We acknowledge you for the progress you've made in remembering love in your daily activities. We can clearly see the contribution you're making to the world through your thoughts, feelings, and actions of love.
You drew this card as reassurance that you're making steady process--even though you feel you should be farther ahead on your path by now.
You're on the right path, even though it feels that you're moving slowly.
What sweet Angels for knowing this is what I needed to hear its morning. I am trying to remember to live in this moment and enjoy the little things that are happening in my life.
Each day there is a new positive comment or new person reading my work! When I allow myself to be present, I am filled with joy and the comforting feeling of everything falling into place in my life!
I think about sex, a lot.
Mostly, I think of a lot of reasons why it ain't gonna happen tonight.
I can already feel it. I am bloated, my head hurts, I am feeling fat and I can't allow myself to enjoy any happiness until all of my chores are done, right?!
Then I feel guilty because I love my partner and love being intimate with him. I tell myself that if I was childless and wealthy to the point of not having to work I would have plenty of time and few distractions for having one kick ass sex life. However, I work full-time, am a parent, and am pulled in hundreds of directions a day. Too often I have to remind me that I am doing a crappy job of taking care of myself.
So what keeps us from connecting more often?
I think about being too tired for sex, and that I would really rather being sleeping. I think I have too much to do to slow down and have sex. I don't have time in my day for such things, when my to do list is a mile long and my laundry pile is as tall as I am, and I need to create a grocery list for the week. I get so mad a myself when I sink into my tub to relax or sit to meditate and my crazy monkey mind takes advantage of the inactivity to go into overdrive.
Sometimes I have to stop my mind from wandering to my mental to do list during a massage and I am always grateful when I can snap out of it and focus just on the touch. It is too easy to go on autopilot and miss the pleasure of just being touched.
My head does actually hurt too damn often. I should probably see my doctor about more nose spray and allergy meds to make this low level irritation stop.
My belly actually hurts and feels bloated and gassy. The thought of bumping bellies does not sound appealing. I should probably see my doctor about this too, or make those hard choices about my diet and the things that make my belly bloated and gassy.
I think about being too soft and fat. I think about my muffin top over my panties, which seem to be getting very tiny on my ever expanding ass. I think about how "things" are going to look from different angles.
I think about the kids walking in at any moment, and listen for them.
I can find tons of reasons to not have sex, but then I remember, I like sex. It feels very good. Equally important is that I need the connection with my partner.
I now know that sex is very important in a relationship. Making the time to physically connect is equally as important as making the time to verbally connect. I was reading an article by Judith Orloff where she states that too often "sex is often viewed more as a performance feat than a holy exchange."
It really needs to become a holy exchange between partners. Sex is the tending to and caring for each other that bonds us together. We have lost touch with what sex is supposed to create in our lives. Sex is what keeps couples together. Physical touch keeps couples connected. Mutual healthy sex means there are no barriers being put up between partners. Sex is meant to be a mutual escape and release.
Your partner not having sex with you is a big sign that there is a loss of connection in your relationship.
Everyone has days and nights when they are not in the mood. While it sucks to be the person asking for the sex and being told no, it is normal for couples to get out of sync from time to time. We all handle stress in different ways. Some people want sex to relieve the stress and to feel connected to someone. Some people don't want to be touched and want to be alone when they are stressed.
Some of us go back and forth between wanting sex and wanting to be alone.
However, Judith states that, "if these excuses become habitual and our erotic lives are suffering, it’s essential to examine our resistance to sex."
"We have to want to be sexy and keep passion alive in a relationship. When we’re tired, angry or if communication breaks down with a partner, passion is the first to go. Denial and apathy are the enemies of passion."
She list the Six Common Killers of Passion from her book The Ecstasy of Surrender:
I believe that on any given night you really can be too tired or not feel well, but I like her caution to examine how often excuses are given. I know that all six of these were part of the demise of my sex life with my ex husband. Tired, overwhelmed, finances, no connection, rushing, anger, loss of interest and time worked against us. I remember the courage it took to work my nerve up to allow it to happen. I cannot imagine how much anger he had built up after asking so many nights only to be told no.
Reality check, I don't like my ex, but this is me owning up to how crushing our sex life was to our marriage. I didn't understand how huge the gap was growing between us. I didn't understand how much pent up anger we were both accruing. I didn't know that each day the anger and resentment was allowed to go unvoiced and unheard that another brick was being mortared into the wall that would end our relationship.
We grew so far apart that negotiating the possibility of sex always seemed like a huge battle. If he wanted it and I didn't, he grew bitter. If I wanted it after not having it with him in months, he was mean and made me pay for hurting him.
I was not aware of how much your sex life says about the state of your marriage.
Without getting into how often a couple should have sex, a couple that is able to, should be having sex on a regular basis if they want their relationship to last and grow. This needs to be a discussion between the two of you. It is very easy to think that your partners needs are being met, when in fact they aren't.
I don't think most of us want to reject our partner. I don't think we keep track of when we last had sex and think, damn my partner must think I don't want them anymore. But your partner probably does think you don't want them, or that they aren't a good lover, or that you don't find them attractive. Don't let them hurt in silence, ask them. Grab a blanket and coffee and meet outside on the porch or deck one morning to connect and talk.
These are not conversations for the bedroom or the end of the day.
Ask your partner if they are happy with your sex life. Ask them if they want more or less or different. Use this time to make a non-sexual connection with your partner.
If you haven't had sex in a while, know that building this connection is really important and will take time. It is too awkward to start having sex after not having it for a while, like really awkward.
If your relationship has lost sex, there are lots of good web sites and counselors to help you be able to trust and touch again. For couples that have not touched in a while, it takes some non-sexual touch over a course of time to build back up to a place where a sexual touch can be initiated and welcomed again.
I know people don't like the idea of scheduling sex, but if you don't make it important in your life, it will not happen. Waiting for the perfect conditions to exist will not happen. Relationships die long before life presents you with perfect circumstances. Relationships die very fast. You are no more busy than anyone else. You are given the same number of hours a day as everyone else on this planet. If you work out, you schedule your gym trips and what area you will be working on. So if Monday & Thursday is back and bi day, make Wednesday & Saturday Anahata (heart) & Sacral (sex) Chakra workout day on the calendar!
Sex and exercise are the two items we drop first, because they are self care items and we seem wired to take care of everyone and everything at the expense of our own well being. Tv, internet, social media, email and household chores all get prioritized higher than physically connecting with our partner. That is very sad. So if you don't want to schedule it, don't want to talk about it, don't want to change, well then you don't like the idea of being responsible for your own happiness and you don't care enough about your partner's happiness. So don't schedule time together or sex, dumb-ass. Just keep sitting in your lonely recliner watching life pass you by!
When I find myself getting lost doing too much for the world and not enough for me, I have to remind myself that I want a happy & sexual relationship. I will do whatever it takes to create the time and mood to connect physically with my partner. I can't always make it magical and special, but I always find the time needed to connect physically. Sometimes it has to be quick and quiet and under the covers, but I have to make sex work around real life.
Being divorced and sharing custody of my children means I have child free nights. Child free nights allows me to use that time to connect with my partner in a non rushed way. We try and make up for the hurried moments during the weeks when we have children home by blocking out time for dinners, conversations, and getting into bed early on the nights when we are alone. Priorities and scheduling make sure we use our child free time wisely otherwise it is too easy to piss away an evening in front of the tv or on the internet.
I really believe that if in your marriage you could figure out how to have regular child free time, that many of us would take better care of our marriages. It is too easy to get lost in those parenting days and think that you will find the time and energy to connect after the kids get older. Then the kids get older and quickly leave the house and you have allowed so much time to pass that it is like peering across the Grand Canyon looking for your partner. With technology, it is too easy to find a new partner, rather than start the long ass journey to rekindle with your existing partner.
Waiting for your kids to grow up before you reignite that sexual fire will create a very lonely, disconnected mess that is too big for most of us to want to tackle after years or a decade of neglect and anger. You cannot afford to wait. So many marriages end when our kids are still in the house because we think we can wait, but then we find other people to connect with. 18 years is a long ass time to wait to feel alive and wanted and valued again. It is too easy to meet and connect with other lonely people. It is way too easy for that seemingly innocent connection to turn in to divorce.
If your kids are small, hire a babysitter if for nothing else than to escape together. Get a baby monitor and close the damn door. Those are hard years, but if you value your marriage, make sex happen. Create a baby sitting round robin with friends so you can drop your kids off at a friends for three hours and run back home and have time to ease into grown-up time.
If you kids are teens, you really can't use them as an excuse any more. If you can leave them at home while you run to buy groceries, you can leave them at home while you and your partner escape for an evening every month or two. Take advantage of teens love of staying in their rooms and scheduled bedtimes.
What really sucks is when you allow this connection to be lost between partners and you don't have any children to blame it on. Having children & focusing solely on them is an easy seemingly acceptable excuse for the demise of your relationship. Not having those sweet little distractions and allowing your relationship to erode will get you the big eye roll from your parent friends.
