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.

gratitude

In Love # 19

I’m in love with toasty bonfires. Snuggly warmth to share. Staring, wide gazed, fixed eyeballs absorbing the weight of the show. Front row for the crackling symphony. A golden dance holding space for presence. Gently. As we accept the invitation to let down, let go.

We surrender our frozen parts with certainty. Trusting the blanket of heat. A wish for renewal of body. spirit. mind. Allowing the heat to singe the unwanteds, yet cradle the keepers of soul likeness. Right now we so desperately need to dance like careless flames on forgotten felled trees.

Gather friends and tribe as plumes of crimson, tangerine and canary glow in the arms of darkness. Illuminating both shadow and light at once, we voice our intentions for prosperity, peace and perpetual blessings. I’m in love with toasty bonfires.

Remember

Oh that child

I never lost the child within. She’s right here next to me. Gathering trinkets on walks. Stones that peak interest, pine needles that prickle on my cheek, pods yet opened, full of possibility and promise of another season.

Feathers of hawk, abandoned hornets nests, berries artistically encased in ice – saved in the freezer, crimson leaf pressed in the pages of the Mother Earth catalogue, brown, striped seeds of mystery.

Recuerdos, mementos for recalling yesterdays, telling the earth’s story one tchotchke at a time. Don’t lose the child within. He/she is counting on you.

Dread

Eviction of Dread

Wake up with that catastrophic feeling. The exhale feels too deep, too dangerous to surrender to. I may not be able to take anything in if I let go and give everything away on a breath. Inhalation shallow as to not take anything in -too deeply- or permanently.

This one feeling as I wake – Can’t believe I have to keep doing this.. -doing what? (I question the feeling) Keep living? So elusive and slippery…Where TF does this feeling come from? And before I totally freak and want to run far away from this feeling, I remember, it’s JUST a feeling.

An ancient feeling. Like something I’ve been battling against for lifetimes. Past lives. The impending doom, someone coming to the village to burn it down, to capture me and throw me in a dark cell with rodents, feed me to the wild beasts, tie me to 2 horses who run in opposite directions, publicly hang me because of my wisdom, medicine, practices and beliefs. Feels so real and connected to pure DREAD.

It hits most often when I’m riding high, in a particularly good place, feeling assured that I “got” this life thing and it doesn’t GOT me. When I have the upper hand on living. Feeling bulletproof. Dread wants me to know otherwise, steal my joy and aliveness.

The darkness that comes with this early morning dread… first seeping in when I rest in the semi-conscious state before becoming fully awake. So slippery, this feeling. Creeping in when my defenses are still groggy, at peace. Something triggers deep inside to attempt to rob me of this morning promise and serenity. Fucking joy stealer 😩

There is recognition. I am positive I deeply know this place well. Like the bottom of a dark sticky pocketbook 🤢 The empty, cold, sharp walls of a hopeless existence. Dread thrusts me onto the edge, teetering over the vast cauldron of self hate and disgust for living well and being SEEN living well. It attempts to talk me into despising everything including myself.

The dread is borne from wanting to extinguish my own life. Bourne of overwhelm at the thought of continuing to carry a burden and secret much too heavy for my petite frame – just a whisp of a human, exactly what they wanted for me- to wipe myself out. Ending my own life….yes, the icing on the cake, the bow on the package.

Another life ruined, how smug their expressions. Fuckers. Hoping and praying I would trip n fall and impale myself on the cross I carry. This dread, as an abuse survivor, is etched into my fabric. Bathed in dread every day – I was an adorable, absorbent little sponge. Maturing, I could be loyal to their dark foundation they so carefully poured into my frame OR I could boldly refuse to be the load bearing wall of their house of horrors.

As I choose to no longer carry the weight of all that has transpired, I have something for ya- a big Fuck You with your name on it. I’m stepping out from under the weight, I’m done. I didn’t perish, I wasn’t silenced, I don’t hate myself like you did, I didn’t repeat what you did to me, I didn’t act my rage out on others. No, I didn’t. I chose a much different path. The path of revenge.

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Sweet, delicious revenge. By telling the truth, by being fabulous anyways, by cutting the cords, hooks, chains – of your essence – away and off of me. To shred the dread you branded me with and vomit it back all over you. Free. Free to be who I came here to be. Without interference. Without permission. Zero Apologies.

Resurfacing of dread, 42 years later has a way of reminding me of all the ways I am glad to be free of you and your sad lives. Freedom is sweet. The independence amazing. The ease of life, gorgeous. Knowing I turned – and continue to turn dread into celebration? Amaze balls outstanding.

You are not your dread. It was given to you. You came by it honestly. It is not the truth of who you are. It may try to rent space in your life. Dread is full of lies to keep you playing small in a promising life. Someone may have thought your light, your powerful energy, needed to be snuffed out. You may have been a threat to someone’s power, as your light was blinding them. Take back your light, your magnificence, your power. Don’t just exist. This is what thriving looks like. This.

How are you evicting dread from your life?

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.

intention

It would be great to start every day with a fire ceremony. In nature. Crows, hawks, squirrels chasing, leaves rustling, cardinals chirping. Discarding old patterns, thoughts, beliefs into the flames like dried, crunchy leaves looking for transformation, new life, different form. This morning I place in the fire, a long held belief that no longer serves me. The flames destroying its hold on my voice and placing my (today) intention on a sense of peace and aliveness around having my truth be enough. I am enough 💜

intention

Wouldn’t It Be Nice?

It would be great to start every day with a fire ceremony. In nature. Crows, hawks, squirrels chasing, leaves rustling, cardinals chirping. Discarding old patterns, thoughts, beliefs into the flames like dried, crunchy leaves looking for transformation, new life, different form. This morning I place in the fire, a long held belief that no longer serves me. The flames destroying its hold on my voice and placing my (today) intention on a sense of peace and aliveness around having my truth be enough. I am enough 💜