Manifesting

dont-fear-failure

Lately I’ve been listening to motivating, inspiring talks that are encouraging me the way forward in a way that I haven’t pursued or utilized before. It all started with the Manifest This podcast, in which Ashley Wood interviews entrepreneurs (mostly women) and asks them how they got started. Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t something I’d planned for myself, but having my own clinic and being my own boss, working on my own time table sounds more and more enticing every day. And it goes deeper than that: doing my own thing, focusing on my passion to become a writer somehow… that’s part of it too.

In one of the interviews, Ashley interviews Mimi Ikonn, who tells her story about starting with nothing, no money, broke, working two and three jobs, and how she got Tony Robbins’ “Get the Edge” CD set, and she mentioned the power of positive thinking, to imagine your life the way you want it to be as if it has already happened, to say every day, “I am rich,” or whatever goal you may have, and to act on it, since thought alone won’t produce results. But it’s thought that begins the process.

So I got online and found a used (much cheaper) version of “Get the Edge” and have been listening to it every day on my way to and from work, and I’m telling you, it works! I used to think Tony Robbins and anyone like him was… unrealistic, I guess, that the only people who might listen to him would be career-driven people who only care about money and power, as if there could be no spirituality in that. I thought you had to already be a certain kind of person for him to appeal to you, or for you to be able to take the actions he suggests. But what he’s really about is showing you how to use your gifts to produce a positive impact on the world around you, and for me, and probably most people, it’s about figuring out how to find meaningful work that isn’t just part of being a cog in the system, and finding a way to make a living from that way of life. It is possible. If other people do it, then why can’t I, or you, or anyone else?

Then I also realized that maybe I am a career woman. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a life, although I must say lately I haven’t had as much of a social life as I’d like, but I do enjoy my job, I like that it’s not a traditional 9-to-5, I like the people there, and I want to keep learning about health and wellness, to expand and learn more. There’s always more to learn!

Whereas before I just wanted a job that I could tolerate and would pay my bills.

Why not go for more? Why not admit that you want more from life?

successful-people

And get concrete about what you want from life. My biggest goal right now is to find my own home, my own place to live, no roommates, no partners, no one else but me in my own beautifully decorated, clean space. So instead of just hoping and dreaming for that, I can research rent costs, find out what my salary would need to be to make that, and then figure out how to make it happen. I’m almost 43 years old, y’all. I don’t care if everyone in the DC area lives with their mom or partner simply because no one can afford it otherwise. That does not have to be me. Maybe I can even buy a condo? My dad is helping my sister buy a house, and he hasn’t helped me do jack, so I’m beginning to wonder if I should also ask for help… Do you know how hard it would be for me to ask my father for help? I’ll think about that later.

For now, first things first. I’m not going to move in the middle of the school year, so I’ll graduate first, while in the meantime put feelers out there for job opportunities. Who knows? Maybe there’s a job in some other part of the world that’s perfect for me.

This article appeared on my browser home page this morning, so I’m going to try to get back into my routine of getting up at 6am (5 is pushing it) and writing and reading. Note: I don’t agree with everything this guy says or does, but I do find the article inspiring, and I think it’s important to take what appeals to you and leave the rest. Being an early bird, and someone who already does a lot of what he’s writing about, it’s easier for me than someone who likes to sleep in until noon. It seems to me that those folks could do their best work at night? Whatever the case, I’m working more late shifts next month, so I’ll be able to get more personal work done in the mornings.

What I’m really getting from all this, and hope to convey to you, is to look for every opportunity to grow and have the best experience you possibly can while here on this Earth in this lifetime. I’m in AA and I love AA, it got me sober, it changed my life, it helped me get the friends I have, and most importantly AA helped me find God. But I don’t agree that there’s only one solution for everything or for everyone. I’m a big believer in finding every opportunity you can to have the best possible life you can, and never settle for less. Keep an open mind for all the endless possibilities out there, know that it is possible to live the life you desire, and never, ever give up.

giving-up

The above image was taken from Money Saving Mom’s blog.

