Recognition

Sometimes my heart hurts and then I feel ashamed because I know it hurts as a result of my own choices.

So then there is this shame cycle and it sucks. That’s probably why am feeling so strong about not shaming each other today, I’m just realizing how much it can run my own thoughts and behaviors when I’m not paying attention.

And sometimes, when I am feeling very ashamed and not acknowledging or aware of it, I push my shame off onto somebody else. That’s not awesome.

The cool thing…the moment I recognize this and want change more than comfort, my path to freedom begins.

UP

UP. My word for the year.

UP. Inspired by my beautiful, insightful and wise beloved almost 16 year old daughter.

UP. “At a higher level of intensity, volume, or activity.” Encompassing intent, confidence and consistency.

UP. “Directed or moving toward a higher place or position.” Focused on what matters, keeping it in motion, relishing the journey always.

UP. “Do something boldly” ‘Bold’…showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous…because sometimes you have to be brave with your life so others can be brave with theirs. Living out loud. Loving well. Showing not just telling my children what this means.

UP: “at an end” So many things these last years have come to an end. It’s okay. Sometimes it is only by accepting the end of something that we can cherish the process of gaining something new.

I used to have vivid dreams and memories of being able to fly as a child. Not high, but just a little bit off the ground. In these recollections, I would be running so fast across the yard that I would just be a few feet of the ground. The freeing sensation of being in flight embraces me when I go here in my mind.

Now, I get a deep longing when I remember that feeling. I was a child. A child that hadn’t been molded into a fashion that better suited another. I was FREE.

I get glimpses of that free little girl; more and more lately. Looking deep into my reflection, intentionally loosening these self inflicted invisible restraints…there she is. Not so far away after all. I see you baby girl.

“If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down.” – Buddha

UP.

Have a blessed 2021.

xo.

Beckoning Peace

It’s weird…I feel like my spirit has sought deep peace for so long. I’m learning that I often prevent myself from that deep peace with my own patterns and behaviors. I actively push the peace I feel away by creating inner chaos. That’s kinda icky to consider.

Trying to just breathe. Holding on to hope for myself and for whomever else I have in my heart (a whole lot of people).

For the first time ever, I left an automated voicemail and email response for my clients at work. They survived before me and they will survive without me until Monday. God has had them the whole time and still does. I was just telling someone, boundaries are easy for me to set and super challenging for me to follow. This is a good practice that I need to get comfortable with.

I usually like to go visit my Vintage Housing sights on Christmas afternoon…that’s not an option this year. That said, I will be calling a few of them over the weekend to check in bc I truly adore them and holidays can be so hard! Reach out to someone if you can, you matter more than you know.

Stella commented that I am working all of the time. It’s because there are SO MANY people in need. However, wisdom says that I must take care of me to take care of others. This weekend belong to my family, my friends, to me and to Jesus. That’s it.

I’ve been pondering so much since dear friend wrote about the winter solstice. Time to set my intentions and consider my word for 2021. Time to pray for so many and for myself too. Time for quiet and peace in my heart.

If you are hurting or lonely please reach out to someone.

If you just want to treat yourself to something, no matter how you feel; have some eggnog or hot chocolate with brandy. You are welcome. Or just have the eggnog or hot chocolate (with gooey marshmallows). You are still welcome.

Happiest Christmas to all. Happy Weekend after Winter Solstice (if that wasn’t a thing, I just made it one).

God bless and much love.

Seasonal stress disorder

Dear sis,

I saw you tonight after you paid your bills. I heard you berating yourself for not being more organized and for being lackadaisical.

Remember sis, stressing over Christmas pj’s and special chocolates is NOT what it’s all about.

Look up. Look in. Look out. Remember to whom you belong.

For unto us a child is born. You are so blessed. Now, take a breath and soak in the sacredness of the season.

❤️🙏🌲☺️❤️

Dear fellow lovers of Jesus,

Dear fellow lovers of Jesus,

Like many of us, I’m feeling a lot weary.

I, too, have so many thoughts on the current political environment. I’m not at a place where I am going to extend those thoughts gracefully and with mercy. Until then, I choose to be quiet on those things in this forum.

Will you try something with me today? Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus?

Instead of spending time posting/spewing political rhetoric from either side, I have a challenge. Use that time instead to extend a tangible kindness. Think outside of politics ourselves….how could we serve or help another?

Gather coats and blankets for the homeless, it looks like it’s going to get really cold.

Make cookies or brownies for a neighbor, use a box mix, nobody cares.

Do a chore for somebody in your house that you know they don’t enjoy doing.

Write a letter to someone you know might be lonely or struggling.

Send somebody a quote that will lift their spirits.

Just. Do. Something. Kind.

If you can’t muster the energy up to do this or just don’t have the inner resources, pray.

