Growing Up Sexy

Blue Love Art

I have a pretty face and a sexy body.  My breasts are full, my hips are wide; I have the traditional hourglass type of body.  My body is not skinny nor is it fat.  It is womanly, voluptuous.  I grew up turning men’s heads. I grew up sexy.

Growing up sexy has not always been easy.  When I was a teenager, a man I loved and trusted in my family attempted to rape me twice while he was high on Cocaine and alcohol.  I was able to fight off the first attack because he was so drunk. The second attack was more violent & aggressive. I was thrown against a wall and hurt. By the grace of God the noise woke my eldest sister, Sandy, who saved me; she also protected me from him and ensured my mother removed him from our home immediately. This is the first time I am writing about this on this blog.  I am writing about it in the context of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis and writing to show how traumatic events can have a long-term impact on people’s lives.

I have been seeing a therapist for over five years.  My official diagnosis is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is multi-faceted for me, including but not limited to: anxiety, depression and flashbacks. I’ve been struggling lately. My therapist and I believe grief from my best friend’s death in April is triggering PTSD flashbacks causing depression and anxiety.

As my therapist and I started to follow the threads of traumatic events in my life, we could clearly see it started with my father dying when I was seven; the two attempted rape attacks were the next traumas I encountered.  Other traumas I’ve experienced along the way include my sister dying from a long-term terminal illness, my brother-in-law dying of a heart attack at an Eagles vs. Dallas game in the Lincoln Financial Stadium in Philadelphia and most recently my best friend dying from Cancer. There have been other tragedies and traumas in my life but the events listed above are the major events that left the biggest scars.  Since I have been allowing myself to live in the truth of my past, it is now time for me to openly express my feelings about them so I can perhaps stop the flashbacks, calm the anxiety, live with memories and open one day to a healthy loving relationship with a man.

Without a father figure in my life and being victimized by a man I loved and trusted as a teenager, I never really knew how to be loved, truly loved, by a man.  When I was in my 20s, I can remember hearing my boyfriend(at the time) say to his friends one night that I was the kind of girl who was good for fucking but not the kind you marry.  Low self-esteem, never truly loving myself and not knowing how to allow a man to love me set me up for casual relationships and unhealthy sexual behaviors through most of my 20s and into my early 30s.

Through my 40s and 50s I’ve healed and grown spiritually. I know understand the energy that is exchanged in sex. I also respect my body and learned to care for my emotional and spiritual well-being.  I will say that honestly I will not give my body away to any man who does not love me or hold pure intentions towards me. Friends tell me I should date more, “Have fun”, “get mine” and “live a little”.  Given my history, it is healthier for me to wait for a man who values and cares for my emotional well-being as well as desires my body. It is better to wait to give my body to man who understands who I am, how I got here and why it matters so much to me that he understands my anxiety.

Since I want to heal, lose my fear and make room for the love in my heart and life, I need to dance with my demons for a bit and understand how I got here. I want to see and understand how I ended up 51 years old single, never married and without children still choosing subconsciously to love men at a distance.  How did I end up standing in the same skin I had when I was seven not allowing anyone to truly love me? I need to understand how this happened so I can work to heal. This isn’t an easy journey but I feel it’s necessary for me to get a better handle on the flashbacks and mitigate the affects of any future traumatic events.

In recent years, there has been a man in my life that I love deeply and truly. I call him Blue love. I’ve enjoyed our sexual attraction. I love our flirtation. I love to write erotic poetry for him. He’s a fun playmate but I also know he cares about me.  However, it is not lost on me that I am in love with a man who can’t be available for me to hold, touch and feel. We can only love each other at a distance. The word that comes to mind is “safe”. It’s safe for both of us to love each other.

I do believe Blue Love and I are soul mates. I believe we share a deep meaningful connection.  We were meant to be in each other’s lives. My connection to Blue Love has been very healthy for me. It’s perhaps the healthiest relationship I’ve ever had with a man. Blue Love showed me a man who cares for me will respect and treat me well. Blue Love showed me a man who cares for me expresses his love and respect for me by not taking advantage of me physically. Through Blue Love I allowed myself to trust again. I would put my life and heart in his hands because I know he would also protect me.

While I would love for Blue Love to be my happily ever after, I understand he may not be. I am, however, thankful he’s been in my life the last few years because now I know what a man caring for me feels like. Only time will tell what happens between us in the future.  I guess all I am trying to say about Blue Love is I trust him enough to allow him to see me – all of me – even the wounded parts. That says a lot coming from me and understanding my history. I hope he can see the depth of meaning it has for me that I allow him to see me. I have not let any other man see me in this way.

This is not a #metoo post.  This is not a statement about the sexual objectification of women.   I enjoyed being sexy all of my life.  I still enjoy being sexy.  I like that men look at me.  I absolutely love the look in Blue Love’s eyes when he looks at my body.  I will not hide my body nor down play my breasts so they are less noticeable.  I like getting dressed, putting make-up on and being sexy.  It makes me feel womanly and feminine. I will continue to flirt shamelessly with Blue Love and write him erotic poetry. I like growing up sexy.

This post is about how traumas leave scars and burdens that change us.  It is a post about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with depression, anxiety and flashbacks. It is post about self-love.  It is a post about finally living in truth, honesty and authenticity. What happened in my past was NOT my fault but it is still my burden.   A burden I carry every day. A burden that held me back from love. A burden that welled up in my heart a few weeks ago and came to my consciousness for a reason – it wants to be healed.  A burden I am ready to hopefully release.

In sharing this information so openly I hope that people reading this do not judge me. Believe me; I spent a long time judging myself.  I hope only to share this information as a way to start releasing the heaviness in my heart and free up some room for a man to love me.  At the same time, I will not judge any man in my life for the person he was in the past or for “extra-curricular” relationships he may have had in the past. Perhaps he didn’t feel truly loved either. The only thing I care about is today. I only care about who we are choosing to be today and being kind to each other now.

