The Gifts of the Siesta

“…the devil’s hour, two o’clock on a summer afternoon–the siesta hour.” 

Kamel Daoud, The Meursault Investigation

I have learned many lessons since moving to Texas.

One of my most recent lessons–wait–let’s change that to a new awareness–is the power of the afternoon time called the siesta.

Even if I’ve spend the majority of my time inside, the intense summer heat drains my energy. Every day as the daytime heat intensifies, I feel the need for some afternoon down/re-charging time.

This former Iowa girl is creating and defining her own siesta space.

Not surprising to anyone who knows me, time management is an issue.

Unlike my dad who came home for lunch and a quick ten minute nap, my down time tend to be connected to an hourly meter.

With age and some selective wisdom, I’m accepting and adjusting my siesta standards and expectations. I have determined these adjustments are justified by the fact I am up earlier which gives me the opportunity to see many more sunrises and I am up later for some very excellent star gazing.

I like that.

“I count it as an absolute certainty that in paradise, everyone naps. A nap is a perfect pleasure and it’s useful, too. It splits the day into two halves, making each half more manageable and enjoyable. How much easier it is to work in the morning if we know we have a nap to look forward to after lunch; and how much more pleasant the late afternoon and evening become after a little sleep. If you know there is a nap to come later in the day, then you can banish forever that terrible sense of doom one feels at 9 A.M. with eight hours of straight toil ahead. Not only that, but a nap can offer a glimpse into a twilight nether world where gods play and dreams happen.” 

Tom Hodgkinson, How to Be Idle

I am…

B…simply being. 

~God bless and peace, Y’all.~

 

 

 

Resilience

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” 

Elizabeth Edwards

I think it was Tim Shriver who said what has not been grieved will continue to show up in your life.

I was reminded of this quote these past few weeks as I attempted to processed the unknown illness of our Tibetan Terrier,  Ruby,  and the sudden death of our Lhasa Apso, Duffy.

The pain from these two incidents has pulled up some old stuff. Stuff I’ve had to shove down into some deep dark place many years ago in order to survive and maintain the status quo of my family,  my sisters, and myself.

Interesting, I chose to not edit the order of that list because I wanted it to serve as a reminder of where I still placed my priorities even now, at the age of 65 years. Without conscious thought, I’d automatically placed  myself at the end of those who needed care and/or protection.

It’s past time to reset those priority button so I can work on my core beliefs, acknowledge my own worth, and begin to work on the grief  I’ve carried around with me for the past fifty some years.

“The reality of grief is far different from what others see from the outside. There is pain in this world that you can’t be cheered out of. You don’t need solutions. You don’t need to move on from your grief. You need someone to see your grief, to acknowledge it. You need someone to hold your hands while you stand there in blinking horror, staring at the hole that was your life. Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.” 

Megan Devine, It’s Ok That You’re Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

 

Wings

Oh, to catch the winds of flight

And soar where eagles go, 

To leave the woes of troubled souls

Behind me far below.

I’d listen tot he song of birds

And sail in endless flight,

Then chase the sun through cloudy paths

And play with stars at night.

The boundless heavens for my home,

The breeze to lift me high, 

To rise a one my mortal bonds

And never have to die.

Knowing I have found the way

To trails where angels trod,

And when my wings could fly no more—

I’d take the hand of GOD!

~C. David Hay

I had a very simple day.

I took my computer, my iPad, and my phone to the kitchen table and spent the day reading, writing, and watching birds swarm our bird feeders.

From my inside perch, I quietly observed as the neighborhood feral cats slyly prowled the fence line while different flocks of birds staged themselves in nearby bushes. Each little cluster of birds flitted from branch to branch as they awaited their turn to storm the stations. Close at hand was my quick, fold-out bird guide of Texas along with a pair of binoculars. I was prepared for a little work and a day of bird watching. I was not disappointed.

It was the best therapy.

Soul searching is hard work and I’ve roughed up some old wounds. This hearty dose of Mother Nature was just what I needed.

“Be kind to your body, gentle with your mind and patient with your heart. Stay true to your spirit, cherish your soul and never doubt yourself. You are still becoming, my love, and there is no one more deserving of the nurturing grace of your love.” 

Becca Lee

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Recharging

“Each wave that rolls onto the shore must release back to the ocean. You are the same. Each wave of action you take must release back to the peace within you. Stress is what happens when you resist this natural process. Everyone needs breaks. Denying this necessity does not remove it. Let yourself go. Realize that, sometimes, the best thing to do is absolutely nothing.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

Today became a day to linger over coffee, watch wildlife, and take it easy.

