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.

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.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

 

“Happiness is not having what you want.  It is wanting what you have.”  This quote by Rabbi Hyman Schachtel always seemed perplexing to me.  I focused too closely on the “not having what you want” portion and totally missed the meaning behind it.

We all exist in a state of want.  More money, better job, nicer home, prettier clothes, more loving partner, the list is endless.  But just “wanting” will keep you in a state of more want.  These days, everything happens quickly and we can exist in a state of insatiable desire.  And most all of it can be achieved in minutes.  But is that what it really takes for happiness?

“It is wanting what you have.”

The second portion of that quote is too often where we get messed up.  Once upon a time, I thought it meant be happy with what you got ‘cause you ain’t gettin’ any more.  Sad.  That is existing in a belief state of lack.  Feeling lack is what gets you stuck in want.  Feeling lack leaves us never feeling satisfied with what we have.  We believe we are missing out on something better, even if everything we Need is surrounding us. 

Lack prevents us from feeling happy.

Abundance is free.  Abundance is your connection to the Universe and knowing that everything you need will be provided for you.  You may have to take action steps to get that, but if you listen to the Universe you will be guided on what to do.  When you feel abundant, you will never want what you don’t need.  I have no interest in having an airplane, so I obviously don’t need it.  Sometimes when you feel abundant you will need less.  Everything you have will support you and you will move through life with more ability to handle stresses.  So how do you feel abundant?

Ask the Universe to help you.

“Universe, please help me to feel abundant in all forms.  Help me to open my heart to experience all that I need.  Thank you for helping me to allow this in my life.”

As you practice this, you will begin to feel differently about your life.  You will likely still want things, but they will be what you need and you will discover ways to have them in your life.

Especially if they are already there.

Freedom

religion-3426187_1920 (1)It is the 4th of July in America.  People all over are waving flags, watching parades, staring in wonder at dazzling fireworks displays, and consuming vats of food and drink.  I think sometimes we forget what it really means.

What is freedom?

We know that it represents Independence Day, or the birth of the United States.  It changed the world and the people that created it.  But what does freedom mean to you?

Freedom is the right to speak and act without hindrance.  It is not the right to do this without regard for others and causing them harm.  It is not the right to harm creatures and property.

Freedom is about choice.  It is about the ability to think, to decide, to act upon what is for your highest and best good.  It is about choosing who you want in your life.  It is choosing a career path that makes you happy and utilizes your skills.  It is wearing what you like.  It is doing the things that make you happy and fulfilled.  When you feel happy and fulfilled, your life will feel smooth.  Oh, it will never be without issues, for you are human after all.

Freedom is simply just a thought process.  It is allowing your thoughts to run wild, imagining, dreaming, just completely letting loose.  They are just thoughts after all and don’t have to be shared or put into action.  “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” is an old German song about the freedom of thought.  Its lyrics speak of thoughts being within your mind where no one can shut them down and no one can imprison you.

That is the true meaning of freedom.

So how will you set your mind free?

Response-ability

Do you often feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you have to do in any given day?  I suspect that is probably normal for many people.  Too many commitments, too much wanting, too many expectations.

I took the word responsibility and split it into two parts, and created a new meaning.  “The ability to respond.”

We often take on more than we can handle because we think we should.  If you said “no” to things that don’t belong to you or you don’t feel good about, what are the consequences?  Sometimes you have to say no to people, because if you don’t , they will never learn a much-needed lesson.  The world is full of overworked and overcommitted people.

But what about the people that can’t respond?

I’m going back to the subject of depression, because it is very difficult to understand what is going on.  I have experienced times of depression.  Fortunately, they have been minimal.  I tend to go more the other way, as I have anxiety disorder.  Anxious people are usually the overcommitted, because having control over things keeps your environment manageable if not calm.  Anxious people look for sh*t on the horizon and plot and plan to keep it shoveled away.  I have worked (there’s that word again!) very hard to keep the horizon sh*tpile from blocking my view.

Depression doesn’t even let you see the sh*tpile on the horizon.  Depression says the sh*tpile is inside you.  Depression turns your brain chemicals to sh*t and sends your energy down the toilet.  Depressed people struggle with getting out of bed, much less changing out of their pajamas.  There is no hope.  And they can’t help it.

I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t profess to know all the ins and outs of this debilitating disease.  I have studied it and have experienced a level of it.  Meds don’t always help and many people don’t like to take them because they often create a “foggy” brain.  Many years ago, I took meds for anxiety.  They took away the anxiety, but they also took away my “red flag” filter and I married an alcoholic while I was on them.  Not too many months into the marriage, I weaned off the meds and woke up to the reality of life with a nasty person.  I suffered through it for 7 years, at a great cost to my self-esteem.  In the final years of the marriage, I sometimes went to sleep at night wishing I wouldn’t wake up.  That is what depression will do to you.  (Obviously I got through it or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  The blog has served as a healing platform.)

