Sunday, November 16, 2014

Communities Found!

It's been almost a year since my last entry.  And yet, it feels like just yesterday or perhaps even a month ago, that Christmas was here.  My Mom was upset that decorating took so long; a cat knocked over the 14ft tree for the first time ever in our long history of super tall trees, and my year off of healing and self reflection came to end as I started my 'new' job.

46 weeks, over 17,000 miles, and an abundance of new experiences later, I have once again carved out a new life for myself.  I am still living at home with my parents and feel just a smidgen of shame over this.  Yet it feels comfortable and safe, and I enjoy not living by myself.  I have my room, my books, and my phone.  I have pets and the love of family and friends.  The years spent yearning for home (i.e. MAINE) are at an end.  That deep seated need is being met.  

AND!  Most exciting in all of this - My 2013 theme and desire for community has yielded AMAZING results!  As well as my search for a spiritual practice and a form of 'work'/ life purpose that comes naturally to me. 

My communities are varied and spread throughout the state of Maine.  I have found a type of home in my Unitarian Universalist church and the subsequent small groups therein.  A Discussion/book club and a Women's Spirituality group both meet monthly.  As well as weekly services and a variety of church events like the craft fair and theater productions.  New and varied friends have been discovered and such a wealth of information and insight come from the many Sages within our church community.  It's a mind opening experience each and every time I get together with any of my church peoples.

Curves is my new gym and thus new workout buddies have been found.  My Monday/Wednesday/Friday group is typically there from 6-7pm and I enjoy my time and discussion with them.  I also found out that my favorite coach teaches country line dancing one night a week!  Hallelujah!  I can dance again - it's been loads of fun!  The dance group also had ties back to my grade school line dancing crew - so yet another home coming of sorts was found  :)

And then - my Holistic Fairs!  Where once I sought them out to obtain guidance and supplies for myself, I now have the opportunity to pass along the messages of self love, and trusting ones own intuition to others!  My life long gift of empathy - the ability to tap into others to read their emotions and their situations (along with an abundance of other insight) has yielded such joy and love in my life - and a means of additional income which is a fabulous bonus.  The community is large, yet a number of folks (vendors) attend most if not all of the fairs.  Some of them have adopted me and taken me into their group.  It feels so much like 'coming home' when I walk into a fair either as a vendor or attendee.  A smile stretches across my face and my heart feels light and full.  It's a wonderful thing and I am very grateful to be a part of it all.  I'm not sure how long I'll do fairs - if it's just a stepping stone to my own healing practice later or if its something I will do for fun for years to come.  But right now, it fills me in a way that I cannot explain, except it's good, and makes me happy! 

I was also able to receive my Reiki I attunement in the spring and look forward to my Reiki II attunement soon :)  This has, and will continue to, assist in my readings, and will allow me to help people near and far.  Reiki is an amazing healing modality that has opened my own awareness so much.  I look forward to many more wonderful experiences through it. 

And I cannot forget my family and friends who made, and continue to make, ALL of this possible.  My family - including all of those I 'adopted' along the way.  The Waterville crew, thanks to my best friend Amanda, and the friends I left behind in MA & NH.  All of you supported me and continue to support me, along the way.  I would not be here, as successful as I am now, without you!  THANK YOU! 

And to my new friends - you are opening my eyes & heart in ways I would have never imagined.  You continue to Present new ideas and perspectives that make me smile and enrich my life.  Many thanks and much love to:  Autumn, Tysa, T.J., and Laurie (because it's a whole new connection!)

Quotes for the past year:

"Celebrate the people in your life who are there because they love you for no other reason than because you are YOU.” ~Mandy Hale 

"Whatever we think about and THANK about, we bring about!" ~John DeMartini

"As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything 
that is no good for my health 
- food, people, things, situations, and everything 
that drew me down and away from myself.  
At First I called this attitude a healthy egoism.  
Today I know it as 
~ Charlie Chaplin

"Trust your Struggle...Know that every obstacle before you has it's own purpose, no matter how painful or pointless it may seem.Trust in your journey that has been set out for you..keep the light within you lit, ..and you will always have the flame to overcome anything." ~Babz

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I Have a JOB!!!

I suppose I would be greatly remiss if I did not put up a post saying 'I GOT A JOB!!!!'  Considering it has thus far been a major theme through this blog. 

