Oz-tober

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Photo: Pixabay, Efraimstochter

Last night, Ozzy Osbourne played at the Denver Pepsi Center.  I didn’t go because it was a work night and I just can’t stay up that late anymore.

Ozzie and many other musicians have been out on epic tours, some for several years.  Why the significance as that is no different than any other year?  Because most of them are over the age of 60.  They are still out there rockin’ it and kickin’ a$$ long after the rest of us are snoring in our beds.

Some ask “why?”  “Do they need more money; don’t they have enough?”  “That’s old news.”  “Sick of that music.”  (Seriously?!)  Or “they are too old to be doing that”.  The reality is that they are out there doin’ it because they LOVE it.  Music is their passion, their reason for living.  They live to make music, play music and perform music.  And why not?

I recently saw a photo of Klaus Meine of the Scorpions that said “this is what 70 looks like”.  If that’s 70, then everyone should aspire to that.  70 is no longer seen as the bent-over, shuffling wrinkled person with overgrown nose hairs.  Check out Ari Seth Cohen’s “Advanced Style” and you will see photos of [yes, real] kick-a$$ older people living life to the fullest.  “Old is the New Black” is the motto.

Older people have had enough of being pushed aside, told what they can or cannot wear, think, do or anything else a bunch of under-experienced brats have decided.  Older people live, love, wear purple hair and have sex on a regular basis.

We are not dead yet.

It is a time to embrace your passions, to do the things that you barely had the time for when you were younger, to play, to have a loving relationship, to think, to feel, to honor yourself and speak out for what you believe in.

Or rock it at an Ozzy concert.  Just remember to wear your ear plugs.

Life’s A Beach

IMG_0510We just got back late in the night from Grand Cayman.  Got a little jet lag settling in along with the urge to eat.  Travelling is exhausting and I often wonder if the destination is really worth the effort.

Life’s a beach and you need to be on one.

IMG_0511Our flight from Grand Cayman to Charlotte was delayed for 2 ½ hours due to a bird strike on the incoming plane.  I know that is fairly common, sad for the bird and stressful for all the humans involved.  Fortunately, our connecting flight to Denver had a three hour layover so we made the connection with minutes to spare.  This is an all-too-common story and many of you have worse tales to tell.  Still it makes you begin to wonder if travel is worth it.

Life’s a beach and sometimes you’re not sure where it is.

IMG_0547Being the anxiety driven person I am, I really have to want the destination to go through the effort involved.  We had not ever been to Grand Cayman so we looked forward to the trip.  Beautiful beaches, lush vegetation and pretty homes dotted this little paradise.  Sunshine, palm trees, blue water, what was there not to like?

But something was lacking.  WTF?!  Am I crazy?  (I think we have already established that.)

I longed for home.

Haven’t you ever prepped and packed, lugged and carried, rode cars and trains and escalators and glides, stuffed you and your things into a tiny space, and endured the drone of the jet engine, all in a mad dash to get somewhere so you could relax?  And then when the cortisol wore off, all you wanted was to be back at home in your own bed?  I’m quite certain I’m not alone in this thought process.  Sometimes the best place to be is in your own home, your own space with your own little beach. 

So click your heels, Dorothy, because life’s a beach of your very own making.patio tiki bar

Droid-ful

p1135496_e_v8_ab[1]Are you one of those people (like me) who continuously feel responsible for everyone and everything?  It gets to be exhausting, not to mention it just pisses you off when other people blissfully let you do their work.  You get on this endless treadmill of work-work-work and you never seem to have any time for yourself.  But you do have time by yourself, you are on that treadmill alone.  How do you get off?

Maybe you don’t really want to.

You have the power, after all.  You are calling the shots, and yes, it is controlling and enabling.    But none of this really makes you a terrible person.  There are often deep-seated reasons for your actions.

Behind control lives fear.  You have fear and anxiety of what might happen if you don’t keep control.  You like, no Need, your environment to be a certain way.  People who have experienced trauma, especially childhood trauma, often use control as a coping mechanism to avoid repeating the trauma.  If you do things to make your environment safe, or take on other people’s responsibilities to keep you safe, then somehow this translates to not repeating the event or issue.

But you will never feel safe until you give up control to the Universe to guide the outcome.

Another aspect of controlling actions is energetic sensitivity.  Maybe you perform the duties of others just to avoid being around them.  You know, that crabby complaining-about-everything person you have to work with.  You’ll do anything to keep them away.  Or the flip side, an under-performer who is a really awesome person and you don’t want them to get fired.  Neither of which serves them or you.  You are just an energetic sponge.

