Tricked and Treated

Since Halloween is all about make believe and dressing up and pretending to be somebody else for a few hours and getting away with it, then I sure hope what woke me from a slumber at the bewitching midnight hour was pretend.

It was a text from my oldest, a photo of the mohawk hairdo that his girlfriend had just completed atop his head of formerly beautiful dark brown hair. What! Wait, what?!?

I squinted at the phone, put on my glasses, and woke up Sir Husband who laughed so hard when he saw the picture it probably woke up the neighbors.

Yep my boy did that. A mohawk. At first we thought it was pretend, you know, for Halloween. But then we saw the locks of hair all over his shirt. So much for holiday make believe. It did not surprise Sir Husband, but it sort of freaked me out.

Might as well get in the spirit, I thought. The spirit of age 20’s fun. But the image of my firstborn with a mohawk struck me in a way that revealed an unknown underlying less-than-cool nature, and begged the question of my acceptance quotient.

I know I’m a cool mom, my kids tell me that. Sir Husband and I went to a frat party with the other son a few weeks ago on college parents weekend, apparently we are legends there. Alright then. What’s with my mohawk mayhem? I have seen so many teenage boys with mohawks, with their parents, out in public, and I never thought a thing about it, beyond being glad that my boys opted for more traditional styles.

Was this revealing my true nature? Because it was surprising me as well. I don’t believe in judging anyone about anything, pretty much ever. I am exceedingly respectful of my kids’ dreams and desires, their path and journey, and of course their boundaries. They are their own people, and can live their own lives. I will always stand behind them, no matter what they do. Heck, it’s only hair.

When I arose from my slumber I felt more like myself, now adjusted to the news of the night. I thought about how life changes and kids grow up. This is the first Halloween that  none of them are trick or treating. None of them are home. There is no dressing up, no make believe, no pretending. There will be no bags of candy, no stories of neighborhood happenings, no one to run to the door to see who it is.

I looked at the giant bowl of candy on the table ready for whoever might come trick or treating. Life is different now, so very different.

My phone was on the table next to the candy and dinged with a text. Lost for a minute in the flashback movie in my mind of Halloweens past, I glanced at it.

“It was only for a picture last night Mom, it’s all shaved off now,” it said. “Trick or treat.”

Treat.

Be Aware of Spiders in Your Hair

In the spirit of Halloween, I guess my child decided to really go for it. When he got out of bed in the wee hours…before the sun came up…before the creatures stirred…as I was sleepwalking through the motions of the early morning school routine…a big, hairy, black spider crawled out of his hair.

Holy Mother of J C Almighty! I was jolted into aliveness.

We were both vying for the bathroom sink, I was brushing my teeth, my son was combing his thick tuft of red hair, when the thing decided to drop in our direction. We could barely catch our breath as we tried to drown it, faucet on full blast, spider desperately trying to save itself.

The squealing, yelling fiasco woke up Sir Husband, who reminded me with love that I’m not easygoing. I am terrified of spiders, and need a grown man to save me. My son was also freaked out, it was in his hair.

“It’s ok, you’re just uptight,” Sir Husband said to me as he flushed the spider down the drain. I was still out of breath.

He’s right. And while I hesitate to liken my fear of spiders to being uptight – please note this is why I don’t go camping – it does beg the question, why am I not easygoing?

It’s so easy it is to get caught in a cycle of fear, worry, up-tightness, so much so, that one day you wake up and realize, Wow. I have been this way my entire life.

Of course then you wonder, was I born this way? Is it in my DNA? Childhood circumstances? Does any of that even matter? How about it’s just time to calm down.

The “whys” in life sometimes don’t matter, or even can be answered. In fact, trying to figure things out may be part of what contributes to the static, in a catch-22 sort of way. Worrying about reasons for anything – how we are, how someone else is, why things are as they are – may cause more worry, which sounds like an exercise in defeat.

The question is, is it too late to change? Am I too old? What is the opposite of uptight? How about worry-free? Can I be that?

The answer is, yep, because awareness brings power, and power brings change. For whatever it is. I’m not talking about self-help junkie stuff – the continual mission to heal, improve, find zen, be the peace, be happy, healthy, and in a perpetual state of calm – I’m talking about simple awareness.

Just being conscious of ourselves, our mind’s spinning wheels, or our body’s physical tightness, and recognizing it in the moment…awareness…will move us in a different direction. For whatever it is we may want to shift.

I’ll always be scared of bugs, but maybe I should thank that big, black spider, not just for the Halloween fun but for the wake-up call.

