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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.

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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?

 

 

 

F.O.U.L

3 Apr

Yesterday I was making calls out of my house with no results.   It was the first Monday of the quarter.  Last quarter I was successful.  But one day in, and I the thrill of the victory had disappeared and my lack of effectiveness had me not feeling like a winner anymore.

Without realizing what was going on, I found myself in front of the mirror in my bathroom.

“You look disgusting,” I said to myself. “Your skin is crepey.  Look at those wrinkles.  You have no elasticity left.  What is happening to you?  You look old and ugly.”

I stared at myself with horror.  “And your face is exploding.  How much weight have you gained in the last hour?  You have gotten fatter as you sat here.  You are out of control.”  (I hadn’t even eaten anything that was bad, mind you, but my mind playing tricks on me.)

I came out of the bathroom.   “Fat, Old, and Ugly,” I said out loud.  “F.O.U.”   I started thinking about it.  And that wasn’t all?  What else was I feeling?

“Like a loser,” I thought.  My body felt heavy.  Life seemed bleak.  Whatever success I had before, it was over.  This quarter (after one day) I couldn’t do anything.  Let’s see.  Let’s add an L.  It makes F.O.U.L.  Fat, old, ugly, loser.   You are FOUL!!!”

I started laughing.  I called up a friend and left a voicemail.   I thought this was really funny.  And, it helped me to lighten up and start laughing again.  What a great technique to get back to the fun side of life.

I had an event to go to that night.  Before I discovered FOUL, I was NOT GOING!!!  F–K that, I said.  “I’m not getting dressed and I’m not going.”  I didn’t want to be around people.

I took a nap and just let myself get present to what was actually happening.  I just didn’t schedule any appointments.  I was disappointed.  But I HAD taken the actions and made my targeted number of calls.  So what was really my problem?

And, when I woke up, I was refreshed.  I got dressed, treated myself to a manicure since I was early, and got to this event right on time.

I shared with the host about F.O.U.L.  I was laughing as I told my story.

“Don’t talk like that,” he said.  “Don’t say those things.”

“Why not?”  I asked.  “It worked for me to get me out of my bad mood.”

“It’s negative,”  he said.

And I thought about it.  It’s negative, but if I don’t say those things out loud, they stay in my head and seem true.  When I verbalize them, I can realize they are just my brain doing a number on me and not real.

Even so, I almost fell into my familiar trap of thinking maybe he was right.  That I shouldn’t be negative.  But I didn’t this time.  Because what works for me may not work for him.  And, it’s not being negative to me.  It’s sharing what’s going on in my brain so I can be free.  And that works for me.  And, what he was saying was just his opinion.  And not the truth.

And that’s a miracle for me.  To value my own judgement.  To accept myself in the face of disagreement or a different opinion.

And I am proud of myself for that.  Very proud.  (Even though I keep seeing the doubts wanting to creep in, I have not let them take over!!!!)  Hallelujah!!!

 

 

Sharing – Afraid of the Unveiling

30 Mar
This is an email I just sent to my relationship coach.  It references yesterday’s blog when I said we completed a 9 month session.  I signed up for 9 more months.
Dear S:
Last night after our call I got all fucked up.  What I realized was I am really afraid to go to my dad’s unveiling on Sunday.  I don’t want to see his grave and tombstone.  It unravels me when I can be present to it.
What I do instead of allowing the sadness is make myself wrong and go into that whole routine.
My seminar leader, who I did the IFLP with in 1993, told me that when I just shared about my dad, it was beautiful and very human.  I resist that sharing I can see.  He said that the other thing I do is not very enrolling and sometimes difficult to be with.
I am trying not to make all that wrong about myself.  I’ve lived there for 58 years.
So, I am creating AGAIN that I am a Crazy Genius and I can trust myself.  I share when I share and I do my thing when I do it.  AND, the right person will love that about me.
I know I am great, AND THEN, I invalidate myself.  So, love that part and just acknowledge it and my fear, etc.
Thank you for believing in me.  You are worth every penny knowing that I have a champion and when I am weak and unbelieving, you are holding my vision in your strong, amazing hands.  You are a gift and I am sorry I didn’t speak up at the beginning of the call instead of being worried when you were doing the completion thang!!!!!
So, to our connected, amazing future together.  I love you and am grateful that Suzanne and Maryann and you and I all connected to create this amazing future that I will be living into.
Happy Easter,

Quiet – Feeling Peaceful

29 Mar

Really?  Me?  Nothing to be messed up about?  Strange…..

Ok, I’ll find something.  I finished my ten months of relationship coaching today.  And, an amazing thing…..I don’t think I had one date in that whole time.

But what I found was better…….me.

I wanted to accept myself as is……and I finally think I have.

I am fine alone in my beach front cottage.

I am fine having gained a couple of pounds.

I am fine NOT having a man.

I no longer need to convince my ex to change his mind – that is a total miracle.  I finally figured out that I needed him to change his mind about me so I could matter.  Well, why would I let someone else determine if I matter.  How ridiculous!!!!  It was very freeing to see that.

