Do You Feel Heard?


Do you ever just feel like no one hears you? As if you’re floating under the Pacific screaming “SHARK!” and the rest of the world is sunning themselves on the beach and watching their kids splash in the waves with sand on their arses?

Case in Point:

For the past few weeks my hair has looked like a particularly worn down coat of a buckskin mare who has been rolling around in the mud.  Sort of dingy blond with a dark brown stripe down the center.

I do not exaggerate. The difference between the color of my roots and the rest of my hair was as stark as a skunk.

So I went in search of a new stylist as the last time I got my hair cut in Utah it resembled a Q-tip that has been forgotten in a travel bag for the past seven years – slightly yellowed, frayed off of the cardboard tip like the last wisp of cotton candy on the stick, and, not to mention, forlorn.

I found someone at a reputable salon here in Utah and made my appointment.


Me:  I look like a buckskin mare (Googled stripe on mare’s back to show stylist).  I want to get rid of that and blend it with the rest of the blond and I’m not loving the orange/copper color in my hair, it’s too much and the colors are too cool. I look washed out.  And I’m REALLY trying to grow my hair out. I don’t know what I was thinking when I cut it off last summer. Mid-life crisis, I guess.

Stylist:  (Chuckles) Sure. We can add in some warm tones and keep the light blonds and just shape up and trim.

Me: Perfect.

(Exit stylist as she prepares three bowls of color that all look exactly the same. Enter stylist.)

Note to self: Something is wrong. Where is the tinfoil? She’s using that big paintbrush to slop color right down my horse stripe. What’s happening? My 5 year old niece Adri paints better than that. It’s on my forehead, whatever color that is will stain my forehead and I have to go to a wedding tomorrow. (Hyperventilates)

Me: Can I ask what you’re doing?

Stylist: Have you never had color without tinfoil?

Me: No

Stylist: This is the easiest way to handle color like yours.

Me: (squirms in sticky leather seat)

As I exited the salon and glimpsed myself in full sun in my side view mirror, I was stunned to realize that I now look like the Heat Miser from “The Year Without a Santa Claus” (combined with a buckskin mare and a hog-nosed skunk.) My hair is blond with a streak of flaming orange down the center. Add to this the fact that she took a good two inches off of parts of my once-all-one-length-in-an-attempt-to-grow-it-out haircut and had wielded a razor like a whirling dervish, ensuring that after tomorrow’s first wash I’ll once again look like that flaming Q-tip of old.


I recognize that this is a first-world problem. Kids in Africa are walking miles for drinking water and a place to dip their combs. But for fuck’s sake wasn’t I clear? Didn’t I say I didn’t like the flames? Didn’t I say I was trying to grow my hair out after a mid-life crisis gone wrong?

But this blog isn’t just about vanity and wearing a hat for the next three months. I do have a larger point to raise here. Last week I watched Oprah’s commencement speech to Harvard and it really struck me when she said that no matter who is on her show, from Presidents to rock stars to soccer moms, invariably at the end of the taping, in some form or fashion, they ask her if they did okay; if they were HEARD; if they were seen.

Isn’t that the truth? Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Simply to be heard and seen from those we interact with? There have been many times in my life where I haven’t felt heard and yesterday was just one small glaring (literally) example.

And I’ve noticed that when I don’t feel heard I will keep saying the same thing over and over and over in an attempt to force someone, subconsciously, to hear me.

Yesterday, I told this stylist in a myriad of ways, how much I wanted my hair to grow out.

And I’ve heard others do this with me.  I’ll be having a conversation with someone and they’ll say the same thing again and again and in my mind I’m thinking “what are they doing? I get it.” But here’s the reality – they’re not feeling heard, seen or acknowledged by me. It doesn’t matter if I’ve heard them loud and clear, the point is that they don’t feel as if I’ve heard them. Have you had this happen to you and wondered what that’s about?

If we go back to the basics – back to Communications 101 – in those scenarios, wouldn’t it just be kind to repeat back to the person what we’ve heard them say to ensure that we get it – that we really do hear them? Maybe that’s why we feel so alone at times – so separate and cut off from the oneness – because, let’s be real, sometimes we aren’t really listening. Sometimes we’re playing Candy Crush on our smart phones while checking Facebook every 3.5 seconds and thinking about the Almond Joy pieces hidden next to our beds.

I sure do wish the stylist would have repeated my words back to me yesterday, “Okay, so you don’t want to look like Mr. Heat Miser reincarnated as a buckskin mare who coupled with a hog-nosed skunk and you regret the decision to cut off all of your hair during a 700 kelvin hot flash. Got it.”

There’s Not Enough Time (& Other Crackpot Illusions)


I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately. Specifically:

  • Where has it all gone?
  • How can I get more of it?
  • Why’s it moving so damn fast?
  • I have none.
  • Is it really possible to bend it? (Keep reading.)

