The Ideas

Living in the Past – sharing

Okay my last post about taking on Challenge for Living in the Past, I mentioned I would not share anything as most things can be deeply personal. But there is one thing out of a closet of Pink PostIt® notes, that I’m going to deep dive into and share with you.

When I was about 9 years old, my child-hood friend Kristi, lived just behind my house. We spent tons of time between each other’s houses playing and hanging out. My friend had a fantastically decorated room. Filled with strobe lights that gave off blue and red colors for those days where disco was still ruled by Diana Ross and Cher. And a small disco ball hanging from the bedroom’s ceiling reflecting those cool sparkles around the room. Enough to make you dizzy as we danced and sang to our favorite songs. We both had the usual Barbie dolls and clothing and nick-nacks that go with such toys.

So my memory of ‘past’ experiences that shaped me, and this one has that PostIt® on it. I distinctly remembered the pink plastic bed for Barbie was the only furniture I had. But Kristi had many items for Barbie to recline on, sleep on and tables built for her dolls. Needless to say, our time together was always fun with music, singing, and playtime.

I unfortunately coveted my friend’s only mini wicker chair that made Barbie look like a queen among all other dolls when sitting in it. I remember I was envious and wanted one just like it. But it was not meant to be had. I even asked Mom, if I could have one too. But this was not something sold in stores. Oh well, right?

As a child, we are still learning right from wrong. We sometimes endure painful reminders should we do any bad thing and get disciplined. I did one thing due to envy. I stole my best friend’s little wicker chair one day playing at her house. When I left that day, my Barbies were stuffed into appropriate Barbie cases and so was the chair. When I got home I was so excited for Barbie to have a lovely chair to sit on. Something that I did not have. I remember playing with Barbie the next day and Mom comes in with laundry and noticed that I was playing but something was amiss. The little wicker chair was very noticeable. And I was busted! As my friend, Kristi was not hanging out in my room and my Mom knew my stuff very well, having the singular parental duty of helping me put things away. And the fact that I had asked recently about finding such a chair… Well as you can imagine that was difficult to explain. But I had taken the chair, my friend Kristi had not loaned it to me.

So, knowing that I had been busted and Mom’s stern look and definite pointing to the said item, not mine. I learned that making Mom unhappy was one thing, but the thought that I may have made my best friend unhappy at losing their toy was unbearable.

As soon as I was presentable to go over to Kristi’s house I only took the chair, no toys and Mom was in tow behind me to be sure that I did the right thing. I returned the chair to my friend’s house. I knocked on the door and with the learned ‘I’m sorry I took your toy.” statement on my lips I passed the coveted wicker chair to my friend. I was marched home and still not out of deep water. I was grounded from going to play for 1 week at Kristi’s house. My Mom definitely had let Kristi’s Mom know that I was grounded too.

Needless to say, this was painful as a recapped memory. It’s sometimes the weirdest things we remember. I definitely remember it and learned from it well, for I’ve stayed out of trouble since. I release this memory to the sun-light, and it may be faded now but more so in knowing I forgive myself for being a child doing a childhood thing.

P.S. I remember fondly the fun times that ensued after my grounding was over. My best friend Kristi was not mad at me. She and I remained friends until her family moved away a few years later.  And as luck would have it, I did get to see her again in high-school. She reprised this story when we saw each other, we hugged and graduated together.

~Healing in bits and pieces

Nims

 

The Ideas

Challenge #3 – Living In The Past

Good Morning!

Okay, so if you’re following along and my previous post was Challenge #1- Pleasing Everyone. At the end of that post, I had to challenges left to decide on. I was going to take time to think about which one to tackle next. Well, both have to be dealt with and I finally decided to just pick one.

Out of the 5 on the list, I’ve worked through or am still working I know I just need to move forward, evolve and change. I have decided to work on point #3 Living In The Past.

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The picture above is idyllic, right? Evokes images of lazy days, slower times, and maybe a picture-perfect vacation that was taken? All of this is ‘past’ history. But sometimes we have stuff in our past that keeps impinging on our present and can affect our future.

