Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Etching Out Kindness

I have written a lot about the importance of kindness and the value I feel it has not only in our lives, but the effect it has on other people and the Earth.  And, while I was away in the glorious sunshine, and floating in the pool, I was deemed a little crazy when I'd rescue the bees that landed in the pool.  I'd scoop them up in my hand, and place them on the rocks to dry and they'd fly away and carry on.  Why?  Because I can, and what you put out in the Universe comes back three fold.  And as I dried off, I got to having the conversation about why I feel the way I do about kindness towards even the little creatures like the bees.  Turns out, it's this book. 

When I was a little, my mom had this book on the book shelf.  It's one of the only Disney books I remember.  I was more of a Dr. Seuss/Bernstein Bears kind of girl.  (If you can find this book for your littles, please do. I emplore you to feed their kindness, and read this book every single day.)

This is a book where Goofy learns the purpose and rewards of being kind.  The thing is, he didn't have to try to be kind.  He just was. He is kind to all the creatures he encounters, and the Universe, is, in turn, kind to him.  I can tell you, without hesitation, that this book came into my thoughts every single time I avoided killing a spider (yes, this is why I take them outside.  Bees too.) for my whole existence.  

I actually found it astounding that a book I read as a child had such an impact on who I became; which prompted another chat about exactly that - the things that you can pin point as having shaped part of who you became as an adult - like this book, and for me, The Velveteen Rabbit.  So when you think something as simple as book or a movie won't impact your kids - you may be wrong. Choose the words they hear wisely - they may be etched in who they become.  

For kindness and all of the things that brought to being the human I am - grateful. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Warrior - Like A Boss

I want to share this picture with you.  I want to share it because, as it turns out, it's one of my life's most powerful moments.

I spent the weekend at an EnjoyMEnt retreat with roughly 55 other like-minded, magnificent women.  (side note: there was not one single moment of judgement here- EVER- and I wish all women could know this kind of solidarity)  There was a theme night: Warrior Women, and it gave me anxiety from the second the email in came in before the retreat.  First of all, I was no warrior.  Second of all, I don't "dress up".  But the thing is, I wanted to be all in this weekend.  Both feet in the fire, all me, all day long.  No hiding.  So...for hours (literally), I sat and made this head peice. I painted, I glued.  I innovated.  Painted panther faced, pink feathered mowhawked, warrior feathered fear... And and handful of bravery to put it on - like a God dammned Boss.

With my yoga pants, and my silver feather necklaces, I wore it.  No.  I embodied it.  I painted my face, and opened up my soul.  And I laughed.  And I sang.  And I danced.  And I remembered.  I remembered every single time I was afraid to let myself just be.  I remembered hiding myself away, and turning myself inside out for people around me.  I remember shifting away from this glorious human who laughed and sang and danced... and lived with reckless abandon.  I remembered being brave.  I remembered the years of battle just to allow myself to be this human I loved.   I remembered this girl.  This woman.  This warrior. 

This is who I am, and this is one of the most powerful moments of my movement forward.  I am so proud of this warrior.  I may love a lot of things, and a lot of people, but my gratitude is in loving myself the most. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

One Move Yoga

As I type, right now, I am on the floor.  No, not metaphorically, literally - on the floor.  During my 193 days away, I developed something that was very, very good for my soul.  I call it one move yoga - otherwise known as laying on the floor.

It looks a little something like this:

You see, on the wall is a heater - it blows warm air all over my body while I lay in complete peace.  Here's the thing - no one is allowed in my sunroom uninvited - there's no one here but me, this dog, and peace and quiet.  If you read yesterday's post, you know why that's soooooooo incredibly important.  It's QUIET.

It all started with good intentions.  There would be some stretching, a sun salutation, and an intention to finish a full yoga session... but then I reached the floor.  And I was just still, and it was quiet and my body begged me not to move.  And so I didn't.  I just stayed.  I let all the thoughts leave my head while I laid there.  I let my body relax, I let my soul get all pruny in the peace pool I was swimming in.  Once I even fell asleep - on the floor. I don't even know how that's possible.

