Monday, January 25, 2010

LOVE

Love. Yes, love is on my mind. Not in the romantic sense of the word but in all that the word encompasses. Love of Self, for others, of life, love that leads to understanding, love that leads to compassion, and love in the deepest, divine sense.
Here is why LOVE is on my mind. A week or so ago I was having a rough go of things and feeling pretty low, tired, worn out, and a bit blue. Well, I shared that feeling as my post on Facebook one evening. I was surprised by the comments and grateful for the suggestions and love left on my personal page. There was on particular comment that stood out and seemed to jump off the screen, though. The comment read: Love. That was it. Christina, one of my teachers, typed that word for me to read and it definitely rang true. In that moment, I was feeling a lack of love, a lack of love for myself and certain aspects of my life. I read that and marveled at the idea that one word could hold so much meaning and say so much to me in the moment. There is something to be said for simplicity.
I sat with that word and the feelings that came with it. The next day I made some green tea and on the tag there was a quote, "Where there is Love, there is no question." The day after that I made another cup of green tea and on the tag read, "Your greatest strength is love." Then,the weekend of the 16Th and 17Th, I attended a workshop at Yoga Oasis with Bronwin, Darren and Sianna. On the first day of the workshop, Sianna wore a red shirt with the word LOVE embroidered in giant letters across the front. And then, you guessed it, her theme was on Love, the Grace-filled, Graceful form of the word.
It keeps going. Last night I picked 4 Angels, Gods, and Goddesses cards, which is something I often do before I go to sleep along with reading something uplifting. Every single card I picked spoke of Love. The first card drawn was the Angel of Communication. The take home message: "Know that it is an act of Love unto yourself and others to communicate clearly, lovingly, and honestly." Card number two was the Goddess of Compassion. The message for me there was, "love and accept all of who you are as you are, and stop striving for something that is impossible for you to be. Through love, your life magically transforms." Card three, the Goddess of Awakening or the Goddess of Love, which is Venus, is activating your sensuous nature. "This is a wondrous time of exploration, romance, fun and creativity." Finally card number four, the Goddess of Knowledge, is about applying what I already know and trusting my intuition. "When your intentions and motivations are driven by love, the Universe will help you say, do and act in the best interests of all concerned."
Do you think all this is coincidence or synchronicity? Do you think there is a message here for me? My thought on this is that yes, this a message. How can work to understand Love better? How can I love myself and others more and just as I am, and as each person is? I guess I just stay as aware as I can and remember "that at the core of every living thing only love exists."
I will close with this:
I aim to remember to love myself as I am. I aim to appreciate my life and those dear to me more. I aim to share what is in my heart completely and more frequently. I aim to offer love through affectionate means to those close to me. I aim to trust the Love that is within me and all around me. I aim to walk the path before me with faith and meaningfulness.
LOVE~
Marcia

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today

I am feeling pretty tired this morning. Liam is sick again and having a hard time. He is not sleeping well but better than anticipated. And we are spending a lot of time at home, which gets old after a while. Poor little guy. He was just sick less than a month ago for two weeks. It is a little frustrating because I just want him to feel good. This is why I don't really care to take him to the mall park or certain spots because, more often than not, some parent's think it's okay to bring their sick kids to these places. Even with the obvious signs of sickness, like snot all over the child's face, these little ones are let loose to play and slime the place with gooey germs. Yuck! Just keep the kid home and let them get better because I really think the mall or wherever can wait. Just wanted to share that and glad I did. I feel better.
Note to self (and Jason): When sick kids are in sight and on the playground, turn around and take Liam somewhere else! When the 'uh oh' commentary pops up in your head, over your head like the little bubble of thought in a comic strip, listen! Intuition is good and there for a reason.
Lesson learned.
Anyway, this is where I'm at today. Home on a cloudy day and trying to make the most of the time and trying to maintain my patience and a positive outlook. Am I being tested? Yes. Will I manage? Absolutely!
Time to get on with the day. I've got a a little boy to care for, a house to clean, a lot of laundry to do, and class to construct. Guess it's a good thing we are without transportation this morning. ;P
Have a great day,
Marcia

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Real Simple

A few months back I entered an essay contest in Real Simple magazine. The topic of the essay was on the moment you realized you were a grown up. The prize for winning said essay contest is pretty sweet. The essay winner will receive 3 thousand dollars, two round-trip airline tickets to New York, tickets to a broadway show, lunch with the magazine editors, and the essay will be printed in the April edition of the magazine. I wish I could share with you that my essay was chosen but it wasn't. Even still, I am glad I entered and made an effort. I will try again.

Anyway, here is the essay I submitted. I have done some editing on this version and am aware it needs more but am done for now.

Congratulations to the winner!

