Holiday

13 Holiday Cluster Hacks

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 another, less visible, 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 f’er who can pull this off on the road to 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. This is, 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. They have. Just 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 on your party clothes and grab a bag…big enough to carry home all those triggers. They weigh a ton you know. 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. Familiar tune. 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 holiday scenario from the abyss? this gathering on the bloodline battlefield, this no-thankyou portion of family tree, this nothing-is-as-it-appears commemoration? 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’s 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 you’re the only one who knows and lives your truth. 
  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, 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. Re-writing your new and improved version of the Holiday – 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. They can’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. Their baggage is different. 
  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. If you must go into the battle zone aka “family” gathering, I suggest you envision a shield protecting you prior to entering the sketchy soirée. Shield 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. Better than a plate of cookies! Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. You’re so hot! Only you can do this for you. 
  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 is ill… strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu? “He/she was sick” has a better ring to it than “he/she didn’t want to come” You might actually be the recipient of some sympathy and people will be glad you didn’t show up. And BONUS… your needs are met! Just don’t use Covid as an excuse – cause it’ll backfire and they’ll be more up your ass than ever. 
  13. even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you might… feel like shit because you’re not with your family, feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them, feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you didn’t blindly agree to attend, feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different, 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 speak from experience. been through this for several holidays in a row. It’s so very important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.

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

healing

May Break My Bones

Oh the bone pain, the freak out of incapacity. Having to rely on those with fake compassion. Bedside medical procedures without warning or explanation. I was frozen. Frightened. Wise and alone. Surrounded with smiling haters. Reliant on the living dead.

I was 19. With an undeniable thirst for victory. Mixed with a contempt for my own existence. Which would rise to the top, only time would tell. Armed with a deafening fuck you, a hardened shell ready to battle for my life. Stupid familiar territory. To show you that despite your impenetrable cold, I am victorious.

You broke me, now I’m am physically broken. This too, again, also, will break me down, this too, will devastate me. Defeat me. Because it has to. Because that’s what I’m here for. I signed the contract. To get me to do the inner work. This is the way it works. Bring it.

But. It will not. Own me. Extinguish my breath. Keep me down. Physical limitation fucking irrelevant to the drive inside. Just another mountain, jagged, inhumane, punishing, here to slay any signs of life. A life that is present but absent, just like yours.

But I don’t, won’t, can’t see it. Just like you. My life force stronger than the weight of tragedy then or now. Stronger than the weight of you. Inevitable. Predictable. But something needed to crack me open. Something.

So pregnant with dysfunction. It was time. On the brink of oozing the generational secrets. From a higher place, the universe spoke. A tragic accident, the undeniable catalyst for awakening. Spiritual awakening like a tsunami. Like someone left the truth dam open. Higher forces prodding the reluctant, like me, to visit with the emotional trauma beast within. Behind the dimples and unassuming sweet teenage smile…

Wild beasts of recovery and revenge running amuck. Their stories unearthed, audible. However difficult, we digest or reject. Each painful. Each useful. Over time we choke out the dark, discarding the lies and betrayal and other nasty reminders of remnants on evictions doorstep.

Thankfully the flight of graceful, here. The angelic realm poised to embrace my broken, trembling body, providing a safe haven in a sea of lost. Where it’s free to NOT be ok. Freedom to feel even the darkest of feels. Freedom to express the rage and terror, shame and shock. Openly.

Physical recovery parallels emotional. The unlikely victor I’ve met in me. Snatching back what was mine. Taking back strength, power and unearthing buried resiliency. Bones and emotional strength unbreakable, unstoppable, opaque, dense, unyielding. Like a bone that mends with fortification – now protected, safe and dependable – like no other bone. Unable to return to its previous condition. Maybe even stronger.

I’ve forever severed my dependency on the unstable and instead focused my reliance on my own inner wisdom. My own fortress of sanity, house of rock, walls of protection. Brokenness calls for attention to our unfinished places. So we may live our best versions of ourselves. Our most authentic lives. Without apology. We survive. And thrive.

inner work

Deep-Rest

The deep sadness that comes in. I let it in because I know it needs to be met. Seen. Heard. Somehow it feels familiar like a stranger that I keep meeting up with. I don’t want to know this part of me. I’d rather believe everything was fun and alive and innocent. Back then.

But no. This is real. Real deep. Real helpless. The horrible despair. Grasping to live. To feel. To be someone else. Have someone else’s childhood. Where are my memories? Did I have fun here? I think as I sit in my car overlooking a fav ice skating place. Did I enjoy it? Was I numb? An empty smile, laugh. What did I like?What was I like? Just an empty vessel filled with others thoughts and wishes?

Did I express my confusion? Did I cry myself to sleep? Why so few memories? Feels like 18 years condensed into 2-3. Was I even conscious? What’s in there? Who’s in there? The code was one of silence. I never expressed anxiety, terror, depression, frustration, rage – did I even know I felt those? Could I even feel? now I do, now I feel – overwhelmingly so.

