You know what’s really amazing?

When you are struggling, and you talk yourself out of insecurity, self-doubt, and you talk yourself into believing the best of a situation, giving the benefit of the doubt to someone, and then…you find out you were right to do it.

Sometimes, you just have to listen to that cheesy voice in your head trying to pump you up, keep the faith, and believe the best of people, because sometimes, the cheesy voice is right!

So keep listening to yourself…that voice might just be right, and though you won’t always know it for sure, that’s ok.

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More on my meeting with Louise…

Because she is not just my mentor, she is a psychologist, and I had just come from therapy, and also, so much of my personal journey is wrapped up in my books…we discussed some of my…stuff. Here is a list of the topics mentioned and her warm and wonderful words that followed:

  • Self-published my book…why? Fear of rejection and desire for independence. Louise responds, “rather than fearing rejection, maybe you feared acceptance. The spirit does not have rejective qualities.” (Wow. Mind blown. Nailed it.)
  • A future book about death, animal kingdom, energy, coming from kids. Again, her response is beautiful, “one cannot create or destroy spirit, it always is. It always is and will be, instinct, intuition, spirit.” She goes further to state, “the body is just a carrier of our spirit, you think and feel the energy, it is formless.” And one more statement, “When we function as [just a] body, then we lose spirit, and it’s the spirit that unites us.”
  • In discussing the artwork of my book, I share how Jess and I became friends in 10th grade, and she stopped me and said, “that’s why you became friends in 10th grade, you were meant to come together,” to share your gifts with the world, to share your light, your compassion. She follows it up with more, “When we trust in where we come from, it’s magical…magic, magic, magic.” She reveals the simple idea that maybe I lit a spark in Jess…
  • And my dear friend…I told her how I had been numb and closed off until his kindness…sparked something. At some point, there was a defining moment when I allowed the light in, she says. I’m not so sure, and she goes on to say, “his kindness and light lit a spark in you, it sparked and it’s going to keep on sparking others. [What came] before the spark isn’t there anymore. You came alive and you awakened. You can’t go back. You have the strength to continue being who you are no matter what anyone says.” She reminds me that his friendship was a gift at a time that I needed it most, that I shared my gifts with him as well. She tells me that I don’t need him anymore, I have my own light now. She reminds me that nothing can diminish the gifts he shared with me, that they’ll always be with me, and mine with him.
  • We also briefly discussed the nature of a wolf, being part of the pack, “Even though I am a wolf, I still have my own individuality.” She breaks it down quite simply, “My worth is my pack. You do, do, do. Empire becomes your identity.” And warns, “Do not lose your essence even though you are part of a pack.” I hope my dear friend reads this…it’s how his family seems to operate, a pack defined by the empire they’ve created.
  • And finally, for now (yes there’s more, so much more), she emphasizes the need for patience in this world, in this life…”patience for the innate process of growth.”

Meeting with Louise…

Where to begin…well, if you haven’t read my rules to live by post, start there please.

I was excited and nervous to meet with her, though both feelings faded quickly upon seeing her. She is very calm and peaceful. She remembered me from years past and gave me a hug right away.

Its funny, only 24 hours later, and I’m having troubling recalling details…not that it wasn’t memorable, but because our meeting was so jam packed with…warmth, joy, gratitude. Right away, she whipped out my children’s book and told me how wonderful it was, especially the artwork (yay Jess). She was moved by the story of kindness, taking risks, compassion and sharing, calling my story a gift. She loves the flow and the wording of the book, and affirmed my choice of using animals to express my message, “the laws of nature, its instinctual in the animal kingdom to work together. [Using] animals in the story removes shame, removes judgement.”

The ultimate reason for the meeting was book 3…she has granted me full permission and is willing to support the process in any way needed. When I asked her about compensation, her response was beautiful:

“Sharing your joy, your compassion, your light is my compensation, watching you get free is my compensation. I live in spirit. I live in light.”

