Tag Archives: Darkness

Tunnel Times and Waiting for a New Season

It is the dark tunnel known as snowbird season in Sarasota. We snobby native transplants hate it. Traffic is tripled and it takes forever to get from point A to B (or to snag a table at your favorite restaurant.)

This is the price we pay for living in paradise, but the light at the end of the tunnel is knowing snowbird season doesn’t last forever.

So, too, with the tunnels of our lives. The dark seasons of our souls are just that – seasons.

Where I get off track (and maybe where you do, too) is when I take the tunnels all too seriously. Instead of distracting myself with a better-feeling thought, I build monuments to the dark ones and envision my future around their bleak paintings.

As if the tunnel times are the end-all story of my life.

When they’re just seasons.

These, too, shall pass.

Oh…but when you’re IN the midst of a tunnel time? Let’s belt out a rousing chorus of “Ain’t No Sunshine…”? Only Bill Withers’ soulful voice perfectly captures the depths of despair. Wailing is apropos.

Milk that darkness for a day or two and it can spin into weeks of not wanting to leave the bed and face the world.

Oh, you do. Because you HAVE to. The lottery tickets haven’t paid off yet and there are people, places, and things requiring our attention.

Have you ever felt like you were walking through quicksand?

Such has been my experience for about a month now. I tried to pin my mood on the new moon, which is supposed to influence the emotions of sensitive people.

But the new moon wasn’t so new anymore. So how to explain this malaise?

And in trying to figure it all out, it seemed I dug a deeper hole.

And then it dawned on me.

This is just a season.

When you’re in the frost of winter in your soul, it can feel like the buds will never sprout again.

Friends, don’t be so hard on yourself. (It never makes matters better.)

Faithful Mark, my loving partner, always wants to make things better. When he sees the dark storm clouds hovering over me, unlike some who would run for cover, he seeks ways to offer light. And I hope the story I am about to tell you sheds light on any darkness you might be feeling.

When I thought I couldn’t even remember how to feel happy again, he said, “Come outside for a minute.”

Still in my bathrobe, with Phyllis Diller hair sticking out and sleep in my eyes, I mustered enough oomph to shuffle out to the lanai.

And there was our avocado plant. Purchased as a housewarming gift nearly a year ago, it always looked healthy, but never offered hope that it would ever bear fruit.

Take a closer look…
It’s a baby avocado!

At first, I didn’t see it. But I looked again, and there was not just one, but a whole family of baby avocado buds.

Just like when the Grinch’s heart melted because of Cindy Lou Who, mine stirred with a lately-unfamiliar feeling.

Hope.

“…and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!”

Sometimes, it feels like NOTHING is happening. You’ve planted the seeds, watered, fertilized, and weeded them. And nada.

As if it’s Groundhog Day and it’s the same ‘ole same ‘ole and it’ll always be the same ‘ole same ‘ole.

You can feel like all of your effort is for naught. That all of your believing was just a pipe dream. That you should just settle for ordinary since CLEARLY this season of discontent is on an endless loop of auto-replay.

But take heart.

You may not see progress, but something’s getting ready to sprout.

I promise you, it’s getting ready to sprout.

Because there is an end to every season. Even a dark season of the soul.

The treasures you will mine in this fertilizer of darkness will richly serve you when the fruit arrives.

Keep looking for the sprout. It’s coming.

And celebrate the coming change. Because seasons always do.

Here’s our new WOW:

https://youtu.be/4Efzw2cs_Uo

Oooooooh…let’s all go and take a nap!

xoxoxo

Brenda

Share This:

Digging Out of a Self-Dug Hole

It was a deep, dark hole.

And I dug it. (And not in a good, 70’s “groovy” kind of way.)

Since we are the CEO’s of our own lives, we dig the holes we choose to dive into.

This week’s video talks about the particular hole I dug, so I’m not going to re-hash that, but let’s spend a minute going over how to emerge from those self-imposed ditches!

First things first, stop beating yourself up for having “done it again.” You were on a high-flying disc, you felt unstoppable, you were bathed in positivity – then BAM, you got sucker punched by a thought.

It was a nagging thought; it could have been swatted away like a mosquito, but instead, you played with it.

You entertained it.

In the workshops I teach, I use the example of a known criminal showing up at your door. Would you let them in? Further, would you brew a pot of coffee and open up the guest room?

NEVER!

We should treat negative thoughts; hurtful self-talk and shame-filled internal accusations with the same vehemence.

However, when we fail to kick them to the curb quickly, they do gain momentum. And their companion playmates then join in to sling some mud. Next thing you know, you have full-on anxiety, depression, the blahs and the blues.

The worst thing you can do is kick yourself when you’re down.

No! Be extra nice to yourself. Don’t dwell on the hole; think of a better-feeling thought – perhaps completely off-topic. Like that your favorite niece just got engaged – or that there’s a whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer with your name on it. Count some blessings. You have a roof over your head, or friends that care about you. A job that pays the bills and a sunset you can catch if you look out the window.