Need an idea of how to help? Send me a message! I promise that extending a kindness will also feed your own soul.

This really applies to everyone. I addressed it to Christians because what I have been observing is not what we are about. It is not what Jesus is about. Jesus was not a politician nor did he give any of us the power to determine who He personally selected. Thinking one has been appointed with this knowledge feels a bit arrogant.

Go be kind. Happy Tuesday!

Happy Halloween 2020

What an odd Halloween it has been.

My daughter had a friend over, so did I. A quiet evening at home…just like many of the others.

I’m sure my adult son is out with friends. I miss him.

I miss pre Covid days and I’m trying hard to extract the value of the Covid era.

I miss my littles and costumes and trick or treating and I miss working with littles.

Thank you to everyone who has shared fabulous pictures on Facebook, they were joy bringers.

I miss seeing my clients and connecting face to face.

I MISS MY PEOPLE. Waaah. I always try and remember not to “at least” people because I feel that diminishes the hurt they’re experiencing. I noticed that I kind of “at least” myself but right now I’m just gonna whine about it. I can be thankful and sad at the same time.

All that said…

I think if there was an emotion to feel today, I’ve felt it. 🤦‍♀️💯 Is it that damn mercury in retrograde or the upcoming election or Covid or my own personal thoughts?

I thought I was managing my stress but my body thought otherwise.

By evening, my busy mind caught up with me and I just felt ick and had a big ole nap.

Note to self…either deal with my feels or they deal with me.

Joy comes in the morning. Gratitude is here tonight….right along w my grumbles.

Debaucle Debate Debaucle Debate

I have recieved lots of feedback as of late in support of my outspokenness on social media regarding current recent world leaders and events. Most of it is a sincere encouragement to keep being transparent and vocal; as well as a few politely worded ‘encouragements’ that I think are probably more likely disguised shushes. Thus, I am certain everyone has waited with bated breath to hear my solid evaluation of last night’s debate.

A bit of background….politics have not interested me much in life. As I grow older, I have begun to seriously examine my own biases. In my field of work, it is evident that there needs to be change (alot of change). If that change is imperative and significant, (it is), then it becomes a part of my life work too. I realize I must pay attention to how things work and what trickles down from leadership into society. I must be educated and interested if I truly wish to promote change (I do). I’m learning, growing; hopefully bettering myself and my world.

I have never, ever, never watched a presidential debate unless it was required for a class. Even then, I tried hard to grasp the summary from friends rather than watch the tortuous event. Last night was the first debate that I was somewhat looking forward to watching; yet I was anxiously anticipating it all day long. I asked of all at home to please just let me watch, and be respectful of differing opinions. Lucky for me, my daughter curled up with me and watched maybe the first fifteen minutes. Then she said she had seen enough and went off to do her thing. (She had baked a special cake for dessert that made a specific declaration to our current president…love her tenacity). My sweet guest was asleep on the couch five minutes in, so I got the peace I had requested. Well…except for watching the debate…I wouldn’t really say that promoted peace within my spirit. I made it until the middle of the last question. At that point, I felt I had learned all I needed to learn from the debate, I meditated on the truth that God has our back no matter what and I headed off to bed.

The true reason I wanted so badly to watch this debate had everything to do with my passions and nothing to do with the incumbents postions. I haven’t watched alot previously. I read endlessly about events yet I avoid the news and especially our current President as much as I humanly can. It’s all icky. As I said, I do my best to stay educated…just not through those modes.

I watched because I have seen endless clips, memes, statements, etc indicating that Mr. Biden is senile at best and has severe dementia at worst. I will advocate to the ends of the earth for those afflicted with dementia and for their families/loved ones. Dementia is no laughing matter and I take great personal offense at jokes at anyone’s expense in this arena. Simply.not.funny.

Since I had not watched many speeches with any of these gentleman, I wanted to assess for myself if I saw signs of dementia in Mr. Biden. I did this as someone who has worked with dementia and Alzheimer’s victims for a hefty season, as well as the daughter of a brave Daddy who fought a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s for 12 years. I did this as a person with a Master’s level education in counseling psychology in addition to years of professional experience. There’s my lens. In the end, if I am not Mr. Biden’s physician or someone he lives with, I only have the lens, not a final answer.

Instead of declaring my meager opinion on the debate, I’m drawn to another direction. Being an empathetic creature, I attempted to put myself in the position of Mr. Biden, President Trump and Moderator Chris. This was a fun little experiment.

