When stillness leads to shock and awe…

Have you ever sat still enough to contemplate where life has brought you?

What your decisions have taught you?

How life is working out for you?  Have you considered the relationships in your life?  Have you sat still enough to think about the world, nation, and community around you?

I try my very best to once a month assess and slow down my life enough to think about my surroundings, my decisions, my relationships.

It literally has been two months into the year, and I have had to manage a move, a flood, and a few other unknowns that have walked into my life and stayed for too long…in only the first TWO months of the new year.

When I sit still enough, I often find myself in a bed of tears and inspiration.  Tears for walking through a lot of unknowns that came at me like a runaway train along with the inspiration that arises from the outcome.  I’ve learned that we are stronger than we realize.  I’ve learned that when the unexpected shows up, which in my life seems to be every other day, I draw strength after I allow myself to shed a few tears.

So yes, my stillness always leads me to shock and awe.

Shock in trying to navigate how am I ever going to get over this experience and awe in the way it evolves into a blessing, what I most certainly thought was a curse!

I’ve come to learn that the things that bring us the greatest devastation will one day be our greatest reward. We just have to keep moving forward.

In all the noise around us, we must find a little space of stillness.  We must learn to carve out a tiny moment in the frenzy of life to assess what’s going on, why it’s going on and should it keep going on?  Who are we sitting with, talking with, eating with, and living with!  What we can do about it, what we can say about it and how we can be about it.

Lesson: Don’t sit too long in the madness of your chaos, you can lose yourself.  The power of stillness is greater than any “busyness” we may claim to have.  

‘Til Tuesday

-Annette Ortiz Mata

Free-Falling…​.

Have you ever felt like you are free-falling? Everything you are trying to get done is coming undone. Your relationships are broken, your finances are in chaos, and your mind is racing and your nights are sleepless, and you feel all alone.

Well, guess what, you are not alone. By nature of being nurturers, we take on the weight of the world. We are convinced that if we do not prepare, plan, execute, and deliver all things to all people, nothing will get done! For some of us that is true, for others, it’s the chaos we create and choose to live in.

So how do we find balance and take control and put the chaos that surrounds us in order?

We must say NO! We must STOP what we are doing, and we must ask for HELP!

I have come to accept and learn and live in the power of NO. I have learned to stop and literally shut everything down when things start going off course, and I am no longer embarrassed to ask for help. I’ve also learned that’s it is okay to change your mind!

We must stop trying to let others believe that we got this. It’s all under control, but the truth is we are tired, irritable, and overwhelmed. Women must learn to let their guard down and let other women in. Women need to learn to stop judging one another when we see that one of us is coming undone. We have all been there!

Look around you, I am sure you can find someone who is desperately in need of a break, a hand-up, or just a listening ear.

Lesson: Stop free-falling and give yourself permission to sit down and breathe. It will all get done. It just doesn’t have to be all done by you!

‘Til Tuesday

-Annette Ortiz Mata

Folding and purging and my epiphany!

I am sure everyone has either watched or heard of Marie Kondo! The queen of the fold and the purge. I purchased her book a few years back and then watched her Netflix series, and suddenly I found myself hugging my clothes, socks, shoes, and thanking every dish for serving me! What on earth!! But here’s the kicker! It WORKED!

It’s only been a month and a few weeks into the New Year and I had to face the reality of moving. So, I started purging and folding and thanking the things that surrounded me for playing some part in my life.

The irony behind it was the feeling of satisfaction that came with touching an item, recognizing whether it brought me joy and releasing it with a heart of thanksgiving. It all seemed unnatural. You see these “material” items could never thank me! So how did I place so much value on something that could never love me back! Crazy right!

Unfortunately, that is how our value is recognized. That is where we place our worth, on the things we accumulate! Stuff and more stuff validates that we are worth something if we have that certain “thing.” It was a true wake up call for me. I didn’t want to be known for the “things” I had. I wanted to be known for the life I lived, the way someone felt in my presence, and how much I loved.

The idea of this material purge is to make room for the things that are valuable to us and to keep those things that bring us joy. As I started pulling items out of my closet and cupboards, I realized there were things that I had not touched in years. The personal purge began (though I did wake up my books (if you watched the series you know), and I kept most of them-LOL!). I am happy to say that I learned to fold the “Kondo Way,” but I purged “my way.”

I understood that letting items go in my cupboards and closets was releasing me of an identity I was no longer attached to. Then it hit me! I learned that just as I was letting go of “things,” I needed to let go of hurts that had crept into the closet of my heart. Neatly folded and tucked again. I needed to pull them out and recognize that that “thing” that I was holding onto was NOT bringing me joy, and I needed to let it go. So there I was among piles of stuff having a spiritual epiphany. Yes I folded, I thanked, and I forgave, and I let more than a few items of clothing go. I let hurt, disappointment, sadness, regret…go.

As you take inventory of all the “things,” you are carrying from house to house. Take inventory of what you are carrying in your heart. Remove the items that are no longer bringing you joy and …

Let it go.

Lesson: We all have something we carry because we think it adds value to our identity. Identify it and acknowledge its purpose, it’s usefulness and then just let it go.

“Til Tuesday.

-Annette Ortiz Mata

Twenty-Five years and counting!​

Yup, it’s our 25th Anniversary. On a cloudy day, February 5, 1994, at 11am in the morning, Robert and I stood before God, family, and friends and made the most significant commitment of our lives. Saying I do to… forever! Yup! FOREVER…What has that looked like the past 25 years? Well, let me tell you!

Our 25 years have included, unbridled passion, intensive conflict, mixed with exhilaration. The first 5 years included locations, travel, and our firstborn. The next five years included our first miscarriage, my cervical cancer, two new address, and lots of time spent apart. The next five years another miscarriage, the birth of our second child, radiation for my thyroid disease and more time spent apart along with unbearable personal loss. The next five years came with more conflict than resolution. Came with challenges that seemed unimaginable. We were stretched to the brink, but we always bounced back. Everything we held close and dear was ripping us apart. We walked in different directions and sometimes in circles feeling trapped. In the midst of it all, we held on to our promise to each other –

Forever…It’s forever!

The past five years have come with unimaginable loss and grief. Some of it is still unbearable and difficult to process and accept. Committing to marriage and committing to each other is an act of selflessness. It requires forgiveness, compassion, empathy, understanding, trust, respect, and honor. It requires waking up each morning and choosing each other no matter how hard the circumstances are. It requires having an identity in your relationship that is separate from each other so that we don’t place the expectation of making the other person responsible for your happiness.

So! The past 25 years in our lives have included a myriad of experiences that are all our own. It’s our journey that has kept us incredibly committed to each other. One thing I am sure of..my lover has my back and I have his. He is mine, and I am his.

What I know for sure is that he was created for me and I for him.

I look forward to the next 25 plus years that will continue to be an amazing journey of our lives together. Creating memories and experiences that are personal to us and only us. Living in a sacred space that we know is full of love, respect, and honor and laughter, lots of laughter.

So we celebrate 25 years of marriage with the scars that clearly show we fought for us and won! FOREVER!

Lesson:

Key to a healthy marriage, love, commitment, laughter, forgiveness, respect, trust, and intimacy. FOREVER.

“Til Tuesday

-Annette Ortiz Mata

Til Forever