In The Vortex!!!!

21 May

I had an interesting weekend.  My daughter, Haley, came home for a visit and she was literally on fire with her life.  She is doing amazing at her college internship, has a really great group of friends, and she is just very happy and pleased with herself.  Her excitement is palatable.

A couple of months ago she had shared a YouTube video with me.  It was of Esther Hicks discussing the Law of Attraction, putting out the vibrations of what you want,  and being in the “Vortex.”

I had listened to it on the way to work a few times.  It was very interesting, but I didn’t know if I had actually internalized her message yet.

Saturday night, I was sitting across from Haley at dinner after my son’s college graduation.

“I love this meal.  This is everything I love most in the world,”  Haley said, taking a bite of calamari.   “I love the shrimp and the scallops and all of it.”  She was practically bouncing in her seat.  “Everything is going my way.  I love my life.  Everything I want is happening.”

I just stared at her.  It was hard not to think she seemed a little crazy or on drugs.

“Really?”  I asked.

“Yes,  I am so happy.”

I kept looking at her.  This was not the same girl that called me crying everyday her first semester at college when she had no friends and nothing she was interested in.   She was unrecognizable from her former self.

“Haley, I think you really are in the vortex,”  I said, smiling.

“I am,” she agreed.

I said it several times throughout our meal as she kept talking about her life.

“Mom, it sounds like you are making fun of me,” Haley said, after the fourth time.

Was I?  I thought.  I didn’t mean to.  And I denied it of course.

But, when I was really honest with myself, I guess maybe I did have an edge to my comments.  She did sound a little crazy.  My normally negative self was having a difficult time listening to all this happiness.  As bad as that sounds, it was true.

So I started looking at that.  Why wasn’t I genuinely happy for her?  She was my precious daughter.  Of course I wanted her to be happy and on fire.  Didn’t I?

The problem was that I was listening to my internal dialogue.  My brain was telling me I was not looking good, eating the wrong stuff, would never have a real relationship, and I could pretend to be in the vortex all I want, but I knew the real cynical truth.  Wasn’t Haley just kidding herself?  I wondered.  This had to have an unfortunate end.

The next day I admitted my negativity to Haley.  It got me out of my internal dialogue and into an external one.  (See my last post).

“I just feel so unattractive,”  I told her.  “Old, beat up face and body, and like I’ll never really meet someone.  I’m happy for you, but I’m still having a tough time and feeling negative.”

“Mom, you look so cute.  Your hair looks great and you’re in great shape.”  Haley said.  “You can attract someone great.  Just stay in the vortex.  You are in it.”

Ugh.  I thought. I don’t feel like I’m in the vortex.  But, again, it’s just my negative mind trying to protect me from getting disappointed.

What’s wrong with getting disappointed?  I thought.  I’ve survived it before.  I won’t die.  Why not go for the life I REALLY Want.

“OK, ”  I said, after struggling with my thoughts.  “I’m in.  I’m going for it.  Why listen to my negative thinking?”I grabbed her for a big hug.  I sniffed and tried not to let the tears come out.

“Thanks,”  I said, trying to talk over the lump in my throat.  “I am so proud of you.  You are my inspiration.”

“And you are my hero,”  she said.

And then the tears broke loose.  I am my daughter’s hero?  How can it get better then that?  I guess I REALLY am in the vortex!!!!!  How very cool!!!!

 

 

 

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Internal Dialogue – on loudspeaker?

17 May

Lately I’ve been in a lot of inquiries about our external vs our internal dialogues.  It’s a fascinating subject.

My simple summary is that our brains talk very negatively to us inside our heads.  The brain patterns were developed during events from our past.  They are designed to protect us from being hurt, embarassed, or repeating anything unpleasant.

But, the problem is that the brains learned these patterns when we were very young.  So, our capacities at that time were not very developed.

For example, when I was very young, my neighbors told me they were coming back for me in a few minutes and didn’t.  I waited for a couple of hours in their driveway.  So, anytime someone doesn’t show up when they said they were, I go into “my incident.”  The world sucks, I suck, I can’t count on anyone, I’m all alone, people lie, fuck them, something is definately wrong and I’m better off not getting my hopes up ever again, and it’s just easier to just be alone.

All because someone doesn’t show up.  I just go immediately crazy.

Over the weekend, a girlfriend of mine didn’t show up.  I was done with her.  Never would I make plans with her again.  I can’t count on her, etc.

