Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

And The Truth Is...

Everything is going to be alright, even when it's not.

This is the bomb!  The Cat's Meow.   The God' honest truth.

If you tell your self it will be okay, it WILL be okay.


Monday, December 23, 2013

My two cents on Phil Robertson

I'm tired of hearing about Duck Dynasty yet I have to put my two cents in.  I was obsessed for a few days and in shock and dismay at seeing my FB wall blow up in support of Phil Robertson.   I have let everything I have read seep in and lo and behold I have the same exact position that I have come to after years of thoughtful deliberation and soul searching on the topic.  After having posted a few weeks ago of "coming out of the closet" as a supporter of LGBT on this blog...bam, my home state makes national news about Christianity and anti-gay and our Governor throwing in his two cents about First Amendment rights.


Mr. Robertson did not go to jail for his opinions, he was indefinitely suspended from employment by his employer with whom I'm sure there was a contract that had a clause just for this.  It is not a First Amendment issue and Governor Jindal needs to brush up on that one.  I know Jindal is supporting his taxable income from the northern parish.

I don't watch Duck Dynasty so I am coming to know Mr. Robertson by what I read in the full GQ article, and from many testamonials and then I happened upon this video I found from 2010 of Mr. Robertson preaching in Pottstown, PA at a church.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Coming out of the Closet, Part 2

I love this video!  A friend reminded me of this video when she read about my "coming out" in support of LGBT.
I love that this is about vulnerability and not comparing our hurts.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jenny McCarthy Strikes Again

Saw Bethenny interviewing Jenny McCarthy.  I haven't figured out what to think of her autism stance.  I think she has some of it wrong but I have not done the research but I do know that she has this next item SO right.  I wrote about reading one of her books, the one on religion and was very surprised to have her describe something that I had learned that has changed my life.  ( I also learned don't judge a book by it's cover!!)

This is very simply how it went on Bethenny's show.  They were discussing being controversial and not having everyone like you.

Jenny says, "I tell Evan (her son), 'When someone says something mean to you, they are kinda feeling yucky inside.'"

And then she states this is her mantra, "Love yourself, love what you see.  Hate yourself, hate what you see."

This speaks volumes to me.

I know I am my own worst critic, and when I let go of criticizing myself, suddenly the rest of the world looks quite rosy as well.

The two things go hand in hand.  Accept yourself, accept the world around you.  It's such a better place to live.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Golden Ticket

Note to self: Remember that there is a place inside of you that you can go to at any moment. It is still and full of love. Forget about the things your mind is telling you. It is wrong. Go there when you are sad. Go there when you are anxious or angry or worried. Go there when you are happy. Go there when you are alone in your car on a busy street or when you are surrounded by the people you love. Forget what you “know”. You are not your body. You are not your past. You are not your future. The essence of your being is love. Your spirit is always waiting for you to remember that. So go to that place in the center of you. Let the deep love swallow you whole. Everything is always okay, even when it’s not. Let go of the brain’s need to remind you of everything that weighs you down. You are love. Now breathe, smile, repeat. - Emery Allen

Oh my.   Love this!

I have been hearing this from different sources lately.  We are full of love from the source, our higher power.   Our path to wholeness is coming out of our programming, our thoughts, the stories that we tell ourselves that we are not good enough and what we need to do is go back to where we were as a small child, with free flowing love. 

The top quote is THE ticket, my golden ticket to go back to the essence of my spirit of LOVE.  This is the truth for me to follow.  Some hours, days it is harder to get there, but it is always there.  I'm learning to let the feelings flow, the thoughts go and to rewire my programming.  Writing, music, sometimes a comedy or a drama or especially an OWN show, nature, the love of my family, my spiritual formation class,  all help bring me there to see the divine within.  Most of the time, it's me recognizing my own self worth. 

Everything is always okay, even when it's not. Christmas is approaching rapidly.  I miss my mother in law.  This is our second Christmas without her.  She loved Christmas and the decorations.  She might forget birthdays but Christmas was her thing.  She liked lots of Christmas nick nacks.  I despise nick nacks and I almost want to put some out despite that fact, but she is still here even without the nick nacks.

My dad is sick and getting sicker bit by bit.  I don't have the same open relationship with him as I did with my mother in law.  As she was dying, she would look at me and say, "Are we okay, you and I?"  And I would say, "we are fine" because we were.  It was an uncomfortable conversation but it was a continuation of openly talking about "things."   She and I came a long way after she moved here and many conversations we would talk and some of the time, agree to disagree, which is a beautiful thing.

With my dad, he is not a talker and definitely not about feelings.  When I went to hug him at Thanksgiving, and as I moved away, he pulled me in again and hugged tighter and longer.   This is as good as it gets.  

Everything is always okay, even when it's not. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm Out Of The Closet

I came out of the closet a few days ago.  I was sitting at lunch with some "moms" from our non-denominational Christian school.  I heard words spoken that pierced me and it was about a lesbian choosing to be gay.  I may have misunderstood but I don't think so, because I was not corrected when I spoke up.  I had to interject and say, "Being gay is not a choice."

That's all I said.

But that was HUGE!

Outing myself as a supporter of Team LGBT was a massive moment for me as I have stayed quiet for a long time.  I never felt like it was okay for me to have an opinion.   In order to speak up and say I support gays and lesbians, I had to work through my interpretation from a "Christian" standpoint.  I have been doing that for years now.  What I have been thinking to myself all these years is that if I said something that someone disagreed with, would they stop liking me?  And would I not be in favor with them anymore?

But this is what I have learned, anyone can have their opinion but I can have my opinion as well AND we can still be friends.  It's called "let's agree to disagree."

But maybe they won't be able to agree to disagree and then that is when you bring on the Boundaries and it can be painful that you can't agree to disagree but I'm learning to live in own skin and my own truth and I can't go back now.

And that is also HUGE!

In the car on our way to Thanksgiving, Mallory played "Brave" by Sara Barielles.  Love that song. Here's a little bit...
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Words do settle down in your skin and for many, many years the shadow has won but I'm slowly coming out of that.  Feelings which are blocked energy are coming out left and right for me. I remember when I started crying in yoga and thought what the heck is going on?  Now I revel in the ability to cry as well as to be just curious about the other feelings that come to the surface!

I have no idea how difficult and how painful it is to be a gay person in our society.  I can only imagine what it would be like when just being who God made you offends a portion of society. Then those who fear gays judge, degrade, physically harm and take away civil rights and all while using the bible as a shield to do so.  The bible doesn't say to do that in my interpretation.

