Self Care Sunday – How do you define success?

Art

On this Self Care Sunday I want to discuss Career. Career is the one of the four areas of life that Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches call “Primary Food”. Career satisfaction can affect your overall happiness and it also can affect your health and relationships. It’s important to step back and evaluate career satisfaction from time to time. If you are manager, I would recommend encouraging your employees to do this too.

For me, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in constant movement. As a “do-er”, I check my boxes off and claim my productivity by accomplishments and goals achieved. In a recent professional experience, things didn’t work out quiet the way I thought they were going to. I was not going to be able to achieve the goal I had set for myself which was causing me some anxiety and making me doubt myself a bit. Being trapped in my own definition of success was undermining my enthusiasm for the work I am doing and I was starting to feel a bit deflated.

I traveled to DC to give a briefing to senior leadership on Tuesday morning. In the briefing, I discussed my honest assessment of the program I am working on and its future if it remains supported the way it stands today. As I spoke, I was careful to be confident while also be truthful about my observations of the challenges and opportunities.

As I spoke, the conversation and energy in the room shifted and became supportive even nurturing. That’s when we realized that my definition of success was different from senior leadership’s definition of success. Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. Let me say that again… Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. My leadership explained to me that I already accomplished more than they originally thought was possible. WOW! That hit me hard. Right as I sat there in front of them I felt the magnitude of that reality hit me. I was pushing forward so hard that I never stopped for one minute in the last nine months to really see what I accomplished or to be proud of myself. They made me stop in that 45 minute meeting. It was a powerful moment for me. It was a powerful moment in my career💙

One of the Directors pulled me into her office for a chat about career opportunities. She wants me think about what I want because there are few different type of opportunities that could be open to me. She said I’ve proven myself capable and comfortable in “high profile” roles. She wanted to know if I would be satisfied going back to something less “sexy” after this 😊 It’s an interesting question for me. The truth is I am comfortable in this type of high visibility role. I am good with stakeholder engagement, up and down the chain. I present well and handle myself well. My biggest challenge this year was my own body. The constant health issues have been frustrating and the current issue with my stomach still isn’t resolved. I told her about my current issue and that I needed to see a specialist because of a suspicious stomach biopsy. She reassured me. She told me I shouldn’t let that be my deciding factor because my health issues obviously didn’t interfere with my work performance this year. She also told me accommodations could always be made for me. Yes, it may be easier for me to go back to a desk job that has more predictability, maturity and less of an ask from me but will it be enough for me after this???? My intuition says no…😊 But, I am keeping an open mind because I think it will depend on the opportunity and if it has room for growth and diversification. I also don’t want to work in chaos again. So work environment is important to me now too. For now, I am going let go and trust that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am going to trust God and my intuition to direct me to the right choice. As opportunities present themselves I will ask myself, “Does this honor who I am?”

I also met with new GM who is now an advisor to my program. Wow! What a difference chatting with someone with fresh eyes and fresh perspective can have! Having to walk her through my whole program reenergized me. It reminded me why I was passionate about this. It reminded why I wanted to do this in the first place. Her thoughtful questions and insights helped me find an unexplored path forward. I just met her that morning and already she helped me get unstuck. She suggested I look for something I can leave as a legacy, something tangible that people can say, “Linda did this”. I laughed and said, “Being the first and standing up the program isn’t enough?” 😂😂 She laughed but said she was thinking something more like a brochure or even a webinar that folks could use after I’ve moved on…. The budget will not allow for my current role to be a full time position. However, the role will continue as a temporary assignment after I move on to something new. She encouraged me to remember that I was first. I was the trail blazer. I have been the vision setter. I need to leave a legacy as well as start thinking about a transition plan. I came home full of things to think about as well a fresh new perspective and a new to do list. As I flew home looking out of window at the spectacular clouds, I was pensive. I was thinking about the events of the day and what I accomplished this year and what I learned about myself along the way. It’s been a great year professionally and great work experience.

I learned this week it’s important for folks to agree on what success looks like. While we had conversations about the goals of the program, their view of success was actually more achievable than my own. I learned this week the value of talking to people face to face when you have an important message to relay to them. If I presented my briefing over the phone, they would not have felt my energy or passion. The conversations that took place that day never would have happened. They would have missed the subtle nuances of my facial expressions and body language. This is good advice in any situation. If you have something important to say to someone, say it in person. The message may not be received in the way you are intending through phone, text or email. I learned this week talking to someone with fresh eyes or perspective can reenergize you. It can help you see things you may have missed. I learned this week to be open to constructive guidance and accept support when it is offered. Most importantly, I learned this week to always speak from my heart with confidence, authenticity and honesty even when I am briefing the big cheese in the organization😊

I write about self awareness a lot on this blog. I write about it so much because I truly believe self awareness is the key to growth and development. I think it’s especially important to practice self awareness in our careers. I admire leaders who encourage self awareness. How can you grow if you refuse to see yourself as you are instead of how you perceive yourself to be? How can you grow if leave no room for inner reflection and self knowledge? How can you be empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others including your employees if you can’t even acknowledge your own needs and desires? It’s with this new self awareness I will be moving into the future and evaluating upcoming career opportunities.

Do you celebrate your career accomplishments? Do you honor who you are while making career decisions? What legacy will you be leaving to the folks who will step into your shoes? Do you encourage your employees to leave a legacy? When you talk to employees, do you ask thoughtful questions and give helpful insights? Do you help them define success in their careers or projects? And is your definition of success in alignment with the folks around you? Do you practice self awareness as a leader or in your life?

