40 Days Week 3: Equanimity

I was expecting a huge shift this week. Last time I went through the 40 days program I remember experiencing a HUGE shift this particular week where I felt like everything really came together. As you can probably tell-the shift didn’t happen. Or atleast it wasn’t as monumental as I had anticipated it being. This time it felt more like an overall shift.  I felt like I entered this week with more patience, and an increased feeling of peace which was very, very helpful in having an equinimious week.

Here are my questions:

1. How much do I believe the winds of grace support me?  As much of a believer as I am, and I am a BIG one, I sometimes-okay most of the time-have a hard time believing that I am worthy of His grace. I know it exists, and I know that he freely gives it, but I still have a hard time accepting the fact that I am worthy of His grace in His eyes.

 

2.Where can I use less reaction and more divine interpretation?  I can use less reaction when it comes to my kids. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed very easily, and to let little things bother me.  I’ve realized, through equanimity, that when I take the time to breathe and remove myself from a situation I am allowing myself time to think through what kind of an impact the decision will yield? Will this make a difference in a month’s time? How about a year? A week? If the answer is no then I can generally loosen the reigns, and know that this one very small piece of time will not have a huge lasting impact.

 

3.  How can a shift in vision enhance the quality of my life?  A shift in vision was huge in enhancing the quality of my life this week.  I realized that by removing the negative and shameful words from my vocabulary I was able to let joy, and happiness pour into my life.  For example, I am by nature a very anxious person.  This week when I was anticipating certain situations that I knew I would find myself in rather than labeling my emotions as “anxious” I labeled them as “exciting, eager, and intrigued.”  This not only helped me make my way through some challenging moments this week, but it was a very helpful tool in helping me shift my vision.

 

4.  What things are likely to trigger reactivity in me?  Hunger, exhaustion, topics I feel passionately about, situations that I believe I should be able to control (ie traffic, my children’s behavior), and situations that I think I could have made a better decision in.

 

5. How can I respond better to moments of reactivity?  I have found that my AM and PM meditations have really grounded me.  They have helped me remember to come back to my breathe, and I have found that by taking 5 or 6 deep breaths I am able to better assess and work/think through a situation.

Next week we are onto Restoration and our 3 day fruit cleanse, check back to see how my week went!!

  

 

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On Hope, Faith, and Miracles.

Illness has hit our family.

Knock you to your knees, take away your breath, illness.

My world has been rocked to its core.

Life will never be the same. For me. For them. For any of us.

Not after an experience like this.

To see people you only knew to be strong show weakness, changes you.

To see those you love hurting, and in pain, changes you.

To see someone you only ever knew as invincible not being that way, changes you.

To see someone who did all the taking care of  now the one being taken care of, changes you.

To see someone who did all of the providing now being provided for, changes you.

So if you’ve been wondering where I have been…

I have been in the muck of it all.

I have been trying to sort out the why’s, the wheres, and that what if’s.

I’ve been taking the good with the bad, and the bad with the really, really bad.

I’ve been going through my day to day life with tear filled eyes.

Eyes welled up with hot tears.

And the tears. Oh the tears.

They just come.

Whether I want them to, or not.

How ironic that it takes such a serious circumstance to make you really appreciate your loved ones.

We go through our lives expecting everyone to be here with us tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

Sometimes that doesn’t happen.

Sometimes we get less time with those who really mean something to us, less time than we could have ever imagined.

And its not fair. Not one single bit of it.

What do you do then?

I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing…

I’ve been praying.

I’ve been asking for prayers.

I’ve been hugging those I love a little tighter.

I’ve been making dinners.

I’ve been having long talks.

I’ve been saying I Love You a lot more these days.

I’ve been taking the time to reflect on my life, and the time that I’ve been lucky and blessed enough to spend with these incredible people.

I’ve been sharing with others, things I never thought I would be able to share.

I’ve opened up a piece of my life I haven’t opened up for 30 years.

I’ve let the tiniest bit of light shine on some of the darkest parts of my life.