So, memories can be the catalyst to stop our forward momentum. Yes, we use them to remember things, stories, anecdotes to tell friends and family and then, there are the memories that are linked to a time and place that we’d rather forget. Those are the ones that stop us from moving forward, growing, exploring and being a “better you”. Everyone is different, everyone has experienced something that has changed us in small and large ways. Some of those ‘things’ are just that. Incidents that we can look back on and analyze it to see what can we do to overcome. Yet, it causes us to hold back. That’s why it’s a trigger for stopping us from moving forward. So how does one analyze our past to allow the future to unfold?

Hefty words indeed. We all agree, our past shapes us and drives us. But sometimes, we have things that cause us to live in the past, pressing the ‘rewind’ button one more time. No amount of self-help topics, books or analysis may help us. I’m not saying that it won’t, but sometimes if we admit it, there are items in our closets that just defy us ‘letting it go’. Right? Now, I’m only speaking for myself and a challenge is just a challenge so you think. But as I take this challenge on, well what harm can come of it? For me, I lose nothing. Going into the past to challenge me, is going to be a tough adversary. There are so many things that hold me back. But I need to find, not the easy stuff to deal and accept that I can either change or whatever. I need to find the hard stuff. The ones that cause you to flinch, shield the eyes and ver ‘hard-left’ from dealing with it.

What are those difficult moments in time, that cause me to flinch, shield and swerve ‘hard-left’? Deep diving, requires time an empty notepad and lots of searching. What will I come up with that I can review and see if I can let it go? Many of you will see alignment or a nod coming forth when I mention things like; alcoholism, abuse, relationship issues yours or from your parents and friends around you, stealing, maybe others. Those things that are locked up tight in our memory chests.

What can I find and deal with? Shine the sun on it and watch the memory become so washed out that its impact is lessened. So when its hold is loosened and I can then rejoice in the fact it will cause less pain. Thereby releasing me from being held back, hiding in shame, making decisions that are based on the layers of uncomfortable situations that make me? The inner-child is wounded and is still not allowed to heal. What can I find, shine strong sun-light on and fade that picture that is always found so easily in the murky past memorial line-up. Like its flagged with a bright neon PostIt® tag. Holding a spot in the eerie lineup of memories?

I don’t know that anyone would be interested in the unveiling…I think that is something private for many. Old wounds exposed back to the air is like rubbing salt in the wound is far from cathartic. I’ll tell my notepad the secrets, unveil them and shine that wonderful sun-light down on each page. The inner-child is wounded and needs to heal. Don’t you think we all have one?

Be back soon. My notepad awaits, wish me good luck and best wishes. See you all soon.

~Healing in bits and pieces.

Nims

 

The Ideas

Challenge #1 – Trying to Please Everyone

The Challenges!  They continue!

Image result for 5 things to quit right now quotes

Okay, so I posted the list at the beginning to give a quick reference right off the bat! Well it has been a while since I checked in and gave an update and the challenges still are ongoing. (Feel free to click the links at bottom of this post to check into challenges #2 and 4. They were not done in order.) I have started and am still absorbing all the changes that make up “Saying No”, “Avoiding PC Responses” and “Being Goody Two-Shoes”; all of which for me make up just a few things that I have lumped into “Trying to Please Everyone”.

So you are most likely wondering what I consider what is “Trying to Please Everyone” in my day-to-day. Work weeks usually consist of peer-to-peer relationship dynamics. Where as the weekends will be down time family, friends and neighbors interactions. Now, I don’t have a favorite one that tops my list of being in my sights for handling. From a logical perspective many would say that the ‘home away from home’; work, would be the first and foremost place to start this challenge. Many would say start local, ‘Home Sweet Home’ being ground zero for practice. I did no such thing. I just started with -> where is the most push coming from?

For some strange reason I started with friends. I started with the 2 letter word “No”. It has an amazing reaction facially when you start saying it. Your friends are all raised eyebrows and opened mouthed. And the expectation is that you’d say “Yes”, to whatever thing was was up for grabs. My big one was the ‘third party’ to dinners or outings. I hated knowing I was just rounding out numbers and not really being asked for my company. I have more fulfilling events with friends now.