I do understand living in fear and not being able to be who I authentically am.  I have read many biographies, watched a lot of Oprah and when a gay person told their story, I identified very deeply with the part of not being able to be true to them self and those around them.

So here it is in my own quiet way, I'm out.  I'm speaking up and I support gay rights!

Monday, December 2, 2013


When we have peace in our hearts and minds, we draw peace into our lives. When discord and disharmony present themselves, we can stand firm. When we let go of the need to prove ourselves, nothing and no one can disturb the quiet and peace of our minds~Iyanla Van Zant

Ahhh, this is so true.  It's a very simple three sentences. But it packs a wallop. And it has taken me a few years to to learn to draw that peace into my life.  First you have to be aware that there is discord.  And I had the same story of victimhood going on in my head, I didn't even recognize it.  Now I do! There had to be significant changes in boundaries and in thought patterns, but I'm doing it and the quiet in my mind is fabulous!  

And, letting go of the need to prove ourselves!  Yes, yes, and YES!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dancing Past Bedtime

I had a moment this evening.  It was a "I have turned a major corner" moment.

George was off at a work dinner.  The girls plus all of the four legged creatures piled up in the bed.  How did we ever live without a king size bed which can hold the two dogs, two cats with enough space in between for the least amount of skirmishes.  We ate dinner in the bedroom, yes, bedroom watching some of our favorite shows. We love Modern Family, The Middle and throw in a smidge of "Where are They Now Oprah."   Mallory was very excited to "fix" my hair which was a ponytail with a ponytail.  The only fallout was one broken fine china dinner plate and a pile of dirty towels on the floor that had just been washed yesterday.

But the residual fallout just doesn't matter.

These days are going by quickly.  Cue misty eyes.

One is in Middle School, for gosh sakes.

Then we had a clean up period and Mallory volunteered to wash the dishes.  And then...Riley pushed her aside to show her how to do it.

Smelling salts please.

Then it was time for bed.  But I turned Pandora back on and cued Bon Jovi.  It was a sign when "It's My Life" came on.  My favorite Bon Jovi song.  It was 8:15 and usually they are in the bed time by 8pm and I wanted them to stay up a little later and dance with me.

This is not normal behavior for me at all.  All of the really long days of being a stay at home mom (especially before big school or during the summer) popped in my head.  I would never keep them up past their bedtime.  I needed my "me" time so badly.  But not tonight.  We danced a little.  Well Mallory and I did, Riley, the rule follower, was protesting because it was her bedtime.

But, we stayed up a little later and I am recognizing that this girls will not be in my household forever.  I am so blessed.

And I have to start being nicer to George because I will be all alone with him (and the animals) in a few short years!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Namaste~The Flow of Divine Love

I have been writing namaste at the end of some of my blogs.  I'm not sure why, it just flows out of me as I write.  And then today, on Facebook I posted a hard truth that I have learned again and again.  This truth is that you can learn the most about yourself from those that push your buttons if you allow the lesson (and the consciousness evolvement)   I ended the post with the word Namaste.

So I stopped to think what does this word mean?  I have looked it up a few times before.  While practicing yoga, it is usually said at the end of class.  The teacher bows to us and we can bow to her.  And I remember the gist of it being the best of me meets the best of you.  It is a peaceful loving gesture.

So I look it up once again and I'm struck by how a very studied person named Aadil Palkhivala, answered.  Simply beautiful.

"The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore,namaste literally means "bow me you" or "I bow to you."
To perform Namaste, we place the hands together at the heart charka, close the eyes, and bow the head. It can also be done by placing the hands together in front of the third eye, bowing the head, and then bringing the hands down to the heart. This is an especially deep form of respect....
...We bring the hands together at the heart chakra to increase the flow of Divine love. Bowing the head and closing the eyes helps the mind surrender to the Divine in the heart. One can do Namaste to oneself as a meditation technique to go deeper inside the heart chakra; when done with someone else, it is also a beautiful, albeit quick, meditation.

This is the part I like the best: 

For a teacher and student, Namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.

This is so beautiful.  Yoga has been a wonderful journey for me.  Moving out of ego-connection!  There is no lost irony on me that I keep choosing this word that means "coming to a place of connection" and meeting the "divine spark within us."
The few of you who read my blog - I know I connect with. And I have been so humbled and excited when someone tells me they read it and connect with the material.   I write for my own catharsis and my journey.  I'm not ready to open it up to the general public to receive criticism.  Writing is therapy for me!!  I heard an author (Dani Shapiro) describe that she was able to understand her life by writing it.  I get that.  Also when I don't make time to write, I feel discombobulated.  I feel connected to God when I write.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

When Did You Stop Dancing?

From the Facebook page Elephant Spirituality:

The four universal healing salves.

In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?
Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experienced the loss of soul.
Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.

Oh My....Good Stuff.

That's Life

The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
~  Pema Chödrön

Amen and Amen to that.

I'm pondering about what I think people are thinking about me again.   And to take that further most times I don't  think they care a hill of beans about what I'm saying or doing.  Yet I've moved just so far from where I was as a people pleaser, and it is still second nature to second guess myself and have the first inclination to worry about what I've said.  I am slowly speaking up and this takes practice.  A lot of practice.  I write so much more easily than I speak.   As I never spoke up what I was thinking, how do I learn what is a proper boundary?   Some people don't worry about this at all and let it all rip.  My goal is to speak up when I can't tolerate being quiet anymore but also to still be respectful of other's opinions.

The journey continues.

I love the journey.  It is miraculous, flabbergasting, intolerable and joyful, but never boring.

That's life.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Love is the Absence of Judgment - The Dalai Lama (and letting go of what I think about my weight)

At this point in time, I have the most self acceptance that I've ever had in my life.  I feel more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have.   (And that skin now has a lot of scars.)   I know that I can take up space and not apologize for it.   People pleasing is falling by the wayside.  I have begun having a voice.  I actually know what a boundary is and I use them and feel not as much guilt.  My spiritual core is blossoming and I feel closer to a loving higher power than ever before.  I see how the universe responds to my openness and love, as opposed to the fear and anxiety that I constantly lived in before.

And yet I'm the heaviest I've been except for pregnancies.  My inner judge (which I'm trying to annihilate) thinks if I'm doing all this inner work my outside body should show it.


I guess then it is time for Extreme self acceptance.  And how does that work?

