A new landscape: Big picture vs. small details

The dreams we weave on what could happen next are all in Big Picture mode. We get excited making things happen in our head, and it is the start of manifesting a new life. This is good! You should have dreams and goals. When details come filtering in, it must shift to a certain amount of day-to-day reality. It does not mean the dream ends. Not at all. But there is a certain shifting of the sails that has to happen for that dream to manifest. I’m in the middle of that now. This is where the good stuff, the hard stuff, the fun stuff happens.

My emotional line chart would look like a huge zig-zag. Up, down, up, down, up, down. It has been about two weeks since I was laid off. The up-downs get smaller in scope as time goes by as I get used to my new situation. I feel exhausted and numbed, despite my good attitude. I’ve added a day during the week where I will be out of touch with all electronic devices. The day will be spent at the local hot springs, taking long walks with happy dogs, and puttering. For me getting outside and working with my hands is extremely satisfying and grounding. Getting myself out of my head, and into my heart.

I can see the value of support groups. How do we process it all? What are the effects and how should I deal with them to stop from being on the negative slippery slope? At times I feel elated to be free, and have a chance at a totally new life. A person can easily reinvent themselves because the worst has happened.

Other times it feels like a tightening of my throat in fear of having to find work at the age of 61. I live 42 miles from town, and I can’t do that commute any more. No can do. I find myself day dreaming of working locally. I’d love to be a receptionist or file clerk, for half my old salary. And as long as I get benefits, if it is an easy drive, I’d be totally happy to downsize my working footprint. Happy to dump the corporate world after over 40 years. 

Social Security and 401K seems to be on everyone’s lips as my salvation. I’m too young for either of those to work out, but believe me I did my homework on both. Social Security seems like an easy out, but it’s not near enough to live on. Watch that you don’t opt for it early or you can screw yourself later. If I can wait until I am 65 or 70, I am assured to have enough to get by on. 401K doesn’t last forever either. I have run the numbers, and you should too if you are ever in my position.

All these financial investigations help fine tune what is next. I must run the numbers to not be in a panic. I won’t stick my head in the sand. I know other folks are not like that. They dream bigger than I do, and they have more trust than I do. It is my belief that knowing where you stand financially helps ground you so you can fly on the wings of The New and The Now.

Those two worlds, the here and now on earth, and the world of dreams you want to manifest—you must manage both.

—Patty Daley

Incarnating into a body on the earth is a special place we have come to do our work. It’s essential to know the reality of what you need to live. That means adjusting to the day-to-day realities of life in 3D. Surviving, living, and taking care of an aging body are all part of it. I believe this is under the heading of Small Details. It helps support the Big Picture so don’t ignore it.

My landscape is changing. I know in my bones it is for a much more positive, truer-to-me life that is being manifested. As things change in this unknown part of the journey, I must adjust my sails and at the same time keep my eye on the horizon. That’s the lesson here. My goals are out there. They are a bit out of focus and far away, but they are there calling to me. I feel elated! Jazzed! Pumped! 

Learn to ride the waves! Do not lose hope, should you find yourself in the bottom of a swell of waves. Times seem tougher when all you can see are tall mountains of water on either side of you. But when you are on crest of the next wave, moving forward, that’s where all the work you did while in the trough comes into sharp focus. That’s where you have your goals in sight, and things are peachy keen. Life is about both ups and downs. Learn to ride the waves! (Scroll down to Riding the Peaks and Valleys.)

Comments are welcome. “Likes” tell me someone is listening. Love and Light, ❤ Patty

That awful sticky place of dread

Recently I was in a terribly wobbly place taking care of someone close to me. This friend had recently had serious back surgery. I knew he would depend on me solely. In our tiny community we depend on each other, especially as we age. Most everyone else my friend knows is retired, and I work full time. I would do what I could, but I felt that sticky and uncomfortable place of having someone else depend on me totally when I knew it would take a supreme effort for me to do everything necessary. I knew there were others that were totally willing to help, that kept volunteering. My friend kept refusing them, saying “Patty will do it all.”

It’s a terrible thing to say, or even think, you do not want to help someone for several reasons. One is society expects us all to be cheerful, concerned caregivers. Two, because I am an overly nurturing person by nature, why would this make me cringe? It was the overwhelming idea of the whole kit-and-caboodle that had me scared. There was something about this looming responsibility that had me quaking like a leaf. It makes me feel like a bad person for even having those feelings. I usually love to be wanted and needed, filling the role of nurturer.

