A Lesson in Thrival

Choice 1200

~*~

This past year has been a lesson in thrival. Yes, I have just invented a word. From survive and survival we go to thrive and “thrival.”

You’re welcome.

This time last year instead of setting new year’s resolutions as I would normally, I set the intention to thrive. 2019 was going to be the year I stepped out of my kick-ass survival boots and replaced them with comfortable thrival shoes.

It’s been interesting, because in setting that intention all my survival moves have been challenged.

February proved a jumping off point, first because I was re-introduced to the work of neuro-scientist and author, Dr. Joe Dispenza, who challenged me, through video and the written word, to fire and re-wire neural pathways in my brain. Basically, to replace old thought habits with new ones so I could create my desired reality based on new, more holistic information, rather than continue to struggle (a survival mode strategy) doing it based on old patterns of being. So illuminating!

He then challenged me to raise my awareness by starting each day with a 20-minute meditation. (“Rest and Renew” on YouTube). I’d meditated before but not with the commitment I now felt to thrival. So,I turned my Ikea footstool into a meditation spot and made it a practice to go their early every morning to quiet my mind and connect to my heart. With each passing day it became easier. In fact, I looked forward to it and enjoyed it so much that it very quickly it became a habit, one I’ve committed to every day to help establish and maintain equanimity. It has served me well. Getting into thrival mode has created a good deal of chaos as the people and feelings that were a product of my survival scurry out of my life. It’s like I just don’t have room for them anymore and somehow they know it.

Believe me, it’s a thing. Look at the people around you. Are they a crutch in your desperate need to survive and let you down when you don’t fulfill their agenda, or do they lift you up to a higher understanding of yourself and support you in your quest to thrive, no strings attached? There is a difference, and I learned that in spades this year.

Indignation be gone!

Part of my learning has been understanding the part indignation has played in my survival strategy. Indignation, or reacting in the heat of the moment, is rarely our friend. How often has someone or something annoyed you so much in the moment that you’ve risen to defend yourself against a perceived injustice and then regretted it? Or it backfires on you?

For me it was another moment last February when my husband and I were walking on our property and watching one of the current trainer’s horses making a meal of a spruce tree in its paddock. Horses don’t eat trees unless they’re hungry. It was mid morning and as I looked around the snow-covered paddock I noticed there wasn’t a speck of hay to be found. My back was instantly up. Horses need access to hay when there is no grass. Without realizing it I started ranting at my husband about winter turnout and how horses need hay and why don’t these horse people know this, and on and on. When he’d finally had enough, and after I’d texted the person in charge in as calm a voice as I could muster (please give this horse some hay so she’ll stop eating our tree) he forced me to look at myself and my reaction. Why was I so quick to react instead of simply observe and then respond? Why was I so hot under the collar about something that a simple conversation could fix?

This new awareness gave rise to a personal commitment to get ahead of this triggered reaction. Over time I realized that my indignation was born of a sense of injustice and this was related to the survival mode in which I’d been living my entire life. With years of therapy under my belt I already knew the whys and wherefores, now I needed to deal with the ingrained coping mechanism ~ the propensity to lash out to protect my personal and emotional space.

So, it’s been interesting. With lots of triggers on and off the farm this year, never mind out in in the world-at-large, I have had to learn to get in front of my reactions. To take stock of the moment and choose my response rather than get lost in my reaction. Wow, is that ever hard. But it’s been such a valuable lesson. I now know the moment my indignation is about to rise. I can feel it first in my chest like a thud. And then my mind clicks in and the wheels start to turn and my heart rate elevates and my mind spins and … and … and … if I don’t get ahead of it BOOM! it’s out there. And the funny thing is, it’s no kind of release, it just ramps things up even worse so that in the end I’m actually doubting what I did and then beating myself up for being reactive. In the end, I lose!

Observe . Breathe . Wait

Getting ahead of my reactions means observing, breathing and waiting. When I wait I give myself time to even consider whether or not I want to dignify the perceived offense or injustice with a response. I give myself the choice of ignoring it or responding to it later from a more solid, less volatile place. One of my strategies is to write everything down to get it out of my system. Journaling. A personal record from the heart that I can then put away and not think about again unless given a very specific reason, say, as evidence. (It also provides great resource material for other writing projects.)

You see, to live in thrival mode we must release all the survival instincts that have kept us stuck in old patterns of behaviour and re-program our vast intelligence to function more efficiently and dynamically. Interestingly, living in thrival mode is less energy sapping than survival. In survival mode we’re always alert and waiting for the other shoe to drop and believe me, that’s an exhausting and debilitating way to live. The Complex-PTSD and adrenal issues I’ve experienced did not appear by accident. However, in thrival mode we have the option to live a more edifying and enjoyable life without placing conditions on everything and everyone to be exactly as we need them to be so we can survive. Isn’t that the bane of our world right now? The fact that many of our leaders are so burrowed down in survival and fear that they must control everything to the point of utter destruction in order to make themselves feel better and more in control?

Thrival is impossible as long as we allow ourselves to be influenced and buried in the deep fear and survival mentalities of people we can’t control. This has proven a difficult challenge for me. Survival mode made me a terrible control freak and I’m still working on letting this part go, but at least I’m aware of it. At least I can get ahead of my negative momentum and stop it before it impacts another. I can thrive on my own terms, in my own happy heart, and there’s nothing you or anyone else has to do to make it happen.