I can't say it enough, make the time, schedule the time, make the connection before your relationship is so damaged that it cannot be repaired. Make your relationship a priority before your partner looks elsewhere for the attention and connection all humans need.
Exhaustion: If you are too tired most nights, get up a little earlier on a day off and have sex in the morning. I love this idea, but sometimes my bladder is too full. Potty breaks may be needed, but don't let exhaustion be your go to excuse. I personally am not a fan of being woken up, but I have yet to meet a man who isn't thrilled about being woken up for sex.
Anyhow, the idea is figure it out. Stop being exhausted. This is important.
Not communicating your needs: This is a tough one. If you are in a relationship and cannot express your needs and desires, examine why you are in the relationship. If it just shyness and awkwardness in discussing sex in general, plan a long car trip or hike where you can be side by side, but not looking directly at each other. I learned that from Arielle Ford during her Art of Love Relationship series. If you just can't say the words, write them and share them with your partner.
Too many partners are punished for not being able to read their partners mind. We have to accept that this is not fair and will never get you what you want. Focus on the goal of happy connected sex, not punishment.
Losing interest: This is a heart breaker. Too much distance has been allowed to exist for too long. Too many words not shared or too many hurtful, hateful words have been shared. No one loses interest in connection and touch, they only lose interest in connection and touch with you. They will find interest in someone else if you allow it to happen. Can you rebuild a relationship after an affair? Some people can, but we all know that most of us don't. Take the steps now to affair proof your marriage. There are lots of good books and websites that offer tips for affair proofing your relationship. Start the conversation now!
Rushing: I am a parent and I know that rushing is all we have for long periods of time while we are parents, but it is our responsibility to create time to not rush. As I grow older, I need more time to get my head out of the game and relaxing. My mind has become quite the task master and will grab hold of any down time to fill it with creating a to do list or for simmering over stress, worry and anxiety. I need a little slow dancing, bath time, a glass of wine, or a walk to disconnect my brain from "go" to relax. Remember when making out could fill an entire evening? If not, you need to spend an entire evening making out with your partner. Some of us respond very well to the art of not rushing!
Lack of creativity or boredom: This needs to be a conversation.
If you and your day is boring and lacking in creativity, why would you think that somehow your sex is going to be fabulous and creative?
Go slow and easy into this one so feelings don't get hurt. Get books that include sexual and non-sexual connection. Get creative outside of the bedroom. Having sex at the end of the day is about so much more than the physical act. Having sex at the end of the day is because of the hundreds of little things said and done starting before you get to work in the morning. Emails, texts, hugs, kisses, notes, compliments, shared meals, conversations, and eye contact create the special elixir that makes falling into bed together magic.
Even if falling into bed only leads to curling up together, the connection has been made.
Repressed anger and hostilities: We all know this feeling. The only way to make it go away is to talk to your partner. Reread the above paragraph on communicating your needs. There is no other way. You either do it now or during your costly divorce.
If things have progressed to this point, find a counselor, immediately. Have someone help you reconnect. Be specific in what outcome you want when talking to a professional. "We" want a safe way to express all of the old baggage and anger. We want tools to help us learn to talk to one another and not hold our disappointment and anger in. We aren't interested in determining who is the shittier partner. We love each other and want to fix what we have allowed to wither. If either partner starts feeling picked on, you need to regroup and possibly find another counselor. Visit several before choosing. Get books, schedule weekly time to connect and talk with your partner. Listen without responding with rebuttal. Remember you want to fix your relationship, not win a war. You can't be right and them be wrong and create a loving connection.
We all need physical touch. We all need connection. Your partner is no exception, neither are you.
Your goal is to be naked and enjoying ecstasy with your partner!
Link to the article:
http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/10/6-common-killers-of-passion/ Judith Orloff on Oct 15, 2014 Elephant Journal
How super freakin cool is this group! They asked for anyone who wrote about their experience from the Emerging Women Live 2014 conference to submit their work for consideration for adding to their Juicy Bites section of their email newsletter and on their web site!
I sent in my link and there it is item #2. Big Girl Panties via Strong Starting Now! A link to my web site and my piece were just sent out via email to Emerging Women's entire email list! What a huge and exciting honor!
Picture big crinkles creasing down both sides of my eyes from the big ass smile I am wearing today!
I hope my smile will be contagious to everyone I greet today!
I love the idea of "becoming" instead of a mid life crisis.
I am in the process of becoming. It started right on schedule prior to my 40th birthday. As much as I like to fault my body for failing me and falling apart, I need to admit that I am a well oiled machine.
I adamantly did not want to have children or be a mother until about 4 months into being twenty-eight years old. My biological clock went from ticking to tocking to gonging to full on glocking like the Munich Glockenspiel, with music, dancing and spinning! Within two months, I was pregnant.
Right before 40, I realized I had neglected my body during my mommy haze. I started walking, then I started very slow running. As things started to thin out, I added weights to add strength & definition to my emerging Goddessness!! You can do an awful lot of thinking when you are out running.
I started reading again in the evening instead of vegging out to tv. Suddenly my mind was filled with new ideas and thoughts and I went searching for people of like minds (or at least people who don't choose to turn every conversation into a debate) to share my new knowledge with and to learn from. Then miraculously, I figured out how to run at a very slow pace and talk to people.
I was very, very happy for a while with this new ability. I started running with friends several times a week. I was blossoming and becoming. It was glorious!
Then I realized that my becoming was not conducive to my marriage.
He didn't want to continue to "become". He was done with becoming and was happy with how he had turned out. I believe that "becoming" is an on-going process, that it does not stop, that we repeat this process every decade or so because we have to and because we want to.
I believe that you can stop at any point on a path, no matter how far you have gone and how long it has taken you, and change direction. I believe that it is important to stop from time to time and really look around to see if you are happy, to see if you are where you thought you'd be, to see if you still even want what started you on this exact path months or years ago.
I believe that when we stop and listen, we get either the confirmation to continue on or the nagging, pit of the gut feeling that signifies that we are not happy.
I also didn't view failure the same as he did.
We tried, and then we didn't try, but in the end it was clear that I didn't want to be required to stay the same person he felt he had known for 17 years. I didn't feel required to stay the same. I didn't feel I was changing as much as remembering who I was. I am not sure we ever truly knew it each as it came as such an awful surprise that we wanted such different journeys.
So, long story short (for once), I stopped on my marriage path, listened with my heart and soul and came to the conclusion that I needed to take a different path to continue blossoming into my most full Goddessness and to live the life that I was dreaming of. I realized that I needed the wide open space to grown unencumbered and without having to defend or debate my choices and thoughts.
I think some people can continue to "become" and stay in their existing relationships, but I think that it requires both people to have interest in continuing to move forward in life, in learning new things not only about the world, but about themselves. Not everyone in this world is interested in evolving and personal growth and that is ok, unless you are married to them.
I believe it is worth trying to drag them along for a period of time to see if they are just hesitant, which is very human. Few people actively embrace change. Most of us need a very personal reason to willingly change.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, then you need to stop and get quiet and figure out if you feel you can continue "becoming" on your own, but tied to them. I have seen this happen and with the right person, they will watch you become and love you through every step. Love is funny like that. You meet those couples who seem so different with seemingly nothing in common, but some very strong love, respect and admiration. It is rare and bewildering to watch, but I do believe in this very special kind of love.
If after dragging and pulling and including, they still don't want to come with you, and they are asking and pleading or demanding you to stop becoming, then you have choices to make.
I wanted to find and live forever with my prince charming. Then at the time of my becoming, I realized that I don't believe that everyone meets that one person and stays with them forever. Maybe some people are only supposed to be in your life for a while, for a portion of your journey.
Maybe people who start "becoming" way earlier in life are better prepared to find someone they can stay with forever. I remembered who I was going to become when I was a child, but I was too scared to take the chances. I didn't stop and listen, I was too busy rushing and living. I let life happen to me instead of trying my hand at creating. I was so scared and I put off "becoming" for fear that I would fail.
Now I know you can't fail at becoming, there is no way to fail at being you because "once you become Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." And people who don't understand, can't matter.
If you stay on your journey to "becoming" you will meet people who are well worn, loose jointed and shabby chic'd, introduce yourself, as this is your tribe!
I have spent my life playing it small.
Fear has been a constant companion and a crazy mistress always pulling me aside at the party to tell me that my dress doesn't fit properly and is too tight, or that my makeup looks gaudy, or that everyone know I never went to college. She reminds me of where I am from, who my parents are and when I get too big for my britches. She asks me what is so special about me that I deserve happiness. She asks me why anyone would bother reading what I write, when there are real people with degrees and such who write big important books. She asks me who I think would come listen to my stories when the world is already full of self-help writers, with worse sad stories, and real success in lifting themselves out of the shit. She whispers her truths in my ears and her voice echos in my mind, even when she is not walking beside me.
I listen to her because so much of what she has told me has come true. She has foretold the end of all of my relationships. She has watched me jump from so-so job to crappy job. She has laughed at my attempts to pay my bills with what I make. She made sure I felt too stupid to get a real job when I was cleaning houses.