Love and light,

TCH

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A Window Into My Life

Right now is a time of transformation for me, and I’m already feeling lonely. The time has come, or so it seems, for me to find a new community of friends, and I don’t know yet where or how I’ll find this community, given that I’m not moving into a new place yet. In August I graduate, though after that I won’t automatically be a nutritionist, so I’ll have to decide if I want to stay in Maryland and get my extra 700 or so hours of supervised clinical time in so that I can become certified in this state, or I can move somewhere else and follow whatever that state’s requirements are. The cost of living here is so ridiculously high, because all the politicians live here, that I can’t imagine staying. I was all gung ho on moving to Arizona, since my best friend expressed a desire to go there, and it seemed like a sign. There’s nowhere else I can think of where I’d have a reason to go. Although now that I think of it, I suppose I could move closer to my sister in New Mexico. I’m not crossing Arizona off the list, but I will say after reading this blog about how it’s 120 degrees and scorpions sleep in your bed with you, I got scared.

Back to the present time, since I do have at least eight more months in this state, and I want to make them the best eight months I can. I broke up with my boyfriend last week, which means I need to find a new community of friends. We’d made friends who I was having a lot of fun with, but it’s the kind of situation in which they’ve known him for longer, and it feels less comfortable asking them to hang out with just me. We only dated for four months, and prior to that I had my own group of friends who’ve since all gone their separate ways, and due to two of them forming their own relationship, and one of those having been interested in me while the feeling wasn’t mutual, there’s no chance of that group getting back together. Oddly, the two who are in a relationship are going to see me as a student nutritionist in clinic, so it’s not like they dislike me, but it’s not like it could go back to the way it was either.

I don’t know that I’d want it to go back to how it was anyway. I’ll have to exercise the law of attraction and manifest a group of like-minded friends who have similar interests, who want to be healthier and more positive, and a desire to live a more spiritual life. The problem is that then I have to take the action, and being in grad school I don’t have much time to develop much of a social life. The easiest thing to do is go to AA meetings, a welcoming environment where it’s easier to find people who like to be social. But if I truly want to meet like-minded people with similar interests, I’m probably going to have to move to a trendier, more expensive part of the city, like Takoma Park in DC, or whatever the hipster part of town is in Baltimore. There are yoga studios everywhere, including one near my house, which I can’t afford, and my former friends go there anyway. There’s meditation in Bethesda which I tried already, and no one ever talks to you, plus the traffic is too much there. Also, it’s Buddhist meditation, and I’m moving away from Buddhism, though I believe in the philosophy of mindfulness, acceptance, and being present.

I can’t say I’ve ever considered myself a full-fledged Buddhist, but I guess I’d say I take beliefs from different traditions, and meld them into my own. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of guided meditation during which I envision my spirit guides and ask them to help me, and I bought crystals and tarot cards to help guide me. It’s uncanny how the right tarot card appears when I ask a question. For example, a few days ago I asked the question: What can I learn from my love life? and I got the card “Caught in Ruins,” a card with a picture of a man and woman inside a prison, which made me laugh out loud and want to cry at the same time. But after reading the card, it turns out that there’s no roof over the prison, that the limiting thoughts and behaviors are self-imposed, that I have the power to change and stop perpetuating my old beliefs and patterns. I’m just not sure exactly how to do that yet, though I’m focused on honesty.

The problem I have with relationships is that so far, about every five years, I go through a transformation, and whoever I’m dating or married to at the time no longer fits my life. I find it hard to grow with this other person in my life. I feel constricted, suffocated, like they’re somehow holding me back, and I feel as though they don’t understand me. The path they’re on seems uninteresting to me especially because it’s often unexplored, dated, conventional. The key is to find someone I can grow with, and I just haven’t found that person yet.

Back to the tarot cards, another good example happened the same night, when I asked the cards what I needed to learn about my career path, and I drew the card, “Wishes Fulfilled,” which was a good feeling. Last night I asked the cards what I needed to learn right now, in this moment, while feeling lonely and wondering where I’ll find a new community, and lo and behold, I drew the card, “Sangha-Community,” which read that I need to find a new community. Too bad the cards don’t tell me where to find this community. I think ultimately the idea around the cards (and meditation for that matter) for me is to use my intuition, to follow my gut and do what I know in my heart is right.

By the way, the tarot cards are the Akashic Tarot Cards from Sharon Anne Klinger and Sandra Anne Taylor. Lately I’ve been drawing a lot of cards to do with writing and publishing, which has always been my dream. The problem with my writing is that it doesn’t offer help to anyone else; I’m just offering you a window into my life. Yesterday I listened to a podcast interview that Oprah did with Sue Monk Kidd, and Sue Monk Kidd said something along the lines of—or rather, this is my interpretation of what she said—which was that it took her being vulnerable and honest to put her writing out there. And that is MUCH harder than it may sound, for me. Kidd’s first book was a memoir, decades before she published The Secret Life of Bees… So maybe the ticket for her was to write fiction, which some may say is thinly disguised memoir.