Yesterday, one of my sales agents didn’t show up to an account after she said she would.  I automatically got into a bad mood.  The same story played:  I can’t count on anyone, I’m never using her at an account again, how dare she, etc.  When I woke up today, I still felt like the world sucked, and that woman is out of my life.

Today, in a continuing inquiry, I shared about my upset.

“Well, you just had your internal dialogue going.  That was all just going on in your brain,”  the conversation leader said.

“Well, what was I supposed to do?”  I defended myself.

“It’s not bad that you were.  It’s just all from the past.  What is something new that you could say?”

I knew all that happened was that Agent A didn’t show up.  The rest was my very young  brain patterns.  I wasn’t really sure.

“You just have to practice saying something new.  Not from the past.”

“Well, I know that what I would normally say would involve guilt and my own victimization,”  I said.  “I guess all I can do is practice.”

“That’s right,” the call leader said.  “Just reduce the percentage of the past showing up.  Get it from 90% to 80% and so on……….We are not practiced in these conversations.”

OK, I thought.  I will practice.  Because it’s got to be alot better then what I’ve been doing.   Wish me luck and stay tuned…………

Do Not Use JustFly to book your flights

9 May

I am on hold AGAIN.  I have been on hold for over an hour.  This is not my first time.

I booked flights for December with JustFly.  I paid an extra $200 for my flights so that I could cancel them if I needed to and get my money back.

When I went to cancel them they told me I couldn’t.  I got very upset.   They finally said that if I paid another $75.00 more to cancel them, they would issue me a credit for $515.

They said they would listen to the recording and if they heard the person say that my flights were cancellable, I would get my money back.  Call in a week, they said.

After a week, I started calling.  On my fifth call, a very snotty girl said, “they are NOT going to listen to the recording.”

I was disillusioned and stopped calling about the recording.  But, I wasn’t totally deflated because I still had my credit.  If I only knew.

I tried to use the credit to book my LA flights in June.  I could never get a person on the phone.  They would transfer me to the credit department.  I would listen to horrible music for at least 45 minutes.  Inevitably I would have to go some place before anyone picked up and I would hang up.  I started thinking it was not a real phone line.  It was designed to make people insane.  And it was working on me.   So I gave up on my LA flights.

I kept seeing the damn paper with the credit information on it on my dining room table.  Even though I thought it was better to just write off the $515 plus $75 loss, I just couldn’t yet.  I need to book flights to Sonoma in July.

Determined not to give up, I called the number again.  They transferred me to the credit department.  I put the phone down and just started doing other things.  I was amazed when someone actually picked up.

Whoopee.  I was excited until the guy told me I COULD use the credit, but it would take me two days to get to California with all of the stops.  There are only so many flights that he could use.

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”  I SCREAMED.  “THAT’S NOT EVEN HUMAN.  IT MAKES NO SENSE.”

I hung up on him since I had to leave for a meeting.

I’ve tried a few times since then.  I actually got someone who was booking me flights after an hour.  We had some reasonable flights to LA.  Then the call dropped.  I waited for her to call me back.  The phone never rang.

“CAN THIS GET ANY WORSE?”  I thought.  I freaking hate these ass holes.

Tonight I got brave again.  After 50 minutes a girl picked up.  She said that based on the last girls flights to pay $615.  You mean I subtract the $515 and I pay $100?  No.  You pay $615.

“That is ridiculous,” I said.  “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

“I will try to recalculate,” she said in her foreign little accent.

I have been on hold for a long freaking time.  I have priced out regular flights.  They are $458.  This is getting to be not worth it.  I should kiss my $515 plus $75 goodbye.  And just never use them again.

I will see what cutesy voice comes up with.  You may hear me screaming.  I have poured myself a vodka, lime juice and diet tonic.  I am ready to go to sleep and it is only 7:41 PM…………………………………………………………………

It is now 8:07.  After all this time, she had flights that would cost me $1000 less the $515 so $458 that I would have to pay which is the price I would pay going to google flights. I told her thank you and hung up.

I still have not used my credit.  She said it would be better to use it 4 months ahead.  So I will.  I just have to book before September.  We will see what happens next time.  I am going to give myself a month to recover before I try again.  My stress can’t take it.

Something told me not to book those flights.  So I didn’t.

But I feel like I’m getting closer.  Sad, but true.

