Category Archives: Fear

TV Diet

Let’s face it. This election is one of history’s greatest political debuts into reality TV. On Nov. 9th at 2:30 am EST, I was awoken like a bolt of lighting after a bad dream, by my TV announcing that “Hillary has called Donald Trump and conceded the election”. This could not be. I must have heard wrong being half asleep.

But the band played on and I had heard it right. In fact, America said yes indeed-y I want a racist, bigoted, sexist, misogynist, pervert as MY PRESIDENT! I couldn’t fall asleep again after that.

When I went to my school, which has a nearly 50% Hispanic population, many of which come from homes of undocumented parents, I had to field questions from scared faces. Questions like Ms. P will I be deported now? What will happen to my family?, Will you hide us in your house? Statements like, I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to lose my family.

Documented or Undocumented these are people first. They deserve the same dignity afforded the rest of us. These are not automatic criminals because of their skin color and language. These are people that you use as placeholders for your rage about your own life. Damn straight! Some of it was caused by this government and you have every right to be mad at it. But at the same time, be honest, no Hispanic person ever took “your” job. I dare you to prove me otherwise. Be angry. But at the right person or system. Nobody likes a target on their back.

Anyway, I could rant on and on. The more I’ve watched the news over the last week, the sicker I stayed. Looping clips of tragedy folding in on themselves just like watching ribbons of taffy from outside a window on the boardwalk. Media’s unending stifled loops of laughter and distress reminds me of the old time movie strip players – you play and play the movie reel and the player would over heat like hell; at times burning up the reel and sometimes even burning the whole place down. I say, alright already Media hype – burn baby burn. Make the looping stop! Hey, Digital Technology. Thanks a lot for this unforeseen consequence.

And yet again, I must digress. What do they say in therapy? Oh yes, “The only person’s behavior you have control over is your own”. So, in the spirit of therapy and rugged Americanism, I’ve decided to go off TV….COLD….TURKEY. Already, it has proven invaluable, as I’ve managed to thrill and entertain you with a version of our nations tragedy and my reaction to it. I can assure you this level of brilliant creativity does not come from a mind half (or more) watching Criminal Minds while blogging. This is my all people. 100%.

So I’ve decided to see how long I can go without watching any television. I also want to track the sorts of things I do as alternatives – you know other than going to bed reeeeealy early. Why not join me? I’ll share my daily experience and you can share yours. If you’re not too busy watching TV, that is.

with love from,
aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

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Being High. Who does it hurt?

A friend said to me,”is it wrong that I enjoy being high? Shouldn’t we, as adults, be allowed to change states as we choose? Should the state really have control over our freedom of choice? Should we be imprisioned for making a choice to live in a different state? ”

A lot of interesting questions. Personally, I live in a state that doesn’t appprove of neurochemical state changes. 

I’ve never really had an issue with the use of “alternative” natural medications to get you where you need to be. One caveat…it can’t hurt others or keep you from supporting yourself like a freaking adult.

Otherwise, have at it. 

What do you think?

with love from aneternaltraveler ūüôā

Teaching is a hard b’ness

Never a dull moment. What is it to have lunch to myself or with a colleague? Every free moment spent with students who have no access to resources many of us take for granted. Internet. A computer. You assume it. They look for the chance to access it. I work with some very poor students. These students need help getting meals. These students have been removed from their families by child services. I sometimes want to check out from the pain they are forced to feel….ALL THE TIME. I am there at lunch, at free periods, after school. I show them there is an adult who gives a shit about their success. I give up my life to make sure they have a future. I had my shot. Whatever I can do, I will. They cry to me. HELP ME! I find a way to help. I am more than a teacher. I am a parent, a counselor, a friend. All the people they never had. I have always fought for the underdog. I continue that fight. ALL my kids will have a voice. I AM FEARLESS. I know what it is to have no one listen. I have ears. I hear you. I will make sure your voice is heard. I am your advocate. I am a soldier. I am hope. You matter. I believe in you. Even when the darkness falls, look to me and you will find a lighted pathway. You are NOT alone.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Fly into the Light, Butterfly

Like a worm in a cocoon we are unaware of the transformation taking place until the moment we emerge a butterfly.

