My Holiday in France Lifted a Fog

Grappling with the practice of calm and present has me realizing I’ve lost that piece of me that use too shine, that bit of je ne sais quoi that made me bright and vibrant.
Heading to France, I was worried I didn’t have it in me too relax and just vacation, too just be me. That I’d be unable to take a break from worrying about the things I can’t control. This anxious worrying often causes me too miss out on just being. What I’ve taken away from my trip is this, Don’t get hung up on where you think you should be, start living where you are.

Many kinds of conversations took place in France, placing much needed light on my perceived state of limbo. Quietly reminding me through his conscious, kind choices, my friend unknowingly flipped a switch for me. Ah, yes, there is a space I can be apart of that has no expectations of me. That in that space I matter. The Door opening, (I can not work a door in France to save my life! This includes bathroom doors, lmao) bag carrying, inquiries of my preference… all things I forgot that are an important part of life. These selfless acts of small kindness flowed without shame or ridicule. With out a whisper of wanting anything in return from me.
As I taxi out on the run way saying goodbye to a lovely visit, I’m writing this with truly a new lease on life. Leaving limbo behind.

Am I a Passenger or am I a captain of the life I live?
Captain.

Happily Ever Afters Are Messy

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I can put together a pretty kickass pity party, I can really steep in it sometimes. I find myself quickly trying to turn that pity into a positive, cause who the hell doesn’t have struggles these days. I’ve met a huge amount of people in my line of work,  each one has a life struggle, major or not it impacts them in some way or another. What I’ve taken from these amazing poeple and thier life stories is that “Happily Ever Afters” are messy.

You never start out with the intention to lead a diffulcult life. We don’t grow up wishing for things to be tragic, so why do some of us find it diffucult to look on the bright side. I’ll never be certain what is in someone else’s head or how they interpret the world around them, if I had to make a guess, some of us got it wrong.  We are searching for a not so messy “Happliy Ever After” like the one in the movies. Spoiler alert! We ain’t ever gonna find it (not how we think that is). It’s like Santa, a great legend that brings us smiles and hope, but isn’t tangible. (Nothing against Santa, I love the holiday!)

Changing your mind set can be a powerful thing, now there is no need to lie to ourselves and say everything is coming up roses, but could, when the negitive recordings go off in our brains, it be possible to talk ourselves off the “my life sucks” ledge…

Could we train ourselves to be brighter side of life people…

Could that brighter side be the “Happliy Ever After” some of us think we are missing…

Can we be taught that happy is not perfect, it’s messy…

Can we learn to love our mess and think of it less as a struggle and more like a journey, not a journey that will end, but one that will continuly change…

Can we accept the moving pieces of change and be happy with that…

I vote yes! I would much rather live a life looking at a messy “Happily Ever After” than no “Happily Ever After” at all. Besides a pity party really eats into my much coveted free time.

My Dog Trainers, My Therapist, and Paris France Taught Me Something

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With the passing of my sweet boy Brody in Jan I was left with an indescribable void. The love of a dog is like no other, my  husband and I did not take the decision to bring a new dog into our home lightly. For the sake of a reality check I will share that the CON list far out weighed the PRO list when it came down to adding a new dog to the mix. So when our gentle giant arrived in March it is needles to say the CON list was kicking us in the ass. With much guilt and determination I started my search for a dog trainer. Side note~ There are a lot of screwed up folks out there passing themselves off as dog trainers. Some of the Jerks I ran into think it’s best to humiliate the human and call that good for the dog. This is so not how it works. Stressed out and nervous we employed a great group of people who are as lovely to us dog owners as they are to the dogs.

This November will host my 40th year, instead of tamping down the usual “I’m aging” crap I turned my efforts to finding and utilizing a very talented and lovely therapist. As I approach this years birthday it has been blindingly obvious that I need to make some changes. I’m clear that I have not the tools nor the knowledge for the mental and emotional overhaul that has to take place.

While all of this life is happening my little family of three was gifted a trip to Paris France. Yes this is on the top five most generous gifts we have ever received. I’ve never owned a passport. I would have told you being a world traveler was a retirement dream, but here it was, the trip of a lifetime. They say Pairs changes you, that Paris stays with you.  Who ever “They” are, “They” were right. Calm, quiet, respectful is in every aspect of this citys life. Paris opened my eyes to a space of leisure I thought could only exist if I were independently wealthy.

So here is how these folks and this city changed me.

Self awareness came when Ben and Mike, our dog trainers, explained there was no need to raise your voice, dogs respond to quiet and calm commands. My quiet calm voice got results, Knox listened and learned. Huge light bulb moment. They explained my guilt was what would turn my dog into a badly behaved pup, not my dogs inability to be well behaved. I took pause and put that advice into immediate action. No surprise that our dog is a super star in his puppy training. Calm, quiet, guilt free actions, practiced over and over again, yields positive results. Go figure.

Self reflection came when Jaime, my therapist, asked this simple question “What can I help you with?” She has had some extraordinary insight into why I feel sad, over worked and guilty. With her guidance and advice it has finally sunk in that a calm, quiet minded me can accomplish far more without feeling boxed in and crazed. I found a space where it is ok that it is about me, (awkward) where I calmly and quietly control what I’m comfortable doing. Brilliant!

The permission to be happy came in a the 9th arrondissement as Brad and I strolled the streets of Paris. My very wise husband mentioned I should adopt the city’s calm, quiet, leisurely ways. That I could benefit from a slower pass. “You lived the first half to please others, now live the second half to please yourself.” he went on to explain he understood why I am the way I am, but that those closest to me will understand a much needed shift of focus. I hear ya babe, I hear ya.

