Being A Stuffer Doesn’t Help

I’m a stuffer.  Yup.  First Class.  Deep to my core.

Not a stuffer in that I stuff myself with food (well. . . I have done that on occasion, too) or stuff junk in my closet (my closet is a mess though).

I am a stuffer of my emotions.

I’m not sure how I came to be this way.  As the oldest sibling in my family, I think I felt a responsibility to always know what to do,  to model behavior and certainly not to get angry at my younger siblings if I was being responsible for taking care of them.

As I grew into my teenage years and adulthood, “being nice” was of the utmost importance to me.  Frustration, anger, sadness, or jealousy were emotions you did not display for I feared others would not like me.  And, I desperately needed people to like me.

Well, it continued into adulthood and I still battle “stuffing” as a wife, mother and teacher. Being known as a nag, squeaky wheel, difficult or flat out “drama mama” has never been very attractive to me, and again, people might not like me then.  And, I thought I was just having patience.

Stuffing can be disguised as patience.

So, I’m curious how this affects my inner organs.  We have outer toxins and these inner toxins. And, frankly, I’m a little bit more concerned about my ability to feel, show and release my toxic emotions than I am of the dirt on the cucumbers right now.

Through lots of reading and research I learned some interesting stuff.

I discovered that when we are angry, jealous or resentful, we are putting our liver under stress.  Yes, our liver.

The liver ensures that energy and blood flow smoothly throughout the body.  Liver is considered as the seat of anger; it stores not only your anger but the anger from others as well and the toxic energy stored will eventually affect the organ’s function. When this happens, one can have a liver imbalance and you may notice symptoms such as menstrual pain, headache, irritability, inappropriate anger, dizziness, dry, red eyes and other eye conditions, and tendonitis.

This summer,  I released a lot of built up stress, anxieties and resentments when I disappeared to the cabin, of which I will continue to write about.  Since arriving home, I have a revived sense of inner peace and love and I have been able to maintain that through meditation, creativity and spending time on myself.  Through this Reset, I know I am releasing even more, deeply embedded toxins that have maybe been there longer.

I anticipate feeling miraculously amazing when the Reset is complete.  However, fall is in the air and the leaves are already turning yellow, which means my profession will be calling my name.

Autumn signals school to start.

I fear the stuffing will begin to compile again.  I need a game plan.  I deeply care about my health and I also know that when I feel good physically, mentally and spiritually, I can more easily love those I am surrounded by.  And, that is what’s important to me.

I’m going to work on writing a disciplined plan for myself and eventually share it here.  First, I need to do a bit more research.  If it’s going to be long term, it also has to be realistic.  It’s easy to find a bunch of ideas online and make a long list here, but, that’s not going to help me if I don’t live it.

I will, however, share one method of releasing emotions that worked for me  yesterday.

Spend time with a pet.

I was frustrated yesterday over an event that happened and I spent five minutes with Sandy, our yellow lab, and her love, her attentiveness, her presence and her silliness helped me to shift into a completely different emotion.  My anger lifted and soon, I felt joy seep into my being.   A loving pet can do that.

What about you?  What do you do to lift and release your anger/resentments?

Please share. It helps us all when we share what works. 🙂

Shari 🙂

Re-Setting My Body

In an earlier post, I write about my frustration with how I feel at a good place in spirit and mind, but my body won’t cooperate and join the team.  I vowed to ask my daughter, Lauren (she’s a personal trainer), for help. . . and to actually listen to her this time.

My body, with its years and years of toxicity due to stress, eating and drinking the wrong stuff, inconsistant exercise has finally screamed so loud at my mind and spirit that it’s time to take serious action or I will never achieve balance.

The first thing Lauren is having me do is  The Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  This is a 21 day, no-starvation, life-changing, cutting-edge, cleansing and detoxing inner-body tune-up.  You can read all about it here.

I am on Day 4 and am feeling amazing, I have to say.  The food is fabulous!  Except for one recipe that contains this nori seaweed, but we substituted romain lettuce leaves.

