Sifting my way toward stillness through lotsa boxes :)

This morning, while seeking stillness, I started sorting again–laundry, dirty dishes, books, notes, piles of papers that wound up in my purse–all the while defending how I function better when surrounded by order.

I pause while sorting and realize I’m sorting someone else’s stuff….my sister’s. (I’ve just helped her complete a move). And there’s this tug at my heart: “What about you Tre? When ya gonna sort your ‘stuff’ ?”

I know that voice. It comes as a little girl sometimes….gently, softly….It comes when I’m mentally running around taking care of a loved one’s needs if I’ve neglected–to some degree–my own daily creatings (writings, meditations, exercising–the stuff that I’ve learned I enjoy doing day to day).

Awareness I’ve neglected my own needs arises, followed by a conflict within. I value helping others and don’t wanna give that up. But I also know I yearn to find balance while doing so, so that I can help while still honoring my creative life practice. So when that tug comes– ‘Tre, what about me?” I know it’s time to regroup and devote thought to my creative doings.

I’m known for dropping my work and hopping the next plane to get to whomever’s asked for my help. I value that flexibility. I value my commitment to growing my relationships. I value my awareness that true love doesn’t come all neat and tidy in a boxed up package you give on a holiday. Real love means being there, making time to be there….even when it’s messy, even when it tries every last ounce of your patience or tests your emotions.

But what I’m learning too is that in really loving and supporting, I gotta drop my agenda of the expected outcome. And I need to better respect the pace and processing of the one I’m helping.
I’ve recognized what I tend to do instead is start orchestrating how I think the project should result. And if it’s not going in that direction, then I start to verbally impose my own sense of right structure and ordered life. And I expect who I’m helping to agree with me 100% and carve out their situation as I would expect, because afterall, my way’s the right way right? Hugely kidding here. Hear the ego?

So if I’m really honest with myself: while agreeing to help is unconditional love, imposing my will on the process or outcome is not. And worse, neglecting my daily needs isn’t loving myself either. But here’s my weakness: Often I don’t know how to say no when that no would translate into ‘yes’ to myself and my own needs.

I am convinced that none of us have to give up our own needs in order to help another…be it family, friend, or anyone who needs help. If there is a need and the yearning within calls to give, you make it happen. It’s the most natural inclination any of us have because it comes from within. That yearning to give, bless, love, support—it’s our spirituality yearning to be our wholeness, all the time.

So it’s more than natural to act on that impulse.

But essential to carve out while agreeing to help, is an awareness of balance. I’ve found I must ask myself to define what I’m gonna need to feel not only are my efforts productive, but so too am I not neglecting myself in the process. I don’t know many women who feel they’ve found a good balance of this. In fact, many I know would agree they always put their own needs aside and feel they neglect themselves.

I’m still trying to figure out how to do this. But figuring this out is vital. It will prevent the ‘I’m outa here’ attitude that crops up when I feel maxxed out.

Because in my anxiousness to fix the problem, I’m also impatient to see the solution and stick around until I do. ☺

Not to be vague: my current scenario involves helping my sister transition from a large home to a smaller one and now that she’s all moved in, we’re surrounded by boxes that still need sifting through, objects that need to be pitched or placed, and my organizational mode doesn’t really rest til the process is completed how I think it ought to be.

But that’s where the test comes in: did I come out to help in order to complete the project to my liking? Or am I here to support how my sister needs the project to be completed. In her eyes, my work here’s done. Technically we’re all moved in. But that bugger in me that is insisting on really completing the project: Ie no boxes, no piles, all in it’s place, well, that may well be my own needs imposing themselves and willing me to orchestrate the outcome.

She’s not inclined to have a similar outcome. Not yet anyway. She wants to take some time, get used to the new surroundings and feel her way.
In the bigger scheme of things, this is small stuff: boxes or no boxes, disarray or order, feeling finished or feeling unfinished.

And if I let myself get pulled into that focus, well, it could be completely frustrating. I like order, things in their place, a finished look. She doesn’t need that. She likes it. But she’s not gonna stay up all night to ensure it (and I’ve ridiculously been found cleaning at 4am if I’ve just returned from a trip and need to reestablish the order of my surroundings).

No one’s right or wrong here. But what remains my goal is this question: Tre, how are you gonna love yourself enough to honor your own needs but at the same time respect your sisters’ and not impose your will?

That voice of the little girl ‘what about me’ is my writing voice. It comes as the nudge when it’s been a few days since I posted or a few more days since I’ve commented on blogs or written in my journal. So today, thought by thought, I’m honoring my sister’s unique way and respecting her desire to emerge gently into this new setting. And I’m respecting my own need to order my thoughts, unpack and organize and place all the ideas into some kind of work that I’ve been ‘storing’ while helping her move and sort. And in so doing, my hope is that I’ll refrain from judging the seeming disarray, enjoy that we continue to share some incredible one to one moments we’ve not had since highschool, and be grateful that our lives can overlap this way right now. It’s really a joy.

In Mary Baker Eddy’s main work, Science and Health, she writes: “Whatever blesses one blesses all.’ And while it’s sometimes hard to find how someone else’s struggle or pain (in this case a transition) can hold a blessing for you, indeed I’m seeing much growth in my own self absorbed tendencies. In dropping my own agenda and coming to support a loved one, I’ve had to flex my all too often rigidity and firmness. I’ve had to go with the flow and deal sometimes. But all the while, the true motive of love and support remain.

And so I remind that little girl voice ‘what about me?” in helping this situation I am caring for her. She’s not neglected. She’s being directly addressed through my nurturing care of others. And as I’m leaving my willful ways aside, she’s even getting to play amidst the socalled disarray of boxes.

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Steady on…

Steady On…it’s the name of a fave song of Shawn Colvin’s.