This is what was going on with me that might help explain this feeling. The surgery came at a time when I had been trying to lessen my dependence on this person for my sake and his. My own dependence on him for filling my social needs has never been met and I needed to broaden my social scope. It’s not his fault whatsoever. He’s a good egg. He is in fact a dear friend. I am having a strong yearning for conversation and company and it won’t go away. The time for change is long overdue and I had been putting off the inevitable for over a year now. I must expand my horizons! The looming post-surgery tasks seemed to be holding me back just at a time when I want to burst out! Feelings of frustration, guilt, but also care, were building and mixing.

With some insistence I was able to get him to call on other neighbors who were happy to share the burden with me. I was happy to do my part and stock his fridge and freezer with groceries that were easy to fix and eat. I was thrilled to look after his sweet dog for a few days. In the days immediately following his surgery I felt better. I tried making coffee for him, which I totally flubbed two days in a row, with coffee all over the counter! I checked in on him in the early mornings to see his pain level, got him to start moving a bit. Urged him to walk more, as advised by the doctor. I changed his bandages, etc.

I believe Spirit turns up the pressure when there is a lesson looming.

When we want to diet, everything conspires to tempt you. Gooey brownies and donuts are brought into work. Your neighbor comes over with homemade banana bread. You know the drill. For me it was wanting to get out in the community more and expand my horizons. That’s when the surgery gets scheduled and you know you have to spend more time, not less, doing something you know does not suit you. But Spirit knows best.

My friend and I have been good friends for years. As close as brother and sister. But Spirit had something for us to work through. My friend also has something to learn about depending on others, in spite of insisting he did not need help. I was in that same position about two years ago, and I learned my lesson the hard way. I knew we each had something to learn from this.

In the end things turned out fine and we are both better for the experience. He was able to get the community to help, by simply asking for it. His surgery after-care was not as bad as we thought it would be. He was up and about days after surgery. I did my share of care, and liked being helpful in that way. I also enjoy going over to my friend’s home once a week instead of twice a day. We missed each other a bit more. Things seemed fresher and better. He started asking what I was up to. A stark change from his usual lump-on-a-log non-commitment in any simple conversation. He started taking more responsibility for his life instead of depending on me. I was starting to break away and make myself a priority. Things were changing!

As we know, everything is energy. Change must happen in Spirit/with you manifesting and wanting that change before it can happen in the waking world. He learned that being stubborn and wanting total independence was not always realistic. I learned (and not for the first time) that care of the self comes first. I had always given to him first. Thought of him first. Worried about him way more than about myself. The caregiver must care for him/herself first. Okay, I’m getting that lesson, for the third time!

If there is any time you feel that pressure is on, and you are being made very uncomfortable, there is a lesson or a message in it. Look for it, be humble, and be as open as you can for the change coming your way. Maybe this thing that feels awful is your key to freedom, the key to standing up in your own power and being who you have always wanted to be. On a soul level, my friend was willing to be the one to help me make this happen. I am in deepest gratitude.

Comments are encouraged. 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.

The New Normal is where it’s at

When life presents you changes, stop trying to go back to normal. If you are trying to get back to the old normal that may not be possible. With all my challenges, I have found a way to get through with some sanity. Ditch the old normal. Find the new normal, the new habit, path, the new way. There is much less resistance there. Stop trying to push the river, instead go with the flow. And be in gratitude!

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

The need to know why is *not* always a good thing

If you have been following my blog, you know I have been experiencing a lot of odd medical, physical upsets for months. Every morning I have to remind myself to make myself happy and get my mood up. Getting back to normal seems impossible some days.

One of the reasons I feel so low is, I have this burning need to know why everything happens. Why is my body rebelling so much lately? I’ve lived a life almost sixty years with no problems. Lately I have been bombarded with illnesses or conditions that come and go. Did I mention how much I dislike people that complain about health issues? The shoe is on the other foot now and let me tell you, it is humbling. At least I have gained a compassionate view of the flip side of health. I have softened to it.

Much of life can be a puzzle and I love puzzles. So my mind searches for the why of it all. It gives me something to chew on. Is all the upheaval directly due to this crazy life in 3D? Is it karmic and I must pay my dues? Is there another purpose in my life to wake me up to…? Is there part of my old life I need to completely disconnect from? I often feel empathically what is going on in the world. The night of the midterm elections my body was rebelling big time. The physical feelings are disconcerting and uncomfortable, and I cannot get away from it or turn it off.

