A Whiter Shade of Gray

senior-3336451_1920In the last several years, there has been growing popularity in older women and men being chic, fascinating and featured in magazines. Well, why not? Older people have this “been there, done that” attitude and are going to continue doing what they want. Old does not mean slow, stupid or even about to die.

Our bodies are aging, each and every day. We know that. Yes, our brains do too, but that does not equate to being senile. We have a wealth of experiential knowledge that helps us to make quick and powerful decisions. We are no longer burdened by the “image” society has picked for us. We can sky-dive if it so pleases us. We can get married when we are in our 90s. If we want to wear florals, stripes and sequins all in the same outfit, so be it. “Insta-Grannies” are all the rage now. I won’t list them, because by now you will have seen, read or are following most of them.

Is this a fad that will slowly fade away as many of these icons pass on? A fad is something that gets worn out and loses its appeal. If we are all aging, then we are all fads. So why not be so individually cool that you never outlive your time?

active-cyclist-elderly-264073What these ultra-cool elders are really showing us is that you must keep going and growing in order to live your best life. Having your 60th birthday, or whatever age you deem to be old, is not an automatic indicator that you must now move to an assisted-living facility and wear Velcro shoes. A continually stimulated brain will spur you into stimulating your body. Walk, dance, climb, hike, swim, sky-dive, whatever challenges you want to place upon your body – just go for it. Be safe; just because you can do it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for your body. Our muscles don’t recover as quickly as they used to, and our bones aren’t as strong as they used to be either.

barca-473854_1920Are you a widower and think that because your spouse of 50 years is gone, you should just sit alone in your tiny new apartment? Au contraire, my friend. Loneliness will kill you faster than your one martini with dinner. Why not a companion to share that martini with? There is no social demand that you be married. Living in sin, if you call it that, is far more fun than withering away by yourself.

Many seniors become entrepreneurs. Done with the working-for-someone-else world, many active adults start new businesses built upon hobbies or passions. We have a lifetime of skills and workplace savvy to make it lucrative.

How about a little Botox, sculpting, or other cosmetic enhancements? False eyelashes and eyeliner aren’t just for the 20-something set. Whatever you choose to make yourself look and feel better should be just to make yourself feel better, and not about what anyone else says.

old-2742052_1920Growing older isn’t an easy thing. The changes in your body can be very frustrating. The lapses in memory are annoying. Don’t let them overwhelm you. Be kind and loving to yourself. Use them as opportunities to slow down and savor the moments of each day. You now have time to do all the fun things you put off while you were working and raising children.

You might even have time to go sky-diving with your grandkids while wearing your new purple-sequinned jumpsuit.

Leat-Her Wear it

I’m not a big fan of leather coats. They tend to be too bulky and too stiff. Even my fave – the biker jacket. But when I saw this coat in the Sundance catalog (Robert Redford’s company), I decided that I seriously needed it. So I searched up a coupon and then pressed the Order button.

I’m glad I pressed Send. This coat is like butter and it has enormous style, almost military/calvary in its cut. The buttons come to a V at the waist and then the remainder are hidden. Those couple are a little hard to button from the inside, but oh-so-cool. It’s great for a slightly warmer winter day in Denver.

I know that from a social viewpoint, leather and its sister, fur, get a bad rap. Along with eating their contents. I have no “beef” [pun intended] with anyone’s choice; it is all in how you grew up. I grew up on a self-sustaining farm in Iowa. We raised milk cows (my favorite, as previously written), stock cows, pigs and chickens. We grew corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa. We planted a huge amount of potatoes and an average-sized garden. We ate what we grew and sold some for profit. That is what farming is all about. In the middle of an Iowa winter, having a freezer full of meat is a necessity. We had canned vegetables and potatoes in cold storage, but it is not enough to feed a family through those long cold months.

