Jul 19 2012

What single word might express how I feel right here right now…

I’ve been struggling all summer with so many internal thoughts about my life, where I am and where I have been. I mentioned in my last post about the struggle, the boredom and that in my past, every 10 years or so when I felt this way I would pack up and move, start over and re-invent who I am. This time around I am content with where I live and no longer feel the desire to pack and move, I love Nashville. A few weekends back, as I did my early morning ritual, scroll through FB and twitter feeds I noticed a friend’s post:

“I’m interested to see who reads my post. I realize that’ s about 5 of you… So if you read this, leave me a one word comment about your day. Only one word please. Then copy this to your wall so I can leave a word for you!

For what ever reason, in that moment I thought…what single word might express how I feel right here right now. In that moment an avalanche of words came rushing through my mind. Words of how I felt, words of how I wanted to feel, words of what I wanted and didn’t want scrambled through my mind! It was then I realized, with my current struggle, I have been slowly isolating myself from the world. I’ve turned down every lake day, most every pool day and every thing in between. I’ve always had a good reason, in my own mind to pass on these things, the need to work on the house, grade papers, edit images…or the one that I use most, I don’t want to spend money on fun because times are tough. Honestly I wasn’t totally aware of what I was doing, I had my self believing my reasons and as the time passed I became more and more isolated from the world. My only interaction seemed to be FB and that left me feeling empty. So on that Saturday I started my pondering of meaningful words which of course become thoughts of all kinds.

It became one of those lonely, cry all day, feel sorry for myself weekends. I reflected on my family, how much I miss them, how we are all getting old and our time is limited. I cried.

I watched a sappy love story on tv and was reminded of my past decisions, where I am and that, I have to admit, I am a bit lonely, not unhappy but I do miss having a companion I can laugh with, share with and be intimate with. I cried.

I thought about my wonderful friends, about how I was disappointed that no one ever checks in much anymore, no calls or text. Then I thought, how can I expect them to stick around if I continue to close them off…I cried.

I thought about Dina, Victoria, Todd, Rusty, Mozi, Elwin and Grannie…those so close to me that I have lost in such a short time and how much I miss them. I cried.

I thought about my frustration with my ever changing career, my lack of feeling I am doing anything in my life that feels worthy and my fear of what can I do? I cried.

I watched a show about millionaire’s who secretly go to non-profits as undercover volunteers. They share stories, learn about those people they are helping and those running the cause who give their lives to others unselfishly. Then after getting close to these people they tell them they are donating large amounts of money to the cause because of how much they have learned, tears always fall on the show….and I cried.

As Sunday morning rolled around I watched my tv church episode and as always cried because of what I believe to be true and that God is with me.

Sometimes I find solace in being home especially the weekends, sitting in silence just listening to the sounds outside knowing everyone else is out being social. That strange loneliness mixed with a uncomfort knowing there is no one special in my life other than friends and family. It often is in those moments I find the most clarity, the most confusion and the most in-depth feeling of existence.

As my weekend of self reflection ended, Monday I went back into auto pilot and began the week. I had the realization Monday morning that I could not use a single word to express where I am right here right now. Love and Gratitude were the first of many that surfaced. I always start in GRATITUDE. I am grateful for all that is, good and bad because it is in that emotion especially over that weekend within my sadness that I realize it has to happen to feel something. I may be different from most in that when I am lonely I tend to make myself lonelier because I withdraw, I have to because it is the only way I know how to get quiet. I have to be grateful, I have to reflect, to hurt and cry. Those things always remind me that I am feeling and I am living. I am being touched by what I am experiencing. I am becoming wise to the secrets that life holds. I am finding out what moves me most and perhaps in time those triggers that make me cry the most hold the secret to where I am headed and what my life purpose is to be. With that I always end at LOVE.

I am living and though it may be in silence from the rest of the world sometimes, I know when it is time, after a few good cries, and some internal realization I will resurface and become social as I always do. With every single step no matter how easy or hard those steps come I continue to begin EACH next chapter of life while I have the breath in my lungs to do what I am here to do. Patience, stillness, gratitude and love must be my friends because that is what is guiding me to a new place. No packing bags at this point in my life, at least for now. I choose to reflect on the baggage I carried, grow, learn and know I can for once re-invent myself while all my friends watch with my feet planted here in Nashville for another 10 years! What words can you come up with to express how you feel right now? Think about it…maybe you will have a weekend like I did and on Monday awake with a huge smile!

Sending love…pass it on!

May 22 2012

The wind in my sail has left and I am stranded in a vast sea of possibility, paralyzed…

It has been some time since I have written here at Thinking Diva. For what ever reason I have been in a bit of a funk and working toward trying to get my good energy and attitude back. I have been writing but not posting because I started this blog to share and motivate through being positive. I didn’t want to come off here as being negative even though I realize we all have times when we feel down. That being said most of my struggle’s have been based on life as a whole, not on one particular thing. Maybe I have been having a mid-life crisis! Lately my thoughts are centered around a reoccurring feeling of emptiness, a feeling of lack with everything that has had me wondering how I can get that excitement of life back. Perhaps the experience of loss (all the beautiful friends and family I have lost over the past few years) has created a shift in me that makes me question “Why am I Here?”  It seems that all the things I used to live by no longer have any viability to me. This is not the first time in my life that question has surfaced but it feels a bit different this time around because of my age, my accomplishments and where I am in life.

