these hills are mine, green
mounds of love bearing burdens
of a lost people
these hills are mine, green
mounds of love bearing burdens
of a lost people
About two years ago I found myself overwhelmed and over-extended. I had too many activities, and not enough time. I had leadership roles in everything, including as Chair of the Board of Directors for a large non-profit organization in my town. This dilemma was complicated by the fact that I didn’t really like the people I was surrounded with, and it was pretty clear that a number of them didn’t like me. So, over the course of the last two years. . . I’ve quit.
I quit the Board. I didn’t step down as chair- I quit the entire thing. After being harassed, and bullied by the president of the organization, who refused to work equitably with me, and insisted upon treating me as though I were an incompetent child, I left. ONE OF THE BEST DECISIONS I MADE LAST YEAR.
You know why? Because by letting go of those things that didn’t serve me, I opened up the room in my life for the things that DO serve me.
I discovered yoga. Rather than spend my time working on projects with people who aren’t pleasant, I’m working on my business plan, and toward starting my own business. I can focus better at my day job, free from the craziness of constantly running around to meetings. I have time to practice yoga, and spend my precious Saturdays with my baby girl, rather than sit in meetings where I endure passive aggressive comments, one-upmanship, cattiness, and leave mad.
I joined an organization that my mother and grandmother joined before me. I now have another connection to my mom and Grandma that is very special to me. I attend meetings and do community service with my mom, and I get to work with mature, professional women, who are encouraging and appreciative of my contributions.
Sometimes, the best way to connect to the things that are truly important to you is to identify those things that do not serve you and get rid of them. Just like that. Quit that group you hate. Walk away from that job that is causing you health problems. Stop speaking to that toxic ass “friend” who is always trying to see what you have going on so they can hate; or who draws you into gossip.
What’s keeping you from living a life you enjoy? Do any of you have activities or people in your life that may be keeping you from making the meaningful connections that can really improve your quality of life? How are you coping, and have you thought about just quitting? Sometimes, the answer is just that simple.
Leave the bad relationship.
Quit the bad job.
Drop the negative friend.
Pull back from activities where the environment is toxic.
When you make room for the things that honor your true self, you raise your vibration. The universe can’t help but to respond to that. Like attracts like. So, if you were waiting for permission to get out. . . here it is. DROP IT. No need to have long drawn out conversations about why. When your body, and mind tell you that something is not good for you. Listen.
And let it go. . .
Lady in Yellow
Walking to Shawnee park, avoiding cars, unsupervised
Running to get the merry go round to go really really fast
Fleeing neighborhood dogs
Purchasing candy, (or a hamburger) from Andy’s-which is no longer there
I remember walking around campus with my beautiful mother. I thought everyone’s mom was called Doctor.
I didn’t drink koolaid. No sugar in my cereal
Just hamburgers and milk- and chocolate chip cookies…
My dream for you is
The sky is the limit, and
beyond my darling
(c) Lady in Yellow 2016, All rights Reserved
I had a bad day. (I know. . .it’s been that type of year.)
I got angry, and wanted to quit. But, after speaking with my mom, I realized . . . it was just a bad day.
I am here for a purpose. I often think it’s crazy how I got to my current position. I find myself constantly surrounded with people who are “officially smart.” (And know it. . . and don’t want anyone to forget it.) Those who do what I do generally had the best grades in law school, and were real standouts.
Not, the girl who just gets by academically, (at least my first year- my grades improved significantly after that, but the funny thing about law school is that your whole trajectory is often determined in your first semester, and cemented by the second) spending her free time with her boyfriend and at the school’s dance studio, taking all the dance classes she can fit into her schedule.
I was literally Elle Woods from Legally Blonde (minus the blonde, privileged, sorority life- and the good grades in law school)- I woke up one morning, decided I was going to law school, and then, I went. I had no idea what I was getting into, or really, what I was going to do. That lack of focus followed me into my first year, and the results were less than stellar- but nonetheless I finished law school, graduated, and started a job as an assistant prosecutor in my hometown.
So, here’s my point. We don’t always know why we are doing the things we feel compelled to do. Sometimes, along the way we find ourselves having REALLY bad days, having to re-adjust our goals and our focus, and we may ask ourselves, why am I here? Why am I doing this? Well, I believe we are where we are for a reason. That everything comes together for our good and for us to cement our purpose here on earth.
