It was a balmy 18 degrees at sunrise in Lake Geneva, so I did a t’ai chi move to help my circulation get moving. Suddenly there was a HUUUUUGE cracking noise, the ice was shifting, so I began to blow kisses to my mom, because this is her lake, and I miss her a lot xx
I seem to be stumbling upon more and more stories about deathbed regrets. I have been doing a load of writing these days, both sharing publicly and privately; I write as soon as I wake up, freehand, a la The Artist’s Way morning pages, just to dump the garbage out of my head to start the day.
So I was prompted, what would be my deathbed regrets? Free form, just letting it flow, no edits, just a few typos:
I would regret not loving more, that I kept to myself for most of my 40’s because I didn’t think I was good enough for the company of anyone. I was ashamed of myself because I struggled with smoking cigarettes and feeling absolutely horrible about that but was unable to stop. I felt bad for wrecking my marriage to Reed which was another reason I hid out — I didn’t think I was lovable anymore. That has all changed since I’ve made peace with Reed and my mom apologized to me; I, for the first time in my life, felt I had to stop doing bad and harmful things — like smoking, which when I was ready to quit a month after my mom died, I smoked my last butt on the morning of March 11, 2013 and celebrated that freedom without looking back ——— that is until I arrived in Mexico for Thanksgiving. I totally love being a non-smoker and I see now that my years of struggles with that awful trap were a way for me to continue to hide. My thinking was, “no one loves me, so who cares if I smoke?” And so I would smoke and say, “well no one is going to love me because I smoke so who cares, I’ll keep smoking.” It was a vicious cycle and it tormented me for years because I knew that was not who I was deep down and that I had been smothering myself, my true self for a very long time in order to just maintain – but that was hardly maintaining, that was being totally dishonest to who I was deep down and I was a broken girl for many years because of it, or so I thought.
I always knew my mom was not crazy about me. She much preferred my brothers and I knew it and I guess in hindsight it hurt my feelings that she thought I was weird and different and mostly she just tolerated me. But I was definitely the weird one, and that’s how I lived my life, as an outcast, never really understanding that it had anything to do with my mom. I know I had daddy issues — what girl doesn’t, and worked through most of them, but I never made a connection to not feeling loved by my mom. And I’m not blaming her — I know that she was not favored much as a young girl herself — my grandmom preferred the boys over my my mom as well; she was just passing the buck. And unfortunately or now perhaps fortunately, I have always felt too much, always wondered too deep, always searched so high for my answers in life — which drove my mom crazy — and my entire life I have been asking, “what is wrong with me?” and now I know that there was nothing wrong with me, I just didn’t feel loved; I was hungry, and now at this age and intersection of my life, I can do something about this before it is too late and then perhaps I won’t have deathbed regrets of not having loved enough.
My mom said, “y’know, I was wrong about you… I wish I had gotten to know you… I am sorry I was not nicer to you….” and these words were the magic potion that melted the steel cage around around my heart and now I cannot deny loving myself for the first time in my life. At this age of 48, I have connected the dots and understand that there has been nothing wrong with me, and now I choose love.
My mom’s words haunt me on a daily basis and I can live with this because it is a constant reminder that I want to be really good to myself and rise above. I was a sarcastic, angst-ridden woman my whole life, I leaned on pills, booze and smokes; not all of the years, but many of them, in between long stretches of sobriety, yet I would rush back to these vices when the going got tough and they would take my pain away for the moment, for the night, for the moment. I did years of therapy, 12-step groups, alternative therapies, and just flat out abstinence from everything, inducing food one year, and then I would still end up feeling like shit because I picked shitty men, men who didn’t care about me and ignored me and rejected me. I lived life as a healthy person on the outside, because that’s totally who I wanted to be yet on the inside I was grasping for straws and crying and felt lost and unloved and empty and I never understood why and I would work to make money so I could ask yet another professional, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??” and I never got a satisfying answer.
It’s been a wicked ride, without a doubt, because through all of this, I was always up for an adventure and I traveled far and wide to search for these answers or to just escape myself. I think my Spirit kept me alive and searching, knowing that someday I would find that answer — so my Spirit or my Angels or my God or something decided to let me live even though I attempted suicide twice in my young life. My calls for help ran deep.
