Letting Go of Trying to Be the Best

Dear readers, are you trying to be the best at something? If so, are you succeeding?

What motivates us humans to try to be the best at things?

In my life story, as a young stay-at-home mama, I wanted to be the best mom ever. Looking ahead, I had a vision for our two sons’ adolescent years, in which our house would be the hub where all their friends would want to hang out and eat all the great food I would prepare for them…

Well, that plan seriously did not work out, because my former husband and I divorced when the boys were 3 and 6, and as we began the two-house reality, I quickly discovered that my highly sensitive nervous system could not handle a lot of crazy kid energies in a small cottage. And then I changed to a plant-based diet, so our sons preferred the food at papa’s house. My goal of being the best mom crumbled as I struggled to just be a “good enough” mom.

Then, when our sons were in high school, I went to hypnotherapy school and I decided that I wanted to try to be the best hypnotherapist in the world so that my sons would be proud of how successful their mama was in her career…

Well, that plan seriously did not work out either, because the debilitating symptoms of Fibromyalgia kept me from being able to work as much as I would have needed to in order to succeed. And also I moved to a really big city and I could not handle the noise and traffic. My dream to be the best hypnotherapist fell apart, and I came home to live with my parents as a boomeranger, which isn’t exactly a status for the sons to be proud of!

Somewhere along that trajectory, I realized that my sons love me anyway, just for who I am, and so I don’t have to be the best anything for them.

But for myself… I still want to be somebody and to do something.

Can you relate to my story?

 

Photo of Mama Teja and her younger son Gabe, by the Ohio River in Newburgh, Indiana, during his visit last week! 🙂

 

Monday Morning Musings from Teja’s Tree-house Temple

Recently my Dad started asking me, “How’s it going up in the bird’s nest?” My answer is usually, “pretty good,” and then later, back up in the bird’s nest in my tree-house temple, sometimes I reflect on my response…

As a 49-year-old boomeranger living with my parents, far away from my adult sons, and dealing with Fibromyalgia, you could say that I am in the midst of a “mid-life crisis” as well as a “health crisis”… You could also say that I am in the zone some call the “empty nest syndrome”… And yet, overall, my answer to my Dad is true, because there is so much to be grateful for, and life is, indeed, “pretty good.”

Can you relate to saying you are good and then questioning if that is the truth? And then do you find yourself remembering all the blessings of goodness in your life?

As I type these musings, I am appreciating this alone time in my empty nest. One thing about chronic health issues, or any life issues really, is they are great teachers. Living with Fibromyalgia is teaching me to accept the solitary kind of bird I am: colorful, eccentric, and rather fringe…

Alone in my nest, I am sustained by my daily spiritual practices of chanting (singing sacred songs), meditating, repeating mantras, and studying spiritual teachings. I describe these and many other practices in my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, available on Lulu and Amazon.

What kind of bird are you? What kind of nest are you creating? Do you have daily practices that support the evolution of your being?

 

Photo by MabelAmber on Pixabay.

 

4 Helpful Tips for Looking for a New Doctor

Hello readers!

In today’s post I will share a bit about why I just did the search for a new doctor, and then I will share a few tips I gleaned in the process.

For the last five years (of 23 years) of living in Ashland, Oregon, I worked in a wonderful medical office, Morningstar Healing Arts, and I saw Howard Woodwind Morningstar MD, and his wife Sue Morningstar WHCNP (Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner), as my doctors. They were very caring people, and I got used to a high standard in terms of quality medical care.

So, last Fall, when I visited my new doctor here for the first time, I was pretty shocked by her demeanor. I will just call her “Dr. B” here because she has so many terrible reviews online that I don’t feel the need to do that. When Dr. B walked into the room, after curtly introducing herself, she asked me point-blank “Why are you here?” I replied that I was there for an annual exam, and I started sending her loving energies, hoping she would soften and be friendly to me. Well, that did not happen, and many months later, when I was reflecting on that visit, I thought that when she asked me that question, a good response would have been, “Actually, Dr. B, the question is, Why are YOU here, when you clearly are not good at this work!”

At the end of the appointment I scheduled my follow-up exam with her for one year later, and I was actually planning to give her another chance, but then I read the scathing reviews about her online, and several people said that they gave her a second chance and she still wasn’t nice!

So, when I started having lots of uncomfortable health issues again in the late Winter and early Spring, I did not have a doctor that I felt comfortable with, and I felt too sick and tired to look for a new doctor… Fast-forward to this month of July, and here is the background story on why I got motivated to look for a new doctor now…

In my ideal world, I would like to regularly sleep well, and have a normal, healthy body, and be able to do satisfying, financially successful work, and live in Sedona, Arizona. Well, none of that is happening in my current reality, and while I am doing my best to make the best of the situation I’m in, some days it is just really hard to accept that I am not living in my ideal world. Those days usually coincide with “bad” days, which typically come after “bad” nights.