She shared so many things with me that I might just have to list different bits…

  • “I am light. I am spirit. I am kindness. I am compassion. I am sharing.” She relates this in regard to expression of who we are, and adds, “that’s the basis of who we are and what we are.”
  • She shared with me that she loves to read, and read that after the Mayan calendar ended, 12/21/12, “new energy emerged, came together.” She calls it “the best time to be alive, a time of renewal. [It is a time that is] safe to figure out who we are, get back to the essence of who we are.”
  • And as we were talking, I used the word try, which she quickly reminded me to remove that word from my vocabulary, “you do not try, you just do.” She gave me a little list: try, trying, tried, can’t, won’t, and but. Instead of won’t, she replaces it with “choose not to” and reminds me about the word but, “the truth is stated before the but and then what comes next negates it.” She suggests using and as a replacement.

There is so much more, but I have to collect my many thoughts…stay tuned!

Feeling…supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

So I mentioned that I had some good news…I’ve been thinking about how to share some of my “wisdom” with others and I kept coming back to Louise and Sam’s rules for life that I blogged about previously. Louise Dietzel has an office in my state and so I decided to write her a letter and ask if I could share her rules in a children’s book (Sam passed away years ago).

I carefully crafted a letter reminding her of our previous encounters years and years ago. I explained to her that I have been healing from depression and that I feel a need to share what has helped…I asked for an opportunity to discuss sharing her rules.

And now for the best part: the minute she opened my letter and read it, she called me. I was in the midst of making pancakes and cutting up melon while 5 kids set the table. To say it wasn’t a good time would’ve been an understatement. But I took the call, listened and answered and asked if I could call her back in a little while.

After I hung up the phone, I started to jump up and down. I was smiling ear to ear and couldn’t find any words to describe the feelings…the kids asked, “do you have to go pee?” I smiled and told them that I was really really excited. It’s only a couple weeks later, on the eve of my resulting meeting with Louise, that I finally found the word to describe how I was feeling after that phone call:

SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

Stay tuned to hear about my wonderful meeting with her!!

One person can make a difference…

I truly believe one person can make a difference, and I use this blog to do this in my own way (hopefully it’s working😉). But when I see others who think the same, I like to bring attention to it.

Now this guy has a voice, notoriety, a well-established platform and an Emmy…but it’s for his work with sharks. I want to highlight his why…and he has conveniently provided a little film for us:

WATCH THIS!

I love this film because he is open and honest and vulnerable, sharing how he always felt different. I think it’s important to share our stories to help others, and to remind young people especially, that being different can be a good thing. Accepting your own weirdness or quirkiness can unlock a whole new world for you, and it can free you to find your niche, where you feel belonging and connection and find your passion!

And of course, there’s a beautiful message here about conservation which is incredibly important…all creatures of the sea are connected and impacted by humans and what we put into the oceans. And one person CAN make a difference!

Sometimes I surprise myself…

It’s been a weird week with a few bad days that culminated in something amazing happening, but more on that later…

I’m finally detaching myself from my dear friend, and I think it’s for good this time, but more importantly…I’m doing ok…and that’s the surprise.

Long story, but he is no longer able to have me in his life, though I know it is not his preference, which helps me. It makes me still feel valued…the last time I saw him, I got to hear how he was taking time for hobbies and reconnecting with friends. I feel like he’s been listening and has some newfound resilience built into his world now.

I also was able to tell him how much he’s meant to me and changed my life. And while I still feel a little unsettled and wish I could see or talk to him, I’m focusing on my relationships, my work, and myself.

And I’m surprised at myself. I’ve been trying to let go for the past year, and just felt like I couldn’t…and while I still don’t want to, I now know that I can…I’m going to be okay, due in large part to the healing prompted by my dear friend. My dear friend that I will never forget, always care about, and wish well 😊

I’m not perfect

News flash: I’m a little messed up, a little broken, a little crazy, and a little muddled.

I make mistakes.

I piss people off at times.

