Dad did the best he could. Now that’s something we say when we know it could have been much better but we are affording some compassion to a situation that downright sucked. Continue reading “Did The Best He Could”
October is a month of transition. Leaves willingly release the security of the branches that have nurtured them. Fully embracing their journey onto the earth – all in the name of something larger, something magnificent…trees storing up power in the form of nutrients in order to support new, healthy life in the spring. Our lives follow a similar pattern. You may blossom and grow then allowing a part of yourself to “die off” making room for the new you, to start the process all over again in the Springtime of your days. Here’s to releasing the dead wood in your life – the creaky, the crotchety, letting it all fall away, into the earth.
“Bottom line is that you cannot heal and resolve your emotional material with your mind. Knowing our issues is not the same as healing our issues. Your emotional material does not evaporate because you watch it. I have known many who could watch and name their patterns and issues—as if they were scientists, researching their own consciousness—but nothing fundamentally changed, because they refused to come back down into their bodies and move their feelings through to transformation. It’s safe up there, above the fray, witnessing the heartache without actually engaging it. Yes, you may be able to get so skilled at a witnessing consciousness that you can overpower your triggers. But that’s not presence. Real presence comes through the open heart. The key to the transformation of challenging patterns and wounds is to heal them from the inside out. Not to analyze them, not to watch them like an astronomer staring at a faraway planet through a telescope, but to jump right into the heart of them, encouraging their expression and release, stitching them into new possibilities with the thread of love. You want to live a holy life? Heal your heart. That’s the best meditation of all.”
(~an excerpt from the best-selling ‘Grounded Spirituality’, available at bookstores and on Amazon (paperback, kindle, audiobook) at
Here I am getting older and wiser, or maybe just wiser. I’m just an average fish, swimming alongside the rest of you. I had heard some things, mostly scary stuff about growing older as a female. There is a plethora of information out there, charts and graphs, statistics and studies – all doing their best to explain exactly wtf goes on before, during and after the looming “Menny-P”. It all looks horrible, nothing any sane individual would sign up for. On top of that crap, there seems to be a shitload of shame surrounding this most transformative time in mid-life. Yes, shame for having an aging body. WTF. So I am beginning to dip my toe into this middle aged black hole…
My body is freaking out just a little. I usually feel pretty agile and thin – even though I’m 20 pounds more than ideal. But these strange sensations tho. Like being pregnant all over again. Yes, this is it. An abdomen that’s bloated for no reason. Less of a “looking” big than a feeling of literally, a stuffed sausage that has overstepped its casing boundary – huge. Waking up distended, going to bed still large. Expanding inside and no matter what you do, the feeling of hugeness it still there with you to lug around on hot June afternoons.
Clothes don’t feel right. Elastic waistbands are blissful. Nothing without give. Nothing constricting. Great theory….but brand new problem – underwear and waistbands roll down when you bend. Well, isn’t that fucking grand? Nakedness works but is frowned upon by the police. So here I am, just feeling enormous. From sternum to pelvic bone, completely disturbed. Uterus, ovaries, cortisol pumping, dancing, singing their ritualistic, ancient songs. Oooo, here comes my period, nope, just kidding. Here it is, nope, note this time either. Cramping, bloating, feeling – pull the covers up to your nose – gross. Abdomen and pelvis working overtime to figure out the hormonal changes and bring me back to homeostasis.
Well, hurry the fuck up. Then there’s the mental fog – sometimes it feels like just too much to figure shit out. Should I wear clothes today? lol I try and combat that and take on the ever popular addiction -coffee- So now I still realize that I can’t/don’t want to figure shit out and I realize that FASTER. Funny, but not terribly helpful. Caffeine welcomes back an old friend, Anxiety. (I refer to it as a friend just so it knows it’s time with me is limited and it’s not staying, shhhhh, pinky swear?)
