Therapy Chronicles and personal accountability

What is fear? What is mine? What is yours? What is this generation? What is my story? What do I own? What part is my part? What can I share? What do I hold close? What part is necessary for my journey and what part is not my journey at all but maybe I’m a bystander.

Being a mom is a tricky business. Having 8 kids is trickier than fuck. It was always a struggle to find the right balance of treating each child with individuality and also making it easier by streamlining the process.

When I would cook for my brood, I would cook in bulk. I would fry 10-15lbs of ground beef, make taco meat, sloppy joes, and plain ground beef. It would be used for 2-3 days or frozen in bags to be pulled out to simplify a future meal. I would cut pancakes and salads with two knives intersecting each other so I could cut them quickly. I have cooked and cut a million or more pancakes and salads in my life. It was easier when I could streamline and do everything in a cookie cutter fashion or as an assembly line.

There are times when it is okay to parent in an assembly line fashion with a large family. Cutting the pancakes and salads is an okay time to streamline. Homeschooling the kids, we would all study the same subject at the same time. For instance, we all would study the same time period when we were learning history together. However, each person was at a different level (grade) and needed individualized instruction and learning material to challenge, inspire, and teach them.

Now my children are all grown up. I had always hoped to give them a blend of individualized and streamlined parenting. Some things about kids are all the same. Sometimes the response cannot be generic. I hoped to do all of those things.

Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. I know we all experienced extreme trauma. I know that Covid 19 has torn the superficial layer of skin that was covering the deep wounds. Each one of my kids, my heart, my family, are feeling the effects of Covid and racism and hate right now. And it is bringing up old hurts. Old traumas are bubbling up.

Throughout the acute parenting years, my life was consumed with survival. I survived the abusive marriage. I survived homeschooling the kids. I survived nursing school while raising the kids. I survived parents that interfered with my parenting, undermined my authority, and competed with my children for my affection and respect. I am still, barely, surviving that one. I survived a mental break down when I did something that I had been taught for way too many years that it was a grave sin. But I had to survive. I had to survive and I had to learn to thrive so I could teach my kids to survive…and thrive.

Those were rough years. Those were years that I survived but now I am learning to thrive. Learning to thrive means that I am rooting out the fears, insecurities, and feelings of unworthiness. It also means taking responsibility for my actions, good and bad. It means making amends or feeling a sense of pride for the things that I have done in my past. I am also learning acceptance because I cannot change any of those things, good or bad.

As I have learned to navigate this journey to thriving, finding my juicy, I have tried to hold myself accountable. Part of my accountability process was to be transparent. I began this blog to find my truth and share my truth as I discovered it. I used this platform for education, illumination, confession, and declarations of my successes on the path. I used this blog and social media as a tool for growth and accountability.

I shared all of my hurts, fears, and moments of shame. I shared the things I have done wrong as I learned they were wrong so I could see and document my growth and discoveries of #findingthejuicy by feeling all of the feels even when they seemed dirty and gross.

Recently, I shared an experience or several experiences that intersected with each other. I shared my experience with mental health, racism, and the disparities in health care for people of color. It was my story and my observations. However, I shared some personal information about a close friend of mine. Although I didn’t share the identity, there were people who could identify the person. It hurt people who felt betrayed.

Was it my story? Do I have a “right” to share this story and my insights? Not do I have a right but SHOULD I share a personal story that might cause one to feel shame? I do not know anymore. I know I didn’t share the story with the intention of revealing intimate details of another person’s journey. I was sharing my insight. I was sharing my angst. But it hurt someone.

I didn’t mean to hurt anyone with my story. It truly was an exercise to process the parts of the experience and share the insights I gleaned. But it hurt someone that I care about deeply. People that should care about the hurts will only meddle, gossip, and mock the innocent. It’s always been that way so I should have protected the information to protect the innocent. But I was sharing my pain and I forgot about those hateful people that still have some access to my life and the lives of the people I care about. I forgot.

For that indiscretion, my heart bleeds. I try to forgive myself. I will forgive myself. But Covid has brought so much to light and the past wounds run deep, jagged, and are infected.

I know that this is all coded and vaguebooking. I have to learn to do better. While the writing I do can cause people to judge me harshly, I don’t care what they say about me because it is my journey and my process. I am an independent free thinking free willed woman that uses this tool to heal. However, my healing cannot hurt those that I love as they embark on their own Covid initiated journey of healing. Until they are ready to own their stories and forgive the moving parts involved, I cannot share parts of someone else’s journey.

But I can write them privately. I can document what I know, feel, and see and how it positions me in the world and in my feelings. I will share them when it is free to share without hurting anyone else involved in the journey.

#findingthejuicy #findingmyjuice

Here we go again…Or here we go this time?

Here we go again. Single again. I’m single again. I’ve been single for a while. But it’s a weird thing. There’s a lot of deep feelings and shared dreams. Visions of a more lesbionic future building women’s communities and memories, that have since taken many twists and turns.

We had a relationship that started so sweet. We built some things together that were and are very amazing. Together we were a power couple that could do some magic together.

But two powerful women together can also create some powerful emotions and while there was good magic; there was also bad magic.

There were hurt feelings and harsh words. There were crushed expectations and shouted threats and curses. There were sweet times and there times of joy and juicy over the amazing things we accomplished together. It was powerful.

But there was a lot of hurt. So much hurt. So many break ups and stay togethers. So many unmet and unheard wants and needs that we both had. The build up of wanting and not getting was wearing. The frequent disconnects became broader and bigger.

And neither one of us willing to walk away. We had a vision of the business, the baby. We had dreams of figuring out the way to speak and be together so we could both get what we wanted. We tried.

And the break ups got vaster and the disconnect was becoming a wide chasm. Yet, we still talked and had this thing. This thing we did together. And we couldn’t stop doing the thing. We, neither one of us, could stop doing the thing that we did.

We got better at talking to each other. We both were doing some work. Digging deep into the stories we tell ourselves. We were learning individually and together how to be better to ourselves and each other. But not in a way that was moving us closer to each other.

