Friday, July 20, 2012

Extreme Self Care and Self-Sabotage

Today I finished reading the book "Extreme Self Care by Cheryl Richardson" for the second time! Yes... second time :) I decided to pick it up again when I broke my foot because I felt it was the perfect book for the time being. A book that describes techniques to take care of ourselves and make sure that we put ourselves first so we can be strong, healthy and whole instead of living from a place of victimhood or martyrdom.

One of the exercises that really called my attention was what Cheryl called "The Absolute No" list. This was a modified version of an exercise from a previous book of hers where she had "The Absolute Yes" list. The absolute no list is the list of things you will not do not even if they pay you a million dollars. What are those things for you? Do you have something that you wouldn´t do for anything in this world? Do you have a person that you would absolutely don´t want to see again in your life? Do you have a thing that you could live without doing for the rest of your life? For me, this exercise made me think of those instances where I say yes to something when I want to say no but I feel guilty or feel like I want acceptance so I say yes. I am implementing the absolute no list for myself because I think it is a good tool to set boundaries and make sure that the things I do in my life are an absolute yes :) It´s funny to think about the word absolute because it has so much energy and such a high load... more after my boss used it to set me up to fail this week... are you absolutely sure....?  Well, I will still use it and I will claim the power the word has for myself!

After reading this book, I couldn´t help but think how many times we know what is good for ourselves but we self-sabotage the goodness in life for something or someone else. The other day I was thinking about how my father used to tell me not to relax too much because I am married, not to let myself go physically because my husband may find another woman... well, I don´t agree totally with his way of seeing but I thought about it and it is very true that a woman should not let go of her personal appearance because now she has a man, she should still care for herself the same way she did before because it is about HER, not catching a big fish. It´s about being healthy, feeling good about ourselves and feeling strong as well.

I also thought about the people who usually want to have more friends but appear to be unfriendly to others. They really want to connect but they can not break the barriers that prevent them from achieving their goals. Those barriers may come from the past but they are not able to move past the past time and create a new self that can achieve what they want and crave in life. Why do we self-sabotage ourselves? At times it seems we are our worse enemies and the other day I was listening to a CD on the car, and the person was saying that we will not tolerate any more abuse than what we are ok in abusing ourselves so if you abuse yourself a lot, then you will tolerate others to abuse you to the same degree.... That was such an eye opening phrase!!!!

Extreme self care is a way to prevent abuse to ourselves and from others and in starting to practice it, we can break those patterns that tie us to self-sabotaging our dreams and goals. You can do it. Start today! Create your Absolute No list and always put yourself first. Like in a plane... put your mask first, then help the rest.


Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Failure as a Lesson

There are people that teach by example, others that tell you what you should do, and there are those who just let you fail so you learn. My story today is about the later. This morning, I got to work and I found an email that was quite distressing. I´ve been covering for my coworker who is on a well deserved vacation. He trained me last week but he was not able to convey all the little details of his job in a one hour training as you can imagine, so when I saw the email, I did what I do best. I looked at the procedures manual and try to find the answer. Once I found the answer, I talked to my boss who asked me "are you absolutely sure this is a violation?" With my little knowledge, I said yes. She said to prepare the email and run it by her before sending it. That´s just what I did. After I got her approval, I sent it out. Of course, the person called me two minutes later trying to explain what was happening... mmmm... my answer was something like "You know he is on vacation, I am covering for him so let me do some more research and I´ll get back to you." After cracking my head open thinking of how to figure out this system I had never used before, I found out that there was a system error and I presented my evidence to my boss. Her response was "Come see me later today and I´ll tell you why I have let this go. This is a great learning opportunity." You can only imagine how angry I got... there was no amount of deep breathing that could put down the fire that had just been ignited. In my head, I was thinking "She knew I was wrong and she still let me do everything and look like a moron. She knew from the very beginning and instead of training me, she just let me fail. When I was a boss, I would never let my people fail if I knew what their thoughts about a situation were." It took a while for me to get back to my Queenly cool being and be able to see that I did my best with the tools I was given. I tried. I failed but I did not look away. It was one of those cases where you are damn if you do and damn if you don´t.

When I talked to my boss in the afternoon, she told me that the key word in her question was "absolutely sure" and she knew that I could not be sure because I had not enough training to be able to know for sure. I told her that I saw what she meant and that from now on, I will never answer yes to any absolute question because there is never enough evidence to be absolute. She also said that her expectation was that I would not cover that part of my coworker´s job and let it sit... oh well... wouldn´t it have been nice if she said that before?

