Kickoff

football-1488156_1920Football season has begun.  The first pre-season game has been played and many of the players, as well as some of the coaches, are wondering what their future holds.  A crowd-pleasing punt return; the dejection of an intercepted pass; or the season-ending injury will change the tide for many.

We are still in the midst of summer so the tantalizing smell of grilled meat fills the air.  The “splursh” of a pop-top can spreads the yeasty scent of beer.  Chlorine, coconut oil and wet dog hair.  The sounds of summer echo with the squealing giggles of children playing.  Summer is for play, whether you are a big kid or small.  It is no wonder the game of football begins in the middle of summer.

braai-2572725_1920Football games can change the mood of traffic.  Fortunes are won and lost on chancy bets.  Big money rolls through the NFL in the form of salary caps, signing bonuses and the inevitable Super Bowl commercials.  How many Clydesdales have marched across the television screen?

We worry and stress over the players lives and the weekly games as much as we worry about what to have for dinner.  And forget that football is just a game to entertain us on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  It’s not much different than watching “The Voice” or “American Idol”.  Relax, football friends, I’m not picking on football, just making a comparison.  I get all edgy, too, when I watch the Broncos.

football-801047_1280So why do we get all twisted up when we watch a football game?  The action and suspense, of course.  And then there is the beauty of watching a pack of incredible physical specimens do amazing things with their bodies.  Football [and its European counterpart, soccer] is an enjoyable diversion in our lives.  When some strong-armed guy launches a football downfield and a speed demon latches onto it with one hand, tucks it into his chest and runs hell-bent for leather to a touchdown. .  . well, it’s pretty easy to forget all about the big report you have to write the next day.  Or maybe when you have to kick-off a big project, you’ll have that touchdown in mind and the process just might seem a little easier.

I say, go for the two-point conversion and maybe you’ll get a bonus.  It might be just enough to go and see your favorite team play in the Super Bowl.

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!

So Shoe Me

IMG_0117I love shoes.  I’ve written about them many times, probably more than anything else.  I guess I can’t help it.  I just love them.

I probably have too many.  Big Deal.

No one is starving because of my obsession with shoes.  If anything, the person who makes them is likely feeding their family from the proceeds.  I would like to think I am helping the economy.

The economy is like energy, there has to be a give and take flow in order for it to work.  When you buy shoes, or food, or cars, or homes or even just a pack of gum you are contributing to the flow.  When you go to work and create or support or provide service you are contributing to the flow.money-2159310_1920

Not doing any of those things merely stops up the energy like a two-year-old tossing a plastic dinosaur into the toilet.  I suppose that, too, contributes since you have to call a plumber to come dig Dino from the sewer.  Plumbers eat well because of two-year-olds and toys.

If you take something without an exchange or create harm, you might have to pay a fine, go to jail, or get sued.  All of which also stop the flow of energy.

By keeping the energy flowing, you create room in your life for more abundance, prosperity, success and just plain joy.  Allow yourself to receive and it will be easier to give.

Or just go buy a pair of shoes so someone can have a nice dinner with their family.

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.

Gra-feed-me

IMG_0443                                All photos from the RiNo area of Denver.

Graffiti has long been considered an eyesore and often gang-tagging.  There is obviously some beauty in it since many graffiti artists are being commissioned to decorate the sides of large buildings.

Denver has two areas with extensive wall art.  River North, known as RiNo, on the north side of downtown has gorgeous work of graphics and bold colors.  I’ve taken several photos and plan another trip for more.  The colors just grab my creative soul.  The other area is on West Colfax, known as the 40 West Arts District.  They actually have painted a green line on the sidewalks and pavement for people to walk around and view the art.  I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve driven past much of it.

The history of graffiti is attributed to Cornbread, a high school student in Philadelphia, who in 1967 started tagging city walls to get the attention of a girl.  Sigh.  Everything starts with love.

Graffiti is about getting attention, and probably for the purpose of feeding the soul of the creator.  How many times have you sat in a meeting and doodled while you listened to some talking head?  Feeding the need to quell boredom.  Or maybe designing the next rocket ship.

Graffiti is the most raw form of creativity.  Spewing out colors, shapes, swirls, maybe people or things.  The contents of your heart spread out for everyone to see.  I guess you could say posting a blog is some sort of graffiti.  A bunch of nonsense on an electronic wall.  Well, not everyone’s blog is nonsense.  But really, don’t we write in the hopes that someone will “Like” it?  No head trips here, just random thoughts.

However, I just might start adding some swirls and bright colors to my posts.  Gotta feed my soul, you know.IMG_0453

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.

color-run-festivals-438124_1920

 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.

Bird Brained

statue-185435_1280We have been “Liked” by some pigeons for a couple of months.  Oh, cute! You might think, unless you have read about why they are not so cute.  Their poop could likely destroy a building, not to mention the parasites and other yuck that they carry.  Sigh.