So I’m bloated, foggy and anxious. DELICIOUSLY attractive no doubt. Anxious because I know I should be doing much more daily. But what was I supposed to be doing and why was it important and why am I thinking about this anyway? lol Round and round I go, my roly-poly, cobwebby, agitated self. It’s got to get better, right? Well, yes, I’m glad you asked. Some days, my hormones take a break and I feel like “me” again and I should celebrate the shit out of those days. Party! My stomach flattens, I’m so sharp mentally and calm, peaceful and grounded. Bliss
And then, Menopause speaks again. This time it’s my thighs and my hips. Exhausted is the word. Absolutely not a drop of stamina for climbing stairs, walking uphill, riding a bike. I’d rather lie in traffic. Seriously, I could just drop to the ground and give up. GIVE UP????? I
was (still am) in good shape, always was. Kick boxing, boot camp, weights, cardio, you name it, I was down. This FATIGUE bullshit is not me, at all. Suddenly I feel antiquated – Good God, not that.
And Christ, is it hot in here? Haha. Seriously tho – the fluctuations, only at night (thank God) are enough to drive you nuts. Blankets on blankets off. Bundled up, then naked. Don’t touch me, then keep me warm. Bloated, sweaty, agitated – How sexy am I? (don’t answer that) Morning arrives to greet your wet, mental fog… who’s popping up out of bed to start the cheerful day? NOT ME. I roll over onto a dry spot on the sheets, back of my hair wet, clothes damp. Oh, that reminds me… who doesn’t want to make this all go away? – don’t, whatever you do, think you’re going to add alcohol to a hot mess such as this -in an attempt to improve the situation. I think not – Exacerbation city!!! It’ll make Menopause symptoms look like a picnic.
I start thinking – This is some dumb shit, really asinine. Everyday, heading into your late 40’s and early 50’s, if you are not “in touch” with your body and listen to what it needs, then Menopause is going to roll you. Ever meet Flat Stanley? you will. Blindsided by a hormonal steamroller is what you’ll be. I’m late to the party with all of this so I’ve had longer than the average Joe, to get my mental shit together so I wouldn’t enter into this milestone already a hot mess. I wonder how many women start with these symptoms and run to the Dr. thinking they’ve got early dementia, chronic fatigue, fibromialgia, heart problems, thyroid issues… seriously!
You may want to punish your body for not functioning at 100%, I get it. Common I suppose. I seriously started to think something was REALLY wrong with me until I was able to put the pieces together. Menopause is different for every woman but there are some common strands. Instead of getting angry with the temporary upheaval – I will treat my body/mind like I would an old friend and show compassion, patience and understanding. Just because I accept the ridiculousness that is upon me does not mean it is here to stay.
So today, I rest when I can and care for myself. Enjoying the nurturing only I can give my changing, maturing body. I push a little with exercise, mostly gardening, loading rocks, digging holes, running the wheelbarrow up my steep embankment, easy shit like this, ha. All the while cognizant of what my body will agree to that day. Resting when I need to, connecting with the earth energy and the support of the heavens. Stopping to observe the changes in my body and not fighting them but accepting the wisdom they bring.
Whatever needs doing these days….I may show up foggy, bloated, sweaty and anxious. And I will not make this a problem. I got this.
When you start to speak the truth
When you find your voice
People will want to silence you, shut your shit down. Continue reading “Power Up”
Just sitting here watching the leaves unfold
Each with a secret plan
at a leaf’s pace
Like a crumpled roadmap Continue reading “Wrinkles of Youth”
Life is great until it sucks
Life sucks until it doesn’t
Nothing is permanent
Except when it is
Then I wish it wasn’t Continue reading “Shadow Rising”
Yesterday was an emotional day for me. The purging hurt so good. The death of an antiquated pattern, shedding my dumb-suit. My beauty radiating blissfully from under the decaying camouflage. Reflecting on how different I am today. It hit me hard. Like my heart was cracking open to love – love for myself. Continue reading “Retiring My Emotional Armor”
i find it to be quite interesting that my throat – the place where Wisdom emanates from my being – is under attack. My personal truth, these days, freely flows out of me without much rehearsal and angst. I used to have to fight to be heard, taken seriously, seen. As a wee little person, I was afraid to speak up or out against anything or anyone, no matter how obvious and insidious the injustice. For fear of being hurt, disowned, different, seen, ignored, shamed, humiliated – fuck, that’s a lot of blockage. It was much easier and safer to remain unseen, unheard, un-human. All tucked away in my larynx. The organ of self expression. The holder of secrets. Of stuffed emotions.
