Saturday, December 31, 2011

Acceptance of What You Know

Yesterday I stumbled upon the story of Benjamin Breedlove, the teenager from Texas who completed his life's legacy December 25, 2011...Christmas Day.  By all accounts Ben was your typical happy youth.  He had what he termed an "awesome" family, good friends, and a quintessential story book life in his home of Austin, Texas.  Ben was grateful to live on a lake most of his life, stating that it was "pretty" and that he was "lucky" to be there.  Ben had known his best friend Justin since he was four years old when they became neighbors on the same street.  He stated that he had a sister Ally, a brother Jake, and attended church regularly his entire life because the most important thing in his life was God. 

It was also when Ben was four that he had his first brush with death.  Ben experienced a life threatening seizure and while being wheeled down the hall on a stretcher with nurses and his mother by his side, he described an experience wherein he said, "There was this big bright light above me.  I couldn't make out what is was because it was so bright. I told my mom, 'Look at the bright light' and pointed up. She said she didn't see anything."  Ben said he didn't remember much of that day but that he never forgot the feeling that made him smile during the experience of seeing the light.

As Ben continues to share his life telling his story in his last two YouTube videos that were uploaded on December 18, 2011, under his third YouTube channel titled TotalRandomness512, he states that because of his diagnosed condition, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, that he wasn't allowed to participate in the sports his friends did and this made him sad.  "It kind of sucks that I missed out on that part of my life.  I really just hoped that I could be the same as everyone else but that is one thing that I learned to live with and accept."  As a teenager Ben had learned acceptance.  Ben also stated in his YouTube video titled About Me (BreedloveTV Channel) at age 17 that he had a really big challenge in his life, that it was a serious condition but that he felt it wasn't really a problem.  It was Ben's unconditional acceptance of his condition (including potential surgeries) that allowed him to live his life to its fullest on his terms.  

Are we living our lives accepting what is or are we still resisting? 

Ben went on in his two-part video sharing his story to describe two other instances in his life where he felt he'd cheated death.  The second incident was this past summer while undergoing routine surgery.  While in the operating room he went into cardiac arrest.  He said that, "It was a miracle that they brought me back.  I was scared to die but was so glad I didn't.  After this I tried so hard to just forget about it and not worry."  As a teenager Ben was learning to let go of the things he had no control over.  

How many of us are still worrying about the things we have no control over?

On December 6, 2011 Ben had his third experience of what he calls cheating death.  He was walking down the hall of his high school.  He says, "I was at school, walking in the hall. I could tell I was going to faint, so I sat on a bench. I passed out. The next thing I know, I woke up with EMS around me. I couldn't talk or move, I could only watch what they were doing. They put the shock pads on my chest. I heard one of them say 'They are ready'. And the other guy said 'Go!'. I passed out again. My heart stopped and I wasn't breathing for 3 minutes."  Ben went on to share more about this last experience, about the light he saw, the room he was in that was never ending and the peacefulness that passes all understanding that he felt.  He said that it was the same feeling he never forgot from when he was four years old.  It was during this experience that he reflected on himself in a mirror within the white room and said that, "I was proud of MYSELF, of my life, of everything I have done. It was the BEST feeling." Ben closed his two part video series by stating that, "I didn't want to leave that place.  I WISH I never woke up. Do you believe in Angels or God? I do."   

Are we truly proud of ourselves, of our lives, of everything we have done?

It was Christmas Day that Ben received his wish.  From the stories I've read online about this young man, his family didn't even know he'd posted those last two YouTube videos under the third channel until after he'd left.  The lessons Ben left to all of us in his videos are reminders of the power of acceptance, letting go and the importance of living our best lives.....lives that we can leave behind being proud of.  

