Posts Tagged ‘self-love’

Rendered Speechless

December 27, 2018

I don’t often look at old photographs.

I just did.

Work photos from over sixteen years ago.

Longer, perhaps, though not much more than eighteen years, I’ve been in San Francisco for sixteen, so they have to be at least that old.

There’s a private Facebook page with photographs of a place I used to run for six years.

1996-2002 I was the Floor Manager at the Angelic Brewing Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

A lot of the photographs are ones that I took myself.

Although I don’t have the album that they are located in.

I used to take a lot of staff photos.

Before Facebook and camera phones.

I kept a photo album in the office and I would put it out during big staff events.

Most usually the annual holiday party that I was in charge of organizing and running.

We got silly.

I remember one year I bought a bunch of disposable cameras.

Oh the pictures on those cameras.

Many stories.

I was rendered speechless though when I saw a photograph of myself that may have been at my heaviest weight when I was working there.

I don’t actually know what I weighed.

I didn’t like to use the scale.

But I do know that the shirt I was wearing was a size 26.

I now wear a size eleven.

So much has changed.

I just sat on my couch before logging onto my computer and I had an abstinent meal.

Abstinent for me means no flour (of any kind–almond, oat, coconut, corn, wheat, etc) and no sugar.

I do eat fruit, so I get sugar that way, though I tend to not eat fruit with my dinner.

I will.

Just not always.

Fruit is a sort of desert for me.

For dinner tonight I had about a 1/2 c of sautéed broccoli with a cup of brown rice and a roasted chicken leg and thigh.

I had some bubbly water and I listened to jazz.

When I think about the way I ate when I ran the Angelic.

Oh my God.

Freaks me out a little.

Sort of like how the picture did.

I almost want to post it here but I’m not actually sure how to do that and I am also not really sure I want to post it anyway.

I am grateful though for the changes I have gone through and for the good reminder that although my body doesn’t look the exact way I want it to, it looks a hell of a lot better than it did.

I mean.

I used to have a double chin.

I haven’t had a double chin in a long ass time and I am hella grateful for that.

The amazing thing about the photo is that I’m doing the splits on the bar.

I was a lot more limber then than I am now.

I was also studying to get my black belt in Kung Fu.

That also blows my mind, that I got a black belt at the weight I was.

I wonder sometime what it would have been like if I had lost the weight sooner.

But really that doesn’t do me much good to think about that, it’s just fantasy and speculation.

I also had to have some recovery under my belt before I could get abstinent, recovery, therapy, self-care.

A lot of that.

Self-love.

I am really quite proud of myself when I see how very far I have come.

All things considered.

I shouldn’t be where I am at today.

I am very, very, very grateful.

I’m also grateful to have gotten through Christmas.

Three gay boys, two movies, and one sushi dinner.

It was an official San Francisco Christmas.

Matinee at the Kabuki, hanging out in the Castro, then the Metreon in the evening.

I am grateful too for the people I spent time with.

I am grateful for San Francisco being my home.

I am grateful for all the lovely gifts I was given.

The biggest one, always does seem to be perspective.

That’s why the photo hit me so hard.

Just how far I have come.

I’m 46 now.

I look so much better at 46 than I did at 26.

I may have been a little older in the photo, but my weight would have been about the same.

It got bad there for a bit.

But then I think, I needed to be the way I was, to feel safe.  I ate to feel safe in a body that was not a safe place to inhabit.

I ate because I had been hurt.

I did not want to hurt anymore.

I also ate because it was a compulsion.

There were times when I would find myself in the dark raiding the desert fridge at work– shoving an entire piece of Irish Cream pie into my mouth, one, two, three pieces in under five minutes.

I hated it and I couldn’t stop it.

I also didn’t realize that once I put sugar into my body it was sort of on.

Sugar is just as addictive as many narcotics.

Sugar activates the same place in the brain that cocaine does.

I loved cocaine.

And before I had cocaine.

I had sugar.

I had a lot of it.

God.

Just thinking about how much soda I drank too.

Ugh.

I mean.

I worked in the service industry for two decades.

I did not drink diet soda ever, I scoffed at it.

I drank straight up Coca Cola.

I drank vats of it.

When you work in the service industry you usually get free soda.

And because I was in management, I got free meals.

French fries dipped in sour cream.

Fried fish sandwiches with buckets of tartar sauce.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms and cream sauce and parmesan and bread sticks.

OH bread sticks.

Idaho nachos–cottage fries instead of corn chips–with heaps of cheese and chicken and black beans and guacamole and sour cream.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Beer cheese soup.

And it was a brewery, so yes, lots of beer too, many, many, many pints.

Ex-employees used to joke about how they would lose the “Angelic 20” when they stopped working there since they weren’t always drinking the beer.

Which was not light in any sense of the word.

Oh.

How things have changed.

For the better.

I might have a nostalgic moment once in a great while for something.

But not ever looking like that picture again?

That will kill any craving I might have.

Fact is.

I don’t crave food, when you don’t have it in your system, the urge goes away.

Hella grateful for that too.

So here’s to not having to make New Years resolutions.

I am resolved every day.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Abstinent.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

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Today I Ate

December 25, 2018

An entire book.

I mean.

I consumed it.

I chopped it up and snorted it down like it was some sort of happy drug.

I haven’t read fiction in so long it was an aphrodisiac.

I still feel a little high.

I did just like I said I would and I slept in this morning.

I woke up at 9:45 a.m.!

Holy Toledo.

I cannot remember the last time I slept that late.  I mean, maybe the ARTumnal Airpusher after party silent dance rave I went to in November, but even the day after coming home from a night of carousing and dancing I was still up by 8:30a.m.

I think.

So this morning was nuts.

I believe it was partially, at least this is my excuse, not that I need one, that it was so clouded over.

Dark and stormy.

Grey and misty and wet.