Last week I had a short coaching session with one of Martha Beck’s Master Coaches – the slathered in Awesome Sauce, Jen Trulson. I won’t get into the boring details of the whining which led up to my takeaway, but essentially I have a deeply ingrained thinking error that says, “There’s not enough time.”

There’s. Not. Enough. Time:

… for me to take in sustenance.

… for me to pant on the treadmill for a measly 10 minutes.

… for me to shave my legs (and most definitely not for the subsequent braiding of the leg hair from lack of said shaving.)

… for me to take time off (ponder that one, folks.)

… blah, blah, blah.

But the thing is, I know, at the deepest level of my core, that time is a man-made construct. Who’s the asshat who came up with Leap Year, people? I have long believed somewhere inside of me that time is an illusion. Maybe part of a 42nd dimension that we just can’t comprehend yet. I started to get an inkling of the proof of this (from what my tiny brain could understand) when I first read Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – essentially that “the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum was independent of the motion of all observers.”

Say what?

At first, I thought the trouble boiled down to my vacuum which is like 12 years old, the belt constantly smells like burning rubber regardless of how often I change it, and the rotors are so mired down by hair and bundles of dust that it doesn’t pick up. Jack. Shit.

My brain was really stretched thin, however, when I read what it now my favorite explanation of “time” from The Complete Conversations with God:

A true understanding of time allows you to live much more peacefully within your reality of relativity, where time is experienced as movement, a flow, rather than a constant.  It is you who are moving, not time. Time has no movement. There is only One Moment… Your science has already proven this mathematically. Formulas have been written showing that if you get into a spaceship and fly far enough fast enough, you could swing back around toward Earth and watch yourself take off. This demonstrates that Time is not a movement but a field through which you move…

Ding, ding, ding… “what have we got for Him, Johnny?”

Add to all of the above thoughts the Buddhists’ wisdom of living in the present moment. Samiddhi, a disciple of the Buddha, says, ““I, friend, do not reject the present moment to pursue what time will bring. I reject what time will bring to pursue the present moment.”

I’ve often had moments wherein I’ve thought those Buddhist people were smart as hell. But what really lit my brain fire was when I started thinking about this Buddhist way of living as opposed to our American way of living (my way of living) – multitasking. For the longest time I thought I was an adept multi-tasker. But the more I tried to do it, the more I realized that multitasking is just one more big, fat illusion. We think we’re multitasking when, in reality, we’re dissipating our energy so that one task does not receive our full attention which causes us to feel scattered (and a bit crazy, really) and the task itself is done sort of half-assed. But, the real zinger, came when I realized that by focusing my attention, fully, to the one task at hand actually expanded time for me.

Bending Time?

Here’s how it works for me. If, in the morning, I wake up and immediately repeat this mantra a few times, “I have plenty of time” and “I have all the time I need,” and then go about my task of answering my four gazillion emails in a focused way, doing only that task, time does seem to pass more slowly. In fact, if I just focus on my email (without moving on to a website I need to make changes to, or a call that needs to be made) I can look at the clock feeling like it should be way later than it is for the amount of work I’ve gotten done. Read: Holy crap, it’s only 10:45 a.m.? I’m totally awesome. I ROCK. Nope, I BOULDER.

Alternatively, if I wake up in the morning and think of my gatrillion emails, the website I need to build, the calls I need to make, the fact that I need to register my car, the payroll I need to cut, blah, blah, blah and I go about my day weaving in and out of all of these tasks, moving from one to another without ever really completing any one thing, I look at the clock and it’s 4:30 p.m. and I’ve accomplished notta. Nothing. Zip. Read: Holy crap, it’s 4:30 p.m. and I’m a totally worthless pile of dingo dung.

This is physics, people, I don’t fully understand it. My brain hurts from trying to write this post and actually convey any semblance of rational thought.

The Leftover Bits

Just like in any task I take on, putting together my own IKEA bookshelf, for example, there are always a few bolts and baubles left sitting on my floor. Here are the questions I’m left to ponder:

If movement were to stop, would “time” stop altogether? Are clocks only measures of relative motion? Am I bending time when I focus, fully, on the NOW? It sure feels like it.  Think about it: If it’s you moving through time… Are you running? Are you frantic? Are you calm and centered? Are you fully present in that moment or are your thoughts dwelling in a future time while your body is where it is? Maybe it’s our thoughts that do the time traveling and we all know we can’t be in three places at once… Or can we? I dunno, but I’ve definitely felt the magic of tinkering with time and stretching it out and I’ve also felt the effects of letting it run all over me – harried and chaotic.

Before he died, Einstein said “Now Besso [an old friend] has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us … know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”


The Arctic Tundra of My Soul


I haven’t had much to say. Maybe you’ve noticed. More likely you were busy fighting with family over the turkey neck , making popcorn garland interspersed with bright red cranberries and hiding your kid’s frightening Furby on the back shelf at the top of your closet.  Perhaps you’ve been hanging out in said closet, below your fancy party dresses, eating your Valentine’s chocolates.  Maybe you’re mapping out your spring garden.

