Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

Giving ourselves permission

Mary Johnson - Thursday, May 31, 2018

Had a long overdue catch-up with a dear friend of mine. She has had a rough good number of months. It started of when she realized she was in perimenopause. That threw her for a loop. We feel ourselves, indeed tell ourselves we are still only 26, 37, 42 or what ever your version of young is! Our bodies remind us that time does march on. 'The Change' as it was so quaintly called tells us so. Then she fell and sustained a concussion back in March. Around the same time they became short handed at work. We've all had some version of this in our lives. A tsunami of events threatens to drown us. The concussion, in particular, humbled this high energy, uber positive, excellently thinking, active woman. She had brain fog, jumbled words in books and signs and an aversion to noise. Her brain needed time and little to no activity to heal. Ah nothing like time alone with your thoughts, no matter how jumbled, to scare the crap our of you! Playing off on the edges of her psyche are some relationship rubs that are making themselves felt. 

So the upshot for my dear friend?!? 'I have such tremendous fatigue. I'm going to see an alternate health Dr. to see how I can get my energy back.' Did you catch the trap of thinking that grabs many of us? I'm fatigued > fix. She's keeping multiple balls in the air and putting on the good face that all is as usual. That takes energy and lots of it! So we reach for some sort of pill or potion, program to give me back myself or get me through this. (For me it was always chocolate chip cookies. :)) Got a short term lift and could keep going a while longer. And I'll work on that 10 lbs. later.)  

I'm not dissing my friend. Indeed hers is a very common response. I have done it myself repeatedly. We feel we can't slow down. We are impatient and want things the way they were. There is huge resistance to what our bodies and psyche are telling us. Yet the reality is the fatigue is there to slow us down. Attend to ourselves. In a larger way than just getting a pedicure or going shopping with friend. It's about nourishing ourselves at a deep level and over a sustained period of time. That scares us. What if we never come out the other side? What if we are irreparably changed? What if I don't recognize myself, or no one else does? These are large hairy audacious questions and scary outcomes.  

We talked about this. The 'perfect storm' of events is heralding a major transition. How the internal resistance to moving at the pace dictated by our energy perpetuates the fatigue and delays the process. Forget 'mind over matter'. Befriend what is happening.  Be curious about what this time is about. Give yourself permission to engage it fully. I don't want to make it sound like it's easy. It's not. Know though you will come out the other side! And for the better.          

Settling in

Mary Johnson - Thursday, May 24, 2018

The last good while has been a funny space. One where the 'goal' is not clearly defined. The end point not visible. So I have been taking time to see where my energy is and what calls me forward in my days. Have to admit it's been a struggle to let go of my internal recriminations. I have reassured 'Betty' - my satin gowned, 50's styled, smoking inner critic. She's cutting me some slack (though not for long she tells me!) and I'm grateful. 

My days have a very different rhythm to them. Especially in this heat. And I'm loving it. Time in the garden, a little work, walks and yoga, camping, reading and sleep. Solid deep sleep. I seem to manage my way through all the things that need doing and even some that don't need doing so much as a little attention. Gone, .... well greatly reduced, a internal frenetic-ness. The feeling that I was not doing the right something or enough of it. 

Ran across a paragraph in a book called Coming Home: The Return to True Self by Martia Nelson. She framed up the potential of this time eloquently. 

"..... consider that your destiny may be a pull rather than a plan, a process rather than an outcome, a matter of following the vibrancy of life force rather than being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.

This is a destiny that has no particular form and that, in fact, is not dependent on specific events or situations for it's expression. There is no fixed map with a set path that you are to follow to make your life worthwhile, ......... In such a reality, destiny is less about 'proper' unfolding of your life and more about inane unfolding of your being."     

I know I'm not there yet but am learning to distinguish between the two. To trust the 'pull vs the plan' just a little more.     

Reflecting back to move forward

Mary Johnson - Thursday, May 10, 2018

My last post was about looking for purpose at this stage of the game. (What is my purpose?)  Not really any closer but have had some fun casting about my life for clues. A good place to start has been looking at my career path. First off I calculated that since I finished nurses training I have been in the workforce 44 years. 44 years! That blew me away. In this time I have worked in 11 organizations/ businesses including 2 iterations on my own and in 8 other roles. I think that's what has kept me going. The reinvention or re-bundling of my work skills in a number of different settings and situations. What fun really!  

Then there were the 3 years in nurses training. We supplied 'labour' to the hospital in repayment for our schooling. There was a lot of payback! Part time work while in high school as a salesperson/ sewing instructor and waitressing, including being a cigarette girl for the Klondike Days cabaret in the hotel I worked. As well as cigarettes I also sold pickled eggs. Ha! Can you imagine? And of course did my share of babysitting in the neighbourhood before that. 

Geez! No wonder it's hard to see oneself outside the realm of paid work. I have been doing a version of it for a long, long time! Suspect this is one of the reasons people find the idea of 'retirement' hard. I'm not unusual in my work history. Work provides a 'purpose' or a place to play out our purpose. Contemplating shifting away from this is a huge rethink of who you are and what now are my days all about. 

Looking closer some themes and clues for me are embedded in my career. Several of these roles were brand new. Never done before. Loved making something my own. Then there was the opportunity to bring new ways of looking at situations to the table. I also frequently worked with eclectic individuals. All of this was very juicy. I still get excited when I think about those times.  

I feel pretty pleased looking back at my career. There is direction, certainly a 'feel' of what could be possible. It's not immediate but something more to bring into my reflections at this time. Nice!