Sir Husband is so easy-going, un-worried, and a calm and cool spider remover. He plopped back in bed after the short-lived mission. I climbed back in with him feeling better, and safe. It wasn’t even 7 a.m. yet, so I breathed a sigh of relief on our one morning to snuggle and snooze.

Bzzz bzzzz my phone vibrated with an incoming text.

“Hey mom, what are the chances there are spider eggs in my hair?”

Yep, it must be the DNA.

Honestly.

Want to hear a secret?

Nothing was better than to walk into my hair salon and see Sir Husband sitting there having a local craft brew with the black cape on and my stylist buzzing his little bit of hair. Yes, they serve free beer and wine.

It wasn’t a surprise to see him there, we share a car. But I was early when picking him up and stopped for a minute at the door to take in the scene.

Hidden in an antique home-turned-business near the corner on Main Street, even the shop is sort of a secret. One small sign swings above the door. “Salon.”

Inside it’s just as you might imagine, three late-20-somethings in black leggings and colorful tunics with black aprons wrapped tightly around their waists, stand behind chairs with their clients and talk amongst themselves. Sometimes in code. But always in confidentiality.

The hair salon is full of secrets.

Like the fact that men go there despite the barber shop across the street, and enjoy a cold one, while spending the good part of an hour chit chatting with the 20-somethings. Maybe it’s therapeutic.

But my guess is that the male guests on any given day do not really pay attention to the chatter in this little three-chair shop, the women sure do. I haven’t been going there long enough to know who’s who, but I certainly learn a lot.

There’s a written code between the walls of this hairdo joint. What is said in the salon, stays in the salon. Those girls put that information in lockdown. I don’t share too much, but I hear a lot. And for a gal who has spent most of her life dealing with others’ secrets and lies, I see the other side.

I hate secrets.

And lies. But I’m willing to bet that a whole lot of lies are based on secrets. Here’s where my truth be told. I grew up on the outside of my family’s secrets. My parents had their own stories to hide, and kids sense these things from the get-go.

I’m not talking about regular, everyday things that parents keep from their kids to protect them from the harsh grown-up reality of the world. I’m talking about big, bold, ugly secrets that always made me wonder what was behind door number three. Because surely behind there was the answer to my confusion. Nothing was as it appeared.

I became sensitive to the secrecy, and that blossomed into a life of sensitivity and distrust. My intuition became my best friend and also my worst enemy. I knew when people close to me were lying or hiding something, and it hurt. I learned that secrets always come out in the end, and do no one any good. So of course I went on to marry a liar the first time. His secrets took years to surface, but when they did, the result was the same. Devastation for his family which may last a lifetime.

That’s why I went full-blown truth-telling with my children.

Our identities are formed based on our trust and communication with those we love. I have always been open and honest and truthful and real, without crossing personal boundaries, and ensuring emotional safety and understanding. Some may say it’s detrimental, but it’s necessary and important and even proven valuable. My kids know what’s real and that is probably one of the best gifts I could give them. When I hesitantly mentioned our no-secrets policy to a wise woman lately, she said, “A family of no secrets? Wow, that’s cool.” I think so too.

The real secret was revealed.

As I stood near the door of that salon and watched Sir Husband sit in the middle of a group of women with a beer in his hand and oblivious to the gossip, I smiled. I learned in that moment that as hurtful and destructive as secrets may be, I do not have to subscribe to them. In fact, I don’t have to care. It’s not about moral superiority, it’s about self-care. To thy own self be true, that’s what really matters.

The secret to happiness…..isn’t really a secret.

No Christmas Homecoming

A long while back I asked the boy at college to put in his request for Christmas time off from his job at Apple. He thought he had plenty of time, so he procrastinated. And now he can’t come home.

I met that recent news with some tough mixed emotions. The more evolved, calm me thought, Oh no. But the expressive tenacious me let out some despair. Wait, what?! But you live 10 hours away! You are only home once or twice a year! It’s Christmas! I’m sorry but this will not do. Let me call your manager!

I didn’t. Instead I sighed, and called myself to a higher level of emotional management. Where are those coping tools when you need them?

I paced around the house for a few minutes, mind swirling, heart fluttering, eyes watery. I know they grow up, but even in college they are supposed to come home on breaks. But he can’t come home often, he chose to go to school far away. I see my friends on Facebook whose college kids go home on weekends and holidays, and I try to keep my blinders on. It’s hard to see…and feel. I knew he wouldn’t be home for Thanksgiving. But Christmas? Come on.

