Update: Celebrating Life

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It’s been a bit since I’ve posted, so I figured an update is a good place to begin again. The year has been a whirlwind for me so far. Major events and significant emotions spinning around me. The amazing thing is I remained fairly stable through it all.

If you read my Hello 2019 post then you know it was a mixed beginning to the new year. Shortly after that post, it was confirmed My cat has cancer. At the same time, I somehow manifested a money miracle. On the unclaimed money website, there sat $11,000. waiting for me! Since my Being poor post, I have worked on changing my attitude about money and I truly believe this little miracle was a reward for that work.

The money was its own little tornado. It was a blessing, yes; but, it was also stressful. The fact that I am on disability created its own set of rules; because, you are only allowed $2,000. for assets. After reporting it, I had only the rest of the month to spend it. I used it with the goal in mind to elevate the quality of life for myself and my daughter. It was mostly spent on another car, home improvements, appliances, and furniture.

I was also able to afford x-rays for my cat, to clarify the cancer diagnosis. The vet did not bother with the ultrasound because the x-ray confirmed there were already spread nodules in his chest. She believes cancer started on a cellular level in his GI system. Even the testing to find out what type of cancer would be too aggressive. She placed him on hospice and prescribed steroids to suppress cancer as long as possible. I was financially able to buy him herbal/natural supplements to aid in his treatment. The vet gave him 2-4 weeks to live, and he has lived 10wks. Though his recent decline in quality of life leads me to the inevitable decision to bring him to the vet and ease his pain.

I was grateful I had my furbaby to keep me company when my daughter left for Alaska for a three-week visit with her dad and family that lives there. I usually fight loneliness when she goes; but, this time dare I say, I felt relief. We’ve had a few upsets recently and agreed we need a family therapist to guide us through her becoming an adult. I don’t know when to push her and when to not. Her self harming in the past left me very anxious to not upset her. We need maneuvering and mediating.

While she was in Alaska, I had the opportunity for a few weeks to really be mindful of my own feelings and needs. It was healing, enlightening and enjoyable. The joy came to a halt when I received news of a dear friend from my past had died. I was devastated. Sad because she passed; but, also sad that we had fallen out of each other’s lives. I learned her son had died three years earlier and I wished I had been in her life. Maybe she would still be here? I recognized these thoughts as grief guilt and the overwhelming sadness of my good old friend grief. I knew better than to resist, I opened up and let the emotion take over.

I spent the first day with wine, weed, pizza, and chocolate and said screw my daily routine. The next day, I awoke exhausted and didn’t feel like doing anything. Part of me wanted to push, get up, do your routine!! The other was simply unable. I emailed my therapist and asked, what is a normal response, I don’t want to spend too much time teetering on the tight rope of depression; but, I needed to rest, and mourn, and process. She told me three days, then get back to my routine. On the third day, I dragged myself to start functioning. The funeral at the end of the week brought closure and though sad, I was feeling like I was at a normal and healthy space.

A few days after the funeral, my daughter came home, exhausted and with a bunch to process herself. The next day was my birthday. Shockingly, not a tinge of the typical birthday depression. My gratitude for life was heightened with the loss of my friend. I awoke, did my routine, went to the gym, (I learned to go by myself while my daughter was away), I bought myself big sunflowers, vegan cheesecake, chocolate, champagne, and dandelion greens to make pesto. I indulged and took pleasure in these simple things. I took a long bath and wrote in my journal. I sat in the bath and reflected on all the baths of my life since I was a small girl. I spent my day in appreciation, mindfulness, and gratitude to be here another year.

The same mindfulness I practiced on my birthday I am using now, to cherish every second with my cat. Looking at him and loving him for the last time in this dimension. His symptoms are lasting longer and he is not bouncing back like he has before. He has held on longer than expected and it dawned on me that he has held on out of his love for me. When my friend died, he spent every day by my side. He kept me company while Serenity was in Alaska. He celebrated my birthday with me. He has been there for me through countless tears. He has been an amazing therapy cat and I am so grateful for the time we have had. Now, I have to be there for him and make him as comfortable as possible. Having to come to the decision to let go of my cat has been tremendously painful and I am struggling with depression again. On the other side of that pain, the appreciation for every moment and every breath of life has etched its groove into my soul.

I celebrate my cat’s life, our life together, and the connection we will always have.

I celebrate every person that I have spent precious time with in this life. I recognize how lucky I am to be loved and to love.

The loved ones I have lost I think about every day. When I feel apathetic I shake it off and appreciate the fact that I am still here, I motivate for the people who aren’t here to have the luxury anymore.