I chose “Blackbird” by the Beatles for this post. It was written by Paul McCartney during the Civil Rights movement after seeing a black women arrested for sitting on a bench in a “white” section of a park in the United States. As a highly sensitive, empathic feeler, the current political climate is causing me a bit of anxiety.  I worry about our Democracy and the inflammatory rhetoric used by leaders against the Press and to stoke right extremists.  And now, a “USA Today” Op-Ed full of outright lies that many will believe on the surface without questioning. He’s gaslighting our nation.  I urge people to fact check politicians.  Even worse are the rich GOPers who only care about the economy and their own economic interests; turning a blind eye to everything else because life is good for them. I’ve been pulling away from people who lack a social conscience and put money & power over people. If you recall, fair haired white people were living good lives and turning blind eyes while 600K Jews were executed. I do not think our President is a horrible human being but I do think he lacks social consciousness.  Money and power are his Gods and rulers.  He’s willing to exploit the right extremist groups to win and aligns himself with Dictators.  The Senate and/or House needs to be a different party to separate and diffuse his power as well as bring accountability & transparency back in DC. November 6th is my sister, Sandy’s, birthday. I am hoping her spirit brings us luck and change. Stop the #trumpcult 🌊#votethemout 🌊💙

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Self Care Sunday – Are you being called to “wake up”?

Healing

This Self Care Sunday I offer some thoughts on how I practiced restraint in my communications and I offer some food for thought on “waking up” or higher consciousness.

I’ve needed to practice restraint in how I am handling conversations regarding politics lately. I really have no tolerance for folks who don’t do their own research, propagate divisive rhetoric and are contributing to the crisis our nation is encountering. I wish folks would take a moment before sharing inflammatory posts and I especially wish politician would stop using inflammatory rhetoric. I think it’s important for folks on both sides to realize the power of words, images and even memes. I believe demonizing people only adds to the polarity and it’s just mean.

If you read this blog, it’s not a secret I am a Democrat. I consider myself moderate and I have at times voted Republican but I will be honest. The events of the last few weeks have pushed me a little further to the left. Rather than arguing with my Red friends, I am choosing to peacefully coexist or disengage. Getting into debates and arguments is not worth my time or energy; it will only further divide us and possibly damage our friendships permanently. It doesn’t have be that way. Neither one of us are going to change our views but it is starting to feel like we no longer have anything in common – maybe we never did and I am only now accepting that truth.

Perhaps it’s idealist – but I believe people should always come before money and power. I am firmly Pro Choice. Abortion is not nor has ever been an option for me personally. I do, however, believe in a woman’s right to choose what’s best for her body. I believe men should stand together with women against sexual assault and for women’s rights. I believe in the separation of power. I believe the Senate has Constitutional responsibility to keep the President in check but our current Senate seems to be more concerned with obtaining power and control. Lastly, I believe the Supreme Court of the United States should been held in the highest esteem and only have the most reputable Judges holding the seats. This doesn’t seems like a lot to ask. Sorry, but there are other well qualified conservative judges with less baggage, who are less controversial and who could have made it through the confirmation process with Democratic support just like Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is conservative, got democratic support and didn’t divide our nation. So why Kavanaugh – especially with all of his baggage that is going to follow him onto the Court? Why do the Republicans want him on the Court is my question… I have my own conspiracy theories about Presidential Pardon Power being expanded to the States in an upcoming case in front of the Court. Hopefully, one of the other judges pulls to left to offset this guy….So, yes! I’ve been practicing restraint and holding my words. Just because I am silent doesn’t mean I didn’t notice something; I am just taking care of myself by not wasting my time or energy acknowledging it.

I’ve been practicing restraint in my use of social media to protect myself as well. This includes ensuring that I do not like, share, tweet, retweet or engage on social media while at work or during official work hours. That’s just a good self care for anyone…period. Protecting your livelihood should come first; advocating smartly for causes that speak to your soul should come second. While I may scroll through my Twitter feed during the day, I do not engage until I am off and away from work. Generally, I consider all of my Tweets to be temporary. I eventually delete them all. I clean them up every month, if not sooner. It’s been four days since I deactivated Facebook. I don’t miss it. I realize now that checking Facebook was just a habit. I didn’t enjoy it; I used it as a distraction or when I wanted a break from what I was doing. I did it out of habit. I like having less noise in my life. I haven’t been posting to Instagram lately. The account only has one post on it. I still like to scroll and get inspiration from other posts but I am not interested in posting there for now. A smaller social media footprint feels like better self care for me. I am in touch with the folks I want to be in touch with. I don’t need to be “Fakebook” friends just to be connected to folks. While I am enjoying less social media, I do also enjoy writing this blog. I’ll continue with at least two posts per week – every Sunday and at least one mid week.

I spent the better part of three months deleting all of my activity from Facebook. I still felt a bit creeped out and decided to finally deactivated it. I don’t need Facebook owning my data since we now know they can’t be trusted. I also don’t use Google anymore. I use DuckDuckGo or FireFox Focus Privacy Browsers for web searches; neither retains your information and both block tracking. You can add DuckDuckGo to Safari on Apple devices or add the DuckDuckGo app to your dock. I wish I could disable the new Presidential alerts. I’ve managed without them so far just fine. Getting them just tells me they can hack into our phones whenever they want. Something about that seems like a violation of privacy and is creepy! I feel bad for the younger generations. They won’t have any privacy and will be tracked and monitored their entire lives.

Well, on to my next topic – food for thought about higher consciousness…

I would like to offer some food for thought for those who may be struggling with spiritual awakenings and higher consciousness issues. It’s is said the family member who “wakes up” first is the one in isolation. In other words, when someone is removed from the noise that surrounds their regular daily life, they are able to hear the truth in the Universe and within themselves. That happened to me when I distanced myself from a group of friends and moved to my condo five years ago. Once I started to spend more time alone and focused on self growth and development, my awareness opened and I started changing. I am stronger and back into alignment with my true self.

Some folks never wake up. They don’t want to wake up. While others of us, have no choice.
Once awakening starts, it is hard to stop but the choice is always yours. Often God will make you uncomfortable until you have the courage to see it’s time to let go and change. Sometimes letting go becomes your only choice. A “spiritual” awakening is far from pretty. It’s messy, stressful and often turns your life upside down. The worst part is you start seeing your own bullshit and the darkness comes to light to be healed. That’s not alway fun. For me, I ended relationships and friendships. Changed jobs. Started letting myself deal with repressed anger and feelings from sexual assaults, loss and grief. But I am honesty happier and better off for going through it and having the courage to sit in self awareness.

