If you could see inside my soul…

Here are just a few of the items you’d find:

  • a note pad and an ornately carved ink pen with a fine tip. The ink inside would randomly change color to cover all the spectrum of the rainbow.
  • a seven year old playing, skipping, reading, but mostly day dreaming of all kinds of things

Dana in Denver, 1974

  • an angsty 13 year old who worries constantly about self worth; she has a stack of magazine “issues” with titles like, “Daddy”, “Slut or Saint”, “Extreme Shame”, “Guilt Illustrated”, etc.

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  • a bookshelf crammed with an ever growing number of volumes of an encyclopedia series titled, Living with Brown Skin.
  • a Dragon with wings shaped like a butterfly’s, but colored more like an arrangement of crystals

Onyx Butterfly

  • my Divinity (although She’s not in any recognizable form most of the time, you can tell it’s Her by the glow that always surrounds Her)
  • tons of music

What’s in your gullet? ūüėČ

Sending love and light…

Dana

Growing older


Random TEDx talk I watched this morning as I was trying to squelch this growing unease.

I’m at home, having had a most uncomfortable morning of symptoms without connection to any known illness I’ve ever had. This is the second time I’ve felt this way but the first, I was over it by 6:30 am and able to go to work. This time, I made it to the end of the block before I felt I had to rush back home.¬† I’m afraid to be honest. I turn 50 years old in a few weeks. Is that at all relevant? Is my healthy streak coming to an end so abruptly?

My 49th year on the planet has seen an alarming increase in how much I sweat, drastic changes in my body temperature…not just hot flashes, but what feel like almost hourly fluctuation between extremes. My bladder seems confused, one minute it thinks it’s full to bursting and it is, the next it thinks it’s full again, but it isn’t. I wake almost every morning with an odd, not quite stuffy sensation in my ears and behind my eyes, one nostril will be swollen shut. It takes me an hour from the time I wake up to get back to feeling “normal” in my head. I haven’t slept through the night consistently in 24 years, but this year it seems more stressful on my day to day, even though I’m not falling asleep at stop lights anymore. I find myself feeling weak all over, as if I’m losing control over my arms and legs. I get tingly, then very anxious.¬† There are times walking through the grocery store when I have the briefest sensation that I’m going to fall down, that my legs won’t support me.

I don’t feel ‘normal’ – is this normal as one ages?

With the new job last November came new insurance and a new “doctor”.¬† I put doctor in quotes because although I scheduled the appointment to see the doctor as listed in the directory on my insurance, I never saw her. I went in for my yearly physical and was seen by three different nurse practitioners, one who was in training.¬† I sat and listened as the two conducting the exam (one licensed, the other the trainee) discussed what should be checked as if I weren’t in the room. I had my knees tapped with the small mallet, my blood pressure taken twice, my temperature taken once, asked the briefest of questions about my overall health, then dismissed to give blood.¬† Quite the change from any doctor’s visit I’ve ever had before where my blood pressure and temperature were taken by a nurse practitioner, who also asked me a butt ton of questions, then had me dress in¬†¬† in that large piece of paper towel and told me to wait for the DOCTOR who then came in¬† to push, poke, and in some cases prod me all over, in order to thoroughly check under the hood.¬† I got to know my DOCTOR and they got to know me, as far as my health was concerned.¬†¬† My new “doctor” has me feeling quite unsure about the future of my health care.

I don’t like this feeling. I don’t like not knowing what’s wrong with me.¬† Wonder if my old doctor will take my call?

Sending love and light,

Dana

23 of 40 – How to find a good therapist.

I want counseling. But not just any kind of counseling. I don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of money for 55 minutes of hearing myself talk. Oh no. I want to go in, state my issues, and walk out with some concrete ways to deal with them.

I’m sinking again. The overwhelm, the negativity. Being around people who don’t understand or want to believe how certain things affect me. As if I’m lying, or exaggerating – being overly dramatic.¬† I want a therapist or counseling who KNOWS about introversion and being empathetic – who understands and can freakin’ help me feel just my feelings or help me process all the outside feelings that or just…freakin’ help me.

I want a counselor who likes people. Who enjoys his or her job and isn’t out just to make a buck; some one who doesn’t automatically reach for the prescription pad but instead knows some real life coping skills I can learn.

I need help y’all.

Thank you.

Sending Love and Light,

Dana

21 of 40 – I want to scream…

…to rage against the heavens, my language and attitude born of hell. I want to curse the day, to use my ire to rend the sky, letting lighting strike, the thunder shaking the very core of this Earth’s foundations.

I want to abdicate responsibility, to treat others as they have treated me with not a thought given to karmic retribution.  To do evil unto others and still sleep soundly at night wrapped in the false righteousness of my actions.

I want to wish death’s visit to those who have trespassed against the world. To hear their tortured screams as they die slowly, painfully. To watch as no one cries tears at their passing, but instead burn effigies in celebration.

I want my dark side let loose.

