Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Weight on Our Shoulders

This morning, is one of those mornings already. One of those mornings in which I feel the weight of responsibility heavy on my shoulders and tight in my chest. I'm weepy and stressed and I've been awake for an hour. Today is Wednesday. On Wednesday I don't go into the office. The boys have a short day at school, so I have about 4.5 hours of the morning to myself. I always intend to use this weekly allowance as "me time". Ya know, yoga, maybe a hike, or read a book in the sun, just some time for me to breathe and center. Because truly, a happy and healthy mamma, makes for a happier and healthier family. That happens about a third of the time.

We just wrapped up a several week break from school and work. This is our first week back to the regularly scheduled program. So this Wednesday, today, I have a list a mile long. Phone calls that need to be made, stores I need to go to so I can feed my people and my pets, some bills to pay, you know the drill. And you know what friends? It just feels like a lot.

I feel, this morning, like I am responsible for EVERYTHING. And I'm sharing this with you, because I know you've felt it too.

Grocery Shopping (which entails several stores because everyone needs something special) This is my least favorite chore of all chores. I may have mentioned that before.

Cleaning up the house


Scheduling appointments

Calling on accounts because we can't remember user names and passwords


Backing up technology

Giving the damn dogs their flee medicine


Pick up the kids

After school crossfit and homework




All the stufffffff


I want to shout....I can't do everything! I can't remember every one's everything!

Then as the shouting subsides, a little quieter I realize, ... I don't want to do it all.

And now, pours forth the real feels, the wordless and soundless and buried......I sometimes feel like I'm drowning in other peoples expectations of all that I am supposed to do and keep track of.....I'm sorry I am not always able to do it all.....I feel like a failure..... sometimes I want to hide away where no one can expect me to get things for them, know the answer to every question, remember every story and request, be the strong and positive cheerleader and make everything better. Tears. Anger. Why doesn't he help more? Why do I have to feel the weight of all of this? Why can't he see how much this all is? Guilt. Because how blessed I am to have this family and these things and money and a home and food. And how can I complain and bitch and moan while people an hour away are loosing homes and LIVES to natural disaster? Worry. Tension. Emotions battling for the most attention. Release.

Deep breaths now. Lots of deep slow breaths.

Forgiveness now. Because I am human. They are human.

Gratitude now. I am truly honored to be their mom, and happy to be his wife. Because we are alive. Because I get to think and feel these things and then choose a new way to think and feel.

Feeling more centered now. Grounding. Breathing. Oh breath, how I love thee.

Moving now. Away from the keyboard. Off to get dressed and get on with my day. With a little less weight on my shoulders and a bit more pep in my step. <3

Monday, September 11, 2017

There are Always Reminders

It began like most other weekend mornings. I tried to sleep in. The kids "tried" to be quiet. Around 8:30 I took off the black sleep mask and shuffled to the kitchen to make my coffee. That's what I do, and everyone knows not to ask too much of me until that warm cup of joe is in my hands and I've had a few sips. I had kicked the coffee habit a while ago. No coffee at all for about 6 months. I'm back to one cup in the morning, usually no more. But still, that one cup is like the light switch right? Sometimes, before I go to bed, I get excited thinking about how I am going to wake up and drink a cup of coffee. More on that sad state of affairs another day.

Anyway, got my wake up juice, and perched myself on the outside step, sun in my face, welcoming the day. The plan was to head to the beach. We usually spend at least one of the weekend days at the beach, the other normally ends up being chock full of chores. Whether it's playing on the dunes, or getting in the water, it is one of our favorite ways to spend time as a family. On our beach mornings there is usually a little bit of back and forth between the hubs and I as to when we should leave. He has an incessant need to be early for things. He likes to get up and go. Be there early, before everyone else gets there. Easier parking, less traffic, lots of day left by time we get home. Blah blah blah. I, on the other hand, am usually in no hurry. I like to cruise around the house, drink my coffee, pick up a little bit. I don't really care how many people are there or if we need to park a little bit away. I'm usually not in any race against the clock to get home either (laundry, vacuuming, and the dreaded grocery shopping are waiting for me there). There is also the fact that I like to wait until it's a bit warmed up, and he prefers it on the chillier side.

While he and I hammer out the itinerary, the boys are usually playing a video game together. Still in their jammies (well one is probably in his chonies and the other is usually naked - because he sleeps nude and on the average is only half dressed if we are lucky). We begin yelling down the hall "get your swim trunks on and grab an extra set of clothes" knowing very well that we will do this at least 4 more times before it happens.

Hubs starts packing up the surf board, the boogie board, the wetsuits, if we are bringing the dogs, all of their crap. I gather towels and a blanket. I grab snacks and drinks. Eventually the boys are ready, and we load up into the truck. At this point someone is beginning to get grumpy because of something. Now, one of the boys remembers they forgot something and has to go back into the house. Dad starts getting impatient, and the other boy is mocking his brother for always forgetting things. Now, everyone is in, buckled, and ready to ride. Tension may now be felt via the vibes.

This last weekend all of this went down just as usual, except there was some additional arguing. At this point, I honestly could not tell ya what it was that happened, but littlest dude was full of some major 'tude and in tears by time we got around the corner to the gas station and had announced he did NOT want to go to the dumb beach. I grabbed the worry stone husband keeps in his center console, along side the squeezy stress ball. I slowly and methodically started rubbing the shit outta that thing. I felt the lava building up to a boiling point and really did not want to spew something mean, or "turn this truck around" and go home, but was very close.

As I was sitting there, caressing the flat obsidian stone, trying to bring forth calm (imagine big furrow/crease in between my brows cause that is exactly what happens), a friend drove by. She didn't see me, but I saw her, and was instantly put-in-check. Just seconds prior my self talk consisted of "what the fuck?! This family can't just go have a nice day at the beach without arguing and fighting. Why can't we just be nice to one another? When will this end? I need a freaking break!"  I thanked my angles right then, the moment I saw her face through that windshield, knowing that seeing her was my reminder that this shit show was a blessing. I was lucky to have my pouty and sassy faced boys in the back of the truck and my, probably grumpy by now, husband who was pumping gas. Just because it's hard as hell sometimes, doesn't mean it's not worth every second of it. AND, it could all change, immediately and without warning.

My friend, the one that angles sent at that moment, lost her son about 5 years ago. Very suddenly he was gone from this world, from her world, gone. I worked with her at the time. I saw it all go down...her getting the phone call. I remember seeing the doodles she had been making on her notepad that lay on her desk, only moments before the call came in. Feeling the weight of her world imploding, leaving her and her family breathless, in unfathomable shock, reeling, reeling, reeling. I will never forget it.

When I saw her it was an instant wake up slap to the face. Was there anything in this world she would not give to have her boy back? Even with attitude, rolled eyes and frowny face. She would give anything and everything. Angels can backhand ya pretty hard when they need to. And messages can come instantaneously...

Stop focusing on the stuff that makes you feel UNgrateful

Stop perpetuating this negativity

Energy flows where your attention goes

Look behind you at those boys, love on them now, no matter what

They are learning from you Trisha. Learning how to be in this world. How to handle their frustrations and disappointments. How to express their feelings. Your reaction to situations like these mean everything.

People, even the ones you love, will not always behave the way you wish them to. You can only control the way you behave.

Calm promotes calm. Be the light. Be the example. Teach them.

The hubs got back into the car and gave his own little "let us start over and have a good day" speech. It was just what everyone needed to hear to push the reset button.

We made it to the beach. Littlest just wasn't into to it that day. My oldest totally was. So he and dad played in the ocean for an hour or more. The dogs ran and swam and got filthy. And my youngest and I chilled on the sand. He complained and pouted now and then. I grumbled about his attitude a couple of times...just cause I got the wake up slap doesn't mean I'm gonna be the perfect-grateful-calm mom all of the sudden, come on (insert eye roll here). I reminded him how lucky we are to live where we do. To get to be at the beach every week if we want to be. We talked about what is happening in Texas and Florida and how that scares him and how sad it is. It's so eye opening to just listen to their little hearts and the thoughts invading their minds sometimes. I would be a grumpy little shit too every now and then if I had all of that goin' on inside of me. Which we all do, ergo our occasional grown up tantrums.

