Posts Tagged ‘Masters of Psychology’

Huge Relief

September 10, 2017

To change my mind.

To see where I was taking on too much.

To apologize and make an amends to a friend.

To get honest with my person and with myself.

To see where my priorities lie.

To let go.

To surrender.

Such relief.

I have been grappling with something for a few weeks now and I suspect that recent events in my life, like letting go of the idea that I have to go to Burning Man every year for the rest of my life and that I always have to be working toward something, coalesced this afternoon as I rode my scooter into my internship.

I don’t want to do the Aids Life Cycle Ride.

Let me clarify.

If I wasn’t working 40 hours a week, interning 15 hours, and going to graduate school full-time I would be totally down with doing the ride.

But.

I realized.

I am working so hard already and to commit to another commitment seems fool hardy, prideful, and unrealistic.

I like to believe that I am superhuman.

“You don’t have to be Super Carmen,” my person told me, “Carmen is good enough.”

Fuck me.

I forget that all the time.

As if I am not constantly trying to self-improve, do better, live harder, go bigger, I am not enough.

And.

Good fucking grief.

I am enough.

I also realized that I had self-sabotaged myself by committing to do something that would make me re-arrange my already super full schedule and in effect make it so I would not have any days off.

NONE.

Yes, that’s right, I would be working full-time, seven days a week, for the next 10 months.

Fuck that.

I deserve to let myself have a little down time.

To love and be loved.

To not go crazy in my last year of my Masters program.

I mean.

I’m still working six days a week, I’m not slacking.

I rode my scooter to my internship and thought, it’s ok to change my mind, it’s ok to see where I bit off too much and it’s alright to acknowledge that maybe I knew this all along.

That maybe I didn’t buy the road bike when I had the chance because I really knew I didn’t want to do the ride.

I think I was setting myself up to give myself an out.

I had run into my friend who convinced me to ride again a week before I went to Burning Man and his talks about doing training rides made me feel nauseous.

How the hell was I going to fit it in?

I started to consciously let myself know that maybe, just maybe, it would be ok if I changed my mind.

I actually think going to Burning Man really helped me with that.

I realized there, at the event, on a very deep level, that I work really hard to work really hard on my vacations.

Maybe.

Just maybe.

Instead of busting my ass, granted for an amazing cause, and I don’t regret the $95 I dropped to register, it’s a gift that I wouldn’t ask back if I could have it back, to bust my ass on my vacation.

Maybe.

I might want to actually have a vacation.

Like.

Lay on a beach.

Or.

Sit in a fucking cafe and read a book, people watch, drink coffee at ridiculous hours and not worry about getting up at the crack of dawn to ride 100+ miles and then come back from a seven-day ride, for which I would be using my vacation time, to go right back to work.

I mean.

Maybe I want a real vacation.

And.

Then.

When I said it out loud, when I got on the phone with my person, I got to my internship a little early simply so I could have time to talk with my person, I felt the biggest most amazing relief.

I knew in that instant that it was the right decision for me.

“Honestly, doll, I’m relieved to hear you say this, I was wondering when you were going to come to this realization.”

OH my god.

I love that he doesn’t judge me, that he didn’t tell me to not do it, that he let me have my process, and then to have it reflected back to me with honesty, well, that was that.

I’m not doing the Aids ride.

And I am ok with it.

We talked a lot about things happening in my life and I shared about a great deal of joyful things and it was so good to catch up.

I also talked about doing a trip for my graduation.

What that might look like.

Barcelona.

Paris, maybe L’Ile de Re, where my friend has a family home, off the West Coast of France, especially since she was such an important part of my first two years in the program.

That it might be really nice to see her and celebrate the accomplishment.

She was also the person who has said time and again how much I would like Barcelona.

In fact.

My savings account, I have two, one is my prudent reserve, and the second, my travel savings, is called Barcelona.

Not “going to Burning Man” again next year.

Not “doing the Aids LifeCycle ride and spending over three thousand dollars on a bicycle, gear, and who knows how many countless hours on the training.”

NOPE.

It’s named, “Barcelona,” because when my friend mentioned how I should go I thought, that would make a great graduation trip.

So maybe instead of sabotaging my dream with stuffing in more than I can handle, it’s ok to admit I made a mistake.

I told my friend tonight face to face and sat down and talked to him.

He totally got it, and then he added, “I totally honey potted you into agreeing, you know I did, don’t feel bad that you can’t, it’s ok.”

It’s ok.

Sigh.

Fuck.

Thank you.

I apologized again and hugged him and that was that.

I need to apologize to the three people who donated and then I think I’m clear.

I’ll also contact my ride representative and rescind the ride number, the ride will fill up and someone else will get to ride in my stead.

And.

I also contacted my assistant director, who is in charge of scheduling my clients and said, I need to not take clients on Saturdays.  I can do a consult now and then, but no clients.

At least for this semester.

I feel a lot better.

Much clearer.