How do you protect yourself from this stuff?

First of all, you must let people be responsible for their own stuff.  How will they ever learn to be self-sufficient and thoughtful of others if you continue to interfere with their life lessons?  You are here for your own, why heap their pile on top?  Stop enabling and suffer through the outcome.  The reality is that it is never as bad as you imagined.  Sometimes those people really pull through and just surprise the hell out of you.

Secondly, deal with the trauma.  You will never heal if you don’t.

Anxiety is just obsessing over an unknown future.  You could get hit by a truck tomorrow and it will be all over and look what you missed out on.  If you focus on the now and doing whatever you need to do in the now, the future will become the now.  Practice grounding.  Grounding into the Earth keeps you connected in the now.  Create an energetic boundary.  Imagine yourself completely surrounded by an egg-shaped light.  It should be about three feet outside your body.  Imagine that it is impenetrable except for only love-based energy, which flows in and out.  Know that you are safe and secure inside this light.  This is great protection for the energy sensitive.

And know without a doubt, if you ask, the Universe will keep you safe and give you red-flag warnings of action steps that keep you safe.  The Universe will also provide you with the best possible outcome for your highest good.

Me, I’m thinking of getting a droid.  Sort of a clone of myself.  I’m going to program it with all the nonsensical, enabling, controlling behaviors that rule my inner world.  Then I’m going to lie down on the sofa, take a nap, and dream up ways to make my world lesson free.

Fall-ing

autumn-1655915_1920Summer is giving its last big push before giving way to Fall.  There is still warmth in the air, yet a crispiness to the edges of the breeze that speaks to cooler days ahead.  Flowers are blossoming riotously, vivid colors, as though to give up their very last gift before collapsing spent into the mulch.  Leaves compete with the blossoms with rich tones of yellow, orange and red.  The smells of chlorine and coconut oil are diminishing to be replaced by the smoky scent of fireplaces.  It’s quieter outside as children return to the classroom and summer festivals are packed up and moved back to indoor venues.

summer-814679_1920Oh, how I love summer, sunshine and fun every day.  I feel a sadness deep within as I, too, give way to the tug of Fall and the time of turning inward.  And the inevitable demands of winter cold and snow.

Fall is a time to savor the dreams we worked to achieve.  We birth them in Spring, nurture and grow through the lazy days of Summer and harvest what we have sown in the autumn season.  As difficult as it is to let loose of summer, it is equally so to release the nurturing of our dreams.  Harder still to move into winter, where we along with our dreams, must hunker down to focus on the next stage.

Everything has its seasons, including our dreams.

poolWe must look at Fall as truly a time of harvest.  What joy, what gifts came with summer that we can ripen and grow into something bigger?  If summer was full of fun, how do we continue to pull more of that into our lives?  The clues are all there if you are willing to take the time to look and see what brought you the most joy.  I learned many things this summer.  Where I live, what provides both fun and relaxation, what activities are readily and easily available, and how I want to live my life.  I think this has been the best summer I have experienced for all these things. 

And as the leaves begin to crackle beneath my feet, and the chill in the air reminds me of the approach of winter, I don’t mind too much because I know that next summer will be even better.  So bring on the harvest, I’m ready to Fall-in.

My Mother, My Body, My Self

mother-1327186_1280My mother was mean and fat.  I suppose she had her reasons.  I was born to her when she was a teenager, unable to graduate with her high school class, and the subject of scorn from many.  Self-hatred can cause you to pack on pounds in an effort to deflect other’s criticism.

I swore I would never be like my mother.

I never grew fat, just slightly chubby during difficult periods in my life, but always managed to ditch those few extra pounds when happiness was more prevalent in my life.  But I absorbed my mother’s dissatisfaction in other ways.

I became her punishment.

She told me once, “never get pregnant or you’ll ruin your life”.  I suppose, then, that I had ruined her life.  Her self-hatred ran deep, and so I spent the better part of my life attempting to appease her.  Wasted effort.  Once I gave up, my life changed in dramatic ways.

Shame and blame are guilt trips that are all too easy to fall into.  It takes courage, it takes strength, and it takes total compassion for yourself and your struggles to dig out of the rut of shame and blame.  My mother never got there.  She might still be in that place, but I don’t know as we no longer speak.

