Showing posts with label friendships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendships. Show all posts

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Seizing the Opportunity to Heal

View of the water in Oysterville
There are moments I am able to seize, it's then I spend the time to sift through my own thoughts. The label seeker raises red flags with me. When I am given an opportunity I take it, yet hunting them down isn't my priority. Seeking once was a way to give myself hope, the carrot at the end of the stick, the lure of the light at the end of the tunnel. These coping tactics blinded me and I missed much of the journey, which meant I learned lessons much later than necessary. 

The opportunity to process the experience of having my daughter came up in late 2013. I had till February to think it over and send in a deposit to reserve my spot. I read the description of the event, I settled and put faith in the retreat's ability to give me a weekend in a supportive environment, beyond that I refrained from adding any more expectations. 

Every morning I wake up skeptical. I am I doing the right things? What can I do better? These attitudes prime me for being an excellent candidate to work in the nimble startup world. Fail fast, learn faster. 

Photo taken by the midwife
in the recovery room.
A memory I don't have.
As the retreat date crept up I decided I needed to choose a focus. I assumed I had processed the heavier elements of Clara's delivery, I knew there was a high chance I was wrong. The topic that came to mind was around family. I hated it. Every excuse ran through my mind on why I shouldn't go. Work, missing my niece's second birthday, loss of rare and precious family time, nurturing relationships with friends, my own health, the long intimidating drive, being vulnerable with strangers, my longing to try riding my horses again, and the list went on, and on. 

The opportunity was there, and bravely I seized it. Politely I told the excuses pumping through my mind conversations to be quiet and stand out of the way. My manager OK'd the adventure, my remote working hours and basically said, "have a great time." Text messages from my network trickled in with genuine intention I would absorb the love and support I was given. I channeled a time where I was confident driving, our new sedan picked up the slack and gave me peace of mind. What else did I need? Thinking time. 

The trip to Oysterville took a little over four hours of driving, a few breaks to stretch my legs, refuel and re-caffeinate my tiring body. Pulling into the gravel driveway was a relief. My mind had badgered me with anxiety. Every drive is exhausting, whether it is the house to the coffee shop, or a multiple hour tour to an familiar adventure. The"what if" thoughts are the hardest to quiet. I was surprised to be confronted with the sinking feeling I had left my little family, four plus hours away. Cell service was unreliable at best. I was greeted with a warm yet anxious tone. I was late. I couldn't have pushed harder even if I had tried. It just was what it was. 

The house had been given new energy. Fresh, clean, full of intention and an eagerness to share as well as participate. The entry door welcomed HBC moms with a sign, and the theme of words, art and bright colors continued even into our sleeping areas. Here was a moment to to sift through my own thoughts, so I asked myself, "what are you excited about and how can you bring that to this space for others to be excited about too?". I was eager to be my true self, willing to be vulnerable, honest and be solid for others. 

The first circle that was formed with all the women was apprehensive. The traveling hours had taken it's toll. Then the bell rang, the candle was lit and a moment of silence, from that moment on our energy had no threats. 

The weekend flowed in a cycle of prompt, expression, processing, support and relaxation. The universe at sent me to a soul spa. I soaked my tired spirit in my the purse essence forgiveness, wholeness, and love.

Parked in front of Oysterville's best
espresso stand, Captain's Coffee
Oysterville as a town doesn't have a lot to offer. There is a goat farm that I didn't visit, an amazing coffee shop that turned out to be my go-to place for caffeine and a consistent friendly face and a view of the water around mini mountains of oyster shells.

The few hours allotted as free time on Saturday gave me a sense of wanting to bolt. I wanted to listen to heat pumping loud music. I wanted to feel the caffeine in my system and let my mind go on auto pilot in a place far away from the weekend's topics and the thoughts erupting. I was bolting, as usual for a release.

Thankfully there was a touristy town about a half hour away. That was the perfect amount of time for me to get my bass blasting music out of my system. Longbeach an odd little town that reminded me a bit of the Oregon coast. There were an obvious mix of local folks and visitors cordially co-existing.  The grocery store had a limited supply of things I am used to finding at my natural food stores. Saturday evening was a potluck dinner at the retreat house. Two vegetarians and a vegan meant I was scrambling for a tasty dish to bring to the table. I decided to invest in $10 worth of asparagus. A local asked me if there was a secret sale on the long tender greens I was purchasing, confused I looked at the signs, her hands that were holding the most recent printed promotion of the store's sales, and then back at my asparagus, "oh, I don't know" was the gateway into a lovely conversation much to do about nothing in particular. I left the store with a handful of Halls cough drop rolls, asparagus, the fanciest bottle of lemon vinaigrette I could find and a glass jar of capers. Keeping it classy in Oysterville.

I had plenty of time left, so I talked myself into taking a left instead of heading back towards the camp. In a few minutes I found myself parked at the beach and exploring the board walk. I missed Eli. I wished for many things, one was that I had nudged maybe even bribed the other gals into joining me. I felt guilty experiencing this adventure on my own, it was too beautiful to share on my own.

The only constant is change. Every change is a transition to the next. The signature of the end of this retreat was a beautiful appreciation exercise. The purpose to dedicate time to express our thanks and reflections over the weekend specifically about each person. Instead of Sunday brunch, I am dreaming for a ritual of Sunday appreciations.

There are a lot of details saved for other posts, discussions over coffee or late night topics to nurture our relationships. Until then I celebrate spring, this time of blooming, new colors and my bravery in seizing the opportunity to heal. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Disney Fed Me Unrealistic Expectations

Here I go blaming Disney for setting me up for failure. When in reality it wasn't Disney, fairy tales or even the media that poured my relationship perspective foundation, or was it?

The grand adventure of a girl, most often a princess finding herself falling for Mr. Right under grim circumstances is always entertaining. Yet, Disney can't really believe that romance that bloomed during such dire circumstances automatically means the story can end on a happily ever after tone?


I bet I could find a research grant to prove that adventure, brave deeds of heroism, or even being a princess does NOT guaranteed happily ever after.

Marriage, like any relationship built on an unstable foundation is eventually going to crack, erode and sometimes even wash away.

Enter in UP, a Disney movie that in the beginning tells a heart warming story that got it right. Simple lives that are spent nurturing friendship is a life of genuine love and one that will create an inspiring legacy. 

 ** WARNING: I personally can't watch the following video 
without streams of tears pouring down my face **


Kudos to Disney for sharing a story that depicts a marriage with such a beautiful friendship, shared dreams and heartfelt love.

What Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Ariel will eventually find is that they have a hunger that won't be satisfied by dragons slayed, riches or even amazing hair. They will find that only time spent tenderly developing a friendship through the sunny days, rainy ones, frozen ground and ups and downs will produce a continuing bloom of happily ever afters.