I believe that Ben's soul knew his time was near and that circumstances surrounding that internal knowing are what brought him to create those last two videos.  He may have called his last YouTube channel TotalRandomness512 but believe me, there was nothing random about the area code he lived his life and the memories he left there.  There was nothing random about the day he passed on and didn't come back.  There was nothing random about the message and lessons he left behind and there's nothing random about the lives all over the world he's impacting now.  Ben acted on inspired thought in making those last two videos and by doing so, he left lessons behind that time cannot erase.  

Thank you Ben for acting on that inspired thought and thank you Ben for sharing your near death experiences.

Blog Copy Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis, YouTube videos property of the Breedlove Family
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Your Intuitive Knowing & Passionate People - Are You Listening?

I recently watched the Pearl Jam 20 documentary.  If you have not seen it, you will find it streaming on Netflix and available for purchase online or at your local music store.  If you do not know who they are, or are not a fan, I would still recommend that you watch it for the inspiration, knowledge and the lessons shared.  Cameron Crowe and the group put together a magnificent story of their history and there are universal lessons from life within the film that all of us can learn from.

As for what I think about Pearl Jam, I love them.  Always have.  Having watched this documentary though, I have a newfound respect for who they are as both a collective creative entity and as individual people following their own authentic paths.  Their commitment to the craft, their business and their fans is exceptional.  These artists would not settle for anything along the journey and kept control of their art as they found success.  They always listened to their convictions and acted fearlessly on them.

What has resonated with me most from the documentary is a statement made by Jeff Ament about his own intuitive knowing.  When being interviewed he stated,  “I remember when Ed first came to town, it seemed like it was something that he’d been kind of waiting for his whole life, and it was obvious within the first few minutes that it was something I’d been waiting for so also.”   Have you ever met people like this on your journey?  The people who cross your path whom you are just drawn to for reasons you cannot articulate. Sometimes you even feel as if you have known these people long before you have actually met them.

I felt this way when I first met my ex in the halls of Hayfield middle school.  I didn’t even like him, but I had a knowing that something profoundly important between us would happen one day.  We would be separated on and off during high school, and then as adults, for over a decade, only to come together for close to another decade when our paths crossed later in the journey of life.  This was important because it was after I had met another important person on my path, and had spent a few years in domestic relations law.  

Although we are no longer together in the present, I am a better person having known him. What came of that union in adulthood is that a child I love like my own is safe and sound because of our time together.  People often ask me, “Knowing what you know now, would you have stayed as long as you did in that emotionally abusive relationship?”  My answer is always yes, because had I not stayed, I would not be the strong, "I will not settle" woman who I am today, and I would not have been used by the Universe to put to use my own collective knowledge to save his child from the hell she was living in elsewhere.  Most importantly, I wouldn't of been her mother for over half of her life.

I felt it again when I met my best friend Ann-Marie at Zaxx in Springfield, Virginia.  She was only in my life for a short time before her path would take her elsewhere and sadly, eventually home to the other side at the tender age of 22, as the result of an automobile accident.  In those few short years of friendship, my life was blessed beyond measure.  To this day, I cannot look at the Atlantic Ocean in Sussex County Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland without hearing her laughter in my head.  That's where we went on our senior trip at graduation.  She'd never seen the ocean before.  

Speaking of Sussex County, Delaware, I always knew something important would come from there as well.  Thirteen years ago on Christmas Eve, I would learn that I was pregnant with my son Tristan, whose father grew up there, and to this day, lives in that place.  

Other times my intuitive knowing has brought people into my path who are as passionate about their craft as the members of Pearl Jam are.  Passionate people who bring their gifts to the world, more often than not, create a better human experience.  That's my opinion at least.  Think about it.  

If you are in the medical profession because you truly want to compassionately serve others, and care for them, it shows in your interactions with your patients.  If you are a cake decorator, it shows in your creations.  If you are a foodie who only wants to create a menu of the best sustainable and local fare for your customers, it also shows in your creations.  I simply cannot imagine our world without these people.  Passionate people following their paths changed history.  They have created inventions, found cures for diseases, and developed technologies (think Steve Jobs) as well.    Again, I have met such passionate people and based upon those experiences, I beg of you to pay attention to that "knowing," and act on that intuitiveness.

