Tag Archives: chill out

Expectations of Happiness

How does one define happiness, and why is our own definition so illusive?

It’s a weird rhetorical question.

I have no solid answer myself, as I can find my happiness sitting alone in a room, meditating, during a quiet massage session, or sitting in my hammock.

On the same token there are times that I feel like I should be happy when I’m not.

Today is the 4th of July. Former president Trump and 2020 ruined what shred was left of my patriotism. I should be happy to celebrate this holiday, but I have been grumpy all day long. At the same time I am fighting a desired to run away.

I could apply for a management position at what is now my part-time second job, they are hiring for many positions with an impending new building opening. It would be a massive promotion and I’m certain they want me to do so. It could be equivalent to income I make from the clinic, maybe a hair more, and the work would likely be much easier on me physically. However, the stress levels would be high, I’d probably be on-call a lot, and likely end up working as much, if not more, than I do now. It’s not my own business, and it’s not the intentional community I desired.

The skills might help with my dream community, but at this point I have a strong awareness that I can learn anything I need in a very short span of time, so the learning lesson is much less of a draw these days. Beyond that, 2020 again ruined my desire to work with elderly in any fashion, and I am already considering quitting the part-time work because of it. I would have much less headache and Saturday afternoons off, something that seems really appealing with our new mess related to dialysis.

The clinic still has me occupied 5 to 6 days a week and I feel like I work with platonic family. It is a good feeling and I know my work there is genuinely helping many people. Literally the only real drawback is that it is hard on my body and requires many hours of self care. Also because of that, I know my income will always be limited and I have likely already reached my maximum.

If I stay where I am and doing what I am doing then life will be fairly unchanged for years to come. It’s not really a horrible thing, but I am simply just tired of bearing the weight of a family alone. I have done it for almost 16 years and on very few occasions Nathan or I had to grovel to our parents for assistance. Most of them were right after we moved to Kansas city and turned around to deal with his hospital stay. It was a very rough period and the only period that I had to beg for parental assistance more than once. Out of 16 years I’ve asked my mom for money 4 times, and Nathan’s mom about the same (maybe a couple more times). The rest of the 16 years has fallen squarely on our shoulders, and only the last 10 have been my sole responsibility. When I state it that way, it doesn’t seem like that much, but my experience of it is just wearing me out.

I’ve been contemplating grad school, but know I can’t get a loan. So to that end I’m contemplating taking the MCAT and Mensa tests. It’s my hope to get scholarship if I do well enough, but I’ve set no direct commitment yet, only inquiries on tests and chiropractic college.

I’m also contemplating simply looking into a loan to start a massage school of actual merit. THAT I already have enough knowledge and commitment for. God knows KC needs a decent massage school, or I’d be able to find a quality trade partner easier. It would be a ton of legwork and writing on the front end, skimping by financially until a student body could be acquired and actual classes could begin. There would be accreditation processes and board certification processes, course management and all of the regular business and accounting issues to deal with, all out of whatever loan I managed to procure. It would be fast paced and grueling for several months to get set-up and functional, and everything would ride on loans until students began enrollment. Not impossible- my massage school had just done that when I enrolled 14 years ago and they are still functional.

This week the chiropractor encouraged me to shift my business to a full LLC, and I wondered if that was my cue to lean that direction. I simply don’t know.

Part of me is perfectly fine with settling and riding the calm waters of maintaining what I’ve already created. Especially if I quit the part-time job and get my Saturdays back for relaxation and fun.

Part of me knows this is not really my Atira, and is downtrodden over the prospects that I may never see my actual dream manifest. That’s the part of me that wants to run away.

I simply don’t know, and my tired brain just wants the elusive happiness all the time. It’s there when I have the time and space to find it, but I have a hell of a time keeping it in me.

For now I leave you with my rhetorical question and ramblings.

May you find your happiness, know your expectations, and find a way to maintain it regardless. May you instill in your children the ability to maintain their happiness while also lifting our world up. May we all enjoy our lives mostly and find ease in navigating the paths of life. May you be comfortable with your life regardless of where the roads lead you. May you see that everything happens for a reason, sometimes to just give you clarity on what you don’t want. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Coloring fun and presenting

My little Katherine has decided coloring is fun.

Ian likes to draw me pictures. Sometimes I can tell exactly what they are, sometimes it’s more abstract or one of his mazes based on a game he plays.

Katherine however, has decided that coloring is the way to go, and she’s quickly learning to color inside the lines. She went from full page scribbles one day to actual colored images the next. I caught myself saying, “when did she start doing that”, to acknowledge I had just seen one of the full page scribbles 2 days prior.