The mind fuck, staggering. Did they purposefully place the dead inside me? To make sure I was so hollow? Not quite sure…maybe they were dead too. Definitely. I was absolutely raised by the dead. Nobody’s gotten out intact. No-one. But rather than be ok with that or find comfort with company – there’s none. They have their own BS meters. Mine is ultra sensitive. My soul wants better for me. I won’t continue to be bathed in untruths and stories of how wonderful childhood was.

Every once in a while I hit bottom. The lowest of raw emotion. Like all of my childhood experiences run up to me at once, begging to be rescued, clutching and clawing to be seen and heard. The least I can do for my inner girl now is to be present and let the unsettling memories and emotions have me now.

It was that bad. It was hopeless. Instead of wiping myself out I wiped out any expression of what as going on. I had no tools or support to process what was happening at the hands of those who were supposed to keep me safe. Victim? Absolutely. Staying that way? Absolutely not. I’m raising MYSELF from the dead.

I’ve turned the tables. My life now unrecognizable from what it was. But still, the past has a way of bringing us the next piece, when we’re ready to deal. I must be ready for the deep despair, the gut wrenching loneliness, the what’s the use of going on – type of heavy thoughts that fuel my desire to take the day off and brace for the all of emotion.

So I take the day to rest. Deep-rest or depressed, however I say it, I am surrendering my armor. Surrendering. My fake smile. My escape hatch and eject button. I stand up, stand tall and withstand the unwanted-est emotion, the triggered memories, the bullshit life in poverty and love lack. I just rest.

resilient

Flip Side of Healing

I would have denied it had someone told me this 20 years ago. But with eyes wide open now I clearly see how healing your traumatic past, without a doubt, fucks your life. The tragedy of healing is the cascade of eventual loss. It takes years to materialize…The falling away of everything as you knew it. The crumbling of excepting things at face value. The dismantling of living an “as if” life. The loss of what was once tolerable.

Truth has a way of rendering you lonely. Busts up your friendships. The people we’ve surrounded ourselves with are our friends/family for a reason. They’ve allowed us to play small, safe. Supported the same ole same ole you. But we were never meant to be stagnant, unchanged smallish beings. Unfurling from our childhood wounds, we stretch and grow in ways we couldn’t see coming.

This makes our closest people, well, squirm. Like underwear that slips up your asscrack every once in a while – you keep it around because it’s familiar, the material is soft and you’re too lazy to go out and replace it. You make peace with the constant irritation. Same with your friends/family, they may be the underwear or they may be like you, wearing the irritating version of YOU.

In my experience, people are generally adverse to excepting anything different than the present version of you – what they already know you as. If they went along with the newer parts of YOU that would mean they’d have to change THEIR ways also and that’s prob going to be met with kicking/screaming. So once you grow, there some of them go.

Enter deep healing…As we unravel our structure, a stranger is born, outgrowing the familiar. Our voice heavy with truth may be seen as righteous and self serving, bold and threatening. Finding and using our “voice” no longer renders us selfless and complacent. This is the price.

This is the the fucked aspect of healing…at least initially. It’s ok that not everyone shares in our revelry. Not everyone will be overjoyed that you are healing and growing, especially those inner circle folks. As we’re walking through the fire they’re hurting and groaning – and you’re to blame for their discomfort. Your presence awakens the creatures, usually dormant, in the caverns of their unconsciousness. 100% not going to travel deep with you.

So as you’re trying on all these new tools of self awareness, having needs, opening your heart, exercising personal boundaries, on your journey to greater sanity- it will feel mean. Super mean. Self reliance, honoring self, intuition and listening to the drive from your higher self to UNFUCK your life are NOT what we were taught.

Your “closest” people will resist and act like you’re killing THEM, doing something TO them. Getting healthy, doing the right things for your own mental health ripples out to everyone. Your people may get angry with YOU as they’re going to feel the waves of your higher vibration which will make it tougher for them to hold against their own darkness. Facts.

This is the lifelong challenge of healing childhood trauma. Navigating our path while creating a support system around us that doesn’t irritate our soul or dampen our Spirit. THIS is how we unfuck ourselves. Healing does have a difficult twist in the early stages. One of tremendous loss. Of great sadness. Of isolation. Of self doubt. As we lose who we thought we should be. All part of the process. All necessary on our self healing journey.

Spring

In Love #18

I’m in love with sprouting seeds. Beginnings are special and cause for hope. Sleepy heads popping out of warmed soil. Met with squeals of excitement. Beckoning their silent promise of coming attraction. A possibility of radiant blooms for gathering quite a useful visual and olfactory delight.

Hope may have escaped us in 2020. Underneath it all we are the sprouting seed. The seed dependent upon light, love and the promise of improvement and growth. Hiding in darkness, waiting and trusting in the universe for the continuance of our existence.

Sprouting seeds of green, yellow and purple unfurl and remind us that we have innate inner wisdom. A knowing. Each sprout a unique expression of divinity. A fresh start on the journey to fruition. I’m in love with sprouting seeds.