Literally, every experience that I have had from law school- including the experience of not getting great grades, has served to help me help another person. I can explain to students that I know what it’s like to study really hard, and still struggle- and how I overcame that experience. I used to explain to clients that I understand what it’s like to make a stupid decision- and look up and realize the consequences took me down a road that I never anticipated- where I hurt others- and was called to the carpet to atone for my actions. I can look back to where I was, and where I am now, and realize that I never imagined that this is where my life would take me- but I am so blessed and fortunate for it all.
So, I’m still finding my purpose. But, I move forward optimistically, and with flexibility- on purpose. I purposely strive to be a better me- every single day. Even on bad ones. . .
Lady in Yellow
I graduated from law school eleven years ago. At the time, it was the biggest accomplishment of my life. I was twenty-four years old. I’d set my sights on a goal and marched towards it. There were times I thought I might quit. When I was fighting and arguing with other women, when my friends excluded me, and made fun of me, and that had nothing to do with my school work- which was grueling, challenging, and mind-altering.
I made it through. And purchased a pair of mulberry stilleto heels to celebrate my graduation. I’ll never forget meeting a lady during a reception after graduation and she looked at me and said, “You are the one with the shoes!” . . . I loved those shoes. I finished law school, walking across the stage to shake the hand of our speaker and the dean, my family watching proudly as I became the first attorney in our family in those shoes. (More to come about life and law after graduation. . .)
Fast forward eleven years later. I had an early miscarriage a few weeks ago. I was down. After the miscarriage, I was struggling with my blog. . . how do I encourage when I need it all for myself. My cup was empty. I was grieving. My husband had planned a photo shoot, and between work and healing up, I just hadn’t had much time to put into coordinating outfits, or really anything. So, the night before we ran to Macy’s and I bought a dress. But the day of, I still didn’t have my footwear together. On my way out the door to the shoot, I grabbed my graduation shoes. I’d worn them a lot in private practice. But heels and yoga don’t mix, and heels and toddlers are a joke, so I RARELY wear heels anymore.
It’s our fifth anniversary tomorrow. It has not been easy. Marriage is really hard y’all. But we made it. Just like me, limping from the brand new heels on graduation day, (ummm so there was this tradition that involved walking with our walking sticks across the damn campus. . . and the heels were not broken in. . . ) bruised, battered, but victorious, I thought it wasn’t inappropriate to limp through this photo shoot in those same silly shoes. We have been through so much- lay-offs, illness, miscarriage, a baby, new home, new jobs, there’s more. . . but we’re still here. We made it through. So, we celebrate this moment. And we appreciate what we have. And we love. . .
Lady in yellow
So, last time we talked about turning your thoughts regarding your haters inward, and using the technique of loving your way through. . . But how. . .
When someone goes out of their way to sprinkle hate my way, I stop to think to myself, “What was it that caused this person to go out of their way to treat me this way.?” I used to stop there, and then commence throw a pity party . . . “Oh, it’s just me, they just don’t like me”, or, I’d get angry and kind of defiant, “Who do they think they are? Why are they doing that?” But that line of thinking really didn’t get me anywhere. Chances are, it doesn’t get you anywhere either.
I recently had a friend crap all over a project I was really excited about. It seemed that with everything I said, my friend became more and more negative. At one point, I was told that I was speaking to her like a child, (although I’m pretty sure the opposite was true), and that she would speak to me like one in kind. I honestly had no idea where the negativity came from. The ferocity with which this “friend” spoke to me blew my mind. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has turned to a friend in excitement only to have that same “friend” act like anything but. However, this occasion presented to me the perfect opportunity to flex my ho’oponopono muscles.
I stopped my fretting and took responsibility for the situation- Was there something I said that hit a nerve with this friend? It’s been a while since we communicated and we have both been through a lot, could she be feeling neglected as a friend? Have I been the best friend to her that I could be? My answer was, “There is a lot that I could have personally done differently, that may have prevented this overwhelmingly negative response from my friend.” Of course, sometimes there isn’t anything you really could have done differently, but the point is to take responsibility for what is done. So, I took a deep breath, rolled my eyes up to the sky and said, I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. And I did this over and over whenever I got upset. See, unfortunately, when I encounter haters, I have an inner mean girl who likes to repeat what they say, and get me discouraged. So, anytime I felt my friend’s words echo in my head over the next week or so,(and for me, it’s like that sometimes I get mad for weeks. . . I’m sure you guys let everything go right away. . . I’m working to be like you!) I would take note and say to myself, I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. And you know what? My energy changed. I found motivation to keep moving forward on my project. After taking responsibility for my part of my friend’s negative reaction, I was able to free myself from the conflict and move toward my goal. Bonus- I learned something. Ho’oponopono is helpful. . . and don’t work with this negative-ass friend. See! So much growth. (And another post topic- let the haters go. . . )
Ho’oponopono harnesses an ages old way of thought, that isn’t just relegated to ancient Hawaiian healing techniques. In Phillipians in the bible, Paul says to the church, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” This is kind of what we do with Ho’oponopono. We think lovely thoughts toward those things that trouble us, and take responsibility. The technique is so simple:
1.) I love you
2.) I’m sorry
3.) Please forgive me
4.) Thank you.