If you let yourself go for the ride and surrender into it, if you let your eyes and awareness open, it’s a truly a beautiful experience. While I will say I had a lot of fun in the past, it’s today that I feel the most at peace and the most authentic. It’s in the peacefulness of my condo as I write this blog that I find my own voice. It’s without comparing my life to others on Facebook that I find acceptance and peace. It’s in helping others step into their power and find their voice, I find my strength. Make no mistake, I am here to change the world in some way. I am here to be a force to be reckoned with. I am here to be a warrior, lover and an inspiration. I am here to change the world even if it’s just my little corner of it. Will you awaken and help me? Will you help me make the world a better place with your light? Will you put people before money and power? Will you bring light into world and instead of selfishness and darkness? Will you “wake up” with me?

Does this resonant with you? Are you feeling a shift or does it feel more like an earthquake? If so, take some time in silence to hear what your soul is trying to tell you. Are you willing to surrender? Does it make you sad to see things change? Have you reached acceptance yet? These defining moments in our lives are extremely stressful but also are the moments where we grow into the powerful beings God always intended us to be.

To harness your own power and manage your thoughts in times of uncertainly, I would suggest using affirmations. If you start seeing repetitive number sequences please know you are being called to “wake” up. It usually starts with 11:11. That was the first one I noticed a few years ago. Now I see all of them all day long. 222 and 2222 are my favorite repetitive number sequence. When you see a repetitive number sequence, say an affirmation to direct your thoughts or create an intention. When I see 222 or 2222, I say my favorite affirmation.

EVERYTHING IS ALWAY WORKING OUT FOR MY HIGHEST GOOD. THE LOVE I GIVE IS RETURNED

If you need an affirmation to keep your thoughts positive, try using this one or create one for yourself. If you need support, reach out to someone who has been through this type of change. Also, there are lots of Instagram accounts with some really great info on awareness, consciousness, spiritual awakening, 11:11and the Universe. Starting following some of them. If you know me personally, please feel free to call or text me for support or just to chat about things. As far as my personal coaching business, I am not taking new clients for a while. I have to take care of some health stuff. I should also note too that I only take clients who are personally referred to me by family or friends. I can gladly give referrals to other great coaches. Feel free to reach out to me through the “Contact Me” page for a referral.

Well, after the new judge was confirmed I was nauseated. I practiced good self care by turning off the TV and staying off of Twitter all night. Instead I watched “A Wrinkle In Time” on Netflix. I decompressed by writing this blog and listening to my favorite music which is on the mellow side and is 70s folk/rock. 70s music speaks to my soul. If I had to name my top favorite songs of all time, in no particular order it would be these:

Taxi – Harry Chapin
Come in from the cold – Joni Mitchell
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
You’re my home – Billy Joel
Love Ballad – LTD
Me & Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
What’s going on – Marvin Gaye
Leaving on a jet plane – Peter, Paul and Mary
Wooden Ships, Carry On, Woodstock and Ohio by Crosby, Still & Nash
River, Help Me, Both Sides Now, Woodstock – Joni Mitchell
Can’t find my way home – Blind Faith
Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Shooting Star – Bad Company
If loving you is wrong – Luther Ingram

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Taxi from Harry Chapin brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. I was in grade school the first time I heard it. The woman I babysat for was drinking a glass a wine and listening to it when I walked in the door of her home. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “just a beautifully sad song; listen to the story.” She was right. It’s a beautifully sad song… I will never forget that.

Self Care Sunday – PTSD, Healing and a Call To Action

Stop Kavanaugh

Image is from The Chronicle Herald

On this Self Care Sunday, I am filled with incredible sadness. I am sad that “win at all costs” politics made a woman sit front of a Senate Committee on National television and speak of her deepest darkest pain. I am sad that a man, who may or may not be innocent, had to be on National television having his reputation destroyed. I am sad this triggered such a visceral response in me. I am sad it’s triggering pain from my own assaults. I am sad for so many people who are reliving traumas. I am sad politics have come to this in our Nation when it didn’t have to come to this. Or did it?

Did politics in our country have to come to such a new low for society to collectively awaken to what extremist partisanship is doing to the nation? Did this have to happen to galvanize a movement of women and men in unity to take a stand against sexual assault and change a Nation? Did politics have to come to such dark place that two women screaming in an elevator were the only people to get through to one, just one, sensitive Senator with a conscious, who was visibly distressed enough to pause. Was that the only way for us to move towards healing? Did Partisanship have to get this ugly in order to wake people up? Did this darkness have to come to light for transformation? I am hoping so but only time will tell.

As this has been playing out; I’ve been triggered. Triggered with flashbacks. Triggered with anger. It triggered pain that I stuffed down and ignored for years. With the help of my long term therapist, some courage and a determination to heal, I’ve been allowing myself to feel whatever comes up. I am no longer stuffing it down. I’ve been letting myself be sad. I’ve been unearthing pain. I’ve been sitting with how it affected my life and how it impacted my relationships with men. I’ve been letting the darkness come to light. I am opening myself to healing emotionally and spiritually to hopefully heal my physical body too.

I had a session with my therapist on Friday. It was helpful. I relayed to her that so much of Dr. Ford’s testimony was familiar to me. I relayed I had similar experiences with anxiety, PTSD and memories that never go away. My therapist said to me, “do you realize that this is the first time in the five years you’ve been coming to me that you’ve talked this openly for this long about these events?” I didn’t realize it. In the five years I’ve been seeing her, I always tipped toed around the sexaul assault would never actually talk about it. We’ve talked about so many other things but I shut down as soon as that topic came up. She never pushed; she would say something for my awareness but not push me to talk about it. It didn’t occur to me that I was finally able to talk about it without feeling ashamed, without feeling angry, without feeling sad and without feeling embarrassed. I wasn’t even crying. Maybe I am healing. It was in that moment I started to feel a bit freer. My soul was feeling lighter and perhaps healing. As raw and emotional I’ve been, I haven’t let it pull me down into the rabbit hole of depression like it normally would. I have been having anxiety, mild depression, sadness and flashbacks but I am not stuck there.

After my session on Friday, I ran into a male friend. We knew we had similar views so we started chatting about the last week. He is a sweet kind man; I am very comfortable being around him. I trust him and know I am always safe with him. In that conversation, I found myself telling him what happened to me over 30 years ago and how this last week has been affecting me. As I stood there exposed and vulnerable, I also felt safe. Shortly after I told him my story, He then told me his story… He started by saying only his wife and family knew and he didn’t tell them until he was in his 30s. The event happened when he was child. We witnessed for each other and perhaps helped each heal a by sharing in a safe space with another survivor. The survivor movement, #metoo #timesup, is bigger than just women; it’s men too. No one should be ashamed if it happened to them and they should know they have community of support out there ready to give them a safe space to talk about it.

I had another conversation with a woman who was also sexaully assaulted, it was almost like she wanted vengeance against her attacker with the Kavanuagh nomination. She couldn’t get vengeance against her attacker so she wanted to block the Kavanuagh nomination even without having evidence other than Dr. Ford’s testimony. I am more pragmatic about things. I think there needs to be a thorough unobstructed investigation. I also beleive Kavanuagh deserves respect. Even as a survivor I am empathetic and compassionate to what this must be doing to him and his family. I do not believe people should be punished for their past the rest of their lives. I certainly would not want my past unearthed on National TV. This doesn’t mean I support the Kavanuagh nomination, it just means I do not believe in an “eye for an eye”. He deserves compassion and empathy as a human being.

Well, I realized on Saturday that is far from over. It’s actually just getting started. The more the Republicans try to push his nomination forward, the more they are galvanizing the movement against them. Do a complete and thorough investigation. Do not obstruct it in any way. Let the facts come out, let the FBI follow whatever lead they get. Give these folks voice or they will just keep going after them and his judgeship will be tainted. How does that impact the image of SCOTUS? I just don’t understand how the Reps can’t see this. Perhaps they don’t have a backup plan so they have to stick with him. I won’t be protesting and I need to be careful what I do publically because of my job but I will be voting straight Blue for the rest of my life after this.

I am also seeing is that many of my friends who are white women over 50 do not believe Dr. Ford and support Kavanaugh. Either they are hard core Republicans, in subserivant relationships or they have never been sexaully assaulted. What I am also observing is this younger generation is pissed off. The only difference is the younger folks are armed with Social Media and are willing drop everything for a good protest. I also would advocate for younger folks to start running for office. What was so apparent was the age of the folks on the Judiciary Committee. No offense to anyone, but the younger generation needs to see their peers on these committees instead of a bunch of white guys over 50.

On this Self Care Sunday I have the below Call To Actions:

For men:
I call upon the men who are reading this blog to open yourself to awareness and audit how you treat women. Do you yell? Do you dismiss them? Are you a choir boy in public but physically or verbal abusive in private? Are you respectful? Can you be sensitive to a woman’s pain? I ask you to talk to your children. Explain to your boys how women should be treated and explain to your girls how they should be treated by a man. If you have been a victim of sexual assault, don’t stuff it down. Seek a safe person to confide in and work towards healing. As we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

For Women:
I call upon women reading this blog to ask themselves if they are being treated appropriately by the men in their lives? Are you safe? Are you being physically or verbally abused? Do you tolerate men yelling at you? I call upon you to set an example for the younger women. Do not let another generation be subjected to abuse or assaults. Make sure you sons and daughters know it’s not ok for anyone to grope them. It’s not ok for anyone touch them. It’s not ok for anyone tolerate rape in any circumstances. Above all, make sure children know it is ok for them to speak up and seek help if they are attacked.

Women, You need to know, if you are in a relationship were you being treated poorly, it’s ok to leave. If that man truly loves you, he will want to change to keep you. Otherwise, you are better off without him. Trust me, you are better off alone than in a relationship with a man who disrespects you. As we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

If you think something that happened to a person while they were 15 years old doesn’t matter, I can tell you it does matter and it affects people for the rest of their lives.

Remember this —

As we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

NOTES:

I chose the above image because perception is often another’s person’s reality. Most of women in the Nation are perceiving the GOP is silencing them.

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Quote

Self Care Sunday – September 23, 2018

Self Care Sunday art

This Self Care Sunday is complicated for me for a few reasons. I am just not sure what to do next. I am getting a bit overwhelmed and decided to give into a bit on Saturday. I slept most of the day and watched a few episodes of “The Tunnel: Season 3 – Vengeance” on Amazon Prime which took my mind off of most stuff 🙂

My self care this week has actually been pretty good – all things considered. Being in DC Sunday to Tuesday kept my mind off of the health issues and I felt pretty good while I was there. It was actually the best trip to DC I’ve had so far. I LOVED the Museum of the Bible. The Conference I attended on Monday was extremely beneficial. I declined the group dinner invitation and opted for a solo meal (Salmon Cobb Salad=delicious) at my hotel’s bar where I ran into a coworker also in town. We chatted one on one quietly for a bit which was nice. I was in my room by 6:45pm exhausted, talked out and over peopling for the day. The below meme is a true accurate depiction of how I felt Monday night in my hotel room.

Empaths

I felt some mental junk creeping up on me on Wednesday so I focused myself on writing sexy poetry for Blue Love. That made me happy. Writing poetry always makes me happy and raises my vibration. I especially enjoy writing Blue Love Poetry. It’s been a long time since I wrote a spicy poem and it was nice to feel that energy in me again. I need those blue eyes and that erotic stimulation my life.

By Thursday, I started to feel some uneasiness creep up into my soul. The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation stuff and sexual assault allegation started to trigger PTSD from my own assaults. My therapist told me when things come up I need to sit with it, feel it and not stuff the emotions down anymore. The only way to heal is to let it come up into the light. The next few paragraphs are emotionally heavy. I hope by writing this it helps me heal and maybe inspires others to start their healing journey as well…so here it goes…

First, please take some time and read the Twitter #whyididntreport stories. There are hundreds of thousands stories of unreported sexual assaults, painful stories, from both women and men. Feel their pain and then you may understand what it is like to be in our shoes. So here’s some of my story. It happened twice. I told family. The first time no one believed me. They said I must have been confused. He was drunk and he didn’t mean. Since I wasn’t hurt and was able to fight him off nothing bad really happened to me. So — How do you think that made me feel? How do you think I felt knowing they basically thought I was a liar and continued to allow him to live in our house.