I’ve been telling myself, “The Lord’s will be done.”

And oh how I hope and pray that His will is to give me just the tiniest bit more time with those I love.

But for now only time will tell.

Time and testing.

Clear scans, clear testing.

One mountain at a time, one battle at a time.

When one battle is won, onto the next, and the next, and the next.

We will fight, and we will battle for as long as it takes.

If there is one thing I know about my family…

We are fighters. We are strong. We are not going to lie down and succumb.

We will fight. We are overcomer’s. We stay in the fight until the final round.

And that is what we are going to do

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On Having Hope

We have officially been on a budget for about 3 months now and let me tell you it is hard.

Really, really hard.

I recently wrote about the lifestyle change we have made by going on a budget.

In fact, we are on a zero dollar budget which simply put means that there is no extra. Whatsoever.

Every.single.penny is accounted for.

It either goes to a bill, or savings, or to paying off debt.

This is a really, really hard change for me.

Every single day now revolves around calculations.

If I spend an extra $20 on gas this week, I will have to omit something from another budget…what can we do without this week? Or how can I stretch the extra two pounds of chicken into a meal our entire family will eat for the next 2 days?

Life hasn’t always been this way.  This is something new.

The past 10 years hasn’t always been this way.

We haven’t always made the brightest decisions when it comes to finances. Then again, we haven’t always had the chance to make the best choices. You see when you grow up poor, the second you get any kind of money this feeling comes over you as though you have to spend that money right now or else a bill, or a collector, or something will come along to take that money from you. Before that happens you need to spend it. The heck with well thought out decisions…

Let me take it back to the beginning for you.

I grew up poor. My family was so broke it wasn’t even funny.

I started working at 14 just to buy my own clothes and any spending money I ever needed.

My parents didn’t have much to give us-thankfully we had family who were always willing to step up making sure we never did without.

I was always the kid passing  in the hand written reports while everyone else’s were typed, and double spaced, and neatly printed off their home computer.

I was the child who had web tv because we couldn’t afford a real PC, and years later when we did get our first PC ( I was a  Senior in high school) it was a rickety hand me down PC from my family members.

So needless to say I grew up with a lot less than most.

I moved out at 17.

It was a personal decision, and really for the best.  I didn’t always have the best relationship with my mother and rather than be threatened to be kicked out, or be charged rent by her, I made the conscious decision to become an adult and move out.

That’s right. While most teenagers were filling out college applications and discussing Senior prom, I was shacked up with my high school boyfriend in our apartment together.

I was determined to go to college and I can remember having a conversation with my parents where I thought there was a magical hidden savings account that had accrued interest over the years so they could send me to college. Ha! They looked right at me and told me they couldn’t help me with anything because they still had my 2 and 4 year old brother and sister to care for. So I began scraping up the $50 for each college application I was submitting.

Because of my childhood I always promised to give my children the best.

Today, we live modestly.

Both by choice and by necessity.

We have a small, two bedroom townhouse for 5 people.

My husband and I don’t have the newest clothing, electronics, and we certainly don’t have fancy expensive date nights.

I was recently part of an online discussion that asked how often do you buy a new bra? My answer? 2 years ago.

We don’t exchange birthday, Christmas, or any other holiday gifts.

Any extra always goes to our children.

They do have the best.

The best clothing, the best shoes, the best accessories, and they attend the best preschool.

Having said that I will never be one that is too good for hand me downs nor am I  one to pass up a good thrift shop find…I do love discounts and sales as much as ever-for our entire family!

Still I want more.

I want a house, with a yard, and a driveway.

I want to be able to host family gatherings and not have people be on top of one another.

Right now though I know that is not a possibility.

Some days, most days, I feel guilty for wanting more-more selfish thoughts that flood my mind on a daily basis.

As though what we have right now isn’t enough…but I know it is.

At this point in our lives, this is what we can handle. This is what we have been given.

So for now we keep trimming, we keeping saving, we keep paying off debt so that one day we can have all of that.

And that day my friends will make all of this mess worth it!

 hope