Update 2013 – Part 3

(Continuation of the first post from Jan. 8th and Part 2 on Jan. 11th – this is a huge stretch for me and so, so personal…yikes! But I just have to share…)

I truly believe that my willingness to be open during this trip and my strong desire to move forward with my calling, my purpose was the corner-stone of why I felt so connected and inspired in Sedona. From reading the previous posts, it is clear that I was on this trip to gain insight to my life, my purpose, my heart, my spirit. And I left Sedona with more than insight. I left Sedona with a sense of peace and with hope…

So…what treatments did I book and how did they impact me? Well, honestly…writing part three of my story has been a bit challenging as there is so much to say that finding a way to narrow down the details to the core elements and key lessons took some time. How do you sum up two days filled with “aha” moments at every turn? Well…here is the scoop…

From the moment I arrived at the resort, I felt a “draw” to my surroundings and my senses seemed to be heightened. The first morning, when I walked to the spa, I was keenly aware of the crisp morning air filling my lungs, the birds flying and chirping, the breeze rustling the leaves, the sun shining on the red rock mountains and I couldn’t help but smile, breath deep and take it all in. I felt so calm and energized at the same time.

My first treatment started at 8:30am and I was actually ahead of schedule, which is unusual for me as I tend to run late for everything. So I walked around the spa and got a handle on where everything was and had some breakfast – which by the way was healthy, fresh and totally amazing! My first appointment was called “Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation” which is a science of life established in India more than 5,000 year ago. I was amazed at how much the “therapist” (for lack of a better word to describe the amazing facilitators at this spa) knew about me and my life just by answering some basic questions. This treatment was not over the top amazing for me in terms of connection and answers like the rest of my treatments but I do believe it paved the way for me to be open and aware of things I see, hear and feel. I did learn how to be more balanced in my life and how some small changes in my routine would have a huge impact on my daily stress. This session certainly set the stage for what was coming…so now it gets good…

For more details about Ayurveda, please visit this link http://www.chopra.com/our-services/ayurveda

After my first appointment I had some time to spare so I decided to take advantage of some options the spa offered that were free. I entered the Crystal Grotto, a round room with dirt from the desert as the floor, a skylight, a large salt crystal in the center and a round sofa around the room. Basically, a meditation room where you are supposed to take a deep breath, walk the room clockwise and sit where and when you feel led…close your eyes and see what comes to you. Now let me tell you…I was skeptical…a room that I just sit in…for what? For how long? But I wanted to give everything a try, especially after my first appointment. So I walked the room, sat down with my hands in my lap and closed my eyes, took a deep breath and waited. And waited, and waited. After what seemed like at least 20 minutes…I had a vision of myself sitting in a dark space and suddenly a white glowing ring surrounded me and the ring was actually all the family members that have passed on holding hands in a big circle and I was in the middle. Tears slowly filled my eyes as I saw their angelic faces…even faces of people who were “hard to love” in this life…all together smiling at me. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of peace and love. Suddenly I felt a “knowing” that all the crap of this life didn’t matter – the arguments with family, the anger from past hurts, the worry, the fear…all that mattered was the love I felt with them and that they were with me. Guiding me. Helping me. I left that room so amazed and ready to be open for my next treatment.

The Psychic Massage was the most incredible “connected to Spirit” experience ever in my life. To this day, when I think of this session, tears come to my eyes. Not of sadness but of joy, amazement and relief. The therapist only asked me one question: is there one particular reason you booked this appointment today? To which I responded, “yes, I feel like something is holding me back from knowing my purpose”. She then explained the process and off we went.

As she gently massaged my muscles she began to tell me things about myself that truly shocked me and I cannot begin to describe the connection I felt to Spirit as I heard her voice and felt her touch. During our time, she said so many amazing things that touched me deeply but this post would be incredibly long if I shared it all. So to narrow it down, there were three “topics” she talked about that were monumental for me during this session. She said: (1) You have so much unconditional love in you and you care very deeply for those in your circle. The love you give to your daughter is boundless and you need give that same love to yourself (…yikes). (2) You are so hard on yourself. You hold onto every mistake you have ever made and beat yourself up over it again and again and again. It is time for you to let all that go…it is not for you to carry. (3) You are a healer. There is nothing you have to do or say. Just by being who you are you will have a healing effect on others around you; which is why people are drawn to you and confide in you. (this is so funny because even new people I meet start telling me their inner secrets and problems).

