Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Would You Pose Bucknaked For Love?

Here are some of the things I will not do to be in a relationship. They might seem strange but as a dear departed man I knew always loved to say, "Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction!"

In order to find "love," be in an intimate relationship and/or maintain my current friendships or make new ones, I will not:

  1. Betray my core principles of truth always, fairness, maximum respect and loyalty
  2. Lend more money than I can afford to not have returned.
  3. Pay my partner's personal bills (eg., student loans, alimony, car note, child support, etc)
  4. Pose for nude pictures with or without my partner in it
  5. Live with in-laws ( did it twice and never to be repeated
  6. Have a Brazilian wax done to satisfy my partner
  7. Be involved in a three-some

Those are on my shortlist because I have either been recently asked whether I would or had others do to me as it relates to #1.

I have done some crazy things in my life, at the behest of others or from a feeling of "need to" in order to keep the relationship or friendship alive.

Since 2011, I have been living alone with the intermittent break of staying with a friend while on extended vacation or with my daughter while I resettled. What those years have taught me is that:

  • I love my own company
  • I really do not NEED a partner or anyone to "make me happy"
  • My spiritual life is richer and deeper in solitude.

I will not do anything for love (as we loosely use the word).

Recently on a dating site a man told me he was very attracted to me after several conversations. Then he shared that he is a cancer survivor and his sexual performance has been affected by the disease. He said that should we meet and hit it off, and eventually decide to become intimate, I would need to inject his sexual organ in order for us to copulate. The conversation ended there.

I am not doing that for love nor money.

Another one wanted me to visit his hometown, and like a marching band be paraded around town, meeting the mayor and all. When I questioned the reason for this itinerary, he admitted that his previous girlfriend unceremoniously dumped him and I was to be his new trophy.

I will not be that for love, money or show.

Image: pinterest.com
There are women and men who will do anything to prevent being alone or in the case of this man, to save face. A favourite statement of mine to my friends is that "my shame tree died long ago!" I am way to busy doing me to care what others think about my life.

One solid lesson that I have learnt is that if you allow them to, people will have you standing on your head, acting the fool for their pleasure. Many will say they love you as long as you are living according to their demands.

If I have to be anything other than who I am to be your lover or friend - I would rather remain alone.

Would you - do anything for love? What would that be? Share with us here or on our Facebook page.

Do enjoy the rest of the evening!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sex, Please And Thank You

Me, I want it. Sex.

Well just as much as I want to love and be loved.

Prude I am not. Neither am I too spiritual, biblical or religious to deny my physical need. Yes, sex is a need and I will most certainly not agree with any arguments otherwise. It is also a desire – in which case or on which occasion it might be better to say, it can be postponed.

This I know for sure – a sexless marriage is a dead marriage. Again I am not willing to debate this as I have lived it, observed others who have – both informally and clinically.

Sex is not a sin.

My attempt here is to be clear not controversial. Being real is my way of operating and at no point in time will I ever be hypocritical to woo an audience or in this case readership.

Sex is not a sin. It can be a mistake:
  • With the wrong person
  • When participated in at an inopportune time
  • Engaged in exchange for financial or other material benefit

Sex outside of marriage – here I go – is not a crime: moral or otherwise.

Sex without deep emotional attachment can be fun but can be painful for one or both parties.

Children, teenagers and even emotionally unstable people ought not to engage in sexual acts until they are of age, mentally prepared for the inevitable responsibilities and/or emotionally capable of handling the act not going past what it is – an act.

Love and sex combined form a most splendorous expression. Yet, speaking for myself and all those who are too shy to, you can deeply love someone (husband, wife, lifelong partner) but sex between you has lost its zest.

Is this straight talk enough for you? Well share your view with us here or on our Facebook page. For the record, sometimes short in many things, including a blog post and sex, can be very interesting and exciting.

Have a great night!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Want Respect? Then Be It.

This will be a short post, reason being there is no sense in belabouring the points. They are self-explanatory.

Respect. What is respect and how do you get it?

Many believe that respect is something you get or earn. Watched a fellow on YouTube who feels that respect is taken.

All these views hold truth. It is also true that you get what you give. So, give respect and get respect. However, as I believe that your deepest intention, regardless of your words, determines what comes to you, if you are simply lip syncing "respect" but not behaving respectfully, then you cannot get it.

My view is this: You have to BE RESPECT to experience respect.