For a writer, having nothing to say feels like mammoth emptiness. It feels like the Grand Canyon, only bigger.  It feels like Russia. In the depths of winter. After a blizzard. At minus 40 degrees. Wearing only a white wife beater and a pair of tattered yoga pants.

I’ve been on a pretty intense spiritual journey over the past few months and my flip-flops are so worn out that the balls of my feet are pushing through the soles onto the pavement.

I’m exhausted.

I haven’t slept since October 2002.

I’m too tired to sleep.

The overarching theme of my recent spiritual road trip has been rest.

Whispering to horses

I recently traveled to California with Lissa Rankin to meet up with Martha Beck and her team for a “Heal the Healer” curriculum planning meeting. Our plan is to train fifteen doctors in a new way to practice medicine and the purpose of our trip was to experience what the healers will experience on the opening week of this program. Martha brought in a brilliant team: an amazeballs energy body worker, an astounding horse whisperer, a gifted coach and empath, and a number of others. I’m not wholly ready to share the entire experience with the world, but I will share one part of the weekend.

It was our first day working with the horses and Koelle Simpson, the horse whisperer, asked me before I went into the corral with my horse what intention I wanted to set. I told her that I wanted to reconnect; that I’d felt very disconnected for the past ten years. I also told her that, in the past, most of my relationships have ended because I’ve burnt myself out with my giving so that, once I’ve given all I could give without being filled in return, I bolt. Gone. No warning. No previous indication. Notta.  I eluded to this phenomenon here. Essentially I told Koelle that I wanted to end this pattern in myself and to reconnect to the magic.

Before I even entered the space with the horse I was crying. Not the sobbing-snot-running-down-your-face-guttural-cry that makes some folks uncomfortable, but rather the streaming-tears-rolling-down-your-face-crying that makes some folks uncomfortable; that kind that you can’t control no matter how hard you try to suck it up and make the tears stop.

When I finally went into the ring I stood maybe twelve feet from the horse. I didn’t approach it right away I just stood there looking at it, trying to feel what it needed. I did this for quite some time. Eventually I approached the horse and put my hand on its nose, still trying to gauge its needs. Koelle definitely had my number. She knew exactly what I was doing. And in the most loving way possible she chided me.

“What are you doing?” Koelle asked from the wooden platform above.

I don’t remember exactly how I replied, but it doesn’t matter. Koelle knew the answer already.

“The horse doesn’t need anything from you,” she said, “the horse is perfectly content. He’s curious. What are you trying to do?”

While I don’t remember my response, I too knew what I was doing. I was trying to see how I could help the horse. I wanted to sense how he was feeling. I wanted to be there for him. Was he scared? Nervous? Pissed off? Did he need to take a dump, but felt bashful because I was staring at him?

(Are you catching on to how utterly ridiculous that is? Yeah, I thought so.)

The thing is, Koelle was right. That horse didn’t need anything from me. And, just like that, my time in that corral became about me. Koelle asked me to do whatever I felt comfortable doing. And I walked right over to the center of that ring, ignoring the horse, and sat down in the soggy shit and mud and I cried that same cry that can’t be controlled.


When Koelle asked what was coming up for me all I could say was “REST.”

My memory is so fuzzy, but I believe this is the time when Martha chimed in from the stands and told me to drop down into that feeling of rest. Apparently I dropped down so far into rest that all of the people in the stands could feel it. They closed their eyes and for some distance out and away from the corral there was a very heavy silence. It was as if my energy of rest were a storm rolling across the valley, blanketing everyone and everything in its path.

Suffice it to say I definitely reconnected to the magic that weekend and as Lissa and I were driving across California back home I told her I wasn’t ready for re-entry. She said she wished that she could show me Big Sur. I told her perhaps we should just go stay in Big Sur and so we did. It truly was a restful and peaceful time and the weekend was full of hot springs, calling in dolphins and bending forks with my mind (a blog for another time.)

The thing is, now that I’m home and back to the grind, I’m not sure I know how to rest. Take a nap? I have shit to do, I’ve got this blog to write, I’ve got buttloads of work waiting for me, I need to buy toilet paper.

Soul Truthing

Still ruminating on the idea of resting when my plate is as full as the Bellagio buffet, I used the gift of a Soul Truthing given to me for Christmas from Monica. I wrote down three questions and sent them to the slathered in Awesome Sauce Soul Truther Tracie Nichols. They were “action” questions like “Yo, what’s up with my novel” and “Tell me more about my business” and “Why am I so disconnected.”  Apparently, Tracie wasn’t moved by those she communicates with to tell me how to work harder or apply ass to chair to work on my novel (though we did get to those questions). No, rather she said she was being told that I needed to know that my flame has nearly died out; that I’m in a life raft, but I have the canvas pulled over my head and I am crouched in the fetal position.

