Emotional Creatures

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That Dale Carnegie, what a genius. This particular one of his oodles of great sayings is one that I find particularly beneficial to remember for daily life. It reminds me that as logical as I think I am – and might be, for real – I am very much more so an emotional creature.

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I certainly do my best to find the logic in any situation, but it’s my emotions; my feelings that determine how I find it and what I do with it, if I’m being honest. Let me see if I can give a good explanation for this because I realize that may sound hollow without one 🙂

Okay, let’s say that I’m selling my car. I would find logic in looking up the Kelly Blue Book value of my car first, to see what it’s worth, according to the current market in my target selling area. Me being me, I would have to figure out my Anchors, which in this case would be: a) listing prince; b) the probable selling price; and c) the bottom-line, no deals under this number price.

Image result for negotiationNow let’s say that I get a hit and it’s from some used car salesman who tries to low-ball me and blow smoke up my – you know what I mean. The most logical way to handle this would be to stick to my predetermined 3 prices, and haggle unless and until I hit my bottom barrell number, right? Right. But what would I be more likely to do? One of 2 things: 1) stay firm on my listing price because I don’t like his condescending attitude and if he won’t pay it, cut his line and move on; or 2) play along and let him think I’m some ditzy broad who has no idea what cars are worth and then spin it on him and end up making him pay more than my listing price. Why? Because I am an emotional creature and our encounter made me feel a certain way and I reacted to it.

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There’s nothing wrong with being an emotional creature. I think the important thing is that you recognize and appreciate that that’s just human nature, and that you don’t let it take over. Roll with it, don’t let it roll you.

 

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And don’t ever let anyone tell you that it’s wrong to be an emotional creature because that’s bullshit. Do we sometimes make mistakes because we got a little carried away with our emotions, yes, and there’s a very good chance of this happening again in the future. Don’t fight it, own it. Roll with it.

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And, hey, guess which kind of intelligence is being touted as the most valuable at the moment? That’s right, Emotional Intelligence. That’s Wassup.

Image result for emotional intelligenceTake care of yourselves – and mind your emotions, eh? Hahaha!

XOXO- K

Meditation Miscommunications and Misunderstandings

Y’all goin’ make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here– if one more person caught in the rapture of themselves gets on their organics-only, gluten free, namaste-right-here soapbox to preach to me about sitting quietly and tells me its the only way to meditate. That’s bullshit.

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What am I bitching about, you ask? Every person that has taken one yoga class at 24 hour fitness and now considers themselves an expert on meditation and all things yoga sounding. Oh, and lululemon.

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Let me tell you something, I couldn’t sit quietly with no thoughts if my life depended on it — in fact, in that case, it’d be even harder. But I believed that the whole sitting quietly and not thinking was the only way to meditate for a long time, so I just wrote it off as impossible. Then I was reading something – and dammit, I can’t remember what at the moment- and it was explaining how meditation is simply a state of transcendence. For many people who actively engage in yoga, this is something they do in their seated whatever-you-call-it position, but that is not the only way to meditate.

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I can’t remember what else it went into detail about because the article lost me at transcendence. I was in one of my ultra curious moods so I immediately googled (of course) “transcendence,” just to make sure I had the right idea in mind. Here’s what the Google says:

tran·scend·ence |tran(t)ˈsendəns | noun
transcendence; plural noun: transcendences; noun: transcendency
  1. existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level.
    Synonyms: excellence, supremacy, incomparability, matchlessness, peerlessness, magnificence; rare: paramountcy

    “the transcendence of love”

Image result for transcendenceHmmmm…so anything that makes us experience something beyond the normal or physical level…And click! It slid into place. My meditation was music!! No matter what mood I’m in, music can lift me up and put my spirit right again.

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The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to me. I can totally zone out and it frees my brain to find solutions — and peace.

Take a look at this – and forget what the figure is doing, that’s not important.

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So if you’re like me and have thought to yourself “eff meditation, I can’t sit still and look pretty for more than 2 minutes,” then surprise! You, too, can meditate! It doesn’t have to be music for you, but take a minute or two and think of what brings your heart  peace whenever you take part in it. Gardening? Cooking? Singing? Cleaning? Driving? It can be anything. Whatever you consider a source of joy. THAT is your meditation. If it brings you clarity of thought and peace of mind and heart, it is your Om. Don’t let anyone ever tell you any different.

