Dancing Through My Life

for may 24
May 23rd holds special significance for me. It is a day of happiness, celebration, peace. It was hard-earned and I will carry the battle scars with me forever more. May 23rd represents the day I really became free.
The day I liberated myself legally from a marriage that was unhealthy, toxic and negative.
I understand intellectually, that as I’ve lived, survived and thrived this year, May 23rd is a legal emancipation and that my real freedom began that day I knew I needed and wanted to be free, go forth and stand tall and strong in my center. In my power. With my cape, shield, bracelets and boots on the ground.
Yet in our society we celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and arrival days. I’ve been celebrating this divorce since the moment the papers were signed. I was stunned. I looked at the lawyers who hugged me and didn’t know how to feel. Was it really over? Was the legal battle to be free done? I laughed, I cried, I talked. I walked. I danced. And then I danced a little more. For weeks anytime I was with friends and Warriors we celebrated. It was a happy time. They, too, had fought the battle with me, standing side by side as we looked into darkness.
And then there was light.
May 23rd.
Even though papers were signed by all parties involved, including a judge it took until July 7th for everything to be completely settled, because even then, the thief I was formerly married to was still playing a power game that was over. My lawyers had to get back involved. My financial team had to go above their pay grade in order to access what was mine.
And what was mine was mine. Free and clear. I would never recoup all of the funds this liar and thief had stolen, hidden and tried to give away. I would end up paying legal fees in the amount that could fund a small third-world country for three years. My lawyers had done their best, but in the end, there was a lot that couldn’t be accounted for in the years that this former spouse spent freely while locking me out of all accounts and changing passwords. In fact, for over a year I lived on a credit card while he freely helped himself to marital funds. Time and again this was brought to the other legal team’s attention. Luckily, I had a legal team that could do math, wanted to see me treated fairly and had their boots on the ground.
Here’s where I am now.
I have the choice with what to do with my past. I can’t ever change the fact that the wolf in sheep’s clothing I married lied, cheated and stole. I can’t change the fact that he forged my name on documents twenty years into the marriage and started a secret fund in his name only funded with marital assets. I can’t change the fact that twenty years into the marriage he changed a will that not only cut me out of everything but actually stated that. I cannot change the fact that someone broke into the house I was living in, (sometimes taking things), and once even tossing my bedroom looking for something. I can’t change the fact that my season tickets to the Muny have been high-jacked. I can’t change the fact that normal, every-day parenting/mothering was turned against me to create an unhealthy, untrue narrative.
I cannot change the fact that I was married to a very unhealthy narcissist. Who choose to drag kids into a legal battle and use them in his fight. I cannot change the fact that this thief continued to move money around without my knowledge or consent and lies to the kids about what was and is happening. The process of alienation started long before I became aware of the lies and narrative being used to suit his needs. When you see and hear something often enough and are too young, inexperienced and scared to ask questions and trust your heart, unfortunately you accept this as truth and act on it.
There are NEVER too many people who can love our kids.
I cannot turn back time.
What I can do?
I can learn from my past, not get stuck in it; learn the lessons and continue in my journey of healthy, fun, light, kindness and purpose. I’ve felt those feelings, but I’m not going to get blocked in those feelings. I am strong. I’ve handled what I had no idea I could handle. I can simply move forward and not let any of the past (or present crazy) get to me. I refuse to project onto my present or my future the toxicity of my past. I was bullied and didn’t trust my gut or my instincts.
I trust them now. I trust me, I trust my gut.
Since I’VE been gone… I can breathe…I’m so moving on. I’m a bad-ass Warrior.
The people in my world, old friends and new can see this new light….and I can, too. It feels amazing. This is what freedom is. This is what it’s like to make my own choices, stand in my power, and believe in myself and the life I’m choosing. Me? I’m going to be okay. I already am….one day at a time. One step in front of the other. Energy and focus on the positive. Kindness and love are always the answer.

