Thursday, April 21, 2016

Truth & Consequences - Part 4 - The Next Chapter

Lessons are repeated until they're learned. 

I don't like to give up hope on people, especially when they're young and inexperienced in the world.  I'd like to think I turned out okay because somewhere along the way, a few people didn't give up on me.  For this reason, my heart has always been open.

Winter would bring another change my way.  That kid I raised as my own, she'd come back into my life because of that stroke.  A new chapter would begin.  One where she's now become a mom, learning along the way what sacrifice really is and how resilient she is to do hard things.  I'm proud of the woman she's working to become and hopeful she'll find her way.  I did, so I can only hope she will as well.  Life has a way of figuring itself out.  This path of hers is no different. 

Children have a way of grounding us to this world.  They're an anchor in life's storms. As we navigate what's ahead, I wish that each of you out there missing a loved one, get the chance that Jennifer and I have had this past winter.  Don't let a health scare be the catalyst that allows you to let go and walk back into someone else's life.  Decide today to do it anyway.  Life will be better for it.  I promise.  Risk comes from reward.  Remember that.  I love you.

Copyright ©2016 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Connecting the Dots 2.0 - The Teachers & The Students

As Spring has began to turn around the mountains, it's a reminder of the Season's renewal.  A reminder of how we must remain steadfast and hopeful for warmer, brighter days ahead.  Especially when we endure the winters of our lives.

Some friends, as well as myself, have been navigating some circumstances in life that for many, could overturn even the most upright ship.  I have nothing but love and gratitude to those who grace my life with their own struggles, who bare their souls wide open, free from the fear of judgment, to connect and share that which pains them.  I think when we share with each other, we allow each other in. Within that mix of coming and going, we learn how to help one another.  That "tribe" way of living can make even the most painful of experiences peaceful one day.

I've been teaching a lot lately about "the dots"....those moments in life that change our course.  The ones that connect later and we see the picture before us of our lives.  The cause and effects of the journey.  Within the work of teaching, I'm reminded of the lessons in my own dots. 

There's nothing more liberating than being distant from those moments that you once thought defined you.  We get to a place where we just learn to be ourselves.  We make no apologies for being human, flawed, emotional and loving.  We don't care if people don't get us because those who do get us, they're worth our time and attention. We become that which we decide to become. We all have free will here.  Why not pick peace in the pain?

So, here we all are.  Enjoying what we can hold onto that's positive of life.  We're fortunate to even have an opportunity to connect those dots.  Far too many people don't get along far enough in life to do so and even more than that walk around immune to the cause and effect tapestry before them.

To each their own. In my big picture they're not present anyway.  :)

As you go about Spring and renewal, remember your own dots and find gratitude for those moments that were once heartbreakingly disappointing.  Without them, seeds wouldn't of been planted for the come back and transcendence of those obstacles.  All pain has opportunity.  We just need to be willing to be open to it.  Remember that.  I love you.

Copyright ©2016 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Walking The Talk - Faith > Fear

While visiting with my sweet friend Serena today, a friend whom I'd not seen since high school that I'd reconnected with on Facebook, she brought up a "name" in our mix of conversation, a simple inquiry as to how that person in question was. Immediately, as in micro-expression immediately, my energy shifted, and it was ridiculously apparent (in a good way) that the person she was asking about has an effect on my being unlike any other person in my world right now.  And, as much as I've tried of late to stuff that away, and NOT acknowledge it, more and more people seem to cross my path or our paths inquiring as to what's going on in my life with said person.

My initial knee jerk reaction is that it's NOT what they think they see or observe. I almost feel like that story about how God throws pebbles to get your attention, and then you don't listen, so it becomes rocks, then bricks, and then boulders! It's one thing if one person says it. Or, when one of your psychic medium friends says it came through a conversation she was having gardening, and you're soooooo head over heals elsewhere, you're rolling your eyes on the phone muttering to yourself "whatever, he's wrong chica, it's not like that, you'll see" seven months ago. But, it's an entirely another thing when they say it, the deceased say it, and then a long ass line of random, not so random friends and acquaintances say it. Over, and over, and over again.

Maybe I'm blind. Maybe I'm so wrapped up in my family, my work, my health and the music and nature that sustains me, that I'm just not focused on it. Maybe I can't let what they see into my psyche, because I feel that I'm not ready for that kind of a connection with another person right now.  