So yes, please listen to your intuitive gifts.   They are there. We all have it, that passing inspiration of fleeting thought to do this, do that, etc.  Please, please, please listen and then act.  Trust that knowing.  I have found that when we do this, we never find ourselves on the wrong path.  In fact, more often than not, amazing and miraculous people, places and things happen.  Remember that.  I love you.  

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anger & Overcoming

Was having an interesting exchange the other night with an old classmate who reads this blog.  You are all well aware that I am passionate about the sharing of beneficial knowledge in life.  The majority of what I write about is overcoming things, accepting things and reconciling the journey.  While we were chatting though the subject of anger came up, specifically what gets me pissed off, including but not limited to what I gripe about.  So, here are my thoughts on anger.

Dishonesty.  That is my number one anger hot button issue, especially when it comes to my protective mother instincts.  Lie to me about my kid and I will chew you up and spit you out.  Period.  Pretty much why I dislike politics as well, too many false statements and pretending to be something someone's not.  Heh, while we're on the subject of being something someone's not lets move onto gripe number two....fake people. 

Fake People.  Walk the talk, it really is that simple.  I'll give you my friendship, loyal and true, but you have to be real.  If you're selfish and self absorbed, admit it.  If you're lazy and not driven, admit it.  I respect people who are real about themselves, the good, the bad and the ugly.  It is your life after all.  I am not here to judge you or do it for you.  I just expect you to be transparently honest and real.

Yep, that's pretty much it for my gripes and here is why.  Anger is one of those things that I firmly believe is there to tell you something is wrong, something isn't working in your life.  It is a sign not be ignored.  My most recent example of this would be being annoyed with someone who always calls to talk about himself and never to inquire or know about my life.  The attitude I feel when I see the caller ID is my sign that the dynamic of said relationship isn't working for me.  I've learned that the relationship is a one way street of talking to talk and show off and nothing more.  The person in question doesn't really care about me, my family, my life, my struggles or anything else for that matter that has to do with me.  He just calls to make himself feel important by rambling on about himself.  What was the action I took in dealing with said person?  I used my voice and when that didn't work, I simply stopped answering the calls.  I don't have room in my life for that kind of an empty relationship.  Frankly, I wouldn't even consider this person a friend anymore.

A lot of anger in the world though I believe is rooted in judgment and expectations.  My example above is rooted in expectation.  As for judgment, I think it was Mother Teresa who said if you're judging others you don't have time to love them.  I take that to heart.  I spent far too many years with someone who was angry about anything and everything the majority of any given day.  When I look back at it I can see it very clearly, all of that anger was rooted in judgment and unrealistic expectations.  Yet when I was close to the situation I thought the anger was about me or the others he was angry at.  Amazing what some distance will do for your vision.  

Frankly, I just don't have time to stew in my own anger.  It's a choice I make, the working to let go of it when I am angry.  It's a choice I make to do my best not to judge too.  Once the steam blows off I look for the solution in the problem; the problem that caused the anger to begin with.  If I have some sort of control in it, I make a plan and act on that plan to do something about it.  If I can't control it I just have to hand it over and do my best to let it go.  So yes, I do get angry and I do have my moments of gripes but it always comes back to doing something about it or letting it go.  When I do this I can get back to the business of creating the life I want to live, one that's filled with love and happiness.

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two Little Words

It used to be that I lived in a world where mornings were met with dread.  Not because it was a new and glorious day to behold, no no, not for that.  Not because I was sleep deprived or ill.  No, I was well rested and often felt pretty good.  Not even because I wasn't a morning person per say.  I actually enjoy mornings.  During that time period of my life I would cozy up to a warm cup of coffee and weather permitting, sit upon my side porch warming myself under the sun watching and listening to nature.  I had rituals to my mornings.  They were my sacred time. 

