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Because You’re Magnificent…

June 2, 2016

My lovely friend, I could tell that you were still upset after our talk today. I know you are going through a really hard time; dealing with something large. Something so pressing that it feels like it is pressing through the back of your skull.

I know you have made some choices that you currently consider mistakes, and some of the consequences of those “mistakes” include some of the pain that you are going through now. This issue that has become so large and emotional that it has taken on a physical element, and it seems to move through your body when you think of it: crashing waves through the inside of your stomach.

So, you try not to think about it. But it persists. It persists because it needs your attention.

You are clearly trying to answer some questions about yourself and about life that seem unanswerable. It’s confusing. You want to do it right. You want to find the answers, and you want as few people as possible to get out of all of this frustrated, messy, confusion without being hurt. The pressure created by this confusion has created a physical pressure within your chest that seems to threaten to shatter though your breastplate each time you let yourself think about it all.

But it is safe. And you need to keep thinking about it. You can do this. You’re even lucky that you get to.

Of course, my first response is empathy. I am definitely sad for you. I can feel your pain in an exquisite way. I remember the times when I have felt the same things. The times when I was afraid I had gone too far down a certain road to justify heading back or starting over. The times when I felt afraid that I wasn’t the person I wanted to be — the person I was supposed to be — because I had done too many terrible things to myself and everyone else around me.

So yeah, I feel for you. But I am also so excited for you. Jealous even. You are in the right place. The perfect place. This not an ending. It’s a beginning. Even if it all crumbles down spectacularly around you, and you don’t know what you want or where you want to go the entire time it is falling, you are in still in the right place.

I have complete and utter faith that you will not only get through this well, but perfectly. The places that you are now in pain will soon be the places that are lively, green and growing. I know that you are in the right place because I heard you asking the right questions. And as a great friend of mine once said, “If your brain can manage the question, your soul already has part of the answer.” You just have to get your heart into it all so that your brain and soul can have a conversation.

And the truth is, where you end up and who you become may never make perfect sense to the logical bits of you that have been groomed by our families, friends and societal constructs. Heck, the things that have led you here may never make complete sense either. But I see it in you. The light. The desire. The thing that will ultimately mean that you will end up in the right spot. In the right way. With the right people intimately woven into your heart and life.

Yes, you may have to break everything open and tear it all apart in order to re-build the thing your guts are telling you you want. But your guts are right. Everything you are wanting is everything you deserve. It is everything that the Universe is dying to give you.

You are magnificent.

You are wild.

You are lovely.

You are wise.

Kind, beautiful, compassionate, smart, daring, passionate, funny, wonderful, magical, creative, powerful … and … and more. So much more. (My vocabulary really couldn’t ever do you justice.) You are so much more than I have ever seen, and so much more than you have ever seen. You are more than most people can even imagine.

But you can imagine it. You have imagined it. That life. That life that is totally you. The adventure. The passion. The joy. The friendship. You can have it. You can create it. I might go so far as to say that it is your duty to yourself and the rest of us to strive toward creating it.

And I am jealous of you. The striving. The journey. The things you will learn about yourself, about others, about the Universe if you keep imagining. If you keep asking those right questions. They are huge. The journey will be fantastic, wild and even fun. Enjoy getting “there.”

But, of course, where you are right now feels like the hard part. The dark night of the soul and all of that. And you, naturally, have some fears.

I heard you say that you are afraid to hurt anyone. That makes sense. But I really believe that if you aren’t doing what’s best for you, you aren’t doing what’s best for the people in your life. So, you have my permission to hurt other people if it is about getting yourself to the right place. If it’s about the truth. If it’s about clearing a path and cleaning up any of your “mistakes.” Go for it.

Heck, hurt me if you need to to get where you need to go — please!

I’m about due for another lesson in forgiveness, acceptance, growth. Bring it on!

I also heard you say that you are afraid to be alone. I don’t really think anyone is every totally alone. But I understand. And beyond that, I think that sometimes we have to make a place for the thing we deeply desire. A spot on the mantelpiece for the trophy you’re pursuing, perhaps? An empty space in the bed next to you in order to make room for love? Quitting a bad job, a bad friendship, a bad relationship in order to make room for the right one.

Sometimes we have allowed the wrong things to grow and they have choked out the sunlight from the place where our roses want to bloom. When that happens, it’s time to do some weed-wacking!

