Dear Me,

(I’m on week five of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This is what came from yesterday’s Morning Pages.)

Epiphany – the sudden clarity of thought that exposes the deeper truth. I have epiphanies as I’m sure you do as well. You may have been wrestling with a problem, a decision that had to be made but each solution or choice didn’t FEEL like the truth until one moment, a light bulb came on and suddenly, your path was clearly lit.

Why did I stop publishing my work? Why did I stop working on my existing manuscripts? Why wasn’t I excited to look for opportunities to do readings, to schedule workshops? Why had my annual sojourn to the MileHi stopped inducing that giddy feeling of anticipation or excitement? Why was I feeling blocked, cut off from my passion? Why was I procrastinating on or avoiding altogether the few activities I knew would move me toward some long standing, positive, goals?

Epiphany – because my efforts to that point hadn’t resulted in what I deemed to be other’s show of acceptance, love, or admiration that ultimately was what I was seeking. I wanted my books to garner lots of fans to the point where they’d help me market my work, they’d talk about and share my books to the point where word of mouth would sell my books (allowing me to hide); I would be invited to speak to groups, asked to conduct workshops (allowing me to hide). I’d be featured here and there, gaining some level of notoriety which would then “prove” to my dad that he was wrong for not spending more time with me, for not telling me he loved me, or thought I was beautiful. I would prove to the bullies and ex-boyfriends that they were wrong for calling me ugly names, teasing me, excluding me, using me, molesting or hitting me. I would show them all that I am worthy!

I mean, look at all the people who buy my books, and listen to me when I do readings, or attend my workshops.  If all of that outside attention didn’t prove it then what would?

Well, that’s not how things work out. My workshops where hit and miss with attendance, so I lost my enthusiasm for them. My first book sold relatively well despite its issues, my next two books did okay, but I was losing my motivation to keep marketing the way I had been. I didn’t realize it at the time but hindsight, I wasn’t getting the response I wanted / craved, so I’d begun to retreat. The fourth book didn’t do as well as I’d hoped but by then, I’d stopped actively marketing my work. It felt too much like begging by then. My unrealistic expectation that  other’s reactions to my books / workshops / coaching  would “make” me worthy, wore me down. Each failure to sell, to raise the money, to save the money, to meet the deadline, to have people show up, highlighted (the lie) that I wasn’t worthy after all. I rushed into this or that scheme, plan, idea, in hopes that it would be The ONE.  Each time I fell short, not taking the time to realize the level of fantasy my expectation had reached was never going to be met by reality.

So, what did I do. I blocked. I stopped writing; stopped going out; stopped taking my walking breaks; I stopped doing anything that would allow the voice of my Muse and my Divinity to be heard. They told the truth, They exposed the fantasy.  They put the responsibility for my life back where it belonged (in my hands) and I didn’t want the responsibility. I wanted to blame my dad, the bullies, the folks who didn’t think my writing was the bomb. I filled up my time with activities that didn’t do squat to move me toward my desired feelings (that ultimately are my responsibility to generate). I spent hours watching YouTube videos, hours doing spreads in my BuJo that ultimately I ignored no sooner than they were done. I kept up the schemes and plans – throwing parties I knew wouldn’t be well attended; fitness challenges, the wedding, my Count Down to 50 and its accompanying group-site and list of activities NO ONE kept up with, including myself. I did any and everything to maintain that damn lie. To be unreliable, unworthy.

Epiphany – “Healing is as ugly as Healed is beautiful”, Danielle LaPorte.  I began the healing process four years ago now. I’m feeling just about as ugly as I can. Scattered. Untethered. Unsure of what to do next. Emotionally all over the place but where I “should” be.  But I am healing. So there’s that.

Please, bear with me a little longer. Please forgive me. Please breathe. We’re going to get through this and we will be better for it. Thank you, I love you.

Dana

This Morning’s Prayer

So the hate train has pulled into the station and its occupants are poised to be in power for a minute. Those of us being hated feel some modicum of fear. I get that. I also get that in order to become really good at something, “you have to get terrible out of the way.” In other words, you have to do something badly often enough that you get to a point where you’re not so bad. “Practice makes perfect” provided you’re paying attention and learning from your mistakes. Eventually, you’re going to get good.

Our country (well, let’s be honest, humanity as a whole), isn’t so good at inclusion, acceptance, managing fear, or governing its self. Each go round, as in each generation, we have our moments of suckage. Of truly terrible. But with each generation, we managed to learn a little something and suck a little less. The changes in the right direction aren’t obvious or very noticeable in the moment, but hindsight (history) shows the baby steps.

In light of that point of view, I’m choosing to believe this latest happening is the catalyst for the next forward step toward sucking just a little less. Another baby-step forward if you will that we’ll learn from and do better at next time.

