What if Love is not in the air……

February can bring up mixed feelings for some.  It’s Valentine’s Month if you haven’t guessed since Christmas clearance has gone.

I feel like our culture emphasizes too much on Valentine’s Day.  I see people depressed thinking why don’t I have someone in my life? What am I doing wrong? I also hear I HATE this month I can’t stand it! I don’t need anyone in my life, they have hurt me too much!! I don’t care!

My own daughter & son in law do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. EVER! Not even when they were dating. It’s just the card company that made it up, They say! We know we love each other, why do we have to buy anything to prove it?

So WHY does it hurt some people, and others not so much?

If you hold onto something tight enough you will bleed.

It’s same thing about relationships.

If someone hurt you bad enough it’s hard to let go. But what if you could just ease up a little at a time, and pretty soon you realize it doesn’t have a hold over you anymore.  But getting there is the hard part. Especially doing it alone. You have well-meaning friends and family that are saying “stop wasting your time on him/her”.  But that doesn’t help. They are not understanding your feelings and situation. It may feel like the knife just sank in deeper when they say those things to you.

There are steps to take that can help you. But you must want to let go!! You can’t hold on and want it gone magically. I think that is the main reason why so many people are hurting. They like the feeling of the hurt. I am not saying you like being hurt. It’s more like a habit. Almost like a craving. If that feeling goes away, then what? You have an emptiness. You need to fill that void. So you overeat, or binge watch tv or jump into a new relationship. You are not solving the problem, you are creating new ones.

I know because I have been through it. I overate, I sat & watched tv for hours on end. I overworked. I stayed up late worrying about other things because I didn’t want to think about the thing that really mattered that I was avoiding.

For our family February is a hard month. Our son was born on Feb. 6, 1988.  On Feb. 14, 1988 he had a heart transplant. He was #13 in the world to get one.  In 2005 He died of lymphoma cancer from the drug that was supposed to keep him alive and not reject his heart.

I was suddenly alone. My 2 dogs were there for comfort when my husband went back to work, and the kids went back to school. There wasn’t anything for me anymore. No more doctor’s Appts.; which was my social hour with the nurses and doctors. Sad but true. No more meeting with the teachers. Or the Physical and Occupational therapists. I had my other 2 children and they needed me emotionally but physically there was no place for me anymore. What was I going to do? Who was I if I wasn’t a mother of a special needs child anymore? I was a mother of a deceased child now. People didn’t want to be around me. They couldn’t handle it. It made them sad! I had no friends left.

What do I do with my life now? What are my likes? What do I want to do? To feel better physically & mentally I started to do yoga and meditation.  I started to listen to Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra and read their books. The more I dived into their teachings the more the emptiness started to fill up. I started to feel at peace. I was still grieving but it was different grief now.

It wasn’t until we had to move from Colorado to Maryland that the grieving and emptiness came back. I didn’t have any place to put a story to for a restaurant or the movie theater that our son liked.  Each February we did go to Red Robin the hamburger place to “celebrate” his b’day and Valentine’s Day. We would get a red balloon since it was his favorite color.  I didn’t talk about my son to my coworkers while working at the library. I felt like it was my story and I didn’t want it to spread for others to tell it. So I wrapped it around me like a cloak. As the years went on I realized that my cloak was now smothering me. I wanted to hide. I wasn’t interested in going out. I had to WANT to be in a better mind space.

In the beginning, it was not easy to go within to meditate my mind was all over the place! It took practice, and once I found somebody that I liked, it got easier. Once I started meditated I stopped thinking about the relationships that were lost. But if we start with Self Love first, the rest will fall into place easier.

 Here are the steps to Self-Love:

STEP ONE:

-Meditation

-Journal

-(EFT) Tapping

Not every day would work out the way I wanted it to. Sometimes I would wake up anxious and depressed. I would start to get angry. I turned to my spiritual practice to meditate I would feel more at peace. At bedtime, I Tap to help clear the anxiety so I could rest and sleep through the night.  I had to practice self-love and let myself be able to let go.

STEP TWO:

Let go and allow.

Once you are on the path to self-love you will get anxious and depressed. It’s normal.  We are told that we shouldn’t put ourselves first. Especially women. I felt like I was being selfish for putting myself first. But over time I realized that I was making myself sick for not doing so. If you don’t permit yourself to let go and allow the feelings that you have bottled up, it will fester and will turn into a disease. You need to pour self-love into yourself to fill up the cup so you can be there for others to help them also.