When peppered with the endless questions as of late, my brutal and honest answers have been, "I don't really know. They're not typically my type or someone I would covet, I don't date '_________' (profession), I just adore them. No, really. (straight face) I never date them, I just love on them. Shocker, I know. However, I do understand what you're saying about the energy. There is something there that binds us, that I can't articulate or put my finger on, an easiness and flow...." followed by "Yeah, you're certainly not the first person to say that or ask that or comment on your observations either. Seriously though, I really don't know. I do love them, and would do anything for them, but they're not even my *type*, and it's not a romantic love."

I do "know" though. No matter how much I deny it, I flipping know.  It's been creeping up on me like a dang stealthy ninja. I also know the timing isn't right to even think about the possibility of it. So, why am I griping about timing?

Simply because I know that I'm using the next year of my life to get a strong handle on this Lipedema thing, the one single thing that holds me back from thinking I'm worthy of what I want in life, which is for someone to see me for the beautiful and amazing human being that I am, and to love me fearlessly and protect me steadfastly to the ends of the earth. There. I said it. I look at the package, of what this fat disease has done to my body, and it makes me fucking cringe. Bad. So, because it makes me cringe, I allow myself to believe and accept that it makes males cringe too. Therein lies my greatest obstacle at present, thinking that I'm limited by something I have zero control over, that's hereditary with no real cure, and going to be with me until the moment I take my last breath. Something that I also believe I can change. Just google images of Amanda Arlauskas. She was diagnosed on The Biggest Loser Season 9 with Lipedema. That diagnosis wasn't televised, but it explained to her why some fat just isn't going to go anywhere without a special type of surgery that back then was only practiced outside of the USA. Granted, girlfriend doesn't have my calves (which one is equal to the circumference of my waist, wrap your head around that bullshit), but still, she's an inspiration to all Lipedema ladies worldwide.

So, in following my own advice, I have to ask myself hard questions. Maybe fear is driving the wheel versus faith. Maybe I've lost so many, and so much the last few years, that in the back of my head, I know that grief is in equal measure to that which we love. Maybe I'm afraid to get close, to love and to possibly lose. Not because it doesn't work out, but because they die. Maybe I'm so put off by this energy that I question whether or not it's real, or if it's what everyone else thinks they see. Yeah, I must be blind. Or in denial. Either way, that's not healthy either.

The stroke in December taught me that I love A LOT of people in my life and in turn, A LOT of people love me. I've never been one to easily allow other people's love in though, even though I fearlessly love upon others. It's just how I'm made and I work every darn day to allow reciprocal relationships into my life. In fact, 2015 was the year of the reciprocal relationship. I told myself I was pruning away anyone and everyone that didn't cut it, who wouldn't do for me as I would do for them. It was tough and I let go of people I wanted to hang onto who weren't healthy for me.

Knowing how easy it is to lose, I know that life is special and fleeting. That time waits for no one, and that we have to follow our pulls in life, both with friends and with lovers. Many people say they want to be in a relationship with a best friend, to have that bond. I have many male friends, some of whom are best friends and in all honesty, I'm not "pulled" towards any of them in that way that would one day pull us out of the friend zone. As for my "different energy" friend that everyone is squawking about, I consider myself dang special to have that kind of friend in my life, someone who others say makes me glow or float about my day-to-day art of living simply because of that energy and our unexplained connection.  

You see, I knew when two of my departed friends left this world that somehow, someway, someone (or two, or three) would come along to light up those dark and empty places that they left behind in me. That one day I'd meet a new metaphysical junkie, a new muse, a new creative force, and a new fan of Knowing's writings/my work/downloads/nudges. I just didn't know it might all be the same person. Ooooppps. Good one gentlemen, good one. You got me there.  

People have come and gone in my life, and those I care for the most, my tribe, they've become lifers. I collect them, cherishing those things about them that make them special and beautiful as people. It's been written by many astrology experts that Aquarians have issues with confusing love and friendship. To that I say, why can't one have both? Why can't happily ever after be a progression of both? There's no rhyme or reason to energies and affairs of the heart. What will be will be and when you "know" freaking "know."  Yet, I'm over here in serious denial, or blissfully unaware. Then again, maybe I'm not supposed to "know" when it comes to this one. Maybe the "knowing" is blocked in that area so that I don't analyze it to the point of paralysis, or jump the gun.

