Discovering Awareness

The Majestic Madrone - My favorite tree from childhood

Life has been chaotic to say the least. I just moved my mom into a new memory care facility, I'm currently engaged in actively filling out divorce paperwork, and my oldest kid is a teenager. Just being a single mom of a teenager is chaos enough let alone the added bonus of all the other life stuff. I've never had a teenager before. Life is teaching me many things. My brain is full.

I've been working on quieting that busy voice in my head lately, but this morning it kept saying "The kids are gone, the place is quiet, you have a moment to yourself... WRITE."

And so I am.

I've been feeling changes and shifts in my whole body the last few months. Lately my circadian rhythm has been reinventing itself. It seems I rediscovered my youth over the last few years and was easily able to burn the candle late into the night. But different changes are taking place and now I'm ready to crash by 9pm usually waking around 4:16am every morning by what feels like an internal furnace kicking in below my belly button. I swear at times it feels like I have a living beast waking in my body, slowly extending it's long tentacles of heat out to the ends of my fingers and toes until I have to throw off the covers to cool off. I'm a firm believer in sleep and so I use my breath to subtlely coax my body back to sleep for an hour or so. The beast is nice enough to oblige and she chills out for a while at least until I hear her low growl for "COFFEE."

This new transformation isn't just changing my body. My mind, my most fundamental beliefs, and my awareness in general is coming into a new focus.

It's odd to have such an acute cognizance of this. It's almost as if I'm watching this metamorphosis happen from a hovering perspective above it all. I see it coming at me like it's a wave building in the ocean. I'm watching it crest as I write this.

And these transformations really do come in waves. In the past I wasn't really that aware of them and if I was I would fight them because usually fundamental changes in my beliefs or awareness would threaten the core of who I was, or who I THOUGHT I was.

I feared change because I knew change would ultimately destroy life the way I knew it and that's exactly what it did. My life turned inside out. I lost everything that was important to me at the time, but it was a choice I made because I knew I was fundamentally changing. By no means was I a victim. There was a lot about life that was painful, but I chose to see it and accept it and move with it, like a wave. It takes a lot of energy to hold yourself still against a wave.

I've noticed that once I decided to move with the wave instead of standing up against it I began to move through life in a way that felt unobstructed, open, and not fearful. Instead of reacting to events in my life, I now have this amazing ability to take action to create my life. That doesn't mean that things don't get hard (read my first paragraph) but now I can see the hard part from a wide angle perspective. I'm not immersed in judgement, anger, or resentment. I'm watching what's happening and allowing it to be what it is. I believe I'm presently participating now. I'm finding this allows me to make life happen. Life doesn't happen TO me anymore. And now I can fully appreciate how leaving behind the first half of the life I had built for myself gave me the courage and the flexibility to just "be" now without fear of what other people think. It's an unexpected level of freedom. 

Now I'm making simple choices to do the things that I love. Even small things. I still have the normal day to day mom obligations, but I make an effort to carve out time for myself.  I choose to do things that inspire me, teach me, or fuel me. I dedicate myself to a morning ritual whether it be to get myself into the gym, meditate, write, or draw. I choose to be around people and now in addition to my design business, I choose to help out at my friend's running store/tap room where I beer-tend and flim-flam with customers learning their stories, laughing, and sharing adventures (I recently climbed Mount Whitney with friends from the running community.) I'm choosing to be around people more and more these days and if an adventure presents itself I try my best to make it work in my mom schedule. I want to show my children what happy looks like.

I no longer have to ask for permission to put something on the calendar or do something that inspires me whether that be writing in my blog, visiting friends out of state, or going MIA for a few days to meditate at my property in Amador. I no longer have to worry if I am making another person unhappy by doing the things that make me happy. This is has been a huge revelation for me. Let me just say this again...

I no longer have to worry if I am making another person unhappy by doing the things that make me happy.

Trying to make others in my life happy is something I have come to learn is an impossible task as I have no control over anyone else's happiness but my own. It's something I've found to be embedded in the nature of any traditional relationship and society at large supports this "make others happy" mentality. I'm not saying you shouldn't show people you love and appreciate them, but when you realize that you are taking on the responsibility of trying to make others happy at the expense of your own happiness it's time to reassess and become aware of what you are essentially doing, which sadly, is a slow suffocation of joy.

All of this may sound selfish, but I've let go of that thought and worry as well. I no longer care how others see me. I truly do my best to be present with those I love in my life and yes, I wholeheartedly own the idea that I love myself and I work to be kind and compassionate with myself just as I would with my children.

Letting go of most of these neurotic thoughts and worry has allowed me to get to a place that feels open and spacious and full of flow. Believe me, there is always internal work to be done, but it's in this place that I feel the most content and happy.

But happy can be relative. It's not always euphoric and ecstatic. Sometimes it just feels like I'm on the pivot point between the yin and yang. I'm balancing, neither disturbed nor jumping with joy. It's a place full of potential for the drop or the rising of the high. In the past this place was unfamiliar and somewhat uncomfortable but I'm discovering this is the place of optimal awareness for me. The crest of the wave is where I can see the drop below and the sky above and as long as I stay in that balance and choose to follow the flow of the wave I can choose to be open to life and create my own kind of happiness.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


  1. This is exactly what I needed to read today! My life is much like yours except the mom part.... my kids have paws.

    I feel like life became simpler and easier once I decided to go with the waves. She wanted the divorce, not I, so it was difficult to accept the reality that she didn't need me or the zillion things I did for her to make her happy all the while putting my own happiness aside.

    I'm definitely in a better place now, riding with waves as they present themselves, not against them! I am once again taking full advantage of opportunities that make me happy... putting myself first which I haven't done in the near 18 years I dedicated to life with her.

    Thank you!


    1. Angie - so glad you were able to go with the waves rather than standing against them. That's takes a shit ton of courage, but it's so worth it in the end!

  2. "...but I chose to see it and accept it and move with it, like a wave. It takes a lot of energy to hold yourself still against a wave."

    Krista, I'm proud of you. It takes alot of courage to be free. Free to feel as though you can be you and not someone you "are supposed to be".

    I understand alot of the things you are saying, and I commend you for doing what very few people are strong enough to do.

    Keep moving forward, find that space that gives you the satifaction and the freedom to continue being who you are.


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