And who fucking knew that it would be my mothers’ deathbed apology that would sky-rocket me into arriving at the answer to my life-long question and discovering that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME, IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE.
Love, love, love, I honestly never in a million years realized the answer would be so simple. And when I awoke from the funeral, from the nightmare of losing yet another job, from the freedom of quitting smoking, I looked at myself in the mirror and said,
“well there you are, hi.”
I no longer harm myself with shitty harmful things and people who do not care about me. I intend to live the remainder of life in loud, colorful and vibrant way. Surrounded by love xoxo.
Thank you Mom.
Up until a few weeks ago, I was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I thoroughly enjoyed the brutal Chicago winter, as this winter was truly one to miss — and it appears to not yet be over in the Mighty-Midwest. I had an exceptionally playful winter and will be forever grateful for the ability to spend my time doing yoga and taking dance classes, studying and practicing qi gong, completely art workshops, cooking glorious meals in a dark cavernous Mexican kitchen, swimming in the natural hot, healing waters and spending time getting to know old friends and an ex-husband.
It was glorious and great healings occurred after the butt-kicking year or so I had endured. However, the pressure of leaving my mom’s home unattended for the hard-hitting winter was ever-looming, and I knew I needed to get back to Illinois to wrap up her affairs for good. I knew in my heart that my time in Illinois had come to an end; time to pack up one final time and move on. I had decided to return to San Miguel de Allende to pursue my interests in the healing arts, organic foods, other worldly pursuits while working with some business owners on their marketing efforts. It’s challenging to find work in Mexico, but I was ready for a new page in the books and to get back to work.
—————–> Not so fast.
Although I knew my time in Chicago was up, I remain very grateful for my time in ‘Tucky after my mom’s death and multiple job losses. (Tucky = Woodtucky) I needed a quiet place; a place where I could completely unravel and then put myself back together again. I lived in my mom’s empty condo. No stuff except some of my stuff, which I never unpacked. I didn’t even have a refrigerator nor stove for the first six weeks; it was like camping every day. But I was able to spend time in and around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, talking to my mom, walking around the lake, kayaking and paddleboarding; exactly what I needed. I made peace with the waters and I was starting to make peace with myself. Grief continues to change me in so many ways — the tears continue to fall but I’ve continued to face my fears and tackle them. I am far less afraid of things out in the world today!
The unraveling of grief also made me aware that I needed to stop punishing myself for losing so many jobs. This was no small task and it’s probably not over. I do however, finally understand that it is my badge of honor to have lost these jobs in such a rapid succession, so I could move closer to more important things in my life. I am not supposed to work for people I do not believe in, selling things I do not care about. How lucky I am to have lost these jobs. It has made me a better person.
I have been told by more than a few that I am a nicer person, and do you know what?? I feel like I am nicer person. I feel softer, easier, slower and my laugh has improved. I love it! Oh sure I can still cut like a knife with my tongue, but I’d really rather not because I don’t think it’s cute anymore. I genuinely enjoy connecting with people, sans sarcasm.
I am totally grateful for the lessons of loss during the past year.
When Reed & I landed in Texas, we were both THRILLLLLLLLLED to be back in America. We ate shitty Tex-Mex tacos and loved it; for a few minutes. It only took a few hours for the “American gumption” to seep back into my veins and I was essentially high as a kite from it, and feeling the pressure to get back in the game. That get up & GETTER DONE attitude; I was hungry! Everywhere I looked, I felt as though I was being asked about my work; where do you work, what do you do, what’s your background, do you have a job? — because after all, this is AMERICA and we work fifty weeks of the year to buy cool stuff dangitall!
We moved into Reed’s family ranch, “Charro Ranch” in Driftwood, Texas, and soon I re-discovered the beauty of a Central Texas ranch. I’ll be honest though; when we lived here after we were first married in 2005, I did not like the place at all and could not wait to get back to the city. A decade later, I simply adore the place and enjoy every day that I am here. The baby cows are multiplying, and I’m having such fun meeting them (from a far) and talking to all the animals.
Within the first week, I had secured a job at a local olive oil orchard and I was really thrilled to get back to work. But first I had to go to Chicago to close up mom’s place, which I did in about five days. I was at my mom’s place on St. Patrick’s Day; which I hadn’t really thought about until that morning, that morning of Paddy Day, that has long been a strange day in notsomuch that we celebrated the day, rather it’s was more a day to make fun of our Irishness and everyone gets drunk.