It is possible that I am experiencing a relapse of Fibromyalgia (after I had been symptom-free for almost 3.5 years), but it is confusing because the symptoms are always changing and the aches keep moving around. At the moment I am feeling completely fed up with this frustrating body situation, thus I am motivated to go to a doctor. Hopefully the doctor can help me figure out why I feel so bad. If a diagnosis can be made, then hopefully I will learn whether or not it can be treated, and whether or not I’ll ever be able to work again. (I have been unemployed for 3 years and have been living as a boomeranger with my parents for the past 1.5 years.) Currently I cannot imagine being able to go to a job.

So! Here are a few tips if you find yourself also looking for a new doctor:

1. Read online reviews and/or talk to people who know the doctor.

2. Look at their photo if possible. You can really tell a lot about a person by gazing at their photo.

3. When you call their office and speak to the receptionist, ask questions about things that are important to you. If they don’t know the answers, ask them to go ask the doctor!

4. Consider typing up a list of your health issues and health goals to bring with you to the first appointment. Before writing the list, spend some time getting really clear about your health goals. While typing the list, be aware that you are sending a positive message to your body that you really care about it and you are going to do everything you can to help it be healthy.

Do you have any other tips to add to this list?
Do you love your current doctor, or are you looking for a new doctor now?

 

Photo* of sunset on the trail in Sedona, Arizona, taken by Teja in November 2018.

*If you are viewing this post in an email, simply click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the photo.

Share Your Strengths Not Your Weaknesses

Once I opened a tea bag and the quote on the little tag read, “Share your strengths, not your weaknesses.” (Yogi Bhajan) I’m not sure I totally agree with that advice. It seems like many people need to share both. Do you share both? If so, how do you find a balance with sharing your strengths and your weaknesses?

It does seem important to share some of our weaknesses, in the interests of authenticity and transparency, but I have noticed, like on Facebook, that people seem to only want and tolerate a tiny portion of the real grit, and the rest of the time they want positivity.

Recently I experienced that reaction myself. A friend had told me about this guy on YouTube who gives tarot card readings for the astrological signs. Being an Aquarius, I watched some of his videos for that sign. He was very funny and uplifting (although at times he was a bit too crude for my sensibilities), and he seemed very successful. I felt really inspired by him… Until, in one of the videos he shared the truth of his situation. He is 36 years old and is living in a room at his Dad’s house, and even though he has 32,000 subscribers on his channel, he had not given a tarot card reading (and thus had received zero income), for a few weeks.

Well, I certainly understood, as a boomeranger myself, and I left him an encouraging message in the comments section… But, even though I understood, I still found myself feeling disappointed. I realized that I had assumed that he was quite wealthy and successful since he had so many subscribers, and that gave me hope that someday, with a bigger following, maybe I would also be successful financially. (I am still holding out hope! I am not the kind of nun that takes a poverty vow… I am taking the prosperity vow!)

So, even though I think it is important for people to share honestly, in that situation I found myself only wanting to hear a success story! Can you relate to my reaction?

 

 

 

Writing a Book Strengthens Many Virtues

Throughout the process of working on my new book, Reaching for Orange: Practices, Visualizations, & Blessings to Help You Happy Up Your Life, I have managed to keep the work in balance with the self-care. Daily spiritual practices have sustained me, and more than once I have witnessed myself applying a concept from the book in my life. (Watch for a future post on that!)

Admittedly, I am currently in a very comfortable living situation, and each week I am only working out in the world a few afternoons as a hospice volunteer… So, I have had the gift of time for keeping the balance with work and self-care. However, my status as a boomeranger at age 49 is not necessarily something to be proud of, and at times it has seriously challenged my sense of self-esteem. It has also given me plenty of opportunities to practice self-compassion, surrender, and humility.

Writing a book also brings opportunities for strengthening many virtues. Over the past few weeks I have faced a few delays to getting my new book published. Naturally those delays are teaching me patience, as well as strengthening my surrender, humility, and self-compassion.

And, a couple of weeks ago I sent an email letter to more than 100 friends and family, explaining that I need approximately $300 more to complete the first phase of launching my new book, and only three people have replied… And only one of them said she is sorry she cannot contribute. Well, needless to say, that experience has been a golden opportunity for strengthening my surrender, humility, self-compassion, and self-love.

The process of writing and publishing a book is a lot of hard work, on many levels. It takes a lot of inner strength. And, it strengthens many virtues!

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May your mind be happy! 🙂