True San Francisco winter weather, not exactly rain, but mist and wind and rainy and all-pervasive.

San Francisco rain doesn’t really always come straight down, it seems to enwrap you and get everything soaked.

Without directly raining all that much.

So I slept in.

I might have even slept longer were it not for the siren song of my bladder yelling out about the big mug of tea I had before I went to bed last night.

I got up and was leisurely.

Like in a major way.

I think it was 11:30a.m. before I actually sat down for breakfast.

A phone call from my best friend was partially the reason, but mostly, I was just going slow and easy.

I enjoyed my late breakfast and wrote a ton.

A lot.

It was lovely.

And though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, I did know I was going to need to make a run to the grocery store and maybe see what was playing at the Balboa Theater, which is just up the road from me.

Unfortunately I’d already seen one of the movies and the other I am planning on seeing tomorrow.

But.

La Promenade Cafe was open and so I took my book and settled into a big leather arm-chair by the front window and sank into my story.

I bought this book last summer, a few weeks before I was to start my fall intensive for school.

A day before I got my first text-book in the mail for said intensive.

I only read a few of the stories, it’s a collection of shorts from A.M. Holmes called Days of Awe.

I really like her work, I’ve only read her novels and was happy to find that the shorts were just as compelling and in a way very interwoven, so it felt like I was reading a novel in a way.

I read at the cafe and listened to music and people watched and thought how nice it was to actually be in a cafe in my new neighborhood.

The first time since I’ve moved here since mid-September that I actually did something other than laundry in the neighborhood.

It felt a little like getting settled.

I did another first today too, this one may surprise you, although it shouldn’t considering how busy I keep myself.

I went for a walk around my neighborhood!

Yeah.

I know.

I really haven’t done any walking, unless it was from my car to the house or from the house to my car.

I had gotten back from the cafe, unloaded my groceries, roasted a chicken, made a late lunch, sat on my couch, watched the rain, ate brown butter brussels sprouts and hot roast chicken and listened to Coleman Hawkins.

It was delicious.

The food.

The music.

The rain on the windows.

It felt outside of time, I couldn’t remember what day of the week it was, Sunday, Monday, it all blended together.

My tree looked pretty, I lit candles, it was so cozy.

Then the sun burst out for a few minutes and I thought I should go for a sunset walk.

I quickly bundled up, there was only a few minutes before the sun was going to set, and I walked out the door on 48th and down Balboa towards the sea.

As I got closer, I realized that there was a path that I hadn’t seen before and what do you know, it’s actually a little park!

Sutro Dunes!

I had no idea.

Sweet little wood slat path along the base of the grass and flower covered dunes.

In the twilight it was deeply moving and full of divinity.

It felt really good to just do a little stretch around the neighborhood, to see the Cliff House hanging like an ornament over the ocean, to smell the fresh washed air, to just be.

I am pretty lucky when I think about it.

I live by the ocean.

It is literally a block away from my house.

Although I don’t get down to it as much as I would like, it is always a solace to me and I see it every day when I leave in the morning.

I always say hello.

I am in perpetual awe of its beauty.

And I am not often home at sunset to ponder it.

It was a really lovely little gift to me.

I got back to the house right before the rain began again and settled back on my couch, my first day of really sitting on my couch too!

My first day really using my coffee table like a coffee table.

I drank a second homemade cafe au lait, so decadent to have two in one day at my house, and I read more of the book until I left to go do the deal up at 7th and Irving.

Which was also just marvelous.

Ran into some much-loved fellows and heard exactly what I needed to hear.

Came home, heated up dinner.

And yes.

Yes I did.

I ate the rest of the book.

I read 288 pages today.

It was not a chore.

It was the best feeling.

And guess what?

One of my text books for the next semester did come in the mail today.

I did not read it.

I was tempted.

But I realized, did I want to leave the A.M. Holmes until next summer?

Or was it actually ok to let myself have Christmas Eve without homework?

It was ok.

And it was so lovely.

Exactly the kind of day off that will sustain me for many weeks as I marshal my way forward towards this next milestone of learning and life.

Gratitude this Christmas for all the gifts in my life.

There are so many.

The best, I dare say, may be my relationship with myself and the life I have been given.

Grace.

That’s what it is.

Grace.

I have been blessed.

And may you be as well.

Merry Christmas to all.

And to all.

A.

Very.

Good.

Night.

I Could Get Used To This

June 18, 2018

Having a little down time that is.

I mean.

I still got hella shit done today.

Two loads of laundry, recycling, grocery shopping, food prep for meals for the week, fresh sheets on the bed, shower, morning yoga class, breakfast, coffee, updating clients on upcoming vacation, writing, meetings with two different ladies.

I got shit done.

And.

I also sat outside and ate a late home cooked meal for lunch and let the sunshine hit my face and light me up inside.

I watched the ravens swooping over the back rows of houses behind the end of the fence marking the property line.

I closed my eyes and just was.

Then.

Holy mother of goodness.

I read a book.

Not a psychology book, although there were some interesting bits in it that were definitely psychological.

No.

I read for pleasure.

And it was so nice.

It was just the bomb.

I love reading and I believe that by the end of my last semester I was so read out that I wasn’t going to be able to pick up a book again for the summer and read anything.

I was burnt out on reading, text books and online articles and doing research and underling bits and pieces and this and that.

Going over readers with hundreds of articles and emptying out my closet of stacks of books to write that final big thirty page paper.

I actually just got back the comments on that paper today.

I had this moment of dread when I saw the e-mail.

There had been this bit in the syllabus that said if you didn’t do all the points of something in the paper it would get returned to you and you’d have to rectify it.

For just a moment.

I kid you not, even though I had framed my diploma today, which means that the grades were turned in, I got an “A” for god’s sake, I thought, shit, I fucked something up and I’m going to have to re-write that fucking paper.

Hahahaha.

Ugh.

Thanks brain.

I really could have gone without that thought.

