11-29 Gratitude

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This morning I am reminding myself to be grateful.

Hot coffee in a Christmas mug.

I found a nearby small sports arena  where I can walk indoors for free, 7am – 4pm weekdays.  I do walk outdoors in cold weather but it has been colder than average and we had an abrupt rather than gradual shift to winter.  When walking at the sports arena, I seem to let go of my other troubles.   I am grateful for being present in my moving body.

Several months ago I received a small settlement from my mother’s annuity.  My mother passed away nearly 20 years ago so this was very unexpected.  I am very grateful for this money today.  On November 14, I received my last paycheck from my company.  The payment I just received from them was for overtime hours I worked on a Saturday earlier in the month.  I expected to be paid for my vacation time.

I will receive severance pay.  The HR person did warn me it would take some time.  The law allows for time to change your mind regarding the separation agreement.  She also warned me that the withholding taxes will be higher.

I also received a letter stating that my medical insurance is ending and I have not yet heard about the alternative coverage.  That does scare me.

Don’t worry, I will keep looking for reasons to be hopeful.  I am tenacious ,

Looking for reasons to be grateful.

Looking for reasons to be grateful.

 

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

 

"Be who you are and be that well." St Francis de Sales  (quote attached to this statue)

“Be who you are and be that well.” St Francis de Sales (quote attached to this statue)

On the afternoon of November 13, I was told that my job was eliminated.

Since then  I have been trying to live life as ‘today is the first day of the rest of my life.’  I have been trying to become the person I am supposed to be.  I believe I am supposed to be an encourager and a listener.  I also need to make a living.  I have been trying to be brave to put myself out there.

I sent in my application to volunteer at my local supportive and emergency assistance organization.  They are called Neighbors.  I think that describes their mission,  I have not sent it in before because my fear was greater than my desire to help.  I am trying to look at this time in my life as a time when I don’t let the fear stop me.

Why is it so hard to put myself out there?  It is because I expect that I will be met with criticism; that I will be told I don’t measure up in some way.

I am trying to gather my courage to apply for a position at Feed My Starving Children.  It is a part-time position (16-18 hours per week).  Supplemental income would have been helpful even when I was working full-time.  It would definitely help now and I think I could incorporate into my life later when I find full-time work.  Maybe my life will become several part-time jobs.  Working part-time right now would allow me to be out in the world and trying.

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is one of my favorite places.  The job is for Team Leader.  The critical voice in my head says “You a leader.  What a joke.  You are tongue tied and awkward.”  But another part of me says that I love that FMSC allows people of all abilities the opportunity to contribute.  If you have diffuclty standing for a hour or more, there are other opportunities.  If you want to lift and be more active, there are opportunties.  I have seen deaf people there and even a blind man packing food.  The blind man had a spotter working with him but he was pretty darn accurate on his own.

I am praying for the universe to help me be brave every day.

 

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What is a conduit?

 

September in my neighborhood.

September in my neighborhood.

For many years I have been trying to figure out what I am supposed to be when I grow up.  Over a number of years I have consulted with a half a dozen different career counselors.   I have read many books on the subject.  I subscribe to Michelle Ward’s and Laura Simms’ blogs.  I have taken many career tests.  I can tell you that I am an INFJ on a Myers-Briggs.  According to StrengthsFinder, my top two strengths are Empathy and Connectedness followed by Intellection, Strategic and Input.

Earlier this year, a quiet voice told me I am supposed to be a Conduit.  What????  I was expecting a career.  A conduit is a personality characteristic.  What the heck in a conduit anyway?

I really don’t know what it means.  But I feel that in some way I am supposed to let people know God loves them; don’t give up hope, keep looking for the Light.

Two nights ago, I was having trouble sleeping and my intuition told me to get up and read Why You Weirdness is Wonderful:  Embrace Your Quirks & Live Your Strengths by Laurie Wallin.  This is a book that has been sitting partially read on my Kindle for a while.  She writes, “When we not only see the value of our quirks but also open our hearts to dream a little about why they matter in the world, the gift God’s given becomes tangible and truly magnificent.”

This made me think of the Facebook page, Humans of New York.  If you read it on a regular basis, it shows our diversity and also how much we have in common.  It builds empathy and connectedness.  Remember empathy and connectedness from my strengths?  I don’t want to copy Humans of New York but it helps me to feel that it is possible to find my own way to build empathy and connectedness.

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Panic button stuck in On position

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About five weeks ago I received another emotional beating from my boss.  You have heard the expression about pushing someone’s buttons.  I feel like my boss has pushed my buttons too many times and now I am stuck in the “On” position.  My heart races at work and I have a hard time letting it go when I am not at work.  My therapist suggested that I consider filing for disability for post-traumatic stress disorder.  I have considered just quitting my job and taking money out of my retirement saving to live until I heal.  Therefore, I have been thinking about positive things I could do with my days until I found another job.