I Celebrate Life ❤

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Giving AND Receiving

 

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The holiday season is here and we are in the spirit of giving. It should feel good to give to our loved ones. Unfortunately, with mass marketing  we can be guilted or pressured into buying beyond our means. The smiles on Christmas morning fill us with gratification; but, then we are left depleted financially. We forget that giving doesn’t have to be material things. We can give our time, our presence, a smile or an encouraging word. We can craft, cook, write or sing a gift.  We should give from our heart and do it  unconditionally in a way that feels good to us. The act of giving and  kindness should be practiced regularly and not just during the holidays. It is said to give what we want to get. 

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Most of us are continuously giving of ourselves to our kids, our families, our relationships, our work, our home, our pets…we usually forget to give to ourselves. This leaves us feeling exhausted. It is so important to give to self first. To nurture your own being and fill your well with love until it flows over, and only then can you give to others. Whether its the holidays or not, giving is an art to be appropriately learned and practiced. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is give-to-self-first.jpg

The other end of giving is receiving. Receiving doesn’t get as much praise. Most of us have been taught to give; but to be too humble to receive. We feel guilt or shame or unworthy to receive. Whether it be a lavish gift, or a simple compliment. We usually shrug it off and feel uncomfortable. The truth is that receiving is just as valuable as giving. It keeps energy flowing. To not receive is to block what that person is trying to give you. We must love ourselves enough to open up and receive what loved ones, our bosses, or God, or Universe is trying to give us. To not receive is to close ourselves off from love, from Source and from our own worth. To be able to give, you must be able to receive. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is receive-deepak.jpg

The goal is to understand that giving and receiving are a constant and natural flow. In order to give you must be able to receive, and to receive you must give, of yourself, to yourself, and to others, and to do it in a way that doesn’t deplete us and without expectation.

“Giving and receiving are different expressions of the same flow of energy in the Universe.”~Deepak Chopra

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I am giving and sending out much love and light to you all through the holiday season and always!!! Happy Holidays and Many Blessings!!💖

Tears of Gratitude

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The highest risk of stroke has passed
yet lingers over me
The awe and shock ever last
I sit and contemplate gingerly
Tears of gratitude
fill my eyes
How lucky I am to be alive
The gift of life seldom realized
until you almost die.
I ponder on how fragile health can be
and all that my body does for me
An amazing machine in constant motion
despite any given thought or notion
I send love to every cell of my being
to know it has my back is truly freeing,
I’ve been so aggressive in my journey of healing
Not listening to how parts of myself were feeling
Thinking I had to hurry up and succeed
Remorse for pushing so hard to exceed
It took my artery to tear and bleed
to teach me to slow down and breathe
I open my heart and let joy pump through me
my blood, and arteries,
I release and set free my aggression
Allowing a newfound respect for my body
Thankful to Creator for this lesson
Life is a precious gift, each moment a tiny present
I sit quietly in gratitude and cherish every second

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Out with the Old~In with the New~

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My biopsy came back negative! No cancer!! (Pause for happy dance!!!) giphy

I can finally move on to celebrating the new year! I think it is going to be a year of more extreme change.  There was a lot of loss and grief felt in 2017. I can’t help but to believe that new and wonderful things are coming my way. Last year served many lessons, and I met them with perseverance, success,&growth. Not just growth, ascension. It was a year of extreme sadness AND extreme joy.

Beginning with bedbugs; We lost our beds, couches, chairs. Most of our clothes got damaged from having to repeatedly dry on high heat, trying to prevent re-infestations. The bedbug battle lasted from Dec 2016 to April 2017, leaving both my daughter and I depleted. 

April brought my “Holy birthday” and My Plant Journey had Begun! My herbal apprenticeship was a huge step for me. The anxiety I had to face every class was tormenting. The inner saboteur haunted me each assignment. I had panic attacks so bad that my arms would radiate with pain. My hands shook. My heart pounded so loud and fast, I couldn’t hear myself think. I just kept moving forward. I found magic in the plants, and in myself.

June brought the 18th birthday of my little girl. An emotional milestone.  Sadly, I also received news of my warrior sister, Melody’s passing.  June also brought the 12th deathversary of my mom. I sat with her pictures all around me and allowed myself to feel the grief. It surprised me that the pain of loss doesn’t leave, it just lives inside of you waiting to be acknowledged. That is when I posted What do we do with grief? Then, July brought the 1 year deathversary of my dad. I worked through some more Grief and Anger!

It was very hard to move through the thick fog of grief, loss, anxiety and depression. I collapsed here and there; but, picked myself up and held on to whatever coping skills I had. I began to gain healing and strength little by little, giving me a tiny bit of self confidence, something I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

September my daughter brought home lice from school and we struggled for three weeks trying to get rid of them, sending us both into bit of depression. She ended up in the hospital for a few weeks sorting it out. I kept going, the way moms do. The pressures of upcoming graduation and my little girl being in the hospital wore heavy on me.