The day wasn't extraordinary. It was typical. A usual Saturday for our little tribe. Well intentioned plans, some attitude and grumbling, some fun in the sun, gratitude re-found, new promises to self to and to each other. And the reminder. Ya'll know I love reminders <3

Thankful for my boys (big and small). For our imperfect family, that struggles and fights and comes back together to keep trying and to love fiercely. For the angles who don't give up on me and continue to offer guidance and reminders. For the good, the bad and the ugly.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back to School

Here we are, about to start another new school year. In just a few days, the boys will be waking up early, packing lunches and new backpacks, and heading to their new classrooms for the year. They are excited and a little nervous, just as I always was the days before the first day of school when I was young. I remember not being able to sleep. Laying in bed, looking at my first day of school outfit hanging on my closet door.

 I find it difficult to sleep these days leading up to the first day of school as well. I lay in bed once everyone gets to sleep and begin to think, wonder, visualize and pray. Not so much worry anymore, just pondering, and becoming clear on what I hope their time at school will be like. Things come to mind, that sometimes I jot down in one of the journals laying on my bedside table. Things that I want to make sure that they truly know.

So, to my boys, on this eve of our newest chapter....

You know once Mommy gets writing things just start pouring out. I'll try to keep this clear and not super long. I lay awake last night thinking of you both, seeing your faces in my mind's eye. Thinking about how much you have grown over the last year, about your individual gifts, about the areas that challenge you, and most of all, your sweet hearts.

First of all, the love that each of you holds in your hearts is tangible. You are both deep feelers. You both express those feelings in very different ways. But you both have soft, sweet hearts. As we get older, we begin to be challenged by numerous situations, some of which threaten to, little by little, harden our hearts.

We might be treated disrespectfully, or even cruelly,  by an unkind classmate. We might feel judged by others for what we wear, how we look or the things we enjoy. We might have a teacher who doesn't seem to understand us and may not offer the support that we need. We might really struggle in certain academic areas leaving us feeling like a failure. We might begin to feel pressure to act a certain way to fit in, even when it doesn't feel right inside. Oh my babies, growing up is not all ice cream sundaes. BUT, as we have agreed to in our family, we get to decide how to respond to every situation. We don't have to be swept away helplessly. We can choose to look at these situations that maybe hurt our hearts and make us sad or mad, and use them in our favor, and in the favor of others. These are opportunities to learn new things about ourselves and to become stronger, braver and more compassionate.

Let us not allow the difficult times to harden our hearts. Let us allow those times to open our minds and hearts to new ways of being an even brighter light in the world. Let us treat everyone kindly. Let us be good examples of God's love by being honest, caring and encouraging, with ourselves and with others.

You are worthy of respect, just as you give respect and real friendship. Do not accept "friendships" that feel disrespectful. Friends are there to build one another up. To enjoy time together and share interests. To encourage and support. If you have a "friend" who talks badly about you, or is unkind, they are not your friend. You are empowered to stick up for yourself, doing so calmly and with clarity.

Give everyone a chance. Smile at the new kids and ask them to join you on the playground. You know how hard it can be to feel like you are on the outside looking in. They may be afraid to talk to the other kids, maybe have no one to sit with at lunch. Let's help them feel included and welcomed. Even if there are other kids giving them the side eye, or passing judgment, cause that's just so not cool. You may never end up talking to the new kid again after a day or two, or they could end up being your new bff. You never know.

Enjoy being part of a team when the time is right. Working together with other people isn't always easy. Everyone has different ideas, personalities. and boundaries. That is exactly why it's important to do it. It gives us a chance to hear other peoples' ideas, and maybe think about things in a new way. It lets us be part of some give and take, some compromise. You guys are smart cookies, but you don't know everything. Allow yourself to see things from another point of view. There is no reason to fear other people's beliefs or ideas...your heart will always lead you back to truth, AND your truth might just expand to include some cool new stuff.

Give it your all. I know some school work can be boring. It can be hard, but hard is not bad. Hard stretches us, grows our perseverance and patience. You may want to do things differently than you are being made to do them. Share your ideas with the teacher if he/she asks. Ask questions, lots of them. There will be subjects that you really enjoy, that excite you and spark ideas....and there will be some that you just have to get through. But doing our best, no matter how much we really like the work, is an important lesson. Don't do things willy-nilly just to get by, AND don't expect perfection from yourself, because there is no such thing. Just do your best work. Again, your heart knows what that is. That little voice will speak to you if you listen. It'll tell ya whether or not you are giving it all you've got. Getting an education is a gift. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The world has so much to offer. There are so many adventures to be had. We are students throughout our lifetime, only a small portion of that learning actually happens in school. These school years will be a distant memory before you know it.

Talk to Mom and Dad about all of it. Don't be afraid to share with us. You will never be judged. You will always be accepted and forever and ever loved for exactly who you are. We will help guide you. We will correct you when it's needed. We will kick ya in the ass if you are wallowing or not living nearly to your potential. We will be honest with you. We will laugh and cry with you. We will hug you and love on you. We will advocate for you. We will do hard things with you. We will encourage you to take the risk, to climb the mountain, to push yourself enough.

Lastly, my little dudes, just be you! Be who you are, wear what you want to wear. Listen to the music you want to listen to. Like the stuff that you like, even if the other kids aren't into it. Remember that you are who you are for a very special reason. We need your unique gifts. You have tremendous things to offer this world just by being yourself.

Here's to a year filled with new experiences, growth, self discovery and fun <3

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Time to Stop Hiding

The stigma surrounding mental health is a such an enormous barrier in terms of healing. So many people are afraid to speak about their struggles. We don't want to be seen as weak. We don't want to be considered ill or broken, unstable or dangerous. We worry it will effect friendships and professional lives. We worry and we hide.

But there are so many of us you guys! Honestly, I don't know of a human being that does not combat demons, whether or not they are diagnosed with a mental illness. I mean, think about all of the people running around who are tormented and stay silent, never receive a diagnosis, never get treatment or support of any kind. That is heartbreaking to me.

Why do those who are challenged in a mental/emotional way, get treated differently then those challenged by a physical illness? Because we can't "see it", and we only believe what we can see? We have all seen someone with a mental illness that is noticeable in an outward manner. Usually homeless, wandering, talking to imaginary people, possibly acting out aggressively. Those people we know and believe are ill because we can see it. It more than likely makes us uncomfortable, and we probably avoid them.

Now, I've never really been one to care too much about what other people think of me. It's a double edged sword of course, but it does allow me to be honest and not beat around the bush. And yet, as I look back at my child self, I can recognize now, how at a very early age I learned to hide part of myself from the public at large, and build walls to protect myself from being found out and consequently hurt.

I started noticeably struggling with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old. Without getting into all the medical and scientific "stuff" there are several types of OCD, one being that which runs in families, is passed down genetically. This type usually starts rearing it's head in childhood versus adolescence. I come from a long line of superstitious triple checkers. Cousins that couldn't pass buy certain bushes without touching them and uncles who made funny twitches with their mouth before they took a drink, cause they just had to. My mom had obsessions and compulsions as a child, and knew immediately what was happening when she noticed my first compulsion, which was feeling for my heartbeat to make sure it was still beating. Poor Mom, she knew the terror I felt inside. She tried to help, but there wasn't a lot of information on OCD 35 years ago. We all just thought we had a quirky family.

As I got older the obsessions and compulsions changed. I was always able to keep it mostly hidden at school or away from home. No one ever knew about the broken record that was incessantly playing in the background of my mind or the petrifying fear that would overtake my body by the visual obsessions that would flash through my thoughts uninvited and unwelcome. There were times when OCD wasn't even evident and I had a break in the action. I don't remember having too much of it in high school, but then traded the obsessions and compulsions for anxiety and panic attacks.