Unbeknownst to most, I make hard choices and decisions all the time. Life presents me with these options, forks in the road, and obstacles damn near weekly. Even when I make the right decision and everything seems to go alright, she is there with a smirk on her lips and rolling her eyes that it was "luck", not really anything I did. Sometimes she forecast that the success is only temporary, it certainly won't last.
She wears a crown that makes her the "What if" Queen and she likes to engage me in this game. It is difficult for me to break up with her, because she has been right about a lot. She has kept me on my toes when I was fighting for my children and my life. She reminds me not to get lazy or comfortable in my life. She has kept me always alert for the next shoe to drop.
I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert tell Oprah that she has spoken to her Queen and that she had to finally "mother" that part of herself by telling her inner child that it is ok, she can relax now, because grown up Elizabeth has got this all under control. I loved hearing this way of taking care of that scared inner child who has taken over the role of grown up in your head to keep you safe. I love the idea of comforting them and putting them to bed, tucking them in and reassuring them it is all ok so it is safe for them to relax and go to sleep. And as much as I have wanted to fire my inner child, in reality, she has kept me safe and she has done her best to protect me from the scary things out there in the world. She has remembered every time I got hurt and is in constant touch with the life line to reminding me of how awful it hurts.
Being able to see my inner child as a child playing mother, doing the best she can, was powerful for me. It made me realize I need to remember that I got this shit! I am a real mother and have done and continue to do a really good job as a mom, protector and provider. I have had enough small successes behind me now to not live in fear. It is so wonderful to realize that I am not broken and don't need to be fixed. I just need to put that scared inner child to bed, all tucked in and draw from my strength instead of reaching back for her fears.
I have been collecting women into the tribe that lives in my head for several years now. Kind of a panel of truly strong souls who get me deep down to my core, women of my choosing. Very different from my Queen who reminds me that playing small keeps me safe. My tribe are my constant cheerleaders and they keep a list of my successes handy at all times to remind me that I have a great success record to continue building on.
Several of my mental tribe were speakers at Emerging Women Live 2014. I was blessed that the event which costs a small fortune to attend, was streamed live for free. It was one of the best weekends of 2014 for my emotional self. The messages were so powerful and the energy was truly large.
Several months ago, I fell in love with the poet, Dominique Christina, after listening to her piece on her period. If I had just read her poem, well it stands on it's own, but to hear her speak it was unbelievable. She is so strong and on fire. She is in your face and unapologetic. She is truly fierce.
While she spoke she said, "I am absolutely all of my families unsaid shit." Dominique Christina at Emerging Women Live 2014
I am my families unsaid shit too! I am the holder of memories and mementos for my family. I am the remember-er of how things went down, colored through my young eyes. I am a survivor of abuse and neglect and while it is ugly to look at, it happened. While I still battle the worry of what my family will think of me telling my story, what price will be extracted by my ex husband, what the school and scout parents will think of me and what will future employers think of me, I hear the voices on my tribe panel reminding me it is my right to live my truth and to live my passion.
During this event Danielle LaPorte spoke, "Who has to get out of the way for you to shine?" Danielle LaPorte at Emerging Women Live 2014
My inner panel was screaming a hallelujah chorus of "Your damn self! Girl, get out of your own way." Stop playing small. Stop hiding. Stop being shamed into submission. Stop worrying about being found to be a fraud and not worthy. Stop being your own worst critic. Stop creating problems that don't exist because you are being supported in living your truth. This is what you were born to do. Literally, the pain and hurt I have endured has given me the platform from which to share.
My passion is to connect with others who have been hurt or are still being hurt so that they can see I am making it out and they can too. My passion is to stand as a guide and support and light beacon for those who need a better tribe panel of people in their head.
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." Nelson Mandela
I am done with living a life with no passion. I am done with my children being the only proper and palatable outlet for my passion. I am settling into the most wonderful time of my life where I can carve out time to create my life passion, my Melissa passion. I am putting my own oxygen mask on so I can lean over to assist others.
I am done. I don't want to play small or settle for less than the dream that has sat on the sideline since I was a young girl. That young girl dreamed of being a writer and a reporter. The grown up in me wants to be a writer too, so I am reaching down to lift her up into my arms so we can do this together.
I have woken from my slumber and have remembered why I am here. Though my voice will quiver and my hands will shake I too find courage when I stand and say, "This is who I am."
Starting the week with surrender!
My Angel card was Perfect Timing. This is a new card for me. I need to "take certain steps before my prayer can be fully answered."
I need to Take action now, make a decision and surrender the outcome.
That is a mighty big order sitting at my feet this morning.
Miracles Now #35 Surrender Your Obsession.
MM#35 I surrender my desires and I know the Universe has my back!
I will be writing my surrender to the Universe to put in my God box later this morning.
I am surrendering my need to be successful, my need to have a secure and stable life, my worries about my finances, my worries about my job, and my worries of not being enough, and my fear of failing.
I know that "the Universe has a much better plan than mine" and that each step I take forward, better aligns me with the future I am dreaming of!
After surrendering, I need to get my butt in gear as my son is having his 14th Birthday Party today!
There are Nutella sandwiches and cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches to make. There are streamers to put up. There are presents that need to be found and wrapped.
Being a parent is teaching me surrender daily.
Knowing what I think they should be doing, and choosing to sit back and let them make decisions now while they aren't as costly to the pocketbook or their souls is hard parenting. For sure, it is good parenting, but it is exhausting emotionally giving them enough room to make and learn from their decisions.
Today, I will sit back and enjoy all the blessings of being a mom!
I was just rereading my last post, Storm Warning, as I do several times after I hit the post live button, to find and correct the obvious errors. It dawned on me that the voice and cadence I was reading it in my head was just like the voice & cadence I used when I used to read If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numeroff to my kids.
I loved reading to my kids all day and we had a small library to choose from each day, but there is always that handful (or two) that you read several times a week, every week. This was one of my favorites.
This is not the first blog where my paragraphs begin to feel like piggies like, but it is the most prominent one to date. If you are a parent of a young child who hasn't read them book, go to the library tomorrow morning and get it. The author has several more. There is another one I liked about a moose and a one about a mouse.
I am waiting in the car line to pick my kids up now!! I love my weekends when we are together!
I woke up a little early this morning because yesterday I was so busy that I did not write at all. I know that some days are going to be like that, but it put me in a moody, sulky place. The best days are the days when I can get "it" mixed into one 24 hour period, all of it! Yesterday was not one of those days. So I have much to squeeze into this day.
I am a very special woman. There is a lot that goes into making my day just right.
I am not an easy woman to love. I am not easy to be around. I can be too loud or too quiet. I can want too much or nothing at all. I desire comfort and touch and need the space to think. I can get quite pissed when he seems unaware of which mood I am in. I don't have time to explain these things. I expect them to be sensed and understood.
Not that those who have signed up to love me complain often, but you can see it in their eyes when too many days have passed since I remembered to stop twirling around and dancing and sharing my light with the world. I forget he likes to dance too. I forget that I haven't told him I love him and need him and want him. I forget sometimes to tell him how much I need him and how my world would not be quite as right without him.
When I am lost in my mind, creating and typing away, hours pass; sometimes days. Yet my house stays clean, I have clothes to wear, the sink empties, coffee is ready at the weird times I wake up and he is forever making sure I have eaten and creates me the most fabulous plates of food.
As a treat, I bring him potions that are supposed to cure my ills. Like a cat bringing its master a dead rat, I present my gift. The fears of the last nasty drink he swallowed that curled his stomach passes over him and I see him shudder. He knows he has to share the bubbly, fermented experiments I bring home as the elixir to cure my delicate system that gets to out of whack. I pour him half of my special potions and wait wide eyed, with a big smile of anticipation in my eyes to see how crinkled his nose will get as he smells what he is about to drink. Will he do it? Yes, he will do it and then he will shake and sputter and grab the bottle to see what I have poisoned him with this time. After that moment of fun, like Juliette, I will join him in the poison.
It is never my desire to let my lover feel alone or unwanted, but the stars call at me through the cracked window that allows the cool whispers of the night to sing me to sleep. Some nights the music makes me want to get up and dance. I have to be quiet as I need him to sleep. I will need him carry me late in the day when my night of dancing catches up with me.
He comes in search of me when the thoughts and words take me away from the bed. I am presented with the sad slumping shoulders and weepy eyes because I have left him alone too long and without my heat, the bed has grown too cold for him to be by himself. I bring the computer with me, and the cords and I turn on the lights as we did not get a back lit keyboard and I snuggle in with mounds of pillows behind me so I can sit up and type and then I allow him to curl back up at my side and go back to sleep. I am sure that he finds comfort in the rhythmic sounds of my typing.
My poor lover has to work all night to keep the fires going so that I do not freeze while enjoying the breezes that make me bury myself right next to him, under 23 blankets of varying textures and weights. Of course, not tucked into the bottom of the bed, but only tucked under my feet.