She went on to say that in past incarnations my soul has been a brilliant, fierce and fiery blue-violet flame akin to Athena and Hera. When she told me my flame had nearly died out I could only picture a little, sputtery flame like those cheap-ass candles you buy at Walmart with the whacked out wicks that never burn properly and the build-up of wax almost puts the flame out altogether when you burn it.

It scared me. Does that mean I’m almost dead? It terrified me more because I felt the truth in her words. Not that I’m dying, but that my soul flame is a akin to a cinnamon apple candle from the Walmart that was made in China by folks who trim the wick too short and place it, not in the center, but to one side of the candle so that the blackened soot always rises to one side and stains my fingers. That’s my soul right now. Tired, exhausted, blackened – an itty bitty flame like an old man with erectile dysfunction.

Not only do I feel the truth in her words, I feel that truth in my body. I remember times in this life where I’ve been that fierce and fiery blue-violet flame. And I can also see that I snuffed it down with guilt, shame, copious amounts of vodka and distance from Source.

Tracie said there are resources hovering all around my life raft like fireworks. My anal detailed action mind wonders if they’re specific books, if they’re yoga, if they’re meditation, if I’m going to meet someone with one of those fireplace bellows doo-hickies that you pump together that blows air at my flame and fans it up.

My soul realizes that this is an inside job. Damned, though, if I don’t feel like I’m floating around in that life raft; no shore in sight. Perhaps, as with my overwhelming desire to rest, I’ve just been burning my candle at both ends. Regardless, my session with Tracie has had me reflecting for months with its depths and layers and I’m infinitely grateful for both my trip to California and my trip with this gifted soul truther.

So that’s where I am, my friends. I don’t have a closing for this blog. I haven’t figured it all out. I have no wisdom to impart; no neat wrap up with a recurring theme, a bright red bow and a card with a picture of a fluffy kitten. But I hope your spring garden reaps a beautiful harvest.

A New Way to Set “Resolutions”


Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, but I actually like New Year’s “Resolutions.”

I also enjoy taking the hundreds of books off of my book shelf each year, caressing them gently with a dust cloth, making out with them, and adding them to the book app on my phone, so that I don’t buy the exact same book when I go into Barnes & Noble and think “Ooooh, this looks great.” (Yeah, it was. The first time I read it ten years ago.) I adore how the process of rearranging them is all mine and has nothing to do with alphabetization, but more to do with how much I loved them (if I remember reading them at all.) I’m an anal Virgo Warrior Librarian, for sure.

Yeah, I hear all of you… “Resolutions are bullshit, what makes January so special, it’s just another month. You’ll only last till February…” And on it goes.

But, to me, there’s something powerful about a fresh start; a brand new year; the first day of a string of 365 days. It makes me want to clean shit with Q-tips. I find myself saying “put some Windex on it.” It makes me want to try again. It makes me want to get rid of the Jagermeister stained clothes from my bartending days that are still, in truth, staining my psyche. It makes me want to think about the potential that the new year holds.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know, I hear you – any day can be a fresh start. You can choose to begin anytime. You can pick March – “his shoes are purple.” It’s true, but in this month I just feel it a little more potently. It’s not yet been mired down by a random Tuesday in June when I feel hopeless and go back to bed for two weeks with watered down cans of Cream of Celery soup and stale Zesta crackers.

I set some powerful intentions this year on January 1st. Big intentions. Intentions I have no idea about how they’re going to come to pass. And in these past 20 days some of them are already like little green seeds curling and popping out of rich icy soil. The potential and mystery of them are magic – like psychedelic-fairies-popping-out-of-black-top-hats-shitting-rainbow-colored-piles kind of magic.

A Different Way to Set “Resolutions”

I learned this intention setting process from my friend Mike Robbins. Essentially you write out an intention – almost like an affirmation. Something like this, for example, in the area of Spirituality:

I have a deep and abiding relationship with Source, feel reconnected and in tune with the magic all around me.

Then you write out your goals in regards to spirituality. Here are a few of mine:

  1. I am a clear channel for the spiritual/religious aspects of my novel.
  2. I go on a spiritual vacation full of magic.
  3. I read spiritual books that deepen my awareness and that resonate with me.
  4. I bend re-bar. (Another post for another time.)

Lastly, you list out actions you can take to meet your goals around spirituality. Like these of mine:

  • Write each day
  • Read books that resonate with me full of aha moments and which deepen my connection.
  • Say what I’m grateful for each night before bed.
  • Workshops & or Spiritual Retreat.
  • 2 Sessions with someone to work on the spiritual this year

And around and around it goes. I do this for Spirituality, Health, Family/Relationships/Friendships, Work/Life Purpose, Money, Home/Environment, Fun, & Charity. Not unlike assessing the stones in Lissa Rankin’s Whole Health Cairn.

