Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Finding My Way

If you had told me 4 months ago that I would be moving to Oregon, changing careers, and basically  starting life over, I would have laughed at you.  I had no idea that listening to my heart would result in an unexpected trip to the Oregon coast that would reveal to me that that was where I needed to be.  I set a goal of a year-I would go in a year.  I still had work to do in AZ.  What is it they say? "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans" .  I came home from that trip to learn that the grant funding for my job that I love wasn't renewed.  I had three months plan  Everything that has happened since, has felt guided and completely out of my control. Everything I have needed/wanted has been given to me and everything that I am passionate about has been dropped at me feet..  I have learned to just trust the plan that God has for me.  Amazing things are ahead. I know this with absolute certainty.

The thing is, I'm scared.  Usually, when I do stuff like this-that looks crazy to everyone else, I'm fearless or at least brave.  But this time I am doing this without my wingman.  Back in the day (when I did things like this frequently) it was BFF Stephen that would support me, drive me there, get me settled in (cant tell you how many times he happily moved my futon and books) and take me in if it ended in disaster.  But he is gone......he's dead...he drowned.....still have to remind myself sometimes.  I dont have my wingman and I need him.  I need him to get me through this week of goodbyes, to keep me looking forward, to move my say "wench you've got this, now strap on a pair and let's do it".  All part of my journey I suppose-to be scared and do it anyway on my own.  I know I can do this without him...find my own way, I just don't want to.  I miss him, he should be here for this....once again God had other plans that I must trust.

Lot's of reflection and "last times" this week.  I had my last middle of the night call to take care of a rape victim.  I love the work that I do, It matters.  I will miss it and the amazing women who are on my team.  I had my last big sister family chaos Sunday dinner.  I love those-the dancing nieces in tutus, holding babies, guitars, good food, stories, games, lots of choas, lots of laughter, and lots of love.  This week, I got to see my brother Alan for the first time in many years.  He has grown into a beautiful man-funny, handsome, gentle, kind.  I could feel my fathers influence and look into his eyes and see my dad. I wish I knew him better.  It was probably the last time we will sit together since we are both going in different directions....but not really.  His couch is coming to Oregon with me so we will sit together often in spirit.  Right now I am sitting in the blue chair in Alpine that my sweet step dad used to sit in, likely for the last time.  I love this chair, its worn where his hands used to lay and I like that.  He used to call me "toots" and make me feel like I mattered.  I can feel that in this chair.  I will miss it.  I still have two more going away parties to get through, one more office to clean out and a closet full of shoes to let go of. Then the hardest goodbyes, that I am saving for last.

The big move is next week.  My energy will shift and I will turn my mind and my heart toward Oregon.  It will be about looking forward, new beginnings, new friendships, trusting God as my new wingman and finding my way.   

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Letting Go

"She Let Go"

Without a thought or a word,
she let go. She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments. She
let go of the confluence of
opinions swarming around her
head. She let go of the committee
of indecision within her. She let
go of all the 'right' reasons.
Wholly and completely, without
hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn't ask anyone for advice.
She didn't read a book on how to
let go. She didn't search the
scriptures. She just let go. She let
go of all the memories that held
her back. She let go of all the
anxiety that kept her from moving
forward. She let go of the
planning and all of the
calculations about how to
do it just right.

She didn't promise to let go. She
didn't journal about it. She didn't
write the projected date in her
Day-Timer. She made no public
announcement and put no ad in
the paper. She didn't check the
weather report or read her daily
horoscope. She just let go.

She didn't analyze whether she
should let go. She didn't call her
friends to discuss the matter. She
didn't do a five-step Spiritual
Mind Treatment. She didn't call
the prayer line. She didn't utter
one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it
happened. There was no
applause or congratulations. No
one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing. Like a
leaf falling from a tree, she just
let go.

There was no effort. There
was no struggle. It wasn't good
and it wasn't bad. It was what it
was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let
it all be. A small smile came over
her face. A light breeze blew
through her. And the sun and the
moon shone forevermore.."   (Thank you Rev Safire Rose)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Reflections from another day by the sea

Feeling really blessed this evening.  I have had the priveledge of walking on nine beaches over the past two days of this unexpected trip.  Each one had its own treasures to find and brought its own insight to me.  When I got on a plane three days ago to come here, I wasnt even sure of my purpose for doing so.  I was listening to my heart and it told me I needed to come, so I did.  Not surprising was that I was able to experience the peace and healing that the sand between my toes always brings.  What I didnt expect was the clarity of my purpose for being here that unfolded and the complete understanding of what I want my life to be and the direction I need to take it.  This journey to authenticity is not quite finished it seems.

