Writing and Reading, and not reading.

Feather from JonathanI have a favorite author, one I watch, and follow and listen to, but I have never read her books. I have picked them up and purchased them, but I always set them down.

She has a highly intellectual, academic way of writing that really taxes my brain. Big long words. Many of them. Too many of them per sentence.

When I read a paragraph, I end up putting the book down, going to the dictionary three times and having to sit and let it sink in. It just doesn’t move me, like it should. Like I know it is supposed to. Like I know it does for others.

I wish it did.

Maybe it’s because I am a story teller myself. The way I write is the way I talk, I can use big words; but I rarely do, as the simple ones do just fine.

Sometimes, it feels like these academically charged self help books are for an upper class of people only. The ones that went to college for fifteen years, have multiple degrees and huge boxes of vocabulary at home just for fun. They sit at the breakfast table and discuss hyperbole, and what they will have for dinner in the next fortnight. Ugh, who talks like that?

When you are working on yourself, you don’t want to have to work to think as well. Your brain is already rearranging a lot of inner thoughts and judgements about the way you are; into the way you want to be. That is hard work in itself.

I appreciate everything she says when I hear her speak, but the way she writes, makes me nuts. And it’s ok. Because others like it. And she’s successful. And that’s great.

I am grateful for TV, and the internet for showing me who she is as a person, and for being able to hear her say the things that are in her books. Sometimes with big words because she cannot help herself; but also with regular words that the brain can digest when open.

Gratitude that there are all different types of people. Grateful for the many ways to see and hear them.

There is room for us all. ~ Hazel

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Challenge your thoughts

I have noticed that some people are harder to bring back from the brink. They hear things that may or may not be true, but they hold them as true because they are the worst possible scenario for them. They believe that life, and the world in general are not their friends.

Today I thought of someone in my past, who took his life. I wonder if there was anything I could have done to stop that from happening. If I could have helped him. Before it was too late. He was in my life a long time ago, so many years had passed since we had seen each other and he was not in my closest circle. I still cared about him. I doubt he knew.

We spend a lot of time telling ourselves and others that everything is ok.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.”

But are we fine? Are we one bad day from wanting it to end? What is the tipping point? Is it friendships, love?

I think it must be the overwhelming belief that nothing will ever be ok again. Mixed with timing and opportunity.

What would happen if we all just got very real, and said when things were shitty? If we reached out with a hug, to a stranger in tears on the street? We spend so much time in our own head that we miss what challenges others are having. We walk on by.

Some just have it harder. Certain circumstances, hardships. No support structure. This country doesn’t have a good way to help people through mental illness and depression.

We are losing people. People that have something to give and to say.

They are gone. They leave behind questions, regrets, that we didn’t do more.

Ask them out for a cup of coffee. Send them a note.

I’m sorry.

We need to stop assuming that because someone says they are fine, that they are.

And all of us, need to challenge the bad feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness that we feel and know that the sun will rise, and a new day will come. Things are fixable and we are not alone. We all have a place in this big wide world.

Ask for help.

We love you. IMG_6395

 

Friday night

After a week of pouring out creative energy for my job, I have little left and plop in front of the TV. My mind numbing design shows waste my time, and help me decompress, as I pop in and out of my Facebook page. No likes.

Whatever.

I am on a roll at work, not that I am getting much credit for it. My ideas are being drafted into a large presentation that will be given by someone else. I asked for the position of doing this full time, with the title that would come along with it. It was not answered.

Whatever.

The rain continues to fall. Late winter, spring when we have made it again through the cold, but not seen near enough sunshine to put a permanent smile on our faces or flip flops on our feet. I try to enjoy the rain and the gray days. But this is getting ridiculous.

Whatever.

What about my book? The one I have spent almost 15 years writing. The one that is inside me? Not much time for that. If there is time, my brain is just too tired. Too tired to remember where I was in the story without taking an hour to read it first to get into character. Not writer’s block exactly but writer’s fatigue. The creative place in my brain is alive and kicking but being taxed by another purpose. The purpose that pays the bills.

Whatever.

I spend my nights waking up with ideas to fuel the fire of the campaign for my job. Names and epiphanies about how to convey this information to the masses. I wait for it to stop. It is good that I can bring something else to the table than that of which I was hired. I can develop my own position with the stuff I come up with for the company and I have no serious guidance or overseeing. There is a freedom in that.

I know that I could get up early and write for myself, look out over the morning mist with the sun peeking it’s rays up over the park across the street. That would mean missing sleep. Without sleep I couldn’t do what I need to do. The stuff that pays the bills.

Paying bills is a very significant reason to use your brain cells and tire yourself out trying to impress.

So tired. But at least I wrote something.

Whatever. fullsizeoutput_3137

Maybe tomorrow~ Love Hazel

Filling my children’s tool box

I remember a day years ago when my oldest daughter had a friend over to play. It was hot outside and they wanted to go on the Slip-n-Slide and they were very excited.

