Where the rubber meets the road

I am the kind of person who loves every blade of grass. My home and yard are neat, not out of control, and the wildflowers in summer are riotous! Birds come from all over to eat at the buffet I offer them. I’m tickled they visit. Lizards, centipedes and even snakes are welcome (Snakes.usually pass through quickly and should be respected). Spiders are welcome in the house, as long as they are not big enough to pay rent. If they are large, then they either have to pony up the rent, or move out! I keep my place as natural as I can. Nature is critically important to my life.

High Desert photo by Patty D.

I’d like to think I am an ideal neighbor. I keep my own yard free of clutter and junk. I’ll watch someone’s yard, plants, and animals. Watch to see the horses are not colicking. Make sure there is no suspicious activity going on while they are out of town. Turn off the iron if it’s left on and I get a frantic call. And babysit dogs and kitties. My friends all know they can come for tea and chocolate, which really means, a safe haven for talking about their troubles, or life in general. What happens at Patty’s stays at Patty’s. I try and be a bright light in my small community. Treat others as you want to be treated.

You may have read recently about my troubles with my neighbor to the south a few days ago. Today a bulldozer was next door at my neighbor to the north. A BULLDOZER? Some big picture thing is going on for me. I’ve never had this level of activity, so close together, so close in proximity to my home and all I hold dear.

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‘Tis the season for self care!

A blogger I admire recently spoke about self care. I’d like to add my encouragement for you to practice self care, especially now, as the hectic season of holidays approach.

Start making your personal care come first. Practice early and often. Even a few errands may feel like a mountain of things to accomplish. Don’t beat yourself up when it comes to what you did not accomplish today or this week. Easy does it.

Eat good, nutritious food! Your food should be high quality fuel. You ARE what you eat!

Get enough sleep. Can’t say enough about that. It is also fuel for your body, mind and mood.

SMILE! A smile will lift your spirits emotionally by doing a simple physical action. It takes less muscles to smile than it does to frown.

Be kind to others, in a crowded grocery store, and especially in traffic! It will lift your mood. You become in control instead of feeling trapped.

Be kind to yourself whenever you can. Take time between activities to chill. Even if that is only for a 10 minute walk, or sweeping the floor for five minutes. Or kicking the ball for the dogs, despite the rain!

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Avoid energy drains. Be it events, places, or people. Your body knows an energy drain so pay attention.

Be able to state boundaries easily, with confidence. “Gosh thanks for inviting me, but I can’t.” You need not offer excuses. Just tell them no, politely.

If you are stressed learn to say, “I am on overload.” It is easily understood and you need not make any excuses.

Watch movies or read books that relax, entertain, or uplift you. Avoid those that drain you. I don’t like watching shows that make me feel awful after watching, despite their popularity.

Stay away from the evening news. Does it bring joy? I do not watch news and have not for many years. I am able to keep up with local and global issues just fine.

Limit electronics and instead read a real book, cook a meal from scratch, take a walk, or just sit and BE. I watch the birds I feed outside my window. Or put a tea bag in a cup of hot water and watch it brew, in silence. That’s a good 5-minute meditation right there.

BREATHE! Nothing will connect you to yourself and bring your blood pressure down quicker.

Ask for help when you need it. Lean on your friends. They won’t mind.

When life feels chaotic, remember to relax because nothing is in control! That’s when you go with the flow. Remember you can’t push a river.

Practice Gratitude! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Even the wisest guru’s espouse that when they spend time with family, it can ruffle their feathers. Don’t take anyone seriously if a kerfuffle should start. Don’t bite the hook! Just nod and smile or say the cheeriest “Oh well!” and carry on as you sip your cocoa. ENJOY LIFE!

And have a wonderful holiday season!

Making your ‘bad quality’ work for you

A friend had the observation that being stubborn has upsides. True that. I figured every bad quality must have an upside. Doesn’t everything have a good and bad, undesirable quality to it? So, let’s take the human condition and flip some things.

I can be very stubborn, and I know it is not a desirable quality. But there are instances where being stubborn fits the bill perfectly. Working on a job until it is done, that’s a good part of being stubborn. I call it stick-to-itiveness. A great example for me was my friend who was working on the plumbing under my house. He did not give up. He is a very patient and quiet man. To hear him swearing and getting mad is so rare I knew the plumbing was confounding him. He kept at it all day until the problem was fixed and made better than the original plumbing. Had he given up I’d have been forced to call a plumber, which in the sticks, is rare as hen’s teeth. No one wants to drive all the way from town to get here. I’d have been stuck for a long time. Thanks to his stubborn nature, I had running water!

The flip side of my empathic abilities of feeling everything are the physical feelings I get as I write. Feeling everything can be a good thing, not something to dread or hide.

This also brings to mind the need to temper our negative quality when needed. Let’s take the hand we were dealt and make it work for us, instead of against us. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is a worthwhile project, no? Having an undesirable quality can now be seen as positive.

A warning that we should not celebrate our ‘undesirable’ traits by saying “Yay! I’m stubborn and I can treat people any way I wish!” Nope. That’s not what I am getting at. It means perhaps channeling those qualities into a positive outcome. Again the line of “using your powers for good, not evil” comes to mind.

What are some qualities that may be turned around and seen as good? What quality do you have that you might view as negative, that you can flip? What can you work on that might make you thankful for having that otherwise bad trait? This could be a really fun and enriching exercise if you take it to heart.

