How I’m Taking My Power Back in 2017. And How You Can Too…

How I’m Taking My Power Back in 2017. And How You Can Too…

I don’t do resolutions.

But, it’s 2-0-1-7 and I’m taking a basic inventory. How am I feeling? About my physical and emotional health? About my relationships? About my parenting? What do I want to know and understand more clearly about myself? About the people and the world around me?

What gives me that feeling of dread? What keeps me up at night?

Am I brave enough to face these things?

I’ve noticed a pattern in my behavior recently.

The Art of Keeping up Appearances: and How I Became a Prostitute in My Own Marriage

The Art of Keeping up Appearances: and How I Became a Prostitute in My Own Marriage

“Smoke and mirrors, baby. Smmmoke and mirrors.” We were discussing the art of keeping up appearances and those who contrive to live the perfect life.

Huge houses, new cars, extravagant vacations with no real money in the bank.  Picture perfect holiday cards while chaos, abuse, and broken relationships dominate the family dynamic. Obtaining the latest gadget for the sake of acquisition without consideration of its actual need and usefulness.

Bigger, newer, faster – often digs another layer in the hole of our discontent. Because everybody knows these things can’t make you happy. Yet, we all try and see if they will.

I get it, I am that person – or I was that person. To some extent, we are all that person. 

Finding Hope in the New Year

Finding Hope in the New Year

“Go home, 2016 – you’re drunk.” I love reading The Skimm every morning. They do a great job of reporting what’s happening in the world in a relevant and entertaining way. That was a quote from a few months ago, I’ve held on to – funny, because it’s true.

What I Don’t Want to Tell You During the Holidays

What I Don’t Want to Tell You During the Holidays

The Holidays are upon us and I don’t have my sh*t together.

I’m not talking about tree trimming and gift wrapping – all of that is appropriately behind schedule, yes. It’s the bigger things – the stuff of life that makes us who we are, the stuff that shapes our stories that’s got me worried. Expectations, hopes, desires. Things that happened that I wish had not happened. Things that didn’t happen that I wish had.  The struggle to accept where I am in this beautiful thing we call life. It’s this stuff that’s got me perplexed right now.

Space to Change

Space to Change

It was a night of intimate gathering. The holidays are filled with nights of intimate gatherings. Within the span of my 90-minute appearance the group had made fun of handicapped people, questioned Obama’s birth heritage and ridiculed and minimized a community member on the autism spectrum. I stood as an outsider in the conversation, simply watching. Nervous laughter came and went as we waited for the buzz of the second, third, fourth (?) drink to kick in and take the sting off the social anxiety hovering slightly above eye level. It seems we all need a drink to take the edge off – I stopped drinking a long time ago.
 

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I like to give myself adventure goals about once a year. I’m not one for resolutions necessary, but I fully support the adventure in trying new things. 

The easiest way to grow and understand yourself and others more fully is to step out of your comfort zone.  Do it differently, try something you normally wouldn’t try. It’s intimidating. You won’t do it right the first time – and you might even look like a fool. Who are we kidding, you’ll most likely look like a fool.

Silencing the Inner Critic

Silencing the Inner Critic

It was a leap and I knew it. But any great thing – any bold move begins with a risk.  If your choice is to live a full life, to be fully ALIVE, risk is inevitable.

Our hearts, our ideas, our money – sometimes you must ask, ‘am I willing to risk something important to have an opportunity to gain something great?’
 

Do Not Enter

Do Not Enter

I spend quite a bit of time in the Carolina mountains.

There is a simple hike to the top of the mountain that is a great way to start the day. It’s about 3 miles with a gradual and steady incline – perfect for the girl from Florida who is more accustomed to a flat surface and an altitude that runs right at sea level. At the top of this hike, there is a gate – and a stern warning not to go any further. Under penalty of law and possibly even death… the warning is pinned to a tree about 10 feet in, and pinned to the next tree is a message stating clearly, no bicycles.  The point being, you better stay out of here, but if you do come through, it damn better not be on a bike. It’s hard to take that warning too seriously. The message cracks me up every time.
 

Finding Gratitude in Unlikely Places

Finding Gratitude in Unlikely Places

Ah – the holidays are upon us; and on the heels of a nerve-wrecking and completely divisive election non-the-less… should make for interesting fodder over the next several weeks as we come together to celebrate our respective faiths and each other. Oh, the stories we will tell…

What Love Looks Like

What Love Looks Like

The people are protesting. The people are pissed – except for half the people. Half the people are elated. Half the people feel justified. The other half feel scorned. Half the people didn’t even show up.