As the season that represents the hopes and dreams of the world is upon us once again, I find myself ¬†filled with a hope and joy in my life I haven’t felt since 2003. 12 years in the making. I nearly gave up many times. It has been a long journey; at times very painful. Nonetheless, I have finally arrived. Today, I realized it all at once.

I haven’t been on a solo travel adventure ¬†in some time. ¬†As I left my house this morning my luggage lightly packed to leave room for possibilities, I stood on my front porch and taking a deep breath I thought – you’re really happy aren’t you?

I am at peace. ¬†I finally care about something again. ¬†In my teaching, I have purpose. ¬†They help me be a better person and I help them too. I have great friends. I haven’t found that one special guy yet, but I’m enjoying dating 4 different men¬†of interest in the meanwhile ūüôā ¬†I make a good salary finally and found a way to make extra money and paid off all my student loans. ¬†I am debt free. ¬†In 3 months I took my 7th graders to great success in an engineering competition where they were 5 of only 12 students in two counties to be awarded “outstanding engineers” and have lunch with the Chief Scientist of NASA. My life is on the rise again after fighting in the trenches so long. 12 long years.

I’m estranged from my mother who left me on Mother’s day, yet to return again. I have made peace with her choice and learned there are some things you cannot control. ¬†One of those things is how people choose to behave and interact with the world. ¬†Sometimes the greatest gift you can give someone is to let them go. Many times she asked me to leave her life. I wasn’t listening. ¬†Now I hear loud and clear. ¬†At about the same time my ex-boyfriend had left and my pet of 16 years died. ¬†The timing of those two relationships ending was the peak of the tragedy over these 12 years. I spent much of the summer recovering from two big blows. I was really alone with myself once again.

After I came out of it all, I began to map out how I wanted the future to look. I became very clear on what I would and would not accept into my life. I thought a lot about what I wanted to focus on. ¬†I made a plan. I stayed focused. ¬†And you know what? I’ve been knocking it out of the park. ¬†My goals are from my soul so working towards them feels in harmony with who I am. ¬†When I FEEL that connection, I know I’m on the right path.

I also made the choice to have a serious talk with my doctor to manage a debilitating health concern when I finally couldn’t continue to have any quality of life¬†without beginning medication. It is something that no one knows about and I’ve kept private for a very long time.

“Coming out”, if you will, freed my soul and allowed me to accept the whole me. Walking into the sunlight helped me love myself better. ¬†In the end seeking treatment instead of suffering all these years was a great act of self-love. ¬†Everyday I am happy I made the choice and my only wish is that I had made it sooner. That conversation with my doctor saved my life.

So, now I head to the red rocks and sunshine of health-conscious Sedona to introduce myself to¬†the world of butterflies. ¬†A new beginning; surrounded by some of the best of natures’ creation, I will spread my¬†newborn¬†wings and fly towards that which brings joy, peace, and health. ¬†I look forward to witnessing¬†the vastness of the Grand Canyon and drinking in the elixer of possibility seeing both my smallness and my greatness at once.

As  I go into the new year, I have but one resolution Рto keep flying towards the light.

—- With love this holiday season from¬†aneternaltraveler ‚̧

Tango and Life

Why does the tango imitate life like no other dance knows how? No matter how many times you watch it, you will feel different emotions depending on your life at the moment. It pulls together happiness, sadness, anger, violence,  regret, and fans the flames of your desire into a smoldering restrainted mess of hot coals waiting to catch fire.

To dance it is to know your own darkness. It allows you to discover what it will take to pull you from the depths of your own personal hell. Dancing tango tears at your soul becuase you cannot hide your soul from the dance. Tango reveals your truth and forces you to decide whether you will look at it in the face and dance or you will turn and spin away never to return.

Life, like tango, magically lets the full range of human experience flow from one move to the next. Moments strung together become a dance  we learn to savor more as we look back and can see how all the last steps have led to the next steps.

To tango. To life. To the next step.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Smile More Everyday

I was thinking today about the many ways in which we frustrate ourselves as human beings.  I wondered if there was a common cause of the hell we put ourselves through. So, I asked the question and waited for my mind to speak up.

Hours later…..