Go out walking everyday around sunrise.

Volunteer maybe twice a week – once at Feed My Starving Children and once at the local food shelf.

Meditate.

Do more writing especially listing things for which I am grateful.

Be more mindful when reading the emails I regularly receive from Joel Osteen, Kind Over Matter and other inspirational people.

In a recent email Joel Osteen was reminding people to be more mindful when saying “I am ___” because what follows “I am” will come looking for you.  I reminded me of  Don Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements.  The first is Be Impeccable With Your Word.  He says, “Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or gossip about others.”  So ..

I am capable.

I am blessed.

I am loved.

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Feeling grateful

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Violas may be my favorite flower.

 

 

TV show Parenthood

I am feeling the need to express my gratitude for two of my current comforts.

One is the TV show Parenthood.  I only began watching it within the last two weeks and I have been binge watching it.

I am also grateful for my patio flowers.  I know that I will enjoy them all summer.  I will notice how they look when the light is at different angles and when the sky is sunny or gray.

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My patio flowers

My patio flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to include another photo of the violas.

I had to include another photo of the violas.

Making connections

You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

You’re Already Amazing by Holley Gerth

The above book is one of the books I have read recently.  I am trying to live in the belief that God thinks I am amazing.  The book is Christian inspiration so Holley Gerth and I have some differences in our religious beliefs but I feel we agree on the Big Picture.  I did find it helpful and subscribed to her blog and plan to read more of her books.  Because of it I also stumbled on this book.

becoming myself by Stasi Eldredge

becoming myself by Stasi Eldredge

I have only read 7% of this book but my reaction at this point is to say, “This is just what I needed!”.  She encourages us to see ourselves as God does and let go of what others have told us we are.  She says “our transformation begins when we believe we are loved”.  “God invites us into a process” so he can change us.  “The voice of Shame says, I basically hate me; I need to get rid of me.  The voice of Discipline says, I’ve got to fix me, because me is not good.  God says, I love you; let me restore you.”

As I read this I think, this sounds similar to what Geneen Roth has been trying to tell me.  I also think of Eckhart Tolle.  The idea of tuning out our thoughts and listening for God.  Since I am seeing these connections, this leads me to believe that there is a universal truth in there and we each understand it a bit differently because of who we each are.

I was browsing through books and see one with the title, I Know That God is Good But Why Am I Hurting So Much.  My response was, I am hurting because I am listening to people not God.

So I am going to give this a try.  Whenever I find myself thinking, ‘I am worthless’ or I don’t measure up in some way, I will try to quiet my thoughts and listen for God.

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While I am talking about where I see connections, I will mention two more.

Joel Osteen often sounds like the folks that talk about The Law of Attraction.

In the above book, Holley Gerth asks, do you clean your home out of fear of what someone else will think or out of love because you want to create a haven for your family?  Marianne Williamson often talks about choosing between love and fear.  That example gave me a greater understanding of that idea.

Blessings.

 

 

I am worthy.

I have not written in a while because I am struggling not to become overcome with despair.  I still work in an emotionally abuse environment.  I have been looking to find another job and that is very difficult as well.

I have been thinking that I need a worthiness practice.  I don’t know what that would look like.  But I have been thinking that I need to protect my self worth in a way that is similar to an addict protecting their sobriety or a diabetic is careful about their blood sugar level.

I do believe that our worth comes from God and all of us are worthy and equal.  I feel very strongly about that for other people and want to inspire and support and encourage that for others.  But I have a hard time feeling that for me.

Believe.

Believe.

I created the above art to remind myself to believe in my worthiness even when it feels like I am surrounded by powerful forces trying to convince me that I have little to no worth.  Because that is what my work situation feels like and that is what job hunting feel like.  Recently, someone that knows me well said that my parents made a point of telling me I was not worthy.  Work feels pretty much like that.

The following are some of the things I am going to do to support feeling worthy.

I am going to look for quotes on self-worth and post them on my Facebook page.  I might combine them with my photos or combine them with art doodles.  I hope they will encourage my feelings of self-worth and perhaps inspire others.

I am going to look at myself in the mirror and say, “I am worthy.” even if it feels silly.

I will try not to let job hunting let me me feel worthless.  If someone thinks I am not a good fit for their job or I don’t have the skills or experience they are looking for, that is okay.  But it does not mean I am worthless.

I am also going to try to read more.  I have read 11 books so far this year.  I feel good about that although I wish it was closer to one book a week.  It just seems as though I feel better when I read especially if their is a sprinkling of spiritual books among what I read.  It feels harder to read when I feel discouraged.  I will try to sort that out.