Sit down and take that fear to lunch.

And as for me, I decided instead of running away from the idea of a life alone, I’d better sit down and take that fear to lunch. So, I sat there and had a glass of wine, alone. No  books, no man, no friends, no armor, no faking. -Carrie Bradshaw

Sometimes we find wisdom in the strangest places, don’t we? Even the Housewives get it right some times. I have a weird habit of looking for wisdom in unlikely places. I like to watch crappy TV, like Housewives of Anywhere. And I’m a big fan of indulgent TV, like Sex and the City or The L Word. And I like to look for wisdom there. But let’s keep that between just us. Cause I do a really good job of limiting how much I watch and I would never want anyone to think I’m obsessed with such silly women. Okay, obsessed was a silly word. Okay, that was judgmental.

Okay, the honest truth is I have been known to go through spurts of non-stop Housewives watching. Obsession might be a strong word. Silly is not. Sorry, sometimes I’m judgmental.

I know it’s weird. I know it’s probably misguided. But in the midst of crazy Giudice rants and Vickie’s co-dependency & bad boyfriend choices are interesting nuggets of experiential wisdom. Or maybe it’s just a cautionary tale. And I’m all about the cautionary tale.

So, when Carrie Bradshaw decides to take her fear to lunch and sips red wine, by herself, looking fabulous at a NYC bistro, I sit up and take notice.

And just like every 43-year-old woman without a ring on her finger, I’m afraid of being alone….except, that I love it. Okay, that first part is really sexist. My 19-year-old feminist self is cringing. Women alone are fabulous and sexy and strong and wonderful…at any age.

I’m sexist and ageist. And a bad lesbian. But that’s for another post.

I’m not sure that my fear is of being alone. My fear is of not knowing. When you’re married, when you’re with your girlfriend for two years, you think you know.  You mistakenly believe you know the path you’re life is on. And maybe it’s an illusion. Maybe you don’t really know at all. But, definitely,  when you’re in it for 20 plus years, it feels like you know and it’s comforting.

Being alone is anything but.  It’s exciting sometimes. It’s fun sometimes. The other night I ate cereal for dinner.      In front of the TV.            In the dark. And even though it feels like freedom and it’s exhilarating, it’s not comfortable. I’ve never lived alone. (And to be fair I have two kids and this was a night without either, which is a little uncommon, but it’s not quite the same as alone. But I mean in -that grown-up-when-am-I-having-sex-again kinda way. )

Do I think I’ll be alone forever? No, I hope not! As much as I like it, as much as the peace is plentiful and the unstructured life is like a new drug, I still think that I’ll be back with someone again.

But, and here’s the kicker, I’m not alone.  I  am incredibly  privileged in that I live alone, but I have another. My girlfriend lives 1600 miles away, and we’re trying to figure out the long-distance thing. And I really, really don’t know if we’ll do it or not, but today it’s okay. Some days it looks like we’re done. And other days I think we’re figuring it out. But it’s okay.

It’s okay because not knowing is okay, but also because we don’t have dinner together every night and we don’t kiss  goodnight and roll over. It’s okay because of those 1600 miles. And I never thought I would think/say/believe it, but distance has been a blessing. Being alone has been a blessing.

And that’s what Carrie Bradshaw has taught me. Okay, for those of you who don’t know Carrie is the brainchild of talented writer Candace Bushnell and there are a whole lot o’Lesbians out there cringing cause Bushnell and Bradshaw are obsessed with men, but I think that’s okay. Cause whether it’s men or women we all fall into the trap of being obsessed with another sometimes.

Okay, I’m going to digress for a moment. There’s a lot of my friends that hate that there are women who care what a man thinks about them, but I think it’s human nature. Yes, Liz Gilbert is consumed with men and I know women who hate Eat, Pray, Love for that reason. But I really believe  her experience is universal. It’s not just about women who are obsessed with men. It’s about those of us who use another to define ourselves and as a woman who has been with both, it really hasn’t mattered whether it was a man or a woman I used. I thought I needed someone to tell me who I was and what I wanted and what I needed. And to be fair I didn’t choose people who particularly relished that role. So I was doing us all a disservice.

We all want to be accepted and loved. We want connection and an occasional amazing orgasm. And I don’t know why, but our fantasy isn’t really of the Zipless Fuck, it’s of the house in the Hamptons. We fantasize about Jong’s women and their independence, but I really think most of us want something more than that.

