Deep Breath…


I did it. I told him. The man who’s made me ditzy and nervous and stupid and delighted and joyful and ridiculous my entire adult life? I told him. Well, I wrote a letter to him, and I really hope he read it… He is at least in possession of it, and that’s pretty much as good as reading it, as far as my insides are concerned.

All day, I’ve felt giddy. I expected to feel abjectly pukey, but instead I couldn’t stop smiling. The relief! The weight of keeping it hidden inside was bigger than I realized, and I knew it was pretty darn big. There are moments I want to cry, because the letter was kind of like breaking up with a guy I never actually dated. It was a, “Hey, I fell in love with you when I wasn’t supposed to, and now I have to let you go (even though we’ve never really even been close as friends),” kind of letter. And it sucks, having to let go. The dream that maybe someday, maybe maybe maybe… That dream got me through SO MUCH BS. So many terrible, awful, ridiculously hard things. Maybe my life was full of darkness, but there was a bright spot out there, somewhere, a tiny, hoped-for possibility to keep my focus until the darkness grew less oppressive. Which is kind of funny…’cause the first year we met, I wrote him a poem. The only line I remember is, You are my guiding star. That was in 2000. 17 years later, and it’s more true now than it was then.

Letting go of that is crushing. And scary. What star do I align to now?

But it was also necessary. I come from a family of elephants–never forget, and never forgive. My mom still resents me for things that happened when I was 4. Her life is one big slide show of all the wrongs done to her, all the injustices she never fought. I refuse to live that way. After two years of agonizing emotional work, I’m finally ready to leave it all behind. Now that it’s a new year, and now that I’ve sent the letter, I can actually do that.

Besides, it’s better this way. Holding on to people never works. It prevents growth, both of the people involved and of the relationship. But more than that, it was keeping me from making big changes in my life. After all, if I’m waiting for that maybe someday, can I make a big change without drawing myself away from it? Nope. Waiting and doing are separate things. Though sometimes they can happen simultaneously…well, it can’t the way I was doing it. I want to find out what I want out of life. To build a career and a home and a future that looks and exists the way *I* want it to. But with that dreamy star as a focal point, I stopped being able to see myself.

And so I let it go. I let him go. And I want to laugh and to cry and to sigh and to climb a mountain.

Instead, I’m spending these first hours of the new year making plans for what comes next. Because I want that career, and that home. I want that life that fills me with passion and joy and, above all, a sense of security. I want it, and I’m going to build it.

Will he ever talk to me again? I have no idea. But I’m done waiting to find out. I have books to write and a path to dance!


Back to Me


In what I hope is my last visit to the ER for many, many moons, I finally had a doctor who really paid attention. This time, I was there because my doctor suggested it. I was feeling weak, dizzy, fatigued – too much so to give the blood necessary to test all my levels. So she sent me to the ER where the results would be faster and they would be prepared in case I passed out.

The ER doc ran the blood tests. Everything, as usual, came back “normal.”

So he sat down with me. “As doctors,” he said, “we often get so focused on treating the problems, we forget to treat the whole person.”

“When a person goes through so many tests and sees so many doctors in a short period of time, sometimes it does more harm than good.”

“I’m not saying I’m absolutely right on this, but sometimes when I see patients, I get this feeling. Everything looks normal, but you clearly don’t *feel* normal. And it has to be really hard to live feeling like shit all the time.”

“I’m not telling you this is all in your head, because it’s obviously not. What I’m saying is that your body and your brain are creating a feedback loop. I think what’s going on is that you’ve been through a lot of stressful stuff lately. That stress flooded your system with cortisol and other stress hormones, which are good when they’re short-lived and reacting to a dangerous situation. But chronically, they cause the body to overreact to little things. The more your system is flooded, the more you’re aware of these tiny changes in your body and the worse you feel. It’s chemical. It’s real. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do for it here in the ER, or any medication I can give you.”

He suggested seeing a therapist. (I tried to do this in March, but my insurance contractor only does group therapy. Which, for a social anxiety sufferer, is pretty much a no-go.)

“Even if you can manage to see someone once or twice, it could make all the difference. They can give you tools to cope with everything.”

I wish he could be my regular doctor. He was exactly everything I look for in a doctor and have never been able to find. As sad as I am that he can’t be, I am so immensely grateful for him.

Validating a person’s experience is tremendously important to health and healing.

I went home (after 6 hours in the hospital – they were PACKED). Ate something. Took a shower.

And sobbed.

And sobbed.

And sobbed.

