Spirituality

Let’s dive into our soul

This post has been trying to manifest itself for sometime my dear readers. With this ever changing situation our entire world is in, coupled with the spiritual growth I myself have been experiencing, HOLY MOLY y’all!!!! The messages, downloads actually, come so intensely at times it overwhelms my entire system. This week as I sat in Mother Nature’s excellence, I was finally able to piece together all of what was being revealed to me. I’m so grateful to have been able to finally sit with it all to make sense out of it😊

It is said that we attract what we need in this life and I firmly agree. The relationships I cultivate are exactly what I need to learn and gain wisdom from. For a very long time I brought in others who were broken, narcissistic and displayed deep sociopathic behaviors. Yet after this summer’s breakthrough, I see everything from a new light. I thank our God and creator for that whole heartedly. The perspective of “victim and why me” is now thank God me, what is this meant to be teaching me? I feel like my soul is this giant sponge just soaking up the energy of others to be nurtured into a more acceptable and loveable Maria❤

We are all interconnected and only together do we rise. Plug yourself into a soul tribe, learn from others and in turn gain an inner wisdom that is your own soul’s language. My dear reader’s that is what this down time has taught me. Whenever I am feeling resistance to what, specifically my partner whom I have been forced to be with 24/7 in a very small space is saying (at times shouting at me) I can go outside and say ah-ha!!! The stubborn Itialian girl inside needed to hear that. I needed to see that side of my own ego thinking to be able to accept that there is always another way of looking at the world 🤗

I feel very blessed to have so much quiet time lately. Tuning into my own natural rhythm and parsing out just what I make of the world around me. Going deeper. That is always my destination. As my son Ty would say, wow Mom that’s deep. Yes my dear it is and it’s only there that the truth lies. Whether I’m bouncing off the walls exercising, tap dancing or sun bathing in my backyard…..the Universe is constantly sending me affirmations and synchronization of prior messages as if to say “keep going, you are on the right path my dear.” As a devoted student of this spiritual journey, I bow my head and oblige 🙌

The things that have brought this naturally high vibe, extroverted and upbeat woman an abundance of peace has been maintaining my routine. Like my partner Lincoln asked once, “does spirituality take a day off?” In response I shook my head casually and said “Nope baby.” Everyday I open my eyes and charge forward with a real conviction to meet my soul wherever I am at and in that moment. Here is a small list of what I do before I begin interacting with the world around me:

Reading affirmations

Open Mark Nepo’s “The Book of Awakening” to read that day’s passage

Putting the chakra balancing crystals upon my chakra points while I turn on the SoundHeal app, sitting quietly for 10-15 minutes in whichever frequency I feel suits me in that moment.

My holistic arsenal of essential oils and chakra balancing crystals

After that I grab my journal and pour out my thoughts without thinking, judging or stopping. I believe in free association writing in the morning so I can get in touch with whatever my soul is connecting with at that moment. My dear readers, I can’t express to you how much these practices have meant to me over the last 9 months and how much inner wisdom I have gained from allowing myself to go in whatever direction is necessary. Working up that spiritual muscle 💪is needed for when I am called into battle as the human vessel I embody in this life. It’s all gravy or a cherry on top, however one chooses to see it🍨

This morning I was served the first test of my patience as I awaited the test results from the Covid19 test I had administered to me on Tuesday. My brother in law drove my partner and I to a drive through testing facility in downtown Dallas where they stuck a q-tip up to my brain space quite literally to retrieve a sample of my mucus membranes. I was then told to wait 2-3 days for a phone call giving me the results. This morning at 8:22 AM I answered that call only to find out that the person who took down my information had made an error in documenting my address (yes, I know what you’re thinking dear readers, why wasn’t my driver’s license scanned digitally) Without being able to verify me properly, even by my driver’s license number (I offered it too) I would have to wait for a call back🙄