STEP THREE:

-Upon Waking up, check into your emotional place and decide where you want to be emotionally for the day.

Do you want to be happy, positive, or sad? Start by feeling compassionate towards yourself. Put yourself first. Emotionally and Physically. Don’t judge or be too critical. Just feel and see in the present moment, not the past. Observe your feelings throughout the day. This helps you to be awake and aware in the present moment meaning you actually experience your own life.

After our son died and everyone went back to work & school I allowed myself to rest before the kids came home from school. My mind kept going over a “list” that needed to be done that day but I was exhausted. Housework and other things on my to-do list could wait a couple of hours or be done on another day. If I didn’t get things done I would just RELEASE AND ALLOW the (negative) feelings that came up. When I told my husband that things didn’t get done that day I tried not to dwell on the negative feelings. If you release and allow the negative (or guilt) feelings you won’t bottle them up.

My thought was Tomorrow is another day and I could do them when I felt like I was able to. I always did everything I wanted to in a day but with grief, depression & anxiety my husband realized that I was putting myself first (First time in our marriage) and I needed to rest and relax. Sometimes I would go to the park and spend the afternoon there when the kids got home from school instead of chores.

To avoid anxiety I would write down the things that needed to be done the next day. At night if I needed to pay a bill or something equally important I would do that once the kids went to bed.

STEP FOUR:

-Step out of reactionary and start living your truth

-Step out of living in the past and start living in the present moment

-Practice Mindfulness

In the beginning, I was numb, I was lost, and I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I would sit at home and stare into space. I didn’t want to think. I didn’t want to do anything. I had to be honest with myself and get out of living in the past. I had to WANT to be in the Present moment. I didn’t want the past to be repetitive in my head over and over again.

This wasn’t just after our son passed away. It reoccurred when we several states. I felt sad, lost, and alone again. I didn’t know anyone. I let my feelings rule me for some time. We lost a lot after the several jobs my husband lost, and the 2 moves before moving to South Florida.

It was a different type of loss but it was still loss all the same.  I let myself feel the loss. I wouldn’t excuse it away. I focused on self-love, meditation, and Tapping to get out of the funk I was in.

Exercising made a big impact on me also. I love walking and meditating. This is a great technique for moments when you go for a walk to clear your mind or calm down a negative emotion or obsessive thoughts.

STEP FIVE:

-ACT! Be a service to others

–Find your calling

Through the counselor I was seeing at the time we talked about my calling. She pointed out that I had plenty of experience working with special needs children. I started to work for the school district as a Special Education Teacher Assistant. Because I was able to put my love and energy into the kids it also helped me to grieve in a unique way. Putting your energy into being a service to others can help you as well.

Note: I started writing this at the beginning of February. I am now finishing it up. I got really sick around Christmas (Luckily COVID was negative) and I am trying to get out of feeling blah again. I am tired all of the time again, my doctor says that my thyroid levels are fine, my cardiologist says everything is fine. Physically I am fine. But I don’t feel like myself. I realized since getting sick I haven’t been exercising or meditating as much as I did before. I am not following my own wisdom. I want to feel good again! Getting back into my habits I know I will slowly start to feel better. 

What are some ways you feel better when you are in a funk? Let me know! Also, sign up for my newsletter where I go more in-depth about what I write about on my blog.  I email 2xs a month so I will not be bombarding your email box! Thank You so much for reading my blog!  

A New Year, A New You?

I was just looking at my email and I noticed that the theme from the senders is 2020 sucks, and we need to get to 2021 so we can have a better life!

Yes, 2020 has been hard! People have lost jobs, can’t afford their bills & groceries, and some have even lost loved ones. It’s not fair! It sucks! I agree but if we stay in this mindset we will not have a fantastic 2021!

Look, my hubby couldn’t get another job during the first recession after the company that he was working for went public and sold their company. We went 9 months before he finally another job in a different state. We had to ask his parents for money so we could move our household.

After being in the new state he got laid off again! Luckily I was working then.

I quickly learned that being positive can have an impact on your life. You can still think positive thoughts, raise your vibration, and change your mindset to think and see the positive in your life.

One thing this year you can do is to is not make New Year’s resolutions that you know that can’t be fulfilled. To start any goal is to change your mindset. Write down what it is that you want to change. Write down your WHY. If you write down your WHY and explore it, you will have a better experience and will be able to achieve your goal.

Write down your specific goal. Writing out I want to lose weight is not a specific goal. How much weight do you want to lose? How will you lose it? How much exercise will you be able to do each day or the week?