I AM full of gratitude! I have been very blessed with a wonderful family who I love so much and miss because of the miles I chose to put between us. I have the most wonderful and loving friends you could ask for. I have lived a life doing what I love through a career of creativity. I am content with my “SELF”, I have learned how to maintain self love and my struggle with spirituality has ended so I feel fulfilled. I have no debt, I have a roof over my head, I take care of myself and I am healthy so honestly I have no reason to feel so lost. I feel guilty for my thoughts of “lack” but as we humans often do I sometimes allow regret to surface in what I haven’t had or done. For what ever reason most of my life has been driven by career goals and solely involved only me. I worked hard and did what ever I needed to do, sacrificed what needed to be sacrifice to achieve what I though success was because I truly believed that was what made me happy. Overall I have been a happy person but those things now seem pointless. The things that sadden me in my life right now all center around my lack of personal goals involving others. I will always feel I missed out on the experience of having a child and being a mom. I have excepted it but that awareness does sometimes creep up on me. I have positioned myself in life to be alone, far from family, no responsibilities, no obligations and content with not being in a relationship right now. I wish I had been more mature in my past relationships, I never experienced a healthy-mature relationship in my past because I was not healthy and mature enough to know otherwise. I take full responsibility for my choices, I hold no anger of blame towards anyone and fortunately I know I will do better in this second phase of my life when I am ready to take that step.

As I sit here pondering wether I should even post this I am unsure that these words really have anything you will benefit from. Maybe I am reaching out to you this time hoping for some answers I can’t seem to find, maybe some clarity. My biggest “empty” feeling right now is that I am tired of living my life for just me, it feels so wasteful, it doesn’t have any importance outside of myself and that has come to bother me most. Living the way I have doesn’t feel fulfilling, I don’t feel I am offering myself outwardly in a purposeful way. Is this making any sense? Maybe this is my “story”(we all have one), my need for attention, maybe this is “all about me,” perhaps I am craving validation of feeling like someone or something needs me. Am I just feeling sorry for myself wollering in self pity? Goodness, is that a form of self, co-dependency? I had the realization yesterday that I am probably more than half way through my life. If I died tomorrow I believe I would be ok with what I have accomplished but with the time I have left I want so much more and I don’t want it to center around “just me”. It is not that I am unhappy but there is something really missing and I can’t put my finger on it. I am bored, I feel unchallenged and even worse I have no direction, I am going through the motions of what needs to be done and that is it. It’s like the wind in my sail has left and I am stranded in a vast sea of possibility, paralyzed.

So this is where I stop and go within, I get quiet, I pray, like so many times before but this time I realize….I am really stuck. It’s where I reach out to you and ask what do you think? Is this something we go through and question when we are in our 40′s? Do we all secretly share this and if so what do you all do to create new beginnings? Looking back on my life I see a bit of a pattern here, it seems every 10 years or so when I get bored with my life I pack up and move hundreds of miles to somewhere new to start over, to re-invent and to become excited again. It has worked every single time in my past but this time is different, for once I am really happy with where I live and with my friends. So what now, I can’t run, I don’t want to move….(although there is something intriguing with Santa Fe, Costa Rica or Europe…)

I am reaching out to those of you who were willing to read this far for insight, please share with me, I need a little kick in the ass right about now! Still sending love…but man I could sure use some love right about now (of course there is always moose tracks)!

Dec 30 2011

Pondering the new year…centering it around LOVE!

blog image1 Pondering the new year...centering it around LOVE!

Once again we are at the end of a year and facing the beginning of a new one. For what ever reason I always get excited about the possibilities that lie ahead this time of year and with that excitement I like to make list of what I want to achieve and experience moving forward. I have always been a deep thinker and I love making list of goals and day dreaming of what is possible. As we enter the new year many of us reflect back to what happened in the past year good or bad. I have had some bad in regards to friends passing, storm damage and unfortunate happenings that resulted in a non extant bank balance at times but I choose not to focus on those things. They happen, they are a part of life and I want to take all things good or bad and focus on what those experiences gave me not what they took away from me. Negative things DO happen, life is like that but when you choose to focus on only the positive, you move through “things” quicker and that enhances your quality of life.

So with the new year quickly approaching here is my list so far:

-come out of the closet….as a mixed media artist! My friends have known for years of my artistic endeavors and how I have been giving my art to charity and as gifts. I have not publicly marketed or shown my work as an artist and I have hopes of extending my creative career with additional income doing this in 2012!

-learn how to weld by taking a welding class, yep I have wanted this for years but I hope this will be the year I finally learn, I want to be able to make table legs and lamps after learning how to throw fire from a torch!