How do I implement a better understanding of myself and refocus my days you ask…  I quiet my mind, I say much less, listen a ton more, and move calmly through hard moments not allowing myself to feel guilty. So hard to do, it will be an ongoing process, that will take a ton of practice, but I’m committed.

This is what my dog trainers, my therapist, and Paris France has taught me. Live quietly, calmly, gulit free and it will produce a happier me.

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I Hate That The Number Matters

I’m 38 (so close to 40). 5’2″(with my shoes on). I wear a size 10 pant (31 in a fancy brand). My shoes are a 6.5 (small feet make for poor balance, but a great selection at the store). I’m 148 lbs (on any given day could be 154 lbs, I get super bloated). I know it shouldn’t, but some of  these numbers bother the hell out of me.

The 38 thing really doesn’t, it’s only when doctors start talking about the new an exciting things that have to be done because I’m aging, then I’m bothered.

5’2″ well, that’s a tough one. Somedays short is where it’s at, other days I’m spending $200.00 to get my new pants taken up. I’d rather be spending $200.00 on more pants, maybe a top.

Size 10, now there is where we hit complicated. The world media is telling me I should be a size 4. My very wide shoulders and hips are saying nothing smaller than an 8 for me. It’s enough to drive me crazy. I’ve learned to ignore the numbers in my clothing, it’s better that way.

My only sadness I have around my 6.5s is if they were more like 7.5s would I be less clumsy, just a thought not a complaint.  🙂

148 lbs is where I loose it, I know if I feel good in my clothes the number shouldn’t matter, I hate that the number matters! For years I obsessively weighed myself each morning. The out come of my day sometimes rode on that number. I had to brake up with my scale, it’s been freeing. But I’m back on the crazy train.

I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have lived in the Marlin Monroe era where curvy and mature were sexy and sought after.

I was out with a friend recently, so excited to see her, when it came time to order she order veggies, she is a vegan, and I ordered a fish dish and we each ordered wine. No apps, we passed on the bread, the waiters response was “Watching what we eat ladies”, he had the biggest grin on his face, as if he’d just won a round of trivia pursuit. What an ass! So two sized 10 women ordering delicious fish and veggies gets perceived as two big ladies who need to drop a few lbs. I had to dig deep not to tell him to shove it. “NO”, was my brilliant response. It’s a hard truth to swallow that 5’2″, size 10 women are considered to be large. I believe if we had ordered apps, bread and big meals he probably would  have  thought to himself  “those big ladies need to ease up on the intake”. It shouldn’t be this way. There is no way around  hearing peoples perceptions or opinions, but I would love it if those perceptions and opinions had a broader scope on women’s body types.

I’m sad that my struggles will one day be my daughters (efforts and fingers crossed it won’t be). I wish the ideal women was portrayed larger and curvier than a 12 year old boy. Slender and svelte, I am on your side. Tall, tight and toned, I get it, that is beautiful. But could short and wide join the ranks of ideal beauty, PLEASE.

P.S.

We were both, my friend and I, wearing fantastic outfits, our hair and makeup was flawless. That waiter has a lot to learn on how to get better tips. The art of giving compliments should be his next college course.

Quitting VS. Moving On

Quitter!

It’s all too often when we change direction in life and exit the “something” we are trying, someone calls us out on it. Quitter! We seem to scramble to make excuses why we are not quitters and in fact we had good reason to move on from our endeavor.

Here are a few of my recent Quits or were they?

  1. I blindly signed up with a business coaching group. I believe there is much for me to learn and in my hast for help I fell quickly into the “don’t ask any question, just giver her my money, she said she has a solution” category. Now with that said I have learned a ton from this woman and she has helped my business tremendously, but what she is selling isn’t where I see myself in the future.  I’m not working to my potential and I’m not following instructions. I’m taking what I can and making the projects happen, but not how she is instructing us. This is a costly design, Quitter! Maybe so, but who’s to say when I’m getting results.
  2.  I started counting calories, I did great for months, lost some weight, was feeling so good. What happen you ask, I got busy, stressed, not enough hours in the day, blah blah blah. Plain and simple I quit, I quit on the task, I quit on myself and I quit on the purpose of being healthier and happier with my own body. Boooo, Bad me. This is a clear case of Quitting, so I began again and I will do it better this time because I recognize my triggers that stopped me, this time I will move (trip) past the triggers and work towards my goals and not focus on my failures. Focus on the success, how small they maybe. Calorie counting I love you! I may quit again, who knows, but each time I start, and I will start again, it will get easier to move away from the quitting pattern and follow through to triumph. Wooo!
  3.  I recently was given a health warning, my gut isn’t good and needs a reset. The Master Cleanse was suggested and after researching it I gave it a go. Well I made it 2 days, they suggest 10. The vomiting and nausea got my questioning, where is the love? The headache and dizziness sent me to google, what is an alternative to what I was doing. Start eating food again, ahhh simple, I like that. I quit the cleanse (10day food fast). Quitter! or am I ? I have an awareness now that I didn’t before and I learned a ton about where I should take my food consumption for my gut issues. When faced with my quitting the cleanse I didn’t turn to my standard oreo for comfort, I went to problem solving and eating vegetables. I feel like it’s a win.

Do you see what I’m saying… When is it quitting, giving up and when is it moving on for the greater good of your self, your life.

What a horrible feeling to look in the mirror and face the hard truth that when the going gets tough I hightail it for the OREO’s and excuses. I hate that feeling, but today I didn’t take it there. I didn’t go to “Quitter Land”, today I went straight to moving on, today I made the connection that I tried, things don’t always fit at the moment and that ok. These things can be tried again in the future. There is no one grading me on any of this.  I only answer to me and I have to do what’s right for me (Only then will it all be right with the universe).