Needless to say, the tears started falling from the moment she said I needed to love myself and then when it came to being hard on myself…well…the tears just gushed so hard it was difficult to catch my breath. Then with much love and caring she said “now honey, don’t be hard on yourself for being hard on yourself” – wow, she really knew me! I felt as though God, Spirit, my angels were all speaking through her, that they were seeing ME! The ME that only I and God know. The ME that never gives myself a break. The ME that struggles with painful memories and mistakes. The ME that doubts. The ME that doesn’t accept myself or love myself nearly the way I do others. The ME that holds on so tightly and is so afraid to repeat the same mistakes or make new ones. I felt like God saw ME….and loves me, just as I am. I felt relieved. (okay, tears are coming as I write this)…

I left this appointment with so much peace, so much gratefulness and so much excitement that I could barely contain myself. The therapist hugged me and said “you were such a pleasure to read, thank you for sharing your spirit with me”. She was so gracious and amazing…I knew that I needed to hear everything she said and I will never forget one word.

That afternoon I caught up with the girls and told them about my experiences with the treatments. A few of the girls wanted to book the same massage I had and others were skeptical – but I knew what I felt and I was holding onto it. That night we all went out to dinner, had some girl time, went in the hot tub, laughed and connected – it was so much fun!

At this resort, when you come back to your room, they have the beds turned down and the TV’s in every room tuned to a spiritual channel that plays the most amazing soft music – so comforting. You can’t help but feel relaxed. The next morning I was up early again as some of the girls were doing a hike or sunrise stretches that again I could not join due to my knee injury so I went back to the spa and relaxed in the hot tub until my first appointment.

The Reiki Healing (addresses imbalances, aura cleansing and healing) was a very powerful session for me and really catapulted a shift in my spirit. The leader of the session said sometimes people will get visions during this treatment or just feelings will come over them but whatever shows up for me is a sign that I need to let it go. (There it is again, letting go…) With the burning of sage and lemon grass, she started a process of simply putting gentle pressure on my chakras and breathing deep. As she started with my feet and legs, some feelings of being sad came over me, and as instructed I asked that these feelings leave me…and for those first few minutes it was all seeming a bit too easy. I remember thinking “this is what a healing is about…I thought it would be more difficult”. But then she reached the part of my back in between my shoulder blades. As soon as she applied pressure on this spot, tears started falling. She said “just breathe”. As I took a deep breath, visions of various moments in my life started coming up. It was almost like I was watching myself – kind of like watching Scrooge when he is visited by the Ghost of Christmas past. It was getting harder to catch my breath as these visions came so quickly, and the therapist calmly said “just let them go, whatever is being shown to you is not for you to carry, just let it go”. There are no words to explain the small bits and pieces of moments in time flashing in and out. And there were some that I didn’t even realize I was holding onto. I saw myself around 7 or 8 years old when we moved to Missouri and how scared I was the first day of school. I saw moments where kids teased me and picked on me in school. I saw arguments with family and break ups with boyfriends. And the final vision that was so huge for me and so hard, was the moment my Dad passed and I was holding his hand. There just are no words. Through all these visions I would just breathe deep and try to imagine these thoughts and feelings floating away.

When the session was over, I felt so connected and free…it was an incredible feeling! Now, what is important to note is that I didn’t suddenly feel like all those feelings and visions were completely gone and bang I am healed…but I felt like somehow I was on my way. Like a path was opened for me to walk down that was previously unseen. I knew I had more work to do but I now had hope that I was finding out what has been holding me back. After this session, as I sat in the Crystal Grotto again, I could see how these 3 appointments so far were linked. How they each played a part in the way I was now seeing the world. What has been holding me back? And the answers came quickly: fear, pain, hurt, anger…I am holding on too tight. Okay, but now what?

I had time to hang by the pool, have lunch and think before my last treatment. I felt so incredibly blessed to be on this trip at this time with these girls. Like it all came together for a purpose and I was meant to be with these therapists in these treatments at this spa. I started connecting the dots of my life…how I went from job to job, relationships, residences, friends and I could see the lessons I learned from them all. A crazy and uplifting feeling…

Finally, it was time for my last treatment, Releasing Stress which was described as assessing stressors and ways to reduce their effect on the body with nutrition, visualization, etc. So I fully expected to talk about my job, routine, daily schedule, perhaps my eating habits, etc. Which we did and the therapist gave me some incredible tools and strategies to help with those daily stressors. But what I didn’t expect was the meditation she guided me through. She explained that I was forcing all my stress inward, which oddly enough was the same thing the therapist in the very first session told me. She suggested we do a meditation which not only can alleviate stress but often gives us answers to the questions we have. So, we turned off the lights in the room, put my feet up and as I closed my eyes I just took deep breaths to relax.