-look into the possibilities of re-launching “ReTune Nashville” as a non-profit 501c3 that helps raise money for inner city schools art and music programs. This has been in the back of my mind since ReTune Nashville was launched as a flood relief project. I have a teaching background and understand the politics and lack of budget available for these programs and I truly believe that  music and art can help those students who are not doing well academically. Imagine the possibilities we could create for underprivileged kids by giving them a reason to feel self worth through art and music. Imagine a non profit that also allows those who contribute to have a platform to share their talents with the world. This is not just a platform about giving to help, it is helping and being showcased as a mentor for artistic and musical talent. It is about giving back and becoming an inspiration to others. I have a vision and pray that God will bring the people into my life who have the strengths to make this a reality!

-offer a workshop to people wanting to know how to take better pictures and how to use imagery to promote themselves in the world of social media. Working on the logistics now, hoping I have the appeal and value to offer others inspiration and knowledge to improve their visibility!

-continue meeting and making new friends who inspire me through positivity!

- continue writing about my personal experiences in a way that inspires others to be more loving to themselves and to others. My hope is to motivate others to be happier in their lives through positive thinking!

-date more…have fun dating and enjoy the pursuit of flirtation that it creates!

-and of course the one thing on the list every year…work out and lose those few extra pounds, my new “Move’s Like Jagger” plan has great potential!

I still have a few days left to add to this list but I also want to reflect on how 2011 has enriched my life. The hurdles I have experienced and what will stand out most as my greatest memories from the year.

-the most important thing 2011 has given to me is the gift of love and wonderful friendships. I am extremely grateful for the beautiful friends I have in my life, how those relationships grew this year and how love has multiplied all around me due to those wonderful relationships.

-I am blessed to have had a better year in business than the past few years due to the economy, I was able to pick up some big accounts including the Cracker Barrel and feel so blessed to be doing what I love and getting paid for it.

-I am grateful for all the volunteers, sponsors and support of so many people through out Nashville who helped make “ReTune Nashville” so successful. I am proud that all of our hard work was able to raise $ 65,000.00 to help musicians and songwriters who were directly affected by the flood of 2010. It was a one year labor of love and commitment and by far the most gratifying thing I have ever been a part of in this lifetime.

-I lost two very important friends…a best friend from my past life in Orlando, Florida Victoria Bowen died from heart issues at the age of 51 and one of my best friends Dina D’Gerolamo passed away in September, she was my age, we had similar backgrounds and I felt a connection to her like a family member. Although I miss them both so much I know they are in a better place and I am so honored to have had the chance to have had their friendship while they were alive, I will cherish those memories for a lifetime!

So with that I am done for now with my pondering….I am curious what your new year has in store. Please feel free to share with me your list! One last thing I want to hope for in the new year, I hope that every single one of you out there choose to enhance your life with love this year. Love toward others, love for something you enjoy doing, love for your family, love for what you eat, love for who you spend time with, love for where you go, love for what you share, love in all your judgement, love in the words that leave your mouth, love in forgiveness, and most of all love for your self. If we all put a little more effort into “LOVE” I believe the world will be a better place, one baby step at a time. And with that I hope you will spread the word of “Love”, I will continue working on my art series “Love Is…” and wishing you all love from the bottom of my goofy, humble, grateful, open, touched heart, pass it on!

Dec 24 2011

Love, loneliness and a goofy dream…

love 1024x682 Love, loneliness and a goofy dream...

I awoke from a dream the other morning in a panic. I had dreamed that I was invited to a Christmas party, everyone there was dressed up with dates including all my ex boyfriends and I was the only one who showed up alone. In the dream I left and started calling all of the hot guys I knew trying to find one to meet me so I didn’t feel so alone but no one could come. In that moment I awoke and I had a sickening feeling in the bottom of my stomach, I was sad, embarrassed and lonely all in that instant. It was as if I was a character in one of those cheesy love stories I have enjoyed watching most of my life, you know the ones…

-the woman who is always with the cheater

-the woman who gets dumped for a prettier or younger woman

-the woman who works too much so no one is interested

-the woman who is too shy, geeky or different and no one wants her

-the woman who’s friends and family say she needs to be married but she cant find a good man

During the holidays when we don’t have family around, friends available and/or we lack a partner to share our time with we may feel lonelier than normal. We have all been in a lonely place at some point in our lives, male or female and often we allow our thoughts to reflect negatively towards ourselves in those times of loneliness. As humans we all want to have a partner to share our love with and when that is not in our lives we sometimes feel inadequate.

I believe that women are generally more sensitive and often more insecure than most men. We tend to treat ourselves terrible with negative self-talk and often that shows outwardly as insecurity especially when we are single. There are a lot of single gals here in Nashville and based on the conversations I have had over the years many of them feel like damaged goods. They can’t figure out why they can’t find a guy or why they always get the guys who are not so perfect for them. There are a lot of women who have never been married and feel they are missing out on something. Some who wanted children yet never quite found the guy that was right for that path. I have come to learn through conversations with my guy friends that women are not always alone in these feelings. As humans we judge ourselves much harder than others and often give off that energy of insecurity. We take our negative experiences with past partners, hold on to the hurt and eventually believe that all partners will be this way. Sometimes these uncomfortable internal feelings can make us treat others in a negative way because of our fear of being hurt. Wether we are hurting others or being hurt the cost of carrying that around is negative and will continue to have negative consequences with our happiness if we don’t learn how to let go of the negativity and change the pattern.

I believe that we attract the energy we are offering in life depending on where we are in our thinking at any given time. It may sound silly but I believe if we can learn to accept ourselves, do a little work to get and keep our mindset in a positive state we will have healthier people come into our lives. This is true with not only companionship but with all relationships. If we allow things to happen keeping a positive outlook rather than passing judgement and allowing our past experiences to resurface we will attract better experiences into our lives. The amount of power we have over our thoughts allows us to change the reoccurring negative things along our life path. I know this is true because I have met people in my life who are always genuinely happy and positive and their lives seem to continue to stay on a positive path because of their attitude not because they are lucky!

These day’s the most important thought I have when facing new opportunities is “am I happy, will this make me happy or is this a positive path that will allow me to feel good”. By allowing these thoughts to occur when facing something I am unsure of I offer myself the opportunity of awareness, not repeat behavior. When I am feeling good and make others feel good it makes me feel even better about myself. I am not saying that I always take the right path but by reminding myself of what is important and being aware of those things as they are happening I feel I am making better choices. No more auto pilot…auto pilot gives me the quickest result not the most beautiful route!

I am sure that this dream signifies something in my own life that I need to look deeper into but I am unsure what exactly that might be. I have gone a year being single and enjoying the fun that it brings. I really have not cared wether I had a date or not because I have enjoyed my time of discovery with in myself and the fun flirting can be with men I have an interest in. I was not consciously making an effort to BE single I just haven’t felt a need or desire to put the effort into anyone. I spent the year looking within my self, doing what I wanted for ME, finding fun things to do and surrounding myself with people who make me happy. I buried myself in charity work, in personal work, in art and learning how to be spiritual alone-just me and my higher power. I revisited my past decisions, forgave the other person, considered the lessons learned, accepted I had a choice in those situations, forgave myself and let go. Some of those past experiences were tough and have continued to re-surface but I am making progress. Allowing myself to forgive, take accountability and letting go sometimes requires revisiting, reworking and redirecting how to take the negative and fill it with something positive. We are human and because of our egos some issues at hand are more difficult to overcome. If we are holding on to anger because someone did something that truly was wrong and unkind we think we feel better playing the victim but carrying that weight will have some negative affect on any relationship moving forward. We will feel complete and eventually happier if we  allow ourselves to feel the hurt, be humble, forgive and let go.

It’s funny after I awoke from that strange dream feeling sad, in the next minute I started laughing because in every one of those silly movies the woman always finds true love. I know I will find it when I am ready and when I do it will be better than any love I have had in the past because with every day that passes I am becoming a better person. With that I know I will attract a healthy, loving and beautiful person into my life! While I am on this journey I am reminded daily of how wonderful love is even if it excludes a partner. Love is always available, I have beautiful loving friends and a loving family so I am not lacking by any means.

If you are out there questioning your worth, feeling insecure and thinking you are not worthy of love remember we are ALL worthy, we are all human and we all sometimes need to take a closer look at how we are treating ourselves. If you are feeling alone because you do not have a partner stop and believe that finding that person can be just as fun as having them. In that moment if you can accept and believe you are a wonderful and loving person deserving of love, and I promise you are, you will be that much closer to finding a loving partner because it has to start on the inside first! Love yourself and watch what shows up all around you! Wishing you all a happy holiday and as always sending love…pass it on!

Nov 20 2011

Stop asking “Who Am I” and evolve by saying “Who Do I Want To Be!”

img028 Stop asking “Who Am I” and evolve by saying “Who Do I Want To Be!”

Who am I?  This is a question I have been asking myself since I was a little girl and not once have I ever truly been able to say who I am, maybe because it always ends up being what I am. Is there a difference between what we are and who we are, I think so. Often when I think I have defined myself I insert those thoughts of what I think others might add and at that moment I become something else.

The person I am today is a very different person from who I was ten years ago. Although I don’t care too much for that earlier person the core of who I am was always there. Back then I was too caught up in the outside world, always worried about what others thought of me and I often acted for the sake of appearing to be what others wanted. I was judgmental, materialistic, insecure, irritated, unhappy and I complained a lot. I did not love who I was and I couldn’t be happy with that lack of self love in my life. It took my life falling apart, my choosing a new direction and making many, many mistakes to change that insecure lonely person. Most importantly it took losing many loved ones, learning gratitude and making a conscious effort to forgive, forget and let go of my past.

I listened to a Sunday service this morning online titled “The Secret of Life” and it opened my eyes to something about myself I didn’t even know. Every time I catch myself thinking about wanting to change things on the outside and choose to work on changing things within myself first…I evolve. I believe we are constantly evolving based on our choices in life and our attitude to how we handle those choices. If we can say with out any hesitation who we are we no longer have something to work towards and time will not allow that to happen.

If I say who I am the truth is it will be my own vision of me, others around me may have a different vision of who they think I actually am. Pondering this makes me want to reach out and have all of you who know me share who you believe me to be. If I have to say it myself I would say this:

I am a woman who believes that kindness and love towards others AND myself makes me a better person. I am sincere, honest, hopeful, weird, geeky at times, goofy, creative, inspired by positivity, open minded, intuitive, inquisitive, sometimes lazy, always laid back, and I care deeply about those in my life. Sometimes I can be insecure about how I look, about how I sometimes act and about what I create. I am uncomfortable in crowds and in front of people especially speaking or singing. I believe I can be inspiring, that I have something to say, that the more I say out loud with passion the better I get at sharing and the better I feel.

So if this is what I believe to be “Who I  Am” or perhaps “What I Am” what does it say about where my life is headed? I think that we all want something, we are all striving towards something in life but with all that we have going on the busyness sometimes shields the truth of what we see. Ok so this is getting a bit deep but what if what we are inside is somehow related to what we have around us. If we lack integrity are the people we hang out with lacking integrity too. Do you notice that when groups of girls or guys hang out they seem to dress alike, to act alike, to be interested in the same things? Well perhaps if we want something different we need to consider that what we do mirror’s what we get, or what we experience. If this is so then consider the possibilities we have within our grasp.

Right now I want to start thinking from a different place. In previous post I have spoke about wanting and needing change because I feel bored. I think it might be time for me to go with in and rather than asking who am I and what do I want perhaps I need to start deciding who I want to be. If I begin to model the new me I believe that new stuff I want will follow close behind. I am excited about the possibilities because they are what ever I want them to be. I look forward to this new way of thinking and what will become on the outside from what I first become on the inside.

I now believe that what I become with in my own heart eventually becomes all that is around me. Rather than me wanting something outside of myself first I will work on what I want within me and I will begin to see that is all that surrounds me. We have to become an example of anything we want in our lives before it can come to be what is in our lives. I know that if I want to get more I need to do more, if I want to be loved I need to love more, if I want great people in my life I have to be a great person to be around, I believe I get out of life what I put into it…I choose to think independently, to work with passion, to strive to be happy everyday, to be kind, to see without judgement, to inspire others when I can, I love blindly and love everyone. I do these things because I know that I feel better and I am becoming a better person by living this way. In time the world around me will mirror these things. The world isn’t waiting for me to catch up, time is marching by and I have to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what I am confronted with in life. These things are helping me to evolve into a life I love.

In closing I ask you to take some time and contemplate these questions for yourself, “Who am I? What Am I? and Who Do I Want To Be”? I am here ready to listen if you want to share but my hope is that you will become as excited as I am right now about how much possibility is within your very own grasp.  Lets evolve by taking the first step together. Sending love to you all…..

Jul 10 2011

Contemplating my anxiety, boredom, a lost compass and a goal almost competed!

Today I awoke feeling restless, wanting to release some anxiety and not really understanding why I was irritable and uneasy. Nothing had happened, no apparent reason for feeling this way but believing there must be something unsettled within me.  Have you ever felt that way? I sat around quietly at first, turned on some music then silent again. It is interesting to just sit quietly and listen. The things around the room, the dog breathing, the fridge, the ac, a motorcycle in the distance. At first it can be uncomfortable but once you allow yourself to become relaxed your mind begins to speak to you. Thoughts and memories come out of no where, nothing is organized just random things but without the noise of tv, radio or people you actually hear your thoughts. After several hours of contemplating, reflecting on where I’ve been, where I am, what seems good or bad within me, the only thing I could come up with was I am ready for some change. Something new, I am unsure what, maybe seek out some new friends, a new hobby, join a new group or something. After several hours of silence I took a nap because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. When I awoke I realized that I need something in my life to intrigue me, to stimulate me, to interest and inspire me because I am becoming too comfortable in my daily regiment which is beginning to bore me. I believe this is what  is creating my anxiety.

What would you do if your compass was broke? I guess in a way that is how I am feeling right now. I am out there doing but not sure what direction I am headed. I have been so dedicated over the past year, first to ReTune Nashville and now to myself, my art and my career and all of a sudden feel a little lost. My entire life I felt I had a map, a goal and a direction, when ever I felt this way I would create more busyness or on several occasions pack up move somewhere new without knowing anyone and start my life over. It kept me happy, it kept me re-mapping my destination, perhaps it was a form of running as my father once said to me but it always worked and pointed me one step closer to where I am now. Eventually I realized that I had to love myself and that is what I have worked towards for the past 10 years here in Nashville. This place I am in now feels different, back then I was not happy with me, once I learned of self love I became happy, now I am just bored. My life list of accomplishments have pretty much been by design minus the things in my relationship sector, and I am unsure what I want next. Nashville is my home 100% so there will be no move in my future to take me to my fresh new life ahead.

I have restricted my social activity and spent many, many hours working towards new year goals I set for myself in January. One in particular was to not date, to focus on me, to get healthier in body and in mind. When I set the “NO” dating goal I told myself I would re-visit dating in August because I felt that would be enough time to get healthy. Dating often seems like a job search to me and I really am not interested in that process. So many of my friends are on dating sites and it all looks too overwhelming to me. It seems it should be so much more simple than that. I always find myself meeting great men but not having any chemistry and then having a difficult time figuring out how to let them know without hurting their feelings in hopes of maintaining a friendship. My problem is that I very seldom feel an attraction or chemistry and then am left with the realization of what a man would think if faced with “I just want to be friends”, most do not want to stick around for that. Maybe it is silly but I love the immediate WOW factor when you have big energy with someone you just met. It is not just physical attraction it is the conversation, the intrigue, the entire package not just one part. Perhaps this is why men and woman seem very different, or maybe it is just me. Men are wired differently and seem to be intrigued with women first through physical attraction before anything else even registers. Please share with me if I have this wrong!

I have been told by several friends that I have no game, that I am unapproachable or that I need to learn the art of flirting. Maybe this is true but I have never really felt I was like any other woman out there. I am not one to flirt with a stranger, to dress flashy in order to turn a head or to have to work at being the center of attention. I am somewhat shy in the presence of an attractive man, even more so if I am attracted to him directly and maybe I give off the impression of not being interested. I feel men have become lazy, they put no effort into the process of dating, maybe that is because so many women are throwing themselves at them or that women have become so independent that men don’t actually have to do anything any more. I think women have become too aggressive and often come off as being desperate. What is wrong with a little mystery, with patience and with getting to know someone before pursuing anything. Maybe I have watched too many movies, maybe too old fashion or perhaps just a hopeless romantic but I can’t be something I am not and if that causes me to remain single because I am not willing to compromise or settle for something I am not then so be it.

When I look at the overall dating scene especially for people my age I realize it is complicated because we have spent half of our lives becoming who we are. I think that many people, male and female are trying too hard, looking for someone who will fill a void that is missing in their lives. I think that there are so many people who can’t just sit and be quiet without freaking out to the silence…which we all know is not silence but our inner voice speaking to us. If we can’t sit alone with ourselves and be happy how can we expect to have someone else make us happy. No one can fulfill that void, that “Thing” that is missing because that thing is inside of us not out there in someone else. If more people realized this I think there would be more happiness and more love within us all. We would allow others to be as they are and love that they are unique, if things don’t match our expectations we have the choice to leave. Making a person wrong for not being what you want will not work, love does not insult for the sake of validation!

What I have learned with age is that the more I am honest with myself and with others the better I become. The more I love myself and life the healthier I am. I am comfortable with who I am, I love my life no matter what it lacks, I have forgiven myself and others for anything and everything from my past and I am by far the healthiest both inside and out than I have ever been in my life. I know that if a man comes into my life he will get a beautiful person, not a perfect person…there are flaws despite my self confidence. Most of all he will get me and will either love that or not. I don’t really think that my anxiety is from the lack of a man being in my life but I do feel allowing myself back in the game could add some interest and perhaps allow me to let go of some of this boredom. How to find a date is another story and it is not August yet so I will wait till then to worry about that. I know that you have to want to date to get a date so until August….sending love out to you all!

Mar 11 2011

Living life with trust, integrity and self love…

After a night out with friends talking about life and relationships I sat down before a blank piece of paper hoping to let go of some things. As I let my mind wander awaiting to see what my hand would eventually record two words kept coming up….Trust and Integrity. When I was in my 30′s I went through a program called “The Landmark forum,” in that course I learned about the importance of living with integrity and how much I was not living that way at the time. After weeks of exercises and learning about myself I realized that most people really don’t live in a place of integrity because they are not honest with themselves and many times they don’t even realize it. That course was very difficult for me because it opened my mind to how I was living, the truth was I did not have the ability to live with integrity because I had absolutely no self love or self esteem and I was very unhappy. Over time the depth of what I was learning would change the course of my marriage, of my life and eventually bring me here to Nashville. It would also show me how happiness results from having self love.

In a sense self  love comes partially from living with integrity because when you are living that way you have nothing making you feel bad about yourself. I once had a tough time understanding the difference between trust and integrity but now I believe trust is something that you have with others and integrity is what you have with yourself. Integrity is your moral principles in motion, your character, your honesty…it is your word. Trust is what results from having that integrity.

A simple example:  Helping out a friend for the sake of being kind but complaining to someone else about helping because you didn’t want to do it, or talking negatively about the person you helped. You are acting without integrity because you are talking negatively about the one you helped behind their back. If your complaints to someone else get back to the person you helped it could hurt the way they feel about you and offer a lack of trust the next time you offer to help, it reflects your Integrity of that situation.

To live in a state of true integrity you have to own what you do, you can’t complain or judge and it has to come from a place of love. If you look at any choice or situation with honesty and act accordingly you are operating with integrity. Others see that in you and will pass judgement based on how they perceive you to be which really doesn’t matter because integrity in my opinion is most important to the one living in it. I think it is impossible to live with complete integrity all of the time because we are human, we make mistakes, we pass judgement and it depends on what you choose do with all of those things outwardly. When you are operating at the highest form of integrity, with honestly and own all that you do you are genuinely at your happiest because you are offering the best YOU to others.

Trust is most important when you feel it in another person and when you see their lack of integrity it can cause you to NOT trust. I have been through many relationships that lacked trust. Most of the signs were there early on but because I was so focused on what I wanted to see I overlooked what I didnt want to accept for the sake of hoping I was wrong. Why?  Because I wanted to be loved, I wanted to be accepted and hoped that someone else could make me feel that way. The truth is someone else can’t fulfill what I believe is missing, loving myself is what fills that void (along with spirit). Every single relationship that lacked trust was because the person lacked integrity, there were always early signs and a feeling in my gut! In a relationship you can trust until something creates doubt which in turn can create a lack of trust. We can never know for sure when someone is being dishonest but I do believe that the more in tune we are with ourselves and when we have self love we will make clearer decisions based on what we are feeling. The confidence that self love can create will help you to see through the fog of infatuation. Once trust is broken it is very difficult to get back, if it is broken more than once doubt sets in and when that happens it reflects the integrity of the one who broke it. Forgiveness is very important but you can forgive without actually trusting. It takes time to trust, to repair trust and if integrity in the person being forgiven doesnt show up it can’t be repaired.

My past decisions have made me who I am today and hopefully I am learning the lessons, making better decisions because of them and becoming a better person in the process. I always try my best to live from a place of integrity not because of what others believe me to be but because I want to live my life with integrity for me. “Trust” and “Integrity” were on my mind when I started writing this but I couldn’t deny the truth that lies in having “self love.” Thank you for reading, wishing you all the best and sending love…..

Apr 17 2010

Hoping for a life changing moment, reflecting on past memories = self indulged confusion?

I have to admit something is going on.  I am unsure of what it is but I can feel something deep inside that I can’t explain.  Over the past few years I have studied metaphysics a little and read numerous self-help books.  I have been on a spiritual search and feel I have come to an awakening of sorts but I still feel there is some little something still missing, I can’t put my finger on it and I have no idea what it is but I feel it is there.  Does any of that make sense to any one else?  I have been in Nashville now for almost 9 years and have hoped that in that amount of time I would burry my past, re-invent who I am and become an amazing new persona that could change the world.  Perhaps a little corny to the masses but I have always been a dreamer.  I think I have always hoped that I could be one of those people who had that instant life changing moment that would remold me into someone different, full of meaning, confidence and insight, someone who made a difference, someone you read about or see in some documentary on tv.  I have always thought that those things happened in a flash and one day you are just different.

This past week I was re-united with some old high school friends through facebook after I was tagged in some pictures posted from around 1981-1983. For some reason it has stirred up a lot of emotions and some realities I have not thought of before or perhaps they were just buried.  When I look at those people of my past and see where they are now, all of their lives seem to be centered around family, kids and their significant other. As I have said before, for the first time in my life I feel really comfortable with who I am and with not being in a relationship.  Yet, this week I am feeling like I have fallen short because I have no responsibility other than making sure I pay my bills each month.  I have no other obligations, no one to worry about, no where to be, no one who wonders where I am if I don’t come home (other than the big white pink eared dog).  All of a sudden it feels so strange to me and I have to admit I feel a little out of sorts.  I feel so free and content yet at the same time that I missed out on life’s true gift…that of giving life, a family, being a mom, giving my life to someone else rather than just focusing on myself.

Last night I pulled my old year books out wanting to see a picture of someone I heard had passed away, I knew the name but needed to connect a face.  I found myself engulfed in those books for an hour, looking at all the pictures and reading all the notes my friends had left in between each page.  The strangest part of the hour was knowing it was me back then but not really recognizing that person any more.   I read my senior yearbook post and it said that I hoped to be happily married “someday”, to have a successful career and to make my parents proud.  As I sat there a little teary eyed I realized how much we make words take on meaning that society has buttered us up into believing is the only way we will be happy.  I had a marriage and although I am sure it was happy in the beginning it was not in the end and it has made me wonder if I will ever cross that bridge again.  I know my career has been successful but where I stand right now I feel it is in need of some huge changes due to technology shifts and I am questioning everything in regards to what I am truly supposed to be doing.  I do feel like I have made my parents proud but at the same time I believe they were always proud of me so in a sense that was just an empty statement a 17 year old thinks when faced with the reality of adulthood.

I have felt lately I am floundering around like a fish out of water, even writing this feeling like there is really no direction just hoping something will shift in an instant, that a light bulb will go off and in that moment I will be a different person.  Even with self love and spirit how come I am not complete?  How can I love “ME” yet feel I am still looking for a purpose, I don’t want to call it career but I know what we do with our time holds as much importance as loving ourselves and believing in God or what ever you want to name it.  My idea of the person I want to be is someone who gives something back to the world in a way that truly makes a difference.  The person I feel like I am is invisible.  I think this goes back to the way we put meaning to things, the way we beat ourselves up at times.  The weirdest part of this whole thing is that I love “ME” right now, I do feel comfortable in my skin, with my spirituality and my relationship with God.  So if I have that knowing I never had that comfort in my past why does it still feel as if I am still falling short?

