Dear Jack Pearson,

MILES

Dear Jack Pearson,
Thank you. Thank you for being the kind of man any woman would want in her life. Any kid would want as their dad and any human would want as a friend.
Jack, I am holding out for a hero. Yes, I understand I’m the hero of my own life, however, you have shown me that with you not only can I BE my OWN hero, I can be yours, too. And in turn, you are the hero of my life.
“Love me like Jack loves Rebecca” is a theme playing out across the world. I’ve decided it’s because you are a special breed, Jack. Honest, trust-worthy, supportive, patient, kind, loving, fun, adventurous. Willing to admit when you make a mistake, willing to let others grow and learn all while you’ve got their back. Because Jack you would never turn your back on your partner or anyone who means something to you. Deep in your heart, your soul, you are light, love…and a hero. Your heart is always in the right place. Even when you don’t think so. Even when you stumble, your heart and soul guides you to your own redemption.
Jack, you SEE people for who they are, not who you want them to be. You are accepting of others in all their crazy, and yet able to maintain a clear sense of what they might need from you. This doesn’t bother you, Jack; instead, it encourages you to love more fully. It’s evident in everything you do.
Honestly, Jack, it’s going to be hard for any mortal to live up to my visions of a hero. First and always there’s Kevin Costner. In all those old movies of his-Dancing with Wolves, Field of Dreams, No Way Out and Bull Durham he show-cases all sides of being a man in different situations. He listens, he growls, he grows. He paints toe-nails….in the bath tub. And he loves. You can feel it in every scene. Also, look at him. He still looks amazing.
Then there’s Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. Need I say more? The under-dog who can dance and seemingly understands Baby’s need for independence more than even she does. Through his teaching her to dance she finds herself. Through his being HER hero, she becomes her own.
Ren McCormack in BOTH Footloose movies is a hero for all time. Yes, he dances, but more importantly, he REBELS and fights the system. Not only for himself and those he cares about, but for human kind. We were meant to dance. In both versions, he IS the hero for Ariel, and along the way, Ariel learns how to stand on her own two feet, centered.
I once texted my dancing friends, “I want someone who is honest and not an a*%#hole,” to which the reply was, “Set your bar higher.”
And so I have, Jack Pearson. I don’t need to be rescued. What I need, what I want, what I deserve is a PARTNER, someone like you, Jack who gets me, understands me, adores me and glories in me. Who can sit back and honestly say with a full, truthful heart, “THAT’S my girl!” Who smiles when I walk in the room, who will bring me chicken soup if I’ve got a cold, who will meet me after yoga class for a bike ride because he realizes how important yoga is to me. Someone who understands my passion for writing and inspiring. Someone who I can make laugh and encourages the playful part of me that giggles. I want to lose myself in play and fun and life and adventure.
I want to be enchanted….and I want to enchant.
Not too tall of an order, right?
You might be thinking, “Seriously?” Get out of your own way.
Okay, I am. Because right now as I continue to breathe, exhale and yes…LIVE I’m not looking for you, Jack Pearson. I know you are out there. You might be in a long line, busy figuring your own life out or in a different state. You might not even know I’m here…yet.
Deep within my soul, I know the right heart will find me. Jack, when he does I will be ready. I’m doing the hard work…I’m growing, listening, living, learning. When he does, he will be a combination of you, Kevin, Patrick and Ren….and himself. A hero for a hero. And I KNOW, I KNOW there are good men in real life. I know them because they are married to my friends. They are my friends. Good men ARE real…
And so I thank you Jack Pearson for reminding all of us what a hero, what a kind, loving, generous partner can BE. Say hey to Rebecca for me. She’s one lucky woman.
I’m gonna make it after all.

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I’m Exhausted

change is gorgeous at the end
It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, how early I get into bed or even if I sleep through the night…I am exhausted.

Worn out.

Sometimes I’m so tired I can’t keep my eyes open.

It’s a different sort of exhaustion, too. Bone-weary no matter what I do.

Diane Klenke, a certified grief counselor, group fitness/Pilates instructor told me this when I explained my exhaustion, “You are on an emotional roller coaster. Recognize that you are in transition. Every cell of your body is trying to keep up with the changes in your life.”

“This is a natural response to grieving. Even though you wanted a different, healthy life free of negativity and narcissism, you are slowing evolving into a new normal. It’s as if a death occurred. And in fact it did. The death of your old life, your marriage, your hopes and dreams.” Grieving, transitioning is tiring.

