Posts Tagged ‘vulnerability’

Speak To Me

November 12, 2017

Of the desire in my psyche.

As I try to move.

Closer to you.

Binding my heart.

Against the heart place in your body.

Interconnected.

Landed in heat.

Transcending my day to day human life.

You have given me access to energy.

Star energy.

Dream energy.

Love energy.

The chemistry of love ignites within me–

Binding me with bright prisms of light.

Blinding me to all else.

But.

Your souls depth calling me home.

Descending me into vulnerability.

And.

Embuing my life with purpose.

Through the feeling of love for you.

Sublime you.

My kissling.

My burnished butterfly wing.

My sacred crow calls and whisperings.

Leveling me with your divinity.

Archetype of my heart.

Reflected in your heart.

Transcending my needs.

And.

Glorifying me.

Connecting me to this blue

Incantation of you.

You.

My tether point.

 

 

Bless you my darling.

May the angels of dawn.

Kiss you.

While.

You lay dreaming.

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Sleeping In!

June 28, 2017

An extra fifteen minutes.

Woot.

It’s a party.

Heh.

My boss will be dropping off one of my charges at a summer camp and not back to the house until fifteen minutes after I would normally be starting, so she said, come in fifteen minutes late.

I’ll take it.

I will take any little squeak of time I can get.

I talked about time a lot with my therapist.

How it is a commodity.

How I have often felt that I don’t have enough of it.

(Love)

(Time)

(Money)

All the scarcity that I have dealt with in my life, how embracing abundance can be challenging and sometimes when I have it I want to spend it all, frivolous and mad, just to have it gone again so I can go back to a place of comfortable discomfort.

That didn’t come up so much, but I can see that pattern there in the background looming and lurking there.

I see you, I say to it, it’s ok, it’s going to be alright, you can buy those shoes.

You can book that trip.

You can have a nice cup of coffee.

You can do for you.

Heck.

You can do for others.

The gift of being able to give my friend baby gifts and food, that felt so wonderful, I love gifting things.

The gift of giving my writing, that can be so astounding for me to share.

So vulnerable.

What I was talking to my therapist about was this thing that happens with me in my group supervision and has happened for me on occasion, ok, more than on occasion, in school, is a distaste for people who waste time, who dilly dally, who are not clear, who can’t make discerning conclusions, who have to be led, who haven’t done the work, who are sloppy.

Messy.

Not put together, and not in the way that sounds, I mean, not concise with their language, thoughts, ideas.

Don’t waste my fucking time.

I don’t have enough of it and you’re not getting to the fucking point fast enough.

GET TO THE MOTHERFUCKING POINT.

BITCHES.

I mean.

Please.

My therapist points out, “sounds like judgement.”

Ugh.

Yes.

I know it’s judgement.

But what she then did was spin it so eloquently, so aptly, so delicate and with such a tactful manner that I got it, I got to work right through it and see that when I am in judgement I am defending some part of myself that I am not happy about.

I don’t want to be messy.

I don’t want to be disorganized.

I don’t want to be scattered.

And I never really am.

I am so super on top of shit it’s a little intense.

I do my work.

I do my work.

I do my work.

And then some.

And it can be a control thing, duh.

So much control, so much safety, comfort in the bound parts of me, comfort in the restricting.

I’ve never been messy about my trauma.

Or traumas.

Or the traumatic things in my life.

There’s a list, look them up elsewhere in my blog, this is not about the list, this is about the fact that it was never ok to be messy and upset about it.

Soldier the fuck on.

Chin up kid.

Clear your fucking plate.

Eat your food.

Don’t cry.

And God forbid don’t act like anything is anything but normal.

Normal.

What the fuck is that?

So.

I squashed it down.

I squashed all the messy and teary and hurt and angry and vengeful parts of me down.

I stuffed it down.

I ate too much food.

I escaped into fantasy.

I escaped into taking care of others.

So much easier to focus on another person’s problems rather than my own.

I smoked it down.

I snorted it down.

I drank it down.

And as I was expressing to my therapist, I realize I really just don’t let myself get messy, vulnerable, or dirty.

Except.

Well.

I do.

In one area.

And we talked about that and I cried a bit and I laughed a lot and I outlined the messy and then I outlined the happy and the love and the feelings and the experiences and it was really good to share.

And she reflected back to me and showed me how brave it was to not eat, drink, smoke, or do lines of cocaine to deal with all that hurt and that I have been doing the work and it really does show and that it’s obvious that things are changing in my life because I am being more vulnerable, less guarded, I’m letting things in.

I’m in my voice.

I haven’t lost it.

I am asking for what I want and saying what is in my heart and it’s glorious.

I am seen.

And it feels just fucking smashing.

So.

Um.

Yeah.

I had a good session today.

And then off to work, busy day, full day, lots of juggling baby and siblings and cooking and laundry and lots of sweet snuggles with the oldest boy who read a book with me about stars.

“Are we really made from stars?” He asked me.

“Yes,” I told him, and kissed the top of his head, “you are a multitude of stars, you shine.”