So many questions, so much more in this life to learn and wanting so badly to understand it all.  Sitting here this morning as I write, I am enjoying the gentle breeze coming through the window.  I can hear a flurry of birds, many different kinds in the distance chattering amongst themselves.  I can hear the neighbor talking baby talk to their little one as she speaks back in some strange language only a parent would understand.  Someone just cranked up some music, I think it is Tracy Chapman as I recognize the melody yet I can’t make out the song.  Such simple things yet all of them make me feel better.  In this exact moment of my self indulged confusion I feel a little relief just from the sounds softly filtering in, the perfect temperature, the sun, the blue sky.  Although it is not completely quiet I think this is what quiet is supposed to be.  Today no matter what my state of mind, or perhaps confusion I think I will spend my day alone out in my yard just being, enjoying the spring weather, doing a few chores and thinking about my life.  I am sure another post will come from this and my hope is that it will be insightful.  If not for you at least for me.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone, sending love and thank you for reading!  SMOOCH!!!!

Mar 2 2010

I will never forget the humility I felt that day on the playground in the 1st grade…

The older I get the more I notice that I feel others sadness when dealing with the embarrassment of public humility.  It is the biggest reason I tend to watch less tv, especially the news.  It seems that no matter how thick our skin is there are times that something said can affect us in a negative and hurtful way.  We are often too busy worrying about what others think about us or we are passing judgment about others and we forget we all originated from the same cloth.  Tiger Woods is a perfect example, though I do not agree with his actions I believe the media has taken it too far, let the man deal with his bad choices on his own and in private.  It amazes me and saddens me that our society gets so much pleasure in others pain and humility.

In my younger-past life I was very sensitive to others opinions, to the stares of those who seemed to look down on me and to those who did not like me no matter how hard I tried to make them think differently.  I worked hard to be accepted and wanted everyone to love me.  I would sometimes do things I did not want or agree with for acceptance.  Thank God I am still here to talk about them because some of the things I did in my teens could have taken my life had the circumstances been different in even a split second of the moment.

I struggled in elementary school with a speech impediment that made me different, it made other kids talk down to me and it hurt.  While they were out playing kick ball, laughing and having fun I was in a classroom trying to learn how to talk like everyone else.  As I grew older those internal feelings grew and I allowed them to manifest into something I believed not something that truly was.  I never felt I was good enough, I never felt pretty enough and I allowed my thoughts to take over my choices by settling.  I stayed in relationships that offered reinforcement on my belief through manipulation because I thought I deserved less.  I never trusted because in my mind everyone was planning to hurt me, I was outwardly doing everything I could to be accepted but privately I was sad and very alone.  I believed that loving yourself meant that you were selfish and self centered and I had become a victim in my own thinking, I was living my story…one that I myself created in my own mind.  The person here before you now is very different from that person, although at times some of those old thoughts may resurface I am always aware and I am able to find my true self, that self that I know I love.

For me something happened…something shifted somewhere around the time I entered my forties.  Perhaps it was the mere fact that I finally began the battle of wanting to love myself and except, honor and be grateful for what I had, what I was and who I am.  I think the real factor was that I was truly tired of the struggle, of the sadness and I wanted to figure out how to be happy.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all could find that early in life so that discovering the truth self-love creates for us could be experienced by all.  Imagine how much more happiness we could have encountered in our lives if this were the case, now imaging how much more happiness your children could have if you teach these things to them now.

The idea for this post came to mind when I remembered an episode that happened on the playground in 1st grade way back when I was struggling with my speech impediment and my feeling of not fitting in.  I was friends with an african american girl named Karen and we would often take turns throwing the basketball after school on the basketball courts.  It is hard to believe that where I grew up there were practically no african american people who lived or went to school with me and there were no other ethnic kids in our school.  Even today I hate that we have to use titles to represent the color of skin (or sexual preference) to define a person who is not a straight caucasian.  On this particular day as we walked to the basketball court two boys started saying awful, judgemental things to Karen because of her color.  It was obvious she was used to being talked down to in that way and she began to walk away as the boy’s continued with their rudeness.  For whatever reason and without even thinking about my actions I stood next to her with a basketball planted between my arm and resting on my hip full of attitude and confidence as I told the boys we were staying and were playing whether they wanted us to or not.  Through her humility on that day in that instant I saw a faint smile and she stayed there with me regardless of the fear she was feeling.  At the time I did not realize what an impact that must of made on her but she stayed my friend until we moved on to different schools.  I never saw her as a color but as a girl that I liked to hang out with and I have to thank my mother for those morals because she always told me that I should always treat others as I would want to be treated because in Gods eyes we are all the same.

Most of my life I allowed myself to experience humility and felt it was what I deserved, boy did I have that all wrong and now I realize it was something I made up in my own mind.  I believe that this is the reason I have always felt drawn to those who are different, to those who might be considered strange, damaged or less fortunate…perhaps it is the reason I want so badly to give something back and to make others feel good about themselves.

In my quest the greatest lesson I have learned is that you can’t make everyone love you no matter how hard you try but you can make your thoughts about what people think or say mean NOTHING….it is all how you think and what you allow yourself to believe.  Most of the time we have it all wrong in believing that someone else is even thinking about us.  Insecurity runs rampant when we allow it to but we always have the choice to love ourselves enough for it not to matter.  This is what I choose, this is who I have become and my hope is that if I can touch even just one person out there in a way that changes their self-thought in a positive way I have made some sort of difference.  As always I am sending love to all because love is the truth of why we are here.  The greatest thing you can do in life is to give love and compassion so pass it on….