It’s tricky to talk about this out loud. Sir Husband and I cannot ever see his children. Scary Mrs. Ex has alienated us to the point of extremity, and somehow gets away with this seemingly criminal injustice. Some people can beat the legal system, and all we can cling to is karma. Much to our distress, it’s out of our weary, worn hands. So to express my upset about the college boy not only makes me feel bad, but triggers what I thought I had neutralized. My anguish.

It’s uncomfortable when circumstances pull on freshly healed wounds – wounds I worked so very hard to heal. Finally the scabs turned to scars, their new, soft, tenderness gently protecting what’s inside. Then rip. Torn open again by the demons of a difficult past.

My son’s inability to come home at Christmas reminded me of so many things. A father’s gambling addiction that took away the college funds so the boy has to work nonstop to go to school. An ex-wife’s irrationality so intense we had to move away for our own safety, and are kept from the kids. A budget unable to afford last minute air travel. And my baby won’t be with his family on Christmas.

My thoughts dominoed and a cascade of heartbreak came out of nowhere. I tried to use the tools of sensibility and transformation, starting with self-dialogue.

Ok just stop.

Let go of the story. Hanging on to past issues does no good and keeps us stuck.

Drop the guilt. Parents tend to carry guilt, but changing guilt to compassion for our feelings – whatever they are – feels better.

Be in the present. Not the past that’s gone, not the future we can’t control or predict.

Breathe. The body needs relief.

Accept accept accept. Whatever it is.

Go to a happy place. Visualize something that feels good and feel it, even for just a moment.

Be a grown up. Feel it, deal with it, maturely, calmly, and quickly. Dwelling does no good.

And finally, live from a different perspective. We’ve heard before there is wisdom in uncertainty, and joy in that gap. Shifting our mindset from, Oh my God what next?  To, Wow, I wonder what’s next?  opens up possibilities for goodness.

The boy says he’s working on it…he was upset too.

Ok here goes. I wonder what’s next.

Farewell Rich, Hello Destiny

Laid good ole Rich to rest today. I’m a plant killer. Don’t mean to be, but my thumb seems to be brown – the color of the plants in my keep. It’s a lifetime thing, even my fourth grade science fair plant project was a fail, and ironically the same type of plant. Rich was a heartleaf philodendron – its originally vibrant green leaves were heart-shaped. It was only two when it shriveled from some kind of unknown demise.

I was sad. Ironically, I am not fond of caring for plants, but I love looking at them – their beauty, their representation of aliveness, their feng shui attributes – I just don’t do well with their needs. I over or under water, or give too much or too little sun, even when I follow the directions on the information stick in the dirt, I fail.

But I was connected to this plant. My youngest son picked it out when we moved to our new locale. We went to Home Depot for something else and he stopped to admire it, asked if he could have it, and on the way out of the store he named it.

“His name is Rich,” he said. “This plant will bring us a lot of money one day. It’s our lucky plant.”

Oops. Not so lucky. But I had hoped with all my might.

In time, I watched the leaves turn from deep green to yellow. I worked hard to save the plant. I changed its pot, gave it food, leaned over and talked to it, caressed it even. But day-by-day the leaves began to drop, the lush thickness turned to straggly strands of broken heart-shaped leaves, and I knew it was over.

What surprised me is that when I took the plant out of its heavy clay pot, I felt sad. As I carried Rich to the backyard I talked to it, telling it I am sorry and I’m sad for its deterioration, asking it what happened. I put the packed round mound of dirt holding its remains on the ground next to the bushes. Now the window where it sat in the kitchen is empty.

Since I wasn’t sure why I was so sad about my plant, I did a little online research only to learn that there seems to be a split between people who feel the same as I do about ditching nearly-dead plants, and those who just don’t care. Never mind the third group that keeps their lifeless un-greens indefinitely.

No judgement there, but no green thumb here. The intention however, is always pure. And with pure intention of anything, comes a flickering hope of something good. As I scrounged for reasoning, I stumbled upon some soothing wisdom.

Intention is the starting point of everything. As our intention is, so is our will. As our will is, so is our deed. As our deed is, so is our destiny. But relinquish attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom of uncertainty. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if we hold on to them. Only when we release our intentions can our destiny grow and flourish. 

Well, I guess that explains it. No long-term flourishing for Rich. But I tried. And now I know that it’s the heart-felt meaning and action that matters. We can’t control our destiny, unless we let it go. Thanks Rich. Let my destiny now unfold.

What Would Susan Do?