I’m not someone who accepts NO for an answer. So I went about calling any official number I could find, even finally speaking to a supervisor at the state of Texas board of health to not only tell them of my story but to ask how I retrieve the result. In the meantime, 5 plus hours of frustration ensued. My partner and I are quarantined in our small apartment with no hot water (that’s another story for another time) his mother and aunt who are elderly and immune deficient are alone in the main house without our help and his brother has been banished to a room in his house all because we don’t know for sure if  I have this dreaded virus 🤬

Houston we have a problem

One more avenue I exhausted was registering myself on the website of the lab who administered the test only to find out that there were no known lab results for me. As of 5:45 PM, the time I am writing this post, I still have no answers. At this point, can I trust the result to even be accurate?

I share all of this to express to you all that we truly have very little control over what happens in our world. Even when we follow the guidelines and do what we are instructed. The only real truth is what lies within our soul. There lies our true North star and whatever I find there is what God wants for me to know and understand. I trust in that. I am guided by love and driven by faith🙏

I will leave you with this my dear readers. After my morning of frustration and aggravation, I put on my favorite music and got my workout on!! Sweating out all the crap I can’t change or control. Dancing to my favorite tunes until I was thoroughly exhausted and expressed💃

Live your truth, express your soul because that’s all that matters 🙌❤

A great man who helped to shape the music industry in our world, Mr. Quincy Jones said this and I firmly agree…..”Not one drop of my self worth depends on your acceptance of me”

Spirituality

My big day off

Phew, I have been on a roll lately my dear readers that has time moving at light speed! I’ve been so busy in the best ways. First of all, my oldest son Tyler, who had never visited me here in Dallas, came here last week for four days. Now he has my heart singing because he told me he wants to relocate here! His father, my ex-husband and I have been divorced for almost ten years now. I relocated out of state of Rhode Island seven years ago so needless to say, I haven’t lived in the same state as my children for a long time.

I have written before about how messy my divorce was but it stands to emphasize that my ex is quite ignorant. He has refused to speak to me for going on five years now. We share joint custody but I granted him primary placement because he is the more stable one in both finances and emotions between the two of us. He has successfully alienated my younger son Miles, who will be 15 in April, from me. I understand why things have unfolded as they have and I have faith that once he has more real life experience plus a few more years of maturity, he will come around as Ty has.

Ty and I out and about in the big city

I have never, and I am proud of this fact, spoken a negative word about their father to either of my boys. That is their Dad, part of who they are and their idol even hero in many ways. I know all too well how when one parent is always negative about the other, the incredible damage it does to not only the parent child relationship but the child’s self esteem. This being said, my oldest will be 19 in August and is well aware of how both of his parents differ in personality. I have become more free to explain my side of things now.

Having Ty here was wonderful. I was a stay at home mother for twelve years and my greatest role in life will always be Mom. Getting to inhabit that role again is just the best feeling!! Ty and I are very alike and we vibe so well off each other naturally,  it’s so cool😊 He loves to tell me how when he thinks about me, while he’s home in RI, all of a sudden I call and vice versa for me! I tell him that’s because we are so connected plus we are both empaths. We finish each other’s sentences and I can recognize how strong his intuition is, especially for his age. Ty is light years ahead of me when I was his age! He makes me so damn proud😁

This post is entitled “My big day off” though so let’s get to that😉

New purchase of a Himalayan salt lamp

I love it when I get a day off during the week. I had a few errands to run downtown which took up most of my afternoon. I don’t own a car, so I use ride share, Uber specifically, everywhere I go. Today however, my destinations were close enough that I could walk to each of them. I don’t know what was in the air today but I found myself bumbling around from each place to the next. I’m talking about walking the wrong route more than once, forgetting my bag at a stop and having to search desperately for a public restroom! I couldn’t get out of my own way🤪

In the late afternoon, I had Uber bring my partner to our favorite hole in the wall pub so we could have a stiff drink and an early dinner or late lunch depending on how you want to look at it😉 I simply walked there and met him. It’s so important to me that we have at least one “date” a week where we can be ourselves, no distractions and be the fun loving couple we are. Letting go of life’s stressors.