No journey is easy, and I understand that. However, I also know that life is what I make it. How I respond to the stressors in my world. Over the past two years, especially this last year, I’ve grown into a woman I am proud of. I’ve shaken off the past in more ways than one. I know who I am. I know the mother I was and am. Nobody ever can take that away from my kids and I. I will continue to live in the light; sending out love and prayers, listening to the messages around me from teachers of all sorts and the Universe. I continue to sparkle…

May 23rd holds special significance for me. It is a day of happiness, celebration, peace. It was hard-earned and I will carry the battle scars with me forever more. May 23rd represents the day I really became free. It’s time. I’m going to dance right through my life.
I’m gonna make it after all.

Advertisements

Beach Trip and Warrior Mermaid

La Jolla

I am in my happy place.
The beach.
Always the beach.
The ocean is healing for me, a Water Girl.
The ocean often calls to me…and given the chance, the beach is always my first destination of choice. (followed closely by NYC)
Wondering if I’m part Mermaid. (I know I’m definitely part Warrior Mermaid!)
What made this beach/beach trip even better is who I was with. I’ve traveled to San Diego with two amazing Warrior girlfriends who laugh and just want to have fun. We are all easy with one another and the plans or no-plans; we have different strengths and perceptions of life. We have wildly different backgrounds and so much in common.
A few months ago as I was listening to spring break plans, I realized I needed a spring break myself. No longer on a school schedule, my spring break could be anytime. At brunch one Saturday after our dance class, sitting at the bar at the Shack over omelets I casually asked Sandye and Lisa, “Want to go on a trip somewhere?”
The words were barely out of my mouth when both of them said, “YES!” and “Where?” and “When?”
Well, that was easy.
Having never been to San Diego, I threw it out as an option.
It was the only option, as both women said, “Yes, let’s do it.”
Within five hours of that conversation, I had booked us airfare for a weekend in San Diego in April. It would prove to be one of the most enjoyable trips of my life.
Know this. My suit-case and backpack are always packed-on standby for lift-off. I’m ready to go at a moment’s notice. Well, I say that, because I’d like to believe it, but give me a couple days, and I will travel with you anywhere. Will I over-pack? Unfortunately yes. Will I end up wearing the same thing a million times? Yes. Will I care about any of that? Not really.
I’m about the adventure, the fun, the comradery. The exploration.
This trip at this time was especially significant for me.
I had been having a rougher time than usual in a place in my life I didn’t expect and certainly don’t deserve. One place in my world brings me such sadness and melancholy, which I knew in my soul, the beach would be a good place for inspiration and healing. I just didn’t’ know at the time how much I would need that.
Why, you might ask, if I feel this way about the beach, don’t I pick myself up and move? A few reasons-first, my tribe of Warriors including my sister Staci have kept me sane, grounded and connected. They live here. Second, I can’t take my dog out of state (long story.) Lastly, maybe it’s not time for me quite yet to live full out Mermaid.
We traveled on a Wednesday laughing on the plane and touching ground by 8pm. The hotel sent us a car. We were in our correct room (don’t ask) by 10pm. The resort lost electricity for ten minutes which made us question ourselves.
