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Archive for the ‘Old Story – New Story’ Category

This is a post specifically written for  Karen Caterson’s blog (which is always a great read BTW) round robin: Support Stories – Strength from Within. Thanks for inviting me to participate Karen! (Click on the link to see more stories, poems and posts on the topic by other bloggers)


When a tree is a sapling, it may be given some additional and external support. It may need stakes, ties and even deer guard to give it a chance to become the giant it was born to be. Over time, if all goes well, the tree outgrows the stakes. The branches reach high enough to evade foraging deer. Its root system grows deep and wide, bringing it nourishment from the ground. A strong trunk supports the wide canopy that drinks in sunlight. A tree wants to live. That’s an assumption I make. It will do all it can to survive in the densest of shade and the driest of soil. It wants to live.

There was a point in my life, not long ago, (ok, about 6 years ago) when I came to a cross-roads. I wasn’t sure I could go on much longer feeling so much emotional pain. I entertained the notion of suicide without really contemplating it. I was aware that I could let the big wind that entered my life completely uproot me or I could let a branch or two snap off, bend with the winds that blew, send a taproot deeper into a still place and make my stand.   In one inspired moment, I chose the latter.  Despite the pain, the complete uncertainty about my future (especially financially), I wanted to live. I wanted to create something new, find out what I was made of, maybe, eventually, find new love. I had a faint glimmer of hope that I’d make it to a better day.

That’s the thing about hope. It’s like a homeopathic remedy. It only takes the essence of hope, the faintest hint of hope to keep us going.

As I applied the essence of hope daily, I began to develop a relationship with myself, with nature and the Divine. I came to appreciate the gift of Mystery and the way in which we can navigate the unknown with Love. I filled the empty hole of feeling unappreciated and broken with a deep regard for the sacredness of all of life, mine included.

It meant giving up any notion of being rescued. It meant giving up suffering like a martyr.

Victims wait to be rescued.

Martyrs go through all kinds of tap dancing to suffer in silence (with a few deep sighs) and then get angry when no one notices all they have sacrificed for others.

Victims and martyrs are waiting for something outside themselves to support them. They’ve let the stakes, ties and deer fencing become their (illusory) prisons.  I know. I’m an “ex-con.”

Here’s the thing; once we commit to something, all of reality (and that which is unseen) conspires to support us.

If we are playing footsies with victim and martyr, we will be supported there too. We will create relationships with unwritten co-dependent contracts acting out roles of heroes and villains.

We make choices and those choices create our reality. What reality have you created?

What reality will you create now?

Some trees in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parkgrow at right angles. They were tossed sideways in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 and then continued their upward growth toward the sun.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been tossed sideways by some kind of earthquake in their lives. We can live sideways and consider it over or reach for the warmth and light. It’s a choice.

I’m not saying it’s easy.  I’m not saying it’s hard.

I am saying, stop waiting for someone to come to the rescue. Chances are if you are not loving and nurturing  yourself, you won’t have an open enough heart to receive the help when it’s offered anyway.

You are your own hero (and your own villain). It’s an inside job.

Squirrel resting in tree Copyright (C) November 2010, Kathy J Loh

A sturdy tree makes a nice resting place (c) K J Loh

When it feels like all the world’s  got you in a spin and circumstances are chaotic, when you feel lonely and like you don’t belong, what to do? Be still. Breathe. Find your center. Send that taproot even deeper, let your canopy dance in the passing breeze. There’s a lot of space between you and all that is happening. Observe. Rest. Be with your genuine emotions raw and real as they are and pan the story. At least tell a new one.

I’ve created a strong sense of inner support by way of connecting with nature, the Divine, my own heart. Here are some of my practices with some selected resources. They are practices because there is no arrival, simply the daily devotion.

Wow, that’s a lot of external resources for developing inner strength. Like I said before, it’s an inside job and it is the commitment to the inner work that brings the support of a friendly world to your doorstep.

Enjoy dear ones!

If you have something you’d like to add to the list, feel free to leave a comment with your practices for creating strength from within.

Ready to receive some help with that inside job? Email me at kathyloh@coachkathy.com and we can set up a conversation about how I might be able to be of service to you.

If you are ready for radical transformation of your inner world (which will have a delightful impact on your external world) then you are ready for a Sacred Life Walkabout with me. Let’s talk!

Copyright © November 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Let’s make up a story….

