"You can't find what you're not looking for."
- my daughter, Cara Elise Amador
Are you aware of the signs in your life? What's your life telling you? When you're driving to get to a destination, if you've fallen off course, you can tell that you're lost by looking at the signs. but many of us, including me often don't pay attention. Well it's rare that I don't pay attention, nothing much gets past me because my natural tendency is to always look for problems. But once I find them, I often sit on my laurels and stew in my overwhelm juices for a bit. Here's a morsel of inspiration from my crazy life for you to consider the next time that you face your own signs.
Wow! I can't believe that it's been 2 weeks since I last touched base with you. I'll be honest and tell you that I've been having a really hard time getting back my momentum. Whenever I face a big life change there are several things that occur in my life almost at the same time.
1 - technology failure - My computer or some other office machine that I rely on goes belly up, making it difficult to access what I want when I want it.
2 - cluttered house, cluttered mind. Not being a neat freak at heart, it's often a challenge for me to keep my tendency to clutter under control. I can ignore the clutter in the house more easily, but I can't handle the overwhelm that comes with being visually distracted by having a mess in my office.
frustration - Feeling at the mercy of technology and my own disorganized mess, my anxiety level rises and I go back into old victim mode feeling sorry for myself, complaining and becoming a pain to everyone around me.
3 - food challenges - I find myself facing situations of wanting to and often overeating the foods that I have in the house that usually never capture my attention.
4 - illness - I work/worry myself to the point of exhaustion trying desperately to ignore the reality of the mess that I'm facing. I wake up too early, go to bed too late and turn my schedule upside down, trying to make up for lost time. I end up getting a cold or give myself some other kind of low level illness that lets me justify to my family and myself that I'm taking a break for a while. To heal, I spend most of the time sleeping.
5 - Recovery - As my body begins to get stronger as it heals, I'm able to process why I got sick, and then I use EFT to help me see past the overwhelm of the situation that I faced that made me feel exhausted enough to get sick in the first place.
6 - Wisdom - Putting it all together. That's when I share with you what I've learned from the whole experience.
So basically that's what's been happening with me. Just when everything was going great with my book and podcast, my computer crashed, I couldn't get any sound on my mics, and my scanner/copier died. Deep down I knew that was really just the beginning of several signs letting me know that my energy was off.
When I came back from Florida, I mentioned that many things got settled, but others became a lot more screwy. Boy was that true.
Self Sabotage 1: Taking the Easy Way Out by Checking Out
For several weeks after I was back, I just didn't feel like myself. True to form, the day that I flew back to New York, I got such a bad cold the night before that I was thrown for a loop. I lost my voice, couldn't stop coughing, and had a sore throat and body aches. Not wanting to be embarrassed by my coughing on the flight, I decided to take cough medecine to suppress the cough. In retrospect, I now realize it was a big mistake to take Nyquil at 1:00 a.m. when my flight was scheduled for 9. Stupid idea.
Anyway I spent the whole flight nodding on and off, totally overwhelmed by all the events that had occurred. it was a miracle of God that I was able to manuever myself, drive to the airport at 6:00 that morning, get on the right flight and find my way home safely. I was most definitely in an altered state. I remained that way for the next several days, sleeping on and off.
Self Sabotage 2: Cluttered House, Cluttered Mind: A Recipe for One Unhappy Family
When I finally got rid of the cold, and was well enough to get back to my life, I quickly sensed that the atmosphere at home felt tense. I was overwhelmed by how much stuff was out of place, the piles of paper and mail unread and general disorganization of the house. Feeling pressure to get back to my life again, and being desperately in need of help and support to get the house back in some kind of order so that I could think clearly again, I found myself getting into stupid arguments with my husband and son over inconsequential things. Even just talking to either of them was so painful and difficult because I felt so intimidated by their tone, voice, and gestures. I instantly felt like a little kid again talking to my dad. I could feel that I was off because I knew I wasn't coming from a place of strength in communicating with them. I was taking everything so personally and nothing that I did felt right. I felt so defensive and uncomfortable around both of them and every chance I got I started nagging and picking fights. I just felt so out of sync because I was really hurting over feeling so disconnected from Angel. I knew I was literally pushing him away again. During the times that he tried to comfort me, hug me or be more intimate, I felt overwhelmed by thoughts of fear, going back to my past in my mind. Not wanting to face the truth that I was falling back into my old habit of seeing my evil abusive stepfather, Jorge in my husband, Angel, and I was completely losing all perspective of the wonderful man I'm married to, I decided to ignore my thoughts and tried to keep myself occupied.
Newly burdened with a ton of bills and papers to handle for my mom, I had more than enough to keep me busy. I begrudgingly headed to my office to get it all under control. After facing incompatibility issues with my computer's email client and organization software, I soon gave up trying to get mom organized. My computer problems were telling me that maybe I needed to do more to nurture myself. After spending about a week feeling sorry for myself, I finally made an appointment with the local computer guy to fix the machine. More lost time.
Clutter Clearing for Me Starts in the Mind: Asking for Help is a Good thing
When it got to the point when I couldn't stand the distance that I had created between Angel and I any longer, I finally realized that I had to reach out and ask for help. I was overwhelmed and despite the fact that I knew what to do and how to tap, I was too close to my pain to be willing to do it on my own. The day before was a screaming sign that I was ready. I had eaten a half bag of M&M's and assorted other crap and junk, and that evening when I went to the bathroom and happened to look at the mirror at my stomach, I was started the nonsense with the body hating. "Oh I'm so fat. I can't stand my stomach." It's so ugly. If only, If only." After tapping to release the feelings that I felt at that moment, I lay in bed wide awake, but exhausted thinking of all the things that were not right yet. It was more than I could handle alone.
