As much as I would love to be able to clone myself, and finally have those two extra hands I have needed since my first born was born, I have had to come to grips with the reality we only get one self. Obviously, I KNOW we only get one self, but it is really hitting home with me lately how much I have neglected my one self. I don’t exercise it as often as I should, although I do eat more healthily than I ever have in my life. I stress my one self too much and probably demand a bit much from my only self. I believe many of us parents are guilty of this epidemic. Why do today what you can put off until next never, because the kids require umpteen million things RIGHT NOW, and it’s just easier to take care of meeting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own?!? Can I get an AMEN!!
Law of Attraction
Recently, I started reading Practical Law of Attraction: Align Yourself with The Manifesting Conditions and Successfully Attract Your Desires, by Victoria Gallagher. Don’t roll your eyes, because I know you are rolling them and thinking I am about to unload some hocus pocus bullshit on you, but I am not, PROMISE!! A key concept I am learning from this book is putting my desires into motion by actually focusing on myself. I will never have what I want if I just sit around looking at what I do not have yet, and neither will you. If you want to lose weight, and all you focus on is the fact you need to lose weight, you will be in a constant state of, “I need to lose weight.” You may even find yourself gaining weight….oh the horror, right??
Change Your Mind, Change Your Life
Instead, focus on how you feel when you are the weight you desire to be, and what impact it will have on your health and wellbeing. Act as though you have already lost the weight. Say things to yourself like, “I enjoy being the healthy and active,” instead of, “Oh my gawd, I really want that ice cream but my ass is so fat I can barely fit in my chair.” You can see how one has a far more positive tone than the other. It is important to speak to yourself in a positive, uplifting way. Not necessarily sunshine and rainbows all the time, but kinda close. What your thoughts focus on is what you will manifest into your life. Keep that in mind. What you focus on is what you will receive more of, so be careful how you speak to yourself.
Put YOU First
I have also come to the realization I focus on others as a way to not have to focus on myself. I grew up like this, no blame, just reality. I grew up having to focus on my parents, focus on everyone else, and not really having a focus on me, or being the center of my own life. Thus, I feel most comfortable when I can devote my time and energy to others. Yes, I realize how unhealthy this is, and I am working on rewiring my brain to a healthier, more productive way of being. I know I am not alone. I know many people, mostly parents, who put their kids, their family, their friends and neighbors’ ahead of their own. It is as if we think we have to make ourselves the lowest totem on the pole in order to be a good parent, child, neighbor, friend, etc…
Happy IS as Happy Does
The fact of the matter is, the happier WE are, the better we are for ourselves, our kids, our family, our friends, everybody in our lives. Who couldn’t use a healthy dose of positivity in their life? I highly recommend reading the book and following the steps outlined, which are very well explained. It is time to take the bull by the horns and make our lives match our desires. It is time to put our SELF on our priority list, because it is the ONLY self we get and if we don’t nobody else will! To steal a quote from Dr. Phil, “We teach people how to treat us.” If we treat ourselves like second class citizens who do not deserve to be a priority, guess how we will be treated by others as well?!?
Let’s DO THIS!!!
Are you with me? Are you picking up what I’m putting down? Are you smelling what Coffee Mama is cooking?!?! I hope so! Start paying attention to your SELF! Take care of it as well as you take care of your kids, your spouse, your pets, everyone that you put on that priority list. Watch what you put into your mouth, get active, get happy, get what you desire out of life. It is NOT too late, it is NOT too much work, it is NOT hocus pocus. Start reading the book I mentioned, or any reliable information about the Law of Attraction. Start thinking about the ways in which you keep yourself bound to the ways you wish to change. Look at your contribution to your own SELF, and whether or not it is positive and affirming, or destructive and undermining.
Most importantly, LOVE YOUR SELF….
Some things are easier said than done. Hell, most things are easier said than done. When I first read this I thought, “Heck yeah, baby, no trippin’ here!” As I sit and ponder the meme and the whole aspect of life and not trippin’, I have to somewhat disagree with the sentiment, just a smidge. I have been known to trip over what would be considered a pebble or two in my lifetime. I definitely think I climb mountains for sure. Here’s the thing, when you trip over the pebbles the key is to not fall down and stay down from tripping on the pebbles.
This morning a perfect example of this occured. My 7 month old Great Dane puppy pooped in his crate. A massive, Great Dane sized poop…visualize that for a second, gross right?! Now, not only had he pooped in his crate but he had pooped, and then covered it with his blanket, and pushed it to the front of his crate, and then peed on the blanket, because that’ll show that pile of poop who’s boss. By the time I woke up this morning at 6:00 AM, the poop was a large, pancake shaped pile that was plastered to the crate floor. And given the size of the mess, my poor puppy was trapped in the back of his crate.
I cleaned up the mess, and then the puppy. I was literally nauseous and disgusted, and just cursing the existence of Mondays altogether. I mean where does Monday get off acting so nasty all early, and making my day so shitty (quite literally). My oldest said to me as she was leaving for school, “I hope your day gets better!” I thought to myself, “Pfffft, yeah because it’s starting out so fanfreakingtastically.” But then I saw this meme and adjusted my brain. I could let that event set the tone for my entire day or I could take the pebble that I tripped on and kick it right out of the way.
I opted for the second option because the first one is exhausting and just leads to a day-long bad mood. I could sit and stew over it, waiting for the next bad thing to happen, or I could be thankful that I was able to contain it to the crate and the puppy, which have already been cleaned. I skipped that stone across the water like a pro and kept it moving. We all have pebbles we trip over, which is part of life and is always going to happen. It is how we deal with those pebbles that defines us and our mountain climbing ability. It is when we learn to take a step back and look at things from a broader perspective that we learn which are pebbles and which are mountains.
Perhaps your kids give you grief getting up and ready and out the door for school in the morning. Maybe you overslept and are late for an important meeting. Did you intend to go to the gym this morning only to wake up feeling icky and not even wanting to look at your workout clothes, let alone put them on and go to the gym? Whatever your pebble is, look at it, think about it, and skip that sucker into the ocean. In the great mountain of life, that pebble will not matter one hill of beans when you’re halfway up the Kilimanjaro that is your existence. Live in the moment, each moment, and when the moment has passed, let it. Do not hold on to the energy those pebbles throw at you.
I have the song, Shine Bright Like A Diamond, on a loop in my head as I sit here constructing this post in my head. I have so many things I want to say on this topic, and yet, I am sitting here, jamming in my psyche like I AM Rhianna. In today’s world it can be scary to think about shining like a diamond. So many of us are riddled with fear, with anxiety. How do we break our chains to allow our inner sunshine to break through? How do we throw up a big middle finger to our fears and face them head on, shining our way through life, living the dream?
I am working on figuring that out myself. I have always had an issue finding balance. I would be eating really healthy, but not exercising at all. I would have a great job, but eat junk and never break 1000 steps in a day. I would be running, training for races but hit up McDonald’s for that quarter pounder meal post workout because hellllooo, I just ran 5 miles. I never had it all together at once. Until now.
I find now I am aligning all my aspects of life in the right direction. I am learning how to direct focus in multiple directions of my life, not just hyper-focused in one aspect of life. I am learning to value a full life, over ignoring everything else while mastering one piece of my puzzle. I am learning how to exercise patience, discipline, and use logic and reason along with my emotions. I am learning how to master what I need in order to attract that which I want into my life. Personally, professionally, things are all happening as they are meant to, which happens regardless.
I have been writing again, and looking for greater opportunities professionally, along with stretching myself personally through my writing as well. I have been exercising regularly. I may not be working out as much as I was before, but I am making a part of my daily routine again. My diet has never been cleaner. I am vegan, as well as sugar and wheat free. I feel good, strong. I have never been able to focus on multiple aspects of my life at once, and now I am juggling all the balls at once. It is not the scary, daunting task I felt it was before.
