I Know The Way Out

A guy falls in a hole one day and the walls are so steep he can’t get out. So he’s down there when a doctor walks by and the guy says “Hey Doc, I am down in this hole, can you help me out?”. So the doctor writes a prescription and throws it down the hole.

A little while later a priest walks by and the man shouts “Hey father, I’m stuck in this hole, can you help me out?”. The priest writes the man a prayer and throws it down the hole.

Then a friend walks by and the man goes “Hey buddy can you help me out”. The friend jumps down in the hole with the man and the guy goes “Hey what are you an idiot, now we are both stuck down here”. The friend says, “Yeah, but I have been down here before and I know the way out.

I read this little story the other day; I bookmarked it because it was so thought provoking for me. I was going to write commentary of my thoughts around this. However, I decided to let the story speak for itself. Take a few moments and reflect about it a bit. I hope it speaks to you as beautifully it spoke to me.

(C) 2016 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

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Life Is Best When Lived Passionately

The Tug – Love, Sex and Poetry

imageThe Tug – Love, Sex and Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Pull it out of me
You pull it out of me
Reluctantly, I succumb
To the tug at my heart
You lassoed around my heart like
The sun orbits the moon
The tug at my heart pulls
Me further into its center
Gravitating to what I resisted most
As if a meteor on a collision course with the earth
Seeing the crash yet finding no brakes
I pump my foot in vain to stop
Admittedly, only to say I tried
Tried to stop the free fall
The one for which my heart had no choice nor defense
Nothing to keep the moth from the burning flame
With heat luring me to its intensity
I tried to stop the tug that so sweetly
Sounded the drum of a heartbeat faintly once lost
Almost without recognition
Driving the beat down to my soul
Tugging it with bittersweet desire
To follow it
With faith only we can see
To have it
With passion only we can know
To succumb to it
With love awakened unexpectedly
(c)2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Life is best when lived passionately

Note: If I was a DJ today, I would send this song out to Mr. Blue Eyes❤️ #believe

An Open Letter To Satan

2015/01/img_1401.jpg

Dear Satan:
I’m being tested. I now know that. You’ve been testing me. In the last couple of months, You’ve seen to it that every decision I made for myself in the four years was put in jeopardy. You’ve offered me opportunities to go back to who I was in the past. You tried to break me and make me small again.

You made me sad during the Holidays and made me I want a drink. You made me want my old life. I stood strong and made it through without giving in. Fuck you Satan👍

You tried to break my spirit by bringing pain and illness into my body the last two months. Straight up, you almost won on this one. You almost beat the shit out of me on this one. On the brink of despair I prayed to God for strength. The answer came. I remember the things that nourished my mind, body and spirit and make me feel good. I leveled out my emotions with Yoga. I helped my body find balance with QiGong. I slowed my mind down with Meditation. I had a good cry. I spoke honestly with those I love and reached out to people when I was freaking out. I listened to my instincts and sought better medical care out if the area. I took care of myself. While I am still navigating the health issue that started two months ago, I’m stronger and in a better frame of mind. John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.” Guess what Lucifer? I saddled up! Fuck you👍

You brought a former lover back into my life not as temptation of the flesh but as an opportunistic bastard trying to reintroduce an unhealthy relationship I left behind. I took pause and thought about the past. Asked myself if it would be good for me to revisit this relationship. The answer was clear to me. No, no I do not want to go back to the past. I don’t have those feelings for him anymore. He knows that. I wished him well and left what we had in the past. Fuck you Prince Of Darkness. I moved on👍

Satan, Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, this is the face of a woman who will rise up and defeat you every time. Look at the Cross in my Cleavage. That’s right. He will help me defeat you every time. But go ahead! Take your best shot! Go head! Test me👍 I will fight you. I fight for the life I chose four years ago. I will fight for my emotional well being. I will fight for a healthy relationship with the good man I now see in my life. While things are still complicated, he is good for me. Even if he is to be Just a friend, he’s shown me by example what I hope to have in my life. I will fight for that and him – if I need to! Fuck you Satan👍You lose!

