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Are You Alone This Thanksgiving? 

 

 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

 

Are you alone this Thanksgiving? Holidays can be a difficult time, I know, I really do because I’ve been there, and it dawned on me today that many of you may be literally alone or simply feeling very alone and unsupported, so, here are my top 5 tips from experience, for surviving the holiday weekend.  

 

#1 Spend Quality Time With Yourself.  

Yes I know, you want and may need connection, but we often overlook the need to nurture our inner souls. Sometimes we can’t even bear to because the soul of us is hurting so deeply we are afraid of it. Ultimately, we scare ourselves away from the one person who should care the most about our personal well being…US.  

So, begin by sitting quietly with yourself. Find a quiet safe place at home, at a park, in a greenhouse space, or run a hot bath with candles. Close your eyes and connect to the lonely feelings inside of you. It will feel palpable, like dread, weight, heaviness in the heart, or in your throat. Or maybe it’s in your head. Once you connect to it, say to it, “I feel you” and then visualize letting that feeling move out of your body, up and out. Spin it out like a tornado, or cough it out! However you visualize this dark matter leaving your body, just release it out into the universe. Breath through this process as holding your breath makes it harder to let go. Once the feeling is gone visualize warm heat from the sun filling up that empty space and expanding throughout your body. This warmth can be universal light or light from a higher power, whatever you choose. You should feel some immediate relief. It may take a few times to do this type of release work, but it is so worth it.  

When we take the time to connect with ourselves, we take responsibility to nurture ourselves in a way that most others cannot, and we come to love and accept ourselves more deeply, even those lonely needy parts!  

#2 Reach Out To Someone.  

 

 

Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito... from Pixabay

 

Often when we are alone, it’s hard to get outside of ourselves and give to others in need because our own needs are so great. Sometimes we feel so empty and deprived that we feel as though we have literally nothing to give. But this is just our ego playing out the victim and keeping us desperately stuck and wallowing in self-pity. Over-ride this by forcing yourself to reach out to someone. In essence you are telling your ego that it is lying to you and that you in fact do have something within you to offer. Doing this often and consistently can break your victimhood. No doubt, we can truly be victims of circumstance and of others, but we do not have to be held hostage. You are strong enough to overcome anything given the will. And as they say, you can choose to work against it and even fake it ‘til you make it! So pick up the phone and call someone. Don’t wait for anyone to call you!  

 

#3 Watch Something Funny!  

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

 

You got it. Get into your favorite pj’s, settle in with a cozy blanket, get a bowl of your favorite snacks (popcorn with melted butter, honey and chocolate is my personal homemade fav!) and watch something funny. Nothing is worse than being alone and having nothing to do, or worse, watching dark, scary, heavy shows! If you don’t have Netflix then pull out your favorite old classics (mine are Seinfeld or Monty Python), or find a podcast or radio show to brighten the mood. Even a good funny book will do! And if you have one, invite a friend, who might also be alone, or just willing to hang out, to join you. If you don’t it’s totally fine! If you prefer being alone just embrace it. The sooner you do the happier you will feel.  

 

#4 Let It All Out!  

 

 

Image by AURELIE LUYLIER, You're Welcome! from Pixabay

 

It’s a common fact that holidays often bring out the worst in people. Human relationships are complex and family systems are not the fairytales that long outdated post war 50’s propaganda campaigns had us believing! You may be feeling isolated due to a breakup, stigmatizing issues like cyclical abuse in family systems, or bullying. You may have left a bad situation and are standing your ground alone because others do not care to understand, are incapable of getting it, or do not have the same courage to stand with you. My daughter and I experienced this firsthand and it was extremely traumatizing. We had to lose everything to get out of a horrible situation and then suffer through a long process of isolation and letting it out: Letting out the disappointment, the rage, the hurt, the seeming unfairness.  How did we do that?  

Well, this is going to sound a bit weird, but honestly, we had to do some radical things to purge our minds and souls of the negative feelings we developed towards others who had abandoned us like yesterday’s trash. At some point along this journey, I read that it’s okay and quite necessary, to get mad (really freaking mad!) and have an all-out adult temper tantrum! If you are like me, you may have never had childhood tantrums, or maybe you weren’t allowed to (without getting spanked)! So I waited until I was alone and totally let loose! I screamed into a pillow, beat the bed, flung myself around, kicked at the air! Believe me, it may not have felt like my finest moment, but it felt great! By the time I was done, I was like most kids, looking around wondering what all the fuss was about. I effectively knocked down the fire and poured water on the coals until there was nothing left to rage at.  

Another way to do this is to go for a good run, furiously ride a bike (hills help), or if housebound due to this year’s record precipitation, do a workout in knee-deep snow, snow suit and all! Do this often, as often as you need! My personal favorite is jumping on a trampoline cause that way you just feel like a kid again, jumping on the bed. It will put a smile back on your face and bring you more into balance!  

 

#5 Don’t Isolate Yourself!  

