Tag Archives: spiritual work

The elephant in my head moved over a bit, and then things got a little woo-woo around here.

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[Note:  this one is a little woo-woo, and pretty serious, and won’t make much sense if you haven’t been following along, or at least haven’t read my last post about talking with the elephant in my head who wouldn’t let me look at my issues.  and, as always, some of the best stuff is in the post-scripts… enjoy!]
 

So.

I’m still dealing with the fallout from the conversation with the elephant in my head.

She’s moved over a bit and I’m working on stuff.

(and I realized that I love the elephant for protecting me)

(and I also realized that she might be Ganesha, the elephant headed Hindu deity revered as the mover of obstacles and the God of beginnings…. Isn’t that awesome?)

It’s been a difficult time and I’m feeling very raw and vulnerable, but some good things are happening.

Really good things.

I’m working with an amazing woman, who somehow miraculously lives in this tiny village in Mexico at exactly the same time that I do and exactly when I need her the most.  She is a shaman, energy healer, therapist and a saint, probably.  You know how some people just exude love and peace and presence?  She is one of them.  And I get to work with her.

(thank you, universe) 

I think of her as my teacher, rather than my doctor or counselor or healer — as  I have finally realized that no one else (and, no magic pill, apparently…) is going to come along and heal me.  I can be guided and supported, but I am going to have to do the heavy lifting all by myself.

Sigh.

The teacher approaches everything from three (seemingly, but probably not) different perspectives — energetically (chakra-ish), from a shaman perspective and from a more traditional, Western, psychotherapy viewpoint.  It’s perfect for me, because I am more familiar with the Western view (having been the recipient of years of that kind of therapy/self-help), but am open to and have benefitted from energetic healing and am fascinated with the work of the shaman.

And I need help.  So, at this point, I’m open to all possibilities that allow me to live a life that doesn’t involve repeating the same negative behaviors ad nauseum and despising myself until I die.  Alone.  Under a bridge.  Unloved to the end.

(see how I think?)

Just a little drama to lighten the mood…. 🙂

Anyway.

So, it turns out that I have been on the right path!  The teacher is thrilled that I’ve been identifying and having conversations with parts of myself (kim, kimmy and Kimberly, the walls, the monsters, the elephants, oh my!) and writing about it here on the blog, which in turn thrills me, because I am nothing if not a girl who always wants to be the teacher’s pet…. (hello, people-pleasing ISSUES)

And she thinks that I may need to befriend a few more parts of myself.  Which immediately makes me nervous.

There are more?

(and then I start thinking about Sybil, and multiple personality disorder, which isn’t called that any longer, now it’s dissociative identity disorder, but really it’s the same thing and how many more parts can I identify before I start qualifying for a little “rest” at a clinic, which of course I can’t afford because I don’t have medical insurance and..)

And I’m resisting this idea because I’m pretty sure I know what led to my tragically low self-esteem, which, it seems, is the root of everything I’m dealing with now and, knowing that, I thought that all I needed now was to learn new ways to behave, not dredge up the old crap.  Not find new parts of myself to chat with.  Ya know?  Why go over it again?  I’m so tired of my story.  Seriously.

But the teacher explains that it is not enough to have a general idea of when and why things started falling apart — i.e., it’s not enough to say “my parents were alcoholics with huge boundary issues, on top of that, my mother was a  manic/depressive artistic genius and my dad was a charming, brilliant womanizer, and don’t even get me started on the sadistic step-mother, of course I’m fucked up!” — you have to go back and investigate what actually happened.

Fuck.  Why?

(and also, “how can I do that when I’ve got so few memories of my childhood?”)

She says that when there is trauma early in a child’s development, a part of the life force/soul/psyche becomes trapped or locked away.   And while the child/body continues to grow and function, a vital part is left behind and if the pattern is repeated (and it usually is, because for most of us, life can involve some trauma…), the body/soul/psyche  can become depleted, exhausted, unrooted from the source, literally split apart.

And that is where I am, folks.

I can feel the truth of it as soon as she says the words.

I am tired.  I have no passion, no energy, no life force to work with.  It’s depression, but not depression.  If that makes any sense.  When I first met with her I described that I feel unrooted.  Lost.  Like I’m watching this person, in this body that I don’t even recognize, living my life and I don’t understand her.  I don’t know her.  I’m completely disconnected from my body.  I don’t know what I’m doing here.  And not just what I’m doing here in Mexico,  I don’t know what I’m doing on this planet.  I don’t know my purpose.

