Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Namaste, bitches

I have the world's most inappropriate yoga bag. It's grey with pink stripes and has the words "Namaste Bitches" in bold, black letters across the front.  It's like I didn't think about what it would be like to walk into my yoga studio carrying it and having people stare at me like I'd lost my mind.  But it's so soft and I keep my jacket from Esalen in it, so I'm convinced it's saturated with positive yoga karma, if there is such a thing.  And I love my yoga.  It's my weekly escape from the madness of my life.  For one hour, I totally check out and check in with myself, literally.  Granted, I have moments where I lose focus.  I'm pretty sure that during shavasana that I wasn't supposed to be thinking that it smelled like stale chicken nuggets.  I most definitely shouldn't have been thinking that I should stop by McD on my way home after.  But I digress.
I walked into yoga tonight and my yogi promptly grabbed me by the forearm and decided she was going to read my new tattoo aloud to the class.  Who wants to start yoga with a little bit of God? Let's invite him in with us.  Have a seat, or float around, or do whatever it is that God likes to do in a room full of people chanting and trying to find their breath.  In my mind He placed His hands on my back during downward facing dog and helped my inner light glow brighter and brought me peace while I held my pose.  It doesn't get much more hippy than that, friends.  And I believe it.  So after my yogi reads 2 Timothy 7:1 aloud, the class turns and looks at us and she begins to talk about the principles of yoga and how they are similar: joy, love, strength of mind and my quote speaks of power, love, and logic.  Well of course they are alike. I think that's the whole point, isn't it?
If God is an energy that runs through all things big and small in the world as we know it and beyond, then how do you communicate with that energy?  I like to think of it as a frequency that you can tune into.  Have you done yoga?  Do you know how to chant?  Think about how when the entire class hits the right pitch of Ooooommmmmmm how the room vibrates.  It's almost electric and all of a sudden you can feel everyone in the room resonate at the same pitch.  Have you ever listened to a choir sing gospel and felt it move you at your core?  You felt that music.  You felt the power of God inside you.  Maybe you open your bible that you've read hundreds of times and those words vibrate in your throat and your heart moves in that frequency.  It could be the sound of your own voice in your throat or the sound of your child's voice and they recite their prayers.  Hear it in the sound of the rain.  Feel it in the crash of the ocean.  His majesty lives around us every single day.  Are you tuning in?
I am learning to feel God in all things.  I'm paying better attention to my surroundings. And as the days pass and more and more people come up to me and want to talk about God, I'm trying to listen to them.  We all have our different stories, don't we?  Everyone has something to share and you have something to learn from them.  Are they coming to me for help? Maybe they just need someone to talk to and that's ok with me.  I've always been of the opinion that all people deserve the right to be heard, so I've been practicing listening without waiting for my turn to talk.  In my quiet moments, I'm thinking about all of the ways I can pray to God, feel His presence, and find my inner peace.  There are SO many different religions in the world and so many ways to pray.  I can't tell you if anyone is right or wrong.  I can tell you my experiences with God.  Honestly, I don't really care what path you take to find God or pray.  I just want you to do something to find your way there.  Just get there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2 Timothy 1:7

Here's my forearm to prove, well, I'm not sure what I'm proving. But there it is and I love it. Allura font ftw!

This is the God talk

I'm starting to believe in coincidences a lot less these days.  It's funny how once you make a decision for the direction that you want your life to go in and then all of a sudden you start seeing changes happening around you.  I'm not sure what I want to say here, but I want to say something, so let's just see how it goes.  A few weeks ago, I feel like I was introduced to God.  Not me standing around, passively believing that something else MUST exist out there.  Not me shrugging my shoulders at a higher power that I didn't understand.  I feel like I came face to face with a force that I couldn't deny and a path opened up in front of me.  I don't understand a lot of what I've been feeling these days, but I'm ok with that for now.  I have to admit, I'm one of the skeptics.  I watched Dogma and laughed when the Metaron said that when someone says they talked to God they were talking to him...or they were talking to themselves.  When people put "Chosen" stickers on their cars or they throw the "JESUS LOVES YOU" stuff in my face, I definitely recoiled.  None of that sounded appealing to me.  Or real. It didn't sound REAL.  I used to think that people involved in organized religion were all kidding themselves.  Like they were grasping at something for a sense of belonging...the way I think about fraternities and sororities.  Like you were paying for your friends, except now instead of dues it's a tithing.