Pigs and cows were sold at the stockyards, which gave us money to live on. They, of course, generated meat, but the hides had to go somewhere. So, they became coats, shoes, belts, handbags and so on. A very practical use of all the parts. I abhor cruelty in any form, but it normally doesn’t exist in a family farm situation. All our animals, right down to the adorable baby ducks were well cared for.

So if you see someone walking down the street wearing something you don’t agree with, allow them their choice. They might be farm-raised like me. I’m sure no one will berate you for wearing broccoli on your pants.

So let her wear it.

Chewing My Cud

cow-44702_1280Last week, my workweek was a little rough.  Too many meetings, which I hate anyway, and one that included a person that seems hell-bent-for-leather on demeaning my work and reputation.  I think she is carrying a grudge because I made a prudent business decision without getting her permission, of which she really has no authority over, but it pissed her off.  My manager and director were on board with the decision, so it wasn’t as though I ran wild on my own.  Needless to say, she was once again a nasty b*itch in last week’s meeting.  It is getting OLD.

Today is President’s Day and a work holiday.  I decided to use the day to ruminate and try to come up with some ideas on how to deal with the situation.  Being around this person is extremely toxic and I am not the only one that feels this way.  Because I am very empathic, her nastiness coats me like tar and it takes awhile to recover.  I am left feeling worthless and depressed.

This morning I told my Sweetie that I was going to ruminate today and he said “oh, like a cow regurgitating and chewing their cud”.  I laughed and looked up “ruminate” and one of the definitions was “chewing your cud”.  The funnier part to this was the further comment of “cows release more methane while ruminating”.  I guess it seems apropos that I named this blog “Loving Your Sh*t”.

apartment-3677491_1920As I ruminate on the situation, a recurring theme comes up with worthiness and responsibility.  I often feel as though I continually need to prove my worth, which causes me to take on too much responsibility and them I am tired and resentful of those around me.  Being an empath causes me to feel chaotic energy, which results in a deep need to have an organized, near-perfect environment.  To get that, the need to control takes over and then I must do it myself to meet my standards.

cow-1983720_1280I’ve done enough study and research to know that I am not alone in these feelings.  Many people, especially women, are caught in this recycling trap.  Chewing our cud, so to speak.  This emotional bind is very often caused by emotionally unavailable parents.  For women, it is primarily the mother and causes a deep loss of self.  There are typically two types of coping mechanisms that result: Mary Marvelous and Sally Screw-Up.  Both play out the core wound of Not Good Enough and the efforts to portray this result.  I happen to be a Mary Marvelous and overdo everything I tackle in order to be recognized and valued by someone.  It is a pattern that is extremely difficult to break, although I have progressed greatly within the last decade.  I may never be able to completely break the pattern, but I’m damned sure going to try.


Much of what happened last week centers around our budgeting process.  It is something I have prepared since I first started working there, and I took responsibility for it all.  To the point that I only had the managers add the discretionary spending.  They didn’t even have to be part of the justification process, which is endless questioning about why we need to spend money for something.  Our department’s budget has many complicated funding sources and programs, so there is a lot to the process.  These complications don’t fit in with the basic process as dictated by this woman, and she is making this year’s process difficult.  She wants it her way.  It hit me that why should I continue to take the brow-beating and not let the managers be responsible?  I will be gone before next year’s budget so I think it is time that they learn how to do this. 

cow-2896329_1920I realize that I created this whole deal with my un-ending need to prove myself.  Well, I’ve done that and now all my effort is being stripped away by this person.  I must step back and begin to withdraw from so much responsibility.  I must teach them how to do the work and provide the justification.  They need to meet with the person and deal with her dictates.  I know all of this, yet it is difficult.  My core wound doesn’t want to disappoint nor deal with the b*itching that is sure to come.  My core wound says you aren’t good enough to ask others to do the job they should be doing.  If I don’t, the cost is my well-being and possibly health.


So I’ve been praying to the Universe for help.  I’m asking for courage, for strength, and for the words to ask for these changes.  This truly is about “Loving Your Sh*t” and I must walk my talk.  Or else I end up face first in a cow pie and I’ve stepped in enough real ones to know.