But, remember my face. Remember my name. Because I am one strong confident woman who doesn’t give a fuck what people think of me; I will straight up beat your ass ever time. Every.Single.Time👍😄👏

Namaste,
Linda🌹🙏

(C) 2014 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Unknown Artist
Retrieved From: Google search devil

Seven Ravens (Long post)

 

March 31, 2014 – I took some online quiz to find out what my Spirit Animal was this morning while I was laying in bed at 4:30am.  It said I was a Raven.  The description said, “In some mythologies, the Raven represents the Creator. It is a dark, mysterious, and highly intelligent animal. Like the Raven, your soul is filled with creative energy. You will make something that others will be in awe of…”.

It reminded me of the the “Seven Ravens” poem I wrote a couple years ago and it also reminded of the post I wrote last year at a time of reflection.  The last three years of my life have been nothing short of unbelievable. These three years of my life were filled with complete honesty and authenticity. I stripped everything away and truly saw myself.  I learned to love everything I saw in myself even the things that aren’t pretty. I survived, overcame and blossomed in spite of opposition, naysayers and negative forces.  I rode out the highs and lows. I made changes and choices. I found the courage to let go of anything and anyone who held me back, wasn’t good for me, spoke negatively about me, didn’t wish me well and wasn’t healthy for me in body and spirit. None of it was easy. But, I did it.  I choose it every day. If I could chose between my life ten years ago and my life today, I choose today.

I am grateful that God gave me the choice.  Many in life do not get choices. I got them and I feel I took responsibility and owned my life and my actions.  I grateful that I am not afraid to show my vulnerability on this blog or to the people I care about.  I recognize a good soul when I see one and to them I will show all of me. I will NOT hold back or hide from those who I know belong in my life. I live in gratitude everyday for the life I am living now.  It didn’t happen by chance. It happened by choice. 

I choose today!
___________________________

May 1, 2013 – I originally wrote the poem, Seven Ravens, in October 2o11.  At that time, I was sick, I was depressed and I was overwhelmed. And, a relationship abruptly ended after a horrible incident. It almost broke me that it all was happening at the same time. Sensing that the only way I was going to survive the storm my life was in was to relax in to it and just let go. I felt like if I didn’t stop resisting everything or if I kept trying to hold on, then I was truly was going to die.  I tried to do it my way. I tried to force my path. But, nothing was working.  I was filled with anxiety.  But, I was so afraid to let go of everything I knew. I was so afraid to change. I was afraid I would lose my friendships and my social life. I didn’t think I was strong enough to do what life was calling me to do. I was ready to give up rather than change.

Everywhere I went I was receiving little messages of comfort and reassurance from unusual places.  People out of the blue telling me it was going to be ok. Phone calls from people I lost contact with saying they had dreams about me. And, I was having recurring dreams of my decease sister and father holding my hand.  Talk about spiritual experiences!  

On one particular day I was exceptionally anxious. When I am feeling anxious I chant and visualize my lucky number seven. While doing this, I take deep breaths. This practice seems to work like magic at calming me down and returning me to peace. So, one day after I was chanting and visualizing the number seven I logged into Facebook. I started reading status updates and then I saw “Seven, a journey” posted on a friend’s status. It was so unbelievable that as I was chanting and visualizing the number seven to relieve anxiety as she posting the number seven as a journey.

I called her and told her about the synchronicity of our actions. She told me Seven Ravens landed on her window ledge at the same moment I was chanting and visualizing the number. Incredible! She told me about the Native American meaning of Seven Ravens. Seven Ravens is a Native American symbol of a journey. The Seven Ravens come to you to provide you direction and safe passage in your journey.  As the Ravens sat on her window ledge, she prayed. Then one by one she watched as each flew off carrying her prayers into the wind. She said the Ravens gave her great peace and comfort. They were a confirmation that the choices she has been making are good for her. And, now she knew for sure I was on the right path as well. In traditional Medicine cards, Ravens symbolize strength and healing.