I had a moment where I remarkably realized that I weigh probably ten more pounds than what I did when I showed up for therapy five years ago to lose weight(!).  I can't even fathom how much time I have spent belittling, judging and smacking myself down over twenty pounds?  (I don't know what my natural weight is which is the goal of intuitive eating.)

I'm tired of doing this to myself.  I'm so very tired of this.

The last two days, I have been more aware of my body image and it was of a negative fashion.  I have learned that this negativity will ebb and flow.  I no longer think of going on a diet when this occurs.  I can usually stop the negative thought progression but when I'm in a deeper funk, I just have to sit with it and let it pass.

I do remind myself that I am not my weight.  And tell myself that my self acceptance does not rely on my body size. And I breathe.  I practice deep breathing because that is the only thing I can think to do in the moment when the thoughts and feelings are spiraling.

And breathing is our connection to God.

And there really is no reasoning with these thoughts.

And we can change those thoughts.
Again, I have to say that THERE IS NO REASONING WITH THESE THOUGHTS and I now know they will pass.  I have found that I have been experiencing more feelings of all kinds lately.  I experience a range from deep joy to pain and despair.  I know that I shut down and blocked my feelings after the experiences of infertility and the deep pain of postpartum depression.  After that is when I really started to eat my feelings.  My compulsion truly kicked in.  And now I have learned so much of my core story and what I tell myself.  And what I never wanted to look at.  But I'm looking at it now truthfully, honestly and painfully.

At the core, I felt abandoned and alone.  That was heightened immeasurably when I felt so alone taking care of a newborn and not knowing how to do it and the incessant crying (the baby and me!!)  and every thought I had was an anxious one.

And that core of aloneness, also lead to my core belief that I'm not good enough.

But now, I do not feel that way anymore.  It's still there but not to the same degree.  Yes, at the core, we are all alone.  I have learned that my higher power is so much more loving than I ever could fathom.  And I feel more comfortable saying higher power than Jesus or God, because the old God came with so much judgement and self-recrimination that I have to use different language now.

I still try to reason with the thoughts and this is going to take time to let go of.  It's all about acceptance as is.  Acceptance of the moment.  Acceptance of life as is.  Acceptance of those around me.

I came across this picture and statement and it says everything that I need to know about my weight.   I am learning to love myself, as is, and as that is occurring, I judge myself less and less.

Tripping Up So I Could Sit Down

I needed a break.

So I tripped unloading groceries and sprained my ankle.  It hurt.  It still hurts.

But this Sunday morning, I am sitting in a house by myself with my foot propped up and a bag of ice and enjoying quiet, stillness and my thoughts.


I could cry thinking how much I'm delighting in the quiet (except for the occasional dog sounds) even while I'm in pain. Did I unconsciously do this so I would have to sit down?

I don't know.  I know I have to revel in this quiet now because come tomorrow, I am back on duty, full on.  The kids can help though and making them step up, pushes their boundaries of leaning on mom when they could do for themselves.  Interesting to watch, because it tugs at me.  I'm supposed to take care of them.  But as they mature, they can start taking care of their own needs, which is the goal of parenting.

Well, time to go revel in the quiet again, before it's over.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"As Good As It Gets"

The activities of the last few weeks have been unbearably busy.  I have been feeling so uncomfortable with the pace of my life.  More often than not, I felt completely overwhelmed and all I could do was practice deep breathing over and over again.  Yet, I am a stay at home mom and this implies that I should have time to spare.  I think this in my own head, and others' have verbalized the same sentiments to me.  I need to change those awful thoughts in my own head that I am not enough and need to do more to in order to validate myself as a person.

Currently I am volunteering as:  a Girl Scout leader with weekly meetings for one daughter.  This takes more time than I had anticipated.  I'm also a member of children's council at church.  The girls' school semester thus far has been daunting,  I show up for all of my children's events including chapel skits, parent teacher conferences, class parties, field trips, student of the week activities, picking up from play rehearsal, pep squad practice, dance rehearsal, attend middle school football games and then the basic routine of homework, tests, and projects for a now fifth grade Middle Schooler and a Second grader whom both now have more academic responsibility.   And keeping up with medical needs such as speech therapy, eye exams, flu shots and now one needs an OT evaluation for help with her writing. And both of my daughters had fall birthdays...don't get me started on birthday party preparations or when animal control showed up twenty minutes before my eldest's birthday party to take our newest rescue dog to the slammer for nipping a girl on the leg.

This doesn't include all of the emails from teachers, coaches, theater directors and others to keep track of all of these activities, either.  And then the balance of regular life:  laundry, shopping, cooking, eating, cleaning, etc...  finances, house upkeep, etc, etc.

There isn't much time for bon bons.

Or Carolyn.

The last few years,  I finally said yes to very thoughtfully chosen activities for myself and for my children.  And this school semester, it has been draining. A few weeks in to the semester I thought, there is no groove here.  I can't get my bearings.   In my journey of healing which overwhelmingly fulfills me, there has been no time to think or to write, which I'm beginning to understand is how I process life. And then the ultimate was that I forgot to attend a play with a friend that I had arranged.  This was the moment when I decided that my weekly Girl Scout meetings which I was planning and leading were too much and I switched them to every other week.  I was mortified that I forgot to show up for the play which I was so excited about but immediately knew that...



A mind cannot handle constant input, and even better,  I don't want to do this to myself anymore!  My mind and body require rest and that includes during daytime hours, not just sleep.  I began forgetting not just events, but words in my vocabulary.  I crave silence and stillness and it renews me incredibly.  After a cathartic meltdown because I stopped long enough to process feelings that I had been too busy to entertain, I went to yoga today.  If was just a mediocre class but even that experience was FANTASTIC for my mind, body and soul.  I feel so calm as I finally have a day that I have no where I HAVE to be.  Now there is a multitude of tasks waiting but I have to take care of myself and it doesn't matter what other people think and that includes some in my own household.  My downtime is honoring myself.  It is also teaching my daughter's how to take care of themselves whether they understand it now or not.

I spoke to a few other moms about the pace of this semester and they were in whole hearted agreement with me, and they were relieved someone else was saying it out loud.  And then I thought,  why do we do this to ourselves?  Yet my kids really are not in that many activities.  The play WAS a big concentrated effort for a period of weeks, was wonderful and now it's over!  Starting a Girl Scout troop, well that is big.  I didn't know just how big.   Now I see the relief in my children as we have been able to come home after school and just have down time... and do homework and projects...

