"You're on the Verge of a Miracle" - A Journey with Fear and Hope

August 28th:

Yesterday wasn’t a good day.

I was feeling niggly feelings of despair starting to take residence in my chest, like an unwelcome squatter. It had been growing over the past week or so, but yesterday was the worst.

Today I’m sitting on my mostly clean deck, enjoying the sun and chewing Dr. Pepper Hubba Bubba gum, feeling a lot better than I did yesterday.

Way back in high school I had a good friend whose advice to all of us young angsty girls, was if you chew grape Bubble Yum, you will fall in love. I chewed a lot of Bubble Yum. (Clearly I’ve been a dreamer for a long time…)

Yum!

Yum!

Obviously, it didn’t work. I didn’t marry the love of my life until I was the ripe old age of 32. As an adult with a fully formed brain I know how ludicrous the correlation between grape gum and falling in love it, but I still associate that sugar-filled gum with good, anticipatory feelings. (Don’t worry, I don’t chew it all the time…)

The reason for the recent niggly feeling of anxiety that has been creeping in the same part of my head that my fierce determination usually resides, is because I started to question this whole idea of self-employment. I knew going into this journey it was going to be hard work. I’ve learned that self-employment isn’t for the faint of heart. The truth is that the first eight months were actually pretty easy for me. Opportunities came fairly easily. It’s not feeling as easy right now, and that’s making me question things.

Summer is just slow. I realize that organizations and businesses just don’t plan for workshops and trainings in the summer. It’s like the part of the brain that wants to learn simply slows or shuts off in the summer for most people. When I think about it, I realize that it’s actually a really good thing that happens. Summer is the season for as much FUN and PLAY as possible.

Now that fall is nearly here, realistically it’s going to take time to get things rolling again.

Still, it’s hard. We can know that there is a realistic reason why something is the way it is, yet it can still eat away at our self-confidence if we let it.

Last night and today I got several good pep talks from some of key supporters. I’m feeling much better, more hopeful.

I feel like it is important to share my struggles with self-doubt. There can be a perception that some people have it all together, and nothing bad ever happens, and we are always emoting 100% confidence.

Well that’s simply not true. We all have times of questioning things—those moments of self-doubt. I’m realizing that it’s so important that I persevere through it, since everything in my being is still saying YES! I still feel lit up about what I’m doing and dreaming about doing, so it’s time to dig in and make it happen.

I have a Truthbomb deck by Danielle Laporte (author of The Desire Map). This afternoon I decided that I would try a little writing project and pull a card out of the deck. I said to myself that I would write about whatever card I got. I gave myself no opportunity to put it back and take a new one.

This is what I got… “You’re on the verge of a miracle.”

I found a blog post by Danielle Laporte says about this truthbomb. She says, “A Course In Miracles defines a miracle as “a shift in perception.” I love that, because that definition covers a lot of bases.”

A shift in perception. Nice.

 

September 28th (exactly one month after I started this post):

Well…I wasn’t able to finish this post for a month, because I couldn't find the time to finish it. It's felt so refreshing to have just the right amount of busyness in my life and business, especially after such a slow season. I feel so much better than I did when I started this post.

Since then I have facilitated a five-day facilitator training with a group of amazing people, and I have another one coming up next week. I'm working on an Appreciative Inquiry project. I have three or four new small projects and some potential contracts in the works. AND as an amazing bonus, I got to hear Brene Brown speak live in Seattle.

This is the best picture I got of Brene Brown that night. I chose to put my phone away and just listen. It really is her...I promise.

This is the best picture I got of Brene Brown that night. I chose to put my phone away and just listen. It really is her...I promise.

Interestingly enough, the tagline of her new book Rising Strong is, "The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution. If we are enough, often enough we fall. This is a book about what it takes to get back up." I'm loving her book right now. So fitting for how I've been feeling. 

I feel expansive.

I still have anxiety about self-employment- keeping busy and having enough to pay the bills, but I’m honouring my core desired feeling of abundance.

There is enough. I know that I’m following the path that I want to be on. A path that very clearly has my name on it.

I am trusting.

I believe that good things are in store for me and my family, because...well, it just plain feels right.

 

In the wise words of Brene Brown, “I am enough.”