I pray the suck doesn’t come with a massive loss of life but let’s face it, human nature.  There will be bloodshed.

I continue to BE the peace, tolerance, acceptance, love, courage, and faith I want to see in the world. Amen.

be-the-change

(from top to bottom, left to right:  Ghandi, Maya Angelou, Mother Teresa, Li Yinhe, Malcom X, Malala Yousafzai, MLK Jr., Gloria Steinem)

Love,

Dana

And yeah, because…well, reasons.

It’s been a LONG time since I leapt without looking. So of course, what did I do?  I registered for a workshop happening in New York City in January.

WTF?  How am I going to get there? Where am I going to stay? How am I going to afford it? You have got to be kidding me, life. Seriously? But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited in that, goofy, giddy, way I tend to feel when I’ve set my sights on something amazing.

Wanna join me? Click

Wow.  I am. Just. Wow.  Remember when I said I was feeling oddly hope-ful? Then Trump and the Hate Train pulled in and I died, sort of. But then The Artist’s Way was found on a bookshelf and purchased. Since then, that sneaking feeling of hope (LIFE) is returning. The cynic in me is afraid this is false and that untold darkness is about to overtake the land.  This back and forth between the consuming fear and blinding faith in the positive is going to wear me out.

Still, recovery is at hand and I will take my joy as often as I can in any way that I can.

And then there was this…

Just how will his new gig effect the reported 3500 law suits currently pending?

And just in case the way your cousin’s brother-in-law explained it didn’t make sense,  here’s the electoral college described in simpler terms.

Oh, and there’s also a lot of talk going around about some potential felony charges from not so long ago that may come to bear between now and the inauguration…

But hey, once you’re elected, you can just wipe the slate clean, right?  Perhaps, but that sets the stage for an impeachment, eh?

All of this stems from a conversation I had with my sister last night as she was unknowingly talking me out of fleeing the country.

Despite that punched in the gut feeling from yesterday; the fear that so many of the (still not applied equitably) rights I enjoy in this country may be wiped away in the next four years, I am somehow finding a glimmer of hope that some major, positive change, may still be on the horizon and that Karma will do what it always does to set things back to zero. Perhaps not on my desired schedule, and not without some pain on mine or the world’s part, but set things straight It will.

I have my life to date to solidify my belief, shore up my faith. I will do what I’ve always done and that’s rise up, face what I gotta face, take what I gotta take, and survive until I’m dead. I know I’ll find some joy along the way.

thlgw1axtnI love you,

Dana

Speaking of BuJo-ing with ADOSS

I knew there was something special about my attraction to the BuJo system.

For those of you who hadn’t seen my previous posts in this short series…

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

In case you’re wondering, yes, I’m currently parked at Procrastination Station.  Guess who hasn’t written anything for her NaNo ’16 project yet? lol…

Have a good evening, luvs!

Dana

We Lie Best When We Lie To Ourselves

The title is a thought I had a few years ago.

It’s amazing the lies I’ve told myself over the years. Lies I believed despite the facts reality consistently put in front of me. I’d be willing to bet you’ve told yourself a few whoppers over the years as well.

I got to thinking about this on the drive back from the hubby’s place. I want to issue a challenge. Try this – tell yourself the absolute truth once a day every day in November. You don’t have to DO anything different or tell anyone your truths.  Perhaps jotting them down though would be a good idea, but certainly, that’s not a mandatory part of the challenge. Nope, I simply want you to muster up the courage to tell yourself the truth.

For example:

  • I really don’t care how much I weigh.
  • I’m only doing this because I want him / her / them to like / accept me.
  • My mother / father really is abusive.
  • I feel better when I…
  • I’m sad.
  • I’m so freakin’ happy.
  • I don’t want to be friends with him / her / them anymore.
  • I would much rather be fishing.
  • I don’t like the way my (insert person or thing here) behaves.
  • I’d love to start my own business for real.
  • It really is only about the sex.
  • I really want that.
  • I’m afraid.
  • I am worthy no matter what he / she / they say
  • I don’t want to go to my / his / her parent’s place for the holidays this year.
  • Sometimes, I really wish – I didn’t have kids / I would have had kids.
  • I drink too much when I’m in these situations.
  • I like taking naps.

And so on. No judgement, no critique, no “oh but I shouldn’t feel this way / think like that…”  Just the truth.

Don’t know if it’ll set you free as “they” say, but I know that once I started telling my own truths, I couldn’t help but change for my good. I stopped so many of the negative behaviors that had caused me grief over the years. I came to accept all of me, as I was (as I am, as I continue to grow into being). I’m betting the same thing can happen for you. But it starts with being able to tell yourself the truth.

What have you got to lose?

Love you,

Dana