Enjoy,

Marcia

A Life In Progress

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

(Anais Nin)

I have been contemplating the moment when I felt like a grown up and trying to narrow such a moment down to one particular event or occasion and I can’t. In fact, after much thought, the conclusion that I have come to is that being a grown up does not happen in a single moment but rather in a series of moments that change you and help you become more of who you are meant to be.

As I looked back over my life, I began to see a common thread that linked certain events in my life together. In those moments where I had to make a hard choice is when the growing happened. These make me or break me moments have always lead to some unexpected opening and deeper understanding of the possibility my life holds.

Of course, this is not say that all the major moments of growth in my life have been sad or hard but, more often than not, it was the hard stuff that propelled me onward and upward. In fact, there are many joyful, more common moments that have also contributed to the evolution of my current self. For example: moving out on my own, graduating from college, getting married, buying a house, starting my own business, and having a baby. Though, the events just mentioned are big and life changing, there are three moments during one important phase of my life that stand out. Three moments in my life that have taught me some invaluable lessons and, ultimately, helped me to appreciate the beauty and pain of growing up.

My story of growth goes something like this:

I was young and hopeful and thought being responsible, working and living on my own made me a full fledged adult, someone worthy of respect and ready for whatever this independent life had to offer. I soon found out that being a grown up consisted of more than just living on my own and working to pay my bills. I was naive and not at all equipped to deal with the hard stuff that was to come.

This part of my life started out harmless enough. At the tender age of 19, I moved across the country with my family to the East coast. I was excited about the move to this new place. My life was wide open, and I was itching to get out there. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to find a job and move out on my own. I was enjoying life and loved my job. I quickly made friends and found my niche. I met a boy, who we will call B, with golden hair and watery blue eyes who had a gift for playing the guitar in a mesmerizing sort of way. Life was good. I was in love. We eventually moved in together.

My big wake up call arrived a couple of years into our relationship. One morning, as I was getting ready for work, I had gone to the bathroom to give B a kiss goodbye. When I went to open the door, I found it was locked. I knocked. He answered but did not unlock the door. I knew in that moment something was not right. I asked him to unlock the door. He thought about it. I waited. I recall sitting on the floor outside the bathroom when he opened the door. I don’t know why or how I knew what to reach for, but my hand automatically reached around the cold porcelain toilet to grab hold of a needle and spoon. With needle and spoon in hand, I realized that B's heroin addiction was serious, more serious than I wanted to admit. Deep down I had known the truth but that morning I could no longer deny it. I went to work a mess. Fortunately, the woman I worked with at the flower shop was familiar with heroin addiction. In fact, she too struggled with the same addiction and had 20 years of sobriety under her belt. Her advice to me was to get help.

I went home that day with hope in my heart of helping my love get clean and of us living happily ever after. B went into treatment. I missed him but was relieved he was there getting help and relieved that I didn’t have to worry about him in that way. I could’ve left then, and probably should have, but I stayed. I stayed because I promised I would, and I stayed because I had no idea who I was without him. The relationship continued. When B returned home, I thought the hardest part was over. I was wrong and clearly didn't know much about addiction. As if this experience wasn't enough, I needed a harder hit to help me wise up and wake up.

Three years into our relationship things got worse instead of better. I found out I was pregnant. Things fell apart. I found out that the young man with the golden hair was not in love with me, well, not in the way I was with him. I struggled with the fact that B was not in love with me and the big decision of whether to have the baby or let it go. I let the baby go. I didn’t feel right about bringing a child into the mess I was in, and I certainly didn’t feel mature enough to handle it all on my own. I made the decision to move on. I moved over seas and back in with my folks. The move home felt like a regression and, in many ways, I think it was. In the end, though, it was a progression and leap forward in the right direction.

When I first arrived at my parents, I was a depressed, emotional mess and disconnected on every level. I spent a lot of time by myself. During those quiet moments alone, I was forced to have a good look at my life and the state of my spirit. I didn't like what I saw, and I hated who I was. In order to get back in touch with myself and to heal, I started doing anything and everything that interested me. For example, I took voice lessons, learned to scuba dive, and went back to school. I made every effort to revive myself through learning and it worked. Even though, the events of this time in my life sound awful, it really was the best thing that happened to me. In fact, I am grateful for the intensity of those experiences, for the love, the heartbreak, and the painful choice to have an abortion because it broke me down, and cracked me open and created an opportunity for change.