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

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?

appreciation · Celebrate · challenge · compassion · Deserving · gratitude · heart · human condition · Human Spirit · intention · love · presence · self love · self talk · thank-you · Thoughts · Treasure · warrior · women · worthy

What Would You Say?

Who are you really? What makes you tick? Not what do you do for a living. Not who are you in relationship to others…(mother, son, sister, brother, wife, grandpa, etc.). I was asked to describe who I am. After much thought about why I think I’m in existence, I came up with this description.

I am love. I am light. I am truth, real and raw. Both colorful and dark. I am synchronous with growth, death, rebirth following the cycles of nature. I am my own best friend, confidante and lover. I am sensual, funny and deep. I am a beautiful mix of human and spirit. Light and heavy. An unchanged core of varying human experience, I am a beautiful mess.

How would you answer? What would you say?

resilient

Rising From The Asses

Actual pic of “Mother”

When you weren’t looking I was having fun. When you weren’t looking I made friends. When you weren’t looking I got all A’s and B’s. When you weren’t looking I got trophies and ribbons. Praise and encouragement from teachers and strangers. When you weren’t looking I followed all the rules.

When you weren’t looking I was unraveling. When you weren’t looking I was starving myself. When you weren’t looking I kept our family secrets. When you weren’t looking I hated you. When you weren’t looking I was planning to die. When you weren’t looking I felt isolated and weird. When you weren’t looking I wished it was you who died. When you weren’t looking I could feel crazy.

When you were looking I told you I loved you. I keep our family secrets. When you were looking I followed your fucked up rules. When you were looking I believed all your fabrications about people and the way life worked. When you were looking I believed the beautiful, sweet story of our tragic, broken family. When you were looking I was the perfect daughter. When you were looking I silenced the truth I felt so I wouldn’t upset you. I silenced who I was because I always felt defeated. When you were looking I made it seem like I had a sane Mom.

Your looking, an uncomfortable look of ownership, dangerous caged rage. Those eyes tho, burned a hole in my soul. A hole so deep, my lifetimes fell in, waiting to be rescued. But you were still looking so they’d have to wait. Because when you were looking, it wasn’t safe for me to own anything. It would be taken. Any semblance of aliveness was forfeited. No choice at all, the need for food, shelter and love was ever present. When you looked, I surrendered it all, smiling. Set on fine China, dainty flowered setting that hid the tears. Because when you were looking, appearance was Queen.

When I was looking, the color turned to death. I could flirt with pink and green and orange and red but only for a minute and it surely would be detected and devoured. This fed the hungry beast inside you. When no-one was looking. It slithered, smiling, through the caverns of our existence. Spreading it’s brown paralyzing slime onto our child lives. Twisting n turning so we never could sense direction. When no one was looking. Your inner beast ran through our home salivating, relentlessly stalking. This was not a safe existence for children, when no one was looking.

Intolerable and exhausting. Swimming upstream from birth. We surrendered, we yielded to crazy, to the killing of our innocence, our right to be free, to live unburdened. There really was no choice. We handed it over because we’re just children. We craved belonging, safety, love, softness, easy breath, dreams. Sacrificing our well being over and over. The darkness victorious, stamping out our light, our dreams, our drive. When no-one was looking.

Mission accomplished. Torched souls, we assist you in drawing the shades of life, a smiling mask donned in public, living “as if” so as not to raise any suspicions about our fucked little lives. All this darkness placed inside, the saccharine sweet lies conflicting with and twisting our fight for sanity, lucidity, transparency, space.

All this “looking” but no seeing. Your eyes glued shut Mom. You didn’t really have to “see”your food to be able to eat it, now did you? You could smell the life force, the need to be stripped of our aliveness, our need to be silenced and gutted. Sensed like an animal in the night. Just to feed your emptiness. She fed from and possessed our every emotion, when no one was looking. She took everything. Our joy, our anger, pain and peace. And handed us back blankness, autopilot, apprehension, lack of self trust, hate and suspicion of others. Insanity. We learned so many things about darkness and dancing with crazy.

I’ve transformed, Mother. And what a trick this MOTHER word! I’ve stripped your ugly from my existence. No longer a subscriber. I was the one who escaped, by some small miracle, I made it. My Spirit rose up to assist me. I was made for greater things. Without your sad influence. Without you looking, I’ve dug and scraped and washed and scoured you from my loins. 30 years is a long time to live, surrendering one’s essence, in service to another. “Out of service” an outstanding book title I foresee in my future. Although, “when you weren’t looking” could work, too. My mind is free. Free to roam without restriction, censor or proper.

Thank you Mom for leading me to the edge and shoving me off. Body sinking to guaranteed demise, my Higher Self was there to catch my fall. The Human Spirit is a powerful force that can lift you up and beyond what you thought was possible. Listen to the call, take the difficult challenge of putting yourself first, staying the course and rising from the asses.