At least it will help in that I'm also not a "chaser" either, meaning if someone wants something more from me than a friendship, I'm not the one whose going to pursue it. I'm old fashioned like that. If a man has an interest, he'll show it. If I have an interest, I'll reciprocate. It really is as simple as that. See, I live my life using the things I share with others as my tools for survival: Intention, trust, intuition and belief.  

I intend to love myself fearlessly and protect myself to the ends of the earth first, before I can allow another to do the same. I trust that the Universe is going to manifest someone who is as intoxicated with me as I am with them. I sense that when it happens, that I'll feel it from within or it will be so evident that I can't hide it, which might be what happened today within that micro-expression and energy shift. I believe that it's possible, and that I'm worthy of that kind of life long connection. The kind that makes you better because you heal. Because you want to shine bright and be your best self simply because someone else is there with you, sharing that journey who inspires you to do so. Someone you learn from and lean on, and someone you in turn reciprocate all those traits back towards. Someone who can receive the love you have to give, as well as give it. In the end, I think we're all worth this. Remember that. I love you.

Copyright ©2016 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Into The Great Wide Open

2016 started in grand memorable fashion, greeting myself, my mom, my son and a friend with one heck of an illness that I picked up during my own December hospitalization.  One that would linger for weeks and place my mom in the hospital for couple of them, including a scary week in ICU.  We're all gratefully on the mend now and digging out from multiple feet of snow thanks to Winter Storm Jonas.

There's something to a big winter storm.  It makes you focus.  You have to be prepared and have a good attitude about it or you'll be miserable during the entire thing.  And guess what, it's not going to change because of your mood so you might as well embrace it.  Being stuck at home for 8 days solo was an interesting test of spirit as well.  Thank goodness for power and all its creature comforts i.e. phone calls with the outside world, texts, the internet.  Being forced to be still however still makes one think. A lot.  Reading is normal around here but there was much more of that happening too.

I know I've written here recently about pushing myself outside of my comfort zones.  Heck, I just let hair dye touch my head after 16 years.  Those who know me well figured hell would be frozen over for that one to happen.  True story.  Look.  My regular hair dresser doesn't do color and laying in that hospital post stroke, I wanted a change and to do stuff I'd thought about but not pulled the trigger on yet in life.  My friend Teresa from high school did a fantastic job giving me something natural and low maintenance.  I couldn't be happier.  Anyone in Northern Virginia can find her at her salon TJ's Hair Studio.  Special thanks to my friend Deri for that awesome hair makeover gift too!  She's only bugged me to do it since we reconnected on Facebook years ago.

Before & After w/ Flash at TJ's Hair Studio - My Pics
After image no flash.  Work and picture by Teresa at TJ's Hair Studio in Alexandria, VA.

While I've made peace with last summer and the lessons it brought, I'll be honest and say I'm also realizing I'm in a transitional place personal life.  There's something about facing your own bumps in the road such as my recent hospitalization and then virus picked up there after when I got home that ravaged my family that makes you look back.  You can't help it being forced to be still.  The mind likes to go where it wants and it's our discernment that determines how amuck it runs.

I can remember thinking how nice it would of been to not facing those obstacles without him, to have that comfort and love.  Him being the one who couldn't even make a phone call when I was sitting in another hospital with my own father one Saturday evening in August.  The one who no longer gets to run his fingers through that hair or receive the "before and after" hair cut day photos by text while at work.  Knowing what I learned in hindsight, I feel as if the Universe was preparing me for the next experiences down the road.  That's what I'm at peace with, the process.  I can see now where that pain of "not having" though in those recent struggles in turn opened me up to one day wanting someone special around again.  Before them, I was content just going without and with human nature, that's not exactly normal.  We're built to be together.

Knowing this, I've been pruning back certain areas in order to make room for new growth.  I have this idea in my head that I need to get the parents situations behind me and my Lipedema (google it, it sucks, but it doesn't define me - well, I'm learning it doesn't) treated before moving forward to allow myself to be open again.  Therein is the problem, I'm playing the "when this happens, then this will be" game and that's just silly.  Life happens.  Pulls happen.  There's never a better time than the present moment.