That was 19 months ago.  If I only knew how my life would be changed. If I only knew how much healthier I would be. If I only knew my broken heart would mend. If I only knew I would find peace and happiness within my own soul. If I only knew those Seven Ravens were providing me a safe passage on this incredible journey. Would I have continued on knowing everything I would eventually change and give up? I don’t know. All I know is the friends that really mattered are still in my life even though I don’t go out drinking with them. They support me now in what I am doing. What I do know is that Yoga has been a refuge and safe haven for me and has provide me relief and sanity on some hard days. What I do know is that my world has opened up and new powerful spirits and come in and refreshed my spirit with hope. What I do know is that I am healed and back to living. I am changed forever and that was supposed to be my journey all along. I was jus too afraid and stubborn to give in. But, oh what magic happened once I finally let go…

To those seven beautiful ravens, thank you for providing me safe passage. I am eternally grateful.

Seven Ravens – Love, Sex & Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Did you hear that?
It was a voice
Gently calling your name
If I close my eyes
I can play its melody
In my mind
Calling to you
The sound calms my spirit
And nourishes my soul
Softly drifting
It carries me to sleep
The sound of your name
Carried by the wind
Nestled gingerly
On a leaf
Floating miles
To my window
As if to heal me
And bring My weary heart Peace
In its presence
I say your name
As low as a whisper
I place it carefully
On the backs of
seven ravens
And ask the ravens
To protect your journey
And to keep you safe from harm
They leave my window
And take flight
Saying your name
With a message of love
Seven Ravens journey
From me to you
They wait
to softly kiss
your ear
Preached on the ledge
They sit
with the melody
of my name
On their backs
to sing to you
Their song
Of love and peace
Seven Ravens
A journey
Follow the raven
© 2011 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Photo Credit
Fine Art Print Grimm FairyTale Seven Ravens & Girl 8.3 x 11.7 inches
by: Christina Lank
Retrieved Fromhttp://www.etsy.com/listing/114107463/fine-art-print-grimm-fairytale-seven?ref=market

Running Down A Dream

Chelìn Sanjuan 1967 - Spanish Magical Realism painter - Tutt'Art@ (34)
I suppose it was being sick for so long that changed my perspective on things. Maybe it happened when my best friend was diagnosed with advanced Peritoneal Cancer. Or maybe it happened when I thought I was going to Steve & Cookies for my Tuesday night Chicken dinner but instead got my head put on straight by good caring friend. But, probably the time came and I was ready. Ready to look my fears in face. Ready to break free of the shackles that were holding me back. Ready. Maybe that’s all.  I was ready. Maybe I was just ready to move again.  Maybe now the comfort zone is awkwardly uncomfortable.  Well, I should say I am mostly ready. Nervous, worried and excited. But, ready to get back off the bench. Ready to live again.

I spent such a long time keeping myself in a holding pattern I lost some of my fabulous “Linda confidence”. Everyone who knows me well knew something wrong. But, no one could put their finger on it. “Is she still sick and not telling anyone?” “Why isn’t she re-engaging?” “She seems stuck.” “Should we say something to her?” Yep, I heard the well-meaning whispers. The truth is I  lost my confidence and wasn’t sure how to get it back. I spent the better part of two years healing my body and feeding my soul that I neglected the rest of my life. I forgot about my dreams. I lost touch with the fire that has always lived in my belly.

A few months ago I had two weeks off from work and had sometime to really look at my life. I saw it all very clearly. I was living smaller out of fear and allowing my anxiety about my health control every aspect of my life.  It had to stop.