The kind of cathartic, body-racking sobfest that leaves a person feeling emptied out at the end.

Teenage Me sobbed in despair and pain over the realization that’s plagued me since October.

Twenty-Something Me sobbed in grief over the loss of her grandparents, of the stability and safety and strength they represented that hasn’t resurfaced in my life since they died.

Today Me sobbed out fear: fear of the future; fear of the unknown; fear of failure; fear of leaving the house; fear of passing out; fear of never again being well.

And in the middle of it, something beautiful happened. It was like my grandparents were there with me, holding me, telling me I still have their strength and stability and support. (And, despite being naked in the shower, it wasn’t weird at all. Which I thought about at the time, because my analytical brain never shuts up.) Like they were holding me while I cried, like I’m sure they did innumerable times when I was a child. Like they were angry for me. Proud of me. And that my brokenness was just a cause to hold me tighter.

When I was done sobbing, done being overwhelmed by grief and despair, I was overcome with the need for a quick meditation. So I sat in the tub, rested my poor, hugely congested head in the warm shower spray, and meditated.

“It’s time to rest,” she told me. “You’ve done some hard, grueling work, and now it’s time to come back to yourself. To sit and watch the snow fall and the flowers bloom. Time to just Be with your Self.”

“I know that’s hard for you. It’s a skill, like anything else. So just come rest here, in this space, for a couple minutes at a time. Build up your sense of You. Do it out there, and rebuild your calm. Your peace.”

She gave me two symbols to hold close and remember while I do it. Two things that spoke to the heart of little girl me so deeply, they defined a lot of who I was. And a third symbol for me to meditate on, learn about, and come to know.

It’s time to find myself again. To return to who I wanted to be. To grow into the person I’m meant to become.

It’s going to be work, and it’s going to make me uncomfortable. And probably really bored and fidgety, as I have a serious impatience problem. But it’s a new phase, and it’s necessary. It may be the most necessary thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve been moving toward it for ten years. Ten years, and it’s finally here.

That’s a big part of why I’m so scared…

But I will sit with my Self. And I will be patient. And I will learn again to watch the snow fall and the flowers bloom.

Because for the first time in ages of dark confusion, I feel my path again. And I have a gorgeous sense that I will know it better this time than ever before.

All because of an ER doctor who took the time to really See me.

❤ ❤ ❤

Patience Through the Storm


So far, this year has sucked eggs.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been to the ER. I’ve added three drugs to my list of allergies, been bombarded by enough radiation from scans that I’m starting to get concerned about the cumulative effect, been scoped from both ends, and gotten a low-level diagnosis for some of my long-term troubles. I’m currently wearing a holter monitor to get a 24-hour snapshot of my heart activity and I’m starting a new round of antibiotics (the fourth in two months) for ordinary, everyday sort of stuff. I have to decide between thyroid meds, thyroid removal, and insulin meds. I’ve had a headache for two weeks, abdominal pain for over two months, and my anxiety is on a roller coaster. My neck is jacked up from hitting my head a year ago, and my shoulders aren’t much better off.

And that’s just the physical stuff. My husband lost his job in February and couldn’t get a new one because of all my health issues. Because of a new tax rule, our taxes got audited (I filed early and we’re poor – thanks so much for making life harder, government!). We won’t receive our refund (which we need to survive) until June at the earliest. So I’m sick and we can’t even afford to pay the $700 a month we have in bills, which we are borrowing from my in-laws so we don’t lose everything we own which is in storage in another state.

I haven’t been able to write much of anything. First because sitting put too much pressure on whatever was going on in my belly, and now because my neck gets too stressed out. I’ve spent most of two months in bed. I’m afraid of eating too much sugar, too much fat, of having caffeine, of going outside thanks to the worst pollen year I’ve had in a decade. I’m afraid of exercising. Of leaving the house without my husband. Every time I think I’m doing okay and start inching back out of my limited routine, something else pops up or goes wrong. And now it’s 105 degrees outside and I’m acclimated to the 70 of my bedroom.

Everything I do seems to make me dizzy, light-headed, or feel like I’m going to pass out. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but that’s how it feels most of the time.)

Life needs to change, but I have no idea how that’s going to happen. Even my husband is now so anxious because of everything that’s happened, he won’t leave me alone for more than two hours at a time. He wants to change things, too, but he’s too scared of putting himself out there to try.