With the holidays coming, and even more jam packed scheduling, I thought, oh my, this is as good as it's going to get this semester, this madness. So, I am going to remember to reset my deep breathing reminder app on my phone and thoughtfully consider each activity and check on each member of the family as to how they are doing, including myself.  I have to say no if necessary.  It doesn't matter what everyone else is doing.  A stressed and numbed out mom cannot function nor adequately be present for myself or my family and that is what is most important to me.

Namaste.  This picture says it all.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All You Need Is Love...

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.” John Lennon

I came across this quote yesterday.  I lived the first forty years motivated by fear and slowly I have been learning to operate out of love, bit by bit.  It's very slow intensive work to change the way my brain has been wired, the stories I tell myself about myself and my life but I am chipping away at it every day.  You also have to examine who is around you and what they are motivated by and is that helping you in your journey.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What does Resurrection really mean?

I taped a The Best of Oprah Show with Marianne Williamson.  It sat in my DVR for a while.  And then something pushed me to watch it.  I was about to delete and bam - out comes mention of resurrection.


Marianne Williamson - new age spiritual guru mentions resurrection?  (My idea of who she is does not fit in with this but....I am wrong!)

And yet this is the BEST kind of resurrection I have heard of!

My religious baggage makes me so uncomfortable about "Jesus" talk or what I would call old school bible teachings.  This would include talk of blood, sin, calvary, Armageddon, the devil, to name just a few topics off the top of my head.  In this type of Bible teaching,  I heard judgement, judgement, judgement.  I have been judging myself unmercifully for forty-five years, I do not need any more talk of telling me what is wrong with myself.  I need to hear what is right.  I need to hear that God made me perfect as I am.  And that is the divine within.  Recognizing the divine within, the gig is up, it is all about LOVE.


Yes, I was screaming that.

Now back to Marianne on my DVR, she is saying a lot that is making so much sense but then I catch this little bit that blows me away:  "The meaning of the word resurrection is the mind lifting up into a new kind of thinking."  She speaks of the Grace of God and that grace allowing us to switch from the victim modality, "this is so terrible" (and for me, I'll never get over this, whatever this is) to one of healing ourselves.   Changing the track that our brain and mind usually play out.

A new kind of thinking.

Yes, she's talking about mindfulness. My favorite subject.  {smile}

Jesus wasn't trying to judge us.  He was trying to show us how to love.  Love ourselves and each other.  During the process of learning to love myself, I just naturally love others in the process, even those who drive me crazy.   When you feel that spark of divine within, you are drawn to give it away.

Somehow I listened to that little intuition that I needed to watch that show.  I needed to hear this.  This idea of resurrection changes not just the track of my brain but it confirms the changes that I'm made in the track of my life.  It reconfirms so many lessons.  So many different people from different walks of life but saying the same idea, in different language, in different ways.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Inner Frankie Heck Is Taken Over By My Inner Theatre Goddess...And In the End It's All About Soul

This morning, I felt myself channeling my inner Frankie Heck, the barely getting by mom from "The Middle."  We have been on a Middle marathon and I have absorbed the essential quirks of each character.  I now repeat things to myself dropping my chin to my chest and whispering words a la Brick.  And then laugh hilariously at myself.  That laughter feels so good because I have not acclimated to this crazy school year.

Back to Frankie.  Two days ago, Mallory's velcro tennis shoe strap broke.  Her father, the surgeon sewed it and then the next day it broke again.  We lucked out because she had free dress at school the following day.  She wore her brand new mandatory dress leather shoes.  I was informed by her teacher that the leather strap had broken off these shoes during the day as well.  As Mallory has play practice every day after school there is no time for shoe shopping and she has no other shoes to wear to school, at all.  

So, this morning we are driving to school.  George had permanently sewed the strap to the other side as the velcro piece is now missing.  I implored Mallory that these shoes have to last through school today and then... One More Day until we can go shopping Saturday morning.  At that moment, my inner theater goddess rose above my inner Frankie Heck, and the Les Mis song, "One Day More" popped in my head.  

So I HAD to play it for the girls and of course, it's on the hard drive in my car.  It goes like this... You MUST push the Play button to read the rest.

The girls are now mortified when I began singing in the car.  And that makes me want to sing louder.  They now implore me to turn it down before the car doors are opened in carpool.  I say, "You're welcome because the song will be stuck  in your head the rest of the day."

They depart and I drive through the rest of the campus and turn it on full blast.  I open the windows because it is a fabulously crisp morning.  I sing all the short way home (or at least the words I know because it's a lot of dialogue.)  {smile}  There is something about Les Miserables.   I've seen the show many times, ranging from a Toronto production to The Dunham School to the movie theatre screening of the 25th Anniversary Production in London.  

Who knew a story about prison, prostitutes, and war set in 19th century France could have such an impact on me.  Yet, the meaning of the story is all about God's love for people on the fringe.  

Here is author Victor Hugo's summation of his own book:

The book which the reader has before him at this moment is, from one end to the other, in its entirety and details ... a progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life; from bestiality to duty, from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God. The starting point: matter, destination: the soul. The hydra at the beginning, the angel at the end.

And in the end, it's all about the light and the dark, (LOVE) and God within our soul.

Ahh, I guess that's why I was drawn to it.  

This is Bonus video above.  It's the 25th Anniversary of Les Mis in London.  The first singer is Colm Wilkinson and he originated Jean Valjean in London.  I dug in my playbills to see that I saw him perform as Phantom in Toronto.   His voice stayed with me!  He sings simple exquisitely.  Every time I watch this I get chills and depending on my mood, a few tears. It's just perfection.  In the 2012 Les Miserables movie, he plays the Bishop who takes Jean Valjean in.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Letting Go of Victimhood

When faced with something that brings up discomfort inside of them, most people spend their energy on reacting, blaming, fixing or running away. But this never heals anything in the long run. It is a gigantic leap in your awakening when you realize that your suffering does not come from what is happening in your life. Suffering comes from your stories about what is happening. People who have gone through great suffering and emerged empowered did so because they were able to see through the stories of victimhood and instead showed up for what Life was giving them.
~ Mary O'Malley

Once more Mary strikes again.  Love this!  I have experienced this.  I believe this.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sara Bareilles: Brave

This song is so good it makes me want to cry.  I love the words and I love the music!  It makes me think of Brene Brown too!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Lesson On Anger from "Pretty Woman"

There's a scene in "Pretty Woman" where Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are in the bathtub and she has her legs wrapped around him.  He says the line that he spent ten thousand dollars in therapy to be able to say and that was "I was very angry at my father."