But no.

The paper comments were quite nice and I got a lot of compliments for my understanding of psychodynamic theory and how I’ve integrated that into my sessions with clients and I got huge thumbs up for the case presentation part, both the presentation I did in class and also the write-up of the case, my professor was very effusive.

That was nice to read.

And yeah.

I did, as a matter of fact, frame my diploma today.

It looks really cool.

It’s hanging in my little kitchen above my sink.

It wasn’t exactly my first choice, but as it turns out the fancy frame I bought was literally 1/2 an inch too big to put it where I wanted to with my undergraduate diploma.

The only other place in my in-law that had any room was in the kitchen.

I like it though, I can turn my head and see it and there’s something about the placement in the kitchen, at least for now, that appeals to me.

I did a lot of self-care during my three years working on my Master’s degree that had to do a lot with cooking and making meals and trying to eat well and take care of myself.

I realized at some point that roasting a chicken was a really nice thing to do on a Sunday when I was writing papers.

It would warm the house up and when I was finished I would have a hot meal.

It’s some how apropos that my diploma is in the kitchen.

It makes sense.

One day, and not too far way either, it will hang in my private practice office.

I’m excited to be getting tiny baby steps closer to that goal every day.

I really feel like I am on a career trajectory towards making a real income and having my own business and supporting myself as a therapist.

I actually can see a time, in the not so distant future, when I will hang up my nanny clogs and bid adieu to working as a nanny.

I’m ready for that.

Of course, until then, I do have the best family to work for.

I’m so excited too for this week.

A week from tomorrow I fly out of SFO to JFK.

I have one more week of work and then five weeks.

FIVE.

Of paid time off.

I can hardly breathe with excitement.

I am not going to pick up a lot of extra client hours either.

Maybe a few here or there.

But rather, I am going to go do the deal a lot, I’ve been asked to speak at some afternoon places that I wouldn’t normally be able to do.

I’m going to have lunch dates with friends.

I made one tonight with a dear friend who spoke up at my commitment.

I’ve never been to his work and he’s been on me for ever to come down and have lunch at the office with him.

Done and done.

I went over my calendar and saw a few days when I can get in an extra yoga class.

I will also be doing some research for my paid internship, that meeting with my new boss and supervisor will be happening on July 11th.

So much lovely stuff to look forward to.

It’s going to be a fantastic week.

I can feel it.

I also only have five clients this week, so I don’t have to do an extra hour of supervision.

And!

Oh yeah.

I’m finally getting a hair cut next Saturday.

I’ll be all sassy for New York.

I’m so ready for that trip.

I’m so excited.

Glad I had down time today.

Grateful for sunshine, meals on the patio, pleasure reading, framing my diploma, making homemade food, friends and lunch dates.

Grateful for a life full of love.

So much love.

Dorked Out!

March 21, 2018

I am totally all geeked out.

I literally just cooked dinner in my cap and gown for graduation.

Hehehehee.

They came in the mail today!

It’s really really real.

I’m graduating.

It still feels surreal.

I also put the hood on backwards, and then laughed my ass off at myself as I stood in the hallway to my studio admiring myself.

In my bunny slippers.

I will probably wear different shoes to the ceremony.

Probably.

Heh.

My slippers are cute.

But who the hell would take me seriously in my slippers?

They are cozy little things, but perhaps not to walk the stage as I receive my diploma for my Master’s Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology.

I’m so excited to graduate.

It has been such a journey.

I still can’t quite believe it’s happening.

Like that horrible nightmare I used to have every once in a while that I hadn’t actually graduated from high school and I have to go back and take some test or turn in some assignment still.

No fucking thank you.

I received the official invitation to graduate from the school yesterday.

That was nice.

Really nice.

I still have hoops to jump through and forms that will need to be signed, but academically, everything is set, I’ve been cleared to graduate.

I will have to turn in my therapy form–my program requires that I do a year of therapy with a licensed MFT while I am in practicum.

A requirement that I was upset with for a little while, not the therapy part so much, but that I would have to be with a licensed MFT which costs quite a bit more than working with a trainee.

Then again.

I really like my therapist.

She’s great.

And.

Man.

We did some work today.

I sat down and said and today we’re going to talk about ______________.

And we did and it was good and I got some perspective and a different frame then what I had expected and I was super grateful for that.

Sometimes I just need someone else’s perspective.

My perspective is not always true.

And often misleading or anxiety inducing.

My therapist gave me a very different way of seeing things and for that I am so very grateful.

And.

I was able to forward that experience onto a client tonight.

I didn’t disclose my therapy session to my client, rather, I just helped my client see things different.

And the response was great.

I am always so happy when I get to be of service and help someone see something that they couldn’t on their own.

Therapy is work and anyone who tells you different is lying.

It’s hard work.

But.

Fuck.

It so pays off.

Frankly, everyone could use therapy.

I mean, who couldn’t use a person to sit and empathetically listen to them for an hour once a week?

It’s so nice to be able to talk about all the crap in my head and get it sorted and processed and let it go and not stuff emotions and have feelings and see what they are and how I want to move through the world.

Therapy has such great value for me and I am so pleased that I get to be a therapist and I get to help my clients and it really moves me when they get something from the work I do with them.

It’s work on both ends.

Which is exciting.

And I get to constantly learn things.

I had a huge amount of stuff come up around a client yesterday in my supervision then I met with the client in the evening and just sitting there and being with them and using all the work I had done earlier in the day was so gratifying.

It was amazing.

It can be hard.

I won’t lie.

Sometimes I think wow, this is some hard work, but it is so good to be helpful to others.

I am happy that I have found a career that lets me do that.

Of course, I have that too with my nanny career, but this feels bigger and feels like I will have more impact.

Although I do not, by any means, disparage the work I do with children, nor how important it is.

It is really fucking important.

My little monkeys mean so much to me.

And that I get paid to love, well, that is super special.

