Midlife love

Country road, take me home…

Our favorite pastime, since we moved to a small town in southern Colorado, is to take off on some county road just to see where it goes.  This morning, on our way back from La Veta, I took a few photos that show exactly how nice it is down here… DSCF0689

Along County Road 510, on the way to the land we plan to build on soon, there is a cool adobe ruin…  DSCF0696

Then we got to our land and I finally walked all the way around it!  We had record rain in July here, so at the bottom of the hill I found this lovely grouping of wildflowers and deadwood: DSCF0712

This was our view on the way back to Highway 160.  Loved the shadow of the clouds on the mountains…  DSCF0724

Life’s romantic challenges…

Don’t we all want to make the perfect match, and then live happily ever after?  The only problem with that plan is that life will get in the way.  It always does.

You would probably not believe the number of romantic challenges Mike and I have faced in the past year. The year began with a possible plan to move to Ecuador to save money. That plan fell through for a number of reasons, when I went to Cuenca for a short visit last September.

View from our landPlan B was to find a reasonably priced piece of land in southern Colorado with a great view.  We achieved that goal fairly easily.

The hard part was emptying out our present home in Fort Collins, fixing it up, staging it, selling it and then moving all of our earthly possessions to a small rental in a town in southern Colorado.  If you don’t see a few major romantic challenges there, you have no experience in relationships!

Stress equals arguments.  Change equals disagreements… that’s about the size of it.

Mike + Laura small versionNow we face what some tell me is the greatest challenge of all, building a new home together.

We just got a permit to start building a solar home on the land pictured above…              wish us both luck!

Romance and Reality

There’s romance and then there’s reality!

I was just telling a friend of mine about how Mike and I met over nine years.  But ere you think it was all a dream-like romantic fantasy, let me set you straight.

I like romance as much as the next girl.  Of course I liked the fact that Mike drove up in a beautiful, clean red truck and pretty much swept me off my feet by opening the door for me to enter.  Of course I wanted to believe that he was as nice and honest as he appeared, but I also had some experience with online dating and I know how to do my research!

One previous experience taught me that people are not always what they seem.  On an E-Harmony date the previous year I met a man who I loved talking to, so he suggested that we get together the next day for lunch.  After that I never heard another peep out of him, even though I left numerous messages.  He vaporized!

So the next day, after Mike and I’s ten hour first date(!), I called him up and said I wanted to see where he lived… ( just to make sure he didn’t have a wife and kids, you know!)  After that went well, I looked up our county property records online to see if he actually owned the home he said he owned.

There’s romance and then there’s reality, and some are more challenged by these concepts than others… I may believe in love, but I also believe in doing my research!

Robert Mirabal and the power of intention

“You never know what the spirit of intention can do.”  –Robert Mirabal

fort franciscoWe spent a marvelous morning on Saturday at the Native American Celebration at Fort Francisco in La Veta. 

First of all the Fort is a beautiful example of 1800s adobe construction.  Their exhibits are also a wonderful collection of memorabilia from the past century, like a a walk through the homes of the early 1900s.  Old furniture, clothes, and my favorite, photos of people from our past.

Then we enjoyed a dance performance by three girls from the Jicarilla Apache Nation.  The highlight was a performance by Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo.  Yes, his music is a wonder, but I also found great wisdom in his words.

Robert MirabalRobert shared with this mostly European-American crowd the history of this area and what it meant to Native Americans.  He explained why his ancestors came up here from the south and kept the trails alive and fresh for others. He spoke of intention in our daily life.

When Robert plays his flutes and sings, it sounds like he is channeling the life and  stories of his ancestors, bringing up vivid imagery of our Native American past.

And in a way, isn’t that what we all do each day, channel our ancestors?  So much of who we are is determined by choices made by our parents and grandparents.

I am honored to be now living on this land where the buffalo roamed, the place where my grandfather hoped to retire.  I feel closer to the land than I have in decades, and I intent to protect this land and its heritage.

Creating real change in your life

self-responsibility ownershipIt may be tempting to think that reading the right books or finding the right therapist will change you.

Although it is essential that you choose carefully and trust your inner wisdom in selecting the proper guides to assist you in this deep, emotional process, you are the only one who can create real change in your life.

You must take full responsibility for changing your life and your perspective on love, and be willing to do the hard work necessary to create deep personal change.

Spiritual work is not something you can copy from someone else and expect the same results. The spiritual work needed by each of us is quite unique to our own spiritual needs, determined by where we have been harmed in our individual pasts.

It’s like attending a new exercise class.  Others may be doing the same or similar moves, but if you aren’t sensitive to your own needs, you won’t gain the benefits you seek.

Too many of us think we can simply purchase the right book and change our perspective.  That’s probably why we buy so many self-help books.  Read a book and change your life!

Although I applaud the fact that you are aware enough to know you need to change, let me reemphasize the fact that real personal change only comes about through some serious emotional heavy lifting, what I like to call soul surgery.

What is that?    It is spending time alone taking a hard look at yourself, at how you have treated yourself and others, and at how you have brought yourself to this difficult point in your life.  Then it requires taking full self-responsibility from here on out.

Taking 100% self-responsibility is one of the most important first steps towards genuine self-love and self-respect.  When we take less than 100% self-responsibility, we operate from the victim role. (Take care of me, I’m inadequate.)

When we try to take more than 100% responsibility for those around us, we are playing the rescuer role, but most of us do not have the power to rescue anyone else.  This is simply a distraction from focusing on our own needs.

My advice?  Save yourself, the only one you truly have the power to save.

Self-responsibility is best taken as a celebration rather than as a burden.  It is a freeing act. Taking responsibility for ourselves takes back power over our own happiness.

Childhood is over.  We can only take action in this moment.  Instead of focusing on what somebody did to you in the past, you must now focus on what you want to create in your future.  No more blaming or shaming others.

Here are some helpful affirmations for taking full self-responsibility:

  • I am completely responsible for all my own feelings and actions.

  • I am completely responsible for my own health and welfare.

  • I give others complete responsibility for their feelings and actions.

  • I take complete responsibility for making and keeping agreements, no excuses!

  • I take responsibility for expressing my true essence in the world in positive and loving ways.

This article is an excerpt from my book: How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust, and Your Own Inner Wisdom.

 

Negative thoughts are bad for your brain

I just discovered a new show on TNT called ‘Perception.‘  Have your seen it yet?  Very interesting!

Last night the main character, a neuroscientist played by Eric McCormack from Will & Grace, discussed an essential fact to know about how our brains work.  Scientists have shown that when it comes to our brains, what we focus on does GROW!

Every time you access a certain memory in your brain, your neurons create more connections to that thought making it ever more accessible the next time.

Here’s how that’s important to your mental health when you break up with somebody.  Nobody wants to focus on sad thoughts from your past, but it happens.  Like in that great song Someone That I Used To Know:

Gotye band“You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness…   like resignation to the end, always the end.”

How does this work?  You seek some sort of resolution to the feelings of abandonment and pain, but by focusing so strongly on rejection, you build up more and more connections to negative thoughts.  Not good for your mental health!

The best solution?  Seek out a good therapist who can help you focus completely on those thoughts until you find a way past your past trauma.  Sometimes the solution is Gestalt or some other method which pushes you through the whole experience to the other side with a nice jolt of insight and catharsis.

Whatever you do, don’t ruminate on past, negative thoughts forever.  It’s a nasty trap which can ruin your life, causing you to never believe in love again.  Don’t let one bad relationship ruin you life!

To learn more about getting past your past, don’t miss my new book: How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust and Your Own Inner Wisdom.