Spiritual Bad-Ass

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Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by author Debbianne DeRose for her new Spiritual Bad-Ass Tv YouTube series. The series highlights a bunch of Spiritual Bad-Asses who have a lot to say in how we can all get in touch with our Spiritual Bad-Ass selves.

The interview was a chance to really put the message of this blog in a nut-shell. Being diagnosed with cancer is an opportunity. For me, it was a catalyst to discover who I really am and make a choice to live a more authentic life. In the process, I discovered self-love, self acceptance, and got in touch with my creative self – through the healing art of drag.

Please check out the video and podcast via the link below on Debbianne DeRose’s website:

http://spiritualbadass.tv/mimi-mackensie/

Trust

Leaving my job took some balls. I was raised in a home where you better just take what you can get and deal with it. Just think of all those people out there who are unemployed and/or homeless. You don’t want to be one of them do you?

We are conditioned to believe that we need to work hard for everything. If you are not exhausting yourself by the end of the day, you are capable of doing more. If you see things that you don’t like at your workplace, you are to shut up and keep your nose to the grindstone. Don’t stand out. Don’t be a target.

In your list of priorities, a lot of people might say they put “God” or their family first, but take a look at the time and energy they spend on things and work is really the their first priority. This is conditioned from a very early age. My parents both worked. My parents would justify their dedication at work as their method of supporting us. I could even almost understand it if their work really filled their passions, but it didn’t. They were distracted. Sometimes it was a pleasant distraction, but it didn’t really fulfill them.

I don’t recommend that people just quit their jobs when they get frustrated or angry. I do recommend that if you find that what you are doing is not serving you, to honestly consider trying something else. Let yourself be inspired to move towards that which brings you real joy and fulfillment. You might not even know what that means right now, but just asking yourself the question is a start.

One thing that I have gained is time. At first, when you are not used to taking time to be with yourself, it can feel unpleasant. Many people pack their day with activities to avoid being with themselves and dealing with their baggage. With the lack of activity, it is easy to hear your fear based thoughts and develop anxiety over the future.

I find that I have gotten better with this over the years, but there is always going to be a part of you that will have a foot in the past or a little concern over how what you are doing might be perceived by others. I have been working on focusing on myself and not giving a rip about what other people think. It is hard to not feel guilty about doing this because I have been taught that being “selfish” is a bad thing. Really, the only way you can thrive and help others is be being “selfish.”

When you allow yourself enough space to separate yourself from the noise of the world, you can focus on your needs more clearly. I have time to focus on what I am most curious about. I have time to follow my interests. This allows you to develop some clarity on who you really are.

Our journey on this planet is based on us wanting to learn and grow. It is supposed to be fun. Just the fact that we are here and breathing makes us worthy. If we are attracted to a way of life, or when we see something we authentically desire, the Universe says okay, it is done. Abraham Hicks says that our rockets of desire deliver our manifestations in a sort of vibration escrow until we raise our vibration to match our desires. We don’t have to necessarily have to be asking consciously, it is automatic. We determine what we really want in the contrast of our lives. What we need to do is to figure out how to raise our vibrations to the point of allowing.

My main focus in this time has been how to raise my vibration. How can I fill myself with more joy? As my self-worth has increased, I realize that I want to take care of myself better. I want to feel at my optimal. I want to tune my instrument so I sound better when I am played because I know that I am worth it.

As I look for ways to raise my vibration, I have also found myself working through old bad tape. I often find that when I visit with Max and Alex, I feel comfortable enough to start examining areas of my life that don’t feel as good. Sometimes this is just in a conversation, but I also meet a lot of my fears when we are dressing up in drag.

As you can imagine, it takes some balls for a man to dress up in women’s underwear and prance around in heels. Yeah, some queens make it look natural, but the truth is that you have to confront all the stereotypes and negativity that you perceive others to have toward your art. It questions your sexuality, your sanity. As an overweight girl who has identity issues of her own, it can equally be as scary.

When I relax and submit myself to the process, I have to often confront my own fears and insecurities. I have noticed that I am completely overly sensitive to touch. Yes, I have been celibate most of my life and I am sure that it plays a role. I haven’t been touched much as an adult, and I feel like I was often neglected as a child in the touch department. Touch might be a sensory overload. Still, when I feel overwhelmed, there is a more carnal fear. I worry for my safety and go crazy.

After a recent freak out, Max asked if I had ever been sexually assaulted. My immediate answer is no. I haven’t been kidnapped. I haven’t been raped. I didn’t have relatives touch me inappropriately, so no. When I think about when I might have had similar freak out sessions to touch in my life, there is a set of experiences that do come to mind.

In middle school, I was a fat awkward little girl. I had boobs before most of the other girls in my class. In some way, I must have also known that I didn’t like boys. I know I was a really easy target. Leave it to a hand full of guys on my bus to focus in on me. They called me “Titanic.” From the second I got on the school bus, to the moment I got off, I was harassed by these guys. I was often fondled by them, called names, had horrible pranks played on me, you name it.

It went on for three years. During that time, no teacher or school administrator ever did anything. I told no one. It was pervasive enough that I knew adults saw it happening. Their lack of interest in confronting them, only lead me to believe that the students had more power than the adults. I didn’t mention it to my parents, because they were big bullies to me too. My mom had told me previously that if someone was being mean to me, it was my fault. My father made fun of my weight all the time. I felt like they didn’t have my back.

As an adult, I feel I should be over it. I never thought of it as sexual assault, even though it had aspects of unwanted touch and coercion, because it wasn’t “bad” enough. I had assumed that these incidents were only meant to humiliate me. I attached my self worth to what they thought of me. I didn’t feel that they desired me sexually. Maybe I did ask for it by just being that ugly.

What I have come to realize is that it was abuse. The fear they instilled in me still lingers. I learned so well from my bullies that I became my biggest bully. I believe this is how other sexual assault victims must feel like.

My intention in telling this story isn’t to rehash the emotion of it, but to understand why my primary responses are what they are. I am trying to confront the old tape and you have to be able to look at that initial old tape honestly. I didn’t deserve to be teased. I didn’t deserve to be assaulted. Now that I understand that I am worth better treatment, I have to confront one key aspect of my damage: trust.

Trust is the faith that ultimately everything is coming out of a place of love. Fear can’t exist in an environment of love. We trust because we have to. We feel better when we do.

Too often, we let past experiences or the acts of a few people destroy our capacity for trust. I believe that most people show their true colors early, and it is okay to reserve our trust for people who have proven themselves trustworthy. But for those of us with huge trust issues, we can find people who we trust and still hesitate to give them trust because of our fear of being screwed over.

As Alex was draping me with some fabric for a dress, he took out sharp shears to trim off some of the access. The entire time I was filled with fear. I was terrified of being cut which makes it so much easier for one to cut you. Alex had made sure that his hand was in the way, so if anyone were going to be cut, it would be him. He made sure to be extra careful. Besides, he had done this before with success.

I trust Alex and Max more than I trust anyone else in the world, but I couldn’t surrender. The fear backed up till I couldn’t take it anymore and I exploded in tears and protests. I was overwhelmed by emotion.

Fear is incompatible with anything you really want. It is our emotional guidance system letting you know that you are far out of alignment with how Source views the situation. Yet, it can emotionally hijack you. Your body courses in all sorts of chemicals, endorphins and hormones. Your body resorts to the primitive fight or flight response.

You can just let yourself get enveloped in the situation and break off friendships or vow never to do certain things again to try an avoid an unpleasant response, or you can try to check yourself out of the emotion and try to examine it as a third person. When you know a response is crazy, and have the ability to stand back and really reflect on what is going on objectively. This process really helps provide one with clarity. I knew immediately what I did not want, so I can now see what it is that I do want and walk closer to it.

I have noticed that when I am fed and have been fairly stable up to this point, I can separate myself from the experience to mine the nuggets I need for growth. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a melt down from time to time, but it shortens its duration and allows for a quicker and more long lasting recovery.

