I Am Vestibulous

Vestibulous: The act of being extremely content with your current situation. I learned about the act of being vestibulous one morning while having breakfast at IHOP with my mom. The word was an audible whisper in my ear. I repeated the word out loud and asked mom if she had ever heard the word before. We were both stumped so I looked it up (once I figured out how it was spelled) and found it on the Urban Dictionary site. I got a good laugh as I read the meaning. This word was definitely given to me to embrace.

My attitude was anything but vestibulous. In the midst of a Radical Reset, I was letting go of so much and I was in pain. How would I find a way to be extremely content?

It didn’t happen overnight and I still have moments where I wish I could fast forward to the future and be on the beach with my toes in the sand. Doing deep soul work is not easy. I was used to forging ahead and powering through life – settling for “what is” was my default. However powering through life was no longer working for me. I’d have to sit with life and allow time and circumstances to change as I did the work. Sitting still has always been my worst fear. I felt that being still equaled not accomplishing anything. I was wrong. In the past few months, I’ve come to appreciate the stillness. I’ve seen my life fall apart and things come together in a way that I could only dream. Every day is a new experience. There are no definitive answers right now and I am not going to worry. Each and every day is an opportunity to be not only content but deeply happy. It’s an inside job.

Meditation and music have been instrumental (pun intended) in helping me to be present and content with my current situation. Wherever life takes me, I will strive to be extremely content in the moment.

One Last Gift

1996 marked the year I was blessed with a baby girl. Her entrance into the world was long anticipated. My oldest was 10 at the time and I had all but given up hope of having another child. She came to me in the most interesting way through adoption.

The birth mother and her oldest sister Deborah looked at potential parent profiles. And our family was chosen. We had a week’s notice to prepare for her birth. It was a frenzy of excitement and preparation. A baby girl. While we were preparing to say hello, the birth mother and her family were preparing to say goodbye.

The birth day came and the birth family spent time with her. Holding her, loving her and speaking sweet messages of hope that they would one day see her again. Both families came together in a hospital waiting room. It was a blend of bittersweet emotions. Joy, excitement, sadness…felt by everyone.

The oldest birth aunt seemed to hold the family together and she reached out to me before we left the hospital and made sure that we knew that our girl was loved. I knew that. Feeling that connection with the birth aunt is something that I have always been thankful for. She wrote letters to our girl and made sure that the connection continued.

This past week, this amazing woman whom I consider a sister, went to her heavenly home. It is a shock that I am sure her family is still processing. I am too.

She was instrumental in my sweet girl reuniting with the rest of her birth family. This woman took my girl under her wings and got her in contact with multiple birth family members. The healing journey had begun for my girl. There was one piece missing. My girl wanted desperately to meet her birth mother. That happened this week at the funeral of her amazing aunt. I believe it was her one last gift to my girl. The healing continues. This woman will be deeply missed but I can tell you that she is undoubtedly watching over her family in Heaven and orchestrating wonderful things.

RIP Deborah ♥

Marie Kondo for the Soul

Two months into my Radical Reset has proven one thing to me…it is a journey. The first part was clearing out all that is not for my greatest and highest good. I call it the “Marie Kondo for the soul”.

Letting go of so much in my life has left me raw and broken. I’ve cried deeply, mourned, and even tried to bargain with the Universe to let me stay in my situation. And I did for a while. Yet it felt so inauthentic. I couldn’t lie to myself. It is no longer okay for me to live by default. So my new tactic is to simply embrace what is.

In past behavior, if I was in a situation that I didn’t like, I would just power through and make the best of it. Accepting and settling for what I thought was best. Slowly life crept up on me and I realized that I was not happy. The only way it would change, is if I changed. That pattern had to be broken. And that would take courage. It took me a long time to really face the reality of how I felt. I lied to myself and to those around me. I’ve had to do some self forgiveness for living an unauthentic life. No one else is responsible for my happiness but me.

My Marie Kondo for the soul began with baby steps. First having the courage to purge old clothes in my wardrobe. That felt good so I moved on to things in the house that I no longer needed. Every step led me to a deeper purging. The most significant change I’ve made so far is in acknowledging that I am not in control of everything in my life. I have had to let go of attitudes and patterns too. There are circumstances in my life that I can change. When I can, I do so. Then there are circumstances that are out of my control. I have to trust and believe that life is working out in a divine time that I am not aware of. Letting go of the insane idea that I have control over things is a work in progress. There are days that I think I have it all figured out, then I’m brought to my knees with humility as I realize I’ve gotten off track once again. The best I can do right now is to be vigilant and aware of how I feel. If a situation, person, thing or event doesn’t create happiness, then I will have the courage to let go.