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

Surrender Dorothy, and all that implies

Recently I was chatting with a friend. We both felt that we were each experiencing lives of confusion and both of us felt a bit out of control. Our discussion lead us to deduce each of us would best be served by letting go and embracing it all. A phrase ‘stop pushing the river’ comes to mind. It’s not a place you can go to with your thinking brain. You must let go. That takes trust. I feel I have a big ‘something’ coming up. I know I must let go and sink into it to come back to the surface. As I was talking to my friend the phrase “Surrender Dorothy” came to mind from the movie, The Wizard of Oz. It is a perfect reminder to let go when worry starts in. Accomplishing this would have to be at a non-verbal place inside me. It’s hard to explain or wrap my head around, because words don’t seem to adequately express this idea, and that’s okay.

Surrender Dorothy could be my watch phrase for recent hurdles I am facing. Detach from caring about the outcome and surrendering to my true north. Yup. I know I have to do it. But can I? I’m not the kind of person who can easily take my hands off the steering wheel. But I must. This is not something you can intellectualize. You cannot plan for this to happen, or force it. You cannot say…

“I will detach and be in free fall so that I can experience this uncomfortable thing, so that I can have a breakthrough, an epiphany.”

It does not happen that way. For me it is not second nature to let go and surrender to what is happening. Especially when experiencing chaos, illness, or physical and emotional pain. Instead we want to protect ourselves and always be in a happy moving-forward place. Growth takes place in uncomfortable spots. Going outside your comfort zone makes you stronger. Surrendering to what is may be the best thing to do. But I am not sure how to let go enough for that to happen.

Every time I come up against another hurdle, even a small one, I am starting to change how I approach life. Instead of saying “How can I fix this? What is the best path forward? Quickly get a fix in place!” I remind myself to accept what is happening and sink back to that feeling, whatever it is. Let it roll over me. Let it come. Surrender Dorothy. I want to face what is going on, and surrender to the need to be in control and fix things. My experience with Buddhism may come in handy, as the mindset of ‘having tea with your demons’ is a practice put forward by Pema Chödrön. I understand the idea. I love the idea! And I can do that for small fears that come visiting. It’s kind of like saying ‘everything is as it should be’ and ‘this too shall pass”. But the big stuff. The stuff that keeps hanging on and on. The hard stuff. That’s different. It seems like a wall I cannot scale. I must stop asking why, and how, and instead sink down into the comfort that I am finally where I should be, so I can become one with it, and like the peacock, turn poison into medicine, pushing beyond my fears.

Comments and dialogue are encouraged and welcome. Likes tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, Patty.

My secret Super Power! The upside of being sensitive.

My writing process involves actual physical feelings that occur as I work on stories. The paragraphs come alive, I have realizations, a-ha moments, and there is growth as I write. By the time I am done, the entire article has a glow felt in my body. Everything comes together and I feel a glow in my chest and abdomen as I write or proofread. It’s so cool. 🙂 I can tell which paragraphs need work because that physical feeling might be absent, or it does not feel good. When ideas are really popping I have a dozen stories in draft form at any one time. As I scan my list of drafts to decide which one to work on next I get a physical feeling—BOOM—and I have my answer. I chuckle to myself because this is not only fun, it’s awesome! It’s like having a secret super power. Eight months ago this was not true. It’s something that has recently developed. Probably due to my recent low points leaving me super sensitive to all that goes on.

In this post I want to talk about the actual physical feeling as I write because it is so new to me, and it is so awesome to have this ability. My previous post, The Crying Man was an experience important enough to write about. As I wrote, the feeling in my body was of nothingness. It felt very flat. This did not feel right by a long shot! I dropped the story and let it sit overnight. After working on it the next morning, the glow feeling started. It was excitement and butterflies in my gut. Now I was cooking with gas!

Often I find nuggets of gold, a-ha moments, discoveries that are uncovered gently as I write. I love it when that happens! That’s real magic. In my gut I can feel the energy of the story come out. This is what I’m talking about.

When I worked on the story about losing my horse Silver, it was difficult to write. Writing is a good way for me to process emotional trauma. As I finished the article, I had a physical feeling in my gut about each paragraph. A good feeling. It’s hard to describe but I can physically feel the story coming together. I can’t speak for anyone else. It’s not an intellectual thing, it’s more of a physical-feel-intuition-gut all at the same time thing. Readers should be able to see a-ha moments on the page because that’s how they happen. They organically happen as I write. What a cool super power! Often there is something in the story I didn’t know was there until I write about it. That’s the real treasure.

As I finish up stories I concentrate on the second half of the story and the juice flows, the feelings get stronger, the story gets clearer. Working further on The Crying Man story there was no longer a feeling of flat nothingness. The story was starting to undulate and come alive, and that feeling translated directly into my body. This is the up side to being a Sensitive and an Empath. The flip side of feeling so much of what is out there. Queue the familiar line from superhero movies “I only use my power for good, not for evil.”

Mainly I write for the benefit of processing information for my mental health. The reason I blog vs. a private journal is, there is something to be said for accountability and pressure, in a good way, to write for others. The writing becomes better, clearer, there is more purpose. Be aware of your body as a Geiger counter to life. You can discover much about yourself as you write, for your benefit and growth. Your body will tell you when things are getting good and juicy. That intangible thing is there, becoming tangible! Perhaps my experience will help one person. Let me know if it does!

Comments and dialogue are highly encouraged and welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is out there listening. Love and Light, Patty