So what happened?  I felt the presence of God.  I don't know how else to explain it.  And when I felt called in that direction, I felt the need to pledge myself to that path.  Seems like lip service, doesn't it?  Hi God, it's me, The Elitist.  I'm going to pledge myself to you.  Do what you will with me!  And then step back and watch the fireworks?  I don't know what comes next.  Do I even know why I felt the presence of God or why I KNEW that I had to respond?  No.  But me, the Type A personality who must know and control everything, is ok with that.  Because once I felt an inner peace growing inside of me that I've never felt before and once I felt the spark of faith glowing inside of me, I didn't need those answers.  Have you ever felt a power so strong and so near you that you were sure you were dreaming?  Did you ever feel like you took three steps back and looked up, waaaay up, to something you just couldn't see before?  I feel like I just did.  And I've been doing a lot of thinking.
I'm still not a fan of organized religion.  It seems nearly impossible to pick one to follow, honestly.  I was raised Bahai, which is a religion based on progressive revelation: All prophets came down to bring the message of God to the people, with rules that made sense for that age.  But people were not willing to change religions and abandon their traditions with time, so the people became factioned, but the message remained constant.  How many holy books have you read?  How many different religions have you really looked into?  At a fundamental level, they are shockingly similar.  So who got it right?  I don't think any of them do.  God does not exist inside the four walls of any church.  And "church" happens between Sunday.  I don't think the omnipresence of God should be underestimated.  It provides a direct connect. 
God is with me, always.  I pray several times a day.  There are times when I sing the Bahai prayers of my childhood.  I sing them to my children.  I send a video of me singing to my sister so that I can sing them to her children.  There are times when I feel darkness around me and I read Psalms 91 out loud and a lay my hands on my children and the walls of my house.  This week I tattooed 2 Timothy 1:7 on my forearm so that I can always read it "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."  Then there are times that I just talk to God.  I bow my head while I rock my son to sleep. I lift my eyes up while I find myself alone in the shower.  God, please help me.  Help me be a woman of God.  Help me realize my purpose in this world.  Use me as you intended.  I give control to you.  Protect my children and help them grow.  Send angels to follow my family and help us all find our way to you. 
I've started talking to my daughter about God and how He made the whole world and is the energy and light that connects us all.  When she goes to sleep, we focus on all of the love we have in our hearts and feel the white light of God inside of us.  Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth, breath all the white light of God around you. Then we bring our hands together and pray.  Tonight she said "Please God protect my family.  Thank you so much for my mommy." and I felt tears in my eyes.  Children are so pure.  I feel like they must be closer to God than the rest of us.  I remember feeling the power of God as a child.  I was sure that He was watching me and he loved me.  Where did that go as I grew older?  How do I help my children hold onto that light?
I tell people about my choice to follow God and watch their reactions.  I can see those who have made the same choice be supportive, those who do not believe tentatively question me, and those who are on the fence want to know more.  It's funny, I feel like most people wander around ok.  They believe, they go about their day, and they are fine.  We pray in times of need and we are not sure how it all works out, but we are not too worried.  One day I realized that was not enough for me.  I don't know how I came to that place, but I did.  I think that once you actively choose the light, the light actively engages you.  Maybe that's all I know at this point.  But I am realizing that the ideas of God and evil, angels, and Jesus are not just stories.  They are real.  As in here and now.  And I'm not quite sure what to do with that.  Let's just say that after all of the things I've experienced over the past few weeks, I'm not longer suffering from an absence of faith.  Will I one day join an organized religion as a support structure at the very least? I'm not sure.  But day by day, as people come up to me and want to talk about God, I will talk with them.  Every day it happens and every day I welcome it. 
I woke up from a dream and a yellow brick road lay before me.  Funny, when I think about whether I have the heart, courage, or the brain to follow the path to the Wizard, all I have to do is read the scripture on my forearm and know that He has already given it to me. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Baby steps

I feel like there is this constant battle that goes on inside my head all of the time. I have these moments where I feel absolutely crazy and everyone keeps asking me all the time how I do it.  How do you do it?  How do you manage to get both kids up, work all day, pick them up, make dinner, do the dishes, and put them to bed? It's impossible! How are you not crazy?  How do you have energy to do anything?  Well, I don't know, really.  It's the only answer I have.  I don't have a choice, do I?  I can't just decide not to take the kids to daycare and school. I can't decide not to go to work or just lose my shit and run away and never come back, can I?  I think I just take it step by step, day by day.  What do I need to accomplish in this hour? Then I do it and see if I have any minutes left over.  I seriously find myself looking at the clock wondering what I should do with my leftover 10 minutes.  Facebook! Ice cream! Paint my toenails!  Then I have a few seconds leftover to thank God that I have fresh paint on my toes.  So yeah, I'm insane.  That's really the bottom line here, but at least I'm trying to be happy and grateful about it.