Much cleaner.

And so relieved to be just regular old Carmen.

Super Carmen gets to put her cape back in the closet for at least today.

Thank God.

It needs a dry cleaning anyhow.

Ha.

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You Look Good!

August 20, 2017

He said to me after giving me a great big hug, “where you been, I’ve missed you?”

Interning, working, getting ready for school, prepping for Burning Man.

Oh the list of stuff.

“You like?” I said, and stepped back to let him admire my look, “I therapized today, so I was dressing for the occasion.”

“I love,” he said, then continued, “you were what?”

I told him I had clients today, I had group supervision, I wanted to dress the part, the therapist part that is, I want to look like a professional.

“You look good! It’s totally working for you,” he finished, “glad you made it tonight.”

And so was I.

And I was happy that I made an impression.

Maybe it’s just me, but I really want to give an air of being a professional, I want to be respected  and I want to set a tone for my clients, I’m not super serious and I’m not uptight, I am warm and friendly and empathetic, but I also want to send a clear message.

I am an authority and I am going to dress like one.

On the other hand.

Holy fucking shit.

Some of the people who work with me are not as concerned with their appearance.

Or their body smells.

Fuck my mother.

It was a shock today to walk into my office and be overwhelmed and I mean, overwhelmed, with the smell of rotting socks and foul shoes.

The intern before me had done a session with his client in his socks.

Granted.

I sort of understand, it was a child client, I will happily get down on the floor with a child, I will, getting on a child’s level is crucial, I would and have done sessions sitting on the floor with a kid.

I have never taken off my shoes for a session with a kid, but hey, sure I could, if I felt that it was of service to the session.

But.

Fuck.

Not if my feet smell like bad molding cheese.

God damn.

I am not over exaggerating, even if I have a tendency toward the dramatic, I am not being dramatic, it was bad.

So bad that an hour later when my group supervisor and the rest of the interns coming in for our 2p.m. session, noticed it, complained and opened the windows wider.

I shared with one of the interns about why it smelled that way and that the room also had not been vacated on time, the therapist had gone over with his client.

I was livid.

I had the room assigned to me and I had a consult waiting in the hallway.

I understand that I am working in a community mental health facility, but fuck, people, professionalism.

PLEASE.

There is something therapeutic about what I am modeling for my clients by showing up on time, by presenting a clean persona, by having a nice outfit on.

I don’t have to be dressed to the nines, but I present nicely.

I mean, I am a professional nanny during the day, I run around with a four-year old and a seven-year old and I am constantly juggling a baby–which is great, I joke often that I am emitting baby smell which has to be a therapeutic smell if there ever was one–who sometimes burps up milk or mashed carrot on me.

But.

I have back up clothes at work.

I have nanny shoes.

I have therapy shoes.

I bring in my nice clothes, I change, I put on my therapy shoes, I tidy my hair, I make sure that there’s no burp residue on me, I refresh my lipstick before I hop on my scooter and zip to my internship after my day job has ended.

I pull it together.

Ugh.

I am done ranting.

I guess I have just been taken by surprise a few times by the lackadaisical attitude of some of the interns.

I take what I am doing so fucking seriously, I want to be good.

I mean.

Really good.

I am proud of what I have accomplished and it feels good to give it acknowledgement.

I had hot pink hair when I started my Masters of Psychology program.

I have a lot of tattoos.

A lot.

And.

I dressed flamboyantly, glittery makeup, big flowers in my hair.

A little faux queen if you will.

Big hair.

Big personality.

And I love that about myself, that I can pull out a fabulous costume from my closet and do it up, but I remember quite distinctly when I began the process of interviewing for practicum that I wanted to present a bit more polished.

I went and got a good hair cut.

I went back to my natural color.

I hadn’t been my “natural” hair color in god only knows how many years.

Purple, magenta, green, blue, yellow, hot pink, cotton candy pink, rainbow sherbert, name a color I had it.

I stopped painting my nails super dark colors.

Oh.

I still do now and again, but I tend towards a neutral manicure now.

I toned down my clothes, I got some good clean, easy dresses from the Gap and a couple from Asos, that I could layer with a classic black cardigan.

I softened my makeup.

I almost never wear winged eyeliner anymore and I don’t wear glitter.

Well.

Maybe a tiny bit of sparkle, but it’s so subtle now, you might not notice it at all.

I stopped wearing flowers in my hair.

I still have them.

I will wear them at Burning Man.

I will have a wild hair parade everyday out there, I will wear flowers and ribbons and hats and fascinators and I will have fabulous makeup and flamboyant dresses.

I will wear fucking antlers on my head.

See if I won’t.

But.

Not when I have a session with a client.

I like this refined me.

It feels adult.

I like wearing heels and nice button down shirts and expensive jeans and soft, clean makeup, I still wear hoops, but not the super gigantic ones anymore.