My lover stays awake all night as I flip from old hip to new hip taking the covers with me, yet unable to sleep until he is once again nestled at my side and my covers adjusted so that they tuck all around me. He stays awake until he is assured that sleep has taken me into dreamland, he says he is comforted by my sweet sleeping noises. I think he is silly and tell him his sleeping noises wake me up so I roll him over, they are not sweet, they are loud.
After snuggling and getting warm, he will ask if I took my pills and I will say "no"and he will un-bury himself and go fetch them. He returns with water and a smile and waits for me to crawl out of our nest and sit up to take my medicine. Then I have to wait for him to return and crawl back in. Once he is in, I wait for him to settle, then I snuggle up behind him as tight as I can get my body and put my lips on his back and kiss him good night. Except it isn't good yet, my hair gets trapped under my cheek and will need to be removed, so I have to let him go to readjust my hair, after that is done, I will re-snuggle, my arm thrown around him. Then I will notice that my huge t-shirt is twisted around my chest, so I will need to let go again to fix myself. After some leg and ass scratching, I am finally ready to get back into my sleep position.
Then he will ask if I need my itchy skin salve he made with oils and smells? I do, because if I don't then I will keep itching all night. He will ask where the salve is and I will tell him I don't know. He will again crawl out of our cocoon and go in search for the salve that I last used in the bathroom after my nightly bath. He crawls back into our bed and puts the salve on all the usual places and put the salve back on my bedside table where it belongs and we begin the snuggling process again.
I share my angry voice around only him, not at what he has done as I would never be so careless with his heart, but when the world has pushed too much, he is my safe shelter to explode. I can see that my voice is too loud and the size of my anger worries him that I might actually explode, but he stands there keeping watch while I let my hair down, take my day off and remove all of the ugly bits that have gotten stuck on me throughout the day.
When I am tired and shaky, he sets me in the waters he has prepared and scented to help me wash away the pain I have absorbed from the world.
When I see his sweet eyes fill with worry, I remember that it has been so many nights since I let him crawl into my lap in the warm sweet smelling tub he prepares for me each night. So I ask him to join me and we squish together as tight as possible to get as much skin under the water in our tiny tub. If the water would stay warm, we could snuggle all night in our little cocoon, or until my legs get twitchy.
He is already trying to remember where the salve is for my twitchy legs or if we used it all the last time and where is the recipe he will need to make more.
I know it is hard to love me some days and I am so blessed to have found someone who makes it look very easy. Most days I would never know how very difficult I have become, after being loved so sweetly and thoroughly but then mid twirl, skirts and legs up in the air, I catch his eye and am reminded that I can share my dance with him. He is most happy when I am in his arms and he is leading me around and I am singing in his ear. I am most happy when I can see the happy in his twinkling eyes!
I love you!
When you reach the point in your journey where you accept that you alone create your reality, it is both liberating and frustrating, mostly frustrating. You would think it would all be cherubs and rainbows, but it is really hard work to "get real" and get down to the serious work of living life.
Accepting that I alone create my life means that no one is doing things to me. No one else is screwing up my life. No one else to blame for how my life is going. The world is not against me.
I am against me and I am choosing to punish myself and keep myself in the past. It means that in each moment where I am given an option to create, that I am actively choosing to sabotage myself, rather than reach for joy.
Joy and lack are both at arms reach at all times. Lack may reside closer to my dominant hand, or maybe it gets chosen first because reaching for lack becomes a learned reaction, but I have two hands and while it will feel unnatural for a while, I need to learn to reach for joy. I can change my mind at any point in each day and reach for joy.
I listen to and read a great deal about creating the life you want to live. Each speaker and author tells you the basic reality that you have to raise your energy & vibration to attract positive things and people into your life. Everyone teaches that if you are down and worried and anxious, that is what you call to you, more stress, worry & anxiety.
Even when I don't feel I understand how this law of attraction thing works, or that it is too hard or too magical and hooey, or that I am not capable of raising my energy to create the life I want, I have zero problem creating the drama filled, shitty, painful, miserable existence where everything always goes wrong. I have zero problem believing that doom and gloom are coming my way.
Even when I don't think I am creating my life, I am. By active choice or by being passive. By choosing joy or by choosing fear and lack.
Why is it easier to believe that I deserve the bad stuff instead of having hope? If I accept that I am the only one creating my life and reality, then I should choose better, right?
Then the question becomes why? Why do I choose so poorly for myself? Do I not believe that I deserve to be happy? Do I not believe that I am worthy of a good life filled with abundance?
I am just now beginning to connect how insidious limiting beliefs are and how deeply some of them are buried.
This morning I was listening to Hay House Radio and Sonia Ricotti, author of Unsinkable, says that "You get what you are, not what you want." If you are sad and angry and feeling that life is screwing you, then you are creating more of that in your life. If you are stuck with a story of lack, you will keep lacking. She talks about accepting life as it is. Accepting your problems for what they are. If you have $10k in credit card debt, stop focusing on the past that allowed you to accrue the debt. Stop emotionally beating yourself up. Just accept it as fact. You owe $10k in credit card debt. You have made poor choices with your money. Accept it. Stop attaching feelings to it. Stop living in the past.
Come into the present moment, because staying in the past doesn't change the debt or make it go away. She explains that if you can stay in the present and accept the past as just facts, then you can let go of the emotional charge and look at the situation as it is. I am in debt. I do not want to make bad choices with my money any longer. What plan can I create to stop this cycle? Seeing the problem as fact and releasing the emotion attached to it allows you to use your intelligence to create solutions.
If you can stay present in the present, then you stop telling yourself old dated stories and holding yourself down.
Worry, anxiety and fear are all signs you are living in the future, borrowing possible outcomes.
Depression, anger and resentment are signs you are living in the past.
None of the stuff that is stressing you is happening in this exact moment. In this exact moment you are just reliving and reviewing what has happened and forecasting more bad coming your way.
I spend a lot of time remembering how things happened in the past and projecting that onto what could happen in future, so I am double fucked worrying about the past and the future. I am a "what if" queen. I can work myself into a tizzy trying to figure out the future. I am working on staying present, just in this moment. Worrying about what has been and what could be is robbing me of peace of mind. It fills my head with so much noise that I can't relax and I can't hear my gut speak to me and I am at a constant state of alert. The choice to borrow trouble robs me of the recharging I need.
I believe that if you want more happiness and joy in your life, then you have to look for it and take the time to acknowledge to the Universe that you saw that sweet moment, that you felt it. Each time you take the time to be grateful, you invite more happiness to visit you.
"You get what you are, not what you want." Sonia Ricotti
So, be grateful for all of the blessings in your day. I am safe, well fed, loved, healthy & happy!
Gabrielle Bernstein writes in Miracles Now to wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it on your wrist when you get stuck in the negative feelings. Snap yourself out of the negativity. It is truly amazing how many times a day most of us allow our thoughts to be negative and low energy.
It is equally scary how many time a day we allow our self talk to be down right ugly and brutal.
I took Gabrielle's advice and had my kids wear rubber bands this summer on our family vacation because around day two I was tired of listening to the low level endless complaining. Complaining about everything, lack of space, being bored, not being entertained, not being interested in what we were seeing or doing that day, breakfast just being ok, nothing special. Family vacations are always difficult, but a two day car trip from Colorado to California was starting to turn ugly. I was teetering on requiring complete silence so I could enjoy my little bit of the car space. It just went on and on. I was getting so caught up in being disappointed that they weren't enjoying this trip that we had saved up a great deal of money to take them on.
At one point my lovely daughter was feeling so oppressed by my asking her to just be quiet that she asked, "What so I can't talk anymore?" Said in snotty preteen voice. My reply was, "No. If you don't have something nice or positive to say, I really would rather you just keep the thoughts in your head." She was pissed, but I had the silence to relax again.
They weren't even aware of how incessant the ugly chatter was getting. Rubber bands on their wrist and my gentle reminder that what they had just said was ugly and negative and by the end of the day they got the message (temporarily). This is a lesson best taught daily for permanent results.
Most of us are not aware of how we reinforce the ugly and angry in our life. I have an endless stream of ugly self talk going on in my head. I have rented out too much space to others over the years. Several times a day we find ways to justify why life is always going wrong for us. Even now, I sometimes find myself around lunch time just feeling yuck, angry, and irritated. Too many angry people have called, emailed or physically presented themselves to stand over me bitching and moaning.
Then I am blessed to get a text or email that radiates happiness and joy and I get to shift my energy and my day. For those Angels out there who send sweet text, emails or photos with uplifting messages, or photos of baby animals, keep them coming. It may seem like a small insignificant thing to do, but on those rough days it is the answer to my silent prayer for help.
Acknowledging the many, many small blessing throughout the day is the shift we need. Taking as little as 1 minute to count your blessings three times a day, is all it takes to shift or change your energy from feeling lack to feeling blessed.
My girlfriend's daughter used to write positive affirmations on sticky notes and post them in the bathrooms in their house. I was amazed at how wonderful it was to sit down to pee and see a note that "You are beautiful." I had forgotten how sweet her little messages were. How sad is it that reading that post it note used to be one of the few kind parts of my day.
