When I worked as a therapist at the VA 20 years ago, I facilitated an interpersonal skills group which focused on assertiveness, setting boundaries, asking for what you wanted and saying no. We teach what we need to learn and I learned and practiced those skills well.
The pendulum often swings to the other side when we are learning a new skill. I spoke up about everything and confronted when I needed to. Family members weren’t happy with me and it took time for them to get the picture I was no longer passive and a doormat. The truth is I was teaching them how to speak up for themselves and to set boundaries.
It was empowering as I was standing in my power when I asked for what I wanted and said no when I wanted to. I didn’t always get what I wanted, but I got it some of the time. Being assertive was new for me as I grew up being passive and didn’t speak up until I really got angry. Then I blew up and looked like the crazy one. Of course, balance is the key in life. To know when to speak up and when to shut up.
As I sat on my lanai to pray and meditate as I do every day, I looked up in the sky and saw a beautiful white heron flying over me. As the bird flew higher and higher, I prayed “Take me as high as you want me to go Spirit.” I then noticed the bird stopped flapping its wings and just GLIDED through the air. It was glorious and the bird seemed to enjoy the wind carrying it through the air.
This spoke to my heart as I realized this is where I’m at; my wings have brought me here to this place in time as I have followed my heart and inner guidance. Now it was time for me to GLIDE.
Something inside of me was stirring so I decided to look up GLIDING in the dictionary. It said, “To move smoothly and continually along, as if WITHOUT EFFORT OR RESISTANCE.” The symbolic meaning of birds is FREEDOM because they have wings and they can go anywhere they want.
Like many of us, I have been flapping my wings for a very long time. I did a lot of traveling and “flapping” my wings this year; Rhode Island, N. Carolina, California, Costa Rica and back to N. Carolina. Flapping my wings reminds me of our masculine energy. Gliding through the air reminds me of our feminine energy.
MASCULINE ENERGY looks like:
*Pushing and making things happen
*Assertiveness-speaking up, setting boundaries, saying no
FEMININE ENERGY looks like:
*Accepting “what is”
*Detached from outcomes
*Listening to our intuition
*Living in the moment
Again, we need balance to know when to DO and take action, achieve, speak up and bring our dreams into the world and when to BE, wait, surrender, trust, allow, accept and GLIDE.
If your goal is a destination, think of the feminine as a map, and the masculine as a car. You need both to get to where you want to go.
At this moment in my life, I am like the bird GLIDING through the air, knowing I am supported by God and everything is perfect. I am moving smoothly and continually along, as if WITHOUT EFFORT OR RESISTANCE. Like the bird, I am free to go wherever I want to and whenever I want. It is very peaceful and serene.
How about you? Are you in balance with your masculine and feminine energies? What energy in your life do you need to learn and practice?
About 6 months ago Larry and I went to a furniture store in Kahului Maui to look for a recliner chair for Larry since his recliner broke and he had to throw it away. Our friend, Mark, was the manager and showed us all kinds of recliner chairs, including a section where there were special “Stress Less” recliners. When Larry sat in one of the “Stress Less” recliners, he fell in love with it, but not with the price. The recliners started at $2,500 and went up to $4,000. This was clearly not in his budget and we walked out of the store disappointed. After sitting in a “Stress Less” recliner all the others just didn’t make the mark.
The next day I checked out Craigslist for “Stress Less” recliners and there weren’t any. We forgot about it until this week. Our friends, Sandy and Steve, invited us for dinner on Sunday night. We retired to the living room after dinner and Larry found himself sitting in a beautiful black leather “Stress Less” recliner that was Steve’s. His body remembered how good the recliner felt that he sat in when we went to the furniture store. Steve said he bought it over 20 years ago and he loved it.
I quietly turned to Sandy and Steve and said, “I will find one.” Steve said, “I saw one on Craigslist about a year ago but they don’t go on very often.” The next morning I decided to check out Craigslist again. I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 “Stress Less” recliners and the ad had just been placed on Sunday. The ad said they were in excellent condition and the price was in Larry’s budget. I called immediately and left a message that we were interested. Jeff called back a few hours later and said that one of the recliners had already been sold, but we could come by and see the one that was still for sale. We made plans for us to see the recliner that night after we danced.
Larry is 6’1 so we had no idea if the recliner would be big enough for him. When Larry sat in the recliner, he fell in love again. It was a large one and his body fit in it perfectly. He decided to buy it and even got it for a better price than they were asking. Larry didn’t have enough cash with him and said he would give him a deposit. Jeff said, “Do you have a credit card because I have a business and can put it through my machine?” Larry said, “Yes, I have a credit card, but we will have to come back with a truck tomorrow.” Jeff knew that we lived only a few miles away and said, “I will deliver it to your house, it will fit in my van.” Larry and I just stood there kind of stunned, it was so easy.
The recliner fit in Jeff’s van perfectly and as we were about to get in our car, I noticed the front of Jeff’s shirt which said in bold letters – GRATEFUL. We sure were grateful for Larry’s new “Stress Free” recliner and how it all worked out.