I am always beholden to those that shine.

I feel like I am shining now.

Bright and strong and fierce.

It’s a wonderful place to be.

In my strength.

And.

In my vulnerability.

From where all my strength stems.

When I let it.

When I am not judging.

When I am ok with being.

Well.

Um.

Messy.

 

Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

And School Starts

August 7, 2016

Now.

Go!

Fuck.

I can’t believe I am heading off to my eight day school retreat for my second year of my grad program tomorrow.

Holy shit.

I’m a second year student.

How the hell did that happen so fast?

I’m packed and ready for it.

Although not quite as prepared as I would like to be.

One of my texts still hasn’t shown up.

There is really nothing I can do about it, surrender to the imperfect start and let myself off the hook.  At least the book is on order.  A classmate of mine admitted that she hadn’t ordered it yet, another classmate of mine said, yup, I got it, but I haven’t cracked it yet.

So I’m not alone.

Not that I ever am, but I can pull myself down pretty quick if I think I’m not doing it right or perfect, whatever the fuck that looks like, and ruin a day with my grievous mind.

I broke down a lot today.

It was not a perfect looking day.

But I got through it despite stupid thoughts, overwhelming feelings, and lots of tears.

I mean loads.

I have no idea why.

General anxiety.

Trying to figure it out.

Figure it out is not a slogan and is certainly not a solution.

My best ideas usually end up in trouble, to tell you the truth.

To tell myself the truth.

Once in a while I do have some good judgement, a little modicum of calm, a notion to do something, to go opposite my critical head and reach for some solution, some outside myself answer.

I got up and went to yoga.

I did not want to.

I mean.

Really not want to, my least favorite teacher was subbing for my favorite teacher and he’s a tough cookie, he does some really hard core yoga, I have only taken his class one other time and it left me flustered, in tears, and frustrated.

Which is exactly where I got today.

In tears on the mat, trying to do what seem to be super easy poses, but just wrecked trying to get into them or hold them or move gracefully.

Everything felt old and cranky and crunchy.

Seriously.

The noises my knees make are sometimes ghastly.

I was miserable and when I have a hard time, I try harder, I cry more, I shout in my head, I fall over, I say fuck.

“Oh no, someone said fuck in the yoga studio,” my instructor laughed, “fuck that”

The class chuckled.

I’m glad to be here for comic relief.

After ward he chatted with me and I told him the truth.

“I hate your class,” I said, point blank, “it is by far the hardest class and I don’t know what I’m doing and I feel everything so much harder, it’s just impossible.”

“You hate my class,” he said, “really?”

“I just hate that I can’t seem to do any of it, it’s the hardest class of all the classes I have had and I just feel wrecked and always in pain and always on the verge of falling over.”

Fuck.

I’m in tears reliving it.

I was so whacked out.

But I realized in the doing that I hadn’t had a thought for pretty much the entire 75 minutes that was anxious or living in the future or dwelling anywhere than in the specific pose I was trying so hard to hit.

Nada.

Quiet head.

I know enough to be grateful for that.

A beautiful respite from me, my own worse enemy, I mean really, I wouldn’t even call myself a “frenemy” at this point, I am just plain mean to myself.

It’s all perfectionism and it’s about getting greater humility and letting go of the idea that what you think of me is important, or for that matter, any of my fucking business.

I mean.

I hope you like me, tilts head, smiles coyly.

NOPE.

Not my business how you feel about me, think about me, or on the other hand, it’s not even my business how I think about myself either.

It’s a lie.

I am good enough, sweet enough, kind enough, I am smart enough, I show up, I try.

“I have that voice too,” my teacher told me today, looking right in my eyes, “I am a perfectionist too and you have no idea how far you have come in such a short time and how much further you’re going to be able to take this.”

“You’re beating yourself up, you try harder than anyone we’ve seen at the studio in recent time, you’re doing great, you really are.”

He told me some stories and shared some experiences and I was humbled.

That’s some perspective.

And a good change for me to hear and take in and also almost, but not quite, sign up for his class tomorrow.

Except.

I have to go to school.

“You get to go to school,” my person reminded me as I was crying over my utter lack of control over my life, total and completely powerless.

“You get to go to school, you get to be of service, you get to go to grad school, this is amazing!” She said, bright and shiny and full of humor about my tears and how good it was to see me letting go of perfectionism and just showing up and being vulnerable.

This is amazing.

I am in graduate school.

I am getting my Masters in Psychology.

I get to be a student.

I get to get out of the city for a little while too.

The fog and the cold have been pretty overwhelming and the the grey and the no sun a little wearing.

I’ll be in Petaluma tomorrow by 3p.m. and that’s not in the fog belt at all.

I packed summer clothes in my suitcase.

I get to see some wonderful friends from my cohort and I get to eat really nice food and be outside in the sun.

And.

I packed my yoga mat and my yoga clothes and I’m going to keep practicing.

I’ll be showing up to the mat if not the studio.

I have come to realize that this practice is important for me to cultivate.

