Joy

This Right Here

Some days I wake up and I feel so joyful. Like I’m grateful for everything. I find amazement and wonder in the smallest things. The smells. The sounds. The feels. Everything fresh and alive and inviting. It’s a privilege to be alive. It’s an honor to be here.
Weird. How can I feel so satisfied, and grateful when so many are suffering? I “should” be all twisted up. So I share this with my hubs. Surmising that, “maybe this is it, maybe I’m leaving this earth soon 🤷🏻‍♀️.” I mean, why else would I feel this way? Of course he doesn’t know what to say 😆 who would 😵‍💫
But then I realize that THIS is it. This was it all along. THIS is the nectar of life. Enjoying the right now. The today. The stuck in traffic, standing in line, the feel of a sunburn, a headache. Even the things we try and get away from. This is rich. Our lives are living and breathing, drenched with experience and chance meetups with humans and nature and everything in between.
I wish I woke every day feeling settled into existence, breathing into the entirety of life. What a gift.
Thank you.

Garden Love is the best
Thrive · warrior · Whole

How I know I’m a Warrior

How do I know? How can I not know? Miles from what I thought was me. She’s gone now. My old self. Gone is the pleaser, the “it must’ve been me” girl, the girl who stayed quiet. The one who allowed others to overrule her thoughts. The girl who believed that she didn’t have needs. How could she ever get needs met? Having needs somehow took away from others and was self centered. Mean. That’s what they told me. That’s what I believed. She’s gone now.

The girl who just wanted to be happy- no matter the cost. The young lady who kept secrets so vile – so others wouldn’t deny her truth or be moved to action, or, worse yet…think SHE was the problem. Swallowing shards of pain for too many moons, too many seasons. The young miss who starved herself in an attempt to kill the beast within. She who flirted with ending her own life as a second grader. Yes, my warrior was hidden deep.

She who finishes last hurts most. The suffering stuffed inside her little body, tucked in every crevice, tissue, every body system. The mini me opening and reaching for support. Then retreating when the flames scorched her opening heart. She was likened to an invasive weed, her desire to live fully anyways. Gathering my scattered pieces, discards, the parts of me that could not stay. Then. Now held in the safety of truth, she’s crawled back, taking back.

Adding to my healing resume, I was. My ground. My worth. This felt right, felt write. Healing through the pen. Words reflecting misery and agony of emotions held. Yet, these words were the very voice I so greatly needed to mend the soul of me. A healing prescription, wrapping the ugly in gorgeous gift boxes. Gifting earned resilience, grace and perseverance – to myself. This is me, the warrior. Yes, please.

I didn’t know this was correct. Following what felt right, I was my own healing mentor. I didn’t know I had the power to change my own life. Excising those who disrespected my essence. Eradicating those who used me for their own pleasure. Ejecting those who snuff my fire. Evicting those who will never be allowed in again. Gates closed. Admission revoked. This is how I know. I am warrior.

Old trauma meeting Wisdom. War. War within myself. Me doing battle with the invisible. The parts of me that knew better – speaking at last. Hard work keeping my inner wisdom silent. The knowing, the wisdom, became the boss of me, eventually. This is how I live my warrior.

Mental Illness

You Were Missed

This pic reminded me of my tiny child self trying to carefully bond with the insanity.

“You were missed” and seventy thousand other things you said to keep me in check. Like a beautiful bouquet of flowers infused with shattered glass. You made it clear, I was your possession. Made to serve you and feel less. To remind me of my lower rank. My uncaring heart. Anyone else might feel warm and loved hearing “you were missed” – imagine that…I was missed! people really missed my presence. They were even genuinely saddened that I couldn’t make it. How beautiful a sentiment. If only.

If only it was credible. If only it wasn’t delivered by you, my maternal influence. If only you didn’t poison everything with your degradation. If only.

