Reflection and Contemplation

contemplation and quote

Been reflecting lately. That’s why the blog has been quiet. No one seems to be interested in this juicing and modified juicing challenge, so I’m offing it early. Hearing some God whispers. May take the blog in a new direction.

Cursed still in progress

Cursed series is still a #wip but my heart is saying the world does not need a book right now on a magical clan, vampires, and dragons, etc. So putting it on hold for a few weeks… Yes, I will get back to it eventually.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

In the song of Ms. Stacey Kent, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” Starting with self-love. It’s time for us to reclaim ourselves. It’s time to stop self-defeating behaviors and stop feeling lost.

Do you feel lost? Feel unlovable? Feeling unworthy of good things? Are you often feeling unhappy and like you’re just going through the motions, like a robot – even though you have blessings in your life? So then you feel guilty about not feeling happy?

I think I’ve already found step 1 in the journey and I shocked myself when I found it. Wanna know what it is? Can you guess?

Join me on this journey to self-love, forgiveness, and compassion

If you want to follow me on this journey, follow my Facebook writer page www.facebook.com/adjustingyourfocus since that’s where all the posts will be, starting in the coming days, Facebook videos and live feeds (OMG – I can’t believe I’m doing this – talk about OUT of my comfort zone!!!). Some things will be on the blog, some on Instagram, but most will probably be on the Facebook page.

#love #forgiveness #loving #compassion #friends #connect #connection

#self #service #selflove #sad #lonely #alone  #bliss #joy #happy

#happiness #lost

#found #listen #positivity #positive #confused

Do Lunch with a Friend

Welcome to Day 28 of our Happily Ever After 30 day challenge.

MARCOS VASQUEZ/©2008 RAMEY PHOTO 310-828-3445 Los Angeles, Oct. 30, 2008 EXCLUSIVE! EMMY ROSSUM enjoys lunch with a friend in Beverly Hills. PGmv

For today, make plans to do lunch with a friend. Or breakfast, or, supper, or dinner and drinks, or even with a family member if you consider them a friend. It’s important to cultivate happy, healthy relationships. We must establish strong friendships to be happy.

Some of us may consider ourselves an island, because maybe it keeps us feeling safe. No one can hurt us if we are on our own and have no connections but is that really a happy way to live? I don’t think so. I’ve gone through years of not having close connections with anyone, and for a while, it was nice to protect myself from being hurt by people but I see I’m much happier when surrounded by people that love me and that I love in return, those who are silly and make me laugh, those who are deep and I can confide in and somehow, they understand. It makes life a lot easier when you have such people in your daily life.

So have a meal with friend, either out or have them over.

How’s this challenge working for you, thus far? How many of the challenges have you taken on? Do you feel happier as a result? I’m eager to hear how it’s going for you. Please drop me a line and let me know.

Have a fantastical kind of Friday, y’all!

Love ya!  xoxo

#happilyeverafter

Top 10 Clues to Cure Christmas Blues

hello

So, I’ve received all your chiming in…or Naw.

But I’ll give my 2 cents anyway.  This is Phase II that I talked about…

We are sick of Christmas.  Or we are sick of having the blues.  Or all the above.  We just wanna get through it.  Without too many tears in our wine and hopefully more than a couple of dimes to rub together.  So, what’s my cure for the Christmas blues?  Well, get a pencil and try some of these things out, ’cause I have a few.  See if they work for you.

danceout1.  DANCE!!  Don’t feel like puttin’ on your dancin’ shoes?  Well, I don’t always feel like dancing either, but when you live with a seriously crazy dancing teenager, when she says dance, you dance. Whether I feel like it, or not (not today because my little mini me is feeling icky), I get up and shake a booty.  Usually in the kitchen.  Not sure why it’s usually in the kitchen but that’s where we always seem to wind up and dance.  And sing.  Badly.  But no matter what sort of mood I’m in and no matter how tired I am, dancing always makes me feel better.  So, turn on your favorite tune that makes you wanna shake a leg, whether they be skinny chicken legs, or you leave the fat and skin on, shake it, baby, because, first of all, it’s good for you, gets that blood pumping, and second of all, it can put a smile on that face.  Oh, and if you wanna get rid of some of that flab, it’s probably one of the best exercises known to man to work up a sweat, boost your metabolism (as well as your mood), all while putting a smile on your face!  And if you have someone in the house or office just sitting around, pull ’em up there with you, because while it’s fun dancing alone, it’s more fun dancing with a friend.
bad singer
2.  SING!  Believe me, I cannot carry a tune in a bucket but when I sing, and especially when I sing loudly, it makes me laugh!  When I hear myself, it’s just hilarious. Yes, that’s how bad it sounds.  My dogs (and every other dog in a 2 mile radius) howls right along with me.  Okay, so maybe they are crying for peace and for me to shut up (likely, the case), but I’ll go on believing they are trying to sing with me.  When my daughter and I sing together (very off key), we both start belly laughing!  And if you want a little extra belly laugh, sing in the mirror!  Watch your face as you “try” to sing and if you’re a wonderful singer like we are (NOT), make yourself sing off key while looking in the mirror.