I tried talk therapy. I prayed. And finally in my early twenties, when the violent obsessions and panic attacks became so challenging, I saw my first real psychiatrist. Mind you, I was working and going to school... in retail management, and some college courses. No one suspected a thing. I lived with my boyfriend (now husband) and he knew I struggled with anxiety, that I sometimes got nervous or spacey, but had no real idea about what I was going through. My mom knew of course, I could always talk to her in detail about the scary thoughts and feelings and she always understood. But as terrifying as it all was, as much as it literally took my breath away, I was somehow able to maintain the facade. I was working and going to school. I didn't ever miss days due to "illness". I was dedicated in whatever I was doing and would not allow myself to "be weak".

I still remember my first appointment with Dr. Plesons, and still hold a tender place for him in my heart. He listened and asked questions. I thought for sure I was crazy and dangerous and he was going to tell me so. He was so kind, and so knowledgeable. He comforted me and shared with me about his own family. And he gave me the first official diagnosis of OCD. "It's a mild case" he said. "NO way!" I said...."there are people that have it worse then me?!" I immediately held such compassion in my heart for them. We discussed the genetics, the ways to talk back to it, and even challenge it, and I started taking medication. I saw Dr. Plesons for some time. I remember one time asking him "but WHY, why do I have these terrible thoughts, what if I actually do something really horrible one day?!" And so clearly recall the sweet look on his face, and his calm and confident response "I would trust you with my son in a heartbeat. OCD is not you. It is not who you are. It is the opposite of who you are, that is why it terrifies you to your core"

He eventually took a hiatus. Going on a sailing trip with his family, and I ventured out on my own. Throughout the years, I continued to take medication, read countless books and found another fabulous therapist. I obtained so many cognitive behavioral tools that I continue to use to this day, and even teach my own kids. I discontinued medication 10 years later when I became pregnant and resumed it after I had the baby, because the post partum hormones and a very vulnerable new baby who's life was purely in my hands, brought OCD and anxiety back with a punch to the gut. But it didn't last long. I faced it. I applied exposure therapy and made myself continue to fight. I had even more reason now to be strong and to be badass. I was not backing down or hiding in a corner afraid of the dark. I couldn't and I wouldn't. I even volunteered to become part of a study through John Hopkins University. I gave a blood sample, as did my parents. I did surveys. I gave what I could to the research because I believe knowledge is power and I want to be of service.

I'll be 42 this year. This has been part of my life for 36 of those years, on and off. When I was about 38 I began practicing yoga, meditating, and learning about Reiki, plant medicine and other alternative therapies. I have always been an avid learner, not always the best academic student, but always thirsty for knowledge and propelled to share what I learn to offer help and support to others. It took time for me to soften myself after years of holding a defensive posture. It took time to quiet myself after years of endless mind chatter. It took time to open myself after years of ceaseless fear. And I have found a new level of healing. It's a whole healing, not just a healing of the mind. It's amazing and magical. And I know, I will still find challenges along this path. It's not all unicorns and rainbows. I don't ever count out the possibility of medication or therapy as a support again, even though I don't see that on the horizon. But I live in today as much as possible, not in yesterday and not in tomorrow, so I will take it as it comes. I know I don't struggle alone, nor do I struggle as badly as many. I strongly believe OCD has been part of my life experience for a reason. I don't hate it, even though there have been so many times (years worth) that I have wished it away. I am not ashamed of it, and will not hide from it, or from you. I now use this part of who I am to support others in healing. It is the most beautiful gift.

You guys know by now, I am a believer in sharing, and letting it all hang out. I don't want to hide things about my human experience that could support or encourage you, even if it is scary for me to share. I want you to know you are not alone. You are not broken (even it you feel that way). It is never ever hopeless. It's okay to come out of the shadows. I know you think you are the only one, that no one could really understand, and probably that there is something "wrong" with you. There is nothing wrong with you. You are exactly who you are supposed to be. There are people who can help, and there are people who love you. It doesn't matter what the ones that don't think or perceive. They are seeing you through their eyes, and their dream. No matter what you do, that is the case. There will always be people who judge. People will give you opinions, even if you don't ask for them (take medication, don't take medication, talk to someone, therapists are just quacks, try acupuncture, don't waste your get the picture). You have to discover what works for you. YOU are the only YOU there is. Completely unique from any other person. Their experience is not yours. My experience is not yours. There will likely be several ways to support yourself, some conventional, some alternative, or who knows, maybe you'll come up with one of your own. Find your mental wellness.

Be who you are, because I know in my heart, we are all who we are for a reason. We need each other's healing. We need each other's contribution. I need you to be the gift that you are meant to be. I know it's terrifying...AND I know you can do hard and scary things.

With abundant love

Monday, May 22, 2017


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Making a Promise to Not Forget

We too often forget. We forget that this earthly life is fleeting. That our days here our not promised. We forget that when it's time to move on to the next life, we will go, whether or not we, or our loved ones, are ready. It can happen with no warning. At any moment this version of ourselves can end.

We too often forget. As we live life, day to day. Going to work, getting kids off to school, going grocery shopping, running errands. We rush in and out, from one place to the next. We assume, that tomorrow will come. That we have time, to make time, for the stuff the matters but never seems to make the tip top of this list. Like the talk you keep meaning to have with your spouse when the time is right. Like how you promised the kids you would play with them after you were finished with the very important project. There is the visit you keep putting off to your parents' house. The dreams that keep getting pushed to the back burner until you can carve out quality time for them, until things settle down. Like the book you've secretly been dreaming of writing or the volunteer work at the hospital you've been hoping to begin.

We too often forget that time is an illusion.

We too often forget to listen to out heart's desires instead of our ego's.

We too often forget to cherish the present moment and all of its blessings. So busy planning ahead or looking behind with regret.

We too often forget the impact our lives have on others and how much we mean to some.

We too often forget that the individual gifts that are bestowed upon us purposeful and meant to be shared.

Something always happens to remind us. Usually several times at different stages of life. Often completely unexpected and tragic. It knocks us back leaving us stunned, heartbroken, and very confused. It causes us to question things...our beliefs, our priorities, our way of living. It reminds us. It wakes us up. It pulls back the veil.

For a while we live there; raw and vulnerable. Knowing what matters. Reminded of how precious this life is. We commit to ourselves to heed the warning this time. We tell ourselves something like..." from this day forward I will live with purpose and gratitude. I will not take anything for granted. Not time, not people, not the air I breathe nor the water I drink."

It lasts a while. and then things settle.Life starts pulling you in again. Into all the worldly issues. Into the plans and responsibilities. Into the schedules and commitments. You find yourself less awake, beginning to forget again. The feeling, the fire, not as strong.

We have recently had one of these reminders. Our little community just lost two beautiful young mothers in a terrible car accident. Families have been left behind, in shock and heartache that I can not imagine. It takes my breath away to think of how they must be feeling. It's an unbelievable loss that has rocked our small town. One of them was a friend. She was spunky and kind and strong. She meant a lot to a lot of people, and her absence will definitely leave this realm much less sparkly. Although she is physically gone from our world, what she was about will remain. Her "go get 'em" attitude, her silliness, her love, her essence will stay with us all.

I always tell me kids not to make a promise that they can not keep. Promises are binding and heartfelt. Neither of them make promises lightly, nor do I.

Right now I am promising, to myself, and you, that I WILL NOT FORGET. I will do the work that needs to be done to stay awake and conscious. I will feed my soul, mind and body with the food that nourishes it at its highest level. I will be a light, a reminder, a source. I will live with purpose and with love, leading the way.

This is not an empty promise. I am not naive enough to believe that this promise will be easy to keep. I know life will pull at me. I know distractions will wrestle for center stage. I know there will be hurdles, pain, and stress.

But there will also be this promise. Pulling me back each time. Back to my center and purpose. Back to what matters in this short life.

If you are so inclined to make any sort of similar promise to yourself, and you are ready to really mean it, do it now. Do it, and live it, and be certain that you are powerful enough to make it happen. And know, that I am here to support and encourage you too keep those eyes and hearts open. This life is meant to be an unfolding. An opportunity for spiritual growth. It's not always easy or comfortable. But it IS always glorious!!