When I started down this path of finding Miss P. I made a decision to stop living in fear and live from a place of love.  It means living with my heart wide open all the time, really listening to it when it speaks to me and working really hard to stay in that space.  It means that I am really vulnerable  alot of the time. I feel things on a much deeper level than I used to-the good stuff like love, joy, peace, contentment but also the hard stuff like sadness, grief, loneliness.  I can also feel what other people are feeling too.  Its all part of living open hearted-its all or nothing.  I cant shut off the hard stuff and still feel the good stuff so I have learned to welcome it all.

So today after another profoundly joyful beautiful day by the sea,   I had to surrender when the wave of grief came as I drove inland through the wine country. Part of me was missing, the part that was suppose to be driving with me there.  I didnt see it coming and it hit me like a ton of bricks and I started sobbing.  I HATE the f-ing sobbing.  It's exhausting but I know that if I dont just surrender to it, it will show up as something else later. So I pull over, and lean in and sob...and sob...and sob.  I feel weak and raw and small, and I HATE it.  When I am finally done, I catch a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror-not pretty. Not pretty at all but I am full of compasion for this brave girl I see.  I made a choice when this grief came to not medicate it (except for the tattoo), not shut down so I didnt have to feel it.  I chose to remain open hearted as I walked through this and as hard as it is, I am doing it.  So I guess I am not so small and weak after all.

There are still two days left of this journey.  I have no idea what they will bring or where I'm even going.  I am just trusting my heart to take me where I need to go.  What I do know is my heart is telling me that nothing in my life is what it is suppose to be right now. Nothing. I have to listen to that and it can only mean that BIG changes are ahead....another chapter of the journey.  Yes, feeling really blessed today.  Exhausted but blessed......and not brave, fearless.       


Friday, September 21, 2012

Lessons from the Oregon Coast

An unexpected trip to the Oregon Coast has also brought some unexpected lessons/revelations today.

1. From the drive: Pay attention.  If you dont you miss the beauty that is under your nose.
2.  From the ocean: My soul needs the ocean.  I can't go 9 months  without my feet in the sand again.  It's not healthy for me or the people I love who have to deal with me.

3. From the sand dollars that were everywhere:  You can only see the beauty of the broken sand dollars when you stop comparing them to the whole/perfect ones.

4.  From the drift wood:  Sometimes the rough seas are there to soften your edges.

5.  From the slow to emerge sun:  The  dark skies are temporary.

6.  From a friend:  Forgiveness, whether giving or receiving-is a gift.

7. From the hotel desk clerk: Joy is contagious.

8. From a sunset:  Sometimes you just have to stop thinking and doing so much.  Be still and soak it up.

9.  From the day:  Sometimes the best days are the ones where there is no plan.  Go with the flow.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Please Honor My Silence...Again.

I find myself back in this familiar place of grieving....profound grieving.  I have retreated, as I always do when I am in this place.  I need space and solitude to process what has happened and begin to heal.  I know when I do this, that it is difficult for the people who love me and want to help but you can't. What I need most is for you to honor my silence and stillness.  Trust that I am safe and that I know what I need to heal.

Please don't ask me how I am.  It forces me to stop and assess and I just end up in a million pieces.  Right now I am getting through minute by minute, soon hour by hour, then day by day.  If I get to a place where I need help, I will let you know-promise.

Please don't touch me.  I can't tolerate the closeness.  I am so raw that my skin hurts.  If I need you to hug me, I will ask for one.

Please dont ask me what happened.  Even if I could find the words to tell you my story, you would not be able to comprehend the depth, the beauty or the sacredness of it.  No, this story will never be told.  Out of love, respect and gratitude for him, it will remain in the deepest place of my soul and on the pages where it has been written.  Yes, it was worth every minute of this heartache and I would do it all over again even knowing how this chapter ends.

Please don't be offended.  I don't want to know what you think I should do, or what you think I need.  I've done this grieving thing before, remember? I know what I need and that is for you to honor my silence....again.