While we have been broke up for a long time now, it seems. neither one of us have went anywhere. It was confusing. It was troubling. It was something. It was this thing.

Today, I started something. It is now a “here we go again” break up that we have experienced, oh so many times. When I draw the boundary, she is not going to chase. I do not want the chase anymore. It wasn’t complete. It still didn’t fit. It is not here we go again. Because this time, I said something different and I said it a different way.

I said, “I’m going to start dating”. Although there have been lines in the sand drawn in the past. This was a line drawn in the concrete. This was a different move. This was me saying, it’s time for me to find some juicy and not keep waiting and hoping to get something that is not possible here. I can say with good conscious, I tried. I worked on me. I worked on her. I cried, I begged, I apologized. I worked on me. I forgave. I listened. I waited. I was patient. Imperfectly, but my intention was true. My commitment and investment was sound.

As she said, it just isn’t a good fit. It’s time to find the fit.

It wasn’t an easy conversation. But it was an easy conversation. Easier than I thought it would be. It hurt. I cried. But we were civil, kind, compassionate, loving, understanding, and listening. It was one of the most generous and loving conversations we have ever had together.

We both agreed that we care about each other and that we have a commitment to each other. A friendship that is deep and true. I know I can count on her. And we have agreed to continue to co-parent our chicks. lol

It hurt a lot saying it’s time to move on. I appreciate that I took the time to have the whole conversation with her. She needed it. I needed it. We both deserve juicy lives.

It’s really weird, really, really weird. But okay. And not okay. And weird.

I’m grateful we have been acting like civil, loving, compassionate adults for the most part recently. I’m grateful we had the conversation tonight.

So it’s not just here we go again. It’s where shall I go this time?

Where shall I go? What shall I do? It’s scary and crazy and weird. It’s not what I planned for or wanted. But it is what is right now. Imma be okay.

Where shall I go?

Hump Day

Hump day. What does that even mean? We are halfway through the work week and we are “over the hump”? We get to hump? It’s a silly expression invoking camels and bumping uglies in the night. Oh well. Either way, camels are funny and funky creatures and humping is delightful.

Reminder to myself what the intention of this blog: to learn my strengths, vision, and mission and how I am going to enact that in my life. The goal is to learn this and manifest this:

I am a conscious creator and I have power and ability to create the life I most desire.

In my complaining log, I realized there were several instances of complaining today.

I was complaining (internal dialogue or with a friend) about the injustice of not getting hazard pay because I am not considered a “frontline worker”. Although I can’t remote in to do my job, I do not qualify for the incentivized pay. Although, today I received a call from a dietician, working from home. This individual didn’t respond to the referral for over a week in regards to a brittle diabetic. When she called, she requested my assistance in coordinating a phone call for assessment purposes for this client. It should take 45 minutes. To prepare for her assessment, I provided her with the labs I had obtained, her most current office visit notes, recent blood sugars, and her medication list. Then I coordinated the call to find out that I will be implementing her orders, coordinating with the food purchaser for campus, getting orders from primary doc, and providing education. While she is at home and I am not frontline. Yeah, I complained about this. Yet, it was not the first time complaining. It is an injustice. It is unfair. It is a crock of fucking bullshit and it pisses me the fuck off.

however, it is also the reality and I don’t have much control over it. Right now. Right now, I don’t have any control over it. But that will not always be my story. I will be done with my education in one year. After that, I will be able to go where I want to go because the demand will be large for my services. In the meantime, between time, complaining produced an overall feeling of yuck and madness. It tainted my interactions with other people. Or it could have and it has in the past, but this time, I was aware of it. I was paying attention to my complaining. It was unproductive and it can contribute to me staying stuck. STaying stuck in the position. STaying stuck in the feeling. Staying stuck in poor behavior, rudeness, shortness, with coworkers, you know, “i just had such a stressful day, I didn’t mean it”. Yeah, I have used that justification and rationalization for shitty attitude and lack of patience with the people I work with and work for. #stopthemadness #beingawareispowerful

There were three other instances of unproductive complaining. They were short lived. they were nonverbal. But my mind and spirit and body knows. I know that I was mentally complaining. I’m glad to be aware.

The next exercise for the next week is going to be practicing ritual forgiveness (Thanks, Rha Goddes, “The Calling”). I have chosen to forgive myself. I can only save myself. But by saving myself, I can be available to assist and serve others. #selfcareiscrucial #selflove #findingthejuicy

First I acknowledge the injury I have sustained by myself to myself. I acknowledge that I have made poor choices in men, women, life, and situations which resulted in hurting myself. I acknowledge that I chose running in relationships that did not serve me or my kids resulted in broken and bent relationships in my family. I acknowledge that I avoided my responsibilities by chasing a feeling, mostly a feeling from a toxic relationship to avoid the work i needed to do on myself. I acknowledge that I didn’t like myself and I wasn’t good to myself. I acknowledge that I not a very loving person to myself. I acknowledge that I used poor coping skills, bad language, self defense, and attack to hide from myself. I acknowledge that I blamed others, including my kids (having so many),parents, ex-husband, exes, and employers for my circumstances causing me internal shame. #findingmyjuice

I release and let go. I forgive what no longer serves me. I am ready to embrace all of who I am and all of whom I am meant to be. I release and let go as I make room to embrace all of whom I am meant to be.

I acknowledge that I am not that same person. I acknowledge that I have done extensive and ongoing introspective work. I acknowledge that I was and am doing the best can with what I have and what I had. I acknowledge that I give others second, third, and fourth chances at getting it right. I acknowledge that I am just as worthy of forgiveness and letting it go and moving forward as anyone else. I acknowledge and accept that I am worthy of moving forward with my life. Letting go of past hurts, frustrations, and anger at myself for the job I have done in the past.

I release and let go. I forgive what no longer serves me. I am ready to embrace all of who I am and all of whom I am meant to be. I release and let go as I make room to embrace all of whom I am meant to be.