Oh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m an attractive woman and I have unique features and my hair is always going to be wild, but it’s just wild brown curls now not hot pink curls, and well, the tattoos, they will always be there and there will probably be another one or two add to the mix.

I am never not going to be noticeable.

But fuck me.

I will be professional.

And that’s my business.

I don’t have to judge how others do it, even though, shit, half this blog was all about judging mister stinky feet and the sloppy ass interns in t-shirts and dirty jeans, but I do get to process it out here.

So that when I interact with them.

I can be professional.

Because.

I am.

I am a psychotherapist.

And I will dress like it because it pleases me to do so.

So there.

Ha.

Sometimes

July 26, 2017

I’m smiling and you may not know the reason, but I’m smiling and damn it feels good.

I am happy.

I had a great day.

Lots of scootering all over the city.

Lots of errands run.

Amazing what I can do when I’m not working.

Ha.

I mean, I did go to my internship and I saw two clients today.

One who is new and the other who is returning, in fact, my first client, which feels pretty damn good, getting to know this client and seeing how the therapy is working for the client is an amazing experience.

I am growing more and more and finding out more about how I am a therapist.

I model myself a little on my own therapist.

She was fucking fabulous today.

We had an amazing session.

I sat down and said one name.

I want to talk about _____________.

And we dove in.

There was so much there.

I gave a history of the relationship and why it is relevant to me today.

I talked about conflict resolution and how in my past I wasn’t allowed to have conflict.

Conflict was not rewarded with resolution.

It was generally smashed and violently so.

Conflict for me was dangerous and scary and so I just learned at a very, very young age to avoid it at all costs.

Thank you to my school program and working towards getting my Masters in Counseling Psychology, (one more year!) that, oh, what?! Relationships have conflict and that’s ok.

Shit.

Who the fuck knew?

So.

I had some conflict that I needed my therapist to weigh in on.

It was astounding to hear her perspective and when I was stuck she helped me figure out where I was stuck and what it was.

We got to the bottom of it.

I was so freaking happy.

I am still not excited for conflict and when it happened, the conflict I am alluding to, it was years ago but it has become very relevant in present time,  I did not know that resolution could happen, that repair could happen.

I am much better at it now then I used to be.

Some practice, some stepping up and being a woman and an adult.

I remember when I really stepped out of my comfort zone with a former employer and let her know how I felt about an interaction we had and how I was really hurt by it.

I am certain that my past employer had no idea how her words had landed, but man, they had landed so hard on such a tender part of me that I knew I had to address it.

It would mean changing patterns of behavior I had been using for years, survival skills if you will.

And I did.

It was hard.

Man, it was so fucking hard.

But.

It opened a door that I didn’t know was there and an opportunity to exit that work environment a few months later with a kind of grace and dignity that I would not have thought I could have done.

Except that I let the repair happen.

I had the conflict, I said this doesn’t sit well with me, this is how it felt when you said what you did and I want you to know I can’t be treated like this.

It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had.

Scary too.

So freaking scary.

I mean.

It was my job, my everything, and I loved my charges so very much I was devastated by the thought that I might lose my livelihood, one, and two, that I would alienate myself from the boys.

Those children meant so much to me it was excruciating to confront their mom.

Yet.

When I did, as I mentioned before, the conflict though hard was not as hard as I had thought it would be and it led to an unexpected resolution and repair of the relationship.

I mean, the last time I saw her we hugged and we both expressed how good it was to see the other person.

Oh there were lots of other things to work through, in that relationship before we got to that point, but the point is that I got to and I grew so much it astonished me.

There is always an edge to push always an experiencing for me to have.

For which I am grateful beyond words.

I have had so many life experiences that I can really be of service and value to my clients.

That is a huge gift and one that I don’t take lightly.

I have to say.

I really like therapy.

I like being a therapist.

I like being smart, I like using my brain, but more importantly I like making intuitive moves and letting things unfold in the field as my clients and I work together.

It is powerful.

It can be really hard too.

But for the most part.

Man.

I am happy getting to be a therapist.

I have so much to learn but that I am actively using the skills that I have learned over the past few years, in school, and the decades of experience I have had over the span of my life and the challenges met, my God, I have had some challenges and I have a lot to share.

And having the tools and language of therapy is a huge gift.

It’s like having done the readings and the trainings and the dyads and all the paper writing and all the books and articles and internet Ted Talks, the podcasts and the lectures that I have sat through, the work I have done on myself, the inventories and the taking suggestions and trying different things, my God, I can see how important all of it is.

And that none of it is wasted.

None!

My therapist has remarked a number of times to me how “alive” I am.

And I am.

I am happy.

I am free.

I am joyous.

I am of service.

I have purpose.

I am love.

I know.

That last one sounds full of myself.

But you know.

I think I am.

Or better.

That.

I am a conduit for love.

That feels more apt.

A channel.

And to know that I have been given that and that I get to grow more into that shape of love excites me.

Even when it feels overwhelming.

It is an amazing revelation.