That morning I sat on the floor of my mom’s empty condo and began closing up the final boxes for shipping, then fired up my music. When Van Morrison’s Jackie Wilson Said came on, I totally lost it. I could not stop the tears; it was a calvacade. My uncles Tim and Tom loved Van the Man and it was one of the few songs that they would move to; we all would dance to it. I blame Tim for kicking off this family death spiral party; I was angry he had left me with all these neanderthal relatives who couldn’t talk about anything beyond sports, weather, goons, traffic and the good ol’days; Tim was the only one in the family who really got me and I will always miss him terribly. They all went tumbling down after him because he was the glue of the family that was trapped in the old school ways of the West Side Irish. God Bless Them All!
It was a stupendous cry as I packed up the remains of my life and two days later I hopped on a plane to Austin to start my new American life. I have way too much spunk in me to live in Mexico; I still want to make magic happen and work and do good. Central Texas it is!
Next I move into my house and get re-acquainted with the creatures of Central Texas…. bugs too!
I am not going to review all the death and dying I was close to this past year; I’d rather focus on what it has inspired me to do.
I came to visit my ex-husband in Mexico rather unexpectedly, and I certainly did not plan to stay as long as I have, but my lessons are starting to appear in front of me and I do not want to miss this opportunity to grow.
Watching my mother’s death was a huge wake-up call for me. I changed everything about my life and felt like I had the opportunity to elevate myself to higher spiritual lessons. I was completely inspired and ready for such a drastic change, so I suppose it’s no coincidence that I lost everything in my life at the same time. Well everything except my good health. I lost my job, my apartment and my reason to be in Woodstock, Illinois, but this situation afforded me the opportunity to extend my stay in San Miguel de Allende. I felt guilty about this at first, but not anymore.
When I first came to Mexico many years ago, I was a healthy and spiritually minded woman, eager to achieve many things in life. I am still this same woman, but I certainly did lose myself along the way for a number of years before waking up and seizing my potential once again. A few weeks ago, I said to Reed, “this is a country full of bad decisions.” He responded with, “perhaps you just made bad decisions while here”, and I agreed he has a point. I can’t really blame Mexico for the decisions I made, I alone am responsible for my choices in life and want to make sure I make the best choices moving forward. I know I have not been alone in making bad choices while here; I have seen so many Gringos destroy themselves when they move here. I have seen some ugly things and now is my opportunity to heal thyself and come full circle.
I made a joke in yoga class that I needed lots of yoga while here because I need strength to combat the devil. Everyone laughed because they know. This country, this town makes it so easy to fall into trouble. It’s a lovely pretty little colorful town, with lots of artists, writers and free thinkers and you can absolutely get caught up in the charm of it, but if you are not strong in your personal convictions, you can get swallowed up by the never-ending fiestas. After Reed & I were married, I needed to leave this town because, well because I had had enough of the party and needed to get back to real work. Looking back, I didn’t fare so well in Texas either; it was not the place for me, just as San Miguel is not the place for me.
Here I have been presented with an opportunity to come full circle. A chance to fight back the devil and be the woman that I want to be. It was easy to be super-healthy while I was living in Woodstock; I never saw the party and was very comfortable with that — but I was always alone, and I was not comfortable with that. Here in Mexico; the party is everywhere — and especially at Reed’s house. I see him struggling with his health and with feeling good. I am being the good wife that I was not while we were married and attempting to make him comfortable without enabling his behavior. I had my own little slip with smoking when I first arrived but have stopped that outrageous behavior because smoking sucks donkey dicks.
A long-time frind of mine who lived here in San Miguel for many years, but returned to her home town in Northern California, has recently been diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. She is essentially me and there, but for the Grace of God go I. In my few weeks while here in San Miguel, I have been writing long, detailed emails to my friend, filling her in on my adventures and news of the town. It has been a positive way for me to share what’s going on and to stay honest about my intentions. We don’t really talk about cancer, we talk about adventures. She has been gearing up to begin her aggressive chemotherapy treatment but was just haneded the news that her heart is not strong enough to endure the treatment and other options must be reviewed and decided upon now. NOW.
