Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ending With Certainty: #reverb14 Day 21

Today, I'd like you to revisit what you wrote on 1 December on the first day of Reverb14.
How does that compare to where you are now i.e. what can you say today with certainty?


On the first day of #reverb14 I wrote a pretty dark and depressing post. At the time, I meant everything I said and even now I don't feel the need to take any of it back. The only thing I can say right now with absolute certainty is I still know nothing.

I don't know the future.
I don't know the reasons for everything in my past.
I don't know on some nights how I will make it through the next day, month, year.
I don't know the answers to so many questions I continue to ask.

However, after a few weeks of purging my demons into blog posts and a bit of an emotional breakdown, I am certain of a few things.

I know I have friends who care about me.
I know I am intelligent and have value to offer to the person who is open to accepting it.
I know that the only person in my life I really have any control over is myself.
I know the only thing stopping me from living a life worth living is me.

Then, without thinking too hard about it, grab a pen and some paper and finish the following sentences:
In 2015, I am open to...

Possibility.

In 2015, I want to feel...

Genuine happiness. Love. A sense of accomplishment.

In 2015, I will say no to...

Those who make me feel worthless. Myself when I tell myself I'm not good enough.

In 2015, I will know I am on the right track when… 

I am living my life with ease. My life may not be easy, but I won't be muscling my way through trying to force the world around me to conform, only causing me more suffering.


But when I find myself veering off course, I will gently but firmly…

Force myself back into what I know works: self care, exercise, sleep, asking for help.

In December 2015, I want to look back and say...

This is the year I finally stopped saying "I'm going to..." and instead say " I did...".


This post is part of #reverb14, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Do It Anyway: #reverb14 Day 15

What are you really proud that you made happen in 2014, despite the gremlins? And what will you do anyway in 2015?


In 2014 I finally, after way too long, finished my book: Creating A Joyful Life: The Lessons I Learned From Yoga and My Mom.

The book was sidelined so many times because of divorce, kids and work. But mostly it took so long because of my own inner demons telling me it was stupid to think I had the ability to write a book. I've written about this picture before. But this picture is by far one of my prouder moments this year.

My kids reading my  book to see if
their names are in it.

I haven't done much since getting the galley copies of the book back. I still need to find someone to help me format it. The two people I asked to read it and give me a small quote for the back cover both told me they just didn't have time. But mostly I haven't done anything further with it because the gremlins are telling me that it really is stupid.

In 2015 it's time to shut the gremlins up. The book may not be a bestseller and it's possible no one will buy it. But I want to see what may very well be the one and only copy ever printed sitting on my bookshelf.


This post is part of #reverb14, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.




Friday, December 19, 2014

Don't Be An A**hole: #reverb14 Day 17

How can you stop being an a**hole, get out of your own way and make room for more of your magic to happen in 2015?


Today I was a real asshole. In fact, before I even saw this prompt I used the word asshole in referring to my behavior today.

Actually for the past few weeks I've been an asshole. It just all became clear today how much of an asshole I've really been.

It's been a rough patch lately and once again I've been hurt and feel abandoned. So, being the "I'm so strong I don't need anyone" type that I am, I retreated to my usual defense mechanisms and pulled back from the world.

My defense mechanisms have been fine-tuned over time and I'm so good at them, I rarely even notice when I first begin to go into safety mode.


  • Step one: Pull back from those who care about me.
  • Step two: Stop sleeping.
  • Step three: Feel defeated and see the future as hopeless.
  • Step four: Lash out at those closest to me in an attempt to drive them away, thus proving to myself that no one really cares about me anyway. 
  • Step five: Break down crying out of exhaustion, desperation and fear.


It works every time.

Well it works to get me to the point of breaking down crying out of exhaustion, desperation and fear. And then those closest to me, who have endured my wrath patiently, will wrap their arms around me and remind me that I really don't need to always be the strong one. And maybe if I'd just open myself to the possibility of being loved, I would see that I truly am loved.

And then I cry some more. And finally sleep.

It's a pattern I have repeated all too often in my life. And I'm grateful that those closest to me are there to see me through it each time. And are there to pick me up at the end.

In 2015, I'd really really like to stop being so much of an asshole. I'd like to learn to reach out for help instead of retreating out of fear. And opening myself up to the possibility of, well, possibility.


This post is part of #reverb14, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.


Roots and Anchors: #reverb14 Day 14

The idea of rooting down into your own personal beliefs and center of truth is an ongoing process, and many things can serve as anchors or roots as you move through life.
What rooted or anchored you in 2014?
And where do you want to put down roots in 2015?

Earlier this summer I wrote about feeling weighted down by the responsibilities of the world.  In the post I wrote:

A few weeks ago a coworker returned from her vacation and gifted me with a jeweled anchor necklace. She told me she saw the anchor and thought of me because I'm the one that always anchors everyone together both at work and at home. I mean it when I tell her she's beautiful, the necklace is beautiful and the thought is beautiful.

But what I'm really thinking are anchors are the ones drowning on the bottom trying to keep everyone else afloat. I feel like I'm drowning here. I almost can't breathe I'm dropping so far down.