Doesn’t matter how much wisdom we have or impart, how much we learn or try to implement, our personality is what it is. We are born with certain traits and characteristics that typically define us, our actions, our reactions, and dictate how we deal with everyday life.

Some days are harder than others of course, and on those days when we feel like the ball in a pinball machine, our inborn m.o. will prevail. That’s not to say that we can’t be conscious of ourselves as we move through the situations we face.

In the middle of a Sunday night we landed in the emergency room with our teenage son, who had an infection. And as quickly as it resolved, it reappeared a week later tenfold, and required another hospital trip.

But I had no way to get him him there, our shared car was at work with my husband. Normally he can leave his post of managing an online news site, but not this time, there was too much breaking news and no one to come in – it was Sunday.

I tried not to freak out – but the stress that comes with emergencies, especially ones you thought were over, or only having one car, combined with a spirited personality doesn’t lend to calm and cool.

So I stepped outside of myself a bit and tried to be like Susan.

My friend Susan and became fast friends a year ago. She is happy and zippy, confident and cool-mannered, and exudes a peaceful, simple brightness of heart and soul that spreads like wildfire to those she touches.

You can’t help but feel good around Susan. She makes you feel confident and serene no matter what is going on. Not sure how she does it. She has four children, an exchange student, lives on a farm with animals, works from home, and takes care of everyone in her extended family and even her extended life. She would give you the shirt off her back at the midnight hour in a snowstorm, and still be smiling and calm.

Susan loaned me her car.

I worked hard to channel her personality, so that I could face the urgent situation with a mild demeanor, and not worry about what lay ahead, or what needed to be done, or how it would happen. That’s what Susan would do.

I read something once that said, “inspiration lives in your admiration.” If we are drawn to someone’s light, that same light is likely in us, it just may not be bright. And if we pay attention, we can wake up those qualities in ourselves, in spite of what we may think. Sometimes people come into our life to role model a new, better way – people we admire who inspire.

It all worked out hours later, my son was fine, and we were no worse for the wear. But I’m convinced it was because I was tuning in to my friend’s style. Our personality may define us, but it doesn’t have to guide us. We may already have the traits and wisdom we desire, it just takes someone else to show us what’s inside.

Keep It Simple

I think it was Oprah who coined the phrase “aha moment,” which was officially added to the dictionary a couple of years ago. Can you imagine actually inventing words that go in the dictionary? Only Oprah. But we can’t deny it’s a good one, aha moment. And it fits everyone at one time or another.

I had one myself yesterday clear out of the blue. When aha’s come you must pay attention, because they are – as defined in Merriam-Webster – moments of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. And who doesn’t want to retain that kind of thunderbolt.

The jolt was about simplifying. For weeks, months, years now, I have been trying to manage the “noise” in my life. It comes from every direction, but most noticeably in my email inbox. Not spam, but real messages from real people, banking and bills, work and kid stuff, reminders, notifications, coupons, promotions, podcasts, videos, releases, reviews, meditations, inspirations, you name it. It compounds and I cannot keep up with what I’m supposed to read, watch, listen to, fill out, return, file, do or answer.

And in a whim, clear out of the blue, unprepared and unintended, I deleted everything. Click. Gone.

For one second I gasped and panicked. What did I just delete? And then almost immediately, I felt immense relief like I have never felt before. It was like the whole world lifted off of my shoulders. Space opened up in my mind. And my life became simple for a second. I liked it.

Yes, I went back and looked through the trash in my email to be sure that I didn’t lose anything important. But I realized as I did it how much I didn’t need, and felt empowered to simplify my life right then and there.

Aha.

The simple act of deleting my emails opened up a whole world. Maybe I don’t need to answer texts the minute they ping. Or I can put my cell phone down once in a while, and not worry if I miss anything incoming. Because stuff comes in all the time.

I heard a podcast the other day by a couple of enlightened spiritualists who said 98 percent of us spend time on 98 percent of what does not matter. What matters they said, is not what is on our daily agenda, but what is on our life agenda, our soul agenda, our heart agenda, and that’s what we pay attention to, not the noise around us. If we aren’t careful, we might spend decades stuck in a routine of surviving the noise.

I get that. Survival has been my life story. Now I’d like to spend time on what does matter, and what that really means. For me it’s time to simplify, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. While we all have a slightly different recipe, I think it comes down to one thing. How we feel.

I started to ask myself simple questions and insisted I have simple answers.

How do I feel? Do I feel good or light or happy with what’s on my agenda? Is it helpful to me or my mission? Is it improving my life or weighing me down? Is it filling me up or sucking my reserves?