Failure can be a good tool but it has to be used wisely. Letting people fail when you are aware they need help seems a bit too extreme for me. After being very upset for half of the day, I was able to make peace with myself and know that I did my best and that I would not take it personally. Failure was used as a lesson but that´s not the way I would teach. That´s not my style.

Many blessings,
Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What was lost will be found again...

People usually say that you don´t appreciate what you have until the moment you lose it. One of the boot lessons I have had in the past few days is related to that. I started recalling how many times I took my legs and walking ability for granted. Every time I went for a hike or I went biking, I did not realize that I was blessed to be able to do so because at any point in time it could be lost. The same happens with many things in life and it goes from the little details of a brand discontinuing a product you love to the loss of an important person in your life. Awareness of taking things or people for granted can be the first step to changing that pattern into a more life affirming pattern such as gratitude and appreciation.

Every morning, I wake up and perform my personal practice at my altar that includes prayers, mantras and taking a card from a deck for guidance. As I shuffle the cards, I say "May the Goddess lift the veil so I can see, May the Goddess give me clarity to understand, May the Goddess help me see the messages in this card." Yesterday, I drew a card from "The Seventy Two Names Cards by Orna Ben-Shoshan" and the message was "You are fumbling your way through darkness trying to overcome a period of glumness and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. Blind faith will support your journey of re-enlightment. New solutions will be revealed along the way. It is your responsibility to follow the signs. Depression or glumness shall be healed. What was lost will be found again." When I read this message, I understood I had been a little blue with my foot and focusing a lot of energy in what I don´t have instead of seeing all the wonderful things I have in my life and being grateful for that. We have a tendency to focus on what is lost instead of those things that we do have at the moment and also have total faith that everything happens for a reason and that we will understand the lesson at the end of the path. 

It´s interesting to see how our perspective changes depending on the situation. Last week I went out with my best friend and when we were walking, we came across a man that was in a wheel chair with the same boot I have on my left foot. When he saw me, he just said "I can´t wait to get to where you are now!" In that moment, I smiled and I told my friend I could not believe somebody wanted to be like me with the boot... I have been feeling so handicapable in the past few weeks, not being able to do many things by myself, feeling pity for myself and here was this man who was in a worse situation than I was saying he couldn´t wait to that stage. In that moment, I realized I needed to be grateful for where I was. Things could always be worse and I am learning a lot by slowing down and seeing, paying attention, and being grateful of every little thing in my life such as being able to go shopping by myself or going back to the gym and working out a little.

Nothing lasts forever, whether good or bad, so in a few weeks when the boot is gone, what was lost will be found again... and gratitude will be always present.

Many blessings,

Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis

Saturday, July 7, 2012

When it is time to let go

"Giving up doesn´t always mean you are weak. Sometimes it means you are strong enough to let go." This phrase really resonated with me today when I read it in Facebook. So much so that I had to sit down and write because at some level, it really explains some of the experiences I am going through right now. How many times have you pushed and waited for some sort of resolution to find yourself stuck and unable to move forward? Is it worth waiting? Is it worth pushing? Do you feel weak if you decide that after spending a lot of time waiting for others or the situation to change you just want to give up?

We live in a society that promotes not giving up. Many of the tag lines and messages we receive from the external environment say "Don´t give up" "Keep going" "Keep pushing" "You are strong"but have we ever stopped and thought that maybe pushing is just a way to remain stuck in a situation. Maybe we reach a point when we just have to let go. Maybe we are even pushing the wrong river and we live in a fantasy of something that will never happen.

The other day, one of my best friends sent me a message that said "Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life tend to happen right when you are about to give up hope." When I read that message, I couldn´t help but smile because I´ve been feeling a little down with my fractured foot as I can´t do many of the things I used to do and I need to adjust to the current situation. Nevertheless, I really felt like sometimes we are reaching the point when let go is the right thing to do and not because we are giving up hope but because we are choosing to wake up and be strong and move towards a happier place instead of remaining in misery because we feel if we give up, we will be seen as weak or we would have wasted precious time in our lives.

"Sometimes you must get lost to truly find yourself; trip and fall to rise above the challenge; fail to succeed; let go to gain control; break to grow stronger." I have fallen down and broke my foot so I will grow stronger and with that new found strength I will be able to let go of all those things that do not serve me anymore. I am not weak, I am not giving up, I am just choosing to let go.

Many blessings,
Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What to do when you can not run...

Run, run, run.... wait a minute! You can´t! How do you deal with situations when you want to run away but you are not able to? Do you sit and relax, trust the universe and the Goddess´ Master Plan? Mmmmmm..... Honest answer.... It´s a little nerve racking and you just have to let go but letting go is one of the hardest lessons I know. Yesterday I experience this situation in real life and it was not fun. I woke up and I felt really down because I could not do all those things I love doing - hiking, biking, running, walking... so I decided that this boot was not going to win and that I was going to go to the park and sit under a tree for a while. If I can´t experience nature the way I used to, at least I can still experience it some other way.