I think the best thing about the painful or difficult moments in life is that you learn so much in the process. What I've learned is this: Growing up is not so much about what you do but about who you become. Life is about learning the lessons that are presented to you in unexpected ways, at unexpected times and moving through and past the pain, discomfort, denial, despair, dissatisfaction with your head up and your heart open. It’s about looking at life as it is and loving yourself no matter where you’re at on the growth chart because there is always more growing to do. In fact, that’s what it’s all about. Being a grown up is about growing into yourself and peeling away the layers to see the starry essence of your soul. And during the toughest times, when I have felt my worst, is when I discovered my best because it takes guts and a mature heart to choose right. The good stuff is always hidden in the muck. You just have to look for it and hang on to it when you find it.

Marcia Tullous

Monday, January 4, 2010

Awake and Dreaming

* Artist~ Kelly Rae Roberts*
"Our truest life is when we are in our dreams Awake." (~Thoreau)
Happy New Year! We are four days into a new year, a new decade. I feel I am at the beginning again as it seems I've been away for a while. The first few days I felt a bit off, a little flat. Must have been the full moon or the underlying expectation of the first day of the new year needing to feel different somehow. I am currently rolling with the days and am experiencing more connection. I definitely notice my mood drops and the emotional waves rise up when I don't take enough time for myself to be alone. Writing in a journal always helps me make that deep connection I crave as does sitting in silence. I am making time to attend more classes, which certainly aids in uplifting and aligning my soul.
Things are good. Jason and I took some time to do this writing exercise I got from a book I received for Christmas titled, "Life Lessons~ Mastering the Law of Attraction~ 7 Essential Ingredients for Living a Prosperous Life." The exercise asks you to see yourself one year from today and get a vision and idea of that. "If you could have anything you want and NO possible way to fail, what would it be? What do you most want for yourself? When you look back on this period of your life, what do you want to remember? What experiences do you wish to have? What accomplishments?" Then, you are to put what you wrote away in a place you will remember and pull it back out one year later to see what you've manifested.
It's a fun exercise and it really gets your dream engine running. The point is you are supposed to let yourself run with this idea and see yourself and your life as you really want it. When you think of your life and about what brings you joy and makes your hair stand on end that is it! You must feel what you want all over... It has to be more than a thought. You have to Feel It and Believe in the Possibility of it all.
I don't mean to imply that just because you change your mind and you get a clearer vision that these things will change overnight or even in a weeks time, nor am I suggesting that it will be without some effort on your part. All I know is that it is possible to have the life you dream and a life that is beyond what you can even imagine. How do I know this? I don't know that I have an answer for that per se but I do have an awesome example from my own life to share.
One of the best and biggest examples is when I had that flash of insight, a vision of owning and running my own yoga studio. I was pregnant at the time. I couldn't get the thought out of my mind and there was a part of me that new this was crazy to be taking on with a baby on the way. Nevertheless, I set to work writing a business plan, getting a logo and a clearer vision of what I wanted to create. I looked at spaces and even brought my friend, Marlene, along to check out my favorite spots. Long story short... I had done all the work, completed the business plan, had the name and logo, wrote out the class descriptions, found the studio, and researched places for props and clothes. All the details where in order. There was only one major component missing. The money. I didn't have any start up money and did not think a bank would want to loan me that money. I remember spending a fair amount of time praying and pondering on where the money would come from. I had no answer but I did have a whole lot of faith. That faith served me well. I remember one day, while 7 months pregnant, sitting in my car outside the studio space feeling a little discouraged about the money thing. Then, I just reminded myself or Spirit reminded me not to worry about the financial means. The money will come and it did. The next day, I got a call from someone we did not even ask for money from. A woman I had recently met through my husband called and said she had heard what we wanted to do, what we were trying to do and they wanted to offer us a loan. No questions or credit check required. This amazing couple believed in us and what we were trying to do and loaned us the money. The studio, Luminous Lotus Yoga, opened on June 25, 2006, less than 4 months before Liam's arrival. I loved the studio and hope to one day run and own one again. It was a fantastic experience.
So the point of this whole story is that it is possible to manifest what your heart desires especially if it is in alignment with the highest good of all. I know this to be true because I am living proof.
It's good to look back over things because I realize that a lot of challenges over the last couple of years or three is due to the fact that I have been questioning the way in which the road of my life turned. I was settled in the Springs and loved what I did. When we moved here to Tucson, I really did not understand the change or the directional shift. I am clear on the reasons now. In fact, I am finally coming out of the hard stuff and into a better place, into that place of feeling free to dream again and rethink my life. I have an inkling that this is yet another time of growth and change for the better. Then again, come to think of it, it seems the last few years have been part of this whole evolutionary process. Glad I am able to recognize that.
Well, this entry is much longer than I thought it would be. Perfect.
Anyway, I hope those of you who read this will try the above mentioned exercise. If you feel up for it, please share your thoughts on the process with me.
Here's to dreaming big and flying high in 2010,
Marcia