Tuesday, December 23, 2014

He said

Be pleasing. Don't forget to smile. Tone it down Dorothy.

He said, " If she thinks she is intellectually superior, she has another thing coming."
He said, " I will put her in her place."
He said,  "She's too tall. Too Blonde. Too Young."

Most of the time I think that we've come a long way. Ask my mom. On any given day I can be recorded as saying, "Mom, it isn't like that anymore." Most of the time, it isn't. The most trouble I've had in my professional career has been with other women. I can count on one hand the women who have mentored me. Who understand what it feels like to be beautiful and smart. Even as I say this, I know there will be fall out. She thinks she's beautiful. What a cocky bitch. He said that too. He called me "cocky." Do you know how many women have been abused so that you can call me "cocky"?

What if, maybe, I'm good at what I do? What if I worked hard to be where I am? Harder than you. What if  I don't think, for a fucking second, that I should change who I am so that you will be more comfortable?

And yet, your comments are aggressive. They make me feel unsafe. They make me question myself. What I do. My role. I'm walking on egg shells so that the peace isn't disturbed. So that I'm not shamed for having been associated with anything less than ideal.

In the next couple days I will know what to do. Lucky for you, I have been here before so I am confused, triggered, and feeling shameful about something that has absolutely nothing to do with me. It will all become clear, as it always does. You won't win. Not against us. Your are a dinosaur. Extinct. Irrelevant..

To my five fingers: Mom, Laurie, Susan, Jehan, Patsy. Warrior women, you give me wings, and claws. I am eternally grateful.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Never been so tired after a 2 week vacation.

One of my writing teachers once told me to never preface anything. Whatever lady. She clearly didn't write about her kids. So, let me proudly preface this by saying that I am coming off of two weeks of vacation with Ellis. No school for her, no work for me. Stay-at-home moms are rolling their eyes and making exasperated guttural noises right now. Go ahead, judge me. Yes, two weeks without a work break and with Ellis' daddy on a fire, is a lot for me. I don't work because we need the money. I choose to be a working mom because I love my career, I like that when Ellis plays, she picks up a purse, throws on a pair of my high heels and says, "Me go work. I yuv you mama," and also we invest in sending Ellis to one of the best daycares in the Southwest. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that when Ellis decides its a good idea to pick a piece of poop out of her butt with her bare hands, the ladies at the daycare handle it a lot better than I do.

This is all to say, I noticed some interesting tidbits about toddlers, mine in particular, in the last couple weeks. The following are some highlights:

1. Toddlers are clever. Cleverer than you, but you can never, ever let them know you've lost your cool. By "never, ever" I am including when they repeat:
"I wan orange. I wan juice. I wan water. I wan pasta. I wan go for walk. I wan hold you me. I wan jello. I wan berries. I wan macaroni and cheese. I wan candy (even though you've never let her eat candy). I wan apicot. I wan play game. I wan watch wonder pets. I wan put makeup."

If anyone else asked me for this many things in under a minute, I would black out, murder them, bury them in the desert and then wake up from my black out and proceed to live a normal, happy life. Luckily, God makes babies cute and mindfulness videos easily accessible on YouTube so I am able to muster, barely, I might add, "Ellis, I heard you. Please choose one thing and ask nicely." She will then choose one thing, and ask for that on repeat. I respond, " Ellis, I'm very smart. You only need to ask once and I will work on it." She usually stops talking for about 30 seconds (the longest was 45 seconds which totally blew her average) and then in a whisper she starts, "I wan orange. I wan orange. I wan orange. I wan..." I respond, "Ellis," a bit more stern and she will look me straight in the eye, pause and say, "I wan orange."

You might be wondering why I don't just give her a damn orange. Well, for one, the latter exchange happens in about a minute or less. Secondly, I'm trying to teach her some etiquette around asking for what one wants in life. Third, she does get the orange if asks nicely and says "please". I'm convinced that "please" and "thank you" buys you a lot in this life.

2. Toddlers are smarter than adults and the proof I have is that toddlers do not try to reason with other toddlers. They get what they want in one of two ways: blunt force trauma and/or manipulation. Adults, bless their hearts, try to talk toddlers down, they try to negotiate, they try explaining why it really doesn't matter which color of straw you have. If an adult were lying on the floor crying about a straw, I would carefully step over said adult and carry on with my day. Toddler on the floor crying about a straw? Oh, I'll talk the shit out of that toddler. Brilliant Dorothy. Really good work.

3. Toddlers are not afraid of the things they should be afraid of and completely terrified of things that aren't scary at all. That being said, when I'm really pissed and I feel like I might yell, instead I talk to my toddler in a high pitched, sing-songy voice. "Oh honey, please don't stand on the laundry basket and break off pieces of wicker. Mommy is starting to feel frustrated right now." I smile the entire time and move my head back and forth like a Stepford Wife. This seems to freak her out, or at the very least confuse her and she'll usually do whatever I ask. Besides my tortilla pizza muffins, this is my most brilliant discovery yet.