Once or twice a week, some times three or four or twelve times a week, I disappear to this solace, and let my soul breathe.  It keeps me sane.  You should try it - just not in my sunroom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

193 Days Part Two - Blended Families

Once upon a time, you meet this amazing, perfect puzzle piece to your puzzle.  He gets you.  He fits.  He's funny and charming and handsome.  You have never been more loved, or more goddess-like to anyone in your history of existence.  You found your person for this journey and finally - you have found your Happily Ever After, and life will be perfect...


What's that? He has kids?  Well that's okay, you like kids.  What now?  They are teenagers?  Well that's just fine - you have teenage kids too.  They will meet and they will all get along perfectly and they will sing songs loudly in the kitchen and laugh during family dinner and crave time together and we'll all be one big crazy family, and nothing can ever go wrong... right?

I mean, two adults, raised differently, each raising two kids differently, in different environments, in different stages of so many changes in their lives, with raging adolescent hormones and first world problems that would make any reasonable adult cringe, should be shiny, happy rainbows of blended family bliss, right?  What could possibly go wrong here?

If you haven't heard - hear this right now... BLENDED FAMILIES ARE HARD.   They are harder work than your regular run of the mill, family next door, undivorced, untainted, one set rules, never known anything different kind of family.  Blended families are a mash up of people thrown together, forced to try to like each other.  They are kids and parents and males and females, and personalities and values and histories that collide on a continual basis, wreaking havoc on relationships, twisting words and feelings.  They are filled with weird situations and dynamics that nightmares are made of.  They are made up of "you're not my mom" and "you're not my dad", followed quickly by "yeah and you're not my kid".  And in it all... everyone has to try to find some peace.  Everyone is just trying to hang on.  It can't go on forever, right?  Just hang on...

It's hard.  And it's not like "wow this math test is hard" kind of hard.  More like "Jesus Christ, the boat is going to sink in the middle of this ocean that is dark and twisty in the storm, and I am going to be eaten by a very nasty shark and shit out for whales to eat while no one even cares that you took the boat in the first place because they all thought you went on a cruise" kind of hard.

It's the kind of hanging on that blisters your hands and makes your muscles weak, and your mind full of how you can make it easier.  It's the struggle that makes you wonder what the hell you were thinking in the first place.  I mean, dating? Kids?  Living together?  Moving?  What. Were. You. Thinking?

Have I mentioned that blended families are hard?  Really, really hard?

Last night I found myself piled up in a wreck of it all.  A blended family chaotic mess of he said, she said, she lied, she's mean, he's this, she's that, I can't take it anymore, yelling and crying and defensiveness and baggage, old hurts and new hurts, I just wanna go home but where the hell is that and how fast can I get there, I don't want to be alone, but Lord, I just wish everyone would just shut up for five minutes- rubble.   News flash kids - this happens - a lot.  It has to.  It is, I have decided, impossible not to given the circumstances. There will be an explosion every so often.  No one dies, but everyone gets hurt.  Everyone bleeds a little and goes to bed wounded.

The magic (yes, magic), is in the recovery.  Sometimes a bomb goes off, and it takes five minutes of reset.  Sometimes it takes hours or days.  I believe some of it will take years.  The point is, with effort comes the recovery - and when it happens, that's where you can find the magic. The magic of a cohesive, peaceful family meal.  The magic of laughter in the togetherness.  The magic in a mutual understanding and cease fire.  Effort. Learning.  It's necessary...and hard.. and worth it.

I can look over at my partner at the end of the day, and know, for certain there is love.  I know there is effort, and commitment.  I know he is the other half of my bomb squad - even when I am holding the bomb, or he's holding the detonator.  He is my recovery, and I am his.  And these damn kids of ours - well they may be a mine field, but I know with each hit - we will recover.  Sometimes sooner, sometimes later.  We will all be better...eventually.  Maybe everyone won't send each other Christmas cards each year, but I hope everyone knows there will always be some one else there when you feel alone and the bombs are being weighed.  And when the silence comes, someone will hold your hand while you recover.

But it won't be easy.

It will be worth it.  I promise.

oh...P.s. - what was I thinking?  "My God, I love that man. No matter what, and for always."  That's what I was thinking.

193 Days - Part One.

193 Days.

That's how long it's been since I have sat down to write.  