I acknowledge that I have learned conflict resolution. I acknowledge that I have learned more communication tools and skills. I acknowledge that I have more knowledge, experience, and wisdom that ever before in my life. I acknowledge that I am compassionate, caring, dedicated, loyal, caring, smart, and committed to those I love and causes I care about including my friends, family, job, and community. I acknowledge I have learned to be a better person and the best is yet to come.

I release and let go. I forgive what no longer serves me. I am ready to embrace all of who I am and all of whom I am meant to be. I release and let go as I make room to embrace all of whom I am meant to be.

it is complete. I am complete. I am whole. I am pure love. I am pure light. I am pure magic. I am not pure at all. I am bits and pieces and specks and glitter and gold and diamonds and dirt. I am all that needs to be and all that will be and yet, there is more, so much more, to come. Because as I continue to love and forgive myself, my most desired life will be revealed. I will cherish it, just like I cherish myself. #loveyourself #iloveme

In my pursuit to become the best me, I am working my spirit and soul and my body. Please join me if the spirit moves you.

Tuesday’s work!

I am not sure what to write about right now. I am going to do a progress check on myself. Last week, I was deliberating and contemplating if I was going to produce MFR anymore. I just was not sure the effort was/is worth the pay off.

During that exploration, I had to ask myself what IS the pay off for me. It will never be just about the money. But money exchange needs to happen, otherwise, I do not feel that my work is valued by others. I also want an emotional and spiritual exchange. I get that from hearing stories of women and girls that are empowered and filled with juicy from participating in work crews or at MFR festival.

Although, there are reasons to not continue doing MFR, I still find and receive value from my work and the rewards. I was especially moved when two of my daughters told me on Mother’s Day how sad they would be if there was no more MFR. That was my tipping point. If my young daughters find it valuable, my work is not done in this area. Not yet.

While I am still on break from classes, I continue with my soul searching to find my personal calling. I know that it is tied up with women’s community, serving people, building community, possibly a festival. However, I think that I will be moving in a different direction so the work I am doing now is process of discovery of my vision and mission.

As part of my work, I am going to explore the following questions. Working through the book “The Calling” by Rha Goddess, she describes binding behaviors that we each have that cause us to be stuck and unable to move forward, create change in ourselves, or improve ourselves.

Binding behaviors, according to Rha Goddess, in her book, The Calling, are

  1. Complaining
  2. Blaming/judging (blaming self & blaming others)
  3. Justification
  4. Avoidance

I find myself complaining to my friends about the same annoying behaviors in people I see or things I experience. Although, I have framed it as “venting”, it is unproductive and leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I feel more dissatisfied, discontent, and more bitchy. Each time, I find myself complaining about something that I have already complained about, I plan to write it down in the notes in my phone. I want to keep track of how often I slide into this pattern so I can break the habit and build a new habit: believing that people are doing the best that they can. Complaining leads me to the belief that people are intentionally being assholes or inconsiderate or rude. Complaining leaves me stuck with the belief that I am wronged and a victim. Complaining is unproductive and destructive. AFter the initial “venting”, any further discussion will need to be (my goal for me, #findingmyjuice) constructive, uplifting, and solution-oriented.

Blaming/Judging. I know I do this. I don’t do it as much anymore. I have been studying how to be a better communicator and one of the things to avoid is defending. Defending myself instead of fully listening does not improve the flow of conversation or promote connection. By the same token, if I am blaming myself or others, it is giving up my responsibility and again, assuming the role of being a victim. If I am a victim, that means I have no power and no control over my life, my behaviors, and my actions. For instance, my ex-husband was abusive. When I chose to leave him, my parents offered to help me and support me. they didn’t do that. I spent many years blaming my actions, my parenting, my behavior on the fact (totally true) that the people who said they would support me did not support me. In fact, they undermined me, sabotaged me, and created more conflict and chaos. I can blame them which means, I can just keep floating along in my life as it is. Or I can take responsibility for my actions and life, acknowledging shitty treatment, while still taking control of me. I don’t want to be a victim. I don’t want to blame others for my actions. It really helped to learn this lesson by studying the book, “The Four Agreements”. By not taking anything personally, I make a choice to be responsible for my actions and my beliefs, without blaming anyone else. It is hard work to take responsibility all the time but it brings a level of freedom. I own me. #findingmyjuice

Justification! Justification is a means to explain my behavior and actions. It is not empowering. It is an “out”, giving me a reason to continue being shitty. Or even if it is not justifying shitty behavior, it is making an excuse why I don’t have to change my behavior. It is not my friend if I want to continue to evolve. Justification means I will continue to be stuck and a victim. I want to own me. I want to own all of me which means taking responsibility for my actions, the good and the bad. Even if I did live through an abusive marriage, shitty divorce, rotten parents, and an ex-husband that tried to destroy me which all lead to broken connections with my children; I can still do my best to create and fortify connections with my family. Allowing myself forgiveness and compassion (for myself), while making plans to learn better ways to communicate, offer support, and be a loving mother, friend, and person #findingthejuicy #nomoreexcuses

Avoidance is not a friend of change. Avoiding looking at the problem and assessing the situation will not help me change. Avoiding weighing myself will not help me lose weight if I am in denial that I am overeating (just an example). Avoiding looking at my finances will cause me to continue to spend money and build more debt. Avoiding discussing things with my friend when I have hurt feelings will not improve the relationship. Avoidance is not a friend of change and I plan to avoid avoiding.

Yes, King Cobra!
Feel, deal, and heal!

I am thankful to be working through some of these emotions. I feel more clearheaded already. I don’t know my mission yet. But I have more clarity on my vision. Rooting out these “binding behaviors” will help me to be ready to move forward with change when the spirit speaks to me. Until then, thanks for reading and evolving with me.

See you tomorrow. Remember to breathe, be kind, be compassionate, be loving, and

Wear a freaking mask!

