Sunday, December 2

Mothering


I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of living when my mom dies. I’m not a mama’s girl by the usual definition, I’m more of a girl adored by her mama. I’m also a girl who never understood, related to, or liked her father, so although I didn’t have the typical mama’s girl relationship, I was thoroughly convinced of her unwavering love for me. But if you wanted to tattoo “Mama’s Girl” on me, I’d wear it proudly.

It was in Romania when I learned how huge the job of a mother is. I went there the most na├»ve 19 year old on the planet (before the days of internet) and what I experienced was that 100% of the children abandoned before the age of three were severely autistic. Which meant -most of them. What this showed me was how big-a-deal the job of a mom is. I went there because I saw a need for babies to be held; what I was oblivious to is that there is a point very early on that it’s too late. That sounds harsh, and there’s much that goes into that statement because my mom adopted two of these children. They were 6 & 7 when the adoptions were finally complete and despite MY MOM becoming their mom, their autism is and was so severe that to discuss it would be changing the subject. An infant needing a mother is like a small seed needing water.

I feel very weak these days as my mom starts to hunch with arthritis in her spine and gets scammed by a world she doesn’t understand. I’m in a position now of needing to mother her and try to fend off and fix the attack from the bad guys she knows nothing about. At times that’s the hardest part of her getting old… my inability to wrap my fucking mind around how to protect her when she can’t see the bad in anyone, and answers the phone to these ass-hats that prey on the elderly. Being in the mom role and trying to explain to HER why the world doesn’t protect her, and why she can’t do things she’s done her whole life (like answer the phone), is upsetting. I don’t want the roles to swap. There are more systems in place for protecting a 13 year old girl that knows more about how this shitty world works than there are for an elderly woman who doesn’t understand much anymore. I’m actually still searching for ways build protection, as this problem is unending and getting worse.

My heart is too soft. Watching her hobble away from my front door with her cane, as she beams from one ear to the other (because she only sees good in the world and she only feels love) is almost more difficult than it is sweet. I don’t want her bent over. I don’t want her to age. I don’t want her to leave.

I’ve said before, “being a mom” is bigger than me. Why? I never say that part… I don’t know how anyone’s heart can handle the love you must feel by being a mom. She’s so full of love for me it’s overwhelming. I think my heart would have exploded if I’d ever had a child.

I remember stepping out of a room and into the hall at the orphanage with Florina in my arms and sinking to the floor in tears; accepting I could accomplish nothing for her. No amount of Natalie love would fill any holes in the heart of this little girl who was so miserable she chewed holes into her hands and pulled her hair out in clumps. Did she want to be loved? Desperately. So did all the children that tried to climb me like a tree when I walked into the room. I would be felled by their insistence to be held and loved. This was not the case when an orphanage worker came into the room. These little ones knew where the love was. As I say, at 19 I was so naive as to think I could hold children and DO SOMETHING. I could do nothing but temporarily radiate what they should have been getting all along in their tiny fragile state.

I felt a lot of anger about this too, because I had this ridiculously perfect example of motherly love and trying to wrap my head around the severity of it all in the orphanage was impossible. I still to this day don’t understand that lack. I still to this day personally receive it in abundance.

People ask me if I’m going to have kids. People who think I’m not too old, and I still believe my heart would burst. I’m finally convinced some people have more love to give than others, and frankly I feel like my heart manufactures too much already. The notebook I’m writing in is my reminder with love note stickers all over the cover by one of the teenagers I mother. “You’re my favorite human”, “I love you”, “You deserve everything” “I freaking <3 you”. Again, they aren’t mine, but they feel my love. Would I be a good mom? No question. I’ve learned a lot from this imperfect person that perfectly loves. As that seed needing water, my mom has stood beside me with her watering can my whole life. She’s taken pride in watching me grow and has never stopped telling me she loves me

When the day comes that this mama’s girl is without her mom, the world will be a different place. One I will struggle to live in -not being watered continually. And I will relate to Florina better –in her desire to chew holes into her hands and pull her hair out, because without a mom I will be thoroughly incomplete too.