Well, it’s time for bed.  This wore me out.  Adios.

 

 

Quick trip to Atlanta – feeling free and happy

27 Apr

I am at the airport waiting for my plane to Atlanta.

I just ate breakfast at a Boingo (I think).  You put your order into the little ipad on the table, swipe your credit card, and your food comes out.  Might be easy for some, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it.  Luckily, the waitress was kind enough to go through it with me.  And, that made it kind of cool.

It’s not cheap, but I’m still sitting here with unlimited coffee refills, so that’s not a bad thing.

The problem became that I had to run to the bathroom.  And, I wasn’t finished using my wifi and free coffee refills.  So, rather than soil myself or lose my spot, I came up with a bright idea.  I told the girl I’d be back and not to clear my spot.

And, when I returned from the little girls room, my mug was still there and she even brought me some more when I sat down.   Now that was nice.

Then my mind started thinking that someone could have poisoned my remaining coffee when  I was gone.  I decided to drink it anyway.  So if this is my very last post, you will know why.

That all being said, that’s not why I’m writing.  I have been very upset about my lack of weight loss AND my lack of having fun.  Instead of going out, I thought that by staying home and being “good”, I would be losing weight.

And, I wasn’t.  I have gained 8 pounds over the course of a couple of years.  So it’s not even working.

I’m trying a new strategy.  Eat what I want, have fun, but only use points that I really want to.

Last night, I ate delicious salmon and salad, plus the scoop of potatoes or something that went with it.  I had two glasses of prosecco.  But, when they wanted to know my dessert order, I didn’t like chocolate mousse or cheesecake so I said none.  When they were delivering the orders, the nicer waiter asked what he could get me.  I asked for fruit and he brought me a beautiful parfait glass full of it.  I was happy.

This morning, I ordered an egg sandwich.  I forgot to change the bread and it was a huge roll instead.  I ate about a third of the roll, had asked for only a little cheese, and turkey bacon instead of regular.  So, it was less points and real food that was satisfying.  I feel free because I ate like a normal person.

I am enjoying sitting at this counter, typing, fully satisfied and enjoying my new freedom and happiness.

I can trust myself to make good choices, carry food so I am not STARVING (then I’ll make REALLY BAD CHOICES BECAUSE I DON’T CARE), and continue to feel healthy, fit and young at heart.

I know I’m in good shape and can feel proud instead of ashamed.  AND I WILL!!!

(As long as I remember to – that’s why I’m writing about it – so I don’t forget).  Have a great day!  Gotta catch my flight.

Disclaimer – I don’t have time to edit this!!!  Hope it reads ok.

Freedom and Happiness

22 Apr

I had an exhausting week.  I was doing things I had never done before and everything took longer then I thought it would.  I was frustrated and annoyed and felt like I was WASTING MY TIME!!!!

I felt unproductive because I wasn’t doing the day to day calls, follow ups and appointment setting that I need to be do to stay on quota and continue to generate business.  But, successful people, I once read, invest the time in learning things that will make them more efficient later.  I tried to make myself feel better by telling myself this, but it only went so far.  I still felt like I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing.  And that just kept me ANNOYED AT MYSELF!!!

And now it’s Sunday and I am enjoying the last few hours of FREEDOM.  But thinking about getting up tomorrow at 5:00 AM, beating the traffic, getting to the gym, working, and repeating this 4 more times until I get to another weekend, exhausts me.

And, it shouldn’t, because I have taken on feeling FREE AND HAPPY.  I guess I had forgotten!!!!

I had decided I would be happy for people, no matter what they do or say.  Because it doesn’t mean anything about me.  So why should it bother me?

I am not dependent on what other people do.   If they want to move south and go to the beach instead of work with me, GREAT!!!  Enjoy the sun!!

If they want to be alone instead of being with me, GREAT!!!  Enjoy your time alone.   I hope they have everything they need to live a fulfilled life.

If they want to criticize and judge, have at at.  It doesn’t mean it’s the truth and hopefully they are enjoying being right!!

So, these things no longer mean anything about my life.  I am FREE.

And another thing I’ve decided.  That I can say what I want and do what I want.   That I am able to say what I want – and go for what I want.  And, when I notice the fear of what people  will think or say, I do it anyway.  That is huge for me.

I can see how limited I have been, especially in relationships with men.  I’m so afraid someone will think I am interested that I just keep my head down and don’t even look at them.