Lauren and I are making a You-Tube video of our journey, as the sweetheart is doing it right along with me.  Talk about support.  I am excited to share this experience with others and if one person can take something away that helps them, I’ll be happy. 🙂

If you’d love to follow my journey, click here for Lauren’s You-Tube videos or you can find them on Lauren’s facebook page, which is here!

This morning, I choose one of my Soul Coaching Oracle Cards to give me guidance for the day and the card I randomly choose said, “Commitment”.  Hmmm. . . go figure. 🙂


Shari 🙂

Arriving at My Place of Peace

I was spent.

As I usually am at the end of a school year.  This one, more so.

I am a literacy coach at an elementary school for students from Prek to grade five.  We have five to eight sections per grade – about 800 students.  This is a large school.  I am the only coach.

I have been in education for over twenty years, my first job as a first grade teacher in 1987.  Education is changing.  Students are changing.  Society is changing.  New teachers coming and others leaving.  Holding on to a vision is sometimes daunting when so many changes are continuous in our profession.

My job does not end when the students leave.  I continue to work through the summer, compiling data, working on curriculum, ordering materials, planning for new teachers, reading new research and keeping abreast of new literacy practices.

Added to the load of my job was the fact that I was finishing up my Masters.  Because I am a perfectionist and overachiever in some areas, my final paper ended up being a book.  A blessing and a curse.

I also have four wonderful children, the ages of 17, 19, 20 and 22. All of them. . . at home with my husband and I.  Just when we thought the nest would be emptying, they started coming back.  Sleep was something I was lacking and my edges were frayed with constant stints of worry at night.  They are all normal kids who like to have a good time.  I, the parent, that just prays for the angels to guide them home safely at night.

My husband, we’ll call him Sporty, was in full force with fishing, golfing and running down to the hunting land to farm some food for deer, fall just around the corner.  His agendas after work are full.  Married for 24 years, I’ve accepted that this is who he is.

My life is one that 98 percent of the world pray for.  I’ve been so blessed, too blessed.  Yet, it was also overfull.  I had been scattered and strewn about.  Pieces of me were everywhere, but not really there.  I needed to get away just to figure out if I could keep going at this pace and in this path.  And just to remember why I was here in the first place.  I was losing meaning and purpose in all that I was doing.

July is my month of freedom.

So, the end of June when I was able to attain a small cabin for two weeks beginning July 1, I was as giddy as a school girl could be.

I had the car packed up in two hours.  Sporty came with to help set up camp, but he could not stay as work was calling his name, having just had vacation time for a Canada fishing trip.  I was at ease with this, as I craved aloneness.  I think he had mixed feelings.  I could feel this, but we didn’t talk about it.  The kids planned on coming and going when they could, being only an hour away.  Honestly, I was not planning for anyone. . . but myself.  A strange feeling, selfish, yet a desperate attempt, like I was running away from my life,  in order to save myself.

Upon arrival, I unloaded food, checked out the facilities and immediately drug my chair down to the water.

I climbed into my resting place and closed my eyes and I just lay there.  The air moist, the sun embracing me with warmth and the sound of the waves lapping.  This is heaven.  How can heaven not be like this? All I could verbalize over an over in my mind was,

“Thank you, God.  I am here now.  Let me rest.  Please, please, bring me peace.”

Tears were already welling up and I hadn’t been there for more that an hour.  I had to hold them back as I wasn’t ready to face all that God had in store for me here just yet.

The breeze gently caressed my skin.  “Yes, I know you have something to say,” I replied to it.  “But, not now. . . I just beg to lay here and disappear into this landscape and forget who I am for now.”

It wouldn’t listen and I smiled just knowing there was so much here for me. I would try to be patient toward all that was unsolved in my heart, just as Rainer Maria Rilke starts out her poem,  LETTER TO A POET.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart

and try to love the questions themselves.

do not now seek the answer, which cannot be

given you because you would not be able  

to live them.  And the point is to live everything.

Live the questions now.  Perhaps you will then

gradually, without noticing it, live along some

distant day into the answer.