Next it was my retired neighbors. I stopped being available for spontaneous conversations while walking my dog or when I just get home from work. About ‘the height of the grass’, ‘sprinklers not working’ or the one that gets me ‘The tree it’s dead, right?’. I used to get pulled into ridiculous debates on those topics and sometimes the point of view was petty and malicious. I rush past with purposeful strides to duck into my home quickly. It has been working as I just get a smallish wave as I go by and no ‘hails’ for my opinion. I make sure I go to the Association Meetings though to stay up to date without the gossip.

I want to say lastly, but not really it was work. I have observed in the last 8 months or so that my needs of ‘Not Pleasing’ really revolved around me saying “No” in some fashion. Nor did it include being standoffish. It was more of not saying a literal “Yes” to everything. I wasn’t a ‘Yes Girl’. I was and still am a team player of “lets get the stuff done”, yet I make sure that I finish my promised work. Then I find out if anyone on the team needs assistance.  Yet there is the underlying unhappiness from former parties that as things shifted and new duties came about that rousted out old duties. That by an unknown consensus that I would still be available with a ready “Yes” tripping off my lips with old stuff that popped up with an immediate turn-around. I find that I have to reply with a not available right now, but give me time to get to it. (Insert frowning faces “here”.)

So I have not been ostracized yet. Things are definitely uncomfortable as friends kind of shift their viewpoints, neighbors wave abstractedly and coworkers frown with frustration when I’m not readily available as I used to be or not at all. I sometimes feel pangs of guilt because I used to jump to it, but things shift and change. I analyze it and go with prioritization now, unless some one really comes screaming with hair on fire. I throw documents at peeps to assist as they do the same as I did and share knowledge freeing me up to do more.

So I’ve talked about friends, neighbors and coworkers. But your wondering if this has impacted any family, your tossing that around in your head…(I hear the gears clunking around.) I stopped trying to “please” long ago my siblings. We after all now live in different states. I call on birthdays but we don’t talk week to week, we’ve never done that. I don’t “please” my parents. My Dad is estranged and that is okay. My Mom, well lets just say no one likes to ‘displease’ their Mom. Seems to me to be an inherent ‘thing’ to not do anything that will make them anything other than happy with said offspring. Now that doesn’t mean I’ve not rocked the boat for Mom. I have and I have done good things that make for calm waters. But that is as it should be. I would not be the adult that I am if I didn’t try to establish that I can do the knocks and either correct the wrongs and at least live my life moving forward better.

I think since I’m still alive and kicking that this Challenge #1, although not fully complete by my standards, it is done. It’ll run in the background like an old program keeping things going. Hopefully no glitches or slipping backwards! If you’ve just come into reading about my challenges, feel free to click the links below to the others to catch up.

The list goes: [1-Trying to Please Everyone, 2- Fearing Change, 3- Living in the Past, 4- Putting Yourself Down and 5- Overthinking].

So I think I need to figure out what ‘bad habit’ needs to be tackled next, 2 left! I’ll leave this for now, as both are weighty subjects. I need to make sure the loop on “Trying to Please Everyone” is holding.

  • #3 Living in the Past
  • #5 Overthinking

Anyone had any of those weird or non-weird moments when “Trying to Please Everyone” left a lasting impression? Feel free to comment below. Know that you do not walk alone.

Working on the pieces, one at a time.

Nims

change, The Ideas

Challenge #2 Recap -“Fear of Change”

Okay it’s been a long, long time between the start of Challenge #2 “Fear of Change”,  I knew that it would be hard. Yes, and a veritable beast it has been to me and still continues to be. But!…Yes, I have been working on it. I get up and go to work. I take deep breaths and then some more. I look at the stuff I’m doing and take a walk, process and I come back and tackle it bite-by- bite.

