Just Go Chasing Waterfalls

Go chase your own waterfalls. Learn about yourself. Learn what you can do. And, choose to be here now. Be here in this moment. Be present.

As some of you may know, I am a huge advocate of Self-Care. It is so important for your health. I like to use the quote “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” Self-care may be different for everyone. Just try to taking some time for you and do things that feed your soul.

When you take time for self-care you discover this mysterious phenomenon called Self-Realization. When you take time for yourself. You get to know your self. One thing I have come to realize through doing my own self care is I have to stop waiting on other people to give me what I want and I have to take steps to make it happen.

After mentioning to my husband Adam several times that I would like to go on a date, and then waiting and waiting and waiting for him to take me (to his credit, he did try a couple times, but it just didn’t work out), I finally said “I want you to take me on a date, and I am tired of waiting on it to happen.” To which he replied “Okay, what about this weekend? What do you want to do and where do you want to go?” After some discussion he said “Wait, I have an idea” and he grabbed his phone and said “Hush, don’t say anything.” I waited patiently for him to tell me, show me his idea. He said “Here it is!” and turned his screen towards me. As I read the info, I began to get extremely excited. It was the waterfall tour that I had been dreaming of going on for a while now. HECK YEAH! Let’s do this!!! We worked out the details and waited for Saturday to arrive.

We woke up bright and early Saturday morning and sipped our daily coffee to start our day. After kissing and hugging our kiddos goodbye, we started with breakfast in Watonga, OK at Hi-De-Ho Cafe. Then we headed towards the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge where we hiked to our first waterfall. During our hike, I learned a lot about myself and why I do or don’t do things.

For example, on our hike back from the waterfall we took an alternate route that the lovely woman at the visitor’s center suggested. She said it was beautiful and had great views. Along this walk we came to a steep incline. My first thought was “Okay, I can do this.” Halfway up I thought “I can’t do this.” Close to the top, I thought “I am almost there.” At the top, I was so winded and out of breath that I couldn’t even enjoy my victory.

It was in this moment when I should have been celebrating the fact that I made it that I started internally beating myself up--telling myself: “You’re so out of shape. How could you let yourself get like this? That incline wasn’t that bad and you are reacting like you just ran a marathon. You’re so fat and unhealthy. Why are you even here? Why can’t you just stop acting like things are okay. You are a mess! What is wrong with you?” I was standing there trying to catch my breath and internally dying inside. I look over at my husband who is right there by my side and I am so ashamed. My internal dialogue started “How can he love me? I am such a mess. I am fat and ugly and unworthy of love. Why is he even here with me? And how can he even stand to be by my side?”

I am not even exaggerating. These are only some of the thoughts that were running through my head. As I am trying to keep my composure and not let Adam see that I am really struggling right now, “I hate feeling this way” slips out of my mouth between my gasping breaths. Sometimes you have to just get it outside of yourself. These words shift my internal dialogue to “Why do I hate feeling this way?”. “When was the last time I felt like this?” Just one of the many tips and tricks you learn when you do the Somato Emotional Release part of CranioSacral Therapy.

That’s a good question. Why do I hate feeling this way? Really, why do I hate feeling this way? From this internal question, I have a flashback of my time in basketball when I was in 5th and 6th grade. (DISCLAIMER: I know some of you reading this might be local so my apologies if you get offended, but this is my experience not yours so please just sit with that and listen or stop reading here. Much Love!)

I have never been what would be considered an athletic person. I just wanted to be part of the team, do the fun stuff, play the games, and feel like I belonged. That is why I joined basketball. I just wanted to be a part of something. Our coach, who’s name I will leave out, was a BITCH! I mean that with the upmost respect. She was good at what she did. She built one heck of a team that took State several years in a row. Her team drew in the crowds and in turn made lots of money for the school. The girls on her team were strong and played their hearts out. She knew what it took to be on her team and she wasn’t afraid to let you know you when you didn’t have what it takes.