mirror

3.  LOOK IN THE MIRROR and make silly, sexy, wacky, kissie faces!  Just look at yourself.  Don’t take yourself seriously.  If you ever have taken a selfie, which it seems most of the world has, then you can hang around in the mirror for 5 minutes acting wacky.  Look as if you’re looking at someone else, trying to make them laugh.  Try the sexy look, the pouty lips, blow your mirror self a kiss, look serious, don’t laugh, try to keep a straight face, hold your hair in a certain way that makes you look like you have a mohawk, or put 10 pony tails all over your head, because THAT’S super sexy, right?  Act like you’re doing a music video and YOU are the STAR!!!

4.  If you aren’t into the Christmas lights, or Christmas movies, or Christmas music, there is no rule that you have to be.  Though it does help to realize other people do love that crazy stuff and helping them to enjoy it goes so freakin’ far.  Maybe if you try to get into it ‘for them,’ it will help you not focus on your issues or your lack of love for the holidays but refocus your energy on those other people who you love, which always seems to help me.  FOCUSING ON OTHERS and wanting to make them happy takes the pressure off of yourself and helps you to see everything in a new light.

5.  TAKING A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, or better yet, a walk in your own back yard, in a park, in the woods, on a trail, down your country road. Just be sure you are safe, people will not hit you with their car or bike or whatever and take a nice walk OUTDOORS!  I don’t know what it is but being outside in nature, feeling the breeze on your skin, the sun in your face, the trees, leaves and grass in view, along with that amazing fresh air – well, it cleanses the senses as well as the soul.  I can get this sitting in my porch swing, listening to the birds and catching the breeze, while bundled up with a blanket and a cup of hot tea, or a walk in the back (because we live in the country), a walk to the pond and sitting on the pier to contemplate life, or just meditate.  We are trying to improve our mood, so meditation would be better than contemplating anything.   Just be close to nature and notice all the beauty that’s surrounding you.  Even if it’s cloudy or rainy or snowing, there is beauty to be had in all of that, honestly!  FIND BEAUTY everywhere you look.

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Okay, so these are my top 5 ways of finding a somewhat cheerful disposition.  Do you have any to add?

6.  Eating scrumptious food?

7.  Having a glass or two of wine?  Yeah, a little sumpin’ sumpin’ can’t hurt.  Just don’t drink and drive, because that’s – well, that’s just stupid.  And we know you’re not stupid.

8.  Look at happy pictures online.  Like – of cute babies, sweet puppies and kittens, look up funny images that are sure to make you laugh.  This has helped me.  I’ll look up crazy faces of dogs, cats and babies and it’s hilarious!  You can’t help but laugh, even if you are in the midst of tears at first!  Cracks me up every time.

funny dog

9.  Watch a funny movie!  Something with Robin Williams is THE BEST or anyone you prefer that makes you laugh so hard, your gut cramps up.

10.  And my last idea for helping you get out of the funk you’ve found yourself in?  Go volunteer.  Anywhere you like.  At a children’s hospital.  Those sweet faces love to sit in your lap and hear you read them a book!  They eat that stuff up!  Soup kitchens always need servers and it feels amazing to your heart to help those who aren’t as blessed as you are.  You might not think at this moment that you are blessed but I can promise you someone else has it so much worse than you.  When you focus on helping others, the thought of yourself and your hard times or depression/sadness/lonliness/whatever you’re going through falls away, at least for a while.  And afterwards, your heart stays lifted when you think of those people you helped.  And we all need to help others.  And we all need to feel helpful.  And our hearts can always use a lift, right?  Right.  If you need more places to volunteer, I have tons of places and things you can do, so just ask.

What else ya got?

Is it the holidays or just me?

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Take into account I’ve already had 2 glasses of good wine so I may be a bit too honest. But is it the holidays or just me?  Okay, I realize it’s not just me.

Most of us get the holiday blues. We must understand and remedy (or try) this as best we can, yes? Because, hello!? It’s bloody Christmas and we should be effing joyful and not half drunk and sappy, yes?  Yaaas!  So, to pull apart these feelings to further understand them…we’ll call this Phase I.

Phase 2 can be in 2 days once we’ve received the hoorah from all of you that would like to chime in with all your ho ho f***ing jolly ho and tell me how you really feel.  Just being authentic here…  In the moment…

So why have we fallen into the deep dark abyss we call the Christmas blues?

1) We’ve lost a loved one – yes, they’ve moved on. Either they’ve gone to the other side or they broke up with us or ended our marriage. You thought they’d be there forever, right?!  Well, we were wrong. And it hurts. Deeply. More concretely and breathtakingly than anyone can possibly imagine.

