Tag Archives: healing

you don’t yell at a sleepwalker. he may fall and break his neck – from sunset boulevard

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i think in dramatic words sometimes. above the din of my sarcastic humor and chastising taskmaster is the voice of my internal norma desmond, her tongue lingering on the L’s in romantic, tragic words like languish and lament, and on her lips making O’s in gentle words like repose and opiate. 

languish is a favorite word of mine lately (opiate might be if i could do something other than lament the absence). even as my life blooms with possibilities and positivities, i wake most days to a wilted spirit. many mornings i lay with a single eye open, attempting to motivate myself for a work day. first i navigate my regular monday-through-friday desire to pierce my jugular with a nearby ballpoint. i imagine the gentle return to sleep as blood loss saps the energy already en route to my list-maker and worry wheels. (ok, norma, your toddler would not appreciate the leave-behind of life without mommy….though i suspect she’d be delighted at the opportunity to use an entire box of dora bandaids with no lecture on how many bleeding children in the world can’t afford them.) after wistfully ruling out a dramatic, unexpected suicide after which all my words would be published and celebrated posthumously, i imagine my life without corporate responsibility and the need for 8 billable hours a day. i laugh at the anticipated death of the word deliverables in my life and lexicon. lastly, i drift through a few fanciful ideas, words, projects, plots and characters that i’d rather play with today.

that last part leaves me relatively certain i’m not just a sad sack of lazy. i’ve convinced myself that if i had a different focus, my jugular wouldn’t look so inviting to sharp-ish objects, and my natural spark would keep my smiles and insides warm. i picture a life where i write, read, cook and love my family full-time. in it i get to paint and decorate our new house without so much as a nod to anything but my daughter, my man, my aspirations and a sunny sky. i sort through all of these imaginings before i change my sleepy breathing. finally, i reluctantly rise and pry my mind open enough to make coffee. problem salved.

truth is, i’m not the kind to embrace i’ll-be-happy-when’s, but i’m not thinking so clearly lately. i turn 40 in two months. i’ve been divorced a year this weekend. (this, at least, is offset by cinco de mayo and my new love’s birthday…plus the fact that the word “weekend” applies.) then there is the part where my mom passed away less than six weeks ago, followed closely by my beloved old kitty. maybe someday i’ll blog about what it’s like in the maelstrom of a catholic-military family reunion-funeral. picture way too much alcohol, more proximity than any of us can stand experience regularly, and you get a lot of bittersweet nostalgia plus a giant bag of tempers and tears. i got predictably ill upon my return home and just haven’t felt my Self much since.

but i am working out. sometimes i eat well. i’m here writing words. i’m loving my loving and lovable friends. and i’m trying hard to crawl from languishing to largess in my spirit of accountability and professional pride. i’m using what i know, and i am happy much of the time, despite the morose tone today.

grief is a funny thing. it doesn’t stay separated into nice neat piles based on cause, and it doesn’t respond all that much to logic or efforts to “express it all” so as not to stumble across its remnants later. it also isn’t clear about itself, hiding in clumsiness, self-doubt, old hurts, and sudden loud noises. you can drink all the water you want, eat a field of whole foods, run around the world once a day, journal, pray, numb out…none of it can fill the gaping wound of loss any faster than it could fill the gaping wound of surgery.

i’m sort of dreading mothers’ day this year. i’m excited for the celebration with my tiny daughter, but there is a blurry spot where my focus has been all these years. this year my spirit will celebrate with my mom’s, and that has to be enough…beautifully enough.

that’s one thing i know about this life…that it is enough, beautifully enough, whether we like it or not. when it’s grey inside you, the sun still shines waiting for the return of your toothy smile and easy laughter. when grief is a stifling syrup of breaths and blur, the relief that one day comes is accompanied by new vision and a deeper soul. it’s always enough. many times too much.

i grew up next to sunset boulevard. the tiny one in melbourne beach, florida. perhaps that’s where my norma was born, bound for luxury, luster, lazing and a laugh lines. i’ve already got the last part in place. that’s the best one anyway.

put this antique on the roadshow…a life less lustrous

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it is nighttime, not typically the right time for my write time, but this first day of a brand new year begs for words to greet it. tiny christmas lights twinkle their last wishes my way as i finally sit down and start to play with my words. mmm, words…they tickle and comfort me with soft ideas and breathy inspiration, so close to my heart they change its rhythm sometimes. so special is the feeling, that most of my reflections on the passing of 2011 fall on how i found my words again.