A big family gathers for many diff functions – birthdays, funerals, showers, going away parties, weddings, retirements, etc.. and we were expected to attend all things. Expected. Not welcomed. Not because we wanted to. Not because it was fun. Not because it was the right thing to do. But because NOT attending was promised hell. There was no room for NO. Weren’t allowed to have a NO. About anything. Ever. Trusting my own judgement was sketchy. Discouraged.

Conflicting plans? Something you had to do, somewhere you had to go? Kick and scream, especially as teens…silence from her. Silent annihilation. Because I was such a hard-headed prick of a gal i’d eventually end up attending MY event or obligation. Sports, clubs, events with friends…but no fun was had because I could never land gracefully in the contentment and satisfaction only my choosing could bring. Like a biodegradable trophy. Erosion and disappearance of all that was joyfully earned.

The torture I brought down on myself was meaner that anything she could dish. I learnt well. I learnt how to keep myself in a place of suspension. Spanning between confidence and slaughter for feeling confident. Whatever I wouldn’t let her unravel I tore down myself. Eventually. I so wanted power over her. But I was just a child.

Not attending family events felt just as gut wrenching as HAVING to go to them. Well, making my captor proud by succumbing to her control OR having a life, separate from hers then being shamed for it …hmmmm tough choice. Either way the guilt, hate and gag order were all consuming. Constant battle waged between my heart and head over her silent, contemptuous feels for my existence.

After said missed family event the wrath was thick, oh the wrath. I had to sit and listen to what a wonderful time ______was and how I “was missed”. Well, by now I knew exactly what that meant. It simply meant that I had deeply embarrassed the beast. You don’t ever deeply embarrass her. You just don’t.

Loosely interpreted, by not agreeing to be used for her gain I had held her feet to her self absorbed, convoluted fire. She was put in the uncomfortable position of explaining MY absence. She had no container for feeling a lack of control such as this. Oh my! Friends and family might think her mothering was substandard. How terrible! Lmao

After all, Godly mothers have children who are selfless. Children who obey. Children who don’t ask why. Little girls who respect and cherish their moms. Or else. Children are not equipped for such psychological warfare and will give up on themselves just to have their mothers love and approval.

Wrong family. Wrong fairytale. Wrong daughter. “You were missed” was code for – you fucking asshole! How dare you make me look bad in front of everyone? How dare you have needs? Who told you you could have a life outside of what I present to you? How dare you, mean girl! You’re nothing but an embarrassment. You cannot be counted on. I don’t care about you unless you’re doing, thinking and feeling in ways that directly benefit me and serve me.

“You were missed’ turns out to be pretty profound. Pretty on the mark now. I have missed every event over the past 10 years. I’ve been busy. Simplifying the distorted, complex web you wove, the tangled innervation of insanity. I am missed for sure. Haha. You miss me as the kick dog. The lost sheep as you so affectionately call me. As the golden child, the prize, your namesake, the most difficult one to break.

How proud and accomplished you must have felt when you stripped me of my individuality. But I’m here to tell you… I’m proud too. Proud that I’m missed for the right reasons. Removed from the insane mind fuck. You must miss my heart. You miss my beauty, inside and out. You miss the tiny bond I severed. I would love to say “you are missed” to you but I can’t miss what I never really had.

Joy

Who am I?

Meet Gerlind -named after my PenFriend
(1978, Germany)

I drive down the road in the seat of luxury and wonder… who am I really? Who am I to be seated in this power, warmth and fancy? AUDI fancy. Steering wheel solid and cool. Decisive and direct. Too cool for my meager roots. The feels. The power. Brilliance. Kinda like me… All of what I’ve had to keep hidden. All of what I’ve never let myself fully have. Until now.

I was forever seated in lack and want. In the back. Seat. Disgusting. Making do with less, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Hand-me-downs, free lunches, government cheese and discount milk from the gentle eyed milkman. 8 tiny children wild n hungry. We were lucky to barely have the essentials. Free Summer camp, programs for underprivileged youth and bags of clothing from the church. Too many mouths to feed with not enough dollars to make a difference.

