Christmas · healthy

13 Hacks for Holiday enjoyment

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…big enough to carry home 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’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 💪 👑

Christmas · human condition · resilient

The Unlikely Christmas Card

Here we are, Christmas quickly approaching. So of course I have no plans to spend time with my family on Christmas Eve. If you’ve been reading any of my earlier bloglets you have a really good idea as to why I choose to remain separate.

Yes, it’s really difficult to stand your ground and distance yourself from those you bonded to. Excruciating at times. But as a child, when your Spirit is slaughtered over and over and over, some of us learn to stand tall in our adult years and fight the fight. Reclaiming our lives from the grips of traumatic memories/physical horrors.

So you can prob imagine the shock in my system when my husband texts me, “Do you think today you can get your mother a card, from me, for Christmas?” I thought to myself – self, well, that’s kind of weird but ok, whatever…just as long as I don’t have to SEE her royal craziness.

So off I go to the store to the cheerful love your Mother Christmas card section. Rolling my eyes, I saunter up to the section of colorful, Christmasee cards, all ooozing and gushing with all-things-Mom-ness. Here it is, the “ I wish my Mom was like this” aisle.

On my left there’s a bright yellow sign which says…“ Hokey Pokey turn your life around card section” COMING SOON. Shucks! Guess I’ll have to come back later for that selection. I start opening and reading. Opening and reading.

“Your love, Mom, reminds us of the love in our hearts this Holiday season…..”

“You are the glue that keeps this family together”

“A special Holiday wish for a special Mother…”

“Mom, all the joyful Holiday memories we share…”

“When we feel the Christmas spirit we remember the love you gave to us…”

Wow, um, nope, not a chance. This is harder than I thought.

I need the AF cards that are a little more honest. Maybe a blank card to write his own message… he’ll kill me lol. I know it’s Christmas and all but I don’t really have a taste for sugar, she ruined that for me…

If I could design a card…

“I hope you have the Christmas you deserve” or “I’m sure you think you did a great job but I am entitled to my truth and my opinion” and “I gave you the first 1/2 of my life, the rest is mine” or “Your energy is toxic so it’s just perfect if you celebrate Christmas at your house and I celebrate it at mine” and “No worries, I’m not angry, in fact, I don’t even think of you anymore, Merry Christmas”.

These MIGHT not exist in card form but I’d be willing to guess that I’m def onto something here. There might be a market for the card that never gets sent. Right?

IMG_3736

So, I ended up settling on this generic card, “It’s Christmas, Hope you spend this magical season any merry way you like”. See?, everyone’s happy. Done. Got the card, husband will deliver it tomorrow. The card, consonants and vowels scattered about in a meaningful array of sequence. Recognizable as a gesture of nice from a nameless party and her caring spouse. I’d say we more than covered the bases. Check.

Poor thing, he’s kinda stuck in the middle and sees her rarely but he continues the facade of caring. She’ll hand him a gift for me – which always triggers me… throw it out, unopened? give it away? burn it? bury it in ceremony? So sad that she wants to own me.

So sad that she keeps trying. Refusing to let me have my truth. She holds out hope that I’ll forget that she resembles the witch in Hansel & Gretel. Caging the children so she can devour them. She read that story to us often, not surprising.

Now it’s time for me to read her a story. I hope she likes her card, I hope she hates her card, I hope she notices how much of a non-card it really is, I hope she notices how I did not sign it, I hope she feels how much self-love I have now, without her presence.

Despite all of this chatter, NONE of this really matters. I just simply bought a card. A Christmas card. Nothing more than paper, glitter, a stocking, teddy bear and cursive font… no promises, no agenda, no should haves, no attachments. A card. Merry Christmas Baba Yaga.

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?

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.

intuition · listen

No Agenda

I always do this. Some people are weirded out, some people are flip and some others tell you what’s up. None of that matters.

No matter what happens, I’m not looking for any certain outcome. I did my duty of following a lead from a deeper place within me. From God, channeling a Spirit Guide, my own higher self/Spirit.

Where ever you believe the “knowing” is coming from…Trust that voice. It’s never wrong. 💜

October · rain

In Love #17

I’m in love with the smell of October rain. Arriving upon a cool, warm, wet, chilly breeze. Coating crunchy leaves and crispy flowers. Gathering dusty, dried earth for a communal autumn hug. The rain slowly arrives, moving in on the quiet. Settling into its resting place, lukewarm and lovely.

Making up for Summer drought, it falls. And falls. Smelling like forest floor. Like rich brown soil. Like the underpinnings of fabulousness with a side of mushroom spores and pine bedding undertones. Resurfacing the foundation of new life. Possibilities. Rich mineral magnificence.

The fragrance of possibility. Of spent corn stalks, cold harvest moon mist and pumpkin spice. In the air, previews of icy rains and solid precipitation. The falling away of what is no longer needed. That which weighs us down. Rain showering off the unwanteds, the old, the haggard, tired. The dead crunchies in our lives.

Washed into tomorrow on an endless cycle. Each rain flushing our discarded patterns. The old, worn out becoming new again. Replaced, reset, realigned by fresh new growth. Breathing in a little slower today to fill my empty spaces with the smell of rain in October.

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 · shadow

Don’t I Know You?

I feel a little piece of myself in everyone I know, everyone I meet. We are all a mixture of light n dark. A fine recipe of delicious complexity.
I am joyful and depressed, I’m hateful, I am optimistic, I’m a killer, I’m jealous, I’m content and curious, wild, responsible, disengaged, entitled, invisible, enraged, tired, discouraged, complacent, magnificent. Big breath in….. real, lost, embarrassed, hopeful, dreamy, open, humiliated, passive, judgmental, honest weird, eccentric, lonely, pissed, accepting, blank, spiteful, alive, proud, blessed, dismissive and aggressive.

If we’re honest, several of these are living within us. Sure the positive traits/experiences are easy to embrace and recognize. The darker, shameful, maybe even shocking tendencies we def try to conceal, deny, excise. They need love and compassion too. They’re looking for recognition and expression. To be lovingly surrounded with safety, protection and containment.

Can we privately bring LOVE

and understanding

to the parts of ourselves

that we hate?

If just for this

moment

If just for today