I used to not trust that I could have a mini-meltdown without alienating myself from others. I used to be so embarrassed and used these incidents as a way to shame spiral for weeks. Once you can establish that you are a good person, no matter what, and you have developed a team of people that you can trust to be vulnerable with, you can overcome what ever it is that you need to.

This experience led me to focus on an area that I want to improve in my life: trust. Although I know that I feel better while doing it, I am still not where I need to be to improve my vibration. Besides, I don’t want to live the rest of my life always being convinced that someone is around the corner, just wanting to screw me over. Life is too short to waste good energy on that.

I noticed something else from this incident. As I distrusted the process of the shears coming at me and the person behind it, I created the right atmosphere to deliver exactly what I feared. If my worst fear was being cut, my trembling only produced fear in the person trying to perform the act, which could lead to more mistakes. Really, what was the worst that could happen? Be cut? Even if I was, it wasn’t going to really hurt me. Some people knowing that they even feared this outcome would prevent themselves from even being in that situation. This might produce a temporary comfort, but missing out on the experience prevents one to benefit from addressing one’s fears and from enjoying the fruits of getting beyond the fear.

Aren’t we taught that we should always be striving for perfection? Anytime we fall short, haven’t we been taught that failure is the worst outcome possible? Aren’t we told that if we can’t do something perfectly, that we shouldn’t try at all? In reality, failure is the only way to find success. We often have to figure out what doesn’t work so that we know what does work. Great thinkers often produce 1000s of bad experiments, drafts, or products before they get the one breakthrough that changes everything.

People often say that they may have trusted someone or something and then one thing occurred that made them question their trust. Because their trust was no longer perfect, they decide that they have to refrain from trusting in order to preserve themselves. Their lack of trust just attracts more incidents to cement their distrust. It can create so much fear that people just cower in their beds.

What I am learning is that trust is the belief that, more often than not, the Universe is only interested in our well-being. Trust is excepting that the major energy at play in our life is on our side. Trust is believing that you are worthy and that we are all connected. Trust is believing that other people are for the most part good. Trust is believing that we are all connected. Trust is believing that what we are called to do, what we are inspired to create, is worthwhile. Trust is knowing that what you need in this life will be provided for you. Trust is knowing that the core of this Universe is love.

When we can accept this, when we can believe that we can trust, we relax. Things will happen organically. Life is easier. We enjoy ourselves more because we are not constantly looking over our backs. Our energy is free from being rerouted to counter fear. All of a sudden, we have an abundance of energy to focus on things that are aligned with our true power. We allow ourselves to become aligned with who we really are. We become aligned with our true self, which extends beyond our physical manifestation. We realize that we don’t have to fear death, because there is no such thing. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. We are eternal.

Once you are more clear about who you are and why you are here, you can start to see others in the same way that Source views them. Other people are kinder to you. Your relationships become deeper. You learn to love yourself and others. You realize that there is more that unites us than divides us.

The trick is when you decide to have full faith in the Universe, and in yourself, do not lose it if you see a slight flaw. When someone you trust messes up, how can you learn to forgive? How can you learn from the contrast? The trick is when you trust, it needs to be unconditional. You need to allow room for us to be human, to make errors. Often, what we perceive to be a mistake is actually a good thing. Most things that happen in life are neither good nor bad. They are just a necessary part of the journey. Although we might not be able to understand the significance in that moment, often such incidents are meant to push us toward what we really want.

I trust that the best part of my story is still ahead of me. I trust that I am right where I am supposed to be. I trust that there are really no mistakes. I trust that no matter what, I will be okay.

A Love Letter to the Sun

This winter has been unusually cold, snowy, and long. My butt has fallen on the ice in my driveway at least a half dozen times already. Each fall makes you more timid. Last night, I looked at my trash can and had a mini panic attack thinking about taking it to the end of my driveway. Eventually, taking small enough steps, I managed to get it set out.

I always harbor a small amount of anxiety about falling. I am scared to death of breaking bones, even though I have never broken one. Sure, I have twisted ankles and bruised other parts of my body pretty bad…but the fear is the most limiting part. Some people enjoy others confronting their fears. Max loves to watch me fall and try to get up. Yes, if I was really hurt he would come and help…but sometimes you need to watch someone confront their fear and get over it as an extension of their growth. I imagine parents have a horrible time giving their children enough space to make mistakes in order to grow.

I have been growing a lot these days. Fear can be a horrible fixture when you are confronting disease. I was scared to death when I was diagnosed with cancer, but I knew that I couldn’t just spend all of my waking hours worrying. Thoughts about your mortality are always in the mix. My father in his seventies is always contemplating his inevitable exit. My aunt did the same when she was his age. It is not normal to do it in your 30s, but anyone who has cancer and doesn’t tell you that their mind is sometimes burdened by these crazy thoughts is lying.

As someone who has been really into the Law of Attraction, I often worry when these thoughts show up. I don’t want more of them. I don’t want to attract suffering. Unfortunately, my panic about these thoughts always leads to more. That is why you really need to get focused on something else.

I am in the last third of my treatment. Even though this is the time the doctors tell you that you might be at your weakest, I have decided to take on some stuff to get me ready for life after disease. I started teaching an English class at my local community college. I even auditioned and am rehearsing for a small cabaret show. Compared to my recent activities, this is a lot.

Not only am I managing my time and energy to do them, I am using them as a safe space to really relax into my new state of being. I usually hate processes and “the journey.” I often am pounding things out to get to the end result. Life is all about the journey. The more comfortable you are during it, finding ways to enjoy the process, the more you get out of everything.

I think being in the middle of the process was so difficult for me because I like things black and white. Tell me what you want and I’ll do it. This might be great in an employee, but it isn’t great when you are trying to find out what you really want. With my cancer treatment, I can no longer ignore my body. If I am exhausted, hungry, or hurting…I have to honor it and forget about what anyone else thinks.

Last week, I had my first infusion of my second round of chemo. I appreciated the time off from radiation. Still, I did have some anxiety coming back. I had handled the chemo well before, but there are always unknowns. This round I get a Neblasta shot 24 hours after each infusion. It is designed to make more blood cells to fight infection, but it magnifies the boney pain. Surprisingly, the boney pain hasn’t been too bad. My energy level is a different issue. I went to rehearsal on Monday and made it through two hours of choreography. I wanted to leave as soon as it started. My bones ached and I felt light, but I sat through the pain and made it through.

Yesterday, I saw a doctor for a radiation follow-up. She asked me about exercise and when I told her what I was doing, she was impressed. “You should be exhausted,” she said. I was, but there is a part of me that is always pushing though the pain. Even after a nap, I didn’t really have much energy. I eventually missed rehearsal. I felt guilty, but a little rest on this end will preserve me for the future of the production.

Knowing when to push and when not to is an extension of being able to listen to yourself, trusting the information you are receiving. Discovering my identity as a lesbian made me realize how much I had been trained to deny huge aspects of my personhood. This all comes from self-hatred and low self-worth. As I have been opening myself up, I am able to hear and feel more of my intuition. I still question it, but I am kinder and more open to myself.

Nonetheless, sometimes a person who has been so out of tune with themselves needs help. Every self-help book talks about the need for accountability partners or a support system. As I have grown older, I was focused on being independent. I kept so many of my thoughts and feelings to myself. I thought I was shielding others from my burdens, but I was only hurting myself. Plus, those people that you really do love and want to be close to really ache when you do this. Max and Alex are always asking me to dig deeper, tell them more, and be more vulnerable. It isn’t easy. I would rather get two IVs sometimes than to share certain thoughts.

Assertiveness can have a bad connotation to it. Who wants to be a bitch? Still, sometimes you have to say what is on your mind. One day this past week, I was playing a pool game on my new phone. I finally won a game and let out a huge yell. Max and Alex were taken back. According to them, my yell was a little “manish,” which was contrary to my normal self. Max stated, with some confusion, frustration, and anger, “I feel like sometimes I don’t even know who you are.”