When I read her email yesterday, it launched me into a mood I was not quite prepared for; I sat in stone silence for quite some time before I found ways to distract myself. I had horrible nightmares and woke up in tears. I did not respond to my friend after she sent me that email to tell me her “heart-stopping news”, but when I awoke, I said to myself, “imagine how she feels” and reached out to her on the spot.
I want to have no regrets.
I want to make good decisions, no matter what country I am in.
I want to have more children in my life (not mine, silly)
I want to live a full life, full of loving relationships.
I want to be barefoot in the grass as much as possible before I die.
I am so very grateful for all the lessons of 2013 and whole-heartily look forward to the lessons of 2014.
When I lived in San Miguel de Allende ten years ago, I started to write a book called, “Under the Spell of the Mexican Moon” and my personal downfall was that I showed it to too many people and the fear I experienced from hearing the feedback caused me to set it aside indefinitely. Until then, I kept all my writing under wraps — and since then I mostly have kept it private. I’ve written AMAZING letters to friends over the years. And to my mom.
I had forgotten about the letters I used to write my mom, but while cleaning out her condo earlier this year, I found all the letters I sent to her. I was hilarious — and still am. I laughed and cried as I read my letters and postcards. Here’s a postcard from I sent from Santa Fe, New Mexico after arriving via Amtrak from Chicago:
“Hi Ya Ma! If it’s an Indian you want, get your buns out here! They are so beautiful! This town is beautiful! The weather is beautiful! What can I say, I am in love. I met a guy from Italy on the train, we will stay in touch! I’ve fallen in love 8 times in Santa Fe and I’ve only been here 2 days. I think I’m going to move here if I can get my migraine to stop. Love you like an adobe Ma xoxo”
Over the past few months I have been told by friends and complete strangers I should write a book. It’s always been in me, I’ve thought about it over the years but again, the fears have stopped me. “Who wants to read what I have to say?” Although many many times, when I share a story of my past, the response I hear often is “you should write a book about that.”
Since my mom’s death, this idea is coming more into focus. My mom apologized to me and said she wished she had been nicer to me. Said she was wrong about me. These words have completely changed my world — even I am surprised at the impact of her parting words. I mean I was knocked flat on my back after she spoke these words. My mother’s apology has been life-altering for me and I no longer want to be that passive girl. I want to be the woman who moves through grief and loss without losing herself. even if that means I lose my way for a bit.
I had thought for a spell that I was choosing to “duck out on life” by returning here to San Miguel; returning to my ex-husband’s home and this town that I angrily departed from several years back. But this is so not the case. This was the perfect time for me to come back here and make peace with my past. For years I had been feeling bad about who I was as a married woman — that I was the sole reason why our marriage did not survive, let alone succeed. Good Lord this is not true. I love Reed dearly and we are family; we are just not the “one” for each other, nor do we “get” each other. I care for him deeply and I know he does for me as well. We are family and sharing this holiday with each other has been healing beyond belief. Well for me it has been, I don’t think Reed would ever admit to this, but when I ask him if he wants me to leave, he says no. We have fun together! I also cook for him, I don’t ask a lot of questions (!!!) and I busy my time out of the house with things that are important to me — and he provides me the resources to pursue my interests because he likes to see me happy.
I have been using this time of unemployment to get right in my head. The recent deaths in my family have broken my heart and then to have lost so many jobs at the same time….. I was operating from a place of desperate grief and needed to step out of my hamster-cage life. I cannot take another job with a fear-driven company — because honestly it offends me to the core and I then operate from a place of asking to be fired. “But you’re not independently wealthy, Meag, are you!?” No, I am not, but the desire to not work with these four companies was so huge, my time with them was no more than six months, when in the past I would suffer for years with miserable jobs. This last job was probably the quickest in terms of synchronicity; I had thought I found my tribe, it was a healthy foods company and seemed to be generally interested in living a healthy, complete life. I quickly realized this was so not the case and my time with them was under two months. This was my personal tipping point.
(note: no disrespect to the companies I worked for; there is nothing wrong with them; I was not the appropriate person for the job.)
So when I leave this pretty home, I spend my time doing the things that make me happy and peaceful. Yoga, swimming, hiking, walking, looking at art, meeting up with old friends, etc. But I recently took a huuuuuuuge back step. I smoked some cigarettes — the thing I hate the most and have since been berating myself that I’ve destroyed all the good work I have done.