It occurs to me that this might be far beyond simple low self-esteem issues.

And I’m scared.

So.  The teacher explains that the goal is to try to find out when parts of your soul/psyche/energy were affected by traumatic experiences and to try to retrieve that energy and return it to the whole.  Or release it back into the whole.  Something like that.  In shamanic terms, it’s called Soul Retrieval.

And it looks like I’m going to have to do it…

The teacher wants me to identify when, as a child, I was the most terrified.  This freaks me out because (a) as mentioned above, I have few memories of my childhood and (b) for as long as I can remember, I’ve been worried and scared, so it’s hard to pinpoint which thing has been the most terrifying, when my experience has been that pretty much everything is terrifying.

Also I have this sense of loyalty to my parents — I quickly tell the teacher that I’ve never been “traumatized” — I wasn’t beaten or locked in a closet and I always had food and shelter and clothing, I mean, who am I to even complain about anything, really?  So then we have to deal with THAT.  Shame.  No, I’m not like many of the kids that I spent my career in child welfare law trying to “save”.  Those kids were traumatized.  And what about the kids who don’t have food or clean water and die of AIDS?  That’s trauma.  And she helps me see that we all came here (to this earth, to this plane of existence) for different reasons and I shouldn’t trivialize my stuff, just because it doesn’t seem as bad as other stuff.  It’s mine, it’s painful, and I’m here to work on it.

So, we decide to talk to four-year-old-me.  The teacher helps me — she walks me through trying to find the four year old — What is she doing?  Where is she? What is she wearing? What does her hair look like?  What is she feeling?  Will she come back to you? — and here’s what happens:

Me:  (I find her — four year old Kimmy — under a table, in a blanket fort of sorts, holding a doll) — “Hi Kimmy, do you know who I am?”

Kimmy:  nods yes and scoots back so I can sit down

Me:  “I’m you, but I’m all grown up now.  How are you feeling?”

Kimmy:  “I’m worried.”

Me:  “You’re only four, Kimmy, what are you worried about?”

And then it all starts flooding out — Kimmy isn’t talking (umm, obviously, since she’s in my head…) but I’m somehow remembering what happened when I was four — my brother was born when I was barely four and I was excited but then it was scary and there was a fire at my dad’s office and there was fighting and locked doors and my mom was unhappy and she painted a bad picture with a knife and blood and she cleaned out our house when my dad was out of town and we moved away from everything – away from my dad, away from my grandparents, to a new town and she was sad and she was angry and I wanted to stay in my house and I wanted everything to stay the same but she said I had to come with her because I had to help her.  She needed me.  And the baby needed me.  But didn’t my Dad need me? And I didn’t understand.

Me:  (crying)  “Wow. That’s a lot, Kimmy.”

Kimmy:  “Who is going to take care of me?”

And there it is:  WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF ME?

And then I really fall apart (in real life, lying in the middle of my teacher’s loft office, while she gently holds space for me) and I see that little girl was so scared and she was too young to even comprehend what was happening, much less to soothe herself and she had no one.  All the adults who were supposed to be taking care of her were caught up in their own drama and their own mental illness. And then I start getting mad:

WHO THE FUCK IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF ME!!!!  I’M FOUR YEARS OLD, PEOPLE.  I’M THE CHILD.  YOU ARE THE ADULTS.

And eventually something comes over me and I start to feel a little energy come back.  And I started to remember that that was then, and this is now and that it’s ironic that my biggest fear has always been “who is going to take care of me?” when the truth is that it’s always been me who has taken care of me:

Me:  “Me.  I am going to take care of you, Kimmy.”  And then I start showing her that we grew up, and we were ok, and we kept taking care of mom and then we had a baby (sweet Austin) and we took care of the baby and he grew up and we kept taking care of mom, and now she doesn’t need us anymore.

Kimmy:  “But I can’t go with you, I have to help mommy and that baby.”