There's more but I'm exhausted and my vacation ends in approximately 9 hours.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Pink Elephant: It's all good

The Pink Elephant: It's all good: I suck at consistency. Can you tell? This is why I can hardly ever lose the last 10 pounds, hardly ever get all my credit card balances to z...

It's all good

I suck at consistency. Can you tell? This is why I can hardly ever lose the last 10 pounds, hardly ever get all my credit card balances to zero, and hardly ever bloody, gosh darn it, write my blog when I say I'm going to. When I say "I've been busy, " its not an excuse, it's an update. The world is shiny and new right now and I have only two things to blame: 1. My energy worker, my Moxie Master, my Mojo Mistress, and 2. My serious addiction to Tony Robbins, Dr. Dyer, Marianne Williamson, and anyone else who almost instantly makes me feel like I'm in the flow again and trusting God.

I never talk about this stuff because people get all freaked out. If you devote yourself to a particular sect of religion, you think I'm worshipping Harry Potter, aka, the devil, which truth be told, I do worship all things Harry Potter, but my energy work, which I call "The Work" has nothing to do with anything devil related.

If you're not religious, you think when I say, "God" I've become a born again Christian. I haven't, I just know that there is a higher power, a divine presence and sometimes I call that presence "God." It's a lot less to type than "higher power."

What I fear the most though, is that you'll think I'm a crystal waving, Goddess worshipping, skirt wearing over my jeans, hippie. That, by far, is not what The Work is.

If you were to look at a continuum where spirituality and science meet at the end, that is where The Work is. I have to admit that I have never tried to explain this before. When I get my friends and family to start this, they do so because I'm bubbling over with excitement and there are tangible things happening in my life that suggest this stuff works.

Anyway, I find myself being shy in this moment. And yet, I have done The Work for close to 10 years and I am happier, more attractive, much more lucrative, very excited about life 95% of the time, and have a firm grasp on the truth that when I let go of my disempowering stories and I tell myself the empowering ones instead, my life BLOOMS.

The Work doesn't make a difference if you are attached to being unhappy, worried, anxious, and mistrusting that everything you desire is yours. I love The Work because it's metaphysical and it makes no sense to me on some level and then it's also highly cognitive and requires vigilance to our thought processes.

When I first started this journey I wanted to make more money. I'm Scottish, what can I say? I thought that money = abundance. Every year was different but money kept coming. Sometimes I would make a big jump, other times, incremental steps. I realized though, and this is sort of silly to say because I'm no 1%, but money is such a tiny part of abundance. So when I expanded my definition of abundance, I met Aaron, my sometimes irritating but nonetheless, best friend and soul's counterpart. Then Ellis came, my biggest and most cherished wish of all. And sometimes when I look at her or talk to her about, er, panties, we talk a lot about panties, I realize that I've known her my whole life. I dreamt of her. She has been with me always and here she is, in the flesh.

Abundance is really about love. Love in the here and now, with someone. Love with God and knowing that he/she/it will do anything to help you make manifest your deepest desires if we only  allow it. Loving yourself. Knowing that you can do anything. It's all so easy and there is nothing in your way. My favorite right now, is loving the feeling of being excited about life. Sometimes I get so excited, I think I'm having a heart attack but aren't we supposed to be excited?

I'm rambling and I have my big quarterly meeting tomorrow in Santa Fe. I will be listening to Tony Robbin podcasts the entire way down and when I get there, everyone is going to think I held up Starbucks because I'm going to be seriously pumped. That said, I need some lavender essential oils on the soles of my feet ASAP. Night, night.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

On parenthood

I would have written but I was busy having a mental breakdown, which happened to have reached a crescendo this morning. I cried for two hours. I cried because it was Mother's Day and when I woke up the sink was full of dishes. I cried because sometimes I think I'm a terrible mom. Sometimes I lose my patience and I raise my voice. Sometimes I hide yogurt in the fridge so Ellis won't eat the last of it. Sometimes I cry for no apparent reason on Mother's Day and Ellis asks me if I'm ok and I smile and say, "yes, I'm just sad right now," and she looks worried for half a second.  I also cried because I don't know why I didn't buy myself a Kuerig for Mother's Day. And then I stopped crying for a bit and then started again because there are moms who can't be with their babies today for awful reasons and I'm an asshole for being sad about dishes and coffee machines (especially since I don't drink coffee but three times a year.)