There is something so profound about this process of getting very clear and actually doing something about it. In fact, it reminds me of the saying “The Universe isn’t going to give you whack, if you don’t know what you want.” (Or something like that.) It also reminds me of what’s so lacking in books like The Secret. You can’t just sit there and wish for the Ferrari, you need to feel it, you need to get off your arse and “actionably” move in that direction in some way, then you need to release the attachments to whether or not you’ll be tooling around in that car. (And there’s more… this isn’t a lesson on what’s lacking in The Secret.)

But one thing I know for sure. Truly. The Universe can’t give you what it is you think you want if you haven’t even given thought to what you want.

When I first read The Secret and watched the movie I remember thinking about my novel incessantly. I would sit there and picture my novel published with the words “International Bestseller” embossed at the top. I would see my novel at the top of the NYT Bestseller List – for years. I could feel it deep down in my bones and thus I would squeal, despite myself, whenever I would feel that feeling. I even made the book cover complete with the artwork I wanted to grace it, the blurbs on the back, the review by the New York Times, even the publisher on the spine and I pinned it, with love and hope, on my vision board. But I hadn’t been sitting my ass in that chair and actually been putting words to blank pages. What did I think would happen? The fairies would fly over to my computer and shit fibrous fairy dust on my keyboard and write it for me? That I would wake up one morn after slurping two pots of Red Ginger tea and look over at my desk to see a bound, edited masterpiece that was all packed up and ready to be shipped to agents?  Yeah, I sort of think I did think that somehow, but now that I’ve returned from la-la land, I realize that you do need to set very clear intentions, very clear goals, and have some action steps to put them into place.

That’s when the magic happens.  Not before that, not while you’re sleeping and fairies are crapping fairy dust on your inaction – that comes later.

Case in point

(I’m not sure why I put this under my “Money” section and not my “Work/Life Purpose” section, but I did and I’m not questioning it.)

Intention: I am wholly financially abundant, aware, and healthy.  Money flows and expands with ease and I no longer have to “work hard” to obtain money.  I lovingly release any and all limiting beliefs around money and am wealthy in my relationships, friendships, and financial life.

Goal: I begin doing more coaching/space holding and explore the possibility of working more in that capacity than day to day routine tasks. I fill myself and learn to work with my empath energy in a way that is fulfilling and magical for myself and others. This work fills me up, but doesn’t deplete me. I learn to hold this space in a healthy way, so as to do this work even more.

Actions/Practices:  Talk to another empath about ways to increase my space holding business and work on ways to increase and work with my empathic nature.

As I said, I wrote all these on January 1, 2013. I took that action. I called another empath and asked for her advice. I got a list of resources from her to work on. She shared with me the foundation of a coaching program that, while unexplainable, lights my fire like nothing has for quite some time. I started reading books on the subjects of empaths and wayfinders. And… voila, three days later I got a call from someone who wants me to be the spaceholder for their business. Just like that.

Here’s the beauty. I didn’t have to have all the answers before the fairies started defecating all over my visions. My intention is pretty damn clear, right? But I wrote that goal and I honestly had no unearthly idea what that would look like. And I was very okay with that. In fact, I remember saying to myself, “I don’t need to know the cursed ‘hows.’” I trusted that the answers would reveal themselves to me.

When I made that “action” call to a fellow empath, I said to her, “I have no idea what this looks like, but this… is how I’m feeling.” And it’s like that damned fairy, through this empath, shat the answer right into my lap and then, relieved of her burden, smiled at me.

And let me tell you… the joy around that feeling of connection, trust, and giving in to whatever will be without attachment, is unsurpassed. It’s better than steamy sex, ice-cold Jägermeister, and the lapping of puppy tongues on your cheek.

I still don’t have the answers to all of this. I’m fumbling around, blind-folded, I definitely can’t see it all. I don’t need to. But I can smell the fairy poo pervading every nook and cranny of my life right now. I’m stepping in it and smearing it everywhere. I’d daresay I’m ready to wipe it on the walls. And I’m remaining open to what comes.

10 Things I’d Rather Do Than to Shop on Black Friday – 2012 Edition


In the tradition of top ten lists everywhere, I’m instituting the beginnings of my own tradition – a list of top things I’d rather do than shop on Black Friday. Enjoy.

  1. Insert a moist parasite into the depths of my bowels with a pair of tongs.
  2. Shave my armpits with a lice infested cheese grater.
  3. Alphabetically file all the names of the children in China. Twice.
  4. Drink a warm mixture of acid, cat urine and Redbull.
  5. Lose my right pinkie finger in an unfortunate “smelting accident.”
  6. Scalp myself with a crude and rusty implement while singing Surrey with a Fringe on Top.
  7. Eat a heaping bowl of toe jam with ladyfingers.
  8. Squeegee all the windows of the Empire State building with the corner of a soiled napkin.
  9.  Dance to Weird Al Yankovic with real zombies during the apocalypse.
  10. Swallow three lit tiki torches while wearing nothing but a sparse grass skirt.