I know, right. Revolutionary. I think we think that we need to work through hours of therapy, and years of a mindfulness practice, and lots and lots and lots of Jesus, to get ourselves to a place where others don’t bother us.
But with this simple technique, you can take responsibility for the feelings of others, and treat them gently, with love. I was reading James Altucher, and he said that getting angry with other people is dishonest. He said something like, who are we to expect other people to be perfect? To not fail us? It is dishonest and unfair to do so, and that’s where our anger comes from. (That alone could be a post by itself 🙂
So, when someone gets you upset through their craziness, hating on you and yours and what you’re trying to do, rather than get angry. . . take responsibility for the other person’s pain. Love them, as you would want to be loved. Repeat to yourself, I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you.
You don’t even have to engage your haters with this method. For me that’s the best part, because I really can’t stand dealing with haters. From a distance, in your own quiet space you can lend love and light, and watch. . . your haters won’t really bother you anymore. Your focus is inward, you start to concern yourself with your reactions, your behavior, your motivations. This takes the energy away from the hater, and brings it into what will hopefully be a realm you can control. Yourself. Now if only that self control thing were as easy. . . this whole enlightenment game would be a wrap.
If you want to learn more about ho’oponopono, Joe Vitale and Dr. Len wrote an entire book, Zero Limits. You can find out more about it here: http://www.zerolimits.info/
Until next time,
Lady in Yellow
I survive on intimacy & tomorrow/ that’s all I’ve got going. . . .-lady in yellow
Why blog? Why now? Because I don’t have it all together, I’m seeking balance and I’m ready to learn. Because I know I’m not alone.
I turned 35 years old last year. In anticipation for my birthday, which always brings me kind of down, I decided to try one new thing every week. I tried pilates, the barre, new restaurants, and then, one day I went to a hot yoga class. My teacher was amazing, and I left feeling renewed, my mind was at peace, and I’d finally taken time for me.
My life was a mess. I’d worked for years as a trial lawyer, in and out of courtrooms, and jailhouses- representing people through their toughest times. I was so good at working for everyone else, that I’d let myself go. Even when I left that job and took one with a slower pace, I’d forgotten to take time for myself. I was the chair of the Board of Directors for a non-profit organization, ran for a state-wide office with the Bar, and joined another club, which required at least forty-eight hours of community service a year. I had a beautiful toddler, beautiful husband- although we weren’t connected, and a beautiful, if small home. And yet. . . I was still dissatisfied. I’d worked so hard to achieve all of these things, and yet, I wasn’t happy. I was stressed out all the time, and my mood was as changeable as the wind. I was always fussing, often angry, and tired, and I just wasn’t enjoying my life.
Fast forward to today. . . I don’t have it all together. But through my practice I have found the beauty in letting go of effort, and enjoying where you are. I stopped seeking acclaim from those outside, and paid attention to how I feel. . . and you know what? A lot of those extra things left my life. Like, over the course of months, I resigned from the Board of Directors, lost the state-wide election, pulled back from some of my social groups-just to see how it felt. . .it felt fantastic!- and focused on myself and my family. I don’t have it altogether, but hey. . .
“bein alive, and bein a woman, & bein colored/ is a metaphysical dilemma I haven’t conquered yet. . . . Do you see the point?
I’m striving towards being a better me. I’m more focused on the inside, and conquering this metaphysical dilemma. I’m not as concerned with my outside accomplishments, winning cases, and getting bonuses from work. . . I’m more concerned with finding inner peace, and learning to truly love myself and others. . . Join me for this journey. . . I think it’s the one most worth taking. . .
-Lady in Yellow