Not for long. The next morning we headed to Pacific Beach for breakfast at Kona, a local, surfer hang-out and walked two miles along the beach and boardwalk, sunning ourselves. Heading to Coronado Island that afternoon we tripped up the steps through the lobby on the advice of our Uber driver finding a magical land meant for us surely? Finding ourselves on the beach, we played and walked, danced on the beach and did yoga poses and even found gold in the sand. It was here that I had the second best chocolate chip cookie of my life. That evening found us in Little Italy admiring the pretty people and enjoying yummy Italian food. The next day we decided to head to La Jolla, a perfectly Dr. Seuss-like place that boasts seals and their pups ON the beach, around the beach and sunning themselves. I’ve never been that close to a seal. They reminded me of dogs as they curled themselves together and barked at one another. Babies played in the water. I had the idea they were observing us as much as we observed them. Though our resort had two rescued seals, who I talked to whenever I had the chance, there is nothing like seeing animals in their natural habitat.
That afternoon, we went to Georges-of the “million dollar views”. Honestly, I’m not sure how long we were on the veranda, however, this particular day really felt like a vacation day. We relaxed, laughed and slowly enjoyed our view and our lunch. On Saturday we strolled the short walk to Mission Beach stopping at the WE Care Café and surf shop. Their mission is to build animal shelters-their acai frozen fruit bowls are what heaven must surely serve. Favorite breakfast of my life-fruit, sorbet, granola and chocolate. Oh, and it was called The Mermaid Bowl.
I spent most late afternoons in a cabana on the bay at our hotel. Glimpsing the ocean, I pounced on the opportunity to feel the sand and the surf whenever I could and knew that I would need some time to myself on the beach.
After breakfast on the beach, as Sandye and Lisa collected seashells, I had the opportunity to commune with the ocean, the waves, the Universe and anything else that would listen. I had received good advice before I left, “Find your happy place, dancing or imagining the beach. Keep breathing and know in this moment you can choose happiness and love. One day at a time. Leave it all out there. Toss it into the ocean. Perfect timing. Amazing what nature can do…especially the beach,” Sandy Tomey suggested. I decided that I was going to let the beach start to heal me.
And that’s what I did.
I walked, I talked, I sang, I cried. I prayed. I thought of those two special people who have been hurt as much as I have been and sent love, kindness and special mother-prayers to them and to the Universe, knowing that I would continue to keep my heart open. I returned to the beach later that day and sat looking into the horizon. It had been a journey to reach this place and I knew once more that I needed and wanted to talk with the Universe…and those two special people. I sent out the message that I wanted them to hear-with all the mother’s love in my heart….and, then…let it all go, took deep breaths and crossed my fingers.
Before heading to Old Town that evening to enjoy Mexican food and the birthplace of California, ogling the handsome men (well I did) and flirting with the waiter (well, I did.) I had the good fortune to connect with two very good friends for lunch. They were what I needed as well-people who know me and offered solid advice, “You are doing an amazing job of survival and sparkle maintenance. Keep it up. XO”
Over the course of five days, we also interviewed our Uber drivers (stay tuned for that blog), laughed more than I’ve laughed in a long time, danced on the beach and anywhere we could find, shared dessert, walked the beaches, explored a beautiful place and understood on a deeper level, that these moments are as important as anything else. Why we want to be with people who love and accept us. Catch us when we fall, dance on the beach with us; allow us to BE who we are.
This was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. I needed the release of the beach and the ocean. The healing powers of my Mermaid kin as I talked with the Universe and sent my messages of love and hope; the hugs of amazing Warrior girlfriends who intuitively understood my need for the ocean and the waves. The smiles and laughter that we shared over the weekend in my happy place.
I’m gonna make it after all.