Finishing vision questions and chicken lessons

I was asked the following questions in response to my blog of 5.10.2020. Thank you for the questions. Time to go to work! Thanks, Sister, for your questions and your gratitude! Blessings on being a woman, forgiving, giving, and introspective. #findingmyjuice

why did you start MFR? what was the catalyst. the final fuck it let’s see what happens if we try point. We, Monica Murray and myself, decided to have MFR 2016 because women were so sad as they realized they were not creating their MWMF pile in the spring of 2016, as they had done for so many years. We decided that we would just try to have a gathering in my back yard and try to book some performers. We scribbled some thoughts and ideas on some napkins and in our notes in our iphones while we sat at an Ani diFranco concert in Grand Rapids, MI. Interesting how our work has circled back to the Grand Rapids area after diverting to Eagle, MI, for a year.

why did you become a nurse? I became a nurse because I wanted to be a homebirth midwife. My training as a homebirth midwife involved an apprenticeship at a freestanding birth center. If you aren’t aware, let me tell you, apprentiseship does not pay. As a single mother of 8 children, I needed an income and I needed it fast. My balloon mortgage was about to expire and I needed to refinance which is difficult to do when you are only getting $400 a month in child support and you don’t have any other source of income. LIfe was challenging, to say the least. However, going back to school to get a nursing degree seemed to be the most logical step to get an income that was in alignment with my original goals and vision. Going to Lansing Community College, taking my pre-reqs, getting into nursing school (1st try, baby!), and graduating from nursing school, changed my life in so many ways. Some day I will write the ways that becoming a nurse shaped me into the woman I am today.

what do you see. really see when you look into the mirror–a fat girl. I hate even “saying” that out loud. But it is true. I see a fat girl with messy hair. Obviously, I have more work to do on myself and my vision of myself.

when you consider your life so far. what lessons will you take with you going forward.  would you do anything different or do you find peace  in believing everything has led you to where you are now. Lessons I would take forward: if you think you should leave a situation (abusive or not), then start working towards leaving. Make the plans, do the work to leave the situation. As my children have become adults and I hear the stories they tell of what they experienced as a child in our home, I wish I had left sooner. I knew I should leave sooner but I thought I had to “make it work”, “live the life of the cross”, “offer it up”, “divorce is a sin”. I believed the patriarchy. I believed the Catholic church. I believed I would damn myself and my children if I left. The lesson is that I did more damage to all of us by staying longer. I am not regretful and I would not change anything because the last couple years gave me a couple more babies that I love and adore. But I will carry that lesson forward and apply it to other situations that cause me to doubt myself and my gut intuition.

I have found peace with those decisions and the path my life has taken because I have continued to search for the lesson and the strengths that I grew and learned because of the choices and lack of choices I made in those days.

when you sit and you’re quiet. what do you hear? who’s voice tells you the truth and who’s voice(s) lie to you? When I sit quiet, it is very rare that I hear anything other than my voice, reminding of things to do, things to remember, goals that I want to achieve, what is my vision? what is my calling? what is my job? what am I doing next? why am i fat? why do i not take care of myself? Yes, I have a running stream of me supporting me, uplifting me, and also bashing me and body shaming me.

do you really have any idea of the light? of the power? of the magic you possess? Sometimes. Sometimes, I feel power from me. Sometimes I feel my magic. Sometimes.

What have i been telling myself isn’t possible? Would I be willing to reconsider? Hmmmmm interesting question. It is impossible to pay the bills and do something I love. It is impossible to have fun all day long and get paid. It is impossible to be supported. It is impossible to get what I want. Yes, I want to consider it all possible. I want to believe in magic. I want to believe in a supportive community. I want to believe that my vision will be revealed, possible, and supported.

Imagine my desire…feel it, envision it, write about, then put it down, and carry on. For the next 10 days, I will reread my desire/vision. Check in with me in 10 days. Write it down.

My desire, my vision, my want is to be a leader in a women’s community. My desire is to create events and productions that gather women together that highlight their power and strengths. My vision is to empower women to love each other, support each other, and together build a community of advocacy for other women. My desire is to live in community in the woods, separatist women’s community but also travel and promote community and build more of these spaces throughout the world. My desire is to speak professionally to motivate, inspire, and create the willingness and desire for women to transform their lives. I want my work to support me in abundance, allowing for travel, generosity, and prosperity for myself and the community I serve.

whew!

that was a lot and I am thankful that I got through these questions.

#findingmyjuice #findingthejuicy #livingmybestlife

I am learning a lesson from my chicken, Gaye. Gaye is the lone survivor of a brood of 14 chickens that were systematically taken out by a variety of country predators. She was never very social but since she learned to live in solitary, her habits have changed. When I left for Houston, I discovered that she was the lone survivor after another attack (coons, possums, or hawk??? Idk) that took out her last two sisters. I thought Gaye would be dead when I got home from Houston but she has survived. Since that time, she went through molting which made her look like a complete chicken bum (do your hair, girl!!). She has survived predators in and out of the coop. She has regrown her feathers. She has learned to coexist with the cat and dogs on the deck. She is really living her life. She is now laying eggs again! We are getting 5 eggs a week from the old broad.

Gaye has taught me that even when all of your sisters and friends seem to be gone, there are other people (dogs & cat) that are supportive. She has taught me that being the lone survivor does not mean surviving alone. She has taught me that you can survive a barrage of predatory attacks and still not get your feathers in a ruffle, or if they are ruffled, they will settle down, with time and silence. She has taught me that even when it seems you are alone, you can survive, rise, and THRIVE (and produce eggs, even if you think you are too old!).

#chickenlessons #thanksgaye

Who is calling me?

Today is Mother’s Day. One single day chosen out of a so many other days or all of the days, to honor, revere, and adore ourselves and our mothers. I have been a mother for many years. I have mothered 8 incredible humans. They are independent, smart, driven, and fierce, like their mama. Their inherited (from their mama) savage qualities are uniquely demonstrated in each of those humans. Different, fierce, the same, and weird to see qualities of one child displayed in another child.

My relationship,with myself and my children, as a mother as evolved as I hope we all do. Growing, changing, individualizing my responses, teaching, and tone for each human. Trying to remember as I raised those 8 humans that a cookie cutter approach only appears to be easier. In actuality, there is no way to treat each person of mine the same or completely different and unique. There were so many of them. There were so many demands. There were so many expectations. There were so many things to pay attention to and I was only one person. No excuses. No apologies. No self-recrimination. No self flagellation for the million ways I have failed as a mother.