I know, this is a doosey of a message. And I guess the most important part is that you’ve got this. You can’t do it wrong, as long as you are doing your best. You’re amazing. I love you. I am so excited for you, and I can’t wait to see what starts to grow once you pull out all the weeds. You are magnificent. You are blooming. These pains are growing pains. I am certain of it.


You are magnificent.



What Would You Ask?

August 23, 2015
Maybe God just wants us all to start doing our cartwheels.

Maybe God just wants us all to start doing our cartwheels.

Today I have spent a significant amount of time watching Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. In one of the episodes Rainn Wilson asked her: “What one question would you ask God if you could?”

She asked “Why?” Like why all of this? “Why why why,” she said. Personally, when I hear people ask that question about existence or themselves I feel like I hear God whisper in my ear, “Why not?” And then give me a little nudge and have a giggle.

I had a little moment — like a look a person gives to a friend with whom one has an inside joke — with God. Sort of a take to the camera that says: We know why — because why not? And because you get to decide why. And I’ll back you up. It’s whyever you want, and I will help you make it mean that when you decide. Every time you decide. Even if you change your mind every time you decide.

I, me, it, we are conspiring for you, not against you. You’ve got this.

Then I started to think what would I ask God? What don’t I already know that would matter even a spec, if I were truly in the presence of a part of the Almighty that could answer back definitively? I thought it would be impossible to pick something to ask. And then suddenly a question flitted through my brain: “Am I doing this right?”

I just started bawling. I guess that’s my question if I were going to ask today.

I just cried. I let it all out before I tried to think about it, or look at the idea, or ask myself where it was coming from.

Why would I wonder that? I must be afraid that I’m doing something wrong. Or not “right” ― not perfect. And I know that I am doing well. Great in fact. But not perfect. Aw, shit! I guess my old bad habit of perfectionism persists, despite how much work I have done. Which usually means I just need to forgive myself. For today, for yesterday, for the things I didn’t plan about tomorrow.

If I could do better I would. And in the past I have done my best. If I could have done better I would have. Great life truths I didn’t realize I learned from Maya Angelou (because I actually heard Oprah say it):

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better I do better.”  ― Maya Angelou ( and Oprah on Super Soul Sunday)

Which actually leads back to something else I already know, something that one of my spiritual leaders once told me: If you can ask the question, you already have at least part of the answer growing within you.

So, Am I doing this right?

So what part of this answer do I already know?

Maybe it’s like a cartwheel. You’re doing it right even when you’re doing it wrong, because doing bad cartwheels is how you learn to do perfect ones. And hey, I’ve been wanting to do cartwheels lately. Who wants to roll with me?

Touch Not, Lest Ye Be Touched.

June 10, 2015

“I miss you…all of you.”tumblr_inline_nmq44c65UQ1t641sb_540

I typed the text message. I stared at it. I thought it. I felt it. I cried.

I didn’t hit send. But I didn’t erase it either.

I stopped. I thought, “I don’t want to reach out to him. It isn’t safe.”

He doesn’t want to be my other and I can’t be just friends.

“I just want him to know I miss him.”

Why do I want him to know? So that he will miss me? Probably.

I wonder if he does. And if he does, I wonder what it is that he misses.

My smile, my voice, my eyes, my head on his chest. I miss wrapping my arms around his waist, leaning my head back and looking up into his eyes. He would look at me and smile and stroke the sides of my face so gently that he was barely touching me. But he was really touching me so deeply that he was reaching all of me at once.

Ugh, that makes my stomach hurt because it is a cliche. Ugh, I’m a cliche.

But, how could what we had be something he could walk away from? We had it, right. We. Not just me.

Perhaps I never touched all of him like I thought I had. The way he was always touching me.

Touch not lest ye be touched.

There are “Plenty of Fish” in the Sea…

June 7, 2015

It had been two months.

I was looking around. I was trying to be open to love. One of my immediate goals after Rick broke up with me was to be complete, clean and ready for a new relationship as soon as possible, because I want to be in love. I want the adventure. I want the creative challenge. I want to grow and plant and harvest all that it is, and all that it can be.

My friend “Sarah: broke up with her man and promptly made a POF profile. After like a week. Almost immediately, she had like eight guys interested in her and about half of them were fellas that she was actually interested in.

So I started a page.

And I started trying to imagine what I wanted in a new relationship.

And I started missing Rick again. Or more. Yeah…more than I had before.