The Pause in Perimenopause – Part 1


Oh. Dear. God. Above…

I think I’m having hot flashes.

Is it menopause? Perimenopause? Just-o’-pause?

Come on baby, light my fire?

I’ve never worried about the “change of life” before. Ever. I mean I’ve actually looked forward to it after years of Stage IV Endometriosis and cramps that have left me crying, cuddled in the corner like Baby on crack. But, that was before I knew I was going to be pushed up to the razor’s edge of a stream of internal molten lava.

It was definitely before I knew I was going to burst into flames at any possible second.

It was most assuredly before I knew that the blazing inferno inside of my body was going to reach the surface temperature of the sun about eight times a day with no warning.

Picture it…

I’m sitting there watching reruns of Frasier, cuddling with the Kr8z, eating Big Hunks, and suddenly I feel this warmth in my torso that quickly turns hotter and hotter and spreads throughout my whole body until I’m gasping from panic and lack of oxygen. I’m afraid to open my mouth to let in any cool air because I’ve watched Backdraft about a million times so I know better.

I’m not sweating profusely or anything so there is that. But I am waking up a couple times a night and my yellow Dr. Seuss “One Fish, Two Fish” pajamas have melded to my body like molten gold. I lay there panting with So-Kr8z trying to lick the sweat from inside my mouth. It’s all very Animal Farm meets Suzanne Summers without her yams in the Mojave Desert in August.

I always thought that when you went into menopause you’d then graduate to Crone status; you’d be all wise and sage and have this crazy depth. I’m certainly not feeling very wise. Just yesterday I had Cap’n Crunch for dinner.

Picket Signs?

I visited Dr. Google looking for alternatives to hormone replacement. I’m only 42 and my guess is that, due to my endo, I only have one lone ovary up in there and she was probably struggling to keep up with my estrogen demands and went on strike. I can see her brandishing a picket sign painted with neon pink letters that read “Overworked and underpaid.” Or perhaps she jumped off my uterus due to loneliness and splatted to her death. Who knows? But, there is no way I’m going to swallow a single drop of horse pee. Plus, my dearest friend lost her mom due to a blood clot from those drugs and it was heartbreaking.

Unfortunately, my research didn’t uncover much. Some studies have shown flaxseed to be helpful and another study showed that it doesn’t do shit, though apparently it makes you need to shit. Then we have Suzanne’s yams which, apparently, don’t do a damn thing either, plus yams are meant for bathing in brown sugar and butter during Thanksgiving time.

I’m not wholly sure what it all means. Perhaps it’s time to take a pause. Perhaps it’s time to buy a fire extinguisher. I dunno. But… I’d love some tips for unfanning these flames. What works for you, aside from Equus ferus caballus urine? Have you experienced this inner pyromaniac phenom in your body? I’d so love some sage words of advice.

What I Learned from Falling in Love…


“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. If not, leave this gathering. Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.” Rumi

You can try to avoid love all you want. You can decide you’re not ready to date after an OkCupid meet-up gone horribly meh. You can hole yourself up in your house, working like a fiend, watching reruns of Frasier, reading Fifty Shades of Grey and Rumi, eating buttered noodles and asparagus, and love will come knocking on your mother-fucking door anyway. Literally.

“Knock-knock, Motherfucker.” Or… in my case: Ding. Dong, Motherfucker.

Once you’ve opened the door you have to just let it in. Grab that dusty toolbox from the garage and keep those pliers handy because you’ve got to keep your heart open. I don’t care how often and deeply your heart has been broken in the past. I don’t care if you’ve been married twelve times to raging, abusive meth addicts. Those exes are not this new guy. No projection. No clamming up. No shutting down. Take those pliers and pry your heart open. Clamp it with a cold metal speculum. Use duct tape if you have to. Keep your heart open when he doesn’t text. Keep it open when you’re getting mixed signals. Keep it open when he’s reminding you of your past dudes. Keep it open when it feels safer to lock ‘er back up.

All relationships will hurt. Even if you’re dating Mister Rogers of the neatly folded sweaters and soothing carmel-coated voice. You still might trip over his well-placed black dress shoes. He still might tell you he’s feeling conflicted and unsure about the depths of his love for his ex; the utter opposite of you on the human scale. He might decide that your lack of sheep’s clothing, abundance of tattoos, and devil may care attitude aren’t for him. The fact that you jump in rain puddles might freak him out. Your adventurous spirit in bed might send him running to a shower of holy water and bended knees at the altar.