Finding My Warrior Princess

Eleven years ago I made a conscious decision to volunteer with an organization that advocates for children. I went through the extensive training and background check and was ready for my first case. She came to me as soon as I graduated the program. She had trust issues and I was her second advocate. Already at a disadvantage, I decided that I would dedicate time on a weekly basis to build her trust. She needed me and I needed her to trust me in order to be her voice.

When I began this journey with my Warrior Princess, my hope was that we would be able to reunite her with her family. I was told that it could take up to a year and to be prepared to attend all meetings and appointments on her behalf. I was ready and excited to be of service. I did not realize how deeply involved I would become with my Warrior Princess.

My Warrior Princess was 15 at the time we met. I could see so much potential in her but it would be years before she saw that potential in herself. Every week I would pick her up and spend a couple of hours with her. She began to see that I really cared. We worked on an end goal of her being able to go home. Unfortunately that didn’t happen for her. I crossed the line of being an advocate and developed more a family bond with her. I loved her like my own children and felt more like mama bear versus advocate. What she went through in her young life broke my heart. I could relate to some of her trials and tribulations as I had experienced them too.

At 18, she graduated school and was given a little money and she moved away. The grown ups involved in her life hoped that the years of counseling she received would help her as she embarked on her life as an adult. My biggest wish for her was that she could break free from the emotional oppression that she had felt as child. But again her life took some twists and turns. She became a young mother and the patterns continued. We stayed in touch throughout the years and I held a hope in my heart that she would one day realize who she is.

That day has come. My Warrior Princess is a little weathered from her trials. She has walked through fire and she has been burned more than a few times. Yet it has removed the shell of a person that has held her back. Her new skin is shiny and bright. She’s still getting used to the look. But she is beautiful inside and out.

She called me the other day to let me know that she heard me all those years and she knows on a deep level that she is worthy of all the good things life has to offer. I believe her. I shared that I myself am going through the fire, shedding my old skin to prepare for a new life. We are mirroring that for each other. She is a strong and resilient spirit and I know that she is here to make a difference. Her walk has not been easy but so worth it. I look forward to seeing her create her best life.

My Warrior Princess is an inspiration to me and I love her with all my heart. She is like a daughter. I will always be her biggest fan.

My Warrior Princess is a beautiful flower.

Radical Reset

Have you ever felt so out of touch with who you are that you failed to recognize yourself in the mirror? Don’t feel alone. It’s happened to me not once, but several times in my life. A pattern that I am breaking. When I realized how unhappy I was with my choices, I decided to make some some changes with a Radical Reset. What is a Radical Reset?

A Radical Reset begins with a state of mind. A willingness to acknowledge what is not working for you. It takes courage and humility to admit to yourself and others that you have gotten off track. Once you have admitted where you are in your life, the next step can begin. Let me forewarn you that a Radical Reset is not instantaneous nor are there any shortcuts. As a matter of fact, it can be downright painful. Are you ready to fully let go of “what is” to embrace what can be?

After admitting (the first step) that I got sidetracked, I had the task of figuring out how to get back in the grove of my best life. What did I want to accomplish? What was I willing to let go of? Was I ready to be out of my comfort zone? My answers shocked me. I was ready to make some massive changes in my life. This was not going to be pretty or fun. It still isn’t. I’m still in the process of creating my new life. There are days when I feel so excited about new opportunities and days that I just want to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. When I have those moments, I remind myself that in order to get a different outcome, I have to be and act differently. My best life is in the process of showing up. I can’t quit.

Radical Reset is not for wimps! If you are reading this, perhaps this is YOUR message to get in gear and make some changes in your life.

I’d like to share some tips that have helped me along the way:

  • Make a list of changes that you want to make
  • Create an action plan for each change
  • Take responsibility for your own happiness
  • Forgive yourself for getting off track
  • Show up and make the changes that are within your power
  • Be willing to let go of the way that life is currently showing up for you
  • Be willing to let go of relationships that are not supportive
  • Be willing to let go of things that you no longer need
  • Be willing to let go of situations that no longer support you or your happiness
  • Be willing to let go and allow the Universe/God to intervene on your behalf when you’ve done all that you can do
  • Be thankful, even when you are deeply saddened by endings that were necessary
  • Be thankful for the life lessons that you have learned
  • Keep your heart open so the Universe/God can bless you with new opportunities

A bullet list is easy to write. It is much more difficult to apply it to life. Changes are not always easy and can be downright heartbreaking. What I can say about my journey so far is that I completely recognize the courageous woman looking back at me in the mirror.

