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.