Depending upon others for some joy, something memorable. Living and accepting less being less felt like home. Fabulousness squelched by my inner joy stealer. Habitually feeling flawed and unworthy – blocking honor and reverence. It was a comfortable cruxifixction of my magnificence. Poverty of the pocketbook and my young soul.

But now, in the literal drivers seat. Leather seat. Wait, what? I’m suddenly queen of the highway. The power and potential colliding under my bottom. Seat warmer welcoming me with open arms. Allowing the melt of my “sale rack” exterior. I deserve this. I work hard for this right here. Right now. No apologies. None.

I feel like the smaller parts of me disappear in this auto. Automatic re-configuration. Auto correct. Auto-manic smoothing out the highs and lows of my achy, frozen past. I am reborn, repurposed, recycled into comfort and acceptance and reality. The reality of joy for just being. Joy for how I’ve not only survived but thrived. From hand outs to hand ups.

I wasn’t supposed to make it to this. They didn’t want me to succeed. I have so much gratitude for the government assistance, kindness of church people, school programs, psychologists, extended family members and complete strangers who took the time to notice a struggling family, needy children, gems that needed a good polish. I thank you all! Now excuse me

I’m Audi- here.

Human Spirit

All The Things You Never Said

As a Lotus, I rise from the muddy waters. Anyway. Pic belongs to afishnamedkaren

The things I needed to hear. To feel real, validated and seen. Human. When I was not wanting to live, I could have used some reality. But let’s be honest. Seriously, you’ve buried everything. What you’ve done mummified, locked away. Of course, in the likeness of what was done to you. Someone ruined your lives so you then turned that on me. The damage you three have done. Shattering any chance of normalcy. For me. History repeated, when no one was looking. Default, complacency, asleep.

But still, there are all the things you never said. All the things I was starving to hear. All the things that might have changed my sad life, allowing me to feel instead of just surviving. To thaw my frozenness…

Imagine hearing – I’m sorry you hate your body, we did that. I’m sorry you need hyper vigilance just to feel safe, we did that, we never let you rest. I’m sorry you feel transparent, like everyone knows what you’re thinking, we needed to keep you feeling exposed. We apologize for pressuring you, never letting you rest- for if you rested you might have gathered courage and strength to outsmart us or tell others what we were doing. We’re sorry you fear assault will come any moment. Keeping you fearful kept you compliant. We’re sorry you cringe when you hear whispers in the night, we didn’t want to wake anyone. We’re sorry we ruined everything for you and aren’t sorry about it. We’re sorry we treated you like you were nothing, insignificant and insane when you confronted us. We couldn’t let others see our crazy. We still can’t see it ourselves.

All these things you’ve never said, running through my head, running through my head, running through my head. But it’s all ok. I say them. I tell that precious little girl inside me, who is growing up now because I’m in charge. I apologize to her for you, despite you, in defiance of you and for the love of me. All the ways I love myself. All of the love that I am, that I have to give. Anyways.

You never destroyed me. Never took it all. All along, I had the golden goose. My army was just waiting…My Spirit watched from afar as I soaked up all your bullshit wrapped in a pretty package of care and family. While I lived as a shadow, on the periphery of even my own life. While I tried to not exist at the age of 7. While I would hardly speak and just watched others most of my younger years. While I would never bring anyone over to my house because it was evil but everyone was smiling – you(s) and I could never have known the slow burning fuse had been lit.

I was meant for greater than I could ever have imagined. I am this. A private joke that keeps delivering. A smile so deep into my core it’s engraved into my soul. The smug smile of knowingness. I am that. Of overcoming. Of pity for you tinged with a hint of compassion – yes I said compassion- for your (still) inner turmoil and lack of awareness.

I have walked. Far. Never to return to you. For you are invisible. Because you could never say that you’ve tried to destroy me. That you wanted to destroy me. Because you were destroyed by your abusers. You’ve never been honest. You all can’t be. I understand. I understand everything now. Thats why I’m so powerful. So powerful.