So I’ll share some pics I snapped of her new skills at the end.

I however, have used my slivers of spare time to produce a presentation. It will count as a 1 credit hour continuing education credit for dental hygienists. I will speak for roughly an hour and then field a Q&A afterwards. My topic: massage therapy for self-care/career longevity, and client assistance/retention. I think I have finished the power-point portion, though I still need several more run-throughs to feel comfortable, so there may need to be edits to accommodate better flow. Essentially though, I’m down to just practicing my speech. It’s scary but exciting. I have one week to practice as delivery will be next Wednesday evening.

It gives me jitters just thinking of it, because the DH association of Kansas City has approximately 1,000 members and potentially all of them could log on to the presentation. The largest presentation I have given prior was my veteran’s day assembly in 2018, and approximately 120 people were present for that. If all possible members attend, I will be speaking to a much larger group than I’m used to. Fortunately, because of Covid it is presented via Zoom, so I won’t see all of their faces at once. Whew. Still nervous, but less than if I was going to speak in an auditorium. I haven’t done that since my art history presentation in college (there were 250+ in that course and I totally rocked it). So, I may not speak in front of large groups often, but I’m no stranger either. I totally got this sh*t.

All fun aside, I am very honored to have had this requested of me. I appreciate very much the level of trust that is being placed in my abilities, skills, and knowledge. It feels very good to know that professionals of another field respect me enough to essentially do a short class on how my skills relate to their field. I’m thankful for the opportunity and experience and send prayers that everything flows smoothly and I remain fully articulate and meet or exceed everyone’s expectations. Cross your fingers that it goes well for everyone.

May you see the good in your children and find wonderful fulfilling additions to your work load. May you be surprised and delighted in as many ways as possible. May you enjoy creativity, especially when your kids demonstrate it. May you give yourself a little credit once in a while for the good things you do. May you know your skills and knowledge are appreciated by those around you. May you find that many other people respect you. Above all may you have fun, knowing God loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Slowing down.

I fell again yesterday….. Again! …. Right?!

The chiropractor was kind enough to adjust me again today, and provided a reminder I need to slow down and be conscious of caring for myself. I replied “I know, I promised I would slow down, but it’s so hard when I’ve spent so many years trying to do everything.”

It is though, falls are always God’s attempt at slowing me down. Sadly, or is it thankfully, they always work. So tonight I’m nursing angry muscles, partly from the fall and partly from the corrective adjustment. As I lay with a tennis ball wedged against my left psoas muscle, I’m catching up on watching notification videos, and the following was a powerful one.

Watch “Jacob Lee – Oceans (Official Music Video)” on YouTube

I really feel that one. Sometimes I do feel exactly how the singer did, especially in these crazy times where fear over a singular disease has caused all of society to cease real living. But it seems I’m getting better and better at finding my source, my inner always present divine half. The half that never leaves me, but sometimes it’s awfully hard to see or feel.

I went nearly 2 decades fighting off suicidal depression, and in the last five years I’ve found alignment more than not. I still have boughts of severe depression, but they’re shorter and shorter now, knowing all of my triggers and how to fix being in the hole. That information is priceless and I still look forward to the day I find total healing and those days disappear altogether.

I know I’m on the right track, and right now I’m literally throwing every tool I know at finding healing. It’s part of the reason God wants me to slow down, I am doing so much I probably need to give myself a breather and let my system catch up.

It made me a little mad though because I’ve now missed two days of workouts, the fall happening 90 min before my projected workout, and the aftermath making exercise a physical impossibility.

At one time I hated exercise because it was so difficult for me, now I miss it. At one time I hated running because it was so hard, no I look forward to making friends with it knowing it’s starting to help. At one point I hated cilantro, now I love it for it’s detoxifying effects having started the healing in my brain. There are so many things that I have a much much greater appreciation for, all because they help me feel better and they are slowly healing my brain and my body.

I wish that for everyone.

Beyond my gratitude over those solutions, I have immense gratitude for all of the people, current and past, that have helped me find solutions or fix me when my efforts are not enough or applicable (especially the chiropractor today). Those people that rescued me when I needed it most. Many were one time helpers, few have helped me repeatedly, but all were pricelessly valuable.

May you all see your worth. May you love your gifts from God. May you understand your challenges and love the solutions. May you live life to the fullest, and know that food is a tiny fraction of what that means. May you give back to the divine by helping others find the solutions they need. May you show gratitude for the people in your life that help you implement those solutions. May you love exercise and all of the things that enable you to live a greater life. May your greater living not only be more enjoyable, but of greater assistance to the world. May we all work together to create a better world for us all.

Siva Hir Su శివ హిర్ సు