Sunday, November 25

Bullied, or Picked on?


I’ve been trying to decide in a recent situation why I feel picked on, and not bullied. What’s happening could easily be called bullying, and I finally realized the difference (I’ll say FOR ME) is that I do not feel inferior. I don’t feel weak enough to be harmed. My being a woman, and his being a man is also part of it. I’ll come back to that.

Is it bullying? Technically, yes. Does it feel like it? No. And the answer I reach when asking myself why -is that I’m too old and too strong. The reality is this happens over and over on a regular basis, and has by this guy for five years. This repetition does 1000% mean I’m being picked on, and if it were someone else, and I were watching, I would call it bullying.

Thing is, at this age quite a few things have managed to sink in:
1. Most people picking on someone totally believe they are justified for some reason.
2. Young people who don’t know what they don’t know will always be “right”.
3. My self-view is not dictated by someone’s attitude toward me. (that took a long time to learn.)
4. A Bullier could be so far from present, they don’t have self-perception.

To be clear, these are not excuses. Far from it. Someone’s shortcomings are seldom seen by them, but we all must remember, our shortcomings are not invisible to others. You will show people who you are, and if that is just by default because you can’t be self aware, so be it. Nobody will stop you.
Over those five years of being picked on sporadically, I’ve wanted to say a thousand times, “Stop watching me. Stop paying attention to me, stop picking on me, stop putting me down”…and I never have. I don’t because of a few reasons. I feel like bullying is obvious to everyone in the room. It’s the bullier’s way of showing people they have a problem and need a punching bag. I’d rather let them show as many people as they can who they are. Anyone watching will see their true colors. Integrity is scarce, so when people want to shout that they have none, I let them. I am not going to change who I am because of your desire to make me your punching bag.

When asked by my manager if I confronted him and told him to stop, I said “No, and I won’t allow his small mindedness to change me. I am not a confrontational person.” And frankly, my history has everything to do with this decision to not be a confrontational person. I grew up on the attack mentally, emotionally, and physically by a small-minded man. In fact, attack in any form is not the route an intelligent man takes. This was the biggest lesson of my childhood. I have been quiet most of my life, allowing others to show me in word and deed all I need to know about them.

I also must acknowledge I allowed this dude treating me as a punching bag off and on for so long to hold the title “friend” off and on as well. Sometimes I give some people more opportunities than others. I’m not sure why I do this, there doesn’t seem to be good reasons, but eventually, if punched enough times, I guess it finally goes in. And frankly, there just aren’t enough men out there of high enough quality that I will ever be too surprised when they finally say “I am not worth your time/energy/love/praise/etc”. Which makes me sound like a man-hater. I’m actually a man-cheerleader constantly looking for work. Constantly getting laid-off from the job of cheering a quality man on. Women too, don’t get me wrong, but of the people I know that are “top quality” 95% of them are women, and they are really amazing at the game of life. Oozing integrity from every pore and orifice. Women bully too, but it is not as much in our nature as it is for men. Plus we don’t tend to have our ego threatened the way men seem to. I have seen many times how men react to strong women, and that too is them showing the world their small mindedness.

This will all sound too harsh for the mind that uses bulling as a tool to keep themselves “right”, “justified”, “smarter”, or “in charge”. The thing we see when given enough time -the bullier believes they are one thing, while showing the world they are another. Can someone like this change? Maybe so. I think every one of us is in control of who we are. Have I seen many change? No. But I won’t lose hope, I am a cheerleader by nature, and wouldn’t it be cool if a year from now I were sitting here writing about how many incredible men I know. Because guys… you are in control of yourself. You decide what others see. You decide who you will be. We (the not small minded) are not blind, and we know when we are picked on.

Tuesday, November 6

Weighty Labels

(Audio below)
It seems that for most of us it’s easier to identify with a label someone else gives you than it is to identify with a label you give yourself. In fact, few of us create our own labels, but we get handed them all the time by others. It starts when we are little.