I haven’t been this depressed since I had postpartum depression. I’ve been churning through tons of negative feelings, mostly about myself and my life choices, and I had a mini-breakdown the other day where I admitted to my husband that I honestly don’t believe I will ever be good enough for anyone. Not ever. He yelled at me because he thought I was wallowing (something he does frequently), but it’s true. So many of my choices and my directions are made out of fear that I won’t ever be good enough. As a person. As an adult. As a daughter. As a wife. As a woman. Never good enough.

I hate admitting that. I hate how weak that makes me, how much it undercuts my perceived strength in the face of suckitude. So much of what I do in life is for other people’s acceptance. Their validation. And inevitably they give me the opposite.

I try too hard. I’m needy, desperate, clingy.

Except I’m not, and I don’t.

I don’t personally believe we can ever try too hard, especially when it comes to people. Sure, we may try the wrong things and expect too much in return, but I don’t believe we can ever do too much for those we care about.

I yearn for closeness, which makes me human.
I haven’t really had close friends since my early twenties, and no close female friends I didn’t make in high school. That makes me yearn harder, yes, but it also makes me more willing to show up.
I do a lot for others that isn’t ever returned. It bothers the hell out of my husband. But I also know people who never do anything without being guaranteed an equal return on the investment. I would rather be like me.
I need to learn better boundaries. Except I’ve been doing that. I’m not super awesome at them yet, but I know how to enforce them and I’m not afraid to do it.

I kick ass at putting myself out there. Personally, professionally – I’ve got trying new things and taking uncomfortable yet potentially rewarding ‘risks’ DOWN.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting in on the ground floor of a new writer’s journey of discovery. She’s older than I am, with a long career in a good field behind her. But she’s new to risking self in the public eye. New to accepting who she is and what she’s driven to do. I don’t know her and she wouldn’t know me from Eve, but every time she posts anything, I feel a surge of pride. She’s finding her way. A way that’s equal parts exciting and terrifying. And I know how hard it is, because I traveled it more than a decade ago.

I’m not a neophyte anymore. Not professionally and not personally.
I may have lost (sacrificed, really) aspects of myself that I really want back, but if I pursue them I know I’ll resurrect them. Because I know the journey. The steps. The experience.

I got really mad at an old friend a few months back when he suggested I needed to be grateful for the spouse who “supported me so I could pursue my dream.” Ignoring the minefield that is the relationship involved therein, the dream part really jabbed at me.

A dream is a thing we want for ourselves, but don’t really believe it’s attainable. We envision this thing for ourselves – whether it’s travel or career or family – because we want it so badly. But there’s always a ‘but’ involved. “I want to write, but it doesn’t pay the bills.” “I want to travel but I don’t have time right now.” “I want a family but I’m really focused on my career right now.” A dream is the carrot we hold out for ourselves so that we can do the things we need to do that don’t fulfill us.

Writing is not my dream. Writing is my path. My experience. I have never once questioned that I would write (at least, not for longer than a week or so of soul searching every few years). My husband didn’t “support my dream;” he agreed to marry a writer, with all the empty bank accounts that went with the territory.

My life has been long years of hard, often soul-squishing work. It’s been lonely. But my problem isn’t that I cling to people. It isn’t that I need too much from them, or give them too much or expect too much. I don’t let them choose my paths (usually…).

My problem is absolutely all about timing. Timing kicks my ass. I’m impatient, raised by parents who are impatient in totally different ways. I was taught to get things done, to ‘strike while the iron is hot.’ Except if you’re not in the business world, that doesn’t work so well.

When you’re invested in the journey, in self-improvement, in life, impatience is counter-productive. I believe in making things happen for ourselves, but I also believe that sometimes we need to learn to read the currents. The saying isn’t, after all, “Fold ’em or hold ’em, just DO something!” There’s wisdom in patience, and patience allows wisdom.

So even in the midst of this terrifically sucktastic time, I’m working really hard on my patience. Reminding myself that even though it sucks, it’s clearing the way. Cleaning up years of personal messes, of health unknowns, of fear, to give me a starting point free from the ghosts of past mistakes. And that is messy work. It’s grueling. It’s like clearing out a forest after a fire – it’s sweaty, dirty, hard labor that makes everything black with soot.

Even though everything that’s going on threatens to make me literally crazy, I am reminding myself that it’s important work. That new books require old books to have satisfying endings. I have to create closure before I can create a new story.

The blank page that comes after is scaring the hell out of me, too (I haven’t had a blank page in life with no idea what I want to fill it with in seventeen years). But I keep reminding myself that I haven’t gotten to that page yet. I have to focus here, on all these little threads that need to be wrapped up first. I need to make sure I at least touch on them all, acknowledge them all, satisfy them all before I move on.