Only quiet, deep, reverent, respect for me as a mother, doing the very best I could with what I thought I had and what I had, in terms of support, mother-hood training, patience, finances, and all of the other things that are vital to holding up the work of mothering.

Today, I celebrate my motherhood. Today, i acknowledge I am a mother of 8 amazing humans. I taught them the best I could. They have grown, matured, and (some of them) mellowed and settled into adulthood, with varying degrees of adulting is hard woes. They have taken on the responsibilities with mostly grace and determination. I am a mother. I am a successful mother if motherhood is measured in terms of raising successful adults. But what is success?

Today, I choose to be and acknowledge I am a successful mother. I have raised the kids. I have also raised myself. I have taught myself through school and grit to be a nurse, diploma, and bachelor trained nurse. I have taught myself to get through challenging times while maintaining my smile (mostly). I have learned to forgive myself and so my children will learn to forgive. I have learned to find my dreams and pursue them, even when it seemed I was a selfish mother for not giving up my dreams, passion, and personal life.

I have learned to find my juice and all of life’s juicy, today, yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow. I have learned that being a mother in this patriarchal world means that I will constantly feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and guilty at varying levels because we are called to give up all of ourselves for everyone else, specifically our families, our children, so they can succeed.

Today, I am happy and proud to say, I am not that mother. I am not that mother anymore. I am not going to feel guilty. I am going to proudly say, those fuck ups were victories because I, we, persevered, and overcame. We kept talking, loving, and laughing. I did a good fucking job. I am not going to minimize the work that I have done through the years in mothering my children. I fucking worked hard. I read a million books. I taught them to read, to write, to do math, and how to recite poetry. I am a fucking amazing mother. I am a fucking amazing woman.

to honor myself, I chose to create a fire today. Yes, I started a fire at 8am on a Sunday morning. I don’t know why I felt compelled to burn today. But I was called to burn today. So I started a fire. I realized that this fire is here to burn up my self-doubt, self-flagellation, self-recrimination, self-hate, and guilt that I have held for so many years about my mothering work. Today, I burn all of that self-hate. I burn all of the anger at the people that did not support me and hold up my mother work. I burn all of the anger. I burn all of the fear. I burn all of the doubt. I burn all of it. So I can do my new work.

How do I feel about the current state of the world? I feel the world is not loving enough, kind enough, or supportive to being a human, especially to being a female human. I hate our present government and the conservatives that tote guns and proclaim racism and elitism from the highest office in our country.

How do I feel about society in general? I feel it is patriarchal and hates women.

Do I believe these things can change? I believe becoming a matriarchal society will change it. I believe that by honoring, revering, and adoring the sacred feminine in us all, we can find a more loving, caring, and supportive path.

What gives me hope? Being around women gives me hope. Seeing what we can create gives me hope. Seeing kindness and loving acts gives me hope.

Am i part of the problem or solution? I think I am part of the solution. I also believe that I need to continue to do the work on me so I can lead by modeling loving acts. I believe that I need to educate myself on systematic racism, socialism, capitalism, and all the other isms so I can teach and lead with knowledge, wisdom, and power.

Do I think I can affect the things in society that I don’t like? Yes, I can change myself and change the world.

If I could change one thing, what would it be? Is there anything else about my beliefs that I should look at? I would change the racism and elitism of the world and create an equitable, loving, and kind society.

What do I believe it means to be successful? HolY SHIT! I had not clue that this question would be here after initial exploration above. But here it is and how do I define success? Success is being in a space that you are able to afford the material things that you want and that make your life comfortable. It is knowing that connections are the most important. It is feeling respect and power in yourself. It is standing in your own power and knowing, knowing in your soul that you are okay. Regardless of money, status, fame, or power, it is the knowing and feeling of your own ability to be all right, be juicy. And it is being able to have vacations and experiences with people you love and being able to share your abundance with others. Having the capability of sharing your time, talent, and treasure with others to uplift and bring them into a more successful space.

How do I define successful people? I think I answered that above. But successful people are rich in time, talent, and treasure and willing to share their gifts to uplift other people. I believe that successful people are people that follow their dreams and passion, finding juicy in their work and calling, while supporting themselves (financially).

If I had to describe the perfect life, what would it be? My perfect life would involve me having enough money to play and empower people. I would be doing a job/calling that I love, control my own schedule, and be able to influence and help people improve their lives. I would live in a house that is cozy, cute, and accommodating to large gatherings (yard and interior space).

How much money do I think I need to live my ideal life? I think i need to make at least $150k a year to feel successful.

How much time do I think it takes to achieve success? I don’t know right now. I know that I have been working super hard at pushing the boulder up the mountain. I am doing this work to find the ease of my calling. I am doing this work To find the juicy while doing the work to get to the financial and personal pay off.

What else is important when I consider being successful? Self love and self acceptance are key to being successful. Being joyful and juicy, to me, includes having the ability to be loving to myself and to other people.

Do I believe success and happiness are the same thing? No, I don’t believe they are the same but I do believe that to be truly successful, you must be doing something that makes you happy.

Do I see myself as successful? Why or why not? Not yet. I do not love myself, mind, body, and spirit, the way that I feel is necessary to be truly successful.

Is there anything else about my beliefs about success? Probably but my brain is a little stretched right now and I need to breathe and settle to accommodate the new thoughts and ideas about success.

Do I believe there is a source (higher power, god)? Yes, I believe in spirit, karma, the universe, the goddess, and myself. I believe that we are connected to source when we are working, living, and loving in alignment with love and ourselves.

Do I feel a sense of connection when I think about it? Yes, I do. Unfortunately, I forget to tap into the connection and the source which results in…

Do I feel safe, secure, and care for? Mostly I feel safe, secure, and cared for when I remember to tap into source. I feel safe, secure, and care for when I tap into gratitude, blessings, and the gifts of mother earth/universe/goddess/karma.

Do I think it is operating for the good of all? Yes, I do feel that mother operates with the intentions of good of all.