It’s also of late what I keep reminding myself to do…amidst helping out a relative and feeling at times more than ready to be done or at other times wondering why I always say yes to people when they need help.

Hear the ego? 🙂

Today I’m remembering that moment to moment and thought by thought, there’s value in the steady on…in the remembering why you are doing what you’re doing….in recalling your motive and standing by that in spite of tough circumstances or situations you wish were different.

In the end what matters most is the being present in the moment ….being present means you don’t think about what else you could be doing or what could be more beneficial to you and your life right now. Such thinking leads to second guessing your original decision to help a friend or loved one. Staying in the moment, in the right now, helps you thwart off all pulls to think some place would be better when you’ve committed to supporting a loved one through a tough time and helping him/her transition

So how do you stay ‘steady on?’ How do you thwart off all the pulls that say you should be doing something else or oughta be somewhere else, especially when you are feeling you’ve made a worthwhile commitment?

For me ‘steady on’ is remembering that no matter how tough the human condition, the substance of your initial motive–the unselved love and unconditional support that inspired your initial resolve–grounds and sustains. Nothing–no thought or feeling–can usurp the original intent and cause feelings of second guessing of motives. But when these come, and they seem to flood thought often in the midst of striving to do something unselved, you can trust that these thoughts are simply coming as distractors. Whatever impelled the honest, pure, unconditionally loving initial intent cannot do a 180 and make anyone feel their efforts are a waste of time or somehow postponing one’s own personal growth.

And this is important.

Sometimes we may have the best of intentions but half way amidst the doing good, we start to think that maybe this was a mistake. Or maybe we feel undervalued, insignificant or worse that sense of ‘why bother doing this?”

Try as ever once you’ve committed to helping a loved one or a friend, whether for an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year, to stay grounded in the original intent and motive. Your own life can not be somehow put on hold or stagnated because you’ve opted to give of yourself this way.

In her best selling work about practical spirituality, Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes “The good you do and embody gives you the only power obtainable.” I love this. I appreciate remembering this.

If honest and pure, unconditional and unselved, there’s no way you will somehow be wasting your moments.

Steady on…thought by thought.

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If you wanna chat about any of the ideas above, leave a comment or email me at evolveserenity@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading…be well, Tre ~

Seemless flow….

You get an inclination. You act on it. You make a decision. Whoosh. Cool. Big weight leaves thought. Freedom returns all but for one thing: the logistics that have to happen in order to allow you the ability to act on this decision….

Obstacle or opportunity?

Stumbling block or arena for proving patience and perserverance?

Well, talk to me last week and I woulda said OBSTACLE!!!! STUMBLING BLOCK!!!! and i woulda added a ton of exasperation as well.

A decision I’ve been putting off I finally committed to. Lock, stock, barrel ready to dive in.

I saw my way through all the necessaries to make the decision actualized except for some of the logisitics.

There’s been a lot of stumbling blocks and seeming obstacles to having those come together.

Concurrent to my own problematic situations, my sister’s taking on a move that’s come together seemlessly except for the cable /internet installation. The company goofed on her order, started service at the new location, cancelled it at the current one and she’s spent upwards of 10+ hours on the phone trying to square it all up.

Exasperated? Yup.

Sick of that cable company? Yup.

Despising the process of moving? Yup.

As she finagled her way through all the loopholes of the set up and installation of her new service I watched her joy and wonder over new beginnings get zapped by frustration with seeming incompetence and poor follow through.

And I watched how I absorbed that same reacting to my own stumbling blocks.

And I watched how I started sounding like a squawking peacock “nothing’s ever easy. this decision may be a good one but good luck having it unfold harmoniously.” I even watched myself bop myself over the head one time too many blaming myself for procrastinating…had I done this a year ago, things would have been different, blahdeeblah….

So what’s the deal? Do we always have to incur stumbling blocks with right decisions?

As we move forward with what best promotes our growth, are there always gonna be obstacles and mishaps?

Well, what if it’s not the obstacle that is the issue ?

What if the issue is how we respond?

If something is a right decision, why would we ever 2nd guess it or wonder about the timing?

And more, why would we ever fault ourselves or condemn ourselves if it’s not evolving harmoniously?

I’m no expert yet, and often find myself whining and wailing before I hush up long enough to regroup, check out my reacting wallowings, and take a deep breath to remember: at each and every moment, my life and everyone’s, is governed and sustained by Divine Love’s nudge. What typically reacts in disappointment or frustration is the human ego, the pull to be weighed down in self-justification and human will, especially out of a sense of control or power.

You and I do not need to exert power or will. We have only to walk forward and move forward with the conviction that each and every aspect of our lives is ordered and governed, sustained and supplied.

It’s not about controlling the outcome or orchestrating it. It’s about moving forward responding to those inner yearnings and then defending the right steps to shepherd the outcome are ocurring, again, in divine Love’s timing.

So in moments of angst, frustration or impatience, I’m reminded yet again that no barking at a flower made it bloom faster, no shouting at the oven made the cookies cook more rapidly, and no insisting willfully or arrogantly at our own lives will ever make them evolve more readily.

I’m humbled as I remember all is a moment to moment, thought by thought journey.

So if you’ve just made a decision that feels right for you, celebrate it and pause. And let the next days of living with this decision take shape naturally. You don’t have to steer it’s unfoldment or charge full steam ahead and dictate how it has to come together.

Pause and defend. Be still and know. Exude joy and feel loved….moment to moment and thought by thought. Good IS occurring and you are living it wholely and fully.

Enjoy your journey. 🙂

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If you wanna touch base about any of these ideas, email me: evolveserenity@gmail.com or leave a comment and I’ll be sure to respond asap. 🙂 Be well and much joy to you, Tre ~