So, how do you "become" respect? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Love yourself no matter what or where you are in life.
  2. Honour your truth, no matter what others think, say or do.
  3. Take care of #1 first - that is you.
  4. Do not "sacrifice" your dreams and aspirations for anyone else's

I am sure that some of you reading this think that I am pushing selfishness. Actually, I am not. What I have come to learn and know after many years of doing otherwise is that whatever I want to experience I must become.

Respect involves love, honour, taking care/nurturing and pursuit of happiness. You have to be a loving, honourable, caring and happy person for yourself to respect those qualities in others.

Try it. Start embodying respect in these ways. I promise you that once you do and stop talking about respect, significant changes will start occurring in your life and relationships.

Have a great rest of the evening and remember you can always comment here or on our Facebook page on any of the topics we cover.


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

You Win Some Or You Get Life Lessons!

Claudette Esterine
Managing people tends to be, at least in my experience, a lot more about working with varying, conflicting and when you are lucky, complementary personalities.

Some time ago, one of my DOS Sistahs sent me a message in which she shared her admiration of my skill to keep our Group together with all of our foibles, quirks, perspectives, etc. I was humbled by her remark as it was affirmation of my lessons and the fact that I was not doing a bad just applying the wisdom of them.

Very often in the past, I have said to my daughter that it would be great if she would learn from her grandmother’s and my own mistakes and make some new ones. Well, some days I see evidence that she heard me and is very busy taking some new life classes. Other days, I am challenged to believe that she heard a word that I said much less realised that the mistake she is about to make was long ago made by me.

Tempted as I am to protect her, my lesson now is in keeping my mouth shut. Why? Simple - “Sometimes we win; sometimes we learn.”

Growing up most of us heard a different ending to that fabulous quote and title of his book from Dr. John Maxwell. We were told sometimes you lose. Looking over my own life, I have to say that it was erroneous for adults to have told me that. They actually tried and succeeded to some extent to make me into a coward – afraid to make mistakes, scared to take a chance.
Thankfully, that lasted for only sixteen years of my life. Possibly less, as I became a true risk taker.

Now after 40+ years, my journey is full of lessons learnt. Almost halfway through my time on Earth, if you believe that a century is the new average time limit, I am so excited about the new missteps that are ahead.

“I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful, I will not fall from heaven. But a mistake is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder that I am not dealing with facts. When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.” Hugh Prather

Here are a few of my losses and the learnings that I received:

Loss:  Parent (Mother) could not afford to keep me in High School after Grade 11 as most of my class mates, so I had to drop out at that level and find a job.

Learning:  Got a part time job using my basic secretarial training in high school, paid my way through night classes for Business Administration courses; upon graduation got a job as a junior legal secretary and volunteered at a local political party office, where I gained lots of experience in data entry, typing and started to learn basic speech writing and communications skills. Through this connection, I obtained a full scholarship to University in Eastern Europe.

Loss:  Separated from the man who I thought was the love of my life, my country and all that was familiar to me. Arrived in a place where the colour of my skin placed me at a grave disadvantage and my gender and age made me vulnerable.

Learning: Survival skills kicked in and turned up to heights I never knew I was capable of. Obtained a Master’s degree, travelled extensively across Europe, became fluent in Russian, met people from all over the world, political knowledge and savvy increased, got married and divorced for the first time, and best of all, had my beautiful daughter.

Loss:  The most meaningful intimate relationship of my life ended after 16 years.

Learning: That I am truly a survivor and able to thrive under any circumstance.

Those are just three of the seemingly big losses of my life. I could have given up or given in on all occasions, thrown pity parties – and in fact I attempted to do both but Something stopped or halted me.  These three examples held the seeds of some of my greatest learnings/lessons.

Today’s focus is on intimate relationships and the last example above is my best of my repertoire of loss in love and lesson in life.  What I was blessed by ex with through this loss was confirmation of my will to survive and thrive. Yes, my life looks differently in many ways today – I am happier, more free, more Me.

“Those who profit from adversity possess a spirit of humility and are therefore inclined to make the necessary changes needed to learn from their mistakes, failures, and losses. … When we are focused too much on ourselves, we lose perspective. Humility allows us to regain perspective and see the big picture. … Humility allows us to let go of perfection and keep trying.” John Maxwell
I certainly did “profit” from my losses in love – I grew! What about you? Did you profit from your divorce, separation and heartbreaks or are you still wallowing in self-pity, blame and/or bitterness? Wherever you are – it is okay. The first step to healing is acknowledging and that is what I invite you to do – acknowledge where you are exactly. You can do so here or through our Facebook page. You could also message me privately.

