Friday, March 20, 2015

Inner & Outer

In the craziness that has been my first few months of 2015, (in our cold, stark, snowy world of RI)...I had many obstacles to hurdle.   In that time I began to drift from my true inner self...I was so exhausted by the outer invasion of information and deadlines and health issues, I lost a sense of the Inner.
Sometimes we do not realize how much of the Inner we lose until a light is fixed upon it, or words are brought before us that make us stop and think.
Today was one of those days...In the midst of all that is going on I stood up and took notice of some words that brought me back to my inner.
Let me explain...I have started another one of Deepak Chopra's guided meditations.  (I have done others before, but not recently...this past Monday though I started a new 21 day meditation presented by Chopra Institute)
I just read the reminder email that was sent - it outlines the thoughts for that particular meditation and this is what it said.....

Matching Inner and Outer
In the S-M-A-R-T acronym, the letter A stands for “agreement with your inner self and those around you.” Agreement means harmony, mutual support, and even love. For there to be agreement between the inner world of our values, goals, and beliefs and the outer world full of contentious individuals with conflicting ideas, we must find a deeper level of commonality. That agreement is based on your personal connection to universality. Steve Jobs expressed this agreement perfectly: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Our centering thought for today is:
My inner and outer worlds mesh perfectly.

"I think true success is intrinsic... It's love. It's kindness. It's community."  — Tom Shadyac

Monday, March 16, 2015


Sometimes when in conversation with people we love and are most comfortable with, the words simply flow.   And in these moments we can string together the most eloquent of verbiage - a gem that shines above all else.

Even if those words were spoken before by someone famous, or a quote we may have read before - it does not seem as touching or revealing as when it flows in context of what we are living (or trying to live).  

One of these conversations happened recently with my sister.  In the mix of daily lives spoken (motherhood, worker bee, wife, travel plans, boat prep and house renting...) our conversation lead us down a path quite beautiful and simple.  Now if I could only remember the exact eloquence with which she proffered this gem...

I wonder why I can not remember the exact words, but have come to the conclusion in peace.   Such beauty is whimsical and fleeting - as the Japanese believe in Mujo (the impermanence of things) like the blossoms of a cherry tree, so it is the same (it seems) for words spoken. 

I seemingly cannot remember the exact string of words because I am out of context to the subject matter that we spoke about weeks ago.   Simply out of touch with the moment that carried us to those words.  But the sentiment was resounding and evoked a feeling from me.  And it is that feeling I would like to share with you today so you can absorb this in your own reality.

You may not need to throw 100% of yourself into EVERYTHING you do....
but rather GIVE 100% of YOURSELF in that PERCENTAGE you are willing to GIVE of yourself to that cause. 

TO be sure the cause is worthy of you, be sure to meditate on it, so your core being and your mind are aligned.  And in doing so it will reflect the true nature of who you are.  

If you are asked to run a fundraiser for instance, be sure it is something you are aligned with heart and soul - and it will be easy to give 100% of yourself into that cause.  Just like us renting our home, moving onto a 47 foot sailing vessel - if it did not align with our beings it would be a struggle to give 100% toward the cause.   But I want to do it and experience it.
But that trip is not all I am about right now...I am still a mother, wife, daughter, employee, cook, cleaner, accounts person. planner, packer etc....all of these things I need to do/be....and some are not I choose which of those pieces of my 'life pie' gets 100% of me.  Cleaning, cooking....not all 100% of my attention, but my kids and husband piece of the pie get 100%.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

9 months.......and counting

This post I had ready to go out in January.....9 months prior to departure.  But with the health issue - it got put on the back burner.   I loved thinking about this post last year.....cause I knew what I wanted to write back then!!!   So here goes.....

9 months.......and counting
No not a baby, but the gestation period prior to embarking on this amazing family journey is just like being pregnant.  So we are about 9 months away from heading down the coast to our jump off point in VA. down to the Caribbean.  Just as a baby is in constant growth and change during will this journey of preparation and alteration.

Our lives are still moving forward in anticipation for this wonderful event.  There are joyful days of insight and wonder, just as there are days of overwhelming feelings of exhaustion and fear. Considering our To Do lists may not be completed when it is time.  Just like we felt before our first son was born.

Babies come when they are good and ready - right now we know our departure is definitely in September.  But we have a bushel full of unknowns that hang around us as we attempt to put our house up for rent.  We cannot do this trip if the house is not rented.  But I have faith that we will we find a wonderful family to rent our home - I know the universe will provide us that.  I Hope!?!   That unknown makes packing things up difficult...but I am still doing it.   You know, I think everyone about every 10 years needs to act like they are moving out.  To Un-clutter their lives and spaces of the accumulation.  The things that are not needed anymore get passed on or thrown away.  Simplicity.

I know when Liam and Calan were born, I felt those moments of simplicity when rocking them to sleep.  Nothing else mattered except connecting with that baby.   Just hours of staring into the wonder of the miracle.

9 months of anticipation and then that sweet connection.
It is a beautiful thought, just like this trip is meant to be!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Miss me? Sorry I was looking for a gown.......

Sorry I have not posted in a while.......
I wondered if you had Missed me, but I was looking for a gown.......
"A gown?" you say.   "A gown" I say.

Those who know me - can attest I am not the gown kinda girl, but recently I had to wear one more often than I would have liked.

What type of gown you may wonder.....well there are all types.

There are Wedding gowns, Ball gowns, Prom gowns, Communion gowns and  dressing gowns...

In January,  I apparently did not realize I needed the latter.......a dressing gown.  See my lovely fashion bonanza~as much as I tried, the fit was not right.  Haha

I spent more than 4 weeks trying to perfect my look in said gown.  While in and out of the changing rooms - I would put on my dressing gown (or johnny as the nurse would call it) and pose in the mirror looking for the right fit.  
Now I was not in a dire situation, but for all the mental anguish, at times I felt it.   