my writer’s mind started this day by reading again a “note” i posted the same day last year. i was in a similar mood. new year’s day seems to find me pensive if not a little melancholy…i’m noticing a trend. i wonder if it’s always been that way.

at that time, i timidly published those private thoughts on facebook, shared among friends, and was humbled and warmed by the responses. i had no idea why i would make public what amounted to a typical, front porch, rocking chair-style journal entry. i quiver a little now at the implications of that morning and of those words i released into this balance of electricity and magnetism we call life.

i’ve often claimed i was a writer, the declaration always carrying the casual, apologetic tone of weekend artists and idols.  i hadn’t earned the right to describe it as more than a hobby, often started, often stopped. i still haven’t. i’m still scared i never will. and so i was afraid to talk about how i was feeling, that my words were coming back to me, flirting with me, teasing me…that it felt like they were coming back to stay, maybe to change my life.

but seven months after describing what i could only hope was an awakening and not just another lucid dream, i started this blog. during those seven months, all filled up with other kinds of living, i almost let it happen again…the steam evaporate from my passionate breaths and dreams. but something tugged at my focus, sending reminders on airplanes to denver, pulling my emotions to the surface on the surface streets of jack and dean’s LoDo, painting rainbows over mountains and monuments like a child in a coloring book. the awakening continued.

i write. i can say that now, at the beginning of 2012, without the internal wince of a fearful fraud.

woven throughout my post last year is a desire to break through my apathy. i desperately wanted to give some things to myself in 2011. i was hoping i could find the “discipline” or “motivation,” to make and break some habits, imagining what it would look like when i got everything right. the fantasy view. knowing how my soul rebels against the words “discipline” and “motivation,” i pushed a prayer out there with a promise to myself to keep down the  “shoulds,”  embrace when possible the “coulds,” and not worry so much about making them “dids.”

looking back today was a spiritual moment. i had prophesied my year and then fulfilled it. i didn’t do it with resolutions. i didn’t do it with promises. i gently gave myself the right, not the obligation, to keep trying…to know we never really get it right…to be happy that i’m doing my best, even when my best doesn’t impress me very much.

i spent 2011 making and breaking habits i’d struggled with for years, decades, a lifetime in some cases. i was afraid to mention a single one loudly for fear i would flag again and shrink further from those who had encouraged me.  the jinx i would deliver myself was ever-impending and inevitable. i preferred to try and fail in private…no need for the world to know the weakness of my follow through.

but i did mention it…in  some detail, out here for the world to see, and on display in my physical world too…and the jinx never came. my cautious, intentional steps toward things i finally really wanted continued, even as i sensed the heights i was reaching, even as i lost touch sometimes with the earth beneath my feat. and feet.

i grew to love 2011. i imagine it will always be a favorite, despite its pits and zits. it’s in the record books for me. it started with such a lackluster opening act, but at the time, i wasn’t really interested in lustrous things anyway.  i wanted to see everything at its rawest, most naked…where i could trust it and my own perceptions. i knew that recently, as the luster had worn from some of my treasures, i found i’d been fooled by a more than a few.

sometimes your favorite things turn out to be pretty unspectacular, even ugly, when all the sparkly parts are gone.

sometimes under a little patina you find a masterpiece aging with its own tasteful hue. and that was me. my life in 2011. i found the masterpiece under all of the shiny tragedy and fantasy.

and i found out that sometimes luster can be restored. a little can be nice.

i started it all by putting it out there on facebook. my private words and thoughts. i only apologized a few times for doing it, and i will only apologize once here. i still don’t know what i’m doing. but i’m doing. and i’m less and less afraid to do it out loud…to live my outrageous life as outrageous me.

i kissed 2012’s arrival much more sweetly than 2011’s.  last year was like a rocket launch with all of that potential energy on the launchpad, not much movement at first…then slowly it rises…until it inconspicuously hits cruising speeds that barely translate in the earthly mind. and that all fits neatly into my lustrous little world view. 2012 sounds so space age to me. i think i’m cruising for a while, with some good systems go.

i’ll see you same time, same place next year, alphabet. you and me…we’re good together. and to my friends and readers, happy new year…again.

the hovering of hands…how was your metaphysical today?