Celebrating National Siblings Day!

for blog

This piece was written in 20ll. It still holds true today….

It’s National “I’m Glad I Have a Sister” Month

Okay, well, there really isn’t a month like this yet, but there needs to be! About twenty minutes ago I hung up the phone with my sister after talking to her for, oh, I don’t know, about twenty minutes. We can talk about anything and nothing. We can talk every day for a week straight and then not talk for a few days because we get so incredibly busy and then talk again for a week straight.

My sister Staci is three years and nine months younger than me. Four years really in things that mattered when she was 8 and I was 12. Three years in school. And now, well, we are of the same generation, so I really don’t think about the difference in our ages, except when it is so obvious that I am older.

Often, much to her delight I tell people I am the younger sister. At first she was indignant; now she just laughs. My sister is the one person in this entire world that simply knows exactly who and what I am and doesn’t care. She knows that I love (and can watch) Sex and the City reruns for months on end. She knows that if we go out to lunch I am either completely on my healthy food life style (I hate the word diet) or we will pig-out with chocolate. She knows all my secrets (yes, I did indeed love John Travolta as Vinny Barbarino in Welcome Back Kotter).

My sister pretty much knows all about my life and I about hers, yet we never, ever divulge any secrets or facts to anyone else. She knows my friends and I know hers. We don’t really share any, but her friends are friendly towards me and mine are towards her. She handles all the hard stuff with our mother and I handled all the yukky stuff with our father. The system works for us.

My sister is the one that I run everything by because she is THE nicest person in the entire world. I have said this before and I continue to say it. She really is. She is just really nice. People like her. Where I am opinionated, my sister is able to stay neutral. Where I might fly off the handle (who, me?), my sister is able to stay calm. Where I may hold a grudge, my sister encourages me to let it go. Where I want to know everything, go everywhere and meet everyone, my sister is content to tag along for the fun. And she does.

I have the MOST fun with my sister. I have a great time with my girlfriends, I really do, however, my sister and I have a short-hand. I don’t have to completely explain myself to my sister ever. And where I don’t have to explain myself to my friends, for some reason, sisters sort of just allow this.

Last summer, my mom took my sister and me to New York City for an entire week of Broadway Shows, yummy food and enough walking to last a lifetime. I was in charge of finding the fun, my sister was in charge of getting us there (she is really good with a map) and my mom was in charge of paying for everything. All in all, a great deal for all three of us. For some reason our positive attributes just sort of filled themselves in. My mom made sure we got to the shows on time, I made sure we didn’t miss anything, and Staci, well, she directed us north or south.

We had the greatest week. We loved the shows and meeting the actors and dancers afterwards (my idea). We loved walking through the different neighborhoods and seriously eating whenever and whatever we wanted. Though I directed us each day, the one thing my sister thought would be really fun, (but I just could NOT see myself getting on a tour bus) was to take the Sex and the City Tour. It ended up being three of the most hilarious hours of our life.

Often, my sister and I try to catch up with a movie and lunch. Over the years, our activities have changed as we grew older. We shopped for many years when we had disposable income. Now, we see movies. We also get our kids together whenever practical. Three of them are the same age, and the youngest (Staci’s God-daughter) goes along with the big kids. Our kids have a good time together. Her kids love the freedom of my house (“the kids? They’re outside playing.”) and my kids love the anything goes of her house (“the kids? They’re watching TV. /playing a video game/wii”) Yet it works. Really works. It seems great that all four of these kids can feel comfortable in either house with any set of parents and each other.

I know I don’t tell her often enough how much I truly appreciate her. I love my girlfriends and feel incredibly fortunate to have them. But, I would be lost without this sister of mine. How blessed am I to have had the opportunity to be HER sister. Staci, Happy National “I’m Glad I Have a Sister” month!!! WE’RE gonna make it after all!!!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Blue Jeans