So today started off a bit rough. My heart felt big and sore and for no good reason at all. Motherhood is kind of like that though. My heart and my capacity to love is not the same as it was before Ellis came into our world. I actually cry less then I did as a single gal but now when I cry, the pain is formidable. I can't help but feel thankful for the depth she's given me. I've never felt more joy in my life either.

She's my greatest teacher. I have so much to learn, so many more skills to master. Sometimes I feel I've never been so unprepared but how could I have been. I had no capacity to understand the brevity of such an undertaking. No one can prepare you for what happens when you have a child. When you hold her in your arms and you know that this is your job now. No one can prepare you for the love and the fear.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Pink Elephant: How to Save Your Soul (or at least be content some...

The Pink Elephant: How to Save Your Soul (or at least be content some...: Imagine a very large hourglass suspended on your dining room wall. This hourglass is filled with coins. Gold coins. It has a very simple p...

How to Save Your Soul (or at least be content sometimes)

Imagine a very large hourglass suspended on your dining room wall.
This hourglass is filled with coins. Gold coins.
It has a very simple purpose.
Every time you experience a loss, no matter how small or profound,
a coin or several, drop to the bottom chamber.

Clink. Clink, clink, clink, clink.

If the bottom chamber fills and no coins remain above, Susto, soul loss.

Imagine there is no coming back from Susto.
Once this happens, your body is not far behind.
We are but abandoned cocoons without our souls.

The hourglass has one more function.
Every joyful moment,
every act of love,
every instance of hope,
every kiss to your child's forehead,
every memory of the same,
every moment spent in your beloved's embrace,
every skip of your heartbeat,
every job well done,
every goal made,
every math problem solved,
every drop of juice from the ripest peach slipping down your chin,
every phone call to a friend,
every moment of true contact with another being,
every wag of a tail,
every song bellowed and shimmied to,
a coin lifts effortlessly back into the upper chamber.

Every laugh, giggle, sigh of relief, deep breath of gratitude, earns you a coin.
A belly laugh earns you double.

Imagine this hourglass stares you down everyday.
Every thought matters.
You have to fight the gravity of cynicism.
Find joy wherever and whenever you can.
Relish it. Savor it and be there with it.
A smile from a stranger, take it in. Let it feed you.
A waft of Jasmine, stop, and let the scent consummate you. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Shake, Shake, Shake

I have a long and sordid relationship with astrology. My mom listened to Joseph the Starwatcher in the car. He came on twice a day and I pretty much did everything I could to distract her right before but she never missed him once. She would actually interrupt me and say, excitedly, "Oh! Joseph is on honey!" And it would begin. His slow, melodic, soothing voice would start going through the seemingly endless list of astrological signs and it always felt like he was talking to us in a bathrobe. I think the thing that bothered me the most though, besides the fact that I found it utterly dull was that my mom would listen to her horoscopes, yes, you read correctly, horoscopes. She has convinced herself and everyone else that she has two birthdays. She's a Virgo and a Libra so I had to listen to those two, Aries because of my oldest brother, Aquarius because of my youngest brother, and she would always get really excited right before mine came on, "Oh, oh, oh! Gemini is next, Gemini is next!" I would stare at her from the backseat thinking, "Seriously woman? I do not care. I am 13, someone tried to kick my ass at school today, I stink, I'm in love with someone who doesn't know I exist and I would run away if I had not watched all those horror movies at my friend's house last weekend and therefore can not be farther than 4 feet from you at all times."

It took several years for me to figure out that astrology could provide insight into love relationships. Once that happened, I was hooked. I became the person who nonchalantly, and this is mortifying to admit, asked men I was interested in, when their birthdays were. At first knowing that they were a Virgo or a Taurus or whatever, sufficed. I could read their horoscope in the newspaper and eventually online but I became suspicious upon realizing that probably not all, say Pisces were going to fall in love this week. Really? All of them? Huh. That can't be right. So, tragically, I graduated to subtly trying to find out what time someone was born and where. It's true. My college roommate would groan and leave me at the bar. It must have been very embarrassing. Anyway, most people fell right into that rabbit hole. People in LA are not exactly shy about talking about themselves. Only a few asked if I was going to do their astrological chart, to which I would laugh loudly and then say something to the effect of, "Um, no. I don't really believe in that stuff, do you?" Obviously once I got the information I would promptly go home and do their astrological chart. My roommate would mutter, back turned towards me, "So, how does it look." "Bad. Very bad. Definitely not pursuing that one." Or, "Good! He's my astrological soul mate!" It was ridiculous and in hindsight, a very entertaining way to filter people.

I loved astrology until a couple years ago. On the night of Aaron's accident, there was an eclipse and I happened to have read my horoscope that day and it said that "life will never be the same after tonight." I had already begun my rapid descent from believing in the stars but still, I warned Aaron to be careful because apparently, and I repeated what my horoscope had said.