I prayed to live my questions.  First I needed to articulate them.  In this mess of who I was at that point in time, would I even be able to figure out what my questions were?

And how do you live a question into the answer?

I would let the breeze teach me.

Today though. . . I just rest.  Just rest my weary bones.

Listening to My Vulnerability

I am lacking some pretty serious direction today. Kinda feeling heavy, stuck, and frustrated. So, I grab my jug of coffee and trudge up to my studio to see what whispers I might receive about what avenue to take next.

I turn on my Pandora Helen Jane Long Radio station, burn some sage (for cleansing all that junk in my mind) and just sit.  Breathe.  Breathe again.  One more time.

I am anxious.  I can’t listen to the message if I’m anxious.  Well, I usually get this way towards the middle end of July.  I am a literacy coach and the summer is over half gone.  My todo list has, ummmmm, well. . . one thing crossed off.  That would be my 2 week vacation of solitude.

And, of course, I’ve started some new things that have to do with writing and art.  My soul craves to keep that creative part of me growing, yet my rational mind is thinking about the things that need to be done around the house yet, and planning New Teacher Training in  August.  Work is creeping into my creative brain.

But, more than any of these things causing anxiety today, is my body.

K – I’m sorry for complaining here, but, I feel like crap.  Getting carried away writing and painting and reading cause me to retreat inward and then I lack of consistent, vigorous exercise.  I’m talking more than the half hour walk with the dog.  I’m drinking way too much coffee lately and not enough water.  Meals?  Not telling.  It’s summer!  Grilling and an evening drink so hand in hand with summer, right?

Well, maybe not hand in hand with this body.

This body is screaming for attention.  My joints ache, my skin hurts even, my back feels out of whack and my stomach is acting up, not liking the garlic and onions I put in my food last night.

Why is it that it seems like when you finally feel at a good place with your mind and spirit, the body cries.  I’m afraid that if I get all hooked on exercise and the health track, my mind and time will be consumed with this and peaceful mind and spirit with suffer.  I’ve been obsessed with exercise and every bite of  food I put in my mouth before and I just am so not there anymore.  So much of it was vanity and my ego – so I let it all go when I figured that out.

So, how do I get back to a healthy balance?

I have lacked balance my whole life.

So, I check my emails before I write this morning.  I should not do that, I know.  Write first.  And then. . . worse than that, I check face book.  Another no-no if you are trying to write every  morning, first thing.

But, the message came through face book this morning.  A friend had posted this picture on their wall:

Thank you, Debbie May, for finding this for me today from Jenny’s blog.

Vulnerability.  This word described me to the T this morning.  I clicked on it and soaked up Jenny’s words.

And cried.

Do you do that when someone’s post touches your soul so deeply?  I often think I’m a pathetic mush, but, I’ve realized that when I cry, it’s my soul either crying is sadness or gladness.  This was gladness.  Because Jenny gave me the direction I needed today.

Jenny wrote about her transformation through fitness and how it’s guiding her creativity and her life.

My soul was screaming, “I wanna be fit! Your entire being will align if you feel better physically, Shari! Do something!  Do it today!”

Well, I didn’t have to concentrate to hard to get that message.   And, I don’t have to go too far for help.  My daughter, Lauren, is a personal trainer.  She is the epitome of commitment and strength.  I have never seen someone so dedicated to fitness and health.

She doesn’t live far from me either.   She still lives at home with me.  In my house.  Who is blessed enough to have a personal trainer live with them??????

Lauren is constantly giving me advice as to what I should eat, how I should eat, what exercise would help me the most.  I listen to her sometimes.  She doesn’t hound me.  She often tells me, “It’s a good thing you don’t pay me!”  I’ve told her I should get her services for free since she lives here, but. . .I’m her worst client.

Maybe I need to start paying her.

Maybe it’s time I’m serious about my health.

If I pay her, I’ll feel guilty if I DON’T listen to her.  So, today, I’m asking her for help.  And, I’m paying for it.

Sometimes, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, right?