With my history written in this blog, I clearly need the man in my life who is patient and understanding with my anxieties. I need to be his only women. My love needs to be enough for him. Any man who touches my body needs to be mine and only mine. I am allowing myself to feel pain so I can heal and be loved. I am not sure I would survive another heartbreak.

If you believe you may suffer from PTSD, anxiety and flashbacks related to traumatic events, please consider seeking help. Allow yourself to heal. We will never be cured but it can be managed and we can be healed.

Here’s an article I found helpful on PTSD
https://www.gracepointwellness.org/109-post-traumatic-stress-disorder

😘

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Showing Up Anyway

Glenn Doyle Melton

One of my biggest issues about Facebook and Instagram is that everything on Social Media is an illusion. It’s all smoke and mirrors. You only see what the person posting wants you to see. For example, I had a conversation with a coworker a while ago. From what she told me in person, there is a A LOT of drama in her life and her family life is challenging. However, on Facebook, it’s all big smiles, family photos, beautiful pictures of happy times and long posts about her wonderful life and vacations. Her Social Media image does not match what I saw in person. My coworker isn’t the only person guilty of this. Almost everyone does it on Social Media. I bought into at first too. Folks take 35 crappy selfies and only post the one that turned out good. They use filters on their sunset photos so it looks extra beautiful and make sure you only see what’s good. Social Media robbed us of authenticity and reality.

I disengaged from a Facebook a few months ago. I have no regrets. I am still on it because my family is on it and they post photos of the kids there. I also find out where my nieces softball games are so I can go watch. I enjoy that. I don’t post. As I scroll through posts, I can’t help but wondering how did we all get conditioned to think we always have to be positive, have a beautiful back yard or live in a big home? Why is it everyone thinks your life is wonderful if you are eating dinner with 20 other people or checking into four bars every night? When did we give up our right to have a messy complicated life? Why can’t we ever be pissy, have a bad day, be sad, admit our holidays sucked and God forbid post a bad picture of ourselves on Facebook?

This post isn’t a rant about Social Media. It is about a complete lack of authencity. No one wants to own the messy parts of themselves that aren’t camera ready. No one wants to admit they have depressing thoughts sometimes. No one wants you to see their darkness anymore. I am writing this post because the truth is I am messy and complicated lately. My thoughts are sad and depressing. I am worried and scared. My tummy is bloated. I am in pain and I just am fucking over it. Why should I continue to lie and pretend I am positive and happy when I am not. I am just not…

Don’t get me wrong… There are positive things in my life. I like where I live. I am enjoying my job. My career is going great. My family loves me. Yesterday I got to watch my great niece pitch over 50mph at FastPitch Summer Nationals via North Myrtle Beach Park’s field webcam. Tomorrow is her first elimination game. Her team, Philadelphia Spirit (Fast Pitch Softball), is in seed one in her division. They are undefeated in the tournament so far. I hope I can catch part of the game. My nephew is a good dad and good coach. That makes me proud and happy because I’ve been keeping him straight since I was 10 years old. We fight like brother and sister BUT he listens to me. I get through to him and I know I played a role in making him the man he is today. That makes me happy and proud especially when I see him with his kids.

I have an appt with my Gastro doc tomorrow morning. I am hoping for answers but I don’t expect to get any tomorrow since I will need a scope and probably a cat scan. The pain is all around the left breast which is where the stomach but it is also where the heart is. My BP and Heart Rate have been stable and beautiful. Hopefully that means my heart is not the problem. Either way, I need to figure out what this is because it’s wearing me out.

I just decided it was time to be honest and show authenticity on this blog. Sometimes life sucks. These health issues are taking a toll on my stamina and wearing me down. That is nothing but the truth. Why should I act strong when I am not? Why shouldn’t I allow you to see me? Perhaps I allow folks to see me this raw, others will feel liberated and will drop their masks too. Perhaps someone reading this will see I am sad and know it is ok for them to be sad too. Maybe someone will see it’s ok to be messy and afraid. Show up anyway… Show up in life anyway… The below poem is messy and afraid Linda writing authentically about how she’s been feeling lately. Please open your mind and heart a little before reading this. Allow your compassion and empathy to feel what I am feeling rather than judging me. Then you will understand authentically how I feel.

In gratitude,
Linda

Showing Up, Anyway
By: Linda A Long

I can pretend…For your benefit…That I am well
That my…Mind, body and spirit…Are harmoniously unified
I can pretend…That I am…Determined to…Remain strong and optimistic
That I have…Control of my emotions
That I am…Filled with…Inspiration to rise up…And fight, fight
The adversary within…My own body
Undermining every…Step forward…Pulling me back…After every victory…Weighing me down
With worry, anxiety…And ceaseless attacks…On my body
Weakening my mind…And slowly…Breaking my spirit
I only fought…This long…Because I didn’t…Want you to…Think I was weak
I only fought…This long…Because I believed…I could still…Win
I believed…I could still…Live a full life
I thought…I would still have love
And be able to…Share my heart…With another
Joyfully living my life…In a state of gratitude
But…It is very hard
To be grateful…While feeling…Constantly defeated…By a body that…Attacks itself
It is hard…To be optimistic…When every day…Presents a new physical challenge
With little answers…And even less support
Everyone wants to hear…“I’m great”
No one wants…To know the truth
Or even really…Look in my eyes to see my truth
No one wants to…Stop looking at…Their phone for five minutes to have a simple Conversation
And actually mean it…When they ask…“How are you?”
I’ll just go on…Pretending…“I’m great”
And you all…Just go on…Doing whatever makes you feel good
With your heads…Buried in your phones…Too preoccupied for human compassion
Being too wrapped up…In your own life…To really care…About mine
I go on pretending…To make it easier…For everyone…Who says…“I am here for you”
But really…Just want to be here…When I am great…And not when
Life is heavy and complicated…
I’ll pretend…You care…While you feel…Good about yourself
I know the truth….But
I will keep pretending…For your benefit
If it helps you…Get through the day
Broadcasting fake friendship…On Facebook…While phone calls and texts…Go unanswered
I know who…I can really count on…I know who…Really cares about me
But…I will pretend…For your benefit
Everything is fine…Even while I silently…Want to let go
Because I am tired…
From fighting so hard…To be well…It is exhausting me
Fighting alone…Is disheartening
I am just not sure…I know my reason…Anymore
I don’t know my…Reason to fight…For this life…Anymore
And I am not sure…What difference…It makes
I am sorry…If my true thoughts
Scare you or hurt you…
It just scares me… That I don’t know what my reason…To live is anymore
The next time…You ask…“How are you?”
I’ll smile and say…“I’m great!”
Simply because…It’s what you want to hear
Not because…It’s how I feel
Know this…When I ask you…“How are you?”
I want to hear…The full truth…Even if it is…Messy, complicated and sad
Let me hear your heartache…Let me share your burden…Let me lighten your heart
I want you to know… You are loved…And have a reason… To live
Even if I can’t…Find my own reason anymore