Immediately, I felt a dagger through my heart. On one hand, I got it. It is hard to see someone you thought you knew change so much. It wasn’t in the contract. That is why family members often are enemies to those on a diet. Couples break up because one of them changes more than the other can handle. In reality, I am not really that different. The context has changed and I am trying super hard to get more comfortable with who I am.

Still, there is no one that wouldn’t have been hurt if their best friend had said the same thing. It was in this moment that I immediately clammed up and could no longer speak. Rationally, I had already forgiven him because I understood, but I needed to give voice to the hurt. It took me two days to finally say it.

I have taught lessons on conflict management and being more assertive. I know that one needs to communicate. The problem is feeling enough worth and confidence to just give voice to it. I can now feel the physical closing of my throat. I have red flags shoot off in my head that I need to say something now. Unfortunately, low blood sugar can flood emotions through your body and make you feel so unworthy that you just shut down. Embarrassment or lack of confidence can make you second-guess every word. You can imagine how ridiculous you must look or sound, and the last thing you want to do is be seen.

I treat myself as if I am doing something wrong when in reality, you know that a boundary has been crossed and you just want to acknowledge it. Concern for others’ feelings becomes more important than your health and security. In the end, the lack of action is more a slap in the face to yourself than anyone else.

Watching someone go through this might be as funny as watching someone fall and try to get up in their driveway, but it is as lethal as cancer. How many people don’t tell their doctors the full truth because they are embarrassed or afraid? I am guilty. How many people stay in an unhealthy situation at work or in a relationship because they are too afraid to speak up? Again, I am guilty.

Once you recognize the problem, you can work on it. But, it isn’t super simple. The old adage that if you make a mistake, you have to do it right 7 times in order to learn it the right way applies. Being aware is only one step. You have to exercise this assertiveness muscle over and over again in order to gain any sort of ease in doing it.

You are not an island. You will have to get loved ones involved. Hopefully, there are a few people in your life that you feel you can trust enough to work on this with. If you don’t have someone you can trust, you are going to have to take a leap of faith and go find someone. I no longer believe that I can keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Writing helps. It can open up someone who is really closed up, but you have to develop connections with other living breathing human beings.

Of course, humans are not perfect. Sometimes you are going to take a chance and be vulnerable, and the other person is going to disappoint you, maybe even hurt your feelings. Hopefully, you are working with people who have earned the right to hear your business and have even proven themselves as friends and not foes. If this is the case, you have to continue the dialogue. Feelings are mucky. They are uncomfortable. When people are learning, or even when they are not at their best, you have to be willing to forgive them and move on. The real reason for this is because you so desperately want them to forgive you when you mess up, which you are going to do.

By building this resource, it is easier to confront fear. Fear is a dark room. The second you let in some light, you will be able to see. Fear can’t survive the light; it exists in shadows. All one has to do is flip the switch. Flipping the switch just entails softening the resistance, releasing a muscle, relaxing and just letting the truth flow instead of being pinched off.

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At my next infusion, I noticed an older woman getting an infusion next to me. She was crabby to herself. She had no one with her, and she held a wall of invincibility around her. She called to have her lunch delivered and handled the human interaction like a business transaction. There was an impenetrable wall around her. I can understand wanting to prevent the bad/sad energy of a cancer center from invading you, but this was deep. I saw the old me in her and wanted to give her a hug. Cancer cells spend a lifetime isolating themselves from the community of the body. They only absorb the supplies they need (or more than they need) and don’t give anything back, like the Universe owes them nothing.

When she left, a lovely older black woman took her place. She was warm and funny. She loved to make her neighbors laugh. She showed concern for another patient who had a bathroom issue. The entire time she was getting her infusion, she had a six-month baby girl on her lap. You could tell that she loved this little one and I was in awe of how much the baby girl just melted into her. She felt safe and loved. There was no other place that she would have rather been. This grandma and her granddaughter were the most beautiful thing in the room. The energy radiated from them was warm, soft, and comforting. Like a flame, you’re just drawn to them.

I want to burn as a brighter flame. I want to radiate love and warmth.

So, today, the sun shines. I feel the light and the warmth. I know it is going to go away soon, but I am making my vitamin D and am storing the glorious energy and goodwill. I feel lighter. I feel fuller, and I feel ready to continue to be brave and carry on with courage.

Being Okay With Me

I am 36 years old. Aren’t you supposed to know who you are by now? Shouldn’t your identity have been set during those awkward teen years? Well last year, at about this time, I had an epiphany. I had gone out on a date with a man that had checked off all the boxes on my wish list. I didn’t think this guy really existed, but here he was in front of me. After a nice first date, I never heard from him again. I was dumb founded. For a week or two, I didn’t know how I wanted to proceed. If I really wanted a relationship, why wasn’t I able to manifest it?

Cut to the boys and I talking, and them asking the fateful phrase, “so tell us about your lesbian tendencies.” I had worked on the depression. I became aware of my desire to constantly please others. I started working on being more vulnerable and having the courage to speak my truth. When confronted, I began to examine my life and came to the “a-ha” that the possibility of being a lesbian was pretty high.

That night, as I went through my past, I realized that this was the answer that only made sense. Why was I so in the dark? I had always been pro-gay. Why would I then be so far in the closet? I was so concerned with pleasing others, my parents, my family…that I wouldn’t even let myself entertain the thought of who I really was. I had spent decades repressing my sex drive and lying to myself about who I really was. I no longer had functioning instincts.

There was a huge release when I finally connected the dots. Maybe I wasn’t as screwed up as I thought. Just as relief overcame me, I was also slammed with fear. What does this mean? If I had been lying to myself for so long, how do I know what is true and what is not? I didn’t want to be “special.” Who the hell am I? Was I going to hell? I don’t hate men; I love them. That can’t be compatible with being a lesbian. I don’t want to be an ugly dyke? How would others in my life react?

I had one major meltdown the next day, but then I got over it. I had been single for so long that I kind have already given up the idea of having kids or even getting married. I had gay role models in my life. I knew I could do this. Luckily, no friends or family members have disowned me.

It has been a huge process. Still, I am by no means fully there. I tried dating girls. I was closer to hitting the mark, but I was also not having much success. I knew I felt like I needed to focus on me, but I got pressure to “keep looking.” I need to experience “sex” and “closeness” from someone else according to my friends. The dating process should be fun and exciting. Well, it isn’t. I felt able to be myself more than I had ever been before, but nothing was clicking.

I haven’t seen anyone else sense the beginning of December. Getting ready for my 27 radiation appointments, I wasn’t really looking to start anything new up. I think this was the right decision for me, but I could tell Max and Alex were afraid that if I didn’t immediately get on the fish bandwagon that I might never.

Time went on. Christmas happened. I was sort of in a funk; the weather landscape was less than cheery. Alex and Max kept asking, “Are you going to have sex this year? Is it even a priority?” I would try to shrink and fade back into the shadows.

Since my bit of clarity, I have realized that in some ways I know nothing about myself. When I look at who I am at any particular time in my life, was that really me? In some ways, it was just a mask. I wanted to be pretty and feel girly, but my stasis was a girl of comfort and practicality. I like to put on make up on occasion, but I couldn’t commit to doing it daily. It felt like torture. I love long hair, but I didn’t want to fuss with it.

With Alex doing drag, we would have dress up parties. I really enjoyed this. I felt pretty when we got made up. As I saw video and pictures of us, I equated being pretty with being of value. I could see myself as sexy. I started dreaming of a future where I looked closer to the quarky style of Zooey Deschanel, the Victorian drama of Stevie Nicks, or a little more Earth goddess.