That being said, I’m not going to not become a nutritionist, although I will say I’m already becoming discouraged. When I started, I’d gone to the orientation in which they told us there were all kinds of jobs everywhere, and you could make $95k, etc. But last semester I was sitting at lunch with some of my classmates, one of whom casually mentioned in passing that this wasn’t a career path you follow for the money. Then last night someone posted on our private Facebook page that she talked to an RD (registered dietician) who told her she’d never heard of a CNS (certified nutrition specialist), and that basically it’s much harder to find a job for a CNS than an RD. A lot of comments followed that revealed this is not the easy career path I thought I’d chosen.

So I may end up writing about nutrition at some point. Whatever I do, I find it hard to imagine balancing a relationship, career, social life, and physical exercise all in one life, since I’m imagining myself spending all my free time writing a nutrition blog. But this is not exactly how manifesting the life you want works. Haha!

One thing I’ve learned is that the idea is to follow actions that come smoothly. Not without action or work, but to explore different avenues, and when doors open, they’re meant to be. If I have to force something, it’s probably not meant to be. I just have to remember to take it one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, and try not to project into some unknown future. My biggest fear may be coming true: that I’ve chosen the wrong career path, again, and now I’m even deeper in debt than before, six figures this time. It could be that I tried to force something instead of following my passion to become a writer. But on the other hand, if my biggest fear is coming true, it’s because I’m making it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I do love nutrition, and have already been spending way too much time on my first two clients, out of sheer interest, so that’s worth something, right? My deepest interest lies in spiritual matters and finding one’s purpose, so maybe I can somehow tie that in with writing and nutrition… Everything happens for a reason, so it could be that I needed to take this winding path to come back to my origin, and maybe I can somehow tie these things all in together.

I really have no idea how I’m going to do that. But then I guess that’s what life’s all about.

PS: I feel that it would make more sense to separate this into three different posts: one about career, one about relationships, and one about community. In each post I’d explore each topic in more depth. But, I have homework, and then work, so I’m going to publish this meandering post as is.

 

Wish Upon a Star

As you might have surmised from my previous post, Hawaii wasn’t the utopian paradise I’d hoped for, which proves that we each create our own reality. The mornings were my favorite time, when I was alone in quiet on the balcony, and I only regret not having gotten out to walk on the beach at sunrise. But on the 27th floor of a high rise in Honolulu blocks away from Waikiki Beach, I didn’t want to go out only to return and wake my now ex-boyfriend.

We broke up a few nights ago, at 2am when he came to bed and asked me if I still loved him. How do you break a 65-year-old man’s heart? He’s been single his entire life, and now I can understand why. And it’s not that he’s old, it’s just that he’s too old for me; the age difference is too much. My energy level was much higher than his; he became winded after hikes that were easy for me. No matter how many times I asked him to eat with his mouth closed, to avoid talking while his mouth was full, he did it every single time, and that alone tried my patience. As much as I want to be an all-loving, accepting, tolerant person, I cannot deal with repulsive table manners, let alone the rude way he talks to people. And the thing is, he’s the nicest man with the best intentions, and doesn’t know that it’s rude to yell, “Hey!” or “Yo!” at the ticket person at the gate. Sometimes I’ll be in some other part of the house, and he’ll yell, “Hey!” to ask me a question, and it was little things like that, the ankle biters, that really got to me. And did I mention that he does this thing where he elbows me to get my attention? Yep. In bed, when I’m drifting off to sleep, to ask if I’m awake. And I am like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde when someone awakens me from my glorious, much-needed slumber.

I could list dozens of positive things about him, but the negatives are even deeper than what I’ve mentioned. The biggest being that he doesn’t listen to me. He wears hearing aids, so he couldn’t hear me unless I didn’t want him to, like when I was trying not to awaken him in our tiny studio apartment when I’d wake before sunrise—so I know it’s not like I’m a picnic to be with. Most people, being night owls, would not want to room with someone who got up that early every day.

But back to the listening issue. When we’d talk, he’d say something, I’d start to reply, but then he’d railroad right over whatever I was saying to add to his own conversation. After a while I just continued talking, not stopping during his interruption, but it didn’t matter, because he also refused to stop. And it wasn’t because he didn’t know I was talking—he can lip-read, so he could see that I was talking, in case he couldn’t hear. It was maddening.

