Travel, Friends & Blessings

There are some days when Ed & I get caught up in complaining about our jobs, we start exchanging stories and getting caught in a spiral of negativity. We have to catch ourselves in these moments and we both always acknowledge, with gratitude, that when you work in education, the schedule cannot be beat!

My husband is a teacher, so we are both on the same schedule. Thankfully, this affords us the opportunity to travel together as soon as the school bell releases for the summer.

I have been fortunate enough to visit Spain, Portugal, Morocco, China, Italy and France. I am looking forward to a trip back to China and then to Japan, this summer.

Of the few places I have been so far in my life, Spain has been one of my favorites. I don’t now if it’s because it was the first country I visited overseas, but it has definitely stuck out in my heart. The history, art, beauty and culture made my heart and I truly wish to return someday. It’s the one place I could really envision myself living.

We landed in Madrid and worked our way south, through the Andalucia region. The Spanish way of life just made sense to me. The community felt collective v. individualistic. People lived outside and met in piazzas, instead of shutting themselves in their homes to watch TV. The siesta,…AH, the siesta makes the MOST sense to me. The appreciation for history, architecture, traditions and of course, the sangria and olives everywhere you go, is such a beautiful, beautiful thing.

One day, I will return.

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Procession in Toldeo

Procession in Toldeo

Flamenco in Cordoba

Flamenco in Cordoba

La Mezquita in Cordoba

La Mezquita in Cordoba

Columbus' tomb in Sevilla

Columbus’ tomb in Sevilla

The beaches of Tarifa

The beaches of Tarifa

sangria & olives

sangria & olives

As Angelina stated earlier, it’s easy to get caught up in a negative mental funk.  In the instruction book of life, this is part of the human journey that comes with the many blessing we have in life.  When times like these occur, I’m very blessed to have a wide variety of people around that I can count on.  These people range from fun and silly to down right serious – I love them either way.

Friends from work.

Friends from work.

 

Cousins who are more like friends.

Cousins who are more like friends.

Friends from the past

Friends from the past

Scan (2)

Thank you Creator for giving me such an abundant life!

Ed

Music Monday: The Wide Open Space Edition

“Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone”

Ed & I have been talking lately about our careers. We chose careers in education and feel safe and secure in our positions, however we sometimes question if we made the right choice or only the safe one.

Although I do love my job, I have been feeling this pull lately to integrate more yoga into my career. I am not sure what that will look like yet, but I do have some ideas floating around and projects I would like to start working through. Ed is also thinking of making shifts in the realm of his career and although these are exciting prospects, they are also scary.

What if we fail? What if we make a really poor choice? What if we suck?

All these are common fears when thinking of making a change, but they are still points to consider.

The Dixie Chicks have been one of my favorite groups since I was in high school and this song always resounded with me. I have always felt like I needed those Wide Open Spaces. I need the space and room to make a mistake, even though I rarely give myself the permission to take it.

As I think about the next phase of my life, I am trying to be more at peace with failing and making mistakes. I know it’s part of growing and finding my true purpose, but still scary nonetheless.

I will try to take the advice of The Dixie Chicks to find my next path.

She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes”

We want to hear from you! Tell us about a time you have you found the courage to make a big change!

Hair In A Bun Friday: Psychosis and Neurosis

I like to play smart, three-dimensional women. I also like to play roles where the women are a little crazy. I just have a feel for crazy people. Lili Taylor

Now that it’s Friday’s Eve and most of us are winding down for the weekend (except our sisters who work retail or any other job that requires weekends) let us all get ready to tie our hair in a loosely fitted bun as we explore the inner workings of our own personal crazy.

I have the blessing of having Angelina in my life. Why is this such a blessing? I’d have to say it’s due to some of the personal issues I’m currently going through. I’ve never been one to explore my own inner crazy due to the embarrassment, shame, guilt or whatever other emotion is out there that stopped me. But the stars have aligned at this moment in time and I’m finding myself in a safe space to let it all go and explore. As with everything, once we allow ourselves to feel, express or learn something, we start seeing other examples of it all around us.

Currently I’m on Spring Break with absolutely no plans at all except to sit around and read, drink coffee and watch endless reruns of Will and Grace on WE.  I was recently watching an episode in which Grace and Leo decide at the last minute to get married. When they get back to the apartment, Grace tells Will the news but he isn’t as excited about it as she thought.  As Grace strong arms Will because he refuses to be happy for her, Leo breaks them up and says, whoa take it easy (to Grace) I still need him (Will) for the 20% of you I can’t handle.  I love that line.

There are certain parts of myself that even can’t handle; that’s why it’s always nice to have friends who can help us out with that little 20%.

Hope you take time this weekend to let it all hang out – just don’t get arrested.

Ed  

Vulnerability Part 2 of 2

amy poehler

Part of becoming comfortable with vulnerability is also accepting it from others. It is recognizing and accepting someone else’s vulnerable state. I have found it to mean being OK with someone who is not at their best. Being OK with someone who is asking for help. Being OK when someone is showing themselves a weaker side of you.

Here is something I am embarrassed about.

When I first became a school counselor seven years ago, I was very uncomfortable when working with a male student, and he would start to cry.