Thar She Blows!

mount-st-helens-164848_1920Many of us have been taught that “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.  At the same time, spewing nasty, foul, never-to-be-taken-back, words of hate is not the way to go either.  But like the pressure relief valve on a water heater, you have to let out some of the heat or you will blow up.  And like the water heater, you don’t want to become a missile and go through your roof, or at worst someone’s head.

If someone offends you or steps on your toes, holding back your comments does neither of you any good.  First, you just taught them that it is okay to be unkind to you.  Second, you just deposit resentment energy in your body.  And we all know what that does.  (Create dis-ease, if you didn’t know.)  You need to respond immediately and tell the person that you didn’t like what they said or did.  Screaming at the top of your lungs is not necessary, unless they physically hurt you, and then maybe you need to deck them in return.  Just kidding.  An eye for eye isn’t always the best strategy either.  Sometimes that gets you a free ticket to jail.  A very simple “please do not talk to me like that”, is often all that needs to be said.

It’s not always easy to respond quickly.  Sometimes we are caught off guard, with the “I can’t believe what I just heard” thought delay.  And then it seems like the moment is lost.  Sometimes a lifetime of being treated as though you don’t matter keeps your voice silent.  Resentment begins to build in your body like a water heater on full throttle.  It is times like that when you need to find a safe zone to let off some steam.  Some people do well with releasing anger through physical exercise.  Others need to vent to a friend.  Whatever is your preferred method, use it. 

When you release your anger, it subsides and you are able to look at the situation more clearly.  You will give yourself the opportunity to replay it in your mind and develop a new response to future situations.  Practice what you would say if it happens again.  If it is a situation or a person that can never be resolved, share your feelings with a trusted friend.  Venting is healthy.  Wallowing in it is not, because that is with the intention that you don’t want to resolve it in any way.  Venting releases the toxic anger that could cause you illness or erupt in harm to something or someone.

Heat-seeking missiles cause destruction and you don’t forever want to be known as a nuke.

Love, Love Me Do

parrots-3427188_1920“You know I love you. . .” The Beatles, 1963.  Love is very important to our existence.  Whether it is from a spouse, partner, parent, child, friend or even your pet spider, everyone wants and needs to be loved.

We are all lovable children of the Creator.  Every single human being on this planet was created as a lovable, beautiful, miraculous person regardless of their path in life.  Every human is capable of giving, receiving, and deserving of love.  EVERYONE.

In the spirit of cleaning up your life, let’s look at romantic relationships.  Things need cleaning and maintenance to work properly, and so do relationships.  If you don’t put gas in your car, it won’t go anywhere.  If you don’t put time and energy into your relationship, then it might not go anywhere either.

Think of maintaining your relationship like a seesaw.  One person sits at the opposite end of the other, and facing each other.  You begin the movement of the seesaw, and it is a continuous back and forth movement to maintain a balanced load.  If one person forces the movement to stop, the other is basically left hanging in the air.  If they are the stronger person, they are in control.  Unless the one in the air jumps off.  A good seesaw partner contributes to the movement and maintains balance.

balance-2108025_1920How does your romantic relationship serve you?  Do you have a good seesaw partner?  Are you one?  Relationships are rarely the lust-filled, love-you-til-death with my every breath, as you read in paperback novels.  Like a seesaw, relationships have their ups and downs.  A good relationship is supporting and accepting.  No one deserves to be physically, emotionally or verbally abused. Ending a relationship is devastating in so many ways.  Aside from the emotional death you experience, many people are left financially strapped.  Children also suffer.  If you are in a bad relationship and are staying for your children, they experience as much of an emotional assault as they would if you left.  Too often, children become the battleground over which parents play out their non-maintained relationships.