I'm not stupid though.  I know if I need to have some things in order to not have them cloud the now, that I should wait and do said things before endeavoring to go there.  In the six years since I left Jennifer's father, I've spent more of it alone than with another person.  And that's okay because I knew what needed to happen in my own life to not carry forth the past onto the present.

Lets just say it's safe to say I'm darn careful about who meets my son too.  Two got to that point and I'm bummed in a way it even happened because Tristan then has to learn to navigate loss and more change in his life.  Aspergers and typically the autistic in general don't like change. Hard to believe he's 20 months away from being an adult but yeah, if I can spare him another heartache, I'll continue to keep my personal life and him separated until such time as I know it's worth bringing him into the fold.

Part of doing things undone is staying open.  As such, I've decided to stay open while giving myself 2016 to tidy up where things are in life, especially with a high school graduation on the horizon in 2018, ailing parents and my own calendar keeping me grounded and on the go.  It's not that I can't or I won't, it's just that I'm not procuring. I'm living day in and day out enjoying my surroundings, my people and the memories we're making.  What's rather interesting is that I recently learned that I have a few in my circle who for their own reasons, are basically doing the same thing.  How do you like those apples?  Birds of a feather flock together. Into the great wide open we go.  Wherever the destination, it shall be worth it.  Remember that.  I love you.

Copyright ©2016 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Waking Up - Acts II & Acts III

It started just like any other day.  I woke up, I gave thanks, I resonated on the day at hand and then I worked out.  I had my Juice Plus (which is one of my most favorite hacks in life, no, I don't sell it, but I can get you a link to a few people who do), my unsalted nuts as a snack later and I planted seeds for my business and ate leftover Thai for lunch.  I even made sure I had my cold pressed pineapple juice in the morning to get its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties going.  Yes, when it comes to nourishment, I'm mindful.  Mindful because I have this thing called Lipedema.  Mindful because I'm one of millions of Americans uninsured.  Mindful because cardiovascular problems run in my family, as does diabetes and clot problems with the women.  Mindful because I'm anchored to this world by the most compassionate and quick witted 16 year old boy on the planet.

Then I was tired.  Really, really tired.  I thought to myself that my PMS was kicking my rear this month, that I needed to lay down.  So, I did and laying there, I felt dopey tired.  The kind of tired that hits you when you have to take pain medication or you're going under for surgery.  It was heavy and it was instant.  I slept.  When I woke up, I was on my right side.  Normal.  Man oh man did my arm hurt, as did my face on that side.  I must have pinched a nerve.  Why was I so so, so, so tired though?  Why did I feel like I was coming out of surgery?  Having problems rolling over and sitting up?  Having problems staying awake on the john?  What in the hell is happening to me?  I know, I must have pinched a nerve and my hormones must be out of whack.  I'll go pet the rescue feral and bond with him until I wake up completely and get the feeling back in my face and my arm stops hurting. I could hear him scratching at his door anyway.  

I sat with him, reading my friend's messages to me while asleep.  My arm was so heavy trying to pet him.  It hurt so bad.  I was trying to use it to hit the voice to text button on my phone.  It didn't want to do what I wanted it to do.  I tried to talk, I felt loopy.  I could hear the words in my head but I was talking in slow motion.  I told my friend I felt like a zombie, that something was off, that I'd never felt like this before and I felt drugged.  I eventually actually composed a couple of messages and sent them to her.  I walked into my kitchen and grabbed the house phone from the living room to call a friend in the medical profession as she was getting off work.  We talked.  She was alarmed.  I listened.  Then, the most important thing I did was I acted.  I went to the hospital in town.  I was having a stroke. At 40.

Yes, at 40 years young, I was having a TIA.  One that would leave me with a sore arm, and a novocaine is wearing off cheek that's trying to heal itself to this day.  All tests would show I wasn't at risk.  In fact, I was at lower than average risk.  All those fruits and veggies I love to eat with my sea life and occasional land animals would pay off.  My panels were beautiful and I had no clots anywhere they looked for them.  I don't know what's scarier, knowing you've had a stroke or knowing you've had a stroke but you can't really explain why you've had it and what needs to be done to correct it?  Ummm, yeah.  That was my thought exactly.  Let that sink in for a moment.