About a month ago I ask myself “why am I waiting to live?” “Why am I waiting?” Well, the truth is if you don’t try, you can’t fail. That’s the bottom line. As a recovering perfectionist I still have fear of failure issues. But, that’s not the only reason. I conditioned myself to live safely, take precautions – after all, I was sick. But, here’s the thing. I WAS  sick. I AM WELL NOW. That was my mind playing tricks on me and trying to keep me stuck. I also see now people who fed into this way of thinking were not real friends and were just trying to hold me back the same way they hold themselves back.

As I’ve slowly left my comfort zone my confidence started coming back. One day I woke up and before I even opened my eyes I knew “Now is the time!”. Almost like angels were whispering in my ear that night. I heard the message. Before my feet even hit the ground I was running down my dream. I was planning an escape from the comfort zone. My mind was spinning. It was time. The time is now. I will write more in coming weeks about the Beach Lover’s Dream I am running down currently. . But, for now, I have a big smile on my face because I am no longer afraid. One demon slayed, hundreds to go (lol).

What’s holding you back?  What dreams have you lost touch with?  How many demons do you need to slay?

(C) 2013  Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Photo Credit: Chelìn Sanjuan 1967 – Spanish Magical Realism painter
Retrieved From: http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/

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Jump – Poetry

Jump

Jump
By: Linda A. Long

Jump
Take a deep breath
And jump
No time for fear
No time
To second guess
Trust
Your gut instincts
Have faith
Your plans are solid
Believe in the best
For your self
Have confidence
In your ability
To make strong
Healthy choices
For yourself
And
Just Jump
Out of the comfort zone
Into a new life
Full of possibilities
And excitement
Jump
Into your life
Free fall
Into exhilaration
Feel alive
Once again
Feel amazingly alive
Jump
A new life
Is waiting for you
© Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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NOTE: I am jumping. Although nervous, my intuition is telling me it is safe. So, I am jumping. This is what being alive is all about. I’ll provide more details in coming weeks. But, the important thing to know is that I am on the move and out of the comfort zone 🙂
Photo Credit:Michael Dean Jackson
Retrieved From:http://michaeldeanjackson.blogspot.com/2012/06/jump.html

Are You Feelin’ My Good Vibrations?

I am very aware and in tuned with the emotions of those I care about.  It can be extremely rewarding and extremely worrisome at times. Today I am feeling a strong undercurrent of worry, anxiety, sadness and frustration not only in myself but in the vibrations around me.  With mindful concentration, I am working very hard today to turn the negative energy I feel into a positive vibration not only for myself but for the world around me.

I need you all to join me in focusing on the GOOD vibrations.  Focus on positive things.  Do something good for someone in your life. Smile today. Be happy. If nothing else, enjoy one of my favorite songs by The Beach Boys and catch my GOOD VIBRATIONS TODAY.

“Gotta keep those lovin good vibrations A happenin with her”

 

Things I Am Learning About Myself

Growth is important to me. I don’t want to be who I am today for the rest of my life. I want to be open to change. I want to embrace new experiences. I want to stretch myself in every area of my life to the very edge of my capabilities just like I do in Yoga. But, this is also where I get myself into trouble. My desire for growth and expansion drives me to keep moving even though my body is saying “STOP! I NEED A BREAK”.

The last couple of months I am learning things about myself that I kind of wish I learned a long time ago. But, I suppose it’s better late than never. Or perhaps these things I am learning about myself have always been there for me to see, I just didn’t want to see them. We all blind ourselves to reality occasionally. Or maybe I just didn’t want to give in to them. The “NOW” of my life is that my body is kind of forcing me to STOP, sit and rest; actually it is not all that bad. Frankly, it feels kind of good to have taken all the pressure off of myself. It’s just that I’m not used to standing still, resting & not moving towards a goal. I am not used to being still I suppose. So, this is a whole new experience for me.