edited version
When the weather turned colder and I could no longer live in gym shorts, work-out skirts and yoga pants, I turned to one of my favorite items of clothing.
My blue jeans.
I have different pairs for different reasons. I know you are smiling, because you do, too. There are skinny jeans, faded out jeans, hiking jeans, movie jeans, going-out-jeans, dancing jeans. It’s part of my uniform with rotating boots, sandals and tank tops. I love my blue jeans.
But a funny thing happened on the way to my blue jeans this year.
Nothing fit. They were all tight. That uncomfortable tight-read: I can zip them, but cannot sit down.
This cannot be, I thought. Yes, I ate a LOT of ice cream last year living with my sister (totally fun), however I STILL worked-out; dancing, lifting weights, hot yoga, walking. Why would my jeans not fit?
Don’t answer that.
I figured it out.
I had simply gone off course again. Time and again in my life, I have been different sizes. Yes, muscle weighs more than fat (this is my story and I’m sticking with it) and yes, lean, long muscles change how your body looks at feels. I never weigh myself-only once a year at the doctor and I have this game I play with the nurse: “If I’m not 117, don’t tell me.”
She has yet to tell me.
What had happened? Muscle may weigh more than fat, but blue jeans don’t lie. I believed I had long, lean muscles, well as long and lean as you can get at 5/4”.
While blue jeans don’t lie and I could tell myself anything I wanted, I knew exactly what was happening. There was a LOT of chocolate-it’s dark and it’s healthy-I kept telling myself…therefore good for me. There was no ice cream in my house, but enough dark chocolate of varying kinds to stop anyone in their tracks.
It wasn’t even that I was eating food that wasn’t healthy and nutritious. I think I was just eating TOO much. And because it was healthy I thought it was okay. As we all know even healthy food has its limits. I wasn’t paying attention to HOW I was feeling when eating. I might feel full; however, I reasoned healthy food takes up less space. I really do NOT like that full feeling….i especially like feeling LIGHT (and yes I really like the feeling that I have a flat tummy…no judgement!)
I spent the better part of the fall frustrated. Yes, I had jeans that fit, including my skinny jeans, but they were not comfortable. I began alternating a few pairs that had been stretched out. Still uncomfortable, but at least wearable.
And…I have this one pair that I just know IF they fit, then I’m at my fighting weight. I love those jeans.
I couldn’t zip them.
No matter what I tried, nothing worked. I was starving by 4 in the afternoon.
Then a combination of things happened.
Attending a Whole 30 discussion with my friend Sandye’s daughter, Coach Kelly I discovered that I wasn’t eating enough protein in the morning. She suggested a few minor changes-sharing a protein packed/veggie frittata recipe which I make once a week. This changed everything. I use egg whites and added ground beef or pork. After a doctor’s appointment, I switched to ground turkey breast which is lighter. I am no longer starving mid-morning.
In fact, about this time, I stopped eating red meat. This cheeseburger queen had a choice. Cheeseburgers and fries…or jeans that fit. I know it sounds crazy, but once I made the decision, I no longer wanted it. This isn’t to say I didn’t indulge every now and then…I did, I’m human.
Then, I saw my friend Karen who looked incredible. She always did, but there was something different-she had slimmed down considerably. You could tell how good she felt. When I asked her she said, “I cut out sugar and carbs. I’m eating protein and veggies. I’ve been doing it since we were at your house talking about it.” That was about three months prior. All that happened in three months? “The best thing? I don’t crave sugar anymore.”
Wait. What?
She didn’t crave sugar. I’m a sugar addict. I’ve craved it all of my life.
About this same time, Dr. Oz appeared on The Today Show advocating eating according to your circadian rhythm; eating only when it was light outside. Healthy protein and veggies at breakfast, a bigger lunch with protein and veggies, snacking on nuts and a small salad at dinner. Hmmm, I could do this. It was worth a try.
Trading red meat for fish and chicken, changing my mind-set, keeping those jeans in mind I very slowly began eating differently. I ate twice as many veggies, snacking on red peppers and sugar snap peas. Egg whites became afternoon emergency snacks and I tweaked a protein bar recipe that included sunflower nut butter, shredded coconut and egg white protein powder. (This also included mini chocolate chips-a girl has to live). I also was very cautious about alcohol. I’m a one-drink girl anyway.
I allowed myself a cheat day because according to my friend Jenny this provided an out for me. I knew Saturday was coming, so I could get through the week. Those first few Saturdays I indulged so much it took all of Sunday to recalibrate. It was not worth it. “Moderation,” Jenny reminded me.
Gradually…it all began to come together. I continued to try on those jeans, and I could tell they were beginning to fit. I was actually feeling better. In addition, I stopped craving sugar, too. Me, the Sugar Queen.
Taking care of myself concerns all aspects of my world-emotionally, physically, spiritually. Fitting into my jeans is a good reason to continue to eat healthy and work-out. I still have dark chocolate every day (you only live once)…and those jeans are fitting better and better every day. I’m gonna make it after all.

