Thursday, November 26, 2009


I love Thanksgiving. In part, it's because it was one of the few days of the year when I was allowed to eat as much as I wanted and didn't go hungry. It's also because I like the idea of noticing what I'm grateful for.

One of the things I've learned on my journey is that it must begin with a core of belief in myself. That I can build upon. Then I can risk looking at what I don't like about myself or my life. This means that every time I stop to think about what I'm thankful for about myself, I gain strength and resilience to move forward even more.

The last couple of weeks I have been looking at beliefs I didn't know I had. Teasing them to the surface is the challenge! I'm still not done. In a way I feel like I've been deep sea fishing--which goes along with the battening down the hatches analogy in my last post. And each time I sat down to do that, I began with what I like about myself and the strengths I have so that I could look at what I'm afraid of or don't like.

Today I've been enjoying a peaceful and quiet Thanksgiving. It is a joy not to be in the middle of people screaming at each other and telling each other how flawed they are. It is a joy to be able to laugh and to curl up with my dog, to ponder what I love about my life and what could make it even better.

I hope all of you are having a lovely Thanksgiving too.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle ((((((hugs))))))),

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Battening Down the Hatches

It occurs to me that others might find it useful to know how I get ready to tackle difficult “stuff.” How do I batten down the hatches, so to speak? In no particular order....

1) Stock the pantry and refrigerator with healthy food. No alcohol or sugary stuff. I want my body to be able to handle the stress and I know that what I eat (or don't!) will impact my emotions, too.

2) Make a mental note to wear only clothes that make me feel good.

3) Get into a pattern of daily exercise—preferably including time out in the sun.

4) Pull out my list of things that make me happy/smile/laugh and make sure I'm doing/having at least 3 every day NO MATTER WHAT.

5) Make a list of blessings in my life—how my life is good NOW.

6) Make a list of what I like about myself—why I like who I am NOW.

7) Make sure my support network is in place and that we'll laugh together, too.

8) Make sure I know clearly why I matter, who needs me and why. Make sure I know why no matter what comes up, I have a reason to figure it out and keep moving forward—that letting go and/or hurting myself is not an option.

9) Begin to tease at the edges of my emotions. Toss out possibilities of what it might be that I need to look at until I get a “bingo”--a sense of resonance that says: This is it!

10) Imagine talking to the child I was and asking her what's going on—always reassuring her that NOW I am safe, NOW my life is good, NOW I have the wisdom and experience to process whatever it is that once terrified me so badly that I had to bury it like this.

11) Remind myself that whatever surfaces it is not the event itself that matters but rather the messages I took in about myself and the world and people around me because of it.

12) I will remember to laugh and count my blessings EVERY DAY as a reminder that NOW I am safe and NOW I am and can be happy.

What do you do to “batten down the hatches” to protect and prepare yourself when you know you're about to look at something difficult?

Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((hugs)))))),

Sunday, November 01, 2009

More on Dreams

Well, this post isn't exactly about dreams but it continues the conversation from the previous post.

I'm pretty sure now that I'll be fictionalizing what I write. I'm pretty sure there's something left to process that I don't want to look at. I tell writing students that the past matters--whether in real life or with our characters--only to the extent that it is affecting the person's actions and reactions in the present. If it's not, leave it alone, it's not time to bring it up.

But this is affecting me. My life is pretty good. I'm happy. I am light years from where I was just 5 years ago. But there is something I'm bumping up against that if I process it will allow me to move forward in a major way. If I knew what it was.

I can make some guesses. Enough to be wary. I'm pretty sure I'll want to use a slightly different approach than when I processed things before. I know that I'll make a space for laughter and joy every day even when--maybe especially when--it's hard to do so.

It's been a while since I had to process something new but I'll pull out my tool kit and experiment until I find just the right combination of skills that will let me heal this last (I hope!) remaining piece.

Sending blessings and safe and gentle ((((((hugs))))))),