The more baggage/trauma that crams up sideways in our throats, clogs our ability to speak our truth without the fear of being annihilated… this blockage of energy, over time, creates disease. The thyroid slowly malfunctions – giving you, finally, what you want – shutting down the forces that keep you functioning, the proof of our aliveness, our voice. This human communication frequency- stifled. We comply to the old parameters of “allowed” existence until, one fine day, we find our voice and slowly, standing up to the shadows of the past- step into our ROAR.
Yesterday I really used my voice. By “voice” I mean put myself out there for others to see me speaking my truth. I was asked by one of my bosses to lead a group of teens and then a large group of adults, in a guided meditation. Daunting task for sure. I told him, “that hat scares the shit out of me! Let’s do it” LOL. In the next couple of days I actively resisted the urge to REHEARSE endlessly and woke on a few occasions at 4:30 am to record the words that were being channeled (to me) by one of my Spirit Guides.
I felt strong, healthy, connected and NORMAL – doing what I love. No script, just freely flowing words from my higher self and spirit help. And I did this for an audience of 30 teens and then, later that day, 60 adults. It felt amazing. I received some really great feedback. Words cannot accurately capture what I was feeling. Maybe the thawing of what was. The shattering of the old silence replaced by new possibility. I had done this many, many times before but rarely with groups this large AND never with people who didn’t sign up for it.
This morning I woke with the rawest sore throat I’ve had since being a teenager. I expected to see blood when I opened up and looked in the mirror. Nope. As a kid my throat was frequently attacked, what a shock 🙄. For me, today, this is a sign that I’m doing good work. Throat Chakra work that does not yet have a permanent residence in my physical body. My throat may protest for a while by getting sore, voice disappearing, swollen glands, dryness, etc. whatever it can throw at me so it can continue playing small. This is what’s been comfortable.
The “No pain, No gain” and heart might just apply here. Old patterns are disrupted, light shining into the dark places. Old dysfunction will be cleared. Throat issues are a reminder of what was, while creating what will NOW be.
So I’m visiting this mental health facility today, testing a student. Steven walks me to the back of this beautiful place. Hallways look a little like a maze, some high ceilings, most rooms smacking of afterthought and haphazard building design. Continue reading “This School tho”
“It’s unbelievable how many ppl carry this around with them and then all of the sudden come out with – I was sexually abused as a kid. They go their whole life, carrying it around and never say anything”. Continue reading “Shhhhhh”
I am learning to embrace growing older. The grays arriving, the wrinkles. It’s not easy. I keep meeting up with ppl who point this out like it’s their job. Continue reading “Privilege Denied To So Many”
How do we know when we’ve arrived? When we’ve matured? Growned up? 😂 It’s been a long time coming – like 50 years long. I found myself involved in a group conversation yesterday and 4 women were sharing their identity theft experiences. I knew I had the mother of all tales. These women love to talk, spewing their words into the air like throwing confetti hoping to hit a target. Some peices landing where intended. Others scattering about, disappearing into the room like snowflakes on warm pavement. Talking, sharing, for the sake of talking, sharing.
I, feeling the internal bulldozer push to share, to say something to top their stories- completely self servingly and ego based – said nothing. WHATT? Me? Story-teller ME? Holding back? Didn’t give into the forces of EGO and cram my experience into these listening beings? Well no, no I didnt. But, but I’m so fucking good at it. I am quite the entertainer and very charming 😑…Instead, I made the conscious choice to sit and listen to what was shared. It was clear that I might possibly have been the ONLY one listening that’s for sure. I observed all four of them perched on their haunches, waiting for a pause through which to interject their story. Not comment or question or otherwise entertain another’s offering- just forge ahead with how important THEY were. Blindly, single trackedly, gushing many details. Sprinkling in some theatrics.