Within 48 or so hours, I was home in my bed again, loving on my furbabies and thanking all that is for my place in this world.  Crying over reconnecting with that girl I raised as my own who walked out of our lives.  Moved over my friends and family gathering around to lift me up and see me through it all. Shaken to my very core because......because I knew before it happened that something was coming.  So much so I updated my complimentary estate planning (Will, Advance Medical Directive and Living Will) through my LegalShield provider law firm because I could do so at no cost owning their membership (not to mention I connect others with it and I do have medical bills to pay so if you need help in the USA, let me know).  My finalized documents arrived on Wednesday. I stroked on Thursday.  

I'd heard the whispers in my ears to go on a baby aspirin regimen just because.  I felt the obnoxious pull to get every faucet of my life in order.  I had weird sappy moments of wanting to write letters to every important person in my life "just in case" I didn't get to tell them what they meant to me in this journey (of which I still plan to do except now that urgent NOW is gone).  Anytime I felt like not working out, I felt the pull and kick in the rear to do so and go above and beyond the last round.  I just felt this feeling that something was coming and that I was running out of time.  But here's the thing.  I wasn't worried about it or obsessed about it.  I just had these fleeting thoughts and went about my days, living and enjoying life being of service to others and creating something good for myself and my anchor in this world. 

48 hours grounded me and leveled me.   48 hours woke me up more than I already thought I was awake.  48 hours made me run out of "fucks to give."  Something happens when you think you're young and healthy and the body fires a warning shot.  You're left laying there captive in a hospital analyzing everything behind and ahead of you.  You remember what matters most and what doesn't.

Three things matter in this life.  Connecting with others.  Having stability.  Nurturing ourselves.  As long as we do those three things, we're pretty stress free and content with surviving.  We're actually thriving when we do these things.  Nothing makes me happier than connecting with another human being, whether in friendship, business or in love.  Having a roof over my head and yummy food in the cabinets and fridge that's good for my body and spirit keep me level.  It's been a darn good life, even with all the heartache of loss and changes that come when you grow up and learn to love yourself first. Had that afternoon been my call home, I could of made peace with that, even if I'd of been pissed off to have missed out on the things I have left to do here and the people I have left to love on.  Especially my parents considering their own health problems these last couple of years.  They didn't need that and thankfully, didn't have to deal with such a loss. 

I was high on life and grateful to be in a place to receive so much love.  It's hard for me to allow other people to do for me as I have done for them.  I had to learn to allow people in and to just receive.  I was reminded by a friend in the flow that, "I don't believe it's a consequence that EVERY SINGLE GALAXY is spinning, every planet and star is spinning, every atom is spinning...Hence...What goes around comes around."  I had to allow those whom I've poured into to in turn pour into and do for me.  It was a valuable life lesson for Ms. Independent.  One I'm still doing my best to navigate.  

Then, as I was recovering, I came down with the worst illness/bug I've had in my 40 years of living.  In the middle of the night, I danced with the devil and hit rock bottom in that suffering.  The next morning I was thrown a lifeline by a dear friend calling to check in on me and I picked myself out of the wallows of desperation and into the light of transcendence and surrender.  I was going to get well.  I was going to feel good again.  I was going to live this life.  And most of all, I was going to continue to give thanks to those who are part of my tribe who give me a reason to be here and thrive. 

Tonight, as I pen this draft, I'm on the tail end of that super bug.  I'm focused on healing my mom and son who are now suffering with it, as well as my dear friend who helped me do some driving for my son over the winter break.  I'm a few weeks away from 41 and doing something I love, listening to live music with dear friends, old and new.  My guides and angels are with me.  No matter what comes next, I'm ready.  I'm free.  I carry forward into Act III of this life an overflowing joy and peace at what is and oceans full of hope for what will be.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure they say.  It's true.  Take care of yourselves.  Make right choices.  Find and create joy in your life.  Learn to remove life's stresses and just be.  Stop analyzing what's been or about to be.  Just enjoy the ride and go about the business of connecting, creating stability and nourishing your body, mind and spirit.  The rest is just experience anyway and good or bad, it's all going to serve your greater good.  Remember that.  I love you.

Copyright ©2016 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission of the author is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.