I am (still) giving up my story that relationships start out great but then the guy will suddenly shut me out/dismiss me/make me wrong.  That one still needs a little work so I don’t keep repeating it.

I can speak up now.  Even though I’m scared, I can do it.  And I have.

I can embrace my fear like an old friend.  Instead of being afraid of fear, I can just bring it with me.  Instead of letting it paralyze me, I can take actions anyway.   That is really huge.  I have pretended I have been looking for a relationship, but really, I was relieved to not run the risk of being hurt again.  I am now ready to play and be in action.

I was making a little lie wrong from when I was young.  I then attracted liars.  I have accepted it and me and I am no longer a clearing for dishonest people.  Miracle.

I am happy and at peace.  A major miracle for me.

And, I am still creating a powerful, passionate partnership with a wonderful man.  But I no longer NEED to have one to be ok.  I am patient and waiting for an extraordinary man who is also looking for me.  I don’t have anything to prove.  I am just looking to fulfill my dream.

And, I hired my coach again.  Because I can trust her to make sure I don’t settle, pretend, put up with, or give up.  She is a stand for me to have the life and relationship that inspires me.  And, it’s an investment in myself and my dreams.

And, I am looking forward to this exciting adventure!!!  GAME ON!!!!!

 

 

Why am I afraid to speak?

17 Mar

I have a very good friend who has been helping me.  He knows alot about me because of the type of healing that he has been doing.  And I am very grateful for everything he has done for me.

He has been learning a new technique for healing and not been charging me.

It’s great.  So what’s the problem?

He has made comments about us having sex.

And that made me uncomfortable.

And I haven’t said anything.   And it’s just like with the girl at work that I wrote about this week.  It’s like I can’t talk.

Am I’m afraid.  I’m afraid maybe I made that up.  Maybe he won’t want to be my friend anymore.  Maybe I’m too immature.  Maybe alot of things.

And I am literally frozen in terms of talking about it.

I could say, “I’m uncomfortable with this conversation.”

Or with the topic.  Or having sex without a committed relationship.  Or anything.  And why would that be bad?  Why am I afraid?

Maybe what that means about me.  Do I have a problem?  Am I uptight?

Or I could give up my disempowering conversations about myself:

I can’t trust myself.

I do stupid things.

I shouldn’t be the way I am.

And, instead I can say I am a CRAZY GENIUS AND I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I WANT AND NEED!!!  AND I’m not comfortable talking about having sex with you and would like to be able to since I’m not sure that is what I want to do.

There, I said it.  Sort of……..

And, I am going to send this by email to him once it’s posted, and see what happens!! It’s not speaking but it’s a form of communication.  And what’s the worst thing that can happen?  We will see…………….

 

 

Boldness, Passion and Genius

15 Mar

Along time ago, when I got married in 1994, my fiancee at the time and I invented a possibility for our marriage.

Boldness, Passion and Genius.

Unprecedented Adventure,

Living the Unimaginable.

It was great for a while.  And then it disappeared for about 24 years.

What I did today, reminded me of the first line……………I’ll tell you why……….

I have had an agreement with an associate to share my bonus with her.  We were “partners” in achieving it.  She helped me and me strategized and made sure it happened.

And it was great for the first two years.  But she has since moved down south.  She comes back to work now and then, but she no longer helps me, strategizes, or seems to care whether we hit our numbers.  I haven’t felt like she is my partner for about 8 months.

But I didn’t say anything.  I shared my bonus in the 3rd quarter, and didn’t even hit what I needed to in the 4th because I was counting on her help and she was more interested in her new home.  It am responsible for the failure, and for not speaking up.

But now, it’s a new year.  And today, when I tried to engage her in how we were going to hit our numbers for this quarter, she did not offer to help or to do anything much.  We discussed the weather and that it was going to be a nice beach day tomorrow.

After we hung up, I texted her that I wanted to have a conversation about the bonus.  There was no response as there often isn’t.

So I emailed her my proposal.  That I felt that the partnership was great for two years, but that the arrangement has changed.  I no longer felt it was appropriate to share the bonus.  I asked for her feedback and told her that if she feels that we are back in partnership, to please suggest we resume the agreement.

It was bold.  It was passionate.  It was genius.  And, up to now, I have been afraid to get people upset, to get in trouble, and to alienate people that I might need.  I have not spoken up on my behalf, somehow thinking I was inferior and didn’t deserve to be treated well.

But those days are gone.  I have discovered my value.

I am proud of myself.  I did it.  And, I did it before I earned the bonus so I don’t have to share this one.

If she wants to discuss it, great.

And if she doesn’t respond, then I have a record of what I proposed.

I’m a little nervous, but it has been bothering me for a while and I hated the fact that I was too chicken to bring it up.  And, I was afraid she would get mad.

AND SHE MIGHT!!!  AND THAT’S OK!!!!  LET HER ARGUE FOR IT!!!!!

So,  BOLDNESS, PASSION AND GENIUS.  Bring it on (ALONG WITH ALL THE BODY SENSATIONS I AM EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW)!!!!!!!