What If It’s My Last Day?

With every birthday comes a time to reflect on life…and death.  It’s not a morbid subject but a gift that can be leveraged to help you live life to it’s fullest potential.  What if today was your last day to make an impression upon the world?  How would you spend it and what would you do with your day?

I thought deeply about this, this morning, and came up with a few things.  The first thought I had was gratitude for the realization that I am 52 today, not 53.  I just got a year back in my head!

I devised a list of things that I will be practicing more consciously on a daily basis:

  • Express my gratitude to anyone who gives me great service – it may be the only compliment they ever receive.
  • Tell the unassuming woman wearing the summer dress that she’s beautiful – we must do a better job of building one another up.
  • Smile kindly as I go about my day – my smile may make the difference between life and death for someone…you never know.
  • Remind a child of their gifts and talents and encourage them to be fearless in their expression of such gifts – what if I just encouraged the next Mozart?
  • Be a source of encouragement and strength to those around me by living my best life – maybe they will choose “up their game” and the ripple of mentoring continues on to others.
  • Spread more love on the world by being kind in thought, words and deeds – you never know all the battles that another human being is facing.  So assume they have their own battles and be kinder, gentler and don’t take their struggles personal.

Am I a Pollyanna?  Absolutely not…I see the ugliness in the world.  I Am choosing to LIVE like it’s my last day 

Going with the Flow

Death, separation, job change, financial struggles, remarriage, family reunion, surgery, kid going to college, moving upstairs, major house renovations, relationship challenges, paranormal experiences….This has been my 2018 so far.

On January 1, 2018, I sat down on my living room floor and had a prayer in my heart.  I asked the Universe to provide me a word to focus on for the upcoming year.  It was an immediate response…almost like my angels were yelling at the top of their lungs…FLOW.  I thought to myself, wow, that’s going to be interesting.  Then the words began to flow into my ear…go with the FLOW, ebb and FLOW, heart FLOW, financial FLOW…It was very clear that I would have to be flexible in my life.

Life hit me like a ton of bricks towards the end of January.  My partner Bobby and I were going into our 12th year of marriage.  I attended a 4 day seminar that made me take a good look at goals, intentions and purpose.  I had to admit to myself that I was terribly unhappy on so many levels of my life.  Bobby and I didn’t communicate and most of the time we tolerated each other.  How did that happen?  We were very much in love at one point and then we barely talked.  When you attend a self help class of any sort, be prepared for the unexpected to show up…especially baggage that you store away and refuse to deal with.  That’s the gift of self help.  I call it, “Welcome to the SHIT SHOW”.  Look at your shit, deal with your shit, admit your shit,  release your shit, stop being a shit.  It’s not pretty but it IS pretty raw.

I came to the conclusion that I could no longer tolerate my “tolerable” life.  I had come too far to “settle”.  So I gathered my courage and told Bobby that we were not working and I needed some space.  I wanted a divorce.  He was stunned to say the least.  I moved upstairs.  The next few months were nothing short of miraculous.  A series of very paranormal experiences began to commence.  It is still something I am trying to wrap my head.  Divine intervention is an understatement.  Maybe someday I will be able to talk about it freely but I will share that it woke Bobby and I up and made us realize that we are partners in this life and we have work to do.

I’ve always lived my life with an exit plan in place.  My marriage was no exception.  Although in survival situations in my life it worked brilliantly, having an exit plan did not allow me to completely commit myself to Bobby.  That was the part of the shit show that I had to own.

We worked on our problems and left the outcome open to possibilities.  Easter weekend came and new beginnings were right around the corner.  Bobby proposed to me on bended knee in front of family and friends.  I said yes.  We went from planning a divorce to planning a wedding vow renewal.  So many things happened throughout the process.  Looking back, I’m glad that I didn’t see all the changes coming.  The fur babies that we raised from the beginning of our marriage both passed away same day.  Our youngest son left for college.  We decided as a family that Mom would move in with us.  Our youngest daughter moved back in.  We took in our adopted nephew while he waited to go into the Air Force. I broke a toe and had double foot surgery.  Our house foundation began to falter and is in the process of being fixed.  We changed jobs unexpectedly and emptied our savings building our business.  Our daughter-in-law began training as part of our team.  Relationships with some family members took a turn for the worse…and then came full circle.  Friends passed away.  I went through menopause.  I embraced my love for Unicorns.  I quit giving a shit what people thought about my happy disposition…no more dimming my light.