And I am here.

Open to all of it.

Grateful.

And.

So relieved to no longer be in my own damn way.

It is extraordinary.

And now.

Please.

Pardon me.

I have some happy dance to do.

Sweet.

Sweet.

Sweetest.

Dreams.

See you on the flip.

 

Unexpected Thank You

January 25, 2017

I got the sweetest text message from my employer when I got home from work.

She thanked me for putting up with the crazy kiddos and for making a delicious dinner.

Aw!

My pleasure.

And really, the kids are not crazy, kids never really are, but when they are sick they can be a little off and my little lady today was definitely off.

I was greeted by her sweet face at the door when I came in, she was home sick from school and we spent many hours hanging out on the couch, we cuddled, read stories, played cops and robbers at one point when she had some energy, horses and unicorns, dog picnic, and loads of stickers and coloring.

It was definitely a far fuller day then I have yet experienced and I think I got a little taste for what it will be like when the dad returns to work full-time.

He is in transition and has started back one day a week.

That day was today and I had a little a ha moment and a lot of gratitude for all the time I got to have yesterday to read.

I had brought my books and reader with me from my Couples Therapy class.

I had some high hopes.

They were pretty much left at the curb when I was greeted by my little friend at the door.

I was fine with it though and I really did have a lovely day and there is something nice about being needed and I felt helpful and useful and really appreciated by the family.

I really like them.

Such a nice thing.

The mom and I had a really sweet conversation today talking about my health insurance of all things.

She wanted to know how I was going to be affected by the recent political change and whether it would have an effect on my insurance.

I don’t know.

I suspect that I won’t know for a little while and I’m not going to worry about it.

I am going to focus on what I can do for the person in front of me, in the moment, in the here and in the now, to the best of my abilities.

But.

I did share that when I heard the news my first thought (I edited my version to my boss) was, “well fuck it, then I’m going to cheat on my taxes.”

I’m not, of course.

But that was my first thought.

I was and have been very taken with how much the parents, the mom especially, have treated me, engaged with me, worked with me, I feel like I am slowly, really going to be a part of the family.

I feel very embraced by them and very respected and that is just such a nice thing.

And it makes me want to do my job even better.

I find that when I am treated humanely and with kindness I will bend the fuck over to help out and do a good job.

I’m a little concerned about this, but not too much, I don’t think I’m going to lose myself in the job and I also have been encouraged to stop, rest, take breaks, drink tea.

I’m down with all of that.

Plus, they have been flexible with my school stuff.

Which feels like a super big thing.

Especially since I head to my first open house tomorrow night.

I have to leave work about 45 minutes early.

I’m gong to have to ask them to allow me some lenience in regards to doing that, leave work early, for the next couple  weeks on Wednesday.

Plus whenever I get called back to interview.

I am just going to have to suck it up and talk with the mom tomorrow.

Today was too busy, dad at work, mom out taking care of stuff, one sick kid at the house and dinner to cook was enough work for me.

Plus.

The baby.

Granted.

I haven’t done much with the baby yet.

Mom has got him and dad too.

It’s beautiful watching him grow.

He’s 3.5 weeks old.

Anyway.

I do have to have the conversation and if I can’t get out all the days that I need to, well, so be it.

I keep telling myself I won’t slip through the cracks, I am enough, I’ll get practicum placement and it will all be just fine.

REALLY.

It will.

I have not been taken this far to suddenly get dropped on my ass.

I am grateful that I did not understand how much work there was that had to be done.

I mean I might not have applied  to the program!

I did though and I’m doing well and I like what I am doing and I love that I will get to help others out as well as continue to grow and nurture myself.

It will be years before I make real money.

But I will be making triple, quadruple, maybe more, quite likely more, when I think about it with some honesty.

I don’t know what that’s going to look like.

But I have plans.

A year’s prudent reserve in savings.

Paying off my student loans.

But if you want to do that, feel free, just let me know and I’ll send you the information.

Heh.

Having a car.

Yes.

I am a scooter queen and a bicycle loving girl.

But man, sometimes I just want a car.

More travel, obviously.

And.

A house.

One in San Francisco.

I know.

I am crazy.

But.

I bet it will happen.

Sooner than I think too.

How?

Who knows, magic maybe, honestly I don’t need to know.

I will be fine if I don’t own a house, but it’s always been a dream of mine.

Ooh.

A retirement fund.

I know.

Sexy.

Right?

Old lady traveler on the move, you know it!

The journey is the point though and I don’t want to not be here in the present enjoying my small, sweet, cozy home, the music playing, the lamps glowing, candles flickering, the pictures and paintings and photographs on the walls.

I have a damn good life.

I do.

Grateful for all the things.

All the things.

And.

The.

Love.

Obviously.

That.

Always.

 

Um, I Think I’m Like

November 17, 2015

A grad student.

Or something.

It just really struck me as I sent off the next paper in what seems like an endless stream of papers, that I am really in graduate school.