However, despite all of this, mornings in my own home were met with absolute dread for a period of time.  Dreaded because of the eggshells one was expected to walk upon when an old housemate greeted his day.  The assertion was that chronic pain set the tone of the first one to two hours of tone for their day.  Yes, this can be an absolute truth.  However, not a truth for the person in question, when one would eventually learn he could go camping or four wheeling and be around others and act civil during those same waking hours.  Even more so when hid own child would make observations that the animal in the home gets treated better and spoken to nicer than the humans during those same waking hours.  Now if that observation isn't a wake up call I don't know what is.  

As bad mornings would become the normal morning dynamic and months would turn into years I would learn that just as I had a choice how I processed those mornings, I also had a choice of dealing with them period.  It wasn't just about me and my sanity anymore.  It was about children, two of them.  Funny how we will do that, urge us to do for another what we often won't do for ourselves.  So I decided I would no longer negotiate my mornings in that way.  I decided to change my expectations and in turn change my life.  I can still remember standing at my coffee pot waiting for it to stop dripping while I bent and twisted twisty ties into a heart on the counter top.  I remember smiling at my little creation affirming that this morning and every morning thereafter was going to be different. 

While I could easily reflect on the time lost in that environment I instead have decided to focus on being grateful about it.  Sometimes, even for a nanosecond, I feel bad about being grateful over having transcended that chapter of life.  Alas, I do remember that there is no good or bad, there is just the experience.  I decide how it plays out in the big picture.  

Now I live a life that is rich and abundant in its good mornings.  Not a day goes by that the Universe doesn't use someone in my life to remind me of this.  I just realized it this last week when texting back and forth with a friend that my life is full of people who say those two little words....good morning.  Talk about an Aha moment!  

So remember, you decide.  No one else.  Create the life you wish to live.  No apologies.  No regrets.  No bad mornings.   

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Yes Life, I'm Listening

I had an eye opening exchange the other day with a new friend about clarity and stress.  This, just as life would decide to happen.  Irony right, being asked what your stresses are in life and how you handle them just as a really big one, two or three of them come along within the same couple of weeks.  One of the three was so big that it created a new branch of clarity in my own life. Um, yeah, talk about coincidental timing.  You probably already know how I feel about coincidences though.  For those of you who don't know, I most resonate with Einstein's statement that coincidences were believed to be God's way of staying anonymous.  

What happened that was so stressful?  I almost lost one of my best friends Amber.  It was the weekend and I was preparing for the day ahead.  The phone rang and the caller ID said it was her house.  I figured she was calling to harass me about making her infamous homemade pizza at game night later that evening.  I'd last seen her the evening before and had left her home before she would start dinner for her family.  It wasn't her on the phone though, it was her husband.  I sat down at my desk as my soul sunk hearing his voice crack.  Those words, please don't say those words I thought.  No, it was impossible to process.  Amber?  A fire?  Our Amber is in ICU?  Amber?  Unconscious?  Last night?

I just wanted to act in that moment, to get in the car to head across town to swoop her kids up and tell them everything was going to work out, that it would get better, to stay strong.  I just wanted to honor my friendship and do right by her family but I was frozen and I could barely catch my breath as I hung up the phone.  I was in shock.  Here it was, my friend had been burned badly in a kitchen fire.  Her lungs had swelled up and shut down on her so she was incubated and kept under to heal.  For all intensive purposes she'll tell you she died from asphyxiation.  Oh my goodness, she would even crack smart jokes at what happened saying, "I had a near death experience.  I'm not worried about sleeping anytime soon!" and "I got shafted! I didn't see a light! What in the world, there is supposed to be a light!" upon her return home from the hospital five days later.  Those aren't exact quotes by the way.  I took out the curse words that flavored the exchange as to not offend anyone here.  