As treatment went on, I became more self-conscious of my changing body. I had no hair, my eyebrows went for a while, I still had surgery scars, and I had a perpetual issue with boils in my nether region. I felt gross and radioactive. The last thing I wanted to do was to get close enough to someone to have me just be flat out rejected for what I knew I was unable to change.

This combined with pressure to “keep trying,” family and daddy troubles, crazy weather, and radiation therapy kind of put me in a funk. I became very focused on the short term. Alex and Max could sense this disconnect and slowing of my growth process. They were concerned that I was feeling “dead” inside. I had stopped dreaming and my motivation to get out of bed and attack life was lower than normal.

Through many conversations, it became clear that even though I had “come out” to all of the important people in my life, and they were cool with me, I was by no means cool with myself. I was still resisting what being a lesbian meant.  I cringed at the stereotypes. I didn’t really feel super butch or super femme. I still judged many aspects of myself to the point that I was still beating myself up for being inferior because of them. It was easier to hold on to the disappointment of not being who I thought I was, than to face the truth of who I am. If I was still resisting the truth, it felt like there was still hope that I could be what I thought I wanted to be, what I perceived was more desirable by others.

Alex and Max were catching on. They asked me, if I had to make a choice between 1) having a life partner that I could share everything with and be the fourth member of our little posse for life (never being able to write or journal again) or 2) have my great relationship with the boys and be able to live by writing for the rest of my life….what would I choose? Instantly, I could never imagine not being able to write. I felt like that shouldn’t be my answer, but I knew it was true to how I felt.

Finally, it dawned on the boys that maybe what I don’t need immediately is a relationship. Maybe, I was more of a tomboy than I let myself believe I was. Maybe I was meant to live a single life. Maybe everything I already was is exactly what I am supposed to be. Maybe the real lesson is that I need to continue to release who I think I should be and get radically comfortable with who I am.

With this mindset, there is a radical sense of relief. Stop fighting. Embrace who I am without judgment, and just “be.” On the other hand, there is an overwhelming sense of fear. I have been obviously conditioned to not be who I am for most of my life. By releasing the judgment and the guilt of not being who I thought I should be…there is a sense of huge loss because the foundation of everything you have built your life on seems to be shifting. It is easy to confuse this with the foundation crumbling and the house falling in on itself.

It is a Pandora’s box. You are afraid of what will be revealed when you open the lid. On some level, you are convinced that you won’t be able to handle it. For most of my life, I must have gotten that message from others. I strongly believed that I could be anything I wanted to be. If I wanted to be this image of a straight good girl, why couldn’t I be her? By releasing this, wasn’t I just giving up? Wasn’t my failure more about my lack of character than it was about being true to whom I am suppose to be?

Every night for the last year, I have been listening to clips of Abraham Hicks from YouTube. I believe in the Law of Attraction and use these audio recordings to help refocus my thoughts. What I have learned is that the Universe or God has our back. The Universe is not going to give us anything or any experience that we haven’t asked for. We may not see that always, but in time the dots do connect.

The most important thing for everyone to do is to follow their truth and to have fun. Having fun and being happy raises our vibration and helps us to attract positive and wonderful things from our vortex of everything we have ever really wanted. Our emotions are our guide to how close we are to be vibrationally in line with our truth. When we get angry with ourselves, we are separating ourselves from our Source. We know it is not true, and the worse we feel the farther away from the truth we are getting. In reality, life is suppose to come with “ease” but we let other people’s reality or judgment get in our way. We believe lies that we are suppose to work harder, that we should exercise more will power and determination.

If we stop listening to this noise from outside of us, and listen to our truth from within, we are aligning ourselves with our Source. When we accept what is true for us, we can relish in our possibilities, delight in the banquet of possibility by viewing through the lens of what we really want. We can choose our thoughts in order to focus on feeling good and release our fear and judgment. The need to harbor fear to protect oneself is released. The Universe sees we are ready and helps guide us closer to what we desire. The easier it comes, the better. We are closer to being a vibrational match to what we want and our ability to manifest is awe-inspiring.

For my entire life, I have been fighting the current. I have been forcing myself up stream. Alex mentioned that I am like a fish who has been trying their whole life to climb a tree and never understanding why I can’t. Since I wasn’t true to who I am, I never was able to really manifest what I thought I wanted because it wasn’t what I really wanted. I have become more aware of what I am doing, but only recently really understood.

The focus of this last week has really been getting comfortable with who I am. I am perfectly okay exactly as I am, right now. Not yesterday. Not 20 years ago. I am worthy and perfect right now! It is okay. It is okay if I don’t like make-up. It is okay if I have short hair. It is okay if I am overweight. It is okay if I don’t want to be in a relationship. It doesn’t mean that it will always be that way, but in order to be fully rooted in my power…I have to accept who I am now.

Not There Yet

It is no secret that I haven’t been 100% my improved self over the last couple of weeks. Christmas really bumped me off my higher-flying disc. Even though some magical good stuff has happened, and I had the breakthrough with my dad, I have still been feeling a little off.

The weather hasn’t helped. After being walloped with an ice storm right before Christmas, the “polar vortex” blasted through and dumped over two feet of snow. Everyone was locked inside their houses for days. School was called off for the first three days of break. While the city shut down, I still made it to my radiation appointments. Alex and Max had to dig me out one day, but I still made it.

If there is anything I have learned about constant doctor’s appointments, it is to make friends. I can tell that my doctors and radiation therapists like me. Yeah, I know…they like everyone…but I try to make life as easy for them as possible. I try to position myself as best as possible on the table. I only share positive energy, and thank them for their efforts. I feel like this good will has helped make my appointments go by as effortlessly as possible, with minimal wait time.

These radiation appointments drag my butt out of bed in the morning, but I find that as soon as I return home I slip back into bed. Finding the motivation to do much else has escaped me. The sky is dark and gloomy. The outdoors is cold and uninviting, but the inside of my house is almost the same. It is vacant, devoid of warmth and stimulation. A part of me feels like I am almost a little trapped. What if I can’t return to normal life after all of this is finished? What is “normal?” I don’t feel I can go back to the life I left; I don’t want to. Still, can I really make a different future for myself?

I have taken breaks to get something to eat, visit the mall, or visit Alex and Max. They have had their moments recently too. Several of our nights were just cut short by someone needing more sleep, or minor arguments, stuff. I knew I was feeling off my game, but just overlooked it.

Finally, one of the nights this week, I was sitting on Alex and Max’s couch while they and Alex’s brother were on their smartphones. This happens regularly. The conversation fizzles, and everyone goes on their phone. Sometimes it is to search for some information, sometimes they are chatting with people, other times they are buying time for the others to finish and for us to go onto our next thing.

I have missed the smartphone era. Now, I am the type of person who would normally have had the newest, most savvy phone. I love technology. But as my financial situation has fluctuated, I got out of cell phone contracts and have focused on spending the least amount of money as possible on utilities like a phone. Years have flown by, and I have wanted to join the bandwagon, but have been sitting on the sidelines.

Besides being lame, this behavior has made me feel really dated. It is bad enough that my current cell phone is as modern as a “jitterbug,” but social behavior is changing in this country. People are open and available, communicating 24/7.  These phones aren’t just status symbols; they are the way people are talking. I have seen people text each other as they are sitting right next to each other. As someone who doesn’t have a ticket to play, I do feel like an outsider.

I have expressed this to Alex and Max before. When you are both on your phones, it is like I am not here. You aren’t present. I am just sitting here waiting for your return. I can’t answer so and so on facebook, or see that article. All you got is me.

They have asked why I don’t carry my ipod touch with me to use while they are doing stuff. First, it isn’t a phone. It doesn’t have enough memory for a ton of apps. I don’t want to carry it around because I am convinced I’ll lose it. Besides, there is a part of me that hasn’t minded not joining the bandwagon. I am sort of off the grid. I often leave my phone in the car while I am at their house and just focus on being there with them. I don’t need to be distracted to another place. I am already where I want to be and with whom I want to be with.