Like.

I’m getting my Masters in Pscyhology.

Huh?

Sometimes I just feel like I am supposed to be in a therapists office, not getting trained to be a therapist.

And school.

It’s almost become normalized for me.

I have a routine, it’s tight, it’s full, but as someone said to me this evening when I was catching up with them after doing the deal, “if you want something done, you give it to someone who is busy.”

Ha.

Yes.

Busy.

That I am.

But I am getting it done and despite or perhaps because of the anxiety I feel every time I have a paper I have to write, I am moving forward.

I am getting the reading done.

I am staying on top of the papers.

I have not sent in any papers late and I have sent in every single paper I have been assigned so far.

And though I am not entirely sure that I will have all the reading done for this next round of weekend classes, I will have had a lot more done than I have for any of my other school weekends.

This is the most on top of it I have been.

It’s been this steady finding my way through the papers and the readings and setting up a routine for me.

I seem to do best when I read a little bit every morning and I do the paper writing on the weekends.

This weekend I techinically had two papers that I had to get done, but I couldn’t pull it together to do the second one.

ALthough it was shorter, 3-4 versus the 10 page guy that I had to pull out on Saturday, it took a lot more mental space than I wanted it to.

And so I had to do it tonight.

On my work day.

When I really did not want to, but I knew that I was going to get to.

And in the getting to get to write the paper.

In the getting it done before it was due and not procrasitating, I felt like a grad school student, I felt like an adult, I felt on top of things.

And this is a nice feeling.

What is not a nice feeling is the up coming phone appointment I have with my Psysh(e)analytic professor.

She has been out sick for sometime, we were supposed to meet in person, but what with trying to get to everyone she has been reduced to setting up appointments to discuss our papers over the phone.

Between her schedule and my wonky schedule I am going to be discussing my Freudian dream state paper on melancholia and mourning via the phone tomorrow night at 8:45 p.m.

It was to be at 8:30 p.m. but the stress of getting home on my bike whipping out my laptop and queuing up my paper to have a conversation with Milly D and why I used 10 sonnets to write my paper to discuss Freud was making me hyperventilate on my bike coming into work today.

I pulled up fifteen minutes before the start of my shift and stretched and called her back and gave myself another few minutes to navigate the phone appointment.

And she said the cutest thing.

“Now if this is a stress, you just let me know!  This is supposed to be a fun learning experience.”

Bless your heart, Mildred Dubitzky.

That might have been the best thing a professor has said to me since I started this program.

A fun learning experience indeed.

Rather than one that makes me feel like a might throw up every time I am in it–T-Group.

Or one in which I am so stressed I fear I will never be able to deliver all the deliverables being asked for (five reaction papers, a final class presentation project with handout, a chapter outline and powerpoint presentation and so much reading I could choke a T-Rex), hello Human Development class.

Or any of the other experiences I have had.

There has been joy.

I won’t say that there hasn’t.

It’s just been anxiety riddled too.

Which is funny.

Ha.

Fucking.

Ha.

I am in school to be a therapist and I get to practice first coping with my own anxiety.

Thanks for the learning experience grad school!

I am learning.

Learning a lot.

Learning that I am intelligent and capable and that I have a strong work ethic and that I work hard and I get it done.

I show up.

I am accountable.

I am not always happy.

But I am more often than not serene.

Except.

Well.

When I am not.

But.

I have faith in the experience.

I have seen it demonstarted again and again that I can sit down and write and get my point across, and I remember a lot more than I feel that I do and I make connections.

And I use a lot of post-it notes and pens.

Note to self.

Stock up on pens at Walgreens this week, I’m about to run out.

Might as well get some post-it-notes too.

I still have papers to write.

But nothing else that is due this week.

Thank the lord.

I just have to do more reading.

But there’s always that.

And considering that I just did a ton of work.

I am going to stop with the reading for the evening, make a snack, drink some tea, and watch a snippet of a video.

Life is good.

Especially when the papers are turned in!

My Gratitude Knows No Bounds

August 21, 2015

I mean.

How grateful am I for this blog?

So fucking grateful, so grateful I can’t say it without a depth of profanity to back up the word gratitude because it sounds sort of pussy and woo woo to say grateful.

Fuck.

Grateful out my ass.

If only from the stand point of the amount of practice I have had over the last five and a half years of constantly typing.

I am hella fast on the key board.

Grateful too for a forum to sort my thoughts, get my head together and aligned with my heart and to see the places and spaces I need to go and sometimes the things that I need to let go.

I just finished writing my second paper for my cohort for this semester of school, the ICPW weekend intensive for CIIS.

That is Integral Counseling Psychology, when I write about getting a Masters in Psychology, it is within the realm of this program.

Said program, lest you haven’t been paying attention, or have just come to start reading my little blog here, is held on the weekends, except for the week-long retreat that heralded the beginning of the semester.