Alas, November brought Graduation&Restoration! A time for celebration and then the hopes of a long winter nap! I journaled how proud I was of myself and really recognized how far I had come. Real growth had happened. I knew my mental health recovery had reached a whole new plateau.

The peace was short lived with the holidays approaching. Then I received news of another friend passing away and I lost my car. In the midst of loss, I found myself. I sat with calmness and gratitude. With all the loved ones who are no longer with me, I found gratitude in just being alive. With the loss of my car and the immediate panic, I sat with gratitude that I was Carless and not HomelessGratitude is a powerful healing tool. Like my mama used to say, “It can always be worse!”

Now 2018 is here! I have got a clean bill of health and I am ready to bring into my life new lessons, new friendships, new opportunities for growth. When one door closes, another opens. Letting go of the losses and welcoming prosperity.

Out with the old, in with the new!! 

Happy 2018 Everyone! ❤

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Carless but not Homeless

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I mentioned in my update that my car was broken down. The week before Thanksgiving I spent $1000. on repairs. Two hundred to replace a windshield that my daughter had kicked in during an episode, and eight hundred to replace a line that went from my power steering to my coolant. The very next day from the garage, it started feeling like it wasn’t in gear. I tried heavier on the gas; but,  the car wouldn’t hardly go, and didn’t go passed 35/40mph. I ran a few errands and just parked it to deal with after the holiday. We carpooled to and back from Pa. When we came home, I tried to drive my daughter to school and it was worse, it barely moved, even though I was flooring the gas. I managed to get it parked again. When I decided to try it again, I tried to reverse and it went forward! I couldn’t move forward because of bushes so now, I was stuck.

I felt lost. I have always depended on boyfriends to help me with car troubles. Seeing as I refuse to be in co-dependency, there are some things that I am learning to deal with for the first time in my life. It reminds me of when I was pumping gas once, and there was an elderly lady confused and asked me for help to pump her gas. She explained that her husband always pumped it and she had never learned. Now he was gone. I remember thinking that it was sad. Here I was in a similar situation. I started with the transmission fluid. My daughter’s boyfriend helped me check it and put a little in and nothing. I asked my neighbor if her husband knew anything about transmissions. He did; but I had to wait for the weekend for him to look at it. He concluded it may be the sun gear in my transmission, and suggested I call the garage and ask for prices. If I decided to bring it to the garage, he said it should run in third gear and he would help me push it out. The garage couldn’t give me any price until they looked at it; but, that transmission repairs were expensive. The vehicle is a 2003 Chevy trailblazer. I wasn’t sure anymore if it was worth fixing. That decision was made for me on first snowfall. When maintenance came to plow, I explained my situation but they still had to tow it away.

I cried as they put it on the lift, but, part of me felt relieved. I was done. The car used to me my ex’es. I never felt like it was mine. Maybe its a symbolic break from what isn’t aligned with me anymore. Out with the old, in with the new. I wanted just to leave it at the tow place; Until, I researched and found that wasn’t an option. Tow companies continue to charge storage. I even found a story of one person who couldn’t buy a house because there were over $10,000. in tow/storage fees on their credit. My next thought was donate it; but, found out I couldn’t because of the fees. Then I spoke with the tow company and explained my entire situation. He was very nice. He said to come in and pay the fees ($250.) and then they would help me put more fluid in and go from there. After putting more fluid in, the gears didn’t even engage and it was concluded that my transmission was shot.  Then the best option was to junk it to them. As soon as my duplicate title comes in I will complete the paperwork and sign it over. Meanwhile, the tow company isn’t charging anymore storage. My daughter and I went to say our formal goodbye to “Ol’ Blue”. It has been an emotional drawled out goodbye process.

 

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The day the towed Old Blue way…24955786_10213703285843944_4132263020141029903_o

Its been rough being carless. Walking to the grocery store this time of year is no treat. As bad as it seems, I know it can always be worst. I can’t help but to think about people who have no home and are in the cold, with no one. I reflect on the time my daughter and I were homeless. Just before Christmas of 2010, we finally found a 1br apartment of our own. The community had helped us so much with food and gifts and even rent. I was so full of gratitude, I wrote the editor of the local newspaper. They in return wanted to do a story on me. They found it inspiring and perfect for the holiday. I have to admit, to this day, I am a little bit embarrassed for being on the front page of the newspaper as the “local woman’s struggles teach her life lessons.” But, my daughter was proud of me and part of my mission is to always be open about my story.

Here’s a link to the newspaper article:

http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20101224/NEWS/12240387

In reflection and gratitude, I find peace. Yes, I am carless, but, I am not homeless.

I am deeply grateful for all I have.

This time of year can be rough. If for any reason, you are feeling like you are not enough, or don’t have enough; please take a moment to think of others that aren’t as fortunate and find gratitude.

I want to wish you all the Merriest of Holidays.

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