Me as Moderator Chris: I am feeling a little intimidated by the President’s constant interruptions and blatant disregard for my role as moderator. I am feeling like he is trying to control the situation; make myself and Mr. Biden appear to be uneducated idiots; therefore he is bullying in the most disrespectful way. Now I am not only frustrated with my lack of ability to manage the debate, I am also feeling invisible because no one is really listening to me. The old tapes start playing and I alternate between being passive, aggresive and invisible…trying to find an assertive, leadership ground. I’m struggling. (this actually feels very close to a recent situation in my life that ended in a loss that left me broken hearted. I feel sad for Moderator Chris…like he is stuck between a rock and a hard place).

Me as President Trump: I am going to win at all costs. I am unable to find a state of homeostasis right now, so instead of focusing on the issues at hand, I am in attack mode. I am going to make Mr. Biden look as if he is incapable of answering and when he tries, I am going to speak louder than he. I am going to get the audience to focus on my greatness. I’m not sure they are focusing on my greatness, so I am going to throw in something the people really love. Football! Yes, that’s it. I saved football…all by my lonesome, I saved football. Oh…they are asking about white supremacy….that’s more than I prepared for. Shit. Stand by. The best I can do is reflect on heated arguments with my teenagers when we aren’t communicating from a healthy place. The goal is to show who is boss, no one gets anywhere. We are listening only to prepare our defense, not to listen. Admittedly, it’s difficult for me to feel too empathetic for one who seems to show no empathy, respect or compassion. Really, truly, difficult…but hey…football.

Me as Mr. Biden: I’m a little concerned because I know what they are saying about me and my cognitive abilities. I will need to work extra hard to ensure that the people hear me, and see that I am intellectually capable of handling the presidency. I am doing quite well. It’s really hard though. If I speak over this ass clown, then I am just as much of an ass clown. If I say nothing, it’s going to be said that I couldn’t process and didn’t know what to say. I am just going to stay as steady as I can. Until I have enough and tell the assclown to just shut up. I know that wasn’t very cooth, so I hope the people understand. I really want them to hear that I am for the people, all the people, independent from political affiliation. Did they hear me? This sucks.

All in all, this state of affairs is sad. I cannot stand the character of our President, he makes me want to vomit in my mouth. He is not someone I am proud to have my children look at as what a good leader is. We discuss what makes a good leader often. They know how I feel. They also are free to research, learn and discuss their thoughts. I am proud when they do, whether they differ or agree with me.

I am not certain about Mr. Biden, though I am certain he is a safer, more stable choice for my vote. I saw no evidence of dementia during this dumb debate. I saw him exercise patience and speak with dignity and respect for the most part (when he was allowed to speak).

Moderator Chris…well; I think he needs to ‘man up’ a bit if he is going to take on these tasks. In all fairness, it was a tough job no matter who was doing it.

Looking forward to the next debates. I wonder if I could sign up to moderate.

LET HOPE TAKE FLIGHT

I hate needles. So much so, that I opted out of epidurals and had natural deliveries with both of my children. Needles mean that a person with medical expertise is going to take over my body. Needles mean I am helpless. Needles mean I am powerless. Needles have meant that my body has betrayed me and I am going to get poked and prodded. Needles have symbolized a lack of control and fear in my past. This is all due to my medical history starting at birth. Although I am 48 years young and quiet understanding that all the pokies in my past have been to help rather than harm me; I still HATE needles.

It’s easy to imagine my sweet momma’s expression when I told her I wanted a tattoo for my birthday this year. She laughed in surprised response and reminded me that I hated needles and probably wouldn’t enjoy a tattoo. I thought this was all the more reason to get one. I wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone. This tattoo was something I felt a need to do for myself. After all, life begins out of our comfort zones, right?

I had a plethora of ideas and feedback about what I should do. I was all over the board with my options. Then, as most things do, it came to me very clearly. Rather than spend all of this blog explaining what I did not do, I would love to share my experience as well as what I did do and why.

I chose to get a hummingbird with the words, “I’m a love a you.” I chose to have it on the inside of my wrist so that I can look at it often and remember. Here’s the backstory…

My brother Brent passed away in 1987. Every single year, starting then, a hummingbird has appeared to my mom or a member of our family on the week of the anniversary of his death. We have always felt like it was a sign that Brent was okay. It has always happened at the craziest of times and seems to be an isolated event. Even this year, in the home I had been in for only 4 months…I was sitting on my deck in the morning drinking coffee and thinking about how many years Brent had been gone. Right then, a little hummingbird hovered around my head and then to my plants. That is the only time I have seen a hummingbird here…until tonight…but that’s another story.

I looked up hummingbird symbolism and meaning. I found that in Native American cultures, hummingbirds are seen as healers, bringers of love, good luck and joy. In central America, they bring love to the person who spots them. In various cultures, hummingbirds are considered to be messengers from heaven, gently nudging us to move on and release the burden of people or things that can no longer be part of our lives. Lastly, and my favorite was the folklore indicating that a hummingbird is a sign that a loved one who has passed away has successfully made it to the other side and is doing just fine. (LOVE).