Being in my body is important.

I am too much in my head.

It’s a dangerous neighborhood and I go there to frequently.

Ready to head out of that dark alley and into the sunlight of the spirit.

Or.

At least of Petaluma.

Ha.

I’ll be out of town for eight days, but not out of touch.

Call.

Text.

Send me a smoke signal.

I’ll respond in kind.

In between classes.

And reading.

And homework.

Oh.

And yoga.

Because.

Yoga.

 

 

Rejection Is God’s Protection

March 23, 2016

Maybe it’s the full moon.

Who knows.

But the date I was supposed to go on cancelled very last minute and it put an odd taste in my mouth.

Tinder fail number four.

Le sigh.

Full transparency.

I don’t need to be on Tinder.

I’m doing pretty good on my own.

In fact.

I turned off the app again.

My person was right.

There is nothing wrong with the app, but I also know when something doesn’t work for me and this is not working.  It was fun.  It was titillating.  It was and appears to really just to be about fantasy.

And.

Well.

This lady has had enough of fantasy.

I like the real deal.

The smash me into the man deal, the full on kiss, the I want you, you’re sexy.

I can have that.

I am aware of my needs and the TInder and the OkStupid, again, I come back to this again, haven’t cut the mustard with me.

It’s fun.

To a point.

Then it seems.

I don’t know futile.

I was actually a little relieved when he cancelled.

I have had plenty on my plate this week and I’m finally feeling like my cold is passing.

A little lingering cough in the morning.

I figure one more day of sleeping in and I will have the little fucker kicked to the curb.

I’m planning on hitting the yoga studio on Thursday and get back into the flow of that again.

I have missed it.

The being in my body, the stretching, the achey muscles.

Yeah.

Ha.

I’m ready for sore muscles.

Too funny.

Full moon.

Spotting this morning.

Ovulated yesterday.

But not the full on roaring hormonal monster that had me in its clutches last month.

Just a normal cycle.

The moon though.

Have you seen it?

Magic in the sky.

I imagine it descending over the ocean and how it will paint the sand dunes white and silver with its light.

Splendid and alive in the sky.

Or perhaps just in my imagination.

A luminous pearl in the velvet sky.

Yes.

I can feel that I am doing better.

My head feels clear.

My heart feels clear.

A touch sad now and again.

But I have that love of richness, that emotion, deep and true and yes occasionally indigo blue jean blue, but so sweet and tender and alive, that I don’t mind.

I have had so many feelings, tender and vulnerable, strong and flexible.

I do feel that I’m coming out of something.

A little darkness and mourning.

And by perfecting my heart truly/I got lost in the sounds.

The opening of the crocus pushing it’s way through the soil, dark, and at first impenetrable, then, the flower bud plunges up and out and unfurls and yes.

I am like that flower.

Fresh as a daisy.

Silly and sunny.

Sexy.

Back to myself.

Out of the dark.

Into the blue.

The sky blue.

The light of day.

It don’t hurt that the rain stopped falling.

A break in the rain.

A reprieve from the storm.

The orchid on my night stand table has bloomed again.

Five times now since I have been here, I bought it the first week I moved into the studio.

Not bad.

It always seems to bloom at an opportune time for me to self-reflect, to see the purity that comes from the gnarled and twisted roots and the glory that faces into the sun and blossoms there from the ungainly and the knots of green.

I remember to not force the blooms.

To not rip open the petals because I want the full beauty.

There is beauty in every stage of the development.

Just like there is with me, with dating, with romance, with love and loving myself and learning what works and what doesn’t.

And not judging myself when I don’t bloom out as fully as I expected.

Sometimes the flowers on the orchid are six, seven, eight blooms.

This time around there were only two.

Yet.

The simple divine flowers floating in the air are such tender white magical things that I cannot imagine that there needs to be anything more.

I don’t need anything more.

Look at all I have.

My simple life.

My sweet space down by the sea.

My dear friends.

My good job.

My school.

I get to live this life, I get to revel in it.

I get to roll around in it and not take it so seriously and lighten up and go out and put myself out on a limb and take chances and change.

Open the door and meet the welcome face there.

Be swept up into the moment and taken along for the duration of the song, carried away, caught for a moment in the in between moment.

The twixt and the tween and see that here too, is still another way to go.

A softening and letting go.

A sweetness and surrender.

Everything must come and go.

Yes.

That too.

So seize the moment, let the life in front of you be joyous, full, and alive.

Being awake is sometimes a tender place to be, but I’m no good checked out, and I’m not good when I am in fantasy.

I am good here.

In this reality.

With all my vulnerabilities and mistakes and terrors.

The fear it fades.

The sun it warms me as I walk towards it.

And the flowers bloom on their own with out me forcing them to open before their time.

There is no there there.

I am the party.

I am the girl.

No.

I am the woman.

And this is my life.

I’m going to keep having fun and dancing in the hallways and crying on the yoga mat.

I’m going to keep showing up.

Going where I must.

And letting go of thinking I know where it should go.