But I get you. Been there. Done all of that. It sucks. You think one day you’ve finally gotten a hold on it and you’re good.  Right?  Then Christmas comes along and rears its ugly head and it’s all fresh again. As if it happened yesterday. I mean, it happened 13 effing years ago or longer. But, well… Here you go. It might as well have been yesterday.

Because, duh, we miss ’em. They should be with us, celebrating, laughing, filled with glee, but they’re not. And ya know what? I know you know what. It feels like shit!

And reason #2) You’re po.  Downright poor! You barely get by paying your bills just by the skin of your teeth! Skin? We have skin on our teeth now? Om, no.

And Christmas is now? I mean, yes, I realize it’s been in the STUPIDDD department stores since July but, oh, I tried not to realize it’s December. Actually, all my months run together, thanks to those Christmas in July ads.

So, I just figured I’d have another 6 months to try to scrimp and save for what everyone wants – at least the top 3 on their wish lists, because God (no offense) knows that’s what it’s all about.

3) You are not a Christian, you don’t follow Jesus and don’t get, nor have you ever gotten the whole celebration, overspending, overeating, glad tidings of it all.

Om, I don’t know where to go with this one… Because, well, even half drunk and pissed off as I am as loved ones absent, po as I am and the commercialization of it all, I still do get the whole Jesus thing, so I cannot empathize with you on that one, I do try to take into account of the real reason we have Christ-mas.

It is hard to focus on just the one main reason sometimes, though, right?!  We are human. We hurt. It sucks. Most of us love Jesus. It’s not about dissing the main dude and especially on his birthday. It’s not about that.

We forget what it’s REALLY about. Maybe ’cause of our ego, we’re selfish. We want our peeps and to have more moola. 

And because crap seems to happen at Christmas and when it does, it’s 10 times worse crappy than if the crap fell in your lap in May.

So, for Phase I, why are YOU feeling the Christmas blues? Tell me. Lay it all out there. I realize it’s THE most heart-wrenching, stabbing, melting your soul and your brain like hot butter (or it can feel that way) time of year.

Maybe by Phase 2 or 3, we can remedy our blues (or try our best) before Christmas Eve. So, lay it on me.  Just be real. Be authentic. Share your truth. We are listening.

And we (I) will do our best to help you/us all through it with at least a pirate smile on our faces. We’re in this together.

Fighting to find Thankfulness

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Okay, so here we go with Thankful Thursday again.  I actually found a lot this morning to be thankful for.  Then, I took my car to the shop since it’s been parked for about 2 months, because of a scratching sound, to find out I need a new drive shaft or something dealing with the back end of my car – I can’t repeat all the lingo.  $1100 to $1200.  I don’t have that money laying around.  I mean, honestly, I’m a divorced/single mom of a busy teen, paying for half of academy tuition (thank you, ex-hub), paying all the bills, etc. and now I have to come up with that.

Well, all the ex-friends of the family thing and all of that issue finally simmered down and is chill now.  Thank you, God.  Yes, I’m angry with You, but I’m still thanking You, because that was a rough situation for the fam.  Well, one family member in particular but when you mess with one, you mess with us all.

Now this.  So I brought the car back home.  Thank God that Hallie has a little 2-person truck we can use till I can save up enough to fix it.  It’s just one thing after the other.  So now I just want to cry.  I’m tired and I’m stressing and depressing and angry and sad.  Tears might make me feel better.  I’m out of wine.  *sniff*

Still, this is about being thankful.  So, even though I’m a bit irritated with God, I will exercise my thankfulness, because as we all know, it can be heaps worse, and if we look for the good in the situations, we can most assuredly find some positives.

I’m thankful we can use Hallie’s truck to get her to school and home and youth group and everywhere else I need to get her off to.  I’m thankful we can use Mama’s car to go get groceries (she’s right next door).  I’m thankful we have a home and land and good school for Hallie to go to.  I’m thankful for our good health.  For people who are actually our friends and love us and defend us and the truth.  For Jesus.  For Hallie.  For Mama.  Friends.  Writing.  Working from home.  For living my dream (or part of my dream).  For all my dreams to be answered but one, which is a ton!  For having amazing, awesome clients, who I love and adore and I love the work I do, which doesn’t even feel like work.  I know I’m blessed.

So now I realize how much I have instead of how much I don’t.  I need to focus on all the good.  Being ever mindful.  I lost it for a moment.  I forgot myself.  Forgot my tons of blessings God has showered us with.  So I’m good now.  I suppose next time when I feel the need to vent, I’ll write down every good thing I can find about my life, ’cause then maybe I won’t feel like venting.  I’ll be filled up with goodness and thankfulness and appreciation and love and adoration for all He has overflowed my cup with.