Still, it is getting worse. It has gone beyond bucking a trend to being left behind. As people have become more comfortable with this technology, it is becoming normalized. Anyone under a certain age has already drunk the Kool-Aid. My reluctance makes me feel like I am more elderly than I am. You start to understand that you are missing opportunities by staying out of it.

Then, a commercial came on. At&t has a $45 a month, no contract, service plan for smartphones. You find one, bring it in, and your set. It is the same amount as what I am paying for my piece of crap phone. “Why not take the plunge?” Alex asked.

We tried to find out more about it that night, but I was too tired to figure it out. I had believed that having a smartphone was out of the question in my current circumstance, but maybe it was time to change that. Maybe the only one holding myself back from this was…myself.

The next day, I decided to go to At&t to investigate. After lunch, I pulled up to the store. There were a lot of people in there. From the moment I walked in, I was greeted by a guy and followed for the rest of the time I was in the store. (I HATE that!) I asked about the no contract plan. I asked to see what phones were available to purchase without a contract and if being on contract meant that I had to have a credit check.

The no contract plan was fine, but finding a phone would be the most difficult. A lot of these phones, without a plan, were hundreds of dollars. The ones that were not were so bad that I was embarrassed they were even selling them. What I really wanted was an iphone. I started believing that it would be out of my ability to get. I couldn’t even try to look into a contract phone because I was convinced that I wouldn’t be approved and would feel embarrassed if I was declined in the store.

Because the guy was on my tail the entire time, I felt like I couldn’t think things through. I felt like I was going to suffocate and he was creeping me out. I couldn’t get out of the door fast enough. It wasn’t until my feet hit the pavement of the parking lot that I finally was set free from the sales associate. I got into my car and started bawling.

Why did the boys set me up to feel this way again? Just when I had become okay with the fact that this was out of my reach, they made me feel like it was an option again. I was setting myself up for failure. I am not deserving of a new phone. How many other obligations have I not met? They take priority. This is so stupid! Yes, I could get service from At&t…but I’ll never get an iphone. If I do, it will just be a stolen phone…or some piece of crap. I’ll never have a new phone.

I began to spiral. I hate myself because I am so miserable with money. I will never be able to feel like I have good credit again. I have made bad choices, and I will pay for the rest of my life. My student loans are my chains and shackles. How dare I pretend I could afford college? I got the knowledge, but I will always remain poor because I couldn’t pay for it outright. It is a reminder that I am a lesser class.

I couldn’t understand why I was bombarding my head with these stupid thoughts. Self worth was plummeting. I have had so much time off, but what was I really doing with it? If I couldn’t get it done (like house work) now, I should never expect that I would ever get it done.

The previous night, I had gone to a glass blowing class. It was a Christmas gift from one of my chemo angels. From all the way in Florida, not really knowing me from Adam, my angel bought me a Groupon for a glass blowing class to make ornaments. I love doing art stuff, so it was a perfect gift. When I made it to the class, they noticed that the name on my Groupon didn’t match mine. I told them it was a gift and the organizing ladies were very interested. Who was this magical person who got me this gift?

I told the ladies that it was my pen pal. I let them know that she was the equivalent of a stranger, and how nice it was to be thought of….but I couldn’t explain the whole truth. Well, I was diagnosed with cancer and got hooked up with Chemo Angels who send me letters every week. This was one of the beautiful things one of my angels has done for me. I couldn’t say the words because I didn’t want to feel like a cancer patient. I didn’t want pity. I didn’t want the extra attention.

When I told the boys this, Max mentioned that I missed a valuable opportunity. I agreed with him, but I couldn’t understand why I chose not to reveal that part of myself. Max said, “you are missing an opportunity to show people that even though you had cancer, it doesn’t need to be a miserable, horrible experience.” By being able to share that aspect, like any aspect, I allow people to get to know me more and be more invested. It can help me make more friends, make stronger connections.

Not being able to do that means I still feel like I should have something to hide. The boys scratched their heads. What do you have left to hide? Your family knows, even your dad. Why do you still have to hide? There was a beat, and Max stated, “you are still not okay with it yourself.”

Back in the car, bawling about a stupid smartphone, I pondered. Was this the missing thing? I am horrible with money and don’t know if I will ever get ahead. Is my fear of being destitute keeping me from liking myself?

Hours latter, I thought I was doing okay…but hanging out with Alex and Max brought it back up. I told them about the phone ordeal and they knew it wasn’t a problem. “We’ll just buy one on eBay,” Alex said. They pulled up eBay on a laptop and I looked through them.

I hate eBay. I feel weird buying other people’s stuff. The last time I bought something on eBay, I got a broken old school ipod. I was able to return it, but I still felt like a dork trying to buy something on eBay again. I knew the boys would help me, but I also felt like I didn’t want to spend all this time and money buying an old phone that is already ancient by technology standards. It was sure to have quarks and not work as well as it should.

I finally went on the At&t site, held my breath, and tried to get an iphone 5, certified like new, for $1 with a two-year contract. I entered my information, held my breath, and submitted it. The screen changed and said I would be charged when it shipped. The fine print said that everything would depend on a credit check, yadda…yadda.

Well, it didn’t say no. Matter of fact, I think I got it. Did that just happen? Is my credit not that bad? No…it is bad. Maybe phone companies are not as picky as they used to be. Nothing bad happened. Instead, I might have just simply got what I wanted.

I felt better, but I wasn’t a hundred percent. Over dinner, Alex and Max tried to talk to me about it. I found that I couldn’t talk about it without feeling emotion. The boys were like, separate it. I couldn’t. I gathered myself in the bathroom, and we continued on talking about something else.

Of course, when we got home, the subject got picked back up. Alex dismissed any of my distress about finances or being stuck in the technological dark ages as the grounds for my current slippage from my high flying disc. “You can’t start this year until you finish the last one. You still need to release the judgment of yourself,” Alex said. His answer was to dismiss me to have a conversation with my 13-year-old self in their office.

What? The boys made me act out holding my younger self’s hand and walking her into the office. I walked into the dark room and just sat on the couch. This is so stupid! I started to get a little pissed off. I knew they were over me because I was over myself. I hated that I was in this negative space. I didn’t know how to get out of it. Why am I tumbling backward? They have just done this trick to ditch me. It is a Saturday night and they are hoping to get rid of me. Should I just go home? I could then just stew in my own bed and not be an embarrassment anymore.

As I am staring into the dark, I am like, “okay young self, what am I suppose to know?” No voice talked to me. I did start seeing a series of pictures. I reflected on that lonely seventh grader. She was anxious, scared, and frightened most of the time. It didn’t help being relentlessly bullied at school and ignored at home. I had thought I was at my ugliest, but recent studies of my school photos made me realize she wasn’t that ugly. I was bigger, but not horrific. I had grown to like her in a way.

My current spiraling is similar to the spiraling I used to do in the bedroom of my youth. For hours, I would be alone. I wondered if life would ever get any better. I didn’t want to leave my room because I didn’t want others to see me upset. Behind my closed door, I wondered why no one cared about me. What was so wrong with me? Why am I so unlovable?

I had to come up with reasons, because I needed to understand why I was being bullied, why my mother treated me so bad. I went to the obvious. Fat, gross, disgusting…it was so easy why I would repulse others. In my adulthood, I have realized that these were never really the reasons.

By sixth grade, I probably realized that I didn’t like boys the way the other girls did. I had already developed, but I had no interest in the opposite sex for anything sexual. My mom was constantly afraid older guys would hit on me and would yell at me to not put on make-up, to not dress in a way to attract unwanted attention. That is most likely why I didn’t dress as nicely as I wanted to. I don’t think my mom understood that I didn’t want to be involved with a guy. I think she thought that I would get caught up with someone and there would be a whole sex/pregnancy drama. There was a lot of concern that I would be asking for it if I weren’t too careful myself.