Looking forward to hearing about your learnings and do enjoy the rest of the evening.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Last Chance To Get On Those Resolutions!

Claudette Esterine
In exactly three months from today, most of us will be making final plans for our Christmas holidays. Some would have already started shopping for their New Year's Eve ball outfit.

It has been several years now that I have attended any sort of celebratory event on December 31. The last many years have found me at home, alone, having a quiet night, probably sipping a glass of wine or hugging a mug of coffee as I contemplate my life and the dreams for the new year.

New Year's Eve 2013 found me in my home country of Jamaica and as much I wanted to be there, the night was spent in much the same fashion - alone and in contemplation.

Resolutions I do not make but intentions I do set. Earlier this year, I shared with you what my intentions were for 2014. In June, I posted a mid-year review. Now, three months and two weeks away from doing this exercise for 2015, my questions are:

  1. Did you set intentions for 2014?
  2. Where are you with them?
  3. If you had not, would you care to set some now?

My intentions for 2014 were specific in some areas yet broad in most. The overriding theme for me was experiencing a sense of wellbeing in all aspects of my life. I shared in a March post my exact Vision for the year. Since then, there have been expansion, evolution and enhancements in most areas. And there have been changes, particularly in those areas where my intention was seemingly less than my potential.

Image: pinterest.com
Standing at the last quarter of 2014, my thoughts are on the incompleted, those experiences that have not fully revealed themselves or fizzled. My questions do not include why because I understand why something might have come but did not remain. It was not for me or fully formed.

My 'task' now is to clarify those intentions - and I have - and allow them to come alive over the next few months or at least spring a bud.

What about you? What needs clarifying on your list of intentions? Are you willing to empty yourself of all the excuses, rationalizations and/or confusion to see them into being?

Share your 2014 intentional journey with us here or on our Facebook page and let us together end the year exactly how we want!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Can We Live In Peace?

The first time I left Jamaica, in fact the first time I boarded an aircraft was at the age of 18 on my way to the former Soviet Union.

Nothing could have prepared me for the next seven years. I knew that at the end of my time in one of the coldest parts of the world, I would be the holder of a Master’s degree but what about all the other things? A husband, a child, fluency in the Russian language, travels and holidays across Europe to name a few.

The greatest learning, however, was the history and cultures of peoples from around the world.

Where and how else would an 18 year old interface, commune, eat, relate, entertain, study and befriend a Congolese, Scandinavians, a Latin American and a British citizen in an hour? The student village where we lived was a virtual United Nations gathering.

I learned to cover my head, take off my shoes, eat a full meal with my fingers and squat to use a public latrine within weeks of our arrival.

My most valuable and lifelong lesson was how to respect diversity in culture, religion, lifestyle and beliefs.

Did I agree with all that I saw, the different ways of being? No and there were times when my own culture clashed with that of others. For example, my first potential boyfriend was from Congo, French-speaking and so madly in love with me. His ways of showing affection was passionate and possessive and that had me running like a bat out of hell.

When my seven years came to an end, I did not want to leave, so enamored with the experience of living internationally locally in Kiev. Jamaica was my home but the world became my domain. I could no longer imagine a life confined to the 10,991 kilometres that Jamaica encompasses.

Image: sodahead.com
I became a citizen of the world.

As the years passed, my quest for Truth deepened. My political views expanded until it exploded – into oblivion. Later, with my exposure to the different religions and spiritual paths, first through my association and membership with The Universal Centre of Truth for Better Living in Jamaica and then my training in pastoral education, combined with my chaplaincy/spiritual counselling service in hospital and penal institutions in Canada, Love became my religion.

Today as many remember the pain and yes, tragedy of 13 years ago, my choice is to look to the beauty in the present. Life is truly a gift, and as the saying goes “that is why it is called the present.” I choose to focus on the unfolding, make room in my heart for the creation of a world much like the one in which I lived in Kiev.

This was a place where fellowship resided; we had peace amidst differences. We coexisted.
“It's the failure to see this planet as a single entity that causes so much pain so many times. You cannot attack one part of the world without it affecting the whole earth, the whole body. Attacking other cultures, other nations, is a self-destructive act. It always comes back on you in some way.”  GorillazGorillaz: Rise of the Ogre
Is that possible for the rest of the world today? Share your thoughts with us here or on our Facebook page and do enjoy the rest of your day!


