Hey Google set timer for 2 minutes. Monday Gratitude here We Go!

Hey Google set timer for 2 minutes. Monday Gratitude here We Go!

I’m grateful for parties 

and art shows 

and customers 

and custom orders 

and unexpected engagements 

and the universe off the chain doing things behind the scenes in my face. 

I am also grateful for knowing that if I start to go down a dark path I don’t have to keep going down a dark path. 

Why? I’ll tell you?! I have learned a new way. 

And for that I am grateful beyond measure. 

If I’m standing on the top of a hill in San Francisco and my car begins to roll towards me it’s a lot easier to stop it than if I’m at the bottom of that hill. 

And I used to not know that. 

But I know it now. 

So when I wake up and it’s hard to get out of bed I get up and I get out of bed and what do I do?

 I dance! 

I have two playlists from the 60s and ’70s with Aretha and Lou Rawls and Simon and Garfunkel and The Young Rascals and let me just tell you friends 

it works 

it’s a great antidepressant

and then when I share it, it makes it even more powerful because I know other people get joy from my joy 

and that’s a good infection I’ll tell you that. 

If this is a hard day for you do not shame yourself for that. 

It doesn’t help and whatever it was that created you to begin with 

would never do that to you 

so please don’t do it to yourself. 

I’m grateful that I finally stopped doing that 

and that is time 

but not for the whole day 

just these two minutes

 and the rest of the two minutes between now and bedtime are some I’m going to really look forward to 

and say thank you in advance to the universe for whatever is in store.

Random Meanderings of a Predawn Mind.

Random Meanderings of a Predawn Mind.

Light bulbs and birthdays and numbers. Oh my!

I bought a fancy light bulb the other day. Says it’ll be good for 13 years. All I could think was I hope I live long enough to buy 2 more.

2 of my dear friends have bookend birthdays on December 12th and 13th. The combined 2 day celebration of those 2 lives has been a delight. My inner child alive and well dancing on sidewalks and making hats out of paper plates alongside others.

It’s a recipe for magic. Because when people go to that place in their brain to create and do it in community, well, to try and describe it would be to try and tell you what a rose smells like. You just have to experience it.

My birthday is January 5th. My inner child has big plans to celebrate. A gathering around a table where people are creating at the same time. Across the street from the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s a recipe for magic. Because when people go to that place in their brain to create and do it in community, well, to try and describe it would be to try and tell you what a rose smells like. You just have to experience it.

I love numbers. And recently have learned a little bit about numerology. I know the number 333 is significant in terms of femininity, creativity and intuition. Many times when I am exploding between the ears with ideas, I will look to see 333 on the clock.

And as for intuition, I am honing in on mine like never before. That is command central for the connection between my soul and the Source that made me and all things.

When I awoke today to see 444 on my phone screen, I had to see what that was all about. And I’m here to tell you that this image and the words on it are true in my house. I am eager for the unfolding that lies ahead. And I feel every bit of it gestating as I speak.

I have created a beautiful life around the act of creating. Paint on a canvas, friends around the table, words on a page. The by-products are happy art, joyful gatherings, and a soul fully expressed.

It’s a recipe for magic. Because when I go to that place in my brain to create, to try and describe it would be to try and tell you what a rose smells like. And I get to experience it.

Hey Google set timer for 2 minutes 

Hey Google set timer for 2 minutes 

so right out of the gate I don’t want to go by the two minutes I want to be a rebel and I just might. 

I’m in my reclining bed with the head raised up and the heat on my back and laptop in my lap which is I guess why they call it that and I’m taking care of me. 

And for that I’m eternally grateful. 

There’s been a lot of time spent in bed in my life for things like missing out when other things were happening in the world (this is me being vague about the fact that I spent so many years in the bed with depression.)

So I’ll just say it. There I did. 

That said, today I handle it differently. 

I’m physically not feeling great and that requires body rest and in the winter, body rest resembles body in depression state during the shorter light days of winter. 

So I have my own hybrid recovery from the physical crud I’ve been dealing with for 2 weeks and it looks like this.

I get up and I dance. 

And I work in the art. 

And I create in my mind. 

And I talk to you here. 

And I show up for my gigs. 

And I do it all gently. 

Because if I completely gave in to the physical need 100%, the other stuff waits in the wings and it’s not welcome at this party anymore.

I’m going to say that with all caps even though that won’t capitalize it because I just say it but that’s what I’m saying 

no more no more no more no more 

hit the road hit the road hit the road. 