It’s all the same road anyhow.

Even if I often choose the one less taken.

I bet they all end in the same place.

I don’t need to know my destination.

I just know that I’m on the right path.

Free.

Silly.

Joyous.

Heart on my sleeve.

Happy.

 

I’m Done!

February 1, 2016

I finished all the reading for my next weekend of classes.

One weekend ahead of time.

I am absurdly pleased.

I just closed my Ethics and Family Law textbook and shelved it along with everything else that I read this weekend.

I do have a proposal that I did not get to, but whatever.

I have all week to do it and it’s a proposal, not a formal paper.

I have had some time to think about what I want to accomplish with it and I do believe I am going to do the meditative coloring.

I also thought about doing a guided meditation, I haven’t done a lot of sitting meditation, enough to know I can comfortably sit for fifteen minutes without bother.

I remember the first time I sat for three minutes.

I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin.

I thought I might leap out of my chair or rip my own hair out.

I was that uncomfortable sitting still in my body, in my own space, with my own thoughts to occupy me.

I thought my brain might actually eat me alive.

I have come a long way baby.

I can sit for up to an hour and have done so on a few occasions.

I have had years where I did a sitting meditation, in addition to my writing meditation, but I have to be upfront about that, it wasn’t more than a ten minute sit, often times just five minutes and I did it because the person I was working with insisted I do it as a requirement to work with her.

I wasn’t opposed.

I am not now.

But.

I think the coloring is a nice way to go about it.

I tried some last night to get the hang of it and it was nice.

I actually got some freedom from the rapidity of my brain and it was nice to get lost in between the lines and let go and play with color and just enjoy doing something that didn’t require me to think.

I plan on being up front with my professor and outlining what I currently do.

I thought, briefly about with holding some aspects of my spiritual practice so that I could “implement” it back in and go from there.

Some might call this efficient.

However, it felt a little like cheating for me and I couldn’t quite square the principle of honesty behind that action.

I prefer to be honest with my professor, to even go so far as to say that I have had resentments and needed to work them out, that, already, is spiritual progress for me.

I recognized that it was with myself that lay the problem, not with my professor, he’s not doing it wrong, he’s just not doing it the way I think, or better, thought, it should be done.

Anyway.

That’s all I have to do.

Write and send a one page proposal, outlining what I am going to do to deepen my spiritual practice.

Due by this Friday.

I’ll probably ruminate on it a little bit more then type something up before work tomorrow.

Just to have it out of the way.

I don’t have to start the actual practice of it until February 12th.

Which is also when my first paper is due.

I plan on working on that next weekend.  I will probably review the readings for the class, it was dense, really dense and not well written.  If the author used “implicit” one more time in a chapter to give gravitas to what he was writing I was going to look him up and suggest some creative writing workshops for him to expand his vocabulary.

It really is a pleasant feeling, though, to have all the reading done.

I also got to see my girl friend from my cohort.

She rode her bicycle out and I was grateful to get to show her my home space and we went for coffee and toast at Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club and then down for a walk on the beach.

It was deliriously windy out and the beach was fairly deserted.

It was like being sandblasted.

We did not stay long, but she got a taste of the glory of the beach and vowed to come back soon, although by a better bicycle route than the one Google Maps gave her.

Oof.

Any other city it probably makes sense, but in San Francisco, negotiating the hillier parts of the city, there really is a way to get from here to there and it does not involve riding the coastline.

When she told me her route I got sympathetic leg pain just thinking about it.

I have done some similar things when I was newly on my bicycle and found out the hard way how to navigate around the hillier districts.

The SFBC (San Francisco Bicycle Coalition) map is probably the best one to use for navigation, as it shows grades of streets on hills.

One block over can really make a huge difference.

Going up Polk to the Marina is a lot easier than going up Van Ness.

And probably much safer too.

I digress.

We had a great time.

No homework was really accomplished, although we did go over a couple of things on the syllabus for the next weekend and talked about the school, the program, and of course, our other classmates.

But mostly.

About ourselves.

It was sweet and I feel a strong connection and bond to her.

Partially because she really does see me and also sees me in a way, that although I don’t find flattering and sometimes I get upset with myself, I do have a vast amount of acceptance about, that being that I am in desperate need to control my environment.

“It’s a safety thing for you,” she said in her sweet, lilting, French accent, “I totally get it, and I see how often you do it, with everything in your environment.”

I have had lovers mess up the pillows on my bed to make me squirm or a friend purposely mess up a section of literature I have just set out on a table.

I have seen it, consciously, more and more as I accept myself more and more and learn, not always gracefully, to let go of the reigns and have new experiences.

I really do want them and I recognize, I must recognize, how brave I am.

I didn’t fold up, I didn’t collapse, I kept trying.

Sometimes doing things that I didn’t know better, stratagems that I learned growing up, self-defense mechanisms that worked really well at the time and then stopped, even though I continued to employ them.

I see things with a lot more clarity.

The writing daily has helped, the praying, the spiritual practices I employ.

My recovery.