Learning to be just where I am for a while and not push myself is a challenge for me. I find myself continually holding myself back and stopping myself. When the “action” person shows up, I politely ask her to wait patiently instead of jumping to her every desire. I now recognize how much stress I put on my body and my mental and emotional well-being over the years by not leaning back a bit. Holding back seems unnatural to me. I’ve always pushed to my edge whether in a Yoga class, personally or professionally. I’ve always been open to change and growth. I always felt that arrogant people who think they know it all and won’t change actually know the least. So, I’ve always tried to learn and grow. But, now I am seeing that sometimes growth doesn’t require action, sometimes it just requires stopping, standing still and reflecting. Sometimes growth happens just by opening our minds and seeing a new dimension within ourselves. I now find myself on a daily basis pushing aside my continual need to stay busy, fill my time and accomplish things. I’ve been focusing on just being still and this helped me see what I’ve been doing to my body and well-being all these years. I’ve been stressing myself out on a continually basis for years. I’ve created chronic stress in my body. I now see things clearly and I am trying very hard to change.

By pushing constantly I was actually offering resistance to my body’s natural authentic rhythm thus creating a mis-alignment between my physical body and my authentic-self. As it is turns out my authentic self is actually pretty chilled out.  Who knew? I spent so much time in motion I never let myself see that. My authentic self doesn’t need nor want a lot of stimulation from outside forces anymore and maybe it never did. I find when I am home I don’t put the TV on as much as I used to. I read in silence and enjoy the peace. When I walk, I don’t wear my Ipod all the time anymore. I listen to the sounds that are around me. I enjoy socializing with close friends. I love going out to dinner. But, I find don’t really enjoy large crowds or noisy places all the time anymore. The stimulation is a bit overwhelming. Who knew? As a former barfly who loved the noise and activity of the bar scene it was a shocking revelation to me to find out the new Linda would rather have a one on one conversation with a close friend over dinner on a Friday night than be the life of the party with the crowd:-)

It’s interesting how life can change us if we let it. I am thinking that learning to let go of what no longer serves you and embracing the NOW of life are two of life’s greatest lessons if you chose to learn them. But, please don’t assume I have all the answers. I only recently found out I didn’t even know the questions 🙂 But, I am willing to learn and change. That’s what life is all about for ME 🙂

Photo Credit:

Garden Of My Mind – 1980 – Elena Vizerskaya

Retrieved From:

Posted by ‎كذالون Colors‎ on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Doing The Doggy Paddle

Doggie-Paddle-and-Play-DayWhen I was a young girl my mother sent me for swimming lessons at the local recreation center. The first thing we learned how to do was the Doggy Paddle. Basically, the Doggy Paddle is treading water in one place; it’s not swimming. You tread water to keep you afloat to gain strength so you get ready to swim yourself or you tread water in place until help arrives to rescue you. I woke up this morning realizing that this is a time of my life that I just need to tread water for a while and stay in one place to gain some strength.

This morning I thought about the last six weeks of my life and tried to glean a morsel of inspiration or motivation to keep me moving forward. Honestly, I couldn’t find one. By the end of my reflection period this morning I did come to one realization. Maybe standing still for right now is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now. Maybe this time of my life isn’t about action. Perhaps this time of my life is for staying in one place and just doing the Doggy Paddle until the storm passes and I am stronger.

Just over two years ago I had a moment of perfect clarity in my life while sitting in a Doctor’s appointment. The Doctor told me if I didn’t do something to change my life that I wouldn’t make it to see 50 years old. When I walked out of the office I knew what I had to do but I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to do it. I spent the weeks following in a severe depression. I knew the only way for me to save my life at that time was to walk way from the life I was living. An unfortunate event between me and the man I was in love with at that time gave me the push I needed. I knew then in that moment it was time to walk away and start over. It was time to give myself a fresh start and a new healthy body.

Losing 75lbs was actually the easy part of the transformation process. Distancing myself from unhealthy relationships proved to be much harder but I did it. Healing my Liver and stomach was challenging but I did it.   Stabilizing my Congential Heart Arrhythmia without medication seemed out of the question two years ago but I did it. Being diagnosed with Celiac disease, a shellfish and tree nut allergy all seemed overwhelming but I survived. And, learning to live a different life seemed completely out of the question to me two years ago but I did it. Now, I am safely on the other side.