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See! Nothing in here about sitting – even if the image is sitting. Forget the image! Just remember the transcendence part!!

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This is a great reason to intentionally schedule in some “me time” for yourself. And don’t forget to label it correctly on your calendar. It’s meditation 😉

Take care of yourselves and I hope you have a great weekend!

xoxo – K

Eternal Springs That Shine

What comes first, the hope or the dream? Much like the chicken and the egg thing, it depends on who you ask, eh? 😉

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If you asked me, I think it’s the hope. I think the hope is what inspires the dream. A whole bunch of dreams can come from just one hope. The hope that each person finds what they’re looking for is a source of unlimited dreams.

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Even on my worst days; the days when I find myself at the bottom of a deep, dark hole of I-don’t-know-what-but-it’s-not-pretty, somewhere inside me a light refuses to be distinguished. The halo of hope is held eternally held steady by the Divine, as I know and love Him, for me, and as you see and understand that presence, for you.

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“Hope springs eternal,” is a slightly misleading phrase, but well intended, I’m sure. See, to me, it implies a liquid of some sort. I think the initiator of this age-old idiom was attempting to capture the feeling of the halo of hope enveloping them, so I can see how a liquid reference would ‘spring’ to mind because hope wraps itself around you, encasing you in a warmth that you can feel in your soul.

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But it doesn’t stop there. It breaks through the clouds that have gathered around and distorted your view of yourself and your world, and it shows you Why.

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Of course, you’ve got to look and see for yourself, but hope makes sure that the option is always available.

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Love can move mountains. Faith can see you through. Hope can remind you Why.

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And Grace makes sure we get another shot.

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XOXO,

K

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Arranging An Approval Apocalypse

Say THAT 5 times fast.

I like it, it’s catchy and it feels…purposeful, which means “powerful” in my brain’s native tongue. Your brain has its own unique dialect, but I bet if you asked, it would come up with a similar definition. Aaaand that’s not my point here, sorry. Moving along.

I know, you’re thinking, “WTF is an ‘Approval Apocalypse’?! Sounds dangerous!” Don’t worry, we’re not talking about the end of the world apocalypse. The apocalypse that this arrangement is about is you know, just a watered down, personal apocalypse, NBD.

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And what are we  destroying? The dastardly demon that is our need for other people’s approval. I haven’t asked EVERYone ever, but I would say it’s a pretty solid assumption that all of everyone who has ever existed has lived with some degree of this demon’s shadows, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But it is something that you should really consider apocalypse-ing.
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Okay, okay, no, it’s not that easy. Most of us have a whole lifetime of habit to hack through and the Demon has only been made more powerful and prevalent by social media and the ability of other’s to opine on what is, “none they damn business.”
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In addition, there is so much bullshit out there it’s exhausting just to check emails. Not to mention, sadly, that a good chunk of the bullshit is what’s posted by people in an effort to make themselves feel better by making other people feel worse.
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Hey, hey, now, not EVERYONE does that, but I’d wager that a very large percentage of shit you see in your Facebook feed is either a polarized (good or bad) version of the truth or just plain bullshit. And you know what, we’re not gonna judge those people for that. I love stories, always have, so as long as those people don’t do anything to try and pull me into their fairytale, that’s something I can drop like it’s hot, no problem.
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Now let’s get to the serious part and how this is connected to my little anxiety theme.
This is a heavy-hitter, maybe the heaviest in the bull pit, for me. I have a tendency to overwhelm myself with the need for others’ approval because I confuse wanting to make people happy with my own happiness.
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Basically, I trade my happiness for what I think is the happiness of others, when really, their happiness is their responsibility, not mine.
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Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s part of my life’s purpose to make people smile, but I need to know when to say when with that. “When” for me is when instead of thinking about what will make me feel like I’ve fulfilled my purpose in this life, I’m worried about not inconveniencing someone else by, oh, I don’t know, making them get their own lunch? Don’t ask. Long story. Moving on.
I’ve got a list of things that you might find useful if you decide to join me in arranging an Approval Apocalypse of your own.  Some are quotes, which I won’t go into a big explanation about because if it speaks to you, you don’t need my take on it.
  • Don’t make other people’s wants your needs.