I will get some post it notes and start papering my home with positive reminders to make my family smile!
I want to learn to be kinder to myself. I want to be a walking example of actively choosing happiness, meaning I want self correct as needed throughout the day. I want to remember that the power is mine to create the life I dream of.
Knowing that I always have the option of choosing between joy or fear, I am going to start choosing joy and all of the feel good options available to me! I choose to raise my vibration to bring more chocolatey goodness my way by taking time to be grateful and looking for the blessings in each day!
Please head over to www.herfuture.com to read the piece they selected for this week's Blogs We Dig!!! http://www.herfuture.com/profiles/blogs/twinkle-twinkle-little-star_
Melissa's How To Relax Guide:
Last night as I lay in my tub "relaxing" I was talking to Jason about how I don't know how to really relax. I know I need to, but I don't know how. I can't seem to master this relaxing thing. Tub time teeters on company meeting time some nights. We have to be very mindful to not talk business while I pretend to relax. I am really just trying to force my body to sleep by using the science of warming up my core and allowing nature to do her thing as my body temperature returns to normal. It is a sleep aide trick in every boring "how to sleep" idea I have ever read.
I know how to train for a 5k & 10K. I know how to meditate when I listen to a guided meditation that is timed. I know how to read a recipe so I can cook new things. I know how to look information up to learn a new skill, however this skill alludes me. I know how to go through the motions of faking it til you make it. I just don't get this relaxing thing so I am faking it.
Even my vacations are a hurried rush to take it all in, see it all, do it all and collapse into bed dog tired each night.
After really enjoying a prepackaged Mint & Rosemary Epsom Salt mix in my bath, Jason took it upon himself to see if he could duplicate it for me on a larger scale. What started with just lavender, mint and rosemary essential oils, has now turned into a whole shelf of essential oils to help me relax, sleep, headaches, my eczema and my stomach aches. Jason has turned my end of day bath time from just quiet time to a whole spa experience; candles, essential oils, and meditation music.
All of these things aide relaxation, right?
Now if I could just find the off button for my brain. I am trying so hard to relax. I really want to and I know the benefit to my health and my life if I could just freakin relax.
I have so much on my plate right now, big stuff, weighty stuff that the minute my world gets quiet, my brain takes this as "to-do list" time.
YOGA: (NOT ACTIVELY DOING YOGA ANYMORE)
For the first few years I was learning yoga, I hated the last 5 minutes or so of the guided mediation. It felt like such a waste, but I knew it would be totally rude to sneak out. Plus I knew it would show me as the fraud I was because I couldn't relax. I was a pretend relaxer. Then after several years and early in my 30's I laid in Savasana (Corpse Pose) on my mat listening to the instructor guide us all through the meditation and I realized that my mind was quiet. I almost bolt upright to announce I had finally had a moment of peace. I wanted a big high five that I had achieved yoga bliss. It didn't last long, but I got a taste for what could be.
A few years later, I had biofeedback and the control factor of it all made sense to my inner control freak. I could see my relaxation. I could own the reality that you can control your body. You can walk around pretending your life and body are out of your control until they hook you up and then on at least a basic level you have to see your role in allowing your body to spiral out of control on stress and worry.
MEDITATION: (NOT ACTIVELY MEDITATING)
I started regular mediation early this spring in direct relationship to the increase in my daily stress level. I found Deepak & Oprah's series of 21 Days of Mediation. This package works for me. Easy cheesey meditation! There is a quick little message and thought for the day, it is timed for me, I am given a mantra to mentally focus on and the music is wonderful. I could feel a difference in my daily life. I felt like I started just a wee bit farther down the zero to pissed off or stressed out meter. Like each day I my starting peaceful point was a little bit farther down than the day before. Even with tangible results, after meditating daily for several months, this ended up being one of the two relaxation programs that got dropped by me because they take too much time. I was trying to squeeze everything into a night time ritual and there is never enough time to relax before bed.
EFT: (NOT ACTIVELY DOING EFT)
The other program that got dropped was the EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping. I found several great free you tube videos for tapping on stress relief and for helping with sleep.
So this past spring & into summer my night looked like this:
Have dinner, be with the kids, get kids ready for school and bed, take hot bath, glass of wine, 8 minutes of tapping, 20 minute guided mediation, a few minutes of reading, and then fall asleep. The tapping & mediation at night didn't lend itself to me feeling like sex. The tapping also sometimes made my brain very active. I had hoped that if I followed it with the mediation I could calm my brain back down. Again, I am a very active relaxer. I had it planned out right down to the sex, if I didn't fall asleep during the mediation.
The last tool in my tool box of relaxing is breathing. I know we all breathe, but not all of us do more than sustain our bodies through the slightest of inhales and exhales of the upper chest. In yoga, I learned about belly breathing. I loved listening to the teachers explain blowing up your belly like a big full balloon. The visual made sense to me.
Now I have an alarm 5 times a day that chimes a soft little gong to remind me to relax my belly, thanks to Gabrielle Bernstein's alarm clock app. It is like $3 and is the best most useful daily app I have on my phone.
All I know to do is actively try to relax, it does not come natural to me at all. Right now, all I can do is FRT or Forced Relaxation Time.
STRESSING: (I AM ACTIVELY STRESSING)
Then this morning we picked up all of our kids from the other parents & because everyone was off school! We had decided to take a drive out to the Paint Mines to enjoy the near 70 degree sunny Colorado weather. Jason made me stop twice before we even left the house to ask me what was wrong. My body must have been radiating angry energy. I told him the specific thing irritating me when he stopped me, which was something trivial like looking for shoes, but then by the third time he was making eye contact to ask me what was wrong, it dawned on me.
I am trying to relax on my day off. Days off are rare, and bad things happen when I take time off from work. Owners drop us because I didn't answer their phone call or email. Tenants have toilets explode or roofs that leak. I have a long career history of bad things happening when I am not there to keep the earth moving around the sun.
A day off means work is piling up and days of trying to catch up & get back to normal which most days means there is a huge pile of things that didn't get done.
I feel like I have made huge strides to shutting work off. I put my work cell down when I get home. I check it a time or two, but I am finally able to put it down. I am remembering to not check work emails after dinner because no one should be sending me emergency emails that need my immediate attention. At this stage of burnout though, I don't want to check my emails in the morning. I don't want to see who needs what or wants to complain about what or who needs me to hold their hand. I don't want to answer my phone. I wish everyone would just text me the one question they really need answered and then I wish they would let me answer it and move on. One conversation starts with what was supposed to be one question, but while they have me on the phone, they have thought of 5 other things that they need immediately.
I am responsible for too many needy people. I don't want to deal with them, but I know it is my job to. It is my job to answer their questions and find the time to make them feel special, even when they just want to yell at me for having to pay for the fixes to their problems.
So it astounds me that I get so stressed not being at the office, but I do. The thought of staying home causes me to get anxious and irritated. On top of it all, I am beating myself up for being burnt out. I am beating myself up for not having interest in my job. I can't afford to be burnt out, because too much depends on me giving 100 percent every day. I don't have time to figure out how to get my head back into the game. I can't even find my fucking head some mornings, let alone keep it screwed on and focused.
I am beyond beating my head on the wall. I have moved way past that torture or just lost the strength, and am now just sprawled out in front of the wall, staring into space pretending to be in Savasana. I am coming in to the office and creating a list of "what must happen today" or the "minimum I have to do" to make it through today. Either way it is a far cry from the pace I have kept for two and a half years.
Now enter the guilt again that I can't summon the energy to pick up the huge boulder to start back up the damn hill. If any of you have done an obstacle race in the past few years, you know how hard it is to squat down, pick up the ginormous large cement block, or log or ruck sack full of rocks, return to full standing and pick up that first foot to step forward. The weight alone is a huge amount, then take into consideration the awkwardness of the item. You put it on one shoulder, then switch it 50 footsteps later. You switch it again to the other shoulder after only 15 footsteps. Then you put it on you head and that only last 20 footsteps. Then you carry it with both hands in front of you for 25 steps. Then you accidentally drop it trying to maneuver it to the middle part of your shoulders which mean squatting down to pick up the weight again and your knees scream at you for fucking dropping it again. Rinse & repeat you do each one of these moves four or five times before you are back down the stupid hill. This is what my day feels like.
I won't lie, there are a few days when I have slept well, eaten well and have found my inner strength reserve and I lift up the obstacle and sprint up the damn hill and carefully jog back down. Some days a happy owner is waiting at the bottom of the hill and I get a big high five for saving the day for them. These days are all too rare, not because I don't save the day several times a week, but the owners don't notice because they just expect me to save them.
I won't lie, that some days, rare days, if I make it to the top of the hill, I just throw the obstacle down and see if it reaches the bottom or I stumble past it where ever it landed and I give it the fuck you finger.
On our way back from our fabulous day off outing, I check my email and find that my Angels are trying to help me figure out this relaxing & recharging concept.