Me:  crying again — she doesn’t know mom is gone.  Is there really some part of me that doesn’t know, hasn’t completely accepted that mom is gone?  And so I try to explain to her that we did help mom, and now she doesn’t need us anymore and that baby brother grew up and now he has his own baby to take care of and we even had a sister after that, and we took care of her for as long as we could and now she is all grown up and has her own little girl.  But Kimmy still doesn’t want to come.  She doesn’t want to leave mom and she isn’t sure about me.

Kimmy:  “How can you take care of me?  You don’t even want to take care of a dog.”

Me:  …… (thinking: well that was a low blow, Kimmy…. but you’re right – everyone in this dog crazy town is trying to get me to adopt a dog and I keep resisting because I don’t want the responsibility of another living being, I’m done with taking care of other people/beings for awhile, I’m tired, I don’t trust myself to meet their needs…. but YOU are ME — I want to take care of you, I need to take care of you and I need your energy.  Maybe if you come back to me, I will find that I have the capacity to take care of a pet, or not.  Either way, I can take care of you.)

Kimmy:  (climbing into my lap and wrapping her arms around my neck)  “Are you sure?”

Me:  “Yes.”

Kimmy:  (clinging tighter)  “I’m scared.  This is all I know.  Are you sure mommy will be ok?”

Me:  “Mommy is ok, Kimmy.  And we are going to be ok, too.  Will you come back with me?”

Kimmy:  “Yes.”

*****************

So.

That was huge.

I’m not quite convinced that the four-year-old is back with me.  But the teacher says to talk to her and comfort her and be patient while my body/psyche try to make space for her.  She says to rest when I need to, cry when I need to and to write all I can.  So that’s what I’m doing.

xoxo

kim

p.s.  I think the picture is the elephant with kimmy… isn’t that sweet?

p.s.s. I realize this is a bit woo-woo, and I’m not asking anyone else to believe in what I’m doing or take a position on shamanic Soul Retrieval or anything else, for that matter.  It’s just me, dealing with my stuff, the best way I know how.  And I’m sharing it with you, just in case it can help.

p.s.s.s.s.  We all have issues with our parents, don’t we?  I felt angry for the four year old, but the forty-eight year old knows that you do the best you can with what you have at the time — my parents were sick for most of the time I was growing up — and they did support me financially and they did love me and they did try and I know they wished they had been there for me (and my brother, and my sister) while growing up because they both told me that while they were alive.  I love them both dearly.  Maybe this should be a whole separate blog post, but it seems to be coming out here…. Anyway.  I don’t want to discount my parents, or my extended family who did, and still do, provide me with unconditional love and a place to call home.  I just need to sort it all out now and put the ground back under my own feet.  And part of that is looking realistically at the bad stuff that happened.

p.s.s.s.s.s.  And if you’re wondering how this post and the woo-woo work relates to the last post and the self-esteem stuff and the repeating patterns of trying to get my needs met by other people (read: usually men) join the club.  I mean, obviously it’s related, I just didn’t pull it all together here.  Stay tuned.  I will work it out… 🙂

p.s.s.s.s.s.s.  One of the very last things my sweet mommy said to me was “I think Mexico is going to save your life.”  I wonder if this is what she meant.

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Filed under My Big Book of Me, Writing and Not-Writing

In other news, I’m pregnant. With the Buddha. Congratulations, Buddhism.

This is not necessarily a “real” post.  If you’re new here, you might want to skip this one and proceed to some of the other morbidly depressing posts from the last few weeks.

Mostly I just feel the need to check in  and confirm that  I have not, in fact, fallen into the pit of despair and hot lava and bad poetry.  (Ok, I did write some bad “poetry” from the edge of the pit of despair (and — cringe — publish it) but I didn’t go all the way in.)

Also, I am now in a little hotel on Longboat Key near Sarasota, Florida.

THANK GOD.

I needed some solitude and space of my own.  My sister and her husband and child needed to have their home/life to themselves after a month of hosting not only Mom and I, but then seven more relatives who came to stay during Mom’s last few days.

We’ve had a LOT of togetherness, which is difficult under “normal” circumstances, but when your artistic genius Mom (with great hair) dies right in the middle of the togetherness, everything takes on a new flavor.

“SUCK”.

The new flavor is “everything SUCKS” and we will pretend to be kind of ok with it but we all know it SUCKS and we are barely containing our extreme range of emotions regarding the pure SUCKINESS of it all.

Anyway.