I’m not good at this yet. Ending things, letting go, moving on – I come from a family where that’s categorically bad. But I don’t want to follow those shoe prints any more. I want to walk my own path, free of resentment, bad feelings, and if-onlys. So I’m learning.

It’s exhausting, all the way down to the fiber of my soul, but I’m learning.

And in the middle of this awful, awful storm, learning is enough.

Crisis of Surroundings


I’m having a tremendously difficult time dealing with life right now. Not only have I been processing a lot of deep internal stuff (re: learning of the death of a childhood friend; discovering that I’ve been in denial regarding the exploitative nature of my first emotional relationship; figuring out how to parse that exploitation and the damage it did; etc.), but there was the election. My goodness. I still am at a loss to understand and accept the way I saw friends treat friends and family. And now I feel trapped. Living in dangerous territory where hyenas are free to eat me alive to the cheers of their compatriots, who are supposed to care about me…at least nominally.

We’re on the back end of our second year living with my in-laws. For the most part, that time has been workable. There were some big dust-ups, points at which I realized just how little worth I have to these people. They sucked. But I was always able to pull up my tolerance pants and fight rudeness and selfishness with kindness. Last week, I discovered that the high ground has become my weapon of choice. Not because I want to be “better than” their behavior (well, most of the time…), but because I refuse to allow pettiness and bitterness to rule my days. I see what that gets a person on a daily basis, and I do not, under any circumstances, want to become that.

But it’s getting harder to keep talking. To answer with more than single-syllable sentences. To be in the same room. To care. That last one bothers me. I don’t want to give up caring…but my mother-in-law seems bent on alienating everyone in her life. I try to maintain compassion – she’s immobile at this point, recovering from surgery on her leg. I’m sure she’s in pain. But it’s getting harder to find.

Her mother doesn’t help. I say, “Let’s not run the dishwasher because it makes it too loud in here, and that makes nobody happy. We’ll run it when everyone goes to bed.” And the dishwasher is run. I close the curtains on my side of the living room because I don’t like the night wide open to me and vice versa. And when I get back from putting the kiddo in bed, they’re open, because, “We like them this way.” My exercise mat found its way to my bedroom today, even though it’s lived in the corner where nobody can see it within easy reach of my exercise space for a year and a half. So did my father-in-law’s shoes, because she didn’t bother asking, apparently. My bedroom is so full of stuff, there is no more room. I can’t write in it. Hell, it’s so cluttered I can barely sleep comfortably in it. The only trace you will find of us outside our single bedroom (that three of us are using) and bathroom are the kiddo’s play kitchen (only out there because it’s too big to go elsewhere), and our game systems. Oh, and the stack of the kiddo’s homework that keeps migrating without me, resulting in two weeks of missing it entirely. A year and a half, and you can’t even tell we live here. (Hell, over the summer, my mother-in-law suggested that if I was too hot in the rest of the house, I should just never come out of our room. Which works so very well as a parent…)

They forget me when they’re making decisions. They make sweeping decisions about what my husband is going to do with his time, my time, our time (never mind that right now, we see each other three hours a day, one of which is spent putting the kiddo in bed). They feed my kid without asking me. They walk all over my rules.

And you know what? None of that would be so bad. But now they spend half the day watching cheesy Christmas movies and the other half watching Fox News. I HATE Fox News. Fox News is literally designed to make people angry. And it works. My mother-in-law is angry and bitter and nasty all. day. long. And when she isn’t, I distrust her motives. She asks questions every time I leave and return to the house, and there in the background is Fox News. I sleep all morning so I don’t have to share the house with just the two of them all day, and I get up to hear them gossiping in an ugly way about people I don’t know, or people I do know, and there’s f-ing Fox News.

In the end, it won’t be the terrible treatment that makes me leave, it will be the morass of vile, twisting, negative energy they’ve surrounded themselves with.

But there’s the problem. I’m having a crisis because I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to stay, but I can’t leave. I’ve applied to jobs, but haven’t gotten interviews. I’ve taken to driving the car three minutes up the road to sit at the park and listen to books on my tablet just for some peace. But it’s not going to be enough. My hip hurts too much to spend more than thirty minutes at the gym, or out walking. I’m too upset to write. I’m stuck. Trapped. With no way out. Because even if I cut and ran to my mom’s, I’d have to take my son out of his amazing autism classroom to do it. I’ve already decided that if nothing else changes this spring, I’m moving in with her next summer. I really want him to finish out the year here. It’s so good for him. But now my mood is affecting him, making him refuse to follow directions both at home and at school. And actually, it’s kind of a moot point, because I don’t have a vehicle to get me there or the money to rent one.