After a few minutes, she asked me to visualize a candle burning deep inside the pit of my stomach surrounded by darkness and as I saw the candle burning to visualize a door appearing just beyond the candle and when I see it to slowly walk through the door and tell her what I see. I told her I saw a beautiful huge tree with large branches covered with leaves in a meadow filled with flowers and I was sitting under the tree. She said “okay, let’s just stay here for a moment and see what comes”. Several minutes later she asked me if I saw anything or heard anything. And I did see something…I looked up from under the tree and I could see three beautiful white angels floating around the top of the tree in a circle – so calm and so stunning. She asked if I heard anything. And after a few seconds, tears started falling down my cheeks (again with the tears). She asked “what do you hear”, and I said, “I hear my Dad’s voice saying let go, let go, let go…” (there it was again) and then she asked “can you do that?” and with a shaky broken voice I said “no”. She asked me why. And I said “I don’t know how…I have held onto this crap for so long”. She suggested to just pose the question to the angels in that space where I was so calm but crying at the same time. And when I did the answer came so fast…”just ask, just ask us and we will take it”. I sat in that calm space for a few minutes and then she told me to just breathe deep and walk back through the door to the candle burning and when I was ready to open my eyes. We talked about the meditation for some time and she suggested I try this meditation several times on my own as she felt I had more things to let go of and more questions to ask. She hugged me and wished me well and offered her email to keep in touch. There are no words to describe the feelings I had leaving that session. I was feeling overwhelmed so I decided to go back to the Crystal Grotto, which became a haven for me, and sat quietly for a few minutes and reflected.

I just couldn’t believe everything I saw and felt and heard in the past 2 days. I could see how all the sessions connected. I immediately saw the same message or theme repeating…Let Go, Let Go, Let Go. I felt like I had the answers I needed to make a shift in my life. I now knew what was holding me back, I now knew that I had to work on letting crap go, to Let Go and Let God, and I also knew that I was loved and guided. Wow…I felt so blessed to have the experiences I did and I felt powerful somehow and at peace.

Sunday night was finally upon us and I had to be on a 5:30am shuttle back to the airport the next morning. And as if the treatments I just experienced weren’t enough to digest for the weekend, what happened when I left the resort is even more astounding as I was truly given a sign for my purpose….

(Part 4 is coming up soon…..)

** Here is a link to the amazing Enchantment Resort in Sedona – truly a magical place! http://enchantmentresort.com/

Many Blessings,

Victoria 🙂

 

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Update 2013 – Part 2

(Continuation of the post from Jan. 8th, for background on this post, please read that post first if this is your first time to this page, thank you.)

In October (2013), I began my journey to the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ. From the moment I told my Aunt I was going it was difficult to concentrate on anything else. What was I going to learn? What would I experience? What treatments should I schedule?

My Aunt had booked a package where you received one free treatment per day of our visit. Before booking my treatments I prayed that the right ones would come my way – the ones that would really help me figure out what was holding me back and what my purpose is  – the ones that would give me the answers I was looking for in my life. When I called to book the appointments, two of the sessions I was hoping to book were not available so I trusted the gal helping me and I booked my appointments: Ayurvedic Lifestyle Reading, Psychic Massage, Reiki Healing, and Stress Relief Assessment. I was set….

First, I have to say that I have not left my baby girl, almost 2 at the time, for more than 2 days since she was born and even that was only once. This was going to be a Friday through Monday – yikes! I had more anxiety about leaving her than anything else. But I reminded myself that in my heart I knew I needed this trip to essentially “save” me. Save me from the swirling, repeating thoughts that were keeping me up at night, save me from the “my life is running me syndrome” and save me from the daily grind that was not fulfilling.

The trip was upon me and I even packed minimally, which is new for me. But my goal was to reconnect, reconnect, reconnect and be open so I didn’t stress about anything I packed. My trip to get there is actually a very long story from a 2 hour flight delay to a shuttle delay to getting lost, etc. which was an odd way to start the weekend that I knew would change my life. But ironic at the same time…almost as if the universe had lessons for me right from the start.