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Letting It Go – Poetry

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A poem about struggling with depression. It’s been a while since I smiled, laughed and felt light. I am writing my way out of the darkness into light.
Letting It Go – Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Where are you
Where is the
Bright light
That used to
Bounce off
Your cheekbones
To light
The sky
With love
Where has
The flame gone
That used to turn
Your lips
Upward as a cup
Ready to
Overflow with
God’s goodness
Has sadness
Stolen
Your joy
Is heartache
Holding your smile

What would
Happened if
You let go
What if
I told you
It was safe
For you to cry
And let your tears
Purge the darkness
From your heart
What if
I hold you
As you
Fall into the
Depth of pain
And told you
It’s gonna be ok
What if
You slowed down
Long enough
To be weak
What if
I told you
Transformation lies
In surrender

Would you
Let go
Would you
Feel the pain
Would you let it
Transform
Your darkness
Into Light
Would you
Surrender
Would you
Let the pain go

(C) 2018 Linda A Long – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Hester Van Doornum

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Taking On Anxiety

   

 I’m writing this post on a Greyhound Bus Traveling from Atlantic City, NJ to Midtown Manhattan. I’m going to NYC to take anxiety head on. 

Anxiety. You don’t know how crippling anxiety can be until you have it. My cousin got Panic attacks when were young. I used to help her through them. But I never understood how humbling they could be until I had one. 

A few years ago I started having some health problems. Anxiety rode along with those issues. Over time my body healed. Physically I’m pretty much the healthiest I’ve ever been. I feel good. My body is strong and emotionally I’m very stable and balanced. But, unfortunately, anxiety has remained. 

I don’t have anxiety every day. Actually most days I don’t have it. But, new social situations, large groups of unfamiliar people, speaking in front of large groups, traveling out of my comfort zone of South Jersey & Philadelphia often triggers an attack. 

I’ve been working with a Psychologist to gain coping mechanisms and to control my anxiety with rational thought. One thing I’m working on is to turn off the rambling thoughts of the “what if” thinker. What if my Arrhythmia acts up while I’m out of town and I can’t get to a hospital? What if I eat something that makes me sick? What if I have an allergic reaction? What if I can’t get home? What if…What if…What if…My what if thinker is very active and very irrational. I’m learning to acknowledge the irrational thought and tell myself the worse won’t happen and I’ll be ok. 

In recent months I’ve taken strides to address the social anxieties. I’ve been forcing myself to participate in group events. I even went to a baby shower at work the other day to force myself to interact more. I’m naturally inclined to be quiet and an introvert. I can’t guarantee I’ll ever be super talkative, chatty Kathy or Miss Congeniality. But, at least, social anxiety will not hold me back. 

I’m an independent, self-sufficient kind of girl. I’ve learned to not need anyone and to only rely on myself. I’ve always taken off on my own for road trips, solo yoga retreats and weekends in NYC. I enjoy doing it. If I could find a job similar to the one I have in NYC, I would even consider living in the Village. I love it.  But in recent years, anxiety robbed me of my ability to travel independently. I won’t stand for this any longer. I won’t lose that part of myself. I refuse to give in. I came up with a plan to reclaim my life and travel independence. 

Saturday, March 21st is my 48th Birthday. I am taking my anxiety head on by going to NYC alone  Friday to Saturday. I’m going to enjoy some art, catch a yoga class or two and enjoy the city I’m so familiar with and love.  People offered to go with me. But I need to do this alone.  I almost chickened out. NYC is expecting 3-5 inches of snow today. I’m going away. I’m wearing UGGs,I packed warm clothes(scarf & hat) & I packed my Xanax. I’m all set 😄👍 On a side note,  The dude sitting behind me is snoring and will quite possibly suck me into his hostile with his next breath 😄😄😄 

Amelia Earhart said, “Fears are paper tigers.”  In other words, we make things worse and bigger than they actually are. I’ve learned through my life that most fear is irrational. Today I’m breaking through one of my paper tigers👍😄  

Follow the Twitter Feed on the right sidebar of my Blog for updates throughout the trip. I’ll post a blog when I get home with a recap of my trip.   

 

(C) 2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Google Image search for “anxiety images”

  

The Guest In My House

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This is the post that I’ve been somewhat reluctant to write. It’s been rolling around in my head for a while now. I’ve been carrying it around on my shoulders and in my heart. It’s weighing me down. I decided I needed to write it out. If for no other reason, than to lighten my load a bit and maybe move some of this crap aside for something good to come along.

I’ve been under a lot of pressure in recent months. Different forms of pressure which has been building anxiety which leads to depression and more pressure. It’s been a vicious cycle for me. I am a very positive upbeat person. So, I’ve been pressuring myself even more to get it together and focus on the positive side of things. But, am I really just avoiding what I am feeling by redirecting my thoughts constantly? Is that why I can’t seem to loosen the noose around my neck? I’m not acknowledging my feelings. Therefore, I’m keeping them inside.