Thank You, Father!  You are the biggest blessing of all.  Your love for me – for us.  I know you love us.  I feel it in my soul.  Thank you for all these reminders and more.  Oh, and sorry for stressing and depressing.  I still might cry just to get this tension out of my muscles if you don’t mind but I’m better now.  Never stop your whispers.  Sorry for being angry with you.  I know you give me more good than bad.  Thanks for all of it.  The good and the bad.  You use it all.  I love you, too.

Okay, so what are you thankful for today?  Or for this past week, so far?

 

(Photo courtesy of prima.typepad.com)

Are You a Mindful Type of Person?

mindfulness-poster

Are you a mindful person?  I would love to say I am but I’m rather an aspiring mindful person.  I try to be mindful at certain times, in a certain moment, on a certain day, but that’s not really being mindful, is it?  No.  I stress and depress and project it onto others around me, especially those I love the most.  I direct it onto my closest friends, my mom, my daughter, God, heck…even my dogs.  God forbid I’m working and one of the dogs has to go out, or I’m in the midst of focusing on a project and I get a text, so I even project my stress onto my somewhat smartphone.

You’d think I’d be happier.  I mean, I’ve got it made.  I work from home, which is just a life choice I made a while back, because I wanted to be present for my daughter.  I wanted to raise her properly and be here for her.  Not to say that parents who work outside the home are not raising their kids properly.  Not at all.  I used to do the 8 to 5, the commute, working late, working on a Saturday.  I did the whole thing.  It’s just a choice I made that was right for me and my daughter.  I have awesome contracts with clients I love, finally.  I’ve worked for some true devils.  I mean, before doing the WAHM (work at home mom) thing, I worked for attorneys and there were some devils in that mix, let me tell you!  I can’t believe I did it for as long as I did, but the money was awesome and the perks weren’t too bad, either.  Yeah, I’ve worked for some monsters but the worst one I ever had was one of my clients, whom I kicked to the curb last year.  No, I love my clients now, so I should be happy.

So I work from home, I get to hang out with the kiddo, take her to everything (or rather, let her take me, since she’s got her permit), hang with the dogs, take Mama to any appointments she needs me to (she lives just next door), not work for attorneys/crazy people/head cases/monsters (although there are 2 attys that I actually adore and call them friends but they are a very rare exception), no commute, no extra expenditure on gas, no dealing with people in the office I don’t particularly care for, I get to fit my work schedule around family time and appointments and walking the dogs, washing clothes, whatever.  I get to fit in a little bit of time to work on the novel I started a year or so ago.  I can jump on the treadmill whenever I want.  I’m healthy.  My family is healthy.  So, one thing goes not according to plan or wrecks my schedule and I have a meltdown.  What’s the deal?  Am I going through mentalpause?  Or are my hormones all wonky?  Oh, maybe it’s the lack of sugar in my diet since I’m into weight loss right now.  Or the fact that I’m hungry from putting less food in my belly.  God help everybody when I take coffee off my menu.  Trying to get healthier.  Yeah, I’m gonna healthy all over the ones I love.  Poor things.

I keep telling myself to live in the moment.  Be present.  Be mindful.  Mindful of my words, my thoughts, my actions.  Be kinder to not just those I love, but to everyone I come in contact with.  Be kinder to myself.  Be gentler.  Stay calm, slower to anger.  Be patient with myself and…well…just everybody.  I haven’t much patience when it comes to someone doing 40mph on the interstate and I can’t get around them, ’cause grammaw over here in the left lane is going 40 also and refuses to pass.  No, actually, I imagine myself shooting out one of their tires, not so they’ll have a wreck, mind you, but slowly pull off to the side and get the heck outta my way.  Mean.  I know.  This is what I’m saying.  I’m so angry.

This is not being mindful.  Oh, I’m sure of my emotions.  I know what I’m feeling.  But my feelings are out of control.  Depressed and crying because my baby just entered 10th grade and I’m simply not prepared for her to be this age, yet — this big — this grown.  *sniff*  I realize I have 3 more years with her, but do I?  She’s getting more involved in clubs and activities, with friends, stuff in school, stuff outside school, pretty soon she’ll have her driver’s license and probably a part time job.  I’ll never see her.  My baby will be out the door even before college.  Am I afraid of being alone?  I don’t think that’s it.  I’ve always cherished my alone time.  I’m not the lonely type.  If anything, I look at it as an opportunity to write or to read.  Boring, you say?  Nah.  I love it.  Sometimes I think I need to find a man so I won’t be alone when she goes off to college and then I realize how stupid that thought was.  Divorce was good for me.  Maybe I just need to learn how to chill.

I need to learn how to be mindful.  I need to cease, slow down, stop, HALT!  And be still.  I need to pray more, meditate.  I haven’t meditated in I can’t tell you how long.  I used to do it every morning.  Hallie even did it with me!  We looked forward to doing this together every morning.  So, why did we stop?  I think I let my work hours consume me.  Now that I actually have clients I love and work that inspires and benefits me (and the world), I need to reevaluate my life, my time, ME.

