Monday, May 25, 2015

Trusting the Process...

My younger child has just graduated from college with honors and he has earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in a field where he anticipates job openings. I hope the universe is tuned in!  My oldest already has her Masters, is on her own and is gainfully employed. My kids did good. It wasn't a smooth ride by any means... but the mission has been accomplished and I am an extremely proud (and relieved) Mother of two incredible and incredibly different kids.

I have to admit, that even though the goal was for them to become independent one day with careers and lives of their own... I wanted more for them. Armed with my own college education, the best parenting books plus tips from family and friends (the internet wasn't around in the mid 1980s) ...what I really wanted for my kids, but didn't know at the time, was that they would become productive, self sufficient, and emotionally and mentally strong. I wanted them to learn to care about themselves and others, to never confuse happiness with selfishness or selfishness with happiness and to make good decisions by learning from mistakes. I wanted them to know their innate worth and the value they bring to others through their contributions and participation in the world.   I wanted them to know where 'center' is... that intangible place where few of us 'go' to get answers that only come when we are quiet. All these things go way beyond academic objectivity and a solid resume.

I do wonder sometimes if I could have saved myself some stress and worry by just being more sure of myself, more firmly standing in my own space as a divorced parent, a little more product driven/a little less process oriented, taking up as much room as a person needs, to make the right decisions in times of unexpected turbulence. When we did hit a few bumps of turbulent air,  I know that I did the best I could with the resources I had and what I knew to be true about how each of us worked. In the long view, my tendency for process was a good thing.  Not always, but I'm fairly confident that I knew my kids as well as a person can know an adolescent. The business and yes, process of raising other human beings has taught me so much about myself and what I was capable of.  And because it is a process, there are just some things you learn as you go. As a family, we landed pretty close to where we had hoped, but geez, knowing if we were on course or not, sometimes... it was just a guess!   And it was messy... as other families may admit to or not, depending on how much truth they can tolerate.

When challenges arise, knowing what to do can sometimes be a guess based on a lot of what we already know and the counsel we seek from trusted resources. But 'knowing' comes from many places. If I've learned anything over the last 20 plus years, I've learned that it's okay to guess, to trust the process, to reach out to others, to go beyond the intellect, to rely upon and trust my own wellspring of intuition and emotional knowing.

They are off and running their own lives but I think we will always be 'in process' with new goals moving us forward as individuals.  I hope that 'softer knowing', that inner voice that goes beyond intellect will be of value to them, especially when things aren't easy.  They decide what is right for them and I just support their ideas. They have also been supportive of my new goals as I grow and change. I don't have the starring role in their lives anymore and for that, I am grateful because that was never the plan. That was then, this is now. They did good, and, actually, so did I.


Interested in finding a Life Coach?
Find Ellen Leon Rosoff at Elleon Coaching
www.elleoncoaching.com
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Tree that Bends In the Wind

In my yoga class yesterday, the instructor told us to breathe in and hold the breath as we envisioned ourselves sitting on top of our breathe, much like sitting on top of a mountain looking at everything below us.  A mountain perch, a bird's eye view of all that supports us. Then she said, release the breath, bend forward over your body until hands reach the floor and belly meets the spine, going from the macro to the micro as our yoga practice takes us inward to our core, letting go of all that once was, letting go of breath. And hold. She explained, and I'm paraphrasing, that 'the letting go' was the most important part of that whole sequence, because in that letting go, was 'the letting be' of what is. In that moment is one's acceptance of change, acceptance of feelings toward that change, and acceptance of life as a dynamic process that never stays the same from moment to moment, breath to breath.  Breathing, she told us, mimics the dynamic nature of life. It comes in and it goes out. It is here,  now it is there. Here is one way, there is another. The wave rushes up, the wave washes out.

So many of us want things to stay the same, we want things to never change or we want things to go back to 'normal'. We want to stand rigid against the wind foolishly thinking that if we resist the force, we will win the battle and life will continue on as it always has. But have you ever seen a tree stand rigid against the wind? The wind will always win when the tree stands in defiance, the tree almost always breaks when it resists the wind.  On most windy days, I watch the trees bend with the wind, allowing the wind to blow through it's branches, leaving the tree standing perhaps a bit worn for the wear, but still standing. The tree accepts the wind, allows the wind to wash over it and through it, the tree does not resist or struggle, it just bends. Nor does the tree expect the wind to never blow; how else does the tree know about wind? Suffering lives in resistance; the resistance to forgive, to acknowledge ourselves as powerful, to apologize, to be flexible, to be kind. Peace lives in flow, change and acceptance.  Even painful and damaging circumstances have the opportunity to transform, transcend and be seen from a new perspective.