A few weeks ago I sensed that I was struggling to regain my balance. Like a Nine Layer Chocolate Cake things start lying on top of me until I was almost choking to take a breadth. All the while I told everyone “I’m good.” Lol. That was a flat out lie. I wasn’t good. I haven’t been good. I was afraid to show it. It’s a weakness. I didn’t want anyone to know. Funny, because I thought I was a girl who really did not care what others think of me. I guess I was wrong. As hard as I tried to get control of it, that’s how much I was starting to spin out of control.

I found myself on the slippery slope with a professional frustration that made me feel like I wasn’t being heard. I can deal with this and I was dealing with it. But, that was the first issue that was weighing on my mind and keeping me up at nights.

Around mid-November I started not feeling well. I am still navigating this issue. The GYN Reproductive Endocrinologist I saw in Philly on Friday was excellent. She is ranked as “Best in Philly.” I had blood work drawn in her office at 1130am & she called me 430 that afternoon to give prelim results. There was something important she wanted me to know as soon as possible. I was also given a preliminary diagnosis of Adenomyosis which is swelling of the Uterus caused by Estrogen Dominance. The swollen Uterus to pushing on everything around it and causing the pain. I need a Pelvic MRI with Contrast later this week to be sure there aren’t any growth causing the Uterus to be swollen before we can talk about treatment options which will probably start with Progesterone Therapy and possibly a Hysterectomy.

The Holidays always bring a fair amount of anxiety for me. As a former life of the party kind of girl, it’s not easy for me to go to holiday parties and be sober all the time. With not feeling well, I skipped most of the social activity this holiday season which probably contributed to the depression.

And, last by not least, a man from my past contracted me. It would have been so easy to have had sex with him and lose my unhappiness for just one night. But, I didn’t. I couldn’t. I kept thinking about the feelings I have for another man. I just couldn’t. Also, instinctually, I didn’t want to open a door I was wise to close. While it was nice to hear from him, I still think it’s best we leave what we had in the past. He wasn’t good for me then. He’s not good for me now. He won’t be good for me in the future. However,
Hearing from him made me start thinking. The sad truth is a lot of men do not want to date a woman who can’t drink alcohol. That is my truth. I can’t change it. If I drink alcohol, my Liver will be in jeopardy. A lot of men don’t want to date a woman with high maintenance dietary restrictions. I can’t really change that either. It is what it is. Now, I’m going to be adding a probable hysterectomy & menopause to the list. It’s all too much. Plus, A lot of men don’t want to date a woman who was never married and has no children. They think there’s something wrong with me. The truth is I spent a lot of years taking care of other people without looking out for myself and life just slid by. By the time I started focusing on me it was too late for those things. Well, at least it was too late for children. I suppose on some level I find myself living with a sadness of what could have been if only I would have opened my eyes ten years ago. What could have been if I would have loved myself enough to allow others to love me? My heart was a locked vault. Now, it’s open and I feel things profoundly deeper. In some ways this is better and in some ways it is worse.

I am not dating right now. I am trying to get my hormones balanced before I do that. Lol😄 I think this will prevent a lot of drama in my future relationships. Lol😄 But, all of this swirling inside of me started depressing me in recent weeks. I spend a lot of time alone and I started wondering if I will ever meet someone who accepts me, loves me and needs me the way I need them❤️A friend suggested I sign up for Match.com to meet new people. Could you even imagine my profile? It stresses me out just thinking about it. Actually, it’s comical. I will not be doing that. I am not ready to jump into the dating pool anyway. Balancing my hormones and getting my Uterus straightened out is my first priority👍.

I would be remised if I didn’t mention I still do have very strong feelings for a man with crystal blue eyes. But, the reality is we are in a complicated situation. I allowed myself to consider what I want my life to be like if I can’t have him. What if we are only meant to be friends? While I intuitively feel something so much deeper happening between us, I must also hold a space for the possibility for a different reality. Honestly, if I can’t have him, I want a man just like him. He is cute, funny, sexy, smart and a good man. He has a good soul. I see it in his eyes. His influence in my life brought out some wonderful things in me. I want to tell him everything but I hold back because I’m not sure if he wants me to tell him everything. Part of me just wants to walk up to him and wrap my arms around his waist and just stand there in the comfort of his arms for a few moments. But I won’t – actually I can’t right now. But if I could, I would. And I’d say “Thank You. I humbly thank you for the Passion I feel between us. It returned the fire to my soul and sparked sultry hot smoldering poetry. Thank you for setting an example for me. Thank you for showing what kind of man I want and deserve to have in my life. Thank you MBE. Thank you. With all the love I can hold in my heart, I thank you.” The truth it is I want it to be him. But, and it’s a big but, it may not be him. And, in recent weeks I’ve been allowing myself the opportunity to live with the notion that it may not be him no matter how much I love or want him. But, I want it to be him. I do I really do want him to be the man in my life. But, I have to accept our limitations without pressuring him.

Yesterday was the day that I felt a spontaneous explosion slowly simmering inside of me. I kept to myself. I avoided conversations. I kept the festering monster hidden from view. Until…Until I knew I was in a safe place to explode. Sensing I was on the brink of breaking, I started seeing a therapist again to help me navigate these heavy emotions. She got an earful last night. She helped me break through the sadness and honor the truth. As I was walking out the door last night her last words to me were, “Linda, I am so very proud of you. You don’t even realized how much you’ve grown, how mature you’ve become. You don’t even see how beautiful you are. You stood in your own power. You whethered this giant storm in your life. You are still standing all on your own, without alcohol, without fake friends, without casual sex and without a man to validate you. You are doing this on your own. You are emulating the strength you seek. Go home knowing I am proud of you.” Her words made me cry. Actually, they kept me up all night crying.

I hesitated writing this blog for a long time because I was embarrassed to admit I was struggling with depression. I didn’t want anyone to know. But, I chose to write this post and reveal my deepest feelings to not only release the heaviness from my soul but to also give others in similar situations the freedom to do the same.