Oh! All the things I CAN say now. And I do.

appreciation

In Love #20

I’m in love with sleepy smiles. Gently spreading east and west. Following a long night’s rest. Transforming the expressionless. An open invitation to hang out deep as shoulders sag. Head tilt welcoming each moment without expectation.

The glistening morning sun sweeping across my tired face, caressing my smile with golden warmth. I lie still basking, breathing, planning. Nothing. Existing fully in my expression. Of pleasantry, of nothingness, in the space between thoughts.

The gentle childlike energy swirling amidst my unassuming grin. Keeping me whole. Wanting me present. Between my lips, gracefully ushering in the newest, sweetest oxygen. To be ushered out in turn, discarded purposefully. Taking with it, everything challenging the grandest of facial postures.

I love sleepy smiles.

human condition

Love Note To My Inner Child

Photo credit – Back to Nature

I see you. I see how you had to pretend. Pretend to be thriving, happy, excited, loving, forgiving and alive.

I see you. I see how you had to be invisible, well behaved and all accepting. Without rest. Without safety or love or comfort. Without comfort for your deep sadness, your betrayal or terror. Without a place to hide to get some rest, to be anonymous.

I know how hard it was for you to live in survival mode. On auto-pilot. I see how lonely you were, blank, rageful.

You stuffed it all down. Storing/carrying it all away for another day. You had the wisdom to know if you unpacked it all you would not survive. You would not be able to keep it together and lead a normal life outside of an institution/hospital. The only option you knew was to keep playing, keep going. I thank you for this.

Years, empty years stacked together like 5 mins, like a long nap. A nap of safety, skimming insanity. Shocked but no signs outwardly. Terrified, but with a smile. Rivers, oceans of sadness underground.

Now we’re tapping in, once again, we’re here, together, my inner lovely. Both alive, feeling, hurting – lifetimes of hurt. It just comes. Day after day. Without obvious invitation. But the soul knows the timing is perfect.

We will rise, with more depth, available heart. Widening the range between despair and joy. To feel and experience everything in between. Fully. This time, you are not alone, I see you and support you like a good mother would, like she should. My promise to you.

gratitude

Mud, Mountains and Tears

Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life, messing up things as I go along. Getting angry with people or things or circumstances. Expressing my anger, stuffing it in or bending someone’s ear off about it. I’m a mess. A beautiful mess. A beautiful mess filled with gratitude.

Thankful that I am afforded a functioning brain to process info. Thankful that my heart is privy to the underlying truth of what is/what has been/what will be. Thankful that my body moves precisely, immediately, and with strength.

I’m normal in an abnormal way. I’m ridiculously inadequate and over reactive and just too sensitive. And that’s perfect because life is to be experienced. Mud waded through, clear water floated on, impossible mountains traversed -while wailing- and park bench seated while the warm sun holds my thankful, tear streamed face.

Bring the love, the rage, the guilt, the grief, the elation, the fullness, worry, and pride. All allowed. All present anyway. All rich with information, lessons to unpack. No returns. Just integration into ourselves one way or another. Trust, one way or another.

I’m an unmade bed and that’s ok. Not perfect. Shit’s gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 5 minutes. Life does suck. Then it doesn’t. Then we can’t even imagine saying it sucks. Dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when LIFE feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming you. Even when everything you touch turns to shit. Even when.

I am flirting with gratitude and grief this morning. Grief and gratitude. The grief I feel for the losses in my life – some who have left this realm, others who have moved to the outside of my circle. All circumstantial, lives playing out, people on their paths – yes, everyone has a path!

Gratitude though. The kind of gratitude that has you smiling just because you are breathing. The kind of gratitude that comes with full body chills of grace and warmth with the realization of connectedness. The kind of gratitude that moves you to tears when you see a good Mom in the grocery store. Or when you realize that life happens exactly as it should for your best growth.