And I will get paid to love too, as a therapist, that’s one of my biggest goals, to provide my clients with love, empathy, kindness, to help, it’s a different kind of loving relationship than a romantic union or a friendship, it is a special relationship because of confidentiality and knowing that there will be times, many times, when the client needs to work out something and that something is going to be hard to hold.

But I get to try to and in the trying I learn and in the learning I grow.

It’s really a lovely relationship full of reciprocity and though, no, I wouldn’t call it altruistic, there is something of that flavor to it as well.

I never thought this would really happen.

Me, graduating from a Master’s degree program.

Although it was something I always knew I wanted, I never quite knew how it wold happen.

But you know.

I had faith.

And

It’s actually happening.

Really.

REALLY.

Happening.

That Was Fast

February 13, 2018

Today just flew by.

For which I am grateful.

I am so ready to get out-of-town and hit the East Coast on my mini-vacation that it was a pleasure how fast today went by.

Hopefully tomorrow and the next few days will go by as fleet.

I had a good supervision session, so grateful, constantly, for the supervisor I have, he just really hits things out of the ballpark for me and he is brutal honest with me about what I need to do and how to work with my clients.

It’s good stuff.

Fucking intense, but really good stuff.

I had a lot to bring him this Monday, last week was a big week for me and I was very happy to be able to process some of the work with him.

I will miss him as a supervisor when I wrap up this semester, I can already tell.

I like the group I’m in for group supervision, but I do not get the kind of guidance from the group supervisor that I do from my solo supervisor.

I don’t really respect my group supervisor, if I have to tell on myself, although I do like her.

She’s ineffectual at holding a frame and a bit vague and nebulous in her approach.

Which always baffles me a bit.

How the hell do you hold a frame for a client if you can’t hold the frame for a group of therapist in training?

I have hopes to switching out to a different group when I get done with my Master’s program.

I’m in the group that works the best for my work schedule and my current solo supervision and therapy work.

Man.

I do a fucking lot.

And I’m still doing my own personal writing.

I am very proud of myself for that.

I stay grounded when I do my morning and evening writing.

I didn’t do a few days of my blog over the weekend, but I did do my morning pages every morning.

I don’t really recall all that many days when I didn’t do either of them.

Probably being at Burning Man last year and not taking my laptop for the first time in a long time, although I still did do plenty of writing out there, I ended up doing it during the heat of the afternoon at the cafe with a big iced coffee and a shady spot under the Center Camp Cafe’s gigantic circus tent.

The fact is.

I am a writer.

I believe that it’s a huge contributor to my therapy work with my clients.

That I am constantly self-reflexive, and continually processing my stuff and finding my way through things.

I don’t know that I would be where I am without the practice.

I like where I am.

Even walking through some really challenging personal times, I still like who I am and that I am trying to grow more, change more, become more myself.

Advocate for myself, for my own change.

The only person I can change is myself.

And I’m not talking about self-improvement, I feel that’s a slippery slope, self-improvement implies that there’s something wrong with me, that I’m not good enough.

It also has connotations of always having to strive to change myself to be better and that when I’m finally better I’ll be perfect and everyone will want to be with the perfect version of me.

There is no perfection.

I am perfect.

Imperfectly perfect.

Humility much?

I can be a perfectionist, so the way through that for me is self-acceptance over self-improvement.

That still means change, it just may not mean change in the way that I used to think it did.

Some miracle wave of a wand and poof!

Happily ever after fairy princess unicorn castle in the cloud magic glitter balloons of joy.

Not so much.

It just means that when I focus on what someone else needs to do so that I can feel comfortable I have to look at myself, what do I need?

How can I change?

Where can I be in acceptance?

There’s loads of room for that kind of introspection.

How can I care for myself when I want to focus on helping others, which is wonderful, but also recognizing that I can’t help anyone if my own needs are met.

Which means that I have to know what my needs are.

Tricky thing that.

I get better at it the more I practice.

The more I get used to paying attention to what makes me happy.

What brings me joy.

And trying to cultivate that.

My writing brings me joy, being a good therapist does, being with people I love, accepting love, travel, eating well, flowers.

My God.

I have a gorgeous bouquet that keeps getting prettier and prettier.

The lilies in the bunch of flowers have been opening over the last few days and it is like looking at a tender heart opening to the sunshine, shy and pink and exquisite.

I feel such sweetness when I look at my flowers.

A girls like her flowers.

And hearts.

I made Valentines Day cards today with one of my charges that came home sick from school and we had such a sweet time with it, drinking tea and taping the Valentines up on the windows at the back of the house.

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It was a happy afternoon.

I felt a lot of happiness today.

Some sadness at the beginning, some tenderness, some tears, I probably should skip the sorrowful music I had been listening to for a little while, but this morning, for some reason I just indulged.

A sort of get it out-of-the-way at the beginning of the day and get on with the day.

It seemed to help.

That and it just being a great big full day.

Grateful for navigating through, being of service at my job, showing up for my clients tonight.

And.

Showing up for myself with my writing.

Day and night.

Day.

And.

Night.

All the damn time.

 

 

A Little Here

August 23, 2017

A little there.

I got some more reading done today for school, which I find funny as it was the opening salvo in my therapy session this morning.

I’m behind on my reading, and school hasn’t started yet, and for the first time in the history of my grad school career I don’t give any of the fucks.

I mean.

A little.

Sort of.

But mostly.

Fuck no.

I have spent so much time now seeing clients and getting into the mix and showing up to be a therapist that school stuff seems to have lost a lot of its luster.

Oh sure.

I know I have so much to learn, there is always going to be learning, I will and have years of it to go.

Getting done with my third year of my Masters program is sort of the tip on the iceberg, I will still have to intern for years before I have enough hours accrued to get licensed.

That being said.

School seems to hold less gravitas for me.