I’ve decided that this happens because at no point in growing up does anyone tell you “Hey, you should start deciding for yourself who you are”. We just kind of fall into the existence of being told how others see us, “You are overweight”, “You should be a ballerina”, “You are funny”, “You are too serious”, “You are effeminate”, “You are weird”. And we let these mean something to us and tell us who we are.

Now, I’m not saying we consciously allow this to happen or we consciously don’t decide for ourselves who we are. It’s one of those things we fall into because we never think to be/do otherwise. It’s more by default.

I too did this most of my life, and it wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I was suddenly able to hear it, and realize I should be the one deciding these labels, not others. And the reason I say that is that it almost doesn’t matter what other people want to label you with, if you don’t make your own labels, you will ACCEPT you are who you’ve been told you are.

And before I go much further I’m going to throw out a spoiler of sorts… the labels you are given have everything to do with the person labeling you. Based on THEIR views of themselves and how they grew up being labeled. It’s kind of a messed up way to receive self view. But I’ll come back to this.

I want to use an analogy to explain what I mean.

Imagine being handed a card every time someone tells you something about who you are. Lets say that as you are growing up, your dad continuously hands you an “overweight” card. Again, this is based on what HE considers to be overweight, and also, that concept “overweight” must be an issue for him! It’s not an issue or important to everyone and doesn’t have to be important to you either. It’s also based on which part of the world he lives in and what he is exposed to. Is he hanging out at the gym? This kind of thing.

Also, you think your dad is only going to hand you ONE of these cards in your lifetime? No… he is likely going to hand them to you over and over. So you are figuratively finding pockets for all these cards, and carrying them around with you everywhere you go. They become your reality and almost a safety-net, so that at any time you can pull out a stack of cards from one of these pockets and SHOW people who you are by listing your labels.

And chances are, you do not at any point realize you are being handed these cards/labels. You take them and you put them in your pockets. You even find that you keep being handed the same cards by the same people, so they don’t even stand out or feel strange anymore. And when your pockets are full and you are feeling down on yourself, you don’t notice it’s because of all the cards you have taken on board. Picture a pair of overalls, with added makeshift pockets to carry all the cards you have as you’ve got older and met more labeling people. Maybe it’s only at that point you realize you’re sick of these heavy overalls full of inaccurate labels. At some point, it might just get too much.

This was true for me. And when I finally had the idea of taking off everything that had a pocket, I stripped down to nakedness and taped a couple of those cards to my body, unable to let go of every label I’d been given, still unsure who I really was. And what an uncomfortable space to be in. The realization that you don’t know what you think because you have been taking on board what others think for so long. Its freedom on a level you might not be able to immediately accept. “Well, if I’m not going to believe “this”: ___, then what is my “that”?

To be honest, it’s giving yourself a blank slate to decide anything about yourself really. The craziest thing is that you COULD HAVE been doing this your whole life, but for some reason, you missed the memo.

This removal of all pocket and card containing layers of clothes coincided with a bunch of uncomfortable life changes for me, and finally reaching a point where I had to make my own decisions about who I am in order to like who I was. This is where I’m trying not to turn this into my story, but show others I have the same story. But this time, I’m hoping so bad that I’m not talking to people my age with decades of taking on cards they turned into a mountain of labels. I’m hoping that my young friends might be able to see “I’m doing this too. Nat is over here encouraging me to take off all those layers of labels and be comfortable in my own skin. Label and card free.”

You want to know what labels I’m willing to accept now? Happy. Loving. Kind. And when people try to hand me cards, I don’t reach out and take it, I let it fall to the ground. I decide who I am now. With a bit of attitude about it too. People can create or make as many labels for me as they wish. That’s their thing; let them be a label maker. I’m going to be me, do me, and worry about me. So that what I feel about ME…is all good.

Saturday, September 22

Fuel, Drive, Joy, Motivation, Creation, Accomplishment


My use of the word accomplishment recently led a friend to misunderstand that I meant it in a way that brought me some status, or money, or lifelong dream finally built. I shouldn’t be surprised, because the word itself kind of insinuates much effort was put forth and an end goal was reached.