May you make room for GRATITUDE. If just for today. I’m gunna try like hell.

gratitude

My Darling Gratitude

Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life. Making mistakes and laughing to others about it. Knowing it’s ok to be an unmade bed in a sea of “seemingly” perfect beds. It’s ok. Not perfect. I have gratitude for my awareness of…Shit’s def gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 30 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll fix it, or maybe it doesn’t need fixing. Maybe I’ll have gratitude for Spirit orchestrating things just the way life SHOULD unfold…

I feel gratitude for the folks on my path. Teaching me more about myself and how to BE in the world. I know most people I meet are caring and supportive and generous souls. I feel thankful that I can be real and messy and quirky and forgetful and have that be ok.

If these are the only issues today – it was a damn fine day. I feel thankful that I can dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when life feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming me with a hidden camera. Even when everything I touch turns to shit. Even when. Gratitude lives here. Everyday.

What are you Thankful for?

Joy · resilient

I met a child

This week I met a child. No ordinary child, you see, she was extraordinary. What made her extraordinary you wonder? Well, really nothing and everything. She, unknowingly, touched some of my unhealed shadow. She was able to stir up some of my long held, restricted, outdated beliefs…her presence so magical, playful and open hearted.

So rooted in the moment, she held my hand and started to dance, spinning around, motioning for me to dance with her. In a public place. We danced and twirled.
I complimented her “purse” as I referred to it. She quickly, confidently corrected me, “My satchel”. “Oh!” I said, amused, “Of course, how silly of me”.
She added, “Do you like my dress?” I replied, “Yes, it’s amazing, the flowers are so pretty.” She is usually adorned with the most fun, colorful, feminine, alive dresses and proudly displays them where ever life takes her.

Everyday for this child seems exciting, like it’s her first and last day on this earth – all rolled into one.
Excited as hell to be here, experiencing, tasting, feeling, making the most out of each social encounter, showing up as is, beautiful. Simple, no complications. A gift to everyone around her.

Where has OUR sense of honor – for our own existence – gone? Did we grow out of it? Was it shamed out of us a long time ago? Hers is alive and well, on display for all to see. No apologies, no minimizing, she is fabulous and it’s palpable. Why do we save our “ “special items/clothes/shoes/perfume/jewelry/colorful accessories” – for an event that seems worthy? WE are worthy – WE ARE THE EVENT. We ARE what we’ve been waiting for.

Even in the most mundane days/tasks the raw material for fun, joy and connection is waiting for us to notice. I share the experience here, with this extraordinary child because she truly is “special”.
In a society where the highest academic achievement is still king – I find it to be a bit shameful that infectious joy, compassion, aliveness, presence, spontaneity and heart are not as prized as report card marks.
I became the student this week. She, just living in the light, is a natural teacher.

resilient

It’s Friday, You’re Invited

This morning I woke with a dozen things to worry about. Some things I can’t even put a thought to, just general anxiety. This time of year I especially find myself living too far into the future, out of this minute, this hour, this day. Ruminating about what might happen, what I might not be remembering, what I might not get done, how I am wasting time thinking about how I might get all these useless thoughts evicted from my head….

Then, it hits me, so simple. I have decreased my alone time, my self nurturing, forgetting to gaze into the trees and grass, less twisting off the tips of an evergreen and drinking in the fragrance, less flower and petal rubbing. Left only with stealing quick sips of this cool morning air we have been blessed with lately.

I invite the anxiety to come along with me today as I keep meeting this moment and the next and the next. The present standing still long enough to be noticed. I’ll breathe through the crazy that surfaces. Aware of the path the air takes into my body and visualizing oxygen reaching all of the places my worry lives. I may just discover the lessons the anxiety is keeping me from…
I wish you the same presence and intention for your day.