Oh, all the wonderful things I get to do in the act of getting back to that place where I am allowed to be vulnerable, soft, sweet, and not in control.

Tender.

I opened the door.

I let in my friend.

I experienced intimacy.

And I got my reading done for school.

Winning.

Faith Is The Wheelbarrow

January 31, 2016

That carries hope across the high wire.

This is how I see it, I explained to her over coffee at Tart to Tart.

It was good to see her, it’s been a few weeks.

Plenty of check ins, but no face to face meetings and it was nice to be held accountable, to show up, to be an adult.

I’m adult’ing all over the place.

Who’s done with her reading?

Me.

That’s who.

Well, almost done.

I still have my Ethics and Family Law class to finish, but in the last week, culminating in today, I have read ALL of my readings for my next set of classes for Psychodynamics, Multi-Cultural Counseling and the Family, and The Clinical Relationship.

I just finished a little while ago and to celebrate turned on some music–I can’t read with music in the background, even pleasure reading (unless I’m in a cafe, then somehow I am able to drown out the noise, and interestingly, I am doing it right now, I like to listen to music when I am blogging–never when I writing my morning pages, but almost always when I do my blog.  The brain is a fascinating thing.) becomes too much with music playing.

I also opened up my Fantastic Cities coloring book that a dear friend and ladybug gave me a few weeks ago.

I did some coloring and it felt good; I’m exploring it as a meditative spiritual practice.

Some preparation for my Applied Spirituality class proposal.

The proposal is due the 5th of this upcoming month.

Which sounds like all the time in the world, but is actually next Friday and since the weekends is when I do my writing for school (weekdays I read before work, which is how i am done with the majority of my reading, a consistent effort to read a half hour to an hour before work every day, plus the morning pages and my morning routine, you could say I have a job to do before I do my job.) I want to have it done tomorrow.

The proposal is something I can work on when I meet up to study with my friend.

I am excited to see her and also give a little tour of the neighborhood, despite living in San Francisco for a little bit now, she has not see the Outer Sunset.

We’re going to meet up after lunch.

I figure she’s got to have a tour of the house, it feels vulnerable and scary and wonderful all at the same time to show someone my home.

I feel it’s quite a reflection of myself and a look into my secret, well, not so secret, I do so often wear it on my sleeve, heart.

It’s the epicenter of my personality that’s for sure.

My room always has been.

My sister told me once that she used to sneak into my room when we were in high school and she would lay on my bed and look at my stuff.

I wonder what she saw.

I feel like my home is warm and inviting, like me, and sweet, like me.

Ha.

I know how that sounds.

But that is what my person called me today.

Sweet and warm.

I don’t believe I have ever heard her use those words to describe me and I felt tears pooling in my eyes when she said it.

I had just finished reading her my list of what God is.

(EVERYTHING)

Here is the list, with a few things edited for the sake of anonymity, that divine spiritual principal that is at the center of everything I am and do:

-Love

-Light, sunshine, warmth

-Apples

-Restful sleep

-The Ocean

-The smell of jasmine at night

-Daisies

-Summer time, sundresses, wearing my hair down long

-Poetry

-Burning Man

-Shadrach

-Being held, holding someone’s hand

-Plum trees blooming in spring

-Art, museums, getting art high

-Paris, travel, gardens, cafes

-Recovery, service

-Coffee, friends, tea, tattoos

-Having curly hair, beauty

-Fun, pinball, coloring

-Self-care, hot showers, walks on the beach

-Kissing, romantic love, good sex

-The smell of sweat

-Salt on my food

-My scooter, my bicycle

-Perspective

-Stickers, collage, art magazines

-Photography

-Blue skies

-Surrender, letting go, forgiveness

-School, reading, flexibility

-Serendipity, getting out of the way, being taken care of

-Family, school friends, children I have nannied

-Bunny rabbits

-Writing, blogging, morning pages

-Music and dancing

-More and more and more love

-Good pens and Claire Fontaine notebooks

It was a good list to make and reminds me of others I have done.

“What a sweet, warm, beautiful list, there are so many women I work with who wouldn’t be able to see what you see, how freeing it is, there’s that too, that sense of freedom, joy, you have it,” she leaned toward me, “the feel of paper under your hand, is that what you said?”

Yes, it is indeed what I said and she knew the notebooks I was talking about and how I wish I had gotten a couple more while I was in Paris.

“They sell them at Flax!” She exclaimed.

They do, although not the same kind that I like, they also have an online shop and that may be where I indulge myself a little when I get my tax return.

But, I digress.

Warm and sweet.

I’m now describing my tea.

Haha.

Perhaps that is why, I’m full of hot tea, spicy, sweet tea.

Or.

Maybe, I’ve just kept showing up and doing the work and letting myself be seen more and more, even when I resist, even when I thought, but did not act, about canceling on my school friend.  Instead, I shared my crazy and told my person.

“Oh, she said that to you?” My person said, “well, she sees you–the real you, that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Yup.

As desperately as I want to be seen, and believe me, I do, I do, I do.