Do I feel my interests are included? Yes

Do I believe that everyone has access to this source? Yes, if they ask and pay attention to the answers.

Do I think I have to do everything right for things to turn out well? No, but I have to do my work and learn to love.

Do I believe in Murphy’s law? No, not really. I believe that things go wrong and that things go right. I believe that when we are in alignment, we can find the flow from source in ourselves and outside of ourselves to do our best work.

Do I believe I have to do something to deserve this? I don’t know. I don’t and yet I do. I believe that we have a responsibility to love ourselves and others through our works and our prayers.

Is there anything else about my beliefs in a higher power? I don’t know.

This was a lot of work. I think these final two questions will be answered in a separate post. They deserve time, love, and attention.

#findingthejuicy #findingmyjuice #iloveme #iforgiveme #ihonorme

What have i been telling myself isn’t possible? Would I be willing to reconsider?

Imagine my desire…feel it, envision it, write about, then put it down, and carry on. For the next 10 days, I will reread my desire/vision. Check in with me in 10 days. Write it down.

What is my calling?

Yesterday, I discussed my life as a series of lives lived and then another life. It is so incredibly perfect at this time to start examining the direction of my new life. What is my calling? What matters to me? I promised to answer for myself the following questions.

So here goes.

What am I really good at?

I am good at talking to people. I am good at listening. I am good at bossing people around. I am good at delegating. I am good at being efficient. I am good at finding creative solutions. I am good at adapting to change. I am good at creating excitement. I am good at motivating people.

Do I feel confident in claiming those things? Yes, I feel confident in claimign those things. Although, I am good at talking to people and good at bossing people around, I also need to be careful about my tone and delivery. It’s important for me to slow down and remember the connection and not the checklist. I can get overwhelmed with the task and forget the vision: create connection, build a city of women living in more loving way than the rest of the patriarchal world.

What am I not good at? I am not good at regulating my stress. I feel stress in my shoulders and upper back constantly. When I get overwhelmed with numerous tasks on my list, I put pressure on myself to complete, achieve, get er done. This often results in me being short and snarky to people. I get rude when I don’t need to because somehow I tell myself the story that they are judging my ability to complete the task.

How do I feel about those things? I feel good about the things I am good at doing. I feel bad when I react shitty and rude and snarky to people. I hate how I feel afterwards. It feels awful when I snap and then I see the expression or hear the tone in their response.

Do I feel confident sharing my insecurities? I feel better sharing my insecurities. But I also hide them from others if I can hide them. I would rather quietly correct my fuck up than share it with someone that I feel has some power over me (supervisor, community members, peers).

Do I trust myself? Why? Why not? I truest myself most of the time. Then I don’t. Wait, do I trust myself? Do I trust my judgement in situations? I am not sure that I really do trust my judgement and insight when I am making decisions in my personal life. i ask my friends for their opinion and feedback regularly. I question myself. I overdiscuss things. I worry myself about my actions. I question myself: am I crazy? Was I an asshole? Was I rude? What do you think about this situation? I guess I dont’ trust myself.

Weird. I didn’t even realize how insecure I am about my decision making ability, reactions, behavior, delivery, tone, and so many things about my interactions with others, personally and professionally.

Is there anything else about my beliefs? I think this is enough. This has been quite revealing about myself. Just sitting in these questions. Just reading them over. Starting to type a response (get ‘er done, overachiever, type a personality, I boldly proclaimed I will finish these questions in one day. lol mkay!) and then I realize, whoa. What the fuck am I feeling? I discuss that I am paying attention to how the response feels in my body as I put it down on “paper”. I realize that what I thought I think and believe about myself isn’t what I really believe, based on my somatic response.

hmmmmmmmm

Beliefs about others:

do i feel comfortable around others? Yes, most days, I feel very comfortable around others.

Do I feel comfortable around people I don’t know? Yes, I am able to talk to others very easily without panic or anxiety. I usually can find something to chat about.

Do I feel comfortable around people different than myself? Yes, I do.

Do I believe that most people are good? This is an interesting question. Brene Brown has asked it of me before. I do believe that most people are good. Then I realize that some situations cause me to believe in the shittiness of others. When I watch the news too much. When I think of how systematically racist the world is and how much poor, indigenous, people of color, mentally ill, fat people, and so many other marginalized groups are treated with hate, discrimination, harassment, and violence, I get overwhelmed with how rotten the human race is to itself. Do I believe that most people care about others? Do I believe that I have things in common with others? Do I generally trust other people? What do I believe most people are motivated by?

What are the five words I use to describe other people? Interesting, loving, hurt/traumatized, demanding, sweet, doing the best they can.

What five words do I think others would use to describe me? Bossy, charismatic, energetic, smart, caring

Do I think it’s important to seek the advise of others? If yes, when and why? If not, why not?

I do think it is important to seek the advise of others. I think that there is collective and elder experience and wisdom. I think it is important for myself to honor the wisdom of others and seek input and feedback. I feel that sometimes I don’t see things as clearly as they could be because of the history of trauma and hurt I have experienced. I also think that because of the trauma, addiction, and abuse I have experienced (and the patriarchy) that I, too often, ask for others insight when I need to trust myself.

If I could choose to occupy space with other people or be alone, what would I choose? I would choose to live in community with space for solitude.

Is there anything else about my beliefs that I should look at? Maybe. I think I have explored a lot of the crevices in my belief system. Although, a lot was revealed in this writing about how I view myself. I thought that I was more confidence and secure in my own power, prowess, experiences, and wisdom. However, it seems I am still recovering from years of beating myself up emotionally, spiritually, and energetically. #gome #introspectivelikeamofo #findingmyjuice #findingthejuicy

How do I feel about the current state of my life? I am insecure in the current state of my life. There are parts that are juicy as fuck. They are all juicy as fuck, even the wobbly parts. There are wobbly parts. I am yearning for meaningful connections. While some of my life connections are deepening, there are other connections that are weakening. Like a rusty nail or lock, they easily give away and separate after too much neglect and/or disinterest. I suspect that is part of the growing and evolving that we are called to experience as humans. It is not comfortable.