In the last week, I have started saying hello to men I don’t know.  And asking questions. And so far I have survived.  Nothing horrible has happened.  I used to do it all the time.  It was fun.

So I will keep experimenting.  And keep you posted.

So, here’s to HAPPINESS AND FREEDOM!!  It should be an exciting adventure!!!!!

Bright Light vs Dark Place

15 Apr

Yesterday I heard that Karen S., a woman I had gotten to know in the past few months, had passed away suddenly.

I was shocked and saddened.  Karen was a bright light.  Just talking to her or seeing her made me feel like a better person.  She was present, and empowering.  I keep seeing her beautiful smile in my mind’s eye and can’t believe she is gone.

It reminds me of the phrase, some people are in your life for a lifetime, a season, or a reason.  And, since our friendship was so short, I’m thinking it was for a reason.

I decided that her bright light would serve to ignite mine.  And that I could then ignite other people, preserving her memory and contribution to me.

And so today, I was sharing that with a friend and it felt so right, so good, and so positive.

I was enjoying the great mood.  And, then………A text came in from an agent of mine from work.

“I am looking for other sources of income.”

Immediately, my light went out.  The music in my mind changed from happy (singing in the rain)  to ominous (Jaws).

My posture changed.  I slumped over my computer.  I was tired.  Life sucked.  I  sat in the same chair, but something had changed.  The work I was doing became irrelevant and I wanted to take a nap.  A feeling of hopelessness encompassed my entire body.

Wait, I thought.  What happened to my good mood?  What happened to my lightness and happiness?

I looked at my thoughts.  I had already lost my best agent.  This was the only other good person on my team who could sell.  I would have nobody.  What was I going to do now?  It seemed like I was f—–d.

I stewed in it for a while.  Her text had ignited my thoughts.  But the negative ones.  F–k work and my numbers.  I give up.  I’m all alone.  No one cares, etc.  (That’s why I have no relationship, something’s wrong with me, no wonder I’m up 8 pounds, etc.  All my favorite dark thoughts and personal indictments.)

It’s amazing that one text can take me totally down.  And, I want to give in to it.  I can see how much I want to be right about how life sucks and how I can’t have what I want .  That I’m really just a loser pretending to be ok.  Why would I ACTUALLY want to be right about that?  What am I trying to prove?  It makes no sense, really.

And what really happened?  Someone said X.  And I made it mean my life sucks.  How does that happen?  It is truly incredible.  She may just be in a bad mood.  She might have had a fight with her husband.  I don’t know.   But why should it turn my life to shit?

Good question.

A couple of hours later and I’ve allowed myself a good sulk.  I went through the space of despair, watched my thoughts, and now I feel like I’m on my way back.  I’m a little dimmer, but getting brighter.

And I will get back to what I was doing before – planning my Monday.  Because with or without her, I can do this.  And, disappointed or not, I can still ignite others.  And, sometimes just listening is how to do it.  Or, sharing myself, even if I’m struggling with my own thoughts.

I don’t have to compare myself to some standard of how I should be – happy, perky, high energy – to make a difference with others.  I think I’ve always had it that I needed to get HIGH ENERGY before I could do that.

And what I’ve realized is that my empathy and ability to hear where people are is what can make a difference.  I don’t have to be a loud, peppy cheerleader (although I have been that and it’s fun) to do that.

So, I will still remember Karen and her light, and know that mine might not shine exactly like hers, but it can still shine.  And, in her memory, I will accept myself as I am, just like she did.  She was a great gift to me in the short time I knew her.

Goodbye, my friend.  You will be missed.

Normal Massage or Pervert?

10 Apr

I had  bought a massage package a year ago and forgotten about it.  I guess when I got uncomfortable with Joseph, my masseur, I didn’t know who else to ask for,  so I just stopped going.

Last Sunday my back was really bothering me.  I remembered I still had some prepaid massages to use.  I called up the massage place to see if there were any time slots available.

“We have Caroline today at 4:00, but she is gentle.  She doesn’t do deep tissue.  Is that ok?”  the girl on the phone asked.

“No, I need someone who can go deeper into my muscles.”

I booked Raoul for Monday at 5:30.  (Not his real name).

I looked forward to the massage all Monday.  My back was cramping and I was really uncomfortable.  I got there, filled out the paperwork, and tried to relax in the Tranquility Room.  Raoul picked me up there right on time.  We headed to room #6.

