Instincts

Stop and Take Notice of Your Insides

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I am walking down the steps. The goldendoodle we are sitting for is at the bottom, looking for all the world like a raggedy stuffed animal toy from an alien planet.  Her cuteness makes me smile. She will go home tomorrow and the long curly white dog hairs and pieces of chew toy all over the rugs and couch will be expunged. I will welcome the peace that replaces the mess and chaos. At the same time,  I will miss the funny, joyful dog.

Stop and savor the sunset.
Stop and savor the sunset.

If you took a snapshot of my heart just then, as I paused on the steps to soak in what I was feeling, it would transmit  joy and thanksgiving. I love my life and all the good things in it.  I stood there for awhile, mid-staircase, savoring it all.

Funny goldendoodle - makes me smile.
Funny goldendoodle – makes me smile.

Life would have us all be too busy to stop and notice warm moments like these. 

Rituals and holidays are important, but some of them create so much busy-ness, they drown out the meaning  they claim to exist for.  I don’t want to be told I need to eat turkey and feel grateful today.

I think the better message is to take some things off your plate, stop what you are doing and notice these moments of joy and gratitude as they occur naturally. It takes practice to do this, and awareness, and openness.  We sometimes use the busy-ness of life and holidays to protect our hearts from opening to the deep-real. That is like knowing the heart beats without feeling its life-giving rhythm.

Goldendoodle with boy at sunset. Photo by M. DeLuca
Goldendoodle/alien stuffed animal with boy at sunset.

 

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. If you would like to use my work in any form other than linking to it, please ask first. Contact me at  LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a substitute for personal mental health advice.

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Listen to your Calling

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I don’t know why I write, whether it will ever amount to what the world considers valuable: money or recognition. I don’t know if it’s all just a big waste of time. But I am compelled, so I write. I allowed myself to notice recently that I spend EVERY day thinking about what I will write. I think about writing even when I have nothing to write. This, I remind myself constantly, is reason enough to engage it.

What is it that you are called to do? Are you listening to that calling? Or ignoring it, squelching it, pushing it away? 

Children are often better than adults at knowing what they want to do and doing it. Adults ask too many questions. Photo by Mokra, Sxc.hu
Children are often better than adults at knowing what they want to do and doing it. Adults ask too many questions. Photo by Mokra, Sxc.hu

There are lots of things we have to do in a day, a week. But spending some time on your passion is what makes that week worth living. Regardless of the outcome. Regardless of whether it “amounts” to anything in the eyes of anyone else. We’re so obsessed with outcomes. I’ve struggled with this, but I do, in my better moments, accept that the outcome is not the point. I’m following where I’m led. And if it goes “nowhere”, well, whose label is that anyway?

Maybe what we love to do is worth doing even if it is only whimsy.

I work with people who are very burned out because of the enormous and unending responsibilities they have, taking care of a sick loved one. Doing something they love, even if only for a half-hour, is the only way they keep themselves going. It releases and recharges them. Statistics show those caregivers who take care of themselves in this manner are healthier and actually live longer. The life force is never wrong.

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. Please do not reprint or distribute my work without permission. If you would like to use my work in any form, other than linking to it, please contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a substitute for personal mental health advice.

Yes, but Does it Feel Right to You?

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You said what you said. You did what you did. Does it feel right? Is it you? Or were you doing that to please someone else?

The biggest source of regret I see is when people ignore or squelch their instincts, rather than act on them. Usually this is done to please someone else, or to keep the peace, or out of fear of expressing yourself and being judged by other people. And it usually feels really bad inside you. And you try to swallow that.

One day I realized I am stopping me. Then I got up and started living my dream. Photo: Sanja Gjenero, sxc.hu
One day I realized I was the one stopping me from living my dream. Then I got up and started my life. Photo: Sanja Gjenero, sxc.hu

Then when your bad feelings get worse, you have to live with the fact that you knew better. You knew. But you ignored your inner wisdom.

What’s stopping you from doing or saying what you know is inside of you? How do you cope with the angst that results from squelching yourself? Are you overweight? Sick? Depressed?

Revealing your true feelings, or just being yourself involves risk. Will someone get mad at you? Reject you? Blame you? Make fun?

Start with the premise that your gut instincts are there for a reason. They are important information about you and the meaning of your life. There is nothing awful about you that needs to be hidden. There is beauty there that is meant to be expressed. Of course, if you’ve done wrong you can make amends and don’t do those things again. Now is a new moment.

If you don’t know how to do or say what you really mean in a way that won’t be destructive or hurtful to yourself or someone else, get help. See a therapist. Read The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner. Take a course in self-empowerment. You only have one life to live. Live it now.

Copyright 2013, Lisa C. DeLuca. . Re-posting this article on the web is against copyright law and it will harm this website. Instead of copying this work, if you like it, post a quote from it and  link back to this page. Please do not reprint or distribute my work without permission. If you would like to use my work in any form, other than linking to it, please contact me at LisaCDeLuca (at) gmail.com. Thank you.

The information in this post is general information and is not a intended as  personal mental health advice.