Of course we all had a good belly laugh over those statements but there it was though, in just a few concise smart and witty words, clarity.  Sweet, sweet clarity.  Amber's clarity about life and what mattered most to her, living to care for the family she loves and getting home as quickly as possible to them.  It took everything I had in me to not cry the night she came home and said those words.  You see, when I moved to the mountains in 2004 my first and most fiercely loyal friend would be Amber.  Her independence, wit, endearing strength, love and loyalty of her family are the things that bonded our friendship.  She is the epitome of the stereotypical 1950s homemaker but with new world sass and attitude.  Everything in her family centers around her devotion to them.  To not make it, to not be there for them is nothing short of unacceptable in her book.  She had to live and she had to get back home to them. 

Amber is also what I call a lifer friend.  Those people in your life, the ones who you just click with in a way that is beyond words when you meet them.  A lifer is meeting someone you have felt you have known forever, someone that once you meet them you just can't imagine them not being a part of your life.  My dear friend Amber, yes, she is one of these gems.  So yeah, to even think about her not being there was inconceivable in my mind, let alone her family. 

Being there as best I could those first few days for her family and watching them worry along side myself and her best friend Amy was transformative.  It really forced me to look upon my own life again, evaluating what matters, who I have room for and who I don't.  I learned who my own friends are far and wide, even people I haven't met yet in real life when I reached out to receive positive thoughts and prayers online.  To be honest, I'm still processing my emotions and feelings about all of it.  I do know that I understand this much though, that what I feel from within is very clear.  Out of Amber's situation came my very own sweet clarity.

You see, to me, clarity, it is one of those things that comes after surrender.  After trials and tribulations.  After you have been so down you don't realize how awesome it is to get up anymore.  Clarity is the gift of the struggle. Clarity really can't be found either.  It's just there, like a cool light rain on an uncomfortably warm summer day.  Oh but you will know when it comes though, for it will light you up from the inside out and the bliss from the same will touch everything you know and do.  Clarity comes from the stretching of one's character.

Yes life, I'm stretching and I'm listening.  Thank you for the clarity.  Thank you for pushing me to reach and trust during that difficult time of unknowing.  Thank you for my other friends who carried me through it.  Lastly and most importantly, thank you for Amber.

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Where It All Leads

 Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. 
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and  try
to follow where they lead. - Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) American Writer

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Sudden Release

Interesting to me what has happened these last few days and weeks.  My previous post about a negative intuition that I had no control over and was struggling with to accept has taken a complete 180-degree turn in my life.  That negative intuitive thing that was breaking my heart into a million pieces, it has been removed by an instant change of circumstances.  A change in circumstances that none of us even had a hint of or knew was coming.  This change was not necessarily, a positive change in circumstances for the person involved whom the negative intuition was about either, but it is a change in circumstances that is manageable and treatable.
This unknown change in circumstances has allowed the person I love and was concerned over to change the route of their path.  A path that in all honesty is not controlled one little bit by them.  A path that they were already familiar with, openly accepting of, and ready to walk.  It is after all who they are and what they do.  Like I said before, I could not change that about them and honestly, I would not want to.  I am proud of the person they have become because of this selfless path.

The moment I heard the news about the change in the path though, that negative foreboding instantly went away.  Absolutely positively gone.  The release of the same brought tears of unimaginable joy.  If I could of, I would of been doing cartwheels of joy in the local Wally World (my slang name for Wal-Mart) when I read the text message about the new circumstances.  I have honestly never felt such a release of joy like this.  

The very few people I shared the negative intuition burden with say that the sudden change in circumstances are answered prayers or a miracle.  Part of me would like to believe that but I am inclined to disagree because I truly believe we are all exactly where we are supposed to be on the journey.  If the circumstances had not changed and I would have had to continue trusting in the person's path, wherever it leads, then that is what I would have had to do.  I would still have to continue to accept my negative intuition and go about my life waiting to see if it was in fact true as time passed.  
I do know that I will be forever selfishly grateful for the news in that text message notification. Grateful for the sudden turn of events on the person I love's path.  I know I wasn't ready to be right about this negative intuition but really, who is? 

