The Change

My Mom’s generation used to call menopause “the change.” Painful emotional and physical changes that most women experience in order to move to the last chapter of their life. Of course, change doesn’t just happen once a lifetime. People and things must constantly evolve in order to produce and grow.

I once reconnected with a co-worker online over a social media post. The comments turned opinionated as they always seem to do. She private messaged me with the scathing message, ” Samantha, you’ve CHANGED!”

Well, yes. I’m supposed to. When she knew me I was in a completely different phase of my life. I call it my drone phase. I was on autopilot. I didn’t even know who I was outside of being a mom and wife, a role I started when I was barely a child myself.

If we refuse to change, we remain stagnant.

Nature shows us every season how important change is. Each season’s loss is in preparation for the next step of life.

The Bradford pear trees we have are in my area have beautiful white blossoms that last a measly few days. But before you get a brief glimpse of the fluffy white flowers you have to endure the piles of messy seeds. Then the blossoms fall off to make way for the lush green leaves, leaving more messy seed twigs. In the fall the leaves are relentless leaving black stains on my patio. The fall leaves are beautifully patterned to reflect the various fall touches of frost intermingled with the warm days the leaves endure before succumbing to winter.

Just as we can’t make the leaves stay on the tree, we can’t hold on to a season of our lives that’s ending. Everything has an expiration date. Some relationships not only morph into a completely different version of what they once were, but they can end without closure. Even with “closure”- a word which I’m not fond of- we still have thoughts and feelings of loss as we navigate through habits of calling or being with them.

The key to moving through these experiences is to process each emotion as it arises. My favorite (& only) spiritual guru states:

“The day you can look pain directly in the face and say “thank you for changing me for the better” is the moment you stop fearing anything or anyone. Your healing journey doesn’t take effort. It takes bravery.”

Matt Kahn

He also has a mediation of “whatever arises, love that”.

The important thing to remember when we get hit with a wave of emotion which causes the fight or flight phenomenon as I described in a previous post here., is to not stay in that place. Feel it, accept it, love the one who is experiencing it- no shame – no blame. Then let it go

Anytime you feel uncomfortable feelings, use the 5,4,3,2,1 method. And breathe. look up at the blue sky find some beautiful clouds ora plant in your house or office. Find a bird flying, listen for any sound of nature. Smell the air. SEND LOVE & comfort to yourself. Everything you WANT to feel from the loss- give to yourself. 
The 5 things coping skills

The Persian Poet Rumi from the thirteenth century wrote this poem:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.-Rumi

Wнy Don’т We Sneeze Wнile Sleeping?

I know, I know. You’ve probly never even thought about it. But I have. Cuz see, as a woman, there’s an interesting phenomenon that happens when we sit down to pluck our eyebrows.

We sneeze.

It’s strange, but true. So years ago when Google became a “thing” – yes, I’m THAT old- 👵, I looked it up. Yup just as I thought. The trigeminal nerve runs above the nose & eyebrows. 

When you irritate the skin around there, it stimulates that nerve. Into action or reaction. I am a nurse so I had to learn & memorize all those nerve things. But today I woke up and wondered why ( or if I actually do ) I don’t sneeze at night.

Apparently its for our own protection. “Even if an insect crawled across your nose you wouldn’t sneeze because those muscles are paralyzed while in REM sleep”.

That’s what  THIS says anyway.

Usually we don’t notice or question it. Until it’s something that we are driving our selves crazy wondering why we can’t get it.

I’m sure you have many stories of “I’m sure glad I didn’t get what I wanted back then”. I have a few. The biggest one was when I was 16 and pregnant living in small town America. I didn’t have much of a support system & it’s not like I could google “what to do when you find out you’re pregnant and you’re a poor, shy, naive girl from the sticks”

The best “solution” when I realized “oh my God I’m a statistic now” seemed to be this scary thing called abortion.

Don’t worry, this isn’t an argument for or against abortion, or to pluck.or not to pluck ( aka wax or bush brows- remember Brook Shields?) or even sneezing while asleep.

Its simply a reminder to learn to ᒪEᗩᑎ ᗷᗩᑕK
when you are frustrated at a situation you’re dealing with.

ᒪEᗩᑎIᑎG ᗷᗩᑕK let’s our natural instincts kick in. Leaning back or ‘feeling WITH’ lets us experience our feelings, the good, bad & ugly, then move forward with a decision that’s not wrought in turmoil necessarily, but in determination of the main goal.

That goal might be just to feel better in the moment- without regrets later or to plant seeds of hope for someone else, or to create stronger bonds with this person.

The most important thing is to get yourself to a safe place emotionally – so you can figure out the goal.

Wʜᴇɴ ᴡᴇ ᴏᴘᴇʀᴀᴛᴇ ɪɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇ ᴇᴍᴏᴛɪᴏɴꜱ ᴡᴇ ᴀʀᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ɢᴏɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴀᴋᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴇꜱᴛ ᴅᴇᴄɪꜱɪᴏɴ ғᴏʀ ᴏᴜʀ ʙᴇꜱᴛ ʟɪғᴇ.

Making those decisions while in duress leads us to second guess later or even spend years wanting a do- over.

My decision NOT to abort was made more by lack of knowledge & location than the incredible love & bonding that came later to my child.

That child turned out to be my saving grace, early on, as a child raising a child, & later on when my family faced many many challenges that almost broke us in every way possible.

That child was a second mother to my other 4 kids, and a best friend to me. She married, had 4 kids, became a much better nurse then me, even getting her Master’s in nursing.

But back to sneezing.

Not sneezing at night protects us from thrashing around, waking up many times, scratching our eyes out etc.

ᒪEᗩᑎIᑎG ᗷᗩᑕK when in dire situations helps us stop, reflect on what our goal is, and is REACTING with emotion going to help us reach that goal or will it break down the relationship further?

Breathe, sleep, don’t sneeze and ᒪEᗩᑎ ᗷᗩᑕK with ᒪᓍᐺᘿ today🧡