Retreat my ass,

Boot camp it was and boot camp it remains.

Although, it probably had much better food than boot camps do.

And I was able to get my ass into the hot tub twice over the span of the eight days I was there.

I find it hilarious that though school has not officially begun, it has begun and begun with a roar.

I mean, I had a paper due before the start of the retreat and so much reading that I am still getting caught up.  Part of that was my bad, I did buy the wrong readers for half my classes.

Aside.

My sweet friend who tried to go to Copy Central and pick up the Dubitzky reader for me, I love, love, love you, and am horrified that you spent all of lunch time waiting in line at the counter only to find out that the reader is STILL not in.

Copyright laws my ass.

Get my reader printed bitches I got reading to do.

I really wanted to have it in my sights before I headed out to that thing in the desert, but it seems that is not to happen.

My friend did say he would hop back there while I was at Burning Man and try to retrieve it again, Copy Central said give it another week.  Of course, I don’t have another week, I leave for Burning Man a week from today.

In fact, this time next week, I will be in the dusty dust.

So excited!

End aside.

Work, lots and lots and lots of school work, and yes, I know, this is a graduate program, but it is new for me, and I realize that I am going to have to make a continued, sustained effort at getting things done every day.

I also have to say, I have felt a feeling of dread and anticipatory fear both times that I sat down in front of my laptop to start writing my papers.

Tonight’s paper was on my Integral Yoga and Philosophy class.

“Oh! How’s the retreat going?  The yoga sounds really lovely,” a friend texted.

Are you reading my blog?

Or are you just projecting your desires to do yoga under some nice spreading oak trees in the grass?

Because there was no yoga being done where I was.

Well.

There may have been, but it wasn’t by me.

No.

The Integral Yoga class was a history class on yoga as a spiritual path and the philosophy of said integrated system as informed by the studies of Sri Aurobindo.

Yeah.

I didn’t know who the guy was either.

But.

I took really good notes.

Thank you self for being such an avid note taker.

Also, note to self, need to buy a shit ton of new pens, I must have gone through five or six in the course of the week at the retreat and another two here at work.  I will be continually investing in pens.

However, the notes helped.

And that I paid attention in class.

And although I had no coherent thought about how I was going to attack the paper, attack I was.

My blog and the habit of writing it assists me.

Despite my brief noodling around on facecrack and okstupid, I got down to brass tacks pretty fast.

I opened up a Word document and I typed my name and student id on the top of the page, followed by the name of the class and the name of my professor.

Then I titled it with something that had caught my eye when I was skimming through the main text of the class.

I typed it down.

I underline it.

Then.

A sentence.

A thought.

Another thought, a paragraph, a quote, a look at my notes, another idea, another, and I’m off to the races.

Two hours later, 9 pages, 2,775 words long.

Fuck yeah.

And granted, they, the two papers I have written, are not done in APA style.

If they were, I would still be writing them.

But.

They were both well written and I sent both of my papers off tonight to the two professors.

I was glad I sat on my Human Development paper for a day, it did need a tiny bit of polishing, but tonight, after I had re-read, out loud, my Integral Yoga paper, there was nothing there but lightness and bliss and yes.

Gratitude.

Although.

Fuck.

My arms are tired and my head is a little foggy.

But I was not remiss in my body today either, I had a whole, forgive me, I can’t help it, mind/body/heart kind of day at work.

The family went to Train Town and I cleaned and did laundry, made food, and organized, tidied up the pool area and folded swim suits and basically got the space tidy and when the boys got back and had lunch we went for a long walk and picked black berries again and then dinner was made and I had a great abstinent meal and a great swim.

Yup.

I got back in the water again and the boys cheered me on and asked me to do dolphin kicks and swim butterfly, I almost threw up my dinner, and my arms are going to ache tomorrow.

Swimming butterfly is much different at 42 than it was at 18.

Then.

Hot shower, cup of tea and sitting down.

Showing up.

Letting the words come out.

I am always surprised.

Always.

It’s not the writing that is the hard part.

It’s sitting down to do the writing.

I showed up.

I got it out.

And I’m half way there.

Not through school, I mean, fuck, the semester still hasn’t “officially” started.

But I’m half way through my assignments for the retreat.

I won’t be writing tomorrow as I will be wrapping up my week here at work and heading back to the city to do the deal and then pack as much as I can for Burning Man and yes, dye my hair pink.

I’ve got a hair geographic itching to happen.

Life.

It is good

Big.

Rich.

Full.

Gratitude.

Yeah.

That was my spiritual principle today.

I picked a good one to practice.

Not like there’s really a bad spiritual principle to practice.

But I did good.

I did.

I did.

I Gave Myself Permission

August 14, 2015

I let myself get into the hot tub and join the party tonight after class.

It was intense.

As I joked with someone just a moment ago via e-mail, the intensive, is well.

Ah.

Intense.

I didn’t stay long.

