Tag Archives: life journey

Falling to Pieces: Excerpt from Memoir

 

This is an excerpt from my Memoir

Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me

It seems a long time time ago I felt like this. Life has changed several times. Life is changing now as I live day to day. Sometimes moments have these feeling but mindfulness and the changes I have been through help pull me back into the beauty of life. All I have to do is look out over the ocean to remember that life has its waves and flow and eventually the sea will be calm again.

Falling to Pieces

The outlook is shadowy and indistinct. I feel empty and non-existent. Nothing makes any sense and answers are lost in the distant fog. I have been wandering aimlessly for years unable to regain any focus. This confusion is unsettling. Inadequacy and doubt like vertigo distorts my balance. I fearfully wander in a vast and empty, yet deeply emotional wilderness.

As I wrestle with the darkness, a rush of panic rips a hole in my heart. I struggle to catch my breath as I drown in the depths of emotions that are rising and falling, like storm waves of a violent hurricane crashing against a rocky shoreline. An immobilizing lack of confidence and fear has forced me into a junction of significant change.

I find myself in a place where I have lost my sense of identity, questioning the structure and the rules of the world and my faith in God. I am standing in a time of uncertainty with negative thoughts, fears, and judgments escalating all the voices in my head.

My life is falling apart. I am watching my life fall away, piece by piece. I have even helped pack it up and send it on its way. I am about to become an empty nester. My daughters, Nikki, Sam, and Monica are going off to begin their own lives as young adults. It should be exciting to watch my girls all flying off to begin their lives full of new discoveries and adventures.                                                                        

Yet I am overwhelmed with fear. Panic racing through my body and mind. I am falling into an abyss. The only thing that has mattered in my life, my daughters, are now leaving me. The lifeline that held me together, my reason to go through each day is abandoning me. Being their mother has been my focus, the central core of my day-to-day life. I have been nothing but a stay at home mom for seventeen years.

Now I can get back into real life, go out into the real world. Time to get a real job and take care of myself. I dread real life and the real world. I explore job opportunities. Every resume I send out and every response I receive to my queries makes me nauseous. As I get closer and closer to landing a position that would take me back into the ‘real world’ – I get so sick to my stomach that I am throwing up.

I don’t want to live in this so-called ‘real world’ or live the way I am expected to live it. I have never felt comfortable in that world of corporate life and material things. I know that if I take one step in that direction, I will once again fill my life from a place of doing what I am expected to do, and doing what I think I should be doing. I will only be trying to please other people. I will be making choices and decisions based on circumstances and social expectations.

Most of my life I have built around a false sense-of-self or no-self. It was built from outside circumstances, events, expectations, and demands. If I stay here and rebuild my life from this empty shell, I will just reconstruct another false self and false life. I know exactly where this road will take me. I know that I will live in a void of emptiness inside. This thought scares the hell out of me.

I don’t want to continue living this way.  I have been trying to play the part I have created for myself and the part others expected of me. My whole life has become a play in which I have been pretending day after day. I have been a character in the play but have felt like I was in the audience watching my life rather than being a part of it. I fear I am being sucked into the direction of expectations and the responsible path. If I go that path, I will step into a world I don’t like and don’t want to be in anymore.

I know that this person I have been-have become-is a cover, a hard shell around my heart that I created. I fashioned myself from a core that was broken, pushed down and controlled when I was young. From that point on I hid who I really was. I hid in shame of who I was. I have lived my life with a deep-rooted belief that I am not good enough. Who I am inside is not acceptable in the outside world. I believed I had to become who I was expected to be. I never felt comfortable in that shell.

Yet the pull to get sucked into living a facade is strong. I am at my weakest moment. I have always tried to fit in, to make myself into someone who would be liked and accepted. Yet I have never felt accepted. Even the false creations of myself who were fashioned to be the person others wanted me to be, were not accepted. I have felt rejected and abandoned then and now.

This is the theme of my life, trying to please everyone and pleasing no one in the process. It runs through every choice, every decision I have ever made. Because of these deep-rooted feelings I have isolated myself from life, others and myself. Everything within me is telling me this is the moment to break free but can I? The conflict of following the ‘right path’ and following my soul is paralyzing me. All I can feel is fear and panic.

 My soul has been crying out for years. I have done what I can to pacify it. The thought of continuing to live with this emptiness inside is unbearable to my soul. I don’t want to do that anymore. It has become too painful. The truth of the matter is that I have wanted to run away from my life for years. I have wanted to get out and get away but responsibilities and obligations have kept me trapped. Fear has kept me from doing anything about it. If I stay here, I will drown in the sacrifice of myself. I’ve already given myself away but sacrificing myself knowing full well what will happen to my soul is suicide.

It is time to do some deep soul searching to go within. It seems scary to turn inside when it was in turning inside myself that forced me to live outside myself. How could doing the very thing that sent me into this empty chasm of a person be the solution and answer to becoming my true self? As confusing as this seems I am being drawn into this idea that this is the way out.