But then I remember my beliefs. My hopes. My dreams. My teachings and lessons so very vigorously, and sometimes painfully, learned. I remember what it’s like to be the outcast, the victim, the one who was bullied. I remember the pain. The longing for salvation, compassion, acceptance, love.

And instead, I turn to my Light and I call it forth. In great waves I send it forth. I work to heal the atmosphere, to bring more fresh air and clean water into the world. I work to close the Earth’s fissures, to fight against those technologies that would tear our world apart. I wrap my darkness in LIGHT so I know what it feels like to be forgiven.

Then I turn off the news, stop listening to the radio, and avoid anything that has to do with the hate. At least I’m getting more writing done this way ;-).

Sending love and light,

Dana

15 of 40 – The Eye of the Spider

Yeah…so, my “spirit animal” twice or thrice removed made a dramatic appearance this morning in the form of a web dive to the ground just in my peripheral vision as I was coming through a doorway at work. *shudder* It has been several months since the last “blessing” so I suppose I should be somewhat grateful they aren’t attempting to communicate as often as they were a couple years ago. Why oh why couldn’t my spirit guides send money instead? lol.¬† Oh wait, they do that as well, just not in super large denominations.

Oh well.

Sending love and light.

Dana

10 of 40 – One Step Closer to 50

Sigh. I am on the edge of 50.¬† I remember as a kid imagining what I’d be like at 21, but beyond that, I don’t think I built any kind of fantasies, goals, or images of life beyond that golden age.

Yet, here I sit (much to my health’s dismay), twenty-eight years / sixty pounds / 20+% body fat,¬†beyond 21 wondering what I’m “supposed” to be, how I’m “supposed” to look and feel.

My body has done some weird thing where it hurts now at the slightest provocation. If I sit¬†“too long” I swell, my back and¬†hips hurt; if I move anything heavier than a¬†dinner plate, my neck, shoulders, arms,¬†back, and hips will hurt within minutes.¬†I have bruises that won’t fade – my skin looks mottled and feels dry most of the time. I wonder sometimes if I’m part lizard. I’ve already mentioned the hair loss. That seems to have reached its peak this year and I am, for all intents and purposes bald, save for that lingering, lustrous one inch line of hair along the back of my head from ear to ear (WTF?!).

this guy
Like this guy. For real. I kid you not. This is very similar to what my hair line is like as I type this.

And about those feelings? My likes and dislikes, my sense of adventure…all of that seems to have changed without my conscious consent or any effort on my part. Dancing till dawn, riding roller coasters, road trips, cruises, going for walks just because, mall crawling / shopping for clothes – all of what I used to do for fun and relaxation? Meh. I’m not moved by any of it any more.

I don’t know who I am.

The one constant is the writing though. I am so thankful that hasn’t changed. Putting words to page is still how I process, how I think. How I breathe. But, given all that I’ve mentioned above, I’m afraid my passion for¬†the written word is changing and like those things mentioned above, I won’t notice it until it’s so different it will be rendered unrecognizable to me.

I can see why women back in the day were sometimes thought to have gone insane in their later years. This is enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity. Oh well, at least for me it’ll be a short trip. I’ve lost myself several times through out the years. Guess I won’t complain – even though I’ve taken this trip before, I’m traveling an unfamiliar route. Might as well enjoy the scenery. Here’s hoping the return brings me back to someplace I’ll enjoy.

Love you!

Dana

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

Eight Legged Freaks…or Good Omens

Either way, I am arachnophobic (is that a proper word?). So what does Life send me as good omens? Uh huh. And it can’t be little, tiny ones either. Oh no, it’s got to be the urban, jumbo size.

giphy

Well, at the new house (which I have yet to write about. Maybe this weekend…), I’d been blessed with the occasional cockroach / waterbug, whatever you want to call them.¬† Those large, redish-black, monster beetle like things (one of them with WINGS for goodness sakes).¬† Those are bad enough. Especially when they FLY!!!¬†¬†¬† But then, a couple of months or so ago,¬†there was this non-descript (which I’m sure was a spider) sort of tan, multi-legged critter that JUMPED toward me as I tried to kill it.¬† It managed to get right up on me while I was sitting in my favorite spot on my couch. Gack. I flicked it off the couch, leapt to safety and ran to get the bug spray. I was shooting the¬†stream of poison from about two feet away and that’s when it¬†JUMPED toward me. Oh the horror.

gal-scream-grace-kelly-mogambo-jpg

Last night though, shortly after I registered for the New York deal, this large, grey, obviously – spider appears in the middle of the floor, heading straight for the couch as if purposefully wanting me to see it. I jump up to a standing position on the couch, leap to safety, then run for my shoe.¬† Mind you, by this time, the eight legged monster has made its way to the couch. I swat at it from behind, just missing it as it disappears underneath the very section of the sofa¬†I was sitting on. It’s going to be days before I can sit on the couch, let alone anywhere in the room.

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My phobia aside, was that the Universe sending me tidings that my trip to New York was a done deal? That I’m going to somehow come up with the money, a place to stay, and a way to safely get there and back?

I’d like to believe that with all my heart. Even if it was a flipping spider delivering the message.

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.