When I typed “accomplishment” I was trying to sum up and find a word that fit why I love to write. Which really just did the opposite, I then had to explain what I meant by using that word, and I’m so glad my friend didn’t hear it how I meant it because that gave me opportunity to do what I love… explain and clarify so that I feel a sense of being understood. AKA Accomplishment. Point made.

And in the writing of my explanation, I realized I have another friend who might like to hear this, because that friend is in a place of not feeling fuel, drive, joy, motivation, creation, or accomplishment. To the point that friend is putting themselves inside a “cave” to be unreachable and alone. Outside of my arms length to affect or help. Sometimes that’s all I need to find a reason to write and feed myself a sense of accomplishment. (This same friend in the cave calls me a wordsmith, so you bet I want to be writing for that friend.)

And that is really the point I am going to make by the end. MY sense of accomplishment isn’t actually conditional upon success of a large end-goal. Sure I want my friend to come out of the cave, feel helped by my words, and benefit somehow from knowing me, but the truth is… MY sense of accomplishment, MY motivation, MY drive is just finding a way to say the things I want to say -to someone I care about. Whether my friend ever even reads this does not change, whether or not I have succeeded in that desire to clearly explain thoughts and feelings. I don’t write earth shattering words. I don’t feel ground breaking concepts, I write because I love to, and for how it makes me feel.

Like a race car driver. I doubt Kimi Raikkonen races ONLY to win and stand on the podium. He can’t. He clearly must love to race. He must love the team, the car, the tracks, the competition, the atmosphere, the everything, or he would not be doing this since the age of 10 (28 years). Every aspect is his fuel, his drive, his joy. Each of us have those things in us that bring us motivation in life. Which tends to be the stuff we are good at because that’s the stuff we enjoy doing most.

So lets go back to my slow small slug-like version of accomplishment. For me it’s nothing large. It’s nothing so fancy as that for Kimi. For me it’s taking a concept like mattering to a person and organizing words in a fashion where I feel people could get what I’m trying to say. And MY MIND feels satisfied and accomplished by the end result. As long as I’m satisfied, I am accomplished.

This is not an idea that has been with me all my life. I used to have giant towers and mountains of ideals surrounding me that looked and felt impossible to ever conquer. I had so many imaginary un-scaleable mountains that provided me with a million excuses for why I couldn’t become this or ever succeed at that. And eventually I saw that these towers and mountains were all created by my imagination. They weren’t real, and nobody else could even understand them, let alone see them. “Are you fucking crazy Natalie? What are you looking at?” could be the words spoken to me. And I realized accomplishment comes wherever I want it -in whatever form I enjoy and want to feel it. I could just as easily decide that none of my writings will ever be read by anyone and feel accomplishment in filling the hard drive of my laptop with a library of essays. (I do that too.) The realization I DECIDE was the real groundbreaker. Not anything I actually did or “accomplished”. I can feel fuel, drive, joy, motivation, creation, accomplishment, over anything I choose to feel it over and I even decide if I’m going to argue that with the negative committee in my head. I can decide also that nothing is up for debate, because the negative committee is not me, not employed by me, and they are best seen as squatters who need to be kicked out.

What we feel, the levels at which we feel, the end results of our feelings, so much is for you to decide. You own you. It’s easier to believe you don’t and that those mountains aren’t scaleable… but that is only because that is what you are used to. I’m now used to not seeing mountains, just molehills I can cover.

If my “caving” friend reads this, my friend will remember the many things I’ve had to deal with this year. And how I have not sailed through easily. Life can happen to us as well…but that is why we have to remember to be in charge of the things we can be deciding. There are plenty of things outside of our control. We may as well control the things we can. And frankly, I want to be having joy in all the areas I am capable of joy. Personally, I want to choose to feel accomplishment even at typing black letters onto a white screen…because all those things happening to me aren’t at my fingertips to delete or rewrite. So you bet I will control all the things I can. My attitude is the most important one. This has nothing whatsoever to do with reward or money for said accomplishment. I create my creation. I love the process. I feel fulfilled. This is why I have never cared for money. It’s a necessary tool. Its not attached to what is my joy. My feeling accomplishment at what I wanted to accomplish is the real goods.