Discover Yourself through Discovering the World

Sitting here in homeport watching the sunrise over the ocean on a cold winter day, I dream of cruising in the warm Caribbean sunshine. I live in Paradise. I dive the dream of living at the ocean. I am blessed beyond anything I would have believed 10 years ago. And yet I dream bigger dreams now.

My dad instilled the love of ships and sea in my. The beach became my sanctuary when I couldn’t get out on the sea. It lets me imagine and see the possibilities that are out there beyond the horizon of my everyday life.

I have wanderlust. I long to see distant shores. To discover beaches in every port. More than that I long to see other places, to have new experiences, to meet new people. In learning and exploring the world and what others know and live I develop more of who I am. I open doors within my self that I never knew existed.

I become more of who I am. I step more and more into who I am. I am more understanding of others, and of myself. It allows me to step out of my comfort zone, to stretch myself, to be comfortable with the unfamiliar and unknown, to conquer fears, to discover what I am capable of, and who I can be. I become more of who I am.

Travel is the ultimate mindfulness pursuit. It makes me become present in my surroundings, with what I am doing, experiencing and what I see and hear around me. When you are out of your eliminate, out of your everyday routine you become more aware, more alert to your surroundings, more present to your experiences. It happens almost naturally if you let it.

Travel is transformational. Travel shifts my perspective. It shows me not only possibilities of life but it connects me with myself and with others.

When I travel with someone it allows me to experience them in new ways. To develop a closer bond, to appreciate our differences and share our experiences. It teaches us how to be together and respect each other’s space and time.

Travel is an inner and outer journey. It is in discovering other cultures, other places, other people and the world-even the world right outside your door- that you discover yourself in the process.

 

Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me

For a while I was putting up chapters here but then I got so entrenched in the editing process that I kind of neglected that. After several rewrites and many – many edits and a  title change my memoir is done.

It was published at the end of April and we have been doing a soft release. As I get ready to put it out into the world it is scary exciting! This is after all my life, my story, events and details.

Why would anyone want to read about me? my life?

I hope that in sharing my story other women who have been through challenges, lost their sense-of-self, felt empty or gave up on their dreams to meet the demands of others or the world will feel connected and not alone. I hope it inspires you to believe in yourself and follow your dreams at any age or stage of life.

It is never to late to become your true self and live the life you dreamed about in secret.

It has arrived. Come along and be a part of My Journey of Becoming Me!
Get it on Amazon.com
or at The Mermaid’s Purse and Sugar Island  Bakery              on Topsail Island

 

update Memoir CoverIn her Memoir, Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me, she shares her story, her life, and her journey of stepping out of life to create one. It is one of emotion, hope, perseverance, letting go and beginning again.

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. What a journey you have been and still are on. I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced in your life experiences.” Marie

 

I’d love to hear your story – send me an email at cathyt@cathyteoste.com or jump onto my facebook page

Let’s Prepare for Your Journey

Step into Yourself – Step into Your Life Program

 

Preparation

 

I am sure you are anxious to jump right in and get it accomplished. However, it is my belief that rushing in and trying to make too many changes too fast only comes to a crashing halt. Taking time to lay a solid foundation and shift both in your mind and environment is critical for you to have long lasting results.

 

Thoughts to bonder before you begin:

What does identity and sense of self mean to you? What is the disharmony between your deep core and how you are relating in the world? Think about allowing yourself to imagine opening up to all the possibilities of being more than you have ever dreamed possible. What is it you truly need? You are getting ready to step into you at your fullest potential. How do you want that to look like?

 

What do you need to do to prepare a healthy place for you to create and grow? What will assist you in growing new roots and provide you with room to create and grow. Believe that you can create a healthy place for you to grow and create.

  • Day Dream Find a few minutes and let your mind wander-daydream-open up to the possibilities of being and living from deep within yourself. Take a walk and let your mind wander let all the questions of who you are and who you wished you had become and who you would like to become. Become comfortable in the questions. Relax into them.

 

  • Simplify De-clutter – The personality of your home-where you live should be a true reflection of you loves and likes as well as comfortable

 

  • Create a Sacred Space Create a place where you can go and be in solitude. You need to be comfortable in this place. Find a place out in nature that you are comfortable and that provides you with a sense of peace. Also discover a place outside your home, a bookstore, or coffee shop.

 

  • The Gift of Sacred Time Give yourself time and space to focus on your soul needs, self-care and yourself. Know that you are worth of this. Time is probable you most difficult step. We already have our days filled with responsibilities and things we must do. Often we are too busy to think about caring for our self never mind caring and nurturing our inner soul and dreams. But if you don’t take the time to nurture yourself you may never become who you are at your deepest level.

 

  • Set Boundaries Give yourself time and space to focus on your soul needs and yourself. Know that you are worth of this.