Kate always looks so very happy and like she has it all together. I am hoping sweet Kate will give me the key to not being busy, however after reading her post, it appears I will have to tune in at a later date to read the actual how to stop the addiction. Today's piece is to define if you are addicted.
Can I get a "hell yea"?
Kate Northrup 8 SIGNS THAT YOU ARE ADDICTED TO BUSYNESS
She asks, HOW MANY OF THESE STATEMENTS DESCRIBES YOU?
These were just the FOUR I picked from the list. Kate says that if you pick 3, you are addicted to busyness.
Her wise uncle Phil said the following regarding her breakneck schedule:
“YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN TO STOP VALIDATING YOUR EXISTENCE THROUGH ACTION.”
How powerful is that statement? Uncle Phil is crazy spot on with that statement. How can I learn to feel I am enough if I am not performing great feats and wow'ing everyone?
Kate asks, "How many meaningful conversations in the car with my husband have I not had because I was checking my email for the twentieth time that day?" "How many of breaths have become shallow from being caught in the spin of constant activity?" "How many precious moments of stillness have I missed because I fear what might come up during the pause?"
Too many moments have been lost. Not being fully present is cheating me out of precious moments that make the struggle worthwhile. Not being able to recharge and enjoy down time is keeping me from living life fully.
I am ready for new tools to help me refocus and become present. After reading what I had written, I noticed several items in my tool box that are collecting dust and not being used. Until I can read Kate's next post, I will try to squeeze yoga, mediation or eft back in and see if that provides some relief.
Come on Kate, publish the next piece please!
Stress Zombie in Colorado
I have just found this author and am loving his work. I hope this is a nice break from reading my daily drama. I hope my children will read my work later in their life and realize that I am writing love letters to them on where they come from.
THE THREE RULES OF INSANITY by James Altucher
My daughter is reading my favorite book. "I'm on page 112," she says, "of The Choose Yourself Stories". This is my collection of more personal stories about my life. I never marketed it. Just put it out there. But she found it.
Now she has a lot of questions like, "Why did you always want to kill yourself? It seems like you always wanted to die. Why?" And I said, "well, I felt really sad and scared and sometimes a person can't see anyway out. But ultimately I did see a way out and now we're here."
"But it's mean," she said, and I think about what she says. It is mean. Not mean to me. Because I would be dead. But she's saying it would be mean to her.
"He has you in the book," she says to her older sister. "Where," the older sister, a teenager, comes out of her teenage daze for a second. She doesn't quite say "Where". She says "whe".
"He writes an imaginary letter from you to him. When you were 14 and I was 11. It says, "You always have to be waiting for me even though I'm always late." " She quotes the chapter word for word. They both laugh because it's still true.
Then she asks me, "Why did that girl not like you? The one who picked you up when you were hitchhiking. The girl with the red hair." Mollie has red hair.
And I tell her the FIRST RULE OF INSANITY: If something doesn't work the first time, don't try the exact thing again. You have to modify it a little bit.
To read the rest, go to https://www.facebook.com/james.altucher
My Angel Card today is Fresh Air. I was outside a lot this weekend and it was so fabulous. I walked, rode my bike and walked some more. My kids are off school today, and the weather is supposed to be in the high 60's so I plan to force us all outside for a quick hike this morning. Then they can settle in for a round or three of group Minecraft! I hope everyone has a great Monday!
On Twitter, Oct. 18, 2014
"Change is inevitable. The trick in life is not to try to avoid change, but to create the change. Then it's the change you choose." ~ Neale Donald Walsch @NealeDWalsch Author of Conversations with God
This is such a heavy thought to carry in my head. Choosing to create the change is scary, but it always feels better than the waiting & fearing. I have been known to wait afraid to make a decisions in hopes of life just forcing the issue out of what appears is my control.
At several points in my life, it felt safer, easier to see what change everyone else would create for me, rather than me just doing what I felt was best. Sometimes, I felt I just didn't know really what outcome I wanted. Other times, I just didn't want to expose myself for wanting a specific outcome that might not be too popular or the grown up expected outcome. It is hard to admit that sometimes what I want is the selfish option, that only serves me.
Choosing to create the change or an outcome means you have a 50/50 chance of success. It also means that if you make the wrong decision, then you are held accountable for your failure. Failures are typically very public, painful and defeating. I listened to a brief video posted on Facebook of Oprah explaining that she feels there are no bad decisions, no failures.
" You may think it's the "wrong track" you've chosen, a mistake, but they all lead to the right path. There are no wrong paths." ~Oprah Winfrey
I really like this concept of everything is as it is supposed to be to get you where you need to be. When I look back at the big decisions I had to make or that I allowed to be made for me, I do feel they took me exactly where I needed to be, each time. Even the times life took me meandering through the mountains and valleys and all seemed lost, I still ended up right where I needed to be to meet the next idea, person, or path.
Like most, I resist change, although life has given me very little consistency. Preacher's kid to military brat, change every two years or so has been status quo for as long as I could remember. "Change" and I have been close friends for over 40 years. It is time for me to accept "change" as one of my longest held friendships. It is time for me to embrace her as my partner even though she has weathered so many storms at my side. If I can see her as part of my life's journey and not as my enemy, maybe I will learn to enjoy her visits a bit more. If I could just accept that there are no wrong paths, I would enjoy each day so much more.
I think one of the first Ah-ha moments or enlightened moments most of us experience is when we realize that change is the only constant in life. I have to repeat that to myself like a mantra, "Change is the only constant in life." We hear it and it resonates, but then we spend the next decade fighting truly accepting this into our being.
I know time never stands still, and that each second that ticks by ushers in change after change, after change, but I spend way too much time clutching the door frame with hands and feet clinging to moments that have already passed me by. I need to surrender to change. I need to make peace with change.
I love the idea that my failures, and my victories are not permanent. That takes a little of the pressure off as I become an active participant in creating my life.
Happy Saturday morning! I am still tucked in bed, drinking my coffee and moving through my morning practice.
This morning my Angel card was Release & Surrender.
"The Angels bring this card to you because you have been trying to fix this situation single handedly."
Yep that sounds like what I have been doing, kinda my thing to do it all on my own. Asking for help sucks. It makes me feel weak & incapable & needy. Plus people don't do things like I want them done or on my time schedule.
The card goes on to state, "They'd (the Angels) love to help you & answer your prayers but first you need to surrender and release the situation."
OK, fine, I will put some thought into this whole Release & Surrender! Time to surrender to some breakfast!
“And finally, this question: the mystery of whose story it will be, of who draws the curtain. Who is it that chooses our steps in a dance? Who drives us mad, flashes us with whips, crowns us with victory when we survive the impossible? Who is it that tells all these things? Who honors those we love with the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us, and at the same time sings that we’ll never die? Who teaches us what’s real, and how to laugh at lies? Who decides why we live, and what we’ll die to defend? Who chains us, and who holds the key to set us free?
You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!” — Sweet Pea, Sucker Punch
My dear friend Mary posted this quote on my Facebook page yesterday. When I read it I was moved to tears. "You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!" This quote opens so many emotional doors for me that I prefer to stay shut and locked. I have fought fiercely and lost so much. I ran out of money one year too early in my divorce. It was a very nasty bloody battle; 3 years of on the battlefield getting the shit beat out of me. While the worst, most costly battles are behind me, we do not go more than 3 or 4 weeks without a huge power struggle mini battles where I have to stand firm to hold my line.
‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Some days I believe this down to my bones, some days I weep. I am so scarred and bent from the beating I took. I remember the days when my thighs were still strong and carried me into the fray. Now each morning I am humbled by the grace that fills my legs and core to aide me in standing my ground. Still I fucking rise! I hear Maya's throaty voice telling me to "rise, rise Melissa. Leave behind your nights of terror and fear!"
The day I ran to my local shelter for abused women I received some of the most important information of my life. I learned that men have most of the power, that I am small & weak & scared & not safe. I learned the laws are no longer set up to protect me. I learned that I can and will be hurt physically, emotionally and spiritually. I learned that even the strongest, smartest women who are financially able on their own, get killed by their partner.
I learned that the "state" my ex husband was in mentally, put me at extreme danger. I learned that most women cannot get restraining orders that extend beyond two weeks, unless I was being beaten and had bruises I would not get a permanent restraining order. I learned that even if I was beaten, unless we had documentation of multiple events, there was still a chance I would not get a permanent order. I learned that what he had attempted was not going to get me more than two weeks safety. I was given the Wheel to explain to me that what emotional and verbal abuse was.
I was told that if I chose to try to get a restraining order that my chance of being killed by my partner went up exponentially. I was told how to make contact if I needed to shelter me and my kids. Before I left, this woman who had seen so very much and weathered her own storm quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and told me that "with God's assistance a year from now you will be free at last. Just keep reminding yourself a year from now it will all be better."
“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World
I still hear Maya's voice and Martin Luther King Jr.'s voice rallying me.