I admitted I was depressed for the first time on Friday afternoon. I was shopping with my niece, Nikki. Nik is 31. We are very close. She told me I was allowed to be depressed. She told me there was no need to put a happy face on for her. She also offered her spare bedroom to me whenever I want company. She has a cute Pitbull puppy. I like playing with him. He gives me puppy kisses💋 Mostly I just loved how she didn’t try to cheer me up. She didn’t try to get me to see the bright side. She just accepted where I was and what I was feeling. She said she wants to take care of me the way I always have taken care of her❤️ She helped me tremendously without even realizing it.

If life is pushing you to the brink of despair, instead of avoiding it or running from it, just sit and be with it. Invite it into your home. Have some tea. Become friends with the darkness of your own soul. Once you own it, it can no longer control you. Your demons lose their power when you see them for what they are.

Lastly, please seek professional help if you feel you can’t cope on your own.

(C) 2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

2013 Intentions – Metamorphosis Daily Prompt

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The Daily Post’s challenge today was Metamorphosis. I use the power of Intentions to change my life. I’ve blossomed by using the power of Intentions. Metamorphosis occurred in my life by choosing my thoughts and actions carefully. So, I am using this post to Monday Morning Quarterback 2013’s intentions and set new 2014 Intentions for my next year’s Metamorphosis. 🙂

Last year on January 2, 2013 I posted a few of my board Life Intentions for the year. I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. They seem cliché to me. But, I do believe in using Intentions to change/mold and direct my life. I am a planner; setting goals and Intentions makes sense to me. I believe if you set a goal and make a plan, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

Below is the list of Intentions I posted last year. Under each Intention is my “Monday Morning Quarterback” review of how it actually worked out as the year rolled by and a new Intention for 2014.

2013 Physical Health Intention
I will continue to focus on improving my health in all aspects so I can live a full active life. I will continue to make choices that promote health and wellness in my life. This includes continued commitment to fitness with regular exercise five to seven days per week. While I am in the average weight range for my height, I would like to lose an additional 5 to 10 pounds. Since I came this far and lost 80lbs I may as well lose another 5 to 10lbs and get back to my college weight  I will remain committed to being alcohol free. I know if I drink alcohol I will become sick again. I won’t let that happen. I welcome physical health into my life in 2013.

As I started 2013, I was still working on healing my Liver and Stomach which were both damaged by undiagnosed Celiac Disease & Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with Steatohepatitis. I had one year of being alcohol free under my belt. I was Gluten Free for six months and I was easily maintaining the weight loss as food made me sick so I didn’t eat very much. 

Over the course of the year, my Liver healed completed but my stomach was just getting worse.  I just couldn’t figure it out. I started the summer with six consecutive weeks of a Migraine Headache followed by a month long respiratory infection which was caused by poor air quality and exposure to second-hand smoke. But, I later found out an undiagnosed food allergy to the Flaxseed I was using as a non-gluten Fiber source was the source of most of problems.  Since eliminating Flaxseed my stomach has improved dramatically. It’s improve so much so that I actually gained weight.  The Doctor told me that would happen when my stomach started absorbing nutrition again. Actually he told me it was a welcomed sign. It meant my stomach was working normally again and I was healthy 🙂

2014 Health Intention

I will remain Gluten Free and Alcohol Free.  although I do miss having a glass of wine, I can’t go through all the work it took to heal my Liver again.  I just can’t do it again. The Liver Specialist told me the Liver disease will come out of remission and will be even worse and may even kill me if I gain too much weight or drink alcohol again. So, I’ve accepted that alcohol is my Kryptonite.  Moving on…Now that my stomach is healed and I no longer have multiple nutritional deficiencies from lack of absorption I have to work on finding the right balance food and calories for my health body.  I would like to take off the 10lbs I put back on.  I will use use Yoga and Power Walking as my primary exercises to nourish my body and help me maintain a healthy weight. Also, if you read my blog regularly, you may have noticed I removed the Celiac Disease Infographic.  I did this intentionally. I now believe when you identify yourself with an illness, you open the door to more illness.  In other words,

I am happy and grateful now that I am healthy and I feel good.  I do not identify myself with any illness or disease.

2013 Emotional and Mental Health Intention
I will continue to make strong health choices for myself that focus on taking care of my emotional and mental health. I will make sure to look for ways to manage stress and anxiety. I will continue speak my peace. I will not internalize. I will not bottle everything up inside. I will allow people to help me. I will allow those who love me to take care of me when I need support. I will seek help when I need it. I will say what I need to say. I welcome emotional and mental health into my life in 2013.

I not only set this as an Intention but it became my Manta, my lifestyle.  The greatest improvements in my life occured because I made a commitment to myself to live authethnically. Whatever changes I had to make to live this way, I had to make them. PERIOD.  Not excuses… I’ve always been Bohemian Free Spirited by nature.  I stopped  suppressing that part of me. I stopped comforming with what friends thought I should be. Yes, I lost friends by doing it.  Guess what?  Oh well.  See ya, bye bye. I am over that.  I have my strength back. I am back to being the person I was before I lost myself in a crowd.  I speak my truth. I write my truth. I live my truth.  Yoga has been my mirror to my soul. Through my practice I learned a lot about myself and capabilities.  I’ve laughed and cried on the mat. But, mostly I found peace that I’ve never known within by Meditating. .   I use Mantras every day. Two Mantas I say everyday at some point are “Om Gum Ganapataye Nahama” to remove all obstacle and “Om Arakya Nahama” for freedom from affliction.  I also started to not only embrace but also cultivate my highly intuitive nature and let the messages come through however they need to come through. A good friend of mine is Psychic. She told me recently that my Aura is just beautiful and magnetic.  That made me very happy.

2014 Emotional & Mental Health Intention

I will continue to walk my own path. I will remain authentic in everything I do. I will be genuine  and open.  I will continue to embrace my highly intuitive nature.   I will continue to use Yoga, Mantras, Meditation and prayer to facilitate my spiritual journey. I am happy and grateful now that I am living life as my authentic self.

2013 Financial Health Intention
I will focus my energies to manage money better. It’s been difficult to manage money because of the large medical expenses I’ve had in the last two years. Even with decent insurance I’ve racked up some medical bills for multiple hospital visits. But, I am hoping 2013 will be a year of improvement in my health which will also mean an improvement in discretionary dollars to use for travel or savings. I welcome wealth and abundance into my life in 2013.