One night we went to an AA meeting, and they asked me to lead the meeting because their speaker didn’t show up. So I had to speak about the second step: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Having had a lot of experience with surrendering to a higher power when things don’t go my way, I spoke from the heart, and people responded. I thought he might say something about it afterwards, but he didn’t say a word.

The thing is, it felt like we’d been married for years, and not in a good way.

There’s more, but it’s not worth continuing on about it. Suffice it to say it was a tense, uncomfortable vacation. He had two friends who lived there, who we visited: one of whom became wheelchair-bound two years ago, and the other whose son committed suicide four months ago. The air was heavy, the energy dark. So I prayed and meditated every morning for my own peace and for the sad souls around me.

Meanwhile back home my dad’s wife went off her rocker, and every day has been like an episode of Jerry Springer. The short version of the story is that she was diagnosed with a mental illness a year or so ago, and appears to be addicted to drugs. I already knew she had a pain pill and/or sleeping pill problem, but my dad was alcoholic, and they both were pretty quiet about their issues that were none of my business anyway. My dad quit drinking due to the fact that alcohol no longer worked for him while on his diabetes medication, much to his disappointment and frustration, and I tried to convince him to try AA or church or anything besides being alone and white-knuckling it, but that conversation went nowhere.

The latest with my dad’s wife is that she left him for another man, after she and her family led him to believe she’d disappeared (they let him file a missing persons report, without letting him know she was safe and alive), and after my dad tried to get her put in the psychiatric hospital (she’d been thrown in jail, and her psychiatrist said she’s a danger to herself). She owns four guns, that she took with her. I can only pray that this ends safely, peacefully, and soon for my dad, who doesn’t deserve this at this stage of his life. No one does, at any time, but he’s 72 years old, and not in good health.

But I will say that Hawaii wasn’t all bad. The boyfriend and I did the best we could. We both tried hard to be nice, and we succeeded for the most part. It was just an underlying tension, a knowing that this wasn’t right. The thing about Honolulu is that it’s a big city, with lots of people, traffic, buildings, and tourists everywhere. We drove out to more secluded areas and most of them were crowded with tourists. But we got to see the Missouri at Pearl Harbor which was far more interesting than I had expected, and I got to see my stepdad’s uncles’ memorial marker from where he’d died on the Oklahoma, which will mean a lot to my stepdad. Plus we found some truly secluded areas, in particular, a path in a rainforest that led to a waterfall, which we gratefully stumbled upon. The scenery outside the city was breathtakingly gorgeous, and even some parts of the city were beautiful too.

And one morning, out on the balcony, just around sunrise, I looked up during my meditation, hearing the sudden rainfall, and there was a rainbow.

And I knew it was a sign of good things to come.

honolulu rainbow

When You Have No Other Choice But to Look at Yourself

Since Mark left me I haven’t cried, except once I welled up when “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor came on at work. I feel numb. My default reaction is that nothing good ever happens to me, my higher power’s plan for me is never what I want, and I’ll be alone forever.

But the new me points out the positives: he reminded me that good guys exist, he encouraged me to use my voice, he didn’t abandon me for using my voice, and I now have time to focus on myself, my school, career, friends.

He also convinced me that I look good without much make-up and my hair more natural. Let me revise that: I wouldn’t say he convinced me that I look good so much as made me aware of how much better women look who do not put too much make-up on. While I personally think I look better with black eyeliner (and I got a lot of compliments!), a Cleopatra hairstyle (got lots of compliments on that too), and unnaturally vibrant auburn hair (and I got compliments on that too!), he made me realize that wearing neutral tones of make-up and wavy brown hair looks… well, in my opinion, fine, and in his opinion, better. I must say no one has complimented this new look now that I think of it so maybe he wanted me to look worse so no one else would like me. LOL. Just kidding. I think he really liked that better, but whatever the case, this is who I am and I don’t want to become the old lady who dresses 20 years younger with a bunch of fake stuff.

Over the past few days what’s really come to mind is that although I still have two years left, I need to figure out how to become a nutritionist. This will be my livelihood. This will be what I do 40 hours a week, presumably. It’s how I’ll spend my days. If I cannot find confidence in myself doing this, my life will not feel worth living. I have no option but to do something for myself.