I’m here on Longboat Key in a tiny little hotel overlooking the gulf of Mexico and it’s perfect.  It’s mostly empty and the few people here seem as eager to avoid conversation as I am, so everyone is minding their own business.  There are no kids.  Which is good because (a) I’m a total curmudgeon right now and (b) I’m bracing myself for taking care of my brilliant six year old niece all next week.  She’s amazing and a joy.  And she talks 10000% of the time.  You might think I’m exaggerating.  I’m not.  And it isn’t just idle chit-chat.  She is either bossing me around or saying something that makes me think her parents should be talking to Harvard and MIT, like, now.  Oh, and she is drop dead gorgeous.  If I weren’t so mature, I would be jealous of her already.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • Walking on the beach.
  • Reading (OMG – The Untethered Soul is still blowing my mind.  Everyone should read this book.)
  • Journalling
  • Being mostly silent.
  • I showered today!
  • Crying.
  • Watching Season 2 of Dexter (how did I miss Season 2?  I don’t even know…)
  • Trying to ignore the Internet, except for the “meaningful” parts, which by definition, means I’m trying to avoid TMZ and anything “E” channel related.

During my quest for meaningful-ness on the Internet, I watched a webcast of Thich Nhat Hanh (Buddhist monk/leader/amazing person) speaking about Mother Earth.  Well, I think he was going to be speaking about Mother Earth, but he started talking about how we all have mothers, even the Buddha had a mother and, basically, there is this “overall” mother – Mamaya (sp?) – who, I’m assuming is akin to Mother Earth.  But what struck me was the part of the story where a student went to study with Mamaya (who was dead, of course, so he did a sitting meditation and got to her) and Mamaya was all “I was so happy when I was pregnant with the Buddha — no worries, no fear, only compassion – I couldn’t believe how big my womb was to hold all this compassion….” (Note that I’m not AT ALL quoting this correctly) and Thay (that is Thich Nhat Hanh’s, ummm, nickname?) went on to say that like Mamaya, we are ALL pregnant with the Buddha.  We all have this capacity for loving kidness and compassion inside of us – man or woman – and we believe we are just small humans but really we are huge, with huge wombs for all the Buddha-nature inside all of us.

[DEAR REAL BUDDHISTS:  I realize I’m probably butchering this beautiful story and you’re probably all “JESUS CHRIST, if you can’t get the story right, don’t even tell it, you’re ruining Buddhism for everyone else!”  And then I would say back to you “ummm, where’s the loving kindness in that, dude?  At least I’m not acting like I’m some kind of expert on Buddhism…”]

I fell asleep before Thay got to the real message re: Mother Earth (if you’ve ever heard him talk, you will understand why it is easy to fall asleep listening to him.  Also, he speaks Vietnamese.) which, I think, was going to be something like how we need to love our earth like we love our Mother and honor her capacity, etc. etc.  So, I guess I did hear most of it.

Anyway.

I had already heard what I needed to hear:  I am pregnant with the Buddha.

That explains a LOT.

Like how I should probably nurture the part of me that is chock full of loving kindness and compassion and peace and “it’s all good” instead of listening to the parts that are all “YOU SUCK.  YOU CAN’T EVEN GRIEVE RIGHT.  WHAT A LOSER.”  It also explains my fat belly and current obsession with yoga pants 🙂

xoxo

kim

p.s.  I warned you that this was not a real post.

p.s.s.  Is it healthy or scary that I still have a sense of humor at this time?

p.s.s.s.  How early is too early to start drinking on a Friday afternoon when you’re grieving the loss of all your alcoholic parents?  (Today is Dad’s birthday – RIP JKT)

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Filed under Cancer sucks., grief, My Big Book of Me, The Caregiver with the Dragon Tattoo

Sometimes I wish I were related to someone who knew something about art or design, so they could just design this fucking blog.

I know what you’re thinking…

Who doesn’t wish they were related to someone who knew something about art and/or design, Kim?  No one, that’s who.”

Or, if you know me, you might be thinking:

“Ummmm, aren’t you always talking shit about your artistic genius mom (with great hair) who, like, uses her fancy MacBook to design amazing stuff all the time (when she isn’t actually painting stuff/making collages/making jewelry/bedazzling everything) and therefore is very familiar with design software and using it to make cool shit?

And you would be right! 