After the accident I think I got so busy and so bogged down with reality, I had no time and very little desire to read my horoscope. Shit sucked, didn't need to read about it. When that was over though and life gradually returned to normal, I started paying attention to two astrological phenomena: 1. mercury retrograde periods because knowing when technology is going to be effed helps ensure that I will not throw my electronic devices across the room. 2. Eclipses. After the accident I started looking back and some pretty crazy things have gone down at eclipse time. Bad things like being mugged at knife point in London, leaving a significant relationship after it literally blew up in my face, etc., and good things like new jobs and falling in love and starting college.

Truth be told, eclipses scare the crap out of me. I don't mind change. I am a highly adaptive person and I think the process of shedding our skin is good and healthy but I don't like abrupt change, I don't like traumatizing change and I don't like my life looking one way on Tuesday and a completely different way on Wednesday. This is what eclipses do. Whatever excess baggage you are carrying it's like the universe picks you up, shakes the shit out of you, gets rid of your baggage and then places you not so gently back on the ground. It's rude and I don't like it. I mention all this because we are in between two eclipses right now and I can't help but wonder what part of my life will shake.

I feel solid with my family. Everyone is in reasonably good health. There are no dormant volcanos ready to burst. I feel pretty good about myself so hopefully I won't shake. My job is not the most stable thing on the planet right now though. Lot's afoot. Decisions to be made. Conversations to be had. Meditation and prayer to commence. So, there it is. The job will probably shake. It's funny when you have felt something like this creeping up. "Something is going to shift," I kept telling my close colleague. "Can't you feel it?" He looks at me like I'm a nutter, "No, Dorothy, the only thing I feel shifting is my large intestine. Can we please go get food?!"

I'll keep you posted and in the meantime I will brace myself with thoughts of what adventures await me and cushion the blow with visualizations of my soul's desires waiting for my on the other side. Clarity and positive thinking are the magic wands of the universe, just FYI.

Until next week, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic87SfqQAAM

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Pink Elephant: Hump Day Musings

The Pink Elephant: Hump Day Musings: There's this guy at work. He's married. He has kids. He does the insanity workout every night and his wife packs his lunch every mor...

Hump Day Musings

There's this guy at work. He's married. He has kids. He does the insanity workout every night and his wife packs his lunch every morning full of protein and complex carbs. When he comes to work he beelines for Rebecca's office (names have been changed to protect the guilty). Rebecca and him are clearly...something. I don't think they're having an affair because people who are married and who are having affairs usually attempt to hide it. Rebecca and him can't stay away from each other though for longer than 10 minutes. It's actually quite nauseating and if I had the power, I would fire them both and hire two people who could flirt with coworkers and get their work done.

Today as I was walking towards my car, I saw them chatting in a corridor. They were standing close together, giggling. I instantly thought of his wife and I hoped that she was a very dim witted woman. I hoped that she had no clue what he was up to. I hoped that she liked making copious amounts of protein every night so much that she didn't even notice that he was coming home with an extra spring in his step and when she asked how work was, I hoped he had the decency to complain about all of us and tell her what a drag work is.

I have no patience for cheaters. I think they're weak, selfish and they don't deserve to be loved by someone who would never do the same to them. That being said, I think it is normal and expected to be attracted to other people. I'm not the only attractive person on the planet, I'm sure Aaron will meet/has met a woman he finds attractive. Is he going to ruin his family for her, no, and that is the difference between Aaron and the guy at work.

If you are unlucky enough to be married and to have a crush on a coworker. The worst possible thing you can do is make yourself wholly available to your crush. It's called willpower people. Be bigger and wiser than a 4 year old. You don't have to actualize all things you desire. Sometimes, it pays to sacrifice the immediate for the long term.

Have you heard of the marshmallow study? If I tell you this, you have to promise that you won't try it on your kids. Promise? Ok, so marshmallow study is you give a kid a marshmallow and say you can eat this now or if you wait you can have two marshmallows. Then you leave the room. How rude right? Well, the kids who waited for two marshmallows (delayed gratification) were wildly more successful in life than the kids who said, "Fuck it. I want my marshmallow now!"

When it comes to attraction, don't be the fool at work. Two marshmallows are better than one.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prenup Baby, Prenup

My relationship with love has undergone many reconstructions. When I was younger I wanted to get married as soon as I finished undergrad. When I graduated I was the first to admit that I was far from wanting nor being ready for marriage so I pushed my get-married deadline to 28. I met someone when I was 28 and we probably would have gotten married but we would have also gotten divorced.