If that doesn’t work, take a nap. Going to sleep will hit the re-set button on your mood.

Seeking those better- feeling thoughts and entertaining THEM will elevate you from the hole, and soon you’ll be back to your tuned in, tapped in, turned on self.

Yes, you are hearing my favorite Esther Hicks phrases in this post, and for good reason.

They work!

I bet you’ll laugh when you hear what nagging thought began MY personal hole since the last time we visited. How lovely to laugh at what had previously stung!

https://youtu.be/FOQmkjf-4As

Don’t you just LOVE our new Word of the Week?

xoxoxo

Love,
Brenda

Share This:

Acts of Kindness (and the New WOW)

What I’ve marveled at this past week is how bright light shines when it enters a dark place. How people come out of the woodwork with acts of kindness when they sense you need it most.

Like this meme said so clearly (thank you notsalmon.com:

14142072_1753768678195215_8593918981677092172_n

The new of hurricane Hermine was EVERYWHERE, and the location of Sarasota was front and center. Sure, we had our generator ready to go and the pantry and fridge stocked; candles ready to light and our phones and iPads fully charged.

But what really lit me up were the messages that flooded us (far more than the storm did.)

The big galoot I used to work with five years ago who private messaged to make sure I was OK. He’s not the warm, fuzzy type – so his concern touched me especially. The Facebook posts from family asking for updates and reminding us to “batten down the hatches.”

Not to make light of what was a damaging storm to many in our area, I do thank Hermine for passing through simply for the kind connections that made us feel so cared for this past week.

I observed from afar a dear friend undergo surgery for that “C” word this past week, and firmly believe that the love he was bombed with expedited what his doctors are calling an amazing recovery.

Darkness brings out the best light in us.

There’s something particularly fierce and vocal about our expressions of love and kindness when someone we care about is going through a tough time.  We become demonstrative and lavish…and it’s a beautiful thing that, having NOT gone through that dark tunnel we might not know otherwise.

I am reminded that we need to be that way with ourselves – whether it’s the big “C” or a little hormonal uprising.  Kindness is the special sauce that makes anything we face in life not only palatable but sometimes, remarkably wonderful.

Here’s a little bit more about how KINDNESS touched my path this week:

Feel free to choose your own word, but like I said, I’m sticking with HUMOR.

(And feel free to tell me a joke!)

xoxoxox

Brenda

Share This:

Simply Choosing Light (and the New WOW)

There are often simple solutions to daily conundrums.

The trick is to take action instead of allowing said conundrum to consume, overwhelm and otherwise wet blanket your joy.

Those little, trifling matters, like a wildly disorganized desk can be rectified by a good purging.

Then there are other events that stop you in your tracks.

I believe it is important to feel a thing; to be real about life and allow emotion to run its course.

However, I believe it is equally important to guard my heart from being immersed in the darkness of a thing.

I can only take so much. How about you?

The horrors of the massacre in Orlando this past week…the thought that innocent people enjoying a night out could have their dance so viciously interrupted just wrecked me.

To grieve for the lives lost and the pain caused to their loved ones is good and right.

Then I began thinking about the perpetrator…and the unknown others out there intent on spilling their hatred in unexpected places.

Like the obsessed fan who ended singer Christina Grimmie’s life.

And then, a child playing in shallow water, fatally attacked by an alligator.  Imagining the scene and how traumatized the family must be…

I can only take so much.  How about you?

Yes, it was a worst-ever week for Florida. If I meditate on it too much, it conjures up a forecast of more storm clouds and tragic thunderbolts that come out of nowhere to ensure our misery.

Not to turn off empathy or deny myself a good cry – but there comes a point where I have to take the simple solution.

My heart can’t take too much of the darkness.  I need to focus on the light.

Light in the form of good people, like the man who built 49 crosses to memorialize the lives cut down at Pulse nightclub.

And on a day like today – Father’s Day – that can often squeeze my heart with the pain of loss, I choose to think of the joy of a beautiful, smiling man who exemplified love in the ten short years I knew him.

 I can focus on what I lost…or on the joy of what I had.

It’s simple.  As the guardian of my own heart, it is what I must do to face tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow it may rain.  But there’s also a good chance the sun will shine or a rainbow will appear.

Life is good and bad and horrible and joyful.  Yet I choose to live it because I believe in tomorrow.  And I believe that love ultimately wins.  And I’ll fight with all that is in for me fear NOT to win.

Which leads into my recap of SIMPLICITY and the unveiling of the new WOW…

Here’s my introductory thought on our new WOW, and for all of us who are going through a difficult time…let’s KEEP going.

a-contented-heart-is-a-calm-sea-in-the-midst-of-all-storms-quote-1

May our hearts find and embrace contentment this week.

xoxoxox

Brenda

Share This: