Let’s Dance

For most of my life I have always felt that I did not fit in. Didn’t seem to fit with my own family, coworkers, or society. I tried to fit in, I really did. I did what they told me was right and good and tried to be part of them but something always felt off. It was like they were living in a slightly different world than I was and spoke a different dialect.   I wanted to be a part of it so badly that I sacrificed my own beliefs to try. One day, I do not know the date, I realized that I could no longer live that way if I wanted to live. I am now sure that I was not the only person who struggled with this. I’m sure of this because I have met others who felt the same way over and over again. We were struggling to be true to ourselves in a world that wanted conformity and we paid a price.

Some of us turned to drugs and alcohol to deaden the feelings we had inside. Some of us walked away from society and live far from other people, hermits I suppose. Some of us stood up and made a huge difference in the world. We were not thanked for it at the time. Look back over the history of our culture and these people will stand out like sore thumbs! You decide who they were, I am not going to tell you. Please do not judge us for trying to stop the pain, we did not know any other way to do it and felt we had no one to guide us, we felt we had no other choice. We are a passionate bunch and have created some beautiful art, music, movies, books and poetry in our attempt to reach out to you from our hearts. Our hearts pouring out of us in the hope that the pain would stop and someone somewhere would understand. Most of us have not stood out in the crowd but we are stepping out now!

I use the word dance a lot in reference to pain. Anyone can walk with pain but there are those of us who literally dance with it. We get down and dirty with it in a primal way and because of this have much to share with you. I have come to realize that I have been in pain both physical and emotional for most of my life. I did not talk to many people about it. I did not think they would understand. Now I realize that them understanding my pain was not the point. The point for me was I needed to understand it and sharing has helped me do that. This is the story of Donna, pain, fear, joy, celebration, love and hate, the whole enchilada!

I do not have a competitive bone in my body, jealousy doesn’t exist in my world. How do you think I fit in a corporate culture that has a cutthroat attitude? Not so well, so I left the corporate world and just took a job. I have been selling you things since I was sixteen years old and I was good at it but not in the traditional sense. I even used to go to chain stores and teach the employees how to sell based on the corporate cultures mandate of illusion and fear, that was my career. That is not how I sold things though. I sold by not selling! I gave you information about things so that you could make the best decision for you! I empowered you to purchase based on your own wants and needs and had some of the highest sales rates in the country. They could not figure out how I did it. I was honest with you and sometimes I would even send you away without selling you anything, not what the boss wants to see but they couldn’t argue with the sales statistics. I developed relationships not customers. As you can see, out there in the retail world this is starting to happen all over the place. Woohoo!

One thing that people are surprised to learn about me is that I was a classically trained violinist and started playing at the age of seven. I was fairly good and at the top of my class in music school. Then it got super competitive and I walked away. Not because I couldn’t cut it, the competitiveness ruined it for me. I had my first solo at a concert when I was twelve and no one in my family came to see it. I was heartbroken. I walked away from it all a few years later. It was the pain I couldn’t handle. I feel music! Even today I do not listen to music with my ears, I listen with my heart, so it doesn’t matter if it is being sung in a different language, I feel it. I still love the violin, it is the instrument that speaks to me and once in a while I will rosin up my bow and let all the pain flow through me and transform itself into the air as sweet music. Even pain can be beautiful.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the world is changing. There is a shift in consciousness happening all around us and I am excited. I am doing my happy dance! We are moving from being exclusive to inclusive, head thinkers to heart minded, small minded to open minded and oh my God we need that if we are going to thrive as a people. Don’t be surprised the next time you see a homeless person sit down to play a piano like a genius, or sing songs so sweetly your teeth ache. The only difference between you and them is they danced with the pain and have not found their way back to their chairs. They deserve love and compassion as much as you do. Feel the music, feel the pain, just feel. What I once looked at as a curse I now see as a blessing. I help people, I help them heal in many different ways and I can do this simply because I can feel the pain, my own, other people’s, I feel the world’s pain and I am ready to dance with it. So today I say to you, I don’t feel as though I no longer fit in, I was born to do this, I was born to be part of this new way of thinking and help people in whatever form that takes.  This new world that is forming is all about the heart and love. Are you ready to be part of the revolution that is taking place inside of us, are you already part of it? Good, let’s dance!

Thank you Carolyn for the inspiration

Love you all

Donna

The Dance of Grief

Grief is a funny word. I think it should contain more letters and have a harsher sound to it. It sounds soft and uncomplicated doesn’t it?   It is not soft, that is for sure. Experts say it has five to seven stages to it depending upon where you get your information. Seven stages sounds complicated especially since you can go through them in order only to revisit one of those stages at any time. Grief is different for everyone! Just like life and the way humans respond and react to that, it is different for everyone. Remember that.

Dealing with loss is complicated and you can grieve for many different reasons. My grief is due to the loss of my husband and sometimes it sneaks up on me in the strangest situations. I think it’s odd when someone says I lost my husband. I did not lose him, I know exactly where he went and there were times I wished that I could have gone with him. It would have been so much easier if he had lived and I had died, well easier for me. I would have traded my life for his and offered that solution to the universe a few times. The universe had other plans for me.  I have had a few long chats with the universe and all the powers that be, I was not impressed.

Okay grief let’s dance. It was mind blowing how powerful the grieving was. It brought me to my knees, some days I didn’t get out of bed and a few times I just sat in this chair staring out the window not seeing or feeling anything. I had trouble concentrating, I couldn’t sleep, some days I couldn’t even get dressed. Please, oh please, oh please don’t ask me to make another decision. It doesn’t matter how many people you have around you, grief is there waiting for you. I just got this image in my mind of grief as a dust bunny ninja, lurking in corners and hiding under the bed, jumping out at you when you least expect it. Not only are you grieving the loss of the person, you are also having to let go of your dreams and the future you had planned. Your person ( mother, father, child, friend, husband) dies and your entire life is changed forever, dreams gone in the blink of an eye.

I am a practical person and can usually find solutions in any problematic situation. There is no solution for grief. It doesn’t stop and is constantly changing. One minute it is in your face and messing with your ability to breathe and the next it retreats back to its dark corner and waits. I can remember a day when I was out with friends and on the drive home I had realized I had not thought of my husband for a few hours, grief jumped into the seat beside me and I was assaulted by it. My heart screamed how could I have forgotten Howard for those few hours? My mind was on other things and I had some fun with the girls, then the minute I was alone the reality of the situation hit home. This was no ordinary lunch date because Howard was not going to be home when I got there.  Sometimes when I go to sleep I forget what has taken place and when I wake up in the morning it hits me all over again.  Some mornings I wake up and don’t think about it all.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones. Because I have always had the ability to go with the flow when grief struck I embraced it. I explored this aspect of the process and went where it led me. Grief also has the ability to transform you and like any transformation the process is not pretty or pain free. The amount of growth for me has been proportionate to how willing I was to experience all that grief had to offer. I have grieved without apology. Despite the fact that I am moving on with my life, I still have moments of overwhelming grief. I had one last night. Driving home, tears pouring down my face and singing at the top of my lungs in great gasps and sobs.  Thank the universe it was dark and no one could see me. I grieve in private and I grieve a lot in my car.

There is no end to this story, no tidy summation to leave you with. The loss is always there, you just learn how to go on with your life and live with the loss. You learn to live with it and if you let it grief can teach you much about living. So please have some patience with the people you know who are suffering a loss of any kind in their life. Just love them through the process and set aside your own expectations of how they should be handling it. Until you have danced with grief you don’t know if you will be dancing a fast and hard flamenco or a slow intimate waltz.  In my case it has been an awkwardly beautiful interpretive dance that changes speed and rhythm on a whim.

Hug people, all the people

Love you all

Donna

 

 

Let It Go Baby

Sunday was a strange and difficult day full of mishaps, anger and discoveries. I guess I do not grow when everything is going smoothly and let me tell you sometimes growing is not a graceful process for me. In fact, the morning was so spectacular that I crawled back into bed shortly after noon for a nap. One of the things that I discovered is that my authentic self is always present, she just gets covered up in the untruths that are wound around and around what is real, by myself and others. So what is true? How do you peel away all the extraneous lies, half truths and bullshit. I guess you examine every belief you have about yourself and the world around you and search out the source of it. It doesn’t sound like much fun, but it could be, depending on how you look at it.

With every layer that gets peeled off the weight that has been crushing me lessens. Some of these beliefs are buried deep and it is tough to find their origins. Some have come down through the generations, some from your religion, society, the media and any other entity that needs you to have certain beliefs to further their own agenda. The big question now is what do I believe. I remember talking to a friend when my first husband and I were parting ways. I told my friend that I didn’t believe in divorce, that was for people who didn’t try. He looked me in the eyes and laughed, then he said “Whether you believe in it or not it is happening to you.” That was the first time I traced the origins of a belief and realized it wasn’t really mine, I had been trained to believe it. So, I decided that if I am going to get divorced I am going to make it the best possible divorce I can have. People had lots of advice for me but even back then I looked deep within my own heart and did what I needed to do. The two of us had hurt each other enough and I was not going to allow that to continue, despite the fact that the lawyers and my family all thought I was crazy. I did it with heart.