After going through all of this the last two years I suppose I expected things to calm down so I could just relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor for a while. Everyone deserves to relax and have fun. But, six weeks ago things in my life got even more stressful and complicated. In the last six weeks I had a month long migraine. I was in the hospital. I had a reaction to a medication that adversely affected my heart. I found out I have a 15 year old neck injury that may need surgery but I am currently going to physical therapy for it as I am not interested in surgery. I had two life threatening anaphylaxis reactions in one week to NSAIDS. I went six days without sleeping. I had a mini emotional and physical breakdown as my Doctor called it from Post Traumatic Stress and was told to rest and relax for a few weeks. I took three days off of work:-)  The medicine I had to take to offset the allergic reactions jacked up my stomach again.  It’s been three weeks and I am still waiting on that to calm down. And, most recently I found out the other night one of my very closest friends was diagnosed with a rare aggressive cancer and she will be having radical surgery this coming week and starting Chemotherapy.  She didn’t want to tell me until she knew for sure.

Well, I guess I could be a pussy about things. I could feel sorry for myself and start drinking again even though I know it will kill me. I guess I could lose myself in Xanax everyday to numb myself to my reality. I guess I could hide in my bed and pretend it all isn’t happening. I suppose others would be eyeing up the branch on the tree outside their house that they would hang the rope from or looking for the pills in the drawer that they would take to finally end it all. But, I am not a pussy and I don’t give up.   I may end up in the the Psych Ward if this trend continues, but I won’t give up.  🙂  As a saying I recently heard said “I’m not only putting on my big girl panties. I’m putting on my bitchin’ bra, my shit kicker boots, & spiked leather belt with the FUCK YOU buckle. So don’t tell me to “deal with it”.  Honey, I got this shit covered.”  My only minor correction would be I would need to sex this up a bit. I would put on my red lace garter belt and matching panties instead of BIG girl panties. My ass is smaller these days and I would like to show it off a bit 🙂

Just yesterday afternoon a friend a said to some really important words that I found very comforting and I would like to share all of them.  She said,  “Linda, you’ve been through a lot in two years. A lot of people would have broken down before now. Most people would have never had the courage to do what you’ve done and change their life the way you did. The last six weeks have been horrible and you have every right to be sad and frustrated maybe even a little pissed off at God – that Mother Fucker.  It’s ok you were weak and broke down. You are human. Sorry to tell you. You’re not Super Woman.  It’s ok to admit you can’t handle this by yourself and ask for help. It’s perfectly ok for you to stay in one place for a while and do the fucking Doggy Paddle until you are strong again. Just don’t make me get in the water with you and pull your new skinny ass to shore. I am too old for that. 🙂 Stop being so hard on yourself.  Stop expecting so much of yourself.  Stop pushing yourself.  Just tread water until this storm passes.  It will pass eventually. But, until then it’s perfectly ok for you to cry, rest and say no to people.  No, I am sorry I can’t do that for you. Especially now because you are going to need your strength to help our friend.”   In her words, she gave me permission to surrender to the now of my life. In that moment I was able to accept that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do right now. I am resting, healing, gaining strength and just trying to ride out this strong until better days come around again.

I am writing this deeply personally blog today in an effort to share my experience with anyone who may find themselves at the end of their rope. This is for anyone who thinks they can’t do it one more day. This is for anyone who isn’t sure they have the strength to keep going. Remember, you are not alone. Get help if your life is in danger. Get help if you want to harm another human being. Talk to a friend. Take a nap. Close your eyes for ten minutes and rest. Do the Doggy Paddle. Stay in one place for a while. Breathe deeply and hold on tight to my words. Better days are ahead. But, you won’t see them if you give up now.

I am hoping one day in the near future I will receive good news and good things will start happening again.  But, until then I just have to do the Doggy Paddle until the storm passes.

Love, Peace & Happiness

Linda