It was this relationship that changed me the most and I owe this person much gratitude because I learned:
a) That I love myself above all other people (this was before Ellis came into being).
b) Love is a verb. It takes work. Even if you're "meant to be", you can not sit idly by and assume your relationship will take care of itself. You have to stay vigilant.
c) If your partner can not let you grow and/or you can not let your partner grow, it will never, ever work out. If by sheer luck it does, you will both be miserable so you better hope it doesn't work out. d) If you don't have trust and if you can't talk to each other, you don't have anything.
e) Relationships, like business partnerships, are agreements. If you walked into the board room and told your boss to stick it, your agreement would most likely be over. Relationships are no different. If you treat your partner like crap, eventually they will figure out that there is somewhere else they can go where they will be treated better and they will leave your ass.
f) Finally, if there is a problem in your relationship, no matter how big or small, address is NOW. Do not wait and hope it will address itself. It will not. Relationship issues are tumorous. They very rarely go away on their own and even if they're benign, they still grow and can leave you looking very unsightly.

It's no surprise then, that Aaron and I met when we did and that we both share a love of honesty, independence, and realistic expectations.  We have "board meetings" or if we're discussing parenting, we call them "treatment team meetings." We see a therapist from time to time if we reach an impasse, but 99% of the time, we can figure out our own issues. So in keeping, yesterday Aaron and I met at our lawyer's office to start working on our prenuptial agreement. I am always so shocked by how people react when you mention a prenup. Personally, I think they should be mandatory. Prenups and parenting classes. Shit, may as well add pre-marital relationship classes to that as well.

For those of you who think prenups are only for google execs and professional athletes, they're not. Basically, a prenup is a divorce agreement that you and your fiancé write together when you're still in love. Why the hell wouldn't you do that?! I don't know about you, but every divorce I can think of, sans maybe 2 or 3, were ugly, bitter, mean, expensive as hell and very rarely, fair. Aaron and I have every intention of staying together until we're changing each other's diapers and accidentally using each other's dentures, but you know, shit happens. One of us could go crazier. One of us could hit our heads really, really hard and our personality could change (I know someone that this happened to. He was a weird dude before but then he got a TBI and turned into a total asshole).

I'm all for romance and I hate fighting. If a relationship doesn't work out, let it be because your souls are no longer compatible. Fighting over money is so 1985.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Pink Elephant: Signs

The Pink Elephant: Signs: I would make a really good fanatical religious person. I pretty much believe that most of the things that happen to me are personal signs fr...


I would make a really good fanatical religious person. I pretty much believe that most of the things that happen to me are personal signs from God. Take for instance when there is only one cheese Danish left at the coffee shop and I happen to have not had breakfast. Hello? Sign! "And one cheese Danish please."

Other signs are more complex of course. I'll explain but you need some background. So, the reason this blog is late is because last night I took a half of an Ambien because I have been freaking out about my career and the night before last I was freaking out so bad I didn't go to sleep until 3 am. I got a lot done mind you, including putting half my closet up for sale on eBay, but when you're a mom of a 2.5 year old, and a Senior Executive, going to bed at 3 am is not an option. Last night I knew I needed to sleep and I couldn't really stomach another non-verbal conversation with Aaron wherein he looks at me like I'm losing my mind and I look at him like, "Don't judge me man." So, enter Ambien. That stuff is crazy. Crazy effective and crazy dangerous. I will spare you my lecture on pharmaceuticals and just say that I slept very, very well last night. Not entirely sure why I brought that up, besides to explain why this is a day late...so moving on.

Career: I have THE BEST BOSS in the entire world. Seriously, she and my mom are the most inspirational women I know. I love everything about working for her, even when she sends me crazy long email chains and I spend hours figuring out what she wants me to do with it. She's an exceptional woman and she has made me a desirable and indispensable employee. Our company took a huge blow though when our moronic Governor decided to accuse us of Medicaid fraud without explanation, without proof, and without due process. We have been attempting to recover personally and financially ever since. It's a scary time and nothing is certain.

I was offered another job yesterday and it's comparable in all ways to the position I hold now, except its in Behavioral Health, which is my love. And my boss doesn't work there. I have therefore enjoyed a 48-hour internal struggle that compares to little else I've experienced thus far. That's the background. The following is the sign from God:

My first born, Nina, a brown lab/Aussie mix, aka, crazy, has been trained to do three things: sit, lie down, and come. She is able to do all three but chooses to only do two. She is however, probably as smart as a 4-year-old. She opens doors, hides my car keys, plays Jaco (her little brother) like a fool, and apparently she knows how to soft-mouth small animals and bring them to me still alive, without internal injuries. Last night she brought me a baby bunny. The bunny was fine internally but it's hind legs had been broken. Not a good thing to have happen when you're a wild animal. I put it in a box, wrapped it in a blanket, fed it water from a dropper, and then took it to the Wildlife Center just outside of town. On the way to the Wildlife Center, I had an "aha" moment: This is just like my career woes! The bunny is my current job and I could have left the bunny outside to be eaten by a coyote or freeze to death but instead I brought it inside, I took a chance on it (even though Aaron told me the bunny wouldn't survive the night) and I did everything I could to help it survive. When I woke up the next morning (from my Ambien coma), the bunny was up, alert and totally pissed off to be in a box. Good sign! So on the way to the Wildlife Center I thought, "See, you have to fight for the things you believe in, even when the chances of survival are slim." Approximately 5 minutes later, the vet at the Center told me they were going to humanely euthanize the bunny. Well shit. Ok, then. If the bunny is my job and I did everything I could to save it and it's still going to die...what then?

