Codependency

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.

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?

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 Power of Rest

The Power of Rest

“I’m just so busy…” I caught myself. I was in the grocery store talking to a friend, or an acquaintance really, who had asked about my life. I never want to be the I’m so busy girl. The truth is we’re all really busy with things we’ve made up to do in order to occupy our time. Our level of busyness (or avoidance) is entirely up to us. When it comes to civilization, we have more free time than any societal group in human history. But even with all of our newly found freedom, we don’t take the time to properly care for ourselves in body and in spirit.

​To Hell With It…

 ​To Hell With It…

My name is Sara and I’m a recovering perfectionist.

For most of my adult life I was a striver. A striver and a pleaser. For many years, my life consisted of a neatly compartmentalized set of rules and standards that created a false sense of safety and security. Nothing was as sacred as these self-imposed rules and I would let nothing violate them. If challenged, I would defend to the death, twisting the truth to match my skewed reality.
 

Dealing With the Adult Bully

Dealing With the Adult Bully

Her boss was angry. He wanted her to begin planting the seeds to a co-worker about the eventual phasing out of her job. When she refused to do so, the treatment was harsh and his abuse became focused on her. Suddenly, she could do no right.

His wife was angry. It seemed like he could do nothing to please her. Most days she blew up his phone with angry texts in order to get him to do what she wanted. ‘If you were worth anything.. .’ ‘If you cared at all.. .’ ‘If you ever leave me, I’ll make your life a living hell.’ All the while, they served on the local church council and were members of the best clubs in town – they were modeling the perfect family. This was going to be a long life.
 

Rediscovering You

Rediscovering You

I told him it always felt like I was disappointing someone; my employer, my kids, my family, my friends. There just never seemed to be enough of me to go around. He had asked me to describe the most difficult thing about being a single mom. At the time, I thought that answer was true – but looking back,  I think maybe the hardest part about being a single mom – or a mom in general is that it’s easy to lose yourself a little bit. He told me he wished I needed him more. A lot of people in my life say this.

Wrecked!

Wrecked!

It was a very bad day. 

He was fired and upon release of the news, the company stock increased by 21%....

She looked into her checking account and realized he had taken everything and had gone himself, leaving her with the house and the kids and all the explaining that goes along with such a matter…

After years of an empty and volatile relationship, she had come to the realization that the life and the world she had built for herself needed to come to an end…

What Makes Them Stay?

What Makes Them Stay?

She had been in a loveless marriage for years – decades maybe. If asked, she talked about it openly, and even those who didn’t know somehow knew. A mutual friend approached me, “it’s become the elephant in the room,” she said. “She can’t see how much this is impacting her.” Over the years, this relationship had stolen her joy, her beauty. It was making her bitter and angry – her sense of self was seeping out at the seams. There is nothing quite as lonely as being in a lonely marriage.
 

​When It’s Time for a New Beginning…

 ​When It’s Time for a New Beginning…

I spent a week this year living in one of the most amazing 1300 square feet I’ve ever stepped foot in. The private residence was meticulously finished with every detail carefully thought through and even though the physical space was essentially tiny, you never felt like there was too little room. When something is right, it’s just right. When something is right, you want to put yourself in park and stay there forever.