Tag Archives: openness

Jumping, Writing, Fighting Malaise and Two WOWs

When my spirits are low, I can’t jump at Zumba.

I’m just made that way.

I remember distinctly when I got into a screaming, knockdown fight with one of my best friends (now several years ago but still fresh in my mind.)

Such conflicts, especially with my friends, aren’t the norm and totally rendered me off-kilter. So much so that even when I went to Zumba class, I couldn’t wiggle or shimmy, let alone jump. A weight of unseen gravity was like a ball and chain around my heart.

This went on for a couple of weeks until we had a true kiss and make-up reconnection.

And then I could jump again.

Actually, not only could I jump, I felt like Tigger.

Oh the freedom that comes from conflict resolution!  And the joy of reconciliation?  It’s better than winning the lottery.

I say THAT to say this:

The events of recent weeks – and it began in Orlando with the shootings at Pulse Nightclub – heightened racial tensions, the disheartening political landscape, police officers murdered in Dallas…and just this past week, Nice, France – well, I felt a sadness; a hopelessness that perhaps some of you have felt.

This crab (my astrological sign is Cancer) tends to retreat when her heart is heavy.  And just like my inability to jump, I couldn’t type a blog post last week.

First one I’ve ever missed since I started.

I was going to blame it on technical difficulties, but since we’re all about being honest with each other, I couldn’t pass it off that way.

There are no pithy quotes or simple solutions to these perilous times in which we live.

On the theme of WILLINGNESS and last week’s FLEXIBILITY, I have been working at not judging and hearing all sides of an argument.

And depending on who I’m listening to, I can be persuaded.

Is anyone else out there like this?

For my mental and spiritual health, I can’t keep on focusing on what I can’t change.  All I can do is what I can do.  And though there’s still a good part of me that wants to hole up in my shell and ask you all to wake me up when things are better…

…that’s not gonna help anyone.  Least of all, myself.

So I will plow ahead (and so will you) and know that these were recorded when a little bit of sun shone through the clouds (because not only can’t I write when I’m sad, I’m also pretty silent).  And don’t want to wear makeup.

To catch you up, here’s last week’s WORD:

And here’s THIS week’s, which is remarkable:

We’ve been at this quite a while, and to get three consecutive words that say pretty much the same thing?

I know there is a message here that is taking its sweet time to penetrate my heart.

I suppose I should be OPEN to it taking as long as needed.

But one thing I’m going to work on this week is being open to receive.  (Since I feel a bit unable to give, it’s not a stretch to make that my focus.)

I’m open to receiving all sorts of love this week.  Feel free to send some my way!

I know, I know.  The best time to GIVE is when you feel like ya got nuttin’.

So I’ll try some of that, too.

What are you hearing in these words WILLINGNESS, FLEXIBILITY, OPENNESS?

Because maybe you have an insight we ALL could use.

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Bad Hair vs. Dancing in the Rain

These WOWs (Words of the Week) truly challenge me, because when I pray and ask I really BELIEVE that the answer is something I need to apply in order to grow as a person.

To provide context so you know where I’m coming from, my former life was bathed in a toxic cocktail of self-criticism and abuse masqueraded as personal growth. Higher levels of spirituality were dangled in front of me like a carrot by others (whose ideas about my shortcomings were used to torment and control me.)  So happy was I to eventually be free from the scrutiny, I took a  sabbatical for almost a decade and declared (to myself) – ENOUGH!

“If I never change another thing about me, I’m going to love myself and start enjoying life.”

And I did! And I do!

But something happened along the way and, I realized I still yearned to grow. Now it’s a gentle, self-motivated and healthy exercise that serves to make my life happier and more fulfilled. I say all this to affirm:

My hope is that none of you reading my exhortations beat yourself up with criticisms and judgments but are rather inspired to bloom, like when the sun kisses a budding flower.

Lots of preamble to get to my personal experience with WILLINGNESS this week.

My husband surprised me by being willing to go to an oudoor concert featuring my favorite funky dance tunes. He’s not a guy who likes to dance, but he knows I am happy to boogie in my beach chair and sing along. So we did!

Finding a spot on the grass with hundreds of other Sarasotians on the grounds of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, the sun began to set on our water view. The sounds of Earth Wind and Fire’s “September” had me shimmying in my seat.

And then the clouds descended. And the sprinkles of rain turned into a steady stream, causing me to pick up my chair and seek the nearest shelter.

To my surprise, Duane stayed put.  At any moment I expected him to say, “Let’s get out of here.” Instead, he turned to me and beckoned me back to our spot on the grass. “It’s just a little rain.”

I had a momentary pause. My cute little tie-dyed sundress would get soaked, and my hair? I could already feel it expanding into Roseanne Roseannadanna territory.

And I literally asked myself,  “Are you willing?”

Out into the rain I went, bouncing to Uptown Funk and boogie-ing with abandon as my look went south.

But my heart soared. Especially when they broke into Marvin Gaye and the man I said “I do” to stood up and wrapped me into a slow dance as we were pelted by raindrops.

I would have missed all of this if I wasn’t willing:  IMG_1185

It doesn’t have to be a huge, life-altering willingness to tip your life into the happy zone. Just a decision to replace the customary “No” with a “Why not?”

Like when I went to Zumba and realized, “Oh no. New teacher. She’s Ariana Grande’s twin and I will be hopelessly inept for the next hour.”  Normally, I’d use this as an excuse to skip class and head to Starbuck’s for an iced skinny café mocha grande.

Instead, I asked myself, “Are you willing?”

Fifteen minutes later, I was deep into Fireball (and Uptown Funk, again!) and smiling. None of us knew the steps. And it didn’t matter. We were working up a sweat (and working off last night’s ravioli.)

I wonder what other treasures WILLINGNESS has in store this week?

My wish for you is like the song.  If you have the chance to sit it out or dance…

I hope you dance.

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