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Suggestions From A Survivor: 3 Ways To Prevent Suicide

Claudette Esterine
My love of life now is not something that was always with me. As the only child for my mother and the second child for my father you would think that I had all the attention and affection a child could want.

That was not the case. In my late 30’s, I started learning how to stop casting blame at my parents' feet for what my life lacked. This was a lesson that would save my life as it, with the help of angelic friends, brought me through one of the darkest periods of my journey.

Sitting on the therapist’s floor with several different colours of wool threads encircling my body, I learned the lesson of boundaries. It was a few weeks, possibly a month after my second suicide attempt. Like so many, I had resisted seeing a therapist after the first attempt – the one that had the potential of being fatal as I had swallowed a cocktail of pills. Both were cries for help – to cope, to figure out how to move on.

People can be very insensitive to those of us who have lost our compasses, unclear how to step through the dark and foggy mist of depression and despair. I recall one “friend” asking me very sarcastically “Where was your God?” Well that was the end of our friendship as this so-called friend and spiritual person clearly had no true concept that “my God” had not left me.

It was I who had built monuments from humans. My mother was the first. My absent was father the second. A stream of lovers, friends who seemed to have lives better than I did were next. My “soul mate” was the biggest.

What attempting suicide taught me is that cowardly an act though it might seem, it is not an act for the fainthearted.

Please, do not read this wrong. This is not an endorsement of suicide. It is merely a statement of experience – of someone who has sat through the pain of loss, shock of abandonment and despair of an uncertain future with bottles of alcohol, knives, a balcony, pills and poison needing to choose which way to exit if at all.  As you sit with this decision, the grief of family and friends does cross your mind but it is the least of your worries.

I remember talking to “my God,” bargaining, pleading and beseeching to exchange the suffering that I was experiencing with a moment's relief. None came.  At least not as quickly as I needed and how I wanted. What I wanted was to wake up from the nightmare that I was obviously in to find that nothing had changed, despite the unhappiness my then partner and I both were experiencing.

So I swallowed the pills.

Sometime in the future, I will tell the rest of this story but for now as we observe World Suicide Prevention Day, my “wish” is that we would:
  1. Pay more attention to our friends and acquaintances as they work their way through emotional challenges
  2. Be less judgmental and more open to discussions about emotional issues and seeking or give the support required to regain one’s equilibrium
  3. Lend a voice to the voiceless that are challenged by emotional issues – those of us who have “survived” this very personal battle.

Much of my early childhood into young adulthood issues were caused, let us say, by my parents’ lack of emotional stability. They both lacked parenting skills that would have allowed them to steer me away from abuse, neglect and emotional deprivation. My mother, as the sole caregiver, provided very little care and too much abuse. This history shaped me into a young woman lacking in confidence, self-esteem and vulnerable to the perverted advances of adults who should have known better.

As my spiritual guides always say, I sought love in all the wrong places as a result. Yet, it was my choice – all of them. That was the truth that was so hard for me to accept but when I finally did, on my therapist’s floor, I took full responsibility for my emotional health and started allowing others to do the same with theirs – including my mother.

Research shows that a person who has attempted suicide once will try again – most often successfully. Thankfully, I had the support and intervention that got me off that ledge.  Would you do the same for someone else?

Please check your local telephone directory for Suicide Prevention services in your neighbourhood and volunteer your services as you are gifted. If you are experiencing feelings of uncertainty, despair and intense grief, please seek help from the Suicide Prevention Hotline in your neighbourhood. If you are not aware of that number, then dial 911 for help.

Share your stories on this or any other topic with us here or on our Facebook page.

Have a great rest of the day!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Relationship: Waiting For The Right Wrong One

Many times.

Too many times to count in fact and willing, although very hesitant, to do it again.

That would be my answer to the question "Have you ever loved the wrong person?"

Andrew Boyd, author of "Beautiful Trouble," says it best and so I liberally quote him:

"We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. 
Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, 'This is the problem I want to have'. 
I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way. 
Let our scars fall in love."

Next time I post a profile on a dating site, that is what I will use as my headline: "Seeking The Right Wrong Person." It probably would be one of the most honest statements I would have ever made about my love life - a long pursuit and entanglements with the wrong persons.