I had some great visitors.

The little brown-eyed doe I wrote about a few weeks ago is still visiting us. Her front leg has stabilized and she is putting some weight on it as she makes her way across the fields. She keeps up with the rest of her herd and runs like nothing ever happened to her. She is an amazing example of determination.

The traditional bird house had two different birds putting a bid in for it today. A little wren and a titmouse had a rather serious discussion about who had first rights on the new little abode. The last time I checked it appeared the very vocal little wren had won.

Two yellow finches, a male and female, found the thistle seed. Made me wonder if they would find the little Hobbit bird house.

It was a restful, peace-filled day with Mother Nature entertaining me and recharging my spirit. I am blessed and grateful.

“Authenticity is not the search for uniqueness. An oak tree does not try to become an oak tree. A cactus does not try to become a cactus. All living things simply reach for nourishment – they reach for sun, reach for water, reach their roots deeper into the ground. By being open to receiving what they need, they become unique effortlessly. So let yourself fall open. Forget about crafting yourself a unique personality. Just allow. Allow in love. Allow pain. Allow desire. Allow learning. Allow healing. Allow frustration. Allow uncertainty. Allow yourself to experience what you must experience and learn what you need to learn, so that your uniqueness can emerge organically.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Lighten Up

You have a unique gift to offer this world. Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, read and learn about everything that interests you and keep away from people who bring you down. When you treat yourself kindly and respect the uniqueness of those around you, you will be giving this world an amazing gift… YOU!” 

Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

It’s been great hearing from other first borns since I posted my story yesterday. We certainly share many of the traits I mentioned as well as a lot of guilt. We do take charge and set very high expectations for ourselves. Perfectionism is a hard taskmaster and failure is not an option. Being kind to ourselves is foreign to us and something we have to work hard to learn.

It’s going to take time. With a little patience and help from each other, I think we can learn how to live a more balanced life and “lighten-up.”

May Rabbi Levy’s prayer help us all.

A Prayer When We Are Too Hard on Ourselves  

Teach me how to love myself, God. I am so critical of myself. I set such high standards for myself. I accept shortcomings in others, but I am so unforgiving of myself. Help me, God. Teach me how to enjoy my life. Remind me to be kind to myself. Show me how to embrace the person I am. Lead me to appreciate all the miracles that surround me each day. Soften my heart, God; open my eyes. Fill me with the capacity to treasure my life. Thank You, God, for creating me as I am. Amen.

Levy, Naomi. Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration 

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Caring For Yourself

CARING FOR YOURSELF 

Be Yourself– Truthfully 

Accept Yourself– Gracefully 

Value Yourself– Joyfully 

Forgive Yourself– Completely 

Treat Yourself– Generously 

Bless Yourself– Abundantly 

Trust Yourself– Confidently 

Love Yourself– Wholeheartedly 

Empower Yourself– Prayerfully 

Give Yourself– Enthusiastically 

Express Yourself– Radiantly 

TAKE CARE OF YOU!!

~Brad Boyd  

I have met some of the most amazing people through Facebook.

One such amazing person is Terri Boyd Lucher. She is a suicide survivor and someone I now have the pleasure of chatting with on a fairly regular basis.

Our “friendship” began when I sent a message asking to use the picture I’m reusing in today’s story. She graciously gave her permission and shared more about her story.

All I can say is her guardian angels were definitely beside her for some time during her recovery. I am thankful to have the opportunity to call her my friend and thankful she continues to not just live but thrive in all she does. God bless you, Terri, and many thanks to your brother as well.

Between the two of you, my work today is beautifully and easily completed.

Just goes to show you how gifts find their way to you when you least expect them.

“I find that the more willing I am to be grateful for the small things in life, the bigger stuff just seems to show up from unexpected sources, and I am constantly looking forward to each day with all the surprises that keep coming my way!” ~ Louise L. Hay

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

 

 

Resting

“I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.” 

Shirley Conran

Yesterday became a rest day.

I was exhausted. The early morning heat took its toll quickly as I worked in the front yard. Those weeds were a lot stronger than I’d anticipated. By the time I was done, my body told me in no uncertain terms she needed some time to refuel.

I listened.

“Each wave that rolls onto the shore must release back to the ocean. You are the same. Each wave of action you take must release back to the peace within you. Stress is what happens when you resist this natural process. Everyone needs breaks. Denying this necessity does not remove it. Let yourself go. Realize that, sometimes, the best thing to do is absolutely nothing.” 

