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!