My PTSD symptoms have lessened a great deal. I still have anxiety triggers, but overall, I cannot remember the last time I was truly triggered. I am opening myself up personally, dating, and making sure I am open to the people the universe presents in my life. I am working on my mental health more so now than ever before in my life. Mind, body, spirit, are all finally syncing together. If I can do this, anyone can do it. But how?
For me, the key was setting small goals, in many aspects of life, and writing those goals down on paper. By setting smaller, easier to attain goals it was easier to accomplish my goals and see some forward motion almost immediately. As I saw myself progressing, I developed more faith in myself to make those decisions I once found difficult and terrifying. Through building trust in my gut, trust in my ability, I have been able to finally believe I am capable of achieving my dreams.
I began to increase those goals, adding more aspects of life, and more ways in which to quell the anxiety this new thinking drummed up. I utilize meditation, yoga, relaxing music to keep my brain at ease and open. I listen and accept myself. I have chosen to love myself, rather than criticize myself and tear me down. In the words of Dr. Phil, “No one will treat you better than you treat yourself. You teach people how to treat you.” So if you treat yourself in a harsh, unforgiving, unloving manner, you will remain unloved. You will remain in pain and rejection.
By accepting yourself and loving yourself right where you are, right here today, that is how you accomplish your dreams. Set some small, easily attained goals, and work towards them, celebrate them once you achieve success, and set some more. Write them out so you can see it on paper, so you can cross it off the list as you accomplish things. Take the tornado of thoughts out of your head and write it out. You will see how much it helps make sense of the chaos. You will see how much you can focus on things once they are on paper and not just taking up space and energy in your mind.
Make YOU your top priority. Whether or not you have kids, a significant other, or whatever. If you are not taking care of yourself, you cannot take as good a care of those around you. Teach people how to treat you, by making your health and well-being your number one, by putting up boundaries to protect yourself and your energy. Selfish is NOT a dirty word, it’s only negative when it’s not balanced with selfless. They are yin/yang to one another, and we need both! Choose YOU today! Start right now, wherever you are, and start NOW.
Today begins Day 4 of my journey to being vegan, no flour and no refined sugar. I know what you’re thinking, and no, I am not certifiably insane, or starving. Actually, I am eating quite a lot, tons of fruits and veggies, whenever and however often I want. That’s the beauty of this lifestyle, you can literally eat whenever you want. I am having some other issues though.
First, it’s really difficult to maintain my focus when I am the only one in the house on this journey. I do not impose my eating habits on my children. They are all open to making their own decisions, as long as we’re not talking cake for breakfast, candy for lunch, and cookies for dinner. Each of my kids has a different personality, and while I encourage them to be healthy, and choose 90% healthy options at the grocery store, they still have free will. So if they want to be meat eaters, I cater to that. If they want to eat dairy, I cater to that. As long as no one has an allergy or aversion to something, if they like it and want to have it, it’s okay.
For the most part they are really healthy eaters. The 7-year old needs a little more encouragement to make the healthier choices, but hey, she’s 7. I will say she is really excited to try brussel sprouts, not sure how excited she will be after she actually tries them, but I love her enthusiasm regardless. My older two, 16 and 14 years old, are still navigating their way through the food world. They want to be vegan, or at least vegetarian, but they really love eating junk food when hanging out with their friends. Plus, they do actually get made fun of for eating healthy by some kids. While we’re at home we eat pretty darn healthy. While they’re out in the world it sometimes goes to hell in a handbasket. It’s okay though. They’re figuring it all out in their own time. I am really proud of them for even caring about food at their ages.
The other issue I am finding with this new routine is that I have a headache. For approximately 3 days now I have had a headache off and on. The first two days it was constant. The last 24 hours it has faded into something that comes and goes. It is a dull throbbing headache. I did some research and found there is an actual withdrawal process when you quit sugar (which includes white flour). It is as if I am a drug addict coming off my addiction, which seems so strange to me. I know it is not quite as severe, or immediately deadly as an addiction to say heroin, but addiction to sugar is being studied greatly.