Can you grieve and honor and cherish the life you had before?”

Um, no.

Not right now I can’t. I actually don’t know if I ever will be able to honor or cherish that previous life. Too much has happened. When you are betrayed as I was betrayed it’s not that simple. And yet, Diane also points out that I am indeed grieving what I thought my life was and what I had worked so hard building. (It turns out I was the only one investing in building a healthy place and loving home.) This is such a contradiction for me. I thought one thing and it turns out it was something completely different.

Diane’s suggestions:

-When we suffer a loss such as divorce, our lives are irretrievably altered. It’s just what it is. Be gentle with yourself. Live your new life in the most loving way you can. And even though I am not at the place of honoring what was there (was it?!), my brain can’t help but bring up memories. Especially of good times with my kids.

-Grieve, honor and cherish the life you had before.

Um, no. Not right now I can’t. I actually don’t know if I ever will be able to honor or cherish that previous life. Too much has happened. When you are betrayed as I was betrayed it’s not that simple. And yet, Diane also points out that I am indeed grieving what I thought my life was and what I had worked so hard building. (It turns out I was the only one investing in building a healthy place and loving home.) This is such a contradiction for me. I thought one thing and it turns out it was something completely different.

-Rebuild where you can. With yourself, with your belief in the Universe. Rebuild yourself if you must. And while I do this…I become stronger, faster, happier…bionic.

-Sad is an authentic feeling. (I have heard this from other Warrior’s as well.) Sad is part of grieving. Sit with the sadness. For however long it takes. Don’t rush through sadness. Until two exceptional Warriors helped me figure out HOW to BE with the sadness without it overwhelming me (go with it and then have a way out) and then how not to go from sadness to anger, sadness scared me. Anger feels much more powerful. I understand anger. I lived with anger for years. This I know how to use and deal with.

Sadness, however, is part of grieving. And just like anything else, you cannot go around it, above or below it. You must go through it.

And when I begin to cry, Diane reminds me, crying is “gifted tears”. I seem to be crying at the drop of a hat these days. That…is sadness. Grief. It is actually healthy to be sad if we must.

-Though memories might be hurtful, remember where you are. The past can be depressing, the future overwrought with anxiety. See this for what it is. It’s NOT happening now. The present is peace. Say to yourself, “I’m safe now. I’m okay now.” Breathing also helps me. There is a LOT of deep breathing that goes on in my world these days. And, I listen to Yogi Jennifer Cooper when she reminds me, “Live in THESE 24 hours. That’s all you can do.”

-Transitioning is hard. Difficult. Coupled with grief it can be overwhelming. There is nothing I can do about anyone else’s short-comings or lack of graciousness. But I CAN decide what I want to let in. I have and I continue to. Remind yourself when people are negative or display narcissistic behavior; it is a reflection of them, not you. Hear me loudly: IT IS NOT YOU. It was never you and it will never be you.

-We are often in fight or flight mode which is exhausting. I fought a two-year plus battle and there was so much stress and unhappiness before. When we grieve it can feel bad, so we do anything not to feel it. Diane suggests pulling away gently, thinking of whatever you feel is beautiful (sunsets, sunrises, star light).

-Believing in a Higher Power works, too. Surrender and ask for help from whatever Power you believe in. (Honestly, my Higher Power looks like Wonder Woman-cape, boots and all.) When you think you can’t handle any more, its okay to say to your Higher Power, “I’m exhausted. I can’t do this anymore. I need help.”

-Unconditional love for you, your family and friends is what it’s important in life. The love and connection we create by being our authentic, true selves. This includes taking care of yourself: healthy eating, exercise, talking to someone if you need to.

-Recognize that this “new” normal/life is different and we can be conflicted about how to live it-I know that sounds crazy-it sounds crazy to me. THIS is what I wanted and I’m so full of gratitude for this freedom. Be kind to yourself as you figure out how to “be” in a new normal once the battle is over. I realize I am still healing and that means so many different things in many different ways and often surprises me. Soon my new normal will just be…my life. And I can “see” this life…full of love, adventure, fun and purpose.

I’m gonna make it after all.