We kissed goodbye and I sent him off home while I went over to the dance studio that I have been taking dance classes at. Tonight I returned to tap after many years of attending a proper class! I think the last time I was in a class was when I was sixteen years old! I taught the standard half hour ballet, half hour tap to little ones for years but that is a different beast all together!

Laced up the ol tap shoes💃

I was quickly reacquainted with how mathematical tap is and how often the steps fall on the “and” count. Our teacher was old school and super Southern. A real character and I loved her immediately! She kept remarking on how good I was doing and adding, “just jump in once you get it!”

I know I am so hard, too hard on myself from being trained in such a serious fashion plus dancing at a competitive level that it altered my entire outlook on dance. Returning as an adult, a mother, someone who has been on a 10 year odyssey of spirituality and healing and a yogi for 20 years I can now fully embrace not only myself but my sheer passion for dance! I really honored little Maria tonight. I thoroughly entertained myself and was able to laugh a lot as I untangled the stickiness of remembering the steps! The phrase that kept running through my head was, “you can do it Maria…it’s just like riding a bike!” Plus, I was taught to never walk out of a class, no matter what. I still stick that that rule🙌

This is a 180 degree difference to the Maria I was when I abruptly quit my dancing career at 16. That young lady was extremely hard on herself, self harmed with an eating disorder and was entirely too serious about everything. Nowadays, I enjoy laughing at myself, being silly and actively intending on not taking life too seriously. I make it a point to remind myself throughout my day to relax, will _____ matter a year even a month from now? It’s a mindset and a real shift from where I used to be. Welcome abundance mindset 👏

It felt really good to have the awesome ladies I tapped with tonight tell me they enjoyed my upbeat energy, personality and tap skills. They each asked if I would return to which I responded with a resounding HELL YEAH!

I must give myself credit here for acknowledging just how much I have grown in a short amount of time. My partner and I discussed it during our meal together. Since unearthing repressed memories of sexual abuse in June that occurred when I was 5 and 6, I have expierienced two back to back spiritual awakenings that have significantly raised my internal vibration. I acquired a new job that I absolutely love, my dream job in so many ways. I am healing my inner child wounds and in doing so have reconnected and solidified my authentic self. The Maria I am today is the most comfortable I have ever been in life. 100%

23 year old me

Ty even told my dear friend and the owner of the boutique I manage that he never thought he would see his Mom this happy. She remarked on how evident my influence was on him during his formative years because of what a great young man he has grown into being. That is definitely the greatest compliment I could ever receive. Deciding to move to Florida, push the reboot button in life after the divorce was extremely painful and difficult for all three of us, my boys and I. Being a Mom and raising my sons is my hands down greatest accomplishment in life. The separation alienated me from not only them but some of my family and friends. Many people had harsh comments and opinions for a mother, who in their words, chose to abandon her children. Entrusting them selflessly to their father. I knew he was the better parent at the time. I recognized that and I acted accordingly. Period.

This is the cold hard truth my dear readers. I was so lost, numb to my life at age 33 that I really wanted to die. I attempted taking my own life more than once. I was presented with the toughest choice I have ever had to make but one that was also absolutely necessary. It was my boys or me and I had to choose me which was counter to how I had lived my life up until then all along. Focusing solely on myself was scary as hell (still is at times)and felt so foreign, downright wrong at first. Ten years later, I can say that I love myself, I believe in myself by being my own best cheerleader. Two values I could never own before.