I’m sharing this because of the recent celebrity suicides and all the “whys?” surfacing all over social media.  The “whys” are because THEY CANNOT FIND THEIR WAY UP.  Family, friends, money, fame, social status, good physical health. . .cannot fix what is happening to the soup in their brains.  They cover it up and medicate themselves with some sort of substance abuse or addiction, which sends them further out of control. The lucky few respond to outreach, or rescued attempt, and live on to maintain, thrive and even be a spokesperson for help.  But too many, like Kate and Anthony and people you love, absolutely believe that the only way out. . . is Out.

If you know someone who struggles with depression, first do not condemn them.  THEY CANNOT HELP IT.  Find a way to offer your support.  Wrap them in love.  Hold the vision that love is literally pouring into their body and filling them up.  Gently poke and prod them to keep going.  Be the sunshine in their life as they can’t see their own.

And remember, that you too, deserve love and caring and someone to hold your hand.

Character

ethics-2991600_640I found a little saying in a magazine many years ago, clipped it, and pinned it to my bulletin board at work.

“Character – Be True to your Word, your Work and your Friends.”

fashion-3080181_640You can be a character, eccentric and colorful, or an actor in a movie, play or book.  I like to think I’m a little bit colorful.  But the other definition spoke to me more.

“The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”  To me, this definition speaks of integrity whose definition is much the same.  Another simple way of saying this is “say what you mean and mean what you say.”

 

Character or integrity should be an important aspect of who we are.  If you are wishy-washy or evasive, people will lose trust in you.  Integrity is a favorable quality to have in your work, one that will get you recognition, promotions and possibly more money.  Having integrity will build character and that will earn respect.  You can be likeable and even lovable, but if you don’t have integrity you won’t get respect.

business-1869266_640Stand by your word.  Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes – you will actually get more respect by being honest and truthful.  It also helps if you step up to the plate and take action to repair the damage, even if you have to ask for help.

If someone asks you to do something that compromises your integrity, say no.  If you know that what you are doing is legally, ethically and morally right, stand on that and follow through.  Saying no to someone’s demand that you do something in opposition to that, might momentarily get you in trouble, but ultimately you will be respected and recognized for doing the right thing.

God knows we have so many people with so few ethics, that you need to hold onto every little bit you have.

Because, really, the only person you really have to answer to is yourself.

 

 

Parts Unknown – Heaven

clouds-2709662_640The 2nd in a week, Anthony Bourdain was found dead of apparent suicide. May he rest in peace.

anthony-bourdain-parts-unknownHis TV show, Parts Unknown, was entertaining and interesting and pulled us out of our busy world and into adventure. Anthony lived life to the fullest, sucking every last drop of fun out of his existence. A self-proclaimed alcoholic and prior drug user, he battled his demons through his passion for food. Heaven will be eating well.

 

restaurant-2697945_640Like Kate Spade, creativity appeared to be the outlet for all the good within. Something beautiful, whether a handbag or a dish to be savored for an evening, their true self and soul shined through. We have all benefited from their contributions.

Addictions typically mask pain. Many people are afraid to deal with their pain for the fear that it will never go away. You MUST feel, then deal and THEN you will heal. You don’t have to do it alone and there is no shame in asking for help. Your family and friends don’t need to know the details. Surprisingly, pain can be present in your life from birth. It comes in from past lives. I realize that not everyone believes in this, but I know it to be true. Why else can a small child, in a pleasant environment, display “issues”?

If you battle addictions, mental illness, or ongoing negative behavior patterns, please do something to heal yourself. There is nothing in your life that can’t be replaced with something better. You are a beautiful human being. Your needs, your feelings, your very life is important to the Universe. You are here for a greater purpose. Maybe you are here to teach someone else that you can recover from whatever troubles you and live peacefully. Maybe there is a culinary delight or fabulous handbag in your future.

I wonder what’s for dinner in The Universe Cafe tonight? Cheers, Anthony.

Bon Voyage and Godspeed, Dear Kate

41OLqVyQ+iL._AC_US327_QL65_I, like many people, was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Kate, as we know, was the brilliant mind behind cute, quirky and beautiful handbags, shoes, clothing and housewares. I own 2 pairs of shoes and 5 of her fabulous bags and would love to have a collection. I bet they will be hard to find now.

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What really saddens me is her method. The report is of suicide. Darling Kate, what could have been so awful in your life for this to happen? Most anything can be fixed or replaced with something better. The only thing that would warrant a suicide is a painful, terminal illness and even then, don’t go it alone. There are doctors to help with that sort of thing.