For the past couple of months I had avoided looking for jobs at the Portland DoubleTree by Hilton because I had been told they were going through a lot of changes and I should wait until it settled down.  Yet, as my unemployment was coming to a close at the end of this month, I said, 'the heck with it' and opened the ad for an HR Manager position, and Voila!  Low and behold the name of the GM was one I knew quite well - he had been my Internship Coach while I was training in Boston back in '04! 

An email later we had a coffee date and after some catching up, the conversation turned to what I was looking for in terms of employment, and we briefly discussed what he was looking for in terms of the HR position.  We parted with me taking a couple days to think about it, then we met later in the week and he officially offered me the position!

I'm very excited to get back to work.  This is a great blend of all those things I was looking for - a steady AM schedule, with time to see family and friends on the weekends, a better 'time off' package than any other hotel has offered, an opportunity to support staff and really make a marked difference to a team, I get to implement new systems and procedures, and!  I'm working with a boss who knows my previous employer and who can help me make that transition to a well-known branded hotel chain!

The Spirit of Christmas - A Few Days Late

Perhaps it was the fact that I got my job just a few days before Christmas.  Perhaps it's because Thanksgiving was a smaller affair this year, so the pre-family gathering didn't happen like it usually does.  Perhaps its because we had Thanksgiving a week later this year.  Perhaps it was just a funk year, but Christmas didn't feel like Christmas for me - until now.  Tonight, after the extended family had gone home, a brief nap, and some extra munchies, the spirit and JOY of Christmas hit as I looked around the house and saw all the decorations and the tree.  The living room was picked up, the table cleared off, my Step-Dad was intensely watching football, and I just smiled and felt that little flurry of Christmas joy that had eluded me all season.  

I'm so thankful for my family.  For the love and support they have always given and most especially the love and support of the past year.  Today as I stood back and looked at the assembled Robinson family, I caught myself thinking, "This is my Clan, my Tribe."  We may not all have been there, and that's OK, those who could not make it were here in spirit with me and they are part of the Tribe.  And Family - family is not always blood either.  Friends, those I have 'adopted', and those my parents have 'adopted' are my family as well, and tonight, I give thanks and much love to them as well... 

Christmas Spirit is Traditions, Family, & Love - in all the varied expressions that exist - foods, decorations, games, sayings, all of this and more.  Tonight, I was blessed to touch upon that once more :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mind Dump Monday

On Sorrow's Ground

At this seasonal time of festivities, we also find a higher rise in depression.  A time when days are incredibly short, and the Sun that lead us joyfully, in the warmer months, goes to rest earlier and earlier each day.  Dusk and night come quickly, and thus the fleeting warmth of sunshine has just a few precious hours to work it's magic.  I find myself more in tune with this change now, than ever before...

I'm also recognizing a continual stream of received insights and messages throughout the day.  From the first break of consciousness in the morning, to the just-as-I-fall-asleep time, little thoughts pop into my mind, that ring true.

'On sorrow's ground' - from Belladonna, by Anne Bishop 

'It's time to change your story' - from some reading, or multiple readings in the past few years

'Go for a walk, get up now' - healthy living advise, when I experience my 'first' wake-up each morning at 6am

'You are still processing the last bit of that relationship, your uncomfortable dreams are a testament to that' - Dream interpretation discussions 

'Get your car fixed, don't let it go too long' - message from my Grandfathers

'Change your Story'  ...

Life is a series of steps, of chances, of embracing the chance to make a change in your present condition.  To taking that leap of faith on the 'next thing' and run with it.   Having the courage to go with it no matter what.

I still have that BIG feeling of doing something tremendous with my life.  I still have days, like today, when I doubt my previous actions and wonder what I'm doing... 

And then, as now, I hear the words, 'Change your Story' and feel a subtle shift as I know the truth of that statement.  And as I feel relieved, having acknowledged that truth, other fears melt away and a strength of character starts pushing through, morphing the bedrock of myself just a little more.  

Change your story ... When you don't like what you have been saying; when you don't like who you are, or who you are becoming, it's time to change your story. 

Do you realize that you are the Author of your life?  Who else knows you, better than you?  Who else tells your story?  I read in many career guides, how you tell your story is as important, if not more important than what's on your resume - which in fact, is a written summary of your story.  To better sell yourself, you often have to look at the facts and find a positive, yet honest way to tell your tale. 