Getting Lost and Found

karen and pam (2)

It’s a Sunday in November. I am completely lost. Hopelessly lost in Grafton. Trying to find a winery for a surprise party google maps for the very first time has led me astray.
I’m nearing tears as I pull up to a ferry site. I immediately call my friend Karen who I was supposed to be following, but I made a wrong turn. “Am I supposed to get on a ferry?” I ask.
“I don’t think so,” she replies. “Where are you?”
I have a lot of strengths. And if something is not a strength, instead a challenge, if I can figure out how to learn, grow and evolve I will. Directions are not a strength. I am very visual-if I’ve seen something or have been some place I can remember either where it is or how to get there. I know directions-north, south, east and west thanks to a grandfather who was a bicycle messenger at one point and can often find my way if I know at least one direction. I can read a map, an atlas having traveled the country before google maps existed.
Until the eclipse I was still using the navigation system in my car which wasn’t always accurate. And because I know I often get lost, I always MapQuest before I go anywhere. Just to have an idea. At an Eclipse party a friend suggested I try google maps as her son had just introduced her to it. I loved it immediately. What a relief to have a co-pilot helping with directions. And a co-pilot who simply altered her course when I did. (There is a life lesson in here I am sure.)
But Sunday I was hopelessly lost and it really was because google maps took me the wrong way.
Not at first though.
First, I had in my head we were headed to Chandler Hill winery and that’s what I put into google maps. I was planning to follow Karen because I thought we were headed out west and I needed to stop on my home. Karen and I started east and she even told me which way were going-including saying, “I’m driving like I’m going to Perre Marquette.” I heard all of this. I just didn’t process it well.
When I made my turn from 170 onto 70 Karen called. She asked which way I was going and I told her. We figured we would meet up at some point and maybe this was another way to travel. I was so proud of myself for following my “instinct”, thinking, “I can do this. I can travel anywhere and find places.” After all, if I wanted to travel the country and the world, I would need to be able to have enough confidence in myself (and google maps) to get myself there.
Five minutes later she called me.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“Chandler Hill winery”, I answered.
“Are you sure?”
Oh, I thought (way too smugly), Karen, you are really lost and mixed-up.
I pulled over and re-read the text. Sure enough, we were NOT headed to Chandler Hill Winery. We were headed to Grafton. I re-programmed google maps and Karen told me which way she was driving.
An hour later I arrived at the ferry and was near tears. Google maps kept driving me in circles so I headed back to the highway and re-programmed from there. Googling the winery, the Alton Belle Casino, anything I could think of. I said to Karen, “I’ll try one more time.” And she gently and lovingly said, “Oh! Please come. I’m so sorry you are lost. Your favorite singer is here, too.” This made me laugh because I had noticed on Facebook that Jeni and Dave Acoustic were playing at Grafton and thought, “Wish we were going there!”
At this point, Karen also gave me verbal directions-which BY THE WAY, were very easy. I was slowly realizing that my friend was a beacon of light and safe arrival. (She’s pretty amazing anyway…and has always been a beacon of light and love!)
Google maps kept trying to veer me on smaller roads. I persisted, muttering, “You need to re-group”. I followed Karen’s directions and she continued calling to check on me. Arriving in Alton she told me I had 20 miles to go. At this point I had been driving over 2 hours!
Something in me, though, refused to let me stop. Refused to let me give up and go home. I became more determined than ever to make this destination.
Finally. Finally. I found the place, the party and my friends. I was over two hours late, the birthday girl already arriving and wine already consumed. Jeni and Dave were rocking; the entire place had a party atmosphere. I was laughing-because if you cannot laugh at mistakes, wrong directions and mishaps in life it can get too intense. The host of the party told me it was a great story.
We get by with a little help from our friends. And sometimes we get by with a lot of help from our friends. Karen and I both thought it would have been more fun to spend the day driving together. It’s a good lesson for me, CHECK details, CHECK directions, CONFIRM with other people. I slowly realized that my friend was a beacon of light and safe arrival. This only confirmed what I’ve known for years-my friend Karen has been and is a beacon of light and love! She wasn’t giving up on me now just like she stood by my side for years.
When I relayed this story to my friends Angie and Jean at yoga class they had a completely different perspective. “Maybe you were supposed to get lost. Some sort of life lesson…” and, from Jean, “I love to get lost. I didn’t used to, but now I do because you never know what you might find.”
I thought this over. I was frustrated because I was lost and because I felt alone. And yet, I wasn’t alone. Karen was on the other end of the phone AND I have enough resources at my finger-tips to figure out how to get found. In addition, both Angie and Jean pointed out that maybe…just maybe…this was all part of a larger lesson for me to think about. Maybe I’m supposed to wander…maybe I’m supposed to get lost in order to find myself.
Or maybe that life lesson is still out there for me to figure out….I’m gonna make it after all….