Hummingbirds generally symbolize joy, playfulness and adaptability; tireless in their effort to find sweetness and as a reminder to pursue our dreams and not allow obstacles to stop us…regardless of distance. They are whimsical. They are magical. They flit from place to place. They fly so freely. I have been set free from so very much. The hummingbird and I seem synchronous in nature. Everything fits.

Then….”I’m a love a you.” This is something my Daddy and Momma said to each other. My daughter and I were talking in the car. I had decided on a hummingbird yet I felt something was missing. She reminded me of this phrase. That was it. A perfect honor to my parents; they are all about the love. I smile every time my heart hears them say, “I’m a love a you.” If I can love others (starting with my children) as much as they loved each other and their cherished ones, I will have lived my life well.

I had the most fabulous tattoo artist and human being help me through this process. I survived and we had the best conversation the whole time I was getting inked. That is not what I imagined would happen. Masked in the covid area and getting a tattoo can’t keep meaningful human connection away!

I keep trying to decide what it felt like. Not painful really. Maybe uncomfortable and aggravating describe the sensation best for me. It was a phenomenal experience. I am incredibly proud of myself for doing this. Earlier today, when I was chatting with my daughter, she made me pinky promise to her demand that I ‘not chicken out’.

I will look at this tattoo daily and cherish it’s story. Whether only I know it or share it with others; it represents the love that has always embraced me, who I am, and who I have the freedom to be. “I’m a love a you” also is a tangible reminder that not only am I surrounded by love, I love myself.

I can do hard things.

p.s. Tonight, I was standing outside by the moonflowers with my kiddos. Guess who came to visit us but a dancing little hummingbird?

Hope has taken flight.

Lovely Me

I did a thing today… I’m going to write about it before I lose my nerve.

I went to the pool in a black two piece swimsuit. I love two pieces for so many reasons, they are the next best thing to being naked in the water (because that’s illegal in the community pool).

However, I hate my stomach with a vengeance and would never intentionally show it off. Sometimes though, full coverage suits make it look even worse than it is by trying to squish me up in places that need not be squished. Still, I try to find the best full coverage swimsuit I can to hide my body.

I’m so sick of hiding. I’m sick of hiding my thoughts. I’m weary of hiding my opinions. I am tired of shrinking down to appease things that don’t even deserve my appeasement.. I

I fear judgment that people look at me and think I have no business in a two-piece suit. When I stop and think about it, it’s pretty egocentric to think everybody at the pool is going to be looking at me and concerned about what I’m wearing.. If that is their biggest concern, kudos to them and I suggest they get a life.

I enjoyed the pool today more than I have all season long. I wasn’t tugging at my swimsuit trying to get it perfect nor was I trying to hide myself… There is nothing to hide.

I want my daughter and her friends to see me modeling a healthy self image. I fear that I have not always been in this place. I want them to see me being authentic in every way and that includes in the journey to love my own body as the strong, healthy, perfectly imperfect storage for my soul that it is.

I also think Stella is going to be pretty proud of me for not wearing my usual “grandma“ swimsuits. (I think that’s pretty harsh. LOL!)

I’ve been on a journey to get healthier the past few years and I have made huge strides. I am still a work in progress… we all are.

Whether I have been working on myself or not though, I deserve to enjoy my body free from shame, guilt, and disgust. My body is a miraculous and beautiful creation.

It’s been lovely today to focus on what I am rather than what I am not. I’m learning.💕

I’m not in need of accolades. My prayer is that this pings somebody else who also struggles with body image. I hope they are encouraged to look in the mirror and see that they too are a beautiful and miraculous creation.

Another Inside Job

One of my favorites. You could really substitute any word for “love”. Try happiness, peace, grace, mercy….even friendship. You get the idea.

Whatever the word, it is our own task to find the barriers within ourselves that keep us from experiencing it. It’s never another persons role nor is it our job to decide for others what they need to do.

Currently, my personal word is acceptance. “My task is not to seek acceptance, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.“

If I do not feel accepted by somebody else, I don’t feel safe inside myself or with them. I have tended in the past to become the perfect chameleon in order to appease another persons need for comfort or my endless need for acceptance. After all, if somebody else does not accept me or some thing I have done, how can I accept myself? I must have been wrong.

I’m learning that that acceptance only needs to come from me and not from somebody else. It’s an inside job. I would have said, “self acceptance” but that doesn’t apply solely because I have to except that I don’t need acceptance from people outside of myself.

For me, it boils down to this… Trying to seek God in everything. Trying to remember that He loves and accepts me right where I am. Trying to remember that this is all I need. Trying to remember that I am enough in Him.

What’s the word that would fit here for you?