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Love, Light and Panic Attacks

So here we are in 2017. Today is day 7 of the new year. General consensus seems to be 2016 sucked hard, and most are hoping and praying for a better 2017. I would agree that last year had it's challenges and disappointments (some of us here in the US ended November with a zinger, President Trump). That was a tough one to swallow. In my usual fashion, I also look back to parts of the year that were kind of amazing. Reflect over lessons learned, ideas brought to fruition, the growth and health of my self and my boys.

I can honestly say for me, I think the last few weeks of 2016 and this first week of 2017 have been the most difficult. Although the holidays brought lovely family time, especially some wonderful days with my Dad who I hadn't seen in a few years, it also brought chaos. The usual holiday hustle and bustle, but something more as well. Our winter here in California has been really cold and wet. I know, that sounds fricken' ridiculous to those of you living places where it is under 50 degrees and covered in snow. I don't know how you guys do it! You are like some kind of super humans. I am struggling hard with the lack of sunlight, being indoors all time, and being constantly bundled in sweater and blankets. How badly I long for the warmth and light of the sun.

I had someone very close to me struggling for a while, mentally. Something that had been working it's way to the surface for a while that chose the week before Christmas to show it's face. Not great timing on the surface huh? But gotta have faith that the timing is always right. Being there for her wasn't hard, it was second nature, but I guess, it did effect me, as now I seem to be struggling a bit as well.

The kids have been home from school for going on three weeks. I love my babies to teeny tiny pieces. Spending time with them is a gift. AND, it's flippin' not easy either. The said weather is keeping us cooped up and a bit stir crazy. Our usual beach trips and hikes have not been happening. It's been a lot more electronics, board games (that too often end in arguments), and 2 young boys needing to get their willies out, which turns into fighting and whining over in here. Not gonna lie and say it's been dreamy and cozy people. It has had it's moments, even days, and it's also been stressful and stifling.

So I've been trying to get my head above the clouds here. Trying to get in the flow. I've been wanting to meditate on 2017, and my hopes and dreams for the new year. I've been wanting to talk with the boys about what they are hoping to become in this next 365. I've got the books out, the journal out, crystals, oils, incense. I've jotted down things here and there. Not resolutions, not promises...wishes and intentions. Knowing things will start moving forward next week as we get back into the swing of "regular life" (school, work, schedules).

I haven't been stressed or unhappy, just a little heavy I guess. Not so much my light and love, glitter and rainbows version. Then a couple of nights ago, I woke in the night to a full blown panic attack. Now, it's been yeeearrs since I've had one of these babies. Like maybe a decade or so. And yet, as it flooded over me, it was like it had been no time at all.

The fire rose from my belly up through my chest, and then through my arms. My legs went fuzzy like they were asleep. I was sweating but clammy. My head was swimming, my breath rapid an shallow. I was petrified. The terrifying thoughts started banging around in my head like grenades going off. "Am I going crazy? Am I loosing control? Am I dangerous?" I sat up in bed and looked through the darkness. I knew what this was, but why?! Why, after so long had I allowed this to happen? All of these years of recovery, of healing, of therapy. Years of learning to breathe through it, to refocus, to live in the moment. What the fuck? I thought I was stronger than this. Healthier than this. More full of light than this. How could this happen? Of course, this wasn't my fault. It wasn't due to a lack of trying, and lack of light, a lack of health, nor a lack of strength.

I breathed slowly, deeply and well. Filling my belly, then up behind my ribs, then my chest. I got a drink of water. Started visualizing the healing light filling my body, oh.... and then I got up and took a pill. I still have a stash of anxiety medication. Something I usually dig out of the back of the medicine cabinet for when a friend is in need. This time, it was for me. I was disappointed and scared. "Shit, is this the beginning of daily panic attacks and anxiety?" I lived that for years, and don't want to go back. Found a part of myself feeling defeated for going to the medication. Like I was giving up and taking the easy way out.

I cuddled up next to the hubs. And I fell asleep. It didn't last long, maybe 15 minutes. The next morning I woke up, still concerned. Not knowing why it happened, where it came form, what it meant for today. The few days that followed, there were fleeting moments of a feeling. Like a physical buzz accompanied by fear, that told me it was still in  my system, but I breathed right through those and reminded myself about who I was, my strength and wellness. Then I started to look at the situation again, differently. Although I knew there was some worry inside of me, I decided to reflect on the stuff that I did that worked. The choices I made that were healthy and right when the panic attack came. Although it's called a panic attack, I didn't panic. My body did. I felt the anxiety and fear flow through me, turning my belly inside out. But I did not allow my mind to panic. I focused and yet somehow I relaxed my mind. I breathed and visualized. I used the medication that was there for a purpose, even after all of those years. I did  everything I could do. I didn't let it take me by the hair and run me through the fire. I stayed grounded as much as possible.

I'm not certain why I had that panic attack. I suppose, even after all of the healing I've done, I have to make room for the fact that it can and will still happen. My physiology has this knack for fight or flight, for no real reason, at inappropriate times. And, anxiety doesn't always need a source or a trigger. It can just happen. It's tricky that way. I am a sensitive being (like so many of you reading this are). I feel things and absorb things, and yet, don't always consciously even realize it. That energy, good or not so good, builds up inside when I am not flowing creatively, or getting out into nature enough, it effects me. Apparently, it was time for a panic attack and the reminders and lessons that it brought.

So why tell everyone that I started the year with a yucky panic attack? Why not pretend it's all good, 2017 is here, and I am taking it by the whatevers and making shit happen? Well, I will be doing that, but it started with a little something else. And I share this with you, for a couple of reasons. One, mental health stigma has GOT TO STOP. We are all living in this fractured world together, most of us doing our best to contribute good things. There is no doubt in my mind, that every single person walking this planet struggles. Mentally, physically, spiritually. Some of us struggle in silence. Afraid of what others will think of us. Afraid of being seen as weak, or weird, broken, or ill...mentally ill. It's like a bad word that needs to be whispered. Some people reach out for help, for therapy, for medication, biofeedback, acupuncture, Reiki, whatever, but they don't share that either. They don't want people to think they are weak, or weird, broken, or ill. It's okay to have some sort of physical ailment, because people around you can see that. They can see your pain, and understand your burden. When it's in your mind, or even in your body (like so many autoimmune diseases) and can't been seen with the human eyes, the problem is seen as something made up or over exaggerated.

I am here to say, I have been challenged in this life by anxiety disorders. I am not weak, not broken, not ill....maybe I am technically mentally ill. But I don't feel ill. And maybe a little weird, but that isn't because of anxiety. That is because I find weird beautiful :) I have been to therapy, have taken medication, have taken advantage of alternative therapies. They have all worked, and supported me in their own ways, at their own times. I am a Reiki practitioner and holder of space. I am honored to encourage others on the journey to wellness if they are called to utilize me for that purpose. Even those of us that are helping fellow beings through their struggle, are challenged ourselves. We are ALL challenged.

And, as it should be. We grow through the mud. We become strong and beautiful while breaking through the chrysalis. We are meant to learn it the hard way. We are meant to HEAL, to journey through brokenness and pain, to find faith and wholeness, strength and oneness. We are meant to hold our arms open for one another. To make it through our own hard times and then say to the one next to us...."We all have tough times. I'm sorry it hurts. I am here for you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE."

So here we are in 2017. I'll be busy this year, spreading bunches of love and light, glitter and healing energy, and maybe having a panic attack or two. And I want you to know, you are not alone.You are necessary. You are perfect. You are loved.


Happy New Year.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Ebb and Flow

It keeps coming up for me. I am continually reminded lately how much of this dance of life is going along with the ebb AND the flow. We know about "going with the flow" right?  We know if we mean to be chill, to not stress, to just take it as it comes, we are gonna go with the flow. Going with the flow is kind of easy, like coasting on a bike. You don't have to do much, just put your arms out, lay back, take a breath and let the flow take you.