Field of Dreams

Pixie Dust

Besides Kevin Costner being in this movie and making it one of my favorites I love the simple message embedded into the story. “If you build it, they will come.” Although this was a baseball field for real and imaginary players, it made me wonder if I continue to build a happy, peaceful, serene life…what might come of it?
It’s so easy to get bogged down in the not-so- pleasant, grouchy part of life. Life is messy, unpredictable and imperfect. Lucky us. When things don’t go our way, or the way we think they need to, we have the perfect opportunity to let ourselves shine. When we experience disappointment, frustration, sadness or anger, its okay to note what’s happening, deal with it and acknowledge- that’s part of human nature.
AND…. We can rise to the occasion. Decide what to do-let ourselves grow from the experience or get enmeshed in negativity. We all know both negativity and positive energy are contagious.
I choose positive energy. Time and again I choose my own field of dreams: optimism and joy.
Lately I’ve decided to heed my own words, make my own choices, and go my own way. Stand in my power. Recognize and celebrate being centered. This came at a great price-however; I would not be who I am today. And I’m even better than I ever was.
Its hard work and its careful thinking. And because I process my life via writing and storytelling, I have the chance to talk about what’s inside. What’s going on and how I work it out. It’s for me and apparently my writing seems to be inspiring others. What a gift this has been.
An interesting thing happened with all this honest story-telling this week. Since September I’ve had the honor of facilitating a writing group at the Cancer Support Community. As writers, we show up, write, process, and support and lend encouragement. Each week I am inspired by the thoughts and stories of courageously, brave people. It often brings me right back to choices about my life. Recently, I read a blog I had written and I realized as I was reading, I really am over myself. Yes, it feels good to put the truth out there and to look behind the curtain. As I read the blog, I realized: I’m kinda over myself. At least for a little while. Yes, I have the need to continue to tell stories, but I’m challenging myself for the next few weeks to focus on the positive, the happy, and the joy in my own field of dreams.
Realizing my life has changed tremendously, I know that as I’ve I built it…a happy, peaceful, playful, joyous, light-filled life emerges. Each and every time. IMAGINE this energy! It’s as if I can breathe again. I have a feeling my writing will change as I continue with this self-awareness. I can already feel it.
Surrounded by love and light by amazing Warrior Sisters, friends and new experiences my life is here in the now. I am okay. In this minute, I am okay. Life is moving forward…just as it should be. I just have to stop resisting it. Feeling happy and okay IS happy and okay. Lots of people live this way. I’m not saying there aren’t challenges, there are and will be. On the flip side, just like on a field of dreams, I can step up to the plate and hit the ball out of the park. I know it’s my choice. It’s an opportunity I am living.
Trusting me, trusting the Universe and mostly, trusting the love between those important people are part of my life now. Abundance thinking. Leading and living with love. Offering grace. There is so much love and happiness. We just have to OPEN our eyes…and see it. Recognize it. And so I’m challenging myself to do just that. Each and every day. And as a human, I’m going to give myself some slack as my Warrior Sister Laura reminded me.
Right now, today, I am in a better place, I’m a better person. I am free to live my live as I choose. And I choose to focus on the positive. As much as I possibly can. As my Warrior Sister Cathy texted, “You are allowed a cry, a pity party, a freak out, whatever you need but then get back on that white horse with positive thoughts and energy! Good things will come your way-they always do for great people! Keep looking up, that’s the secret of life!! As I told you before-you are a ray of sunshine and things GROW around sunshine! Love you girl!” this made me both smile and shed tears of pure love.

In her book, Women Rowing North Mary Pipher states, “Attitude trumps circumstance….we have the freedom to choose how we respond to events…we become who we believe we can be…” She also states there are many ways to keep things in perspective. For years I said, “Don’t borrow worry.” My friend Diane reminded me, “This can be fixed.” Pipher adds, “It’s not time to worry yet,” “Everyone makes mistakes,” and “Tomorrow is another day.” It’s all in how I look at it. How I use my energy. How I live. How I see myself and my life.
Here is my challenge-get over myself. Focus on the positive. Live in the light. Re-read my words. Focus on stepping up to the plate, and building a life of dreams. Because AS I BUILD it…the most exciting, joyful, happy life will continue to brighten the field. I already feel better…I’m gonna make it after all.