Hear Her Now

Sept Oct 2018 080.JPG anthology

Standing in a room full of excited, energetic, accomplished women I realize how happy and content this makes me. It’s a happy space and time: positive, full of life with much laughter, hugging and, “It’s so great to meet you!” ringing out. It’s a party for the authors, friends, families and supporters of an anthology aptly titled, Hear Her Now. Each chapter high-lights how each of one of us found our voice, empowering ourselves, inspiring each other, other people and yes, ourselves to USE this voice. Our own individual voice and our collective voice. There is strength in numbers.
As the editor and writing coach I am immensely proud and blown away by the other 12 smiling authors around me. (Three authors couldn’t make the book launch-and I am just as impressed with them!) Hopefully, this book launch and anthology is just the beginning of establishing ourselves as writers; for others a continuation on our writing journey. Maybe for all of us, exploring our stories and moving forward.
Each chapter in the anthology is as different at the woman who wrote it…who lived it. And I had the honor, the responsibility to read the chapters as they and the writers evolved. For some their story was easy to tell and write. For others it took additional thinking, feeling, talking and writing. Everyone’s process worked to their benefit. I so enjoyed the phone conversations with each author; learning about them and about myself. Each chapter represents a woman discovering pieces of herself and then making the decision to honor that knowledge. Honor the experience. Live within it and point herself forward. Just like the writing of the chapters, this experience has a wide range of response. And yet each author willingly took on her journey; to share with others where she’s been, and where she is. Each author chose to take on the challenge of telling her story in her own voice. There are 16 distinct voices within this book.
These voices are both singular in their nature and courage and yet a collaboration of experiences that taught each of us more about who we are, how we met challenges and how to continue to stay grounded. Most importantly, within these stories, we learned how to listen and hear our own voice.
Our fearless leaders Cathy and Jack Davis of Davis Creative are both front and center at the launch, as well as making connections and celebrating a job well done. They are a team worth knowing, worth working with. Kind, gentle, brilliant and generous they tap into each of our best selves. Simply by being the supportive safety net within which we work. This anthology, only possible with their collective efforts and talent of creativity, stability, encouragement and expertise. Julie, our virtual assistant (she does actually exist in human form, I’ve met her), the care-taker of all statistics, logistics and planning make the job of being a creative easy. She’s the one that keeps me organized and on dead-line. Together this team has encouraged and supported my efforts and activities as a writing/book coach.
Two years ago Cathy approached me with the idea of working as a book/writing coach. We researched, explored and went to work. I’m naturally curious and love to hear people’s stories. Turns out, these and other are skills come somewhat naturally to me. Being in a supportive environment allows me to support authors in the way that best meets their needs. Both Cathy and Jack are open, curious and encourage creativity. I realized that with Cathy and Jack’s support and open-minded ideas, there was a great deal of room for creativity. All conditions that are conducive for success.
And when I run into a mishap or need help, need to regroup, Cathy is a phone call and a smile away. I often remind Cathy and Jack that whatever they ask, the answer is always “YES” because I know it will be fun, challenging and rewarding. I have watched Cathy lead with grace and graciousness. There’s easy laughter and always the opportunity to push boundaries. During one of our first conversations she said, “We want you to fly.” Often I joke the job is so fun I should pay them.
All of the authors I’ve had the opportunity to work with have taught me how to work with different personalities and experiences. Each book has brought new life lessons and hopefully a life-long friend. I so enjoy getting to know the authors. Working with someone on such a creative project is a gift; experiencing the author’s journey to a published book is enchanting and encouraging.
With each anthology I’ve edited Cathy has given me the opportunity to participate by writing a chapter. This is a benefit beyond my expectations. I love being a writer and included. Some of my best work has appeared in the anthologies. (And the author photo I use is one of the best pictures I’ve taken-it’s a selfie and I do NOT take good pictures. I’ll be using this till I’m 100!) Finding my voice has become a journey rather than a destination and through the anthologies I’m able to express the transformation. In this particular anthology I wrote about the cost of my freedom and finding my voice…LOUD and CLEAR.
Being counted among these authors in the Hear Her Now Anthology is a gift. Celebrating the authors and the publication of this anthology is well-deserved as is the fun celebration. We found our voices; we were brave enough to put our stories into the world as we continue finding our courage and using our voices to inspire change. In ourselves and others. Together, we are unstoppable. I proudly stand among these women.
To read my chapter, FREEDOM: file:///C:/Users/groov/Documents/Davis%20Creative/Hear%20Her%20Now%20Anthology/HHN-Wilson-Final.pdf.
To order the book:
https://www.amazon.com/Hear-Her-Now-POSITIVE-PERSPECTIVES/dp/0977488667/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1541632824&sr=8-1&keywords=hear+her+now
Silver Linings also carries the book: http://silverliningstl.com/13418 Clayton Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63131

