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
New Energy in 15, at da Bean in Chicago
On a bright & brisk March day, I did some qi gong moves that focus on releasing grief from the lungs, by literally letting the lungs breathe (stretch), while pointing index & thumb like a gun (Chicago-Bang_Bang). The Bean is a HUGE Figure 8 ta boot, such a magical place!
I was in Chicago to say goodbye to my Uncle Buzz, a bittersweet trip for sure as his dance card was up. I tipped Buzz’s Chicago Whitesox hat my uncle, to the Loop; and to the Irish of Chicago. I bid you a fond farewell into the Mystic xx
New Energy in 15, One Eye One Foot Balance
I am following the suggestions of Dr. Christiane Northrup from her book, “Goddesses Never Age” although I have been practicing standing on one foot with eyes closed to find my balance for some time now — it never gets old;). But now it turns out it will help you stay young and mobile! Although you probably shouldn’t try doing it the first few times on a cliff overlooking a busy highway… :DD
New Energy in 15, Qi Gong helps a blackbird to sleep
Qi gong is great to wake up in the morning and also great to help you prepare for sleep. By rotating your arms around in a bird-like fashion, it helps quiet the mind and encourage deep breathing. A soothing Beatles tune helps :))
New Energy in 15, Sunset Bucerias Qi Gong
Gorgeous days and nights on this beach; it was incredibly easy to do my qi gong exercises here because it was so amazing. The gratitude is bursting out of me!
New Energy in 15, Morning Stretches on Bucerias
Have you ever put your whole heart and soul into your morning stretch? It feels amazing, doesn’t it? Greeting the sun on the morning beach and RAWRing as I stretch is a tremendous start to the day… xx
New Energy in 15, Valentine’s Mambo of Love
I’ve started doing t’ai chi with fans, because it helps move the stagnant energy out and away from my body, and on this Valentine’s Day, my guy Reed joined me with his ice cream cone to dance a little t’ai mambo. There are classes on this in San Miguel de Allende btw. Hearts & Loves to you!
New Energy in 15, Rooftop Sun Salutations in San Miguel
I love starting the day by greeting the sun with salutations and some qi gong moves of sweeping the energy off from my kidneys (on my lower back) to help detox them and help me feel alert for the new day. Buenas Dias Saint Michael!
New Energy in 15, Twirling the chi in the Guatamalan braids
While in San Miguel de Allende, I picked up some gorgeous Guatamalan textile braids that are perfect for cross-over twirling, which extends the stagnant chi energy out and away from my body. Twirling is great fun and will really lift your spirits, I highly recommend it!
New Energy in 15, Qi Gong on the road in Mexico
We had just arrived in this little Mexican town of healing waters, and I began my day at a talavera fountain with some qi gong to get things started. Yes people look at me like I am a Gringa Loca, but I am used to this by now! 😀
New Energy in 15, twirling at the museum
I have overcome my fear of doing qigong in public (mostly), and at this groovy Austin museum on a rainy January day, I pull out a Heaven & Earth followed up with a Knocking on the Door of Life. Good Day Austin!
New Energy in 15, sing your heart out!
Singing is a fantastic way to raise your personal vibration, and it just feels good, especially if you can belt one out without restraint. It’s the holidays, so go on, sing, sing, SING, even if it’s with Maria and the gang!
New Energy in 15, Austin Bat grounding technique
If you need to ground yourself, you can swat your body lightly up one side and down the other to check that you are in your body. A fun place to do this is while on the Lone Star Riverboat that cruises Lady Bird Lake as the bats come out at sunset boooooo scary it’s Halloween!
New Energy in 15, shhhhake your chi UP
Children do it, athletes too. When you have nervous energy in you, sometimes it feels great to shake your hands as if they are pompoms and let the tension fly out! My hound dog Bandito is with me for this sped-up version of shaking it out.
New Energy in 15; Sun Salutations in Little Rock
Heading out of Little Rock on my way back to Austin, I stopped at the Big Dam Bridge at sunrise to give my thanks for an amazing NIA Dance-filled week. Sunrise and sunset are absolutely my most favorite times of the day and I love to honor these times xx
Swimming through Fear
I wasn’t always afraid of the water, I grew up in Crystal Lake, Illinois, swimming in the crystal clear water and other area lakes at every opportunity and truly loved being a mermaid. But then came the dawn of JAWS and my swimming career was effectively halted. I remember trying to drown out my fears by singing to myself as I swam, in an attempt to not think about that shark and it’s reign of terror, but I sank in the fear of it all. One last swim in Crystal Lake at summer’s end, a snapping turtle poked it’s head up in front of mine and snapped at me — it was officially over. More sea-terror movies were rolled out, which effectively sealed the deal: Barracuda, Piranha, JAWS 2, JAWS 3, JAWS 4 (*cough*), Creatures, Tentacles, Titanic, ETC., I became content to stroll along the shores, even in the most docile of waters. The fear was big and silent and I gave into it.
Because if I swam, it would look like this:
I sometimes get a little embarrassed that so much of my life became unhinged (and is still unhinging) after my mom’s death. I hear a voice back there “yeah get over it already, it’s been two years now, do your thing whatever, stop talking about it!”
I understand grief knows no bounds, yet why am I quick to scrutinize and criticize myself when I find myself still grappling with it? Oy, the personal pangs that tug at me in the wee hours of the night when no one is looking, oy oy oy.
It’s true, I still struggle with grief and the confusion from everything that is now different in my life — I am mostly okay with my evolution, but some confusion remains. I’m certain many of these changes were inevitable because of my age ta boot; as I approach 50, I understand with more compassion than ever that many women simply must re-invent, re-discover or re-up, or literally lose themselves. I have found many of Dr. Christiane Northrup‘s books and workshops have helped me sort my way through this with better clarity and assurance I’m not losing my marbles. My mom’s death was perhaps the the dime I turned on, bringing with it new opportunities and exciting adventures, although — in hindsight — I can see it was going to happen no matter what. I was ready to shed my skin.
On Mother’s Day, 2013, I put my mom’s ashes in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on a brutally cold and windy May day. Her ashes flew up and around me like a tornado before they landed in the lake. It was surreal, for real. I was surprised to learn there’s a boat service available for people to put ashes in the lake, and I sometimes wonder how many people are in that lake?? Ashes-to-ashes, I don’t really care, but I do like that my mom is there. She wanted to be in Green Bay because of the Packers and I decided that was too far; I wanted to keep an eye on her in Lake Geneva. So began my frequent visits to the lake.
There is an amazing 22-mile walking path around the entire lake and as the cold spring turned to summer, I began to sink my toes into the water. And then I dangled my legs and stared deeply at the water. One day I jumped in and cried. This happened several times. I had lost so much… jobs, addresses, people, things… it was terribly scary because I had no idea how I would climb out of this hole, but I had faith and this lake helped me. I felt tingly energy all around me and something about my existence had been elevated — it was hard to explain, but everything was different. By mid-summer, I was helping myself to absent-summer-resident’s personal boat docks and full-on jumping into the cool waters of Lake Geneva and feeling the calmest I had ever felt in my life.
The summer of 2013 was an amazing, amazing summer and I am forever be grateful for all of it’s lessons.
I left Illinois mid-November of that year and life became very, very different. I had made a promise to myself that the rest of my life would be “magical”, although I wasn’t even sure what that meant, except that it was fodder for jokes — and I love good jokes. Guess what? My life has become magical in many ways, and while there are still mundane and challenging things about it as there should be, I am totally enjoying what my life has become. Call it magical or intentional, I love they way I feel in my skin these days. I miss the Midwest and my days in Lake Geneva — Chicago too, but life has carried on, as it should, and my dreams keep me close to it all. Someday I will be back.
I am having the good fortune of spending this winter in Mexico with Reed; first at the house in San Miguel de Allende, and then traveling through Central Mexico while he attends to business. Situated in a lovely situation here in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico, this past weekend we made plans to spend the day on a boat with Chica Locca Tours that promised whale watching, water activities, food and drink, snorkeling, cave diving; a day out at sea on a very comfortable boat. This group completely delivered and we had an amazing, amazing day. Well I did, for sure.
My fear of open water is still pretty HUGE and when we arrived off the Marieta Islands (“there’s only one way to get there, and that’s to swim for it!“), it was up to us to gear up and swim to the island, where the fun would continue. I did not read this bit in the brochure and my heart sank a mile or two when this was mentioned. I put the fins and snorkeling gear on and became a blubbering, quivering lip awash in a terrifying wave of fear. Everyone was jumping in the water and I stood at the edge of the boat, trembling — NO I could not do this. It was too far away and it was OPEN WATER for Christ’s Sake and surely I would be eaten alive by some monsterous sea creature before I hit the island. This was the OCEAN, did they not realize??! I whelped to the guys I could not do it, no way, my heart was going to explode out of my chest and I was not strong enough. I waddled to the back of the boat to take off my gear and pout it out.
I looked over to the ladder on the side of the boat and said, “fuck it, I will hate myself if I don’t do this.” With that, I jumped into the terrifying (not!) waters and swam to the island. Holy Moley it was gorgeous!
It was a gooooooooooooorgeous adventure and I am sooooooooooo glad I jumped in! We swam to the island and explored the caves and tunnels and dark holes that I thought for sure electric eels lived in and were waiting inside to kill me or eat me and guess what? They were no electric eels waiting in darkness to kill me nor eat me because they couldn’t care less about me! I was the happiest clam in the ocean this day!
After this awesome adventure on Gilligan’s Island, it was time to swim back to the boat. Oh shit….. who moved the boat soooooooooo far away?? It’s even farther away now because some dumb law says it can’t be too close to the island. I was never going to make it and oh my gawd I can’t breathe and so why not kick wildly and claw at the water as if there’s a magic rope to lead me home …
I totally panicked and gasped for air as I attempted to swim for several minutes; holy Mackerel I was scared! Wait. Stop it Meag!
I put my goggles on and looked down into the water and saw holy mackerels but no sharks. I knew I had to stop this panicking and rolled onto my back and looked up at the sky. I needed to breathe more normally and take myself out of the equation. A song came to me that I sang in the temescal a year ago; we sang this as a way to pass the time while sitting in pitch dark, soul-cracking, sweltering heat:
- One little, two little, three little Indians
- Four little, five little, six little Indians
- Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
- Ten little Indian boys.
- Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians
- Seven little, six little, five little Indians
- Four little, three little, two little Indians
- One little Indian boy.
Whad’ya know, I made it to the boat safe and sound!
Again, I was the happiest clam in the ocean! I have been walking on my tippy-toes ever since this glorious day, even though every muscle in my body is sore, but it is a good sore, a sore I am grateful for; a soreness that reminds me I swam to the damn boat, RAWR!
I realize there are people in today’s world who are facing much bigger fears and maybe not by choice, but by fire and I by no means intend to compare to anyone’s challenges. This was a first world challenge, for sure. I believe I become a better person, first to myself and then to others, if I take an opportunity to break down any personal barriers that have held me back in life, or have kept me feeling fearful. There is a freedom that has grown within me in the past two years that has altered the course of my life and I, for one, choose to celebrate all of these personal achievements, great and small.
Broken Hearts Club
How I lost my lifelong membership to this club….
It occurs somewhere around mid-to-early-January, the drug stores aisles turn to a sea of red hearts, teddy bears and ageless chocolates, buttering us up for the next major holiday, Valentine’s Day. This day that will always undoubtedly prove the currency of my self-worth by the amount of Made-in-China crap purchased for me on this glorious rose-filled day. And oh! I need to make room for all the roses! I have personally always been a huge fan of this mid-winter test of my self-esteem.
*ahem* Noooooooooo, no I have not.
I don’t think I’ve ever had an awesome Valentine’s Day, in fact the only giggle-inducing-memory I have of this day was a first date with a boy in Mill Valley, California and we were at a pizza joynt that was slinging heart-shaped pizzas for the night. When the waiter finally came around to take our order, I began to ask questions and make special requests, à la Meg Ryan from “When Harry Met Sally“. The waiter was not having this on this very busy night and leaned over to be eye-to-eye with me, pointed his finger in my face and said rather sternly, “YOU SAID YOU WERE READY.” I turned beet red and ordered the veggie pizza. I kept my mouth shut… for a little while. The boy and I laughed about that for many months and I still use that line on occasion.
Although I never have been fired in this month — and I have been fired A LOT, February is the month that my divorce became final several years ago (February 15) and the month my mom passed away (February 13, two years ago). These hits to my heart turned out to be the hits that have helped me to grow up, wake up and move towards becoming the person I always hoped to be. It has been awful, lonely and tremendously sad, but in hindsight, the gift of crawling on my hands-and-knees through my emotional thunderstorms and muck has helped to shape me in the most profound and prolific ways.
I haven’t always been strong enough to weather my emotional storms; as a young woman I chose to drown my sorrows in a torrential downpour of booze and pills, and it truly is not easy for me to admit that on not one but two different occasions, I attempted to end my life with pills because the pain was unbearable — or so it felt. I was begging God to take me and found a way to get there, or perhaps I knew it was just enough to be a seriously loud cry for help. Looking back, both of these experiences seem like two very different yet terrifying out-of-body experiences. Even though I survived these attempts to snub out my life prematurely, I recall being terribly embarrassed that I was still here, oh my, I felt bad that I was still here. After the first time, I spent a few months in a hospital and I honestly loved my time there — my eyes were open for the first time in my life and it was incredible. The second time, my dad had me arrested and I spent time in a jail in Phoenix. Not long, but long enough to make a huge impression.
I think back to the Meagan I was and I can literally cry out loud for her, I was so lost and unclear about everything in my life. Heartbreaking, in a word, for me to think about these parts of my past, but also inspires me to never take a moment for granted. I now literally kiss the ground on occasion because I am so grateful to be here and to be given these opportunities to live life at the top of my lungs. I am still here. This is not lost on me at all.
Throughout my entire life, I have always thought there was something wrong with me. I was constantly searching for answers and seeking solutions to help me feel better and to feel right in my head. Even with ten years of sobriety, I struggled to feel at peace with myself, although I practiced and studied a number of healing modalities and therapies that for me, never really made much of a dent to lower the noise and restlessness I had in my head. I was always running, always searching, always asking, always researching for something to make me feel better. Nothing worked.
I eventually gave up and settled on living on the fringes once again, when I moved back to Chicago after the divorce. Meh, I didn’t care anymore, I was going to coast this thing out. I had been hiding out my entire life and now it seems that would be my lot in life…. to hide in the shadows and hopefully not be seen.
Two years ago, my mom became drastically sick. Well, she had been sick for years, but did her best to ignore all of it. But now she needed help, it was much larger than her. Everyone was gone, it was just she and I. My mom didn’t really like me to be around; we never did do well in the same room together, and it was not uncommon to go several months without seeing each other, even though we were neighbors. We spoke often and cared for each other deeply, we just knew our limits, mostly. These avoidance tactics went out the window when she got sick and I essentially walked away from my Chicago life when the call came in.
I will never forget the words my mom said to me, even though I brushed them aside at first. Sitting on the edge of her hospital bed, gripping the railings in an attempt to ease her excruciating pain, she turned back slightly to look at me and said, “I was wrong about you, Meag. I’m really sorry I was not nicer to you. I wish I was nicer to you. (lonnnnnnnng pause) I’m sorry Meag.”
Once I recovered from the funeral and whatnot, I awoke to discover that my mom’s words literally words melted a steel cage that had always lived around my heart and my life has since changed in every way possible since her deathbed apology. Well, actually I thought I was having a heart attack and ran to see my doctor, who told me I was trapped in a panic attack. Teh doctor prescribed xanax — noooooooooooo I wanted nothing to do with pills and rejected them. I went to see a naturopathic doctor and set myself off on a very green path that included lots of kale and magnesium to help my cortisol levels. I slept. I wrote. I walked. I did yoga. I cried. I left Chicago for good. I moved into my mom’s empty condo. I woke up.
I feel like a completely different person than I was a two years ago and I am extremely grateful for this completely unexpected gift my mom gave me. It was her love, her broken heart, her choice to unburden her heart, that has forever lightened my heart and turned my life around in the most profound way. I no longer believe there is something wrong with me. I have stopped searching for answers and I literally stopped harassing myself.