From the moment we entered the property, I heard this soft music playing and immediately felt a strange calmness. When I arrived, the staff at the main check-in desk knew who I was as my cousin and a good friend were calling everyone to keep them posted of my VERY late arrival and ordeal. These girls are AWESOME!!! I arrived in the dark so I really had no idea how incredible the property was until the next morning. The staff drove me by cart to our incredible suite which even had a kitchen so the girls had dinner ready with cocktails – NICE! We sat together and laughed at my story about the crazy circumstances surrounding my arrival – and I mean crazy!

The next morning, with little sleep, I awoke with so much enthusiasm and excitement that I didn’t even feel tired. I walked out to our patio and I was in total awe of my surroundings. The red rock mountains surrounding my view, the cool crisp morning air, the sun gleaming through the fog ever so softly…I remember feeling this overwhelming sense that I was in the right place at the right time. I took deep breaths and felt so calm and excited at the same time as I began to think what I might learn about myself at my first appointment.

All the girls had booked early treatments or hikes so we were all up and rushing around. Oddly, I had hurt my knee the night before I left so I was not able to join the vortex hikes like I had planned – another twist that in the end put me where I needed to be…taking advantage of all the resort spa had to offer: pools, meditation rooms, sauna, hot tub, etc.

Now the remarkable, minute by minute details surrounding each treatment are far too long to explain here. This post is already very long. But so much happened that changed my life, I find it necessary to share the biggest lessons and details that lead to my current journey…

Part III coming soon….

View from our patio in Sedona, AZ, October 2013

View from our patio in Sedona, AZ, October 2013

Update for 2013

My goal for the last 6 months of 2013 in Learning 2 Love & Be Connected: RECONNECT, RECONNECT….LET GO AND LET GOD!

So I find myself several months after my last post (7 to be exact) and wanting to update my blog again. I realized a few days ago that I have had such an incredible journey over the last few months that it was time to share my story. So here I am….again in my Learning 2 Love journey…

I took time off from writing this blog and setting weekly goals since last June because it seemed everything in my life was spiraling out of control and there just were not enough hours in the day – or so it seemed. The summer was hectic and life was just moving at an extremely fast pace. And yet somehow it didn’t seem like anything was being accomplished. Just the routine list of getting up, getting ready for work, getting kids ready, lunches or snacks ready, breakfast, out the door, to work, home, cooking, cleaning, bath time, stories, work more, fall into bed. Get up and starting it all over again. Then the weekends came and Saturdays were filled with the grocery shopping, gas fill up, household shopping, laundry, mail, bills, cleaning, and then to bed. Sundays were our running around, visiting family, celebrating events and getting things ready for the week. But I started feeling like something was missing. A deeper connection? A slower pace?

Right around the time I stopped writing this blog, I started feeling this incredibly strong longing in me. A longing that is hard to describe but consumed me when I woke up and went to bed. A longing to finally do what I was meat to do in this life – on this journey. I was suddenly acutely aware of the fact that although I was getting paid well at my job and I liked it for the most part – it was not something I wanted to be doing for the next 5 or 10 years. So then I started thinking “well, then what do I want to be doing”? I was feeling a calling in me to do more, be more and be of service. But how, with what, when?

Opportunities were presenting themselves in terms of starting a “business” of my own. Like Mary Kay or Cabi. I had thoughts of starting my own consulting business where I would offer administrative and project management services since I seem to have a gift in this area. I thought of starting a business for pregnant women services or opening my own pre-school where children learned to pray and meditate from an early age and the list goes on and on. So many thoughts of things I could do but no idea where to start, what I was really being called to do and how to get started?

Feeling a bit lost, I started saying my affirmations again and going through the list of things I was grateful for at night to try and get better connected to God – surely Spirit knows what I am here to do! I started praying and asking for guidance, downloading apps from HayHouse to give me daily inspirational quotes from Dr. Wayne Dyer, apps for oracle card readings, reading books again and listening to HayHouse Radio for inspiration. I knew I needed something but what? I just prayed for an answer and then I started paying attention.