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Pink Elephant: Habits

The Pink Elephant: Habits: Compared to my twenties, I am practically a health nut. Unfortunately, my personality does not allow for a lot of down time. Case in point, ...


Compared to my twenties, I am practically a health nut. Unfortunately, my personality does not allow for a lot of down time. Case in point, I studied my arse off for approximately 5 months for my licensing exam, took it and passed on March 22nd and then by April 2, I had started writing a book.

I'm someone who believes in manifestation. I believe in the power of positivity, the power of {{{feeling}}}, the power of envisioning where you want to be and letting yourself marinate in that reality until it comes true. I listen to podcasts on my commute, I watch youtube videos late at night (I switch between manifestation videos and Jenna Marbles) and I read articles and ebooks on gratitude, abundance and attracting the kind of life I want. I really hate admitting this because it seems like people equate abundance to financial wealth. I'm not poor but I also have more earning potential in my future. In my opinion though, financial wealth is only a piece of the puzzle. Abundance to me means passionate and fulfilling relationships, doing work that you love and that you feel excited about, being physically vibrant and strong, feeling deeply connected, guided, and loved by the Gold Thread (God), as I like to call it. Money is part of it and it comes easily when all of the above is being tended to.

I hope you all don't think I'm a nutter. Aaron finds my manifestation talk pretty ridiculous and always brushes it off by saying, "Well, worst case scenario Hun, at least you're thinking positively." He is right and also he doesn't get it. What he does get however, is the second part of manifestation. Habits. I'm sure sitting on a pillow and feeling the feelings of abundance has worked for some people but for me, a very vital part of all this are my habits. What is my time spent on? Am I working towards abundance in all of it's facets or is what I'm doing pulling me farther away? Am I working towards greater wealth or farther away (enter my ebay addiction)? Am I working towards physical health or away from it (she inserts wine into mouth)? How are the quality of my thoughts? Am I worried? Panicked? Or calm, full of faith, relaxed and confident? When my mind starts to reel, do I have a method to stop my thoughts and remind myself to focus on the positive (hair tie on wrist, very helpful for thought stopping).

This morning I found myself asking these questions. I have learned to be kinder to myself and slightly less drill Sargentesk but I hold myself to a high standard I find that I'm actually easier on myself when I'm harder on myself, if that makes any sense at all. Here's an example, I went on a run this evening and recently my runs have been hard. I've struggled near the end and I find myself in a mental battle. One voice says, "I'm tired. I've had a long day. I have a lot to do when I get home. I just want to stop running now." The other voice, who by the way has become so much more polite and understanding says, "I know you're tired. You have been working hard but this good for you and this is easy. You can do anything. This is easy." The other voice protests but not for long and 9 times out of 10, my body feels more energized, and I am always so happy after I run.

So, Habit #1 that I want to share with all of you, for accountability reasons, is Positive Self-Talk. I've said some pretty awful things to myself in the last 34 years and the reasons why I did have never been real but it took me a long time and a lot of therapy to understand that. The icing on the cake was Ellis though. I hold this vision of her sitting cross-legged on her dorm bed late at night, getting to know her roommate who is hopefully not crazy and telling her all about her mom and how I taught her to believe in herself, to be confident and kind to herself and always, always know that everything is going to work out well. I love the quote by Marianne Williamson, "If you knew who walked beside you on this path you have chosen, fear would be impossible."

Habit #2: I will write a blog entry once a week. I wrote Dear Dora, my weekly relationship advice column in the Taos News for nearly a decade and there were plenty of weeks that I did not feel up to writing, let alone dolling out relationship advice (so awkward when you're going through a break up). Still, I felt accountable to my editor and my readers, who incidentally would approach me asking if I was sick or had quit the column on the rare occasion I did not write that week. While I don't expect anyone to give me shit in the coffee line if I don't write a blog entry, it helps to at least pretend that there is an expectant group of readers out there who depend on me to follow through.

Habits are best served in small portions so that's it for tonight. I will see you in a week +1 day because I plan on writing on Tuesdays.