When we first discovered them, they had found a little hidey-hole between the gutter and railing on the roof.  There was a little nest and two little eggs inside.  How sweet, we thought.  Bird-brained, we were.  The poop began to build so we decided it was time to encourage them to move on.

Do you know how difficult it is to relocate pigeons without harm?

Kind of like getting your adult child to move out.

We removed the nest and covered the entry to prevent their access.  Well, we have two rooftop decks so they just scouted out the other one.  Again, a long space between the railing and the gutter became their new apartment.  My sweetie had to make a perilous extraction and a cover for their access, all the while chasing them away.  He had a career as an ironworker so this wasn’t such a frightening thing for him.  Me, let’s just say it was better that I neither saw this nor found out about it until after.

These winged rats from h*ll do not give up.

Lest you are wondering, no harm has nor will be unleashed upon these creatures.  We just want them to relocate out of the neighborhood.

Tippi-Halloween-Costume[1]It appeared that we were birdless, until I decided to go out onto the roof and listen to the music from a weekend street party.  Tippi Hedren would have had a case of PTSD.  Too bad I wasn’t wearing a green Chanel suit.  The f*ckers swarmed my head and there were only two of them!  I might have started screaming, but my sweetie had followed me out and proceeded to scare them away.  I discovered their new nest, complete with the two eggs, lurking behind the lounger.  A small poop-fest too.

Enough is enough.

Short of having roast fowl for dinner,  eewww, I took to my favorite form of waging war: look it up on the Internet.  Results: spikes on their perch.  Hmm.  Ultrasonic device.  A little too much $$.  Fake owls or hawks.  Okay.  Noisy or reflective things.  Okay.  Reflective stuff sort of works with birds like staring at the ocean without sunglasses works for us.  Next stop: Amazon.  Reflective tape and spinners.  We’ll try that.  We have a couple of windchimes we can relocate to the roof.  They might drive the neighbors batty, but they’ll appreciate not having a pigeon condo next door.  I bought some shiny pinwheels at the store and stuck them along the railing, close to the ground.

We washed down the roof and moved the furniture around to eliminate as many hidey-holes as possible.  Once we get the shiny stuff from Amazon, we are going to create a webbing of sorts with fishing line to discourage a landing zone.  We’ll hang some of the shiny stuff from it so it can blow in the breeze.  Maybe then, the rat b*stards will relocate.

My apologies if a pair of persistent grey flying rats descend upon your roof.  Better stock up on shiny pinwheels, if nothing else they will look cute.

Shake It Off

skeletons-32459_1280I recently created a music playlist to listen to when we are hanging out on the patio.  I tried to pick songs that make you want to get “jiggy”.  That’s code word for dancing, not the OTHER jiggy.

I went back in time for some of them, for favorites, and to add variety.  Remember “Dancing on the Ceiling” by Lionel Ritchie?  Watch the video on YouTube, it will make you smile.

Dancing is healthy for mind, body and soul.  It gets you moving, maybe singing along and it just lightens your soul.  And it is portable.  We have a little above ground pool on the patio, just big enough to cool off on a warm summer day, and spend quite a bit of time there.  We can fit 4 inner tubes without crowding and it is butt-deep.  Ever dance in an inner tube?  Okay, wiggle, but you get the idea.  Just don’t wiggle too much lest you wish a mouthful of pool water.  Needless to say, it has been a fun way to beat the heat and listen to some great tunes.

Dancing can also help heal the soul.  I recently read some articles discussing the shaman’s “Skeleton Dance”.  After you have done some emotional healing work, it is recommended that you do this dance to shake off and out the residual energy.  First, picture a skeleton hanging by a string.  Give it a shake and watch how all the bones rattle around.  It is a very loose dance and probably not much different than what you might do when you are drunk.  Just don’t drink alcohol when you are doing healing work as it defeats the purpose.  Well, duh.  Drunkenness is probably why you need to do the healing work in the first place!!  So let’s practice. . .err, give it a try.

Stand up.  Get your a$$ up off the sofa, it is time to get jiggy!  Start swinging your arms around like they are loose in your shoulder socket.  Loosen up those elbows, your wrists and even your fingers.  Do the same with your legs and move on up through your hips and waist.  Head too.  Just let loose and shake it loose.  Quit worrying about what you look like, you are supposed to be a skeleton, remember?  Jiggle around until you feel relaxed and fluid.  Then stop and just stand there for a bit and tune into your body.  How do you feel?  There should be some measure of less stress.  You should always do some method of body release work after emotional healing to avoid keeping it trapped in your body.  The skeleton dance is a fun and effective way to do this.

So why don’t you cue up “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” by Will Smith or “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift and dance your way to joy.