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Intuition & Fighting the Fear

Intuition is a gift. Sometimes it tells you good things, sometimes it tells you things you really would rather not know. Either way, you still have to trust that all is as it should be with those things, including the people and places you have no control over. You still have to trust in life. As for when you can't force yourself to trust, that's when you have to breathe deep and remember to just let it go as best you can, to hand it over to the universe. Even if you do know, it's still not your path.  
I am in a very odd place right now.  I have been processing a negative intuitive feeling as of late.  I am somewhere between acceptance and fear.  I believe that my life has no room for fear yet I'm knee deep in the middle of it when it comes to this one area of my life.  
It is not my path, I know this.  I am reminding myself that I have absolutely no control over what is or what will come to be in the lives of those whom I have intuitive thoughts about, negative or positive.  I also know that I could be completely wrong about this negative intuitive feeling.  Only time is going to tell though.  Time, sweet and precious time.
It is okay though I guess, the waiting.  I will gladly wait the next twenty years of our lives to get this thing that's been tearing me up inside wrong.  I have been handing this thing over to the universe every day, sometimes multiple times a day since it started a little over three weeks ago.  I cannot stop the events of life from happening.  I know this.  I cannot change someone's chosen profession and I sure as hell understand that I cannot change an entire culture's belief system either.  No, I just have to keep doing what I'm so desperately trying to do right now, to just trust in life, even when it has a negative intuitive thought.  I just have to keep letting it go. 
Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Risk Equals Reward

What can I say about the summation of the past couple of weeks other than, “I’m baaaaaacccckkk!”  Back from what might you ask?  A stagnate, over analyzed, self-imposed limiting and /or isolating existence.  Okay, so that probably just sounded way worse than it was so allow me to explain. 

The last three years of my life have been years of transition and transformation.  About two years ago, I finally got to the point where I would allow myself to embrace acceptance.  I learned that no matter how much I tried to make something work, no matter how much I prayed for it to work, that you have to just accept what is and let go of what isn’t in your life.  You cannot force what you have no control over.  You have to surrender those things and just go about life trusting well, life. 

Once I had engraved these lessons in my being, I was then able to use that acceptance to let go of the things and people I had no control over.  As I’ve said before, the past year of the journey has been the daily practice of that.

Since earlier in the year I have been following a new path in my journey.   I guess I shouldn’t call it a new path, it really is nothing more than an old path I’d never journeyed on before.  A path that finds itself reemerging in my life from time to time.  A way of living that has always been available to me but that I have resisted nonetheless…..up until this point of my life.  

Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina
You see, I was so stuck on what I wanted verses what was that I out right avoided the path.  It has always been there though.  Always….but I wouldn’t take the risk.  Risks that would undoubtedly lead to rewards.  Risks that needed to be taken to grow into all that I am. 

So, hear I am, surrendering to what is and trusting in the day to day living of life.  The “I’ll ask that question or do that thing when I’m at this point” excuses are gone.  The walls I had put up to feel nothing are gone.  I choose to enjoy the day-to-day journey.  I choose to be mindful and present.  If I get a feeling to do something or say something, I follow that feeling without delay.  There is no more waiting, no more delays. 

The truth is that there aren’t any reasons to not create the existence I desire.  Everything before was a creation of believing a different thought pattern, one that wasn’t beneficial to my best life.  I decided to change my thoughts so that I could in fact change my life.

So, back to the last couple of weeks.  Affirmations of the path have been showing up all over my life.  In my friendships, in my family, in my career, with this blog…..they are everywhere.  I am in utter awe and without words when these things happen.  I have never been one to deny the magic of coincidences along the journey either.  I’m used to them and I welcome them but when you get far more than you’re used to you tend to take notice of that too.  Affirmations, coincidences, and an inability to articulate.  Oh yeah, fun ride for sure.   