When I woke up this morning I remembered a girl I worked with at the store, who has since graduated from the school I’m attending, and who works at an apothecary similar to where I work, except she works with a team of nutritionists and practitioners and they advise clients on how to heal or recover or become healthier through nutrition and supplements. She’d suggested that I go to work there last year while I’m still in school, that it would make my life easier down the road as a nutritionist, but I liked my current job too much and didn’t want to jeopardize that. This job I have now is the only job I’ve really loved, with good people who treat their employees well, where people care about each other. It’s the only job I’ve worked in my adult life that was not a shark tank, and I’m terrified to go back to that environment. I wish I could work at the grocery store forever, but even if I made enough money there, I don’t see how they’ll survive, especially with Amazon. And now that Amazon has bought out Whole Foods, there’s no way a locally-owned grocery store can make it in the long run. Their days are numbered, in my opinion.

Even the apothecary probably can’t survive, but it will be a good way for me to get experience advising clients. As it is now, I don’t get to do that much. Customers ask for advice, but because I’m not a licensed practitioner I’m not allowed to give advice, nor can I say anything will treat, mitigate, prevent, or cure any kind of condition or disease. I know more than the average person, but I find it hard to remember what I think I should remember. My boss remembers a lot from when she was in school. She has since dropped out, yet she remembers details I didn’t even get the first time around from school. She knows how the body works and can describe in detail how the different processes and pathways work and the mechanism of action for various supplements. I don’t even try to remember that kind of information. All I can tell you is that, for example, milk thistle is traditionally used to support healthy detoxification. Don’t ask me how or why.

While I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others, and my boss is smarter than the average person, I still feel inadequate. But at the same time it helps to know she’s smarter than not just me but most everyone else, and I suspect that when she describes some of this stuff to customers it goes over their heads, so they buy the supplement because they think she sounds like she knows what she’s talking about, even if they don’t. At least I can explain things in layman’s terms, provided I understand it in the first place.

I feel my memory getting worse, and it’s never been great. So that worries me.

Back to Mark: I can’t help but feel that if he were to change his mind and decide to stay with me, to go to therapy and do what he needs to do to manage his OCD, I’d go back to him. I would at least give it a try. It’s worth it, provided we both put in the work needed for the relationship. Maybe it’s more work than would be good for me. Whatever the case, it’s not up to me. It’s over so now I have no choice but to move on, and hopefully look back and see that it all worked out for the better.

Relationships are my addiction. When I’m in a relationship, that’s at the forefront of my mind, rather than the career change I’m in the process of making.

I don’t know if I can emphasize enough how much anxiety I feel about this career stuff. I’ve never had a job I liked outside of restaurant jobs from college, and the grocery store where I work now. Being in the workforce in marketing and even at the law firm before that was terrifying for me. I always felt out of place, never comfortable, never at home.

Sigh.

I have to change. There’s no other choice.

That’s all I got for today.

Here’s a song I’ve been listening to on repeat lately.

Transformation

transformationThis transformation that I’ve been experiencing over the past little while is something I’ve had the joy to witness in someone else I met about six months ago. This young man started going to CODA meetings just before me, and every week he’d share about how downtrodden he felt, how depressed he was, how he could not get out of his funk. It was hard to watch, and at times I thought, Pull yourself together, man! Because that’s what I do when other people don’t learn their life lessons at the same time as I did, or immediately after I did. I forget how I spent most of my life depressed and focused on why me, and why did life turn out this way, and what was wrong with me, and why couldn’t I be like everyone else who seemed to have their shit together or at least okay with the fact that they didn’t, and how life dealt me a bad hand, and that I didn’t have what it took to survive or thrive in this life. That was the attitude I’d had for most of my life, up until a few years ago.

This young man who I’ll call Ben not only has a new outlook on life, but he even looks different. He looks awake. It’s such a blessing, a treasure, to watch this person change. In support group meetings people say they can see the change in you before you can see it in yourself, which is true. When I was new, after some time people said I had grown, and now some people even think I’m confident, though I might have them pretty well fooled. But maybe I do have more confidence now than I did before.

Everyone who lives in my area seems so nice now. I’d dreaded moving back to this town north of DC because I’d decided I preferred my old hood down in PG County (Prince George’s County, near the University of Maryland) with all the lower income people who are friendlier and artsier and more academic. But up here in my new old town located north of DC they were always snooty to me when I lived here before. But something happened and everyone got friendly. When did y’all get so friendly? Surely all Marylanders are totally closed off, devoid of eye contact, too busy with their lives to give a damn about yours. Somehow they were all friends with each other at the gym but no one had time for me, and ditto for those in 12-step meetings. But now suddenly people have time for me. What happened?

