Three Steps to Keep Moving Forward when Panic Creeps in


I’m keenly aware of the cycles of life these days.
It wasn’t always this way. I spent much of my young adult life blissfully unaware, just riding the wind wherever it took me.

Yet this kind of freedom is deceiving. It feels free—until it comes crashing down without warning. And then there is no plan for dealing with it effectively. The result is usually to avoid or ignore, to move forward on the path that seems to come with the least amount of pain.

Like when my mother was diagnosed with cancer for a second time—a liver metastasis from her colon cancer a few years earlier. I was getting ready to graduate college and start graduate school. My adult life was ready to begin, and yet I found myself moving back home. I didn’t have a plan for that.

And then two years later, when the cancer came back again. And two years after that, when it took over her body. At 27 and just four years into a young marriage, there was no plan for dealing with that either.

The ups and downs of this haphazard path take a toll over time. For me, it resulted in a debilitating case of adrenal fatigue, which forced me to slow to a crawl.

I’ve never gotten fully back up to speed. I doubt I ever will. That’s how incapacitating a lack of awareness can be.

In that forced slowing down, however, I realized I had to find a different way, because what I had been doing clearly wasn’t working. So I spent years studying and practicing holistic nutrition, mindfulness, and self-healing. I attended the “Woman Within” weekend training and joined a local empowerment circle. I started a regularly writing practice.

Slowly, a shift began to happen. New insights began to emerge. A plan began to form.

KEEP READING: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/03/three-steps-to-keep-moving-forward-when-panic-creeps-in/

April Fool

I’m no April fool, but I thought
I heard you say, a hundred years
ago, that life would be easy,
the games we play would be more
sophisticated, but they would still be
fun, that the little cracks that form
as we navigate the boundaries ,
would not transform into gaping,
boundless caverns, but instead creep
clouds of light into every moment
and remind us that we are who
we’re supposed to be

no, that was just imagined, for
so many times this seems to be
the definitive experience of
guileless courage, a hazy fog of hapless
misunderstandings, lethargic
ramblings of a maddened soul

even if the words don’t make sense,
leak out all the roiling emotion you keep
so tidy on the shelf of self-control,
dump the contents in a scattered and
untidy heap in a way such that only you
can sort through and make any logic
from the chaos, organized and classified
from appropriate to downright crazy,
go ahead and dive right in,
flounder in the helpless overwhelm that
cleanses the creative palate

even if the madman in your mind
claims that you will never heal
the wounds that reside inside,
sleeping just beneath the surface,
reaching up to reveal the tender parts,
then retreating to leave doubt and
revelation in their wake

even as the walls begin to tumble
down, as you sink, rising and falling
soaring and tumbling through
the cycles that bring you near
perfection then catapult you
out into the shadows where
the grey gloom hovers, seeps inside,
fills the cavernous holes

even there in the most violent and
torrential path, truth is revealed,
sears the heart like streaks of dust
across the cloudy window pane
from which you peer with silent
anticipation and lonely longing
to see the light and rise up
to your rightful place
at the throne of your own life

©SpiritLed 2014

Invisible

The well runs dry and, parched with fear,
I agonize that I, myself, may shrivel up,
run dry of heart-felt words, that in the end,
the new will once again be old, dwindling
on the page where the worn out and overused
go to seek their final solace, exhausted
from their time of service to the higher cause
of originating expressions of light,
inspiration, and heart-pouring sentiment,
the depth of inner being
spilled forth on public pages

I write my words for you,
my life laid platter-bare,
but what if, after all the words dry up,
there’s nothing there?  What if
I really was invisible?