It is interesting, because I think the Universe is laughing at me and still continues to feed me more challenges in this genre. Well then, months have passed and still things are shifting and changing. I’m pretty sure that are many of you who are also feeling the same thing. Ever since I started these challenges, I’ve noticed nothing is constant. Things (loose term, I know), are still fluttering over and under buoyed by the ever-changing winds. Old challenges look to be overcome, I just think that they are taking a back seat for the moment so that new challenges can come in. Yet they are there, waiting for us to return to them and get on with it.

Since “Fear of Change” is still a constant hum in my ear, I’ve decided enough is enough and let it go to the back seat. It’s time to try another challenge from that little list of 5 that I started with last year. The list goes: [1-Trying to Please Everyone, 2- Fearing Change, 3- Living in the Past, 4- Putting Yourself Down and 5- Overthinking].

So, which one do you think should get the nod for attention? Well if you read my previous posts, you’ve noted I mention them in the same breath as ‘bad habits’. So the next offender is #1 “Trying to Please Everyone“! (roaring crowd in the background!)

Okay, so doesn’t sound bad, but sure looks bad because it was listed as number one in the list. But by my estimation it will be difficult too. We live to please lots of people. And strive to not fall off that horse on the carousel as it goes round and round.

With that, wish me luck and lots of it. I’ll try to not offend the masses that I work with, or live with. And when I check back in, as least you’ll know I’ve made it through without being alienated. Humm, well, let me check that, I might be alienated. (Thinking out loud) But would that be a bad thing, you think? Sometimes I’ll have to say ‘No’.

Change does not happen in a day.

Nims

 

 

change, The Ideas

Challenge 2

Well I’m back to Challenges and still think that the time or time between challenges is not going to be clinically 2 or 3 weeks. I believe that everyone deals differently in how to tackle, and work on challenges regardless of how they come up and how they eventually get executed.

Okay for previous Challenge 1 – came from my previous post and was all about busting habits we get ourselves into. Habits that can be detrimental to our everyday productivity and mental well being. I took on #4 Putting Yourself Down.

Well, after about 2 weeks I was catching myself internalizing the words and nipping the down-play quickly. In the 3-4 weeks zone I found myself more accepting of my ability to be truthful and uplift myself even if I fail at a project or fail to understand “How To” documents or other. (I am having issues with first time read-throughs and have to tackle it again. Reading and comprehending has always been something that I have to work on. And I love to read!! Imagine that!) Then at the 5-6 weeks time frame I noticed I didn’t have to catch myself, I found myself more confident and assure of myself. Now in the 7-8 weeks I know that the act of “Putting Yourself Down” has been trampled soundly in my mind.

So I’m ready for Challenge number #2, so I’m back at the same drawing board which one of the habits do I need to kick? I decided to do #2 Fearing Change. I feel it goes hand in hand with #4 and since I’m on a roll I decided to put this one on the playboard.  So for those of you wondering about the list, for brevity:  [1-Trying to Please Everyone, 2- Fearing Change, 3- Living in the Past, 4- Putting Yourself Down and 5- Overthinking].

So everyone has issues and things that they know they need to change and stall out on. Stalling, procrastination, delaying…whatever you want to call it. Call yourself out on it! (PS – my word I use all the time? “Procrastination”) Okay so with my big word out in the open, what does it have to do with “Fearing Change”? Everything, it has to do with everything that I am afraid of. Writing, losing weight, doing a good at my current workplace and even getting my dreams into reality!

Yes! Dreams those lovely things that we visit in our heads, those inner wishes that we build into mega towns or cities and we are Queens & Kings of that world. Who are you? CEO of  businesses, Independent writer, Entrepreneur extraordinaire, you name it and you dream it! Can you do the things necessary to make that change come into being? Can you step by step tackle that nasty bugger “Fear” and change those dreams into reality? How badly do you want it and what are you willing to work on to get it into the birthing canal to come into this world?

Okay, so I found out that tackling niche research, finding polls, asking questions of friends, looking into writing genres, reading, “Googling” topics and blogs and other sites I ran across to find out the little things that I need to make things work my way. I need to take classes. I need to read more. I need to work with a mentor. I need to produce things that are in my line of business that I need to be that CEO or that Independant or Entrepreneur. But fear of not being good? Well i’m finding out if you never try and you don’t pull that dream out of your head you will never get any indication of change. You will never have any progress to measure yourself or your success.