But I try to be the best person I can be when I’m able.

People believe what they want to, but unless you’ve had first hand experience, or been part of a situation, you have no idea what has transpired between two people.

The insecure will cling to the worst possible scenario and spread their negativity. The strong will keep their mouth shut and take the high road. I’m trying so hard to take that high road but I get so furious when the insecure try to make something so simple and positive into something ugly and unkind.

Deep breath.

I’m not perfect. I’m just…me.

Noticing the impact of the waves…

Over the weekend, I had a chance to spend some time on the beach. I watched boats go by, and saw the wake of each one gradually make their way to shore. It got me thinking…

Now that I’m getting better, I’m noticing things…trying to notice the impact of my actions. I used to feel like I didn’t matter, didn’t have any power, and, well…you know where I’m going with this…

So to keep my insecurities at bay, I try to notice when I have an impact…so I launch a boat, and watch the wake left behind in the water. Here are a few specific examples that have stayed on my mind:

  • I bumped into a young man I’m acquainted with at the grocery store awhile back. He was buying a lot of frozen meals. I have a tendency to be a mother hen, so I say, “be careful, those dinners are loaded with salt, you should try not to eat them so often.” Well, a few months later, he has lost 12 pounds. I asked what his secret was, “cooking more often.” And while he gave me no credit, I’m quite sure I had a little something to do with it!
  • In my work with young children, my teenage son is frequently nearby, and I’m always modeling how to resolve conflicts, meet their needs, and validate their feelings. I hear him using my words, echoing my tone, and mirroring my body language…that is one strong and persistent wave!
  • When I was finally ready to share with my mom that I was in therapy, i was nervous. I didn’t know what she’d think, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised…she has been taking inspiration from my journey, yet another ripple, long lasting.
  • I started my first blog to write about child care issues for families and providers. I eventually started this blog to share my struggle with depression, and hopefully bring awareness and help to others. Now this ripple might be a reach, because I was just a passenger in the boat that someone else was driving, but a young woman in my life started a blog sharing her thoughts as she is working to make sense of her mom’s illness. Another small ripple…
  • And my dear friend that I’ve been going back and forth with, but trying to let go…from the beginning of our friendship, I tried to impart the wisdom of my years, specifically the importance of having friends. And after almost 3 years, he is finally making an effort to connect with friends for the first time since college. Guy friends, outside of work, outside of his marriage, are becoming part of his world because I drove the loudest and fastest boat I could find. That wave hit him hard again and again!

Which one of my biggest “failures” brought me the most value?

I love this question because it takes me all the way back to why I write this blog: I failed to care for my own needs after several family issues demanded I care for others first. I ignored my need for friends and connections, my need for physical health, my professional goals, and my emotional well-being as well.

And while it’s not a choice I would make, this failure led me to where I am right now, and the value in that is immense: I AM FINALLY ME. I broke as a result of that failure and as I unraveled my failure, my life, I learned about myself, and slowly became the person I always wanted to be.

Now I am doing my best to take care of my needs, because I cannot afford to fail again, at least in that department!

Connection…it starts with me!

Photo by Stacy Brown

As my son finishes up his 6th lacrosse season, I finally feel like I’m connecting with the other parents. His first season, I was shy, and nervous, especially because all the other families seemed to know each other so well, while my son had been an outcast early on because of some behavior issues.

Anyway, some of the parents were actually unkind, and others just doing their thing. There were definitely some parents that were inviting and helped me feel at ease. But as I watched the boys gather after a tough championship loss, I felt more connected to all of the families than I ever had before. And while it’s true that over time, those relationships develop, I think it was more about me: I wasn’t connecting with myself.

I was a mess, insecure, emotionally volatile, and couldn’t meet my own social and emotional needs. I feel like now that I’m listening to myself, and meeting my own needs, I’m more open to connecting with others. And in turn, people are more open to connecting with me. Feeling proud and happy today, truly. What a feeling!