What is it about being heard? We’re all so desperate to have a connection. May it be bourne from “I feel invisible” “I don’t matter” “I don’t have a right to be here” “I’m not ok”? Whatever your specific brand of bull-shit self doubt, self loathing – with enough self work, inner healing, counciling, body work, etc.. working through the shadow/darkness (patterns we use to adapt to a less than perfect upbringing) we CAN turn things around. We can be there for OURSELVES and not expect others to fill in our missing pieces. And not expect other to fill in what’s missing in our lives. Not expect others to SAVE US.
I sat, and retreated inward. Deeply. Even though outward appearances appeared as though I was listening intently (survival 101 as a child-I got an A+ 😡). To a place I found a wise woman. A higher self within me who was able to, in the moment, be IN this conversation but as an observer at the same time. Letting go of the pressure to perform. Pressure to make people like me. Pressure to entertain. One-up. Dazzle. My ego was prob pissed, starved, lonely, deflated…as I sat, a really good listener. I was quiet, seemingly uninvolved, aloof, passive…. all of the things I was forced to be as a child. God forbid I show some light, enthusiasm and BRAINS!!!! Someone would have felt challenged. And that would have been very bad for me as a kid.
So as I sat, some old patterns arose. Of course! The push to gush my story of identity theft all over everyone. But instead, I sat, and let WORTHLESS, FEAR, PRESSURE, ANXIETY wash over me. Feeling accomplished. Able to DISCERN. Keep my mouth shut and make a conscious decision to talk or not.
I think the most ironic nugget is that didn’t we, as trauma/abuse survivors, experience identity theft as children? Very early in life someone(s) ran off with who we came here to be. Outright stole our identity and we had to pick another one. Put a different face on. And here we are scratching through the forest floor, looking for remnants of who we are. Retrieving parts lost, uncovering the light with the dark. Finding really cool things about ourselves. Aligning with others who really SEE us, the real us. Life-Lock identity protection-like.
Everyday there are lessons to be learned. Interesting ways the Universe configures to allow us the opportunity to heal (or not). I always live by these simple words… Life is happening FOR us, not TO us. I believe Tony Robbins is quoted saying that 💜Ahhhh. Discernment. Welcome my newest friend.
We’ll do anything for a good Mom. When there was so much wrong in our childhoods, we need, now, to reparent ourselves and get what we’ve missed.
Bringing loving kindness to ourselves. Validation. Safety. Feeling comfortable really , deeply being seen. Celebrating our Aliveness. Feeling worthy.
Gift yourself these. Get whatcha need. Fill those holes. Anyways.
Picture credit to 9Gag.com
I’m all for easy healing techniques. When I’m triggered to shit I want a magic wand to clear it all away. I want someone to take it all away from me, to understand what I’m going through, to actually validate that I should be angry, scared, disassociated, disgusted, sad, etc.
So, why make something harder than it has to be? why suffer any longer than you have to?… Well, this is the mindset of the medical community. Even my naturopath, whom I love, has very little wisdom for me when I am over the top triggered. It came out of the blue this week – for 2 days so many circumstances I found myself in and around, smacked of sexual abuse or self harm (cutting, anorexia) with the teens I work with, or Dr. Phil interviewing a cult defector who told of being tortured and raped her entire childhood, or nightmares of my maternal influence… sexually abusing me. And now I find myself at my yearly gyno exam… WTF
Can you say overwhelming anxiety? Can you say vibrating from within? breathless, BP 120/100, face flushing, hypervigilant… when I’m normally relaxed, centered and grounded throughout most of my day. I provide meditations to my co-workers at work and the teens I work with. This is not me, a bag of nerves. At least this is not me TODAY. Years ago, well, fuck-yeah! I was stuck in this terrorized state of functioning and it felt kinda normal. When you make tremendous strides out of the perpetual triggered state, after years and years of self growth and unearthing who you really are, when you are re-triggered to this extent, only then do you realize how far you’ve come. When the anxiety returns, you’re like, “Hey, here’s that feeling again, gosh, this is horrible. I can’t believe I lived like this everyday.”