Things, places, opportunities, people just showing up and more often than not without rhyme or reason.  A couple of weeks ago when I finalized my thoughts on surrender I stumbled upon my emails to friends regarding the Tao book I spoke of.  There it was, in black and white, my trying to reach out and share.  This is just the most recent affirmation.  Other earlier ones are so deep I can’t even articulate them here.  I wish I could. I do know that I am grateful beyond measure though.  I am grateful for the peace to actively let go.  I’m grateful for the affirmations, for that knowing that you can’t explain. 

All I can ask is that you take these words and commence action in your own life.  All I can ask is that in hearing my own struggle that you find the will to keep fighting yours.  I want you to know what this feels like and I want you to know that you are so worth the fight.  Accept what is.  Become present.  Choose gratitude and let the rest go.  I promise, it will be one of your best days ever.  Trust your path.  It’s there just for you.            

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Surrender & Acceptance: It’s Okay to Let Go

Photo by Amanda Lowe, Castleworks Photography ~ Great Falls, Virginia

"Fear of failure and fear of the unknown are always defeated by faith.
Having faith in yourself,
in the process of change,
and in the new direction that change sets
 will reveal your own inner core of steel."
~ Georgette Mosbacher

The past year of my life has been like no other.  This has been the first year of my life that I have been actively practicing the daily acceptance of the people and things I have no control over.  This is the first year of my life that I have consistently surrendered to what is and the first time in my life that I have found complete and total peace with the letting go of these same obstacles.  This journey was not easy for someone whose inquisitiveness always wants to know why things are the way they are, for someone who’s heart is so wide open and deep, that I would just assume forgive you and meet you where you are then walk away from you. 

That is just how I operate; I am always looking for the method behind the madness.  I always want to see the best in everyone.  I also want everyone to see the best in themselves as well.   So much so that I would stifle my own growth through the years because I was stuck on what was or what could be verses what was really happening in the present moment.   What is that they say about insanity, it is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result?  Yes, there I was, for far too many years, stuck on the why or what could be of the insanity that was my life.

My awakening to surrender and acceptance began many years ago though, finding a day here and there of solace.  As I dabbled in creating a healthier existence, I would always come upon people, places and things that would affirm the path that I was supposed to take.  Despite these signs, I continued to resist.  I was not listening to the nudges in my life.  My gut knew what needed to happen in order to reclaim my sanity but I was allowing myself to be stuck by the fear and anxiety of the unknown.   I did in essence not trust the path.

As I learned to surrender however, I found the courage to accept what was verses what I wanted to be, or what was held close to my heart as a memory of what once was.  A fierce courage that said no matter what happens, that even if I failed miserably, all of those things would be better then continuing to live in the insanity that surrounded me.  A courage that pushed me into action, despite the potential for short and/or long term loss or collateral damage, that damage being the loss of a child I’d mothered full-time for three years and known for seven.   A child I had sacrificed for and treated as my own.  Was I afraid of letting go?  I was, yet I made a plan and I acted on that plan despite those fears.   

I made small changes at first to gain traction and confidence in my new direction.  Then, as time would pass, I would make bolder changes.  I learned to use my voice.  I learned to hold my ground and not back down.  I learned how to recognize when those I loved dearly and unconditionally were manipulating me.  They were all baby steps years in the making but they were undoubtedly steps forward.  I was teaching myself to embrace the path verses resisting it. 

It is also during my most recent year of living with surrender and acceptance that I have learned just how powerful the law of attraction really is.  Opportunities, people, places and things have just appeared in my life without logic.  I am still in awe as to how things are unfolding.   I awaken each day with excitement about what is ahead and where my life is going.  I know that no matter whom I have had to let go of, that it really is okay and that I am exactly where I should be in this present moment. 

When I find myself angry or sad at the collateral damage of these choices, the parts and the people that I have no control over, I simply remember that if we do not move on in life, then the other people we loved so deeply and unconditionally, they will never have the opportunity to learn from the loss.  Sometimes, that is our greatest gift to them, the lessons they learn because of our actions.  

