Standing beside myself calmly.

I sit at my desk and reflect on my efforts this week and marvel at it all.  So many things were accomplished that moved every project along just a little.  Some more than others, but nothing insignificant in any area.

The changes on the second floor of the store over the past week have made all of the difference to the way it looks and feels.  You can always have a wee peek on the webcam at A lot of hard work was done by the staff happily, including painting and setting up new displays, and a sale room.

Swerve Living is getting a lot of inquiries and the project is moving along quickly now.  I’m doing my best to keep up with the administration and requests of the team.  Not an easy task some days, but I’ve for the most part cleared my desk and enabled the team to keep going.  We are planning to break ground very shortly, at the first sign of spring.

Without listing everything, know that there has been great progress everywhere.  As I finish this week and think about all that I need to do next week, I feel really good about the way that I’ve organized the next week.  Oh sure, I have big piles of work but everything feels well in hand.  I’m not experiencing that ‘tharn feeling’ that I get somedays when things seem just beyond my knowledge level and too much for the time available.   Why, I ask myself?  Why is it that I feel confident and strong and able?

I’ve heard so many times in my life, “how do you accomplish so much?” Yet, most times I’ve felt the stress that comes from doing a lot.  This week that feeling is not with me and I know that I’ve accomplished a lot and done it happily and for the most part with skill and grace.  Here is a little reflection on what I’ve done differently and want to continue to practice.

I was reminded earlier about the best way to help others as I offered some thoughts from my own experience.  One can never be inside the skin of another.  We can never really know what it is like to see through another’s eyes or have another’s life experiences.  We can only know what it is like to be within our own bodies, and even then we are often not in touch with every experience we’ve held.  When a dark time appears in the life of those we love, the best thing we can offer is our presence.   We can stand beside them, hold their hand, and peer into the dark hole with them.  As friends have done with me. We can’t go into it ourselves — it’s theirs alone to face.  We are all solitary by nature, even if we chose the company others.  We can be beside them, we can express our love, we can offer ideas and encouragement, we can clap and cheer, but we can’t do anything in their own inner space for them.  All that spiritual and psychological processing has to come from within the individual themselves.  There is no short cut.  People have to come to things on there own.  Our role with others to just to be, and to be with.

It’s so easy to feel trapped in the challenges of others, to want to play the role of rescuer, to think that we can somehow fix things on their behalf.  We can’t, and the more we play it over and over in our heads we create our own internal stress and frustration.  This is not to say that we don’t have gifts to offer, each of us has many.  The best gift we have to offer of ourselves is the gift of our being true to who we are.  The way that we live our lives is more important that any bit of advice we might offer.  To share stories from our own lives is a way of connecting with others and giving voice to our own existence. It’s the basis of relationship.  To stand beside another, to share your stories, to offer your energy through touch and voice, these are the only real things one can do.

For me, the doing of these things helps me to pay attention to the space between words.  I feel we  spend much of our time in constant thought.  We rehearse, debate, replay, fret, and analyze.  Or we fill our time with noise of the world, news, TV, and radio.  Too much of this doesn’t allow us the space to be, to be with ourselves, and to be with others.  When others are in need we may not even notice because we can be so internally focused on our own inner dialogue.

This week I was present, not only with others, but with myself.  I was able to ‘stand beside myself’ and witness my own behavior and feelings.   Even though each of us must become comfortable in our aloneness, we still have the ability to play the role of friend and companion for ourselves.   No one else can be inside our souls or see from our perspective completely. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed my the work or the situation I find myself in, that my mental dialogue is going full tilt.  There is no space between the words that I can notice, there is only the endless stream of words.  I stop being present with myself. It’s a seriously awful downward spiral that I can get myself into. Here’s a little exercise that has helped me when I feel stress or any number of other difficult emotions.

Imagine you are standing beside yourself, whatever state that self might be in.  You focus the quiet space between the words, the silence.  You are present, calm, and centered.  You feel whole and able to access your own experience, wisdom, and yours stories.

You place your hand on the shoulder of your other self.  You let your calm energy flow into your other self. You know exactly what to you say and the encouragement to give, because unlike friends and others in your life, you do have access to your own experience and stories.  You can see through your own eyes.  The wisdom is all there.  Say what you need to say, offer the insight that you have to yourself.  Focus on the strength and happiness within you.  Be your own angel to yourself.

I think that this takes patience and practice to internalize, which I hope to do more fully.  It’s my belief that these skills are the same whether caring for yourself or for another.

I number of people have mentioned to me that they are reading my entries and are enjoying them.  Some of the ideas I write about are part of a book that I am working on, which I may never finish, but can can work on it and enjoy the process.  Your thoughts and reflections would be interesting to me but I also invite you to share your thoughts here with others that are reading.

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