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  •  I found this online and couldn’t find the origin, but it really hit a heart-string:
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  • We all compare ourselves to others, it’s human nature that’s evolved into a nasty habit. Try not to be one of the “Most” here: Image result for other people's opinions are none of my business
  • A good thing to ponder:

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  • When you feel that feeling of shame and/or doubt creeping up your spine, STOP. Ask yourself if this person’s opinion will matter in a year? 3 years? 5 years? If not, then don’t let them dictate your definition of yourself. I’ve realized and finally admitted to myself – and now you – that yes, I LIKE other people’s approval. And you know what? That’s okay! What I work on is remembering that it is not necessary.

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  • Before you bungee jump off the cliff of conclusions, STOP. Ask yourself how YOU really feel about whatever – or whoever – it is that’s at the bottom of that jump. This takes A LOT of repetition, so even though I found it irritating and thought of it as a waste of time for some of the smaller decisions, I realize now that those little decisions that I did this little “pause” for are why I took the time for the bigger ones ever since.
  • Trust yourself.

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  • At first I just thought this was funny, so I kept it pinned up by my computer. Now I realize that seeing it everyday has helped my brain to now make it a factor included in my endless considerations each day and focus on what’s actually important to ME and not what might garner other people’s approval.

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  • Take some time – as much as you need – and write down the names of the people you love, the people who touch your life on a daily basis, people who know your name and make an effort to be in your life. This list will evolve over time, of course, but I think keeping it is multi-purposeful, it tells you who pays attention to you and who you should pay attention to.

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This is a HUGE undertaking and it’s not going to be easy for most of us, but if you decide to do it, I’m absolutely certain it’ll be worth it. And I’m even more sure that you’re worth it.

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Take care of yourselves!

XOXO

K

Oh, wait! I almost forgot one of my favorites, it’s something my dad used to say and I find it both hilarious AND helpful to remember!

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Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one and they all stink.

 

 

Pulling The Plug on a Panic Attack

There was a time when panic attacks were a daily thing for me. At first, I didn’t know what was happening, but I knew it wasn’t good. Because I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t know what to look out for and I had no idea how to stop them.

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If you’ve ever experienced a full blown panic attack, then you know that shit is fucken scary – no joke. Everyone is different, but I think there are a bunch of symptoms that are common across the board, namely these:

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For me, it often felt like someone – or something – was sitting on my chest. I couldn’t take in more than a few little gulps of air, which only increased the panic. My P.A.’s would last anywhere between 30 minutes and well over an hour, with the eye of the storm typically keeping me in its clutches for a good 10 minutes or so.

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After figuring out what it was that was happening, I did some research and began to pay better attention to what was happening before the onset of the P.A. Sometimes there was an extended delay between what I think triggered the P.A. and when it happened, but that’s just how my body dealt with things at the time.

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After a few weeks of making an effort to avoid these debilitating episodes, the frequency began to taper off, as did the length of the actual attack. I still have one, now and again, but I’m happy to say that they’re much fewer and farther between.

 

Here are some things that work for me:

It’s really super important that you have a list of things that will calm YOU down, because what works for me, may not be as calming for you, and that’s the goal: CALMING.

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For this next one, you don’t have to do the naming what you see, feel, hear, etc., at first, so don’t stress about remembering that part. What I did at first was simply to start counting backwards, then forwards, then backwards, keeping my breathing as even as I could manage but focusing on the numbers – on counting.

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I always have a little vial of lavendar and/or rose oil with me. I put a few drops on my hands, rub my hands together, and then hold my hands up to my face and just breathe in the smell. You can use whatever smell works for you.

It really helps me to go somewhere that I don’t feel like I’m being watched or gawked at. I’d typically just go to the bathroom and sit in the stall for a few minutes, when I was at work.

What’s most important during a panic attack is to calm yourself down, so you do whatever works for you.

They’re scary and they’re fucken irritating, for sure, but they don’t have to control your life. That’s your job and your right. Think of this like a fire escape plan. Do the prep and practice work and I promise it’ll make a difference.

Take care of yourselves!!

XOXO

K

What My Dog Told Me About Me

No! My dog did not teach me to drive! In fact, she still refuses to learn. She just likes to sit behind the wheel because it’s where I’m sitting. Brat.

This is my dog, Darrell. (She’s a girl, please don’t make any comments on her name, she’s very sensitive about her facial hair and being mistaken as a boy….hahaha!)