The gift, and there is always one if you are willing to unpack it, is that every "wrong" lover has brought me healing to an aspect of my wounded being/soul.

With every chunk that someone has taken off my heart, they rewarded me with a deeper understanding of who I am meant to be in the world and in relationships.

Earlier in my journey and after "the great heartbreak" almost eight years to date now, bitterness and fear were the emotions that controlled me. I swore never to love again out of fear and bitterness ensured that I did not.

More wrong people would enter my life and with each ending they carted away my bitterness, my regret, my pain and most of all the fear. No, I am not anxious to commit to another wrong person. Instead, I pass time with distractions while I await "The Right Wrong One."

What about you? Have you met the one whose scars match yours yet?

Share your story with us here or on our Facebook page. You never know what pointers you might reveal to one of us wrong ones!


Monday, 8 September 2014

International Literacy Day: Help Another Read

Claudette Esterine - Founder of DOS
What we had could hardly be described as an idyllic relationship. Warmth, affection and close-knit are not words you would use in a sentence if you were to write the story of my mother and my journey.

Few are my fond recollection of my childhood with the woman who gave birth to me. Few are also the lessons that I will always cherish that she imparted to me.

"Manners will take you through this world," she would always say. Never mind that she would be beating the crap out of me. So, politeness was one wing on my aircraft that would take me out of her world and into the one that I spent many nights dreaming about.

Education was the other.

I was attending Miss Thomas' school from my eyes were at my knees. By the time I was five, Pembroke Hall Primary School became my second home. At 10+ I passed Jamaica's Common Entrance Examination and was awarded a place at my first choice of secondary school - St. Hugh's High for Girls.

At 18, I was boarding an aircraft for Kiev State University in the former USSR to begin the most interesting period of my young adult life pursuing a Master's degree in International Relations.

Fast forward a couple decades and a second Masters in Theological Studies was on my horizon. Betwixt and between, a couple diplomas, certificates and an applied degree as well as stories to go with each were gathered.

My own daughter would call me driven regarding my pursuit of knowledge. I would describe it as questioning.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela
When I learned that my mother could hardly read it was a shock to me. It also felt somewhat like hypocrisy. Yet it explained her push for me to get an education. She could barely afford to send me to school. Somehow she managed to put me through school up to my last year at St. Hugh's. After that it was up to me.

Growing up in Jamaica in the 1970's, I witnessed firsthand the transformation in adults' lives simply being able to spell their names. The then Prime Minister of the country, the late Right Honourable Michael Manley, introduced JAMAL - The Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy. My mother was at first ashamed to admit that her reading skills were at the kindergarten level, however, as more and more people came forward to attend classes she joined the bandwagon.

My first voluntary service was through JAMAL. I often helped adults with reading and writing at nights in the same classrooms we children used in the days. These classes were free and to my recollection the 'teachers' all volunteered their services. That was one of the many aspects of "Democratic Socialism," that had me on fire - people helping people.

"Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.
Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA)." - See more at: UNESCO
It amazes me today to see how many people in technologically advanced societies such as Canada who are barely literate. Literacy and education, in my view and as my mother insisted, are wings to freedom and self-determination.

Sounds political? Maybe but I have always agreed that the personal is political.

Today, International Literacy Day, do make it your rallying point to give the gift of literacy to even one by donating books, time or financial support to a school or community agency offering reading programmes.

Have a great rest of the day!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Difference Between Gratitude And Thankfulness

Clara Brown
"Gratitude brings light into our hearts spread warmth throughout our bodies and radiate positive energy into the world. The more we consciously and consistently grow in our practice of gratitude, the more benefits we will experience." Michele  Wahlder

"Practice makes perfect." How often have we heard this saying?  I say it very often to my son and every time that I do he asks me what does it mean.

We would not go far if we did not practice whatever tasks we had to accomplish.  Be it playing the piano, scrambling eggs or applying make-up (for those of us who powder our noses) and many other skills.  This saying is also true of gratefulness
"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously.  And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude." Ralph W. Emerson
Looking back on my formative years, I was taught by grandparents and parents to be grateful. Simply put - GIVE THANKS.  We were instructed to practice gratefulness.  Over time and through repetition, I learnt how to practice gratefulness even when things did not turn out quite the way I anticipated. I was taught to thank God for small mercies.

My experience is that, unlike other lessons, practicing gratefulness brings instant gratification.  Every other practice that I have done might take some time to bear fruit. Not gratefulness.