Again, I’ve had a hell of a triggered week and my gyno just lit a candle for me and ordered me to sit and relax because I’m not leaving until she’s satisfied with my condition. Because I am in such a vulnerable state I don’t freak out on her. She’s basically bypassed my feelings about what would be best for ME. Now I’m basically trapped, just like my childhood. She really expects my BP to come down now that she’s decided to control the shit out of the circumstances? I think not. Now I begin to feel bad and wrong because I CAN’T make my body act normal. What am I supposed to do? will my CNS to relax and be a good girl? Calm down when my empathic self is reading her panic about my condition and that she doesn’t have a clue about what to do with me? All very unsettling for ME. (in addition to asking me how many years post-menapausal I am WTF???????????????? I still have a regular cycle you F&$%@ (of course I did not say that, I’m not THAT tweaked) but I might or might not have imagined my hands around her throat LOL.
If she listened to me for one minute regarding the state of mind I arrived in (plus, then add in a pelvic exam, OMG) she would not try to override what was happening in my body. HELLO!!!! There is nothing that can be done. SHE TELLS ME I NEED TO MEDITATE ( I have been meditating for 9 years) SHE SUGGESTS THAT I JUST RELAX AND HAVE LESS STRESS IN MY LIFE (is this woman for real? I have crafted a lovely life for myself), SHE TELLS ME I NEED A THERAPIST (I almost stood up in the stir-ups). clueless. fucking clueless. BTW I have the most amazeballs therapist ever.
If you read nothing else here – read this >
****Despite the inadequacies and incompetence of the medical community….This is not today’s stress people! ***********This is old, very old***********. This is not a mismanagement of my life, my health. This is straight up abuse terror. Memories surfacing in crazy-ass nightmares. There is no way in hell I will feel bad/wrong about a normal process going on inside my being!!! Trauma, my dear wordpress friends, has no concept of time, trauma decides when trauma will speak again, trauma decides when your body will purge old memories/patterns. And it’s usually at a ridiculously calm, peaceful time in your life. Usually when you are feeling amazingly relaxed, confident, loved, cherished, visible, strong, bla, bla, bla. Seems senseless, right?*****
Trauma waits until it has your complete attention. Not when you are juggling life’s stress but just the opposite. Your spirit or higher-self is good like that. Never giving us more than we can handle. Rut-Ro. I can handle a lot. Which scares me.
I am really careful who I allow to care for me. My physician’s, dentist, gynecologist, eye doctor, etc.. I need to feel very comfortable with whomever is treating my body. I tell ya, it is very hard to come by professionals who understand ptsd and healing from trauma. Especially sexual trauma. Especially. The suggestions they make are downright silly, uneducated and at times, inappropriate.
Get some training on how to meet patients (with abuse history) with compassion, validation and heart. I will say that it is prob not a good idea to rapid fire – suggestions to make it all better – at the patient. Take note: triggered people are not listening to you anyway. Forget your textbook ideas. It will all be received as, “I’m not doing something right” (something that the vast # of traumatized people learned as children). Which just fuels the trigger. My “well-meaning” Dr’s usually suggest shit I have already been doing for 10 years like, meditate, get a therapist, eat well, get exercise and for fuck’s sake, relax LOL. They can’t get past the FACT that they can have very little effect/control over what is happening inside of you/me. And this really flips them out. They are in the helping field, right? they should be able to fix everything and make you feel better, right? Nope. Impossible. I imagine, a very helpless feeling, absolutely – now you understand how I’m feeling.
Most patients are – and correct me if I’m wrong, just looking for silence and presence. This is all we need. That is all. That’s it. Not suggestions, not pity, not more drugs – so you can sleep at night thinking you solved something for a patient. When you don’t know what to tell a patient how bout this just sit back with your well wishes and instead of hurling a list of “how to relax” at him/her… feel the discomfort you’re trying to run away from. Maybe Helplessness? defeat? fear? sadness? I know, I know, Doc’s are supposed to know everything. HOw it would have helped if one of them would have been silent or have said “wow, you’re having a hard time” or “it will get better, it always does”.