So, how do we get away from diving into it and giving up ourselves and giving our everything to someone else?

We embrace our fear of being alone, ala Carrie Bradshaw. Dare I say it?  Ala Me.

Pema Chodron, the Buddhist nun, writes and talks about sitting in the pain. She teaches about the importance of not running, pushing or distracting away from what you fear.

And so I am trying really really hard to just be. Just be Melissa and recognize that it’s enough. It’s such a crazy/weird/uncomfortable feeling. But I’ve been told, and I half-heartedly believe it, that being in that painful uncomfortable place means I’m growing.

I do know that the longer I do it, the easier it gets. Is that the growth? I like to believe I’m re-grading the ruts in my brain. 

Tomorrow night I’m going to try peanut butter with a spoon. Out of the jar.

Missing Julie

I wanna be the girl

she gives her hoodie

to wear && cuddles up

next to when its cold,

she’ll be the one who

comes up behind me,

wraps her arms around

my waist, catches me off

guard && whispers you look

beatutiful

The Perfect Morning

The perfect anything is always in the most simple and mundane. And even though I know this I still overwhelm myself with the expectancy of the special and extraordinary. During  special events or occasions  I spend so much time telling myself to be present because it’s special that the whole event loses its meaning. But there is a beauty in the simple, a gift in the unexpected perfection of a sunny Saturday morning.

This morning was one of those simple, perfect times. I woke up early. Way too early. I got time to just lie and breathe. Just be right here.  I read a bit. I watched Hulu a bit. Just as I was falling back to sleep my son called out and asked me to cuddle. I climbed into his bed and wrapped my arms around his little six year old body. He snuggled his strong back into my belly and breasts and we sighed. It wasn’t long before his breathing was even and I was watching him sleep. His muscular and tanned little arms wrapped around his stuffed lion just fascinating me by their strength and simplicity and beauty.

When he rolled over I got to gaze at his perfect little face and as I was wondering how I got so lucky, he smiled. He smiles in his sleep a fair amount. When he was a baby he would giggle in his sleep. Sometimes even laugh hysterically. And every time I see a sleep smile or hear a sleep chuckle from the other room all is right in the world, the angels have smiled on me.  And it’s been hard to feel that way lately because there has been so much upheaval recently and this perfect child has been struggling.  I feel like his slumbering laughter is a little sign from the universe that he’s okay.

And then, I slipped away and back into my own grown up bed that I adore. I snuggled under the soft, cool covers and dozed until my body said, okay it’s time for coffee! I french pressed Ethiopian Yergacheffe from the co-op. Last week it was French Roast. And I do this every morning, but on some mornings I remember to be mindful while I do it and remember to be grateful for this simple ritual. But every morning I am excited about coffee. Every morning I say to myself, Oh Yeah! Coffee!

And before I knew it the phone was ringing for my phone date with one of my oldest friends. D is a friend I only see about once a year and during the school year when she’s teaching and being a mom to her two and I’m being mom to my two and dealing with owning a business and all the chaos that we’ve gone through this year, we barely even leave each other messages, let alone talk. So a morning to sit on my porch with my blooming pots of geraniums and the lazy Saturday morning sun coming up over the trees and talk to a dear friend while my little slice of perfection laughs in his sleep and  sip my Ethiopian is a pretty perfect morning.

Prana-The life force energy

I grew up believing in nothing. I didn’t grow up in a church. My parents weren’t church folk. My parents weren’t hippies. They didn’t wear tye dye and chant, they didn’t dance naked under the full moon. They did swim fully clothed in Lake Michigan once, but I think that was more alcohol induced than rapturous.

Once I was in church with family friends-the second, and last time in my adolescent life. The priest said all the gay people and children hunting Easter eggs instead of praising God were going to hell. I was 13. I had a purple Easter dress with a cream straw hat. And I thought, Well that’s that. I never need to come back here again. And it would be a long time before I walked into a church again. Even for a wedding, it would be a long time.

So how did I become a tye dye wearing college student who went on to teach a spiritaul practice? How is that I chant, meditate, attend a regular church service and pray daily? Sometimes more than once a day?

Prana.

When I started practicing yoga I learned that the life force energy that runs through all of us is called prana. Okay. I wasn’t into anything called life force so I just accepted that my yoga teacher believed it and moved on. I was more interested in the poses. I didn’t want to think about life force energy.