I realized that my mom’s worries were unfounded. Still, the more concerned she got, the more she would tear me down. She thought that fear and ridicule would set me on the right path. I knew she was neurotic and was disappointed that the more she did this to me, the more she was admitting that she had no idea who I was.

No wonder why I kept stuffing my face. It was entertainment, counselor, protection, etc. I am sure some of the boys were just trying to pay me some attention, and my lack of return energy probably pissed them off. Or, they knew I wasn’t like the other girls and I was really insecure about it. I was so insecure that I was afraid to share anything about myself. Besides being awkward, I am sure some people thought I was just cold and thought I was too good for them. This made it easier for them to want to tease me. Getting teased made me feel like I needed to do anything I could to shy away from attention, so I clammed up even more. I tried to push out what they were doing to me. I ignored it. I would often be in complete denial of it, or at least tried to operate like I didn’t know it existed.

So, what should have happened? How could it have been improved? What did that little girl really want?

I know that all I wanted was to be loved. I wanted to feel like people got me and wanted to have fun with me. I was always doing my best to be the “good girl.” I wanted to succeed and make people proud of me. I wanted to share my worries with someone and talk it out, instead of letting them build and not knowing how to deal with them. I wanted to feel confident to learn new things, to fail and know that I was still okay. I wanted cheerleaders. I wanted to feel pretty and sexy. I wanted to feel desired. I wanted to feel like people were excited to see me.

Eventually, I did get to points of my life where I felt this way but I lost it. I have fallen back to the same scared little girl, and am treating her as coldly as my mother treated me. At the time, my mother blamed me for things that weren’t my fault, looked at me as a hindrance or annoyance. I felt like I embarrassed my parents because they made fat jokes at my expense on a regular basis. It was easier to hear them call me fat than to call me stupid or vicious. I was a convenient scape goat to pin things on when others didn’t want to take responsibility. I thought that meant that I needed to constantly explain my motives, or why I wasn’t responsible, even if it was to death’s ears.

Well, it is 2014 babe. My mom isn’t around, neither are my tormentors. I don’t need to replace them. There is nothing to be gained by this negative momentum, just like there was nothing to be gained then. I didn’t deserve what I got then, and I don’t deserve it now. In the end, I was a cute girl who didn’t have anyone to show her a different way. Eventually, I was able to pick myself out of it…just like I will be able to pick myself out of it now.

I saw how I began to change. I took charge, stopped eating sugar, went for bike rides. I lost a bunch of weight, but still felt awkward. I didn’t have balance. I didn’t always know how to dress for my body. The guys never came. It wasn’t because they weren’t interested, but I wasn’t interested in them. They could smell it. I did what I love. I wrote. I drew. I traveled. I sang and performed. I didn’t worry about money, because I knew I would be able to figure out a way to experience what ever I desired to do.

I need to embrace who I was at every age. I need to be able to enjoy the insecure me, and the confident one. I need to find beauty and acceptance with the fat versions of me and the thin. I need to embrace the loud, brassy, unpolished person that I am. I need to stop apologizing for her and just be her. I need to remember who I am in everything that I do, say, wear, buy, and love. I need to release that I will not always be everyone’s cup of tea. Still, there are people out there who see me and really get me. I need to be one of those people.

When I look at Max and Alex, I am sure I could see a million faults. I never do. When I look at them, I see the people I have always loved. I don’t care what they are wearing, how big or small they might be, how gay or straight they might act. They are just Alex and Max. If they discover something new about themselves, or wanted to try something different, I would be immediately at their side, helping them. If they had an opinion I didn’t like, or said something hurtful, I would reserve judgment until I had more information. I want to be involved with their lives. I want to share their ups and downs. When I see them not taking care of themselves, I get upset. When I see them not feeling who they are, I get annoyed. If they do something that I may not entirely agree with, but know it is necessary for their growth, I release them to do what they need to do but keep myself available to help pick them up if I need to.

The way I feel about them is the way I need to feel about myself.

There is no version of me that I should hate, because they are all necessary. I am all of them. The more I convince myself that I am flawed, the worse I feel because I know it is untrue. I am creating unnecessary distance between who I think I am and what I am. The discomfort is my emotional guidance system telling me that I am off.

An hour passed. Did the boys expect me to go back into the living room?

Eventually, Alex walked in. “Is anyone awake in here?” I came out and tried to explain what my mind did, but words failed to really be arranged in a manner that befitted an accurate answer. Max gets the most frustrated about this. I imagine that he sees the answer/solution so clearly that it must seem painfully obvious. When I reach out and just miss it, he gets upset.

No one is more frustrated than me. A former me might have never even come over, let alone tried to talk about my frustrations with the boys. I have felt better, so I painfully know when I am off track. I know I need to find the track and get back on, but it is like trying to find my glasses when they aren’t where I remember them being last. My vision is fuzzy. I can’t see them. I panic. The added emotion doesn’t help circumstances, but the knowledge of what will happen if I can’t see, can’t afford new glasses, needing to ask someone for help…is enough resistance to make the solution seem farther away. Someone yelling at you to hurry up, or that you are stupid for having lost it in the first place (even though you have developed habits to prevent this from happening in the first place), makes the search that much more unpleasant.

Alex is noticeably frustrated and asks questions for futher clarification. Verbally say what you are thinking in your head. Use your words. What bad tape are you playing? How did you get there? There is a quiet, but known sense that I know the answer and can figure this out, I just need a little guidance. It is like a mother, who knows the kid has lost her glasses and is freaking out, going to the obvious places the glasses have known to be laid and looking around with clear objective eyes. She doesn’t have to find them and immediately give them back to the kid. She might see them and instruct the kid where to go, or at least give helpful hints to make sure that in the end the solution is had and growth and healing have occurred.

In the moment, I am that kid panicking without the glasses. For me, the consequences of not figuring this out are dire. If I lost my female reproductive organs because I remained ignorant of whom I am, or at least was disowning who I was, what is the penalty for not getting it right now? But, it isn’t that dire. In the moment, I am scared and confused. Even though I have had a glimpse of the solution, I can’t hold onto it yet. I am cruising down the highway, seeing the Ikea, but not knowing how to get over to Ikea for their delicious meatballs.

Back at the table, I am still at a loss for words. My mind is blanking. I don’t know how to describe my new found vision. Max gets angry. “You can describe it in your blog in perfect detail days after the fact. I can’t believe that you can’t remember it now.”

I understand the thought process. My brain doesn’t work the way that I want it to most of the time. When faced with immediate social pressure, it can go blank on me. Sometimes, it hasn’t had enough time to sift through the data to understand it enough to speak on it at the moment. When I journal, I have had time to think about it. I can ponder it, explore it. I can change the words latter if I dislike it. Writing is not immediate. Sometimes it is a meditation. I can’t explain why sometimes it is easier to write it than to say it.

Usually, this would be done in some special book that I have toted around with me. The only one with real access to it would be myself. The danger of having a blog is that people read it. The old me is TERRIFIED that people I know are reading this. I don’t always like that they are accessible, that it is open to an interpretation other than my own. In these moments, I feel pathetic and am not always hip to sharing my acknowledgement of that. Also, making your writing public is putting yourself out there and making yourself accountable to your authenticity. I stand by what I write, but I am growing and changing every day, just like my writing.

What is the point then? I need to open myself up. I need to share who I am in this world with this world. I know that I am not the only person who is dealing with this stuff. I have read enough self-help books to know that I am not alone. I have also read enough of them to know that the solution is not cut and dry for everyone. You have to sift through the baggage. You have to listen to yourself. Only you have the operating manual for YOU.

Alex gets a bright idea, “you need to record an audio of your blog.” What? I get immediately embarrassed. Why? Who wants to listen to that? Are you serious?