But I soldiered on. I went on some dates. A lot of dates in fact. I talked to a LOT of guys. A lot of annoying guys. I felt like the guys I was interested in weren’t interested in me…and the creepy, icky dudes that were interested in me. Well, I am not interested in them.

It is just that I’m still in love with him?

But he wasn’t an option. He didn’t want me and he already found someone else. So he’s really gone. It’s really over. Oh my stomach hurts.

So I kept trying. Trying to be open and ready and to believe that if something I want is not an option that it means that there is something better coming. God’s a fair guy after all. And there, as they say, plenty of fish in that sea.

And how do I get one of those fish on my line? (Honestly, I do have a lot of guys on the line recently…but now I don’t know what to do about that. It’s a new experience for me.)

So, the top contenders and most hilarious bozos will have a few highlights on the blog soon. Look for a little info on the Viking and Touchy Ty.

In the Silence…

June 7, 2015
This was the view out the window during meditation on Sunday. I kept thinking about the idea of releasing those dandelion seeds each with a wish attached. Letting go is still a big theme for me right now. Let it go, let it go. And make a wish.

This was the view out the window during meditation on Sunday. I kept thinking about the idea of releasing those dandelion seeds each with a wish attached. Letting go is still a big theme for me right now. Let it go, let it go. And make a wish.

As I was waiting for meditation to start this morning, I was looking out the window and looking at the flowers, thinking about a song…I had a thought.

Maybe he thought he was too damaged for me. But maybe he thinks of her as damaged too, and so he feels like they match. So he picked her.

She had screwed up her life as much, and in the same way he had, so they were in the same boat and he didn’t have to feel bad about possibly making her life worse.

That made me feel better for a moment. Because it kind of made sense, and nothing else he had said to explain why he left had made sense to me.

But what a sad idea. What a sad concept — that a person needs to be the same kind of broken as his or her significant other.

Enough Already

May 25, 2015

I have a vision that I am cultivating of swimming in a pond near a waterfall with someone I love. We are swimming around and playing tag and goofing around in the pond. We are both crazy in love with ourselves and the moment.

It’s 7:30 a.m. I’m dressed in my new Fabletics outfit, sitting at my coffee table with my bottle of water and my cup of Greek yogurt with chia seeds on top. I’m a little sore, ‘cause I am a little sore every morning before I get moving and drink some water. Plus, I’m thinking about going for a walk after I eat it.

But that’s not all I’m thinking.

I have a cacophony of thoughts running through my head that are going so fast that I can’t even identify them all. Let alone counter act them. I imagine – no, I hope – some of them are positive, uplifting, Crystal-building thoughts. But every time I am able to concentrate long enough and follow the path of one of these things long enough to catch it by the tail momentarily and look it straight in the eye, it seems to be something ugly.

How much is enough?
25 pounds is not enough.
What if you just gain it all back?
You didn’t lose any weight last week.
What if you can’t lose the rest?

What if you see him on the street?
What will you say?
Will he even notice?
Does it matter if he does?
(He always thought I was beautiful before)
You aren’t beautiful enough yet.

What if the food wins?
What are you going to do to keep this up?
Can you keep this up for the rest of your life?
You can’t.

What’s the plan?
No beef? No dairy? No gluten? No soy?
No bread, no sugar, no noodles?
Mmmm, I want noodles.

I have good thoughts that I have been intentionally cultivating. But they don’t seem to be bouncing around my head all by themselves unbidden like those horrible monsters above. And I’ve been emotional about it. And I think fear is the big emotion. And I don’t like it. I want be brave and ready and able to jump into the fray – whatever the current battle may be. Especially if it is a battle for a better version of myself and my life.

But this is getting really hard – every time I need to eat these thoughts are the ones bouncing around, and the only thought I need at that time is: What can I eat to take care of myself? I need to be ready and eager to let go of the weight. Not because I might see Rick, or because I want to attract love into my life. But because I don’t want to hide behind it anymore. I don’t want its excuses any more. I want the big version of my life that I can only have if I am healthy enough to chase it down and jump on top of it.

I want to love myself and my body. And I do…but I want more. I want to go swimming and hiking and rowing and dancing. I want to be able to sweat in public and not instantly be reminded of how heavy I am and feel fat and ugly.

And I want to trust the Universe enough to feel safe letting it go. We have enough of anything we might want, and we will have enough in the future. There is enough food, and enough time. I don’t have to clean my plate. I can eat it later. I don’t have to save it up inside my body in case we don’t have enough later – there will be enough.