I knew I wanted to do this, this constant showing up lets me show up elsewhere and I find the strength to continue writing helps me find a grace and peace that I can carry with me while I do the school work.

Truth be told.

I am almost caught up on the reading.

I have more to read, there is that, but I have been carving out little pockets of time during the day.

A half hour before breakfast, fifteen minutes here, fifteen minutes there, a ten minute flip through and skim of an article.

I also have recognized the burying my head in a book is a way of checking out from a social situation that is sometimes challenging for me to navigate.

I mean.

Jesus.

I am at school with 31 other people who I will travel the next three years with and we all want to be therapists.

That’s something.

And being as emotionally available as I have been in some of my classes and showing up for my classmates and trying to carry love and compassion through it all with me, gentleness for myself and for the group.

Sometimes.

I succeed.

Sometimes.

I do not.

However, I keep showing up to class and meals and trying to meet my fellows where they are and also myself.

I was happy coming out of class tonight.

It was extraordinarily challenging and I felt such evocative emotions come up that I just wanted to pat myself on the fucking back for doing the deal and being there in the chair and creating a space, a frame, a working notion of what is happening for me.

A language of the heart.

I suppose is one way of looking at it.

I mean.

I’m getting a Masters in Psychology and I am going to be exploring feelings and emotions and all the feelings and emotions that it elicits from me as well as learning about how to be there and present in a safe way for others too.

I don’t, also, expect that I will get this overnight.

I mean, it’s what day 4.5.

I’m half way through.

The retreat, not the course work.

I’ve only just begun.

There is so much more to discover.

I just felt really content with myself and appreciative that I could let go a little, get in the hot tub a little, sigh a big sigh of relief and let the hot water burble about me.

Someone draped the lights over the communal tub, it’s a big guy, there might have been 15 of us in it and more room was available, and suddenly the stars bloomed and I could see Cassiopea and the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and the Milky Way.

I had left my dorm room last night after my bed time on a brief excursion up the hill to see if I could catch any of the meteor shower.

The Perseid’s meteor shower, which supposedly peaked last night or actually in the very early hours of yesterday morning.

I did not catch any falling stars, the mists came in and there was cloud cover last night.

But.

Tonight.

Oh.

I got one.

I wished for love.

It just came right out of my heart and I sighed loudly, “Oh!” when the star streaked across the horizon.

No one else in the tub saw it and of course, it happened when I had stopped looking for it.

Which is always so much the case for me.

Stop looking, be still, show up to the page and love will be there.

Speaking of love.

I got an e-mail about departure dates to Burning Man and my heart is a little tender about having to be pragmatic, I am obligated to work through the 28th in Glenn Ellen for my family and I don’t want to.

I want to take extra time off and go to Burning Man.

I feel so much internal conflict.

I know I have to sit with it right now, this discomfort and the not knowing.

I can barely see outside of tomorrow’s first class and what that will look like.

And the truth is.

I don’t know what it will look like, I have to share my story at group level and not that I haven’t done that, I have done it so many times that I have lost count, but it is a different focus and a different set of people and I want many things to come across and some not so much and my head gets lost.

So.

I think.

Pause.

Reflect on what I can and can’t do.

But no decision tonight.

I had at least the wherewithal to look at myself having an emotional response to the when can you leave for Burning Man question.

RIGHT NOW!

LETS GO!

FRIENDS ARE ALREADY THERE!

Oh.

Shit.

Wait.

I am still in school and I also have to work and I used my week’s vacation to do this retreat and I’m using the rest of my sick leave to do Burning Man and I can’t ask off for extra days.

Or.

Can I?

I really want to.

I can feel that intense desire to go as soon as possible to not be present with my job, to get out of fucking dodge.

I want it so bad.

I want.

I want.

I want.

Ah desire.

Shush.

Breathe.

Let it go.

Nothing need be decided tonight.

And what if I asked to get out of work two days early?

My employers could dock my pay.

What would it look like to ask?

They could dock my pay and pay somebody else.

They could say no.

They could say yes.

They have a nanny service in Sonoma they use on the weekend when I am not there.

Can I allow myself that vulnerability to ask for what I want?

I mean it might even be a good exercise for me to ask just to see what happens.

Maybe.

All I know right now is that I am conflicted and don’t know what to do.

So pause and wait.

Sleep on it.

Love.

Love is what I wished for and I want to love myself enough to honor everything that is happening with me and to come to a place where I can express that and be for myself no matter what.

Because just in this space, just with this writing I can see that I am afraid of asking because I am afraid of judgement from my employers and that the answer will be no.

And so what if it is?

What would happen?

How to make a decision that is fair and just and right.

For me.

Not for the job.

Not for the people I am camping with.

Just for me.

More will be revealed.

But for now.

I wished upon a star.

And I suspect.

I will get my heart’s desire.

I usually do.

Although it never looks like how I think it’s going to look.

That’s ok too.

I’m open to the possibilities.

It’s a vast universe.

This love.