This is another area of great improvement for me.  I really focused my energies on smart money managment. My habits helped this. I am not a spender. I am a minimalist. I don’t buy what I don’t need. I only buy things on sale and I hate accumulating stuff.  So, I am not a shopper.  I also don’t drink or smoke. So, that saves me money. And, I don’t have any children. That definitely saves me money. Lastly, I don’t enjoy going away for long periods of time or taking big expensive long vacations.  I just don’t enjoy it.  I live at the beach, I go on Yoga Retreats, I go away to NYC and Philly regularly.  I don’t need much more.  Not saying I won’t travel but it’s not at the top of the list.  By living at the beach and seeing the ocean every day I am vacationing every day. In 2013 I got smart about money and by the end of 2013 it reaped its rewards. 

2014 Financial Health Intention

I am a money magnet. I attracted abundance.  Money comes to easily and effortlessly.  Everything I need want and desire appears before me effortlessly at just the right time.  I have excellent money managment skills 🙂

2013 Spiritual Health Intention
It is vitally important to me to maintain my spiritual well-being. I am committed to nurturing my connection to source strength which only comes from which by practicing Yoga, Meditating, praying, practicing Reiki, offer compassing and empathy to others, but protecting my Karma and the Karma of others. I will live my Mantra of Love, Peace and Happiness. I will remember that change starts with me. I will allow myself to feel unbridled optimism and passion for my life. I will have the courage to do the hard things in life for the right reasons. I will not give up or give in. I will allow the fire in my belly to burn brightly for all to see. I had been using the Law Of Attraction principles for a few years but I reall saw it work and manifest some great stuff in my life in 2013. I also use “thought correction” a lot. If I have a negative thought, immediate change it to something positive. I released all “Victim” mentalities. I am a creator in my life. Life doesn’t just happen to me. I am a creator of my destiny.

This Intention is somewhat related to the Emotional and Mental Health Intention.  By the end of 2013 I saw the return of the fire in my belly. Those who have known me have always known there is fire in my belly. One of my former boyfriends used to call me his “ball of fire”.  But, health issues and an unpleasant breakup caused some anxiety issues for me. You can’t be a ball of fire while being anxious or holding on the past at the same time.  While my heart healed from the unpleasant breakup and that is far in my past it did leave me with some confidence issues and I was still carrying anxiety from the health issues. I lost my confidence. There is no other way to say it.   In 2013 I started challenging myself again on all levels. The comfort zone was unbelievably uncomfortable.  I decided I was not going to let fear or anxiety win. Slowly I felt a rekindling in my soul. By the end of 2013 the FIRE is back in my belly. And, this time around, I know how to keep it burning all by myself.  I am very proud to have healed my mind, body and spirit all on my own, idenpendently, self-sufficiently, authentically, magically on my own.  And, not only working a full time job at the same time but also challenging myself in the workplace as well.  YAY Linda!!!

2014 Spiritual Health Intention

I am happy and grateful now that I live a life of passion. I will keep the fire in my belly burning by kindling it with growth.  I will continue to challenge myself, nuture myself and celebrate my victories.


2013 Relationship Health Intentions
I plan to surround myself with like-minded individuals and with people who are good influences for me. We don’t have to agree on everything. I don’t have to have all the same habits or make the same lifestyle choices. But, we need to hold the same values. I like to learn from people. Teach me something. Mold me, inspire me, encourage me and shape my world.  I will show my love and affection openly for those I love. I will make sure those I love know how I feel. I will continue to believe in LOVE.

In 2013  I started surrounding myself with people who inspired me, encouraged me, challenged me and think like me. I realized I was attracted to people who are positive, driven and motivated. I started observing people who seemed to me to be doing it right. I started emulating their habits and learning from a distance.  2o13 also saw a rekindling of sensual spirtual through a positive mutual attraction.  Nothing makes me happier than when a man inpsires me to write Erotica.  I like having a muse.  😉 We will see what will happen with that. But, I will say it sure has been a lot of fun having a little secret flirtation with someone.

The most important relationship of my life is the one I have with myself.  2013 I began to love myself on all levels. I accepted myself on all levels. I allowed myself to receive – to receive all the goodness I deserved. 

2014 Relationship Health Intention

I will continue to surround myself with good influences who challenge me and encourage my growth. I am good to know. I will maintain an open heart and mind. I am attracted to people who are good for me. I am attracted to people with like energy. I attract health relationships.

BEACH LOVER’S DREAM ANNOUNCEMENT

My final note on this post is an official annoucement that one of my dreams is actually coming true soon.  I grew up in Philly and vacationed at the Jersey Shore for years. I spent the better part of 10 summers sharing group houses in Sea Isle City with friends. In 1994 I moved to Ocean City and lived there for 13 years. I moved to the mainland for a few years. 

As of January 16th I will be living back at the beach.  It was always my dream to buy a Condo with a Ocean view. I didn’t want a big home as I don’t want all the work that comes with owning a big home. I just wanted a condo. Two years ago I started walking four miles a night on the Ventnor/Atlantic City Boardwalks. By the end of last summer I decided that was where I wanted to live.  In the fall of 2013 I started talking realtors that worked in the area.  I was looking at condos in high rises in Chelsea Heights and  Lower Chelsea.  As I never lived in a high rise before, I decided to rent a condo in a high rise with an ocean view for one year instead of buying right away. 

 I started saying my beach lover’s dream Intention “I am happy and grateful now that I live in a condo by the beach” in August. I move into my condo with the ocean view on 1/16/14.  What a way to start the new year.

In 2013 I learned the power of my thoughts and I learned how to harass my personal power to actualize my dreams.

@ 2013 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Photo Credit:
Carlo Maria Mariani

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/prompt-new-you/

The Daily Post – Helplessness

helpless--large-msg-114970372439-2This is today’s Daily Writing Prompt from The Daily Post, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/
Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?