Tuesday, September 11

Lucky

How do I explain feeling so lucky when it has everything to do with someone's suicide? I know I just wrote about suicide of my friend, but two weeks earlier my adopted sisters best friend Berta committed suicide. Berta is also the sister of one of my close friends. And as I watched as these people I love so much mourn this incredible woman, (who I never somehow met) I continually felt, and feel lucky. For multiple reasons.

The first reason feels cruel to type. But I am glad that as I hear so many stories about Berta; her talents, her kindness, her beauty, they are still stories for me. I didn't know her voice, I don't have conversations cataloged, and no memories to replay in pain. I don't have to feel the giant hole her loss has created for my loved ones who are worthy of knowing top quality humans.

What I do have, is more love for my loved ones in pain, and luck to have them around.

An even bigger reason for me to feel Lucky these last couple days is that Berta should have turned 40 a couple days ago. My 40th birthday was the best birthday of my life. I was on the best vacation of my life, and having some of the biggest realizations of my life. I even wrote a short story about it. So, for someone to miss out on something that was so great for me, it's like I'm being reminded, "You are so Lucky!".

Anyone reading that knowing what stresses I've been through this year would question my honesty, considering how big a mess I have been at times, but today as I think about Berta missing out on turning 40, the sensation of being so lucky is loud and clear. Fact is I didn't lose a best friend or a sister and that too makes me lucky. Life is fragile and a gift. The only way to enjoy it is through choice combined with perspective. I NEED to love life. the alternative is too hard and uncomfortable to bear. So here I sit in a soft chair in my creative canvas I call home, and with a list of countless people I love and who love me...lucky is the most accurate word I have.

Another friend also touched with suicide in his life posted a pic of a fortune from a cookie on instagram. It read: "The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground". I am going to continue hoping I will be so lucky to become a mighty oak. Not letting anyone -including myself- chop me down before I get there. This little nut is going to hold tight.

Ya know, when I die I don't need there to be a reward or an "after". All I need is to be happy and feel good. Anything after or "next" would be a bonus. I'm already lucky.

Sunday, July 22

Yanny?


I was recently introduced to that YT video with the recorded voice saying a word that some people hear as Yanny and others hear Laurel. Twitter says 47% hear Yanny, and 53% hear laurel. Other videos have been done where they change the pitch of the word which does affect what people hear, but lets stick with the fact that in its original sound, we hear something different. Does this mean anything?
 
It does.

It means that no one person can be 100% right because there is no RIGHT. There IS perspective. And Nobody has to change who they are to hear something different, all anyone should do is accept we aren’t all the same. We won’t all agree and most of the time there isn’t only two things to argue rightness about.

I’m also feeling the need to write about this because it’s one of my biggest pet peeves… when someone insists there is no other perspective but theirs. Usually these are people who believe everything is black and white, and since I’m a believer of countless grays, I can’t even entertain conversation with a B&W closed mind anymore. It’s pointless and time wasting. I write about this in Gray is Good and recently have referenced Statistical Uniqueness in conversations about this too. The world is obsessed with our differences right now, to the point of a mentality being created. This “You are offending me” kind of thinking. Which creates this over inflation of pride which then makes the offended individual offend. It’s like the building of an attitude too. One that doesn’t allow for Yanny to be Laurel. And if I get to throw out an opinion now –I think that changing this attitude could be easy. It would only require putting oneself in a space of RESPECT. Because there, one could accept what I hear: Laurel, is not what you hear: Yanny. And does this have to break the bank? No. Not in a space of Respect. In that space we accept EVERYONE is different.

So… how often can we put ourselves in this space? Trying to go there after an argument is already underway is rather impossible. So why not try to make it the space you occupy continually? Like your Aura, your bubble, your surrounding vibrational field that people feel when you are nearby? Why not live in that space of respect?