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

 

I know, I know, you feel rotten and don’t want to be around people, and as an introvert I get that more than you know. But sometimes we have to give ourselves a little kick in a direction, even if we have to drag ourselves out kicking and screaming!  I’m the queen of homebody, I mean, there’s nothing I look forward to more everyday than being in my little cave! But it gets lonely in here at times too, and especially on holidays. So put on something comfy and get out to the mall, a park, help out at a soup kitchen, basically wherever there are people, and spread a little cheer where you can. There are loads of people out there feeling just like you do, trust me, and a hello or a smile or a light conversation with that nice lady who just lost her husband a year ago, can really make someone’s day a bit brighter. If you don’t believe me then go try it yourself. It’s shocking how many people are feeling isolated. This all goes back to point #2. If you stay hiding indoors in your little cave you will never know who else might need a little attention too. And who knows? You might just meet your next best friend!  

Here’s a little story related to this that I want to share. One year, my girl and I spent thanksgiving at an event that we were invited to participate in. It was not well organized and rather shoddily put together. Now this is not nice to admit, but we ended up in giggles at one point in the presentation when you could honestly hear a pin drop (you know, like the kind of giggles you got as a young girl with your sister during a serious sermon in church)! I hadn’t laughed like that in years, nor had I laughed like that during a public event with my own daughter! It was a sweet bonding moment that we still talk about, and later we got to share in a thanksgiving buffet that reminded us of family get-togethers from the distant past. Sure, we only had each other, and that was okay. We were warriors of a brand new world creating our own memories and enjoying laughs that we never would have shared had we stayed indoors!  

Being alone at Thanksgiving is never fun, but it doesn’t have to be torture. Maybe you have some tips to share of your own. If you do, we'd love to hear them in the comments below! Until next time…  

Love & Peace,  

Christine

Be Careful What You Wish For!  

You know the old adage, " Be Careful What You Wish For"? Recently my son gifted me a string of lucky numbers to wish on. I've never been into Numerology, my "thing"  falls "sort of" more into the realm of Animal Guides despite the fact that I'm still a huge skeptic, but that's only because so many truly mysterious and otherwordly things have happened to me since childhood to ignore that something in this strange and wild world is definitely amiss!  

So I ride on the fence of curiousity at a distance and just take things in stride, nothing too serious, nothing too light. And who wouldn't make a wish, if not just for pure fun, on a string of silly numbers? 

That night, as I lay in bed I put my request out into the universal space, tentatively asking through cringed eyes that the negative cost not be too high. You know how it goes, right? Everything good must be balanced by the bad. No one gets a free ride, especially when you're selfishly asking! The giver doesn't ask what would be a fair exchange either. 

As a bit of unease set in, I uttered the words that would unleash a torrent of consequences that would radically change the course of my life in the coming weeks and months.  The universe pounced in like a lion and swatted me thru a new door that would simultaneously spell one radical end and a new beginning that would leave me flailing around in no man's land for a a terrifying and indeterminable amount of time. 

Be careful what you wish for, someone always told me. 

Luckily you can't die easily from a blow like that when it is balanced by the very gift you wished for! Good versus bad. The war was on and the good stuff poured in while the less than good stuff clawed at my back. I celebrated through laughter on one hand and lamented through tears on the other. My friends were probably genuinely concerned that I had finally cracked! 

What on earth does one do with all this? 

I carefully weighed in, trying to make sense of it all, while surrendering to the madness, cause at that point there was nothing left to do. I was flat on my back in a foreign vessel, far from shore, and looking up into the starry blue yonder with no paddles on board. "What now?" was the burning question tearing apart my gut that was now wracked with serious ulcerous pain! 

Note to self: When one door opens, get the hell out of the way of the one that will inevitably slam you in the back!  

Luckily, I had an army of friends this time waiting on the other side to pick me up and swiftly set me back on my feet. A small loving push in a direction helps, even if it's not quite the right one. Start rowing anyway, even if it's with your bare hands! The shore is out there and a mysterious new world awaits. 

The first time this happened five years prior, the door caused considerably more damage. This one really hurt, but it was familiar and not quite so painful! As I've discovered (too many times, imho), pain creates a sort of resilience that can go a long way in helping us figure out what fits, what works best for us, what we desire most, where we want to go, and where we want to be in X amount of time. And sometimes, even then, the universe just decides for us.  This time the recovery was much faster! I figured out much quicker that the trick was to keep moving with my eye on the prize I had wished for in the first place while moving through the inevitable discomfort of negative balance. I had to hope that the consequences tied to others would work in their favor as well. 

But that is the thing, we are never alone in the decisions we make. We are all tiny parts of a whole. Small cogs in a wheel that keeps grinding away forging new pathways and we all have to decide where we are going while inevitably bumping up against one another. I may put wishes on the back burner for awhile and just let life take me where it wants to. But what of other's wishes? How do those affect the rest of us? Action begets reaction. It's never really as simple as making a wish that we hope comes true. 

So remember this: We are not singular organisms playing out our lives without seriously and sometimes irreparably affecting (and possibly damaging) the greater whole. When you make a wish, certainly make it count and make it smart!