Are there situations that make me smile? What makes me smile? What do I love most about that part? I love to smile. I love to engage people with my eyes and my smile. I smile at beauty. I smile at love. I smile at romantic, friendly, and any kind of love. I smile at dorkiness. I smile at caring acts. I love to smile. I love to feel the joy and the heartening lifting and lightening of smiling. Smiling can change situations, feelings, and emotions.

Are there situations about my life that currently challenge me? Yes, most definitely. I am challenged by indecision and wobbly decision making abilities. I am challenged by the covid quarantine. I am challenged by my limited income. I am challenged by not knowing if I am still called to do a festival. I am challenged by my fatness.

What is the most challenging part about them? It is challenging feeling like a failure. Indecision is not a failing but it is lack of movement which feels like less than. I am challenged by wanting deeper relationships but seeming to want this deep connectedness than other people. That is challenging to want something more than someone else.

Do I feel empowered to change the things that are working or not working? Why? or Why not? I don’t feel empowered right now. I feel stuck. I feel that my decisions are going to cost too many resources: financial and personal.

Do I find that change is easy or difficult? Why or why not? Change is change. It is not easy, usually. Or it’s not comfortable. I don’t know that I find it difficult. I do find change challenging but also invigorating and life juvenating.

Do I believe that I can create what I want in my current circumstances? Why or why not? I don’t know that I believe it right now. I want to believe that I can create what I want but then I start worrying, making excuses, and finding reasons and ways to fail.

Why do I believe this challenging situation is happening? Numerous factors: changing women’s culture, covid, fear, bad behaviors, too many things to do (school, work, want of a personal life).

What do I believe would make the circumstance better? Is there anything else I see here about what I believe? Making a decision, changing my beliefs about the situation and myself.

That is a lot of information and soul searching. I feel I have discovered some important things about myself. I feel that this blog has started me on a good path of exploration. I am digging deep, questioning the questions and the answers, and working hard at finding my truth so I can find my calling.

I will continue with the rest of the questions tomorrow. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is a perfect day to become a better human. Finding my truth and my calling will help me live this next life as a better human.

#beexcellenttoeachother #lovehard #melovingme

I am a conscious creator

And I have the ability to create the life I desire.

Today, I am committing myself to another challenge. This time I am challenging myself to find my true calling. It’s time to start a new life for myself.

I have been called to be a mother. That is a lifelong calling and I will gladly mother my grown children to be the best versions of themselves, always. However, that time has moved on and they are grown. They need and want me in different ways than the all consuming task of raising, teaching, and nurturing children. #juicymom

I miss those days every day but now it is time for me to use my time, talent, and treasure in a new way to beautify the world. #thankfultobemomof8

I was a nursing student and a wild woman for a lifetime. I worked my ass off, tried to hide myself from my problems in shitty, stupid, and costly relationships. I was scared to be a lone and I hid myself by dating men that were not good to me or for me. I had this idea that someone was going to save me, marry me, and my world would be realigned (as if it ever was during that tumultuous marriage!) and all would be well.

I was wrong. That awful time of my life was full of fear, insecurity, doubt, chasing, distrust, jealousy, and struggles for control of others because of all those rotten feelings I was trying to hide from. I got in trouble. I hurt, maybe permanently, my relationship with my son. Who knows? At the time, it made sense to me. At the time, I didn’t realize how sick and how scared I was. At the time, I didn’t know my own power or strength. I didn’t know and I made some mistakes in my lack of knowledge, belief in myself, and resolve to do something different. I was stuck in the belief that I needed someone else to complete my life. I was stuck in believing that I couldn’t do it on my own. #insanity #traumafromabuse #patriarchysucks #goodcatholicbadcatholic

I was wrong. I did some work on me through the 12 steps. I did some work on my version of insanity. I did some work through therapy. I also learned a lot about my strength, power, and resilience while working my way through nursing school.

That lifetime has ended and I began another lifetime.

Thank the Goddess, I am on my way…

The start of my next life included falling in serious crush with a woman. She was all wrong for me. She broke almost all of my (very limited) dating rules. She was WAY younger than me. I was her supervisor on our job. Yet, I was irresistibly attracted to her. I needed to know more.

This particular lifetime I learned to be a lesbian. I learned about the culture of women. I learned to love a woman. I learned to be okay being uncomfortable. I learned through another relationship what my values are, what I will settle for, and what I expect. I learned to produce a festival and to build, or rather, how to fortify and strengthen a community. I learned to control my mouth and my emotions. Sort of. I mean, it is an ongoing lesson.

Now, as I continue to learn those lessons and learn more lessons about my worth , value, expectations in a relationship, desires for my life path, I am entering another new life.

This new life is a life of finding out my life purpose. I thought it was to build & fortify community, creating connections between people so no one is alone, unless they want to be, of course! I thought part of that purpose was to build a festival.

Yet, it seems that nobody wants a festival. At least not enough people want it that are willing to pay for it and support it. It’s never all about money with a vision and purpose. However, it is next to impossible to completely live on love so I do believe that my vision should have pay offs. It should fill my heart with joy and excitement and I should be blessed and I should be blessed with money. I am not scared to say that. I want to make money to support me while doing something I love.

Now to find that thing that is going to provide my soul with love and blessings and joy while supporting me and my beautiful life. Will I produce a festival? Will I continue to build community? How does that make money?

What am I really good at? Do I feel confident in claiming those things? What am I not good at? How do I feel about those things? Do I feel confident sharing my insecurities? Do I trust myself? Why? Why not? Is there anything else about my beliefs?

Beliefs about others:

do i feel comfortable around others? Do I feel comfortable around people I don’t know? Do I feel comfortable around people different than myself? Do I believe that most people are good? Do I believe that most people care about others? Do I believe that I have things in common with others? Do I generally trust other people? What do I believe most people are motivated by?

What are the five words I use to describe other people? What five words do I think others would use to describe me? Do I think it’s important to seek the advise of others? If yes, when and why? If not, why not? If I could choose to occupy space with other people or be alone, what would I choose? Is there anythign else about my beliefs that I should look at?