Monday, March 10, 2014

What's Luck Got To Do With It?

Some folks I know, purposely being non-specific so as to avoid incrimination, say things like, "I wish I was as lucky as you." Or "Your life is so much easier than mine." Or they'll throw out an excuse like, "Well if my life was as good as yours then..." 

I find these comments so interesting because a) my life isn't that easy. Did they miss the part where Aaron almost died, my career in behavioral health ended in under a month, and my name was defamed all over New Mexico? It's all relative really. When I Facebook stalk people, they all look extremely abundant, thin, married to the best guy/girl ever, with 2.5 kids, a well-groomed pet, and a hybrid Lexus in the garage. Truth is, everyone is struggling with something and everyone is kicking ass at something. Apples and oranges as Aaron likes to say. No point in attempting to compare ourselves to anyone else. 

The other reason I find these comments interesting is that I don't think luck has much to do with how life turns out for a person. Luck is something that comes in handy when purchasing a lottery ticket or finding something you really love at a yard sale. I guess I wouldn't classify myself as "lucky" or "unlucky." What a disservice to chalk up your successes and failures to luck, or a lack there of. 

And before I spout anything else, I need appease the pleasing part of myself by saying that I am extremely grateful for my life. Sometimes just for the thrill of it, I let my mind wander back in time and I think, "it's a God damn miracle I survived." Honestly, I was so foolish for so long. I also need to confess that I do not want to come off as a know-it-all, self-righteous (gross!), snob either so just tuck that in there too. 
So this morning I'm chatting on the blue tooth and the luck comment is laid down and my first reaction is guilt. "I am lucky," I think and then there's a jolt inside me and I feel a little anger creeping up. Wait a second here. It's not luck. It's work. Therapy, spiritual work, college, graduate school. Lots of sacrifices, lots of time, lots of money and all in the hopes that I might improve my quality of life and learn the skills necessary to have a good career and a happy, healthy relationship. It's work. It's scary and it's never ending. I have not arrived anywhere. In my mind I'm still climbing that mountain. Enjoying the hike immensely, but still climbing. 

As a therapist (or trained as one anyway), I can say that there's a big difference between people who show up and do their work and those who don't. There's really no luck involved, just guts and a willingness to split yourself open to find the real you. 

So that's what I've been thinking about today. And in other news, Ellis and I did our nails. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

An Ode to Four (It's part of preparing for marriage. Also, I am no poet)

I was so young and unresolved.
He was the nicest man I had ever met.
In the end, after my mistake, I was still absolved.
Unconditional love was our only debt.

I knew the first time I saw him,
A spark I had not yet known.
Kind, he was not. And still I walked out on that limb.
A wild ride with hints of love but always finding a heart of stone.
Still I loved him even though our chances were grim.
"The one who got away" is who I am according to him.

I had always heard of a love so grand, so encompassing,
We were deeply in love. Infatuated. 
You lose yourself without second guessing.
Passion goes both ways though.
Who was once your greatest blessing,
can so quickly become your foe.
I ran as fast as I could
and thank God.
I did my best to be there just the way he liked it.
In the end, nothing I did would acquit.

I was on the mend when I met you
A tremendous heartache I had just been through
I found as I regained my feet, a wound across my memory
that no amount of stitches would repair
but I awoke, and you were standing there.
A life so sane, so full and calm.
A million years, I hope we share.
Our love and fortitude has been like a balm.
Health, happiness, laughter and love is my prayer.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Confessions Pt.3

2/25/14: The other day when I was driving home I pretended I was famous and Jimmy Kimmel had invited me on his show to read a Mean Tweet. I pretended that my mean tweet said, "Dorothy Forbes is a stupid, fat, whore." I laughed really loud and then said to the camera and hopefully my mean tweeter, "That is not nice." [Ellis subsequently asked me, "Mommy? What doing?" To which I responded, still laughing, "Oh, just pretending to be famous again." "Oh."
P.S. If you have not experienced Mean Tweets, youtube it immediately. Quite funny.

2/19/14: Sometimes when I'm driving, which is all the time, I pretend I'm a famous singer in a recording studio and I put one hand over my right ear, you know to help with tone and resonance, and then I belt out something that rocks my producer's world and he just stares at me from behind the glass with an expression like, "We're going to be rich!"

2/18/14: Sometimes, ok, most times, when I'm walking out of the supermarket, I pretend I'm famous and paparazzi is taking my picture without me knowing so they can feature me in UsWeekly's, "Stars--they're just like Us."

"They go grocery shopping! Dorothy Forbes keeps it casual and stocks up on microbrews while grocery shopping in Taos, NM." 


Friday, January 10, 2014

The Pink Elephant: It is good

The Pink Elephant: It is good: "Do you have any doubts about getting married?" Me: [Silence...thinking.] "Because if you have doubts its not a good idea...