Friday, July 27, 2012


Its been a challenging week.  RAW is the only word that comes to mind.  All of the things I have avoided feeling for the last year have begun to seep out of my skin and my usual ways of holding them at bay are failing I have no choice but to lean in and hope I come out on the other side.  It's been rough, really rough. I feel weak, vulnerable, flawed, and of course UNWORTHY to be loved right now.  I hate it.  I hate that when I am less than my best self I always end up there-on unworthiness island.   I  retreat, isolate, avoid until I deem myself ACCEPTABLE again.  Thankfully, I have a few people in my life who find me acceptable when I don't.  They love me anyway-even all the ugly parts, the unrealistic expectations, even when I don't want to be loved.  One of the beautiful women in my tribe sent me this quote with a sweet note reminding me that my worthiness to be loved is a birthright. No one on the planet is unworthy of love.  Thank you sister for your WISDOM....and your LOVE.  This  quote will be my mantra in the coming weeks

Sunday, July 1, 2012

She Flies By Her Own Wings

I've been quiet for a while.  I had to go inward for this last leg of the finding Miss P. journey-a place so deep that there are no words.  You see I found Miss P, found me....just had no idea all of the painful, confusing and joyful places this process would take me. I had no idea that while I was shedding layers to get to me, I would also shed people, beliefs, dreams, and sometimes the skin off of my back. I have had to make decisions that have hurt people I love in order to live this authentic life.  I have had to face some truths about myself-some of them ugly truths in order to be real about who I am.  I have had to embrace uncertainty, vulnerability, and allow myself to break wide open.  I have spent alot of time feeling RAW and untouchable-sometimes the layers fall off with relief and sometimes they have to be ripped away.  I am down to the last layers now and I fly by my own wings.  I still have work to do-I still fight the gremlins sometimes,  its still easy to fall into unworthiness mode and I seem to still let people into my life that I don't matter to so that they can validate that for me.....I am much less tolerant of those people now and they don't get to stay long.  I still medicate so that I don't have to feel things sometimes.  But, I feel whole and good in my skin......most days.  I'm cool with most days.  I am not looking for perfect, just whole.

Last week marked the one year anniversary of my beloved friend Stephen's death.  I would like to tell you that time has healed my heart but it hasn't.  All time has done is allow me to get used to the dull ache that is always present and figure out how to keep living without him.  I still have days when I lay on my face on the floor because I miss him so much.  It is still hard to believe he's gone.  Sometimes I have to say to people "Steve is dead, he drowned" just to hear it outloud, to make it real.  It never sounds real but it feels real-every day.  On the anniversary date I was laying in a hospital bed with the blood of a stranger dripping into my body so I could get well (there is a significance to that that, that is between me and Steve-too personal to share).  I was so weak that I kept drifting in and out of sleep.  Maybe I was dreaming...maybe not, but I could hear him whispering to me and could swear that he sat on the end of my bed for a while during my transfusion.  It was a surreal but comforting day.  I have come to understand that this grief is a symbol of how much he was loved and so I embrace it and lean in when a wave comes.

So what's next?  This month is going to be difficult because I am starting life over by myself.  I am trying to let things unfold as they are suppose to.  All of this uncertainty is hard but part of the process I suppose.  Things feel really out of control right now, not something I handle well.  I am learning to be ok with that-I say "I don't know" alot and I am silent alot too.  I am trying to stay grounded. 

I've spent the last year on demolition, now it's time to rebuild and remodel.  Maybe I will chop off all of my hair and dye it red, maybe I will buy a food truck and travel the country selling tacos, or maybe I will learn to parachute..........who knows.  What I do know is that Miss Paisley is looking forward to new dreams and new adventures.  I will keep you posted.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Call

When the call comes for more
For change
For freedom
For awakening
For stepping into who you were always meant to be

It doesn't usually arrive as a sparkly party invitation

Often the call for liberation is more like a silent stalker
A sense of being followed by something dark and disquieting that simply won't go away
A low level feeling of dread that crawls into bed with you at 3 AM
That sends your nervous system into spasm
And your mind into narrow spirals of incoherent panic

Its the visit from the unknown
That leaves you in a fog of confusion
Teetering off balance
And wandering aimlessly through seemingly outwardly purposeful days

A part of you knows that something has ended
That you're going through the motions of a life that is no longer yours

That dread is really grief
A keening cry for the old days and the old you
The one that you know so well
The one whose scent and shape has housed all you have ever recognized as home

You love this one
You don't want her to go
To die
To be no more

You cry out "Not now!
"Can't we put this off for just a tiny bit longer?"
"It's too soon"

But the pact has been made
The contract signed
The deal already done

Your soul has decided
It is time to move on
To step into a much larger world
A more authentic life

And left what was once so familiar lying on the floor like a translucent snake skin
Already shriveling in the heat and light of the brightly shining noonday sun.
Thank you Chris Zydel.   Copyright ©2012 Creative Juices Arts.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Now is the time

Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.

Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God?

Now is the time to understand
That all of your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child's training wheels
To be laid aside
When you
can finally live
With veracity
And love.

My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
And God?

What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?

Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time
For you to deeply compute the impossibility

That there is anything
But grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is sacred.

Thanks for this reminder Pixie Campbell