Now that’s time and I’m not done yet so I’m going to continue for just a moment. 

Hey Google stop. 

But I won’t. Why? 

Because I’m tenacious AF. Just ask my brother.

That’s right. 

I am not caving to the darkness in the cave 

ever 

again. 

And with that I say to you happy damn hump day 

and if you get to do that enjoy it and if not just have a great Wednesday. 

It’s my intention to do the same. I’m going to go make some happy art 

and then I get to go host some trivia later 

and maybe get some real sunshine 

or maybe just sit in front of my full spectrum light 

who knows 

but it’s all my privilege of choice to pick how I assemble my day and I think it’s off to a pretty damn good start.

Selkie: My Memoir

Selkie: My Memoir

Just 8 months ago, I wanted to die and I had a plan to do it. I have suffered a progressively worsening suicidal ideation since postpartum depression 25 years ago.

I went for help and I got it.

4 years ago, I began my memoir. And when I got out of the hospital in February of 2022, I began a modern medical breakthrough therapy that put my long-standing treatment resistant depressive illness to bed. No more wanting to die way more wanting to live out loud as much as humanly possible.

In May of 2022, the stars aligned and I was connected to a literary mentor in London who was looking for stories that needed to be told in the form of a book.

I have worked feverishly since that time to bring my memoir to a place where I can submit a sample of my writing to literary agents in order to be published and get the word out as to what someone can recover from and find joy, in spite of it all.

I lost my father and best friend at age 7, my family pretty much fell apart, I coped through alcohol and anorexia and spending. I’ve had breast cancer I’ve had a miscarriage, I’ve had two marriages over half my life come to an end. And through it all, I have had an ass kicking take no names depressive illness.

Today, I received the final edit from my friend Susan in London who has been my mentor. And I’m going to sharepart of her note to mehere because this is where my gratitude lies today. For the work I’ve done, for the gift of the universe to match me up with this person, and all of the people who I know will be helped when they read my story.

The current working title is Selkie: A Memoir of Overcoming. The images shown here came from that hospital stay and are dated February 27th 2022. On one side, was the coloring sheet provided to those of us there to heal. And it was when I turned it over, and drew that sketch, that I truly think I pushed off the bottom for the last time.

Here’s part of the message I received today from Susan, who I lovingly call S.

“I want you to know that I feel inspired just thinking of your story to this point – not only what you’ve contended with in the course of life, but the talent and dedication you have shown me in the course of our working together. So many people make commitments, and they don’t keep them – they don’t do the things they said they would do, at the time they said they’d do them. You do. You’re standing really tall.

It’s quite emotional to be at this point! Thank you so much for working with me, and being ever-responsive to my feedback and editorial suggestions all along. You’re a highly capable writer, and time is going to show that to the world.

S”

And for all of these things- past, present, future – my life, my pain, my joy – every bit of it has been useful and purposeful and helpful and has made me who I am today and for all of that I am eternally grateful.

If anyone who reads this is suffering from a treatment resistant depressive illness, please message me and I’m happy to share what I have found to work for me. Never give up. Always go for help. You’re here for a reason even if you don’t know it. I do.

Dying Today Is Not An Option

Dying Today Is Not An Option

Prayer from “Your Holiness”-Debbie Ford

Last night, when I went to bed, I told God that if I died in my sleep, I would be okay with that. And then, I woke up. 

Today, I find myself alone. And hurting in ways that are hard to express and even harder to experience. I try and practice prayer and meditation, as my spiritual life has become a greater priority than ever. With age, and awakeness being the great motivators. 

I find reading difficult, so I rarely do it, but a couple of years ago, a friend said to me when I was in the throes of grief, that the book, “Your Holiness,” by Debbie Ford was important. For me, it was exactly that. The author, Debbie Ford, a woman who had recovered from addictions to alcohol, drugs, men and money and served many in her spiritual service work, died an untimely death from a rare cancer in her fifties. The date of her death was Feb. 17. An anniversary that I share as that is the day I got sober from alcohol. It was chilling to me when I saw the date coinciding. I feel that she has communicated with me from the afterlife because her book has spoken So loudly to me. A miracle really, as I have rarely been able to take in words from a page that could leave any lasting impression.

On this day, as I crack the book open randomly to see what it has to say to me, I find this prayer, that I had yet to read. (I find that using a highlighter to illustrate the words brings them into me when just black ink on white paper fails to do so.) It was just the right thing at the time.