I need to ask myself what it is I want and get to it.  I need to get back to the plan.  I need to fit in my fun quality family time, work hours, writing hours, exercise, walking and smooching dogs, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn and everything else I have to do and be glad about it.  Be glad I have the opportunity.  Be mindful of every minute and make sure I’m not wasting it.  I admit, I waste a lot.  I think too much.  That’s my strongest weakness.  I can’t get out of my own head.  I need to prioritize and eat the frog.  Meaning, get the work hours done M-F as soon as I can get done and get it out of the way, so I have the free time I need to do everything else.  I procrastinate a bit.  I get distracted by my thoughts, an idea of a storyline I’m working on, so I quit work to type it into my book.  I’m so disorganized.  Even this post is all over the place.  I ramble.  My thoughts are scrambled and rambling.  I’m a rambling gal.

So, I’ll shut up and just make my greatest effort at being mindful.  I’ll live in the moment.  I’ll be gentler with myself and others.  I’ll stay calm and if I don’t have a nice thought or word, I’ll keep my lips zipped!  I’ll let it pass.  No one needs my stress.  I don’t even need my stress.  I’ll try to chill and be thankful for each moment I’m given, thankful for all my many blessings, and I do know I’m blessed.  I’ll just start acting like I know I’m blessed.

How to be mindful…

Hmm…

  1. Being in, living in the moment – each minute of the day – not so much inside my head, just aware of my thoughts, my feelings, my actions and words and what’s going on around me.  I will make a choice.  I will choose how to spend each and every moment.  I can participate or I can observe.
  2. Staying calm, being gentle, slow to anger – if someone tries to piss me off or I start to overreact, I will breeeeeeeeeeeathe and I will smile, forcing myself to chill and be patient.  I will not flip anyone off.  I will not cuss.  I will not yell as if I believe the other driver can hear me.  I will not tailgate.  If the checkout person in Walmart is in a pissy mood, I will smile at them, try to engage them in polite conversation and try to ease their suffering.
  3. Act with love.  Speak with love.  Feel love and exude love.  For others as well as myself.
  4. One of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned (thank you, Tessa) is “it’s not all about you.”  I will remember it’s not all about me.  Just because a person is acting a certain way, it may be about them and it probably is.  I tend to get paranoid.  I’m getting better at this.  I will focus more on others and realize everyone has a struggle.  We never know what another is going through.  I will take my mind off myself and focus more on others and see if there’s any way for me to be helpful to them.
  5. If I get distracted, I will come back to center.  When I realize I’m goofing off (like now.  I should be working), I will refocus, stop playing or thinking or procrastinating or wasting time (even though I just had to talk to y’all), I will ask myself, “Self, what do I need to be doing right now?  What am I doing?  Do what needs to be done.  Eat the frog.”  Y’all do know what ‘eat the frog’ means?  I’m not actually going to Eat.  A.  Frog.  That’s just wrong.
  6. If my mind begins to wander, I will bring myself back, get out of my head, refocus, and do what I need to be doing.  I will be mindful.

Any other tips on how one can be mindful?  HALP?!  Please insert in comments below.  ’cause we all need to know.

Smooches!  xoxo

 

 

Photo courtesy of arttherapyspot.com

Crazy Legs!!

You possibly find it taboo to discuss these things — depression and the like.  Perhaps you think, “If I just ignore it, it’ll go away.”  Or you avoid people that suffer with depression as if they have the plague.  I’ll bet no matter how happy you are or pretend to be, you have a certain level or type of depression in your own life.

There are various levels and types of depression.

1.)  You are melancholy due to the crappy weather

 rainy

— we all suffer from this, because we need that Vitamin D from sunshine to boost our mood and make us feel and actually be healthier.  Oh, I can enjoy a drippy and dark cloudy day with the rain droplets bouncing on the leaves and dancing on the windowpanes but going without sun for too long will bring anybody down.

2.)  You receive rejection.

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Any sort of rejection.  We all want to be liked, loved, appreciated, told we are gifted or talented or a friggin’ genius.  When we are rejected, it hurts and it sucks.  We all have to face rejection in our lives.  Nobody ever said it was going to be easy but there are ways to help yourself feel better fast.  Dwelling on it isn’t one of them.

3.)  Someone leaves you or you leave them.  Each is a form of rejection.

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They may have died.  They may have moved away or you did.  They (or you) may have ended the relationship on purpose.  It happens to all of us.

4.)  You’re sad.

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You can’t pin down any specific reason why.  You just are.

There is honestly an endless list of what makes us sad, bitter, and angry (all parts of depression) — but there is also an endless list of ways to bring yourself out of it.  No, it’s not in pill form.  No, I’m not talking about liquid happiness we sometimes find in alcohol.  And no, it’s not about finding Jesus (although it certainly can help).  There are ways, simple plans of action you can take — anyone can — to make yourself happy, bring yourself out of the deep dark cold cave and into the bright warm sunlight.  And if there’s no sun, you can shine your own light!  sunny

Ready?