I am excited to see my cohort, I have had a lot of them reach out to me in the last few days and it feels good to be getting reconnected.

Third year!

I am a third year.

This is the big push.

One more year of this program and then.

Well.

Probably more school.

Although I’m not 100% sure.

I have, at least it seems very likely, unless I win the lottery which would allow me to not work, about two and a half years of work to do before I have all my hours.

Give or take.

I might as well go for my PhD.

I will still have to work full time or damn close.

Although.

I’ll be dropping down my hours when I get back from Burning Man.

38 hours a week from 41.

This doesn’t count my supervision, therapy, or client hours.

Just plain work hours will go down three hours a week.

Which doesn’t seem like much, but will be a great big help.

I can get a lot read in three hours.

I can.

I ended up getting in four chapters of reading this evening, as a matter of fact, at the internship when my first client cancelled.

If only they would’ve coordinated!

My clients that is, so that I didn’t have to sit for an hour in the office waiting for my end of day client, but hey, I read for school and that was great.

I finished the reading for another one of my classes.

I don’t know that I have much more time to get anything else read.

Especially since most of it is online material and I’m loathe to bring my laptop with me to work to read.

On the off-chance that I might have some down time.

It’s generally not worth the risk of me taking it.

I’ll still bring one of my textbooks with me, get a little further ahead in the reading as the case may be, if there’s time.

Like I said, at this point in the game, there’s not much and my life priorities being what they are, I am completely fine with this.

“I’m sure you have much more read than most of your cohort,” my therapist said to me as I explained my school stuff, “I suspect, you have always been a bit more prepared than most of your cohort,” she concluded.

And.

Well.

Yes.

She’s right.

I am a horrid perfectionist.

But that has eased as I have gotten used to the program and having seen the few times when I wasn’t completely caught up with my reading that I still held my own.

I am smart, I know how to listen, and I know how to contribute.

The one class that I haven’t really touched into yet for the reading was the last class to post its syllabus.

But.

Heh.

Um.

It’s a Transpersonal Psychology class.

So.

Spirituality and spiritual practices.

Yeah.

I think I might have that one bagged.

We have to keep a journal.

Pardon me while I laugh into my sleeve.

That shouldn’t be hard.

Ahem.

And talk about our spiritual experiences.

That will be interesting.

Like.

I put a prayer in my God box today.

God box?

Yes.

I have this hot pink, magenta really, pylon bunny rabbit from Paris that is a piggy bank, and I use it as a “God Box” a sort of repository for “problems” or things that I need to let go of and that I want God to have, I write down what I need to give to God, on a post it note, this one was pink, and then I fold it up, and say a few prayers.

I believe in prayer.

And I have a God of my understanding.

It doesn’t much matter to me what you think of me writing that God notes to help alleviate my issues, whatever they may be.

It’s the action that counts.

I don’t have to know the end results, in fact, it’s generally better if I don’t, I just have to take actions and something happens.

The writing it down and giving it up is an action of humility.

I don’t know how to deal with this, I am not God, I need help, I asking for guidance.

I can’t really do anything alone or in isolation.

I am not built like that.

Oh.

Fuck.

I have so tried.

I so want to figure it out on my own, I don’t want help, or so I say, I want to be strong and mighty and fierce and get it done without your help.

But.

Then.

When I don’t ask for help or I eschew what is being offered out of a false sense of pride, I ultimately lose.

I isolate.

I am alone.

And lonely.

That is never a good place for me to be.

So, yeah.

Just taking the time to write a little note and pop it in the God box, it does wonders.

I suppose my practice may seem strange or funny and I don’t really care.

I also pray in the morning, on my knees, another act of humility, a supplication, please help me, help me be of service, help me be kind, compassionate, tolerant, loving and forgiving.

Help me forgive myself, love myself, be the best possible version of me I can be.

Which I am not always.

I can get caught up in all sorts of scattered thinking or being maudlin, or distracted.

But.

To circle back.

I can forgive myself.

I haven’t finished the reading.

I won’t finish it.

It’s ok.

All I really have to do is show up on time.

Participate.

And be myself.

The rest will follow.

It always.

Always.

Always.

Does.

No One Is Reading

June 12, 2017

Two days in a row.

Not a single hit to the blog.

Wow.

Taking it off social media certainly did the trick and since I will be starting with two new clients this upcoming week I am grateful that I have cleaned things out.

I also winnowed out a lot of other “friends” on facecrack and my social media has come down to me checking into restaurants and yoga.

Yeah.

I did another day of yoga today.

I wasn’t planning on it, although I knew it was an option, I sort of played today by ear.

I didn’t want to stress myself out but I also wanted to make sure that I was prepped for the upcoming week since it will be long and busy and full.

I had a speaking engagement this morning so I got up early on my Sunday and did my morning routine and wrote a bunch and then headed to the Mission.

Sometimes I miss the Mission.

I will have nostalgia for it, especially when the Outer Sunset gets socked in with fog, but this morning I didn’t have that much nostalgia and by the time I was done with my engagement I was really quite happy to get out of the fray and head back out to the ocean.

I could actually feel it in my body when I crested the hill that starts the downward roll to the sea and I could see the ocean and it just soothed me and I felt calm and nurtured and happy to be heading home and not have a lot of responsibility to the day.

I met with a new lady I just started working with and we did some reading and talked, a lot, there was lots of talking and it was good.

It is so good to be able to pass on what I have been given so freely and for it to be accepted so open armed.

I just felt blessed and grateful and by the time she had left I was ready to do the first round of food prep.

I made a shredded chicken hash with Andouille sausage, corn, carmelized onions, and crimini mushrooms.

Instead of potatoes I used brown rice.

No peppers though, peppers give me indigestion.

Which always bums me out.

I have super fond memories of my mom’s stuffed bell peppers from when I was a kid and I crave them once in a while, but all peppers, especially the green ones, tend to give me acid indigestion.

Anyway, so I cooked and had a nice lunch.