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in a few hours i’m headed to a Reiki appointment. i’m so excited. a friend turned me onto a local guy who is a real guru in the field, a teacher, and whose treatments have produced visible differences in my friend’s appearance, energy and sense of well-being. seriously. i thought she saw a new shrink, or got laid. she went from crazy-hair-on-fire lady, consumed by someone else’s problems and abuse, to someone lithium-calm with a secret smile and a new attitude…not to mention some self-reported physical relief from pain and tension.

i’ll try not to set my expectations too high…a problem exactly opposite my attitude the first time i wandered into the perfect calm of a Reiki Master’s treatment room. it smelled nice, the music was chill, but come on, woman…touch me! don’t i get some kind of massage out of this!? how can this possibly work other than by placebo? how easy is it to bullshit this stuff? i guess this lady believes it...

since then i’ve participated in some group Reiki at a retreat i went to almost 10 years ago. it’s the only event of its kind that i’ve ever attended and i’d be loathe to tell you some of the “energy freeing” activities we performed with our am-i-seriously-doing-this eyes cast to the ground. i showed up in my kid-sized saints jersey with my back torqued and holding me at about 160 degrees fully upright. i was late after getting lost and blowing a toll booth because back then i had no GPS lady to tell me there were tolls on my spiritual path through the marsh. man, i was cranky, grrrrr. six other perfectly reasonable, wounded women were already there, just as skeptical and guarded as I was then. over the course of a long weekend, we each cracked our foundations and saw a permanent shift in the color of our worlds. good stuff. but there were dances with scarves involved. i wore my sour tomboy face a lot.

part of that weekend involved doing Reiki as a group on each participant. i’m here to say, publicly, that i actually felt the energy move between my hands and my housemates…without touching them at all. and now i feel like i just admitted witnessing an alien-abduction, an exorcism with visible spirits and fire, a miraculous faith-healing or some other eye-rolling claim…please indulge me. i’m one of those people who takes the right brain/left brain test and gets told to take it again because i come out right smack in the middle. not the most common result, but i’m not the only one. i like to think i’m occasionally original, but i’ve not achieved “freak of nature” status yet.

on the one hand, the dreamer and spiritual being in me wants to let go and flow with whatever it is that i feel energetically, whatever i see as synchronicity and connection. it’s a strong pull…and apparently a rather universal desire among our kind. and then there’s the other hand. the one that thinks the first hand lives in the clouds painting flowers and rainbows on its limited canvas, reading The Secret. it’s the one that has substance in my physical world. that hand is connected to a being that feels the need to touch, see, smell or at least calculate or measure everything in the natural world. i have an emotional investment in research on a unified field theory, though i feel almost nauseous at the thought of getting close to “figuring it all out.” i don’t know why, because ultimately, “figuring it out,” wrapping it up in a nice neat bow, probably only alters navigation methods and results…it likely won’t remove the emotion, the process, the experiment, the navigation of the human experience. i think we’re stuck with some of it.

so i’m going to take both hands to Reiki and let someone else’s take over and achieve what they can. i’ll do my best to hold both of mine open and let truth take care of the rest. i’ve quoted Neil DeGrasse Tyson here before, paraphrased perhaps. he’s known to mention often that one of the cool things about science is that you don’t have to believe in it for it to be true. i’ve heard the same said about God. lucky for me, and my hands.

holy pain in the chakra, batgirl

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ow. in my summer of joyous discontent, as i spout words and express my Self in what feels a bit like ecstasy, life has delivered me one serious pain in the neck. i am not speaking metaphorically. for two days now, my worldview is limited largely to whatever appears in front of me or to my right and what i can see through a veil of pain. i’d say that i slept wrong, except that it hit me in the middle of an evening, sitting upright, and became excruciating on a short drive home. i am sure there are many other medically sound ways to dismiss this physical affliction. ignoring it, much to my dismay, has been completely ineffective. i suppose i could just grab a bag of frozen peas and a bottle of something (alleve? bourbon? both?) or even drag myself to a doctor and beg for a neck relaxer or two.