I took note of that line back in 1990 when the movie came out and it has stuck with me ever since. It would come up whenever I got angry at anyone or anything.  And I would spend many seconds emphasizing the word angry.  It would go like this. " I was very ANNNNGGGGRY."   In the last fews days, I was very ANGRY at someone.  And the anger turned to tears and I had a couple of sessions of ugly cries and then anger and back and forth over the last few days.  I really understand why people stick with their compulsions because the journey to heal is not for wussies.

But an aha has been coming about my anger.  I never really owned it.  Sure, I would rant and rave over the injustice of whoever or whatever it was but deep down...

I didn't think I deserved to be angry.

It was a mental mind game.  But I did deserve to be angry, I just had to detangle from the stories I have told myself that I am not worthy.   And separate and get some clarity from other people's stories that involved me.

As I'm allowing these feelings to work through, I pick up "The Artist's Way" (written by Julia Cameron) which is the workshop I'm taking this semester at church.  This is Chapter 3 which was my designated chapter to read this week.

Picking up this book and this chapter to read was God's hug for me.  I needed one and he gave it to me in this form and I'm grateful.

What stands out are the words....of the ENTIRE three paragraphs above.  I'm a people pleasing "nice" person, so I stuffed my anger, denied it, buried, blocked and hid it, etc.  But anger is there to show me my boundaries.  Again and again, it shows me my boundaries.

The last paragraph on anger:
"Sloth, apathy and despair are the enemy.  Anger is not.  Anger is our friend.  Not a nice friend.  Not a gentle friend.  But a very, very loyal friend.  It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves.  It will always tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests.     Anger is not the action itself.  It is action's invitation."

There is a reason that the line from a movie in 1990 stuck with me.  Anger is my friend and I am worthy to listen to it and use it appropriately.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Use the Heart not the Head: Curiousity, Compassion, and Connection

I have been listening to a Mary O'Malley video clip from The Psychology of Eating Online Conference.  I have listened a few minutes at a time over several weeks.  Today I am hearing it with new ears.  I'm having another big aha.

Her book is called, "The Gift of Our Compulsions."  Instead of being angry about using food compulsively, I'm beginning to feel a shift.  Mary says that the compulsion is there to bring attention to what you are not ready to be with.  Most people live their lives running with their compulsions and have no idea that they are doing so.  

Ms. O'Malley quotes Rumi:

“Don't turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you.

I have been very angry at myself for a long time for always using food to avoid my pain.  I beat myself up over it.  I judge myself.  Why can't I get this area of my life under control?   I have felt so empowered in so many areas but this food/weight thing persists.  And then Mary talks about being curious as opposed to trying to control it.   She discusses what I call the three C's: compassion, connection and curiosity.   She goes further to say these are HEART functions not head.  I get lost in all of the head stuff - the whys, the hows, etc.  I can ruminate in rationalizations forever.  I have been in touch with the heart and I've had glimpses and it is pure bliss.  I want more of that and I've had enough of the head stuff. 

We are wired to struggle and our compulsions are there for us to avoid being in that struggle.  She also says we are dualistic in nature and that means black/white, right wrong.  We deem our compulsion as bad, so we try to beat it down.  We have been conditioned from very early to live in this war.  Father Richard Rohr also talked about dualism in his talk that I attended a few years back and it highly resonated with me.  

Rumi's quote about the light and Ms. O'Malley talking about the heart speaks loud and clear to me.  The light represents a deep sense of well being.  Let me say that again because I need to hear it.  

A deep sense of well being.  

I'm not going to get that by losing weight or being able to buy the smaller size.  I'm not going to have that by looking perfect (and who is the judge of that, who do I give that power to?)  I feel the sense of well being when I have compassion with myself (and others!) I feel that when the negative thoughts start and I stop them and become curious about why.

I have experienced moments of deep well being and it has come when I detach from the controlling thoughts.  The moments come when I'm compassionate with myself and take care of myself.  They come when I connect with others who are on a soul journey too.   They come when I feel a shift of energy that feels like LOVE and not judgement.  

I'm sticking with the 3 C's for now.  I think that will lead me the rest of the way.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Always Think That I'm The One Teaching My Kids But...

For the longest time, she hesitated to sign up for the pep squad.  I, "the old cheerleader," had been hoping for a few years that she would be interested in cheerleading as well.  I felt a very strong tug when I saw a group of girls practicing together or when we attended a high school game.  It was a deep yearning that I couldn't let go.

What is this deep yearning really about...

Just because I enjoyed being a cheerleader doesn't mean she would.  She is not me and she has her own interests.  But she would bring up pep squad from time to time when the other girls talked about it.  The two of us would discuss the pros and cons and where she stood.

And during those talks I learned to let my desire for her go.  Instead of me teaching her something, I listened to her talk about what she wanted and I learned something! 

It's very important to follow your own dreams.

The extended "join the pep squad" deadline was upon us, and she brought it up again, which surprised me because I had let it go and thought she had ruled it out.  Although cheerleading is a sport - I would love for her to be on the field playing the sport, but it's her choice.  So I requested the final schedule to see what the exact time commitment would be as it was a major concern for my academic daughter.  (Woo Hoo on that concern!)

At the very final opportunity to join, I sensed a desire on her part but she was still hesitant. This isn't about me.  Hmmm.  What do I do?  Since she only had one other activity going on during the week, I encouraged her to try.  She seemed to need the push to get out of her comfort zone.  

So we ended up at our first game last night. It was very exciting to see the smile on her face having fun.  This may be her only time with a cheerleader uniform on (well, when hers comes in because we signed up so late!) and I'm okay with that.  I may grieve it a little when the time comes but I want her to be who she authentically is and to follow her own interests because that is where her heart is.  And I need to pursue those things where my heart lies and get out of my comfort zone.

The game was a classic "agony of defeat" kind of night.  The other team scored on their first possession and kept going.   Our fifth and sixth grade boys worked really hard but the end score of 20-6 was not in our favor.   But let me tell you that "6" was SO exciting!!  It brought out the old cheerleader in me.  I stood and screamed (and stopped chatting) when I realized that we were close to the goal line!  It was a little deja vu and fun!

You don't have to have a uniform on to be a cheerleader.

Monday, September 16, 2013

We Have Reached Our Limit of Four Legged Friends!

 We have a new dog!  We fostered this little boy for a week and on Saturday completed the adoption paperwork. 

Why you ask?
Mallory begged for another dog and I really wanted George to have a dog that didn't shake with fear and would come running to him.  And possibly, a friend for Annie.  We have named him Brinkley and he appears to be a mix of several breeds perhaps Pomeranian, Terrier, or beagle.  He has a very sweet disposition but has a little guard dog in him which is good.