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Darrell is far too frequently in trouble for doing something she’s not supposed to, such as “marking” the bathroom rugs that I just took out of the dryer and put back in the bathroom; rugs that had to be washed because she had done the same thing the night before, while I was sleeping. She knows she did something wrong, but she’ll pretend to be innocent until the moment she hears “that”  tone (my “scoldings” voice). As soon as she hears her whole name in “that” tone, she books it. It’s pretty funny to watch the change from “pet me, pet me, please, feed me, I want, can I sit on your lap, what are you doing,” which is what I imagine is the gist of her thinking most of the time, to “oh shit. She knows. Dammit. What gave it away? Shit! Okay, just act natural, Darrell, drop the eye contact and slowly turn around and then run for it! She’ll never catch you!” which is what I imagine her thinking to herself when she’s in trouble.

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FYI: her punishment is not corporal or physical, it’s geographical. She gets confined to the 300 square feet of the living room until I feel like she’s had enough time to think about  what she’s done. Which is usually about an hour or two.

I’ve realized that she got this sneak away and hide thing from me.

I mean, I don’t pee on my bathroom rug or chew up anyone’s shoes, but it is my first instinct to run away and shut myself in somewhere when my issues get to the “Overwhelm Level,” or Code Red. Like last week.

I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but then I told myself, “Kerissa, grow the fuck up! The whole point of talking about it is to fucken talk about it. Let people know that you didn’t become the Dalai Lama over the last year and that you’re not immune to “episodes” and bad days.” Yes, I did have a very snipe-y conversation with myself. Happens all the time. Well, not always the snipe part, but the conversations are daily. Hourly, even! Anyway, wrong tangent. Sorry.

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Last week I hit a little snag in my journey. It started with me being hit with a wave of grief that was very….uhh… all-encompassing. Grief is nasty in that it surprises the shit out of you sometimes – and those times are the worst. I was singing a song (remember, I LOOOOOVE Karaoke) on Smule and in the middle, with no obvious provocation or anything, I started crying. And I couldn’t stop. You know how crazy it is? This crazy: just sharing it with you right now, has me in tears.

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I can’t explain it, I don’t know how to and even if I did, I don’t know that the words would make it out. I will say that I know that my grief consists of not only missing my dad as I knew him, but missing him as I could have known him. See, I never got to have a real “adult” conversation with him. He had his first series of strokes when I was 21 – far from an adult. He recovered from that first round but had his second set just short of 2 years later, and that one took the first of his speech. Unfortunately, I didn’t grow up until after his maladies had made it impossible for me to understand most of what he said (half his body was paralyzed about 8 years after that first series).

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It made me uncomfortable to not be able to communicate with him and not be able to fucken do anything to change that, so I visited him less and less. That was such an asshole move, I can’t even look at myself when I think about it. What a fucken joke – I was uncomfortable?!? I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself for being such an asshole.

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I won’t make you listen to any more of my “Confessions of a Sometimes Former Asshole” docu-series. But I know I had to include this part because this is the part that anyone experiencing any kind of emotional whiplash — like my potent and vicious mixture of grief/guilt that I think many of use experience when a loved one dies — this is the part you need to know: YOU HAVE TO FORGIVE YOURSELF. No, I don’t think it’ll be easy. Shit, it’s been almost 3 years and I’ve only recently admitted to myself that this is a factor in my life that is creating a crater.

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Just like anything else for us Uniflakes (no, that sounds wrong, okay, I’ll keep working on it), each of our solutions is unique for each of our unique mash-up of issues. And, honestly, I have no fucken clue how I’m going to pull this forgiving myself thing off. But I’m going to keep at it.

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How does Darrell fit in? Well, she taught me that as ridiculous and hilarious as it is to watch the change in her that I mentioned earlier, it is even more ridiculous and not hilarious at all for me to shut myself away in a dark room, in a dark place, rather than show anyone any of the feelings – my real feelings and risk the skin-peeling feeling of vulnerability that I absolutely detest.

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Now, that doesn’t mean I’m ever going to go broadcasting my current mood on the news – or even Facebook, haha – at any point, but it does mean that I am working towards being able to answer the phone even when I’m down and in pain – which I couldn’t do last week. I know, I know, it’s ridiculous!

And most of all, I need to let people who love me in. If for no other reason than because they loved him too and it could help them. That way I can justify it to myself. Hey! That’s how I have to go cause that’s how I roll! Ha!