I don’t usually do the Daily Writing Prompts but this one resonated with me today because it’s exactly how I feel about my health today.

This is the part where I caution my readers to prepare themselves. Most of you are used to my positive, motivational, inspirational, “I can do anything” posts. This is not one of those types of posts. I am going to whine and complain. It’s going to sound like I feel a little sorry for myself because guess what? I do! If you are not into reading this kind of post today, please feel free to stop reading now. I won’t take it personally. But, if you do understand I needed to express this openly before it swallowed me whole.

I’ve been hesitating sharing some recent information about my health on my blog because I truly believe the more you talk about negative things, the more power you give them. Talking about it, blogging about it and complaining about it is actually feeding it and giving life to it. So, I’ve chosen to practice the Law of Attraction by only keeping positive things on my blog instead of writing about my worry, frustration and anxiety. But, today with pressure bringing me to the edge of reason, living on the verge of tears most days and feeling frustration building, I feel the need to just release a bit.

First I’ll say the way I manage the flow of information about my health is my decision. It’s not that I am hiding anything or holding anything back. It’s just that I am not going to go out post on Facebook, make a million phones calls or send a lot text messages with my status updates. I call the people who I promised to call and I honor those requests. I have no secrets. At this point, I do not care who knows what is going on with my health anymore but it’s just exhausting trying to keep so many people in the loop and I am trying to not talk so much about it. I am trying to not feed the negativity. But, if you want to know how I am and are genuinely concerned about me, feel free to ask me. I will tell you. It’s that simple. But, I caution you. I don’t like whimps! I have grown up problems. So, if you are going to be a sissy and whimp out because you think you can’t handle it, don’t bother asking me because I am not going to sugar coat anything just to spare your feelings. Grow up. Life isn’t always a good time or a party. And, when life is hard, that is when we need the people who LOVE us to be strong and step up for us. It’s really that simple.

The last couple of years haven’t been easy for me. I’ve been knocked down a lot by health problems. Yes, I do keep getting back up. But, it’s getting harder and harder with each passing day to be strong and fight so hard. I am getting weary. And, I am exhausted most days because I am trying so hard. Trust me – I am trying!

In the last two years, I’ve managed to lose 80lbs, reverse Heart Disease, reverse Liver Disease, stop drinking alcohol and quit smoking. Guess what? None of it was easy. But, I did it. I showed up in my life and took control. So, right now I am feeling bit helpless that my Digestive System is uncooperative, unresponsive and causing me so many problems.
The results of a recent colonoscopy were less than stellar and included a list of about six diagnosis that I now have to manage. I also need a second procedure to evaluate kinks that are in my colon on my right side that could cause an obstruction. However, everything is on hold until the Pathology on the Polyps that were removed is returned. They won’t schedule the second procedure until they know for sure I don’t have cancer. For now I am on medicine to keep things moving while we wait for the biopsy results.

I knew when I scheduled the colonoscopy over a month ago that it was for diagnostic purposes and it was not a screening procedure. I knew what the Doctor suspected because I pushed him and made him tell me.  So, basically I’ve known since early December about the tests and what he was suspecting. But, I said nothing to anyone as it was Christmas and everyone just wanted happy news. So, I walked around for month with this weight on my heart and consuming my thoughts. I guess everyone understands now why I wasn’t in a party mood on New Year’s Eve and why I just wanted to spend some quiet time alone with my Mom on Christmas Eve. Now that it is done. I feel a sense of relief. After the procedure was over my Doctor said he didn’t want to talk a lot because I was still under the effects of sedation and we would talk during my follow-up appointment. But, he also said I shouldn’t hesitate to call him any time of the day or night if I needed him. That was very reassuring but it was also worrisome that he was that concerned.But, I also feel a sense of helplessness. I’ve done everything right. I worked so fucking hard to improve my health. And, it really pisses me off. While it may not be Cancer, a kinked Colon that needs correction is no picnic and it may need major surgery. Excuse me for freaking out. But, I am freaking out.

I will now admit something I’ve been keeping private. In September I started noticing I wasn’t really handling my health issues very well, I knew I needed some help.  So, I started seeing a therapist. It’s has been helping me to talk to an objective person who doesn’t judge me. She’s helped me wrap my head around these feelings of helplessness, worry and anxiey. She’s helped me address my fears of dying.  She’s helped me find ways to satisfy my need to say I Love You to certain people.  She helped me find compassionate ways to prepare others for what may happen. She’s helped me address my anxiety about possibly needing surgery and my frustation about working so fucking hard for two years and still being sick.  Maybe I should have “gone out” drinking, smoking and partying. At least, I would have had a good time.  Honestly, the reason I don’t confide lot in friends about all of my feelings regarding my health is because they don’t understand everything. It’s more work for me to explain everything. Then I end up giving them therapy for whatever issue is bothering them. Sometimes you just need to talk. Being a good listener is hard work. But, to be a good friend to someone we must listen and not talk or give advice. Life is very serious for me right now. It’s scary.  I feel like everything is on the line while I also feel very helpless at the same time. It’s a strange place to be.

For now, I am taking things one day at a time. I am doing yoga, praying, meditating and exercising every day to relieve stress. And, because sometimes you just need some Chocolate to make yourself feel better, I have some Whole Foods Double Chocolate Gluten Free Cupcakes (all 470 calories each) stashed in the freezer ready for me to “break in case of emergency”.

Thanks for reading and listening to today’s rant. We will return to normal joyous, uplifting, blogging and poetry tomorrow.

Peace, Love & Happiness
Linda

Life Intentions Declared As Of January 2, 2013

namaste1I’ve never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. They seem cliché to me. But, I do believe in setting Intentions for one’s life. I believe in goals. I am a planner by nature. I believe if you set a goal and make a plan, you can do whatever you set your mind to.

After reflecting back on the last few years of my life, I see some opportunities for growth and continued improvement. Below is a rough list of Intentions or goals that I am setting for my life. This list is not all-inclusive. There are a few things that are far too personal and I have chosen to not share them on my blog. This list is long-term and is a multi-year approach to my life. Basically, this list is a rough list of Intentions for my life and I will use it as a jumpstart to get me moving in the right direction 2013.