I’m not looking for notoriety, I’m looking to be successful at being productive. I’m happy that I’ve realized change is not harmful, but only the next step to learning something new. I’m productive at this time and that’s more than I was years ago when I started this blog. So I need to continue to write and need to continue this challenge, one at a time. Change is getting a new car, fear of not pulling a dream out of the clouds? Well I have no excuse, I only fail if I do nothing. I just need to complete things and not fear the outcome.

Right! Onward and upward. To all of you who find themselves in the same boat, I toss you ‘life-vest’ to join me and others on this quest.

Remember, don’t fear those who judge, for you are your own worst enemy. (IMHO:  I’ve been taking a lot of deep breaths and then continue on. Or I shelve the item and pick up something else that can be worked on until I can go back. It works!! Trust me, I’m doing it.)

Nims

Aside: (“Challenge #2 – watch me blow the doors off of you!”)

 

 

change

The Challenge 1

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Recently I posted “Fear of the Unknown”. This was a topic I started months ago and only recently posted. As April is a “spring cleaning” month, I looked at myself and noted that I needed help for things that only another could assist me with. In a metaphysical world there are many kinds of help. Energy healing, Reiki healing, Meditations, Life Coaching and more. There is literally something for everyone, without having to rely on medication to get us to change, accepting that we have the power to change without that. That is the route that I am going.
“What I’m sharing is not to sway by words or actions, to convert or pressure anyone into trying alternate methods. If you need help, start with the Medical establishment and go from there. I am very much aware of what I need and know that the establishment is not what I need at this time.”

Sometimes we have blockages and sometimes those blockages make themselves known. Bad habits, thoughts, etc. that have become so rooted in our physical and habitual bodies that we need outside help from others that can get us moving in the right direction. (I promise I’m not being deliberately ambiguous, but when you feel “off” that is a hard thing to describe.) So applying the old adage of “Mind over Matter” pretext, I’m trying to shape and change some deeply rooted issues.
“How you say?”

I took time out and look at myself energetically. From my aura so to speak. I sought out a metaphysical service provider to help me with energy blockages. To feel better in my soon to be “Future Self”! Bragging? Hardly, I just know that as a creature of habit that I am the only one to take those steps towards energy health. My Mom can nag me [insert chuckles] but I have to be the one that changes. I also took on a challenge that came my way. More on that in a sec.

So the changes that I am embarking on have centered around my chakras. Now, not all my chakras as getting the preferential treatment, just the ones that seem to be the worse off. Due to neglect, you say? Absolutely not, just too long going and going and putting off the inevitable check up until you have to dig in and say, “Stop!”. And the first one that is being looked at is the Root Chakra. There is lots of information regarding the Chakras and the root one is the one that for many takes a beating. If your interested there is a link that will give you some info here. (I’m not endorsing this link, just one that you can go and check out for more info.)

I’ve received information back regarding the healing that I requested and it even comes with homework. (Ugh) Yes, homework. I have some deep diving that needs to be done so that I can complete the work that was started by my lovely friend over at Earth-Energy Medicine. So once I start into that and complete that part, I hope to share some insights on that. But to get to the reason behind this post, “The Challenge”.

Challenge 1

Humans by and large are competitive. And challenges, well I decided “Go for it.”. Since I was putting “me” first for a change. It revolved around another post that my friend made on her Facebook page. Random helpful posts where “you” are taking the initiative to go forth and do the change. “Just Do It” as Nike’s slogan has been for years. Now I need to work it out.

Okay – here you go!

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Well not all 5 at once! That would be messy and insurmountable. But one or two should be easy right? A mind over matter, kind of thing? I have been living, breathing and labouring under all the above “directives”. Each one feels like a job, something that was a part of me on a day-in and day-out basis.

As I read each one separately I realized each is destructive. Each one in a studious light looked like “nasty habits” that I have been living with. My friend directed take one of the above and take bites out of it. Change it, kick this nasty habit to the curb. “Which one was the worst offender in my cabinet of habits?” All the above are sneaky and insidious but “Which One?” was the big kahuna of offenders?