Sometimes a little tending is all it takes to get a relationship back on track.  How about date night?  Busy life?  How about giving each other a half hour of uninterrupted attention each day?  No electronic devices; just face-to-face talking about your day or maybe your dreams.  If you can create together, you can do anything together.  Too tired for sex?  Snuggle up and go to sleep like that.  Simple touching will activate those feel-good chemicals and many little problems will just fade away.  Share all the chores, including children.  Have a joint bank account for the household and then each have a separate account for some spending money (with no justification).  These are the things that most people fight about.  Remember, two people came into the relationship, it takes two people to maintain it.

But most of all, just Love, Love Me Do.

Un-Friendly

adult-3702076_1920Continuing with the “clean it up” theme, it is time to look at your relationships – namely friendships.  Hopefully by now, you have cleaned up your possessions and did some internal releasing of negative beliefs.  If you want your life to keep moving in a positive direction, you will also need to evaluate who you are hanging out with.

Good friendships have a give-and-take balance.

Are you the go-to person for everything?  Nothing wrong with that, if it pleases you, and you aren’t doing all the work.  Do you have a friend who calls you all the time to complain about whatever, but isn’t there when you need to chat?  You might want to reconsider answering the phone.

What about the friend who always wants to go to lunch, but you are stuck with the tab?  Or they come to your house for dinner and never bring anything.  Better to eat alone then be someone else’s pantry.

Maybe it’s the fun, but crazy friend who always calls you to go clubbing.  Yet, their drunken antics cause you no end of embarrassment and may have almost gotten you arrested.

How about the one who always delivers back-handed compliments?  “That’s a great color on you, but pants are so much more slimming than that pencil skirt.”  And then you see her the next day in the skirt you didn’t buy.

Why do you need these toxic people in your life?  You, the kind-hearted person who’s always there with a ready ear or hot bowl of soup.  Ditch the b*tch and open your heart to the wonderful, fun, nice and reciprocal people who are out there.

You deserve someone who supports you.  You deserve someone who cares about you.  You deserve friends who are like you.

Because, you are not unfriendly.

Write Yourself A New Story

pencil-918449_1920If you have been following my posts, you will know that the focus has been on “out with the old, in with the new”.  If you have been following the suggestions, then you will have not only a clean garage, but a lighter heart.  If you did the soul-searching work, you probably landed on old soul wounds and possibly victim mentality.  It is time to re-write your victim’s story.

Let’s say you had a difficult childhood, or someone emotionally wounded you.  That sh*t can stick with you for life!  Too often, trauma of some sort leaves a deep soul wound that takes a long time to heal.  If you even go there at all.  It’s necessary, if you would like to break old patterns and have a happier life.

If you have experienced severe trauma, I highly recommend seeking professional help.  Even if your trauma wasn’t severe, you might be the type who prefers to work with professionals rather than doing it on your own.  I am not a doctor, but I have worked through childhood issues and it is the best thing I have ever done for myself.  I utilized professional help and I did an enormous amount of work on my own.

Allow the feelings.  Write them down.  If you want, write a nasty letter to the person who harmed you and then burn the sucker (the letter, not the person).  Accept that you are human, that negative feelings are okay, and allow yourself to have them.  Just don’t wallow; that’s what we are trying to get rid of.

Now step back and pretend you are Spock from Star Trek.  Get all logical and look at the situation without feelings.  Was your interpretation of the event beyond how you felt?  If you were a child, did you maybe make up things about the event through the eyes of a child?  No judgement, just facts.  If this was a repeat of a previous event, are you adding an extra layer onto this event?  Can you put your perceptions aside to look at the event as it really occurred?  This is not to say you have made anything up; just that our perceptions can make things appear different.

Can you forgive yourself for being a participant in the event?  No, you may not have consciously chosen this, but too often we are too afraid to stop what is happening.  So the best thing to do is to hug yourself, forgive your younger self for being caught in the event and promise yourself that the adult-you will take care of you from now on.