Telling me I was confused and defending him made them feel better until it happened a second time. By the grace of God, there were witnesses the second time. It couldn’t be ignored. I was injured. People knew, I confronted him both times. It’s our family’s little secret. I never contacted the police or the FBI because my family didn’t want anyone to know. Believe me EVERYONE wanted to push it aside, act as if it didn’t happen and move on. It’s a little more complicated when it’s relative. It’s a little more complicated when everyone assumed I overreacted the first time and even said I was confused. They basically blew it off until the second time it happened. The second time I was injured physically, mentally and spiritually. I was lucky that witnesses heard the noise, saved me and had him removed from the house forever the second time. However, that night was the end of the conversation. That was the end of any acknowledgement of what happened to me. No one wanted to talk about it after that night. They thought removing him was enough and that I wasn’t scarred. I was expected to let it go, move on and make holidays nice for the rest of family for the rest of my life and pretend for everyone that everything was forgiven.

I pretended to forgive. I stuffed it down as far as I could. I’ve been in therapy at least four times since I was 21 years old. I attempted suicide once in my 20s and a second time in my 30s. I must not have been meant to die because I was found both times. I acted out sexually in my 20s and early 30s. I accepted poor treatment from men my entire life because I felt I was damaged and didn’t believe I deserved any better. I carried the burden and paid for his actions my entire life. He’s moved on just fine. I am the one with PTSD and lost any opportunity to have a normal life with a man. I am the one who lost it all while he walks around like king.

It was only a few months ago that I allowed myself to really start to feel this pain and allow this darkness to come up and out of me for healing. I’ve been working through it with my therapist. We agreed it is not worth addressing anything with him again. He will never own is actions nor take responsibility for what he did to me. I did, however, need to re-address it with my Mother which I did about a year ago. I spent over two hours walking her through the events and how it affected my life and my relationships with men my entire life. She always was disappointed I never married and never had children. It was in this conversation she started to understand why. It was in this conversation she could feel my pain. She started to understand how those events impacted my life and what it is like to live with those memories. My mother is significantly more compassionate and empathetic towards me since this conversation. We are closer than we have ever been. I do not blame her but I still needed to be sure she understood me. As she sobbed and said “I’m sorry” over and over again, I didn’t feel validated. I felt sad for everything that was lost because of those events.

My therapist and I were talking about my relationships with men in my last appointment. She looked at me and said, “any man you allow into your life now will need to be REALLY special. You deserve someone special who you can trust enough to let him help you through the anxieties and flashbacks.” Then she said, “Linda, you deserve someone special who can be a friend and a lover; who will treat you with compassion, respect and tenderness.”

Yes, the allegation made by Dr. Ford against Brett Kavanaugh triggered me because I can related to stuffing it down. I can relate to not being able to acknowledge your truth. Mostly, I can relate to how Dr. Ford must have felt when Kavanaugh was nominated; seeing him become the judge on the highest court in our country knowing what he did to her as a woman. Knowing he would vote on cases that involve women. I can relate to a dam breaking inside of her.

The truth is we do not know with absolute certainty the truth between Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. That’s why an investigation and interviewing witnesses would be helpful. It shouldn’t be rushed. The GOP is pushing a vote through even though they don’t know the whole truth just means they don’t care; getting him in position on SCOTUS to overturn Roe vs. Wade is the top thing on their agenda to appease their hardliners and their base just before mid-terms. That is the truth. It’s all about politics and abortion.

Grey haired old men ramming a judge onto SCOTUS to make decisions about the bodies of women should outrage all women. Honestly, GOP women and men who are supporting him without even knowing if he is guilty means they care more about winning and politics than the well-being of women. I also think they probably never have been a victim of a sexual assault. I believe anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault would want to know the truth. A real man stands with women against sexual assault.

Let me say, I do not condone nor support extreme politics or the “win at all costs” energy coming from either side in Washington. I am more moderate. If these allegation are proven to be false, that would be huge step back. Brett Kavanaugh deserves to be treated fairly as does his accuser. Investigate it! Let’s also remember Gov background checks only go back to 18 years old. This supposedly happened when he was 17 years old and it would have been out of scope of his six earlier background checks. Also, new revelations about his high school year book have his references to “Devil’s triangle”. I’ll let you guys Google that as I don’t want to define it here. His college Frat had a motto, “no means yes and yes mean anal.” He also has a history of gambling debt and alcoholism. If you want to be SCOTUS, you are and should be held to a higher standard. Even if the allegations aren’t true, he is still unfit for SCOTUS. Do women really want this guy making decision about their bodies???? I DO NOT.

Believe me, I knew boys like Kavanaugh and his friends. I went to a catholic college. I went to a frat party one night as a freshman. I didn’t understand why none of the boys were talking to me then one of the guys told me it was “Ugliest girl night”. That meant the boys each put $10 into a pot and whoever had sex with the ugliest girl at the party won the pot. My friend told me I was too pretty and that’s why the boys were not talking to me. I then noticed boys talking to two of my friends. I told my friends I was sick and asked them to leave with me so I could get them out of there. Later that semester that same Frat was put on suspension because members were caught carrying a girl wrapped in a blanket across the quad in the early morning. She had been drugged and raped. I also personally know someone who was raped at a party by those same frat boys. She left school that semester and didn’t come back. She still can’t talk about it.

As mentioned above, take a few minutes and visit Twitter; search on #whyididntreport. Perhaps open a dialogue with the women in your life, especially your daughters. Find out if it happened to them. If it did, give them a safe place to release the pain. Empathy, compassion and being a good human comes before politics. Just because someone was good to you doesn’t mean they weren’t bad to someone else.

