Choking

BIGRecently I ran into a brick wall. I felt I couldn’t bust through. I had ideas, but they just hung out in the air. Pen to paper. Fingers to the keyboard. Where to start? Frustrating. This has been my struggle the last few months.

Back in my junior high days, there was a group from the wrestling team in my history class. They were often cutting up before the class started, before the teacher came into the room. Now, I knew what a full-nelson and a half-nelson hold were. I was familiar with martial arts and wrestling in general. My two older brothers were excellent teachers of how to remove yourself from holds and better still of how not to become entangled.

These three boys in class demonstrated something which shocked me. One guy would hold another wrestler up by gripping him around the neck, cutting off the blood flow. At first, I didn’t believe it was real. The guy fainted. Blacked completely out. Teen boys don’t faint. He’s joking around–right? They did it again to demonstrate. WTF. And then the teacher walked into the room. The chattering of 30 teenagers hushed to a whisper.

What happened?

They were using a modified choke hold. And the wrestlers got high from the choke out. It became a tough guy competition and a then a demonstration to show what they knew. It was even an “I’ll hold you against the wall by the throat thing” until you pass out. Which is what happened and they’d get up and laugh it off.

Back

That’s what I did to myself. Accidently. Only it wasn’t a real choke hold, just in the mad panic of getting too much done I dropped my writing. I quit editing my book. I had ideas, but I choked. I couldn’t seem to get enough air between my crazed thoughts. “Not enough time,” “that’s a dumb idea,” “later,” “everyone else has done that,” you’re a moron.” I choked.

Get up

Like those wrestlers, I’m getting back up and laughing it off. I relaxed the choke hold. I let the events pass that held me captive. One by one the stressors left. One more important thing I’ve done is to receive guidance. I’ve had therapy before, and it helped. This time I’d been thinking about having a life coach and I still might. What I did this time was order some coaching online that fit my specific needs. It has helped me tremendously. Maybe that’s what we all need, a little help, someone to nudge us in the right direction.

Relax.

I think everything will be alright.

Keep your hope alive.

Community is Just Another Word for Us

English: Broadway show billboards at the corne...

There are always those that move to a particular city just for the atmosphere. I think of San Francisco or New York. Here in my hometown most of us are here because we were born here or got a job here. Our little place has it’s charm. I could talk it up. Maybe show you the side of the town that has a view or has the latest developments.

There’s the downtown area. Older buildings, renovated loft apartments, well-kept trails along the river. Our place has a low-cost of living compared to most of the United States. There’s not much in the way of a night life. Clubs are small and few. Mostly bars with upgraded flooring to make it danceable. If you’re looking for va-voom and panache, this is not your town. It is a friendly place to raise a family. Churches, schools, shopping. All the normal things.

If someone wants to persuade you they can try. They can show you what they think you’d like to see. Flash some images across your mind. Dazzle you with illusions. I remember looking for housing developments when my children were young. The realtors poured you coffee while they talked about the community play area. Give the kids some popcorn or cookies and show you around the model house that they built in just 2 weeks and decorated in the latest colors and styles.

English: A rainbow flag affixed to a lightpole...

But nothing is like what they present. After you move to a place, you become the community. Your routine and your life habits follow you like a lost puppy. All the personal quirks you have, like not taking out the garbage or unloading the dishwasher, they are still there. Your fill new house with all your clutter. It came with you. And this town you moved into shows it’s true face and that’s okay. Now you are truly a part of this community and you get to know its real charms. You may fall in love with something other than the play area for the children, like the ice cream truck that comes by on Sunday afternoons. It could be that the next door neighbors have the same interest that you do. Or the view across the valley as you drive out of the neighborhood. You can’t predict these things. Life has a way of happening that you can’t plan. You move to a place for the weather, but it’s the people you enjoy the most. If you think you can plan for what type of husband you want or what type of city you should live, I wish you the best. Life is full of unexpected delights. I have a saying,

The things I am afraid of never happen. And the scary things that happen I never expected.

When we get to the daily task of living, if we want a peaceful world, one filled with love and encouragement, we must act peaceful. We teach our children to settle disputes peacefully. We are the good neighbors and citizens. We are the community.

Re-framing

English: through the frame

A while back, out by the communal dumpster, I found a big wooden frame. A heavy one. The gilding had mostly worn off. It was perfect! I took that baby in and cleaned, primed, and painted it white. Semi-gloss white. I put some wallpaper as an insert and hung it up in my dining room. Beautiful. I love finds. I love to dumpster dive. Well mostly only when I have a great find. I absolutely adore finding that long forgotten treasure. The item that someone threw away not knowing how perfect it was.

Re-framing your life, becoming Cinderella for yourself, what is it? There’s a moment in all of our lives that we stop and wonder, how did I get here? We live our lives without a plan. We are born and we die. The life in between just seems to happen. School, marriage, family, illness, work. The boy who starts out washing cars and ends up with a chain of auto detailing shops didn’t become the speed racer he dreamed of as a child, but he’s not the failure he thinks he is. He just needs to take another look.

Frames

Why do you need to update? Do you really need to change? Aren’t you just fine as you are? Yes. Absolutely. That’s the deal. You don’t change. It’s you changing how you feel about you. That picture frame didn’t change. It just received a whole new attitude.  Just a coat of paint. There was no restructuring. Someone had given up on it and I brought it in because I saw what it was. A beautiful piece of craftsmanship. In the same way, you can look at yourself and know that you are too.

Where to begin? Starting over? Are you depressed? Hate your life? Or maybe you are in the middle of changes which are frightening. Life is step by step. It’s also taking another look. Get a new perspective. Open the curtains and let in the sun. Using metaphors and analogies is a great way to re-frame, re-picture, recapture what was lost. What went wrong that you wanted to go right? Take the part of yourself, the energy that you feel you wasted and rebuild yourself. Do something that is not requiring anyone else to show up.

What can I re-frame? Your job, your house, your friends, your life, your family. Maybe you aren’t the typical household or the lovey-dovey family. So? Find the good stuff of your family and cherish it. Make a collage of the aspects of your family that you adore. The trip to the mall with your kids? The double-dip ice cream cone your son had to have. The outrageous science project your daughter and her dad made together. This is your life. Cherish it.