Shades of Pink

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As I walk toward an early yoga class, I think to myself, “Why does something or someone have to BE one thing or another?” Why can’t people, situations, experiences be a rainbow of colors and feelings? Someone isn’t all bad (ok, sometimes people ARE all bad and hopefully we don’t know them, have been exposed to them or have to engage with them) and someone isn’t all good. (here I must stop: Hagan Daaz chocolate peanut butter ice cream IS all good), however, for most of us, and most of our experiences, thoughts and feelings, it seems to be a mix, a range.
Think about it. You are looking forward to meeting up with friends at a new place to dance and are so excited knowing you will have the best night of your life. You get there….and it’s dark and loud and the crowd is…young.
Or, you’re invited to a party and think, “I’ll just stop in on my way to something else” and surprisingly you STAY the entire night at the party because the party is so relaxing and fun and enjoyable there is every reason to stay.
It seems life is lived in a RANGE of positive/negative, colorful/boring, happy/sad, loud/soft, light/dark. If you are lucky, open-minded, willing to think outside the box…Life is lived in shades of pink. Pink instead of gray….I’m just not a gray person. Pink is comprised of two strong colors: red and white. Sometimes light pink, sometimes deep pink, sometimes almost red, and sometimes almost white. It is the mixture…in the pink that I am most comfortable.
I’ve always lived in shades of pink. I have always known there is the middle. The range of emotions and experiences and feelings.
For years I wondered why certain people could only see life in red or white. NO pink whatsoever. I wondered what their fear was. This view is so very limited and limiting. When you only see life in red or white, there doesn’t seem to be wiggle room for negotiation, change, transition, transformation. Life…is finite.
I don’t see life that way. Tell me “no” or “that won’t work” and I think, “Hmmm, what else would? How can I do it differently? How can I think about life without that limitation?” Being open-minded to shades of pink doesn’t allow for no. This isn’t to say that certain rules and laws and decisions of others are always negotiable. It just means that there is a spectrum upon which I see and live life.
I knew it was the time to recognize, respect and honor my pink while continuing to explore what it really means. Not only to me, but to those around me who might benefit from living in the pink, in the unknown instead of taking sides in red or white. It is more generous, loving and kind when we accept and respond to shades of pink in ourselves and someone else.
It was all of these thoughts swirling in my head when I popped into yoga class with Julie Haefner. The class was completely PINK. Julie’s theme and meditation were all about balance. “Hmmm,” I think. “Shades of pink and balance…yes. I see the connection.”
Via the yoga poses Julie encouraged us to consider not only breathing (always good), but also WHAT BALANCE IS. What balance does, how it feels. Within a pose, going in and coming out. Holding a difficult challenging pose. “Work on a pose for whatever reason you want,” she encouraged. The Vinyasa flow was full of balance poses; challenging enough for those of us looking to stretch ourselves, yet not too long or complicated to overwhelm. Julie had designed a pink Vinyasa flow…a flow of balance on many levels.
Working through her flow, I lost my sense of time (I often do, but it felt different this morning), and simply allowed my body to breathe through the poses, the flow, the balance. I was completely focused on my breathing and yet, both my breathing and the practice seemed effortless.
When the flow concluded Julie asked us to try the tripod pose. (I actually thought she said pyramid so I was confused when I watched her.) Upon seeing tripod, my response was the same as when I first saw side crow: “You’re kidding, right?” Are humans supposed to be able to DO this? Following Julies’ prompts step by step, balance by balance trying not to think that I couldn’t do it, I laughed that there wasn’t any way I could achieve that.
Yet I wanted to.
Just like shades of pink….I wanted to give this a try. Just like I wanted to find my dancer pose (I did) and balance on one leg in tree (my most favorite pose of all). My response wasn’t a determined, “I WILL do this,” instead it was a pink response….hmmm how can I figure this out?
Julie helped me find tripod (google it, and yes, it’s for real) by doing the pose one step at a time. When I was able to lift one leg at a time onto the shelf of my elbow and then for one pink mill-second both legs, I felt weightless.
I wasn’t thinking or wondering how this could be. There was no need…my brain and I have been processing living in shades of pink for years. I felt as if the balance, the pink was not only achievable it was also freeing and light.
Just like living in shades of pink. Knowing that…I’m gonna make it after all.
NOTE: This second week when I attempted Tripod an interesting thing happened. I couldn’t get there at first. I took a deep breath and LET GO. Really. LET GO and RELAXED. I felt my body become lighter. And I found my tripod. Three times. Each time before I tried, I took a deep breath and LET GO. And each time…I was able to feel the release and then….find tripod. I actually FELT my body release, relax and rejoice. It was an amazing feeling. There were tears. Of joy….of pink…of acceptance.