For some people, going with the flow is torture. Giving up control is the hardest part. They want to direct the flow. Letting it take them for a ride is very very scary. Where will it lead? They can't just willy nilly go with that flow. How do they know that flow is the right one for them? They could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. They have a plan, and said flow is not part of it.

A few years ago I would have found it difficult. I was beginning to realize control wasn't all it was cracked up to be, but letting go was still really tough. I definitely used to have a plan, or at least would get one together in a jiffy if need be, before I went flowin' anywhere. Thinking back to that version of me, I can actually feel my physical body tighten up. I can feel my breath become shallow. My neck and jaw stiffen. I was rigid and fearful, even though I never would have thought so at the time.

 Anyway back to the ebb and flow stuff. Ebb is defined as 1. The reflux of the tide toward the sea; the flowing back of the tide as the water returns to the sea. 2. A point or condition of decline; a flowing backward or away; a decline or decay.  So the ebb is probably seen as the not so fun and easy part of this whole deal right? Unless you have been practicing, you likely don't just "go with the ebb." The flow might be a little fast or windy, but the ebb is gonna pull you down. It's gonna yank you into the deep.

So why would we want to go with the ebb? Shouldn't we be avoiding the ebb at all costs? The control freaks are like..."okay okay, the flow isn't so bad...I can do the flow..just don't make me face the ebb!" And I use that term in jest, as I was one for a huge part of my life.

I've been in the ebb the last couple of months. Neither the ebb or the flow are necessarily swift. So how do I know I've been in the ebb? I haven't been flowing forward. My creative juices have been kind of still. I've been a little low (partially to blame on a cold gloomy winter when I am a totally solar powered sun worshiper). I've haven't been feeding myself the good stuff consistently. Meaning I haven't been practicing yoga or meditating daily. I haven't been spending enough time in nature. I haven't been creating. I have just kind of been living and sporadically caring for myself.

And as I begin to reach toward the shore now, coming closer to a point of flow, although not quite there yet, I can try to appreciate the ebb. I mean, I don't know that we are meant to be in the flow all the time. We are able to see the goodness in the flow, because we have experienced it's opposite. And, we have to be reminded now and then. Once we are more aware, and able to actually distinguish where we are, we can use that place for it's intended purpose, I can look at that definition of ebb and see some good stuff in it. Flowing backward isn't ideal, but maybe there are some things we need to look at before we continue to move forward. Decay and/or decline doesn't sound fun at all, but maybe there is something that needs to die in order for something new to grow in it's place. Maybe we need to have these times, these ebbs, so that when the tide comes in again, full of life and strength and beauty, we can be ready.

I look forward to the next flow. I feel it gearing up. I am excited to get in there and let it take me for a ride. I will celebrate my time in the flow. I won't take it for granted. I will move forward, and create, and heal, and grow. And when the ebb starts to reach for me again, I will go willingly knowing it too has it's purpose.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What I Want for My Birthday This Year

My birthday is in two days. The hubs keeps asking me what I want. I keep saying I'll think about it. There are a few things I would like. A cool new Desire Map planner for next year. Some new crystals or oils. A new statue for my space around the shed. Books, lots of books, you can never go wrong with books. Even a few things I need, like a new juicer or a new massage table. I silently ask him in my head..."do you have any idea what I would like for my birthday? What would put a smile on my face and in my heart? I know you do if you think hard enough."

As I was cleaning up outside this morning (insert picking up dog poop), I realized what I want for my birthday. It's a doozy (not like a presidential election do-over or immediate world peace doozy, but still), and I think he is going to wish he would have just bought me something and quit asking.

I want our home to be a place of peace, comfort, encouragement and support. I want it to serve as a haven for this little family of ours. Like a bubble of unwavering light and love. So what does that mean? How can he give me that? How can the boys wrap that one up for me and give it to me with pancakes and coffee in bed on Friday?

Am I delusional to think that this is a possibility? A house with a man, 2 boys, 2 dogs, a frog, a turtle and me. There is constant activity within these walls. Lots of noise, lots of banging, and just pretty much a steady stream of kids in and out. It's a small place, we don't have a ton of room. Things are stashed in every nook and cranny. There is always dog hair and dirt from outside on the hard wood floor and dirty finger smudges on the trim around the doors. Dishes and laundry are always needing to be done and dusting doesn't happen enough.

But I think, the most important thing in the house is the vibe. The feeling you get when you are in it. Do you walk in and feel relaxed or tense? Do you walk in to a place that smells like home and that puts a little warm ball of contentment in your chest? Do you move around the space feeling free yet supported? Unhindered? Or do you feel tied down or boxed up? Do you feel open? Free to say what you want to say or sing what you want to sing. Free to speak your mind without getting told to quit talking? Free to share your dreams without getting judged or made to feel that those dreams are silly or unattainable. Do you feel like the people here support you to take chances and be unique?

The vibe is the energy right? The energy from the people in the house. The energy they bring in after a tough day. The energy that gets shared when someone is excited about a new idea. The energy that permeates like fog when there is discontent or unspoken frustration. The energy that lights up everyone in the space when someone feels completely and truly loved for who they are at that moment.

The vibe doesn't lie. You can't have a pretty house with a yucky energy and still have a pleasant vibe. The vibe is what it is, and it is directly due to the energy brought to the space, and held in the space, and fed in the space.

So I want our vibe to be high! I want our vibe to be joyful yet soothing. I want our vibe to allow for mistakes and learning. I want our vibe to encourage growth, taking risks, and living each day to the fullest. I want our vibe to be filled with unconditional, unwavering, constant love and kindness. I want there to be honest open communication and void of passive aggressive comments.

I want each of us to be free to do the things that keep us healthy and make us happy, without feeling guilty, or like we are burdening the rest of the tribe.

Each one of us, being whole, and who we are meant to be.

Loved and accepted fully.



Celebrated for our own uniqueness.

I want each of us to be responsible for our health. Our physical health, our mental health and our spiritual health. For our vibe to encourage health in all of these areas.

I want us to be a team.  A team that enjoys time together and allows for time apart. A team that feeds one another the good stuff. The stuff that builds up. The stuff that makes stronger. The stuff that makes hearts and minds healthy, happy and free.

So, this high vibe business takes work. It takes reflection and patience. It takes thoughtful choices and discussions. It takes honesty and vulnerability. It requires letting go and facing fears. It asks us to allow for failure and to even be grateful for it if, and when, it comes. It requires tears and hugs and quiet time. It's fed by nature, breath, faith and compassion.

Probably woulda been easier to ask for a gift card huh? Haahaa! Good things...really amazing, awesome things, are rarely easy.

Raise the vibe ya’ll.

Monday, September 12, 2016



verb (used without object)
1. (of birds, insects, reptiles, etc.) to cast or shed the feathers, skin, or the like, that will be replaced by a new growth.

verb (used with object)
2. to cast or shed (feathers, skin, etc.) in the process of renewal.

I can remember, as a little girl growing up on the central coast of California, coming across shed snake skins as I would play with my sister in "the woods" by our house. The woods being bunches of eucalyptus trees and dirt roads for days. And then, in Virginia, finding dozens upon dozens of empty locust shells clinging to tree trunks. Both the snake skin and the locust shells looked like they should still have live creatures inside of them. Almost always seeming fully intact. I often wondered how the locust left the shell of his former self, attached to a tree, without busting right through and shattering the now too small body to bits. It seemed like some kind of magic. And that then leading me to imagine and question...

"Didn't it hurt?"
"Did the creature get injured breaking out? Like maybe it lost a limb, or even died
"Are they happier in their new skin? Are they healthier?"
"Will he/she have to shed again? I wonder how many times until he/she is all done growing?"

I don't have the best memory, but I really do remember those times so clearly. I was always struck by the heaviness of it. The left over body that wasn't needed anymore and the process of molting. When I was younger it seemed scary, painful, and ugly. I didn't focus so much on the life that followed the shedding of the old skin. I was too taken by the wreckage left behind, the memory of what was.