I suspect there is more of it for me to experience.

Good night my darlings.

I will see you tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

Be they dusty or otherwise.

Well

August 10, 2015

It’s official.

I am a graduate student.

I have gone through the introduction, I have made it here, I did not turn around, although my ride jokingly did make the offer as we were headed onto the bridge.

“Last chance!” She said as we passed by the last of the San Francisco exits before the Golden Gate Bridge.

She was a total peach and saved my butt.

My original ride got a hold of me 45 minutes prior to needing to leave–not one, but two flat tires on his vehicle.

Fuck.

He was so remorseful about it and so wanting to help he offered me the option of calling an Uber and paying for it.

I happened to be working with someone when I got the text, so I had my phone off, and I wouldn’t have seen it, that text until after she left if it weren’t for the fact that we were trying to reconcile schedules for the next time we can meet.

My schedule, is um, ah, ahahahaha, a little full right now.

I picked up my phone to check my calendar and saw the text.

My heart stop beating and I just cringed.

Oh shit.

I told my ladybug that I was processing the text and I don’t know what exactly I said, maybe, probably, “oh fuck,” as I was reading it trying to discern in my head what was the next move, could I do Uber to Petaluma, what time would I get there, would there even be any cars available since Outside Lands was making a disaster of driving in my neighborhood.

“I’ll take you,” she piped up.

Oh my god.

Thank you!

And she did.

She left to go get her car and a cup of coffee for the road and I made a quick-lunch that I had prepared yesterday.

I had gotten up early, showered, did the trash and compost, watered the plants, checked in with the housemate to let her know I would be gone, ate some breakfast, drank a lot more coffee than I normally do, packed my bags and organized my books, notebooks, and readers.

I also packed up the two readers for the two classes I am NOT enrolled in and brought them with in hopes of being able to sell them–at cost not trying to make a profit off my fellow classmates here–when I arrived at the retreat.

I posted a quick e-mail to the class list server and I got two offers right away.

As of a half hour ago I was able to hand off the two readers and two books to a fellow in the other cohort who happens to be bunked in the same dorm building as I am.

Speaking of.

But not very loudly.

I either don’t have a room-mate or she hasn’t arrived yet.

I am so hoping that I don’t have a room-mate.

Please, please, please.

It would be such a gift to have the room to myself the entire time I am here.

I am a creature of habit and routine and there are certain practices I have, especially with my morning routine that I was loath to even think about sharing.

Which is funny.

I am going to graduate school to get my Masters in Psychology to be a clinician, to be a therapist, to allow others to hold their own space and be a witness to and a guide and to help facilitate that move to authenticity of self, but pray in front of a stranger?

Please.

No thank you.

The thing is.

I would have.

I am just grateful, mainly for the space to stretch out.

The room is tiny, the beds are twins, there is one desk, two wee closets and a couple of communal bathrooms down the hall.

One less person in the dormitory is fantastic.

One less person in this tiny space is phenomenal.

And I like my space, I like knowing I can come and go and not disturb or be disturbed by another person.

I almost asked for a private room originally, but I would have had to pay extra for it and well, folks, graduate school it ain’t cheap, so I said I would share a room to keep my costs down.

So pleased to be alone.

I don’t feel lonely.

I just like to have a little alone time at the end of the night or to be able to quietly read in between classes.

And.

I am not the only person who did not get all the reading in or the only person who did not know how to access certain syllabi and who had troubles with the online portals.

A lot of folks did and I am sure there are a handful of students who did get the readings all done, but it appears that the majority of us did not.

There has been a flurry of activity since we got out of the welcome and introductions and the first exercises, which were really quit fun, although challenging ( I ended up getting partnered with a woman from Paris and we spoke French and that was hella fun and unexpected.  She used to live near the tattoo shop that I got my jackalope done in the Marais!) and longer than I expected.

We were let go at 9:15 p.m. and I co-ordinate with a guy in the other cohort and he took my readers I won’t be using and then I helped another student get online and navigate to the paper that needs to be written tonight, so many people in my cohort had new clue about the paper, then I looked over the schedule for tomorrow and I realized, I have as much done as I can.

I could read more.

But my brain is frizzled and, well.

I wanted to write.

This will be my bastion.

This will be my safe space.

My little nook in the hills were I can go and dump my anxiety and fears and let it all go.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be and though I can see the road is long, arduous, full of reading and writing and vulnerability, the journey is so worth it.

Not the destination.

The journey.

This journey.

Just to get to where I am at this little pressed plywood desk in a dorm room up in the hills outside of Petaluma, California.

Oh, my dear, my darling girl, look how far you have come.

My heart is full.

Overwhelmed and joyful.

Scared?

Sure.

But that’s just the way I am hard-wired.

Faithful, though, in the process of walking through.

“Just smile and be yourself,” her message said in regards to the retreat, “you’ll be amazed at how well you do.”

And I am amazed.

Before I was halfway through.


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