When asked, "who draws the curtain," "chooses our steps in a dance," "Who chains us, and who holds the key to set us free?" The answer is me, however I am still holding my line. I cannot become lax or comfortable. To forgive and forget does not feel like a real option until both of my kids are 18. Daily, I work at forgiveness, it last 3 or 4 weeks until he pushes to see if I have begun to rest. He is always testing me because he thinks I am weak and will lose focus. I will not.
I am trying to walk a path of peace, but my heart is so full of this war. While it doesn't sound or feel very enlightened, I am learning the steps now to move me closer to forgiveness each day even though I won't be able to apply them fully until my children are grown up. This wound can't heal with it being ripped open with regularity. I am working to forgive him and myself for the past, but we are adding on new layers every month. This is the best that I can do, for now.
I am very clear that I have all of the tools I need to keep winning, to hold my own against him, to keep my wall strong. I feel very grounded in my ability to fight him, but I hate the state of being ready. This preparedness keeps my heart chained to my hate. I am the owner of the lock and the key.
Who's story will it be? The story is mine and I will tell it. It is the one of the thing he cannot take from me. He cannot silence me.
I am living. I am fighting. I am loving. I am feeling it all.
"For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know." Wise Man from Sucker Punch
I know the flavor of a life fought for.
There is a huge chance I will be seeing my ex husband today. The thought of this makes me hold my breath.
We have Parent Teacher Conferences. We attend these separately, but as these are group settings that 20 or so parents share a time slot, there is a chance that we will be in the same group slot, but not together. These are horrible moments to share as I will one day share. Today, I can't go down that rabbit hole.
These moments are always so difficult for me because I have to do a great deal of inner work to stay focused and present when I am around him.
On the way to work today, my Angels gave me my mantra or focus point for my interactions with him by having the radio station play "Hey Jude," by the Beatles.
I know the words to most of the Beatles songs, but they are not a group that I choose to listen to. Today, for the first time my heart listened to this song. It is our song, mine and my ex's.
He didn't let me into his heart and that pretty much sums up why we are divorced.
From here forward, I will let the words of this song play in my heart when I have to be around him. I will take deep breaths and pray for him to open his heart to someone. I do wish happiness and love for him.
I have been waiting for the universe to give me permission to proceed with my life. Waiting for a sign that it was ok for me to be happy again. Waiting for a sign that is was safe.
Those signs can show up in the most unlikely of ways. Everyday you have the power to be someone's sign that they are safe and that they should try something. If you don't think one person can make a difference, you are very wrong.
I think too many of us feel that if we can't change the world with our one time action, then why bother. We are all thinking too big picture. In this crazy fast moving world it is easy to lose sight of the day to day impact you can make & the day to day impact you are already making in the world.
My girlfriend Theresa & I have been plotting & discussing & planning ways to find & live our passion & live the fabulous creative lives we were both born to live; aka day dreaming. One of my favorite things to do with my friends is eat. I love sharing a meal with people I love. It makes my whole meal experience go from nourishment of my body to nourishment of my soul. While sharing a meal with Theresa this summer we both agreed to hold each other accountable for starting one of our projects. She listed off some ideas for me to follow up on to get started.
35 minutes after leaving her, I had already researched Weebly, bought my domain & was setting up the basic front page of my blog. I had been waiting for someone to tell me it was OK for me to follow my passion and that it was OK for me to be a writer.
I remember writing and enjoying writing around the third grade, which is when I remember falling in love with reading. Having a library card was just about the grandest thing I owned and I could spend hours wandering the aisles at the library waiting for the right book to leap off the shelf; and twenty some years later I still lose hours regularly at my local library.
I have been trying to figure out why I haven't been writing for the past 20 years, what has held me back from being a "writer." I have a couple of my journals that I wrote poetry in during my late teens & twenties. It is all horribly sad and painful and yet I am so happy I documented my life in words that take me back to where I was sitting when I wrote them and to remind me how I used my quiet moments alone.
I also have found some of the emails I sent out to all of my friends & family every couple of weeks and months where I detailed my pregnancies and life as a new mother. My emails were the blogs back in the day. I had a personal web site where I posted photos so everyone could share my children's first solid meals & steps.
Blogging is the perfect medium for me because I can create what I see & hear in my head. The music & words & photos are easy to lay out in a share-able format.
Theresa gave me permission and told me I would need to tell her what I had come up with next time I saw her. I texted her after I closed my laptop and told her, "done!". My soul was so ready to get this started that all I needed was one person not telling me it was a stupid idea & not asking me why I thought I was special enough that anyone would bother reading my shit.
All I needed was one person, just casually saying yes you should try this idea of yours.
I have plenty of people who are asking what I am going to do with this and how do I see supporting myself with this? I have no idea. It fills my heart with joy and that is all I need it to do. That is actually a huge fucking job! I have existed for so many years with an empty place in my soul that I couldn't figure out how to heal, then a casual mention to research blogging and now my soul is overflowing with joy! Having this feeling of joy is priceless and a gift in an of it's self. It has raised my energy and is allowing me to reach out to people who need to connect.
I think many of us live unfulfilled because we have been told that if we can find our life's passion it should be something big enough to support us financially. If not, what is the use?
If our paintings can't sale for huge dollar amounts or be sold at all, what is the use of spending all of the money on canvas, good brushes and paint? Or if you can't win on a talent show or aren't good enough for a record deal, why sing? Because you have to, you won't know how fabulous your life can be until you own your passion!
Each of us is given skills and tools to make this world brighter and more colorful and funkier than it has ever been. Each time you share your joy, someone else gets to connect with you and it might be the connection that saves their life by inspiring them to wake up and live and share their own personal joy. Sharing your joy and passion is the best gift you can bring to each day on this planet!
Taking the first step by blogging, honoring my writers soul has given me the answer to my scared negative friends, most of us will not support ourselves & families with our passion. There is great value in finding your passion and having a day job. It is where you will draw strength on the difficult, challenging days life will hand you. It is what you will cling to and turn to when life is beating you down.
Honoring our passion & using our special gifts changes our experience on this earth. If you haven't figured out what your passion is, I recommend you start find people who have and hang out with them, often. Watching & listening to them tell you all the exciting and cool stuff they are a part of and doing should help you find one new thing to try.
You have to be actively living to find your passion.
If you don't have cool active people in your life, get some. Go online & find some local groups to visit. Try new things.
In Gabrielle Bernstein's book "Miracles Now" she writes that one of her Kundalini masters told her that "90 percent of the practice was just showing up to class or sitting on the mat." page 93, 94 Miracle Message #39 Just Show Up.
If you aren't ready to go out and try new things, figure out what causes are important to you. What topic has a group you can volunteer at? Groups that support people in need or at risk always need volunteers to help. Aren't ready for people interaction? These same groups also need envelopes stuffed, databases repaired, & filing and scanning.
If even that is too big & scary, remember that every day, all day you interact with people and the energy you bring is your responsibility. Choose to be aware of your presence and offer kindness.
For any of you who are waiting for the universe to tell you to proceed, this is the universe speaking through me this morning and it asked me to let you know that you are safe to proceed; you are loved and supported and will find the joy you have been searching for if you will just take that first small step forward.
If you are presented with a moment to tell someone to follow their dream, take it and speak the words to them. Be that voice of assurance that they have been waiting on.
What one small step can you take today towards your dream?
This piece was selected by www.herfuture.com as a featured Blog We Dig! http://www.herfuture.com/profiles/blogs/twinkle-twinkle-little-star
On my way back down from the mountains this morning, I am listening to Hay House Radio on my phone and the show is on Louise Hay and two of fitness her gurus/guardians, Ahlea Khardro & Heather Dane, that have been helping her take care of her body talking about the book they have written.
Louise is a very vibrant & alert & active 88 years old!
How happy you are and how fabulous your life is based on "how well you digest life." Ahlea Khandro
What a powerful statement and measurable testament to how well your life is going. Mine is a gigantic mess right now as is evident by the state of irritability my guts put me through every couple of days. I am endlessly bloated, rumbly, and suffering from loose bowels. My body screams at me when my life gets unbalanced & out of control.
Ahlea spoke about how powerful & sensitive our body is and gave a warning about the products we put on our skin. She gave a wonderful experiment of taking a peeled clove of garlic and rubbing it between your toes. She said within a few minutes, you will taste the garlic in your mouth because your skin allows the garlic to absorb directly into your blood. She cautioned that "if you wouldn't eat the ingredients in your lotions and potions, then you shouldn't put it on your skin." Pretty easy to understand experiment to test for yourself.
The other information that I took away from the show was:
I will be putting this book on my must read list as they also repeatedly mentioned problems with people who have had their gallbladders removed and the side effects and dietary issues associated. will also be reading it because so many of my "health issues" are autoimmune related, which the authors suggest is directly related to my gut health.
There are a ton of good articles on the web that go into depth about the second brain. Here are two that I found helpful:
Scientific America http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/ February 12, 2010 |By Adam Hadhazy
Psychology Today http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201404/the-gut-brain-connection-mental-illness-and-disease Published on April 6, 2014 by Emily Deans, M.D. in Evolutionary Psychiatry
"There is nothing better in life than feeling good and having a good poop." Louise Hay
While that sounds hilarious, it is brilliantly accurate. There is a great deal of science behind what makes a good poop. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/14/normal-stool.aspx I won't post it here, but they have several charts to show what healthy and non-healthy poop look like and a chart that explains what your poop color, shape and how it falls into toilet means. It is well worth a quick look at the charts and a daily check in the toilet to determine the state of your health.