“You need to start listening to your words and lessons learned before you go to bed each night, instead of the thoughts of others,” Alex said. Yes, I often listen to Abraham Hicks, or read different things through the course of the day, but this is cheesy.

“I do it with my drag videos,” Alex replies. “You love watching them. Do you think it is stupid that I do them?” Of course not! I love watching the mini music videos played back. Sometimes, it is like a time machine. I remember how I felt when they were made, and what a good time it was. Sometimes I watch them in amazement of how we look. It is hard to argue that you are ugly or untalented when you have a video where you think you might be cute and your movement inspires entertainment or awe in yourself. The medium also helps others to express their opinion of you, and more often than not…it is supportive or positive.

I kind of knew the idea was genius. It didn’t matter if anyone else listened, but if I could listen objectively, maybe it would help.

Alex set up his laptop with six entries he wanted me to read. Max got me a glass of water, and they both decided that they would go into the office, close the door, and let me do it without interruption. Max said he would even put on headphones if I was too nervous about them immediately listening to me.

Left alone, I immediately started to shrug off the brilliance of this. The posts were long. (Currently, this one is at nine pages in Word) I started to read them out loud. I became self-conscious of my voice. As I reread the posts, I found mistakes or words misspelled. I continued, trying to brush the objections aside. It didn’t need to be perfect; it just needed to happen. My mouth got dry. I would trip on words. At one point, I was convinced that the boys were listening with a glass held up to their ear behind the closed door. Still, I pressed on.

An hour or so latter, I finished. Alex immediately went to editing the audio. Is there anything this boy can’t do? We were all exhausted. Max was nearly passed out. Around 4 am, Alex said I didn’t have to wait around. He was almost finished and that he would send me the link to the final product.

So, Sunday came. The sun came up and I felt better. As the day went by, I wrote some, reviewed old photos of me, and watched some videos. The audios came, and I listened to them. Yes, I cringed when my voice cracked or I had an irritatingly long pause….but how could I hate this girl. I had to take off to a sleep lab for a sleep study. They were wiring me up for a cpap. I brought the computer because I knew I could write. Wires, all over my head and legs…and I am still typing.

This has to be it. I can no longer back track into this pool of unworthiness. If I have to shove my face into my face so I can no longer deny who I am, I have to do it. I use to love having pictures of me all over my living space. They reminded me of good moments. I enjoyed seeing myself from out of my body. The lens is less warped. At some point in my adulthood, I stopped taking pictures. I didn’t have anyone to share them with. I often didn’t feel pretty enough to take them. This whole selfie revolution happened with these amazing cameras on these smartphones being 100 times better than a separate digital camera. I could still take pictures with my crappy phone or ipod, but it was a conscious choice.

It wasn’t until last year, when we started dressing up and taking photos that I actively decided to take more photos. As I felt better, more photos came. Maybe that is part of the medicine. Sometimes we need to see ourselves reflected back to us.

Radical Self Love

I have been interested in a woman by the name of Gala Darling. She gave a TED talk on the need for women to indulge in radical self-love. She keeps a great blog with ideas to get one going if you aren’t really good at tuning in to your own needs. As someone who has spent a lot of time ignoring my own needs, inspiration can be everything.

I have to say that this action is inspired from my Shared Circle of Enlightenment yesterday. My psychic friend mentioned that I am not too kind to myself and needed to take some extra measures in self-care. Again, I am not the call 1-900 psychic for everything type of girl…but I do feel like the Universe is knocking.

Today, I woke up in a great mood. I had a great night of sleep and had thought about some things that I wanted to get done. As I got up to go to the bathroom, I slipped and fell on the bedroom floor. Face first with a cat sniffing my head, I let out a little cackle. My bones were already aching and I didn’t really need this additional soreness, but imagining how funny I must have looked on during the downfall made me smile. Sometimes you just have to laugh it off.

I have two pen pal angels who send me goodies regularly. They just got my name from some service that knew I was getting chemo, and they just started sending me things. Notes, goodies, candies… The packages always come at the best times. I am so indebted to these kind individuals who do these things for others. It makes such a difference in my day. Anyway, both of them sent me bath and foot spa supplies.

I decided to soak in the bathtub. My bathtub is not the best. I had some drainage issues and cleanliness issues that I had already taken care of, but I hadn’t taken a bath since July due to various surgeries and scraps. Although I have been cleared to be immersed for a month or more, it is the first time I had done it. The heat of the water and the smell of the lavender were very calming and soothing. I soaked my baldhead, and it felt interesting. I exfoliated and cleansed… I really enjoyed it. Yes, showers are fun and fast…but a bath is a treat!

I continued on to have lunch at one of my favorite places. It is a Middle Eastern food place. The food is super healthy, tasty, and cheap. My favorite drink there is a freshly squeezed mint lemonade. Yummy! Filled with good food, I went to a craft store to look at art supplies. I really don’t have money for the kind of Christmas presents that I would like to give, so I am trying to make them. I get nervous with these kind of presents because you do the best that you can, but they can still look like crap. I am a little old for a second grade art project gift. Still, don’t your real friends and family just want an expression of love from you?

As I sorted through the art supplies, I felt my energy evaporate from me. I had hoped to go grocery shopping today, but I quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. This is probably one of the more difficult days after chemo…the 3rd and 4th one. On some level, I feel okay but the bones are really achy and sometimes you just get really tired for no reason.

I stayed kind to myself. Got out as soon as I could, made it to a little grocery store so I had enough food for the night and made it back home. It is now 6:50pm and I feel like I could go to sleep because I had a full day. I could get depressed about it, but I know I will feel better tomorrow.

When I do, we’ll work on another step of radical self-love.

God Wants You To Know

I am connected to this link on Facebook for an app called, “God wants you to know.” A friend of mine use to get it linked to his cell phone. Mine is only connected to Facebook, so I only see it part of the time. I don’t have a smartphone, so it is when ever I just happen to think about it.

Today’s message seems very significant for me:

“Today, Mimi, we believe God wants you to know that shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow. There is no need for you to go it alone. There are people who love you, and who are ready to give you much needed support. There are even more, – way more than you can possibly imagine, people who CAN love you if you give them a chance. Make ‘share joy, half the sorrow’ your motto for today.”

It has been a cold and rainy day today. Yesterday my bones ached so bad that I stayed in bed for the most part. Today, they still ache, but I am so bored. I can understand why some people still work. Even though I hurt, the boredom can kill.

I have been surfing the web looking for cancer support websites, freebies, etc. Sometimes looking up cancer support resources can make situations worse. I post on discussion boards, but often I get no responses or the other responders are significantly older. It makes you wonder if anyone gets it.

Some of my other friends and family are almost too worried. Yes, I have cancer. No, I am not dying….at least that I know of. I am not hunched over a toilet. I am capable of some housework. It isn’t super bad, but it isn’t great either. There is a balance that is missing.

As a single person going through this, some may say that it is easier. I don’t have to worry about a spouse or kids. At the same time, I often don’t have them as distractions from this cancer blur. I look at my animals and wonder if they are even getting sick of me.

So, this little message means something to me. People know I am out here. People do care. Learning to accept the love is something that has always been difficult, but I desperately need to try it. I think it is really about releasing any judgment and just being grateful for what appears.

I need to remember that someone reaching out to help isn’t expecting something in return. They are loving me because they feel love.  In the Daily Love today, Mastin Kipp talks about how several people feel like they have to prove their love. He offers the following, “Love is not asking us to prove our worth, but to accept it.”

Accept that I am worthy of this attention. Accept that I am worthy of interest and understanding. I am worthy of great things happening to me.

In the end, just believe: I am worth it.

Law of Attraction

A few years ago, my best friends were living in Chicago. They called me and asked if I had seen the movie, “The Secret.” At that time, it was free on a website and most people hadn’t heard of it. As I watched this glossy, highly produced movie, the message was very interesting. – Our thoughts become things.