My choice was #4Putting yourself down“. It is the one that I felt, was the worst in the list. A proficient killer to confidence and assurance in this world. So what did I reason out that it was doing to me that it became “numero uno” in the list?

  • It holds me back, by downplaying my importance in the grand scheme of my journey.
  • I tone down my importance in other’s lives.
  • I even “talk down” to myself that what I am and what I do is of no importance to others of my tribe, by family and even my closest friends.
  • The worst thing is? I allowed myself to believe it.

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So my journey begins. I am not sure how to start this “change” in myself. All I know that I have a blank journal that screams my name, begging for me to write down whatever comes to mind. I hope that soon I’ll be able to share some of the options, or shall I hope for clever quips?

Well if your in for the ride, welcome.

Cheers! To your health.

change, Random Posts

Fear of the Unknown

Some of this is is rumination and some may seem rhetorical. I consider the below just my observations and opinions from my side of the window.

Image result for Fear pictureOkay “fear” that ugly 4-letter word. “Fear of the Unknown”. It is one of those icky things we have facing us on a daily basis. Well all I can say is that I’m getting tired of trying to forget it, acknowledge it and talk my way through it.

Weekly I check in on Facebook and try to keep up with my friends. I’m seeing a trend of sickness, “fear” of losing the job, or “fear” of not getting a job and a cringing kind of “gird-the-loins” version of courage that remind me of the Lion from “The Wizard of Oz”. (Don’t misjudge, I love the Lion!)

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I scratch my head at times perplexed, wondering what has happened. Why this sudden constant stream of the above issues? I see the trend but can’t conceive of what is at the root of so many things going awry. Some physical responses, of course is just common sense, such as getting sick is just that. We catch the germs and “Boom”, laid low for a while.

Watching and reading I’m seeing it (Fear) become the body’s reaction to too many stressors. So my opinion the root cause? “Fear” has stepped in and stolen the keys to our house. It has slithered in to stay and cause all manner of upset. Whether it’s small or large is irrelevant, it’s become an unwelcome house guest.

I’ve imagined myself sitting in front of “it” and grabbing it by the throat and giving it a good throttle. At other times, I shrink and feel myself flatting myself to stay low out of it’s sight. That ugly 4-letter word has gripped it’s bird-like claws into so many, I’m overwhelmed at how many are suffering. And at the manner in which that suffering has played out on them.

Image result for change fearAll I can think of is that I need to continue to shield by physical body with good habits. Sleep being the hardest one and the one I am most tardy at keeping in my schedule. Meditate to help relax and prepare my mind to be relaxed and refreshed. If needed, finding those skilled in coaching or energy sessions or other disciplines. Remember that even those who help others, need help from many diverse areas of Health Care (for lack of better words) for the Holistic, Scientific and Medical fields and those I may not have mentioned.

Here is where my “Fear of the Unknown” stops. Changes ahead, one step at a time.

…Change, she is coming….

Short Stories

Confront the Poison

The phone was softly chiming. I rolled over in bed and saw the caller ID on my phone showed ‘Colleen’. Swiped up on the face of the phone and said softly, “Colleen, glad you called. I needed an alarm.”

“Peggy, what’s wrong?” Colleen said. “You sound absolutely exhausted!”

“I am.” A soft chuckle escaped. “I’ve been up over 24 hours; there was a Sweat Lodge ceremony Friday night.” I slowly angled myself up out bed and swung my legs to the floor.

“It was beautiful, Colleen, absolutely beautiful. Come out next time.” Colleen was asking if she needed to call back in a bit. “Yes, call me back in a bit. Got to make some coffee and wake up.”

“Right, will do!” Colleen replied and hung up. I headed into the kitchen, heard a few creaks and pops in my joints. My long hair was a tangled mess around my shoulders and down my back. Gently I raked my fingers through it to get if off my face. A few minutes later I was leaning against the kitchen counter and listened to the hiss from the coffee maker. I replayed Friday night’s Sweat Lodge opening and my time at as Fire tender. How could I tell Colleen about my confrontation with Jay? It would seem like I was complaining, (and I don’t complain about anything as a general rule. Life is what it is.)