Ty & I ❤❤

I feel this poem really hits on the vein of letting go, recovering perfectionism and obtaining real self love. It’ll always be a work in progress and I’m ok with that. Keeping my mind open, willing to always learn, laugh at myself and embrace all that life has to offer is where I’m at today😊

Control….or release of it😉
Spirituality

Healing through movement and sound

My dear readers, I am about to share with you all a few practices that have created such joy in my life and are proving to be real game changers along this healing transformation I am experiencing lately. My heart is singing just thinking about the calming impact they have had, at the same time exhilarated feelings that these practices have brought to my life!

Solfeggio sounds

I love to meditate. I have rediscovered it’s beneficial aspects again after having not made the time for this practice for too long, I can see how my life was seriously lacking it’s mindfulness results. So I restarted a couple of different styles depending on my mood and the amount of time I could give to it daily. I like both guided and Transcendental techniques. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon the information but I think it must have been in an article I was reading that explained the benefits of sound healing through frequencies like Solfeggio sounds. I did incorporate the information about the app I use called, SoundHeal in my long post last week, entitled “Visons proclaiming my future path”. I have come to look forward to the 10-15 minutes a day I allot for this practice because I literally tune the world out and get to be with myself. It’s a gift. It’s something I need to do in order to keep in the present moment and remain mindful. It calms and soothes me while adjusting my mindset so I can tackle my day.

Dance

Another very important practice I have restarted in my life is dance! I have written in past posts dear readers that I studied all forms of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and modern since age 2 and then quit abruptly due to emotional stress of competing at a high level and some other reasons I will elaborate on in future posts. Last week I posted, “This is me,” a video of myself dancing alone in my room to the song “Titanium” by David Guetta. I feel most alive when I’m dancing and moving my body. It’s so freeing and the best way, I believe for me to allow my spirit to soar and get connected with my soul’s essence. I recently returned to the dance studio too attending both a ballet and a jazz/funk class.

This resurgence of my love for dance got me thinking about the kind of dancing that allows people to connect with their true spirit and tell a story through dance. So I turned to Google and entered “transformative dancing” and the first video I clicked on was my answer!

Mindfulness Dancing

There is a woman from Ohio named Jaime Marich who is both a professional counselor with a human services degree and has a dance/theater background founded a group dance class called “Mindfulness Dancing”. She incorporated her love of yoga, breathwork and therapeutic dance into a group class that frees your soul and spirit! She discovered after getting sober and living in recovery that when you incorporate your body into therapy it produces such deeper healing results than just traditional talk therapy alone. I watched this video below a few times and was immediately struck by how when you allow your body to do what you feel, using even the simplest of movements, you tell your own story. She and the other participants admitted that people in their early 20s sometimes have a hard time finding the words to express themselves but can more easily find a movement that exactly matches their feelings. Add music to this and BAM….I immediately wished there was a local class I could attend like this! I have really learned the benefits of healing in a collective, a community of like minded people.

Perhaps I need to start a class here in Dallas like her model 🤔 Check it out here….

Bringing people through their pain and trauma while igniting their life force energy, aliveness is something that I admire deeply. There is a beauty to being within a group that casts no judgement or critique to one another. The complete opposite of the kind of dancing I grew up aspiring to perform. I can see now how the level I was at crushed my love of dance. After I quit, I turned my interests in music to following The Grateful Dead and twirling along with my fellow deadheads. Their music is still a big part of my life today. I put it on when I want to connect with myself, let loose and get free! This is one of my favorite medleys of, “Estimated Prophet/Shakedown Street/Fire on the Mountain/Sugar Magnolia” from 11/24/78 at The Capital Theater in Passaic, New Jersey. Being both the Jersey girl I am and born in 1977, this performance tickles my fancy and makes my spirit soar!! Enjoy it my dear readers, put it on, crank the volume up loud and dance my fellow soul dancers!

