Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Cleaning… Spring Forward… Spring Training…

Spring: it’s all around us. We are itching to put “spring” into our lives. I walked out of the house this morning and breathed in deep the intoxicating smell of the warm air. Spring is the birth of renewal, the bloom of a fresh flower, the growth of new leaves. The intensification of new beginnings and transformations. ….. The cold, confined days of winter are soon to pass, and what lies ahead is fresh air, and sunny days spent outdoors.

Because the intensification of renewal is strong (or maybe it’s the intoxication, cannot really say for sure…) I have decided this will be my last column for Plan B until the month of April. For the next four weeks I will be taking a break from my writing, and focusing solely on an element I seldom do …. Myself. For Lent, I have given up my distraction and indulgence of social networking, i.e. facebook, as a way to provide myself with more time to focus on reading, researching, and meditation. For work, I have decided to pursue my Municipal Bond license. As many of you are aware, I have taken and failed the exam numerous times and the opportunity has presented itself once again for me to accept the challenge of retaking the assessment. I am nervous, and scared, and I will only admit that to you. For when I look in the mirror I tell myself: you have this, you can do this, make this examination say your name ….. Some call this trash talking, I call them affirmations... try them. You’ll like them. For myself, I have decided to clear my agenda of anything that does not involve my nose in a book or my son by my side. It is a sacrifice, but in order to excel some times we need to look at the bigger picture and find a way to succeed. I am not naïve to think the weeks ahead will not be trying; in fact, I think it is safe to assume they could possible be some of my most demanding weeks to date. That is why now more than ever I must refill my inner core, and give myself time to focus, rest, and replenish.

From time to time I might pop in and say hello and drop a line or two here on Plan B. You may notice a column written at midnight, when I am flooded with doubt, and energized by my diet of caffeine and caramel fiber bars. When the hour is late and I need an outlet from the pressures at bay, remember this… you’re the subscriber, so indulge me as I employ you to vent. For venting is also a form of healing, and rejuvenating yourself. You release the negative and work towards the positive. I have an incredible friend, Karen Tosie, who also serves as a mentor to me. Last night in an email, I vented to her without even releasing how much I had written and the words that were coming out. I wrote and wrote about my fears, about my insecurities, about this overwhelming flood of life that seems to be gripping me. This morning I received a response from Karen that has touched me to the core and has given me fuel in the form of hope, love, and inspiration. A phrase she wrote that I hope grips you as well is this, “Continue on the path – it won’t be without pain, but it will be with extreme joy.” I share this with you for I want you to be aware that you of an invaluable resource you have in your life, to share in your pain, and your extreme joy --- your loved ones.

With Karen’s permission I am able to share a part of her words to me. My belief is that they will embrace you, as they did me. Her powerful writing shines in my life, as does her words of wisdom, and each time we speak I leave with a little more understanding of my self, a clarity, and a sense of peace. My hope is by sharing a part of what she has written to me, I can pass on her powerful message of letting go; looking at what we have around us and remembering to trust in God, and in ourselves as we pursue change, and embrace our futures. Although I do not have an answer as to when these words will play a key role in my life, or yours, I do have an intuition that tells me soon I will be letting go …

“There's a story about holding on to the rope--I wish I could remember it correctly, but here goes the parts I remember. A man was hanging from a rope, in the dark, in the fog, trying to get to safety. He got to the end of the rope and he just hung on. A voice kept saying, Let go, let go. But he didn't trust the voice, and he held on for dear life. And froze to death. And when they found him, he was just feet off the ground. Had he let go, he would have survived.

I'm not sure why I told you that story, other than to let you know, it truly is okay to let go--let go of the feelings that keep us trapped. Trust God--which I already know you do. That doesn't mean be stupid--He did give us logic and reason. And girl, you have a brain, and you know how to use it. You are beautiful, articulate, fun-loving and giving. You are also damaged, which is just the way God can use us the most. Check your bible stories--I don't remember anyone perfect in there being used greatly by God.
So, stand firm, don't give up. Be still, listen for God's voice and His leading; don't be so filled with busy work that you can't hear Him. Let Go, for His strength to see you through, and stay away from negative thoughts. Find a mantra that makes sense for you, and use it! Fill your heart with hope and love, and when it's empty, refill it! Look at that little boy, Thomas, and know that you are being used by God. He sent you this child, for safekeeping and nurturing. And to provide a little flesh on flesh, godly love, to fill your days, nights, and thoughts.”
While I have made this decision to “spring clean, forward, and train” for my March, I also had a notion ….. I am submitting a challenge to each of you:

Spend the month of March trying to focus on you. Take time to write down your joys, your fears, your failures, your accomplishments. Explore where you have been … and where you are heading. Ask yourself questions, provide yourself with answers. Seek options and seize opportunities. Be conscience of your resources, what is able to refuel your inner spirit. Give back to yourself, and appreciate those who give to your life invaluable measure of love and encouragement. March is the month to reinvent yourself (see my column on, Welcome to the New Year). Just as we gain an extra hour of daylight, we are gaining an opportunity to look inside ourselves and see what we wish to change and what we can do to make that a possibility in our lives. Whether we are adapting a new lifestyle, or changing our appearance, or shedding layers of our past, we need to look inside and grant permission to ourselves to face our fears and conquer change.

I am posting a few articles (see the tab articles to your left) that I hope you find interesting, and helpful, as you boldly accept my challenge, and I look forward to hearing what you learned about yourself … there is no doubt you will discover more than you give yourself credit for, and it is my hope that knowledge fuels you to challenge yourself again and again, each time gaining more wisdom, confidence, and putting forth your own Plan B.

Here is wishing you well …. Go get ‘um tiger! Carpe Diem.

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