How Brinkley is different from Annie: 1) The leg goes up to pee. 2) Follows me around all day long 3) On leash outings, he walks with his head up and RUNS for squirrels, cats, etc.  4) Is more brazen but still ultimately afraid of the cats. 5) Sits in high places. 6) Licks me all the time 7) Is more excitable and playful 8) Runs after the birds and squirrels in the backyard.

Even Riley digs Brinkley.

Happily greeting George at the door!
Sits in different places than Annie.

Curls up wherever I am.

Annie comes to check out the squirrel Brinkley has found.

Friday, September 13, 2013

"It just surrenders to what it is"

"We are all tired. Really, we are. It’s a hard road, but its also a beautiful one. Perhaps we expect too much from ourselves and from others. Perhaps humanity can only make slow progress, like an inch worm. Perhaps we need to celebrate how far we have come more often. And rest more. And relish the simple pleasures. And look for love everywhere. There is a river near where I live. It meanders slowly, peacefully. It doesn’t ask itself why it isn’t an ocean, or a raging river, or some other thing. It just surrenders to what it is. Maybe we just need to surrender more to who we are. I think I will lie down tomorrow beside the river. And take a rest. And sweet surrender." Jeff Brown
Beautiful! <

Monday, September 2, 2013

A John Donohue Blessing

The Irish in me fell in love with this poem...from my Sunday Morning class' latest book.

From John O'Donohue as printed in Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong

A Blessing

Blessed be the longing that brought you here and that quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to befriend your eternal longing.
May you enjoy the critical and creative companionship of the question "Who Am I?" and may it brighten your longing.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and shelter your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the same sureness with which your body belongs to the world.
May the sense of something absent enlarge your life.
May your soul be as free as the ever-new waves of the sea.
May you succumb to the danger of growth.
May you live in the neighborhood of wonder.
May you belong to love with the wildness of Dance.
May you know that you are ever embraced in the kind circle of God.

Yes, I Have Big Breastseses!

Oprah was recently on MY
New Orleans Book Signing with Andy!
Andy Cohen's "What What Happens Live" show while she was promoting "The Butler."  I really enjoy Andy and several shows on the Bravo network. One thing that he does do is question his guests often about physical attributes especially regarding  plastic surgery and puts the focus on appearances.  This is where my desire to love myself as is, is in direct conflict with watching this programming.  I try to compartmentalize this issue.  But when Oprah came on, the physical issues hit the spiritual.  The following transpired on the show 

The late night host asked Winfrey what she thought about her Butler costar Terrence Howard's comment about her "tig ol' bitties.'"

"It really is okay because they really are big," Winfrey said. "The other day I went, 'God, are y'all getting bigger?' These are my grandmother's -- she's with me."

Cohen later joked, "Not only does she have a bountiful garden, she has bountiful . . . " Winfrey quipped, "Breastseses!"

Oprah embraced her girls and it was a powerful moment for me.

To hear this exchange was relieving.  Oprah is a spiritual pilgrim and has led me to so many ahas through interviews with her spiritual teachers.   She is an amazing teacher and conduit.  She embraced mindfulness and spirituality years ago and tried to bring it to the masses but we were not ready.  All I know is I'm ready and open now.

And I have big breasts and much of the time I don't like them.  They get in the way and they bother me.  But they are mine.  They are a part of me.  And my mother has big breastseses too!  And if Oprah can laugh about it, I can lighten up!

You can laugh about having big breasts and be a spiritual pilgrim at the same time.

Oprah also joked about when she was little how she was scared of the enormity of her grandmother's bosom and how when she embraces children she makes sure to do it delicately.  I have to do the same with my own children.

Here's to large breastseses!  May I continue to accept their bounty and may I continue to accept me, as I am.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Day 3: Post-Op

Mothers of young children are not allowed to be sick or recuperate from "procedures."   This is a fact.

I came home from my "procedure" three days ago.  I didn't realize that my endometrial ablation would include a tube down my throat and gas to put me out.  I thought I would wake up and be ready to go like I did from my colonoscopy which also used propofol.  This time my friend, the uterus, that I boiled, was on fire and let me know.  The ladies who said they stopped for lunch on the way home from this procedure, lied. {grin}

In Post-Op, I had very involved conversations with the nurse and he and I finally came to an understanding.  Communication is so important in all relationships!  I told him I wasn't a good reporter.  He would ask if I needed pain medicine, I would grimace and ask if it would knock me out again.  I don't like to be knocked out and I knew the kids needed to be picked up from carpool.  He and I would discuss the pros and cons of each pain reliever.  He would ask again if I needed pain reliever, I would grimace and then he delivered more medicine through the IV and out I went.  I had one spell of nausea that didn't last long.

On the way home from hospital when all I wanted to do so badly was go to bed, we had to swing by and pick up the children from carpool.  I just laid my head on the console and hoped it went quickly.  We make it home, I hit the bed and begged my husband to get the prescription pain medicine.

My youngest daughter learned that she won a $50 Walmart gift card from our library in a drawing of summer reading program participants.  She and my husband get my narcotics and her gift card.  Well, of course she wants to go to Walmart and pillage everything in the "My Little Pony"section and my husband comes to me during one of my conscious phases and asks if he can take her and leave Riley with me.  I say no.  Mallory holds off for a few minutes and comes in and cries about not being able to go.  My anger rises.  I'm in pain, and in and out of consciousness but I still have to make decisions.  I stay awake for a good period and decide it's better for them to go so that I don't have to take her later.

The next day, my friend drops off delicious Sweet Wishes Cupcakes.  I share them with the girls when they get home from school.  At this point, I am about 60%.  My throat hurts from the intubation tube, my uterus aches and I feel anesthesia fog.  As I work to drag Mallory to soccer practice of which she really, really wanted to play when I signed her up but now she despises and blames me for having to go, she decides to ask me why I ate the chocolate cupcake.

I lose it.  It's not pretty.  The words, "I'm the one who had a tube down my throat", "I'm the one who had my uterus boiled", and "It was MY friend who brought the cupcakes so I get to eat the CHOCOLATE one" come out of my mouth very loudly.

I apologize, we go to soccer practice, I don't really remember driving but I'm sure it was done safely.  The next day I have an aha that is okay for me to be cranky.  It is o-kay to be cranky.  No explanations, no rationale.  It is okay to disappoint others.  I have to take care of myself.  (Extreme self care= let me disappoint you) I don't have to be "on" all the time. And it is good for my children to know that as well.  They don't have to pretend that all is fine, all the time.  Authenticity.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ode to a Uterus!