As I was sitting on the grass, I could feel myself grounding and feeling more in tune with myself but at that moment, my friend the wasp came flying around and if you know me, you know I have panic when it comes to insects and more so with those that can sting you. My mind usually works in the same way in every situation... where can I run? Well, that´s not the pattern anymore as I can not run and I can hardly move so when I saw that I said to myself... "remain calm, this little wasp will fly away, everything is ok."

How often are you reaching the point of breaking down and get to experience the wisdom of just sitting with it? Just being quiet and in the moment and knowing everything will be ok? We have a tendency to want to control the future, we want to know what will happen next, we want to feel we are in control. Control is just an illusion and we are never in control, we are just flowing with the energies of the moment and we can stress out and cracked down... like my foot... or we can be flexible and elastic and just swing by. Know that in the grand plan we have a unique part and that no matter how many obstacles we perceive in our path, they are only tools to help us grow and evolve.

One time I read that if everything went ok and there were no problems, people do not learn. It is in obstacles and hardship that we learn our lessons. We become stronger, more confident, and trust the plan because in the end, we know we are the ones that make the plan. It is our visioning or lack of visioning that creates our future. Yes... I have a fractured foot. Yes.... I may not have been ready to take the next step just yet so what you get.... a fractured foot! You guessed it!!

The question is what do you do when you can´t run? You have to face your demons one at a time.

Many blessings,

Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lessons of the Boot

The Universe always provides us with those experiences we need to grow and evolve. Little did I know when I went for my meditation walk last Wednesday, I would trip and fracture my left foot. I still don´t know how I made it back home since the pain was very deep but as they say, we, women, have a high tolerance for pain so I walked back home. When I got back, I put some ice on it, took some advil and went to bed. The next morning, I thought everything would be perfect but it was not. The pain was still there and this time I was almost in tears when I told my husband that I was going to the ER. Even though the pain was almost unbearable, I still thought like a Queen - in my mind I thought if I went to the ER, it was like going to a one stop shop and I would get out with a solution instead of having to go to several places and move around with my foot like that. If you know me, you know I hate asking for help and I usually think I can do everything myself. That´s how I got to the ER all by myself and left all by myself. The Universe knew I needed to learn a lesson and it was not going to stop until I learned that I can not do everything by myself, that at times, I need help and it was my time to learn to receive.

Lesson of the Boot # 1 was about allowing myself to receive and not try to be stubborn and do everything myself. This is a big lesson for me since I was brought up to be the super woman and the over giving mother who never needs helps and always can do everything alone. Since I started my Queen studies, I started working on receiving but there was always that person in the back of the head saying ... You could do this alone. Now, with the boot, I need help. Today, at work, I was calling my administrative assistant and asking her to go scan things for me and send them to my email so I did not have to get up. That was a big improvement! I usually have a hard time asking for help.

Lesson of the Boot # 2 - let go of the things that are not essential, stop carrying everything around! This lesson is also essential for me because I am usually the one that is carrying a handbag, a bag and a few things in my hands. Today, when I was leaving for work, I started realizing all the things that I was carrying that I really don´t need so I decided to leave some at work, and others at home. From a big handbag, now I only have a little bag that carries my wallet, cell phone and keys - yep, the essentials. This lesson also made me think about my spiritual self and all those things that I carry around that do not serve any purpose anymore but because they have been there for a long time and I am unaware, I don´t let them go. I also thought about patterns that I should be letting go but I am attached to them and I am having a hard time saying good bye to them.

Lesson of the Boot # 3 - slow down, if you go so fast, you can hardly enjoy the details! I am one of those people that lives on overdrive all the time. 1000 miles an hour is normal pace for me. Walk fast, speak fast, think fast, respond fast... the list can continue. With the boot, that is a thing of the past and I am learning to let go of the need to walk at the same pace that others do and just walk at my own pace without any guilt or feeling less because I can´t keep up. I can set my own pace and people can walk with me or wait for me at the destination. This also applies to decision making and other things in life where it is better to be patient, to go slow, and to step firmly and create a solid foundation so things will not collapse with the test of time. 

The magick boot has become a wise teacher and I am sure that I will continue to learn lots with it. It has only been a few days, and I´ve already have three important lessons. When I went to the emergency room, I did not know that I was going to get a tool for self discovery and something that will push me to evaluate my life and make adjustments so I can grow. 

The lessons of the Boot will continue... stay tuned!

Many blessings,

Presiding Priestess of Circulo de Isis