Physical Health

I will continue to focus on improving my health in all aspects so I can live a full active life. I will continue to make choices that promote health and wellness in my life. This includes continued commitment to fitness with regular exercise five to seven days per week. While I am now an average weight for my height, I would like to lose an extra 5 to 10 pounds. Since I came this far and lost 80lbs I may as well lose another 5 to 10lbs and get back to my college weight:-)

I will remain committed to being alcohol free. I know if I drink alcohol I will become sick again. I won’t let that happen.

I welcome physical health into my life in 2013.

Emotional and Mental Health

I will continue to make strong healthy choices for myself that focus on taking care of my emotional and mental health. I will make sure to look for ways to better manage stress and anxiety. I will continue speak my peace. I will not internalize. I will not bottle everything up inside. I will allow people to help me. I will allow those who love me to take care of me when I need support. I will seek help when I need it. I will say what I need to say.

I welcome emotional and mental health into my life in 2013.

Financial Health

I will focus my energies on managing money better. It’s been difficult to manage money because of the large medical expenses I’ve had in the last two years. Even with decent insurance I’ve racked up some medical bills for multiple hospital visits. But, I am hoping 2013 will be a year of improvement in my health which will also mean an improvement in discretionary dollars to use for travel or savings.

I welcome wealth and abundance into my life in 2013.

Spiritual Health

It is vitally important to me to keep up my spiritual well-being. I am committed to nurturing my connection to source strength which only comes by practicing Yoga, Meditating, praying, practicing Reiki, offering compassion and empathy to others, by protecting my Karma and the Karma of others. I will live my Mantra of Peace,  Love and Happiness. I will remember that change starts with me. I will allow myself to feel unbridled optimism and passion for my life. I will have the courage to do the hard things in life for the right reasons. I will not give up or give in. I will allow the fire in my belly to burn brightly for all to see.

I welcome spirituality in my life in 2013.

Relationship Health
I plan to continue to surround myself with like-minded people and with people who are good influences for me. We don’t have to agree on everything. We don’t have to have all the same habits or make the same lifestyle choices. For example, I don’t drink Alcohol because I can’t. But, I don’t care if others do while we are out. I am out regularly with people who are drinking when I am not and it’s perfectly fine. But, we need to hold the same basic values.

I will continue to keep up and enforce my boundaries in all relationships.

I like to learn from people. Teach me something. Mold me, inspire me, encourage me and shape my world. Be someone I can respect and look up to. Make an impact on my life.

I will show my love and affection openly for those I love. I will make sure those I love know how I feel. I will continue to believe in LOVE.

I will continue to believe in people.

I will release the past so I can open both arms to welcome the here and now of my life.

I will not give up on LOVE.

I welcome LOVE in all forms into my life in 2013.

Now, here are some things I would like to work on or carry out in the future. There is no deadline on any of these. I just would like to do them sometime in the future whether that they happen this year or twenty years from now:-)  

  • I plan to do a Volunteer Vacation on Blackfeet Indian Reservation in the Glacier Mountains of Montana. Afterwards, I want to decompress for a few days with a Yoga Retreat at Big Sky Yoga Retreats in Bozeman, Montana and spend a few days in Glacier National Park. I always wanted to go to Montana and breathe in the fresh cold air and beautiful sky. I may have to do these two things in separate trips.  If possible, I would like to do the Yoga Retreat in the next year or two. Volunteer Vacation can wait until I have more free time.
  • plan to do a Yoga retreat in Bali.  This is my dream vacation. Yoga and relaxation in Bali. Anyone want to go to Bali with me?
  • I plan to continue to spend my birthday each year at Kripalu Center in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. It’s a wonderful way to bring in my new birth year.  Anyone interested in a mini-vacation in mid-march?  Meet me at Kripalu:-)
  • I plan to go Zip Lining in Poconos.
  • I plan to go on a SPA Vacation at the Red Mountain Resort in Utah. This will be totally for R & R only. http://www.redmountainresort.com/
  • I plan to drive across the great USA one day. I am thinking I would take the Northern route to the West Coast and the Southern Route(Route 66) back East. 
  • I plan to go to the Kentucky Derby one day. I will wear a great, big, beautiful HAT that matches nothing! 
  • A lifelong friend of mine lives in Loughmacaory, Northern Ireland. She keeps inviting me to come for visit. I was planning to go last year until I go so sick. I would love to go. Maybe later this year or next year.
  • I plan to start working on a Memoir type of book. I’ve been told I have good story to tell and should write a book. With working full-time and being sick I really haven’t had the energy to devote to this project. But, I am hoping with the continued improvement in my health, I’ll have more energy. Otherwise, it will have to wait until I am 62 and retire from my full-time job.
  • I plan to attend a Writing Workshop. I have an idea for Fiction type of novel. But, again, I have no time to write it. And, I am having problems structuring it. The Writing Workshop would help get me centered and help me come up with plan.
  • I plan to write short stories and submit them for hard and soft copy publications.
  • I plan to enter writing contests, at least one per year, to continuously hone my craft.
  • Now that I’ve lost all the weight, it’s time to tighten things up. I plan to focus on muscle conditioning, toning and building to keep a thin strong body.
  • I plan to continue my Reiki training and obtain the level of Reiki Master.
  • I plan to include Tai Chi and Qi Gong into my life. I enjoy both.
  • I plan to nurture my intuitive “sensitive” abilities. While at times they scare me, I understand now I need to embrace it.
  • Finally, this list would not be complete unless I threw in, I plan on hitting the lottery, quitting work and doing everything I wrote above in the next year.  Yee hah!!!!

 

Well, this is just few things to start with to get me moving in the right direction. I am sure I missed something so I may edit this post and add on to it at times. But, this is a start.

Thanks for reading and joining me in my journey to find Peace, Love & Happiness. 

Namaste (the Divinity in me bows to the Divinity to you)!