“The Art of Aliveness”

Lastly, I want to share with you my dear friend Chrissy Marie aka @comealivewithchrissymarie on Instagram’s new podcast called, “The Art of Aliveness”. She has recorded 7 episodes so far and each of them contain gems of truth, humor and insightfullness coupled with her quick witted intelligence on how to cultivate life force energy by utilizing curiosity and courage with play. Proving these practices bring joy into your life and connect you with your soul. Her latest episode explores the healing qualities of sound vibration within the body. She provides the science behind the proven benefits of sound and how talking to yourself, singing, chanting and humming bring your attention out of your thinking mind and into your body. Helps to regain your focus, improves memory and is just plain fun! I just adore her, my sassy red headed friend. I think anybody who wants to feel alive, boost their joy and laugh needs to listen. I take notes as I listen usually twice through each episode that spark laughter, sometimes I cry when she strikes that chord and mostly she makes me think. Afterwards, I can connect with the information and find what speaks to me that I can incorporate into my daily practices and healing.

“Triumphing over Trauma”

We are only on this Earth for such a short time and I feel like I don’t want to squander another moment being in pain or reliving trauma from my past. So far, since June, I have reignited my passions by remembering just who I am and what I came here to do. I believe we come to this life as spirits being many thousands of years old with amnesia. Everyday I am waking up a bit more, engaging in the conversations, living my truths, finding the situations and expierienced that make my free spirit take flight again. I am alive and it feels so good after years of living in and feeling stuck by pain, trauma, depression and anxiety 🥰 This is what my motto “Triumphing over Trauma” looks like….

Me in the boutique I manage “Studio Store”
My ode to sound healing
Spirituality

This is me

Spoke with a girlfriend of mine yesterday and she inspired me to show more of my personality in all that I share online especially my theatrical side. Those who know me in real life know how much I love to dance, it’s my deepest passion that started at 2 yrs of age.  At one point in my life I wanted to dance on Broadway. I trained intensely for many years, quit suddenly at 16, throwing it all away. (I will get into why in later posts) I’m pushing myself back into that world since my 2nd dream of being a writer has been realized because I self published my book of poetry last year for Amazon, “Emotional Musings”and I operate this blog. …..now it’s time to get back into dance.

Solo dance party💃🎉



This past weekend I took my first ballet class in over 10 years. Last evening I took a jazz/funk class. Both classes were equally amazing, kickin my🍑

I’m determined to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone because I feel alive when I’m dancing and listening to music. I feel the most ME that I have ever felt, since probably high school. Despite my tech blunders and disorganized room (who cares right?) I keep doing it.
I also started a little project. I painted my first mini canvas yesterday with a poem on it. Who knows where it will go but the point is I’M DOING IT!! Live your life out loud and without self consciousness. It feels A-MAZING 🥰💜🙌

Mental health, Spirituality

That monkey on my back

Every once in awhile, here it goes again. Wide awake in the wee hours of the morning knowing that I have a big day ahead of me. Not sure if it’s hormonal or subconscious anxiety but I’m not a fan my friends of this latest development.

I have been working a lot at the coffee shop and feeling pulled in all directions as a supervisor. In fact I had to have a few difficult conversations this week with my partners. I’m not one for confrontation and I’m definitely in flight mode rather than fight. Yet they say change and growth can be painful. I guess that’s what’s up right now. Just those growing pains of evolvement.

I am a classically trained dancer in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and contemporary dance styles. I started when I was just two years old. My biggest dream was to dance on Broadway. My sister and I were on a competitive dance team that traveled and took classes in New York City. I pursued this up until I was sixteen years old. That was when some harsh realities became too much to bear and I quit dance all together. I did rediscover my passion for it after my oldest son was born and I started attending adult classes. What’s the point of me writing about this you may ask? Here’s some truth to that question.

Since growing up and striving to be some part of the very competitive dance world, I definitely developed this perfectionist side to my personality. Everything had to be just right. My parents tell me they would catch me organizing my room by stacking up my books just so. Arranging my Smurfs figurines in a particular order. Everything had to be straight and neat. I even carried this over into people pleasing and being quite passive in my intimate relationships.