At work part of my job to be a troubleshooter. To be a person to find out how a process happens, and write out all the steps very clearly so others can learn. This is part of the warp and weft that makes up my persona. I like to be the person that shows others the right path by researching a process, questioning, tinkering. I am responsible for finding the right way to do something, to empower them to flourish. It’s part of my very nature to explore, question, and lead by example. If we were in the jungle, I’d be the person in front, hacking a way forward, leading. Part of this aspect of me must be shut down in order to be guided by this new thing emerging in me. That won’t be easy for me to do. It will be very uncomfortable and I navigate totally new waters without being able to rely on my ‘old’ and comfortable tools/senses/way of operating. This change must come. My old self must die and the new self must come into being. Like a child who does not want to outgrow his favorite pair of boots, that day will come. But won’t the new serve better?

It occurred to me that if I stopped asking why, my angst would go away. I’d be at a new normal, and life would continue in a happier vein. How can I accomplish this? What’s the lesson, the reason, the big picture? Okay, drop that line of thinking and I bet I would be so much more at peace. But how to do that? It won’t happen with a how-to check list. Scratch that. It might be more along the lines of more meditation during the day and in the evening. Slowing down even more. More dropping out of needing to know. Dropping out of rational thought, of needing control. Dropping down into that fuzzy, warm place where there is no need to know what’s coming next, or why things are the way they are. Trust. It’s a big word.

This winter I will hunker down, be closer to Gaia (Mother earth), trust the divine feminine, and let healing occur naturally. For me this will be a paradigm shift. A huge one. But possibly part of the metamorphosis of what I am becoming. I can feel a huge shift coming inside me and I want it to come. I must trust that I cannot see the way forward. Time to roll with motion of the waves and as a good friend says ‘feel your way through the unknown.’

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

A lesson in trust

After work in summer I take my dogs for a cool walk down my little river. During irrigation, the river is about one inch deep and mostly stagnant. The river boasts crayfish, gigantic arroyo frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, dark fishing spiders, tons of minnows and other wildlife. Because I recently had to deal with a rattlesnake I said out loud, “Hey is there anything up the river I need to be aware of?” The answer was both felt and heard. “Yes.” Me: “Oh, good. Wait! Is it deadly?” “No.” I could feel this in the core of my entire body, head to toe, as an unmistakable feeling of confirmation. Probably the strongest physical confirmation I have ever received. Consider me warned. I would be on the lookout for…whatever, and it was not going to kill me. Well now doesn’t that sound promising.

As we walked upriver I was observant and cautious. Would I see a deer, or a raccoon hunting for crayfish? A heron fishing for minnows? I did not know if it would be something dangerous, or something delightful. This feeling of confirmation was with me the whole time. The pond was more shallow than usual, and the large minnows were there by the gazillion! What fun! Gypsy had a blast swimming in it, while my other dog Goat Cheese was nearby.

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I walked into the edge of the 5 foot deep pool where the water was about 2 inches deep and took video of Gypsy swimming around. As I finished taking the video I turned around to go back to dry land taking one step with my left foot. The sand gave way and I sunk into the sand up to mid hip. Quicksand! Oh $hit. It felt like there was nothing supporting me and I dared not move one muscle. My right leg was bent at the knee and out sideways on what I hoped was firm ground. With quicksand it is hard to tell. I had no idea how much further down I would go if I tried putting my hands out in front of me to support myself. Sinking in another 2 and a half feet would be fatal. I desperately called to my dogs.

“Get over her NOW! Mama is in trouble and needs your help!”

Both dogs came over, oblivious to my plight. I grabbed them each by the collar and relied on their distributed weight to pull me out. They started tugging backwards, which is exactly what I needed. I was able to test that ground ahead of me and gingerly crawl out. I could hardly believe what had happened. Here on my little river there is quicksand and I managed to blunder into it. But I came out safe and sound. On my walk back home, I grabbed a large stick and held it sideways just to be on the safe side.

Homeward bound, I reflected on what happened. Well for one thing, I was alive! Yay! At the beginning of my walk, Spirit let me know where was something ahead for me. Sure enough, there was. But it was an event, not an animal. I got a very clear, very strong message from the Universe that there was something up ahead for me, and it was not fatal. I was to trust in that. Bottom line is, trust in the messages you get, especially if you ask for them! That was a big lesson in trust and I won’t soon forget it.

Comments always welcome and encouraged. View this blog entry by itself by clicking on the headline, in order to make a reply at the bottom.