The aha’s began to flow.

Slow down. Say no. Schedule free time. Surrender. Clutter and commitment out, comfort in. I’m turning down the noise.

After those few aha moments, I closed my laptop and walked away. I felt a renewed sense of existence, it was really that profound. I thought for a minute about what I would do next. Sit down and read a magazine? Take a walk along the shore? Write a book?

So much of living got lost in the noise, 98 percent in fact. Simplicity is bliss. How do I define that?   Ahhhhhhhh ha.

Cheers to Tears

While many enjoy a late afternoon latte as a pick-and-perk-me-up, I opted for a glass of wine. The day called for it. I sat down with my wine and my laptop to write this post and thought long and hard about what to say.

A few hours earlier, Sir Husband and I had just loaded the car for a run to the town’s recycling center. We don’t have trash pick up in this rural country burg, so the trip to the dump is a frequent event.

As I got into the car, a message from a childhood friend popped up on my phone, I glanced at it through the midday glare.

“He died this morning,” it said. “I am at peace.”

This really took me by surprise. Just yesterday we had chatted about her father’s improvement, and no mention was made of impending demise. As I read her message that told her story of where she was when she received the call and the tragic beauty in her morning, tears began flowing out of my eyes.

She is a writer too, and has a way with words. But these were not written with intention as often writers write. This was simply a graceful sharing of something so deeply personal that my heart overflowed. And so did my eyes.

This surprised Sir Husband, both the news and that I could not finish a sentence. “Why?” I asked him. “Why am I so overcome?”

We thought about it for a minute and wondered if there was some sort of lost or repressed memory relating to the deceased from my childhood. I grew up with the family, who was quite close to ours. Was it possible that the amnesia I carry from the early part of my life has blocked whatever frontal brain memories I have of him? And even more intriguing, are those memories stored in my cells, and unlocked by this death event? It’s not like any memories came flooding back, just tears.

We know the brain can store memories and suppress them, I wonder what is in there. I called my dad who reminded me that I was close to the old man of my best friend back then. So naturally my upset made sense, he said. Yet I have no recollection.

I mentioned it to another friend who said she thought the tears were just a release from all of the stressful situations this week. One son went to the emergency room, another was in a car accident, and a couple other issues of the week are still pending.

“Tears are a good release,” she said. “Look it up, crying is good for you.”

I did. And here is what I learned.

We actually shed 30 gallons of tears each year. 30 gallons! I don’t know how they measure that, but the researchers at TED-Ed say it’s so.

Tears are basically made of salt water, but the components in emotional tears are different than those produced by allergies or peeling an onion.

There are two facets of shedding tears, emotional and physical. We cry to release stress, frustration, anxiety, and grief. Emotional tears are part of a release-valve function that also help us shed excess hormones that accumulate during stress. And crying can even elevate our moods. We’ve all seen (or been) people crying and then start laughing and feel better.

Tears are also a lubricant that help our eyes see better, flush out irritants, and even contain antibodies that fight off bacteria. It’s one of the incredible natural healing mechanisms of our bodies.

I still am not sure whether my tears were from empathetically feeling my friend’s loss, or mysterious memories expressing themselves, or releasing my own stress from the week. But in any event, crying is therapeutic.

Here’s to the healing power of crying. Cheers to tears!  And cheers to an old friend who somehow touched my life a long time ago. Rest in peace old friend. Rest in peace.

My Time is Not Always Mine

This is about productivity. If I am going to write about that, I at least should do it in a concise and effective fashion.

In a recent ah-ha moment I realized that I am an incredibly productive human. No need to list the resume, this is about real-life productivity. I am like a personal assistant/agent/advocate/secretary/maid/mentor/accountant/caretaker/everything  to those close to me. And I try to throw in a couple of part-time jobs, a blog, yoga, a social life, and sleep. I do all of that with chronic pain, fatigue, and did I mention chronic pain. Yep that slows me down a bit, but I usually just push through.

Survive or thrive? That is the question.

So in that ah-ha moment I realized that I am not utilizing my time in a way that brings me income. If I was paid for everything I did, I could acquire a small fortune. Take today for instance.

The college boy called mid-morning and reported he had gotten in a car accident with a deer at midnight the night before. He is fine, just shaken. And since he is several hours away and there was much to handle – insurance claim, tow truck, body shop, car rental, doctor appointment, forms, claims, phone calls, texts, and my son’s continual communication – I didn’t stop. It took more time to manage than it would have to drive to his school two states over. But that’s my job. And that’s my life.