Fast forward to present day and I can feel when this shift tries to take the wheel again. This time in a more destructive way. I start becoming very strict with myself. I get overly angry with myself when I make even a small mistake. I start reverting back to old habits that I know aren’t healthy for my positive outlook. The tiny voices in my head that whisper, you’re not good enough start to get louder as if someone turned up the volume on that old tape. I thought I threw that one out years ago in the midst of my healing from the traumas. Here it is again playing louder than ever, boombox style.

One of my downfalls is that I have always been my own worst enemy. More than most other people are I think. The original diagnosis from my psychiatrist on my first visit was that I have OCD with PAD (panic anxiety disorder). I had decided I’d had enough of the unexplained anger and anxiety surrounding the way my environment appeared to me after my oldest was born. I was constantly cleaning and was absolutely consumed by this drive to have everything look perfect. I found myself stuck in these crazy routines of cleaning things over and over again to the point where I wasn’t leaving my house. I developed these phobias surrounding having to clean incessantly or else. What you may ask…….even today I’m unsure. I had a dark burgundy formica countertop in the kitchen at my first house. I used to wipe it so much that it changed colors in some spots. Definitely a bit too obsessive.

So, when I feel that itch coming back again this is what I do. I restart the positive self talk in my bathroom mirror. I allow myself to feel the uncomfortable feeling of understanding that I am imperfect. I give myself permission to feel uneasy. That sounds like a simple enough statement. Boy, is that a hard pill to swallow during these spells. That’s what I like to refer to it as, a spell. Like some greater force has taken over my mind, body and spirit.

Quieting that harsh inner negative dialogue can be tricky once mixed with a heavy dose of anxiety. The “not good enough” imaginary police are breathing down my neck. You are nothing, you will never be anything, you are a loser…. their sirens wail loudly in my head. I steady myself as I ride this wave of uncomforbility. Assess what I actually can control, what to attempt to let go of and what next behavior will serve me the most. Some days are of course better than others. Add in our recent moon cycle and there you have it…….that nagging need to be perfect.

At the end of the day, I accept it will always be that invisible monkey on my back. It’s always there, lying right beneath the surface. Some days it’s quieter than others. Like everything in life I know it’s temporary. This too shall pass.

Anxiety, Mental health, Spirituality, Women's self care

Friend in the mirror

A few months ago in August I did something I never thought I would do. I fearlessly posted a no make-up selfie with words on it that represent me and who I am. My words are sushi lover, dancer, Complex PTSD, movie buff, humanitarian, ❤ car trips, fiesty, writer, book lover and suicide survivor. It’s posted on the i_weigh movement page on Instagram founded by multi-talented actress Jameela Jamil.cropped-20180828_1017001.png Ms. Jamil herself battled anorexia as a teen and struggled with self image. She noticed and began questioning the distubing trend of what determines beauty messaging and how it has brainwashed our society. Why every magazine and commercial are always pushing the idea that only being thin was beautiful and desirable. She is quoted by saying,”I was bombarded with a narrative that had no alternative. There were never any women who were celebrated for their intellect … and all of my magazines were selling me weight loss products or telling me to be thin. Otherwise, I wasn’t worth anything.” In an effort to raise the middle finger to entire industries that are complicit in perpetuating these ideas she started the i_weigh movement. Proving we are all more than a mere number on the scale. I fell in love with it and messaged my picture to be included.

I started ballet when I was 2 and I continued to dance competitively into my teens. My passion for dance led me to want to become a professional someday. I studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and modern from some of the best instructors and choreographers  in the dance world.  It became my life and my main focus. It also served as a catalyst for my eating disorder. I’m 5’2 and have been the same height since 7th grade. I was always told I was too small and I would never make it as a dancer. I didn’t have the long legs of a ballerina, I needed to lose weight (I didn’t), my skin is too olive(I’m Italian and Puerto Rican) and a list of other physical appearance critiques. I started restricting my food at the age of 13 or 14. I also abused laxatives, water pills and diet pills. I would spit into cups for hours before dance class in hopes of losing a pound, utterly ridiculous I know! At 16, I finally got fed up and lost my drive and self esteem about dancing. I quit and thought I would never take another class. Thankfully,  I rediscovered my love for dance as adult at 25 when my oldest son was 2. My new love is for tap and contemporary style classes. I have also enjoyed teaching little ones creative movement and beginner ballet but those are topics for another post.