Who is going to save me? Oh yeah, no one.

I do believe I have some anchors in my life weighing me down and probably keeping me from... well I'm not sure what. Something better? Maybe. Keeping me from exploring new territory? Yes definitely.

In many ways I am stuck. Just kind of bobbing along waiting to see what floats my way. Never really venturing out to navigate on my own. Playing it safe staying tethered to the place I know.

I can use the excuse I have so many people depending on me. I have to play it safe. And that's a very true and valid excuse. But it's also a little stifling.

In 2015 I'd like to take just a few more chances. Risk just a little bit more. And get out of my comfort zone.

This post is part of #reverb14, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Brave Year: #reverb14 Day 13

Step one: set the timer for 5 minutes and write down as many answers as you can think of to the question: 'When and how was I brave in 2014?' Note: remember the private, intimate and small ways in which you were brave as well as the big public ways.

  • On a stormy summer night I looked up at a 19 year old almost man yet who is still my baby, who is taller than me and bigger than me, and said "you will get in this car."
  • I watched as an ER nurse took this almost man/still my baby from me and said "You can't come back here with him."
  • I sat most of the night in the ER staring at the door that my almost man/still my baby was behind. I waited for the nurse to come back and tell me what's going on. I waited all night.
  • I drove home from the ER early the next morning. Alone.
  • Two weeks later I rushed back to the hospital and caught this almost man/still my baby in my arms as he broke down sobbing. I allowed myself to cry with him.
  • I stood up to those who have hurt him/ hurt us and said no more. You will not hurt him/hurt us anymore.

Step two: Choose one of more of those moments of bravery and write a letter yourself back at the beginning of 2014, letting you know how brave you are going to be that year.


Hey, remember those dark and scary nights from 2012 when you thought your life was over? Yeah, well, get ready because you are about to have some dark and scary nights again. Except this time you won't be in fear for your own life. No. This is worse. You will be in fear for your child's life.

But it's OK. Two years ago prepared you. You know how to fight. You know that nothing and no one will stop you from fighting for what you believe in. Or for who you believe in. You know now who to trust and who to confide in. More importantly, you know now who you can never trust. You know who is poison and you are prepared to do what it takes to keep the poison from infecting your family any longer.

Step three: Write yourself a short reminder to tuck into your wallet or post above your desk of just how brave you can and will be in 2015.


YOU GOT THIS. Don't let yourself forget that. Ever. 


This post is part of #reverb14, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ritual & Routine: #reverb14 Day 11

What tiny rituals: signal that your day is starting; help you ease into a creative project; give you closure from an intensive task; or mark other significant milestones in your day? What new rituals would you like to create in the new year?

I am a creature of habit.

I eat the same things. I go to the same few places. I wear the same clothes.

Each day is basically the same as the day before. Rise, work, eat, work, prepare for the next day, sleep. And repeat. It's my own version of Groundhog Day.

Routine is a necessity with a large family. There's no way six kids could get out the door in the morning without a set routine that can not be deviated. Daily chores are assigned to everyone. They know who is expected to do what and when it is to be done.

For some reason though my kids will sometimes ask "what are we doing tomorrow?" My answer is always the same. "Well I'm going to work and you're going to school." Even they realize that the routine is a bit too much like Groundhog Day.

Because the routine is so structured and so necessary, there is very little room for ritual. At this point a ritual seems a bit extravagant. There's not much time for anything beyond what must be done.

The rituals I have attempted, and enjoyed, come and go based on life circumstances.  I used to be an almost regular at morning meditation. But now I'm too tired to get out of bed early.  For a few months I had a ritual of taking Sunday mornings for myself. But the cost of gas combined with the cost of yoga quickly became financially prohibitive. I'm not a coffee drinker so I don't have that ritual of enjoying the first morning cup like so many others I know. I do enjoy my weekly Friday afternoon 30 minute round trip drive alone into town to deposit my check and pick up an iced tea at Starbucks. I suppose that has become a ritual. Yet even that is a ritual with a purpose - deposit the check to pay the bills.

I think the lack of personal ritual in my life is because I'm so focused on getting things done that I don't take the time to enjoy the process along the way.

This post is part of #reverb14, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Generosity: #reverb14 Day 10

Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?

Generosity. I've been very fortunate that so many people have been generous with me and my kids. And I'm forever grateful for that.

I am surrounded by people who are having financial struggles right now. Medical bills, car repairs and legal issues have hit most of my small circle this year. We are all struggling. But we are all struggling together.

This past year I've seen items that could have been sold given away to someone who needed them. I've witnessed offers of not just helping someone move, but actually offering to drive the 18 hours to get them to their new home. When one of our group used her savings to help a family member in legal trouble, the rest quickly huddled together to figure out a way to make sure she still had a little something for herself too.

This year I have witnessed first hand that those who have the least tend to give the most.


This post is part of #reverb14, a series of daily writing prompts to explore the year passed and to manifest the year ahead. This prompt was found at Kat McNally Words To Soothe The Weary Soul.