I am flawed. I have more work to do.
Everywhere in Reed’s house, there is an ashtray. And a pack of Marlboros. They have been taunting me. It’s no excuse. Well I made it an excuse. And I could TOTALLY sit here ALL DAY and beat myself up and tell myself what a damn loser I am and how I’m going to die a horrible death… whoops, I’ve already done this…. but this is a HUGE waste of time and I want to do things that will get me out of the hole, not keep me in it. I don’t normally use ALL CAPS, but I am totally fired up about this as I pound out the words.
Smoking makes me feel bad.
You know what I don’t want to do anymore?
This quote found me this morning:
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” ~~Ferdinand Foch
My soul is on fire so that must mean I am still alive and that I care deeply.
I’d rather my soul be on fire than my lungs.
All is not lost, I just lost my way temporarily, but I am determined.
I was under a spell.
I can no longer blame the Mexican Moon.
I now will be more focused about my writing and tell my story of being flawed yet never settling. Mending my broken heart. Always growing, always looking for a way to improve — at the same time while not damning myself to the depths of hell for being human. I need to stop over-thinking every little detail…. and this is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. I have struggled with this my entire life.
FEAR FEAR FEAR fuck everything and run.
I really want the fears to stop stopping me from being awesome, know what I mean?
Two books by John Amodeo Ph.D. have been recommended to me by Sonia Choquette, to get me through these next hurdles: “The Authentic Heart: An Eightfold Path to Midlife Love” and “Dancing with Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships“.
Respiro profundo Meag… Exaaaaah
(deep breath, exhale…)
Here’s the thing: tell someone you believe in UFOs and that’s perfectly acceptable. It’s out there, it’s controversial, it’s vague, it’s elusive, it’s relative, it has hard evidential proof, it has changed some people’s lives forever, it’s got a slew of groupies…. and it’s perfectly acceptable to most if this is what your floats your boat and what you want to devote your personal time to.
But mention you’re having a “spiritual awakening” and people may give you the side-eye and back away slowly. Because that’s crazy — or I’m crazy because I am starting to see and feel some results (wow that’s a lousy word to use in the context of spiritual awakening!) of all the personal work I have been doing. The meditation. The yoga. The breathing. The walking. The reading. The energy experiments. The changing of my diet. The re-routing of my normal thinking patterns (Lordy this is HAAAAARD). And the silence. Ohhh the loads of silence I have come to adore and require now, just as I require air to breath.
Why is it that an actual spiritual awakening is somewhat mistrusted? I’ve seen eyebrows go up and felt the proverbial, “ah boy, we lost her.” sentiment because I’ve mentioned, in my joyous exaltation, that my beginner’s mind is starting to see and feel some magical new ways of thinking — and I could NOT be more thrilled about this. These ways of existing in the world have always been available to me, just as they are to you, but I am discovering for the first time because I am practicing new principles. And I became ready. But it’s not perfect nor pain-free! Ahh but it IS perfect for right now.
This reaction… well it’s ironic if you ask me, because many people strive for a more spiritual way of being; in their personal relationships, in their careers, in their every level of life — because it’s cool, and I completley agree. Twitter is rampant with quotes and retweets of our spiritual leaders and beyond — because it IS COOL to talk about being spiritual. It’s not cool to be religious; but spiritual is awesome — because religious is crazy, right? And don’t even think about getting crazy about being spiritual, because that’s just nuts!!
Although when it arrives — if it arrives, it may perhaps change the way you tweet, change the way you participate in the world, rock the very core of your foundation, make you burst out in tears for no other reason except that the love thumping in your veins can’t be contained; it may force you to spontaneously hug people and trees, walk around on your hands at the beach and then blow your head up right off your shoulders.
This is what I have been experiencing lately. And I like it. Except the bit about my head blowing up. That has not happened. Yet.
I spent my late twenties and early thirties searching for a spiritual awakening and never found it, much to my chagrin. I worked with shamans, I became a diligent student of religious science, I participated in drumming circles, had soul retrievals, spent countless hours on a therapist’s couch — because I was convinced that something was wrong with me and that a spiritual awakening would be my way out of it.
