Who am I anyway?
...
After 25 years as an
award winning
advertising Execu-
woman I'm on a
campaign to inspire
women to unzip their
inner joy through
my writing, paintings
and transformational
speaking. To find out
more about me
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Do you know a Goddess
of Transformation?

Each month we'll honor
a woman who has
changed her life or
someone else's. 

Contact me to
nominate yourself or
another goddess
(and tell me why).

Thanks for the angst.

 

It’s easy to be thankful for the mashed potatoes and gravy of our lives.

You know, the good stuff.

Those moments when you know, deep in your bones, how grateful you are.

For your family. Your friends. Your home. Your body. Your life.

The sky above. The earth below. And a gazillion miracles in between.

Our gratitude journals are full of evidence that life is good.

But what about when it isn’t?

What about those angst-filled, up-all-night-times that make us question what it’s all about?

(Not even Alfie knows.)

Well, what I’ve learned is that the secret to a joyful life is finding the gifts in our struggles.

No, it isn’t easy.

This year, aliens abducted my wise, balanced Buddha boy and turned him into a raging rebel with a cause:

Namely, to drive my husband and I insane.

I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say the good news is that at 16, Landon is his own man. And the bad news is Landon is his own man.

As a recovering, people-pleasing perfectionist (whose greatest act of defiance was getting an A-), I find myself in a perpetual state of head-shaking.

So, how am I turning this angst into thanks?

Well, believe it or not, I’ve choosing to see Landon as my teacher.

Instead of being annoyed at his sense of entitlement, I’m looking at what I can learn from it.

Like putting myself first. Speaking up with more ferocity.  And setting clearer boundaries.

(Landon’s not going to like these changes that he inspired.)

This year, besides learning to let go of my little boy, I lost my sweet father after a long, painful battle with kidney failure.

Where, you might ask, is the gift in that?

Trust me, it took some soul-searching, time and therapy.

At first, all I could see was my once, full-of-life father, withering away in a depressing nursing home.

Since I had no control over the big stuff, I did little things to make his days brighter.

But eventually, no flowers, pictures or cookies could perk him up.

There was nothing I could do.

Or buy.

Or fix.

I could only be there.

Holding my father’s hand.

Literally.

There we were, in the shoddy little nursing home garden.

(His own gardening was so spectacular people used to stop their cars to marvel at it.)

Surrounded by weeds, we sat and watched a tiger lily shining in the sun.

It’s a simple moment I’ve wrapped up and will keep forever.

A reminder that sometimes the most important thing we can do, is To Be.

But now let’s talk turkey.

Here are a few tips that might help transform your angst into thanks:

1. Stuffing is for birds. Not for people. Shoving the anger, hurt, disappointment, worry or resentment inside is a recipe for disaster. Give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. Be your own kind, compassionate and patient friend.

2. What to do with the leftovers. Feelings don’t fit into nice little Tupperware containers. It takes time and effort to work through them. I say write them out.  Walk them out. Sweat them out. Paint them out. Talk them out. Shout them out. Cry them out. Just don’t sit there and stew.

3. Find what’s right when things go wrong. To see what I mean, check out the video below. (It might be a nice change from all that football.)

Let’s give thanks for the angst, the sweetness and the whole great big buffet of Life.

Happy Thanksgiving.

With love and gratitude, Wendi xoxo

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23 comments to Thanks for the angst.

  • I was inspired by your story Wendy. I too am an artist/instructor who lost my sweet father in Sept.It was a huge loss to my sis, my mom and me. I have since discovered my “boyfriend” is not the kind of person i want to be with anymore so there is another loss. I need so much at this time that he cannot provide. He is not a sympathetic person and I am so needy. It is taking a huge toll on me. I like being part of a couple but I am worth so much more. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thank you for reaching out, Mary. Sending you virtual hugs. And hopes that with time, you will find the gifts in these losses. And make room for love. which you so deserve.

  • Krikit

    Hiya Wendi! ~:0) Long time, no post, eh? :S I’ve been traveling, traveling. All fun! Making new friends, visiting long-time ones, and rarely having more time the to just pop head into my “mail box” and peruse what’s there.

    You’ve outdone yourself with this one, goddess! ~:) Great inspiration and encouragement. From one “klutz to another: LUV, luv, luv your birth bath idea!! I’ve SO got enough “broken stuff to do that with. HA!

    <3<3 Krikit ~:0)

    • Krikit! So happy to hear from you…It has been a long time. I’m so happy that you are having fun….you deserve it.
      Sending big hugs and gratitude, my fellow klutzy goddess friend. xoxo

  • Carol

    Love what you had to say, Wendi. I recently lost my first love with whom I’d reconnected after 40 years. Reminding myself of the good in the situation is one of the strategies that’s helping me with my grief (along with tears and meditation). So I understand about the loss of your father. How nice that you are able to focus on the lily as a wonderful symbol. PS – Your painting at the top of the post is one of my favourites!

    • Thank you, Carol for sharing this. It hurts my heart, just thinking of your loss.But your optimism is inspiring. Sending big hugs and gratitude.

    • Carol, the same thing happened to me! A lost love found me a couple years ago after 30 yrs and it was like 30 years had not passed. We were still in love. We talked daily for 6 months on the phone. Its complicated but he decided not to continue the relationship and it devastated me. I was a mess for a whole year trying to figure out how to be what he wanted. Then I decided it wasnt what he wanted, it was what I wanted. So I moved on. But that first love is so powerful.

  • Judy

    You are so insightful! I will try and take your advice to heart about Thanksgiving. About teenage boys, I have heard that we all emerge in a few years a little weak from the battle (struggle) but in a much better place:)

  • Vanessa Butler

    I just read your Agnst’ and it was great! You are a true gift for intimacy! Best, Vanessa

  • Wendi,
    I’ve been silent of late, but I want you to know that your posts are inspirational to me and I hope to see you soon in the sisterhood of tea! :) xoxox merrilyn

  • Lainey

    Heavenly and hysterical always! I loved the TeaV! and even more your day to day wisdom. Important things to remember always.

    I wanted to also say I loved your last post. I have actually thought of myself as a tree, only ever wanted to collect that motif for interior design and when given my first and fundamental homeopathic by Dr. B it was thuja which I believe stands for tree or is from a tree?

    I’m with you in spirit and understanding dear friend! Lainey

    • Dear Lainey, you and I are definitely soul sisters. I wish our trunks were growing in closer vicinity! We will be up in December….hope to see you then. All my love and hugs.

  • You write beautifully. Beautiful post. Wonderful insight and problem solve.

  • martyne greenblatt

    Just read this..My girlfrind, Bonnie had it on her FB wall. You hit the target and I feel so good after reading this. Thanks for sharing!

  • Great post !!!!!! You nailed it. thank you.

  • Jamie

    One of your best yet! Really love this one! Will miss you this weekend….J

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