After my brain surgery, I wanted to start to work out again. My first goal was to gain muscle strength that I had lost. I also needed to get my strength up to last half a day. It would have been unrealistic of me to say I wanted to stay awake all day long. I knew I needed my nap in the middle of the day.  I was lucky that I found someone that I still follow to this day that was offering Pilates workouts free for 5 days. I tried to do a little of her exercises each day. Some of the moves hurt my head and I knew I couldn’t do those exercises.

At least 2 times a week I tried to walk around the block. I started by just going down the street and coming back home until I could go further and further each week. Before I knew it I was walking out of our neighborhood and down the street. At first, it was really slow. I had to stop a lot and stretch my back but I finally made my goal a couple of months after my surgery.

Being realistic in my goals was the key to success. I did the same with my meditation and positive affirmation practice. I wrote out my schedule for the morning. I wrote down when would be a good time to sit and meditate and read my positive affirmations. . I included how long I would spend online when I would have my green juice & smoothie, my coffee (decaf), and exercise. I gave myself 15 mins. a day for exercise in the beginning, just to get my body moving.  I also scheduled my laundry day so my husband could bring the clothes downstairs to the garage where the laundry room is. I had to be careful of falling down the stairs so I had to ask my husband for help. . (We have since bought a ranch-style home so I don’t have to worry about stairs anymore.) In the afternoon it was more of things like bills, cleaning the kitchen and preparing & cooking dinner.

Finally have a positive mindset. See yourself achieving your goals. If you want to lose weight, see yourself stronger & at your goal weight. If you want to get that dream job, see yourself at the place you want to work nailing that interview! Add feeling behind your visions. Without happy, positive feelings it will not work. You need to have confidence that you will achieve your goals.

I like Napoleon Hill’s quote, “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve.”

Have less stress according to a cat

During the unsettling time of COVID and the lockdown, something good came out of it. We bought a house in July around the corner from our rental.  Since moving to Southern Florida 3 years ago, we decided to put our roots down. Having stress can be in many forms whether it’s from working at home, not able to go out like we did before, or moving. Watching the cats settle into the new house taught me some valuable lessons which I highlight below, and reduce my overall stress.

Naps: My cat was happy when he got a nap with me. Even if you set the timer for 20 minutes can help with fatigue. Rest is essential when you get grumpy. Removing yourself from the situation can help with the anger, or stress, that you are feeling.  

Schedule: Sticking to a schedule is essential as well. We went to bed early every night. Meditating, and exercising in the morning helped me feel better and less stressed. Keeping up on our green juice every morning once I unpacked the juicer helped with the fatigue. I felt ungrounded when I didn’t meditate or say my daily affirmations. It took me a while to work it into the schedule because I wanted to unpack the house first. When I set up my office space, I set up my altar in there too. Once I had my own space I started to feel safe and worked meditation into my morning routine.  Exercise is essential for me as well. After the move, I would take a walk in the morning for as long as my body wanted to. I didn’t overdo it. Some mornings I only walked 10 minutes. Unpacking was an exercise in itself!  I now do my Pilates and walk on alternating days. Having a routine helped the cats as well. They crave routines as much as I do. They know what to expect when I stick to a schedule.

Play: Play helps relieve stress that you didn’t even know you were holding onto! Every night before bed the cat and I would play Tag (yes he plays Tag with me! ) and then we would play with the laser. We would run up and down the hall having a blast. It helped both of us sleep better at night.  It helped both of us unwind from the day.

Nurture: Our chiropractor reminded us that we needed to take a break from unpacking on the weekends. She reminded us that we should just chill, watch a movie, or Netflix.  She reminded us we would be in the house for life, and we would have time to get it perfect. Comfort yourself in the only you know-how; the work will slow down enough for you to see whatever you are going through and will work itself out in time. The cats were happy because they could lay with us and relax as well.

Indulge: When you bring harmony and balance into your life it helps with your heart rate and helps you feel relaxed. Relax in a nice bath with healing essential oils and mineral salt. Go for a healing massage. Get a manicure and a pedicure. Breathe deep and let your concerns drift away. Here in Southern Florida, we are lucky that we can do these things again while wearing a mask. I have been lucky to not experience a lot of people while at the spa. My massage therapist only allows 2 clients into her business at a time, and I am happy that she puts in the effort into keeping us all safe.

Garden: Our cat loves to go in our little back yard to relax and enjoy the sunshine. While tending to the earth helped me release the stress. I would breathe deep and let the sunshine take my worries away.

Fuzz The Cat