I gave them an instruction as I finished up the dishes. “If you go out back and clean up Curly’s (our dog) poops I will set it up.”

My daughter moved towards the door to grab the small shovel and bucket for the job in an intentional way.

Her friend Sarah however had something on her mind.

“That’s your job.” she said to me.

I got closer to her and simply said “Actually it is my job is to teach my kids how to do everything they will need to do in their life, so that they will be able to take care of themselves one day.”

“Oh,” and she ran off to help with poop patrol. They were slipping and sliding in no time.

I had never quite put those words out there before. That was my goal. I didn’t want them to have to suffer with not knowing how to do things. Not knowing how to do their laundry when they went off to college. Not know how to cook. The lessons changed as they got older. From washing their hands and brushing their little tiny teeth to knowing how to figure out a budget when moving out. It’s all about filling up their individual toolboxes so they can fix whatever comes up.

Years ago when I was doing whatever I was doing, I would gather my daughters and say, “I am going to impart wisdom.” I never had to define the word impart nor was it a regular part of my vocabulary except at these moments. Sometimes it would be at a time of great importance but mostly it was when I was doing something mundane that I had figured out a trick to. Opening a new sugar bag over the sink helps contain the messy granules, etc. To this day as they are 22 and almost 19, they still gather around if I say “I am going to impart wisdom.” It makes me happy to see how independent and self sufficient they are. I feel comfort as I know they are walking out in the world making good choices.

From my tricks when they were little to get them to keep their coats on- ask them if they want to be silly, then put it on backwards and zip it up. They can’t get out, and they love being silly, to encouraging them to get dressed by putting their socks on my hands and saying “Is this right?” To which they would say no and then put the sock on their foot where it belongs. Silly Mommy. To the big stuff, how to get home when your friends are drunk and they were your ride. I am glad I made this my job.

Working parents carry so much guilt, they are away from their kids, they have to be in daycare, you name it, and sometimes they end up doing everything for their kids to make amends in their own heart. Yes, I totally understand. Guilt is a mighty large rock that hangs around your neck. However, the real noose is putting kids out there who don’t know how to do anything. That is hard on them.

So that is my thought today. It’s about filling your kids toolbox, with as many tools as you can. So they can make their way. And about the guilt, skip it and go teach your kid how to do something. And then they will also teach you.

I didn’t know there was a better way to peel an orange until my oldest taught me recently.

Good stuff.

❤ Hazel

 

 

Hurt people, hurt people.

I have heard this numerous times before. It makes a lot of sense. When someone is hurting; for whatever reason they have at the moment; it is common to lash out at others. It doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t help things.

I have a friend that conveyed a story once about herself and a mutual friend of ours. Both of them had similar backgrounds, grew up in a city in the Mid West. Strict parents. More than strict,  I would call it physical and emotional abuse.

One became very “successful” in life. Excelling in school, college, graduate school and becoming a judge and professor at a college. She married and had three sons. Big house, nice cars, you name it.

The other friend had a hard time finding his place in the world. He bounced from one relationship to another, always looking to the other person to take the lead so he could follow. Doubting himself and his abilities. His God given talent of trumpet playing fell to the wayside. He had a poor relationship with his daughters and was left wandering his entire adult life. A failure. By his own words.

One day, the two of them had a conversation about life.

Failure asked-“Your parents were abusive too and they told you millions of times that you weren’t good enough, that you were a terrible person who didn’t deserve anything good.  All those years ago. I don’t understand why you are so much more successful than I am. What is the difference between us?”

Success said- ” Because I chose not to believe them.”

We have choices everyday to listen to other’s or to fight for ourselves. We get tired when we are beat down. When we go for something and it doesn’t pan out. It’s because we are bad. We aren’t good enough. Some live there. Where they struggle.  They can’t seem to climb out of the sadness.

They sit and watch everyone else have things, moments, epiphanies, success; fall into their laps. Or so it seems.

Other people are so busy being successful they don’t have time to think about failing. When they fail, they just keep moving through it. There is a bump, but they get over it. They move on. They have the capacity to understand that the life that they have is worthwhile. They have meaning. There is no question.

For those that were abused, it is with them everyday. Why was I placed in that family? What was it about me that made them treat me that way? What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me?

I remember working on my own stuff. I was molested when I was nine. That moment  has walked with me throughout my life. What was it about me that drew him to do that to me? Did I do something to invite it? Did I deserve what happened to me?

Years and years later, there were two epiphanies for me.

One, I told my father what happened, He was shocked. I had never said anything about it. I told him I had kept weight on my body as a coping mechanism to keep bad people away from me. I thought it would make me safer. He said ” If you live your life because of what happened to you, you are giving that person your life. Do they deserve your life?”

“No, that dirty old man at the amusement park does not deserve to spend any more time in my head or heart or how I see myself in this world. Fuck him.”