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Anyway, I’m sorry this is such a long (and rambling) post, but I hope anyone reading this who has ever felt like they’ve “relapsed” knows that bad days are a part of life and while we can’t eliminate them completely, we can change how we deal with them. YOU ARE WORTH IT.

And so am I.

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I’ll never stop missing him, but I have faith that it won’t always hurt this much.

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Take care of yourselves, mon amis!!

XOXOXO,

K

 

 

The Peace Possible via Poetry

Journaling is something that’s recommended by most therapists and other healthcare professionals and I totally understand how it can help. Many of us with anxiety and other issues have a tendency to internalize things which can create an insidious internal inferno of lava-like emotions that, eventually, must be depressurized — somehow. There are lots of ways to deactivate before destruction and you don’t have to tie yourself to any particular method, but you should find at least a few that work for you.

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Journaling doesn’t work for me because I get too deep into one part of something and twenty minutes later, well before I’ve actually averted the impending eruption, I’m exhausted. I dug a little too deep where I didn’t need to and now I’m over the whole journaling thing. But just because journaling doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. You’re probably much better at focusing and maintaining said focus than I am. If you haven’t tried this particular method of avoiding a melt-down, try it! There’s no specific time or place, it’s all up to you. I’d suggest that you find a place where you can be comfortable and as secluded as is possible for you; where you’ll have the least distractions and interruptions. Once you’re comfy, just let it flow. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar or even flow, shoot. Whatever comes out on that paper or screen (if you prefer to type) is just as it should be. You don’t have to apologize or worry about someone correcting or judging you, this is just for you.

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How are you feeling? Was there something or someone that triggered this feeling? Or maybe it was a place or an event? Is there something that you did or said that you wish you could change? What is it? What would you have said or done differently? Why would this have made things different?

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You don’t have to answer any of those questions, this has nothing to do with me. Write until you’re done. No one is keeping time or track of this, it’s whatever you want it be for however long you need it to be. Five minutes or five hundred minutes.

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Although journaling isn’t my preferred peace-finding tool, I love writing and I’ve found that poetry helps me put those pesky day-in-the-life-of-Kerissa demons to rest. I don’t usually do this, but I trust you, we’re homies, so I’m going to share one of my poems; one that may speak to anyone with self-image issues, like me. *deep breath* You absolutely don’t have to read it, the important part of today’s post was my sharing the journaling thing, so if you’re not into poetry or not interested in reading on, guess what? Nobody is judging you and you are under no obligation. Peace out and take care of yourself!!

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Anyone interested…here goes…

Terrorizing Trash Taken to Task

It’s just a mirror, I’d hear myself saying, just a harmless mirror.
It’s just a mirror, just some glass covered in plastic and recycled cans ground up into dust.
It’s just a mirror, some sad piece of various refuse that someone figured out how to make a fortune with.
It’s just a mirror, and its beginnings are as its ends — trash that became someone’s treasure chest and someone’s worst enemy.

When I look in the mirror, I see the 5–7 pounds of extra “I could stand to lose a few” pounds that remain pounds I could stand to lose, but generally just sit on.
And me, in my heart and soul and spirit, I don’t see a damn thing wrong with the junk in my trunk.
As I sit here writing this ode to things that have been, unquestionably, closer than they appeared,
I don’t have a problem with the cellulite on the side of my thighs, and my ass, if I’m being honest, either.
I can talk all this “proud to have some curves” talk right now because I’m in pajamas that are generally pretty lenient, scale-wise.
But as soon as I start my ministrations to face the general public, that’s when they come to life.
The first one, oh, she always has to have the first dig.
That nasty bitch that lives somewhere between my pajama happiness and the recycled trash covered glass that litters my apartment.
In her defense, she lives on Haterade and, in fact, is a proud spokesperson for it.
And the bitch has been starving for longer than she’ll admit without being held at gunpoint.
She’s the facet of my schizophrenic tendencies that loves to suggest, point out examples of, and then confirm that yes, those jeans make me look fat.
And so does my face, she cackles.
Bitch.

These schizophrenic habits, these unwanted commentators, these pains in my ass and the associated cellulite thereon,
they were originally taken in as a sort of “pilot program.”
Pretend versions of me but with other people’s preferred personality traits, you know, just to get my foot in the door.
My collection of mes, my schizophrenic entourage, they were supposed to raise my game, make me “trendy.”
They were supposed to enhance my reputation in “the network,” you know, so that my networking efforts didn’t cancel the premium channels and run me dry.
The now semi-permanent habits have staked their territory in my gray matter, with no thank you or gratitude for my hospitality.
Assholes.