In thrival mode, we claim our power at no one’s expense. In survival mode our power flails to the detriment of all.

As we head into 2020 I set my intention to Thrive 2.0. The next, more advanced level of living a full life ~ flourishing, growing, prospering. Even more comfortable thrival shoes.

May I wish you the same. Happy New Year!

Be well and thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2019

 

A Story for our Time

Writing a novel is a labour of love. Giving birth to the words, phrases, ideas that have the potential to shape the thoughts and lives of its readers is, in my mind, a huge responsibility and not one to be taken lightly. I’m in the process of re-writing and editing my second novel ~ a work I hope will help to empower women to new heights of courage and self-confidence. It is, indeed, not only a labour of love but, I believe, a story for our time.

My first novel, Murder on the High Cs ~ a light-hearted murder mystery set in the melodramatic world of divas and dysfunction, was completed in late 2016, and was subsequently long-listed by Crime Writers of Canada for the 2018 Unhanged Arthur Award for Best Unpublished First Crime Novel. Since then, it’s been sitting on a shelf waiting for the next step. I have approached a few agents, but to no avail. I guess it’s time has not yet come.

In the meantime, I pursue other creative projects, not the least of which is this other untitled novel.

It’s been in the works for several years now, and is based on the true story of a woman (my late maternal grandmother) who stepped out of the shadow of an emotionally abusive 27-year marriage and into the light of her own truth and power. It’s set in the early 1960s, typically a time when women put up and shut up. Well, a day came when my gran decided she could no longer do either, and she made her dramatic escape.

It’s a story for our time about a woman ahead of her time.

This novel has become one of those projects I can’t put down. I’m invested in it as a vehicle for helping women recognize when enough is enough and find the courage to move on. My desire to demonstrate how one woman defied the odds and did just that is too strong not to finish it. I left a bad marriage once, so in my own way am familiar with the heartache, the turmoil and the emotional blows one experiences when trying to establish a new, more positive reality. Letting the old, negative conditioning go is a battle all its own.

My grandmother’s story continues to inspire me to live my best life and honour my truth. My hope is that through my telling of it she will have the opportunity to inspire other women to find their own courage under difficult circumstances and take their power back.

I’m getting terrific feedback so far. My plan is to be finished and ready to shop it by the end of spring.

Onward and upward!

Be well,

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2019 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Now You See It

Sheer shimmer;

Flash of light

Vibration.

Beyond shining.

More vital;

More alive;

More present behind

The grey disguise.

Mercurial, myriad

Hues ~ blues,

Greens, pinks,

Golds.

Shades of life

Discerned by

Soul. Now you

See it; now you

Don’t.

Now you see it.

~*~

images-3I was thinking of the beautiful feldspar stone, Labradorite, while writing this. Usually I carry a piece with me always as a reminder to be present and to appreciate the multi-layered complexities of life. At first glance Labradorite can look like a grey, uninteresting stone, but hold it to the light and its luminescent beauty shines forth, dazzling and delighting not just the eye, but the Soul.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Daily Prompt: Luminescent

 

No Rush

Rush …

A fast word.

Adrenline-fed.

Exhausting.

~*~

I learned the hard way to change my life-long pattern of being “in a rush.” Years of adrenal fatigue the rude wake-up call.

Let me give you a tip ~

S-l-o-w d-o-w-n.

There really is no rush.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

No Return

To churn

is to change,

our life

re-arrange.

Like butter

from cream,

to rise from

a dream.

A process

profound,

turns our lives

upside-down.

To change

is to churn ~

one-way ticket;

no return.

~*~

When we make desired changes in our lives or take steps to live a dream we often forget that for a time there will be some discomfort; some churning of our inner world as we move into a new level of consciousness. Every transition brings uncertainty as we process and let go of what has been and make room for what might be. And once we’ve made that shift in awareness there’s simply no going back.

Be well,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Daily Prompt: Churn

Viper

Sssslithering,

ssssliding,

sssslinking ’round

tox-ssssick tree.

Shiny apple offered;

foe friendship ~

flattering,

falsssse.

Forked tongue a

twissssted tale teller.

Laden with loathssssome liessss;

sssserpent’s sssseditious charm.

Shedding sssscum-sssscaled

faux-ssssparkle sssskin,

bedazzling innocentssss

to wanton, wicked wayssss.

Sssstrike!

Hsssssssssssssssssssssssssss ….

~*~

Early last year I wrote a series of 14 poems prompted by a prolonged (and ended) entanglement with an extremely toxic person. Viper is one of those poems.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Daily Prompt: Toxic

 

Dearly Beloved

 

Dearly Beloved

Shakespeare
June 23, 2001-November 21, 2017

~*~

Dearly Beloved

Dedicated to those loved and lost

Dearly beloved …
How can you have gone?
One minute living your life,
The next ~ no life to live
And in my life
A gaping, lifeless, dark hole
Where once shone your living light.
Oh, how I miss you ~
Your touch, your presence, your grace.
Such tangible moments
A sorrow sore borne.

Alas, dearly beloved,
I must go on
Minute by minute living my life
In tribute to your wisdom, love and dignity.
Gradually filling the darkness again
With the light of
Your beloved memory ~
Your beauty, your essence, your face.
For such intangible comfort
I can scarce dream.
Dearly beloved ~ I miss you.

~*~

Thank you for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Elizabeth Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2018 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved