Falling apart feels fantastic…

Hiya Everyone,

I just watched (again) “Listening to Shame” on YouTube by Brené Brown, I absolutely frickin love that lady. She speaks my language. She speaks my story. These videos inspire me… I love all of her videos and have read some of her books. If you’re looking for some inspiration… do yourself a favor, look her up.

I also love the Ted Talk video by Amy Cuddy, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. That video was life changing. Really. If you have an extra few minutes… please watch it. I will talk more about it at a later date. (I just had to throw it out today… I know someone really needs this as much as I do.)

So… back to my topic. Falling apart feels fantastic?? Since when?

Since I decided that I didn’t need to be “that” person anymore. The day that I realized that it was okay to be me, to not be perfect, to share my story and to try to find my authentic self… that’s when I realized- Falling apart, feels fantastic.

I am actually growing, which sometimes looks like I am falling apart. Which sometimes looks like a mess… I am learning. I am searching. I am pushing myself. I am pushing through the fear of being judged. I am pushing through the anxiety. I am learning to quiet that judmental voice in my head that tells me that I can’t do things.

Brené, talks about shame and vulnerability. (Look at me, talking about her- like we are best friends…) Anyway, one huge point that really struck me today was “Empathy is the antidote to shame.” Wow… let that sink in for a moment.

Then she shared three things that shame needs to grow:

  • Secrecy
  • Silence
  • Judgement

Let’s start talking about the hard things. Let’s also start showing empathy to those who need to talk about those hard things. You don’t need a YouTube video or a Ted Talk, to know shame, guilt and vulnerability.

How many of you reading this post, want to talk about the hard stuff?

Abuse/Neglect. Divorce. Being a single parent. Being adopted. Not breastfeeding. Being LGBTQ or an ally. Being Fired. Anxiety. Depression. Illness and pain. Education and Degrees. Being and Addict. Widow/Widower. Having a criminal record. Losing a parent. Feeling afraid. Mental Illness. Menopause. Body Image.

I have a beautiful friend that I am not real close too, but when we do chat, we always touch on one of those uncomfortable topics. Always. We don’t ever have much time, but we always seem to get right to the nitty-gritty and speak about the good stuff. Why is it that some people feel safer than other people to share these things with? I believe it all comes back to Empathy. I don’t know how it feels to be all of those things on the above list, but I do know a few. I also don’t know how you feel, with being- or about those things.

Then why, do people always want to share with me about those things?

Because I care. Because I am empathetic. I understand shame. I understand guilt and I know what it feels like to feel vulnerable and alone. If I can listen without judgment, there is hope. When I listen and don’t try to fix you, there is hope. When I can just allow you to speak. There is hope.

In recovery, we are taught how to share our experience, strength and hope (ESH) so that other addicts can relate. When I am practicing empathy, I am not sharing my story. It isn’t about me. 

I remember vividly how it felt to become a widow. When people said things like, “At least he isn’t suffering any more… or “At least he wasn’t alone… ” I wanted to punch them in the throat. Really.

That stuff doesn’t make a person feel better and it should be left unsaid. Just like me, punching you in the throat, wouldn’t make me feel better either… it would just make us even. We would both feel like shit.

Here is a wonderful video that is about Empathy… I hope you enjoy it.

P.S… Please tell me that you laughed about the sandwich?

Be kind to one another peeps… it matters. I had a friend post today about her handicapped daughter getting bullied at a sporting event. (By an adult!) It infuriated me… it made me sad and mad. Love is the only thing that will take that away…

Until Next time… Peace and Love!

 

 

Being Brave

Hiya Everyone,

This morning at 5:20 am, I felt my husband crawl out of bed… I asked him through squinty itchy eyes, what time is it? Are you getting up?

sleepy eyes

He replied “Not sure yet… I just felt something crawling on me and I squished it.”

What. The. Bloody. HELL????? Are you kidding me? Did you just say- what- I- thought- you- said???

 

In my world… This is a major husband/protector fail. You don’t tell your still sleepy wife, that you felt something crawl on you in the safe zone!! I have to believe that in my bedroom, crawly things don’t exist. I HAVE TOO… otherwise, I would never, ever-ever sleep. Ever.

I laid there for a few minutes… then I got up. Seriously. What were you thinking GT? (Thomas/Tom/GT- Grandpa Tom/Hubby/Honey/Babe are the names I use for my husband.)

Tom has been my spider slayer for a few years, everyone who knows me, knows that I don’t like spiders.

spider slayer

 

I also don’t like snakes.

The statement about squishin something in bed- would be the equivalent to him saying “Hey HonBun, I saw a snake over in the corner of the yard. I am sure he is gone now… ” Nope… that wouldn’t work. I would call my friend Heather, and the house would be up for sale today. Today. No lie. That’s why I live in town. Truthfully, I would love a bigger house, I would also love to live on the lake… but… spiders and snakes like water.

Oh… and by the way, When I stripped the bed, I found a tick. Yup… a tick. I have heard how bad they are this year… Tom golfed last night, but he even showered before bed. I told him- Here’s your crawly thing… he said nope. I squished whatever it was. Great. Just great. There was more than one crawly thing in my bed. I hear the Hampton calling my name.

wait what

So, by 7:20am, I have already read a chapter of my homework, I have taken my weekly quiz (I got a 100% by the way!), I have stripped the bed and started a load of laundry as soon as the hubby got up, I have swept and mopped the kitchen and the bathroom, I shook the rugs, I scrubbed the tub, sink, and toilet, and I am now eating gluten-free/paleo waffles with crunchy organic peanut butter and real maple syrup…  Gt may have redeemed himself slightly, he is the one who made the waffles.

Okay, so changing the subject… In case you don’t know this already, I am A.D.H.D. I could be talking to you about the really awesome non-toxic cleaning products that I use… and be thinking about the real reason I wanted to blog today.

I do have a topic!!

Being Brave...  (And not, like spider slayer brave…)

A few years ago while I was the manager of the local 24 hour Gym, there was a super cute young couple that I got to know. She was bubbly and bright and her smile was infectious. He was a hard-working honest young man and his smile was also big and sincere. (He smiled with his whole face!) She had a strong, innocence about her, that I always admired… They were probably as old as my daughter, so I wasn’t super close- as in, hang out like friends… but he did come into my office to chat regularly. I got to know them and they each shared some details of their relationship.

One day, they broke up. I knew why.

He had shared that he had a tendency to drink too much. Once he got going, he couldn’t just drink socially… he had to get drunk. On a previous occasion, he had gotten mean when he was drunk. She told him this was not acceptable. So when it happened a second time, she left. She picked up and moved on.

I must say, I was devastated. I loved those kids. I loved them together too. I thought they were so damned cute together. I sort of always thought that they would get back together… why wouldn’t they?? They were so cute together!

They never did.

I was so shocked. It felt so final. It was so abrupt. (In my eyes… because I wasn’t actually living it, I was just a witness.) I have watched them both over the years through their social media… and they are both married to other people now. They look genuinely happy!

My point? How did she do it? How did she have the guts to just leave and not look back? I knew he was sorry… he told me how sorry he was. I knew she loved him, she told me she did. How did she make the decision that she deserved different? How did she know her worth? How did she do this?

As I have watched them each grow, separately… I have often wondered these things.

Here is my take. Honestly… this is just my opinion, they don’t even know I am writing this… I haven’t spoken to either, in years.

My opinion is that she just knew. She was probably raised to trust her gut and to know her worth as a young girl. She probably had people in her corner who showed her what was acceptable and what, was not. She may or may not have struggled with her decision, I don’t know those details… but I do know, it was a clean break. She didn’t look back.

If I had a re-do in my life… I would be just like her. I would be this girl.

I would have left the relationships that didn’t fuel me, much sooner. I would have reached for bigger and better. I wouldn’t have allowed people to tell me my value or self-worth.

I would have shown my daughter her self-worth. I would have showered her with praise and nurtured her little self… I would have shown here these things.

A few years ago, I heard a musician at Earthworks Harvest Gathering, play a tune about a little girl. I cried. She played in the barn, she strummed her guitar and sang the song she had written about the things she needed as a little girl. I wish I had the lyrics. It was about letting the little girls be little girls. It was about not taunting them about their bodies, it was about allowing them to be innocent. (I have watched this musician raise two beautiful little girls, since that day so long ago… she is killing the mom gig. Killing it. Her girls will know their self-worth.)

I am sure the young girl from the gym was shown these things.

strong girl

Early in my recovery, I was taught that it takes each and every thing up until this point- to get us where we are today. (I think that statement helps the newcomer to not live in regret.) I do believe that each piece of my past has brought me here. To this moment… to Today.

I also think that each relationship I was in, has taught me what I needed to know in order to nurture that little girl within…. I don’t live my life with regrets. But… If I had a re-do…

What would you do if you had a re-do?

Here is to all the badass mammas who are raising strong girls. Here’s to all of the women in the middle of their life, who are killing their own spiders and conquering fears. Here is to all of middle-aged and beyond women who are honoring that little voice within and who are allowing their little girl to finally be brave and strong.

starting over

It’s never too late to start over. Give yourself permission today to go all in. Give yourself permission to just dive in. Allow yourself, wherever you are… to just be brave.

I am not writing this so that people can tell me that I did a good job raising my daughter… I don’t need assurance that I did the best that I could… honestly. I am good today. I am writing this for anyone who needs assurance that they have what it takes to push through the fear. You can do it. Really. You have the power. We all do. If you doubt it…  then start your day over with a quiet moment. Reach higher. Pray. Meditate. Ask for help… we are all waiting for you.

If you haven’t ever watched Brené Brown… do yourself a huge favor and watch her video on Netflix. You won’t regret it. (Then watch her video on vulnerability, and the one about empathy, read her books… you get the point.)

Until next time, Peace and Love Peeps~

 

 

Behind the Mask…

Hiya Everyone,

I have taken a few weeks off from writing and today as I sit in front of my computer, I scan through my recent Facebook  and Instagram posts…

There are a lot of wounded or hurt people who put on a happy face each day, and push through the pain. This post is all about you. Thank you for being so brave. Thank you for not dwelling in the negativity and for shining like a bright star. We need more bright stars.

shine bright

Social media has given us a platform to shout out about our trips, our delicious meals, our adorable grandbabies and to either lift people up or tear them down. There are “trolls” whose job in this life, is to be an idiot and to just post negative stuff. I wonder why someone would want to be so mean and ugly… I am so happy that isn’t my path today.

Over the last 20 years, I have reinvented myself a few times.

I have looked in the mirror and have decided to change my looks with countless hairstyles and hair stylists. I have taken many new jobs, have changed my living situations. I have been a Yoga teacher and a Yoga student. I have been in book clubs and have gone months without reading. I have moved my Massage business several times. I have eaten vegetarian, I have been a fast food queen, and everything in between. I have been a role model and I have also been someone who has put on a mask, just to feel safe. I have been a struggling single mom, a business owner, engaged to be married, broken-hearted, married, divorced, married again, widowed and married again.

I have been happy, clean and sober, a hot mess and grateful, probably all of those last four in the same day! I have been unemployed, self employed and punched a clock at a job that drained me. I have worked with assholes and Saints. I have met some amazing motivating people, and have been the motivator to many.

Behind each and every step… behind each and every “new me”… I was still the same person. I was, and am still, Denise.

I am just doing the best I can and trying not to get stuck. I am doing my best to carry the torch and to blaze a new path. Isn’t it wonderful to be able to decide in a flash, that you want to change? Isn’t freedom marvelous?

masks

We are each given the same 24 hours each day. You get to decide your path. You get to decide your truth.

A few years ago, my friend and I were driving along and she shared a fear. She told me that she heard many years ago, that you end up marrying someone like your mother. (I had always heard it was your father…but you get the idea.) Anyway, she was terrified that she would pick a mate that was like her mom. She had a pretty shaky relationship with her mom and she didn’t want that, kind of partner.

I thought for a few seconds and then shared my thoughts. If you don’t want that to be your truth, can’t you just focus on a new truth? If you don’t want to marry someone like that, then don’t hang on to the belief, that you will.

I am a firm believer that we can change our path. We can change our truth. But… what if you don’t know how?

This is how it’s done… pay attention… this is important. You simply model your behavior after someone else. You look at someone elses choices, someone who you admire that really has their act together… and you follow that path.

If you weren’t taught how to walk away from a dead relationship or a job that is sucking the life out of you? Look at a brave soul that has done just that, then ask how they did it.

If you have been rocking the same hairstyle since highschool, it may be time to look at your options. If you have always polished your toes in a neutral or pale flesh tone… it may be time to hook those pigs up with some blue, or red!

I had a conversation with a mixed group recently… the topic was about how to address a person, who was out of line. The story started in a gym setting. The woman sharing the story said she had a male, cross the line and made an advancement towards her. One of the guys in the group asked if she told him, that he was out of line? You could literally see the woman shrinking and pulling back. No. She did not. Why not? Asked another guy… I stepped in. I asked her if I could answer the question. “Nobody had ever shown her how to stand her ground or gave her permission to tell someone, that his actions were wrong or unwanted.”

How in the hell are we supposed to know this stuff if nobody teaches us?? Nobody had ever taught her how to address someone like this. Nobody modeled that behavior for me either…. Sometimes we learn how to stand up and have a voice, the hard way.

Most of us were taught that this is as good as it gets. We have been taught by our own actions and the situations we have brought upon oursleves, that we just have to suck it up and deal with it.

Some of us have never given ourselves permission to speak up.

role models

Or maybe you were taught that you should run? Running is easier than developing the tools to handle situations. Running is easier than feeling the pain. I thought for years that the “fight or flight” instinct was just a saying, a myth or wives tale. I didn’t know how to fight. I just ran. That was strength, to me. Get the hell out- before someone hurts me.

This is why we need a tribe. We need people like us, who deal with stuff like we do, who have traveled the path… That we can confide in.

We need others to show us the way.

tribe

Thank you to all of the strong women who suit up and show up, so that I can learn how to be a better version of me. I get to reinvent me, because I have seen how it’s possible, by watching all of you.

I know change is hard, but it’s not as hard as staying stuck. I know pain is a great motivator… physical pain, emotional pain and even spiritual pain. If you’re at a point in your life that you’re just sick and tired… of whatever it is… look around. Look within. Give yourself permission to stop posting “woe is me… look how sucky my life is…” and start focusing on your choices.

I challenge you to look for your solution. Look hard. Find your tribe, the people who will guide and support you. Be authentic and live, peeps… it’s possible, just take the first step.

Until next time ~ Peace and Love!

 

 

How you do anything…

Hiya Everyone,

My yoga teacher said this to us during the first week of our 200 hour teacher training… “How you do anything, is how you do everything.”

Ponder that thought for a minute… is it true in your life currently?

how you do anything

Today is a cloudy, cold, rainy day… I have a pot of soup on the stove. In my soup, I have ground organic turkey, organic diced tomatoes, a can of kidney beans, organic chicken broth, frozen organic veggies, diced zucchini, rainbow couscous and a whole slew of spices. That thought popped into my head as I was throwing things together for soup. How you do anything… is how you do everything. It’s true for me.

In life, I make due with what I have. I make soup just like I handle life. I throw into the pot, whatever is in the pantry and the fridge. Life is the same… I create my reality with what is in front of me.

I form an opinion… then change it just as quickly with whatever new information I am given.

Rarely is my life Black and White. I have never been a goal setter or saver, I pretty much just see how much money I have and that’s my budget.

I can be a rule follower in every aspect of my day… then, I will skimp on a recipe or just wing it. Why is the thought of forming a habit terrifying to me? Why is the thought of creating a routine… just not okay in my world? Why can’t I be more rigid and be a planner? It’s just not who I am.

I have many friends who are planners, and my husband is also a great planner. Me? I can roll with whatever the day brings.

I have never understood someone who follows the weather forecast. I get up, if it’s warm, I dress for it. If it’s cold, I dress for it. If it’s cold, wet and raining, I make soup!

I will wait until the very last week to file my taxes, I will drive my car until the gas light comes on… and I do not have idols or people who I look up too.

A few weeks ago, we had to fill out a questionnaire for my Dr. Sears Health Coaching classes. I hated it. In so many ways, I am an open book. I will tell you details of my life and not blink an eye, but- this questionnaire just didn’t settle with me… I didn’t like it.

Why? Because it made me realize how “stunted” I am in many ways of my life. I am a pretty mature person. I have always been an old soul. I have always hung out with older people, and my husband(s) were all older than me. BUT… I am pretty immature in many ways! True story.

On the “intake sheet” or the client information sheet, it asked similar questions:

What are you most proud of in your life?

What skills helped you achieve the above goals?

Name two people who you look up to or admire?

What are your short-term goals? (6 month or less) What are your long-term goals? (5+ years)

I had a long talk with my sponsor after that week of class, and I realized with her help… that I still have some work to do.

Why did that client intake form make me so upset? Why did it feel so personal or invading? Because it made me realize that I am not wired like the majority of the people taking this course. I am a 53 year old woman that has never gone to college. I don’t plan. These questions don’t apply to me. What motivates me? Pain. Pain is my best motivator. I move faster when it hurts.

I realized that I don’t have people I look up too because people have let me down and have bailed on me. (Some of the very people who should have protected me and taught me to feel safe and secure, just weren’t present.)

What are you most proud of in your life? (What came to mind was all of the things I have quit, all of the things that I have “half assed” and the disappointments that I have stumbled through.)

What skills are you most proud of in your life? (I have been clean and sober for over 20 years… is that a skill?)

Name two people who you look up to or admire? (I don’t have any… wait- yes I do… my sponsor is one of them. My past sponsor is another.)

What are your short-term and long-term goals? (I don’t have any. Really… Just trying to finish this class and get through today… this week. Next month… ya know?)

Those were my initial thoughts. The reality is, I have a damn good life. I have many things to be proud of and many people to thank. I have overcome much and it didn’t just happen because I showed up. I worked at it. I worked damn hard.

I had a friend in recovery ask me a question once, we were talking about relationships and fear.

He asked, “What are you so afraid of?”

Of being hurt, of course.

He then said “You have never let anyone in close enough to hurt you. You push people away, you leave them! Nobody has ever broken off a relationship with you, you’re always the one to leave.”

True.

He then asked me to make a list. He wanted to know what I was looking for in a relationship? Make a list of all of the things I wanted from a man.

I made the list.

He then asked me to look at my list, and ask myself, if I was, all of those things? He told me that I couldn’t expect anyone to be those things for me, if I wasn’t those things for someone else.

That was a turning point in my life.

I stopped trying to find someone to save me. I started saving myself.

I started to peel back the layers and I examined what I saw. Underneath the armour was a terrified little girl who had her ass kicked by life. She was wounded and alone. Now fast forward to those questions… is it any wonder that I don’t have goals?

So… that being said, This week- I am setting some goals. I am no longer that little broken soul. I have healed. Why then, is she still dictating certain areas of my life? Why am I still acting like I am wounded?

 

goals

Today, I am going to create a Wellness Vision for myself. I am worth it. It’s time.

Thanks everyone for being in my tribe… you guys rock.

Until next time, Peace and Love Peeps.

 

 

Memorizing vs Learning

Hiya Everyone!

I had a light bulb moment this morning in the shower… let me back up a bit and explain the scenario, so that you can understand …

I am currently enrolled in classes to become a Health Coach. Not just any classes… I am enrolled in the Master Level Certification Course with the Dr. Sears Institute. This segment is 20 weeks and it is the “psychology behind change”. It’s called the “Master Level” for a reason. It requires each student to master the information.

Anyone can become a health coach, and many people are trained to motivate people, or are applying healthy principles in their lives…  It’s something that I have been doing for a bit… so, why not become certified? Right?

All of that aside… This course has been kicking my a$$!

orange

One of my friends asked me about the classes a few weeks ago, my response? I am not loving it anymore. I really am not enjoying it and I don’t know why. She said she was sorry, and hoped for me, that I could find some joy in it.

I thought about that for a long time… I even tried to find the joy. I set aside my attitude and my dislike for certain parts… and I was faking the joy. I didn’t know how to find joy in something that I didn’t like.

I will be the first to tell you that I love to understand why things work the way they do. I will also tell you that playing a dime store shrink has been my side job for a long time… truly. So… why is this information not sinking in?? Why did I spend most of the day on Sunday in tears? Why??

This material is not designed to memorized… it’s designed to be learned and understood.

Those two concepts are not the same!!

Most of my life, I have been A.D.D, I memorize information and then just as quickly, I forget it… I study to pass a test, then most of the information is gone.

This course is not designed to be memorized.

I must learn it.

I must understand it.

I must know it.

That is what our instructor has been saying… “a deeper understanding.”

I did not pass the second exam. (This segment is broken down into trimesters, we are tested on each three separate parts.) I was so upset… I cried. I literally felt defeated and wanted to drop the course. I felt like the exams were designed to trip us up or trick us… I was throwing a huge pity party… I spent two hours on the phone with my sponsor. My eyes were swollen and I felt like such a baby.

I felt incapable.

She helped me to understand many things… the most important concept, was that society gives us rewards by praise, by grades and by acknowledging our work. I have been conditioned to “know my worth” in these ways. I have been taught to understand my feelings, by how you may feel about me. I feel better about me, when you appreciate me or the work I have done or am doing.

Let me repeat that… I have been conditioned to know my worth… by how you feel about me or the work I am doing.

My idea of finding the joy in this class has been by “passing”! Really… just passing is what I wanted.

I felt like such a failure… I have been studying my butt off and then… I fail. I have devoted so much time to reading each night. I have sacrificed time with friends and my husband to study. I show up each week, I do my homework, I do the required reading and pass the quizzes… then when I log in to take the 90 minute timed, open book exam… I BOMB.

I sent a nasty little review about the test and this past 6 weeks… I was ready to quit. If I hadn’t spent so much time and money already, I would have quit. That’s why I called my sponsor.

I needed to understand, if this was old behavior? Or if I was in over my head? I was asking permission, to just bag it.

She is a wonderful woman who gets me. She told me this information is hard. She uses motivational interviewing, compassionate communication, appreciative inquiry and all of the other information I am studying, each and every day. (She even uses it on me.) By the way, those are the books we are studying.

She told me that this information is not designed to be taken in an online class. It’s best learned by applying it and using the principles with other people. This is probably the hardest way to grasp the fundamentals of “Motivational Interviewing”. (Okay… so that made me feel a little less incompetent.)

She also told me that because of my conditioning, it’s going to be even harder for me to understand- Not impossible… just harder. (Okay… I am breathing a little easier … the tears are not from defeat now… they are from within… from someone actually seeing me.)

She then asked me, about finding joy in it. I still didn’t understand that concept. How could I find joy in something that I am failing? I was breathing easier, it all felt less personal.. but I still wasn’t sure.

I sent the instructor an email, I apologized for my harsh words in the review,  I asked for more information. I told her that I was contemplating quitting the class. I explained that I would never use the “certification” and wondered if it was possible to just take the rest of the class without having to take the exams. Yup. It is possible. But… she urged me to continue.

She said she has watched me in our break out sessions, she has watched my video’s and she knows that I will be a wonderful health coach. She also mentioned the fact that I got a 77% on my first try on the exam, that- shows that I do know most of the material. (We have to pass with an 85% or better.)

I am sharing this because I don’t think I am alone… This is a new concept for me… finding joy in something that I am not understanding… or not quitting when I feel defeated.

My instructor also pointed out that she knows I understand the concepts of motivational interviewing and if I stick with this last part of the class, it will all fall into line. Okay… what do I have to lose? By the way, my sponsor asked me that question.

grace

So… moving forward… but… still trying to process and understand this.