I’ll tell you what happened. What happened is that I changed. My perspective changed. It’s not that everyone suddenly became friendly; it’s that I became more open. And it all started with my recovery program, and then got put on the fast track with Mom’s death. My life feels so different, in a positive way today. I want to explain to you how this happened so you can do this for yourself. I want you to know everything I did, everything that happened, so that you can try it for yourself. I want you to know that it is possible. Change is possible, and life can get better than you ever dreamed possible. Just believe in it. Have faith. Know that it will happen, and sooner than you think.

Listen. If I can do it, anyone can. I spent my entire life, starting in childhood, feeling sorry for myself. And I’ll write all about this in my upcoming post(s), and I wrote a bit about it in my previous post. Here’s a hint: you don’t have to be in a 12-step program, you don’t have to be religious, you don’t have to do everything I did for this transformation to happen for you. I believe that. I know it, because I know others who’ve grown and changed without these things. So stay tuned.

Here’s a song that helped me get through hard times after I left my marketing career to find myself, when life felt mucky, like quicksand, to trudge through each day, when I felt so lost I didn’t know what to do.

Here’s a clue: There is hope.

Healing Comes From Within

The wildfires in western North Carolina continue to rage and are growing fast, with only 15% containment as of last night. My sister and stepfather live in this area with their dogs, in the house my mother lived in, with all of her things. When I was there a few weeks ago, I took only a few small items, not ready to go through her things yet. I’m embarrassed to admit that was my first thought:  Mom’s things. She just died and now her house may go up in flames. It’s a reminder that things are just things. My family is in no immediate danger as of right now. The real concern is their safety, the safety of others, and the wildlife in that area. In a small fire the animals can relocate, and I assume they’ll do so regardless, but when there are thousands of acres on fire, where then do they go?

Before my mother and stepfather moved there 10 years ago, they considered weather, location… but no one really thought of wildfire. Wildfires are not common in that area. Lately there’s been a drought, and arson is now suspected. Who would do this, and why? I’m hoping these are just rumors.

And my stepfather’s insurance doesn’t cover fire. Sigh. If you believe that everything happens for a reason, which I do, I have to see my mother’s death as good timing, for her, and in some ways, for us, so that we don’t have to witness the pain she’d have experienced. The events over the last few days might have killed her—she really stressed out about these kinds of things, understandably. She’d have gone down in such a tragic way, deeply saddened and fearful. But the way she went, she didn’t know what hit her. For that, I am grateful.

I’m reading Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul, and the part that stands out to me is this idea of how we hold energy around our hearts and block ourselves from pain, which closes our hearts and keeps us from love. Singer suggests that one must live with an open heart, and feel the feelings that come, whether painful or joyful, and then release them. What we try to do is hold onto joy because we don’t want it to go away, and then when pain comes, we try to push it away, ignore it. Singer suggests that we allow pain and joy to flow through us freely. I am not sure yet how to do this, nor do I know how one does it in the workplace. What does it mean to release the pain you feel in the moment? Do I allow myself to start crying when a customer gives me a hard time? Do I lash out at someone who just hurt my feelings? Somehow I don’t think this is what Singer has in mind, but still, I envision myself making occasional outbursts (“I don’t know the friggin answer! Look it up on Google!”), followed by trips to the bathroom, crying in the stall. The joyful part may be even more challenging. Do I dance in the aisles? Some people do that. Now that is real freedom.

This approach is one I am trying to learn, specifically with the results of the election. For me, as well as for millions of others, the outcome of this election has reached a very personal level:  my family. Most of them are on the opposing side of my view, and that’s okay. We do not all have to agree. What I don’t understand is the animosity. The outright hostility. One side sees the other as sore losers, the other side sees the winners as gloating. You catch more bees with honey; violence is not the answer. Maybe this was the beginning of Doomsday, maybe not. Maybe that beginning has already been in process. Maybe this had to happen in order for change to take place. What are you going to do about it? What can you do when the world around you is on fire, literally and figuratively?

I, for one, will start with me:  opening my heart to love and peace, being of service to others. As my sisters say, true healing comes from within. As paraphrased by Gandhi:  Be the change you wish to see in the world.

change