Moving Through It

Yesterday I had a post all ready to go and for some reason I closed the tab on my browser before posting it and just like that it was gone.  Perhaps an intervention of sorts from the Universe as I reflected on the topic of the post and how even thought it was authentic at the time, today I am able to make a bit more sense of my life.

The post described the loneliness and isolation that I have felt since the vacation phase of my ‘retirement’ from my day job two months so ended.  The first few weeks were glorious, but by week three I was feeling myself slip into patterns of chaos.  After a complete three-day meltdown of many tears and frustration, I identified that I am incredibly lonely and isolated.

My post yesterday was a flash back to twenty-five years ago when my life consisted of three little kids and my only connection to adults were soap operas.  The kiddos dad worked incredibly long hours and my big excitement for the week was getting to go to the grocery solo.  I was starving for interaction, yet had very few friends.  My world shrank to my mom’s daily phone call, a husband who was rarely home, my kids, cleaning and organizing,  and General Hospital.

Today’s giant sigh of relief is that I am not watching soap operas, but I am incredibly isolated.  My days are filled walking the dog, driving the girl, and teaching a lot of Yoga classes.  One might assume that teaching 12-15 classes to a group of people is social, but it is not.  It is a quick in/out interaction based on cueing and verbal direction.  And then I scamper out to the next one. My girl doesn’t communicate much unless it is in regard to her topics, and honestly there is just so much one can say about miniature horses and manure. The rest of my day I move through tasks and some hobbies, but I also am realizing how isolating it can be to not be part of a team, or have colleagues to discuss intelligent topics with, or be creative in problem solving.

That was yesterdays post. The classic pity-party-post about the self.

Today I walked in the deep canopy of the ponderosa pines in solitude and silence. Even so much silence, I left my phone at home so that I could be completely alone with my thoughts.  I stood along the damp trail that was covered with pine needles, I listened to the bird song, I felt the sun peeking through the tall branches, and I was very aware of my own shadows.  My own stories.  Step by step, I reflected on my lost post and also my very real feelings. At times, I was saddened by the loneliness and yet I knew being alone in the forest was exactly where I needed to be.  Within those four miles,  I remembered the teachings of my last eight years and the fundamental truth in which I have based my life on.

Gratitude.

The last mile of my walk, I repeated “I am thankful for all that I have in my life”.  I made a point of looking around, breathing in, and knowing deep in my heart that growing pains or labor pains can be post painful just before something amazing is about to happen or be born. Growth has never been easy, nor has change.  It is the stretching of oneself that reveals more truths, more authenticity, and more of one’s purpose.

Although yesterday’s lost post was rich with vulnerability and truth, this post is where I am today.  And where I hope to be tomorrow.

Grateful.  Aware.  And moving through it.

Seasons

Finding myself in this new ‘season’ of my life has been much harder than I had anticipated.  Perhaps the fairy-tale expectation that I had wrongly put on myself was the first mistake.  The second mistake was going backwards into a cycle of chaos where I felt the only safety was to attempt to manipulate outcomes. Reminded by one of my favorite books, The Four Agreements, I realized I was batting 0/2.  Thankfully, I remain truthful and it is rare I that make assumptions, so at least I knew where I needed to put my focus.

Figuring out who I am in this new season and not feeling overwhelmed with details of mundane life is key.  Trying to take care of the mundane while also expanding my teaching, developing new friendships and trying to stay grounded with much less structure has been a challenge.  Over extending myself, re-learning boundaries and how to say no have been a struggle.

Relationships have suffered.  My internal dialogue has also suffered. My peaceful presence that was once exuberant now requires a conscious effort to be shared authentically.  I have recently battled some long ago hushed demons and I am ready to put the sword down.

My intentions are clear and that is a good thing. I want to peel away my outer shell to reveal the soft self that resides inside.  I want to re-create the life of ease, love, joy, and happiness that I know I am worthy of.

I want to know that while I am moving into a new season, I am still and always will be, worth it.

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Watching

One year ago this week I watched as my kids walked straight towards a life-changing experience without wavering.  They began to learn about real life decisions and how to face the uncertainty with grace. At times I am stopped when I remember that despite their own years of heartbreak, they graciously loved their dad until the end.