I’ve also referenced Being Understanding When I Don’t Understand, in a couple conversations recently. The two ARE different. You don’t have to understand a person and their choices to be understanding that they are struggling with those choices. It also doesn’t mean you have to garnish their load and make it your burden. To be in a respectful space and to be understanding, you are in the best place for yourself. If they expect your respect and understanding to be your lifting of the load too… that is their inability to grasp being in a respectful space and that in our differences, nobody need be exactly on the same page. Because fact is, some hear Laurel.

We are not automatons. We are humans with a googolplex of cells making each of us unique.

Saturday, June 16

The Heart Pumps Love


I can only imagine what it is like to have a human created from YOU and who you are. I have to just guess how it feels to see the best of you in them, and have your heart pump love because of them.

I made the choice to not know this kind of love, because I could imagine it, and it seemed so incredibly giant. I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it. I even let “god” know that if “he” somehow made it happen, I would stop it.

I realize this is a decision I could one day regret when I’m old and alone, but thus far in life, I’m glad I made the choice I did.

If we did have past lives, I would be more than happy to assume I know this feeling of your heart pumping love because of a human you created. It would make sense that somewhere in me remembers that giant level of love, and somewhere in me also knows that in this incarnation I am strong in some ways, but very weak in others.

I start even saying this because I realized at the appearance of someone I love so very much, that there are faces in my mind that 100% of the time bring me a physical smile, and make my heart pump with love. What would I do without these dearhearts? Because fact is… If my heart can’t pump with love, there is no reason for it to operate at all.

Everyone is NOT equal. Sorry. Not everyone knows how to be a dearheart, and that’s a private club for every individual to check ID at the door.

To my Dearhearts, you know who you are… I live for your beauty, love, and knowing you are happy. My heart pumps because of you.



Saturday, June 9

Wholeness (and Dancing)

(A friend who knows me well said that this was too short. She asked me to elaborate because it ended too soon. I love my Melissa, therefore: EDITED)
There are tooo many things to write about these days. I’m so in my head with multiple life lessons and “issues” needing my attention. I would say I’m overwhelmed, except for the gravity of each of them. I think they are all bigger than me. So really, its like looking at planets or moons… all I can do is stare and talk. There is no holding them or trying to carry their weight. They are just too big. Feeling these things are bigger than me, I do still feel pushed by them. Despite not collapsing under the weight, I find myself needing coping mechanisms.

I have two great ones. The first is more temporary than the second, and its also a bit ethereal because it requires the decision to be present. I think that decision to be present is possibly why so many people love PHOTOGRAPHY. I highly doubt most people know why they love taking pictures, just that they do. I think for many, the joy comes in that capturing of the NOW. They don't consciously say "I am being present, I am enjoying this scene, I am composing this image, I am paying attention to this beauty, I am a sentient being" (haha). All they know is it's fun and feels nice.

It's fun and feels nice to me too. It is also an enigma to me. I've been taking pictures since I could operate my mom's Kodak Instamatic 608 using 110 film. (Which btw, I still have; it's in my camera collection.) I have done portraits, glamour photography, food, still life, and ads. All fun, but my greatest love with photography is what I see vs. what the camera sees. Many people argue this, when I say it, but I stick to my experience, and that is I don't decide what looks good. The camera does. And with that in mind, I regularly grab the camera when I see something that looks cool to my eyes, to see if the camera agrees. I would say 75% of the time it does, and it even shows me MORE than what I SAW. And then there are all those times the camera can't see anything I am wanting to capture. One thing I know for sure, is that if what I'm seeing has elements of light... Then the camera and I conspire in fascination for coolness and we have even more fun together. Which is also a reason why I love macro photography. I want to see the little stuff the naked eye can't appreciate, like how the shape of water is sometimes only evident because of light. The camera is fond of this too, and we regularly PLAY.

Instagram was made for people like me who take hundreds of photos and share one every few hundred taken. I love to see what other people are finding cool, and what their camera is finding beautiful. The mention of instagram compels me to say that people who are finding their own face or body fascinating everyday are the ones I just can't follow for long. Sorry Charlie, your pouty lips just aren't as cool to me as they are to you. But, Yay You, for loving your face!!

Photography is one of the few things that give me a separation from those weighty planets, with my brain happy to say: “I’m busy right now. Call back later. I'm already occupied with looking at beautiful things”. 