 

  • Create a Toy Box Buy yourself a simple notebook for journaling, a pen, markers, crayons if you want. Add magazines and pictures you like. Add anything that provides you with comfort and inspiration.

 

  • Create a Ritual Now that you have your sacred space and have discover and chosen your sacred time, you will plan a small ritual you will do each day during this time. You can continue with whatever activity you used to discover and test your possible times. Or you can create a new ritual that helps you feel excited and cared for.

“Rituals are any action that speaks to the soul and to the deep imagination, whether or not it all has practical effects. Even the smallest rites of everyday existence are important to the soul.”

Thomas Moore

 

  • Gather Support Find a friend or someone you trust who will just be there for you, listen without judging you or what you are doing. Someone who will offer you encouragement and positive feedback. Join in and comment and connect on FaceBook @StepintoYourself

 

  • Trust the process This is an every changing journey that will take you to places you never have imagined. Allow it to flow and move.

 

Restlessness in Homeport

I am about to embark on an Epic Journey of a lifetime. My sister planned this trip while I was enjoying our last cruise. A year always seems so far away when you plan something special. You wonder if it will ever arrive.

Life goes on day by day. My everyday life is sometimes crazy busy filled with work and social obligations and other times somewhat like a vacation itself. I live in a beach community that fills with tourists during the summer season. The islands life and economy revolve around this time of year.

Some of the locals get very caught up in daily life and never enjoy the island or the beach. I try not to let that happen. I spend as much time on the beach as possible. I have a social circle of friends that get together regularly. I intermingle work, beach and fun weaving a life that many would envy. Tourists ask about my life and many do envy it.

I love my life. I wish I made more money. I wish I could find a way to earn money and do the things I love. I putter at it often trying to make it happen but nothing has manifested. I keep focused on enjoying life the best I can.

People always ask me what I do on vacation or even why I go on vacation. The answer is simple. I love to travel. I love spending time with my sister. I love cruises. I love the ocean and the seas. I love discovering new places, meeting new people, discovering new things about myself.

I have wanderlust. I have always had wanderlust. When I could find a way to jump from cruise ship to cruise ship, beach to beach, amazing place to amazing place all around the world and earn a living I am there! I guess you could say that is my dream.

In the meantime I fill my life with small adventures. It is nice to have an amazing base to come in and out, homeport I call it. Homeport is safe and wonderful. Still I get restless easily and am always ready for the next adventure.

The anticipation and the planning is what gets my sister high. I fill that time with beach and island life in my homeport. And then suddenly the days are counting down to the time to head out to sea. It arrives suddenly sneaking up on me. Time flies. A year has passed and it is time to head out again on another new adventure.

This year our adventure is Epic for us. It is a trip we never really imagined planning but we did. Now it is getting close to embarkation day. I can’t even imagine what this trip will be like. I have no expectations or vision of any kind. I haven’t really been able to wrap my mind around it. My imagination has even been stumped.

What I am sure of is being on the ship. Ship life is something I know and am comfortable with. I love ship life. I am so ready to return to sea. I do not have any idea what the ports of call will be like. What will the ports look like? What experiences will I have? What activities and places will I see? What new discoveries will I make? How will what I see and do change my view of life and of myself? What new aspect of myself will I discover? Will I be up to the challenges of being in places I have never been before?

Travel and experiences always reach deep into me. In discovering new places, cultures and meeting new people I find new aspects of myself. What I am capable of or not capable of? What brings up excitement or fear? I find new activities and food I love or hate. I hear and see new points of view on life and living.

Each day I become me. I become more of who I am. Sometimes I choose aspects of who I am becoming sometimes I stumble upon aspects of myself. Everyday life, moment by moment I am becoming who I am.

Traveling not only enriches who I am and who I am becoming it is who I am. I am every place I go, everyone I meet, every experience I have. It is why after being in homeport for a while I am anxious to set sail and set out to sea again.

Restlessness has set in even with a major move this summer to a new homeport that is closer to the sea and to my being. Seeing her everyday has given me solace. Yet I have sat looking out over the Atlantic Ocean every morning sipping tea and dreaming of being out there upon her charting new courses and discovering new ports of call.

I may be embarking on an Epic adventure but I am returning to who I am to my core being within, to expand who I am and to continue being and becoming.

The time is almost here. I am preparing for a new adventure, new challenges, and new experiences, to be inspired and in awe, to be at sea for twenty-three days. It will be the longest journey yet. It will bring me to ports I never imagined going. I have no idea what I will learn.

I am an archeologist of self and life embarking on an expedition to unearth who I am, who I am becoming, to uncover new corners of the world yet uncharted (by me), and stumble upon new views and beliefs, retrieve long lost loves, to stretch myself beyond my current beliefs about myself and life, acquire new passions, make new friends and spend the best time of my life with my sister.