But it has occurred to me: I don’t want to read the biography of a person who has not lived a full life; where they’ve not crawled through their own personal never-ending hell and survived, not celebrated to excess and beyond when success was achieved — and survived; and everything in between. Perhaps no one is allowed to have a spiritual awakening until life has been lived in all corners of darkness and light. I don’t think I’m anywhere near my end, nor sampled all corners, but I have done my fair sharing of crawling and celebrating. Perhaps not in that order.
I sat with my mom when she died and was with my two twin uncles when they died — separately — as well; all within the past recent years. I saw things happen to them as they were “transitioning”. I had emotional conversations with each of them that seared my core; my mom knocked me out of the park with her parting words for a couple of weeks. I saw “someone” come get them, “be” with each of them and even shine a light on my mom’s face when there was no light. I absolutely HAD to change the way I participated in my world because of these experiences. It was very different for each of them — I can only sum it up by saying their spirit was delivered by whom it should have been delivered. errrr something like that!
My Three Holy Ghosts:
I have also been fired from three jobs in the past year as well — I even quit one job, so these past few years have completely made my head spin round and round and round. And cry and cry. Although I shed no tears for this last job — I was on my way, so the feeling was mutual.
I’m currently living in Woodstock, Illinois (although I watch the sunset in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin when I can) and I have honestly made peace with this town that I once despised, and even thanked Mayor Brian Sager for a job well done last week. I met him at Woodstock’s festival nod to Broadway; he and his administration have really opened up theater options in Woodstock, as well as welcoming more new businesses in town. The day was much like a day right out of the pages of “Waiting for Guffman.” and I was tickled! I no longer have angst for this little town and have honestly enjoyed my time here. The aforementioned silence can be found in this town, as well as in the surrounding area towns I once hated while growing up, but ahhhh no longer 🙂
I was hoping to leave Woodstock now that I have made peace with it, but with the recent lose of yet another job, I find I must stay put a while longer. Apparently I have not yet learned what I have come here to learn in my little hometown neck of the nape, and OY please don’t make it last forever! Because I hear the call of the West.
I recently stumbled upon this video and it stopped me cold in my tracks because….. well because I have experienced ALL of these things in the past few weeks — and I’ll be honest, it’s a bit scary at times. Somedays I have no idea who I am and where I’m headed, but I have faith. I have faith!
… so ask me if I have any idea who I am right now.
And I will say I AM MEAGAN BURNS!! My eyes are open and I love it! These experiences with death have showed me a beautiful side of life, even if I can’t stop getting fired! I have never felt more sane in my life…
I feel tremendous gratitude for all the people that have helped me through these past few months and I keep meeting more and more of these kindred souls; I am excited to learn more through them and with them. Below is a list of a few of the books that have also helped me through some of these issues, but don’t forget about being silly and laughing! Because really, why else keep plugging along if you can’t laugh about it? xoxo
Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet
Marianne Williamson: A Return to Love
Marianne Williamson: The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles
Cheryle Strayed: WILD
Doreen Virtue’s Angel Therapy
Denise Linn: Soul Coaching
Gerry Gavin: Messages from Margaret
Sabrina Reber: How to Raise Your Vibration
Caroline Shearer: Raise Your Vibration: Tips and Tools for a High-Frequency Life
Dr. Christiane Northup: Lightening the Mother Load: Healing Strategies for Daughters
Dr. Steven D. Farmer: Animal Spirit Guides (I AM A TIGER RAWWWWWRRRRR)
Pam Grout: E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments
Hard to believe it’s been six months since my mom died; some days it feels like just minutes ago I was with her in her hospital room, trying to pry her hands off of her bed rail because they were turning purple. Yet other days it feels like she’s been gone for ages. I have learned so much in the past few months; the lessons have come in all sizes and shapes and I honestly hope this journey continues to reveal itself. I feel like I am finally growing up but not in a snore-bore sorta-way. In a way that has eluded me for years but somehow is tapping open my heart now. I’ve paid off some old bills as well, so I suppose that’s rather snore-bore but it felt tremendous to take care of some old financial haunts. I’m almost there!
I am 47 and both my parents are dead. Many of the things I used to care about; I don’t anymore. Some things have fallen to the wayside; others have become more omni-important. I am less afraid in the world. To be less afraid has been a very powerful gift and I’m so very grateful for this gift of confidence.
I was terrified of the water. I was afraid to be out in the country all by myself. I used to call the police when I was out in the country and they would say to me, “do you realize that’s the wind?” I used to be afraid of silence because of all the voices I could hear.