I am always talking shit about how creative and fabulous she is and it’s true that she uses design software in her sleep to create pictures and posters and prints and calendars and pretty much anything you can imagine.

Huh.

You might also be thinking:

“And aren’t you always going on and on, ad nauseum, about how your brother is rich and famous and a brilliant entrepreneur, but more importantly a kick-ass graphic designer who has tons of experience with website design and a finely tuned sense of knowing what it is that other people are going to think is cool long before the other people have any clue?”

Yes, I do that too!  He’s also an internationally famous kick-ass DJ, dontcha know.

Anyway.

All that is true.

And that makes me wonder why my blog design isn’t (a) done and (b) extremely cool and culturally relevant.

Oh sure, my Mom has that whole “ovarian cancer” excuse (also affectionately known as the “C-card”) to explain why she hasn’t been slaving away on creating some fabulous art for my blog and/or teaching me how to do stuff on the design software. 

And I guess my brother is just too insanely busy being the boss at his design firm* and/or hob-nobbing with celebrities and/or having a life, to create a fabulous online presence for me.

I don’t really know, because I haven’t actually asked either of them to help, directly

And, unfortunately,  I may have said something like “DON’T BOSS MY ART!” when my Mom “offered a suggestion” (read: told me that I doing something WRONG, according to her) on my first theme.  This, in hindsight, maybe wasn’t exactly the right response.  What I should have said is “DON’T BOSS MY ART, please” and “maybe you can show me how to use your fancy-pants graphics stuff on your computer some day and then you can be all gloaty about how superior your MacBook is and I can be all “I’m my own artist, thankyouverymuch.”

Win-win, mamacita.

When I started this post, I really just intended to address the elephant in the room, i.e., my ever-changing theme so you wouldn’t think one or both of these things (a) “Am I going nuts?  This theme was totally different 15 minutes ago.” or (b)  “Is Kim going (more) nuts?  This theme was totally different 15 minutes ago.”

And then it turned into wanting to reassure you that neither of us is (completely) nuts AND, I guess, to shame my Mom and brother into helping me.  I mean, you would think that they would be kind of embarrassed about the bad graphic design going on here. 

I know I am and I’ve never even come close to being an award-winning graphic designer, Jonas.

And that is when I realized that I’m passive-aggressive.  Sometimes.  Especially with the people I love the most and/or when the topic is something I’m feeling particularly vulnerable about.

FUCK.

FUCK.

FUCK.

I hate when I have uncomfortable epiphanies while doing something totally benign, like just trying to get SOMETHING posted on my blog, for the love of Gawd.

Insightfulness is not as easy as it looks, people.

xoxo

kim

p.s.  YES!  That “Don’t Boss My Art” picture is something my artistic genius mother (with fabulous hair) just doodled in her journal one day, while recovering from brain surgery. Art just oozes out of her when she isn’t even trying.  When she is trying, it shoots out like water out of a high-pressure firehose, except with more bling and bedazzle.  Anyway, her name is Marguerite, and she owns that art so don’t use it without her permission, or else.

*Ok, Mom says Factory is not some two-bit “design firm”, and she’s offended with how I’ve referred to it.  She’s right, of course,  Factory Design Labs is like a huge bazillion dollar a year full-service advertising agency that represents little brands like, oh, I don’t know, “The North Face” and “Audi” and “Oakley”, to name a few.  What Mom doesn’t understand, since she isn’t a famous blogger, is that I was trying to make it seems like all my brother does all the time is graphic design/web design/whatever it takes to make it seem like it would be super-easy for him to just fucking design this blog in his spare time.  That’s all.  I am fully aware that Factory is a big-ass deal.

 

 

 

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Oh look, my “friend” started a blog about online dating, sex & relationships for the jaded and snarky.

Here’s something you don’t see every stinkin’ day:  my “friend” started a blog about online dating, sex and relationships for the jaded and snarky. 

 It’s called violetfemme65.

(if you’re wondering what kind of weird name “violet femme65” is, chances are you’ve never had to make up a ridiculous/catchy “username” for an online dating profile.  if you have had occasion to make up a “username”, you’re probably jealous, cuz this one is good y’all.) (unless you’ve never heard of the band “violent femmes”, in which case you’re probably not going to understand anything about the blog.) (you don’t have to appreciate the “violent femmes” music to “get” how good this username is, you just have to be aware that there is/was a band called “violent femmes” and the blog name is a play on that name… get it?)