Two years later I’d gone through a lot. I’d had a child, suffered through post-partum depression and was medicated. I stood on the mat in my new town hundreds of miles from my hometown and on a Wednesday morning stretched, open and spiraled into trikonasana. Into triangle. And as I straightened out of it, I felt a tingle in my fingers. And I smiled. And back then smiling was hard. And then I wanted to cry. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know what I felt, but it was new and it was different. It was love and it was peaceful and it felt great.

And then it happened again. Another Wednesday morning with the sun streaming through my new yoga studio I felt a tingle in my fingers as I straightened out of trikonasana. And it felt more like someone brushed my fingers, just grasped them for a moment, a split second. Just gave me a squeeze of reassurance. And I smiled. And I thought, this is God.

And then everytime I did trikonasana I looked for God. And I felt God moving through my body, I felt protected and loved and open and okay.

Now, I didn’t know anything about God. I didn’t grow up reading the bible or learning anything in any Sunday school. I didn’t know anything, but I knew what I felt.

A year or so later I started studying how to teach. I learned about Prana. Prana is the life force energy that runs through everything. It is the same as Qi, Ki or Chi. It is what makes a chair a chair, a bird a bird and me feel more like Melissa in trikonasana than I ever did any other time in my life.

I didn’t learn that Prana was God. No one has ever said that to me.

Prana runs through all of us. Connects all of us. It is what is in my heart and that which is in your heart. It’s the same in my heart as in my foot. It is what gets blocked, It’s what flows in little trickles and in great rushes. It is what connects me to you and you to me.

A few weeks ago I was asked to meditate on life force energy for a year long study that I’m doing. I like to meditate laying down. I always have. As I lay on my mat I took deep relaxing breaths. I felt my body sink down and open up. The long slow breaths helped my mind to clear and closing my eyes I began to see colors swirl behind my eyelids. Mostly through the three weeks the colors were blues and greens. Sometimes an occasional wild blue indigo and a violet. Once or twice  I would get a bright orange swirl. I don’t know what that’s about.

But when I listen to my body I know exactly what’s happening. When I focus on prana and wait for that feeling, that feeling of being centered and aware I sink down into a place of ultimate comfort and peace. My mouth gets slack, my shoulders sink back into the firm floor and I feel myself just surrender into a thick, comfy nest of peace and love. It literally feels like I’m was lying on something warm and fluffy, light and thick. It’s the place where I feel like me and like everyone I’ve met and know and I feel vulnerable and powerful and relaxed and heightened all at the same time.

In this place, focusing on the energy of the universe I feel small and humungous. I feel safe. I feel that my tiny problems were so tiny. So teeny and so managable and so inconsequential. I feel like I can overcome anything and everything.

As I lay in a state that can most be compared to an aware dozing I feel alive. I feel like I’m not really here, but I’m solidly right here. I am removed from the sounds of the fans in the Breathe practice room, I sink away from the street sounds of Mass Street. I am comforted, but unafflicted by the living noises of our upstairs neighbors. And at the same time I am almost the one making all those noises, they are a part of me and my awareness.

It is  a feeling that I strive to repeat over and over in my life. It is why I practice yoga, meditate, go to a touchy-feel-good-non-traditional-church. It’s why I got to the chiropractor and energy healer and acupuncturist. Being in the flow of prana is so important to me I would do almost anything to stay open and connected to that flow. And it so easy to get out of the flow. It’s so easy for me to focus on the long list of things that I need to accomplish and the workshops I want to teach and so I forget and I get sick and I get irritable and I get into fights with my honey and I believe all the crap that’s been said to me in my life and I forget. I forget that I am pure life force energy and so are you and so are they.

Being in the flow feels good. So I do a lot to be there. I do a lot with this human body to keep it in a place where I feel the energy every day. Or as many days as I can, if even for just a little bit. It’s why I don’t eat gluten and I don’t eat a lot of sugar.  It’s why I love giggling with my six year old and having coffee with my 15 year old. It’s why I write. It’s why I pray.

Now, let me explain about praying. For me praying isn’t about asking a man in the sky to grant me my wishes. For me praying is about remembering who I am and trying to get back into the flow of the universe. It’s a quiet reminder that when I am in the flow, my life works and I feel good and I love being me.