Connections may not mean to him what they mean to you. You may see the magic and wonder in your meeting. You may be floored by the way you’re already finishing each other’s sentences and have the exact same favorite food and how you orgasm at the exact same nanosecond. You may feel the tingly bits of electricity when you touch, you may marvel at this soul that feels like a comfortable, worn-in pair of Converse that you’ve walked in for a thousand years. Honoring that connection and being fully present in the gifts of connection may be totally lost on the other person. Or, they make recognize it and give a voice to it but, let me tell you, it takes a certain size of balls and ovaries to give yourself over to that connection – to ride it out. Taking the comfortable road of known paths, free of briars and brambles, with a topological map may feel more safe for him. The fact that you’re wearing your purple galoshes and a blue peacoat, standing on the edge of a precipice so you can jump when you hear the call of the wind doesn’t mean he’s willing to do the same.

All relationships will end in hurt. Forget the connection, forget the love, forget the feelings. Let’s even say you reside in the relationship for fifty-plus years. Eventually one of you will die. It could happen tomorrow. There are no guarantees. There’s no “100% organic, certified safe” stamp on a relationship. Whether it lasts ten days or ten years or ten decades it’s going to end in hurt. If you’re trying to protect your gonads with a dixie cup you’re gonna fail. If you’re trying to play it safe in case it doesn’t end well, it’s still going to hurt. As Mirabelle Buttersfield says in “Shopgirl” it’s a simple choice, “Hurt now or hurt later.”

Once the connection is severed and the relationship has inevitably ended in hurt and pain there are a few things that are vastly helpful in getting over it.

  • Now that you’ve let go and are out of the haze o’ love think about all the reasons you’re not right for each other. Suddenly remember how utterly perfect the Universe is – how it brings people into your life as a mirror. Stare hard at the reflection. Note the water spots. Learn. Grow like a stink weed. Be grateful that this person who didn’t work out, didn’t work out. Sappy, yes, but everything happens for a reason.  As Lissa Rankin says, “You may be asking the Universe for a Pinto when the Universe is trying to give you a Rolls Royce.” Aren’t you glad the Universe didn’t let you keep that Pinto? That shit blows up when you hit the backend even slightly. You don’t want someone who can’t handle a bit o’ rear end action. You don’t want to end up with someone who crumbles at the slightest ping of life. Right? Of course, right.
  • Thank him for breaking you open. Thank him for ringing that mother-fucking doorbell because the fact that you opened it means you’re ready. It means you’re not dead, cold, and entering the beginning stages of rigor mortis. It means that love is still out there for you. It means that despite the reruns of Frasier, buttered noodles and asparagus you can still feel deeply.  You’ve been shaken loose. Be grateful. Be YOU at the expense of loss. Get clear on what you want and then embody that. Attract someone with the hugest set of balls you’ve ever seen. Find someone who honors connection.
  • Listen to music, particularly Sade. Cry over love songs. Revel in the feelings of heartache. Read Rumi. Watch sappy romances. Fantasize about Johnny Depp. Join a trapeze class. Wake up. Love YOU more than you loved that other person.  Hold yourself tight and drink in the gorgeous soul that is you with your unique traits and attributes that someone else will someday truly appreciate. But… you don’t need that. Appreciate you yourself. Fall in love again. With YOU.

Whatever you do, keep those tools handy, you never know when love’ll come ’round again.

With a crowbar,


Birthing a New Me


There’s a change a brewin’ in me, folks.

And… it’s felt about as fluid and graceful as when Jim Carey of Ace Ventura fame was birthed from a large, plastic rhinoceros arse. My facial expressions and utterances are the same.

I’m on the lookout for something different; something big. I’m waiting to embrace change as enthusiastically as I’d embrace the return of the buoyancy of my breasts.

Trade Winds

You see, I haven’t felt very connected as of late. Hell, I haven’t felt connected for a good seven plus years. It’s more like I’ve been sort of floating around, willy-nilly, on a trade wind from the Caribbean. But, you know that feeling I’m talking about, right? When you feel that indescribable joy, feeling of connection, and clarity of purpose and path in every bone in your body; when you just know you’re onto something big and it swells you, you feel lighter, and you physically see more clearly?

I was talking with a friend about this feeling of connectedness recently. I told him that I haven’t felt that feeling since I moved to Cleveland. I was trying to noodle out with him what that was about. I think it started with an emergency surgery I had for my Stage IV Endometriosis. I was married to a wonderful man but we just had nothing to work toward together. We didn’t have much in common, we were just sort of going through the motions of existence, neither happy, nor sad, but simply content and comfortable. I hadn’t been happy for the last six years of my marriage. I think that surgery and subsequent recovery awoke something within me – a will to live; a will for more than just existence and comfort. I left my ten year marriage, I left my family and friends, I left my home and traipsed across the country with 30 boxes of books, a twin mattress, and a couple of bookshelves. I had never felt more alive. It’s as if my vision, normally 20/40 had returned to 20/20. I’d never felt more clearly set upon my path nor more full of joy.