Can you open yourself to the possibility that the event may have been to help your spiritual growth?  Let’s say your father abandoned your family when you were a child.  Your soul wound was that your father didn’t love you and it created the belief that no man would ever love or support you.  All your romantic relationships were with men who were emotionally unavailable and unsupportive of you, thus reinforcing the belief that no man would ever love you.  Let’s say in your last relationship, your partner had a blatant affair with another woman and it nearly wrecked you.  What if this was the Universe trying to get your attention?  That maybe this man did you a favor by making you feel so bad you felt compelled to do something about yourself?  To finally heal your soul wound that your father didn’t love you.

Can you write yourself a new story?

Like attracts like so your belief will bring only this type of man into your life.  When you change your belief to one that says You Are Lovable, then your outer world will reflect that.  When you begin to love yourself, and know that you are perfect in all ways, you will shine that out like a beacon.  You will attract similar people, who love themselves, and are capable of loving others.

So how does your story go?

Hindsight Gives You Further Vision

rear-view-mirror-835085_1920It is the end of another year and we are reminded to look back to see what the year brought us.  How do you feel about this past year?  Was it productive, crazy or blissfully mellow?  Or just an up and down roller-coaster of them all.  While it is not productive to dwell upon the past, looking back can help you see your future.

 

At times we need to look back even further and do a life review.  Now, no beating yourself up over this, just take a review.

Think over the difficulties you have experienced: situations, events, people.  These are the things that shaped you.  If you struggled through them and persevered, then you gained strength and wisdom.  If they are still kicking your a$$, then it is time to face your fears and accept that this is the hand you were dealt at the time but in no way is it the game.  Toss in those cards, take the loss and go find another game.  You get nowhere by staying at the table.

If you want to become a strong person and own your birthright, you must face challenging times.  You need personal power in order to achieve what your soul calls upon you to do.

Next, think over the times of success, achievement and what made you downright happy.  Again look at situations, events, and people.  What about these things caused you to feel good?  Was it love, delight, or completion of something?  What about this do you value most? 

Difficulties and delights contrast each other so you can focus on which ones bring you further along your path, and in your desires for your life.  Learning how to navigate through the difficulties gives you the motivation for achieving your desires.

Take some time to do a life review.  Look closely at the positive times and set intentions, and maybe goals, to increase them in your life.  Make an effort each day to include more positive thoughts or actions.  The more you focus on the positive, the more you bring into your life.

And then you don’t have to worry about silly new year’s resolutions, because you have already resolved them.  Happy New Year!

Saturn Ran Rings Around Me

saturn-67671_1920Saturn Return.  If you have read anything about astrology, you will know what that means and it might stir up dreadful feelings.  If you have heard of the 27 Club, you will also know what it means.  (The 27 Club is the group of musicians and others who didn’t make it past their 27th birthday.)

Saturn takes 27-29 years to move through the astrological signs.  It begins when you are born, and whatever sign it is in will set up challenges and opportunities for your life.  Saturn is the sign of structure.  It defines boundaries, responsibilities and commitments, but can also be limiting and restricting.  It is quite adept at revealing our weakest links.  But if you use Saturn’s transits, the rewards can be great as you can achieve your highest dreams.

When Saturn makes its returns in your sign, it can be tumultuous.  If you haven’t gotten your sh*t together by then, it will force you to do it.  Saturn is the ultimate taskmaster.  The first go-around is the call to leave adolescence behind and learn to support yourself.  Resisting that push will have you living in your parents’ basement and doing chores for an allowance.  Avoiding it altogether might get you dead.  If you can embrace it, you open doors to create the life of your dreams.  “Okay, Vanna, I’ll take Door #2, the one covered in gold.”

The second Saturn Return occurs between the ages of 57-60.  It can also be especially painful, as it is Life Review time and when your mortality becomes visible.  “Why are we even here?!” will scream loudly inside your head.  Unfulfilled dreams will roil inside your guts, demanding to be released.  Throw up or throw down the gauntlet and get them going.  Start small, make it big or make it little, just do something to settle your tummy or you might just wither away.  Sounds depressing.  Saturn can do that if you get fixated upon the negative or let other people dictate who you are.