I am nice to me. I am nice to others. I like being nice. I can’t believe how good it feels to be nice.
I have met many women whose mothers have also passed away, who never had an opportunity to make peace with their mom before she left this earth. My heart goes out to these women for the pain I see in their eyes, but then again, I see the pain in many women’s eyes when it comes to their mother’s, alive or not. One universal truth, I have come to discover, is that our always-complicated and deeply profound relationship with our mothers affects every single area of our lives. I am not denying that men aren’t affected by their mothers as well, but I have not walked in their shoes, only my own, and I tend to gravitate towards women who wear their mother on their heart sleeves.
I am very proud to be Jule Francis McGovern Foster and Loren Pries Foster’s daughter, may they both rest in peace. I am no longer in the Broken Hearts Club because of the strength and love I learned from these two hearty souls — and it was no walk in the park with either of them. I now meet the challenges of my life with a full heart and eager curiosity. I take care of my heart, I value it and wow it’s a bit amazing what my happy heart says to me! The noise has been reduced, and I finally hear the wisdom within, wow wow wow wow wow.
I’ve been able to make amends for the mistakes I made in my marriage and I wasn’t sure if I would every have this opportunity. Reed is a huge part of my life once again and what an amazing gift this has been to make peace with him, Texas and Mexico. I no longer have hate in my heart, wow wow wow what a trip.
There is still so much to learn and experience and I am super-excited for this thing called my life.
I am tremendously grateful for all the heartache I have survived in my life, and I can’t believe it’s been two years since my mom flew away. I miss her so xx
I am a Psychic.
And guess what, so are you! In fact, each one of us has been born with natural psychic abilities — it is our six sense and we all have one, even if it has been ignored. Much like the ability to sing or paint or play the piano, this skill can be developed with education and a dedication to nurture it, in a world that is not so keen on its development. And much like almost any other profession, there are folks looking to scam people and take advantage of the weakness of others. I have happily met some extraordinary exceptions and look to learn more from the studied professionals.
I’ve had quite an education in the psychic healing arts in the past year and a half. I never once considered myself psychic, although I was always interested in it because I was very curious about those that were psychic; what exactly did this mean? I saw stories and had no idea what that meant, so I went tripping around. As a kid, I was always being told to be quiet, don’t say that, keep your mouth shut….. and because I did not really know how to do that, I discovered ways and means to suppress these thoughts and feelings. So as I grew up, I treated it as a book that I would flip through every couple of years and then toss it aside. That is….. until my mom passed away.
I have met countless people whose lives have completely changed after the passing of their mother; I suppose the stories had always been around me, but I never heard these stories. I thought I had been prepared for my mom’s death, but even to this day, not quite two years later, her death still inspires me, still makes me cry, still makes me feel things I have never felt, but mostly, my mom has inspired me. I recently created a mission statement, and as CORNY as it is, it is oh-so-very-true for me: (yes, it sounds like a Beach Boys song lol)
“I want the rest of my life to be the best of my life and I want to share the good vibrations!”
I discovered I do have psychic abilities. That’s such a freaky word though, isn’t it? I rarely use the word because it’s FREAKY and people literally or metaphorically take a step back and put their hand up as if to say, “You will not see me.” I don’t blame them, I have done the same. Storefront psychics have given the profession a very bad name and in my studies, I learned that approximately 90% of psychics are scam artists. That’s a HUGE number of phoney-baloneys and no wonder this young woman got exactly what she set out to find; online psychic scammers. They are incredibly easy to find, so she allowed herself to be mostly scammed and willingly paid for it. Had she spent some time educating herself, she could have found a professional who could read the energy around her and with a combined effort on both their parts, she would have been left with suggestions on how to improve and/or change her current situation. It’s not hocus-pocus unless you want it to be abra-cadabra. We all have free will and no psychic has the final word on your life, nor should anyone allow a psychic to hold their future ransom for a dollar amount. This woman eventually meet someone who had energy-reading-abilities and guess what, IT FREAKED HER OUT.