Anyway.

Just thought I would mention it.

To help her out.

Cuz I’m already pretty famous on the Internet.

Ha.

xoxo

kim

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July 18, 2011 · 12:52 pm

The Book of Me: Notes On When You Are All “What Should I Do?”

Remember when I went to Portland for the Rally (Rally!) in March and flailed around in unproductive whininess and self-pity and didn’t notice that I was, in fact, doing serious “work” on my “self” and then I came back and a few days later figured out my thing?

That was cool.

I learned a lot about a lot of stuff at Rally (Rally!) and, especially, a lot about what I don’t know a lot about.  Which, it turns out, is a LOT more than one would imagine given my advanced age and years of therapeutic interventions.

Except what I really learned is that most, if not all, of what I absolutely need to know is already here, inside me. 

The truth is that when I’m struggling to make the “right” decision about something — which generally involves all kinds of churning and worrying and angst-ing and more worry —  I’m wasting energy + increasing the risk of coming to the exact wrong decision.  The trick is clearing away all of the crap and noise that has accumulated over the years so I can get to, and hear, what I already know to be true for me.

The sucky thing is that I have “learned” this little trick over and over and over again and, when the need arises, I can totally tell someone else how to do it, and then I forget it again.  So, this time I’m putting some Important Notes About This in the Book of Me, in purple magic marker, and with glitter, for emphasis.

WHEN YOU ARE ALL “WHAT SHOULD I DO?”  READ THIS:

Oh, sweet pea…

Here you are again.  Struggling.

I have really good news for you!  You can stop struggling right this minute.  Yes, now.

Struggling and churning and angst-ing are only good for one thing:  Putting You On Notice.

It’s true.

When you are struggling, churning and/or angst-ing it’s a super-big clue that you are not listening for what is inside.  And what is inside is the answer.  The way to peace.

It’s not woo-woo, it is just the truth.

(and, therefore, woo-hoo!)

(sorry, couldn’t resist…)

Here are a few things to remember in times like these:

  • There are no right answers, there are choices with different consequences.
  • You’ve made a hundred-gazillion-plus choices in your life and the vast majority of them were good!
  • The less-good, arguably bad, choices were learning experiences and you’re a pretty good learner.
  • The more uncomfortable and angsty you are about a choice, the more likely it is that you absolutely know what to do.
  • Almost nothing is black or white, this or that, now or never…. look for the compromise solution.
  • Make absolutely sure that you are making choices based on things as they are Now and not confusing things with Then.
  • Write about it!  Writing always helps.  Seriously.  Write already.
  • Are you reacting or choosing??  Reacting = usually bad!  Choosing = usually good!
  • If one thing doesn’t work out, another thing will.  It is the nature of things.
  • Are you asking other people what you should do?  You are, aren’t you…  Just Stop.
  • You are the expert on you.  Be still and listen.
  • Sometimes it just won’t be clear, choose to do the next right thing and eventually the answer will come.
  • Usually you know.  Remember “alignment” and “congruence” and trust yourself.

Also, it always helps to read this essay (or anything else)(but most of all this one) by Mark Nepo:

Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry; an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that issues peace. Psychologists call this spot the Psyche, Theologians call it the Soul, Jung calls it the Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it Atman, Buddhists call it Dharma, Rilke calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qalb, and Jesus calls it the Center of our Love.

To know this spot of Inwardness is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work or what we wear or how we like to be addressed, but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it. This is a hard lifelong task, for the nature of becoming is a constant filming over of where we begin, while the nature of being is a constant erosion of what is not essential. Each of us lives in the midst of this ongoing tension, growing tarnished or covered over, only to be worn back to that incorruptible spot of grace at our core.

(Emphasis added.)

See, sweetie, everyone lives in this tension.  You know you have this spot of grace.  You’ve been there.  The illusion you tend to believe is that you are disconnected from it and you have to look outside yourself to find it again.  Then you start to panic and churn, like a panicked diver waving frantically for help on a choppy surface.  Using all your energy fighting the surface when just below there is calmness and peace and quiet and strength.

You have what you need, Kim.  Stop struggling.  Listen for your answer.

xoxo,

kim

photo: http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0091009/photos/coyote23/4107287660/

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we’re baaaack.

