Sunday, January 14, 2018

Kicking Butt in 2018

This was me last Sunday-- the sidewalk was fine and then one foot on black ice and I was down. In pain that night and barely able to walk the next morning. X-rays, crutches, yada, yada, yada... later that day I was working from my couch leg up, knee iced, and so so thankful nothing was broke only sprained. 

I had been so excited for the new year and within the week I was already in pain after falling on my ass- not a great start. 

Well, maybe it was. Because it reminded me how lucky I am to have: insurance when so many don't; friends who'll come pick me up and take me to the doctor; a job I can do from my couch; a body that can heal itself; and a home that makes me feel safe, warm and cozy. 

Any time I ever question my life, my circumstances, my body, my good fortune, my anything... it takes me rarely more than 15 minutes (I am human afterall πŸ˜‰ ) to remember how lucky I am to be alive. 

A week later, I'm much better, not in a lot of pain, with a slightly bendier knee that feels like it's mending OK. And I'm super grateful that I have this year to look forward to.

Hope you are kicking 2018's butt and not spending a lot of time on yours... and that you have received the gift of gratitude for when you find yourself down and need a reminder how lucky we are to be able to get back up again.     

(A friend sent this to me and said this is how she pictured my fall. If I was only this graceful-- I barely made it 1 foot forward before I went down. So watch yourself folks.)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Hello to Hi Vibe!

The summer of 2002 was a really discombobulated time in my life. I lost two of the people I loved the most (my Nonne & my college sweetheart), left a job that I had been at for over a decade, and was smarting from a breakup. It was not my happy time.

And when I sorted everything out and healed my wounds I declared I would never be in that kind of funk ever again. I made a conscious decision that if things ever fell apart again I would stay calm, collected, and would figure things out remaining grateful for whatever lessons came out of the pain.

Lucky me πŸ™„ when this past summer I got to practice my dedication to this stand. My life was shaken after a few big losses left me with not only heartache but dealing with some real trauma. It would have been super easy to dissolve into a puddle of mope, but I remembered how that goes, so instead I mapped out what needed to be handled and what I wanted and went about creating a path forward. It has not been easy, but along the way I came upon a phrase that has become my new motto...
Hi Vibe!

My pal Jess Lively first introduced me to the phrase when I was listening to her podcast The Lively Show. I have known Jess casually for years and in that time she has gone through tons of changes from a single-jewelry-designer, to married-blogger, to beautifully-uncoupled-and-looking-for-love-world-traveling-top-podcaster. And although she is extraordinary, she is also a normal person.

What is inspiring about her is how she puts herself out in the world and then shares the lessons she learned along the way with such an authenticness that it makes others believe they can create a wonderful life for themselves as well. 

The gist of the phrase (or at least what I took from it) is that your life reflects the vibrational level you put out in the world. More than just positive woo-woo thinking...
Hi Vibe is how your energy is aligning in your mind/body and how you are engaging with yourself, others, and the world. What's your vibe?

Hi Vibe then popped up again in one of my favorite books of 2017, You Are A Badass At Making Money, when Jen Sincero is talking about working with Universal Intelligence. I loved this book and thought it was more then just a coincidence that while in this new phase of growth in my life this phrase kept popping up.

So now that's my new mission: practice and get aligned with living in a Hi Vibe lifestyle. From the language we use, to the way we interact with ourselves or our Uber driver, to everything that comes and goes in and out of our lives-- what are we creating for ourselves? How are we vibing?

For me, I'm making 2018 all about Hi Vibing it :)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Theme 2018

2018's Theme :) 

This year I'm all about living at a vibrational level that makes me happy and calm and grateful.

What are you up to in 2018?

If you haven't created your year yet--- come join in!