I also get scared by the thought of intimacy, of being seen into, of being vulnerable, I don’t want to be hurt.

But if I sequester myself I won’t get to continue to enjoy the benefits that being open hearted and vulnerable have brought me.

And I like those benefits.

They are so good.

Freedom from the bondage of self being just one of many.

So tomorrow.

I show up, which should not really be all that hard since my friend is coming to me, and I show myself for who I am and I let another person in.

I am grateful for this ever widening circle of friends.

Love.

And.

Life.

It is all so damn good.

I mean.

Really.

REALLY.

Good.

Way Past My Bed Time

August 15, 2015

I am so busted.

Up late on a school night.

But.

I had to do it.

There was a social event, a sort of talent show that the students put on and I was persuaded to do a piece and then I was persuaded to stay and hear a piece and the next thing I know it’s 11:30 a.m.

Fuck.

I have to be in bed in a half hour, I need to wash up, brush my teeth, contact a few folks.

And.

Oops.

Write my blog.

I don’t know that I am going to write a very long one, just a heads up, it’s been an extraordinary day, however, I have a lot of work still in front of me–two more days of classes and 9 hours tomorrow of T-Group.

Which is intensive group therapy training.

Eleven of us in a circle confronting each other and learning how to do transference and stay in the emotional middle of the boat and not get overwhelmed and also provide a mirror to the other students, to see, hear, and feel what is happening.

Suffice to say what is said in T-Group stays in T-Group.

Except that I am allowed to talk about my experience as long as I name no names and don’t talk about anything specific in relation to another member.

I have had plenty.

And I do mean.

Plenty.

Of working in  groups and listening and sharing experiences.

However.

I have never experienced people saying stuff back to me, confronting me, then sitting still and working through the conflict.

I had a lot of fight or flight come up.

And yes.

I did cry.

I just oozed tears all day long today.

I suspect I will again tomorrow.

Oh.

And I did it.

I asked for what I want.

I asked my employers to give me off August 27th and 28th so that I can go to Burning Man and do the early arrival thing with my people whom I am helping out.

I wrote a lot about it this morning, I read some things, I asked some stuff, I did that thing I do, I kneeled down, heck, I even asked for a sign.

And.

Yes.

I did get one.

Damn.

It was so obvious it was like I was being directly spoken to.

I opened up my morning reader, or at least one of them and the suggestion to do something uncomfortable just for the sake of practicing doing something uncomfortable was the topic.

Well.

Fuck me.

Ugh.

And yes!

And.

Ugh.

I figured I didn’t have to do anything right away and I also really wanted to have breakfast before contemplating asking for time off on short notice, though, it’s not too short, it’s close to two weeks in advance, and how I was going to ask for it.

I made the decision though to ask.

You know what they say about willingness without action, though, right?

Fantasy.

I forgot about it by the end of the day and was dropping off books and notebooks and grabbing other notebooks and going to the next thing when I realized, as I booted up my computer.

Oh.

I have not taken that action.

All the bravado of I’m going to ask for what I want had not gone completely out the window, but it was a challenge to gather up my momentum after such a full, overwhelming–but I did not die from my feelings, though I thought I might at one moment–and intense day of school work and therapeutic learning.

I sighed.

Am I going to do this or not?

I am.

I can ask.

They can say no.

So.

I sent out an e-mail and I asked off for the 27th and 28th.

It felt good to ask for what I want, this psychology stuff must be rubbing off.

Scary too.

But I am letting go of the results.

Fact is.

I’m going to Burning Man no matter what.

I have the 28th through the Labor Day weekend off from work and I am going.  I have a ticket, I have the early arrival pass.

I may have to negotiate a different ride if my the folks I am going with decided to hit the road before the 28th and that’s ok.

A ride will coalesce.

It always does.

In the mean time.

I am going to cut this brief.

I need to hop, skip, and jump to bed.

I am exhausted and I still have two full days of school to go.

Get thee to bed ladybug.

You got T-Group bright and early.

See you in class!

There’s Carmen!

July 17, 2015

“I just wanted to let you know that’s been me hollering at you on the way to work,” she said with a laugh and patted me on the arm.

“I see you all the time and you wave, but I don’t think you know who is yelling at you,” her eyes twinkled and I laughed.

“That was you!”  I smiled, “I was wondering who’s been giving me the hello’s.”

It’s nice to be seen.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently.

Allowing myself to be seen.

“You have to know that whatever happens, you meet the love of your life at Burning Man,” I pushed my friend’s shoulder, “no, I mean it, that whatever happens, this is important.”

And it is.

And there was a lot more said, but I am not comfortable relaying all that here.

Suffice to say.

I am being seen.

And as for meeting the love of my life at Burning Man.

I already did.

It’s me.

I stopped Calling in the One when I realized that I was the Beloved and that I was the love of my life and no one will love me as hard or as well as I love me.

That being said, it’s a constant practice, a constant, not struggle, it’s not a struggle any more, it used to be; rather a concerted and continuous work of being kind to myself, taking care of myself, loving myself.

