Breathing Instead of Bailing

In case you haven’t noticed, I trashed the “What No Longer Serves You” post.  Since I decided to return here to this space I didn’t want my bailing out post to be hanging out there anymore.  Obviously, bailing wasn’t the answer to my search.  It reminded me more than anything that I’m still searching and it sucks to not be able to talk about it.  It seems a bit silly, but I realized coming here gives me a sense of purpose.  It exercises my craft but more importantly it exercises my soul.  When I take my reactions and my feelings and I put them into words and out into the world I learn more about who I am and where I’m going.

I physically bailed on this blog on August 27th when I published that last post, but I mentally bailed at the beginning of the summer.  At that point I lost touch with friends (such as Musing Madman) who challenged me and helped guide my spiritual development, I stopped making time for silence, and I let my mind carry me to the future far too often.  I spent oh so many hours dwelling on goals and desires that I fear will never come to fruition.  I let the fears grip me to the point of paralysis.  I let gratitude slide and my breathing become shallow.

I mention breath because it really is a metaphor for life.  Shallow breath usually comes along with anxious feelings and anxious feelings usually accompany shallow thoughts.  When you breathe deeply and consciously, you can’t help but live that way too.  I’m reading the Paul Ferrini book, Silence of the Heart, now.  It begins with a few pages about breath.  It points out that whenever you are upset you can stop and observe that you are not breathing (or not breathing deeply).  If in that moment you take a few deep breaths you will feel some relief from that angst.  “One who breathes is not afraid or overwhelmed by what life presents….”

I hope that this post is the first of many.  I hope I can find solace and inspiration in both the silence and the breath.  I know I have experienced great peace from them in the past.  Yet in the moment, returning to that peace is a challenge that should be easy but strangely isn’t.  I took a minor detour on my path to self-discovery.  I lost myself a bit in fear.  I wanted answers that are simply not ready for me yet.  Now I’m easing my way back to surrender…

Out-Numbered’s Click

I’ve been following @OutnumberedIsMe on Twitter for some time now.  I read his blog from time to time and it falls into the category of blogs that make me laugh out loud.  He is a much-loved personality in the blogosphere and Twittersphere so I decided one day to send him a request for a click story.  He quickly replied with a yes and sent me a few links later that day.  This was, to me, the most moving in a personal way of those he sent.  It truly caught the essence of the “click moment.”  So thank you, Mr. Outnumbered, for allowing me to publish this post and for the talent, humor, and generosity you send out into the world.

For my family…

The bathroom in my bedroom has a window right behind the toilet.

This morning I was peeing and staring out into the yard.

I spotted a bumble bee crawling across the roof.


The seasons can signify many things. I suppose it depends on who you are.

For most, I would imagine they bring hope, change or inspiration. Perhaps all three.

But not me.

I don’t think I’ve ever needed the Spring as much as I do now.

The sun is like an awakening of sorts. Its bright light can change everything in an instant. There’s something about the warmth, the light, the smell of green.

So I’ve heard.

I’ve needed a change for quite some time. So long, that it’s hard for me to explain. It might be easier for me to speak in metaphors. I’m not quite ready to talk about all of this. But I need to let it go.

Suppose for the past 30 years you had been walking in the cold, gray, Winter. What if you’d watched countless seasons come and go but the Spring had always eluded you?

What if most days seemed as if they were filled with dark clouds and rain? So much rain. Imagine the Winter never left and Spring never came.

What would you do?

What could you do?

I can feel the Spring today. I can feel it for the first time in a long time.

For 30 years, I’ve carried a huge burden with me. I’ve harbored a lot of anger. I’ve tucked years of resentment so far down in my soul that I had forgotten it was even there.

But it was there.



Resentment has been the foundation for a wall I’ve built so high that I couldn’t even see over the top of it.

Concrete. Brick. Mortar. Repeat.

Mom, Dad, Wife, Children, Friends.

All on the other side.

My parents got divorced when I was 9. I remember the night they told me. I think that was the beginning. That night I locked the door to my heart and threw away the key. I wouldn’t ever talk about it again. I wouldn’t bother anyone. I wouldn’t listen to anyone.

I wouldn’t do anything.

