 1950’s and 60’s and women who were divorced….OH MY GOD! That was a deep, deep, dark secret to be hidden in the crevasses of a deeper darker canyon somewhere.
“Dear we don’t ask about things like that”
But my Aunt Ada was a trailblazer…I have no idea how she had money, yet she did, and I have no idea how she traveled so much, but she did. Belgium, Paris, London, Rome.
And for each place she visited she would come back with a souvenirfor me and an incredible story to go along with it. The blue cashmere sweater from Ireland was at the top of my list. My favorite hours were spent with her playing Parcheesi and looking at all of her gorgeous plants.
She loved art, and nature, and maybe not so much kids, but she was truly my heroine and I wanted to be Just like her when I grew up.So I can mark the spots where the travel bug started to nip and my heels. But what about art, and writing, the convent, and being a famous rock star?
Like other children who just seem to come into the world with certain gifts, or desires, I am pretty sure these were hardwired into my being. Maybe I was like a lot of other teenaged girls who looked at the movie star pictures and thought ‘I want to be a part of that world’ or maybe not…truth is I have never asked anyone.
But here is the thing I know. Despite all of my sidetracks, and u-turns, and hopelessly lost moments, I ended up doing many of the things that I wanted to do when I was a little tyke.
Has it made for a magically successful life? Not in the terms of how a lot of folks would measure that. But has it led to a full and adventurous life? You bet! No grass has grown tall amongst my toes.
I have hit almost every one of those targets – save the rock star. Probably because of dogged stubbornness. Sometimes dogged determination played a part too, but mostly I just don’t know why.
I realized someplace along the way that you cannot take the child out of the adult and live a happy life. You cannot un-program what was added in the creation of the spirit. No need trying. That child, (even if it is you) will be who she knew she was here to become. There is no stopping it.
I may not have done the things I wanted to do at eight as I had imagined them then. But I somehow managed to work most of them in. I still have a few things on that list that I have not achieved. In my heart and soul I am pretty confident they will happen too, because, that childish spirit still remains, albeit coupled with a salty serving of reality.
And now for the bit about me becoming a rock star.
Yes, that has not happened. I would venture to say that it probably never will. You see the one thing I recognized as I was growing up was that I was missing a vital ingredient for ‘rock star’ status.
I couldn’t sing worth a lick. Not all dreams are literal. It could be there is an essence in that dream that wished to be expressed. So when your son says he wants to be Superman when he grows up…he might be on to something.
Provided he knows how to fly!
P.S. I am currently working on the aspiration to become a nun….
I will get back to you on that one.