I still hate her on occasion.  I would guess that’s normal.  When my thighs get fat, I hate her.  When I stand with my hands on my hips, I hate her.  Sometimes we mimic our mother’s body to heal the pain of rejection.

I am not my mother’s body.

When I see these aspects appear, they just remind me of the wounds left behind.  They remind me of my struggle to create my own identity and not the one my mother impressed upon me.  And as each day goes by, and I allow my wants, my needs, and the desires of my true self thrust outward like a seedling in fresh mulch every piece of my mother’s rejection drops into my arms like a newborn greeting the world.

Like Phoenix rising from the ashes.

And knowing this, I wrap my arms around those injured bits of my soul, and tell myself that I am Loved and I am Cared For.  And I smile as I watch shame and blame fade away.

Walk This Way

rundmc-aerosmith[1]Aerosmith or Run DMC with Aerosmith?

Either one, the message is still “move your a$$”.  Walking is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your well-being, especially if you can get out and connect with nature.

man-1225488_1920During my work week, I take a half hour walk at lunchtime.  Beyond the exercise, it gets me out of my chair and out of the building.  The first five minutes are a bit stiff-legged and my feet are tender.  Sometimes my thoughts match that movement. Then the blood flow kicks in, joints get lubricated and most all of the pain and stiffness goes away.  There are two ponds located near my building, with a variety of birds, a few turtles and an occasional muskrat.  Just moving past water drops my stress level.  If I tune into the sights, smells and sounds of nature my thoughts slow down and make room for the Universe to give me suggestions for problem-solving.  A bonus, for sure.

nature-243483_1920Yesterday, I battled with a database not giving me the information I needed.  I fussed with it for a half hour and it resisted.  So I went for a walk.  My thoughts calmed down as I enjoyed the beautiful day.  And then, lo and behold, I heard a voice in my head [that would be the Universe, not a psychotic episode] tell me to delete the problem data and re-enter it.  When I went back to working on it, I did that, and . . . you can guess the results.  Bingo!

As I have gotten older, I have discovered that walking doesn’t necessary cause weight loss like it did in my younger years.  This seems to be a common complaint, especially amongst women.  I read an article about menopause that said when your estrogen drops your body looks for another place to find it.  Apparently, belly fat is a source of estrogen.  WTF.  Fat gut or hot flashes from h*ll.  I don’t think there is a choice.  I think sometimes your body gives you both as payback for all the abuse you’ve put it through.  You men don’t get hot flashes, but that beer gut might be replacing your lost testosterone.

Enough about guts and sweating to the oldies.

Walking is still one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Movement keeps you moving and as you move forward through life you will want to enjoy it as much as possible.  If nothing else, being able to walk to the bar to support your beer gut and avoid a DUI.

Slainte!

I’m Better Than I Never Was

photo-256887_1920Remember when you could run a seven-minute mile?  Wore a size 2?  Could live on five hours of sleep a night?

What if these and many others things like them that you tell yourself on a regular basis are really just lies to avoid accepting yourself for who you are now?  If you quit saying them, could you embrace your reality, could you be kind and loving to you?

And if you did, might you be better than who you thought you were?

It is easy to get caught up in the past.  It is about who you were, but your memories might be tainted.  Maybe things in your life aren’t going very well.  Struggles with a lover, unsatisfying work, body image, bank account a little low.  Not surprising you might wish for what was.  Not surprising you might think the past held better times.  Maybe it did.

What if you could change now?  The good news: you can.  How?  Think differently.  You are better than you were or you wouldn’t be here now.  You are better than you were because you have experience.  You have more knowledge.  You know what you really want, but did you know that your thoughts create your reality?  What you focus on is what appears in your life.  The more you think your life is crap, the more crap appears in your life.

Start by thinking of all the good things in your life.  Write them down.  Put a sticky note on your mirror to look at when you brush your teeth.  Stay focused on the good things.  Like attracts like.

Before long, you will realize that life is better than you thought it was.

Forever 21

Yes, I know it is a clothing store.  And No, I do not shop there.  Would I want to be 21 again?  Oh, Hell No!  Too much work, too much silliness, too much learning to do all over again.  Even if I knew then what I know now, I would not want a do-over.  I would not be the woman I am now if it were not for the stupidity of my younger self.  Stupidity might be too strong a word.

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 Twenty-one is a time for learning.  Twenty-one is a time to do crazy, but hopefully not detrimental, things with all the joy and exuberance of youth.  It is best at any age to try to act in a safe manner just so as not to leave this life too early.  But where would you be today if not for some drunken night with your besties?  I so do not miss those days.