I am back in touch and in some cases, in touch for the first time with much grief. At 61, and after 40 years, give or take, sitting across from therapists, I have all the knowledge from the neck up about the losses in my life. And it is a long list. Some come with trauma. All, as they are screaming to be released, hurt to express, but they have to be heard if I am to stay on this planet and if God continues to wake me up like today.

As the prayer states, “Let the wings of angels lift me out of earthly problems,” I really don’t have many earthly problems when I think about food, shelter and clothing. All needs are handsomely met. Right now. 

My acute needs are to express the grief that has set up camp in my neck and my shoulder and my hips and my throat when swallowing my food is difficult.

I lost my father at age 7. I lost any semblance of family that remained shortly thereafter. And I wasn’t even ten years old yet. 

It’s funny. Now that I am writing with the intent to share here for whoever reads it, I find myself guarding my words. Not everyone is worthy to know my truth in its entirety, but still, I am moved to share because frankly, I have survived yet another bout of hurting so bad I did not want to live.

Living alone, with no one to touch me, and I mean almost ever, because it is not safe to just hug people like it used to be for the very real pandemic and its risks, I am touch starved.

It has been nearly a year since my routine of seeing people in groups, several times a week, where I got multiple hugs, has been drastically curtailed. Before the virus, I might see friends four or five times a week for support groups, fellowship, making art, sharing meals, having parties, going to parties, always with hugs hello and goodbye. Things I choose not to do today because I don’t want to get sick. I have a compromised immune system as it is. 

That kind of lack, like a drip of water on a rock, for long enough, is going to leave a mark.

I do have two friends who are cautious that I feel safe to get hugs from and I am now getting monthly massages, but as a friend who went to Harvard put it, “This shit’s hard.”

So I literally am at a point of do. Or die. The do looks like diving into the deep end of a support group where grief is not only honored, but where the members are willing to sit with my uncomfortable when those grief purges come. And I need that. I need the company of another, albeit by phone or on Zoom, to be present with me as I express my sadness. Because while others can do this on their own, with just their Higher Power as witness, I am not them. And my inner wisdom knows the depths of the losses I have had that need to come out through the tear ducts and my voice in order for true relief and healing and they need to be witnessed by whoever made me and safe people. Both.

As this prayer so beautifully expresses, I have angels. Upon whose shoulders I can rest my head virtually as I sob into my phone and my black and white polka dot happy bedspread, adding accents of black mascara. Sobbing like the little girl inside me who just needs to be heard. And she is. Being heard by others who have been brought into my life at precisely the right time so that I don’t have to go there alone ever again.

I do know that people cannot be my God, or Higher Power, or rescuers. But those people I have found, who listen without judging, who validate without fixing, are put there by whoever or whatever made me, are walking me towards a new and improved definition of a Higher Power.

From the grief and loss and trauma that comes with losing a father at age seven and losing a family shortly thereafter and losing over thirty years to looking outside for the love I had inside in the “hims” of the world, all the bullies I put in place because that was my comfort zone, the men who invade my space physically and verbally because that was my grooming with a promiscuous mother, the cancer that took much from me and left me scarred in its wake, the food that was a comfort until it became a tool of self harm, the alcohol that took me to unsafe places at vulnerable times, and for all of the time I have lost abandoning myself to the many distractions of this world, and for all of the self hatred that had no place to go until now to really get healed, well, the length of this sentence speaks volumes to what is crying to be expressed.

So, sometimes just doing right now and the right nows that follow that, is all I can do. I rarely make plans anymore because I want to live an organic life. I don’t set an alarm, and I can set a goal for my day, and intentions, but the results are often so different than what I thought, like now, writing this to share with you, I am just going with my spirit and how it moves me.

I still hurt, but it is lessened for sharing. In a way, I really am dying. My old self is dying off and getting a replacement. The real me. Been there all along, but she got alot weighing her down. I trust that as I do the work, those spaces left vacant by old, crusty grief and nasty trauma will be filled with light and air and energy and joy.

I hope if you find yourself reading this in that place of wanting to give up, that you don’t. My own history has proven that all of these painful times do pass. So please be encouraged that the same is true for you. And if your pain is so great that you can’t find a way out, at least make one more call to speak your truth.

Others may not be listening where you have tried to be heard. Others may not know what to say. Others may say things that only make your pain worse. But you are worth one more call. And then, if you still want to check out, you can.

But I believe you are still here for a reason. You may not know what that is right now, and you may be as old as you have ever been and felt nothing but struggle, but I see you. And you matter.

Also, I love you.

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