I spent the last 30 years avoiding contact. I did whatever it took to stay at an arms length away. I wouldn’t let anyone even remotely close for more than a moment. I was afraid.

What could a 9 year old boy be so afraid of? What could a 39 year old man, with a job, a house and a family, be so scared of?

It’s simple.

I was afraid of being disappointed. I was afraid of being let down. I was afraid that it would happen all over again.

I was angry at my Father for leaving and I resented my Mother for letting him go.

It’s amazing what the mind will do to preserve one’s own sanity. Or maybe it’s just tragic.

I would take care of myself. I would wedge anything and everything between me and anyone who wanted a piece of me.

I would use alcohol, pills, food, whatever it took to numb the pain. I would self medicate for 30 years. I even used this blog. Especially this blog. It’s the perfect form of contact. It’s indirect. It’s not real. It’s safe because you can’t get too close to me…

Until now.

I’m changing.

I can feel it. For the first time, I’m starting to let go. I’m turning over the reins to a power greater than myself. I’m letting the resentment go and I’m inviting the ones that I love back in. I’m putting trust in faith. I’m having faith in trust.

These past few weeks have been hard. But not nearly as hard as all of the weeks prior. Over a thousand weeks gone for good. So much wasted time.

I must do this. I will not waste any more time.

I’ve taken some big steps to make things right. Things I’m not ready to talk about right now. Not here.

Today I felt the Spring for the first time in a long time.

It’s never felt so fucking good…

Elizabeth’s Click

Elizabeth found my blog and responded to my “writer’s wanted” request by sending me this great click!  After you have enjoyed the story below you can visit her blog here.

I’ve never been able to run. I can remember sixth grade PE, sprinting the 50-yard dash and hating it. My arms and legs didn’t talk to each other, didn’t move in sync. I looked like a circus act, the girl spinning all the plates in different directions. My plates were my limbs.

I’ve always pitied “runners,” how they have to have their fix, whether on vacation, or down with the flu, despite flash flood warnings and lightening strikes. I despised their complaints about missing a run, how they were “off” that day because they didn’t get their six or nine miles in. Poor me, I’m a runner and couldn’t run today. Pull out the violin.

I’ve thought runners were running away from something, like people become newborn Christians after a tough divorce or alcoholics start hitting meetings after waking up one too many times in the gutter. I didn’t see the benefit of escapism, didn’t think I was hostage to any bonds that needed breaking.

Running was the last thing in life I wanted to do, right after swimming with sharks and joining the Marines.

Last summer, through a series of small and unrelated events, I discovered the true path of a runner: A runner isn’t sprinting away from anything, she’s running to something, or someone or somewhere so important to her that she simply cannot make it through the day if she doesn’t at least try to get there.

I get it now.

I’ve run three half marathons and pair of 10ks in the last several months. It’s only 13.1 miles a pop, but I’m proud of myself, proud of the hundreds of miles I’ve put into training. My confidence is at its peak; my body stronger than it’s ever been in my life. I’ve become an athlete at the age of 43. Unbelievable.

I am a leaner, lustier version of myself. I am the no-nonsense me everyone used to know, love and sometimes fear. I celebrate the return of the me who took bullshit from no one; the me who vowed never to become complacent or lose her way in life, but sadly did.

I no longer shun mirrors, and actually pause now and then to smile at myself. I seek, rather than refuse, confrontation, and as a result have enjoyed some thrilling showdowns. Modesty is out the window; bad news for my kids and the dressing room boy at the Gap, but good news for my creepy neighbor. My closet is a fun place to be again, especially because everything in it is new and smaller and sleeker. The bitch is back with a purse full of spark and sass.

I refuse to step on a scale for fear of getting lost in the numbers game. Pound for pound, I have no idea how much of me is gone. I used to joke that is doesn’t matter how you feel on the inside, but how good you look on the outside. I was so wrong. They’re intertwined: you can’t be beautiful on the outside if your insides are hurting. And if you’re beautiful on the inside, you’ll shine like a penny.

More benefits of my transformation? For the first time, my body is a fuel-burning machine. Thanks to its hum, I can eat whatever and whenever I want. I used to eat nothing and keep my weight. Now my taste buds dance and my body continues to carve what I think is becoming a delicious figure.