I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that we (my baggage and I) are back home.  Not only did we make it home fully intact, we even seem to have picked up some new baggage due to unexpected issue expansion.  Oh, how I wish I were exaggerating.

First, a couple of preliminary matters:  Yay Sunshine!  Yay beautiful snow-capped mountains and spring flowers peeking out!  Yay familiar streets! and Yay+Yay for awesome kid coming to pick me up and even coming inside the airport for me! 

Also:  Yay! My fabulous roommate/genius mother is still out of town!  This means: (a) no one is here to notice that my actual baggage is spread out over three floors of our home… and (b) I don’t have to explain/describe/talk about my trip yet.  Whew.

If I absolutely had to talk about my trip today — instead of nursing my trip hangover and napping — I would probably say something uber-cheerful about how great it was and hope to God that was the end of the discussion.

The truth is that it was great.  Awesome.  Amazing.  Life changing, even. 

But before it was all of those things, it was hard, sucky, scary, prickly, uncomfortable, sad, violent, weird, out-of-body-ish, deja vu-ish, “I can’t believe I forgot [x]!”-ish and “who-the-fuck-am-I?”-ish.  Not to mention having to look at and talk to monsters and walls and patterns, oh my!

And mixed into all of it was the fun.  Not the grown-up “oh, going out to dinner and seeing a movie is just so fabulously fun!” kind of fun.  The kind of  fun you barely remember ever having until you do it again — blanket fort fun!  drawing pictures fun!  using glue fun! pillow fun!  magic marker fun! quitting what you are doing as soon as something else looks fun kind of fun!  dancing fun!  woo-hoo fun!

Plus napping.

And epiphanies!  I was feeling all “I suck” because it seemed that other people were having epiphanies and I wasn’t.  Which is stupid because I should know by now that I am a “delayed reaction” person in a lot of ways.  Like tanning and epiphany-having.  My epiphanies came at the very very end of the first workshop (the Rally!) and after the second workshop (Playing the Matrix) and on the flight home, and last night, and this morning.  I’m pretty sure I’m not done.

Anyway.  It was a big week.  Lots of stuff happened.  I’m still trying to sort it all out and figure out what to do with all of it and how (or whether) to explain it.

Oh!  Here’s a surprising (to some…) twist — the Moratorium remained intact all week!  I’m giving myself a lot of sparklepoints for that because (a) it was raining the entire time and, well, I have a thing about rain (or any kind of precipitation, really) and (b)  I’m cuter in the pacific northwest…. and (c)  Portland appears to be dripping with interesting men.  Some of whom I met.

Yay me!

xoxo

kim

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No More Using LOVE to Avoid Other Shit.

Well, my first blog post didn’t go viral, but I guess I’ll keep writing……

It’s Valentine’s Day, which makes me think about LOVE, which makes me notice that I’m not in it, at the moment.  Not for lack of trying, mind you.  I try a lot.  In fact, it has recently been pointed out to me that it seems like when I have a LOT of  Seriously Important Shit (“SIS”) to do — like, ummmm, making major life decisions, finding a job, taking care of myself, writing a brief, paying bills, cleaning my house — I tend to ignore that stuff and focus my energy on finding LOVE, or at least a date.

Note that I have done a staggering amount of “work” on my “self” — counselling, journalling, groups, retreats, psychic consultations, etc.,  so you would think that this pattern would have been revealed through that work, and, to be honest, it probably (for sure) was.  But I “forgot” about it until my mother pointed it out to me.  Again.

Wait! One thing you need to know (cuz I’m sure it will come up again) is that my mom, who is a fabulous, creative, sparkly genius type person with great hair, absolutely hates men.  She denies it, but even she cannot keep a straight face through her denial.  It’s not that she hates men so much (but she does hate them – except my brother, and my son, and, for now, my brother-in-law) but she really hates relationships between men and women.  I’m always amazed that her friends come to her for relationship advice — her response/advice is pretty predictable: “GET OUT”.  Ladies, she said that about your last boyfriend, and she will say it about the next one…trust me….  But I digress……  My point is that, due to her predispositionit is pretty easy for me to brush off anything she says to me about men/relationships.

This time, however, she is right.