And.

Well.

It’s my fathers birthday today and I decided to call him.

Except that the call didn’t go through and the phone isn’t set up to receive voicemail and I took that as a sign, it wasn’t time to talk to my father.

But I could wish him a happy birthday from my heart and remember the last time I saw him and how his skin felt so warm against my lips when I kissed his cheek goodbye.

I hope you’re well papa.

Always, I hope this for you.

I settled my heart and decided to get out of the house and do a little self-care and get a manicure.

I had already done a great big cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming and dusting as well as laundry and putting my kitchen back together once I knew for certain the paint had dried on the cupboards, so I wasn’t slacking in the doing things department.

But.

I figure I’m going to either need to take good nail care maintenance for myself or get a manicure once a week rather than the every other I have been doing.

I want to show up well-groomed for my clients.

I want to be a demonstration of good self-care.

So.

I went up to the Inner Sunset and got the nails did and then I scooted over to Noriega Produce on Noriega and 46th and picked up a few last-minute groceries to have at the house.

And then back home to unpack, fold laundry, and figure out if I was going to the restorative yoga class or not.

I decided to go.

And.

It was so good.

So stretchy and relaxing and I just felt held and coddled and like I was taking super good care of my body and I could feel where I had worked my muscles this past week with all the yoga I had done.

I wish I could go more often, but I’m always down to take advantage of the studio when I can get into a class.

Next week I’ll probably only be able to go on Saturday and Sunday.

Maybe only Sunday.

So getting it in this week was good for me.

It was also super dreamy.

I was in deep revery the majority of the time.

I felt wrapped up in golden sunshine and I went to the meadow.

There is a place, I don’t know how or where it comes from, but I get the image off and on when I am in a certain kind of open body space in yoga class.

I remember the first time I had it and it was with a specific teacher and it happened during a certain time in class and it was accompanied by a bit of music that I never did find out who the artist was, but it was bluesy folk and guitar and achy and melancholic and sweet and reminded me of high mountain meadows and tall grass and long-stemmed wild flowers and I just spun out tonight in the meadow and danced and I was accompanied.

I have never been met there before.

I remember once being in that same space and it was beautiful and I saw myself as myself now holding the hand of a younger woman who held the hand of a younger girl and we walked towards a woman, who was I also, long flowing grey hair and I saw myself.

Girl.

Maid.

Woman.

Crone.

And I was awed by the beauty and the image.

But.

Also sad.

There was no one but I in the meadow and it seemed that I was waiting.

There was a fire to be lit.

Enchantments and witchery and strawberry full moon light and warm night air and yes, bonfires.

Dancing.

And I was met and I saw a long line of faces and stories and I danced and was held and turned and it was extraordinary.

I won’t analyze for you what I saw.

I just had a dream.

On a golden lit early Sunday evening in the Outer Sunset.

I drifted off, buoyant and aglow.

Wrapped in soft butter cream light and warmth.

So much warmth.

As though cocooned in a silk hammock on a summer day nestled into the strong arms of another.

Swaying in the wind.

A swooning melting and then.

Softly the bells chimed pulling back to earth and back to hearth and back home.

To the smell of dinner.

Chicken roasting in the oven and the warm embrace of my clean sweet space.

Happy Sunday.

Sweet dreams.

Good rest.

And.

Godspeed into this hazy night of dreams and revery.

Who’s Life Is This?

May 13, 2017

I said to my friend as I sat on the deck of the houseboat we’re sharing on the Seine, eating my salad in the sun slanting golden through the clouds over Le Grand Palais.

My friend pithily replied, “it’s yours.”

Oh shit.

It is.

I felt my heart swell up with gratitude and tears well in my eyes.

The tears they always well easy, but sitting on top of a houseboat in the middle of the Seine, located at Place de la Concorde/Champs Elysees, I felt blown up with joy.

This is my life.

And I’m on a houseboat in Paris.

It’s a pretty fucking amazing life, this.

I say it all the time, luckiest girl in the world, but it really feels that way, I can also see challenging things as lucky too, I have perspective, part of the reason why it felt so shocking to me is how I left when I moved away from Paris.

Broke.

Or.

How I left it last Christmas.

Heartbroken.

To just be sitting on the top deck, under an awning, waving at the Bateaux Mouche going by with their decks heavy with tourists, eating my dinner, in Paris.

In Paris.

It astounds.

I am grateful to be here, ready to be settled in one spot for a while.

It’s felt like non-stop moving at certain points and I’m happy to be moored for the rest of my time here.

I got up super early this morning.

Which was not my intention.

NOT AT ALL.

But.

I woke up at 4 a.m. wide awake.

And as much as I tried I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I rolled around, drifting in and out of thoughts, half dreams, revery, but never sunk back into sleep.

So.

I got up at 5:30a.m. and took a super hot shower, god I love hotels for super hot showers, plus huge over head rainfall shower heads, and let the water wash away the travel and the weary and washed out my hair.

Oh my God.

People.

My hair.

It’s huge.

The humidity isn’t bad, but it’s greater than what I am used to in San Francisco.

I have a lot of hair.

But right now.

It feels like.

I have.

A LOT.

It’s pretty huge.

It, my hair, has led to some interesting conversations, mostly with men, actually, all with men.

I got propositioned this morning as I left the hotel to take a morning stroll around Pere LaChaise Cemetery.

I mean.

I was basically offered cunnilingus for breakfast.

I was like.

Wow.

Paris.

It’s 7 a.m.

I’m going to wait though, and grab a cafe creme before entertaining that thought.

Yeesh.

I also was told by a way too friendly taxi cab drive that I had an amazing smile.

Thanks.

Now stop looking at me in the rearview window and drive, you’re making me nervous.

I’m pretty friendly and gregarious and sometimes I forget that doesn’t always translate here.

Smile?

Sure.

