Help you, help you

Happy Monday to you fellow Travellers,

I’ve decided that Spring is nature’s version of bad dating…hear me out. You give me these amazing sunny warm days where I get to lie on my patio in shorts and bask in the splendor, which was yesterday, but then that wonderousness disappears for a few days or more. I don’t understand what just happened, weren’t we having a great time? Or was too exhausting for you? Was my happiness just too much for you? Were you overcome with emotions you weren’t ready for or is it too soon to commit to the next season??

WTF?? How am I suppose to walk my dogs on these crappy borderline Spring-ish fling mornings?

Then I realized, I think this is how it is every year. I get so excited and then so disappointed…expectations do not always serve us well, do they? Certainly not when we can’t differentiate between what we expect and what we just hope for…

And I just think I’ve got alot riding on this one, I’m trying to secure myself on the other side of grief and I just need some cooperation here…but that’s really about me isn’t it? This is not how partnership works. I’m gonna have to sort this one out with relying on Spring…

Since it’s Monday, I thought I would discuss something that I find very helpful and yet challenging. It’s a very necessary perpetual practice in my life. It’s one of the most important skills I have gleamed from therapy.

As I have said before, let’s be clear, therapy isn’t a cure. It’s where I go to learn skills to survive my humanity. And I go to therapy for a sounding board and I’m a big believer that it’s something we need to normalize. Zero shame, all awesomeness that’s what I’m saying…

And it’s just like Robert Frost’s poem says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

So go get a pen and paper. I’ll wait…

And no, we are not using our cell phones, actually writing the words here is important.

Here is the question my therapist asked me many moons ago: What do you value? Make a list.

And this isn’t a right or wrong answer, but 100% honesty is required. If you are not honest with yourself, you are lying to everyone else as well. And you need yourself here.

What do you value?

Take your time, just listen to what you hear inside. Don’t wait forever, don’t try to make it look like a good list, because you know the answer.

The list does not need to be a novel, just what speaks to you…

Here is most of mine…

HOME, honesty, compassion, Friends/Family, Furry kids, Health/Mobility, Humility, Tenacity, Vulnerability, Acceptance, Discipline, Kindness, Intelligence, Stability, Communication, Learning, Adventure, Inner peace, Trying new things, Bravery and a handful more.

I wrote this list over a year ago, and I’ve actually crossed off some things and added new things since then. Or refined a word. And that’s how we work, our values change based on what we learn about ourselves, right? Our values change based on experiences and the ability to recognize what no longer serves us.

Or maybe we realize there is something we’ve been missing and when we find it, like a little seashell on the beach of life, we pick it up and put in our little mental pockets we all have inside. We want to carry it with us.

Now here is the hard part, this is the bread and butter. This is what it’s all about: do you base your behavior on your values? Or are you basing it on your emotions and immediate desires or need for gratification?? Or is your behavior a misaligned coping mechanism that needs more exploration?

Get honest. Try not to judge yourself too harshly because remember you are the only person in this whole world who will never leave you and therefore, ya gotta learn to like this person and believe in this person. Get on your team. No matter what other persons have told you…

I have my list in my planner, I see it everyday and I find that the more I work on it, the easier it becomes. I’m not saying I get it right all the time, because I don’t… I think we go into autopilot so much in this society that we really don’t pay attention to what we do each day…Do you remember what you did yesterday?

This is not an easy thing, BUT if you will consistently do the work and observe as you are about to make a decision or react or behave in a certain way, you might be surprised to see how often you abandon what you value.

Just pause and ask yourself, does what I’m about to do align with my values? Am I making this choice from that place or where is it coming from?

Make this Monday worth something is what I’m saying… Take in all words I just left here for you. Make a list. Trust me this one time. It works. Not easily, but there is a feeling that this cultivates inside that I would diminish with mere words.

Good luck!! And let me know how it turns out!!

A solar year later…

Good evening Travellers,

I have officially lapped the one year mark since my ex left our home AND on last Friday, it was one year from our divorce. One solo trip around the sun. Somewhat hard to believe, but true.

And where I began is definitely not where I am now, so that’s progress. Maybe not the kind of progress I rather ambitiously hoped to have, because I think we all want to excel after we crash and burn. We wanna get back up at a racing pace when the truth is we were knocked on our ass and are completely dazed and out of breath. I wanted greatness while everyone in my life said, all you have to do in the first year is survive.