And I have a lot to be grateful for.  The other day, I found myself free for about two hours one night and ran to the local bowling alley where a bunch of my friends were hanging out.  You want to know something ridiculous? I have friends.  Do you know how excited that makes me?  Like a group of friends who are some single and some married and all love and are supportive and loving and go out of their way to give me a hug or text me and show they care.  Maybe you don't know how weird that is for me, but I'm not the kind of person to have a lot of close friends or just a group of friends.  I have girlfriends who want to go and have brunch. Now I know, that's a very basic bitch thing to do, but it's awesome.  Seriously, my BFF calls me because she wants to hear my voice and my entire being lights up.  Someone calls me who loves me enough to take the time to do that who isn't related to me.  Is that a small thing to you because it's not to me.  Can I take a minute to blame my mom for my issues again?  I'm such a strange mix of introvert and extrovert that I can't figure out what I am most of the time.  Maybe I'm insecure deep down and I let it get the best of me from time to time.  There's a part of me that hates talking on the phone and I'll avoid it at all costs, but I get so happy when someone calls me.
I think it's amazing how people can have an impact on your life.  Here I was walking around feeling alone and abandoned by the world, including my daugther's dad, and all of a sudden my BFF shows up. Like she fell into my lap from across the country and we somehow bonded and have stayed close through the years.  Long distance is not easy for people to keep up, but our friendship is worth the effort to both of us and that alone means so much to me. I don't know if I tell her enough how much I love her and how much she means to me.  It was like no matter what was happening in my life and how alone I felt, I had this tiny gilden string tied to my finger that stretched allllll the way across the country to her and I knew I wasn't alone.
And then I met my dancing girl who mercilessly dragged me into a new social situation of line dancing that basically embarrassed me into learning how to dance.  And just like that, a whole new world opened up to me.  She showed me new music, new dancing, introduced me to new people, and taught me how to interact on a different level than I was used to.  All without even thinking about it, I'm sure.  Today it's such a huge part of my life and my happiness that I can't imagine my world without it.  Look, real friends.  A place where I feel at home.  People who know me and are happy to see me.  My life used to be all work, my daughter, and her dad, and now look at me and everything around me.  I have a life now.  How funny is that?
Of course I say that with a grain of salt because I really don't have much of a life with my newborn and struggling with both kids, but I know it's there waiting for me when I find the time to indulge in it.  And I know I will get there.  I have learned the hard way that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.  So mom needs to go to yoga once a week.  My mind needs to remain strong and my body needs care.  I need to find a way to go dancing now and then, even if it's not once a week.  My heart needs to be uplifted and I need to feel carefree and supported.  There needs to be beach days where I can sit in the sand, listen to the ocean, and feel the power of nature and God all around me.  The other day I had lunch in the sand and I sat and read the bible and talked with God and it just felt right.  This is the evolution of The Elitist.  Maybe not 2.0.  I've changed so much over the years, I'm pretty sure I'm to at least 6.0 these days.  I feel like I have a lot to say these days, so I'll spend my time talking.  I'll sit on my bed and write out my thoughts in my blog.  I'll sit in the sand and breath in the ocean and exhale my worries to God.  I'll close my eyes and do the chest opening yoga poses and keep my heart open.  Drink water. Act out of love. Stop and take a calming breath.  I believe that all of this swirling around me will settle and it will all make sense soon.  It's a hard thing to find your way to the eye of the storm for some calm.  But maybe if I stand really still while everything swirls around me, it will find me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Edit: Redirect in progress

Well dammit I've always said that if I'll be burned alive for speaking the truth, then let me light the match myself. And I sure as hell did.  So I started a new, private blog Inside the Head of an Elitist: Private edition.  Does that mean it remains secret forever? I don't know.  Does it mean that nobody will ever see it besides me? I'm not sure what happens from here.  But if you want access, then I guess you should send me an email with your gmail info and see what happens one day.  But that day is not today: elitistprivateedition.blogspot.com. The last four entries from this site should have been private and I am sorry that they were live for the 1-4 weeks that they were.  They are no longer accessible to the public.
My husband asked me not to write about him anymore. Ok. Fair enough. I wouldn't want someone reading about me either...and while I had no idea that I had unwanted people finding me and reading what I had to say, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  So the private journal finally becomes private after 10 years of life go forward, which literally breaks my fucking heart.  This is a project that I've poured my heart and soul into for the better part of my adult life.  I felt like it was helping people all over the world who could connect with me. I felt like by me being brave enough to tell my truth that they could see their own.  Maybe I'm not used to being with someone who cares so much about these things being out there.  Maybe I'm not used to being with someone who has people in their life who are motivated to read into my online personality and apply to me personally.  I seriously can't imagine what anyone would think of me if all they knew what this blog.  I mean, read back a few years after my last divorce. Yikes. Seriously, holy shit.  I won't even read back over that stuff, but I digress.