You must be a hooker and want to blow me in my cab and pay an extra fare.

Douche bag.

I also forgot, and it took me longer than it has in the past to pick up on it, I don’t think about it at all living in San Francissco, that I have tattoos.

And.

It’s warmer than the last two times I was in Pairs, I was here over two different winters I was not showing any skin.

And though I am not showing a lot, one can see that I am sporting more tattoos than the average bear.

As I was standing in the lobby to check out of my super hip boutique hotel the woman at the front was telling the other clerk that his tattoos were too big and that she couldn’t get anymore if she ever wanted to have a job outside of working at Mama Shelter.

I wanted to intervene, in French, and say something, but I played restraint of pen and tongue, nobody asked for my fucking opinion.

But.

Folks here definitely have some ideas about what tattoos mean.

Whore.

Anyway.

Like I care.

Like I give a fat god damn.

I am sitting on a houseboat in the Seine writing my blog.

This life, my life, is so fucking amazing and you know, I’ll probably go get another tattoo while I’m here, because, well, that’s what I do.

Heh.

I get to do whatever I want, well, as long as I accept the consequences.

So, I smile, and I’m joyful and if that means I get some over reaching flirting once in a while I can deal or stares or comments.

It isn’t any of my business what people think of me.

Shit.

It’s none of my business what I think of me.

I don’t always think well of myself, so I try not to think too much of myself.

Just enough.

Just barely enough.

But.

The truth is, I am more than enough and I deserve to be here and I work really motherfucking hard.

I’m happy to be on a boat in the Seine rocking on the waves of the boats rolling by.

It’s an experience I quietly dreamed about my first time walking the Seine by myself in Paris in 2007.

Seeing all the houseboats, dreaming about owning one or renting one.

When the cab dropped me off I had gotten there early and I knew which one it was by the photos from the reservation, but no one was around, just the tabby cat sunning itself on the deck.

I stood for a while, then the cat got curious, as they do, and came over and gave me the once over and deigned to let me stroke him and then I just said, fuck it, and hopped on the boat.

Standing with a goofy too big smile on my face in the brilliant afternoon sun over Paris.

On a boat.

I’m just going to keep going with this.

It will fade off I am sure.

But for right now.

Well.

Basking.

Just glowing with it.

All the things.

For.

The luckiest girl in the world.

Me.

Not The Day Off

April 12, 2017

I had planned.

Actually.

I hadn’t anything fixed in my plans.

I had some ideas.

And nary a one of them was met.

Fine.

I am alright with that.

It was still a nice day off.

I had therapy in the morning.

I realized when I got there that I had left my phone charging on the table in my tiny kitchen.

I had even noticed it, and said to myself, self, don’t forget that phone, self, your phone is on table.

But.

Well.

Ack.

It was forgotten.

I took it to mean I should be electronically free for a little while.

It was interesting though.

Trying to get into the building where I go for therapy, it has a key code and I couldn’t remember it at first.

I had all the right numbers, as it turns out, I had just not tried them in the correct sequence.

I eventually got in, but it was sort of funny punching in the numbers and wondering how this was going to look to my new therapist.

We did chat a little about me forgetting my phone, happens sometimes when I get moving too fast or I am trying to do too many things, I was folding laundry because I didn’t want to come home to a basket of it and I was a little rushed.

I even remember thinking, really, are you going to be late to therapy because you’re folding leggings and socks?

Get going!

And of course.

I got.

And I forgot.

It was not the end of the world, but I can tell as the weeks just begin to build, that I am scared of what may come up, of the stuff getting unpacked, the things crawling out into the light of day, the raggedy dolly being pulled out from underneath the bed, that the therapeutic alliance is being created and if I trust this woman.

WELL.

Shit might happen.

I was joking with a friend about emotions and naming them and he said, “yeah I know, when this thing happened (insert thing, I don’t remember) I felt like shit.”

I said to him, “shit is not a feeling.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” he said, “I felt like crap.”

We both laughed.

Thing is.

As much as I might be afraid to address the stuff, I do want to shine some light on it, find the wounding, clean it out, heal it and let myself experience more living, more experiences, more joy, more laughter.

I feel like there’s a lot of things that I don’t appreciate enough because I still have these super old defensive mechanisms that kick into place sometimes and I am not always aware of them.

I want to shed them.

I want new tools for my life and experiences.

I want to grow.

I don’t want to stay stuck.

It’s a challenge.

And I’m aware that I may throw a monkey wrench into the process, but I can also see quite well that I am the only thing in my way of moving forward.

So.

I had my session and I scootered back home.

I got my phone, 100% charged, ha.

I texted my friend who I was meeting for lunch and confirmed timing and headed right back out.

We hung out, shot the shit, talked about my trip to Paris.

God.

I could talk about my trip to Paris a lot.

In case you were wondering.

I leave a month from today on May 11th.

One month away.

Four weeks of work.

Three papers.

One weekend of classes.

So close.

I can taste the baguette.

Not that I will be eating any.

Perhaps I should say, smell the baguette.

There is just such a delicious smell to bread in France, the butter they use for the croissants, oof, the smell is heady and rich and so much more nuanced than what I smell from a croissant here.

A few places do get it right.

Tartine has a croissant worth writing about.

Again, not that I have tried any recently, but it is still something magical to ride past the store front on 18th and Guerrero and smell the bread and the pastry being made.

I always reminds me of the smell in Paris on the blocks where there is a good boulangerie.

Grateful again and again that I booked this trip.

I will be missing my darling and pregnant friend with whom I was supposed to be taking  the trip with, however, I know myself, I know my abilities, and I know that I will have a grand time.

I am not afraid to travel on my own, although company is nice, it is not necessary.

I shall create the company I crave.

And that really is all that matters.

Being aware of what my needs are, being able to access them, and take care of them.

Like today.

I just needed to chill out on my friends couch and talk.

Sometimes that is the best thing I can do.