but that would be so earthly of me. and i prefer earthy and spiritual to earthly and mundane, if for no other reason than it’s so much more interesting and mystical…and a way to fill the time spiritually while earthly muscles draw my attention away from what i see as productive things. so, symbolically, i seem to be struggling with my 5th chakra. (well, what in the….? but, but?) the 5th chakra is your throat chakra, responsible for communicating and translating between your 4th (heart) and 6th (mind) chakras. according to this ancient philosophy centered on the mind-body connection, problems with the 5th chakra relate to an inability or unwillingness to speak your truths, to express yourself honestly and fully. seriously? and if that’s not confusing enough for someone who’s finally dumping it all “out there,”  and expressing her skinny little ass off, in public, for the first time ever…i read that it’s possible to express too much, which also manifests as 5th chakra dysfunction. i also found an article just this morning claiming that my own “awakening” could be the source of my pain and dysfunction as my soul and body stretch and groan from fetal to languid to animated.

ok, i get it…the vagueries are there, the ones that allow virtually any spiritual analysis to explain my discomfort. i’m chasing the mystical while my mind soaks up science like a sponge…perhaps that is the disconnect between my heart and mind. perhaps this pain is meant to confuse me, force my search deeper…or just push my hands and energy toward meditation and exercise. perhaps this pain is telling me to get my head out of my…the clouds…and get back to the truth of my everyday life, my workaday world, my paycheck. perhaps it’s telling me to run from that life and embrace something else (that would be romantic of my pain, wouldn’t it?).

sigh. so for now, i’ll take this writer’s mind and heart, give them a rest, maybe move the truths around in my bloodstream for a while on my stationary bike, warm cranky neck muscles with my cycle ergometer, and see if a quiet reality check helps ease my discomfort and my discontent. even my joy tempered would likely bring some peace for a moment. i am in pensive pain…thoughtful…when perhaps mindful is better indicated. either way, i write from my “pain body” today, which clouds insight and furrows my brow. a full and outrageous life includes pain, some overkill and some quiet healing. perhaps my two year old’s kisses will ferry in the healing part…plus any cosmic hugs offered by a gentle reader out there. and if anyone wants to share, i’m accepting advice and Universal ice packs….

grace and the warm-ups…a live comedic event (yesterday)

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well, golfing badly yesterday was a blast…and i learned a couple of lessons, too. 1) trying to “be the ball” is not as effective or easy to implement as a simple “keep your eye on the ball” command. 2) it’s very disconcerting to unexpectedly dump your sordid history into a blog and make it public (see yesterday’s post if you must…or trust my assertion that i’ve hurt enough in one lifetime to offer a word or two of comfort). 3) it’s more disconcerting to realize that you can no longer pick up a sporting good and expect your body to function well when you do it as infrequently as i do. (it seemed to function alright…oh, how the pain lies in wait, conspiring with my alarm clock for a dastardly a.m. ambush.) 4) jumping from a swing into playground wood chips while wearing flip flops is sketchy at best, and a great opportunity to test your falling and rolling skills. (i still GOT ’em!)

so gimpy mcgracefulpants over here has an old person’s knee this morning, painfully tight hips and the shortest hamstrings i’ve had since my growth spurt. i guess it’s time to slow it down a little and prepare my body for all of this fun. i’m back to that balance thing…regular exercise has to fit on the beam somewhere, the kind of exercise that strengthens the core, loosens a low back and builds yet more capacity and capability in a heart so filled with gladness. (incidentally, i now have empirical evidence that gladness is not the same as oxygen.)

as with anything risky, it’s not very smart to assume that your body or mind will know what to do, or when to do it, without some warm-ups, without practice, without building up the strength you’ll need to finish with a flourish and a fan club…or if flourish and fan clubs aren’t your thing, how about simply finishing without major performance problems and pain?

i’m up early this morning, meeting some deadlines, but more importantly, putting in some practice at risky things. i’m preparing myself for life’s dangerous delights like writing my heart out and swinging things at balls (i’m still talking about sporting goods in case you’re confused). i’m sore, things hurt, and i’ve identified some weak spots…but how much fun am i having doing this? so much that it has to be worth the risk and the effort of trying, and worth the work it will take to live, Love and play as fluently as i imagine i can.

if i had a hot tub, i’d be in it. i do well in hot water and i have empirical evidence to support that…though i’d prefer the literal over the figurative this morning. so as i literally limp through this day, and a nice hot shower, i will figuratively warm my heart and these pages, and try again to beam with better balance…one day, one strain, one pain (in the ass) at a time.