Whyididntreport twitter#whyididntreport – http://www.twitter.com
Twitter – #whyididntreport

Self care is not just about taking care of your physical body. For true healing, sometimes we have to be willing to feel, confront and live with our darkest pain to finally be free. I started Self Care Sunday with breakfast with my neighbors and other locals at the cafe up the street from me. I wrote this blog post to let it all out today. I will watch the Eagles Game because I enjoy football and I am a lifelong Eagles fan and I will try to stay off of news and Twitter for day to give myself some space.

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Self Care Sunday

This Self Care Sunday morning finds me on a train to DC trying to type while I’m rocking back and forth 😂 I have to meet someone at 7:30am tomorrow so I was given comp time and permission to travel today.

Things that made me happy this week were: the absolutely perfect weather this weekend. I enjoyed being outside yesterday. I also went shopping for a new work clothes and a robe. I stumbled across a delicious baby doll nitey. Out of curiosity I tried it on. I look boobilicious in it and fits me really well 😂 While I had no one to model it for Saturday night,I bought it anyway because it made me happy and made me feel sexy 🔥 Who knows maybe Blue Love will need a private fashion show from me in my see through baby doll soon – I like to be prepared and feel sexy 🔥😈Anyways, it made me feel happy and sexy to buy and wear it around the house. Hahahaha 😊💙 I am also happy I am finally going to the Museum of the Bible today in DC. I pass it a lot while in DC since it’s near work but this is the first time I can visit😊

What’s bringing me peace today? hmm? In some aspects I have peace and feel peace in my life. In other ways, things are churning in me and around me. As I allow this to come to my awareness, I am recognizing I’m feeling some instability in my life and it’s starting to feed into feelings of anxiety which means it’s time for me to create stability in my life.

Where do I feel things aren’t stable enough for me? Professionally is the biggest “grey” area of my life. Don’t get me wrong. I will not be losing my job. My job is secure. However, where I work in the “company” is in transition. I’ve been on a long term temp assignment for 8 months. I have 4 months to go. Not knowing what’s going to happen with it is causing me some anxiety. I took the opportunity to initiate conversations around the topic. I am glad I did because things started to become clear for me. As a result, I am now in consideration for a couple permanent opportunities; one of them could be my dream job 😊

It was good self care for me to have the awareness to see and admit the situation I am in is causing stress and anxiety. I was good self care for me to have the courage to initiate the conversations. It was good self care to reach acceptance that I need stability in my career. It’s been a fun ride but it’s time for me to wrap it up. I am happy that this experience is leading to opportunities I would not have had without the exposure this temporary assignment gave me. Hopefully, I will know where I am landing in the next few weeks.It’s exciting and makes me happy 😊😊

My health is not stable right now. I noticed today that I have more energy and my stomach is feeling a little better than it did. It’s better but not 100%. A good flare up of Gastritis with LPR can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to resolve. My Doc called for me to come in and discuss biopsy results from my Endoscopy. I go 9/21. I would be shocked if I had Cancer. I really don’t think that’s what he wants to tell me. I do believe we need to change my meds, I may need another procedure and he may want me to have an Oncology consult. I am not really worrying about this too much. I’ve been able to put it out of my mind thanks to the exciting developments at work. I just want to get back to feeling good and figuring out what is causing this brutal flare up.

Poetry always makes me happy. I Included a Blue Love Haiku on this post. In case you missed it, my last post was a new original Poem, “Return To Love – Blue Love Poetry”. Scroll down to read it.

How have you practiced good self care this week? What is making you happy this week? What’s exciting you? Would a see through baby doll nitey excite you? 😂😂💙🔥🔥😘😘

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7pm update: One of my favorite Gospel songs, “Wayfaring Stranger” is featured in the Museum of Bible. So much to see there on this visit. I’ll have to come back a few times😊 I LOVED it. I also felt spiritually connected there. The Nazareth Village of Israel on the third floor is AMAZING🙌🙌🙌 It could be my DC happy place- I really am a nerd 🤓 Also, I need to read Deuteronomy! Every Bible verse quote I really like came from that book and I loved the 11:11 in this one! The next Museum I want to visit in DC is Newseum 😊I walked past it tonight after it closed.

Deuteronomy 11:11

Self Care Sunday – Happy, Peace, Fire

Eckhart Tolle Quote

I’ve been writing about heavy stuff lately.  I want to write lighter for this Self Care Sunday.  Here are some things that make me happy, bring me peace and set me on fire. These lists are not all inclusive but a start towards remembering what makes me happy and makes me who I am 🦋

Things that make me happy: 😊
Writing ✍️ Writing makes me happy.  Writing is my art.  It’s how I adapt in this crazy world. It’s how I express myself. It’s how I process situations and emotions. It’s how I heal. I write on my blog and I write in my journal.  When I write – this goes for work and at home, I prefer to use only blue pens 💙 I especially love blue gel ink pens.  They write smooth.  It may seem weird or OCD to have such a ritual but I don’t like black ink – period 😂

The first sip of coffee each day ☕️ There’s something about that first sip that makes me happy and comforted all at the same time. The rest of the cup is great too but that first sip is the best part. I also love the smell of coffee. I prefer Dark Roast coffee. Dark Roast is bolder, has more flavor, less acidity and less caffeine which means I can tolerate a large DD or Wawa Dark Roast coffee without any negative effects 😊☕️ If the coffee is organic and single origin, that’s even better.

Fresh clean sheets 🛏 I hate making the bed. It’s big and has a few layers but once it is made with fresh seats it extremely comfy and cozy.

Living on the beach 🌊 I love living on the beach. I also love living in an area of the country that is so accessible to so many major cities, mountains and beaches. More importantly, I love the change of seasons. I like a rainy day like today. I like a hot sunny beach or pool day. I like a chilly day with with boots and hats. I like snow. The perfect day for me is around 70 – 75 degrees and sunny 😊

My Mom calling me honey😊 “Hiya, Honey!  How ya doin?”  That’s what I hear on the other end of the phone.  It always makes me happy.  My Mother and I have had some crazy battles with each other.  My Mom LIKES TO FIGHT!  No joke, she will take you out!  We both can have a tendency to swing first and ask questions later but I have learned to control that impulse. My Mom, however, will go a few rounds before even thinking of asking the questions. Fighting is cathartic for her; I think it’s probably why she’s 79 years old and healthy. Family members routinely try to slide out of her crosshairs before she really gets going on something. If you can go a few rounds with her once in a while, she will love and respect you forever.