Trapped. Surrounded by hyenas who call themselves “believers” and pray before every meal, but have no problem calling everyone around them idiots and treating them accordingly. Who preach about softening one’s heart in the heat of the moment but have no problem blaming everyone else for everything under the sun.

My December is going to be about surviving, and that, more than anything, is what makes me angry.

December ’16


Earth: Hit the gym when it feels right, for 30-minute circuit, massage chairs, and weight machines. Gentle cardio. Eat right.
Air: Keep researching programs. Look forward to spring class. Study for the GRE.
Water: Breathe. Practice quiet. Let it all just flow as it will, without judgement.
Fire: Sing. Read. Qigong.

Moon: Meditate for quiet most days. Add a visualization journey once or twice a week.
Sun: Watch movies/shows. Play games. Visit the zoo/park. Ditch the guilt.

Take care of myself! Just BE this month, and let it feel nice without fighting it.



Generally, I’m not one of those people who hates change. Blame it on being a mutable Earth Virgo if you want, but I’m usually pretty good about going with the flow. Especially after being married to a stubborn Libra who refuses to do anything on someone else’s schedule for almost twelve years. I’ve gotten pretty darn good at taking life’s hits and rolling with them.

I do, however, have a hard time letting go of things that matter to me. I have a tendency to drag them along behind me, kicking and screaming if necessary, just so I don’t have to walk away. It doesn’t matter how much they hurt me, or their level of toxicity, or even if they aren’t invested in me in return. If it matters to me, I keep it. Period.

Except this year I decided to try something new. To push myself. I’m moving toward a new kind of life, a new kind of me, and that new me needs to be free of the stuff that dragged down old me. So I decided to finally let go of some deeply personal issues. I unfriended a person on Facebook to get the emotional distance to figure stuff out. I wrote a letter I figured I would never send. This person has represented so much and meant so much to me…but our relationship is all in the past. Knowing that, clutching onto them as if I could drag that relationship into the present, was hurting me. Hurting my soul. The last time I saw this person, my intuition gave me a super-clear message: “Stop trying to force it.” It took me eight months of struggling for patience and fighting myself to realize that this person – or rather, my refusal to let go of what once was – was getting in the way. Instead of the strength it had once given me, it had withered into a desiccated claw holding me in place.

The day I committed to letting go (the day I hit “unfriend”), I felt terrible…but also lighter. And I got so ANGRY. I hadn’t realized I held that much anger at them. I hadn’t realized a lot of things. “Good,” I thought. “I clearly needed this. This is my last stumbling block. I can move on now.”

And then the Universe gave me more. Without any prompting from me, I was contacted by two unconnected old attachments…one of whom went to some actual trouble to find a way to contact me. Within a week, I had made peace with four past relationships. It took several more months, but my husband eventually walked us through the pieces of our relationship that had been festering since three months after our wedding. By May, I had effectively laid to rest all of my romantic (real or attempted) past.

Except one.

In the middle of May, I discovered my best friend from seventh grade had died the year before I got married. A month after she and I had reconnected after years of losing touch. I’d wondered, since I hadn’t ever been able to find any trace of her on Google. She was as much of an internet addict as I was, so there should have been something. Still, finding out the truth broke my heart. It also made me commit, 100%, to telling this major stumbling block what I needed to say. Okay…98%. That 2% of fear has been thwarting my efforts ever since.

I’m not afraid of telling him the truth. I mean, I am. It’s scary to reveal our deepest feelings. But it’s not like we have any sort of a relationship now. We see each other once a year if I’m lucky, and it doesn’t go so well anymore. I have nothing concrete to lose.

And yet I have so, so much to lose from inside myself. Part of me feels like sending this letter (the one I wrote in January and have rewritten seven or eight times since) is like giving up. Admitting defeat. Not just with the person in question, but in life. Because it feels like I’m saying, “You know that life-changing moment I had when I met him? It was all a load of crap. A great big lie.”

I hadn’t realized how much I had built around that moment. It became my central support beam, the keystone of my deepest-held beliefs. The Universe had given us that moment, had whispered in my ear, and I lived all the years after in the pursuit of the path laid before me. I feel like sending the letter is admitting I was wrong. Or that the Universe lied. Or…or that I wasted seventeen years of my life on a path that I wanted so badly to be true that I ignored everything else. Except that can’t be true, because there were major, neon-flashing signs along the way that insisted I was on the right path.