That’s what happens when you want a team that kicks ass. There has to be an ass to kick. I get it. I acknowledge that in her. However, tearing down those that don’t meet your expectations should not be a way to win. That is just my personal opinion coming from being one of those people who was torn down. Yes, some say I should have thicker skin, and I did grow thicker skin from that experience, but I also grew a thicker wall around my heart and it added to the internal dialogue in my head that I just wasn’t good enough. Some people see it as encouragement. Some people feel it as discouragement.

She wasn’t the first person to speak such things into my life and she definitely wasn’t the last either. I don’t lay blame in her lap for how she handled her business. She was just doing what she had to do survive. We all have things we do to survive. They may not morally be right, but we feel they are necessary for survival whether its financial, physical, emotional, spiritual etc. We are all just trying to survive, but that doesn’t make it right.

These times in life are what leads to mental depletion and sometimes to mental illness. It is not the fault of the person who says or does the things. The fault lies in the lack of coping skills in the person themselves. You cannot control the actions of other people, but you can control how you react. However, how do you control how you react? If you have never been taught coping skills or how to feel your way through traumatizing situations, how can you control your reaction? If you can’t feel your way through the situation, then you get stuck in that situation and you begin to take it on personally--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It becomes a state of being and you begin to function out of that state, until you die or until you come to a place where you become aware of it, gain clarity from it, and allow yourself the space to let that internal operating pattern go.

I was already aware that I was functioning out of the pattern of not being good enough. I have been doing it for years. I have been holding myself back and trying to appease everyone just so they would like me, so they would think I was good enough to be a part of their circle. What I hadn’t been doing was liking myself. I had been allowing the thoughts and opinions of others to become my internal dialogue. Anytime I began to feel not good enough I would the push play button and listen to the recording of why that was true. Over time, those voices of other’s had morphed into my voice and I began to believe this was me. It was self-defeating and I have been living in that state for as long as I can remember.

This was my moment of clarity. Standing there on top of that “mountain” that I had just climbed, I realized that I hate feeling this way and I chose to come down this mountain with a new perspective on my life.

Before we left the top, I took time to enjoy the view. I peered over the sparkling, blue lake below. I reveled in the rock formations surrounding us. I followed their curves and appreciated their cracks. I felt one with nature in that moment. I felt the ground beneath me. I felt myself here, now, present in this moment. I turned to look at my husband who was still at my side and I saw him, like really saw him. I saw the way he looked at me. There was no shame. There was only love and in that moment, love is all we needed—love for him, love for us, love for this place, and most importantly love for myself.

My With so many places to go and only so many hours in the day, we decided to skip the second waterfall at the refuge and cruise on into Medicine Park, OK.

There we found the streets packed with people. Who knew it was the 22nd annual Polar Plunge? Not us. Parking was ridiculous and I’m not exactly a hoards-of-people-kinda-girl, so we agreed to come back and stay the weekend sometime soon with our kiddos which would allow us to give this adorable little town the attention it deserved. Another journey for another day. If you get a chance, check out Medicine Park, OK. You won’t be disappointed.

Our journey took us into Lawton, OK, so Adam could try on work boots. I was able to get an appreciation for how he must feel when I try on clothes. This man is serious about his boots. I learned how important of an investment it is and even though he did not purchase a pair, he now knows what he is looking for and can order them online. To his credit, they didn’t have the particular ones he specifically came to try on.

Now that we had the work boot situation under control, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Arby’s drive though and headed outta town.

Not too far outside of Lawton stood a tall yet slender pyramid in a field next to an intriguing place. What was this place? Adam, being the amazing man he is, turned the car around for me so we could go back by and find out.

As we passed back by for the 2nd time, I searched for a sign, but there was not one is sight. I just happened to catch a glimpse of a trailer with what looked like Christmas stuff on it. On the side of the trailer was a banner with words . I knew this had to have the info I was looking for, but I didn’t get a chance to see it clearly. Adam ask “Do you want me to turn around again so you can look at the banner?” I love this guy! He knows me so well. He allows me to be curious and he goes along with me on crazy escapades.