One of my most favorite things now is to be out in the country, sitting in a lake all by myself, listening to the silence and wise voices that I hear. It’s true!
I took a new job two months ago because I believed so much in the product; the problem is, is that I did not believe in the company. And it turns out they did not believe in me, so we have recently parted ways. As shocking as this may seem to some, it really felt like the absolute right thing to have happened. What now?
This will be very hard for me to do but I have been instructed not to do anything for a week. This goes against everything in me — because I want to poke around and completely over-analyze the situation. Instead I am going to focus on raising my vibration.
Raising my vibration. It’s happening. I am clearing my chakras. Raising the roof. Awakening the heart. Mindful meditation — I am finally getting it where I don’t think of sex the entire time! Breathing from my toes. Reaching for the stars. Feeling the gratitude. Sharing kindness. Sending love. The Grinch when he discovered the true meaning of Christmas? Yeah, me. I wasn’t a hater like him, but I swear somedays I think my heart is going to burst of my ribcage.
I feel alive on a level I have never experienced before and I want to devour the world. I have taken a break or pause from social media but I am ready to be visible again. I am also taking a reiki class and studying angels since they have decided to visit me. Yes, angels. I no longer care if that makes me sound crazy because it makes me happy.
It’s really my mom’s criticism I hear when I decide I want to pursue things that make me happy. My mom never understood my pursuits but in the end she apologized for being mean to me and wished she had been nicer. Her gift to me was realizing she had been wrong about me. This has changed something deep inside of me. I have walked around my entire life thinking my mom thought I was crazy – or didn’t like me. This is not the case, she loved me and only wished she had the expression that I have always had. This realization has changed everything about my life. In turn, I am going to be nicer to me and not criticize my pursuits.
It is an amazing gift when a parent apologizes before they die. I understand that many people do not get this gift and I am completely grateful my mom had the heart to say something to me.
I am committed to making the autumn and winter of my life magical. An angel appeared on my arm by way of a rogue doodle and told me to believe. I believe…
When I think back to the last half of 2012, it occurs to me that I was in a rather suspended mode and did not make many waves as I waited for yet another holiday season to roll on by. I knew something was up with my mom, but I was not allowed to get too close, so I numbed it out of my mind. I remember walking out of my office and I could feel my feet walking down the sidewalk, but it felt like my head was staying in the same place. I was trapped in a tunnel. It’s all rather surreal when I think back, because it was literally right after the holidays ended that my mom went south, after her youngest brother went into the hospital and was told he had about a week to live. Tom did not make it past three days and the night of his funeral was when I first had to bring my mom to the Emergency Room. They told me they couldn’t keep Mom, they said excruciating pain was not enough of a reason to admit someone. WHAT?
It was a snowy Friday January evening; I took the bus home across the Loop and arrived at my West Loop neighborhood in record time. I didn’t want to go upstairs just yet; I don’t even know why because I never usually hesitated. I walked through the alley behind Girl & The Goat because I didn’t feel like looking at all the beautiful people on Randolph going to dinner. I smoked a cigarette in the alley and it tasted God awful, I couldn’t even finish it but I held it and looked at it in the falling snow. I hated that thing. I flicked it at the dumpster and made my way home.
Twenty minutes later the call came in that Mom was really sick and I needed to head out there. Ninety minutes later I was there with mom.
I took a leave of absence from my job. A job I knew I was not right for, but so many of us know that we are not right for a job and do it anyways because it’s 2013, and dammit we should be grateful that we have a job at all, so fake it ’til you make it. All bets were off when my mom got sick, I knew the gig was up. I will make amends for this when the time is right.
Now it’s the middle of May and I have radically changed almost everything about my life. My current reading and doing list:
Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
(Eat your veggies, ignite your spark and live like you mean it!)
The Rainforest by Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt
(The secret to building the next Silicon Valley)
Soak Your Nuts
(Karyn’s Conscious Comfort Foods and Recipes for Everyday Life)
Astrology for Beginners (just because!)