I am a beginner and have immersed myself in learning all that I can about these talents of mine that I discovered late in the game; there is no clear path to educate one’s self in this manner, which is a challenge I fully embrace. I no longer even feel as though I have a choice, nor do I wonder if I have this ability; I do. Now my focus is to simply understand this thing that is in me and to that end, I am completely dedicated to educating myself and developing these skills because it is literally the things that makes me jump out of bed each morning. My hope is that everyone finds the thing that makes them to jump out of bed each morning because honestly, it’s the sweet spot for sure.
Everyone has a Sixth Sense, just as everyone can sing, but it’s a skill that must be developed and nurtured. Nothing about our American culture wants you to have these six sensory skills, let alone develop them, which is why turning off the TV and staying out of malls and bars would be a good place to start if you’re interested in develop these skills. Fortunately (!!!) I lost everything while my mom was dying and in my process of re-building, I find myself out in nature A LOT, which is the perfect place for me to develop and practice these intuitive skills. I have learned to meditate too — perhaps one of THE most challenging things to do in my life, because the world has always screamed at me and I always screamed back, that is until I discovered the gift of silence.
It is in the silence where I have learned my greatest lessons.
In the silence, I know stories. It feels as though I get tapped on my nose and then I see people and situations. Usually these situations are high-stress, traumatic situations, not always, but never a bunch of detailed information. In my study of developing these skills, I give much consideration to the ethics of this business, and have learned that it is best to never impose my thoughts or “advice” (eee-gads) on anyone, so often times, I do what I must to release this energy from me. This is where NIA dance comes in tremendously handy, and why I share my good energy tips on Instagram!
Being psychic, or rather, being in touch with one’s intuitive side (a much nicer way of saying it), is the ability to see or hear or read “energy in motion.” When I first heard this description, it made it much less spooky and less mysterious.
“The ability to read energy in motion.”
It’s a fascinating subject and there is so much to learn, so much to try, so much to see, so much to read, so much to feel! I have met some amazing people in this journey, as well; there have been some absolute nut jobs oh-yes-for-sure, some egos five times the size of Texas, but mostly I have met some of the most caring and dedicated people I have ever met in my life, and many dress suuuuuuuper-cool and have never seen an office cubicle. I LOVE IT!!
A good place to start if you’re interested in developing your own “intuitive skills” is Sonia Choquette’s “Diary of a Psychic“, and almost all of her other books. I have read most and have attended her workshops too, which are craaaaaaaaaazy-amazing!
In my late-twenties, I started on the path to discover these skills and learn more about them, but I eventually walked away, literally and metaphorically, because I wasn’t “getting it.” It was a long and interesting lesson, yet I was very, very frustrated because I learned all these things in my head, but nothing was happening outside of me. When my mom was dying and said the words, “I was wrong about you and I wish I had been nicer to you“, it truly melted a steel cage around my heart and I was able to see, feel, hear, taste, touch for the first time in my life. My mom gave me an amazing gift before she passed away, the gift of LOVE, and so it is because of her I am dedicated to being the best PSYCHIC I can possibly be! And truly the BEST part about it is that I don’t have to be a PSYCHIC because there are so many other tremendous things possible in life now!
Now please, will you wash behind your ears before I have to embarrass you in public?
The Dance of Impeccability
This past week, I had the golden opportunity to attend a NIA White Belt training at a crystal farm located just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. I chose this instead of driving to East Austin every day for 7 days, as this option included a free stay at the farm. I discovered NIA dance several years ago, well after I had trained years earlier in Gabrielle Roth’a dance, and felt its principles were speaking to me now as I prepared to deepen my practice. As of last Friday, I can now teach NIA and will be doing so at the end of September at two studios in Dripping Springs, Texas.
It’s an intense training; the days are long and obviously, very physical. I loved every sore-muscle minute of it! The farm was absolutely beautiful and I am completely grateful to have had this opportunity to learn and get certified in Little Rock. I especially enjoyed the early mornings with my roommates; I so rarely get the opportunity to have coffee and spirited conversations with such diverse characters, well before the sun’s day break. I feel a bit smarter and a dollop stronger for having completed this week on the farm. I’ve made some awesome new friends and hope to know hem for years to come.