And so having just cried a bit speaking many of these ideas to a trusted friend, and with these quickly shifting thoughts filling the screen before me, a long held weight is lifted and I find myself drifting off to sleep for just a few moments.  The relief of expressing myself so pronounced that it's exhausting.  awakening, I feel some loose ends pulled tight, and a new appreciation for the day ahead. 

In parting I remember the sight of a late night, cloud scattered sky - moon and stars bright in night's dark cape, leafless trees swaying in the howling winds, as I watch from my warm, snug bedroom window.  Stark natural beauty at its finest.  I am reminded that I am just one person in Trillions on this planet; and that all change starts with a single idea, a single step towards something bigger than oneself. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Listen to their story

Conversations.  Interviewing.  Networking.  Personal Commercial/Sales Pitch.  Stories.

Breathe.  Ground Yourself.  Enjoy the beauty around you.  LISTEN.


This past month plus at home in Maine has been any version of the above.  With joy in my heart I have found networking groups, gone out on 1-on-1's with folks, had amazingly insightful conversations, and have enjoyed the connection found when conversing with others.  What incredible stories we each have filled with unique experiences and perspectives.

Boston Native with a passion for health.  Manager turned Reiki master.  Postman turned Financial advisor.  Insurance agent by day, Fire fighter in heart.  RN who believes Health care is really Sick Care and is pioneering her own change movement.  Entrepreneurs aplenty.  TV reporter visiting Maine 14 years ago, who never left.  Chance meetings, scheduled meetings, stories all around.

I am repeatedly reminded of some recently read articles and even fictional stories that describe typical conversational habits.  The parts where we stop listening and instead are eager to jump in with our next thought or immediately find a reference point and follow up with an "I or my" statement about the other person's experience, instead of simply commenting on the point or asking a question to further the other person's story.  How it's very typical to have a desire to tell our story, to express ourselves in conversation.

It's a testament to my time off and cultivating self awareness that I have been able recognize myself slipping into this trap of "I & my" and not reciprocating the questions as well.  Of thinking more of my response than really listening to the other person.  At those times I would stop my mind, (try not to overly criticize myself), and re-devote my attention to the other person.  And in those moments, I felt a softening, a gratitude, to be able to connect with another person.  I admit, it's still a habit I'm trying to overcome, and I'm thankful for the self-awareness. 

It's natural for us as humans to find similarities with others, just as much as we also immediately recognize differences, the mine vs. yours.  It's such a joy when a shared point of reference can be expressed.  Another thing that joins you to me.  I'm finding more and more that when I can relax and listen, that softening becomes more natural and I am able to enjoy the story being told.  Our communities are made of such diverse individuals with extraordinary skills, perspectives, journeys, and advice.

It's with a prayer of thanks, and a grateful heart that I reflect on all the serendipitous meetings I have encountered in just 4 weeks home and the opportunities to experience the generosity of others; their time, wisdom, and sneak peeks into the passionate works they provide for others.

These encounters help shape the world I am creating for myself and others, and I look forward to paying it forward every day possible!

The Joy of ol' Timers

I'm sitting here at the (newly-built to me) Tim Hortons, listening with half an ear to the ol' timers coffee talk at tables around me.  Occasionally I'll stop what I'm doing, and find myself gazing around the lobby with a smile.  Here are 'my people', here are the ones that make me smile with pride, here are the men and women who have roughed it out, survived and still have a smile on their faces.

And as I come back to the present and really look at the Vetaran with his brand-new, unfitted U.S. Army ball cap, the weather worn farmer with camo hat and thick black rimmed glasses, the sturdy older woman with her Halloween embroidered bright orange sweatshirt, and all those in between, I'm also struck by the many piercing ice-blue eyes that I haven't noticed elsewhere in such abundance.  Piercing ice-blue eyes that are so common in my own family, and that I now know I associate with 'Home.'

And thus, I sit here and smile, feeling a sense of connectedness that makes my heart sing.  These are truly 'those who came before,' who represent the way things were.  And a sense of deja vu washes over me, as I liken this gathering, this rhythm and murmur of speech and smiles, to many conversations at the Farm, barn talks at the fairs, and countless family gatherings - it's the music of my younger years.  Steady voices, rarely a voice raised to make a point, no overly boastful tones, just pure down home conversation mingled with low chuckles and many smiling faces.