As the story goes, I went in for my annual mammogram.  No problem...a bit of discomfort, but made it through.   Then a while later a call saying they needed to do a 2nd mammogram.  No problem, I have done this time they even grabbed part of the muscle in the initial exam and had to redo.  (By the way Painful does not explain muscle in a mammogram!)

So I was not worried.  

Onto, mammogram #2.  This time at the hospital.  I walk in to see my right breast up on the screen with a dark mark smack dab in front of me.  I ask "Is that what your are looking for today?"  The answer a Yes.   That tinge of "Wait...if I can see that and I am NOT a doctor..." ran through my mind.

So I go through round two of discomfort and breath holding to find out they want to do an Ultra sound.  So now onto round three of right breast expose.  

After the ultra sound the Doc goes on to tell me they need to do an MRI "to better locate the object in question for a biopsy".  

Biopsy??!@#?  Huh.  So I say..."Well if you are going to Biopsy I need you to take the whole dang thing Doctor....ya see my family and I are renting our house for a year to leave in September from these waters to cruise down the coast to the Caribbean....all to make deeper connections within our family." 

He must have thought I was nuts for saying that about the biopsy (or maybe for doing the trip in general).  But by all means, I was serious.   

My mind grew fiercely focused on the possibility this could be cancer (and the doctor was not easing that thought)  and at the same time the only clarity in my mind was not that 'Cancer could kill me', but rather 'Cancer be Gone - I have life to live and a once in a life time trip planned!'     And in the same could be nothing, simply a lumpy breast!  

I usually pride myself on my Libra type attitudes.  Weighing out the options, waiting for the balance to return on it's own accord, believing the universe will come right.   But in hind sight, I was unable to get that balance.  I struggled, I mean with all the other things on my TO DO LIST, this announcement plopped a 50 pound bag of "What the F..." on one arm of my  balanced Scale. 

As you could imagine, thoughts of this simply filled my idle moments. 
With the trip in mind -  and unbeknownst to my conscious efforts to block it out until further conclusive evidence, I automatically went into planning for the worst mode.  I needed to have a plan in place so that if something were needed to be done to my breast, I was ready and we could still sail off come September and keep our family goal in sight.  

Heck, if we were land lubbers and the trip were not happening, I Know in my heart I would of had a different reaction and would have had a better response.  I mean the MRI did not even happen yet but WOW did it affect me.  

All in all - there was a month in between the request to have an MRI and actually having it. 
4 weeks of thoughts.....and foggy mindedness.  It took so long to schedule because they had to submit the info to my doctor for review and recommendation, then contact our Insurance for approval, to find out the Insurance was not working.  Then a week or so later the Insurance working again.....all of which I will not bore you with.    But it definitely took up way to much time and delayed the MRI for weeks........I am happy to report the dark spot found in my Mammogram and in the MRI was found to 'look' nonmalignant!!!!!   Follow up in 6 months to track it, but nothing for now....PHEW, Yeah, woohoo and all that jazz.  

After nearly 2 months of thinking about the what if's.....It took about a solid day for the relief to feel real and the JOY of planning the trip and connecting with people began - again!!!  

In reflection I learned something new about me.  I notice that when I am not feeling up, I tend to build walls around me - Not so much to protect myself, BUT to protect others from feeling my uncertainty and negative energy.  

After mentioning the 2nd mammo/MRI to some people - their immediate response of "Don't worry my friend had that - it was nothing" or "you'll be fine" came across shallow and un-fulfilling.  It may seems like a sweet thing to say, but really It made me close up, build higher walls.   A response more like...."How do you feel about it?"  or "Are you ok what can I do?" seemed more appropriate, but at the time could not put my finger on why these responses were making me feel diminutive.   I did mention it to a friend who is a breast cancer survivor and her first response was "When you schedule the MRI let me know, I will come with you for support!" WOW - her ability to receive my information and give back what I needed was astounding!!

Another thing I learned in all this was to keep my husband close and share my real fears with him.  We have been together over 17 years, and he travels alot, so I have learned to just 'Get 'er done', 'Don't bother him while travelling with issues he has no way of helping me with'.  It was a truly conscious effort to break that habit and share with him what I was thinking along the way.

The best part is, his gracious, soft heart stayed open and strong for me the whole time.  He did not make me feel like I was crazy for planning 'as if' it was something horrific.  He just listened.  He came with me to the MRI even after three times me saying, "Honey you do not need to come with me, you'll just be sitting in the waiting room".  But no - each of the three times I was giving him an 'out', three times he said he was coming.  I know he is busy with work and His boat to do list, but he still came and sat patiently for more than an hour it took for the MRI to happen.  

Yes - can you believe - more than an hour.  I was scheduled for a contrasting MRI which means I needed an IV.  Well, I know from giving blood that I need to hydrate ALOT before I go - just to get my veins to be properly plump.   And I was a bit dehydrated which meant I became the nurses pin cushion.  I apparently have very 'rolly' veins......they made 3 attempts where they got it in, but was not sitting properly...and that's when they had to call in a Pro!   (With which after we waited for her, she had my IV in in about 5 seconds!!  Thank God!)   Anyway, when I was finished, there was Dave waiting patiently.  (He is the one who took my lovely gown shot at the top of this post!  =)
Anyway...this experience has shifted my heart and my mind.  Sometimes we need a HALTING life moment to make us savor life, our partners and...for me this trip even more!!!

Maybe even more important on a singular note - we need to take time to reflect or meditate on our true feelings in order to learn the lessons within!