Have you ever been at a point in your life when you just knew some major change was coming? Around September I had this overwhelming sense that I was about to get the answers to all my questions but I could not pin point what it would be. I just had this “knowing” that something was headed my way that I desperately needed. I was feeling like I was at a breaking point: work was overwhelming, our 2 year old became very aware of what she wanted and could verbalize it well, money was getting tighter and tighter, bills are getting bigger and my relationship with my husband was suffering. So once I had this feeling of something coming my way, I suddenly felt relief.

Then as if a miracle blew into my life….I was at a family function where my Aunt was talking about taking her “girls” to Sedona, AZ again in October and mentioned I should go. My mind immediately said “No” as I started listing all of the bills and lack of money in my head. The next day I researched the resort and saw some of the treatments being offered and I couldn’t stop reading…I was excited right away! I found myself feeling like a kid at DisneyLand – so excited that you don’t know what you want to do first. They offered treatments far beyond just massages, etc. They were offering vortex hikes, yoga, psychic massages, readings, healings, nutrition, cleanses, communication classes, detox, you name it.  I sent a note to my Aunt asking about the details for costs, hotel, etc. It turned out, she was helping quite a bit (because she is such an incredible soul) and I suddenly thought “I can’t afford NOT to go! This is my answer! This is my chance to get some clarity. This is where God is sending me to get some answers.”

So, I talked to my husband, got time off from work and I was on my way!

(Post about the details for this trip are coming up)

Blessings,

Victoria 🙂

Month of May

My Goal this Month in Learning 2 Love & Be Connected:

The time has flown by and again, just like in April, I was unable to update my blog weekly. I had lofty goals for “Learning to Love” in May but the month turned into a goal of “just get our baby well”….

My Experience this Month:

It wasn’t until I had a baby that I came to understand my expanded capacity to love. From the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test to the first ultrasound, felt her first movement and saw her beautiful eyes I was filled with a love that I didn’t know was possible. And I also learned how quickly your life can be totally consumed by the well being of your baby. The entire journey has opened up my heart and mind in ways that I never knew was possible.

Other than Kaylee needing medication to control her acid reflux and projectile vomiting as a newborn, she has not been a baby prone to many illnesses that required antibiotics – we were pretty lucky. Then came the month of May. Kaylee had an on-going fever with a persistent cough and she just wasn’t herself. The first visit to the DR was unsettling because they thought it was just a virus going around. But just 3 days later we were back at the DR with a high fever (104) and now she had bronchitis and an ear infection. Double whammy! 1st round of antibiotics and a week and half of her not breathing well, not eating well and not sleeping unless she slept with Mommy – needless to say – none of us got much sleep. My husband, Tim, and I were taking days off work to stay with her on the high fever days and then after work tried our best to be patient through her fussiness. The days were long and the nights even longer.

After a week of meds, she was feeling better and back on the road to being herself again, hooray. Then just 2 weeks later, she was back to having a fever for a couple days and one night it was 105.1! That was scary for us since she had never been a high fever baby. We called the on call DR and after some Advil we were off to the bathroom for a cool bath – luckily her fever came down quickly. We were back at the DR the next day. They tested her for everything and nothing came up so they sent a urine sample to the lab just to be safe. (A urine test that I had been asking for a couple times at the DR since the odor was so bad for several weeks (even during her battle with bronchitis). Come to find out she had Pseudomonas – a very stubborn bacterial infection in her urine. My Dad contracted this same bacteria during his battle with ALS so I was very familiar with the dangers and challenges in fighting it off.

Chances are if you are a parent in this day and age, as soon your child’s DR tells you something like this, you go on the internet for more answers. I have concluded that the internet is a dangerous place for a worrisome Mom. Everything I was reading just made me worry about her more. Once again, we were back to antibiotics, fevers, not eating, diarrhea, not sleeping – the whole enchilada. We barely had time to recuperate from her last infection and here we were again.

And let me just say…the strain on your job performance and relationship with your spouse during something like this is so unexpected and requires true commitment. When you are getting 3 to 4 hours of sleep at best in 1 hour increments, trying to calm a screaming toddler, trying to function at work and still get all the other “crap” done around the house – losing your sanity surely comes to mind. If you didn’t have any issues with your spouse before…you certainly will when going through something like this. But somehow we made it through and after 10 days of antibiotic hell, she was given the clear – no more infection. Hooray! And after a week of going back to our sleep training techniques – we were finally on the road to getting 6 to 7 hours of sleep again. Hooray!