Of course there are other animals that go through similar processes of shedding, and or metamorphosing. Outgrowing themselves and becoming new. We even learn about some of it in school. Like when the teacher bring the chrysalis into class. And you get to learn about how this little creature came to life, and how it will transform right before your eyes in just a few weeks.

But we never are  really told about the times we will shed our old skin. About the transformations we will need to make as we outgrow ourselves. Especially females.
The feminine life cycle is nothing new. They were talking about this stuff back in 2700 BC, but somewhere along the way passing down the knowledge of these cycles kind of fell to the way side. The magic behind the transformations that women go through and the soulful reasons for them, basically got put aside. Maybe everyone got to busy to care or to think it really mattered. We'd all get through it one way or another. We would all grow and change and figure it out. What was the point of talking about it, embracing it, and supporting one another through it? Instead of learning about our own power of transformation, we learned about tampons, cramps, pregnancy, and becoming a mother. We learned how to do it all, take care of everyone, and exist on too little food, sleep and self care. 

Very few talk about it. It's like a skeleton in the closet of womanhood. At certain ages and stages, YOU will change. I am not talking about post baby body, getting grey hairs, or menopause. I am talking about who you are underneath all of that. You will come to a point in life when you will have to molt. No matter how hard you try to keep that skin on, because it's the skin you are used to, the skin you are comfortable in, it's coming off sister. 

Little pieces of skin starting noticeably coming away the year before I turned 40. I say noticeably, because I'm sure it started loosening, preparing for removal at about 38 years old. By the beginning of 39 it was uncomfortable. I started shifting around in my seat trying to scratch the itch. I started to get frustrated. I started to get hungry for something but didn't know what. Nothing was very satisfying, I wanted to run away and I needed more. Knocking on 40's door I was on fire. My skin was tooooo tight. I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to relent and let the molting begin or I was going to loose my mind. And so, I accepted that for the next, who knows how long, I would be leaving bits and pieces of dead skin behind as I moved through life. At this point, the pain of staying in that old skin was worse than letting transformation happen.

The thing I now know, at a month away from 41, is it is not a super fast process. It's not like you finally make up your mind to let it happen and you get to just rip off that too tight skin like an old band aide. I visualize it like this....starting at our feet (tail) the old skin starts pulling away and up. It gently starts moving away, releasing the new, tender, glistening and magical skin underneath, little by little. I don't know for sure, but I feel about 70% through the process give or take. I imagine my new, stronger but softer, sparkling skin is about to my heart. There the old skin is still trying to break away and finish moving it's way over my head.

So what happens while this molting is happening, besides the shedding of skin? Well, it seems to me that we shed so much more than our skin. We start releasing old beliefs that no longer serve us. We start letting go of past pain that we've been unknowingly holding on to. We begin to realize, we are not only meant to be some one's wife or some one's mother in this life. That may very well be part of our journey but that is not the end all be all of our story. We no longer really care about what others are thinking about us. The perceptions they hold of us our their own. Their judgments don't matter. All that matters is that we are being true to who we are. We suddenly begin to innately understand that we, if we would only care for ourselves, and heal ourselves, are powerful enough to heal the world. We have fire inside, transformative fire. We are magical.

So here I am, more than half way through all this shedding and changing, when a piece of old skin gets stuck. The skin doesn't want to pull away there. It tears the flesh around it and allows that skin to move on, but it is holding on tight. So I take some time, to sit (actually lay) in silence and just feel. I lay, and listen, and breathe, and wait. To my surprise a hurt from decades ago rears it's head. I'm not afraid of the memory just taken off guard. It's something I haven't thought about in so many years, at least not consciously. I do not immediately understand why the skin is stuck here, why it won't let go. I've forgiven, I've moved on. What is causing this gripping? It dawns on me that fear is holding that skin on. I'm afraid to expose that sore spot. The old skin was acting as protection, a natural scab, covering a deep wound. This is the part of molting that is tough. When you have to reach down, grab that piece of skin, and gently, but with some strength, pull it off, so you can complete your transformation.

I ask myself, "What am I meant to do with this? Is this meant only for me , for my healing? Or is this something that I can bring forth, to support other sisters in healing?" Ego adamantly dislikes the notion of sharing. Ego yells, "Why?? Why share? You don't need to tell all to be a source of light in the world. Nobody wants to hear about it. It's not going to do anyone any good. It's not going to support, or offer encouragement or healing. Shut this shit down, NOW!" Soul calmly and resolutely says "You've been reminded what you are here for. You know your truth. You know you are here to speak truth, bring light, and support the healing of the world. You know your power. You do not fear judgment. Share while you can."

So I take a deep deep breath, and I pull off the gripping skin. I feel shame, and sadness, and anxiety. I remember vividly that night. I was 16 years old. I was drunk. I was at a party. We were kissing. He pulled me into the bathroom. I said no. I didn't want to do this. He said I did, obviously. He said it didn't matter, no one would believe me anyway if I decided to tell them, after they saw us making out. I was pinned between the bathtub and the toilet. I remember the feel of the cold tile. I don't remember the act itself. I smacked him in the face after it was over, and then apologized for it. I gave him a ride home. I pulled up later to pick up my best friend, my soul sista. She knew immediately something had happened. I said nothing happened, I was fine. Then I "admitted" we had sex, no big deal, I was fine.

"I am fine" was my motto for the next many years. I turned off my feelings, lost respect for myself, drank, and slept with a few other people because my virginity was gone, and I was "used" so why did it matter. I didn't treat myself with respect, and didn't expect any from anyone else. I had anxiety attacks and didn't know why because "I was fine".

Years went by. I healed. I forgave. I really did. He apologized. I still see him. I care about him. He made a mistake. I hope he has forgiven himself. I don't take what happened lightly. I do believe people who commit hurtful acts against other people should be held accountable. I do believe in karma and know that we reap what we sow. I was young and scared. I truly thought no one would believe me. I truly convinced myself it wasn't that big of a deal, that it happened to girls like me all the time, and worst of all, that it was partly my fault. If you are reading this now, and have had a similar experience, please know, if you said no, anything other than nothing happening, is/was NOT your fault. No matter what happened up to that moment. No matter how much you drank or smoked. No matter what kind of clothes you were wearing. Please understand that deep in your soul.

I honestly didn't even know "it" was still there, hiding under the skin that was being shed. I realize now, that part of what I hadn't done, was forgive myself. Forgive myself for not treasuring the girl inside, for not loving myself and caring for myself. For not offering myself respect and support. I was the one that needed forgiveness. I needed to love myself again. If you are reading this, and have had a similar experience, please stop now and take a minute or an hour, to forgive and love yourself. To go back to that younger version of yourself and hold her and comfort her.

And so it is. I forgive myself. And I love myself. I am now free to allow the molting to continue. To finally let every piece of the skin that served me well to fall away. To finally allow every inch of my new, self loving, multicolored and textured, gleaming beautiful skin to be brought forth.

So my sisters, remember are a goddess and have the power of transformation deep inside of you. You will change. It might hurt a little. But you were made for this. To experience life, and to love yourself through it all. I know it's scary. It possibly even seems unnecessary. Why drudge up old stuff just to get to new stuff? Maybe you won't need to. Each of us has our own transformation process, our own experience. Why shed this skin? I like this skin. I have spent a lot of money on beauty products and sunscreen to protect this skin. But we are a soul (inside this skin and bones). We have a path, which inevitably includes growth. And as our ancestors knew, thousands of years before us, it will happen. Your evolution will happen. Maybe, if a few of us can share, and be forthcoming about our unique experience, we can offer a hand to hold, a speck of reassurance, a little knowledge that you, sweetheart, are not alone. And, you, sweetheart, are MAGIC.

With SO much love

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Why is Everyone So Darn Angry? Or, Are They?

I saw something today, posted by Byron Katie, that really got me thinking.

Anyone who is angry is really fearful. I mean I've heard it before, said in different ways, but the same message. I believe the two most basic and true emotions/motivating forces are love and fear. For some reason this picture, and this message just spoke to me today.