Which leaves me wondering: What the hell, Universe?

Yet I also know that I need to mail this letter. For me. For my true path. It’s the last thing anchoring me to a past that no longer serves me, and I need to let go. I know this with every fiber of my being. And still I struggle.

Change, even when you get good at rolling with the punches, is still terrifying sometimes.

What’s next? How do I live in a life that I can’t even imagine? What if the challenges on the other side of this defining moment are too big for me? What if everything I thought I wanted, or that was true about me, or that I let hobble me in the past, turn out to be wrong? What happens when I don’t recognize myself anymore? Even if it’s because I’m evolving in a strong, positive, awesome way?

How does a caterpillar embrace becoming a butterfly when all it’s ever known is inching along, close to the ground?

How do I trust that I can fly if I give up the light that’s guided me for nearly half my life?

I need to do it. I know I do. But it feels too big. Too scary. Too heart-breaking.

I keep hearing my heart ask, “How do I live my life if I give this up? What does that life even look like?” And I know this means I have to do it. Because I can’t fly if I’m still anchored to the ground…even if that ground helped me become who I am now. Even if I made that patch of earth the best part of my world.

We can’t grow without growing pains.
The scary things are sometimes our best experiences.
A big fish in a small pond becomes a small fish when it upgrades to a bigger pond.

This is life. Cycles. Rhythm. Evolution.

Fighting it will only keep me stuck where I am and make my life miserable.

I know this.

And yet…

This letter is still burning a hole in my desk…

Stress and Me


Oh, the stress! Oh, the life! 🙂

Normally, I don’t think much about meditation or much of anything that would fit on this blog at this time of year. Sometimes they crop up on their own, and I often have very powerful things happen, but I usually save my spirituality and meditation for fall. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the world starts getting quiet again. Maybe it’s the gradual slowing down that calls me inward.

Whatever it is, spring and summer tend to be my external months. The months I spend working on productivity, activity, getting fit and socializing. (I think, generally speaking, that tends to be true for most people, simply because there’s so much more to do during the summer!)

But it’s come to my attention that my stress level is, um, well, kind of out of control. We’ve had such a beautiful year. It hasn’t been stress-free by any means, but it’s the first year we’ve had in the 11 we’ve been married that we haven’t had to worry about how to both pay rent and eat all month. I can see the difference in the mirror. People I haven’t seen for a while look at me and tell me how wonderful I look, and surely I must have lost weight?? But I haven’t. I weigh MORE now. And you know what? I think weighing more is a sign of things being calmer. I think it’s healthy weight, even if it’s more.

Stress has so many negative, unhealthy impacts on the body. I could do the quick referencing and research, but I’m being lazy right now, and I don’t want to be writing when I should be making dinner. 🙂 (That’s me saying no to stress!) It taxes pretty much everything, depletes our stores physically and emotionally, and just generally takes our bodies to a bad place. Chronic high stress is even worse. When the sympathetic nervous system is engaged that often, the body never has a chance to rest. No matter how much you sleep, if you’re always on edge while awake, you can’t heal. If your body is always prepped and waiting for a fight, it never does anything else but wait for the lion to attack. It’s exhausting!

Bad for the heart, bad for the brain, bad for the thyroid and everything associated with all of the above. So, really, stress is very hard on our whole being.

I have lived with such heavy, long-term stress that I don’t notice it anymore. Not until my body falls completely out of whack. Which it just did in April. Some of it was my stress. Most of it was household stress. My body responded by basically going screw-all crazy. I started getting cold when I should be hot, and that was a HUGE warning sign, because I am NEVER cold.

Two weeks of awful, crushing stress and depression served as a strong reminder that I need to do better for my self. I need to create real coping strategies in my life, things I can lean on that support my mental well-being while also being good for my physical well-being. Exercise helps, but it only lasts as long as I’m at the gym. As soon as I get home, it all comes back. (After all, it lives here…)

So I have decided to institute Meditation Mondays. I want to meditate more often, to get into tai’chi/qigong. I want to practice my energy healing techniques and learn more about massage (of self and others). But those are all big goals. I don’t have room in my stress-filled life to make many (any??) big changes. So I will start small. One day a week. One afternoon where I sit and quiet my mind and focus internally…and just breathe.

I’m going to try to post each week…or maybe just once a month. We’ll see how that goes. 😉

Until then, what do you do to combat stress in your daily life?