The second coping mechanism is actually a pretty big thing I should have discovered long ago –and many have. It’s DANCING. Not dancing for anyone to see, just dancing for me to feel. This also comes back to what I write about all the time: getting to know yourself and improving self esteem. Which is how the dancing started, actually. I decided to use it as a way to try and feel more comfortable in my own skin. And I’m going to jump ahead for a second to say: It Totally Fucking Worked!

I’ve said this so many times, but I have not known myself most of my life. I’ve been an enabler ON HOLD. So as I've been getting to know ME and realizing I have many things to fix and heal, I have learned much about who I am and who I’m not. This is my journey now. It’s possibly best described as a path to wholeness. So, in my attempts to feel whole, I must stretch and step outside of the space I regularly stand… and Dance.

How I started was like a coward. In the dark, in the bathroom, in front of the mirror, but with the only light coming through a crack in the door from my bedroom. So I began dancing in that sliver of light, and used my fascination of light and shape as a way to keep moving. The REAL key was having just discovered the music of Andrew Belle. Dancing to his Black Bear album was more fun that I could believe, and so the dancing continued effortlessly, until one day, the dark didn't even matter. I knew how certain songs made my body feel, and then The 1975 got involved, and it's impossible to hold still when I hear songs I love.

Dancing has altered so much in me. It’s been over a year now, and there is no going back. The benefits literally can’t be explained or shared. It has changed how I see myself and how I even see life. It has increased my love of music (which seems impossible) and I can’t squeal enough about this new found tool. I do realize dancing is so normal for most people they don’t think twice about it. But for me it was never normal, and now it has become extraordinary.

Having explained the dancing, I will say this is one of the reasons my lovely Melissa and I connected. It is also why she said this post was not long enough. I had already started dancing as a therapy, before I learned she is in school to become a dance therapist. She saw the dancing become more and more fluid to me as this whole process unfolded.

That old Lee Ann Womack song “I hope you dance” has new meaning to me. I always heard the message as taking what life gives you and turning it into success –Dance being the metaphor for success. But now I want to hear it as Dance being the tool to get through everything. Don’t do what I did and NOT dance. Keep yourself healthy, keep you eyes and ears open, keep you body and mind willing to be fluid, and when you need some help, or happiness, or therapy, DANCE. I’m proof it does things, it changes you.

Now I’m gunna dance my way to Wholeness.

Saturday, April 14

The LITTLE things ARE the BIG things.


I don’t know what to call this thing that we have inside us that wants to feel like we’ve mattered, that we’ve affected something for the better, but really, it’s a need to know the world is a better place because we were in it. It sounds a bit narcissistic if you look at it shallowly, but what it is when coming at it from the heart; it’s knowing you’ve done something for someone. Some of us think “making a difference” has to be some multi-life-saving event that we will be memorialized by. And yet, most of us also still feel content knowing we “helped” whether by giving someone twenty bucks, offering a much needed hug, or by being understanding and kind to someone really needing it. This need to feel “a difference” follows us throughout life and I think it might be a thirst that’s unquenchable for some.

One of my jobs is serving coffee, and although some could argue that serving coffee is making a difference, (*big smile*) I come in contact with many people who make a difference to me. Whether it’s getting to experience their kind heart, getting to know my sweet co-workers better as they share personal stories, or in serving my small town police officer that grew up in this town and genuinely loves the people he serves… these small things make a difference to me because these people are sharing their lives and hearts. I have to then hope that I might be doing this for someone else, either through coffee or in my general life, also sharing my heart.

Really, we can’t possibly know what difference we’ve made at the end of a well-lived life. We can’t quantify each encounter to end up with a great sum. The sad thing is that the way we spend so much of our lives beating ourselves up for not being “enough”, it’s likely we don’t even see the difference we make on a continual basis.

I know that I don’t tell people who give me a much needed laugh that their light-heartedness, or my medicinal laughter because of them -helped me. But the truth is, things like those are vital. I survive on those small moments as they happen daily, and I’m surely not alone in that feeling.