One of my brothers was inspired to walk after viewing my improved physique in running clothes. At 40, he’s seeing what a lot of guys his age are: that little fluff of dough that hangs over the belt. Chicks call theirs “muffin tops.” If I can galvanize him to better his health, my job as a big sister is complete.

Who are those I am running to? I run to my friend and soul mate, Chris, who I lost last summer without a goodbye but who cheers me on from above with a bunch of obnoxious claps. I run to my family, and to the promises of lifetime love and laughter I’ve made to my children. I run to their smiles and the smell of their skin, to their complete understanding why running is so important to Mommy. I run to my father, who I miss desperately, despite seeing him daily in the faces of my kids. I run to my mother, once so vital and strong, who I’m afraid can’t take care of herself anymore, and who finally seeks care from me. I run to three brothers who each need a big sister for different reasons; I want to be all of their reasons, every single one of their answers.

I run to my cousins (who invited me to my first half marathon) and their daughters, to the bond of four women united by the love of their mothers and the laughter that causes them to wet their pants. I run to friendships and decades, to intimacy without judgment or prompt, to those that love and respect the old me as much as the new one encourages them. I run to those that challenge and inspire me to be a better person, inside and out. I run to those I write to, to those who read between my lines, whether succinct or sauntering. I run to those who need me. I run to those that run to me.

Most of all, and this is the truly spectacular part, the concept I still can’t wrap my head entirely around. For the first time in my life, I see myself as something worth running to. I am running to myself. Away is no longer an option. Bring on the mileage.


I think that there are two kinds of jealousy.  There is the kind that causes you to react.  This is the jealousy that was illustrated in last Monday night’s episode of How I Met Your Mother.  It’s a fearful jealousy that comes out of a belief that you are going to lose something.  It often causes you to behave detrimentally.  In that episode of my favorite sitcom, Jenkins tells Lilly that she has kissed Marshall and is very sorry.  Lilly reacts with a jealous rage and clobbers her.  This kind of jealousy (as illustrated) fuels revenge and rage and keeps you completely tuned out from your true self.

But there is another kind of jealousy that causes you to connect with your true self and take action (or at least plant the seeds for action).  I have to thank my friend Kelly for inspiring this post.  I decided to write it after a conversation I had with her a couple of weeks ago.  About four and a half years ago I was at a playgroup.  At the time Bella was still in diapers, still nursing and I was pregnant with Callee.  I was totally and completely in the Mommy Zone.  I would get together a few times a week with my friends and their babies and we would talk about motherhood.  During this particular playdate we were discussing how many kids we all wanted to have.  At the time I wanted three, maybe four.  One of the moms in the group said “Well, if I could write a best seller than I would definitely have four children.”  I got so jealous when she said this, but not because she wanted four kids but because she mentioned writing a book.  All of a sudden, I remembered how much I had loved writing and I was jealous.  I believe that that was the moment where the writer in me woke up and the seed was planted.  It didn’t happen right away but obviously over the next few years I started writing again.  It is yet to be determined as to whether or not I will crank out a best-seller.  (I have had several moments of jealousy while reading or thinking about Stephenie Meyer.)

The conclusion Kelly came to during our conversation is that if you get jealous of something someone else is doing, maybe it is because you are meant to do it too.  These days, every once in a while I’ll find myself feeling envious while reading a blog.  I have attracted into my life so many charismatic and talented writers that I can’t help but be in awe at the response they illicit from their readers.  Before I talked with Kelly about the topic of jealousy, I’d give myself a hard time for feeling the way I felt.  Now I realize that it is a seed to inspire me to take action, practice, and improve my abilities.

The next time you find yourself feeling envious, first figure out which kind of jealousy you’re feeling.  Is it the kind that makes you angry?  Is it the kind that makes you want to react (in a not so positive manner)? OR is it the kind that makes you excited and inspired?  Does it make you want to act in a manner that will improve your standing in the world?  Start paying attention to these feelings and asking the questions.  It may just guide you toward a new hobby, talent, or career!

The Devil Made Me Do It

A while back I mentioned in a post that I do not believe in The Devil and needless to say all hell broke loose (no pun intended).  I have finally mustered up the nerve to write about why it is I feel this way.