(past themes)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Diagnosis

****** Spoiler Alert ******* 

No one wants to be called crazy... even and especially when they are acting, well, crazy. But just as people break a bone or get cancer, most of us will at sometime in our lives struggle with our mental health. It can range from exhaustion after the death of a loved one or depression after a divorce, to the more chronic and barely manageable.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's first two seasons were playing with the "crazy" in the title, but season three takes a turn to get serious about how Rebecca is really not well. She has always known she had issues with depression and anxiety but had never had a correct diagnosis. Which after the obligatory musical number we see why even after the relief of getting a diagnosis she fights being labeled and manifests why it's so hard to treat someone with an issue like BPD.

Borderline Personality Disorder is helpfully described in the clip above and the reason I bring it up is I know all too well how being in denial of a mental illness can lead to insane behavior and even death. My college sweetheart had bi-polar manic depression and because of his stubbornness and pride he would not take his medication as directed or take care of himself as needed. This lead to self-medicating and eventually his death from an unintentional overdose.

He was an engineer with a brilliant mind but wouldn't/couldn't do the smart thing that might have enabled a productive happy life. The waste of it is overwhelming to think about sometimes. It pains me so 😒

When I watched the recent episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend it reminded me immediately of how mental health is both an art and a science. There is no perfect fix-- there are misdiagnoses, there are adjustments needed to medications, there is resistance to getting the help we need. But there is no prize for toughing it out; there is only the pain we cause ourselves, those who love us, and anyone who has to deal with us not being at our best.

If you find you're not thriving in life like you know you can: get help. Get a diagnosis and if it doesn't fit, get a second opinion. Just know you are worth the effort of taking care of yourself. You are not your disease or disorder -- you are a human who is tending to life with its complicated challenges and this just happens to be the one you are dealing with at this time.

It would be crazy not to address our mental health and be as well as we can be.

Wishing us all a healthy happy New Year!   πŸ˜Š

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The ThanksGiving List (πŸ¦ƒ + πŸ“ƒ)

It's THAT time of year again🍁... Happy Thanking! πŸ˜˜

FINDING JOY: The ThanksGiving List
Over a decade ago I started my favorite tradition ever:  The ThanksGiving List. It is a list of my closest friends and why I am thankful for them...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Name is ... Karma

The world feels especially weird right now and even a bit scary. But every time I feel a little discombobulated I focus on what I have control over and this reminds me of the ME-ness of meanness. Because when things seem off-kilter the best place to start to right the motion is to clean up our mess first which allows us to be more powerful dealing with others and building a joyful life.

My favorite example of this philosophy is the pilot episode of My Name Is Earl: the gist of it is that a guy... named Earl... is a loser who scratches off a $100,000 winning lottery ticket and he's so excited while jumping around he gets hit by a car and the ticket blows away. While in the hospital he sees Carson Daly talking about karma and thinks he's discovered why his life is so shitty. So he makes a list of 259 bad things he's done and sets off to right his wrongs. His first action on his roadmap to a better life is to clean up the parking lot of the motel he's staying in to make up for being a litterbug and while his brother makes fun of him for picking up garbage a gust of wind lands the missing lottery ticket at his feet.
Carson Daly was right karma works!

Making amends to people we've wronged shows up in themes from movies to AA's 12-step program and there is a reason: it's freeing and even life saving.

One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies has a similar inventory feel:

When Harry searches for the cure to what's been ailing him he takes a trip into his past to figure how he arrived at being him. It's painful and he has to force himself to listen to the harm he's done and attempt to understand what pain he's caused and how to be a better person.

The journey of getting closure on either what's ailing us, what's unresolved in us, what's blocking good karma from flowing into our lives is tough. It's not for wusses or the faint of heart. It takes a strong person to own their past, their mistakes, and then clear the way to a future filled with possibility and loose from the baggage most of us let weight us down.

Karma can get us or free us.

Cleaning up my own karma* as a gift to myself by my next birthday... My name is Joy.
I invite you to join me :)

[*Please do me favor of letting me know if I need to clean up anything with you. Thanks!]