How do I feel about the current state of my life? Are there situations that make me smile? What makes me smile? What do I love most about that part? Are there situations about my life that currently challenge me? What is the most challenging part about them? Do I feel empowered to change the things that are working or not working? Why? or Why not? Do I find that change is easy or difficult? Why or why not? Do I believe that I can create what I want in my current circumstances? Why or why not? Why do I believe this challenging situation is happening? What do I believe would make the circumstance better? Is there anything else I see here about what I believe?

How do I feel about the current state of the world? How do I feel about society in general? Do I believe these things can change? What gives me hope? Am i part of the problem or solution? Do I think I can affect the things in society that I don’t like? If I could change one thing, what would it be? Is there anything else about my beliefs that I should look at?

What do I believe it means to be successful? How do I define successful people? If I had to describe the perfect life, what would it be? How much money do I think I need to live my ideal life? How much time do I think it takes to achieve success? What else is important when I consider being successful? Do I believe success and happiness are the same thing? Do I see myself as successful? Why or why not? Is there anything else about my beliefs about success?

Do I believe there is a source (higher power, god)? Do I feel a sense of connection when I think about it? Do I feel safe, secure, and care for? Do I think it is operating for the good of all? Do I feel my interests are included? Do I believe that everyone has access to this source? Do I think I have to do everything right for things to turn out well? Do I believe in Murphy’s law? Do I believe I have to do something to deserve this? Is there anything else about my beliefs in a higher power?

What have i been telling myself isn’t possible? Would I be willing to reconsider?

Imagine my desire…feel it, envision it, write about, then put it down, and carry on. For the next 10 days, I will reread my desire/vision. Check in with me in 10 days. Write it down.

So my challenge begins. Tomorrow’s blog will answer the above questions and I will write out my vision to be revisited and spoken every day for 10 days.

I am a conscious creator and I have the ability to create the life I most desire.

Covid wonkiness

Today is Tuesday. Two more weeks left of the current stay home stay safe executive order. There will be Two more weeks, at least of uncertainty of the direction of our health, our lives, our economy, spiritual, emotional, and our mental health.

I thought I slept well. I thought I was well rested. I thought I was ready for the day. I did forget to take my adaptogenic mushrooms which help me with energy, immune boosting, and mental focus. I am surprised but it seemed to have truly contributed to my lack of get up and go and my lack of focus today. I just could not seem to snap my mind back into focus.

I tried setting timers for each task that I wanted to work on. My goals were to finish a paper for Leadership class. I was able to finish the content of the paper with the reference page. Now I just need adapt it to a power point presentation and record myself presenting. Easy peasy. My brain feels extremely bulgy, big, and beautiful at this point in the semester.

I wanted to get some writing and research done for the Evidence-based practice class but my brain just kept freezing. Then it shattered into a million pieces. Then it just seemed to melt all over. Then the drops separated and disconnected. What I mean to say is that I just couldn’t keep coherent thoughts connected together to write down ideas. I couldn’t focus.

I’m not sure why I couldn’t focus. I was a little thinking about Covid. But I was also thinking of the discombobulation and indecisiveness of the direction and status of MFR. It’s hard sitting in limbo, not knowing whether to move forward and set up for the festival or whether to commit to taking classes this summer.

I don’t want to drop the classes if I won’t be producing the festival. I want to continue in forward motion but am unsure which direction I will be going. It’s a drain on my brain and on my spirit. Shoot. It also makes my body tired because work crews every weekend are physically exhausting. The work keeps my spirit healthy though so there is a pay off to the exhaustion.

Which is the round about way of saying that this energy of waiting and wondering. Not knowing how the novel virus will twist, turn, and continue to mutate our lives.

Wait and see. Be cautious. Be masked. Be prepared. Wait and see.

It’s not a comfortable position to be in. It keeps adrenal on the ready. It keeps our spirits and energy hyped. Wait and see. Ready to react. Ready to act. Wait and see. Prepare. Be masked. Wait and see. Check the numbers. Wear your mask. Wait and see.

And loving and caring and feeling so hard. That’s what I am feeling right now too. Loving my community, worrying about my residents, feeling for my staff, loving and missing my family and friends. Feeling everything so hard. I miss everyone.

I couldn’t motivate myself to do yoga. Although I did my daily 26 frog squats. Simultaneously, the frog squats strengthen my glutes and inner thighs while stretching my hips and hammies. I love multi-purpose movements. Yoga is my friend and I want to reconnect but my spirit continues to fight me.

I go with the flow. The flow tells me to come home. The sun is out. Enjoy the sun and the blessing of a borrowed power washer and take the time to powerwash my deck.
Yes, I did. I scrubbed it up and down. Then connected the powerwasher. Fired that baby up and powerwashed the deck. Scrubbed it some more and sprayed it down again. It wasn’t all me though. I got to give credit where credit is due. Thank you bestie for always being a sport and stepping up to help me. I appreciate you!

While scrubbing the deck, the monstrous pile of brush, mattress, and table were torched. Since I had the sprayer out, I figured might as well torch the monster pile. Poof!

It burned up quickly. And my yard is cleaner. My deck is cleaner.

I didn’t follow any of my plan for the day.

Yet, here is what I did do.

I worked 9 hours today helping people manage their meds and mental health. I talked to a lot of people. I reached out. I connected. I touched lives.

I wrote content for one paper.

I talked to more people. I power washed my deck and burned my brush pile. I sat in the hot tub and enjoyed the space. I prayed for numerous people.

I took the time to enjoy the sun on my face. I spoke kindly. I vented without being bitchy. I was a good friend.

I am proud of myself for today. I am proud of myself for allowing myself a bit of a break to make and change plans as my spirit needed to be.

I also allowed myself to be comforted and consoled and reassured. I accepted it.

I remembered the lessons of Houston: sit in uncomfortable feelings and no fast movements.

It was a successfully juicy day. Unexpected, unplanned, and uncomfortable but juicy day.

#findingthejuicy