Our lives for the better part of 6 weeks was all consumed by nurturing Kaylee and trying our best to help her feel better as quickly as possible. It is a terrible feeling to witness your child going through an illness and there is very little you can do to help her besides holding her while she cries, watching Cinderella and Tangled all night long, letting her eat as many crackers as she wants since she wouldn’t eat anything else, telling her the medicine will help it not hurt, kicking  your husband to the couch since she wants to sleep with Mommy and there just isn’t enough room for a stretched out toddler and Daddy in the same bed…I really thought to myself…GEESH…I totally owe my Mother BIG TIME if this is what she put up with when I was a baby. (Yes, Mom…I finally get it).

Although, my goals for the month will have to wait for June…I still had moments where I practiced “love, love, love” – during the wee hours of the morning when I thought Kaylee would never fall asleep and my patience was running thin, I would take a deep breath and remind myself “I am so blessed”, “I love having this time with her to be a Mom and just love her”, “I will eventually get some sleep” and “this too shall pass” – having these thoughts playing in my mind truly helped me get through those long nights and tired days. And even as tired as I was, when she would finally fall asleep, I would still spend precious sleeping time staring at her precious restful face, watching her breath and thinking how lucky I am to be her Mommy!

So, the month of May is behind us and we venture on with a few more notches on our “being parents bedpost” and with a new found gratitude that all is well once again.

~ Hoping you find a way to stay connected ~

Love,

Victoria 🙂

Kaylee watching Sofia the First while Mommy tries to sleep...

Kaylee watching Sofia the First while Mommy tries to sleep…

Our Kaylee girl...looking so grown up and feeling better!
Our Kaylee girl…looking so grown up and feeling better!

 

Month of April

My Goal this Month in Learning 2 Love & Be Connected:

My goal for week 4/8 actually turned into a month long goal. Learning to lean towards love rather than pull away because of fear or past trauma. No wonder this goal took so long to write about…

My Experience this Month:

Hmmm…the goal for the first week in April actually turned into a month long process and honestly, it is still on going. As I wrote my thoughts and feelings each week, it didn’t seem right to post any weekly updates about my experience when I felt little closure or accomplishment at the end of the week. In addition, each week was difficult to write about because the topic is so personal and hits really close to home. I mean how much closer can you get other than your relationship with your spouse, your partner, your love?

Being through my share of relationships before marriage also means I have been through my share of break-ups. And like many women, I spent my 20’s and early 30’s being single, dating, learning what I wanted, how to handle compromise and how to be “me”. Fortunately, I did most of that learning and growing up in the big city of Denver rather than the small town where I was born and spent my high school years. For obvious reasons, this was a bonus.

I moved back to Napa, CA after spending nine years living in Colorado. My main reason for moving back home was to help my Mom take care of my Father, who by that time was in a scooter and needed constant assistance. Coming back home felt like the right thing not only to be with my Dad more but also because I felt I was finally ready to meet “the one” and have my own family.

Needless to say, I didn’t find my husband until late in life…dare I say how late? By then I was certainly set in my ways and carried the scars of a few bad relationships (as most do I guess). But I always knew I wanted to get married and have a baby. And like most young women I imagined a Prince Charming would show up one day sweep me off my feet, take care of me and we would live happily ever after. What I didn’t know is that marriage isn’t so simple. Marriage is a harder proposition and you have to want it…

My husband, Tim, and I were married in 2009 and started dating in 2006 so this year in July will mark our 4th year anniversary of marriage and 7th year of being together. For both of us, this is the longest relationship we have experienced so far. And to be honest, I don’t think either of us was prepared for the stress, changes, challenges and vulnerability that comes with being married. Now add some left over issues from childhood and previous relationships and things can get a little chaotic.

But one of the great things about marriage is that you have promised to stick it out – to work through the issues – to hang in there and I think that is what makes all the difference. In marriage, the stakes are higher than when you are just dating and the consequences are greater. So it forces you to constantly remind yourself that there is a bigger picture than whatever the issue is at the moment that is causing turmoil or chaos.

I believe every relationship in our lives has a purpose and is designed to help us learn to love and bring us closer to Spirit. Some of the relationships in my life (and not just previous romantic partners) are truly testing me in so many areas and helping me work through several barriers. So for me, during the month of April, the goal that was in my heart of learning to “lean towards love” and not pull away was a huge undertaking. And it also struck me as I was writing this post that this goal also applied to other relationships in my life as well.