So, I pray. And because it’s easier I often pray in a traditional form. I ask Goddess to help me be productive and feel better and not scream at my 15 year old. I ask Goddess for what I need.

And because I have felt that life force energy, because it is so tangible I know that what I need will be provided. Now, if that’s not God I don’t know what is.

This Year

I’ve been quiet for awhile. It’s been a hell of a year. I’ve been quiet because there was too much to say. I was quiet because there was too much to process. I’ve been quiet.

I’ve been accused of talking too much. It was a common theme on my school comments from teachers. “She’s a great student, but she talks so much.”

Well, this year I’ve been quiet.

Hee Hee…when I look back at the blog I see that I actually posted in January, but before that it was September and before that it was August. So, see I still talk more than I know. But I was quieter.

This was a doozy of a year. In the past 12 months my relationship fell apart, I was asked to move out and I did. I moved back in about three months later, but it translates to three moves last summer and a lot of upheaval for-my kids. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy and is now cancer-free, but I’m now one of those women. My mother isn’t the best at communicating and I found out that my great-grandmother died of breast cancer after having a double masectomy. So, my daughter and I are those women. Then my 15 year old daughter found a lump in her breast. It was a tough few days. I had a car accident that revealed some arthritis and resulted in a pinched nerve. Somewhere in here I had major vehicle issues. My truck broke. Completely broke.  Then I was diagnosed with diabetes. I’ve written about it here so I guess it wasn’t a complete surprise that when I gained the weight back and stopped taking care of myself, I was diagnosed with diabetes. And back to that family dysfunction thing-I found out that my father has diabetes and my mother and sister are pre-diabetic . My father ignored his diabetes for years and drank on it to boot and now he’s having kidney issues. So, he’s been hospitalized. He gets dehydrated and gets hospitalized and he’s 75 and I still have a lot of issues to work through. And because I was dizzy and nauseous all the time they did some more checking and I was diagnosed with anemia. Then my girlfriend had surgery and vomited blood for days and we ended up in the emergency room. My daughter and I had a fight and didn’t talk for a month, during which she stayed at her father’s and I felt ignored and indignant. And then she had surgery. And many, many times during this year I thought I was going to loose my business.

So I’d say it’s been a doozy of a year. I have had major meltdowns where I felt like I couldn’t handle one more thing. I’ve had screaming matches with my ex. I’ve had screaming matches with my love. I’ve made emergency phone calls to my therapist. My girlfriend has stayed home from work to take care of my trauma-laden ass.

But you know what? I’m here. I’m on the other side of this crazy/drama/trauma year. I didn’t always do it with grace and dignity, but I did it. And I did it without numbing out. I did it with a semblance of clarity and honesty. I was authentic.

And here’s what I learned this year. I learned that I didn’t get the mother that I wanted or maybe even deserved, but I got this woman who is flawed and imperfect and she loves me and how I deal with that is up to me. I got a daughter who loves me fiercely and hates me fiercely and she’s probably more like me than anyone on the planet. I learned that I can walk through anything in anyway that choose. I knew I was a survivor, but this year I learned that I can survive and make choices and do things the way I want. Life doesn’t just happen to me. I learned that I am having the relationship that I’ve always wanted, one that allows me to grow and change and I have a girlfriend who accepts me no matter what-and I’ve tested that quite a bit. I learned that I am lovable and strong and smart and enough.

I write these things, don’t I? This isn’t the first time I’ve claimed this power and I wish I could explain how it’s different, but I can’t. I think this year it shifted from the logic of knowing that we are all enough into my heart of feeling that I am enough. It’s a powerful, important shift.

This year I stepped into my power. My business is doing better than ever and I don’t have to slave to make it so. I get to enjoy my baby. I can stop working impossible hours and choose my favorite projects to work on. I can write. I teach a writing class! I have wanted to do this my whole life and now I co-teach a writing class to women in recovery. I signed up for a year of Reiki training and I embrace the title healer that I blushed at last year. I am a powerful healer and every week I have people report back on how I’ve healed them or brought new awareness or just helped.

I have an incredible team of healing professionals that help me. I found a wonderful holistic health center, I have a talented and sweet acupuncturist and a new wonderful and gentle chirproactor. Oh! And a wise, wise, understanding and encouraging therapist and a mentor who takes my hand, never lets me go and says I Don’t Know a lot.  My patient primary care nurse who never seems rushed even though I know she is,  banned me from googling, but then reluctanctly later gave me a medical website addresss to look up things more accurately.