Are you listening to the nudges of your life? Are you paying attention to them? Is there something in your life that you too are resisting? Is there something that you are fearful to face or anxious to do? Is there a path that your gut says you should be taking yet you have been resisting it despite this inner knowing? Know this truth, whatever this path is; it will continue to appear in your life through various people, places and things. Sometimes it is even random but it is happening for a reason. The reason is your growth. Accepting it or not is your choice but the path will continue to appear in your journey until you take it.  Why not take it now? Time waits for no one. Trust the journey. Trust the path. Surrender yourself to it and accept it.  It really is okay to let go.

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Resistance & Reckoning

Since July I've been wrestling with resistance in my own life, so much so it had been blocking my ability to flow in my public writing and sharing. You see, I had preconceived ideas about certain things and certain people and the universe was working with me to open my eyes to accept the answers it was giving me verses what I wanted those answers to be. I'm not complaining though, the process has taught me a few things that I wanted to write about and reflect on with each of you here in hopes that your reading it will lessen your own learning curve.

I've learned that it's okay to surrender and that the moment I do so, the weight is lifted from my heart and I can let the hang ups go. I can just be, just for today, just for this moment and just for this choice. I grew up in a spiritual upbringing so surrender is not a new concept to me but at 36, it's something I'm really just now learning to wrap my head around.

I'm learning to reach out to others who have walked the path I'm on, to seek guidance and influence in my day to day living. This is also part of my surrender process. I've always had issues with accepting help and guidance, in being teachable in life. I joke that my indepenence streak started early, when I decided to arrive two months ahead of schedule (much to my family's dismay) to join this world. I recently was looking through my old report cards in elementary school that my mom had given me. You know, the ones where the teacher leaves comments. There it was in black and white, that strong, resistant, I'm going to do it my way little girl. Yep, hard to argue with that.

I've learned that people do what works, even if what works for them hurts you, throws you under the bus, blames you for the life they created by their choices, etc. I've learned that no matter how much you want to continue to be there for those you love, including children (someone else's or your own if that's your situation), that you have to love and protect yourself first, even if it means you'll never speak to or see that person you love again.

I'm learning to love the painful experiences in life, to look at the people and situations from an angle of gratitude. If someone in your life is hell bent on being negative or unappreciative and can't see it for what it is, it's okay to let them go and find gratitude in the experience. You can really look at them in your heart and be grateful that they taught you something about about yourself, about what you will and won't tolerate, about what does and doesn't matter. It's always harder to do with family but nonetheless it can and should be done.

I've learned that I'm exactly where I am supposed to be. You see, from my teen years forward I gravitated towards people who were in recovery, from alcohol and/or drugs to gambling. I didn't have anyone in my family who was going through it or who had problems but were in denial about it. Yet there I always was, putting myself in the middle of it. I was the friend to go to their first AA or NA meetings with them, the friend who was the voice of reason in chaos or the friend who just listened. It always seemed as if these people were in my path for a reason but I never was able to put it all together until this summer.

I have a book I found at the free shack called The Tao on Recovery that I'd picked up to save for someone last year because I just knew someone I'd cross paths with would need it. I've even offered it up a couple of times with no takers. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I've discovered that this book was there for me. I'm learning that every person who was on my path all these years who suffered from addiction prepared me for this walk. That all those moments and opportunities lead me to today, a place of overcoming the resistance of this truth, which is that I too can benefit from a 12 Step Program (OA).

Lastly, I'm continuing to learn that if we don't move on in life the other people we loved will never have the opportunity to learn from the loss that has been endured. Sometimes that is our greatest gift to them, the lessons they take forward with them from that loss. If they don't learn then they'll just keep repeating the process so why would you want to be any part of that anyway? Remember that old teaching, that lessons are repeated until they are learned? It's true. Besides, as one of my mentors said so beautifully, if God wanted you to go backwards in life your feet wouldn't be facing forward.

Copyright ©2011 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved. For personal use only.

Commercial use without permission is not allowed.
Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.