What I know for sure is that triggers are gunna happen. Your body will freak out from time to time. Trust. Weird rashes, numbness, burning, swelling, pain, shingles, viruses, bladder infections, intestinal issues, headaches, sinus infections, reflux, eye problems, elevated blood pressure, breast issues, etc. as the darkness is released through your organs and tissues. This is not betrayal. Betrayal already happened, many moons ago. This is your body communicating with you about what needs attention. Your body is your friend, partner. It was there for you then and is here for you now. Cherish and love your body, it’s the only one you’ve ever had and ever will have. It’s fighting on your behalf, won’t you do the same?
As I write about my experiences this week, my trials with health care practitioners, my heart aches for those of you who are re-victimized by well-meaning health care practicioners. Unless you have been abused – and so many of us have – AND you are actively working on healing (for the rest of your life) you really have no clue with regards to what this population needs. Please, if you don’t know what to say, that’s a sign that you shouldn’t say anything.
When you really, really, really understand the healing process you know that there is no end to healing, you know that there are so many people who are going to re-open those wounds for you, you know that healing means moving forward while you are looking back, you know that healing is for you and only you, you know that very few (to no) people will deeply understand what you are going through, you know that eventually it will not matter if no-one understands because you do, you know that it’s difficult to find professionals who really understand what you are going through, you know that the highs are going to be just as plentiful as the lows, you know that despite what society says, you cannot and should not try to control your thoughts, you know that the only true way to process trauma is to be with it – not run from it, you know that living in the truth is all that matters to you AND that you know all of what you experience is happening FOR you not TO you.
“I need to talk to her, I love her and miss her, please give this message to her”. This is what my Maternal Influence – as I call her – texts my husband. Continue reading “Write her a letter, he said.”
Sometimes your gifts and talents are barely visible, just under the surface. Often concealed by pretty weighty assaults you’ve collected on your path. Attacks on your self-worth. Attacks on your personal power. Attacks on your right to simply live and BE. Absorbing comments from others… “It’ll never work”, “You can’t make a living doing THAT”, “Don’t brag, no-one likes a show off”, “Better stick to your day job”, “What do you think you’re special or something?”
Then there’s the INNER chatter, the burlap you cover yourself with… I’m not really good at this, What I can do is not so special, People will laugh at me, What if it doesn’t work out? I’ll look foolish, bla, bla, bla.
Awareness is a tool, like a backhoe. Working, cultivating, excavating your inner land, your toughest rocks, your fibrous burlap. It’s 2019! Draft a plan, devise a blueprint, do it anyway. Move that shit OUT. Survey YOUR land, notice the rocks and ground covers in your life, how you dumb down who you are, what you are capable of….
Who would YOU be free to BE without the thoughts and ideas you have adopted to keep yourself small and safe? Fill the backhoe up with divine fuel, it’s time to shine, no apologies. Take a chance and show the world the buried treasure of YOU.
I miss looking under rocks for cool bugs to put in our bug-house. I miss packing a thermos of hot chocolate, 3 sandwiches and grabbing a loaf of stale bread to spend quality time with the beach seagulls. Continue reading “For The Love of Gratitude 12/1/2018”
I believe in the magic of trees. I can be found touching, smelling and cozying up to trees. They’re all so welcoming, fragrant, protective and accepting of love from us. My ancient friends on my land, lovingly offer their sap which I respectfully process into delicious syrup. Bark, of the Shag-bark tree also creates a delectable syrup. Elderberry, Linden, Maples, Oaks, Willow… Oh, my momma Willow. How I honor thee. I would say one of the most disappointing events I witnessed this year involved my 100+ yr old Willows. Continue reading “As A Tree, I Heal”
I am just in love with this piece by Mary Oliver…
My work is loving the world.
Here sunflowers, there the hummingbird-equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening of the yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?
keep my mind on what matters, which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy
telling them all, over and over, how it is that we will live forever.