Thursday, June 21, 2012

It is a true blessing never knowing quite how long my challenging times will last. If you had told me at the onset of my panic disorder that I would be lost in black despair for more than 3 years I may have closed my eyes in silent, breathless defeat. When each minute is an enormous hurdle, 3 years is an unbearable eternity of suffering.

While my latest funk can in no way compare to those panic years, it has been quite uncomfortable nonetheless, with a very firm and possessive hold on me. Quite frankly, I am ready for unrelenting, unadulterated joy to once more take its place. I have been religiously applying all of my usual tools and methods ~ mindfulness, meditation, and heeding the words of the wise. And yet… while the fog is thinner, I am still searching for my way through the soupy mess. Thinner isn’t good enough, I’m aiming for sunny, blue and cloudless skies.

It came to me quite abruptly as I sat down to meditation the other night that while my focus has been on mindfulness I’ve been neglecting to acknowledge why that knot of discomfort even exists in me, and where it came from in the first place. Not consciously, but neglect is neglect. I thanked my Spirit voice for the heads up and used that very meditation to uncover and accept those things that have been demanding my attention.

Usually when I’m set on figuring things out I do a quick scan of the major people, issues or events currently in my life. As I see each in my mind’s eye, I can tell immediately whether or not there is any negativity attached there. Say for example I run Scott through my mind and feel vague (or pressing) discomfort. That is a clear sign for me to dig deeper ~ did I say or do something unkind? Did he? Do we need to talk about something? It's a quick and efficient way to get to the root of whatever is bothering me. This time however, I tried a different approach. I settled in, stilled my mind, and quietly, patiently… waited.

It didn’t take long before I felt bubbles rising to the surface. Thankfully they arrived in an orderly fashion, one at a time.  This gave me time to assess and feel out each one completely. The first to rise to the surface was Backyard Dreams. Anyone who follows this blog is probably rolling their eyes and muttering “Bigggg surprise.” Really, that’s okay, because you’d be totally right. This is a pattern that repeats itself with regularity, and while I have discovered some interesting things in relation to this cycle, I still haven’t gotten it all figured out yet. Give me time though, I’m tenacious.

Anyway, back to Bubble #1… after “planting season” was over I took my shop off of vacation mode and instantly made a sale. This caused the almost immediate reaction of feeling distressingly overwhelmed. Since most all of my products are made to order, each one is a big investment of time. I simply don’t have enough hours in the day during the summer months to run my shop in the way that I feel I must. With great relief I decided to shut down Backyard Dreams for the time being (yes, again) and embrace all the glory of summer. I felt the beginning of relief with the popping of Bubble #1. 

Bubble #2 followed closely. Anyone have a guess? Yes, for those that guessed blogging, you would be correct. I just have so much to say!!! I am constantly finding myself mentally writing blog posts about anything and everything that happens to me in a day. I can assure you it is one of my biggest distractions from living mindfully. I have so many cool and life changing tidbits to share, so many super delicious foods I’d love for you to try, so many small epiphanies each and every day. Life is so fabulously glorious; I just want everyone to find the same joy that I have. I discovered that subconsciously  I am putting way too much pressure on myself. While I would love to blog daily, or even every other day, realistically this isn't going to happen. Not as my life is right now. Gardens need daily watering and weeding. Meals need to be prepared. Animal sheds need fresh bedding. Ferrets need to be snuggled. Children (and husbands) need guidance. And yes, toilets need to be cleaned. It all means that blogging has to happen when it happens, no pressure from my stinky rotten ego.

And there goes Bubble #2 ~ pop! Right on its heels though was Bubble #3. This one was related to my home which has a profound influence on how open and free I feel. Rooms were starting to feel congested, the energy felt cramped and tight. Almost dirty. So I pinpointed the trouble spots and I got to work. Rearranging is a hobby of mine, no one is ever surprised to see me start hauling couches and tables around. For a couple of days I worked on the house. I even paid Jordan and Riley Mae $5 each to bring back up the furniture they had just brought down the night before! After much careful contemplation and endless furniture manipulation, I have restored order to my surroundings. Each room serves a purpose in a quiet, simple and peaceful way. Pop. Bye-bye Bubble #3.

At this point I was feeling much lighter, but although smaller, the knot remained, lodged firmly in my abdominal region. Once I finally acknowledged its presence, I have no idea how I managed to ignore it for as long as I did. So, I waited some more. Quietly. Quietly. This one was timid, but it rose nonetheless. Bubble #3 held my daughter, Taylor, firmly in its center.

Taylorhas had skin issues since the day she was born. It started with cradle cap and progressed to psoriasis and severe eczema through the years. However, our recent discoveries have this issue warranting a post all of its own, so let me skip ahead. At almost 16 it had finally started to wear her down emotionally. She never complained or whined, but I could see the toll it was taking. She needed a fresh start. Since we seem to finally have uncovered some answers in regards to her skin issues it was the perfect time for… a makeover!!

She resisted me a little at first, but Mother Knows Best. We started with her hair and moved from there. I told her to go through all of her clothes and make two piles ~ one of articles that made here feel good, and the other of things that made her feel bad. When she was done I believe she had two shirts in the feel good pile, and a mountain of clothes that were old, worn, pilly and/or too small. Now this was a desperate situation.

So, I tapped into abundance and went shopping, admittedly not my favorite thing to do. I didn’t look at price tags (okay, I found myself glancing once or twice out of habit before I realized what I was doing!), and I refused to keep track of what we were spending. New earrings, shoes, blouses, shorts, pajamas and a bathing suit. The cart filled up awfully quickly! For the girl who hates to shop she sure looked pretty darn happy as we left the store. And everyday since. (She’s written her own post about the adventure ~ Surprise! Taylor Lynn Has Gotten a Makeover! ) I can see the boost to her self esteem and it is a beautiful thing. Of course that could have more to do with her healing, gorgeous skin, but a new outfit doesn’t hurt. Pop.

Was I done? No. But  in regards to my readers, at this point I feel I may have overstayed my welcome with the bubbles! While my journey of self discovery was highly illuminating to me, I’m afraid it won’t make very compelling reading. However, I also found that my lack of recent creativity, unfinished projects, correspondence awaiting my replies, an apology I needed to make, they were all adding to that knot of discomfort… I had unleashed a frenzy of bubbles!

Some of you, the more private I would guess, might wonder why I feel compelled to write what I do. Who the heck cares about my bubbles??? It’s not that I think my life is so enormously entertaining, unique or fascinating that you’re all dying to hear what I’ve been up to. In fact I may lead the quietest life of anyone that I know. I only leave the house when the girls force me to; my world is very small and very simple. I simply use my bubbles to illustrate the junk we each carry around, every day. This junk can take many different forms, but no matter the shape or size, they’re all roadblocks to a balanced and happy life.

I can only tell you that I hate secrets, and often don’t even understand the need to keep personal lives private. If what I’ve gone through can help someone else? Why would I want to keep that a secret? I’m not embarrassed to admit that I mess up, that I make ‘mistakes’, that I learn more everyday. While it’s not my place to share the private workings of others, I, on the other hand, am pretty much an open book. I am an average woman on a not so average journey. My quest has led me to unexpected and wonderful places, places I feel compelled to share with any and all that will listen. The point of today's post? Simply to encourage you to uncover your bubbles. Let them rise to the surface. Acknowledge them, accept them, love them… and then change them if you must. In a kind and gentle way. We all deserve a joyful life. If my personal journey with all of its bumblings and searching can help you find your bliss… well, wouldn't that be an amazing thing?

Have a remarkable and bubble-free day friends.

Peace & Blessings ~ Melinda