I emailed my EFT coach, CJ and booked an apointment with her to coach me past my resistance and fears. Based on certain specific work we had done together before in the past, I knew I needed her particular style of personality and her awareness of my problem. I knew that I was sabotaging myself with my overwhelm over finishing the book. I could feel myself slipping back into my old pattern of thinking, "I'm not good enough. I'm not fully baked. I can't offer women anything. Look at what a mess my life is." Poor me." All the old crap and junk from the past that I had thought was behind me was now facing me again.
EFT Creator, Gary Craig's "Personal Peace Process"
My call with CJ was incredibly productive. I arrived there with a bagful of resentment toward Angel, certain that the problem of the tension in the house was between my husband and I. CJ suggested that I work specifically on letting go of the hurts and resentment that I felt toward my mother's husband, Jorge, my abuser.
She reminded me of Gary Craig's "Personal Peace Process" and suggested that I go back in my memory and write down all events in my past that had anything to do with Jorge's abuse and label them one by one. Then to go through the list and tap on each one until it didn't bother me anymore. She explained that just like trees in a forest, when you begin to chop several down, the rest come tumbling down also. She suggested that it would probably take about 10 separate tap sessions that I could do on my own to get the sense of peace that I had before I left for Florida. Being honest with myself now, I'd have to admit that I had mixed feelings hearing that; hope and overwhelm.
Rediscovering my Inner Compassion and Gentleness for Myself
That day we worked on one particular event that I had long ago thought was neutralized down to a "0", I was shocked to discover that I still had a tremendous emotional charge on the memory. The thing that struck me so powerfully was how passionate CJ was instilling in me the need to be gentle with myself. As we were tapping together, my tendency was to get past it and bite my lip and say, "It's fine now." But she wouldn't let me. She pushed me to examine every twinge and stir, something that I would never have done before and I wouldn't have even thought to tap on it if she wouldn't have guided me to do it. After our call, I felt as though an elephant was lifted from my chest. All my appreciation and love for Angel came flooding back to the surface and I felt close to him again. I felt lovable and deserving again. It was so nice to be able to act like a partner in my relationship with Angel and tell him what I needed and wanted and take responsibility for my part in the tension in the house. Unlike the tension that I felt in the days earlier, I felt so safe with Angel again, telling him what's been bugging me. Feeling that connection back again, I wanted to be more intimate, so that night I pursued him.
With the tension eased between Angel and I, a new handle on my clutter and a renewed zest to finish the editing on my book, the softer side of me was coming back. I noticed that I wasn't arguing with my son, PT anymore and in general the tension in the house has lifted. And since I've been in touch, I even managed to rescue another of our outdoor feral cats who we named Big Louie. I'll tell you more about why I love feral cats another time, but for now I'm happy that I could do my part to support the universe in making one kitty's life a little better. Now that's one less stray cat that will feel the urge to fight. Wouldn't it be nice if it could be that easy for all of us?
The long and short of it is that after playing several tug of war games with myself, my body and my emotions, I've come to several conclusions.
It was okay to go back and ask for help to be coached past the rough spots.
I wasn't completely healed from the hurts of the abuse in my past and there was more work that I needed to do to get there.
The trip from Florida brought back along with it many of my old insecurities.
My continued health and happiness requires maintentance and care. It is a choice, not a privilege
On my ever present computer and technology related snafus and issues - It's a better and wiser decision to spend the money on having a professional do it rather than trying to fumble around. get frustrated, trying to deal with tech support over the phone and do it myself.
On making peace with food - I don't believe that emotional eating can ever be overcome entirely, it can only be managed and I'm fine with that.
On lovin' the skin I'm in - Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. As with all relationships, there will always be bumps in the road, but now thanks to my insights and a whole lot of EFT, it's often followed by renewed love and compassion. I like loving myself better. It feels nicer.
I wasn't going to take out my anger on my body and fall back into my old body hating ways
What I want most from cleaning is the clarity of mind it gives me. Instant gratification.
When you're in the throes of change, it's important to move at your own pace. One step at a time is all you need.
Meditation/tapping sandwiches really work to keep me in the zone and at peace.
I was determined to love myself through whatever binges, overeating episodes or vulnerabilities I faced.
I want to listen to more music, especially Jana's and Elton John's. Their music heals my soul.
I feel the urge to start walking outside again. Time for me alone with my thoughts or learning or listening with my iPod.
I was going to get past this and share my learnings with you.
How 'bout you? Are you seeing the signs in your life now more clearly? Does my pattern of chaos look a bit like yours? No matter what -- the goal is to just be aware of it so that you can choose when you want to deal with it. Make things easier on yourself, not harder. So as you see, it's not an easy fix, going from point A - Z. Sometimes you have to wiggle waggle around it, and go back to move forward. My advice to you is to be gentle with yourself every step of the way. Forgive yourself for being imperfect and just keep on moving. Always be willing to begin again and again and again and keep on going for as long as it takes. You'll get there. I do.
Well today I'm planning on doing some shopping at Avenue and then later I'll go back to the book and find where I left off in my editing. Then sometime this weekend, the family and I will probably see a movie. I'm back to being myself again. It feels pretty good. All I can say once again is, "Thank God for EFT."