The body is always trying to alert you to what is going on inside you. However most of us, myself included, are too busy to really pay attention. My body has to really scream at me in the form of hives, ezcema, irritable bowel, ulcerative colitus, loosing a gallbladder, putting on 30 pounds, and migraines. If you are like me, even when your body takes you down to your knees, once you are on the mend, you go back to your wicked ways.
The only symptom on the list that is really getting my attention and pissing me off is the weight.
I have been thinking a lot of not nice things about my body lately. I really feel like my body is letting me down, big time. Listening to this radio show this morning, brought into focus that I am letting my body down. It has done it's very best to tell me to slow down, breathe, sleep, manage my stress, eat slower so I can taste my food and know when I am really full, sleep some more, breathe a few more times and move. It is bloating me out, making me itch, making my head hurt and keeping on the toilet. Last summer it doubled me over in extreme gut pain and yet with medicine I am now able to ignore and keep that pain at bay. I am the one not honoring my body. Even moving feels labored right now, and this sucks after having been a runner and been light and kinda fast. Having watched my body lose muscle and gain fat has been awful, but it has been so easy to focus on anything other than what is happening to my body. It has been way easy to pretend I am ok.
When Jason and I tell stories of running the obstacle races, I get super sad when I see the listener do a double take at how someone in my shape could compete. Two years ago, I looked the part. This August, I even backed out of my annual 14'er climb for fear that I would slow my friends down or not be able to reach the peak.
Back in July when I decided I wanted to blog, I started a list of topics I wanted to write about. This list included: trust, forgiveness, love, relationships, friends, parenting, divorce, personal power, abuse in all of its splendid forms, rituals and self-care. I need to move self-care to the top of the list for right now, as it is the most pressing issue I need to focus on. I need to move me higher up on my priority list.
So here is my list of self-care items:
Sleep rituals & routine
One on one time with each of my children
In my head time either walking or running
Making the list is easy, making the items on the list actually happen with regularity is the challenge.
After my joking that I needed to get a Ouija Board to help my Angels be a bit clearer, I flipped to Miracle Message #57 I Surrender All from the book Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein.
Then my Angels gave me the Trustworthy Guidance Angel Oracle Card.
I know I am on the correct path with my writing because I can feel the joy, however I have been at a fork in the road for a while now regarding how I currently earn my living. I am not sure if I am supposed to stay where I am and just keep working hard, head down, muscling through each day and pushing the success boulder up the damn mountain or if I am supposed to go down the path of getting an employee job doing similar work.
I have worked so hard here that I do not want to give up too soon, however I am burnt out and exhausted with the amount of work required to keep this machine working.
I am going to steal some quiet time today to meditate and listen some more for guidance. I am also go to spend some time listing off all of the things I need to surrender.
I will add my own specifics to the end of the prayer so I can get it all out of my head and focus on my day, but the only surrender prayer I know is the Serenity Prayer. This prayer is how I will start my day.
More and more, I am noticing how complicated my life gets because I don't seem to choose the easy path. I choose a mission, something or someone to fix. My phone is currently buzzing and flashing at me and the following is scrolling across her screen, "I told you so!" She is such a bitch!
In case you missed my earlier post with my phones nagging words of wisdom, you follow this link to the post from September http://www.strongstartingnow.com/blog/i-phone-gps
I have used Angel Cards, prayer, my opinionated I-Phone and mediation and I do not feel I am any clearer on what is the next best step for me! What do normal people do to make such huge decisions?
Why do I write?
I write because a voice inside me needs to be heard.
I write because my dna was blended by the storytellers of my ancient tribe.
I write because it all still hurts too much to speak the words and I cannot allow the pain of it all to silence me any longer.
I write because I have carried this anger inside me for long enough; it is time to birth my story and find peace.
I write because I want my words to be available to my children as a source of love, strength and guidance when I leave this earth.
I write because I am educated enough to understand that I cannot say most of these words to my children. Not now. It is important for their growth that they define their own relationship with their dad and the world. However, there will be day when they will have questions about their own pathology and right now their history is being defined by the victor, as has been since the dawn of man.
After reading Peace from Broken Pieces, by Iyanla Vanzant, I realized that like her, my mother didn't "talk to me about the things I would face as a woman." (page 53, Peace from Broken Pieces, by Iyanla Vanzant)
I will not make that same mistake. I will share of my own story as much as I can, as much as they will need.
Reading that line by Iyanla, was super powerful in my acknowledging how important it is to teach and prepare my kids for their emotional and spiritual adulthood. It was the reminder I needed to redefine what I speak to my kids about. It is such a fine line to walk. They will have enough baggage to carry forward in their lives and having an absent father will not be my doing. We stayed in Colorado with their dad, even when my inner guidance was advising me to flee to protect us all. The damage of staying falls to me. Ultimately I had to decide.
I write to document the courage and strength I have found in my attempts to co-parent with my ex.
If I don't write this, they will grow up believing like I did they are "supposed to do what I had seen the women in my family do; put up with the crap and fight it out as required." (page 53, Peace from Broken Pieces, by Iyanla Vanzant) I want them to know that while I should have left so much sooner and while I was not able to spare them the ongoing struggle that their dad puts them through around their love for me, I want them to read my words someday and know that taking my stand and leaving was the most important thing I could do to love and respect myself.
It was the most important healthy example I could provide them.
I believe that one day, they are going to need to make their own stand against a bully and abuser and I hope by my example and struggle they will know my strength flows through them.
I also write because I want to connect with other people who are taking those very important first baby steps towards personal strength and freedom. I want them to know that it is very hard to take the steps necessary to change your life, it can also be very scary. But it is worth it. Getting off the emotional roller coaster is worth it. There is nothing easy about getting clear in your life and taking the steps to leave an abuser, someone you love and care about. There were so many times on my path to freedom that I just wanted to stop and return to my old comfortable life. As awful as it was, it was the devil I knew. Being on my own was scary because I had learned and come to believe that I couldn't stand on my own; that I wasn't enough.
I drove my girlfriend Theresa damn near crazy talking through my fear of continuing forward in my divorce versus just going back to him where my fears were concrete and known and where I still believed I could fix all of the broken parts.
I am so fucking blessed that she held my hand and kept me moving forward during those days, because my fear of my own strength and personal power were too strong. Those moments didn't last long, but for a while there were regular occurring panic attacks that scared the living shit out of me. I am blessed that she stayed with me month after scary month because I now know with every fiber of my being, that I am not broken, that I do not need to be fixed.
I felt broken and flawed and stupid and incapable and weak because I was trying to live with a very damaged person who hurt so badly and was so unhappy, that he needed someone to dominate to ease his pain. I was trying to live in his emotional chaos that was spiraling out of control.
I write because I was told for several decades that I was not enough, too sensitive, to emotional, too needy; I have learned that almost everything that I was told that made me weak in my accuser's eyes, is essentially where I now draw my strength. My ability to connect with people & being full of emotion and feeling is my special gift.
It has been just in the past few months that the pieces of my life puzzle have come together in a way that allowed me to see that by accepting that I am a sensitive person, my purpose in this life would become very clear.
I have always lived a quiet, rather solitary life. I like my quiet time and time alone. Even after having children, we decided to homeschool, so I thrived in my own little cocoon. In the final years of my marriage there was so much anger and unhappiness directed at me by my ex due to his extreme unhappiness from repeated lay-offs and depression that my world was constantly filled with stress, anxiety, fear, lack and worry. I was desperately searching every spiritual avenue to find peace and happiness in my life. I dug out the self help books and accepted recommendations for new authors, I learned about stones and crystals to carry with me to help me focus and to help me relax, and I started meditating, running and doing yoga again.
I cannot remember where I learned it, but in that last year, I learned that only I can make me happy. I am the only person responsible for my happiness.That is when it first dawned on me that I could not fix my marriage, not long term or for real. All I had done for 16 years was keep patching his wounds. I had to leave because my soul was dying from his choice to stay full of hate and anger.
I write because I now know that my purpose in this life is to teach what I am learning to help myself and other (sensitive) people protect themselves and how to thrive in this world.
And I write because every word that leaves my body, takes a bit of the poison with it. Every time I finish and hit the "post" button, I feel a little bit lighter and a little bit brighter.
If you feel you might also be "sensitive", there are some really good websites and books available to help you come to understand yourself and how to learn to protect and shield your energy.
Miracles Now, by Gabrielle Berstein (She also has youtube videos for shielding & meditating)
Most days I write from my antiquated cell phone that slides open to reveal a real qwerty keyboard. I love writing on that phone because I can write anywhere my muse strikes. I am trying to get into a routine of writing sitting upright like a grown up. Today, I am writing from my dining room table. This is stuff around me while I write!