Letting myself express myself and be who I am.

I am many things and as I learn to be continually open to vulnerability and emotional connection in the very real and the very present time, I get to see how deep the damage has been in my life.

And.

How far I have come.

I mean.

Really.

I have made amazing strides in my life and to not acknowledge that is a kind of affront to the work I have put in.

It is not all work though.

I must have some fun in the mix.

For instance.

I had two unexpected cancellations for this Saturday.

I have to get some fun in my Saturday.

I do still have plans, I’m helping a friend with some stuff, but I have extra time on my hands to find a little fun for me.

Whatever that looks like.

Some fellowship, some cards, some pinball, a museum jaunt.

I would love to see the Turner exhibit at the DeYoung.

I keep hearing great things about it and I have not been to the DeYoung in a while.

I do have things I need to attend to, book gathering, loan deferment paperwork, cooking, et al, the stuff and routine of life.

A mani and pedi.

The small pleasures that I allow myself to have are important to the quality of my life.

Framing the Marilyn print from the MOCA and hanging the Diebenkorn up in my room.

I am negotiating a ride out to Cheap Pete’s in the Inner Richmond to get that together.

I’m navigating other rides too.

It does indeed look like I will get to have a little more summer vacation before the work, the study, the balancing act of what my life is going to look like come school start, begins.

I am currently in the planning stages of going to the Grand Canyon.

I have never been and I am over the moon excited.

My friend and I would leave on a Tuesday, July 28th and head to the North Rim and a secret special spot for camping that a friend of his knows about that is not heavily touristed.

There has been talk of Monumental Valley and Bryce Canyon as well.

To tell you the truth.

I know nothing.

I really have no conception of what is out there and what it looks like and what I exactly want to see.

Except.

I want a road trip.

I love the open road, I love seeing new things, I love the vista from the car seat, I love watching the sky scroll by, I love singing along to songs on the radio, I love putting my feet, bare feet, up on the console of the car and scrunching up in my seat and being just simply free, happy and content, and I love telling stories on the road.

There is just something so soothing and satisfying about it.

Plus camping?

Please.

Bring it on.

Campfires underneath the stars, country, out of the city for a while, back roads, which I suppose we won’t actually do if we are going to get in what my friend has suggested, there’s also been talk of Death Valley and maybe squeaking in the top part of Yosemite, not going into the valley itself but driving along Tioga Road.

Again.

No clue.

No conception.

I suppose I could google some images, but open road, is well, open road.

And I love me a road trip.

Plus, more time with my friend before the onslaught of school.

More being seen.

More being myself.

More allowing abundance and joy and fun and flexibility into my life.

“Joy of living is my principle today,” I said into the phone and smiled at the imprint of flower blossoms, pink and fat and truculent against the sky blue sky.

It might have been because I got a ride to work and that’s a treat.

It could have been that the weather was kind and sunny and inviting and I do so much better in the sun than out of the sun.

It could be that tomorrow is Friday.

Whatever it was I was going to enjoy it, to keep enjoying it and be as present as possible every inch of the way.

Even when it was hard.

“Hit Carmen! Hit Carmen!” The oldest brother instigated his brother in a game of, well, I can’t tell you what the game was, it was high energy though, and when I went to pick up the three-year old for our outing to the park I got hit, hard, in the face, brought to tears, this kid does not know his own strength.

“You,” I said to the five-year old, “to your room, five minutes, no talking.”

I pointed to the door and he fled.

I picked up the three-year old I had abruptly set down on the bed.

I looked at him.

He looked at me.

We saw each other.

His eyes got wide and teary.

“Please, please, please, don’t hit me,” I said to him.

Then I paused.

I could see he was about to get pretty upset and I wanted to be stern, but not too stern.

I wanted him to see me, to know that I was hurt.

I also knew that he would probably forget, as he did in about five minutes, and I would get smacked again (he’s in a phase, but I think it’s passing), but for the moment, in the moment we connected.

He saw me.

“I’m sorry Carmen, what can I do to make it better?”

Oh.

Out of the mouths of babes.

“I could use a hug, sweet pie.”

He gave me a hug and burrowed into my arms, then off we went on our adventure.

The grandparents accompanied us to the park for one last outing before they left on the plane today.

There was much digging of sand and pouring of buckets and shovels flying and dump trucks dumping and when that became mundane, there was grandma to push the swing.

And.

One sweet five-year old boy.

“Carmen,” he said plopping down next to me on the cement wall, “I just want to sit next to you and eat grapes.”

He leaned into me.

“I love you too much.”

Oh.

My heart.

Little pie.

I love you too.

I love hard.

I live hard.

I try hard not to be seen.

Yet.

There I am.

Being seen and allowing myself the freedom to be exactly who I am in the exact moment of whatever is happening.

It is an amazing gift.

Astounding.

This love.

Bright.

Sweet.

Tender.

All encompassing.

All the love.

All the things.

Weird Wednesday

July 9, 2015

Like so weird.