appreciation · gratitude · Uncategorized

Thought I might take the time to express my gratitude for a lovely girl in my life. No, she’s not fancy. She’s not even hot but boy, she sure gets around. She gets me from point A to point B everyday and is incredibly reliable. I admit I only occasionally talk her into a bath if she’s obviously dirty – and boy she does seem to attract muck. I take her for granted occasionally, forgetting what she’s been through and seen in her 150,000 miles. I don’t cherish her as greatly as she deserves. I push her often, as I know she can handle the rough roads of life. Up curbs, over rocks and lawns 😳 just to park. I’ve never really been a rule follower and apparently she isn’t either. We’re a great team. She’s saved me from personal injury and even close calls over the Winters. Her turning radius is second to none, engine – strong. I’ve been known to jam a kayak, -mud and seaweed and all- in from the back all the way to the front. Not just once. She’s so forgiving. Everyday. Waiting, ready and willing to go on our next adventure. Rain or shine, blizzard or driving rain. I really appreciate my car. Here’s to my 2009 Chevy Trailblazer may our relationship always be this sweet.

cat · love · Uncategorized

In Love #12

I’m in love with loud purring. Body shaking and telling of fondness for life. A soft, rhythmic blanket of furry love. Unscheduled pleasure. Rising and falling, sleeping and waking. Our eyes closed tightly, savoring the tune. Your whispers of fuzzy somethings at the foot of the bed.

The 3am motor, my favorite engine sound. Sheets ripple, erupt with fluttering plaid flannel. Sleepy pats offered. Met with nudges, of the predictable kind, to carry-on. Purring the kind of purr that becomes more audible with a rub.

This is where sensory joy lives. Comfortably. Amidst the pitter-patter of sounds from this warm furry throat. No troubles in this moment. Or this one. Or this one. I lay my heavy head on your fat, warm belly. Your kitty pillow accepts my forehead. Riding with the gift.

My ear bathed, absorbing the peaceful concert. Feeding my needy inner child soul with fizzy sound waves. Soothing even the most silent of frazzles. Within.

resilient

May We

May we walk unfazed through life’s invisible fence. You know the fence. The fence of – you should know better. The fence of – playing small. The get it right the first time – fence. And lest we forget, the fence of… I don’t belong. The cage that minds our business. The trap that has us playing small, dimming our own light, asking for approval and chasing validation under someone’s spell.

Head up, passing through. Anyway. Follow me if you wish but I cannot hear you. My ears dammed and scarred from absorbing your lies. Your fence reaching beyond our visual fields. Innervating even at the corners of my psyche. Interference, blocking everything grand, conceptualized or spoken. You penned it, dammed it. Kept it contained. All my free, wild and imaginative snuffed before coming to fruition.

Only now can I freely roam, untethered, cord severed. Free to discover in my own head space. None of my freedom sacrificed to your cause. My original medicine, realized. My -who I came here to be, paying no mind to your disgust, contempt, salivation or wanting to devour me. My body expanding, unfurling. Without you.

Never serving you again. This is what revenge looks like. I have exsized you from my loins. My energy system. My property. No longer free to take from me. No more toying with my power or grooming me to serve you. Where there was ownership there is disconnect. I unplugged you from my energy. You can no longer charge your system by draining my life force battery.

I am a true warrior, I sincerely thank you for this. My Spirit drove me to be more, separate from you, don’t look back and put myself first. Everything you never wanted for me. Well, you’ve got 7 others. You won’t miss me much as you continue to decimate their lives with your disgusting, hungry energy.

Continue to search for me if you wish. I’m not hiding. I’m boldly dismantling fences.

compassion

Thoughts On Compassion

Portrait by A Fish Named Karen 2012

Compassion is having the capacity to hold, and the wisdom to allow, deep love to flow from your mature heart space as an energetic offering, to a recipient/situation.

Compassion is not subject to permission, boundaries or reception.
It’s a private, organic offering/agreement between your higher self and ancient, wise mother heart.

I see compassion as two chambers of the same heart. One holding and honoring what WAS and the other holding and honoring what IS. Right and wrong, good and bad don’t exist, there is space and acceptance for all of it.

Compassion is having room for the entirety of an experience and seeing the inherent beauty, anyways.

Compassion is when you realize that caring deeply about others does not mean you have to surrender or negate some part of yourself.