I had low level anxiety this past weekend and it is ramping up today.  I feel restless for a couple of reasons but one of which is there is an end of sorts coming.  The end is that I'm saying goodbye to the functioning of my uterus. {smile} Due to some excessive bleeding in the last years, I am going to undergo endometrial ablation on Tuesday at noon.  In laymen's terms, my uterus will be boiled and the surface will be scarred and an egg would never be able to implant again.

Now, I turned forty-creaking-five at the beginning of the month and long ago George and I decided we had completed our family and steps were taken on George's part to nip it in the bud.  I don't want to be pregnant and yet ending my fertility on purpose makes me a little sad.  It's a transition.  While meeting with my gynecologist, I got a little verklempt towards the end of the appointment (though in my defense, I had already been misty eyed over the first ever Middle School email from my daughter during same appointment)  I had been under this doctor's care for both of my pregnancies and she had delivered one of them.  And now we are at the other end of my fertility spectrum.

So now, I say goodbye to my fertility.   The thing is as someone who went through infertility, I became very well versed in how the whole process works down (there) to a science.  Some people can just look at each other in the back of a Pontiac and bam, they are with child.  The depth of my fertility knowledge was stunning.  I knew all about follicles, eggs, mucus, FSH, LH, sperm count, estrogen, progesterone, PCOS,  and then came injectables, blood tests, Glucophage, Clomid, Lupron, IUI, IVF, etc. etc.  Even now, I have tiny indentations in my inner elbows from all of the blood draws over the two year period. I can also disrobe in a doctors's office in no time flat after one too many ultrasounds.

A few years ago, I ended up in the ER with pelvic pain and during the vaginal ultrasound working towards a diagnosis, the tech upon seeing my interest in my follicular development thought I wanted to get pregnant. No, I was just taking a trip down memory lane.

And I'm doing that again today.  It's okay for me to have some feelings about saying goodbye to my fertility.  It's part of being a woman, like getting your first period.  It's a part of who I am and was.  I fought really hard to be able to use my uterus!  I was very blessed to be able to be pregnant and give birth to two babies.  This is my acknowledgement.  Thank you uterus!  I'm sorry I have to boil you but I did appreciate you and the job you did.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bit by Bit We Are Growing Up!

This past week, I was sitting in my gynecologist's office while the kids went to aftercare.  While waiting for the doctor to come in, I checked my email.  And to my surprise was my first ever email from Riley using her school email account.

It immediately brought tears to my eyes.

And then the nurse walked in at that moment to take my blood pressure again and it was still slightly high.  Oh well.

The next day I heard a quote from Frederic Buechner along the lines of pay attention to those moments of tears and chills because that is the holy calling.

I just LOVE that!  To think five years ago I was scared of crying or any feelings and now I am able to find pleasure in them as holy moments and feel God's presence through them.  What a freaking turnaround of events!!

Also this past weekend, the whole family drove across the street to school to help my eldest decorate her locker.  Even the dog came with us.  We had to do it over the course of two days to go back and shop for a few more decorations.

I feel a special sort of happy that the whole family came together to get the job done.  I feel very blessed with our family unit.  Even through the quarreling, competition, cat fights and peeing on the carpet, we come together.  And that IS FAMILY.  It is not a perfect picture, it is not always smooth.  We get aggravated with each other, but we truly love each other deep down and keep moving forward...together.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beach, Body Image, Bathing Suits, Yoga, Mirrors and More

The unhappiest people in this world, are those who care the most about what other people think. ― C Joybell C

Right between the eyes.

I was blessed to go to yoga while we were at the beach.  I make it to a yoga class about once, maybe twice a month.  I hope to go more often when school starts again.  This room that yoga was practiced in had mirrors on the wall.  This is good and not so good.  It helps to look at alignment but then I also catch glimpses of my body that startle me and can send me on a body image nosedive.

I caught a glimpse of my extra fleshiness and it threw me into a tailspin.  I think at first I want to deny these feelings of sadness and intellectualize them out and avoid the pain - also called "mentally meddling" and inhibits the feelings from flowing through.  Perhaps because it was vacation, I kept eating beyond feeling full.  The food called to me and I couldn't stop.  Which had the affect of helping the nosedive to go even further down.

Being at the beach, I was thinking about my body size a little bit more. Strapping on a swim suit doesn't bother me as much as it did in the past but what I do find myself doing is looking at other people and think, "How do they do it?  How do they stay slim?"

And that is not the right question, because....

Looking and thinking about other people's bodies is not going to transform my world experience!

I love that saying.  My true journey in life is to transform my world experience from fear to love.  This is what makes me so excited.  I feel the presence of God when I follow this passion of wholeness.

After I have let the sadness of my imperfect body pass, I am once again able to see that weight does not equal self worth. I can live a full life in an imperfect body.  It may take a day or two but the feelings pass and I can get on with living.

And the above C Joybell C quote came along right after my experience at the beach.

Right between the eyes.


Scuff Marks and Struggle

While we were at the beach last week, we hit an outlet mall and found new tennis shoes for school for the girls.  The size we bought for Riley was a half size smaller than what I wear. (Oh my!)

As she strode on a path in the shoes towards her father on another bench, I had a vivid ten year old memory pop in my head.  It was her toddling for the first time in her Stride Rite high tops on the driveway of our first house.

It was such a precious memory.  I also remember that the shoes were immediately scuffed up within minutes of wearing them - and that bothered me.  And as I pulled out the pictures, I also see that huge smile on her face.  Therein lies my lesson.

As humans, we are wired to struggle (and scuff our shoes!)  I am in the middle of listening to Mary O'Malley, a fantastic compulsive behavior therapist, and she repeated this notion of struggle (and letting go of control!)   It is also what my therapist has told me many, many times. We are born wired to struggle.  When I first started therapy, I wanted to come to a place of peace, and yet that place does not exist.  It has taken many years to understand that and I will continue to grasp this lesson again.  But today, I get it.

Riley started her middle school career today.   And as I see that excitement when she was a toddler taking her first steps, what brings out her smile the most, is trying new things and stepping out away from her parents.  And she is going to struggle and that is okay. My first instinct is to not have her feel pain and while George and I caught her before she fell at the toddler stage.  I have to learn to let her fall at this ten year (and beyond!) stage.  And pain is a part of life.  And emotional pain won't kill us as I have always thought it would - it can flow through if allowed to.   And we grow from those falls and mistakes. We do not learn anything from the things we do right.