It came to me that much of our frustration can be traced to trying to change things or people that are not ready to change or feel no need to. Without realizing it many times, I think we¬†expect¬†others to consider¬†our way of doing things or our way of thinking as obvious brilliance. ¬†If they don’t comply we call them names or distance ourselves or worse gather other people together to “hate” them too. ¬†Sometimes that anger turns inward and becomes depression, especially when we take their behavior as a sign of our failure or inadequacy.

wpid-20131213_104651.jpgSometimes, in fact I think more often than we realize, we have to accept things as they are in the present. We cannot force our way or change someone else. ¬†Trust me, just like you I wish I could too. That annoying, undermining co-worker, the self-centered family member, the careless friend, and so on and so forth. ¬†Trust me. I get it. ¬†Why do you think I spend so much time trying to noodle my way into alternative pathways of thinking?? I struggle with these issues and I want you to know you’re not alone because we all do. ¬†Heck sometimes WE are these people for others.

What I’m beginning to learn is that while we are on the path to accepting others “as is”, we are going to have a lot of stress and frustration to manage. ¬†Acceptance is waaaaaay harder than hate. ¬†Acceptance asks us to let go of our own egos for the chance to be a great leader. ¬†Acceptance isn’t being passive. It is an active process and the greatest opportunity to eventually create real lasting change.

Most people don’t change or collaborate or compromise, because they feel threatened and defend their ego or their position. If you play into this, which most of us do, you end up with a stalemate. Everybody is positive they are right and each one digs in their heels.

In order to become the change you want to see in this world, you must release the obsessive thoughts that have become your focus in order to make room for more constructive energy to enter.

Exercise is Good for Your BrainPersonally, I do this by engaging in some form of physical activity during which I push myself past my own mind and out of my thoughts. ¬†Then, I keep going until I find myself laughing or smiling. Let me give you an example, yesterday I went for a long bike ride with a lot of changes in elevation. My lungs and my legs were really feeling it. To keep going I had to stay¬†completely focused on believing that I could get up that next hill. ¬†So, that meant I had to get rid of thoughts that weren’t helping me achieve that goal. That means those obsessive thoughts had to take a hike while I was on the bike ūüôā When I made it up the hill, I was feeling¬†like my lungs and legs would explode but it also felt good to show myself I could do it.

blond girl swingAt my half way point, I saw a park with swings.  A mother and child were swinging together and they looked so happy.  Next to them was another empty swing.  I stared at it for awhile remembering the joy I felt swinging as a child.  I wondered if it would be foolish to do it again at my age and whether my hips would even fit!  I said the heck with it and got on the swing and began to push myself higher and higher just like I did when I was a kid. I found myself spontaneously screaming Weeeeeeeeee!!! and smiling and laughing with such joy that I forgot all the negativity I started out with at the beginning of my ride. I was playing with the child inside that was always there waiting for me.

The point is this: Find a way to smile more everyday. Let go of the tension everyday. ¬†Don’t let it build up. If it takes an intense walk, run, bike ride, etc. to reset, then DO THAT. Everyday grant yourself peace of heart and mind by choosing to find your smile. Choose to play with that child inside. Reconnect. Remember who you are – you are not a reflection of other people’s behavior. You don’t need to change anyone or anything to feel good about yourself and your life right now. ¬†Just be.

Be Nice, dammit!

Being honest with yourself can be one of the hardest things you can do. The ability to see who you are and sit with it in peace is something I believe few of us acheive in our lifetimes. Most of us who do not sit on mountain tops, get glimpses now and then generally try to avoid the less than ideal stuff that comes up.wpid-img_991120245608510.jpeg

Recently, I was thinking about how difficult I find people. I really want to play well with others, but sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed by how toxic people can be. How much they are willing to hurt others for some perceived gain. It disheartens me. It is not as though we can walk away from every person like this. We have to work with them, live with them if they are family, associate with them if they are in an organization we volunteer.

I find myself often very depressed and anxious around these people. They suck the life out of everything and seriously decrease my creativity and joy. To make matters worse, they aren’t responsive to communicating about the problem and often try to blame it on you. It’s a real cespool of our worst human traits.

Personally, I have a hard time letting go of the feelings that arise from this because I feel trapped and uncomfortable. I don’t trust them and feel treated during our interactions. It plain sucks. To make a bad situation worse, it takes a hit on my self-esteem because I feel like a failure for not being able to handle the situation and create peace and harmony. I feel like the other person is saying, I don’t think you’re worth it to make things work. I feel resentful and angry then on top of helpless to advocate for change. A recipe for depression.