Because this year I took my health in my own hands I have reversed the diabetes and am off the meds. My anemia is on it’s way too. I went from a scary low hemoglobin count of 8 to a much better 11 in a few months and am on my way to a normal 14. I lost 25 pounds just by eating regular meals and being aware of what’s not good for my body-like gluten. I am gluten-free and it has made all the difference in my body. I ache less, heal faster, sleep better and never feel bloated, gassy or have stomach upset and I’ve been able to drop weight with an ease I’ve neer experienced. I don’t think the gluten was making me fat, but I think by eliminating the gluten and getting the glucose under control my body is moving towards balanced health and everything else is following.  And most importantly, without the gluten I feel far less depressed.

Depression was an old friend. I was really at my end. I wasn’t feeling so sad that I couldn’t continue. I was feeling so discouraged that I didn’t want to continue. I wanted to die this year. Many times this year. Mostly because no matter what I did, no matter how much sun and exercise I got, no matter how in touch I was with my therapist and my mentor, no matter how much yoga I did, that bottom of despair always came. One morning I would be fine and by afternoon I couldn’t get off the couch, hating myself for the NCIS marathon and not blogging or cooking dinner or not wanting to do anything with my kids. And most confusing on some of those days I had practiced yoga and my sweet friend wasn’t helping me, couldn’t save me and I felt betrayed. Gluten-free changed all of that. Without the gluten I have even days. I have energy and I smile and when tough stuff comes up I deal with it and move on. Not eating gluten has saved my life. Literally.

So, it’s been a doozy of a year and I’m still standing.

Developing Passion

When I first got interested in Passion  I started looking around me and wondering why some people were able to put one foot in front of the other and accomplish their goals, live their dreams and seem happy while others of us really struggled to even know what we wanted. I heard Christine Kloser speak on living consciously and spiritual entrepreneur. What she meant, and what I had never encountered before, was what we call being in alignment. I thought, what if I take what she’s teaching, make it my own and teach it as a yoga workshop.

I knew that authenticity had to be a cornerstone. I could not be the best Me if I wasn’t focusing on who me was. So I creathed the Authenticity and Wholeness workshop. And that served me well,  but there was still a disconnect.

I heard Janet Atw00d talk about passion. And I got fired up. Cause I thought Passion, that makes sense. You can’t be authentic for the sake of authenticity. There has to be a reason, a payoff. Passion was the reason to be authentic. When I get real, I get what I want in life.

I heard Brene Brown talk about authenticity, wholeheartedness and connection. It all made sense. I got her book, The Gift Of Imperfection. I was excited and yet, I felt like something was missing.

It was. They were intellectualizing. And that’s not a bad place to start, but I felt that for what they were sharing to work in my life it had to be about what I think about, what I feel and how I feel. It had to be about body, mind and spirit. If it did not connect in that way for me it was just going to be another theory. It was going to end up in the back of my mind and not be the guiding forvce to help me be the best Melissa I can be.

So, I took what I’d learned about authenticity, I read, I researched and I listened about Passion and took what I knew about the mat kind of yoga practice, about what I’d learned in Unity about wisualization, growing intention and attention. I got on the mat and I got quiet. I wrote and journald, practiced and meditated and I put together Passion Yoga Workshop.

And we got clear about what we wanted and we talked about how to incorporate those desires into our lives as our lives stood now.  I knew that this had to be immediate. We couldn’t wait to heave our best lives until we lost 20 pounds or when the kids were grown. So we talked about What Can I Do Today that changes my life. What Can I Do Today that brings me more happiness, more passion, more balance and more joy.

And I walked away feeling pretty good. But I still felt there was something  missing. And I was struggling with it in my own life so it was pretty easy to pinpoint. Okay, so I’m clear about what I want. Okay, so I’m bringing aspects of my perfect life into my present life. Okay,  so what? Cause now my marriage is falling apart and my mom has cancer and my bank account is empty, so now what?

And I knew that I needeed to focus on what was really driving me every single day. And I needed to develop ways to keep myself motivated. I needed to have a network of support, a cadre of roadmaps to keep me on track because face it, life gets in the way of our living sometimes.

So I created Passion Yoga Workshop II. And I was fired up and excited and crazy happy. And I wanted to shout from the rooftops. I wanted to share and travel and learn and lecture and write.