Let’s say you’ve been married 10 years and you’ve not had much luck getting pregnant and you find out that someone else did and your husband is the father.

Let’s say, after much drama and therapy, you decide to make a go of it imagining that, if the marriage survives, it will be an amazing kind of love story.

Let’s say, you move from Southern California to Northern California and you start your life over. You find a house, in a delightful neighborhood, that accommodate your dog and cat; you settle in and the landlords become friends of yours.

Let’s say that part of that new life leads you to more seriously explore your creative talents instead of opening up your old business in a new location.

Let’s say it turns out you just pressed a pause button and that, with lack of support from without or even within, you succumb to your inner critic and return to that money-making business with which you had success before.

Let’s say that the marriage does not dissolve, though your creative dreams seem to, and you move from the transitional rental home with the big question mark aura around it to your pride-of-ownership let’s-put-a-period-on-this-thing home.

Let’s say things go along swimmingly for another tenyears.

Let’s say a shark in the waters and a large rogue wave rudely awaken you from a very long swim and you face the facts that the marriage never fully repaired itself and you become something of a wanderer.

Let’s say that wandering takes you to house-sittings, road-trips, more workshops than would fill a catalog, and roommates until you settle in a rental in a quiet mountain location with a beach nearby.

Sanctuary Home copyright (c) Dec 2008, Kathy J Loh

Mountain Sanctuary Under the Moon

Let’s say that place you landed became your place of healing and solitude; that when you were ready to emerge, you knew you were going to give your all to your creative endeavors, even if the actual forms of those endeavors had changed; that in this healing place you also tamed that inner critic and fully supported yourself regardless of the opinions of others.

Let’s say in that emergence you crave community and commit to moving back to the old ‘hood.

Let’s say you get a call that leads you to a rental in that old ‘hood that has much of what you want in terms of natural surroundings and a pool, but the house, well, the house is old and the floor and windows have some “quaint” angles to them, the kind that make the inner ear question reality.

Let’s say you plunk your cash down anyway, go home to your little mountain sanctuary and then find yourself tossing all night. You know your body is sending the message loud and clear – “I can’t do this!”

Let’s say you call your old landlady, the one who is still your friend; the one who rented you that first house in N CA and ask her advice regarding how much is actually fair rent for a decent place in the old ‘hood.

Let’s say she says “If you are willing to spend that much [the amount you plunked down on the quaint and crooked place], you can have my house. I was going to charge $300 to $500 more for it, but if I can rent it to you I’m glad to reduce the rent to meet your price.”

Let’s say that house she is offering you turns out to be the very same house you lived in when you were deciding whether or not to stay married; when you were attempting to honor your creative talents and pursue your passion, but quit.

Let’s say, you say yes.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to me.

The way it happened, a phone call, a deposit, a sleepless night and another phone call all within 36 hours is what tickles me.

Someone asked me if I was nervous about being in the house and the energy of my past being there.

I’m not at all. I’ve been in the house. As soon as I walked through the door, I recognized the smell (as each home has its unique fragrance). I “saw” the ghosts of my past and I didn’t feel any anger or sadness toward them, only compassion. This is a good sign that I have truly healed. I also saw the opportunity to offer to the ghosts, especially the ghost of me, great comfort from the future. I love me and who I’ve become and all I would want the past me to know is how happy and loved she truly is; that she can be who she wants to be and create what she wants to create, fully supported.

Now this house has become the fork-in-the-road house, where two paths diverged. Back then,  I took the road more or less traveled. Now I cycle back and live into the choice, the one that has to do with me and not my relationship, from a new place as a new me.

It’s not about arrivals, make goods and do-overs as much as the sacred and amazing opportunity to continue to be an explorer in the mystery of life.

And so now, I am living into this new perspective of:

Rewind – Splice – New Ending

Rewind the tape to that moment in time

Splice it and store away the old story

Write and live into the new story

Sure, what happened in-between happened and whether or not it needed to is moot, because it did.

What I do know is that I don’t need to tell the old story anymore and that living into the new story, rewrites the past anyway.

I know this new-old house served as a transitional home in the past and will do so again.

And I know that I’m excited about what’s possible  in this one-delicious-moment-after-another now.

And you, dear reader, what is the story that’s grown stale and what is the new one that wants to emerge?

I welcome and relish your comments.

If you’d like to explore this by way of coaching, drop me a line and let’s see what we can create together.

copyright (c) May 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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