Mom and I have said horrible things to each other, embarrassed ourselves and the entire family in public and at parties with our antics but it’s been a fun ride with her.  I was outside of work one day having a screaming match with her when a coworker/friend walked out.  My coworker asked if I was ok.  I said, “It’s ok. It’s just a crazy old lady driving me nuts.”  My coworker laughed.  My Mom said to me on the phone, “Really Linda?  The old lady comment was a low blow!”  We laughed.  It was over and we moved on to another topic.  That’s how we’ve always gotten along. We fight, bicker and annoy each other. Mom is no weak flower.  I am grateful that 4’11” Blue Eyed firecracker is my Mom. The below photo of my Mom and I was taken yesterday at a 30th birthday party for my niece’s fiancé 😂💙

Hanging out with my sisters 💙 Sandy passed away in 1999.  I have two sisters living.  DJ (Diane) is a straight shooter, like Mom. If you don’t want to hear the truth about something, don’t talk to Diane.  She’s full of common sense and will gladly set you straight on any topic.  Terri is my silly sister. She’s the one always made me laugh in church and then I got into trouble. Terri is funny. When Sandy was intensive care the last week of her life, Terri and I were breaking the tension by being silly.  We were making blowfish on the window of the room.  Well, all we heard Diane say was, “you two are fucking idiots” but she also was laughing.  My sisters have been my biggest fans and most loyal trusted friends.  They make me happy.

Signs 🌟 I ask my angels and guides for signs. It makes me happy to receive signs from spirits and intuition. I ask mostly ask for repetitive number and coins as my signs. 222 is my favorite repetitive number series. 222 is symbolic of partnership, love and highest good. When I receive 222 or see 222, I always say to myself, “Everything is always working out for my highest good. The love you give is returned.”💙🦋

Things that bring me peace: 🙏
Writing ✍️ Writing brings me peace. It’s cathartic.  I share my deeply personal stories and thoughts to heal myself, bring myself peace and perhaps help others heal too.

The stillness of early morning just before sunrise 🌅 It’s my favorite time of day. I switched my work schedule almost ten years ago so I would be up at or before 5:00am on work days. I like the early morning peacefulness in the office. I like driving early in the morning and driving while the sun is coming up. I also like sunset and the slow down that occurs in the evening just before dark.

My Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp 🔮 I love the warm glow in the room when that light is the only light I have on at night. Having bright lights on at night is too stimulating. I like warm mellow lighting in general.

Prayer, Mediation and Mantras 🙏💙 I talk to angels and guides all day long.  I pray throughout the day.  It brings me peace. It stabilizes me on tough days, it motivates me when I need a lift, it centers me when I need to be grounded and calm.  Through prayer, I can be the eye of the storm.

Things that light me up and set me on fire:🔥

Knowledge and learning 🌟🌸 I love to learn. I want to expand my awareness and consciousness. The more self aware we are as individuals the better we are as citizens and leaders in society. Take our President for example. A little self awareness on his part would go a long way. Every good thing that has been accomplished by him is being overshadowed by impulsiveness, rhetoric and over reactivity.

Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl, beautifully said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space…In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and freedom.” Choose your response instead of reacting in the moment is the lesson in his words. You can control the narrative and shift the conversation in your favor with a calm controlled response.

I grew up in a “swing first; ask questions later family” I trained myself over the years to not react. I had to have the self awareness to see I was a reactor and then learn to pull back. I had to learn to strategize the best way to respond instead running down the hall to flip out on someone or firing off a heated text or Tweet. Folks who tend to be hot heads benefit having people who can talk them back in their close circles. Anyone who intentionally fires you up, instigates you and intentionally points you in someone’s direction, is NOT a good influence. Self awareness is the hallmark of good leader and it also includes looking at your circle to be sure you surround yourself with good calming influences. Self awareness is key. Control the narrative. This is a little of the “coach” in me coming out on this topic. 😊

Growth 🌟🌸 Personal Growth through adversity, tapping into my highest good and using every last drop of my own personal power lights my soul on fire. Professional growth is also important to me. I currently find myself in a unique position professionally. While I am advocating for approval for a project I care about, I am also considering career paths that could be open to me at the end of the temporary assignment. I am not sure my current role will stay a full time gig. In my current Org, there are other opportunities in Leadership Development where I could use my coaching certification. There are opportunities as program manager and project lead in other areas. I have an interest in the Chief of Staff role. The current actor is only there temporarily. I am curious what experience would I have to gain to end up in that role. It’s nice to have options and somewhere to grow 🦋💙🌟👍

Poetry 🦋💙 Writing poetry is my art.  My soul speaks through my prose. It’s truly my passion.

Service 🙏 Being of service to others, helping people reach their highest good, motivating people, inspiring people and witnessing for people sets my soul on fire and is extremely rewarding to me.

Blue Love sets me on fire 💙His eyes light a match in me 🔥

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DISCLAIMER: Views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

Viktor Frankel quote

Rainer Maria Rilke Quote

Self Care Sunday – Ge’ah

Art

Ge’ah
She moves
Through me
As a force
Of Nature
Yet
Lovingly
Guiding me
Ge’ah

She dances
In my
Soul
Sways my hips
To the
Rhythm
Of the Universe
And
Divine creation
Ge’ah

She rises
In me
As a Phoenix
With
Power and
Self Confidence
Tempered
With grounded humility
Ge’ah

She is
Fire
The fire
In my belly
The fire
In my eyes
The fire
That burns
In my soul
With
The alchemy
Of love
Ge’ah

She is
The love
That is rooted
Deep in
My heart
Igniting
Passion
Stirring
The pot
Of love and lust
With the
Divine
Feminine power
That is
Within me
Ge’ah
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NOTE

Ge’ah ~ means strong feminine power in Hebrew.