©SpiritLed 2014

Thirty-Nine

Today I turn 39.  My last year in my 30’s.  If I had my nearly 4 decades to do over, I’d stay home with my kids, which is a total contradiction because I hated staying at home when they were very young.  Now I’d do it all over again and for longer, just for more time with them.  I’d go to graduate school the first time I had the chance.  I’d go back to that first relationship in high school, and I’d say no to that boy.  Yes, it would change the course of my life, but I’d avoid the pain of losing a friend.  I’d make and keep better connections with friends of my parents and my extended family.  I had no idea how much I would wish I knew them better as I got older.   I’d demand more of myself.  The status quo and self pity would never be in my coping toolbox.  I’d learn about self care early on and make it a priority.  I’d stop myself from picking up terrible interpersonal habits that negatively affect my relationships.  My poor husband really has to deal with a lot of baggage.  I’d let people get close to me, I’d be more vulnerable.  And I’d expect it of other people too.  I’d take back every mean word I ever said to my sister.  Maybe we were just kids, but I’m sure it affected her, and she’s the only sibling I have.  I’d set better boundaries for myself, and I wouldn’t be afraid to say no.  I wouldn’t find a sick comfort in relationships that make me feel bad.  I’d talk to my mom about her illness, I’d share my fears about living a life without her.  I’d snuggle up next to her that night when she asked me to.   I’d understand that in order to feel great joy and compassion, you also, at times, have to allow yourself to feel great pain.  I’d never stop writing.  Or dancing.  Or letting the world know how smart I am.  Or crying.  I’d cry a LOT more.  And I’d pray more.  I’d figure out early what makes me passionate and pursue that.  Or not stop pursuing that.  I’d have a job that I love, that fulfills me, that I can’t wait to get up and do every morning.  I’d force my foot into that Cinderella slipper and never let it fall off my foot.

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

~Henry David Thoreau

Happy 39.  It’s going to be a great year.

©SpiritLed 2014

Pretty Little Lines

At the end of last year, I got out if my writing practice. So I’ve made a commitment to myself to write something every day, even if it’s just a paragraph, or a few raw & unfinished lines. I’m already noticing what a difference it makes to write every day, how healing it is for life! So I’m going to start posting some of it here as I go, mostly raw & unfinished, but the product of my healing journey nonetheless.

Pretty Little Lines

Heart-lifting,
ego mending,
inner garden tending,
mind quieting,
peace promoting,
sin forgiving,
healing, stealing,
soul fulfilling,
knowing, growing,
showing that the soul
is alive and well,
that deep whispers in the dark
speak the truth of the heart.

© SpiritLed 2014

Sacred Spring

I once wrote what was on my heart
Without thought to form or line
Words flowed freely,
Pouring from me as if a long-ago built
Dam had broken, allowing the pent-up
Stagnant muck behind it to find freedom
Spilling over and rushing downstream
With a fierceness that warned observers
To step back lest they be caught in the torrent.

Behind the sludge, once loosened,
Free-flowed a clear stream of seemingly
Endless inspiration tapped directly from the Source.
Yet how quickly a newly-remembered spring
Is once again muddied by silt and debris.
To remain pure requires constant movement
Removal of garbage, purifying of the sacred water
That longs to move and change
Shape the forming, growing soul
Carve the being into that which
It was born to be.

In Between

Oh, for just a moment
To compose a few lines
Steal some daylight,
A little slice of dusk,
Midnight when the moon
Peers through the skylight
Shut the office door
Jot down the heart’s murmurings

Between mommy kisses
And dirty dishes
Morning commute
The daily reboot
Somewhere in the midst of busy-ness
The day offers fleeting solitude
For introspection,
Furious scribbling,
Blessed connection with soul

© SpiritLedBlog 2013

Control

Poem 2 in the series…

It’s taken so long to get words on paper
The words come out
But they’re jumbled, messy
Thoughts form in my heart but get stuck in my mind
Swirling around, confusing and irritating my soul
Writing is my refuge, my soul’s escape
But my muse is fickle and dependent on an unhurried, uncluttered mind

So much life to live in only short spurts of time
The bending of time doesn’t happen so frequently
When I don’t give life over to Spirit.
I’ve tried to take control, to let earthly concerns dictate my heavenly path.
Control is the enemy of the soul;
It calls forth the ego, which reminds me where I’ve gone wrong,
Numbing my excitement for life