I’m curious to know if others have had similar experiences and at what they did.

For me, this one of the most challenging aspects of myself. I feel deeply, my skin is far thinner than people realize, and I have a hard time finding a way to positively interact with those who are unkind in this way. It eats me alive and I obsess over the “why!?!”

So I wondered if there are fellow empaths out there who have advice for me on not having it consume me.frustration

I suppose because it is considered unfashionable to “need” anyone nowadays, I have even tried to divorce myself from my own needs inside in romantic relationships. Fact is I’d like to have someone to take care of me. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only one looking out for myself. I have tried to make due with unloving men telling myself I can give that to myself and I don’t need that. That’s bullshit! You need to have both if you’re in a relationship. I miss feeling the safety of another person I can count on besides myself.

Nowadays it seems like everyone considers the other disposable. It is as if people try to pretend they need less connection than they really do. We all try to act like we’re ok when we’re lonely as hell and desperate for connection. Fewer and fewer people want to risk their own vulnerability. They keep people at arms length with texting and chatting electronically, but won’t expect themselves to act with courage towards one another.

Once upon a time, before technology became our life line to others, people actually faced challenges and people head on. Yeah it was tough, but it built character. You learned, by doing, what you could handle and as time went on you actually grew as a person. We talked things out and took for granted we’d be together, so the only two options were to be miserable together or work it out together.

The problem now is that now people don’t make that assumption and so their relationship is always on the line. You CANNOT build a relationship with someone when you are always willing walk away during challenges. No one could relax in this situation. With the constant threat of it ending, both people are not all in or committed. It is like being in a relationship that doesn’t exist.

Maybe it is nostalgia clouding my memories, but I remember it being easier to be in a relationship and to work things out with people. Now I just find myself digusted most of the time with how people treat one another.

Thoughts? Advice?

Am I too Late?

I have been a wanderer, a traveler, an explorer, an escapist most of my life. Nothing of mine collected dust. I always seemed to have a Plan B, an escape route. If it got too complicated or messy or boring I’d take off one way or the other.

Though it probably sounds harsh, if I’m honest, I was still feeling this through both of my marriages. I wasn’t ready to settle down, to lay roots into the earth. Wandering was always in competition with this idea of what I should be doing at my age. So, I’d find myself with the trappings of a settled down lifestyle while inside I was fighting it, distancing myself and fantasizing my way out of it. Talk about the definition of one foot in and one foot out.

Looking back it is easy to see why I was so miserable for so much of my life. I was by no means living in harmony with my soul’s urge. I felt one way and tried to fit in another. Terribly painful way to exist. There are years of my life that I don’t even remember because of this dissonance.¬†

I didn’t form meaningful relationships with people because I didn’t see myself sticking around anyway. If I’m honest I didn’t really take my marriages as seriously as I could have either. To be frank, I didn’t have the first clue of what a marriage really was anyway.

So much of my life was spent like an out of body experience where some other force felt like it guided me along. I gave up control of that “traditional life stuff” in exchange for holding on to my fantasies of the life I wished for. Somehow I never thought I was allowed to have the life I actually wanted so I settled in a different way. I clung to my fantasies to make the reality I thought I was obligated to live, bearable.

After my second husband left, I spent several years watching my life tear apart at the seams.¬† After 33 years of living this double life, I couldn’t hold it together anymore. It was one if the most painful and lonely times of my life. I had to get a grip, make a new plan Stan, drop off the key Lee, and set myself free. How the hell do I do that?

I spent a year living overseas in Ecuador. I traveled just about the whole continent, I learned a new language, I got a job, I rescued working girls off the streets and offered them an education, I danced salsa almost every night, I learned that Latin lovers are not all good despite the reputation, I climbed volcanos, zip lined through the jungle, ate guinea pig, fell in love, lost love, lost weight, gained friends, and came home eventually to an empty house in the USA faced with the reality I could no longer escape. It was time to start over.

There was still so much distance between me and the stuff of my life. My house, my car, my things…all just stuff…meaningless. I had no real friends, no one I could count on. I was so used to keeping that distance and I could do most everything on my own anyway, so why bother?

I stayed this way for awhile. Had lots of disposable lovers.¬† For awhile sex was the only place I felt anything at all. When guys started to get personal or clingy, I’d drop them.¬† They never slept over. I didn’t want to wake up and see them. I struggled to keep the roof of a house I wasn’t sure I wanted over my head. I was committed to nothing.