So, step 1 and 2, you may have read about changing things up/ doing something different(ly), singing loudly and off key the other day and those things will help.

Need something else?  Try these:

1.  You know that saying, “Dance like nobody’s watching?”  Do it.  Yeah, that.  Get out those crazy legs, crazy-legs-o

put on your best, most favorite upbeat dancy song and work it!  I didn’t say twerk it.  Not only is this great exercise and gets that blood pumping, but if you do it right and have fun with it, you will laugh at yourself and your crazy dancin’ legs.  Move those crazy arms, too,

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if you feel like it.  Sing along at the top o’ your lungs if you can pace yourself well enough.  Some of us aren’t coordinated to sing and dance at the same time.  😉

If you cannot dance or move the way you’d like, you can actually close your eyes and imagine/visualize yourself dancin’ all crazy to some great music.

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Your mind has power over your body in so many different ways (too long to explain in a blog post) and if you can visualize it,

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it’s the same as actually doing it and can totally lift you out of your funky (funky in a bad way) mood.

2.  Affirmations.  Yes, I said it.

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Don’t you roll your eyes at me.  No, seriously.  Okay, I’ll admit I used to roll my eyes, too, but listen…  Do this:  Take a short phrase that means something to you that is meant to empower you and lift you up.  Write it down.  Read it again and again, at least 3 times.  Accentuate and embellish the words with curly cues and drawings of your own choice.  Trace it.  Use different colored pencils, pens or markers to brighten up the words.  Then, say the words out loud (Yes, out loud!) 10 times.  Say it like ya mean it!  Look back at those words throughout your day and go through the exercise again if you feel the need.  Need some examples?

“I am beautiful!”  — because you are.

beautiful

“I am a ____.”  — fill in the blank.  Don’t say “blank.”  (Yes, I know there are some smart asses out there as I am one of them.)  So, if I want to be a writer, I claim that I am a writer, then I declare I am a talented writer, then I believe I am a well paid, published writer.  You take your want/wish/goal/aspiration and make it a true statement for yourself as if it has already happened and you just are.  “I am a highly paid, sought after, NYT best selling author and I’m sooooo happy!”  Or “I am having the most awesome day ever!”  Or “I am so happy, because I have so many blessings in my life!”

i'M AMAZING!

Now you try.

And when you say them, smile.  Force it.

fake smile

Fake it till ya make it.  It might start out as forced, but after a little while, it’ll be natural.  funny smile

It helps to think of all your blessings and even say each one out loud.

sweet smile

Need examples?  Let me know.

bunny smiles

(FYI, I have suffered with depression for as far back as I can remember, as have both sides of my family as far back as I’ve traced, so I know a thing or two.)

Some Realness for you

Okay, if you are in a good mood and feeling very up and don’t want to listen to a Debbie Downer, then please do not read this post.

I am not going to just be all selfish and have my own little pity party here per se, but I am going to spill a little angst and frustration and wonder how many of you out there are feeling what I’m feeling or are you trying to be strong and be a trooper and hold it in, silencing it.

I had a really good cry just now and am actually feeling two percent better but I have to tell you, sometimes I feel God is up there with his hands on his hips, laughing at me as I fall on my face, mocking me almost. Yes, I know he’s not, but I suppose it’s what I see in myself that makes me see God that way. It’s me, being inside my own dark stinky head. Do you ever feel this way?

I am sure it’s due to a lack of sleep, working too many hours, working 7 days a week. I’m totally punishing myself. I asked for this. I asked to work from home and I love being here for Hallie and being present for her and this is a real gift, but at the same time, not getting sleep, working so many hours daily, 7 days per week is for the birds. Or no, it’s not even for them. They need rest and time to play, too. It’s like God is saying, “So how much do you want this?” I had some great contracts where I only worked 20-30 hours a week with weekends off and all my bills were paid. Those have finished and now lately all I’ve been doing is transcription where the pay is laughable and piddly writing jobs but yes, it’s better than nothing.

I guess it sounds like I’m complaining. I’m actually grateful I have the work. I know some people have nothing, no job, no home, not even family, nor good health, so I have so much. I know I’m blessed. However, being tired and overworked can make a girl crazy and depressed, which is my reason for this airing of my frustration. I guess I needed someone to talk to. I guess I wanted to talk to you, talk it out, see if you can relate and it also gives me an opportunity to express myself with written/typed words. I have missed my writing more than anything I can think of. I’ve halfway even thought of starting a Kickstarter or Indigogo campaign just for looking of ways of funding me finishing one of my books or the video project I told you about on an earlier day. Crazy, right? I’m not quite that desperate yet but I still think about it.