My past relationships (and not just romantic), with their heartaches and betrayals, have taught me that when things get tough – the safest bet is to pull away and put up a wall so I don’t get too hurt which doesn’t allow myself to be vulnerable. And perhaps that is hard for everyone at some point in their lives. Being vulnerable is what opens you up to tremendous growth but at the same time will leave you open for pain. This is a delicate balance that maybe everyone has to learn and grow through.

To me, leaning towards love means:

– trying to believe the best rather than expecting worst

– trying to let go of the little things rather than allowing them to fester

– trying to express my needs rather than assume they are known

– trying to be more patient rather than quick to respond/react

– trying to see the issues through the other persons eyes

Honestly, I am not sure how well I have accomplished this goal over the course of the month and I know it will be an on-going lesson for me but being committed to the growth and leaning towards love feels like the best step in the right direction. And every relationship that I hold dear to my heart can only benefit from “my leaning in”.

A therapist once told me; “in your relationship you are always in one of 3 states: Neutral (not good, not bad, just is), Pulling away (not forgiving, not engaging) or leaning in (having compassion, loving and forgiving)”. And if you are pulling away then perhaps look at what stops you from leaning in. There it is…the tough question: What holds you back from leaning towards love? Answer that and you just might be on to something….

~ Hoping  you find a way to stay connected ~

Love,

Victoria  🙂

Me, my squished hubby, Tim, with our daughter Kaylee and my bonus daughter, Jena

Me, my squished hubby, Tim, with our baby daughter Kaylee and my bonus daughter, Jena

Week of April 1st

My Goal this Week in Learning 2 Love & Be Connected:

My goal this week surprised me…as I sat in “quiet time” and thought about my week ahead in visiting my Oma (Grandmother) in Washington and what my goal should be (read post from Week of Mar. 18th & 25th for background) the words that came to me were “Be Open”.

My Experience this Week:

We left Tuesday night for our long drive to Washington with the motor home packed with every possible thing I could think we might need for our 18 month old daughter and ourselves of course. The shopping, planning and packing took some time but by the end of dinner we were ready to load up and begin our first trip away from home with Kaylee.

We intentionally left at night so that hopefully she would sleep for most of the drive and for the most part she slept fairly well in between the rolling around, bumps and noises…I however did not sleep and surely my husband, Tim, didn’t sleep as he was driving. The night was long and we finally stopped at 7:30am so Tim could rest and I could make breakfast and get us back on the road.

We arrived at my Mom’s around 1:00pm, exhausted and hungry. After lunch Tim took a well-deserved nap and I was having fun watching Kaylee play with my Mom. This is the first time she has seen her since she was born. And it was so fun to watch them play the way my Mom used to play with me when I was young…oh the memories!!!

But as I unpacked some items and started settling in, I had thoughts racing in the back of my mind about what the next day would bring. Seeing my Oma again after at least 3 years and wondering if she would remember me at all. If she did, would I tell her how I felt for all these years? What would she say? Would I get an answer that gave me any sense of peace or closure?

Finally, the morning came and we were off for the short 1.5 hour drive from Shelton to Port Orchard – let me tell you – Washington is such an amazingly beautiful state! We arrived at my Oma’s house and were greeted by my Uncle John and Aunt Didi. My Oma was sitting in her wheelchair and looked so different from the last visit. She looked almost “gone” – like the Oma I knew was somewhere else and left dying in this body was a woman that I didn’t recognize. Her frail body looked tired and her face looked pale and a little sad. And she didn’t remember me. I wondered if somewhere deep inside she knew how sad it all felt that she didn’t know who we were? I asked how she was doing and just chatted about stuff. I held back the tears when my Aunt would tell her who we were and you could tell it just didn’t register.

We only stayed a few hours as I didn’t want to impose and Oma was looking tired. But just as we were leaving I knew I wanted to come back again so I asked if we could make another visit the next day. The drive back to my Mom’s that first day was hard. I just kept thinking about the Oma I remembered and felt sad that I hadn’t tried harder to have a relationship with her when she was younger and healthy. But I also knew that when I would try, I was left feeling unimportant and like a burden so eventually I gave up. Now I am left with so many unanswered questions about her story, background, life and why she made some of the choices she made. The little I do know I will carry with me always.