My eating disorder however grew worse now that I wasn’t getting the extreme exercise from dancing daily for hours. I began an intensive workout routine and started running. The combination of restricting my food and my exercise routine bore behaviors that then turned me into an exercise anorexic. It was like a high, my newly discovered drug. I was able to control something because my home life was so chaotic and dysfunctional. My thinking became very obsessive and I was developing strange ideas about food. What I would eat and what I would avoid. It was a full time job mentally and utterly exhausting. Those patterns lasted on and off for years and I really didn’t confront it until five years ago. I have body dysmorphia as a result in addition to my many conditions and I still hold some of those beliefs that tell me I’m ugly in my core. I can absolutely agree with Ms. Jamil that negative body image is ruining people’s lives.

As a result of having my picture posted on i_weigh I met an extraordinary woman. She lives in Australia, we have never met in real life yet we have a kindered spirit bond like few are blessed to know. We have so much in common with our life experiences and we are both empaths. Currently we are trying to schedule a time to video chat with each other so we can “meet” face to face. I credit my new friend for inspiring me to get back to my writing and to share it online. She gives me so much support and artisitc suggestions.  I have even nicknamed her my pseudo creative director on this blog! Her spirit and soul are exquisitely beautiful. I look forward to our message chats because we uplift each other so much. We discuss anything and everything and I feel truly blessed to call her my friend.

Seven years ago during the height of my mental breakdowns and recovery after my suicide attempt, I was introduced to mirrorwork therapy. I stand in front of a mirror and tell myself  positive affirmations and I recite mantras. I know what you’re thinking, sounds weird right, talking to yourself in the mirror? I always say that I’m my own best audience and it’s a scientific fact that positive self talk is a sign of good mental health. At first I started to read off of the sticky notes that I had put up next to the mirror, I couldn’t even look at myself directly in the eye for awhile. Once I got more comfortable and with practice I can now stare right at myself and have an intimate conversation. The main two mantras I use are, I am a beautiful and capable woman. I am a child of God and I am loved. These are two statements I had the hardest time believing about myself especially after attempting suicide. Part of my therapy included examining my core beliefs, the things I tell myself and completely rewriting them. That tape we all have running through our minds constantly. At times we can carry our negatives thoughts and ideas about ourselves in an invisible but very real backpack. During my many years in therapy I have learned to stop the tape and take the backpack off.

Currently I’m on a therapy hiatus. I began taking part in therapy when I was seven years old. Mostly it was family therapy and sometimes it was individual. I have successfully completed a ton of different therapy programs over the last thirty years. That’s a lot of expressing and pain shedding and I’m to a point now that it has become uneccessary to continue on a regular basis. At the height of my time in therapy, I was seeing a DBT certified therapist four times a week. I have been in psychiatric hospitals over ten times and have completed numerous outpatient programs. I have been a member of different support groups with varying topics surrounding my mental health. I have read countless books about mental illness both non-fiction and fiction and listened to as many audio self-help books. I’m therapied out (I think I made that word up) and I need a darn break.

I used everything I have described here as my inspiration for this poem. Take notice of how I started describing my new Australian mate and then my subject morphed into discovering myself as my friend. It is hugely important to be friends with yourself. We are so loving and generous with our friends and at times we can be our own worst enemies and treat ourselves like dirt. The golden rule of treat everyone has you would like to be treated needs to also include, and especially yourself! We can all use that reminder sometimes!

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