Your #1 Hope  

 

When your standards are low and your expectations are high and you count on people to support you, and you expect your life in general to go well, what do you do when you find yourself struggling alone, maybe even sinking, in a sea of life's greatest and sometimes most unimaginable challenges? 

I found myself in this situation for many years, all the while flailing around desperately trying to stay afloat in a situation where I was never going to survive let alone thrive. Occasionally there might have been a piece of driftwood that would float by to provide me with something to grab hold of for a time, but these moments were fleeting. The rest of the time I was in a state of emergency and panic, hoping beyond all hope that some great figurative ship would come along, see and save me…that is until all hope was lost. 

What do you do when that happens? 

It is during moments like this that some of us stop fighting and we sink. We let ourselves sink right down to the very depths that gravity pulls us to, which for me happened to be far…think “Mariana's Trench” far. What was down there you ask? Nothing but pitch blackness, wavy silhouettes of terrifying creatures drifting in the dark, and the sound of my own voice crying ever so faintly for a life raft. Within so much silent despair and pressure I was able to make out that this was a child with fears and traumas so deep that I was no longer able to ignore her. This was me, my younger me, waiting for a savior, and with no one to help, I alone had to be the one to courageously step into the gap between my adult and child self to do some serious work, which involved mostly listening. It is there that I made some serious pledges and promises. It is there that perhaps for the first time, I began to love and care for myself like no other had been able to. 

When people say that they found themselves, this is no ordinary or straightforward task. This requires digging thru layer after layer of mostly artificially programmed social development to get to the truth of who you are, what you “really” honestly stand for, how you think, feel, and operate. You get clear, very clear, about why your life is not working or aligned with those critical things that you have always stood for, and maybe for the first time, YOU become the hope that you've always been searching for. 

When this happened and I could be there for myself the way I always wanted others to be there for me, some amazing things happened. All the garbage aspects of my life that I tried to see, thru rose colored glasses, really began to stink and I was able to throw out a whole lot of junk that was not serving me. This included people, situations, places, and some physical mementos that I had kept around for far too long! The relief from this process was unimaginable! Suddenly I got lighter and was able to float up effortlessly out of that trench and stay afloat, breathing in endless blue sky and unpolluted air that fed my soul and made me stronger. People who could support me started showing up out of nowhere and stood by my side, as though they were always there, just buried from view. Some of them were tests to make sure I was aligned properly. The failed ones quickly lost their superficial luster and charm. The right ones sparkled! The sparkly ones became beacon points of light. I don't overlook them any longer! They are pretty hard to miss with clean and clear lenses! 

If you have lost hope, take a moment to listen to the voice stirring within. This is the only voice that truly matters. This is YOUR voice. It is your savior.

Stop Shoulding and Just DO 

Trust me when I say that I've allowed this little word “should” to hold me back from more opportunities than I want to admit. In fact it literally ran my life into the ground five years ago when I was just at a point where I could see the open sky and my wings were poised to flap into a sea of unimaginable possibilities. 

But this was not to come. How could it when my life up to that point was built on one should after another: shoulds that were not mine, shoulds that kept me stuck in misery and suffering that I never wanted for myself, shoulds that were destroying my self worth, my sense of safety, my emotional and physical health to the point that I lost sight of who I was, what I was about, why I was here. 

It's hard to build on a dream when it is based in fantasy, not reality? Consequently, when we go along with the shoulds imposed on us we're bound to feel miserable especially in an era when self actualization is possible.Trying to set out on a creative life course, or just any life course, you have to know what YOU want. 

If you are confused about who you are, why you are here, what the purpose of life is, how to get from point A to B, and you can no longer make concrete decisions and are steadily sinking not flying, if your decisions are riddled with self-doubt, anxiety and procrastination, welcome to the academy of life! With a little self reflection and action you can start pointing your nose to the sky and dusting off those wings! 

Start asking yourself:

  • Are you getting bogged down by all the shoulds that are not your own?
  • Are you doing things and playing roles that are destructive to your spirit just to satisfy someone else's version of what your life should look like? 

Often the loudest voice directing you (or not doing any directing at all) is the one that is not your own. It is someone else's voice, someone else's version of who you should be. The first step is becoming aware of whose voice(s) it is. This is often not pretty, in fact it can lead to a great deal of initial despair, even anger or rage, but at some point you have to take responsibility for yourself and meet the lost self that is buried often under a lot of trash. Once that trash is sorted (what's mine, what's not mine) you can begin to clear enough space to connect and build on the truth of you. 

Many people get lost in this trash heap, but there is a way out, there is light. You keep sorting and digging until you can see a sliver of blue sky and then dig some more until you get out from under it! From there you begin by walking the true YOU road until you can run and eventually fly. 

It took me many years to figure out that something was desperately wrong, then many more to figure out the whys of it all and then the how to's of getting out and back on a road that felt aligned with my true self. Now when I long for advise and direction, I realize that ultimately it's my choice to do things in a way that works best for me. I create my reality and the solid path that weaves thru it! I get to choose the fastest or shortest route, whether to take a straight path, a winding path, or a path less traveled. This is where true liberty lies.