Each of these delusion-loving delinquents has taken ownership of an area of my reality that was not for sale by owner.
Each one of the misguided miscreants pays homage to that pile of recycled trash covered glass all over my hard-earned walls.
Each one points out areas of concern with respect to their various areas of interest, from my huge feet to my wide nose and large cranium.
Each one of those pretentious pee-ons has no right and, dammit, no business, trying to usurp my sweet, unassuming and accepting pajama’s authority with regard to “Hot or Not.”
What was that, you little no-bodies? YES, Yoga pants are appropriate. I’m RUNNING errands.
Twerps.

Each one snickers loudly behind closed hands every time I get brave (or drunk)
(usually drunk)
and stand in front of the pile of trash in the designer outfit I got from the Big G, Himself.

It’s just a mirror…that has selfishly kept my true confidence hostage for more than 2/3 of my life.
It’s just a mirror that I’ve gauged my self-worth through, verdict being LACKING, 9.5 times out of 10.
It’s just a mirror that has no idea what a wonderful heart and soul and spirit and, dammit, a damn fine funny bone, are up in this bootylicious jelly friendly wonderland.
It’s just a mirror that keeps my cover up sarong covering up something it says is wrong and then says the similarity is no coincidence.
It’s just a mirror, just a trash talking pile of trash that’s only real claim to fame is a sad story about a girl taking a nap.
It’s just a sad piece of various refuse; a hunk of what was once just sand, covered in plastic and recycled cans that were ground into dust, like the sand that it started with.
It’s just a piece of furniture that was here when I bought the place.

Most importantly, it’s just that thing that lost its right to vote anything other than “Damn girl, you look fine.”

XOXO

K

Something Happens Inside: New Energy

My particular cocktail of personal issues include pairs that, on the surface, don’t seem like they could co-exist in one person without said person being completely batshit crazy (as opposed to the genteel “Just a Teensy Bit” crazy that most of us are, wink wink).

One of these Odd Couple of Issues is how I have less than ideal self-esteem and self-image issues, and yet still prefer, STRONGLY, to avoid being singled out in recognition for things I do at work or in any group setting, even family gatherings. Wouldn’t it seem like I would gravitate towards the recognition to help coax the fires of my esteem mojo? Drilling down into my perspective roots, I realized that recognition and reward are basically manifestations of intended compliments. I am lousy at taking compliments. Seems I’m not alone in that because, me being me, of course I googled it.

And here a few of my favorite results:

Psychology Today and this one

Huffington Post

Forbes

The Atlantic

 

If you’ve not heard of or stopped by Psychology Today’s website yet, allow me to introduce one of my favorite places to dawdle that consistently ranks in the top 10 websites I visit on the regular. (Psst…you can read all of their back issues, like the ones below, here)

What I didn’t realize until recently is that I’m actually on the normal end of the compliment acceptance pool, especially as a female. We’re the worst at accepting compliments. But guess what? The best at giving them.

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I used to think that I would be making other people feel bad if I was singled out in front of them as a sort of “winner” and I was afraid people would think I was conceited or a show-off if I didn’t brush it off with some lame way to downplay what was, really, my fricken hard work being recognized. Then one day I found this:

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I read this and I realized that by downplaying my own awesomeness, I was teaching others, by example, to do the same. Instead of this display of what I thought was humility, I was teaching self-oppression! That was so not where I had been trying to take people and after the day that I read this, I’ve made a conscious choice to accept compliments, especially when I know I deserve them.

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I’ll tell you what, though, it’s a LOT easier to take compliments and the like for things I DO, like work things – things that generally come straight from my brain, that is. It’s still a struggle for me to take compliments for my appearance or anything that I classify as originating anywhere other than my brain.

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But whenever I catch myself brushing off a compliment, I do my best to remember that it’s not being conceited and I don’t want to give anyone the idea that THEY should do that. I can’t always catch the brush-off before the words leave my mouth, but I’m working on it.

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I hope that you remember this beautiful collection of words by Ms. Williamson (it’s an excerpt from her book Return to Love). I read it almost every day and it’s etched into the walls of my judgmental mind as a permanent reminder.

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One of my rules of life these days is:

Always Shine. You never know who else is lost and may need your light to guide them.