Vironika Tugaleva

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace~

Self-Compassion

“Awakening self-compassion is often the greatest challenge people face on the spiritual path.” 

Tara Brach, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

I’ve noticed a new word being used for taking care of yourself. Self-care. I like it which means I probably over use it–the word–NOT the practice.

I’ve been searching for a word or phrase that describes what I’ve been so focused on these past few years. I found that phrase today–I am on my spiritual path in search of self.

I like that as well.

In my family it was stressed you never put yourself first. You took care of everyone else before yourself. Since I was a kid when this lesson was first taught, I was expected to be even more subservient.

This lesson is one of those childhood tapes that has played every single day and always comes in loud and clear. You never questioned it. It was just the way it was. Even talking about in now makes me uncomfortable.

Buried within those lesson notes is the word “should.” I’ve become very aware of the times I use that specific word. It falls into my sentence structure so naturally I don’t notice until I read it out loud. As I read my voice triggers an immediate shame response when I say the word, should.  Nearly every circumstance revolves around something I didn’t do but had the opportunity to do so. It’s about a choice I made to give myself a rest which automatically means I was neglecting the needs of someone else.

Oh, those old lessons are hard to unlearn.

I understand it won’t happen over night. Like so many things I’ve discovered on this path, it is another part of this amazing journey I’m on that is a work in progress.

“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” 

Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

 

 

Self-Care

“The day you start giving yourself priority and catering to your own needs first, that day everything will fall in place. Most of us were taught (or believed) that taking care of your own needs first is being selfish. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Unless you look after yourself first, how can you look after others? It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that if you want to help others, you have to take care of your own needs first. No, you are not being selfish by doing that. Charity begins at home- in this case with your own self. You can feed others provided you have enough to eat. More often than not, you are misused if you are nice. You have to compromise many a time to suit needs of others. That way you are seconding yourself to someone else. Stop doing that. You have a right to your needs and a reasonable chance to fulfill them. Demarcate clear boundaries, draw very clear unambiguous lines and stick to them; your personal space should not be violated. If in your relationships you find that all your efforts are concentrated on pleasing others then it is high time you unshackled and freed yourself from their vice like grip or else you will sink into quicksand with no chance of survival. If people don’t like the new you and decide to walk out, don’t stop them, they were never meant to be in your circle. Good riddance. Believe me, you will feel relieved because a very heavy load would have been lifted from your chest. Surround yourself with like-minded people who care for you, respect your individuality, see your value and don’t cross the line. They are people you should stick to- because they are genuine.” 

Latika Teotia

In my midwest Catholic family, I was raised to put others first–that was the way it was–to do otherwise was selfish.

Taking care of myself–self-care–is a relatively new concept for me. I struggle with it most days–I think many of us do. It’s an entirely new thought process for me so I should not expect it to be comfortable immediately.

I’m learning to be patient with myself–I’m more aware and beginning to believe the simple fact is this–I am worthy–as are YOU.

“You need to wake up and realize that you deserve more, and there is more waiting for you out there. Stop settling; it only tarnishes and corrodes your soul.” 

Lebo Grand

I am…

B…simply being…

God bless.

~Peace~

It Was a Day For Me

“If you celebrate your differentness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.”
― Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

Today became an unplanned self-care day.

It was so good and I am so thankful.

Of course, now I’m having a tad bit of a guilt attack for not getting much crossed off my to-do list. Not to worry–I found this great quote as a way to prepare for my day tomorrow.

“You get up in the morning; it’s the start of yet another day in your daily life. However, if you want to make it interesting, exciting, extract the best out of it and make those 24 hours go a long way then make-believe that it’s your last day! Make every minute, every second, nay, every heartbeat count. Do things you’ve hesitated doing before. Go on, apologize to that dear friend with whom you haven’t spoken for quite some time now. Express your true feelings to your sweetheart. Give a hug to your children or grandchildren and tell them how much you love them. Wear that beautiful dress you’ve been saving for an occasion. Eat from your best crockery, drink from those crystal glasses that you’ve been maintaining for some grand party. What’s more precious than your own life? YOU are THAT important person you’ve been waiting for so long. Throw yourself a party, pamper your own self, tickle those taste buds and have a blast.

We keep waiting for that right occasion to take out that pretty dress, little realizing that we may not fit into it after some time. We keep maintaining those crystal and bone china ware little realizing that they can break. Use them often; use them for and on your own self because the most important person is YOU.”
― Latika Teotia

I am…

B…simply being…

Get out there and spread wonder and experience joy.

~Peace~