I now examine things on a regular basis. Sometimes it is easier than others. I have a resistance in me called my ego. Now this ego is a self centered creature and does not want to change anything let alone a belief system. That little voice inside my head that constantly has an opinion and tries to keep the status quo by playing upon my fears and feeding the untruths. Untruths sounds so much better than lies doesn’t it? Nobody likes a liar. So now I know where some of these beliefs come from and that my ego tries to bolster them. What is a woman supposed to do? Well, you look the little liar in the eyes and say enough. You tame that voice until it sits there quietly and becomes the best little ego it can be. You do this by observing your ego’s childlike antics, practicing meditation, yoga, or anything else that works for you and then letting go. Did I mention letting go? Letting go of the beliefs that never served you well, letting go of the ego’s hold on you, and the unrealistic expectations you have of yourself and others. Breathe and let go. Trust. Trust yourself.

Once the letting go becomes part of your life funny things start to happen. I want you to discover them on your own, but as a teaser good days will far out number bad days, laughter will burst out of you more often, and moments of joy for simple things will occur more frequently. The truth was always present, you were born knowing it. Once all the lies and untruths are stripped away you are left standing in your truth all naked and vulnerable like a baby. But a baby with years of worldly experience who lives from the heart, cause really the most important and beautiful things are all about seeing the world through your heart and eyes brimming with love. So, get out there and spread the love and help support others to do the same. Provide them with a safe space to unwind the layers of untruths that are crushing their souls and causing them pain. Please do it gently, they are babies after all.

 

Peace and love

May you be hugged a lot today

Donna

 

Buying Into Bullshit

I cannot believe that I am writing this! Remember that this is after all only my opinion and in no way am I trying to tell you not to believe what you believe, or am I asking you to agree with me.Having said that, let’s do this. I am so tired of bullshit! I had a chat with two friends of mine yesterday. You know, the real friends that allow you to just say whatever you want and need to get of your chest, without getting upset about it or taking it personally. Anyway, we discussed many different things and they asked me one question (a lot of people have asked me this in the last six months) “Are you going to open your business again?” In my head and heart I heard HELL NO! Up until that moment, whenever I was asked this, I would say I am not sure. Something didn’t feel quite right until yesterday when the hell no came screaming out of me. My business was a retail store that sold yoga, meditation and metaphysical products to the not so general public. I just fell into the business with a forceful nudge from the universe. I cannot open that business again because that would mean I am not living an authentic life and at this point I have trouble being anything but authentic. You do not need the shit I was selling! What most of you wanted was someone to talk to and I provided that for free, no purchase required. What I got out of the business was you, I needed you to interact with me and at that point in my life the only method I had to meet you, was to sell you stuff.

Please note that this is not an attack on a specific industry but the retail industry as a whole and certain segments are singled out only as an example for making a point. You want to practice yoga get on the floor or the grass and do it! You do not need a mat, special clothing or any of the other stuff that you are being sold. It has been done for centuries without any of that. People want to sell you stuff and in order to do it they need you to believe that you cannot possibly do it “right” without their stuff. Meditation, same thing, just sit in a comfortable position and get it started. Mind you, I do love my meditation bench and it allows me to sit for long periods. (In my case 1/2 an hour is long) and be comfortable. You want healing and look for things that are going to make it faster and easier. These things you buy are tools people!   They are just tools to get you out of the small minded world you have trapped yourself inside of so you don’t feel the pain. They can help sure but no one thing or one person can heal you. You heal you! You get honest with yourself and do the work because if you don’t no one person and no thing can save your ass. If every time you need to make a decision you consult someone or something you are not acknowledging your own feelings. You want someone else to tell you what to do and then if it doesn’t work it is their fault. Take responsibility for you and find, search, and seek out the help you need but don’t expect to not have to do the work.

Sorry, I went on a bit of a rant there. I feel very strongly about it and cannot sell you things at this time. What I want to sell you on is your own ability to help yourself. Sure we need help sometimes and that is true for all of us, accept help, seek the help, be the help for others. I am not saying don’t buy the tarot cards or consult a psychic, or use crystals or have a reiki treatment or seek professional medical help in any capacity. These are all wonderful tools on the path to healing. I use Reiki, tarot cards, crystals, essential oils, and medical professionals on my own healing journey. I do not depend on them to make decisions or to solve my problems. What I am saying is do not expect them to fix you. I am asking what you would do if none of that existed or all just went away. What the fuck would you do? Well some people would have you believe that if you would only have nothing but positive thoughts it will be all rainbows and puppy dog kisses. I say bullshit! You want to get rid of your pain then you need to get down and dirty with it. Roll around on the floor naked and make sweet love to that pain!   Feel it, don’t try to push it away or cover it up with flowery words because sometimes your fucking life will depend on your ability to dance with the pain. I have survived some seriously nasty shit over the course of my life, am thriving even and for the most part am a warm and happy person. Most of my friends, notice I said most, would agree with that statement. Some would call me something much less flattering, they also have no idea what I have been through in my life because I don’t share all the details with everyone. I have danced with the pain in the many shapes and forms it came in. I have been there. I hope you do not have to stay with the pain as long as I did.