tee up the blues….live it, sing it, ping it

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wow. i’m so excited about the 96% humidity outside. it should feel like a good ol’ mississippi morning out there, though mississippi is 800 miles away. and at the risk of sounding rather bourgeois, i will admit that i will be golfing really badly in this humidity and sun later this afternoon. that would be cart golfing…because i am of the lazy bourgeoisie if i am of them at all.

i think the last time i golfed (badly) might have been that dreamy, foggy, magical day when i got engaged in the Pali mountains of Oahu. that means it’s been probably 7 years since i set my barely used spikes on the links. my shiny golf bag will need a dusting. i’ve golfed about a half dozen times in my life, but i liked it. so i will do it again and channel my inner tiger…that would be Tigger, not Tiger W. (hell, i’d take Tony the Tiger over a meeting with Mr. Woods any day…even a Tony mascot in a fur costume…and my friends all know how i feel about mascots <shudder>). i’m actually hoping i won’t be reminded of Tiger too much, or see any Schwarzeneggers meeting up for a tee time with any Edwardses…real or figurative. the likelihood that anyone from those families would end up at my local county 9-hole practice course i realize is quite absurd, but my brain is great at absurd…my heart might even be better…and fear takes the gold everytime.

so what the hell am i alluding to? i suppose i can’t be this vague and honest at the same time. i’m talking about golfing badly and taking back another little piece of my premarital life. i will claim it for my Self, as part of the true and outrageous life i have in front of me. i’ve read that blogs like mine should be intimate. i’ve read and been told by hemingway and dear friends to, “write hard about what hurts.” so in the interest of Being my most outrageous, honest Self, and maybe helping a few people Be theirs, i will share with you something hard that hurts.

i’m barely divorced. ug. that word. i’m not a “put my dirty laundry on the web” kind of person, but i’ve mentioned in several posts now references to my world falling apart, nay, even exploding…(though maybe imploding would be more appropriate given the amount of weight i felt…like a collapsing star, the crushing pressure in my chest…when all i thought i knew came crashing down on top of me one december saturday in 2009). the quick and dirty version is couched in paragraph two of this posting. i’m a trendsetter for sure, as evidenced by the recent strut down society’s catwalk, of marriages run aground by…hmmm…let’s call it virility + fertility. yes…my daughter has a half-sister out there, not much younger than she….most specifically not so much younger that she could have been conceived at any time other than when i was still quite swollen with my first and only pregnancy. so my ex did it first, before it was popular…though i know it is an age old tale…he then endured months of the non-stop, 24/7 News Cycle of Gossip while keeping his own secrets buried deep, only bubbling to the surface as nerves and some delusions about how this kind of situation might be resolved without (me) (ab)using golf clubs (clearly, not telling me was his best stab at a starting point).

i won’t delve too deeply into details, there are so many. but i will offer that he’s not an all-bad guy, that he’s working really hard to turn his life into something admirable and that he’s a great father (“good thing, ” i think sarcastically to myself…and to you, my gentle reader). so i’m here, writing my heart out, and turning my life back into something i admire and Love. part of Being outrageously me is acknowledging the fires that tempered my soul, steeled my heart, and stoked my passions only after almost burning the whole place down.

i have no grand vision of joining the LGPA one day (“good thing, ” i think sarcastically to myself…and to you, my gentle reader). i simply want to take my smiles and healing heart out in the sun to burn off some calories and sweat, and to re-up on some blood and tears lost in recent years past. i put all of this out here because i promised to make an example of myself on these pages, and my Self screams at me to let the world know how grand life can be, even after pain and grief unimaginable to those who’ve not walked through infidelity and the crushing financial implications of divorce and extracurricular child-rearing. i opted out of the latter obligation, but paid a lot for the trust i’d once given freely. still, i’m here, and not just here but ALIVE.  i carry some heaviness in my heart still, but it is illuminated by the light in my soul and by the Love of amazing people around me. heaviness, grief and disappointment are part of living, incalculable, unpredictable, inescapable. that’s what makes the Blues so blue and yet so satisfying…at least to me. i know…and feel…that sorrow is part of a bluesy, beautiful life…and today i happily accept the one i’m living.

Blues a healer, healer, all over the world…It healed me, it can heal you – John Lee Hooker