We arrived at my house and Jeff carried in the recliner by himself. Larry has had problems with his back and he was concerned about carrying heavy things. It was like everything was planned and taken care of for us, before we even asked. When Larry received Jeff’s receipt the next day online, he shared with me that Jeff was also a spiritual author. No coincidence here!
What I am grateful for is how God provides and in the perfect timing. I trusted God would provide and took action to go on Craigslist. If we hadn’t gone to Sandy and Steve’s house for dinner and Steve had not owned a “Stress Free” recliner, I wouldn’t have gone on Craigslist the next day to look for one. Not only did Larry not have to go to the bank to get cash for the recliner and borrow a truck, but Jeff had a credit card machine in his house, and he offered to deliver it for free. We now have beautiful leather, plush “Stress Less” recliner to fight over! Or maybe I will just have to attract another one for myself.
YOUR LIFE IS A SACRED JOURNEY
It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous risks, embracing challenges at every step along the way.
YOU ARE ON THE PATH
exactly where you are meant to be right now. And from here, you can go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, beauty, wisdom, power, dignity and love.” Caroline Joy Adams
As Larry twirled me around the room dancing, my eyes fell upon the plaque that hung on my living room wall and I knew I was meant to start my blog with these beautiful words.
Yes, it is a sacred journey and we are all on the path, exactly where we need to be to grow and expand. Sometimes where we are is very scary because change is on the way and we don’t know what lies ahead.
Last week I shared that I was in the wings or the hallway – waiting, trusting and surrendering the sale of my condo to the God within. I am excited to share that it worked out perfectly because God is faithful and the timing was perfect. When it felt right to put my condo on the market a few months ago, I didn’t know if it would sell, but I knew that it was my next right step. Since my journey of faith has been to trust God to open or close the door, I knew I was safe and that whatever happened would be for my good.
I received a text message from my son, Brian, to contact him ASAP. I am so grateful to Brian because he has handled all of the transactions with my condo in Rhode Island. I knew something was up and called him immediately. He said, “Mom, there is someone who wants to rent your condo.” When he told me what they were willing to rent it for, I almost screamed. It was $425 more a month than what I was getting from my last tenant. I added it up in my head and it was over $5000 a year more. The extra money each month will help me breathe easier as it will go toward my rent in that doubled when I moved into my new home on the ocean. I was concerned that I wouldn’t get rent for the month of September (since my former tenants moved out on September 1) to pay my monthly mortgage. I am happy to say my new tenants will move in on September 22.
I am seldom “absolutely” sure of the next right step to take on my journey. Here is where I have learned to trust myself and the God within to step out in faith. It is always about stepping out BEFORE I know the outcome. It would be easy if I knew HOW it would work out or what would happen. I stepped out in faith before I knew where the money was going to come from when I moved into my home on the ocean here in Maui. I prayed, turned over my will and trusted my heart. God has been faithful and continues to surprise me each month with how the money comes in. Of course, it is always perfect timing.
On another note, I would like to share an experience I had this week. Being in a loving relationship with Larry gives me the opportunity to ask for what I want which means to stretch, be courageous, listen to my intuition and to take a risk.
I have learned to focus on “what is good” and not what’s missing in my relationship. My relationship with Larry is very good so I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to bring this subject up. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, but it was something I wanted him to do for me. I gently and lovingly broached the subject, which we had talked about before. It didn’t seem like he was that receptive at first as he explained his thinking and behaviors to me. But as we talked and he listened from his heart, something appeared to shift inside of him and he heard me.
The next day when I asked him about our conversation about asking for what I wanted he said, “I love you. The way you asked me was loving and I would be crazy not to listen to what you needed from me in our relationship.” My heart melted because I felt acknowledged and heard. This is not what I experienced in my marriage of 30 years – I guess that’s why we are not together any more.
There are many reasons why we fear asking for what we want; we may not want to appear weak, selfish, self centered, needy or incompetent. We may not want to inconvenience or bother someone with our needs. We may not think our needs are important and we don’t want to rock the boat, especially if things are going well in a relationship.
There is also the fear of what someone is going to ask us in return or the fear of being rejected or judged for what is important to us. We may have felt humiliated or rejected for asking for what we wanted in the past so we fear doing it in the future.
I wasn’t taught how to be assertive, direct and ask for what I want. The silent treatment was very familiar to me and I expected others to read my mind and then was angry and resentful when my needs weren’t met. I sometimes used guilt, sarcasm, coercion and dropped hints.
Some of us believe that our needs or desires are inferior to, or less important than, the needs of others. Believing that asking for what you want is “selfish” is a distortion often born out of a lack of respect for yourself and others. A lack of self respect can make you feel unworthy or less important than others and cause you to subordinate your own needs and “not ask.”
If you don’t know what you want, you’ll have trouble getting it and experience a life-long feeling of deprivation, disappointment, scarcity, and resentment. When you don’t know what you want, you won’t realize if you achieve it.
I am so grateful that I have learned (and am still learning) to ask for what I want in a loving and non-threatening way. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT I GET EVERYTHING THAT I WANT. It does mean that I get some things I want and that I deserve to ask and be heard.
Do you know what you want and do you have the courage to ask for it?
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