Today, as it is Spring Break this week, we are going out to have some fun. We are going in to D.C. to a museum or two, and going to be out and about in the sugar-laden, meat eating, dairy obsessed world of bacon we live in. It will be a great test for me. I have faith that I can maintain, especially with my kids there. Something about being accountable to the interrogation of a 7-year old is motivational in staying the course. I think I would rather endure waterboarding than that anyway.
So bring it on, sugar detox! I am ready for your shenanigans, your headache is no match for me. I will meet you with extra water, more fiber, and flooding my day with fun and good memory making moments with my kids. Your dopamine medling is not wanted here!
I will be adding another blog about the dangers of sugar soon! I will also begin adding food porn of what the heck I am eating these days. I warn, if you are thinking of going vegan, while it is a great lifestyle, it must be done correctly to ensure you receive all the nutrients your body requires. I will be doing a blog on that as well.
Every day this week I have cried. I have lost a good number of my VA clients due to them leaving the main company I contract for, my oldest child likely has Lupus, and now my mother is not speaking to me. Just a few items on the laundry list of reason why I have shed umpteen million tears this week. What are the sayings,
“God never gives you more than you can handle.”
And the ever popular…
“That which doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
Let me just say this, I will be bench pressing a couple Buicks later, and I WILL be charging to watch. Hey! I must earn that lost income back, somehow right? During therapy today, I dumped all this crap in my therapist’s lap, and then sat back waiting for the pearls of wisdom to ooze from his well-trained psyche. He yawned. No, I am not kidding…he yawned. Apparently, I was boring him to sleep. After he recovered from his near-nap tiredness he gave me some half-assed recommendations for increasing my work, but nothing overly tangible or actionable. More like, hey, you might be able to increase your business by more self-promotion.
I left feeling both better and worse. I felt better because I had a huge brain dump and getting all that out just felt better. I felt worse because I have no solutions for anything. Don’t get me wrong, I never expect him to solve my problems, but he is usually efficient at helping me help myself. I feel like I was left blowing in the wind out here. I told him the problem with my self-promotion is that my self-loathing always gets in the way…. he laughed. He thought I was joking, but I was not. Ultimately, he said he could help me with that, but again, no actionable items were offered. I know you are probably thinking at this point I need a new therapist…hmm. I do need to work on self-promotion, and possibly through doing so, I will stop a bit of the self-loathing thoughts that spin on the hamster wheel inside my brain.
As far as my kid’s health, really, only time, and more doctor’s appointments will tell. It is VERY likely that she has Lupus. I should probably treat her as though she does, do the diet changes, and whatnot. Hopefully in a month when we go to the rheumatologist they miraculously tell us she does not! At least this way if she they confirm she has it, we will already be adjusted to the dietary changes necessary and be working towards controlling flare-ups. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that she has it. I just need to come to grips and keep it moving.
My mother has not spoken to me since Friday, and I have no idea why. She was very aloof when I texted her on Mother’s Day and did not answer when I called her. I told my therapist I have too many issues going on right now to deal with this passive aggressive bullshit. I am taking a mental vacation from her, until she gets over whatever it is she is upset about or decides to call and just talk about it. She knows everything I have going on now, and if the silent treatment is what she feels is appropriate, then silence she will get in return. I have no patience or time for cutting off communication. I tell my kids, my friends, family, significant other, I NEED words.
Wednesday afternoon, and I have two more days just to this work week alone. I am exhausted, mentally and physically. I need a drink…. of coffee. Do people without PTSD suffer from the amount of mental discord I do? I often wonder this. If I did not have PTSD, would I react the same way? Could I have been one of those people who is happy-go-lucky and just lets things roll off their back like water off a duck? I cannot even fathom what that would be like in my life. I have trauma after trauma, and I cannot even fathom just letting it go. I would love to, don’t get me wrong, but this is my norm.