Flash back to Friday evening . . .

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I was already at the Sweat Lodge and working over the outside fire. Large rounded stones were already placed alongside the fire that would be passed to the Sweat Lodge’s fire pit once they were needed. The first group was already inside the Lodge and getting comfortable.

“Ho, Peggy!” called Joe Wannamaker, one of the attendees for the first round. “You joining us in this Sweat?”

“Joe!” I greeted the big bear of a man with a beaming smile, “No, not this time. I’m your Fire tender tonight.” Joe was standing just outside of the flap covering the door into the Lodge. “Hey, Jay will be coming tonight. He’s driving up and should have been here already.”

“Oh? Funny you mention it. I didn’t see him with you, so I thought he wasn’t coming. I was thinking it’d be a nice evening for a change.” Joe did not dance around topics; he was a ‘straight-shooter’.

“Yeah, I told him if he wanted to come he had to drive himself.” I checked myself from saying anything else.

Joe continued, “Yeah, well, he was not very nice last time he was here. Jody had to nudge him to be quiet. You never know who is receiving spirit. It’s rude to blurt out random comments disturbing everyone.”

He turned to go duck into the Lodge, I thought I heard him say “Jay’s coming.” before the flap of the Lodge closed behind him. I heaved a sigh. Ducked my head a bit and reminded myself to say something to Jay about being quiet during a sweat. Just then a vehicle pulled up and stopped. I turned and saw Jay alight from his small white truck.

Jay was a 6 foot tall man, and lanky, about 65 years old with shoulder length shaggy white hair pulled back into a pony-tail. He was dressed in grey cotton shorts and a teal colored shirt and leather sandals. (He has a loud voice that booms when he talks and greets. No matter he’s inside or outside.

Sweat Lodge ceremonies are very spiritual and even approaching a Lodge that has not officially started their first Sweat it is to be approached with respect.) In those few moments I ruminated on Joe’s comments. I’d known Jay for almost 2 years now and still marveled at how disrespectful he was in approaching all spiritual events that he had attended so far.

“Jay, keep your voice down. Show respect. You’re late and should have been here 30 minutes ago.” I spoke in a calm and quiet voice.

“Peggy! I’m always respectful and I’m not late.” His voice boomed. “I don’t need you telling me nothing about how this works.” His face went from jovial to anger very quickly. Downturned lips and lines appeared on his forehead as he got right up to me.

“Jay, lower your voice. I’ve told you many times about this, and to be here early for this kind of event, or you’ll be denied access until the next round.”

“You can’t keep me from going in and doing this sweat!” His face was ugly and almost pressed right into mine. I could feel his breathe warm on my forehead. Jay is taller than me by a full foot.

I glared back at him and strengthened my resolve. “I can and I will. You will respect the office of Fire Tender and the people who were here on time.” I pointed to a log next to the fire, “You will sit with me by the fire. Show me you can meditate to ground and center. I’ll let you know if you’re ready to go into the next sweat.”

I pulled my shoulders back and leaned a bit away from Jay, showing him that I was not to be walked all over as I had allowed to happen in earlier events. I had caved in before so I would not have to deal with his moods; but now I needed to put an end to his disrespectful manners, out of respect to the others that were here on time and for their spiritual journey.

Jay’s face was almost slack jawed with surprise, but he did go sit on the log I had pointed out, although he made a big show of being put out with his huffy breaths as I watched him from across the fire. Joe poked his head out and gave a ‘thumbs-up’ to me and ducked back inside. Jay did not see as his back was to the lodge.

#

I sipped my coffee and pushed off from the kitchen counter heading into my office down the hall and was already editing how much of the confrontation I would share with Colleen when she called back later. I didn’t want to frighten her off from coming to future sweats. I needed to get Jay in line with things and do it quick. But that would require another cup of coffee.

 

****

Thanks for reading!

Nims