 

 

Saturn was in Capricorn when I was born.  Capricorns are known for their work ethics.  They are responsible and practical.  My Sun Sign is Leo.  Leos are courageous, kind, generous and loyal.  You put those two together and you have someone who takes care of everything.  Yep, that’s me.  Saturn returned to Capricorn on December 19, 2017 and will remain there until March 21, 2020.  I am up to my eyeballs in Saturn’s rotation and it has kicked my a$$ this past year.  It hasn’t helped that most of the other planets went in and out of retrograde too.  Being it Capricorn, it has been all about work and responsibility.  While it has taken me down due to the nasty people I’ve dealt with, it also propelled me to complete an enormous amount of projects and new ways of doing things. 

It really does make you look at your mortality too, not that I feel I’ll check out anytime soon.  It’s more in how you have lived your life and what purpose that is.  I look at all the work and all the people I’ve taken care of and wonder “what for?”.  I just read a line in a novel that said something like “you have to go back to where you came from in order to understand where you are going.”  Hmm.  Of course, the first thing that came to mind was being unwanted and my mother’s treatment of me.  But as I relived some of that, my thoughts also were that it made me strong, resilient, and capable.  I could have wallowed in anger, became a sponge, and limited myself.  Instead, I went to college, worked my way up the work ladder, bought homes and cars and whatever else I needed.  I wouldn’t call myself wealthy, but I have a nice home, a lifestyle I enjoy, a good partner and the ability to retire.  I wouldn’t have that if I didn’t heed Saturn’s call.

Still, looking forward is intimidating.  I know that my path is to learn how to play.  It makes me anxious thinking about it.  Seriously?!  Yeah.  I’ve surrounded myself with things that encourage play, yet I so very rarely allow myself time to enjoy them.  That’s pretty sad, but I betcha there are a lot of you out there that could say the same thing.  But I’m taking it to task and I’m going to learn how to have fun instead of working to death.

Maybe I’ll play a little ring toss with Saturn.

Update: I just read on the news that Saturn is starting to lose its rings.  Getting a little taste of its own medicine?!

The Holy Grail

goblet-3652113_1920
Pixabay: bluebudgie

“You have chosen wisely.”  I am reminded of the scene in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (Lucasfilm Ltd, May 24, 1989) when Indy crawls into the cavern after surviving a series of challenges and encounters an immortal Knight Crusader.  He then watches the bad guy guzzle from a jewel-encrusted chalice and then shrivel to dust, while the aged Knight states that he had “chosen poorly”.  Indy picks a crudely-hewn mug, scoops up the Holy Water, guzzles it down and feels nothing, or so he thinks.  The Knight approves his choice and Indy goes on to save his father and gets the rest of the team out and on down the road.

The Holy Grail is said to have been the cup that Jesus the Christ drank from at the Last Supper and then later held his blood.  Arthurian literature imbues the cup with miraculous powers.  The term “holy grail” is often used to denote an elusive object or goal that is sought after for its great significance.  (Wikipedia)

Theology and legends aside, what if the Holy Grail and all the variations of its cups represents the choices in our lives?  If each one of us had a different set, number of, shape, size, contents or whatever to choose from for our own quest?  With the ultimate, and perhaps elusive, goal of returning to Spirit.

The cups might represent opportunities or challenges, and we could try any or all of them in our journey through life.  Would you choose wisely or poorly?  I’m sure we would all pick wisely if we knew what the cup held.  Would you automatically choose the glitzy, jewel-encrusted, gold goblet that could hold a gallon?  Or does the moldy looking mug with green slime boiling out of it intrigue you?

When you look at a cup do you view it as half full or half empty?  Do you always choose the ones with the crack?  Do you mix it up and pick a different one each time?  Do you fill your cup or do you suck down every last drop?  Does it taste sweet or sour and nasty?

Life is a quest, a journey through time and experiences.  It is your quest, with your choices.  And only you can decide if you have chosen wisely or poorly.