So, the shoes will get scuffed, and she will learn.  My shoes get scuffed on a daily basis, and I learn.  I want her to know that she can handle whatever comes her way even if it is a struggle.  And letting her fall, and move away from us, and gain her independence prepares her for real life much more than stopping the pain.

Friday, August 9, 2013

What To Do About Yoga and My Squishy Parts

I went to yoga this morning.  Fabulous.

Two ideas popped in my head while I was posing.  One was that there are certain poses or moves I have told myself over the years that I can't do.  And today, out of haste, I did one of those moves.  I have always used my knees to lower from plank to the floor.  And today, I powered through lowering my body without using my knees.


And once again, I thought how powerful one's thoughts are.

Several times over the years, I have tried a new move that I thought I couldn't possibly do and I did it for a few seconds or even longer, and was completely shocked over this discovery.

Thoughts are so powerful.  And the stories we tell ourselves over and over, we believe.

And the second idea, revolved around viewing my extra girth in the mirror.  It bothered me so much when I did yoga at the beach last week.   I knew I needed to think differently this time and not focus on the negative.  And then the words of my favorite teacher Carmen sprang to me.   She has suggested so many times as we are pushing ourselves into a stretch,  to send love to that body part that is being stretched.  So when negativity popped in my head, I said let me send love to my squishy parts.  And I did.  And each time I did so, it made my smile.  It was simple but effective.  I felt so much more powerful after the hour that I want to continue this practice of both sending love to my squishy parts and more yoga!

I know this healing journey is going to have to involve loving all of me and especially the squishy parts for me to move forward and feel whole.

Love what is, instead of fearing my lack of perfection.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Thank you George Takai and I've Never Ever Watched Star Trek.

George Takai shared this picture on Facebook today.

Isn't it great!

As I've been on this journey to "transform my experience of the world" - (thank you Oprah), and have slowly and intentionally worked to heal my woundedness, I see how much fear I lived in.  As it has decreased, I have had small ahas, "I use to be scared to do this, not so much anymore"  Hmm, that's change.  Each little small increment, keeps me moving forward...and rising.

There are always more issues to face.  I have volunteered to run a Girl Scout Troop for Riley's age.  I have never decided to be in charge of anything...  but I am stepping out of my comfort zone because I can tell how much she would like to do this and it's a good program.  And it would be facing my fears.
So onward and upward.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weight Equals Happiness?

Oh, holy heck.  This one hit me right between the eyes.

Months ago when I went to the doctor and found out I had gained seven (more) pounds, for several days I felt like my life had taken a turn for the worse.  I have been on a path of enlightenment to lose weight, not gain it and this is putting me even further away from wherever my natural weight is.  (What is my natural weight? - that is still a mystery)

I can see how dramatic that was now but it worked into an aha moment that continues to sink in.  I wrote about in on February 22 and it was called "Seven Pounds and a Palpable Shift."

Walking around with the extra seven pounds and learning to accept and love myself "as is" is a HUGE (!) endeavor but one fully worth taking.  And the truth is that when I weighed less after dieting for about ten minutes,  my world did not change as I anticipated.  It was more fun to go shopping and get dressed but I still had the same insecurities and incessant thoughts plaguing me.

I still lived in fear on a day to day basis and at the whim of my feelings which overwhelmed me.  I didn't realize I lived in fear until I slowed down enough to realize it.   The last years of therapy and intense self examination have led to more understanding of where I came from, who I am authentically and most of all, how to handle my feelings and thought processes.  Shifting my thoughts from fear to love on a daily basis has been an incredible journey and one that I will continue the rest of my life.  Worrying about my looks and weight does not move me in a positive direction at all.  And most importantly, my weight does not indicate my self worth.

I have slowly come to realize that the inner journey "stuff" FASCINATES me, rocks my boat and that is who I am.  For most other people, not so much.   Ye that is who I am authentically. And that is okay that I'm different from other people.  Accepting this about myself is very freeing.  I beat myself up a lot over this one.  Now I become so excited when I find another person on the path.  The "inner journey people" are few and far between because one would have to slow down, stop the madness of compulsive activity that keep us from thinking and examine and that may be too painful to do.  Some people there have to hit rock bottom to propel them on the journey.   It is a painful journey but oh so freeing at the same time.

So, as I come across this picture and words on my Facebook feed, I had a happy dance in my mind.  Because that is who I am and someone else out there gets it!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Living with the Enemy

I caught the end of a Julia Roberts movie, "Sleeping with the Enemy" from 1991.    I remember loving the end of the movie back then even thought it was violent and that is not my type of movie at all.  As our damsel in distress Julia has the gun pointed at her mentally and physically abusive husband that she has elaborately escaped from, she calls the police and tells them to send someone as she has just shot an intruder.  She hangs up and then she shoots him.  Bam!  After he has one last theatrical attempt to grab at her, he falls down dead, for sure, this time.

This movie was very black and white.  The bad guy was clear from the very beginning.

What if that enemy resides within?  And what you need to kill off is your own thought patterns? I saw the movie and wished that the growth journey could be that straight forward.  Oh, how I wish it could be that straightforward.  And then I could dance around to "Brown Eyed Girl" which is one of my favorite songs.

I recently had a comment told to me about how good someone else's appearance was in regard to her weight and there is a history with the speaker.  It felt like a dagger.  This person's appearance or the speaker's opinion has nothing to do with me, but I immediately took it personally.  It took 2 days for me to gain awareness that the comment wasn't directed at me and it's my doubts about my own appearance that was the dagger.

Uggggghhhh.  That ego.

I can now look at the dagger comment as "another f'ing growth opportunity."  And that's another growth to use the word f'ing because I don't like swearing either. Yet the plain words,  growth opportunity doesn't seem strong enough for how I'm feeling.  This summer, I'm a little tired and emotionally worn out and I need solitude.

In the end I am actually glad for the comment because I DO see it now as AFGO.  My self worth was really in the toilet a few years ago and I'm making my way out slowly and surely as I pay attention day in and day out and do the hard work.  In the movie,  Julia had to learn to swim and save her money over time in order to get to the point of escape. So even in the movie she had to work too!

The fact that the comment doesn't sting anymore and it only took 2 days and I don't blame the other person anymore is growth.

Bam!  The ego is dying, slowly ever so slowly and there will be many more theatrical attempts to grab me but I will continue to pay attention.