I don’t know exactly where to start and I feel a bit off kilter.

Sad.

Annoyed.

Excited.

Anxious.

Happy.

So many feels.

Dude.

Ugh.

Starting in no particular order.

Blew a flat tire on Oak just as I finished navigating the Wiggle.

I had the oddest feeling that something was up with my bicycle too, and for a moment I thought, is it at all possible that she popped my tire.

I mean, it was the weirdest feeling, like someone had sabotaged my tire.

I know I sound paranoid, but I had just had a disconcerting run in with someone at a cafe and it was so odd how the entire interaction went that I wondered if she had.

But no.

That’s nuts.

No matter how uncomfortable I was, no one purposely popped my tire.

Every other Wednesday after work I meet my person, one of my people–it takes a village–at The Church Street Cafe before heading out to my usual Wednesday night thing.

I pulled up right on time to see a prime spot to park my bicycle and I headed inside to grab a cup of tea and see if he was there.

Nope.

But someone else was.

Someone who I wouldn’t have even noticed except that she waved at me.

I didn’t recognize her at first, except to recognize that it was someone I knew from around the way.

Oh.

Then I did see who it was.

My ex boyfriend’s friend.

“Hey you!” She said exuberantly, “it’s been a long time!”

I smiled, “it has, months.”

I was half way to the counter to order my tea, “nice to see you,” and I turned to place my order, but I was hijacked back into the conversation.

“OH!  Just so you know, I’m meeting ____________ here,” she said emphatically.

I stared at her in question, “um, ok,” I said with a half-smile, “that’s not really any of my business, but thanks.”

I turned.

“Well, I’d want to know,” she said to me, “if it was me, I’d want to know.”

I looked back at her as I headed to the counter, “that’s about you, not me.”

Then I ordered my tea.

Great.

My ex is on his way here.

What are the fucking odds?

Then I thought, who cares?

It’s well past, it’s well over and I’m meeting my person and it’s a public place.

The weird thing was the person who was relaying all the non-essential, none of my business information was someone my ex had told me he was no longer in contact with.

What the hell are they doing hanging out?

My brain wanted to go on an expedition.

NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I reminded myself.

After which the thought came, where is my person?

Oh.

A voice mail, he was running late, but soon to arrive.

I got settled at an outside table.

There was nowhere else to sit and I figured, might as well get it over with, and be right out front and be seen.  I don’t need to hide, even if it was only last week that I got a horrendous load of text messages from my ex in regards to my apparent exorcism of him from my life.

Not my timing.

Not my schedule.

Then again, nothing is on my schedule.

Never has been.

Besides, I figured his friend was busy texting him to let him know I was a clear and present danger.

Ugh.

And right at that moment.

A dear girl friend I had not see in months walks down the street.

She joyfully greets me, I say nothing of the weirdness happening and focus on connecting with her and being present for her and her accomplishments, a new relationship, the news she can go to Burning Man, and her congratulations on my acceptance and scholarships to graduate school.

“Girl, you are just glowing, you are so beautiful, look at life just opening up for you,” she hugged me.

Well.

That was nice.

And it gloriously helped to pass the time until either my person was going to show up or the ex boyfriend was.

My person showed up first, so handsome, strolling down the street in pressed linen shorts and a gingham pink checked shirt with a cashmere sweater draped over his shoulders.

God.

I love my person.

I got a huge hug, my girlfriend got a hug, we had us a little love fest in front of the cafe.

My girlfriend left so we could get to doing the deal and just as my person was settling down in front of me, guess who decided to interject into our conversation?

Mmmhhmmm.

You don’t know this since you read my blog of a piece, but suffice to say, I just paused there, searching for the right word, a word that is not unkind, but perhaps indicative of the actions of the person and no, I can’t find a nice way to put it.

She interrupted us at the table mid conversation, not to say anything to me, but to talk to my person.

My person said hello, then turned to me and raised his eyebrow as she turned away from the table.

She ignored me, she stepped to the curb.

A silver car screeched around the corner and she sprinted across the street, hopped into the car and then it peeled out.

Screech.

Pause.

Big pause.

In the writing, I usually don’t stop, but I did there for a moment.

And.

Now.

Shifting gears.

Point of view totally changed.

Is there anything wrong, Carmen?

No.

I just had a really good talk with my friend who helped me put a lot of stuff into perspective.

In fact, I don’t even know why I was upset, expect that the old tropes, the old ideas, the old, “I’m not enough” or the old shames came back and really, that’s just an old fucking story I tell myself to feel bad about who I am or what I am and there is no need for that.

There is nothing wrong.

It’s all manufactured misery.

My life is amazing.

And I got to end my evening holding hands with someone who means the world to me and be myself.

Yeah.

My life.

It does not suck.

I am loved.

I am taken care of.

I am ok.

And the weirdness.

Well.

There isn’t any.

It’s all pretty much.

Wonderful.

Ah.

Perspective.

Thank you for rescuing me from the bad neighborhood I stumbled into.

My own head.


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