All of this.

I had a conversation with another friend about the test, the class and not loving it. I explained the above scenario in detail… and how he could probably relate to my feelings… he was raised in the same way. He is a local person and he gets me…

He shared a story with me… he races mountain bikes. (Or fat tire, or dirt bikes… whatever he races… the point is- he signs up for a race and competes regularly, what he races is not important.) Anyway, he told me his favorite race of all time, was the one that he came in DEAD LAST. Seriously. He said that young girls and senior citizens beat him. He said, he wanted to quit. He wanted to- just- give- up. He wasn’t in shape, he wasn’t ready to compete…

He told me the story and painted a visual of the day. It was a super hard course and he hadn’t trained properly. He got around the first lap, mostly uphill… and saw his car in the parking lot. It would have been so easy to just keep going towards his car… He could ride over, pack up and head home.

But… he committed to doing another lap. He was really struggling. He finished another lap, then he realized that he could do the last… He knew that he had it in him, to finish the race.

When he finished, the was ecstatic. He was so happy that he committed and finished… he was proud of himself for not giving up.

I was flabbergasted. I asked, How in the hell do you find joy or happiness in coming in last place?? Honestly, it was making me anxious just thinking about it.

He told me that he kept hearing his dads voice. “Who are you competing with? The people who have trained for this? Or yourself?”

He said there was another race recently that he came in 7th out of 9th… and he felt the same way. It isn’t about winning. It isn’t about the grade. It isn’t about the people at the finish line who are throwing you a party… it’s about committing to something and knowing you have what it takes, to do it.

Dont stop

Just for today… I will suit up and show up. I am capable.

By the way, I did re-take the exam, I got a 96.5% on my second try. I don’t say that for an “atta boy”… I am saying that to show anyone who is still doubting… I got this…

And, so do you.

If you’re struggling today, if you are reading this and really don’t know why or how… don’t quit. Talk about why you’re struggling, chances are- you’re not alone.

Until next time, Peace and Love Peeps

R.B.F.

Hiya Everyone!

So… in case you’re not up to date with the lingo of today, R.B.F. means resting bitch face.

It’s a term commonly used for a person who looks like they’re mad, scowling or a mean girl… But… it can also be a person who just doesn’t feel good about themselves, or isn’t in a good spot in life or, someone who is insecure. (Insert a picture of me here…) Say what??

RBF

If you know me well, you know that I do not like the spot light. But.. I will always coach you, on smiling with your whole face!

I will urge you to smile with your eyes! When my daughter was little, we used to practice in the mirror for a whole week before school pictures. I would help her to smile genuinely and not just with her lips. If your eyes look sad, and you have a big smile with your lips… it just looks fake.

Anyway, back to RBF. When I am nervous, in the spot light or caught off guard, I immediately go to RBF! My smile becomes sort of smile/smirk. I didn’t know this- until my daughter filmed me when she told me she was pregnant. I would like to tell you that I was elated, crying, super pumped… jumping up and down like every expecting Ramma would do… nope. I smirked. Yup… I didn’t even smile. I was so stinkin mad when I saw the video…

Recently I watched another video of myself at my step daughter’s wedding last summer. It was a gorgeous day in Northern Michigan, the setting was breathtaking in every way… almost regal. I was so happy for them both… to be included in the ceremony was an honor.

I was escorted down the aisle by my son-in-law, and he looked so dapper… I had a beautiful bright flowy dress… my shoes were sparkly and on point… but… My lips were tight, my eyes were sad and serious and I looked like I was going to punch someone, pass out or throw up. Seriously. My husband watched it with me… he asked- Why were you afraid to show your teeth? Ummm…. I don’t know.

The other moms had open smiles, they looked graceful and chic. They looked genuine and bursting with love. (I felt all of those things on the inside… but- I was unable to convince my face of this!)

Here’s the deal. The real deal. When I am nervous, I get serious. My nose sweats, I get a straight spine, because I am a yoga teacher… right?? (I used to roll my shoulders in… lol- its progress!) And, my face goes into RBF. Why??