I felt panicked. I felt like I should do something, but I did not know what to do. I was ashamed by their vulnerability and my reaction to it. I really just wanted them to stop crying, because in my world, boys did not show that type of emotion.

I soon discovered that they boys would cry much more often and harder than the girls. What I begin to realize is once the boys felt comfortable and safe, they let it allllll out, because it was not socially acceptable for them to do that anywhere else.

And, I needed to be prepared for that.

I had to work on it, but I am now in a place where I am much more comfortable and competent to handle these situations.

I sit with them in their vulnerability and let them explore it safely and express their feelings.

I am OK with not rushing to “fix” their problems, so they can go back to being the males others expect them to be.

I hope I am showing them it is acceptable to be vulnerable and show emotions. It is OK to feel and express weakness with those you trust.

I am working on becoming better with both showing and receiving vulnerability.

In love & openness,

~Ang Catching a friend’s vulnerability can sometimes be tricky.  It depends on how well you know the person’s facial gestures or what the change in their tone of voice signifies. Recently, I was having dinner with a very dear and long time friend. She was telling me about a guy she was seeing who happened to be engaged.  A majority of the conversation dealt with trying to figure out whether the guy was really interested in her or just playing games.  In my head I was thinking, uh he’s engaged, he’s not interested in you.  I allowed her to do most of the talking because I’ve been in that situation before, and when you’re in it and can’t see out of it – it’s fun. So I ended up saying, he’s comfortable with where he is and isn’t going to give up that security for you or his fiance.  

I could have torn her down if I wanted to; sometimes people need to be hit upside the head with words in order to wake up but I chose not to that night.  She was in a vulnerable place and I had to respect that.  She may not know she’s in a vulnerable space but having been in her shoes before, I know I was at the time.  When you really want to believe in something, you follow your delusion.

I know some people would argue that if I were a true friend I would have been truthful but the reality is, she really wants to believe what she has going on is real and nothing I can say will change that.  We all have to learn that painful lesson sometime but if you can come out looking like Charlie XCX, we’re all the better for it.

15807265637_d73e6da186

~ Peace,

Ed

Spiritual Sidebar: Iyanla Vanzant

Spiritual Sidebar is a weekly post in which family, friends or complete strangers are given a set of questions to answer that deal mainly with personal spirituality.  This week we are going to take a break from our regular routine of interviewing people we know and feature something a little different.

Angelina and I believe that psychology and spirituality go hand in hand.  Angelina is counselor and I’m a teacher; we both come from disciplined religious backgrounds and are now using that experience to understand the human condition and how it relates to God.

As I previously mention on Hair In A Bun Friday, Angelina and I are both Iyanla Vanzant followers.  Although Iyanla is not a psychologist, she is spiritual leader with many books added to her title.

This week we’d like to feature a little snippet of her show Iyanla Fix My Life in this weeks Spiritual Sidebar.  In it, you’ll see how she leads people to find their ultimate truth.

Enjoy!

Music Monday: The Shawl Version

Spring Break is ending for me this Monday as Ed is starting his vacation.

We were talking this weekend about the need we both have to cast off some bad habits.  I have found myself back in a negative pattern of coping with stress; turning to food and too many margaritas to deal with upsetting emotions and feeling overwhelmed.

I know this is physically and emotionally taking it’s toll. It’s time for me to wrap myself up in my protective shawl and spin like Stevie. It’s time to re-focus and get back to my positive coping mechanisms; asking for help when I need it, meditating morning & night, yoga, running, writing, hot tea, green juice and essential oils.

shawl Ed & I have talked about the freedom that comes from spinning in this shawl. We love pretending like we are our hero Stevie and finding that simultaneous protection and freedom that the shawl brings.

SONY DSC Landslide is definitely a classical favorite. To me, it is about that realization that it is time to re-focus and make some changes. It’s time to seek out something new, because what you were doing is not working anymore.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the season of my life?

No matter which season of life we are in, we have our shawl and we have each other.

Gather under the imaginary shawl with us today, sisters, if you need it for you Monday and your week.

Hair In A Bun Friday: Tying It For Spiritual Seekers

Our Generation has had no Great war, no Great Depression. Our war is spiritual. Our depression is our lives. ~ Chuck Palahniuk

I’ve been tying my hair up in a loosely fitted bun lately while reading the spiritual experiences of our readers who have contributed to Spiritual Sidebar.  This is a weekly Tuesday post in which family and friends are given specific questions to answer about their personal spirituality.

In the past, I would have never read someone else’s take on spirituality if they weren’t of my same mind set.  Today, as I’ve been seeking my own path outside the familiar, I’m more interested than ever to see what people’s experiences have been.

As this blog continues to unfold, I’m finding that it represents more than just a girl, a gay and God; it represents different periods in the spiritual journey itself.  Before, when I was a young teen on fire for the Lord, I thought I had all the answers; I thought my religion and beliefs were the only truth, but they weren’t.  That was just a piece of my life which continues to unfold today. So whether you’re a person who has had one belief your entire life, no faith at all, or a purveyor of a variety of faiths, please feel free to read from our contributors; they’re all very interesting and unique.

Spiritual Sidebar: Marcella

Spiritual Sidebar: Leslie

Spiritual Sidebar: Barb

Spiritual Sidebar: Ric

~Ed