Life is fragile, not just our physical life; but our hearts too. Cruel words, a mean attitude, and general negativity affect us. They affect our day, our sleep, our happiness, and when it comes to feeling “ok” or “not ok” it’s the small things that make a difference and keep us going. Two of my favorite small things are love and kindness. THAT is how we make a difference.

Wednesday, March 28

Balance… and imbalance


After a concussion and then a car accident, I’ve recently had reason to wish for balance. I had an abundance of vertigo and dizziness, with the concussion. Once that left, the car accident gave me whiplash and a lack of balance in all areas even without the vertigo or dizziness reappearing. I easily lose physical balance, but in addition to that, I have found there is now an emotional need for balance. Because what comes with a car accident? The need to find another car, countless phone calls and appointments to put everything right again... My balance of simple/busy life has tipped the scales to busy leaving me wishing for simple again. And with my physical balance still and issue even though the vertigo and dizziness are gone I’m continuing to dwell on the word BALANCE mostly because of whiplash and neck pain. Physical imbalance makes it almost impossible to have a good attitude and be willing to exert oneself beyond what in the immediate moment you could call “comfort”.

I’ve started getting massages to help. The muscle relaxants make me feel shit in my whole body, so it’s just trading one form of feeling shit for another. NOT what I want. So these massages are a new experience for me. I’ve never had so much physical attention to my bones and muscles finding I hurt in places I didn’t know were hurting. But I’m also experiencing that its when I am laying on that massage table that I am closest to feeling balance. At least that was the case today as this “desire for balance” was in the forefront of my mind. When it comes to having a massage, if I’m not present in the massage I am wasting the opportunity to be there. And why would I want to waste a massage? Ya, I don’t.

This lesson of being present for the massage has come about because of a realization with my work schedules that are ever changing. There is no point stressing myself out trying to remember what time I work each day and each week. So how I stop my mind from going out of balance is to stop my mind from the attempt to remember. I remove the need to remember by looking at when I work the day before. This keeps me present and doesn’t fill my mind with unnecessary information. If I need to know I can look it up.

I also got myself a dry erase board for the fridge that holds a fortnights worth of upcoming appointments. My memory since the car accident is pretty crap, and so I kind of have no choice but to put my appointments in one place. Doing so on the fridge… somewhere I visit each morning is like giving myself a place to trust instead of my memory.

I am also leaving a job because it is forever tipping me to imbalance. I can no longer work such long hours when mental and physical are non-stop. The need to take a break and relax is a real need.10-12 hours of working straight is something my dog hates me doing too… and I also need balance for her. She’s a priority I paid a lot of money for, and she too cares about long work hours.

Am I naive in wanting to find balance in existence irrespective of me? I want balance to BE. What I mean is, whether it is me or someone else that walks into the room the environment is balance, not the individual entering. Which isn’t to say I don’t want to be balance or HAVE TO be balance—because frankly—if the environment is balance then my turning up and also being balance is a successful situation, and I’ve said it before, success takes us to happiness, and what is happiness? (the meaning of life when I’m the one answering that question.) I want to be balance without being the balance generator. I feel like this might be daydreaming. I can’t be the only person out there seeing the great need for balance.

Here… it’s like rims and tires… I don’t want to be the rims or the tires. Or even the alignment for that matter. Id rather turn up and do the part as the tire tread. If I also have to be the entire tire, I’m left wondering just how effective the rims are, and considering my need to be rims too. Balanced rims and tires mean my tread is totally useful and needed as a balanced part of this “system”. Concentrating on my role of helping the vehicle move forward safely. Some people in this world want to be the tread, the tire, the rims, and the whole damn vehicle. But you know what that is? Imbalance. I don’t care what aspect of life you look at, whether it’s what you put in your body (food/drink/drugs), how you treat your body (exhaustion/abuse/respect), and where you stand emotionally (lack/steady/excessive), you will “succeed at living” when you find balance. Learning to see when too much is too much, when scarcity is too severe, and learning (or just finally seeing) where balance is and how you capture it.

I have glimpses of balance, I’m going to use those to get more of it.