Compassion is our loving acceptance of shades of gray in the human condition.

Compassion is a process by which you gaze, with eyes of softness, on those who could use holding, through their pain and struggle, especially when they can’t/won’t help themselves – regardless of their “deserving it”.

Compassion is standing onshore, looking into the eyes of pain in another, and remaining separate (without jumping in after them/merging with them in their pain) and loving them from dry land.

Compassion is realized, offered and received when the path to heart wisdom has been significantly cleared of the debris of trauma.

exploration · Human Spirit · resilient

Alive Underneath

Looking for some inspiration today I stumbled upon this Wintery scene. Quiet, frozen and crunchy. Alive underneath but who would know? Who could tell? My desire for inspiration, stirring. Alive, underneath these Winter layers. We sit. Simmering, planning, fantasizing about the greatest of possibilities. Maybe adding some sparkle and intrigue to our lives, our existence. What rubbish can we dispose of? Can we be doing more? What’s really important? What’s fluff in our lives? What do we keep? Feed? What do we watch die off? Freeze? These cold, crunchy layers of Winter-ness masking, the ME, the YOU, the US. But yet the seduction of mid-Winter hibernation, stagnation, complacency is victorious. For ME? I’m still spying for some inspiration, the ME I aspire to be. Underneath it all.

appreciation · Uncategorized

That’s Wild

Today I’m thankful for the animals that share our space.

The stealth snow owls, focused red tailed hawks, regal bobcats, black oil-slicked crows, curious deer, confused possums, five finger discount raccoons, cold sticky frogs, snakes using my garden as a dressing room, baby mice and the raggedy ass coyotes singing and announcing their intentions all night long. Invisible or seen. Vocal or silent. Life is fuller with your influence, richer with your light, more interesting with your presence in our space. Honoring all that sings late into the night. If just for today.

With much gratitude.

Holiday · Uncategorized

How To Survive (the family) Holidays -13 joyful hacks- you’re welcome

So, the Holidays, hmmmmm. I’m guessing that some of my readers may be very excited for Holidays. I am also knowing that there’s a whole other section of the general pop who are digging themselves a large hole, preparing to jump in to escape all things “family celebration”. I’m a proud member of the second, gasp less acknowledged group. Actually I’m a charter member, with 10 years of sanity under my belt 😂 (and all over my body, actually LOL).

Tis the season for hushed-toned conversations, multiplying in frequency, “Oh, she doesn’t come around”  and “He doesn’t bother with us” even “I think she’s crazy, she doesn’t talk to any of her family”. “Who could walk out on their family?” Well, there’s ALWAYS a pretty good fucking reason why someone would cut the ties with their tribe. Always. Period. It’s usually one badass warrior mother fucker who can pull this off in search of a wonderfully joy-filled life. Someone like um… like um… ME. Turning out to have found peace…away from their tragic family of origin. This, my friends, is the elephant in the room.

I write about this in support of those badassreaders I have. The people who don’t feel entirely settled when the Holidays arrive. Those who are depressed, anxious, angry, revengeful or indifferent when it comes to “family”. For those of you who are new to my blog, I use quotation marks when I write “family” because the word is LOADED – ya’ll know what I’m talkin bout. It’s in no way a normal word for me and can be very heavy. You’re feelin me.

Chances are, your “family” wants you to just forget everything that’s happened in the past and smile, be pretty and pretend like everything is normal. Hell, deep down, you WANT to believe you have the best family ever (who tf doesn’t?) – So you, against your better judgement, attend the family Holiday party —- thinking it will be fine this time. You got this. Fuck them. I’m not going to let them get to me this time. Let’s do this. Put your party clothes on and grab a bag…to carry all those triggers that are waiting for you. Happy Holidays😳

It can be very very diff to go through the motions and attend Holiday gatherings just for the sake of keeping the peace. As if. As if you want to be there. As if. As if. Usually, there’s a price… predictably sacrificing your own needs and boundaries for the sake of others’ needs and happiness. That shit never feels good and the next day we make ourselves pay for it in whatever way feels familiar to us.