Another Choice

time travelers
In any life change there is a ton of paperwork. When we are born, enter school, apply to college and scholarships, marriage, divorce, name change (don’t get me started on trying to change my name on frequent flier accounts!) change of address. The amount of paperwork can bury us.
My wish is that it is only the paperwork that buries us-not the crazy chaos associated with it.
Unfortunately, as my journey has shown, I will most always deal with crazy, chaos, negativity and darkness. I will always deal with unreasonableness based on who I have happily divorced. And yes, I am happily divorced. My life is mine, my choices are mine and I am finally, finally finding me again.
However, like the gift that keeps on giving, think sexually transmitted disease, the paperwork and sneaky underhandedness of this prior life keeps resurfacing. At the most inopportune times. And it’s not easy to figure out. It’s complicated-he said/she said/and a signed divorce agreement reflecting what actually was agreed upon.
For most people a calm discussion reviewing the facts might be enough. You have to actually be speaking to the other person, however, for a discussion to take place. It’s much better for me that there is no conversation. At all. I have no desire for conversations-in fact most discussions had to go through lawyers in order for anything to get accomplished. And even then, after everything is said and done, the unreasonable-ness of the other person makes this challenging.
It happened again when paperwork somehow found its way to my door. Unfortunately, it’s a government agency and there are as many answers as there are people I have spoken with. Two sets of CPA’s and my team of lawyers have looked at the paperwork. And yet, something that was not supposed to happen happened. An unreasonable person did something he is really good at: he was sneaky and underhanded. Welcome to my world. Though the bill isn’t huge, it’s the principle of it that steamed me.
I reached out to Dr. Heidi Brocke who responded, “There will be a couple of years of residual shit. I am sorry that they will find every opportunity and event to stick it to you. It’s what they do…they sneak. And it sucks.” Narcissists just want a fight. No matter what. And I refuse to be engaged. A narcissist will never change because they can’t. They live miserable lives and never want the best for anybody.
This is so far from who I am. And I was reminded of this as other Warriors responded similarly, “See only the good and you will bring in into your life,” from Sally. “Stay strong with what is truth and don’t allow his poison to run within you. Love and truth always wins,” from Stephanie. “You’re surrounded by goodness…hold onto to that,” from Renee.
I have worked so very hard for a life of peace and calm, joy and light, fun and curiosity, abundance and generosity. After reading the texts and trying to calm myself I let it go for the night.
Waking to a NEW day, the sun shining brightly, my first thought was: “I have a choice.”

This day allows me choice. I see it in the morning light. I have a choice. I can continue to feel like a victim yet again or I can use this to spur myself forward. I’ve worked too hard and too long to find my sea legs, boots on the ground with an amazing community of support surrounding me. Am I going to let all that go to deal with unreasonableness?

NO! I am going to see change, be change and feel change. If I let unreasonableness sway me, I am not living my truth. It’s unfortunate that I continue to have to deal with sneakiness and underhandedness. My friend Melika texted, “I believe in the power of goodness.” I have to, too. I cannot believe in evil and resentment because that doesn’t allow me to live in light. To live with love and joy, peace and abundance-which feels so natural. I refuse to spend one more once of energy on anything that is so negative.

In yoga, Jennifer Cooper reminds us to move in the direction we want to go. Forward. I continue to move forward. Peace and light make us strong. Kindness feeds kindness. Love frees me. Love for this life I’m creating and love for the person that I am deep within my core.

At lunch today my dove chocolate message reflected this as well: Keep life moving forward. Looking back is only for time travelers. (In fact it was the message I opened up twice today!!!) I live in the here and now. THESE thoughts, this love and everything I’ve built encourages me into living an even happier, healthy life. THIS is my choice.