Waiting to Exhale

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On a Wednesday in October, I realize for the first time, with surprise, that I’m no longer waiting.
Instead I’m choosing.
It’s the yoga, the hard work, the thinking, meditating, listening, and asking questions, dancing, doing, breathing, digging oh-so-very-deep, the Warrior Sisters and Chuck. I exhale. And feel myself exhale yet again.
The thought falls into my head in the middle of a busy day and yet, I know it’s true. I’m no longer waiting. At some point the waiting disappeared.
I’m inhaling, exhaling and living. Making choices, living with these same choices and I know deep in my soul and my heart…I’M NO LONGER WAITING.
This is big.
This is HUGE.
For so many years, I felt as if I was waiting…not living at all. I felt at the mercy of other people’s choices and decisions. NO MORE. I’m exhaling on my own.
For so many years, I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. And believe me when I say, that other shoe almost crushed me. The intention was to squash and quiet me. It did for a while. It left me always wondering…when when when.
A brilliant Warrior reminded me that “that shoe” will always drop. But THAT is NOT my world. Not anymore. I can’t control narcissist crazy and really, I refuse to think about it. When it happens, and it will, it will continue to….I will exhale.
There are other areas in my life where I now feel and know I am living. No longer holding my breath for other people to make choices. I AM THE ONE MAKING CHOICES for myself. BIG exhale on that! We might not even think this is happening as we negotiate our way through our day and life. Making choices is a bad-ass way to live. And can be scary. However, what I’ve learned by experience is that I would rather be on my own, making my own choices because that’s part of my truth. In addition, choices and negotiation can be positive when you have the opportunity to choose and negotiate with real partners, real friends, those who have your back. Eye opening for me.
I also realize that I’m not playing by the rules of others anymore. I left that old me in the rear-view mirror. The truth has always been right in front of me, in my heart and my soul. I just lost site of the horizon for a while because I forgot to exhale. I now keep the horizon with its incredible views right in front of me. It’s part of my true north. One this same day when I realize I’ve exhaled I’m outside at night and as the stars begin to emerge, they are twinkling at me. I exhale.
Trust. Maybe that’s it. I am trusting more. I’ve put a lot of trust in myself, the Universe and the intentions that the truth sets us free. The truth shows us the way. Exhaling into this, I send positive messages of energy and love to those who need it from me….even if they don’t realize it. I will continue to do so with every fiber of my being.
On the same day I realize I’ve exhaled, I wake in the middle of the night and I hear myself say, “You are here.” Like on a map. I actually see the little red arrow: “You are here.” Not there. Here. I have to trust that this map which I’m creating will continue to show me the way. Though I’m incredibly direction impaired, something tells me with this map, I know the directions. Always have. Always will.
Like my house, my systems haven’t quite meshed yet….it takes a while. And during this time I am understanding that transition equals transformation (thank you Jennifer Cooper for reminding us). Transforming into a Warrior I am proud be. I am more awake and alive than I’ve ever been. Energy, hope, love and truth assist with this transition, transformation and map reading. I am building the future, no longer waiting for it. I choose. I read the map.
The universe continues to enlighten me. On the same day that I’ve realized I’ve exhaled this arrived via e-mail from Brave Living:
“Dear Moving-Forward Girl,

Sometimes things happen in life that are very unfair and very painful…things that make us want to drop everything and tell our side of the story. We want to shout from the rooftops about what happened and how it got portrayed unfairly.