Blowin’ About

It lasted for a good three years too. During that time I traveled to Europe, New York City, South Beach, Folly Beach, Ottawa, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Pennsylvania and a few places I can’t even remember. I dove out of a plane. I learned to snowboard. I got up on a surf board. I went to hundreds of concerts and met thousands of people. Literally.

What my friend and I decided was that when you’re taking risks, when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally more connected. When you’re shaking things up in your life you’re truly living in the NOW. You’re not focusing on the past or the future. I challenge you to take your first dive out of an airplane while retaining thoughts of Aunt Hester smacking you as a child with her bejeweled ruby handbag. It’s not possible.

It’s the same for travel. When you’re in a wholly new environment you’re bombarded with new senses and sensations; things you’ve never seen, heard, or felt. It’s difficult to focus on the mundane or worry the past or future when you’re in a new setting. I think this may be why folks are addicted to extreme sports. Who has time to worry about the state of their stocks and the market when they’re barreling down a mountain on a piece of wood?

There are other ways to stay in the NOW but my meditation pillow is musty and I’m no Deepak Chopra. Yet.

Turning the Fan on Low

For now, I’m making baby steps. I’m not just sitting around waiting to be blown about by that nor’easter. I may not be moving 2,000 miles away, jumping out of a tiny plane at 11,000 feet, or traveling to Bali, but I’m doing what I can.

For example, since I was fifteen years old I’ve had long hair. Why fifteen? Because that’s how long it took to grow back after my mom decided I would look adorable with a Dorothy Hamill haircut for my entire childhood. I loathed it. It was like a bowl cut, only with a gargantuan bowl. Detest is probably a better word, in fact. Every time I sat in that stylist’s chair I cried big, fat tears and my tiny heart would break thinking about Julie Wood and her long yellow tresses. I swore that I would never have short hair again. And now, at 41, I’m seriously thinking about chopping off my hair. No, not a Dorothy Hamill. Something funky and chic and different. I’ve oft wondered if hair holds memory and toxins. If it does mine is full o’ guilt, shame, Jaeger and Beam. I want to lighten my load. I want to shock myself. I just hope I don’t cry while I’m in the chair with visions of Dorothy skating through my head.

Next up are three tattoos. Big ones.  Not like the little heart with a ball and chain that I got on my ankle when I was 19 and couldn’t commit. My second, back in 2002, was a piece of art I fell in love by a Japanese artist. Since that time I’ve fallen in love with various pieces of art, some of which I’ve gotten tattoos of, but until 3 years ago they were in more inconspicuous places. Now I have a large upper arm piece but I want more. So I’ve searched high and low to find the right artist here in Utah and these three super meaningful pieces of artwork will soon be on my chest and arms. It struck me the other day that I’m going to miss this body when I pass on because of all this gorgeous artwork by some of the most amazing tattoo artists around.

I’m also searching for a Yoga retreat that I can steal away to calm my monkey brain, get a tad of Zen, try to stretch my unused muscles and pat the must out of my meditation pillow.

Is this stuff superficial? Outer reflection? Surface?  Yup… but it’s the only place I can think of to begin to express what’s brewin’ within. I can’t seem to crack the inner. The deep. The buried. Yet. But I can feel it in there. Waiting. Biding its time to become. Birthing a new me, head first, from that proverbial plastic rhinoceros ass.

Seeing Red: How to REALLY Deal with Anger


I have been full of rage lately.

Unexplainable-chili-pepper-hot-blown-out-of-proportion anger over trifles.

I’m pissed about burnt English Muffin toast.

I’m livid over the fact that I unsubscribed from HBO right before season 2 of Game of Thrones began.

I’m fuming over abysmally written novels that I’ve wasted half an hour on before I toss them out of my third floor window.

I want to mentally throw lukewarm Red Ginger tea in the face of folks on Facebook who act completely fake from the person I know them to be in the real world; people who write incessantly about helping others but don’t actually lift a manicured finger to do so.  Peeps who write about the importance of friendship but suck at it. Read more

On Death & the Next Grand Adventure (Oh, and Bilbo Baggins)


I had an epiphany this morn. Like a choking on a slurp of my Ginger Red tea kind of epiphany.

I am Bilbo Baggins.

It all started with this

There was a study released recently that you are what you read. A scary proposition, eh, and I don’t know about you but I’m not particularly keen to become anything like Pap Finn, Iago, Sauron, Satan, Voldemort or Grendel. Plus, unlike Bilbo, I’m really not short. I don’t puff on a pipe (though I did once when I was fifteen and having a nicotine fit.) I do, however, shave the little wisps of hair on my big toes, but I most definitely don’t have hair in my ears. Yet.

I don’t know if I was Bilbo before I read The Hobbit or after. But, there’s really no question that I am Bilbo Baggins. Bear with me and I’ll explain. Read more