Dan Millman, in his book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, writes:  "There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too!"  Dan Millman writes about Life as a mystery, and how we will not be able to figure everything out about what makes the universe tick. When we struggle to understand everything about it, we endeavor to the point of frustration.  How bored my mind will be when I 'wake up' to find that there is no problem to fix, no puzzle to solve, no physical symptom to cure! 

But how can I write these words about transformation and peace against the backdrop of so much suffering and disaster in the world. I know you will conjure up images when I mention Chile, Nepal and Baltimore. You may ask me if I have the right to find my own peace when so many others are clearly suffering.  Is it not selfish for me to find my way when others are lost? On the other hand, what good am I to others if I, like them, can not see the tree through the forest, the oasis through the smoke? If I can see where the path is, am I not responsible to alert others to it's location as well? If I am 'more than I ever imagined and work to do my best' as Dan Millman suggests,  for me and my community,  if I can see the tranformative power of the present moment through a simple breath, as my yoga teacher taught me, then peace doesn't stay contained just within me.  It can only radiate out from me.


Interested in finding a Life Coach?
Find Ellen Leon Rosoff at Elleon Coaching
www.elleoncoaching.com
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531









Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Tree that Bends In the Wind.

In my yoga class yesterday, the instructor told us to breath in and hold the breathe as we envisioned ourselves sitting on top of our breathe, much like sitting on top of a mountain looking at everything below us.  A mountain perch, a bird's eye view of all that supports us. Then she said, release the breathe, bend forward over your body until hands reach the floor and belly meets the spine, going from the macro to the micro as our yoga practice takes us inward to our core, letting go of all that once was, letting go of breathe. And hold. She explained, and I'm paraphrasing, that 'the letting go' was the most important part of that whole sequence, because in that letting go, was 'the letting be' of what is. In that moment is one's acceptance of change, acceptance of feelings toward that change, and acceptance of life as a dynamic process that never stays the same from moment to moment, breathe to breathe.  Breathing, she told us, mimics the dynamic nature of life. It comes in and it goes out. It is here,  now it is there. Here is one way, there is another. The wave rushes up, the wave washes out.

So many of us want things to stay the same, we want things to never change or we want things to go back to 'normal'. We want to stand rigid against the wind foolishly thinking that if we resist the force, we will win the battle and life will continue on as it always has. But have you ever seen a tree stand rigid against the wind? The wind will always win when the tree stands in defiance, the tree almost always breaks when it resists the wind.  On most windy days, I watch the trees bend with the wind, allowing the wind to blow through it's branches, leaving the tree standing perhaps a bit worn for the wear, but still standing. The tree accepts the wind, allows the wind to wash over it and through it, the tree does not resist or struggle, it just bends. Nor does the tree expect the wind to never blow; how else does the tree know about wind? Suffering lives in resistance; the resistance to forgive, to acknowledge ourselves as powerful, to apologize, to be flexible, to be kind. Peace lives in flow, change and acceptance.  Even painful and damaging circumstances have the opportunity to transform, transcend and be seen from a new perspective.

Dan Millman, in his book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, writes:  "There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too!"  Dan Millman writes about Life as a mystery, and how we will not be able to figure everything out about what makes the universe tick. When we struggle to understand everything about it, we endeavor to the point of frustration.  How bored my mind will be when I 'wake up' to find that there is no problem to fix, no puzzle to solve, no physical symptom to cure! 

But how can I write these words about transformation and peace against the backdrop of so much suffering and disaster in the world. I know you will conjure up images when I mention Chile, Nepal and Baltimore. You may ask me if I have the right to find my own peace when so many others are clearly suffering.  Is it not selfish for me to find my way when others are lost? On the other hand, what good am I to others if I, like them, can not see the tree through the forest, the oasis through the smoke? If I can see where the path is, am I not responsible to alert others to it's location as well? If I am 'more than I ever imagined and work to do my best' as Dan Millman suggests,  for me and my community,  if I can see the tranformative power of the present moment through a simple breath, as my yoga teacher taught me, then peace doesn't stay contained just within me.  It can only radiate out from me.


Interested in finding a Life Coach?
Find Ellen Leon Rosoff at Elleon Coaching
www.elleoncoaching.com
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531