Just keep being you. Just keep moving forward. Keep focused on where you want to end up and who you want to be with and how you want to feel.

Don’t ever let a situation turn you into someone you are not. Be you. The truth will always reveal itself.

You are strong enough. Be true….and just keep being true.”
Who knows what the next phase will bring any of us. Whenever I get overwhelmed, I think, it’s not the end…it’s just right now. Trust the map. Continue to exhale. Be my own truth.
I’m gonna make it after all.

Show me how you Burlesque

Show me how you burlesque
From where I come from, the journey that I’ve been on, there are two things that will make me question our friendship.
Always be honest.
Even if you think it might hurt, always be honest. Be honest gently, and gently honest and not in a self-centered way. But have the guts to be honest. With me, with yourself. Is it easy? Nope. Is it better in the long and short run? Yes. 100 percent without a shadow of a doubt yes. Talk to me. Communicate, don’t talk at me and for heaven’s sake, LISTEN too.
Second.
Don’t surprise me. Don’t blindside me.
I lived with surprises for so many years, and yes, though I ended on my feet each and every time, an optimistic survivor, do not blindside me. Nothing and I repeat, nothing will make me doubt and re-think my feelings about you more. And nothing will make me want to walk the other way faster. Surprises about anything. Have the courage and the heart and soul to respect me enough to NOT surprise me.
I bet you are thinking at this point, somebody hasn’t been completely honest and blindsided me with a surprise.
You would be right.
But here’s the thing.
I thought THAT was the important part. That a friend I trusted (and yes, now I question “friend”) not only wasn’t completely honest, but felt that blind-siding me with information “in person” was the way to do it. How about, if we are the friends you claim us to be, because in your words, “I enjoy our friendship”, call me, give me a heads up and mostly, trust that the truth will be okay. At some point and in some way. It’s not “what” you say, but what you “do” and how you respect friends that counts in my book. (And seriously, yet another self-absorbed narcissist? Yes…and an adjective is needed so you know exactly what I speak of.)
Trust the journey.
That’s all I kept thinking. Trust the journey.
“There are better things out there than this for you”, a Warrior texted to me. How right she is.
I just have to believe it. And every day, I do.
Here’s what I discovered: I wasn’t completely listening either. AND I wanted something to be a certain way and it wasn’t going to go that way. Actually, interestingly enough, that is exactly what Karyn said in yoga this week, “Just because we think a plan is THE plan, sometimes it’s not.”
And… when it’s time to let go of something or someone…it’s revealed to you.
As always, I thought I would use my words and my new found voice to express my feelings once I had thought it through. This caused my stomach to hurt. Intuition?
Instead, I headed into Kim Bolourtchi’s dance class Saturday morning. The second I hit the dance floor after a big hug from Kim and she started us dancing, I felt myself KNOW, “You are okay. This is NOT your doing. You were honest, if a little delusional. You do NOT have to do anything more. Your silence speaks volumes. And, this person does NOT deserve your thoughts, much less your friendship or energy. “
Fortunately, Kim played Show Me How Your Burlesque and while we danced it out, I heard:
“Hit it up, get it up
This is not a test
Hit it up, get it up
Gotta give me your best
Show me how your burlesque”

How I burlesque?! Care, consideration and respect, honesty, that’s HOW I burlesque. For me, this reinforced that this is MY life, my choice and I can and will decide who to let in. HOW I burlesque.
After class I told Kim what had happened, starting out, “This may sound odd, but being here, dancing with you, YOU, YOUR SPIRIT, YOUR ENERGY, YOU, centered me.”
She smiled that Kim smile. “It was you. I provided the safe space, the loving space, but you knew this all along. You had the answer. I provided the place for you to find it. But it was in your center.” How right she was. Centered. From a place of strength. That’s how I burlesque.
Knowing in my heart and every cell of my body that I needed and wanted to continue to be around positive loving energy. That I wouldn’t be expending anymore energy on a friendship that needed much more honesty, care, consideration, and respect that wasn’t available. I’ve come too far not to expect this. I’ve come too far on my journey not to receive this.
I realized that I actually do trust the journey and if I think about it, I’ve trusted the journey all along even if I didn’t know it. It brought me this far. And I will continue to trust that there are better things out there than this for me. I’m gonna make it after all.
Let me show you HOW I burlesque….