I’ve been un-married for, like, ten years (which means, if you’ve been paying attention, that I was married and divorced 2.5 times between the ages of 25 and, like, 37-ish….yeah, interesting, huh?) and I’ve been totally single for at least half that time.  Given my history, you can understand that I felt like it might be a good idea to be single for a while, figure stuff out, get to know myself, blah blah blah.  Anyway, all that stuff can get boring.  And co-parenting, practicing law and, well, every day life, can get uber-stressful.  So, historically, when life got boring and/or uber-stressful I found myself thinking, “hmmmmmmm, what can I do to shake things up around here, add a little stress/excitement (note how I have grouped those words together like they are synonomous…not good) to take my mind off the SIS I’m supposed to be doing?”  The answer was: ONLINE DATING.

Oh yes, I’m the Queen of Online Dating.  I’ve been on Yahoo Personals, kiss.com, eharmony, smartsingles, chemistry, plenty of fish, perfectmatch and I have an honorary lifetime membership at Match.com.  Not really, but if they offered one, I think I might qualify.   Anyway, don’t get me started about online dating — I could go on and on and on.  My point is that I have used online dating not so much to find love, but as an evasion tactic.  “Hmmmmm, my Supreme Court brief is due tomorrow and I still haven’t figured out why that last relationship failed….yesterday, I think I’ll see if anyone viewed my profile today!” or, more recently, “Ok, so, I can’t keep practicing law, I need to figure out how to support myself (and my son, who starts college next year!), I’m living with my mom, who is battling ovarian cancer,  I’m 46, which is practically 50 and I’m kind of a mess about that, I’m having epiphany after epiphany (seriously!) about me, my life, my brilliant writing career, etc. and I’m freakin’ exhausted by it all — seems like a good time to put up a profile on Match.com!”

I would like to think I’m not the only one who does absurd crap like this.

The good news is that I write awesome profiles.  Seriously.  Everyone says so.  And it is exciting to be noticed.  The bad news is that it takes a lot of time and energy obsessively searching for men with interesting profiles, exchanging witty e-mails, engaging in snappy banter over the phone and then going out only to discover he is: [insert one or more] 1.  married, 2.  a rabid right-winger, 3.  5″ shorter than he said he was, or, 4.  completely not interested in me.   I guess I got kind of addicted to the thrill of the “chase”  or maybe I liked the rollercoaster of emotions….”He’s not interested?  What is wrong with me? I’ll never love again.  Mom is right, men suck!” to “OMG!  I got 4 messages today, and most of them are NOT from 70-year-old men who live in Wyoming!!!  I totally rock!  Life is good.”   What’s not to like, right?!   Whatever it was, I definitely sought it out whenever I felt the need to escape my real life, i.e., ME.

The “funny” thing is that I spent so much time over the past decade dating and/or trying to date,  instead of  getting my shit together, that I’m now no fun to actually date.  Well, I’m super-fun in the beginning, when things are clicking and we can’t wait to jump in bed together and everything is sparkly and yummy…but it doesn’t take long for me to become less fun.  Heavy sigh.  Apparently, I went through the motions, did the counselling and all the other stuff, but never actually did the work.  I invested my time and energy into the search for love (and a few short-term relationships) instead of investing in becoming someone who is really ready for love.  Looking for someone with an interesting life instead of building my own.  Scouring the earth (read: the Metro Denver and Front Range Area) to find someone who will fall in love with me, instead of  falling in love with myself.

That sucks.  But one of my recent epiphanies is that, seriously, it’s all good.  In the super huge macro picture, it really is all good.  I didn’t “waste” that decade.  I lived it.  I have some great stories to tell.   Now I’m ready to live differently.  My past doesn’t control my future!  Furthermore, as my mom keeps telling me, “it is never too late to be who you might have been.”  (She’s quoting George Eliot – whoever that is.)  Anyway, I finally understand what that means for me.  So, in order to support myself and my fabulous future, beginning today, February 14, 2011, I’m enacting a one-year (or maybe six months?)(oh, alright, one-year….) moratorium on searching for love from anyone but me.  Wish me luck.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xoxo

kim
p.s.  i haven’t worked out all the rules for this moratorium yet — it could mean i’m not having, ummmm, “relations”, for a year.  i don’t know if i’m ready to commit to that…. and what if mr. right shows up in real life?  but could he even be mr. right if i’m not “ready”?  food for thought….

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