 I think the only thing I miss about being 21 is just the physical aspect of it – not waking up stiff and sore, the strength and resilience of your body.  But would I do anything different physically if I had that body or would my wisdom tell me that I really do not need to be different?

 You cannot go back to your youth and you really should not dwell on those times.  Doing so causes you to miss out on all the beauty and wonder of the present moment.  Love the self you are now, love your body, love your wisdom and love your sh*t. 

 And do not try to replay those drunken nights.  It is bad for your skin.  And you will smell like the cat box.

Waist Not, Want Not

belly-2354_1920Remember when a tiny waist was so important?  You would measure yourself daily and if there was a slight variation, you would starve yourself or do those twisty exercises or maybe just suck it in for the next week.  Once you are in the menopause-ing years, that tiny waist should be as forgotten as eight-track tapes.

I read a story once about maiden, mother and matron.  The maiden had a tiny waist to attract a really good husband, as a place for his hands to hold her.  The mother’s waist expanded so that when she held her child, the head was supported and placed for nurturing.  The matron’s waist was much thicker as to provide warmth and comfort on a cold night.  Hmmm.  Seems like our waist is only for the benefit of others.

Our middle section has been a focal point of our physical body since we discovered we had one.  Thick, thin, poochy, six-pack muscles, we spend more time on it than brushing our teeth.

Does your waistline trouble you?  Review your diet.  Do you need to clean up your eating habits?  Maybe go grain-free and check out the plan in “Wheat Belly” by William Davis M.D.  A ketogenic diet might work well so read “Fat for Fuel” by Joseph Mercola M.D.  If you have health issues, review them with your doctor.  It might be time to ditch the TV watching and go for a walk.  If you are physically impaired, roll your wheelchair down the sidewalk and experience the healthful benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

If you have taken the necessary steps to be your best self and your waistline still is not what you want, then it is time to accept this change.  Wrap your arms around your middle and give yourself a big hug.  That is what Loving Your Sh*t is all about.

Note: while the story about the waist was a cute fictional version, Maiden-Mother-Crone is considered the Triple Goddess in Neopaganism and often a woman’s power symbol in Celtic lore.  I also like to consider the waist area as symbolic of the third chakra – the solar plexus – as the area associated with personal power.  Claiming your personal and feminine power might actually strengthen and tighten up your waist.

Wastin’ The Day Away

patio tiki barI am taking a “stay-cation” next week.  It’s practice for when I’m retired.  I would like to know what it feels like to be at home all day and choose what I want to do.

Luxurious, I’m thinking.

I realize that taking a week-long break from work is a whole different animal than being at home day-after-day.  A break from work usually means doing nothing, doing everything, or maybe just wastin’ away in Margaritaville.  There will be a small amount of Margaritaville in my week.  It’s summer, we have a little pool and a tiki bar on the patio. . .so why wouldn’t I?

There will be fun festivals bookending the week.  I have my usual chores.  A little bit of de-cluttering.  Spiffy up my ride.  Exercise.  Walk the lake.  Lounge in a chair and read.  And hopefully, write and stockpile a bunch of articles to keep you entertained in the weeks to come.

A lot of what I anticipate my days will look like in retirement.  Regular exercise will be priority on my list.  Writing because it pleases me.  Writing my book.  Yes, there is one of those.  I am calling it “Phucensch*tt – Spirituality for People Who Swear”.  Yes, really.  But I’m not giving out any more info on that.  You will have to wait.  I plan on trips to the library.  Trips to cool places in Denver that I’ve never seen in all my years of living here.  Like the Molly Brown House.

I will walk to the grocery store and buy a few things for that day instead of stockpiling from a warehouse store.  I will poke in the dirt until it begs me to stop planting flowers.  I will chase pigeons off the roof.  (Hopefully that problem is already resolved.  Haven’t seen them in a day or two.)  I will re-ignite my love of cooking.  I will meditate.  H*ll, I might even take guitar lessons and become a rock chick.  Or not.  Guitar Hero might be enough.  I’ll watch all my favorite movies over and over until I can recite every word,  “Welcome to Columbia, Joan Wilder.”  And if I feel the need to work and serve, I’ll give readings at my favorite little metaphysical store, For Heaven’s Sake.  I just won’t be doing what I’ve done for the last 30+ years.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll put on a pair of flip-flops and search for my lost shaker of salt.