In the business of every day life, I wanted to believe in “The Secret” but it seemed like hogwash. My mind was running with a million negative thoughts a minute. How could I quiet my mind? Of course as “The Secret” gained in popularity, there was almost a backlash to it as well.

I knew that in order to be a better functioning human being…I had to stop getting caught in (what I call) downward spirals. Something would happen and I would beat myself over it mentally for minutes, hours, and days. This constant barrage of negative thoughts ate at my energy, my self-esteem, and my life. At the beginning of the year, I started to have a grasp on preventing my brooding.

Meditation can help quiet the mind, but you can use your thoughts in a positive, creative way. The movie, “The Secret,” is all about the concept of the Law of Attraction. Simply put, like attracts like. If you are constantly focused on the bad, bad will happen. The great news is that if you focus on the positive, on what you really want. You can manifest that as well.

I considered myself a poor manifester after I found “The Secret.” My belief in the Law of Attraction really was reinforced by seeing others, who subscribed to it, manifesting interesting things in their life. I had to really get a handle on my depression and quieting the death spiral of negative thoughts that were going through my brain before I could see how this would work for me.

After I was feeling a little better in January, I searched the internet for “The Secret” video and watched it again. It always makes me feel better when I watch it. I wanted to dig deeper. I tried manifesting checks in the mail, or even lottery winnings. Nothing really worked, but I chalked it up to doing it wrong.

After a search of “Law of Attraction” on Google, I came across a husband and wife couple that did conferences and talks on the subject. The business name is Abraham Hicks. It was weird to understand at first what was going on with them. I would watch YouTube videos of Ester, the woman, answering peoples’ questions on the “Law of Attraction” with such poise and authority. Latter, I came to understand that when she does this that she is channeling “Abraham,” which is a posse of spiritual leaders from the other side.

Okay, have I lost you? I can understand if I have. It is so hard to wrap our rational brains around someone channeling other energies or thinking what we think about makes stuff happen. Anyone that has had a negative thought might feel like they are destined for trouble. Religious people might think that this is all sacrilege. This is not the kind of stuff most people give any credence to.

Why did I start seeking it out? I know there is more to life than the pitiful experience I was living day to day. I felt like all I did was eat, sleep, and work. What was life for? What did it all mean? Why does bad stuff happen to me? I wanted to feel better.

The point is that we do have some control over our experience. We were born with certain interests. Our manifesto was to be ourselves. Unfortunately, we become socialized into the mainstream of this world. We are bombarded with messages from school, parents, church, television, radio, and now the internet, of how we are suppose to be and live. We are constantly seeking advice and reassurance outside of ourselves. Somewhere, what we want is pushed far into the back burner.

I thought adulthood was the end of dreaming. I thought the more responsibility you had, the more of an adult you were. If you weren’t where you wanted to be, you needed to work harder. If people didn’t like you, it was your fault that you weren’t nicer. You had to earn what you wanted.

Through listening to Abraham Hicks or any of the thought leaders on the Law of Attraction, you come to realize that this isn’t really the case. We do not have to earn our worth. Because we were born, we are worthy. Here are some of my other recent understandings:

When we were born, the Universe (or God) let us know that we were perfect in his or her eyes. Our only quest was to be as authentically us as possible. As children (in a perfect setting), we were allowed to pretend and imagine what we wanted for ourselves. We didn’t worry about being fed or having shelter, because the Universe provided us with everything that we needed.

Abraham Hicks explains that there is a Vortex that all of us have that contains the manifestations of everything that we have ever wanted. My Aunt April would have called it our ship (that may or may have not come in yet). Too often, we are told by society that there isn’t enough of everything to go around. The fear of scarcity prevents us from dreaming of what we truly want or believing that it could ever come true.

But, the Universe is a vibrational one. Everything we see or touch is energy. Like a magnet, the vibrations different items set off can attract like to like. The Universe is more powerful than we as humans could ever understand. It is as easy to manifest a billion dollars as it is to manifest a cold beer. Only in our brains do we set expectations that state otherwise. We like to see the tangible. We like certainty. We like reason. We often do not question all the expectations or thoughts that get put into our heads, so we limit our capacity to create.

I have huge issues with trust and faith. I am the type of person that has always believed that if something was meant to happen, that I had to figure it out. I also subscribed to the thought that bad things occurred as our “cross to bare.” This thought process made it easy to believe that if something wasn’t happening, that it was my fault. I believed that hardship is what we were sent here to experience. Our ability to endure burden in this life, would reward us in the next.

In reality, that is kind of bologna. The Universe wants only to give us what we want. It is only filled with never ending compassion and unconditional love. Just like Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge, we believe we know more than our creator. I don’t believe Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden because God was mad; it was because we thought we knew better. We disconnected ourselves from the source because we thought we had to struggle, and we were too embarrassed to be a hundred percent authentic.

In order to really begin the work, you have to surrender everything you think you might know. You have to release the judgment that you have placed on everything in your life. You have to start uncovering why you think about things the way that you do, and question whether or not that thought process is serving you. It is spiritual worth. It is valuable work. It is intangible, but it is the only work that has any value in this life.

Of course, these are realizations I have had after working though my own journey. I am by no means perfect, but I am so much happier now than what I was when I started. I guess I would tell you that increased positivity and enjoyment are how I evaluate that this is working.

So, what is it that one is suppose to do?

1) Ask for what you want.

Now, you can ask for anything, but I would caution you to think about whether you are asking because it is something you really want…or is it something you think you should want, or you want to use it to impress someone else, or it is tied to what other people think. I have found that it is really easy to ask for things you don’t really want, so be careful as to clarify.

You can ask by doing vision boards, clipping out stuff you want, journaling, or just thinking about it. There are a million different ways of asking. To increase your ability to attract it, ask when you are feeling great.

2) Wait for an Answer. Once you ask for it, let it go. The Universe has your order. Abraham Hicks says that this is the time were the Universe begins laying down the grid. It vibrationaly lines things up. Often times we are too focused on timetables, or forcing how things should be done, or expecting it in a specific package. If we keep our minds open, we might hear some divine inspiration to do something that might help our dream manifest. At that point, you should say yes to the Universe. It should almost feel like it was meant to happen, destined.

3) Be Willing to Receive. I have had a huge problem in my life accepting charity from others. This has crossed over into accepting attention, accolades, and gifts from others. Sometimes receiving is more difficult that giving. In order to get what you want from the Universe, you need to be grateful for what you have.  This is why so many people have started practices of gratitude. By being grateful for what you have, you are telling the Universe that you are willing to receive more. If you ask for $1000 and get $996, be grateful. Don’t bitch about the missing $4 dollars.

The Universe is always providing exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. IF you don’t believe in a higher power, and you are feeling alone in the world, it is really easy to believe that if you can’t figure out a solution, that you will be left alone and unloved on a street corner somewhere. The truth is, that is not how the Universe works.

So why does bad stuff happen?

I don’t know about you, but when I am in a negative streak…I can think about a million things and how they can all go wrong. As I am thinking about them, I can feel fearful, sad, angry…or just bad.

Abraham Hicks talks about an Emotional Guidance System. We were born with the ability to feel what we really want. When our emotions are negative, it is our notification that what we are witnessing or experiencing is contrary to what we want. When our emotions are positive, we are closer to being aligned with our true self, what we really want, what is most authentically us.

When we focus on stuff that makes us feel poopy, we are calling that stuff nearer to us. Now, our thoughts don’t manifest immediately…but they will manifest. When we ask for stuff that we want when we are feeling great, sometimes that will manifest a little quicker.

None of this is either good or bad, it just is. We are in the driver’s seat. We are the only ones in control of our thoughts. In order to be closer to what we want, we need to be a vibrational match to it. The vortex is on a higher disk of energy. When we feel good, we are closer to be a vibrational match to the positive stuff that we want. When we feel negative, we are a vibrational match to what we don’t want.