My next epiphany came when I was in counseling. Neuro-Linguistic programming. Working on the same stuff to try and rid myself of those memories.

I sat with the psychiatrist and he led me into a hypnotized state. My eyes were closed, I was peaceful and warm.

“I want you to see yourself on a linear plane in space. There is your past, it is behind you, there is the now, and there is the future, that is ahead of you. I felt safe as we talked about things.

Then he took me back to the moment in time when the molestation happened to me and how scared I was. He said, “I want you to know that you are safe. You are in two spaces now, you are back in time as the scared nine year old and you are there as your thirty five year old self as well. What would the thirty five year old say to the nine year old. Was it her fault that this happened? Did she do something wrong? Did she deserve it?”

I hugged myself and said “No, this little girl did not deserve any of these things. She was a victim of these circumstances and the man was bad. He did a bad thing. He was the one with the problem and it wasn’t fair or ok for me to carry it around with me anymore.

He further explained that I didn’t have the ability to protect myself back then, as I was nine I didn’t have the words or the power to get him away from me. But I did have the ability now and I would protect my inner child from being hurt by it anymore. I deserved a rich full life and it was that man’s problem and not mine to carry around anymore. Fuck him.

The baggage we carry around with us, is real. It hurts. It is hard work to get rid of it. To move past the idea of not being good enough into a spaces where we love ourselves is one of the most important journeys we can take.

I like the quote. “You, yourself more than anyone else in the entire Universe, deserves your love and attention.”

Time to Love yourself.

Hazel out.

 

 

What would happen?

“What would happen?

If I gave myself the same advice that I would give a dear friend in the same position. If I knew everything about who they are and what they wanted out of life, and I helped them get there? What would happen if  I truly loved myself as I love them. That I could see when they were being their most authentic selves and how to help them stay in that place.  If I valued my own opinion as much as others. If I fought for myself as I would fight for them? What would happen if I chose to be my own best friend, fan and cheerleader?  Well, I imagine it would be a good thing.” Hazel

Working on this today

Thoughts of today.

Yesterday was lousy. The building was cold, I was freezing. Daughter # 2  couldn’t meet me at the correct time and asked me to pick up her friend over a half hour away. Traffic sucked. I sat through seven straight green lights. Stuck.

And my mind started to spin, this sucks, you don’t belong here, you got a call for another job. A full time one. Perhaps closer to home, less traffic, less customers, less new stuff to learn. Less.

But more hours, more money. Less freedom, less flexibility. Pretty much have to give up on my writing, for after a day working my creativity level will suck. I think.

Moments ago, I watched a video on Youtube. A young man named Harrison Craig overcame a stutter in his speech to sing his heart out on TV. He dreams of being a recording artist and has fought his way, beyond his difficulty to pursue it. Overcome it.

I’ve never had to overcome anything. I have always just quit at the first sign of difficulty. This isn’t for me, I can’t do it. This will be hard. And away I go…

Missing opportunities, treasures, learning along the way. People I should have met, things I needed to know. Successes to be had.

He is overcoming that, his fear of stuttering on stage, because the passion is so strong! The urge to do something he loves, he is fighting for it, going against the fear, surpassing his limitations.

Pushing through. Today he is my inspiration. What if I fought as hard for my passion? Made room for it, was willing to walk through fire and brimstone, whatever it took to get me to where I ultimately wanted to go?

Getting my books done, writing as a profession. Can I fake it with the other job until I make it with my dream?

Not can I; will I? People can do the most extraordinary things. Why not me?

Seems like the only thing I need to overcome is myself. Owning my right to pursue my dreams. Being uncomfortable for the sake of getting to the end result. Getting over myself that I shouldn’t have to deal with traffic, work for it, put up with a boss.  Am I uncomfortable with no heat and air conditioning? Yes. Will I die? No. I will need to dress warmly and dress down when it is hot. Again, Will I die from this.  Most likely not. Traffic. Am I used to it as I have been working from home for almost three years. No. Will I die? Potentially, but hopefully not. Traffic usually means slow, less chance of catastrophe.

What would happen if I stayed the course and gave it everything I had? Wrote everyday until all the words came out and the whole thing made sense. It’s about finishing. Finishing anything.  Being a good role model to my girls. They are mostly my inspiration in this life. I want them to reach for their goals as they go on in their lives; what if my life has been about teaching them to quit? How would that be? I told my oldest, who is a lot like me that she is Not me. She holds within her way more self-assurance and ability than I ever had. My life lessons have taught me to play small, be less than who I was so that others would be ok, feel ok about themselves. Its bullshit really.

Everything is bullshit except the goal. The hangups that we have, the excuses that we make to allow space to come between us and our dreams. Our God given purpose. Geez. I’m so amped right now. The words are flowing, I am really thinking.

And I need to give myself grace and not beat myself up for lessons it took this long to learn. Why does it have to take so long, why does stuff have to suck before we get it?

I’m thinking, and it’s flowing. It is a good day.