First off I will say that I do buy into the idea of evil energies.  There is no doubt there are sociopaths that commit evil deeds without any real motive at all.  An author and psychic I’ve read, Sylvia Browne, has written her theories on these people.  She suggest that their  “punishment” for the evil they possess is to reincarnate over and over again without ever finding peace in the afterlife.  In essence, her idea is that the earthly life and body is hell for them.  This seems like a reasonable theory, although I am not sure if I believe it completely.

What I do believe is that the vast majority of us are inherently good.  We are all interwoven and connected and the thread that binds us is the divinity within us.  I think that we have two forces working on and in our lives: God and Ego.  God is the driving force that fills us with excitement and inspiration.  God is the tug in our chest or inner voice that screams at us not to get in the car on the day of the accident. (If you remember a lot of people were spared on 9/11 b/c they listened to an inner voice that urged them to change the routine.)  God is the love that fills our hearts when our friends find success and peace in their lives.  When we follow that voice we are left feeling a zest for life.  The other voice is our Ego.  Ego screams to us out of fear.  It tells us there is not enough.  It manifests itself as greed, jealousy, anxiety, confusion, and rage.  Ego tells us we are all alone and the only way to find our place is to jump on the closest bandwagon and hold on for dear life.  Just like God, Ego is a part of all of us.  Ego is our human nature and it is the closest thing to The Devil that exists.

Personally I think very often people confuse God with The Devil.  I don’t think God wants us to get complacent.  God forces us to ask questions and seek answers.  Sometimes that is scary, sometimes it means walking away from a relationship, job, or religion that has felt like a foundation in our lives.  Sometimes we misunderstand God’s guidance and make mistakes.  Sometimes our mistakes are God’s plan because they bring us closer to the reality of who we are and what is valuable in our lives.  Because of this, I think that “the devil made me do it” or “the devil is pulling me away” is a cop out excuse.  If questions arise in your life and new ideas are presented to you, it may just be God offering you a new path to explore.  The real “devil” in this situation is the EGO that screams at you to cling to old ideas even if they are no longer serving you and the world.

Most of what I have written thus far is just my opinion and may come across as judgmental, but I did want to close on one final note as to why I do not believe in The Devil.  Omnipotence!  If God is Omnipotent than how can there be a force strong enough to outwit God on occasion?  If God is Omnipresent than how can there be an outside force that pulls people away from God?  I do not believe there is.  God is all powerful and always with us.  It is our choice, free will, to decide if we want to wake up to that connection or stay trapped in the duality of humanity.  (I also wanted to mention that I was first presented with the idea in this paragraph…which makes more sense to me than anything else…in Joel S. Goldsmith’s teachings.)

A Love Song

So here I am late at night, well it’s 10:30 -late for me.  This is the first time I’ve let the blog get this close to the wire without having something prepared for 7am post time.  A lot of things have been on my mind today, but I’ve also had a very busy day.  At writing group tonight I was asked why I blog.  “Why do you put yourself through it?”  Someone asked.  I didn’t have a good answer to give in the moment.  We went on to talk about privacy and the importance of it.  I have been known to spew my stuff to whoever’s closest.  I have also tried to be more private and be discerning of who is trustworthy.  I try to abstain from complaining as much as possible.  But for whatever reason I have chosen to come here and let my stuff hang out.   When I read non-fiction I connect with the authors.  I have  written emails to those writers who have inspired me and introduced me to a new perspective.  Maybe that’s what I’m trying to do here.   I think I will continue doing it because I love it and  (like I read in Bridget Asher’s blog) the positive feedback feels good.  One person saying they are inspired by what they read here is worth far more than 10 people saying I suck (or whatever else).  I am rethinking the way I present my blog.  I no longer plan to post on Facebook for those of you who arrive here via that.  I have decided that if someone is meant to find me, they will.  I’m not going to hang the sign out any longer.

Now to get to the reason this post is titled “A Love Song.”  When I woke up this morning I checked Twitter and there was a re-tweet from @heavywhisper that posted a song and said something about taking away their man card for liking the song.  Well of course it sparked my curiousity and I had to listen.  I remember the song, but never really listened to it.  The lyrics are beautiful and you could even interpret it as a love song to God or at least in honor of God.  So I wanted to post it here because it touched my soul.