It still amazes me that their dad is gone.  I think about him often.  I wonder what he must have been feeling, deep in his heart, to allow himself to spiral into the end of his life the way he did.  I become saddened when I picture the once vibrant, healthy and alive man who became one who was unable to get out of his own cycle of self-defeat.  The memories of a once happy life remain in my heart; kids being born, family vacations, birthday celebrations, the infamous all-nighter ‘Santa Claus can’t get the spring horse together’, and so many more.

There are times when I see him in each of the kids.  Small little mannerisms that would go unnoticed by most.  I see them.  I know where they are rooted from.  It is baffling to me that even though he was minimally involved in their lives, they each have innate and distinct characteristics.

For me this experience has had many layers.  Watching how the kids dealt with it, but also observing how I have too. It is not like I haven’t experienced death.  I had lost a dear friend right after high school and my sweet grandmother died when I was a young adult, but this loss has been my first experience in the finality of death.  The finality in wishing I could talk to him, wanting to have had him suffer less, wanting to relive the final days and say something more.

Sometimes I see him when I am walking.  It might be in the sensation of the breeze, the hawk overhead, or simply a presence.  I know he is around.  I ask him to watch what the kids are doing and share in the amazement of who they are.  I ask him to make sure that somehow they each know he is seeing them.

Death is a strange thing. Feelings arise at times least anticipated and yet I am certain that each October, I will have a tenderness in my heart as I think of the twenty days we waited and watched.  We watched him, and we watched each other grow in ways that cannot be described.

My prayer is that he is now finally watching.

 

 

 

another way

I am totally not a salesperson.  I am so far removed from 1:1 interactions that I will 99% of the time send you to voicemail simply so that I can text you a response.  I loathe talking on the telephone.  I dislike parties.  I really don’t like to even go out to a restaurant, though that may be because I have become one of the pickiest eaters around.  Well, I prefer to say choosey, rather than picky. This all goes away however of course if I am in front of a group of people on yoga mats.  Then I become alive.

I have been blessed with teaching yoga for over 8 years and the groups have been dynamic in every sense of the word. I have shared my passion with a variety of people and it has truly been a gift to me. In learning and experiencing awareness in the body through Yoga, I have also discovered the deep connection between how I care for my body. Over the years I have struggled with weight and health issues, especially following a complete hysterectomy at age 30. Despite years of struggles, I am settling into a space where  I am doing really, really well. I eat a really clean diet and I also incorporate healthy exercise into my daily routine. No longer am I killing it in kickboxing or swimming laps and laps.  I have eased into a routine of yoga, pilates, walking and movement.  My body is happy to no longer ache daily.

When I first began teaching yoga, I used essential oils to compliment the experience for the participants; adding a bit of lavender or peppermint gave a nice touch to the class in savasana. A few years later, I began to use lavender and other oils to reduce anxiety, help me sleep, or clear my sinuses. It wasn’t until the last 6 months or so that I really began to get a better connection between oils and my health. dōterra means “gift of the earth” and it truly is a gift. I have done some studying and research on these oils and feel confident in discovering an alternative to the modern medicine where I have endured side effects and not so great success. The simplicity and going back to nature for remedies is a refreshing alternative.

I am so grateful that I have spent the last 9 years waking up and discovering a better me everyday.  Whether it is better in my actions and my words, or simply how I choose to spend my day, I am cultivating the best version of me. No longer closed-minded or making decisions out of fear,  I have found that there is another way and it is really, really exciting.

So here is where the anti-sales pitch comes into play.  Just learn, then choose.  Either way, own it. Own your choice.

If you wanna learn more about the benefits of essential oils, check out www.mydoterra.com/staciewyatt, trust me you will be amazed at what two drops of an oil can do for you and your family.

Joyfully ecstatic

Many have asked what I have done in the first few days of my newly discovered freedom.  How does one begin to describe what joyful things I have done?  Mundane to some, joyful to me; organizing cabinets, walking the dog for pleasure not demand, sitting on the porch, pondering life’s big questions, watering my garden, spending time with my favorite girl, and ghastly I even found myself ironing a few shirts. More than the tasks, I have been nurturing me.

In doing this, I have definitely noticed a complete shift in my energy. No longer do I feel like I am carrying the energy sucking leeches on my body.  I have an extraordinary amount of energy and a significant lightness of being. I am joyful, airy, giggly and totally relaxed.  So relaxed that when I mistakenly erased my entire contents of email, I handled it remarkably well.  I even told the lady at the Apple store that since I am practicing non-attachement, it was all good.

