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,

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 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.