Well, I have survived.

Continue reading “A solar year later…”

Storms

Good morning Travellers,

It’s a rainy one, all night, all morning. Think there’s been more rain here this year than any year of my entire life, no matter where I’ve lived. Rain. Rain. Rain.

Sometimes I feel like it’s trying to wash away something…(Listen and insert Bon Iver)

Last night, as the storm was coming, it was really quite beautiful…there’s is a strange beauty in chaos isn’t there? Though I’m not sure storms are really chaos, are they? I really liked how the sky looked like it was swelling around the sun, swathing it in darkness…this is around 7pm..it made a sunshine belly button in the sky…

Continue reading “Storms”

Where is the OFF switch?

Hello Travellers,

The past few days of life here in Kansas have been without fanfare. By which I mean, there have been no wonderful morning walks due to the heat, humidity and rain. AND there have no discernible sunrises or sunsets. No beautiful skies, no lovely colors. The days have just lit themselves like someone was using a dimmer switch. Light slides on, light slides off. In fact this morning, I decided to dub this week, the Days of Malaise, because I’ve been having an equally rough time as well.

2F213FCF-99ED-48AC-906F-99BD3420BB25

In fact, I came here to write yesterday and just could not unclog myself to find the words. I typed out a little something but it felt so empty. Same with Sunday and Tuesday. It’s really abit upsetting because I have been so in tune with myself or my muse and then POOF, nope, just gone. Usually when I sit down in front of the screen, the words find themselves and pour out onto the page. Even today, I can feel abit of resistance, but I decided no matter what I come up with I’m putting it out in the world. Because we each have to embrace our story in all it’s ugliness and glory.

Continue reading “Where is the OFF switch?”

Happiness, it’s complicated

Helllooooooo Travellers,

It’s Friday and we had what may be, dare I even say it, the finest walk of our lives. It’s in the 60s, humidity gone, the air was crisp and the world felt freshly plucked. I left at 6am versus the usual 5:30 and the edges of the horizon were the color of ripe cantaloupe that eventually faded to wispy pinks and blues. The owls were hooting as we walked down our street and as we turned the corner, I could hear the rooster doing his thing. Apparently he felt this was a fine day as well, because he was still at it on our way home, that’s 40 minutes of cock-a-doodle-doing, or rather overdoing as I’m sure the neighbors must think…

Yesterday in therapy, we talked about something that I am working on and I can’t help but think others may be as well, so here we go…

I don’t trust happiness. I’ve not trusted it most of life.

I’ll elaborate…

Continue reading “Happiness, it’s complicated”

Therapy isn’t a dirty word

Hello Travellers,

Today is therapy day for me. I’ve been going now since November of last year with a well paced regularity. I would say it has changed my life and helped me save my life. And the best part I’m discovering is it’s evolutionary in nature, meaning where I began I am no longer, now I am somewhere new and I know there are miles to go. Miles that I am ready to travel now. Something that’s a really big deal for me is that I have no idea what the future holds and I AM OK WITH THAT.

Let’s be honest though, not all my therapy experiences have been like this, and because I’m here to have an honest conversation, I think I have to tell all the stories.

Continue reading “Therapy isn’t a dirty word”

Have you seen my doppelgänger?

And Oh Travellers,

It’s late and I’m tired…Right now to my immediate right I have a symphony of purrs going, as in Faline and Charles…

I’ve been thinking about my posts here and I feel a need to acknowledge these are all first world problems. There are people who live in squalor, without a roof over their heads or not knowing where their next meal is coming from. And they live that way all their lives. People who struggle with diesease or impairments that change the way they have to live.

I think I’ve said this before, but Americans live a pretty cushioned life compared to say the majority of people in the rest of the global community. I want to be clear I’m not oblivious to the good in my life, I’m very grateful for the small things too…

Continue reading “Have you seen my doppelgänger?”

An addendum: Spelunking your soul

Travellers-

I had a thought last night after I closed my post and I think it bears worth saying, so here we go: We need to be able to listen to people speak their darkest pain in without freaking the f*ck out. You don’t have to be mentally ill or depresssed or have anxiety or ANYTHING mentally wrong to think about ending your life. Maybe read that again. Period.

Continue reading “An addendum: Spelunking your soul”