I don’t care how many positive and self affirming thoughts you have going on in that pretty little head of yours, it is masking the symptoms of a much larger problem. It cannot take away the pain until you face the pain and there is always help available. Please get help if you need it and please don’t feel as though you are all alone. That is the big secret, everyone feels alone with their pain and afraid they will be judged, ignored, rejected etc. etc. if they reach out to someone. If the first person you reach out to is a complete idiot reach out to someone else and then someone else until you find the right person. You are fucking worth it and your life matters no matter what you have been through. You are not alone. Think about it, with over seven billion people on the planet I am sure there is someone who will understand what is eating you up inside.

Positive thinking has its place for sure! What works for me is sending the positive thoughts out to others, by helping them I help myself. I am not focused on my narrow little world, I am getting out of my own dark and sometimes self defeating mind and giving to others. What you put out into the world comes back to you, they say. I’m still not sure who the hell “they” are but I could kick their ass right now. Manifest the life you want “they say”. So, what you put out comes back. Putting out I want this, I need that, this is what I want my life to look like, blah blah blah is grasping. You grasp anything in your fist long enough and you will choke it. Grasping, greed, me, me, me. Just think you get back what you send out!!! Send out love and compassion for others and you get love and compassion back from others. Send out all the bullshit you have bought into and you get back more bullshit. Is it starting to make sense?

Please stop buying the shit they are selling that tells you that you are not enough, this pill will fix all your problems, that car will earn you respect, this newer and bigger house will improve your messed up family life. The healing starts internally with you and a decision to do the work you need to do to start the healing process. Seek the help that you need in whatever form that takes for you. But, I beg you not to hand them the power you were born with to know and heal yourself by purchasing the shit they are selling. You do not need to purchase anything to be a happy healthy person in all of your brilliant glory, what you need is other people, that human connection. You need love and you cannot buy that.

Be the love, be the change
Love you all
Donna

To the Next Amazing Man

I have come to the conclusion that despite the fact that I am honest and outspoken I can be timid when it comes to asking for what I want. I think parts of my last post were bullshit and the universe with its grand sense of humour and timing challenged me on it. The vaginal angst part was true though lol. Some of you have sent me messages or phoned regarding that post and you made me think about things more deeply without bullshit clouding the issue.

What a wild ride the last year has been. Some people are surprised that I am doing so well at this point, especially if they have not seen me for four months. They never saw my knees hit the floor and my soul shatter, for the most part that was done in private. They did not see the rage and anger that whipped around my heart like a tornado. Most of what I went through, I went through alone. Yes there were people around me but they did not see what I did not want them to see. I have never heard the noises that came out of me in my grief, come out of another human being. I hope I never hear those heart rending noises again from anyone, ever. I don’t like to see anyone else in pain. That particular pain was so deep it changed me in ways I have yet to discover.

Here is a poem I wrote yesterday and I wasn’t sure what it was all about, now I know.

Winds howl
Lightening rends the night sky
Hair flying
Cold wet clothes burn
Arms raised
Gods, Goddesses challenged
Elements called
Power flows, thunder roars
Flung wildly
Across the land unprotected
Ravens cry
Trees bend from the force
Pain sorrow
Soul ripped apart

 

(I am not sure what the heck happened with the line spacing and I can’t seem to fix it so apologies if it is double spaced)

The pain I felt was like a primal force that changed me and shaped me. I know this woman but I do not recognize parts of her. Something in me was awakened by that experience and I will never view the world in the same way again. So me describing my idea of the perfect relationship was pure shit. That was my way of saying I was afraid to truly love someone because I did not ever want to deal with the pain again. If I can keep them at arms length and they leave or die it won’t hurt so much. Actually I think it might even hurt more because I would regret not loving them fully.

So I hereby give notice to the next amazing man that shares my life! I will not settle for less, nor should you. I am a wild, wonderful woman and I need you to stand toe to toe with me, beside me, in front of me and behind me. Love me fiercely like you mean it. Meet me with your heart wide open. Challenge me, fight for me (no violence of course, not that type of fighting), show no fear. Give thanks to the man I spent the last eleven years of my life with because his life and his love prepared me for you!

Amazing men do amazing things
Love to you all
Donna