I began to visualize the people I've watched do, and heard say, hateful things lately. The "friend" on Facebook who's posts flabbergast me with their political remarks and sense of entitlement. The girl who flipped me off yesterday with fire in her eyes, as I accidentally pulled out in front of her. I remembered the article I read last night about a mom blogger who received terrible threats and hate mail because of a post she wrote and shared about her own marriage. Readers inundating her with comments about what a bad wife she is and how she shouldn't air her dirty laundry.

Then my mind starting reaching further. To Syria. To Afghanistan. To the bombings and killings that have happened world wide in the last year. To the footage of debris and blood covered orphans after their families have been blown to bits. To cops killing civilians and civilians killing cops.

After that little journey, I started reeling it in closer to home again. My house, last night, as I yelled at the kids for not listening. We had two hours of meltdown. Kids tired from school. Mom tired from work. Homework, playground drama, blah blah blah. I was angry because I felt like I wasn't being heard. I was angry because my boys don't follow directions without questions. I was angry because it was our first day of homework and already we were having issues. I was angry because....


Hmmm. Well, it sure felt like anger. Until I stopped for a moment and realized what it really was.

It was fear. I was afraid. What I was really feeling, down in the deepest hidden depths, hidden under the scowl, and the raised voice, and the occasional curse word (yes, that happens), was fear. I was afraid, I am afraid, that I am failing them as their mother.

I must be a shitty mom because I have kids that don't jump the first time I tell them too. I have let them down by not being strict enough. They need more structure and clearer boundaries, but I am not consistent enough. I want to give them freedom and encouragement to be who they are, to question and discover, but I don't want that to interfere with my "orders" when they are given. They think I'm mean and that I don't love them with every single piece of who I am, without condition.

So I stormed off to my room. Told them I needed a few minutes. Shed a few tears. Took some deep breaths. Came out and started over.

Sometimes, it's easy to see how the anger is really fear in disguise. Even though I don't agree with my FB friend's political views, I can see where his anger (really fear) is coming from. He wants to protect his family. He is scared they will be hurt, that their lives will be made unstable, that they could be in physical danger. Other times it's so difficult, sometimes the fear is so well hidden under multiple layers of chain link armor, all we can see is the festering anger. And maybe, after so many years and generations of fear being expressed as anger, it just becomes hate. Hearts get hardened and aren't able to offer compassion to beings with opposing beliefs. Minds loose the ability to see past the veil of the supposed reality. Maybe the collective soul of that group of people goes to sleep. Waiting for the next life, knowing the fog is just too thick.

I don't know. I'm not a spiritual or psychological expert. I just write about what I experience in this life in hope that it can offer truth and encouragement. In hope that we can all begin to see things from a heart and soul perspective. In hope that we can all remember who we are, that we belong to each other, and we are in this together.

I'm not saying anger isn't a real emotion, or that you can never just be pissed off. Like the chick who flipped me off while driving...maybe she just thought I was a terrible driver. Maybe there was a moment where she was fearful for her life, which then made her angry.

So let's try this (me too) time you find yourself mad, a little perturbed or head spinning about to blow your top mad, stop for a second and ask yourself why. Truly and deeply and honestly, why? Let yourself be vulnerable for a moment. Let the fear, hiding behind the anger, peek it's head out and make itself known. We could learn a lot about ourselves. We could begin to see others in a more compassionate way, realizing they too, are afraid.

LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL ~ fear is conditional
LOVE SURRENDERS ~ fear binds
LOVE IS HONEST ~ fear is deceitful
LOVE TRUSTS ~ fear suspects
LOVE GIVES ~ fear resists
LOVE FORGIVES ~ fear blames
LOVE IS KIND ~ fear is angry
LOVE HEALS ~ fear hurts
LOVE IS PATIENT ~ fear is nervous
LOVE IS BRAVE ~ fear is afraid
LOVE IS BLIND ~ fear is judgmental
LOVE ACCEPTS ~ fear rejects

Monday, August 8, 2016

To Feel or Not to Feel

Do you want an epidural for life or do you want to feel it? Do you want to feel stuff today, to be soft and vulnerable, take the good with the bad? Or do you want to be numb to this life, to the stress, fear and disappointment? Do you want take the six inch needle in the spine so you can get through it all without experiencing pain?

As adults, we are subconsciously and automatically making that choice every day. So much of the time we don't even realize it's a daily option. Every single one of us have had painful experiences. We've all been hurt by other people in various ways (physically, emotionally..) We've all been painfully humiliated. We've all been disappointed by dreams not fulfilled. We've all been pressured at some point in time, to try to change who we are to fit in. Some, have seen, or personally experienced terrible abuse which has shattered their core and altered their being.

We are experiencing turbulent times on earth right now. (I began to list the numerous atrocities taking place presently and realized that isn't necessary.) Some days it seems you can't get through an entire 24 hours without hearing about something heart wrenching. Some say (and have been saying at intervals for hundreds of years), the end of the world is near. Others say, it's the shift. The time for awakening and transformation. Whatever you choose to believe, I think we all innately realize we are on the verge of some major changes.

No wonder we often choose the six inch needle to the opportunity to feel things! It is so much more comfortable to numb ourselves to the pain, past and present. "Give me the damn epidural. I don't want to feel the hurt. Can I numb my eyes too? So I don't have to see the violence? And my ears? Can I numb those? So I don't have to hear the hatred? Can I have the biggest full body epidural available please? Like head to toe? The walls I had built up since childhood are no longer strong enough to hold it all back. I need more. Walls and lidocaine!"

This past weekend I had a tough day.  I started writing this post a week or so ago, and now get to add some hot off the presses, like super recent experience to it. I knew there was a reason I didn't finish it at the first, I usually do. But this post sat in pending draft, so I could have a shitty day Saturday, relate it to this post, and tell you guys all about it.

Everyday is a different day right? We get to make these choices every single day, through out the day, at every interaction. Lead with my heart or lead with my head? Let soul drive or ego? Feel, stay warm and soft..or turn it off, freeze up and pull up the draw bridge?

Saturday I chose some self love and a nap, instead of the epidural. The day started with a battle of wills between myself and the hubs. It got ugly. We shouted, and made ugly faces, and were not nice at all. I didn't want to feel the stuff I was feeling. I didn't want to stay open. I needed to sleep it off. To let my sensitive self rest and find strength, so I could communicate and not be a total zombie. Because that is my long time conditioned response ya know, the zombie thing? I used to think it was a strength, now I know it was only a cop out. To just shut it all out. Pretend like none of it mattered. Don't feel it and it won't hurt. Don't cry about it, there is no point. Just keep going, numb, walled, secure, standing tall.

I can say, this time was different. I knew what was happening. I didn't opt for the quick cold shot, even though it was tempting. I knew I needed to let it all slowly wash over me, through me. I knew, from lots of self examination, that my immediate response would be to shove it all aside and go about my day, for several days, like nothing even happened, until it just sort of went away and didn't matter. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to feel it, but knew I needed to do that in little intervals, and that it would drain me, and make me sad, and angry and finally, after some soulful rest, ready to communicate. To remain open. To remain soft.

So I'm thinking the secret might be, to be aware of  how you operate. To know how you have conditioned yourself to handle emotions and conflict. To give yourself permission and grace to do what you need to, to care for yourself, through the process of feeling.

What an immeasurable pity it would be. To stop feeling it all, just so you could stop feeling the hard stuff. When you get the epidural, you don't get to say "just block out the painful stuff please." It all gets numb. The pain, fear, anxiety, sadness AND...the joy, gratitude, excitement, love, awe. No more realizing with amazement how very blessed you are. No more laughing until your face hurts. No more authentic and tender moments with your loved ones. No more tears of utter joy. No more passion or drive or excitement. No more hope. When we numb ourselves against the darkness we numb ourselves against the light!

So what are some things we can do, to be able to stay soft and open to all of it? To stay strong and flexible. To nurture ourselves, to be able to withstand the storm before the calm without anesthetizing ourselves.