The practice of gratefulness brings immediate joy.

Being grateful is more than being thankful.  It is an inside gesture and an attitude from which a meaningful thankfulness will emanate. Often, there are things or circumstances that get in the way of practicing and assuming this attitude of gratefulness. It could be bad news about your neighbour, a waft of pain in your chest or an unexpectedly high utility bill. Just about anything. Someone else's ungratefulness could annoy you and block or hinder your assuming your own attitude of gratitude.

My gratefulness opens me to the flow of abundance, fill me with joy and connects me with the Source of my flow or my joy.  I will not pretend that there are no obstacles to my gratefulness. None of us are infallible. I get overwhelmed, I worry, I become anxious about getting things done, I become distracted and feel weighed down with responsibilities - all of which are obstacles to my expectancy of "all things working together for good." However, when I recognize the blockades to my gratefulness, I replace them with the 'bright-side perspective'.  As I embrace the 'bright-side' of whatever the seeming obstacle is, my joyful, grateful flow returns.

There are various methods we can use to practice and pursue a grateful attitude. The chosen method(s) for each of us will depend on the individual personality, goal or needs.  I have a few suggestions on practicing gratitude.

  1. Count your blessings often. Even the every day ones. The so-called small ones. Do so every single day.  However, to avoid your blessing counting practice losing its meaning, vary your methods.
  2. Express your gratitude directly. It may be to someone who has helped you, mentored you, perhaps an old teacher, a coach or a supervisor. 
  3. Write what you are grateful for. Sit down with pen and paper or at your computer and start, “I am grateful for … .” Maybe you will have to stop there for a minute and wait because you just cannot think of anything. Just wait. Something inside you will shift. The words will come.
This Gratefulness Force that you are tapping into is bigger than you and it is bigger than your problems, no matter how big that is. That tide of fear that is overwhelming you is not all there is. There is so much more to you than that.

Your gratitude practice is your ride across those troubled waters so put your oars into the water.

Remember, we are always here to support you, so leave a comment here or on our Facebook page and we will be more than happy to chat with you!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

It's A Great Day; So Why Did I Panic?

Panic is not something that comes naturally to me anymore.

It must have something to do with aging or as I prefer to say maturing. Not a lot though as I know some "older" folk who are prone to panicking.

Acceptance. That is my answer and precursor to most things. That is my usual panic-be-gone spray.

This morning, of all mornings, I was beset by panic!

The spray was not working. My attack was triggered by doubt, serious doubt and no matter how much I reminded myself of today's theme: "Today is a good day to have a good day," I could feel my blood pressure rising.

You might think my anxiety had to do with money or a lover but those are the least of my concerns - whether I have or not.

My equilibrium was being challenged by my own perception of my limitations. I consider myself, even if no one else does, a fairly smart and intelligent woman. A good portion of my astuteness has to do with knowing my strengths and not-so strong parts.

Living humbly and alone are things that come almost too natural to me now. I have no hang ups about being single or eating sardines for dinner as examples.

What freaks me out and had me gasping for breath earlier this morning was doubt about my ability to assume responsibility for an area of work I have long detested - accounting.

My day was not turning out to be a good one, no matter how deeply I sucked on my breath!

Worse yet, The Universe was not on my side. Everyone around me could see I was about to have a seizure the more the role was being explained to me. Well, everyone except The Big Guy Above!

I seemingly had two choices:
1. Sink
2. Swim

Then a third quietly came to me between the twining of my brows and my  labour-pain easing breaths: Surrender.
"Surrender creates equanimity and bliss because you release yourself from any attachment to the results." Annette Vaillancourt Ph.D.
Attached to the result rather then accepting what was, was the root cause of my panic. I was more focussed on the end result, attached to a history of "failing" in this particular area and not accepting of the opportunity to grow even further, stretch myself and surpass my former shortcoming.

As I surrendered, not without a frown, my panic lessened and my brain started to absorb the information my colleague who is going off for surgery was presenting to me.

"This is what the others saw, Claudette," the Still Small Voice said. "This is what I know you are capable of. Why do you continue to doubt me?"

My lessons come quickly. I just have to state my intention and they appear. My intention today was to have a great day one in which I emptied myself of doubt and the lesson followed up by 8:00 a.m.

Hope you are had a doubt-free day! If not, share your stories with us here or on our Facebook page.