Do you ever feel like you are so tired, all that crazy and depression floods your whole body and you just feel worthless? Unworthy of anything good? There’s no time to do anything you want or need to do, so you wonder what the meaning to your life is. I’m questioning myself today. I wish for things. I wish for love. No, not wishing for the man of my dreams to come charging up on his steed bearing flowers and a blinding twinkling white teeth smile and the bluest of blue eyes. I’m wishing to feel God’s love for me.

Normally, this would be so simple for me. I feel his love when I think of how he sent Jesus for me, how he sent my beautiful mom, how he sent my wonderful daughter. I know he loves me because of these blessings but I guess I need more.  Needy, right?  My wish is also to feel love for myself. How does one love one’s self? How do you like yourself? I know, when I was in the midst of writing a story, I’d lose myself. It’s like I finally got out of my own head and spilled, ya know? I spilled the lives of my characters. It’s like I lived all these other people’s lives and they were interesting and tragic, funny and magical, quirky and insatiable. And now, I feel trapped in the walls of my own mind and I’m boring with only work for what seems like 24/7. So I’m trapped with just me. My imaginary friends aren’t even talking to me these days because they know I have no time to hear them, no time to listen.

Do you ever feel like this? Worthless? Unworthy of good things? Unworthy of love? Wondering if your life will ever feel somewhat normal again?

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep talking.  Maybe it’s this drippy weather for days.  Maybe it’s because Hallie’s gone on a trip with her youth group and I’m missing her.  Maybe I’m crashing from my sugar high from all this Christmas candy.  I’ll be okay.

Perhaps my next post will be a little more uplifting.  Lord, please send some sunshine and a better contract?  And a reason to love me.

I Got The Christmas Blues

I’m not a singer, though I call myself a poet at times, and a writer sometimes, too.  Not really into bluesy music either but this year, I got the Christmas blues.  Lemme explain…

Even while I write this, feelin’ such hurt

Since I know I should be doin’ my work

No time for creativity these days

I got the Christmas Blues

 

tree
Four hours sleep I work dark till late at night

No time to trim the tree except for lights

No ornaments, tree topper or tinsel

I got the Christmas Blues

 

Had such plans for Christmas crafts and fare

Not wrapped the first gift, tree bottom is bare

Was gonna drive around and see the lights

I got the Christmas Blues

 

No time to work on my stories or blog

No time to read or start my YouTube vlog

Gotta get some sleep and find a new job

I got the Christmas Blues

 

No wonder it’s the most down time of year

Though I paint a smile to shut out my tears

Maybe that will help them have a good time

Ain’t got no time with my friends to hang

Trapped in a tunnel, the light is a train

I got the Christmas Blues

Finding Middle Ground

only God I swore I wouldn’t open my laptop today.  I worked yesterday from 2am till 9pm.  Yes.  I work from home and while working from home sounds like a dream come true, it can wear a person slap out.  Oh, by the way, it is a dream come true — the working from home part.  It’s not always easy but when you have bills to pay and you need to put food on the table and pay school tuition, you work your fingers to the bone taking on as much work as you need to pay those bills and buy food.  I opened the ole laptop because I figured maybe if I just set a timer to write this and then get on with what I intend to do today, it’s all good (I refuse to work today).  I wanted to share something with you in the small chance it might help you see things a little differently or maybe more clearly.

I’ve been fighting a war with myself lately.  I’ve been so tired from working.  I’ve been so angry, so resentful, so tired of struggling.  I seem to focus on the negative — all the bad stuff.  I believe that we get back whatever we put out, yet I’ve not been acting like I believe it.  I believe that God and Jesus are there protecting us, loving us and listening to us, as well as answering our prayers (in His time, not ours) but I’ve not been acting like I believe it.  I love to write and be creative, yet I’ve been focusing all my energy into other things — work, mostly.

I spent most of my childhood and teen years quiet.  No one cared what I had to say.  No one listened and always interrupted or just told me to shut up.  I wasn’t important or really wanted.  I’m not trying to gain sympathy or blame my parents at all.  I believe it was part of God’s plan, so it’s all good.  Besides, I had an awesome blessing called Mrs. Jones in 5th grade at Lamar Elementary that listened and heard all I had to say and had faith in my abilities.

I used to feel hate and anger about my childhood but once I learned to love that inner child, and I do love her (sometimes, I just need to remind myself I love her), I became somewhat healed, not of everything but healed enough to forgive and understand.  I forgave my parents.  People give what they have and many don’t have as much to give as maybe others do.  Some are weaker than others.  Some don’t know how to let go of their past nor of their anger and resentment.  I forgave myself for not having a voice.  I forgave myself for my weakness and for harboring so much hate in my soul.  Not for just my parents but for other people who took advantage of me and hurt my heart and mind.  One thing no one can ever hurt is my soul.  That is untouchable.  It is mine and it is God’s.  It is God’s, because He gave it to me and I have promised it to Him.  I may not always act so loving toward him as I get angry with him often but he knows I love him and he’s mine.  It’s a tough father/daughter relationship at times.  He and I both understand why.