It was a tremendous experience — including the few days I arrived early to explore Arkansas. Who knew this state was so gorgeous??! They call it the Natural State, I had no idea! Arkansas is an easy target for hillbilly jokes, and while of course I made many, I also learned an awful lot, and that’s a beautiful thing. Arkansas has quartz crystal mines, so there is quite an influx of people in search of said crystals; I even found myself in a mine and spent an afternoon digging. Amazing!! I explored the hot springs of Hot Springs, climbed a few mountains, greeted the rising sun from some breath-taking perches and spent an afternoon in the William J. Clinton Presidential Library; it moved me to tears more than once.
I’m thankfully out of hillbilly jokes because I have seen “the purdy” side of Arkansas. It was an amazing week and I’m excited to start teaching NIA!
A quick 9-hour drive home, a few loads of laundry and then Reed and I were off to Aspen, Colorado to stay with his Aunt Lucy and see the high country burst into the autumn season. Oh what a gorgeous country it is!
I think back to where my life was one year ago — it’s completely different today and thank God for this. I was working a corporate job (or two!) in Chicago and really thought that would be my path, but obviously I kept falling flat on my face. Losing so many jobs — okay being FIRED from so many jobs, having to sell all my belongings and then eventually moving out of Chicago, was extremely painful and has deeply changed me forever. The cake-froster was my mom’s death. Only one year ago I was crawling out of the mire and uncertain about where my life would go next. It was, in a word, terrifying.
Reed came back into my life last Thanksgiving when he invited me to Mexico for Thanksgiving. I never thought I would see him again after our divorce in 2008, but alas, never say never. I never felt right about how things ended between us; so I am grateful to have this opportunity to get right with him — but mostly to get right with myself, because I cannot help others until I help myself.
When we were married, I was restless and had absolutely no direction. I was adrift in my pointless life and unmotivated to change it. I had lost that sparkle in my eye, that spark that had enabled me to endure almost anything in my life. Reed had offered to let me do anything — yet I could not decide and chose to do nothing instead. Can you imagine? We did a lot of traveling and moved into many houses, yet I became increasingly annoyed by it all. “Unattractive” is the word I would use to describe myself. I was once an artist! Not anymore; I would pick up a paint brush and cast it aside, feeling literally nothing except a dull pressure to be something I was not anymore. I blamed the world and especially blamed Reed for my injustices.
Injustices. How outrageously arrogant of me.
I have never been more focused in my direction, nor more excited to live an adventurous and colorful life, than I am today. I have pangs of guilt for not currently having a job, but I’ll get over it. I am working toward an entirely different career experience and how lucky I am to have the opportunity to explore these new heights. I start teaching NIA later this month, but that is only the beginning. I am aiming high!
I believe we cross paths with people who are meant to teach us something, even if it is delivered through a painful, one-two-punch lesson. Upon arriving in Aspen, Aunt Lucy completely nailed me to the wall, ridiculing me, wagging a finger in my face, wanting to know why I am so happy and what is my secret because she DOESN’T UNDERSTAND. It was scary and unsettling — this is a very angry woman who is deep in her Stage 4 cancer battle and is duking it out with her demons. Lucy has everything and more than the “American Dream” would suggest, yet her heart is cold and empty. And scared. She does not like unicorn-chasing, skip-to-the-loo-tree-huggers like myself, yet she is surrounded by them and pursues them here in Aspen. She went above and beyond to hurt me and succeeded.
I was a wounded pup for a few hours but quickly recovered. The fruits of my emotional labor; I now pull myself out of the hole, rapidly, with very little drama.
I composed myself in all that is gorgeous and illuminous in Aspen, Colorado and it dawned on me that no matter who we are, we are all searching to get out of our pain and to know what love is all about. It can take a lifetime. Thank God we all have one.
(of behavior, performance, or appearance) in accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless.
During my NIA training, we were asked to be impeccable. Impeccable in our words and actions. Interesting! It has caused me to think before I speak and I am now acutely aware of my impeccability — even if I am anything but impeccable at times. I am responsible for my happiness and my involvement in life. I am not expecting a doctor to hand me a happy pill, nor do I feel that anyone owes me anything. My life has become impeccably easier to navigate since I lost everything last year and re-discovered my true self and a deep desire to be helpful. I have that spark in my eye once again.
My research continues, as it is not over… xoxo