We went back the next day and this time when we arrived Kaylee was napping in the car so Tim stayed with her while I went inside to say hello. I was hopeful that maybe on the 2nd day something would click and she would remember me. The amazing thing was that she did remember me visiting the day before but still wasn’t sure who I was. When I said “Hello Oma, I’m your granddaughter”, she looked at me, smiled and said “Wow, you are so beautiful”. I said thank you and again tried my best to hold back the tears. Then she asked me where my beautiful daughter was…she just loved watching Kaylee run around and play. She kept saying “look at her” in her strong German accent.

Suddenly as I sat there looking at her and holding her hand, I was overwhelmed with a sense of calmness and peace. Peace in knowing that somehow, even though, she was quiet and didn’t know who I was she could feel my love through my touch. In her eyes – somewhere way in the back through the darkness and sludge of Alzheimer’s – I saw a glimmer of hope that maybe she knew me on some deeper subconscious level.

My Aunt and Uncle were very gracious and welcoming. They even allowed me to go through some old photos and take a few with me which really meant a lot. At one point, without any hesitation, these words just flowed out of me as if they were coming from someone else “You know, we always felt like we were at the bottom the totem pole” and she replied “sweetie, that was never the case”. A little part of me wanted to believe that so much. But in that moment, I knew in my heart there was nothing else left to say. No further words needed to be spoken. No rehashing of let downs and hurt feelings was necessary. I felt relief.

We all make choices in life and now that I have a daughter of my own I truly get how your life can get wrapped up so easily in those around you every day. I rarely lived close to my Oma – we were always traveling, always moving. So there is a part of me that can now understand that the distance between us in miles was simply geography and not an intentional choice to not be with us. But the distance between our hearts – that is a separate story. We each have our own journey in this life and make choices as best we know how. Maybe she felt that they needed her more than we did? Maybe she needed them more? Who knows now – Alzheimer’s has taken away any chance of answers for all of us.

But what I do know is that the goal for the week to “Be Open” was wholeheartedly accomplished. As I sat with my Oma, held her hand and just looked in her eyes – I knew there was love surrounding us. The need to share my hurt feelings or find some closure for the past just faded away and no longer seemed as important as the time just being there. Because in that moment, I was OPEN to feeling LOVE, even if it came from above.

~ Hoping you find a way to be connected ~

Love & Light,

🙂 Victoria

Week of March 25th

My Goal this Week in Learning 2 Love & Be Connected:

Oddly enough, this week’s goal turned out to be one of my favorite things: plan, plan, plan. We decided that next week is the best time for a visit to Washington to see my Oma (Grandmother) because it might be our only chance before June (read post from Week of Mar. 18th for background).

My Experience this Week:

Anyone that knows me can tell you that I am a huge planner! Event planning, wedding planning, project planning, you name it. (You would think that with all the planning I am good at, I would be just as good at being on time…but no…LOL). But planning just comes naturally to me and I think I get it from my Dad who designed bridges in the Army for years among many other talents.

Knowing my Oma’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, as are other ailments, and that she has never met our daughter, my husband and I decided that we should make a trip to Washington State for a visit sooner than later. And as we checked our calendar over the next couple of months it was clear that if we didn’t visit the week of April 1st then it wouldn’t be until after June and we weren’t certain if we had that much time before sometime might happen.

So, we made the decision to visit the week of April 1st; which meant we needed to spend this week planning our trip. Airfare was insane on such short notice so we chose to drive a motor home so we would be more comfortable and our daughter could sleep, eat snacks and enjoy the view. The packing list for an 18 month old is totally insane. The amount of stuff to pack “just in case” was overwhelming. But I made my lists of “we cannot forget to take” and started planning, shopping, organizing, etc.

Although my goal this week was not as concrete as it relates to Learning 2 Love but it was all about preparing for a trip that I knew in my heart would be a challenge for me on several levels. Not only emotionally as it will bring up feelings from the past with hurts that still have scars on my heart but also physically as the drive is between 17-19 hours with a toddler. Thankfully my husband will do the driving, whew!

The thought of facing my Oma knowing that she probably will not remember me was really hard because it forces you to let go of wanting “to get it all out there”. What is the point of telling someone with Alzheimer’s that you feel they let you down? Also knowing that this could very well be our last good bye made the visit all the more pivotal. This will be my chance for whatever closure I feel I need. This will be my chance to maybe tell my family how I feel. Will I even want to? So many questions, so many emotions and so much packing…we shall see where it all ends.

~ Hoping you find a way to be connected ~

Love & Light,

🙂 Victoria