And I will say this. It encourages me as I continue living an even happier more healthy life filled with smiles and laughter. Full of light and love. Peace and calm. Joy and fun. Curiosity and abundance. I’m gonna make it after all.

TGIF

51547922_1215960011913113_4871730916512235520_n
For the past few years I have been dancing on Saturday mornings with Kim Bolourtchi at Majestic Dance Studio with a group of dancing Goddesses who have become close, supportive, positive-minded friends. It is EVERY Saturday morning at 9:30am
I look forward to this class and the women I dance with each and every week.
It’s not just a dance class…it is an empowering hour that Kim respectfully encourages all of us to use as we see fit. We come as we are, we dance, we sweat, and we laugh. And Kim can always tell when we need to get OUT of our heads.
I asked her once about this and she replied, “I can just tell when we need a reminder.” Lately, Kim has been encouraging us to leave everything at the door OR leave it all on the floor. “Let the floor take your stress,” she advises. Other times she will remind us to “Use the floor” which for me means to stand grounded, centered and remember who and what I am.
A lot of break-through thoughts have occurred for me in Kim’s dance class. There have been tears as well, but lately, its peace and joy and light.
A lot of loving friendships have been formed and cemented before, during and after. There is always laughter and fun and a great play list. And in this class we do nothing half-assed.
This class grounds me. It sets my week up to be amazing. I love the freedom of dance and music. I love learning new choreography, I love old favorites. I love seeing my body change and I love what my body can do. “Only when I dance do I feel this free…”
I love dancing with a group of like-minded, supportive women. And so, I PROTECT with every inch of my being and my life Friday nights. Yes, I know this seems crazy, but staying out late or making not-great choices on Friday nights (read what you will) is foreign to me. I would rather spend the evening at home, or walking or an early Happy Hour so that I am ready to go for Saturday morning.
In all the years I’ve danced with Kim, there have been only TWO Friday nights that while taking dance class into account-I still chose differently. I will not say the choices weren’t “good” choices-they were AT THE TIME-the moment very fun choices, but not for my early dance class Saturday.
The reason this comes up is because on Friday nights or Saturday mornings, Kim posts on FB to remind us (like we need reminding) about class. She often talks about a cool, new play list or that she’s looking to see us. Last Friday night this FB post came through:
This makes me laugh….with the picture from above telling more of a story than any words could. She continued, “I ALWAYS plan my Friday night with my Saturday morning in mind LOL!!!! See you at Majestic Dance Studio tomorrow morning at 9:30-10:30 am. Walk-ins welcome!!!”
Last Friday night was one of the ONLY two Friday nights I made different choices. (the other Friday night was about 18 months ago and after that decision I vowed to always respect my Friday nights) Last Friday night I was out for drinks and at 9pm had the CHOICE to go home, put on my jammies and watch a movie for an early night OR join new friends at the cigar bar at the Ritz.
The choice was so tempting. “You only live once,” I heard in my head and thought, “Oh, this sounds like too much fun to pass up.” It was. The place, the people, the night.
Too much fun. In fact it was SO much fun, after two Moscow Mules, a glass of Prosecco, yummy desserts and a cigar, I fell into bed at 1:30am. Somewhere around 6am I realized I was never going to make dance class. The room was spinning (I am quite the light weight) and I thought to myself, “Protect your Friday nights!”
YES! This was SO MUCH FUN!!! And yes, it’s good to LIVE and have new experiences. When I texted my dance friends the next morning after waking up at 9:30am (room still spinning and spending the day eating toast) they all supported my decision texting back, “That is exciting! Can’t wait to hear all about it,” and “I danced for you! SO happy that you are happy,” offering suggestions about hang-overs.
Here’s the thing. As much fun as this Friday night was, I missed dance incredibly. I missed seeing the happy, smiling faces of my friends as much as I missed leaving it all on the floor and shaking my groovy thang. Life IS all about choices…and so on the subject of Friday nights…I choose Saturday morning dance class. See you there. I’m gonna make it after all!!!