My day was slotted for other things – for stories under deadline, for long-procrastinated errands, for catching up and even getting one tiny step ahead on the passion and purpose agenda. It sounded like a good idea at the time, like it always does, until it all blows up. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to help the boy and take care of him from afar, and that can’t be measured.

Best or stressed?

Sir Husband watches me buzz through each day, and finally said at dinner, “Why don’t you just plan for the daily blow up of plans? Because that’s always how it goes down.”

Sure. I could talk about going with the flow or rolling with the punches. But in keeping with the theme, how about I figure out how to utilize productivity, maximize my time, still be efficient, and hopefully highly paid?

Am I alone in this quandary? I’m convinced that the yucky sh** that fills our day bogs us down, slows us down, and brings us down. And when that happens, how do we turn it around to fulfill our dreams, and share our best selves with the world, and make money, and thrive?

As I shared those thoughts out loud, Sir Husband shared his own.

“Your son was a mess. He hit a deer, he had a broken car, he didn’t know what to do. You calmed him down, you got him all set up, he has a car to drive, he feels better. Think about it. What’s better than that. Be proud. It’s priceless.”

At the end of the day, there’s one thing that stands. I am who I am I suppose. Incredibly human.

********************************************

My newly inspired Plan to Productivity:

Drop the to-do list…..Really drop it. Think about it or make it, but don’t obey it.

Just say “no” at least once a day…..Not only is that good practice to tone our empowerment muscle, it allows a freedom to steer through our day.

Recognize the daily accomplishments, but focus on the weekly…..If we expect too much in a day, we are going to let ourselves down.

Do something you are excited to do at least once a day, because what fulfills you, builds you…..If we don’t occasionally do what feels good, we will lose ourselves, who we are, and what matters in our souls.

Rest is productive too…..Enough said.

Think passion not perfection…..How about we think more about what drives us, than what drowns us.

Don’t stress about what you should do, be purposeful in what you can do…..“Should” should leave our vocabulary altogether. Who defines that anyway? There is power in the purpose of what is possible, not what should be possible.

Uncertainty is mandatory…..Because really, what else is there. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. The only thing we can count on is change.

Caution: Soul at Work

Life is like a video game. Although I don’t play them. But I have been around them enough to know what upleveling means, and I think I just leveled up. I’m not sure when it happened or how, well I do know how but I can’t believe I did it.

Soul work. It’s what we are on the planet to do.

Defined as: the process of bringing the true self out, the authentic self, who we are meant to be, who we are, and living from that place…Doing the work your soul longs to do – your purpose…Finding the sacred and special in everyday. Or in my case, simply busting ass through major amounts of trials and tribulations and coming out on the other side.

It doesn’t matter if you are spiritual or religious or neither or both, it all comes down to soul work, and wow I have been working hard. For decades.

For a good portion of my life I would wake up and dread the day. And although it came in waves, going through stuff for as long as you can remember really wears you down. I never met the criteria for clinical depression, that’s not to say I haven’t hit some pretty deep lows.

But I always believed that tomorrow would be a better day, even when it wasn’t. Now here I am a zillion years later, and it’s finally a better day, in fact, I’m excited for each day. This is a new concept to me, and one that I’m ok to embrace, because it sure is nice to see things from a glass half-full perspective. Only I’m surprising myself now, because it actually seems more than half full. Soul work.

I just had coffee with a friend which may not be a big deal, but for me it is, because I have not really felt like living life in that very simple way for a long time. I used to be quite social, always the hostess, celebrating every occasion no matter how small. Then I lost myself in a maze of debilitating horror and could not find my way out. Abuse snuffs out nearly everything normal. But that’s over, and something as simple as having a cup of coffee with a friend brings joy. Soul work.

The payoff comes in small ways. That cup of coffee…fall leaves rustling…the sea breeze…a warm chocolate chip cookie from Panera…a better night’s sleep…or how about just feeling stronger and wiser. I guess you could also call that aging, but I prefer to call it succeeding, at soul work.

I’m not sure if anyone notices when a person’s life shifts, people always expect you to be the person they knew before you upleveled, and don’t see you in that new light. That’s ok, it’s kind of funny. You know who you are on the inside, you know who you were, you know who you’ve become, even if they don’t. There’s no reason to say it, because as you live it you will share it. Soul work.

Yep I know I upleveled, but it’s not the end of the game. I’ll sit for a minute in the awesomeness and then get back to work. It’s what we are on the planet to do.