It is good

"Do you have any doubts about getting married?"

Me: [Silence...thinking.]

"Because if you have doubts its not a good idea to get married."

Me: [Silence...shock.]

I thought I would get married a long time ago. When I was really young, I pegged myself as a high school sweetheart type and then when that didn't work out I figured I would meet my soul mate in college. Nope. Graduate school? No. Turns out I was meant for more than marriage.

It all makes sense now and I can see how it would have been a complete disaster for me to get married before the age of 30. There were two people I would have married in an instant. One of them nearly killed me, not exactly but it was a painful, passionate, violent, no-going-back end and the other was a younger version of my dad and I had taken way too many psychology classes to fall into that wormhole. After the former, I was changed. I was no longer willing to lose myself in a relationship. I would never let that happen to me again.

This is who I am. Take it or leave it.

When I met Aaron I didn't care about men. I still loved men, don't get me wrong, but I didn't care about them in relation to me. I felt so broken, so broken open, I couldn't/wouldn't spend energy on someone who wasn't  j u s t  r i g h t.

I don't know what it was about Aaron that felt just right to me. The ease of it. The sense that he wanted to know me but not consume me. The fact that he lived 2.5 hours away from me so our relationship was paced and scheduled, which fit nicely into my career driven life (and his too). The fact that he was a fire fighter and for whatever godforsaken reason, I "get" what it is he does and why he does it and I support him totally and without hesitation even it means he might leave me for two weeks or...forever.

Do I have doubts about getting married? Of course I do. I'm a realist and I understand human nature and I know that we are fickle and tempestuous and mean and deceitful, prideful and cruel. But we are also kind and loving and devout and patient and good. I know that love is the greatest magic in the world. Do I have doubts? Yes, but my hope and my resolve are so much greater.

So it is with faith, something I have struggled with my entire life, I walk forward with this person. Like anything that means something to you, it takes work but there's this thread, it was there when I met him, that keeps me going when I feel too tired and too stubborn. Whatever it is, it is good. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Regarding the Lump

On Wednesday evening, as I engaged in my secret single behavior, you know, the stuff you do in the bathroom with the door closed. Admittedly, Aaron has caught me a few times and he graciously says nothing, turns on his heals and closes the door. I can sometimes feel his syrupy waves of judgment crashing upon my beaches but mostly I am happy to be left alone to pluck hairs, examine clogged pores, nurse myself, though I only did that once just to see how it tasted. I digress. During Wednesday night's secret single behavior, I noticed a bump on my left breast. It looked like a spider bite and so of course I considered putting the house on the market. After conceding to the fact that I was being a bit dramatic since my skin wasn't even eating itself, I decided to drop it and trot on off to bed.

Next day the lump was harder, more red and definitely more painful. In hindsight, this should have been my first tip off that it wasn't cancer. Still, when all you see is pink ribbons on everything you buy and drive behind, a girl starts to wonder when she'll be the next. So, the thought had been born in my mind. Is this that? Am I going to you know...?

And I tell you, saliency theory is a bitch. As soon as you start to think you have the C word, guess what you hear on the radio, see on the MSN, read on Facebook. Because I am someone who thinks the universe stops what it's doing to give me "signs", advertisements for end of life care are terribly disconcerting when you have diagnosed yourself with C the night before.

I caused such a hurricane in my nervous system, I had no idea who to call. My PCP? The lactation consultant? My gynecologist? Should I just go straight to UCLA and admit myself into a clinical trial? No, no that's a bit much. Breast, that's women's parts so let's start with my gynecologist. When I called the office I was dreading the part where the receptionist asks why I'm making the appointment. "I have a lump in my breast." "I see." Really? You see? You know what, the most important part of your job is to pretend that when I say "I have lump in my breast," I really just said, "It's my birthday!" To which you say, "OK! Great, we can get you in at 3:15. See you then!" I see? What the shit.

Next came the 4-hour Internet search to pre-diagnose myself. I rarely go into doctor's office without a diagnosis in hand. I don't know why I do this since I didn't appreciate when client's did it to me but I watch a lot of Grey's Anatomy and the Internet has pictures so I know what I'm talking about dammit. After several hours, I decided I had a cyst that would need to be aspirated by a surgeon, preferably the surgeon who removed my appendix and preferably without the help of my ex-boyfriend who is/was a surgical assistant and who might kill me if given the chance.

After much anticipation, turns out the lump was a bacterial infection that will go away on its own. Much ado about nothing and when it comes to my health, I love me some much ado about nothing!
He did mention that I may need to get my ovaries removed at 45 but that's 11 years away so I'm going to table that one for now.

Ellis, mom is here to stay! Thank you, thank you, thank you!