Did I mention my 6-year-old brought home a picture that has me worried about her mental stability? Yeah, well, she did. She is scheduled to see her therapist tomorrow. Her teacher gave the students a page that said,
“What CREEPS me out is…”
The sheet had a place for them to write sentences and a place for them to draw a picture of whatever creeps them out. Now, at 6 I would think about things like spiders, snakes, clowns, Barney the dinosaur. My child, she said death. Yes, DEATH! My brain took a while to digest this, as I swing between a few emotions. On the one hand, I was thinking how mature she is, because that would be an adult answer. But then, I kept wondering how much fear she has inside that she even THINKS about death, like AT ALL. I decided to ask her about the picture. Boy was THAT a mistake. She became very upset and tried to throw the picture in the trash. It was as if she thought this would make it go away and I would totally forget about it.
I think if we had not endured the verbal, emotional, and mental abuse we had during the first 6 years of her life, I would be more surprised at this paper. But, because I know what she has been through, because most of it was aimed at me by her father, I honestly think this is somewhat “normal.” You know, a normal reaction to a totally fucked up situation. I will find out tomorrow because I am bringing that thing to her therapy session.
Up to Thursday now, and after dropping off my middle, and sending my oldest to school to at least complete her AP test, I start getting ready to take the youngest to her therapy appointment….but wait! A call from the high school, oh fanfuckingtastic. My oldest has passed out right before the test and I will need to come pick her up. Sigh….I was in the shower, literally, one leg in, one leg out, and now…my whole plan has been shot to hell. I hurry up and finish, getting myself and the youngest ready much faster than I had anticipated. I scoot over to the high school, pick her up, and head out to the counseling appointment for the youngest…which is 45 minutes away. On the way I call and make an appointment with our family doctor for the oldest, who has now passed out 4 times in 6 months. Thankfully, during the appointment we learn the reason for Death….apparently she has been watching too much Life….the show on Netflix all about nature and the cycle of life. Thank goodness, it is just a normal reaction to something. Oh yeah, and her therapist actually suggested I get her IQ measured, because she feels she is really advanced intellectually. Finally, something I actually enjoy hearing!
Appointment over, grab dog food on the way back home because I actually remembered we were out, and we get home just in time for our family doctor to call me and tell me to take the oldest to the emergency room for an evaluation. Ummm…excuse me?? I now grab the middle kid from school, run home to leave middle and youngest home while I take oldest to the ER…this was so NOT in my plan. Three hours later, we are discharged with instructions to follow-up with our family doctor…say what? UGH! So first thing tomorrow I get to call and make an appointment with our family doctor, again.
We are relaxing, FINALLY, and unwinding from our hectic, crazy day. My oldest leashes up her massive pup, and goes to take him outside. The moment she opens the door, insanity ensues. The shepherd from upstairs was coming down, and going past our door the very second my kid opened it to go out. The dog lunged at our dog, with my kid right there in the middle. She did the very best thing she could, she slammed the door shut, our dog inside, psycho dog outside. I jumped up and she was already crying and upset from what just happened. I went outside to see the dog and owner still walking away. I waited…stewing. When she returned we had a chat about what happened. She apologized and took ownership of her dog’s behavior, THANK GAWD. She said since she was pregnant about a year ago the dog has been protective, but only when on leash, and only against other dogs. We agreed to be mindful of when we each walk our dogs, and she apologized again. I wasn’t thrilled, but I don’t want to go to jail, so I’m certainly not gonna push the issue….
Every day things like this happen in my life, and I cannot determine if I am special, or if this is just life. It is all I know, but I feel like those around me, for the most part, do not have the amount of drama and trauma in their lives that I do. I feel like I know people that lead happy, peaceful lives in their middle-class suburbia, and not just on Facebook, but actually lead them in real life. I don’t know, my life need a filter… or ten. Can’t wait for next week….not.