That's a long time for a writer... 

That's a long time for me.  

One hundred and ninety three days of hiding.  One hundred and ninety three days of emotions, one hundred and ninety three days of joy and love, and of tears and sadness., of travel and adventures; of journey.  One hundred and ninety three days playing out loudly inside my head, but never where anyone can see it.  One hundred and ninety three days of laughter and not laughter.  One hundred and ninety three stories, maybe more.  

One hundred and ninety three days of silence as to not disturb the waters...  Turns out, no matter what, the sea can be a tumultuous bitch.  So this is the end of 193 days, and we're going to talk about some hard stuff... and some real stuff... and some joyous, over the moon stuff.  

Get ready.  

Monday, February 29, 2016

It's An Extra Day - Go Ahead And Lie Down

It's a leap year, and it's February 29.  The way I see it, today is an extra day.  Sure, Monday would normally exist, and I could be doing many, many things today, but, frankly, I just don't want to.  I don't want to go to coffee, I don't want to sit at a desk and punch numbers.  Actually, I don't really want to see anyone, or have a conversation.  I don't want to think about anything outside my door.

You see, last night, I spent an hour in a hot bath tub full of water, jets drowning out most of the sounds.  I went to bed with a head full, didn't sleep much, and woke up just as tumultuous.  I know back in my home town, it's a sad day.  There are teachers dear to me that are walking around in a daze, knowing there is a void today.  I know there is a class of children that will be forced to ask why their teacher isn't there, or why she won't ever be returning to make their tiny hearts sing.  My heart is sick with their sadness.  

Down the hall there is an empty room again today.  I am grateful it's not for the same reason, although it doesn't make the hurt any less raw, although my sadness feels selfish and unfounded.  That door that sits closed for two weeks at a time now seems to mirror my wholeness and makes me question my parenting, my sacrifices, my choices, and my worth ( yes, I said it). 

I am in a house where so much uncertainty reins all the time.  The government, the economy, the news stories, the lay offs, the jobs that just aren't there like they used to be.  The increase in crime and violence, the new need for protection (whatever that might be).  I am in a tornado of teenage years that beg for mercy, and a wrapped constantly in a weighted blanket of guilt in wanting this part of parenting to just be over already.  I am exhausted of tears, and fights and struggles.  I am jammed with back-talk and over confidence.  I am fighting to remember who I am while reminding someone else of who they are.  I am straining through uncertainty to see a horizon of light.  

Right here, right now, there is writing that seems to only return when there is pain.  I dislike that very much.  I can't seem to sit down and write like I used to.  It's not the same.  The joy of this all is ebbing and has stopped flowing through my soul almost entirely.  I am eager for the return of the joy.  I am, daily, forcing the return.

This morning's silent prattle inside my head implored me - for the love of yourself and all things good...just take a minute and lie down. And I have this ridiculously favorite space in my sun room, right in front of a space heater, on a yoga mat, clearly not doing yoga... where I can just lay.  And so I did.  And so I am.  I don't really want to get up.  And for a day that is just an extra, maybe for once, it can be okay if I just lie down.  On this extra day, my answer is no.  Today is mine and I don't want to. So if you ask me, no thank you.  I'll be laying on the floor waiting for some good to come through the door.  Today I am just going to lie down, count some quiet blessings and know that tomorrow will bring good things.  It's an extra day. Go lie down. You deserve it too. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Writing doesn't come easily right now. I'm blocked. I'm inspirationally challenged

And frankly, I'm bored.

Recently, on our trip to Phoenix, I was wandering around in the book store (shocking, I know), and I stumbled across this little book.

So I flip it open, and randomly pick one. Some of these are not easy.  This one sure isn't.  "Write the first sentence of your obituary".  Ugh. Okay. This isn't last time you will see a 642 post.  I shall call this 642-1.  Here goes nothin'. 

642-1: Write the first sentence of your obituary

Jennifer said at the end of her days she wanted to  have made a real difference, and all she wanted was for someone to say is "because of you, I didn't give up". 

...I hope there's a group of people there who didn't give up.  (oh and let's not forget, I will have lived to 97.  Oh! Also, has anyone ever thought about planning their own funeral?  I have... a lot. Is that weird?)