I will tell you why.

When I feel vulnerable, I do this. I am afraid that you’re judging me. I am afraid that you’re talking about me, so I go into protect mode.

It’s not that I am a mean girl. Honestly… I am not mean. I just look like I am.

I put on my armour. I bring out the serious face, and then… you will know not to mess with me. But… on the inside, I am shaking. I am afraid.

So… the next time you see someone with this smirk. Or use this body language? Maybe instead of writing them off as a biotch… maybe, just maybe… you should go up to them and smile. Rub their shoulder and pay them a compliment. They may need you more than ever. Maybe they need someone to hold them up.

Instead of thinking we have each other figured out… sometimes we need to ask, Are you okay? You may be surprised… the tough exterior could just be a mask.

I just had a beautiful conversation with a friend about “the Canary story”. My mind went to a caged bird who will remain caged, even with the door open. The little bird will remain in the cage because it doesn’t believe there is anything better outside, of the cage. This is a story that I can relate too… Today, she told me another version.

The coal miners used Canaries to test the toxicity levels deep in the mine shafts. When they birds stopped singing, it meant the levels were too high and they all needed to get out. In today’s world, we have human canaries. When the life of a sensitive soul or human canary gets too toxic… they also stop singing.

singing canary

If you’re a sensitive soul, if you have lost your voice. I see you.

Find the ones who love and support you.

Find the ones who will sing with you.

There are always a few who will try to keep you trapped. There will always be a few who will try to show you that you’re not worthy of a song… when this happens, sing anyway. We will find you.

To all those who are suffering or those who need a song… I see you.

I-See-You

Sing on my beautiful friends… and SMILE, with your teeth, with your eyes… let your whole face shine. When you see the pictures or the video later, you won’t regret that smile… I promise.

Until next time, Peace and Love Peeps.

 

 

Holding Space…

Hiya Everyone,

I have learned recently that someone close to my family is really hurting. I am not going to share the details of this person’s journey… I will just say, I know this pain.

Holding space for someone means that I will walk along side them in the journey, without demanding anything. I will hold space in my heart for them, without an agenda. I will offer support and anything else they need. I will do this without needing details or offering a solution.

I remember when Paul was diagnosed with Cancer, there were some things I did to protect me.

  • I didn’t refer to the cancer as his. I tried to always refer to it separately, not like he owned it or let it define him.
  • I took what I needed from the Medical Community, My Spiritual Community, My Family, Friends, and God. I also let go of anything that didn’t serve me or my highest good, in that moment. (And believe me… that changed a lot!)
  • Sometimes I was strong and full of hope. Other times, I cried silent tears and felt like a child.
  • I made peace with the fact that if he died- He won. If he stayed- He won.
  • I lived in the moment of each day, trying to appreciate what was in front of me… without giving up hope of a cure.

There is a delicate balance in hope, faith and reality. My reality was I was holding on by a damn thread. I didn’t know if I was okay, going to break at any moment… or if I had exactly what I needed. I just didn’t know.

If you’re walking along someone in the same position… just hold them. Just allow them to cry. Don’t offer words of comfort… all of that stuff means nothing… just be there and allow them to do what they need to do in the moment. Tell them you love them. Tell them you won’t leave them, until they need you to go…

I allowed people close to me to support me, love me, hold me in prayer and be my guides. It was a daily commitment. It was hard. It was painful. It was beautiful.

My biggest fear was, what if they thought I was okay and left my side, and I wasn’t okay? It didn’t happen… they stayed. They are still with me.

Surrendering to the fact that no matter what, I would be okay.

Cancer support

These are all realizations from the journey…

I have said it before, I will say again now… The thing that felt the best to me in my sorrow, in my pain? Was when someone hugged me, told me that they were sorry… and that they loved me.

Today, right now… if you believe in prayer, or if you have some other way to connect to this family… I ask that you surround them in love. Please send all that you have… nobody should go through this without knowing they are loved.

Namaste…

Peace and Love Peeps.