So when I found out how upset my writing made my husband, I pulled the blog down to give myself some time to think.  He told me he didn't want me to stop writing, which is good because it's who I am. It literally defines a large part of who I am and I can't survive without it.  This is why I created a new blog. I feel like the duct tape I placed over my mouth is suffocating me and I'm fighting the urge to draw fangs on it.  It's not me.  I stand by my assertion that Hazard is gone and that isn't a joke.  I'm not exactly sure what I'll write there and what I'll write here. I guess I still have a lot to work out in my life in general.  The blog is probably the lesser of my issues when I consider the general situation of what I'm dealing with.  Today my daughter is 5 and my son is 4.5 months old.  I'm struggling with balance between caring for them and my career.  I'm trying to figure out where my "me" time will be worked in.  Can I still go to yoga once a week and go dancing once a week too? Do I still get to see my friends?  I'm unsure of a lot these days.  I feel like I've been working hard on making mommy friends and being there for different people.  Helping people is such a big part of who I am.  I'm trying to eat better and lose weight. I'm listening to music and dancing with my babies every night when I make dinner.  I'm learning how to be happy again.
I think it's really easy to blame yourself for things and drag yourself through the mud.  I feel like there are enough people holding pitchforks. I don't need to spend my days saying mean things to myself.  Instead of rocking my son to sleep each night and worrying about what is happening in my life and what I've done wrong, I pray.  I put my lips to his forehead and close my eyes and I pray to God for help.  There are few things that I know in this world to be true: I can only change myself, I will never completely understand what it is like to be anyone else, and I am responsible for my own happiness.  My kids depend on me.  My work depends on me.  And wow do I depend on other people to make my life work.  What that means to me is that I have to take a step back and look at what's in front of me. I have things I can change, things other people can change, and things only God can help me with.
These days, I'm looking to God for help.  I can only reason and struggle, beg or plead, and wrestle on my own for so long.  There comes a point when I feel like this has moved beyond me and I'm there.  I am determined to give up, to surrender to a higher power.  I feel like a lot of this stems back from my mother rejecting me.  Your mother is supposed to know you and love you more than anyone else.  When she rejected me, she planted the seed of fear inside of me that I was undeserving of love.  That nobody would ever want me once they found out who and what I was.  What that is or was, I'm not sure exactly.  But I guess childish fears don't always make sense, do they? I haven't seem my mother in almost 10 years.  I called her and talked to her a few weeks ago, out of the blue. I asked her what she remembered of me and she didn't even remember what I looked like. She is just some person who knew me when I was a child.  I'm not sure what to do with that. Does that mean the evil she has done to me doesn't matter anymore?  Can I be released from what she has cast upon me my whole life?  I think it takes more than realizing that she is just some old woman who didn't want her child.
I think God brings people into your life for a reason.
I have a friend who is like a sister to me and her mother a mother figure to me.  In a state of despair over my life, I went to visit them a few weeks ago. I told them everything about me and my life. I held nothing back. Nothing.  And as I sat there and cried, both my friend and her mother hugged me close and her mother said that I should've been her child and that she loved me.  She would be my mother now.  Can I hide nothing from someone--let them see exactly who I am and have them love me?  Will they not leave me? Think that I'm not worth the effort like everyone else who gets close to me eventually?  I want to believe that weekend is the beginning of something new for me.  It felt like we all sat and prayed together for hours while a storm raged outside.  I cried and cried.
I've always believed in God, but not like this.  I've always prayed, but I feel like there was something withheld.  I'm such a controlling person that it never occurred to me that I could let go and trust Him to take the burden from me and help guide me.  I remember being a child and feeling so close to God. I remember believing that He knew me and would protect me and lead me to safety.  Where did that girl go?  I am learning to be calm and rest. I'm learning to pray.  I've read the old and new testaments cover to cover, but I didn't understand them. Now I'm reading a piece here and there and really thinking about them.  I'm learning to trust myself to someone that I know will not abandon me.
I appreciate how weird it must be to read this coming from me since I am the furthest thing from a religious person.  As I've always said, I reserve the right to change my mind. Anytime. Anywhere. And this is no exception.  In the single week after I met with my sister friend and her mom, I had 4 people come up to me and want to talk about God. Four. I've NEVER had anyone want to talk about God with me, and heaven knows I wasn't the one bringing it up.  I feel like this is the direction my life is taking whether I'm ready for it or not.  So I'm going to keep praying, keep reading, and continue to talk to everyone and anyone who wants to talk about it.
I am still tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, and scared.  But I am learning to find some peace in my life. I'm giving myself permission to grow in a new direction. I'm forgiving myself for anything I've unintentionally done to hurt anyone, including myself.  And I'm going to learn to rest.  Sometimes I take the world day by day and sometimes I barely make it hour to hour.  But I know that one day everything will be ok again.  One day I will wake up feeling safe and loved in my own skin.  I am remembering my burdens are also my blessings as I hug my little ones close.  I have so much to be thankful for and I'm going to count my blessings.