Keep Getting Up

IMG_3718 (1)At a coaching luncheon I attended a couple of months ago, the speaker discussed storytelling as a coaching technique. I found a particular exercise he facilitated of great benefit to me, personally. We wrote about our lives, eventually condensing our life story down to six words. Upon completion, we meandered around the room, each of us silently holding up our story on an index card. The stories I read touched me, and the expressions on others’ faces told me that I conveyed my own story well.

Mine read, “Got knocked down. Kept getting up.”

Two years ago today, I got out of bed, meditated, and bounced on my rebounder for an hour. I taught 7th graders math all day, then attended a faculty meeting after school. A fellow teacher reminded me of something I said as we packed up our belongings to go home after that meeting.

“This job is killing me.”

As I left the building that afternoon, the trajectory of my life drastically changed. Without going into a lot of detail surrounding the accident and subsequent physical recovery, I am happy to say I survived.

The psychological fallout is another story. I admit, I didn’t understand why people with PTSD hung on to it. Living with it now, my experience is that PTSD shows up, often uninvited. I don’t think I am aware of the anniversary of the incident, yet my body reminds me. The nightmares start up again. Hypervigilance creeps back into my psyche. Then I am looking up something on the calendar, and BOOM! No wonder! It’s almost November 5th.

So back to my life story… Just as that chapter came to resolution, the surprise twist jerked me back into chaos.

Divorce.

Again.

Many dark days followed. Then I remembered…

Get up.

Get the hell up!

Now!

So I got up.

I moved into an apartment with my son. I found a tutoring student… and another… and another. I resolved not to run to the false sense of security provided by a job that would kill me, kill my spirit. I refuse to allow my business plan to die because the circumstances of my life changed. So I only take work that will support me as I grow my coaching practice.

MaryS- Logo Concept 1

I joined my local professional coaching organization. In twelve weeks,
I authored my first non-fiction book, which I am now editing. A digital artist took my concept and created a logo for my business, and because she wanted to use it in her portfolio, it cost me nothing. A budding photographer did headshots for me.

Slowly but surely, I move forward.

Not only am I taking care of business, I am also taking care of my soul. I am continuing my practitioner classes at my spiritual center. I am singing again and writing lyrics. I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. And Tuesdays are blocked off for my grandbabies. Life is good.

Am I going to have more difficult times? Maybe.

Am I going to get knocked down again? Probably.

Am I going to keep getting up? No doubt about it!

Date Night Marathon

Yesterday’s post, Date Night, was the result of me being exhausted and losing all the text I had typed… and being too tired to rewrite it.  In the lost text I shared that my husband and I had gone to dinner, after seeing a movie. (By the way, we saw Guardians of the Galaxy, which was great!)  In the restaurant, the wall next to the booth was made of chalkboard and there was chalk available so you could write on the wall.  My husband drew the heart with our initials in it.  

In the post that disappeared I also mentioned that my husband had been working 7 days a week and we hadn’t seen much of each other.  Saturday night, I did not expect him home until late, so I cooked dinner and was eating when he called.  He wanted to know if I wanted to go see another movie.  I said, “Of course!”  I explained that I had cooked dinner, so he could eat when he came home and then we would head out to the show.  (This time we saw Lucy… another great movie!) 

I’m glad we’ve been able to spend some time together, in spite of my husband’s hectic schedule.  He is working again today, but we have a Sunday night ritual consisting of Falling Skies and popcorn.  I sent him this photo, telling him I was “All ready for tonight!”  

TV Ready
Incidentally, hubby’s name is Kelly.

I’m happy to say this weekend has been a “Date Night Marathon.”  

The Secret to Dealing with Difficult People

The link below is to a podcast that was generated from a question I posed in relation to a previous podcast produced by the Institute for Self Actualization (isa).  It contains some useful tips for dealing with people that “get under your skin.”  It is the sixth in a series entitled isa Experience Podcast: Wake Up and Take Charge of Your Life with Devin and Luis.  Other episodes are available at this location as well.

Podcast Episode 06 The Secret to Dealing with Difficult People – isa Experience

The Best Way to Find Mr. Right

Notice I did not say the fastest way to find Mr. Right, but the best way.  Now, I have been divorced twice, so you may not want to take advice from me.  I will say that I have learned a lot from the mistakes I’ve made.  And I learned something very valuable after two failed marriages.

When I tell people I am on my third marriage, he tells me, “No, this is your last marriage.”  I have definitely become successful at marriage, and I want to share my secret for finding Mr. Right.  (What you do once you find him is on you.)

I was a single mother with four children and, although I was not bitter about marriage, I simply was not interested anymore.  I idealized marriage and was not able to make it work.  I had been thinking about the fact that men didn’t treat me well.  I was attractive, intelligent, kind, and industrious, yet I kept attracting men who used me for a door mat… and frequently a meal ticket.

It occurred to me that I was going to stop waiting for a man to do nice things for me, and I would just do them for myself.  In particular, I really wished that a man would bring me flowers, but they never did.  So one day when I was doing my grocery shopping, I purchased a bouquet of flowers.  I took them home, cut them, and put them in a vase that I dug out from the cabinet under my kitchen sink.  I put them on the kitchen table and stood there looking at them for a long time.  Although I don’t even remember what kind of flowers they were, I remember the feeling I got seeing them on my table and smelling their perfume on the air.

This was the first step.  I began doing nice things for myself on a regular basis.  I went to nice restaurants.  I bought myself a silver bangle for my birthday.  It had a heart cut out on the inside of the bracelet (where no one else can see it), that reminds me to love myself.  All these little things added up to a huge change in the way I carried myself and in what I would now expect from a potential partner.

I began dating after I felt whole, and one of the first serious relationships I got into showed me how far I had come.  He had me flown to where he lived and he was waiting in the airport with a dozen roses!  Although I chose not to continue that relationship, I was being given affirmation that I deserved this kind of treatment.  Incidentally, the fact that I could end a relationship with someone who was good to me, not because I didn’t feel worthy, but because I now knew exactly what I wanted in a relationship was amazing in itself.

Then I met my current last husband.  If I had met him only a few years before, I would never have considered dating him because I would have felt he was out of my league.  I am grateful I found him after I found my own self worth.  He opens doors for me, brings me gifts (often when I least expect it), teaches me new things, and gives me permission (not that I need it anymore) to take care of myself.  He believes in me, builds me up, and is strong for me when I can’t be strong for myself.

So if you are looking for Mr. Right (or Ms. Right), the best way to find him (or her) is to stop looking, and treat yourself the way you want to be treated.  Then he will come looking for you.