Adding to my relaxed state of mind, I have been incredibly creative.  Being creative is our nature; how it looks for me may be entirely different from someone who is creative with music or art.  I am creative with my house, the foods I cook, and in my desire to define my purpose.  I know for certain that I am supposed to share my blessings with others, perhaps in person or in the vastness of the internet.  Check out my new blog that has a different flare and a different tone than this one; less personal, and yet I hope to still convey my personality and my deep desire to be authentic.

You see,  I am joyfully ecstatic with my new life.  It is amazing to just be home, talk with my girl or listen to her sing, be surrounded by my blessings, and simply…be me.

Full Circle

How is possible that within this last week I have had my girls last IEP meeting ever, AND I resigned from the day job that ends my daily life in the school district??

Well it is indeed possible.  The road does end.  The end of an era for both me, and for her.

The job served me well, and in turn I was blessed to experience countless families and young people with disabilities–all of them in some ways teachers for me. From humble moments to ah-ha’s to painful losses, each year and each student valuable on my journey  and each one so critical  to get me to the end.  Critical for me as a person, and definitely for me as a mom.

The morning of the girl’s final meeting, I walked along the banks of the wetlands near my home and I stood in awe of how I had come to be here on the morning of her final IEP. Like a ribbon from my heart, I reviewed in my mind all the years of heartache and advocacy.  I watched as we have both grown into our own skin more comfortably.  I recalled the things that were once so important to me, no longer really a big deal.  I stood with great pride for who she has become, and for who she has revealed in me.

On this final day of my job, I stopped at my nearby grocery store and how magnificently timely was it to walk right into the very first student I ever worked with—-an awesome guy with Aspergers.  Now, a grown man working at the grocery store, and happy doing so.  We stood and talked and were both happy to see each other after so many years.  It was like the icing the cake….or the final hoorah for me to seal the deal that I have indeed come full circle. The Universe works in magical ways.

This chapter closes on a wonderful, heart warming career.  My next page is blank. Somehow I imagine that whatever is written will remain heart warming and meaningful….for both me, and my girl.

 

 

 

 

The greatest gift

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.”~Rumi

Sometimes the greatest gift that we can give to ourselves is that which is the gift of listening to our silent yearnings, our hearts desires.  A conscious choice to take a risk, open up and blossom.

I have listened.  I have taken the risk.  I am blossoming.  I have officially resigned from my day-job position to pursue my life purpose and to care for my girl.  The morning I planned to turn in my notice, I woke to the words, “Soon there will be a lightness of being”.  Indeed there is.

I am a blank canvas ready to be adorned with color and magic.  I am a garden about to bloom.  I am living my dream.  And, I am incredibly grateful.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”~Anais Nin

 

Morning Offering

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.
All that is eternal in me
Welcome the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.
I place on the altar of dawn:
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Wave of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.
May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.
May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.
~ John O’Donohue

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The relationship

As the years have gone on, I have settled into a wonderful sense of peace with the relationship that I have with my girl.  Certainly it is very different from those of typical mother/daughter, yet it is a comfortable space that we share. We spend time planning out next outing to the coffee shop or library, what short trips to the store we might take, and hitting up our favorite lunch spot.  We do not talk about heavy subjects, and she is the wise teacher of staying in the present by rarely talking about the future.

And yet, that pang of sadness that comes when least expected.  The awe of watching a mother and her daughter interact.  Wondering what it must be like. It took me by surprise as I caught myself gawking at what appeared to my eyes as something remarkable and even perhaps foreign.  To others, it may appear an everyday phenomenon .

I watched the duo enter the yoga studio for the first time together.  Mom had encouraged her 14-year-old daughter to join her for her first practice. Showing her where the mats were located, choosing the perfect spot, unrolling the mat, and then facing each other to chat while the room filled with other yogis.

It was as if I was separate from this space and I felt myself feel things that I have not felt for many, many year.  It reminded me of the first day of kindergarten and feeling hopelessly heartbroken that my girl screamed with terror as the bell rang.  A disheveled mess of tears and twisted clothes, I was not on the receiving end of happy goodbyes and cheerful excitement of the first day.  I sat in my car and wondered if it would ever be easier.

It has been easier. And it has been beautiful.  And yet, I have a space in my heart that yearns for the relationship I do not have, and that I will never have.