Almost all of us need extra support. Whether that means a good hard sweaty run, or a long sweet quiet walk. Whether that means journaling or painting or building or gardening or sleeping. Whether that means talking with someone you trust, or seeing a therapist, or taking extra vitamins, or even medication. Each one of us has different ways of being and different needs. No one is "weak" for choosing one of these supports over the other. We all need to love ourselves enough to choose what is right for us. To support ourselves so we can say "no thank you" to the numbing shot. To support ourselves so we can say "I know this is going to hurt and I'm going to let it."

For me, one of my favorites, is time spent in nature. Breathing so deeply, being amongst trees and plants and dirt and water and all of God's ancient mysterious beauty. Even just getting my hands in some soil and planting something will make a difference. I have other supports as well, I find it's best to have several.

Spend some time figuring out what supports work best for you. What actions or places or practices bring you peace and strength and rejuvenation?  Give yourself permission to use them. You will feel more whole. Stronger but softer. More aware and more graceful. You will find yourself, much more often. deciding to forego the epidural.

With so much love ya'll. xo

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Silence Please

Do you ever just take the time to sit in silence? Until about a year and a half ago I really didn't. I was constantly on the go, in the middle of one thing, just to be thinking about the next thing. I was never really in the moment. And I never made time for stillness or silence. Who has enough hours in their day for that crap?! I'll enjoy silence while I'm sleeping, maybe, if I'm lucky.

I always thought I was too busy. I was living in my head. My ego was the boss of me and it did not want me exploring quite time.

Why do ya think our egos throw all these road blocks in the way when it comes to self care? Any thoughts? Well, of course I have one or two. I know, surprise surprise.

Our egos are like little control freaks in our heads right? Like little task masters. All stick up their butts, black and white, right and wrong, obsessive little army sergeants. Our egos like to puff us up about the things we are good at and constantly remind us of all those things that we aren't. They like to make us feel like we are spinning our wheels, like we are treading water and have no extra time, or energy for things as frivolous and pointless as enjoying some silence.

Because, guess what? When you find a little teeny bit of quiet, you begin to see the ego for what it is. In just one still moment, you can find peace, fleeting, but peace. And you realize, in that moment, "Oh my God, Ego, you little devil! You didn't want me to come here, to do this quiet time thing, because it exposes you for the bully and liar that you are. I see you now, Ego. I got your number!"
That awareness may not last long, an your ego might Rico Suave his way back into your good graces, but it happened. That moment of realization happened, and you won't forget it. Ego will try to point out how, as you tried to sit in peaceful bliss, you kept thinking. You weren't able to stop thoughts from coming and going. You weren't really very good at that sitting silently thing at all. It wasn't really working. But don't let him fool you, it was. Ego might even decide it's time to pull out the bug guns. If making you doubt yourself isn't enough, he's going to start shoveling out the anxiety and fear. He'll start poking and prodding in your tender spots. Reminding you there are things that you don't want to think about, sit with, or feel. Reminding you, that you are avoiding those things for a reason. If you let down your guard, if you quit running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, if you let silence in, those thoughts you haven't wanted to think and those feeling you haven't wanted to feel are going to invade. And then, you are going to loose your shit and be miserable. All because you thought you wanted a little bit of peace. I call bullshit Ego.

Little by little, you find yourself wanting to find that place again. That beautiful place, where all was still and calm for a few moments in time. Where you could hear yourself breathing, you could listen to your heart beating, you could inhale deeply into your belly, deeper than you ever had before. The place where you sat with your back straight but it didn't feel like you were trying to be Miss Perfect Posture, you just felt centered and strong. The place where your heart was open and full and your mind was awake and alert but felt light and flexible.

Every one of us has time. Every one of us can benefit from quiet. We live in a loud, uber-stimulating, much too virtual world. We are constantly being pulled out of ourselves, into places and situations in which we don't necessarily want to be. But during these few moments, you can decide where to put your attention, and intention. You can silence the sergeant and give yourself a gift. The loveliest gift of being inside of yourself. Not pulled in a hundred different directions. Not taking in everyone else's energy. Not living in your head, but in your soul.

You can sit in a chair, or cross legged on the ground, or lay down, or walk slowly (preferably in nature, but wherever you can will work). You can close your eyes (which I prefer) or you can keep them open and focus on something beautiful and inspiring. You can play soft relaxing music, or sit in complete deafening silence. Give yourself permission to just be. Thoughts will come. Let them come and let them go. Pay attention to your physical body. Where are you holding tension? Breathe into those tight areas and breathe that gripping right out. Let what ever is happening happen. Let go of what you think it is supposed to be, and just let it be what it is. The more you do it, the more you will want to do it. The longer you will be able to do it. The more you give yourself this gift of intentional silence, the less control your ego will have.

Quiet time is really yummy you guys. However you "do it", just do it. Let yourself rest inside, all safe and snuggly.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Locked Up

There are parts of yourself that you keep stashed away, in the deepest corner of your closet, under lock and key. Whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, they are there. No matter how many years go by. No matter how much you ignore them, push them aside, pretend that they don't exist, have never existed. There are parts of yourself that you don't want to know, or acknowledge. There are parts of yourself that you feel you can't possibly share with other people. If they only knew! What would they think of you? They would never look at you the same. There are parts of yourself that scare the shit out of you. There are parts that are tender, like a finger with a splinter. It's there, you feel it. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you can pretend it's going to heal on it's own. You aren't going to have to dig it out. You aren't going to have to get the tweezers and poke at it...removing some skin to expose it. You're just going to leave it alone, feel the pain when you bump it against something, then push it aside again. Ignore the discomfort. Ignore the infection. It will go away, on it's own, it will go away.

Do ya think it will? Do you really, truly think it will go away if you pay it no mind? Do you think if you ignore those parts of yourself that seem out of place, wrong somehow, that they will disappear all together? You can forget they ever made an appearance and you can go on, being normal.

This hiding, it starts young. We start stashing pieces of ourselves away as kids. We have an experience, something or someone tells us, this particular thing that we have going on, this particular piece to our puzzle is wrong. We aren't supposed to be that way. We aren't supposed to feel that way. We aren't supposed to dream those dreams. We aren't supposed to talk about that. So, we realize that that little piece needs to be hidden away. We wouldn't want to be weird, or different, or wrong. We wouldn't want people to think we were bad or weak or peculiar. So we take the little puzzle piece and start a pile in the deepest corner of our inner closet. The discard pile. The pieces that don't seem to fit.
But notice something.....we don't throw them away. Why don't we just toss the misfit? It doesn't seem to belong, why keep it?

We keep it because it is part of who we are. We know, deep down, somewhere, that we need that piece. That someday, we might find where that piece actually goes. If we throw the piece away what would happen? We would have a puzzle with holes, with integral pieces just missing, with noticable vacancies. One day, many years from the moment that we hide the piece, we may actually NEED it.

The time will come for all of us. The time when life forces us to put up or shut up. To show our cards. We are going to have to tip toe back to that far dark corner, and sift through our discard pile.

It's not easy. You put those things there for a reason right? They made you feel inadequate or ashamed. It's hard to look at it, to feel it again. You might question..."Why do I have to be this way?" "What is wrong with me?" You might scream to yourself or to God..."I didn't want this piece! I still don't want this piece!" Yet still here it is.

Oh my love, these pieces, in the discard pile, they are so important to who you are. That is why they are still there. Waiting for you to acknowledge them. To see them. To accept them, and yourself. To put them into the empty spots. To complete your puzzle. To make you, YOU, in all of your glory and splendor. They are really the most important pieces. The hard pieces. The ones that finally, after so much effort, put it all together. This is it. This is your power! This IS who you are, and who you are for a very important reason. Without those pieces you couldn't be who we need you to be, love. You would be incomplete and insincere. You would only be a fuzzy version of you. We want the magical, messy, true, strong, vulnerable, knowing, warrior version of you. We need the warrior version of you, so we can be the warrior version of us.

Through pain and discomfort, through fear and anxiety, through darkness comes the light. There is nothing, nothing, as bright and beautiful and mesmerizing as you are...empowered, unabashed, quirky, different and WHOLE.