After reaching adulthood, I joined the Air Force (firstly, it was an attempt to escape my life and a situation) and learned I had a voice.  I had to find my voice.  Then, I learned to use it.  Once I found it, Lord help!  I let loose.  I told everyone what for.  I gave everyone a piece of my mind.  If there was something to say or I felt someone needed to hear something, I didn’t think about any repercussions.  I didn’t think of hurt feelings.  I didn’t care if it meant they might hate me or be pissed off.  I was gonna tell ’em and I felt I was providing a service.  They were better for hearing it.  I was better for getting it off my chest.  Yeah, I found my voice alright.  It was a very loud and obnoxious one.  It’s been pretty loud and obnoxious ever since.

I find, as I am 46 (yes, I don’t care how old I am — it’s just a number), I’m finally growing up.  Or starting to.  I swore I’d never grow up.  I wanted to be a kid forever.  I suppose, in some ways, I will always be a kid (I don’t fit in with most adults, as it seems most of them have lost their childlike essence, except for one or two).  My teenage daughter includes me.  She thinks I’m fun and cool for some reason, although I have no idea why.  Her friends include me.  It’s as if I’m one of the group.  Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  Don’t misunderstand.  I do not dress like a teen or let my kid or her friends do inappropriate things.  If anything, I’m way overprotective and a strong disciplinarian (just ask Hallie — she tells me alllllll the time), but I also let some things go.  Pick your battles (does this really matter?).  And I love fiercely.  I will kill for my kid and mom.  Yes, I will kill.

But I digress.

I’ve realized, especially lately, as I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching (actually, I’ve been soul searching probably forever) and I’ve come to see that I need to find a middle ground.  I went from never speaking up (crawling) to overspeaking and loudly so (running) and never found that place in the middle.  I need to learn to walk.  I need to learn to find my peaceful place, my calm, my inner sanctum.  I need to learn to hold my tongue instead of giving someone a tongue lashing and thrashing whenever I feel the need to speak my friggin’ mind.  I know it’s cliche but I’d like to treat others the way I want to be treated.  I do believe we get back what we dish out.

I have let anger, frustration, struggle, depression and resentment run my life lately.  I have been working way overtime just to pay the bills and instead of being thankful I work from home and can be there for my daughter, I’ve been stressing because of all the hours I have to put in just to pay a bill or two.  I haven’t been able to focus on the bigger picture.  I am allowed the opportunity to work from home.  Besides the birth of my daughter, that’s been one of my biggest dreams/goals.  And I have it!  I’ve been resentful that I haven’t had time to blog every day and more resentful that I haven’t had much time for writing.  I had big plans to clean up my book, move some things around, revise and get it ready for the next step, which is finishing it during NaNoWriMo.  That’s another huge goal.

I guess I’m just now really seeing this because I had a horrible client.  She was actually quite crazy.  She was a public figure and she thought herself a sort of god.  She was powerful with way too much power — so much power that it overpowered everyone around her.  You know that energy people put off that overtakes you and you can’t get away from it?  You’re trapped with nowhere to go?  There’s nothing you can say to this person because they are so over-sure of themselves and you are simply nothing to them.  Working with her gave me heart palpitations.  It made me cry, made me stress, made me depressed, anxious, nervous and she talked down to me, so it made me feel worthless.  I was physically sick.  I’d worked for attorneys for over 20 years and they never treated me so indignant nor stressed me as much as she did and I only worked for her for a few weeks.  Ya know what I did?  I quit.  I ran just as hard and fast as I could.  I blocked her on my phone and on my email.  Oh, I made sure she had all the information she needed to know the status of everything and she had everything she needed, so I didn’t leave without making sure those loose ends were tied up.  Since she felt the need for long, drawn out phone and Skype conferences regarding daily status — she was always up to date on everything anyway.

Feeling that energy from her has made me look at myself.  Do I put off that kind of energy?  Probably not as bad as all that but I know I have been putting off a lot of negative energy.

Instead of being angry at a person for their meanness, rudeness, their crazy, I will smother them.  With love.  I will look at them as if I’m looking at myself in the mirror.  We are all weak at times in our lives.  We all have bad things happen to us.  We are all faced with crazy people, bad people, evil people.  Maybe something bad happened in their lives — something worse than what happened to us (not to compare but there is always someone else worse off than we are) and they need our kindness rather than a harsh word or angry eyes or negative energy.  I don’t have to be their best friend but I can speak and act with love.  Sometimes, it’s enough.  Sometimes, it’s just what they needed.  And it’s always what we need.

I will send out love.  I will act with love.  I will speak in love.  And it will come back to me.  And I will meet it in the middle.

brokenness