This Self Care Sunday I call upon Ge’ah to move through me, empower me, energize me and stabilize me as I move through this time of my life.
_____

If you have been reading my blog regularly, you know that I’ve been working through some heavy dark issues in my life lately. I’ve chosen to share the work I am doing within myself on this blog as my way to heal and perhaps help others through my own experiences. Maybe reading my story and seeing how I am working towards healing will help someone else have the courage to do the same.

I’m not afraid to go to the dark places within myself. I am not afraid anymore. I don’t really feel like I have a choice anymore. It rose up for a reason. I can no longer push it down. Heavy emotions and feelings around things that happened to me in the past have come to the surface of my consciousness; to ignore them would be denying myself an opportunity to deeply heal.

The emotions I’ve been feeling lately are complicated. I feel repressed anger. Disappointment in people who were supposed to love me. I feel shame, not necessarily for my actions, but for not being strong enough to let myself heal years ago. I’m cycling through depression and anxiety mixed with a bit of frustration.

The New Agey folks would say to me, “Forgive and it will set you free!” I say “FUCK THAT!” I’ve confronted my attacker twice in front of people. He’s never apologized or even acknowledge what he did even though he knows its true. I’ve learned not to expect anything from him. I just cut him out of my life like he’s a Cancer. But his actions caused trauma in my life and left scars.

Unfortunately, I have to tolerate the jackass on holidays and family parties knowing he has no remorse for what he did to me. My tolerance of him shouldn’t be mistaken for forgiveness. It’s maturity on my part. Let’s be clear. I protect myself. I won’t be alone in a room with him. I won’t drive in a car with him. I will NEVER sleep in a house he is in and for many years I would not even sit on a sofa near him. But for the sake of his family, who do not know – I’ve never told them – and for the sake of my mother, I am cordial to him. She deserves to have all of her kids together on holidays. My mother and I had a long conversation last year over coffee about those events and how they affected my life. She sat across the table from me sobbing and saying, “I’m sorry” the entire time. But she finally understood. She now understands & respects my boundaries. I will say hello and that’s about it. Cordial doesn’t mean friendly and it certainly doesn’t mean forgiveness. I’ve learned one thing through therapy. I don’t have to forgive anyone who doesn’t ask for my forgiveness or take responsibility for their actions. He’s hasn’t done either one.

What I have to do is let this darkness come up from my soul. I need to let this pain and anger see the light and be released so I can open myself to love —— I don’t have to forgive. As I work through this, I will be writing about my experiences on this blog. I am done pretending it didn’t happen. I am calling on Ge’ah to empower me to heal, release and open myself to love again.

Moving on to another topic, I’ve had long term issues with a chronic form of Gastritis. It’s been really flared up for the last couple of months. I had a Endoscopy on Thursday. When the doctor talked to me after the procedure. He told me he did biopsies but then said he didn’t want to talk too much about anything or give me any recommendations until he got the pathology back. A friend drove me home; we chatted the whole way. I came home, ate and went back to bed. Later that night I read the report from the procedure. It said they did find Gastritis but they also saw irregular cells in my stomach and Gastric Polyps. They did FIVE biopsies. That explained why my stomach was so sore. They called me early Friday morning to find out how I was doing and told me I could be sore for another day or two because they took so many biopsies. Pathology should back in a week or so. It was good thing I was off from work Friday too. I was sore well into Saturday. It’s calming down now.

The interesting thing about this is I am not even that upset or worried about it. I am so beat up it hardly affected me. I never had Gastric Polyps. I never heard of Gastric Polyps. I did have Precancerous Polyps removed from Colon five years ago. My three year check up was clean. Of course, I Googled Gastric Polyps. Apparently, they are rare. Best case scenarios are H. Pylori bacteria or a reaction to a medication. Worse case scenario is Cancer. I’ve made my peace with each scenario but I will be honest I am not up for a big long battle with Cancer. I am not. Game over.

As far as work goes, I have a feeling my project is going to be squashed by Legal or its going to be a big long fight to keep it. I would still have a position in the group just not the project that I pitched two weeks ago. I’ll know for sure this week. Honestly, I’ve put it out of my mind and have just been focusing on taking care of myself. It’ really doesn’t matter anymore.

I am open to the divine direction and will allow the Universe Flow to guide me to right position. Honestly, it’s not really about opportunities anymore for me. It’s about which group would be the healthiest and most supportive place for me to work at this time of my life. That feels like the group I am in right now. The work environment is quieter, less chaotic, not as much drama and I don’t feel taken advantage of by my management as I did in my former role. In my former group, I had two bosses who were both men. I enjoyed working for both of them. Both would remind me what was mine to do(worry about) and what was NOT mine to do (or worry about). They helped me maintain balance. I would be HAPPY to work for either one of them again. Once they both got promoted and moved on, the managers who took over for them did not shield me in any way. They just constantly asked me for more and pushed me harder. I tried to tell them what they were doing to me. They would back off for a week but then it would start all over again. For God Sake, they couldn’t even work a keyboard in briefing on their own without calling me for help. Stuff like that doesn’t happen where I work now. Also, I don’t do those stupid employee engagement surveys with the personalized link. A personalized link means it’s not anonymous 🙂

Having five days off of work has worked out good. I needed more time to heal from the Endoscopy than I originally thought I would need, I’ve been relaxing and sleeping A LOT.

As of yesterday, I decided to call on Ge’ah to help awaken the power within me. While I’ve always been a warrior, I am finding I need some assistance these days in lighting my fire. I should mention that taken to the extreme Ge’ah divine feminine power can be shown as pride and arrogance. I’m not looking for that. I just need a little power boost 🙂

If you are a personal friend, all I really need from you right now is patience, understanding, support, a reason to laugh and maybe a hug or at least a text with a smiley face 😊 Or if you are the praying type, I could use prayers too🙏

I love this Native American Proverb

Native American Proverb

“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac is for my three sisters. They’ve always protected me and have been my best friends 💙🦋 The song took on special meaning to us all during the last two weeks of Sandy’s life.