View More: http://blutreestudios.pass.us/dina-complete
Photo by Blu Tree Studios

Why am I sharing with you?  It’s not to air dirty laundry…but hopefully you can relate and find some insight and even humor in my situation.  We all have a “situation”.  Looking back, I’ve had some priceless moments arrive in the midst of emotional turmoil.  That’s something my Mom taught me…you can laugh or cry…it’s up to you.  Well Momma, I’m laughing and learning.

2018 is far from over but I’ve already gotten my word for the upcoming year.  It is FOCUS.  This one makes me real nervous as I have self proclaimed SS “Squirrel Syndrome”.  What’s with these F words???  I wonder what 2020 will bring?  That’s a loaded question!

View More: http://blutreestudios.pass.us/dina-complete
Photo by Blu Tree Studios

Hurricane Harvey Healing Hearts

 

Healing and hurricanes are usually not combined in the same sentence.  On any ordinary day they wouldn’t be said in the same breath but that is before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas.  As a category 4, Harvey ripped through Rockport, Texas on August 25th annihilating the little town.  The wind continued along the coast and the rains flooded the metropolis of Houston.  While Houston was still reeling from the damage of the flooding, Beaumont and Orange, Texas were quickly flooding.

Before the hurricane Texans were divided by political parties, racial and civil unrest, and transgender rights.  The news industry proudly announced the dissension every day.  Then Hurricane Harvey hit.  People lost their homes, jobs, everything of value.  Poor and rich alike had to face the same disaster without water, food and electricity.

Fellow Texans heeded the call for help.  Churches, Real Estate offices, non-profit groups, the National Guard, The Texas Navy, Cajun Navy and transportation crews stepped up to the plate and went into action.  Some groups have been collecting supplies and delivering to affected areas.  For those with boats and watercraft, they have went to flooded areas and performed rescue missions.  The list of donations and volunteers is too extensive to include.  Cleanup efforts are in full force.  The delivery of supplies and rescue missions continue.

Southeastern Texas looks like a war zone.  It will take months and years even for the scars to be removed from our little piece of the world.  But the boundaries have fallen and we are finding our connection to one another.  Kind deeds and acts of bravery are happening all over Texas without regard to who or what a person is on the receiving end.  This is not a time of separation but of coming together to help one another bear the burden of the storms of life.  God bless Texas.  We are Texas Strong.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

I Dance Anyway

4fe1ff4939e2dbd987fa04e00b435bb8For years I have had a story inside of me.  It surfaced a few years back and I began the process.  Then one day, I put my journal away and went back to work.  It felt like the journey wasn’t finished and the story had more chapters.  It is a fictional story loosely based on true characters.  The main character faces many challenges in her journey.  She deals with her problems from a unique vantage.  My hope is that people will be able to relate to the characters and recognize the dynamics in their own life.

An excerpt from the beginning:

She looked beyond the horizon hoping to find the answers in the colors.  Such beauty she thought.  How would she get past the wall this time?  The sky seemed so limitless and expansive.  The air, filled with ever changing possibility. Yet her feet were planted firmly in the ground.  If she were a sapling, she would break in half from the wind  What would it take for her to pull her feet up and change direction?

The clouds began moving and the sun peeked it’s head out to warm her shoulders.  The feeling of warmth began to flow through her veins.  It became so hot, she had no choice but to move.  Her foot lifted, free from the heavy burdens that were on her shoulders.  She took another step forward and then another.  The horizon was still in sight.  She looked up to the sky and realized the rainbow that was hidden from her.  She smiled and had an urge to skip in the street.  With child-like abandon she moved with a deeper purpose.  She was put on earth to be fearless.  The world was colorful again and she was ready for the next chapter in her life.

Here’s to the beginning!

 

Dare to Follow Your Dreams

“I can’t do that!  I’m too short, curvy, and my nose is too long.”  That was my inner voice bully in response to modeling.  She can be so mean at times!   Luckily I have learned to hush the rambling and move on in spite of her.  Modeling is a hobby for me.  I may not be a runway bea18403879_10154677382347426_774723773989012061_outy but I CAN be a great example of courage for others who want to do something that they think is impossible.

Do you have dreams that you are afraid to follow?  I dare you to begin.  Do what scares you most.  That is where the greatest accomplishments arise.  Be that person that shakes and trembles and does it anyway.  I’m rooting for you!

We rise by lifting others.

 

For all of the Mom’s out there – Happy Mothers Day ♥


A big thank you to the photographer that believes in my dreams – Joseph Hernandez.  You are insanely gifted!

#JosephHernandezPhotography  #Dowhatscaresyou  #happymothersday

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