Give ’em some light, show ’em how it’s done.

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Take care of  yourselves!

XOXO

K

 

 

 

Songs in the Key of C

“C” for “Coping” or “Calming” or “Cheering” or even “Crying,” if that’s what you’re most in need of.

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Yes, Cookie, “C” is also for “Cookie” and we all need one of those every so often, eh?

Music is so many things to me, for me, about me.  I hear music and I hear a story about someone’s best day, or their worst day, or their douche of an ex-boyfriend or cheating ex girlfriend. I hear the joy at seeing their baby for the first time, or the bittersweet reminiscing of a dad about to walk his baby girl down the aisle.  I hear the pain of losing something or someone you thought was your life. I hear the happiness and wonder of first love and new love and old love and jungle love and…okay, that’s enough, I’m sure you get the love about the love.

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I hear these stories and my ears transmit them to my heart, so I don’t just hear the stories, I feel them. The music wraps me in a moment and transports me, and I’m there, feeling each of those feelings, and they become mine. I’m taken somewhere outside myself that’s deep within me.  I know, it sounds like new-age BS “somewhere outside that’s within,” but it’s true and that’s the best way I can describe it.

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I know, I’m waxing poetic, I can’t help it 🙂 Anyway, I had a “DUH” moment the other day when I happened across this wonderful post by my new WP pal J.E. Skye. See, music has always been a staple in my life but I never appreciated it more than when I realized that it is, for me, the best kind of therapy. J’s post reminded me that I’m not the only one who does and can benefit from music.

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For me, any situation involving crowds kicks my anxiety into high gear and, in this area, my anxiety typically manifests itself as extreme agitation and a feeling akin to claustrophobia — too many people, store aisles that feel too narrow, exits that seem so far away, etc. This is why if you ever see me in public – whether I’m shopping, working out, going to the bank, checking the mail, whatever – 9.99 times out of 10, I’ve got my headphones on.

 

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It’s like I get to set the music for the world when I have my earphones on and therefore, the world outside is not too much. I think it probably has something to do with my control freak issues, haha, but I accept that because it’s what allows me to continue (hey! another “C”) living my life while I’m working on my overall balance.

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In this world where there is so much…ugliness and waste and hate, music reminds me and my issues that with the bad, there is so much more good.  So, so much more. So the next time you think you’ve had it and you just can’t win and why is the world so (fill in the blank, but in this case, it’s probably a negative thing), and you just want to give up because you feel like you can’t win, or you feel your anxiety bubbling at the brink of eruption, and/or uncomfortable in any way, go find your favorite song, put on some headphones (or put it on the radio or in the car, up to you), and put that song on repeat. I’m sure you’ll feel better, lighter, and like you’ve got another round in you after a few loops.

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May I make a suggestion? Like J did and I’ve done, round up a playlist of songs that make YOU feel good, make you smile, lift your spirits, and try pressing play on that awesome list the next time you’re feeling uneasy or in any way “not right.”

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Okay, I know this is getting way long, but I want to share a beautiful quote that I think is perfect for this topic. The irreplaceable and immortal Maya Angelou says  “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”  

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My interpre-rambling is: Don’t get down on yourself or your life or the world, just because you don’t have the answer to every question that pops in your head.  Really, that just means you don’t know how to Google. Message me, I’ll give you some pointers.  Just kidding! I mean, I’ll happily give you pointers, no joke there. Just joking about being able to answer ALL of life’s questions via Google.  Most questions – yes. ALL questions – inconceivable. There’s only one G that can do that and it’s not Google.

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Oh wait, wait, one more thing (promise this is it!)! One of my favorite people that I’ve never met, Rabbi Brian, wrote a book that I read (and highly recommend for anyone searching within for their spirituality’s sake), called My Fun Theology Workbook. There are so many parts that I highlighted, where I laughed, cried, and connected with. But one particular part, in the beginning, as RB is encouraging you to find your spiritual voice, he quotes a line from Psalms as a way of explaining what your spiritual voice is and how its development can assist you. He says, “I want you to develop your spiritual-religious voice so that you can – in the words of the Psalms – ‘sing a new song to God.'”

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That really touched me because, to me, singing a new song to God means finding joy in life and sharing it. I’ve realized that’s part of my life’s purpose: find joy and share it. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. Just like you are!

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XOXO-

K