Fast forward to now (5 yrs. later) and I find myself wanting to lay roots. Wanting to commit. Wanting love. Loving my house. Wanting a life partner. Understanding what that means. Wanting close friendships. Feeling so deeply that sometimes it scares me. Terrified that I’m waaaaay out of my depths most of the time with my understanding of this lifestyle. Freaked out that I can’t hack it. Afraid I’ll screw it up.¬† Thinking how behind I am. How much remedial training I need. How lonely I can feel now that I care to have people close to me. Resisting the urge to flee when I’m scared. I keep at it. I stick around. I want to find out if I could stay at a job long enough to collect a pension. I want to know I’ll be ok 6 months from now. I want stability and safety for a change.¬† I want to trust myself that I can do all this. I wonder if at nearly 40 I’ve arrived too late to the party.

I still want to explore this wonderful world around me and learn from it. I just want to have a place that I am happy to call home now too.

This is one of the most frightening adventures I’ve ever embarked upon. I am in pursuit of my own brand of happiness. The stakes are so high because the outcome matters so much. It’s finally personal.

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ

Plant-based Sex Drive?

One of the most fascinating changes I’ve experienced since switching to a mostly plant-based diet is that my sex-drive has really revved up!

This was very unexpected, but such a delight. I find that even the preparation of food is so sensual. Everything smells more profound and the feeling of the different textures brings so much pleasure. Cutting, slicing, breaking apart, peeling, stripping, washing; it has all become a kind of dance – a series of steps that I take towards manifesting a delicuous end result. .

By the time I am ready to put all of these ingredients into my mouth I am already feeling amazing. Food prep has become a kind of foreplay. I actually look forward to getting my meals ready. It is no longer a thing I rush through to get it done.

No. Now I have a relationship with each ingredient and begin to understand how it adds to my life. It is purposeful. Intentional. It fills me up. Supports my life. And I feel better than ever because I pay attention.

I have never had this experience with food. To actually feel as though I’m forming a relationship. ¬†To feel more sensual because of the food I eat. It is amazing.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this with food? Please share ūüôā

All the Things Money Can’t Buy

I was chatting with some friends last night over dinner and catching them up on my life. As these conversations often do, we found ourselves talking about relationships.

What do You Want?
A friend turned to me and said, if you could summarize what you want from a relationship in one sentence what would you say? This was an interesting challenge. After a few minutes I said, “I want to be with a man for all the things that money can’t buy”.

Apparently, this was a profound statement because everyone stopped eating, stared off for a moment and returned with – “Wow. Yeah. Me too. Well said.”

Can’t Buy Me Love
While this is not to say I want to be with someone without 2 nickels to rub together,¬† I also can’t be bought. There is NO replacement for:

  Intimacy
  Empathy
  Consideration
  Bonding
  Respect
  Tenderness
  Authenticity
  Hugs at the right moment
  Compassion
  Good conversation
  Really listening
  Making quality time
  Being held
  Divulging deep dark secrets without fear
  Safety
  Consistency
  Acceptance of who and what you are
  Great character
  Kindness to strangers
  Humility
  Great sense of humor used at the right time

Too many times I experience individuals so desperately trying to keep a relationship that they give stuff, their bodies, favors in hopes that they will be loved in return. These are gestures of fear and desperation. You cannot make love from this space.  If there was one word thst could summarize all the others above it would be to connect to someone. This makes loves because you are actually thinking of and feeling for the other person.

Enough about Me, Tell Me about You
I like to think of love like being open and ever curious. If you don’t feel this or have anxiety or fear then you are not in a good space to find, to make or to maintain love.¬† When you stop thinking about me, me, me and how I get my needs met, you can open up to another person and get to know them. Funny thing is that with most people they want to reciprocate. So, you have a better chance of getting what you want by showing another person the same curiosity you would like first.

It really struck me to finally have a simple set of words to frame what I’m looking for in a relationship. It goes a step further though I think. As we say in science,¬† like attracts like. If I am the qualities on that list, I will attract that kind of person into my life. Those we are with are a reflection of how we see ourselves afterall. In other words be the person you’re looking for.

 

With love from aneternaltraveler ūüėČ