Transforming My Life

one day at a time


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Returning Home to Yourself This Christmas

Christmes-Scene-Animated-christmas-16186036-640-480My house is a mess.  Only half of my Christmas shopping is done and I haven’t  baked any cookies yet.

And since my son got home this week from college, it seems like all we have done is watch a whole lot of tv (and for me, eat a whole lot of store bought cookies!).

This morning as I write this, I find myself feeling panicky, guilty even.  This isn’t what “it” is suppose to look like.  I better snap to!  Get out the Monopoly game!

These are the gremlin voices that tell me I am blowing it, my kids are going to grow up disappointed, what’s wrong with me and why am I not doing a better job?  I’m blowing Christmas!

Then there is another voice.  One I often ignore.  This voice whispers quietly to me, so softly I must take the time to slow down and listen.  This is the voice I long to hear, it is loving, kind, reassuring and compassionate.  It reminds me what is truly important this time of year.

It whispers words of peace and kindness to me.

This is the voice that accepts where others are at, rather than, asserting my will over them.

I am invited into the moment with whomever I am with.  My “to do” list is still there but it has lost it’s power over me.

I am reassured it will get done.  There is abundance rather than scarcity.

I love the words of Brené Brown around this very subject,

The holidays she likens to a holiday circus, where we are the ringmasters, where life can easily become pageantry if we allow it to.

“The best performers make it look balletic and effortless. Of course, there’s no such thing as an effortless holiday show. If you sneak a peek behind most people’s red velvet curtains at holiday time, you’ll often see houses brimming with anxiety, maxed-out credit cards, crying children, and marriages that make the cold war look warm and fuzzy.

I’m convinced that the only way out of this is by cancelling the show. Not canceling the holiday, but giving up the show.”(http://brenebrown.com/my-blog/)

I love this analogy.  Rather than the ringmaster, I picture myself as the lion.  The ringmaster has a whip and is yelling at me to perform.

This causes me pause….Why the lion, and who am I performing for?

My family?  My friends?  Others?  This makes me laugh.  Most of us are too busy performing in our own shows to even notice.

The lion is the victim – no wonder I can become so resentful this time of year.

Could I possibly be performing for a ringmaster of my own making?

Need I forget that a lion can swallow that ringmaster whole?

We are all the ringmasters of our own show.  And we can choose to put down the whip and go home.

Those performance based voices grow fainter as I choose to leave them behind.

When I do, I return home to myself.

Home is where there is acceptance, kindness and peace.  Self-compassion that radiates outward to others.

Home beckons me to come and be.  To sit awhile.  To invite others in where it is safe and warm.

Rather than rush off to the store to get one more present, can I possibly create one, not from a place of performance, but stillness and calm?

To be in the moment and enjoy it.

No rushing around.  No panic.  It’s okay if the shopping isn’t done.  It will get done.  I can ask for help if I need to.

This is the voice that reassures me that my family does not need me trying to control and force them to do the things that I think the “perfect” families do.

Monopoly would be nice.  I can ask for that.  And it’s okay if they don’t want to play, no worries.  I am open to other possibilities.

For today, I am going to make myself at home.  To bask in the warmth and abundance.

What will feel good to me today?  What makes Christmas meaningful to me?

Today I will choose what really matters.  I will be.  Connect.  Accept. And enjoy the moment.

Grace and Peace,

Sheryl

 

 

 

 


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The Power of Gratitude

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“Say thank you, until you mean it.  Thank God, and the universe for everyone and everything sent your way.  Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.”  Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go

I am working on practicing gratitude in my life.  It is easy for me to get focused on what is not right in my life, what needs “fixing”.   I  wring my hands and think, oh if only this was different, if only I was better at…., if only they would change.   I can look at my own life and be disappointed and disillusioned with choices I have made, messy and broken relationships and what is not the way I want it to be.

Then I remind myself, oh yes, gratitude….Really?  Do I have to be grateful for this?  Ugh.  I don’t want to.  Misery can feel so comforting to me at times.  I can feel so helpless and powerful all at the same time when I am stuck in this place of self pity.  But it is not kind.  I am learning to be kind to myself.  Gentle with myself.  To show myself grace and compassion.  Trust.  Let go.  Learn.  Grow.  Make the changes I need to make for myself.   And stop looking to change someone else in order to feel okay.  This is a process.  This process takes time.  One day at a time.  One moment at a time.   I can choose to accept and love myself  just the way I am.  I am beautiful, just the way I am.  Being real and broken is a beautiful thing.  The lessons God wants to teach me I am convinced I would not learn any other way.  And if I could choose another path I am not so sure I would  like that way either.

I choose today to be grateful.  To live this one day to the best of my ability.  To love, accept and be kind to myself and to practice extending the same grace to others.  To change what I can and trust God for the rest.  Embrace today, be grateful today, and love.

God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
Amen.