Not do a whole hell of a lot.

Have a nice lunch, hang out, talk, connect with another human being, share adventures in life and make more plans to have more adventures.

I promised myself I was not going to have anything to do with school today or yesterday and that was accomplished.

Perhaps the most important thing was that.

We did leave my friend’s house and have adventures out in the world, running some errands in the SOMA, having coffee at Wicked Grounds, which always amuses, there are few choices for coffee in the SOMA and who doesn’t want to go to a sex positive coffee-house in the leather district in San Francisco?

Hello.

Their coffee is not the best, but when you don’t have a choice, it will work, and the crowd is always eclectic, and the scenery is fun to check out and it’s cheeky and cute.

We ended up giving up our table to a group that were coming in to run a rope bondage workshop.

I love San Francisco.

Then I headed back to the Castro, caught a quick bite and did the deal with my person.

It was a perfect.

Lovely.

Low key day off.

Hell.

I even snuck in a little self-care session when I got home.

Heh.

I am ready to go back to work tomorrow and I even have time to unwind with a video and some more hot tea before calling it a night.

Tomorrow the work and school grind is back on.

And that’s ok.

Because at the end of the tunnel.

Light.

The golden flares of brilliance off the edges of the Seine at sunset, the river smote with light, swans, and the Eiffel Tower in the distance, a dream, just there, smitten with the smell of baking bread, adrift in the dust motes of love scattered there on the waves.

Yes.

I see you Paris.

Please do wait for me.

I will be there soon.

Je t’aime Paris.

Trop bisoux pour toi.

Thanks

March 1, 2017

But no thanks.

I said it out loud.

I tossed the item that has been sitting in my closet for months now into the trash and I brushed off my hands.

Done.

And.

Done.

Yesterday evening I ran into a former lover.

I hadn’t seen him in months.

Someone I had some passion with, but also some one I had some issues with and eventually ended up saying, to myself and to others, enough is enough, this is not working for me.

I unfriended said person on Facecrack and I deleted his numbers in my phone and I blocked the numbers and then.

Well.

I let him go.

Which was good.

I had plenty of other things to distract me with and he wasn’t in a place and I wasn’t either.

As much as I might have tried to kid myself I had done too much personal work to know that it was going nowhere and I was just going to get more and more annoyed with myself if I continued to play into the situation.

I had to have help seeing that.

I normally do.

So when I found myself, last night when I got home, contemplating not telling the person that I do work with about having run into the lover, well, I knew my motives were no good.

“You’re only as sick as your secrets,” and “your secrets will take you out,” both rang in my head pretty much right away.

I picked up the phone.

I called my person.

I left a message.

I did some inventory and e-mailed it off.

I go at a resounding let’s meet tonight answer from my person this morning and a text from the old lover this morning.

Hahaha.

Ah.

For fucks sake.

The ex-lover was texting to offer me some help with my scooter.

But the thing is.

It didn’t feel like it was about my scooter.

Oh.

Maybe.

But.

REALLY.

When I looked at myself, when I wrote out what was going on in my brain, oh, my motives were no good, they were all a twitter and all gossipy and all what will it feel like to hop on the back of his cycle and go for a ride.

And stop it.

Oh no you don’t.

Lady pants.

Just because you want to rev your engines does not mean this is the man to rev them with.

In fact, you emphatically said you wouldn’t with him again.

So stop it.

And there was no emergency, no need to engage, no need to return the text, I could wait until after work, I could wait until I met my person at Church Street Cafe.

I could tell the tale, the hello’s and how you doing’s at the spot last night, I could talk about the offer to fix something that really has no need to get fixed (a cosmetic fix on my scooter from when it got hit) and I could talk about the titillation and I could be honest.

And.

Yes.

I took the suggestion to respond to the ex-lover with a “Hey, thank you, but I’ve got it taken care of.”

Or something to that effect.

I don’t think I was quite that verbose.

Then.

With a tiny bit of hand holding, even though I knew I would all along, I deleted the text, deleted the number and blocked the number on my phone.

Done and done.

I am ready to be dating and loving with someone and I am so in need of getting some kissing in, but I don’t need to be going backwards.

I deserve to be treated well.

And I have to start with myself on that, I knew this guy was not the one, but there was a bit of a dance and it was fun to be pursued and god damn he was handsome, but, there wasn’t enough there, not enough for my heart, not enough for my brain, and the sex was nice, but let me be honest, not that great.

Certainly not great enough to go stir the crazy pot again.

I am so grateful that I stopped before heading down the street with the big man-hole that I tend to fall into and I stopped to look, to ponder, and instead of going down the road alone, I called and talked to someone else, and said, I won’t go down the road until you can meet with me and we can talk about it and if I go down that road, I’ll have a hand to hold.

But.

You know.

That road has been closed for repairs.

Big old road block.

Dead end sign.

The bridge is out.

Take the other route, you’ll be better served.

When I saw my person walk in through the door at the cafe I knew, hell, I knew as soon as I left a voicemail last night, yup, I won’t be seeing the ex again and I won’t be accepting any help with my scooter.

I want that foot board fixed I can take it to the shop where I bought it.

When I got home this evening I fished the box with the part out of my closet and I threw it away.

I don’t need anything in my house that will tempt me to continue down that closed road.

There’s a brighter way through for me.

There’s a fun way, a happy way, a way in which I can honor who I am and that I get to be treated better than I was.

I deserve the best.

I am grateful that I can “act as if” and know that yeah, sure, it might have been fun for a minute or two with the ex, but ultimately it would have been fun with problems and eventually just problems.

I got to skip through all that.

And now I’m clear for take off.

Easy skies.

Bright blue.

Open to possibilities.

Not obsessed with a relationship that did not work for me or trying to figure out how to make it work for me now.

Nope.

Ready and available for the man who is ready and available for me.

No distractions.

Thanks.

But, really.

No, thanks.

 


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