Passing by for the THIRD time (in my defense, we did just spend an hour shopping for work boots and didn’t walk out with a pair 😆), we pulled over to get a better look. The words said Trail of Cheer, 11101 SE Lee. Thank you google for the info about the place. It’s a Christmas Themed Park: yet another place on our list of places to come back to around Christmas time.

Now that my curiosity had been satisfied, it was back to our journey and on to Davis, OK to check out Turner Falls. Even though the ride was long it, it gave us time to just enjoy one another. We laughed and sang and stopped for a backroad quickie. TMI? Sorry, not sorry. Hopefully all married people do it, and if not, you might want to ask yourself why not?

We arrived at the gates at 5:24pm. The park closed at 6pm and the woman at the gate said she doesn’t let anyone into the park after 5:30. We barely made it, but we made it!!! Once we were out of our car, we started the short walk to the falls. As we rounded the curve, you could hear the roaring water and the falls appeared. It was BEAUTIFUL! I had come here when I was a kid and the beauty of the falls has stuck with me ever since. It was just a beautiful today as I remember it back then. Maybe, it was even more beautiful because I was here in love, in this moment, with my husband and it was glorious. Though our time here was short, we soaked up every moment.

Next it was on to Sulphur, OK to see Little Niagara Falls inside the Chickasaw National Recreational Center. As we entered the park there were two deer on our left. I love deer. I think they are so graceful and majestic. They waited for us to pass and went about their business. When we arrived at the falls, it was getting late but we ventured out anyway. We crossed the rocks and stood in the middle of the second falls. It was so nice to just be here in the middle of a waterfall, waters rushing all around me, just enjoying the moment. We snapped a couple selfies and headed back to the car before it got too dark.

Our final destination was the Bricktown falls in Oklahoma City, OK. But first, we decided to detour to grab a bite to eat at Cattleman’s Steak House in Stock Yard City. (To my vegan friends, please overt your eyes.) We sipped on a couple bloody marys while we waited for our table. Adam stepped off to the bathroom and I swear a Vampire crossed my path. I mean seriously! She was wearing all black and had glowing red eyes. NO SHIT! I told Adam about my encounter when he got back to which he replied “Maybe they’ll be sitting next us or behind us when we get our table. Uh, I don’t know if I am comfortable with that. Lol. Turns out, her and her maybe boyfriend were sitting just across the restaurant from us, so Adam got to see the vampire too. We joked about I wonder if her steak is rare or if she drinks bloody marys too. Maybe that’s ghoulish profiling but hey, we were just curious.

From there we went to Bricktown to see our last waterfall for the day. We paid $5 for parking, crossed the street, and then another parking lot only to find that there was no water in the Bricktown Canal. No water in the canal equals no water in the waterfall. So, we decided to head home because it was getting late and we’re not as young as we once were. It was already past our bedtime.

We had the most amazing time together and plan not to wait so long for our next date day. I am tell you all this to say “Take the time.” We don’t have endless time in this life. Take the time to take advantage of the time you do have. Take time for each other and take time for yourself. Self-Care is so important.

Sometimes self-care can be as simple as getting out into Nature. Nature is good for us. Nature is healthy. It’s all organic, free range and cage free (depending on where you go). Make the day(s) yours. Do what you want to do. Go where you want to go. Make it personal. Just take the time--for you.

For those of you who know the song, TLC always said “Don’t go chasing waterfall…” I say GO! Go chase your own waterfalls. Learn about yourself. Learn what you can do. And, choose to be here now. Be here in this moment. Be present.

The present is a gift. The past is the past. The future is not guaranteed. But YOU, here, in this moment is a gift. Take the time to appreciate it and don't for get to appreciate yourself.

Sending much love and light to all! Thank you for taking the time to listen/read my story.

And if you want to take the Oklahoma Waterfall Tour here is the link: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/oklahoma/waterfall-roadtrip-ok/