With that recognition, I get back to work with a lighter, grateful heart and a smile on my face - thankful for this unexpected gift and to be home.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Home - In all it's varied meanings

Hello again, Blog.  I have neglected you because I have been in turmoil about what to write.  I wasn't ready to announce to the world that I was moving home while still in my decision making process.  As excited as I was about the movement in my life, the coming home, the support and bonding opportunities it presented (presents), I was also ashamed in some ways, and nervous, fearful about what this life would (will) look like.  

What does moving home mean to me?  Home.  Security.  Family.  Love.  Wisdom.  Comfort.  Friendships.  Time.  Lesser expectations.  Familiar.  Community.  Are all these things true?  Much like the fearful thoughts that kept me away, "There is no opportunity in Maine.  I must make it on my own, without direct help & support."  Are these other thoughts about home true?  I had to wade through these thoughts and feelings on my own, to come to my decision.  And those questions have still been on my mind this past week as I have been settling in and finding a new rhythm. 

And as this process unfolds, I find myself noticing new trains of thought.  I have been taking note of my mind making comparisons of the old me and present me (not new, because we are always evolving, and THAT is a very mindful, important distinction).  Now that I'm home, I'm presented with the mesh of 'old ways of living here' and the opportunity to create a new way of living and being with my friends and family.   Living with my parents I find myself slipping into my remembered teenage habits, yet with more adult compassion and responsibility threaded in.  I find myself thinking of high school; the way I bounced from Mum's to Dad's, of my old sleeping habits, chores, expectations etc, and the way I looked at the world thinking I had unlimited possibilities and I just wanted to LEAVE and venture out.  And then I will go to make dinner, to go see a friend, to hang things on my walls and I will pause and realize I'm also torn between the then and now.  If I was still living on my own this is how I'd do it, but now I'm home so how does that look.  My physical world is set - my rooms, my clothes, my stuff; it's the mental and emotional aspects that are being reshaped and restructured in this new phase of life. 

I also think of the time I had in high school to make decisions about my future, and how SURE I was of my plan, of what my next steps were going to be.  These are all the things that flow in my subconscious and pop intermittently into my conscious day dreams.  That inner voice asking me, 'Who am I now?  How do I present myself?  What is my next step?  How does that fit into my life plan?  What IS my life plan?'  I feel like I have tipped my world completely upside down - I never thought I would move back to Maine, ever.  And I see more clearly than I have in awhile, that I don't have a step by step plan as I once thought I did.  The one I had last month, which helped draw me home, seems blah and uninspiring now.  

Or perhaps it's not so much that I don't have a plan, as my own expectations and ideas for my life have changed, and thus the steps to attain it.  My definition of success and a fulfilled life have gone through many evolutions these past 9 months, and I'm still settling into those new thoughts and ideals.  I am coming to understand that money and titles don't mean as much as knowing that I have made a difference and a positive contribution to others and the environment.  That I want to give back to the world, and make a direct difference in the lives of others.  I want to help educate people on healthier, more sustainable living.  Saving both ourselves and our environment.  Again and again, these are are the passions I came home to fulfill.  

Yet in times of just awakening, or times of fear of failure, I find myself still battling the ideas of what I think the world expects of me, that I'm letting others perceived expectations of me become my own: prestige, big money making, big titles, managing hotels and businesses, working NOW.  And I realize how tightly I still cling to those familiar ideals when my mind wanders too far into fear. Those overly negative thoughts of, 'Why am I home?  What am I doing with my life?  I should be further along by now.  How am I going to find a job?  I still don't know what I want to do.  I've waited too long to get a job.  I'm a failure.  I need a job NOW!'  Repeat endlessly until I literally tell myself STOP! take a deep breath and remind myself of my passions.  Then I can feel my boy relax and I can breath again.  

I remind myself that I have only been here a week and I DO know what to do, and HAVE been doing it.  I know how to network, how to reach out, and most importantly I remind myself that I DO have talents and skills that can be used pretty much everywhere.  I am loved and supported.  I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, clothes on my back, and a wonderful community of people near and far that love me.  If the world were to end today, I can count myself incredibly blessed.

So, here is to a new beginning in Maine.  It's a mesh of old and new, of found, discovered and rediscovered.  The child who left 9+ years ago is now an adult, and it's an interesting journey to see what life holds next.

 And it's OK not to know ...