We see this played out often in daily life. Someone with mental illness, severe depression, addictions, or severe pain – all truly a crisis. But there is always help. We get too far mired down in our own muck and we somehow can’t believe that there is anyone out there who cares or will help. We have distanced ourselves with too much technology and social media and forget how to reach out and hold someone’s hand. We don’t talk – we text. I read that you can even have Alexa or somesuch read your child a bedtime story. WTF.

Mental illness typically has roots in a chemical imbalance in the brain. We know that there are plenty of chemicals out there to balance them. However, some of the most simple things can change your brain chemicals. And one of them is human touch. A hug. A hand to hold. Tears to share. Laughter to lighten up. A kiss goodnight. Even petting your cat or dog will stir up the good chemicals. Do YOU do any of these things? There is ALWAYS someone out there who will hold your hand when you most need it. A nurse in the hospital. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know them, the chemicals will activate. Human beings are not meant to be alone so don’t suffer alone. Find someone to talk to if you find yourself sinking into a dark place. There is always another path for you.

Rest In Peace, Kate Spade, and thank you for bringing something for us all to smile about.

Will & Grace

will-and-grace[1]I have never watched the show, but I don’t watch much TV.  So I don’t know much about it.  I am talking about your Will, as in your personal power and Grace, staying calm and cool under pressure.

In today’s crazy times, it is very easy to lose your cool and have a public meltdown. H*ll, we see it all the time on the news! Doesn’t mean that we all want to witness that, much less be the one who wails like a two-year-old.

Having a Will is healthy as it means that you have a sense of self and appropriate boundaries. Will helps you get up in the morning. Will gets you to the gym to do something about that beer gut. (Yes, you know it’s there.) Will gets you to survive and thrive. Will helps you write that novel.

man-1207675_640But the most important thing that Will does for you is getting you to stand up for yourself. You have a right to your beliefs. You have a right to your emotions. You have a right to be safe and cared for. Will doesn’t do this at the expense or pain of anyone or anything else. That’s Will’s black-sheep cousins, Coward and Narcissist.

When Will stands up for your beliefs, Will needs to invite Grace to the party. Grace acts with dignity. Grace remains calm, but stands firm. Grace has an inner badass. Grace does not screech and demand her way. Grace bends her Will to a Higher Power as she knows that something bigger is there to guide and protect her.

If you put Will & Grace on your team, you will walk through life being respected for honoring your needs with dignity. And some people will think you are a badass.

Let’s Talk Chakras – The Advent of the 12 Chakra System

12chakrasystem-web[1]12/21/2012 is known as the date that began a shift in Divine Energy. The Universe is simply tired of the old way of doing things. Mean people can’t hide in the shadows anymore. Greed, corruption, male domination, lack of empathy and compassion and many other negative patterns. . .I guess you could say it is the time to clean up the Seven Deadly Sins.

We live in volatile times. Shifting energy will do that. Think Spring on a grand scale. Just imagine what will blossom when we get through this. I doubt that our minds can even comprehend that right now.

Another shift in energy is with the chakra system in the body. If you have been following this series, you know that there are seven that exist within the body. There are a few minor ones that I haven’t written about: hands, feet and ears. They need equal attention as the others. Five additional new chakras are being awakened and they exist outside of your body. As they are still developing, I don’t know enough yet to write about them. However, the eighth chakra – The Higher Self – is the one we should be opening up to.

The Higher Self Chakra allows you to seek guidance from higher realms. Your Higher Self is the part of you that knows all about you and guides you to your best good. Expanding this will open you to spiritual channels that can take you to a more meaningful existence. Think Archangels and the Council of Light. They are the guardians of the planet, guiding us to peace and ensuring that we don’t blow the thing up. Good to know. Earth is an amazing incredible place, filled with endless possibilities for growth and spiritual development. We have no idea how important it is in the grand scheme of the Universe, which is why these Higher Beings are so involved.

Open your heart, allow your mind to expand with possibilities you can’t see, listen with your inner hearing to the Wise voices that can and will guide you to happiness and contentment. Don’t know what that sounds like? They speak very formal-like and calm, always starting with “We”. They will never, ever make you feel bad, scared, depressed, nervous or any other negative emotion. Their truth will resonate down in your gut in a way that you don’t understand, but just know without a doubt. If you listen to their guidance, your life will be smoother. Oh the sh*t you might be dealing with will still be there, but that guidance will help you get through it with confidence and composure. If you let them, they’ll even reduce the drama.  Wouldn’t that be nice!

So tune out, tap in and turn on the faucet of light that will fill you with the strength, courage, confidence and direction to move forward in your life. A meaningful existence will seek you out, giving you purpose and the desire to stay here as long as possible. You’ll improve your health without struggle. Relationships will be with like-minded people. You’ll have exactly what you need in your garden of life.

May Divine Light and Love be with you always.