Me? well, the day after, I’m curled up in a ball, feeling punched in the gut, filled with regrets, swearing to God I’ll never say yes again. So much crazy shit swirling in your head- hate for them, hate for yourself and guilt. Guilty for hating everyone and everything. Enter mind-fuck…maybe it IS me. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing…they all seem happy 😳. Ewe, WAIT! NO.

So how does one survive this scenario? this gathering of triggers, this no-thankyou portion of family, this nothing-is-as-it-appears celebration?  I am so glad you asked

  1. put yourself first. listen to your heart and do what feels correct for you. It is your decision. No-one knows what it is like to be inside of your body. Eyes wide open, ask yourself what you need, what would make YOU happy (for a change). What makes you feel good.
  2. know that you are making the best decision for you – only you, because only you can.
  3. create a holiday tradition that touches your heart. Something specific to honoring what is important to you around the Holidays. Whatever brings you joy, keeps you centered and grounded and calm. Giving your time/talents to others or creating something for yourself with no outside influences.
  4. write about how things will be different if you do spend time with family over the Holidays. (write it out, read it to someone or keep for next year – so you can chronical your growth. If you’re into ceremony and ritual maybe you meditate on your written ideas and set fire to it when it feels complete. Sending your intention out to the Universe for manifestation)
  5. surround yourself with people (outside of your family) who support your feelings. Do not expect your family of origin to understand what you are going through. They don’t. Period. Find those outside of your “family”. They won’t be triggered by YOUR “family” shit – they most likely have different baggage and can support you in an unbiased way.
  6. stay away from alcohol if you can possibly help it. Your guard will be down and you may end up saying and doing things you prob wouldn’t have. Seriously, resist the urge with all you have. It can be so tempting to numb yourself out but save the drinking for when you are with more supportive, less triggery folks. You’re welcome.
  7. give yourself an energy bath – wipe that nasty energy off with a washcloth and down the drain it goes. Replacing the nasties with clean white or golden light. Filling in the holes that were punctured intentionally and unintentionally during your “family” time.
  8. envision a shield protecting you prior to entering a sketchy situation. Especially your heart, solar plexus (core) and sacral chakras. In no way are you a bad person for protecting yourself from negative energy. It’s brilliant and gives you a slight giggle as you try on, “You can’t have me” or “You can’t get me” or “I’ll decide what you get from me”!  delicious, absolutely delicious. Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. Only you can do this for yourself.
  9. be gentle with yourself!!! it’s exhausting work to challenge your family’s structure. The emotions of guilt, anger, betrayal, sadness, frustration are all a normal part of creating boundaries with people who do not respect our “NO”.
  10. make a plan. escape route, get away line, time limit, certain people to avoid. Identify what is off limits for you and what you’ll spend less time around – these suggestions all go a long way to create a sense of control over the situation. No-one has to be IN on this plan. Use when triggered and repeat if necessary. Creating and sticking to boundaries will feel MEAN initially, mostly because we were raised to not have/expect boundaries. But if practiced enuff, you’ll get over it, trust.
  11. make alternate plans for the Holiday – out of state, out of the country, Mars? And divulge these plans early so people have time to get used to the idea! There, now you can breathe deeply. Can’t see the dysfunction from there can ya?
  12. fake an illness – who wants to be with someone who has strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu?  Not only will you get sympathy but people will be GLAD you didn’t show up. And BONUS… you will get lots of sympathy.
  13. even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you feel like shit because you’re not with your family. You feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them. You feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you  didn’t blindly agree to attend. You feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different. You feel like shit because you feel so alone and unloved and cast aside, betrayed, crazy. That’s a whole lot of shit to shovel. This can be very, very difficult to push through. I went through this on several holidays. It’s so important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.

Happy Holidays!!! 😘😘😘 Do YOU.  and let me know how it goes 💪 👑