And then I got scared. I got really scared and I stopped being excited and just was scared. And I had health problems and relationship problems and crises of faith issues.

And I was a living example of WHY we need passion  and I knew that I had to step forward, belive in my own worthiness and belonging. I had to believe in my right to live authentically, wholely and passionately and do what was driving me. Cause if I didn’t, well I don’t know what was going to happen to me, but I also knew I didn’t want to find out.

So today it isn’t perfect, but there is a lot of progress. Today I wake up with a sense of purpose and I know that when I wake up feeling lost or scared, it’s time for me to get on the mat and then if it still don’t feel like jumping in my car and following my dream, then it’s time to call someone who reminds me who Melissa is. 

So this year is very exciting for me. This is the year that I step back from teaching the regular classes so much and teach more workshops, cause they are truly my passion. I actually have a regular paycheck, cause it’s been a looong time. I teach specialty classes. I travel and write. This is the year the Melissa isn’t afraid of being Melissa.

Next post Five Tips to Stay Inspired

 

Accepting the new normal

Life is change. Change is inevitable.

We all know that right? We know that no matter how hard we try to hold on to right now, it’s going to slip through our fingers and then the change will occur almost like we weren’t watching.

I felt this so acutely when my firstborn was a baby. I’d finally understand what she wanted, where she was coming from, what that cry meant. I’d be self-satisfied for about six hours and then she’d do something amazing like rollover, smile or pick up her pacifier and then it was a new game.

And that’s how parenting has been for the last 15 years. Every single time I think I get it, something changes. There’s progress or she learns how to throw a tantrum or she finally learns to stop whining.

But here’s what parenting taught me. It taught me in very real, every day ways, that life is full of change. And I never, not once, got mad at my daughter for learning to walk. I never discouraged my son from his first words. I welcomed the change. I was grateful for it. I recognized that things were occuring as they were supposed to. Sometimes I even awaited those changes eagerly. They assured me that my children were normal, that the natural order of development was in place.

Why then, why oh why, do I resist it in so many other areas of my life? Why do I resist the natural order? Every time I think that I’ve got a handle on life, that I understand my purpose, that I think I can put it on cruise control something shifts. And it’s not all bad. But it’s almost always hard.

The universe always gives me a way to work on accepting change. And instead of thinking of it as change I’ve begun to think of it as the new normal. My friend Linda used this phrase a lot when her mom was diagnosed with dementia. The new normal gives me a way of letting go of the past and not lamenting the change. It gives me a way to happily anticipate what the world offers instead of resisting.

Last week I had a car accident, not so great. But I got x-rays which showed that my neck is fine. Great. Because I’d been really worried about some pain and was resigned to having something major that I needed to take care of. Turns out that I’m mismanaging my stress and it’s manifesting in major pain. Not so great, but great because I can change that. I also got x-rays on my wrist and thumb. And I have a sprain. That’s okay because it will go away and I’ll be fine. No lasting damage. I also found out I have mild arthritis in my thumb. Not so great because it means the pain I’ve been feeling for the better part of a year, that I’ve been telling myself is getting better and will go away, is not going away and will someday get worse, and will someday possibly stop me from practicing and teaching yoga. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic because people in wheelchairs teach yoga. But it’s the new normal. And I’m having trouble accepting it.

But here’s how this development fits into the rest of my life perfectly. For a few months now I’ve been wanting to cut back on my week to week classes and focus on special events and workshops. I’ve yearned to write more, but I’ve always been shy about my writing and wasn’t sure what direction that was going to take.

So before the accident a series of wonderful things happened that asked me to accept change.. A friend asked me to work on her book with her.  And then a friend asked me to volunteer to teach writing for women in recovery. And then I got wonderful feedback about my teaching. I was excited, invigorated and inspired. I was also scared because I just couldn’t figure out how to make it all fit. I couldn’t face the affirmations I was getting from the universe so I spent a little bit of time freaking out. But not for long because BAM, I got rear-ended and the universe gave me something else to think about.

When I step back from the details and look at the big picture I remember to work on acceptance. I remember that acceptance means respecting myself and those around me. I remember that I’m right where I’m supposed to be and all the people around me are right where they’re supposed to be.

I’m learning to smile the moment I wake up and ask the universe, “Ok, what’s today got for me.”