“Tell me why you are here.  What areas do you want me to work on?”

I told him about my back and showed him where it was hurting.  He had me lie down on the table after taking off my boots, fully clothed, face up.  He started stretching my legs.  I was wearing a dress and tights and was a little uncomfortable that my knees were going over my head.  I figured that since he was going to be rubbing me down naked, maybe I shouldn’t be such a prude.  I did have the tights on after all so he couldn’t REALLY see anything.

When he was done with the stretch, he told me to get undressed and get under the sheet face down.  I asked him if I should take off everything.

“You will be covered, so that is fine if you want to,” he said in an accented voice.  I couldn’t quite figure out where he was from.

I took everything off including my underwear and got under the sheet.  It felt a little funny to be totally naked, but I figured it was more comfortable this way.

Unlike Joseph, my old masseur, Raoul knocked on the door after a couple of minutes.  (Joseph had told me to get undressed and then didn’t come back for about 20 minutes.  I was under the sheet naked yelling “hey” and “hello” for the last ten, but it did nothing.  When he finally came back, he said he had gotten a call from his mother and had to talk to her.  He didn’t make up the time or apologize.  I never went back to him.)

So I was glad that Raoul had returned quickly.  He found the tight spots on my back and really worked them.  It felt like a knife was stabbing me in the sore spots but I took deep breaths, assuming that it would be worth the pain to feel better later.  It seemed like he knew what he was doing.  I really felt like he was working out the tight spots so that was good.  But when he started going up on the sides, he was kind of grazing my boobs.

“Are there muscles there?” I wondered to myself.  “Should he be doing that?”

He did it repeatedly.  “Do I want to say something or should I just try to relax?  Is this normal, or is he a pervert?”

I didn’t say anything.  But each time he went by there, I kind of tensed up a little.  Which sort of defeated the purpose of trying to have a relaxing hour.

He was working on the back/boobs for quite a while.  I started getting concerned.  Joseph, who talked to his mom instead of massaging me, only did my back for an entire hour.  I was disappointed at the end when the time was up and he didn’t do anything else.  Get assertive, I told myself.  I don’t want to make that mistake again.

“Are you going to do my legs too?” I asked Raoul in a little girl voice, finally, when I got up the nerve.

“Yes, I will do the whole body.”

OK good.  I thought.  I felt better knowing I had spoken up.

“Is it ok to do the glutes?” he asked.

“I guess so.  They have muscles in them, right?  And I think they are tight, too.”

Was that a mistake? I wondered.

Raoul took the sheet off my legs and tucked it into a place that felt very much like my vagina.  Why would he have to tuck it in there?  I wondered.

“Try to relax,”  I told myself.  He started massaging my butt and legs.  He came very close to the inside of the folds of my vagina.

“How the hell did he get in there?” I wondered.  I was lying face down.

“Oh relax,”  I told myself again.  “It’s a massage.  Maybe there are muscles in there that are tight.  When was the last time you got touched by a guy?  A while ago.  So just enjoy it.”

So I tried.  And at one point when I turned over, he was massaging the inside of my upper leg, dangerously close to what should have been a private place.  I tried not to laugh but couldn’t help myself.

“That tickles,”  I said feeling foolish so smiling so big.  “I’m ticklish.”

Raoul finally finished.  I got dressed and he waited outside for me with a cup of water.

I asked him to show me the “Child’s Pose” stretch that he had said would be good for my back.  He did.  I gave him his tip and walked to the front.

“Would you like to book another massage today?”  Rose at the front desk asked.

I looked at her.  I bit my lip.  “I think I have to think about it,” I said after a few minutes.  I thanked her and went out the door.

On the one hand, I felt like Raoul knew the muscles, where I was tight, how I could reduce the amount of pain and tightness I had been experiencing, and even showed me how to stretch.

But on the other hand, I wasn’t really relaxed and my instincts were going crazy that something was not ok,  even though my evil twin was telling me to just enjoy it.  Why repeat something that clearly wasn’t comfortable?

I think I will ask for someone different next time.  Someone who also knows the muscles, and can relieve the tightness,  but will not leave me wondering if they were crossing the line with every boob and vaginal swipe.

After all, a massage is a time to relax, not be concerned with the appropriateness of the masseur.

Any comments?