Sometimes in life, you’re lucky if half the people even show up.

I hate politics. Holding firm to a personal belief that the only way to effect real change is not through government, but through the hearts of the people.

An Open Letter to My Friend Considering Divorce… (Part 2)

An Open Letter to My Friend Considering Divorce… (Part 2)

I know you are worried, and I know you are scared. When we met the other day, you told me you were considering divorce - you and your spouse have fallen out of love. Yesterday, I wrote part 1 of an open letter describing my own experience of divorce and shared some insight I thought might help you. Today, I promised a deeper look at some of the specifics that often contribute to the end of partnership. I hope it helps. 

An Open Letter to My Friend Considering Divorce… (Part 1)

An Open Letter to My Friend Considering Divorce… (Part 1)

It was great seeing you last night, I love it when we get together – with our busy lives, those opportunities are few and far between. You have come to me, as many do, to ask about my divorce, to see how I’m doing. You say it is something you’re considering for yourself. You say you and your spouse have ‘fallen out of love’ and are merely co-existing.

Reader Q&A: What Happens When you Change?

Reader Q&A: What Happens When you Change?

Last week I received a message via Twitter asking two questions:
Will you share where you are now on this journey? What happened as a result of your willingness to embrace change?

I agreed to answer via blog post. I addressed the first question last week – here.  Below is an attempt on the second.  Thanks, @BeingKwa for the ask!
 

Reader Q&A: Where Am I on the Journey?

Reader Q&A: Where Am I on the Journey?

This week I received a message via Twitter asking two questions:

Will you share where you are now on this journey? What happened as a result of your willingness to embrace change?

It seemed interesting, so I agreed to answer via blog post. Only, it proved to be more challenging than I expected. Consequently, I’ve decided to answer the first question here and the second in my next post, so check back for that one. Thanks, @BeingKwa for the ask!

Just Around the Bend

Just Around the Bend

I’ve just spent the last several days in one of my favorite spots on earth. Tucked away in the hills of the Smoky Mountains, this cute little town in North Carolina is not known for its lavish resorts or expanded amenities. It is a simple place, trading name brand golf courses and country clubs for small creeks and modest family vacation homes that have spanned generations  - along with views that I’m convinced are as close to God as any you’ll ever see. There is a spirit here you won’t find elsewhere; those seeking God have also found this place with prayer and meditation houses haphazardly dotting the landscape. There’s a thriving arts district nearby as well – creative energy and God often walk hand – in – hand.

Living the Brave Life

Living the Brave Life

There’s a new girl at the gym. I’ve known her for years really, but she’s new to that space in my life. She’s what I’d call a loose acquaintance. The other day, I noticed she stopped talking to me – saying hello and the like – the times I’ve approached her, she seems distant, like I’m bothering her. We’ve all been there. Is it me? Is it her? What is going on here?

Never Let Them Make You Feel Small

Never Let Them Make You Feel Small

It started in middle school. Science class was held in a portable outside and it became a game for one boy to grab my *ss as we walked there each day. The next year, another great game was created when a different boy would pull me into the band closet and try to kiss me while his friends held the door. Every year, it was my great pleasure to be greeted by the PE teacher as I emerged from the locker room after dressing out, “would you like fries to go with that shake?” he would ask as he watched my friends and me head down to the school field.

The Cliff of Transformation

The Cliff of Transformation

In my house there is an ugly green couch. It was given to me by a friend when I was in the middle of divorce and in the process of a considerable downsize. I was literally cutting my square footage of living space in half and walking away from large spaces in favor of smaller, more manageable ones. The oversized furniture it took to fill up my old space was never going to work in this new place. Sometimes a purge is necessary – sometimes you should not adorn your new surroundings with your old materials.

​In Her Skin

 ​In Her Skin

I’m worried, I say – I’m concerned because we’ve been on antidepressants for over a year now and she’s still depressed.

“Of course she’s depressed.”

We’d found a new therapist, one who is working with new techniques. These techniques have worked with other kids – we are hopeful.

“Every day is hard for her – everything she does, everywhere she goes it is too bright or too loud or not loud enough. It takes all she’s got to just get through the day. She has a right to be a little depressed. I would be worried if she was not a little depressed.”

The Jacket that Started a Revolution

The Jacket that Started a Revolution

Everything was falling apart. Seemingly overnight we lost almost all of our money, everything gone. What little was left would be finding its way elsewhere soon. Worse than that, it was becoming apparent to me that our financial problems were the least of our worries and in fact, were only symptoms of much bigger problems hiding in plain sight right beneath the surface.