As I was writing this, I took a little facebook break…and came across this quote by Parker J. Palmer. He is someone I deeply admire and his writings have profoundly affected me. This quote pretty much sums up my emotional journey over the past couple months. I got a little weepy reading it. 

We have places of fear inside us, but we have other places as well – places with names like trust and hope and faith and joy. We can choose to lead and to live from one of those places, to stand on ground that is not riddled with the fault lines of fear. To move towards others from a place of promise instead of anxiety. As we stand in one of those places, fear may remain close at hand and our spirits may still tremble. But we now stand on ground that that will support us, ground from which we can lead others toward a more trustworthy, more hopeful, more faithful way of being in the world.
— Parker J Palmer

So…“You’re on the verge of a miracle.”

Heck, yes I am. 

 

(AND...I bet you can be too!)

Wellness Tool - Baking (and eating) Pumpkin Chia Muffins

I don't usually post things like recipes on this blog, but today while the rain belted down, I was hit by the fact that sometimes I really love baking, and creating deliciousness in the kitchen can sometimes be a wellness tool for me. So I decided write a post. 

Today is a cold, rainy day in the Lower Mainland of BC. It's very blah, like a lot of the fall weather is around these parts. My husband coined the term "dishrag-grey sky" to describe BC days like today.  

Due to the incessant, relentless, never-ending rain we get in the fall, winter (and if I'm being honest spring is pretty rainy too), I used to struggle a lot with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but thankfully through programs like WRAP, I have learned some great tools that I've been putting to good use during our rainy season. I'm grateful that the days of feeling like I want to stay curled up in a ball under the covers, all day long, every day from September until June, are mostly over. It's really quite liberating.

A food photographer, I am not. However you get the idea...

A food photographer, I am not. However you get the idea...

We had an absolutely amazing summer, so I shouldn't complain, but I always grieve the end of summer. It seems that summer never ends gradually here. It's hot and sunny and then September comes, and WHAMO–we're into fall. 

Today I am making a good effort to embrace the season change, be accepting of the rain, and do some things I wasn't able to do during the HOT summer. 

I remembered turkey...pumpkin...soup, and baked apples. 

Yum. The best parts of fall.

So today instead of wallowing in self-pity, wishing I had a winter home in southern California, and lots of disposable income to fly back and forth, I decided to bake. I pulled a chair over to the counter so that little Ramona (my two-year-old) could help me make a mess by stirring the muffin mixture. Watching her "help" me in the kitchen, though messy, is quite delightful. 

We made pumpkin chia muffins. These muffins are really delicious, proved by the fact that it's evening now and they are almost gone. I also made a delectable Manhattan clam chowder for dinner. So basically it was pretty much a fall feast in our home today.

I decided to share the recipe, in case any of you enjoy baking, and also want to eat some delicious pumpkin muffins.

If pumpkin's not your thing, or you are dreading the tsunami of pumpkin flavours headed your way in the next week or so, I won't be offended in the least if you aren't interested.  

I choose to avoid wheat as much as I can. I find that I'm affected by wheat, but I can handle other forms of gluten, so I often bake with spelt flour. You can use whole wheat, white, or a gluten-free flour. (Make sure to add xanthan gum if your GF flour doesn't have it included in the recipe. Use 3/4 tsp for this recipe). 

 

Pumpkin Chia Muffins

(adapted from a recipe found on Oprah.com)

Ingredients:

  • 2ish (I usually put more) tbsps ground chia seeds

  • 2ish tbsps hemp seeds

  • heck - add 2 tbsps ground flax too

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour (I used 1 & 1/4 cups of spelt flour and 1/4 cup of ground almond meal)

  • 2 tsps cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 2 tsps baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 can (15-16) ounces of pure pumpkin

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil, or melted coconut oil (my preference) - might be good with yogurt...

  • 1 cup coconut sugar (Or you could use maple syrup, or regular sugar too. Since I'm diabetic I sometimes use Xylitol a more healthy sugar substitute)

  • 1 tbsp vanilla

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, or pecans (optional, but you'll be missing out if you skip this)

  • pumpkin seeds as a garnish for the top of the muffins (optional)

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. 

Mix all the wet ingredients (including the coconut sugar) in a separate bowl. 

Fold the wet into the dry. Spoon into muffin tin & bake for 25-30 minutes. 

Enjoy!!!