The Holy Bible (I pick it up, give it a side-eye, then toss it aside)
Modern Qi Gong by Lee Holden
(a 27-part online series to learn & live the basics of Qi Gong — wonderful to learn how to breathe from my toes and awaken the Qi)
Mother Daughter Wisedom by Dr. Christine Northup
(also attending the Doctor’s 4-part workshop on Lightening the Motherload, which has been super super helpful and freeing)
I’ve changed my eating, drinking, breathing, address, job and spare time since my mom passed away. I go to yoga, I meditate with Buddhist Monks, I hike the hills (mounds?) of McHenry and Walworth Counties and every day I learn something new about where our food comes from and how screwed up the American food system is today and I am trying to discover a healthier ways through this. I teach social media at a creativity incubator and also am doing in-store demonstrations for a smart phone company (I made this connection while at a funeral, so always remember to keep your options open).
I was Meagan the Vegan many years ago when I lived in San Francisco; however things were so very different back, but then again not really. The cool thing to do was to jump on the “John Robbins, “Diet for a New America” bandwagon; I did it and I loved it, but I think I took everything too far as I was known to do. This was when I first learned how wrong the American diet was (is!), how proper food combining was necessary to thrive, all about food allergies and how poisonous Baskin & Robbins ice cream is to a body. I soon became convinced I was addicted and allergic to everything under the sun. I attended 12-step meetings, saw several therapists, tried different religions, worked with shamans in the forest, went to women’s drumming circles, had soul retrievals, studied expressive creative dance, did ecstasy naked on the beaches of Big Sur with hippies, rode my bike all over Northern California (mostly because I didn’t have a car for the first two years) — honestly it was an incredible time in my life and I will never forget the San Francisco years. I worked in SOMA’s South Park neighborhood (the exact park where Twitter and Instagram were born!) as a 35mm slide designer and then I tripped the holistic light fantastic at night and on weekends. I lived in Mill Valley with my pastry chef boyfriend and rode my bike to the Sausalito ferry to ride across the bay each day, right on past Alcatraz Island — could there be a more beautiful start the morning? No! It was cold of course, but absolutely gorgeous.
So here I am going green again twenty years later and I am basically re-learning everything — which is the cool part because I always love a challenge, and naturally it’s all different. My mother is dead now.
I don’t say that flippantly. Losing my mother was such an incredible kick in the guts, I was so not prepared. Even though I thought I was and had been preparing myself for the past two years. The lessons have been hige; my mom’s death is teaching me so much about myself and about life. I am extremely grateful for this bittersweet message that has changed my life.
I am not saying that it isn’t difficult for sons, but the mother-daughter connection is such a powerful connection, even if the two were not friends. My mom and I were occasionally friends, but mostly not. I’ve been amazed at some of the stories I’ve learned in the past few months; both heart -breaking and inspiring. Never in a million years would I have thought it would be me to have a complete meltdown after my mom died, in fact I would have wagered big money that I would NOT be the one to lose it. No Siree Bub, not me.
I did lose it. But I quickly crawled up to gasp for air and asked for help in turning my life around. I was in bad shape. Not on the outside necessarily, but my insides were all topsy-turvy. I was empty and then shattered. My mom apologized for being so mean to me for so many years. She apologized. I laughed at her when she said it, but it was a nervous laughter because I did not know how to respond. Then I saw the look in her eye. She looked away and stared out to nowhere with an empty sadness in her eye. I knew she meant it. I knew right then that she was going to die soon.
I was fired twice in 2012 from two shitty jobs, and these back-to-back firings were very challenging to recover from their blows. I didn’t get fired for lack of trying, that’s for sure. I took this last job out of desperation — even my co-worker mentioned that I seemed “very hungry” when I first started working with the group. It’s true, I was literally hungry and scared because I had to sell my truck, my jewelry and anything else of value to stay afloat. It was very scary and I avoided calling my mom for several months because I did not want her to worry.
My Monk buddies tell me there is no such thing as being “balanced”, there is only “balancing” – I agree! I will continue to attempt to balance things through thick and thin, but I realize there will be challenges and setbacks, along with the successes, and perhaps those setbacks may require a strawberry sundae. It’s starting to sound less and less appealing but perhaps some rainy day may call for a cheeseburger to make things feel alright.
I couldn’t be more inspired than I am right now to live a right life. I don’t expect perfection, in fact I don’t want perfection — I want the real deal. I intend to remain soft, spongey and teachable as I enter the autumn of my life. I want this to be the best time of my life and live well for both myself and my Spirit Sister; my mom Juls.