I can let go of the shame and fear that somehow got attached to my body and sex. I am enough to make this physical thing my soul is attached to into something beautiful – no matter what size it is. And I can let go of the resentment about being judged by or assigned worth by my pants’ size.

I am brave enough to say no to any unwanted sexual advances. I don’t need a wall between me and the bad guys. I can take care of us. Of myself. I can protect my body heart and mind from all of this. I will keep doing a better job of it. I am brave enough. I am strong enough. It is safe to be thin. Really, it is. It is safe to be the beautiful version of me.

We can let it go. We can. We have. We don’t have to have a target weight. We can have a target life. I want to be thin enough and strong enough that I can play in a million ways with the people I love. With myself. With my lover, wherever he is.

I can let go of the fear. I see it. I know it’s there. So, I must be able to deal with it. Otherwise I would not know about it yet. So, why am I afraid of these things? Lately, everything is coming back to love. Giving it to myself and others and being willing to accept it fully. So is that it? Do I want to be loved and I am afraid messing up this “weight” thing will make me unlovable?

How can I re-program that? I guess that’s the big question for now. And in the mean time I have to imagine that big life and keep telling myself that it is safe to let go.

Loss, by design?

May 19, 2015

Newspapers-and-magazinesWe all know Rick is gone. In a fun twist, I am letting go of a lot of weight. It’s the end of school, so the kiddos are gone. I even lost my room at the school — and now I have to move to a new classroom. I’m am honestly trying to let go of things I don’t need anymore. I cleaned out a few closets and I’m considering what needs to stay and what needs to go. On a more emotional scale I’m trying to get rid of old ideas and practices that aren’t good for me too. And of course trying to replace them with better things.

It has been hard work both emotionally and spiritually. But I have been lucky enough to have a physical manifestation of the process in my body letting go of weight that is doing me no good. And I have been both feeling and looking much better.

But I hit a bump this week, when something else was taken away. Tuesday I lost a contract job that I had designing a special publication for the local newspaper.

I found out in an e-mail that simply said, “We will be designing the rodeo book in-house this year. Sorry for the confusion.”


That’s putting it mildly, in my opinion. I had talked to people about this way back in February and March. I’ve been getting e-mails about content for the book since then. I probably have 100 e-mails about it all.

My first reaction was anger – for the reasons stated above.

Then fear. What am I going to do without the money from that job? I do trust God to help me make any ends meet. So really something will just have to come up to help. I don’t have to know what it is. I just have to trust that it will be there. And when all else fails, I know for experience that I can live off my credit card if I have to. Okay, fear dealt with — for the moment.

A small amount of relief came next: “There must be something that I am supposed to do with that time instead,” I thought. “And I won’t be all stressed out and working late nights trying to get it done. I can relax.” Well that will be nice. I wonder what I’ll get to do instead. What will be more fun than designing the rodeo book?

That’s when the sadness rolled over me. At that moment I couldn’t really think of something more fun. I really wanted to do it. I really liked designing this publication – even though it meant a lot of computer time all at smooshed into one week. Even though it was stressful. I got to make something that I thought was beautiful. Something that had great typography, good photo editing and placement and something that those High School rodeo kiddos could save as a memento of their time at the finals. I haven’t really moved past that sadness yet. I really want to create this thing.

My final intentional thoughts were to assuage my anxiety about losing a print job. I wondered what I had done wrong. But to my best knowledge, I did a good job. The customer and I had a great relationship. She was happy with my work. I had gotten everything in on time and they had proofed each page, so I didn’t have to worry that there had been any mistakes set into print.

So, as far as I know I had done everything I could, and I had done it well. The rest of it is out of my hands – out of my control. So I just have to trust the Universe. Trust that it’s a “God thing.” That it is for the best – for me and everyone else involved.

So, I’m still sad that I won’t be designing this year. It is honestly a part of my identity at this point and not having an upcoming project messes with me a little bit. Am I a designer if I have nothing to design? I do miss it. I do love it. If I could have figured out a way to be a page designer without having to deal with the bull-shit of the newspaper industry (especially in our town), I would not have become a teacher.

But I am. I’m a teacher. Is this the plan? Do I have to completely let go of this part of who I am in order to step fully into being a teacher? Honestly, this is something I wish I could teach. Especially to some of the people laying out the local publications here in Rapid City. I guess for now I’ll just have to be a page designer in my own heart and mind, or figure out a way to completely let it go. I wonder which one the Universe is aiming for.

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