I am always learning something new from my clients in the Drug and Alcohol counseling program where I work as a therapist. Since many of them attend 12 step meetings, I am accustomed to hearing them use what I call ‘bumper sticker-ese’ such as “One Day At A Time”, “Let Go and Let God”, “We are only as sick as our secrets”, “Easy Does It” and “There but for the Grace….” Today, we were speaking about what it takes to remain sober in the face of the challenges that they bump up against each day. One incredibly insightful young man said these words that put a smile on my face, “The juice is worth the squeeze.” Think about it for a moment. What does it mean to you?
What comes to mind for me is the idea that anything worth doing is worth doing well. If there is something I desire to experience or attract into my life, I need to be willing to roll up my sleeves and put my all into it. It might mean getting a little messy and pulpy. I may need to risk feeling like a drip. I might even be inclined to tell a knock knock joke…”Knock knock. Who’s there? Banana. Banana who? Knock knock, Who’s there? Banana. Banana who? Knock knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana again?” Worth the squeeze means a wonderful exchange for what I put into the endeavor.
I remember back in January of 1981 when I was on a 10 day Outward Bound Course in New England; think snow, and bitter cold. On our last day there, we were asked to run up a hill where a treat would be waiting for us. I charged up the incline, drenched in sweat under my woolen pants, vest, flannel shirt and long johns by the time I reached the top. The delight was freshly made orange juice, ice cold and refreshing. Never before and not since, has it been that good. THAT was definitely worth the squeeze.
There are many things I wish for in my life. I can wait around for the perfect moment for whatever it is to arrive. I can wait until I am exactly as I want to be in order to experience true happiness. I would be waiting a looooonnnnng time. I much prefer the proactive approach in which I set my intention, extend my reach, put legs under my ideas, take the steps, enlist support, put my heart and soul into it, be ‘all in’ and see it through to fruition (no pun intended:)
What if you saw this classified ad in your local paper this morning, as you drank your coffee, tea, chai, juice or in my case- fruit and veggie smoothie? Would your heart leap with delight because you were just waiting for this opportunity to step out on the stage of life or would it sink, because you aren’t sure who ‘yourself’ is? I always knew who I was at my core, but oftentimes donned costumes so as to play various roles that were expected of me. Good girl, daughter who wanted to make my parents proud of me, friend who could be counted on, excelling at school student, highly competitive swimmer, vivid imaginista, loyal partner, co-dependent caregiver who exhibited ‘savior behavior’-who wanted to heal, save, fix and kiss the boo boos to make them all better, the go-to gal for answers to dilemmas, spiritual gypsy, the one to call at whatever o’clock to pick my brain (or whatever was accessible), fun playmate, silliness incarnate. But what if, just below the surface is someone who wants to break free of those roles and refuses to be typecast? What if there is a wild woman who is way more sensual, outspoken, daring to be different and not attempting to blend in for fear of rejection?
I have role models in my life for those characters that I could play should I choose to be braver than I am at times. They brazenly and vulnerably share all aspects of themselves, feeling that to hide is to diminish the Divine creations that they are. Yesterday, I was in conversation with someone I had just met and he made an assumption about me based on my appearance. I was wearing a dress, make up, sparkly flip flops, dangly earrings and very short cropped hair. Somehow the topic turned to sexuality and he commented that it was possible that I preferred women as partners because of my hair length. I smiled coyly and asked “How do you know whether I do or not, on that one criteria?” I chided him for his stereotyping perspective. Whatever my preference, it is amusing to consider that someone would make that statement when people, whether Gay, Straight, Bi (or as I refer to it ‘fluid’) look various ways. The most masculine appearing woman might be straight as an arrow and the most ‘girly girl’ might be female-partner focused. The most effeminate seeming man, may prefer female partners and the most buff, Marlboro-man looking dude may be married to another man. My big question is why the heck should we care?
As I explore the various and sundry aspects of myself, I give full permission to simply BE, without limiting myself or being type-cast. I will always get the part of being ME.
I was inspired by two Facebook postings today and both were so good that I wanted to combine them in one Bliss Blog. The first came from Arielle Ford and the second from Katrina Mayer. Both are inspiristas who have a broader view of how life can be and each one encourages readers to live from the heart, dream big, daring to ask for what they desire and are willing to support people in seeing their vision through. Kind of like someone else I know intimately.
Arielle had a lovely magic wand image in hers and invited friends to ask for a wish to be granted with her charged up instrument and Katrina offered: “Don’t measure the day in minutes. Measure it in miracles.” Both are unbeatable and yet, how often are we willing to boldly request what we desire without the monkey mind squawking at us about unworthiness to receive or unlikelihood of our wishes becoming physical reality? I know I face that gremlin every day and still I cast more intentions out there than just about anyone I know. It’s kind of like when you are planting a garden. You never know which seeds will take root and grow in the fertile soil, so you plant a bunch rather than a few. Mine take the form of creating a loving, sustainable, healthy, fun, safe, growing relationship with a Life Partner who will do the transformational work with me that I so adore doing and for which I welcome wonderful compensation.
When I contemplate the concept of miracles, I am brought back to what A Course in Miracles defines as a ‘shift in perception’. Whenever I change my thoughts, I am literally changing my mind (altering the way it operates) and sometimes it really IS like changing a poopy diaper. The first miracle of the day arrived when my eyes beheld the sun streaming in through my curtains, and my mind was actually working well enough to write something articulate pre-6 a.m. Another showed up in the form of a healthy, strong body that had a blast doing my ‘playout’ at the Planet Fitness, yet another when an opportunity arose to write for another venue and still another when I contemplate my radio show tonight. Now, in the grand scheme of things, those don’t sound like over the top razzle dazzle activities. For me, a miracle is anything for which I am grateful, before, during and after which means that I am experiencing them 24/7.
The photo above includes a magic wand that my friend Peggy gave me when I left my full time job a year ago at an inpatient psychiatric hospital. As I thanked her, I asked playfully if she couldn’t have given it to me while I was still working there, since it would have come in handy. These days, I take it with me as a prop for workshops I teach. Feel free to use it to make your wishes come true…abracadabra! Wishing you miracles ordinary and extraordinary <3