Selfie #1

 

Selfie #1 - 4:28:18
Watercolor by Della

I have been working on self-love lately, and I came upon this idea to paint how I felt about me.  The first thing I placed on the paper was a big heart.  From there I just let my creative spirit guide me.

I feel as if the heart is a seed and that I have planted myself on rocky soil.  I am firmly planted though.  Even I can see that.  My puny arms are raised in the air letting the light in as much as I am able to.

I started exploring this because I have a life long habit of falling for unavailable men (rocky soil).  It has been two years since my last relationship, and I am getting closer to wanting to go down that road again.  I feel the inner work is necessary before I proceed any further.  My thin arms and legs tell me I am not yet strong in this self-love I am developing.  But the light that surrounds me gives me courage to continue the journey.

I’d like to create a painting once a month to see how I am progressing over time.  I’ll share those paintings with you here.

To find out more about Della click here.

The Crucible: A Poem

kintsugi+heartthis is a
cautionary tale
of love and loss

it goes like this . . .

my love was a gift
that was cast aside

by one
who didn’t want it or
need it

I wrote the play
that he starred in

he played his part
quite well
for a little while

until the role
no longer fit

I could have seen this early on
if only I was looking
in all the right places

I only saw
what I wanted
to see. . .

his actions spoke louder
than words
but I could only hear
the words

I clung to the words
and let
the actions
slip through

the cracks
in my heart

that were there
long

before
we
ever met

our time together
was both
a gift
and a crucible

I see how I set the show
in motion and how I rushed
it along to the end.

I no longer write
stories for
lovers I’ve never met

yet my eyes are
wide open
and even my
heart
is
too

I can thank
him for that

all good things . . .

Taking The Bull By The Horns

bull
Pastel by Della

I awoke one morning a week and a half ago and I felt tired.  I was tired of mourning the loss of my last relationship, tired of feeling bad about myself and tired of writing self-indulgent poetry.

So I took the bull by the horns, so to speak, and joined an online dating site.  Mostly, I did this because I wanted to feel desirable again.    My self-esteem was in the crapper and it needed a boost.

Online dating is not something I had ever done before.  I had no idea how to go about it.  Luckily I had a coach in my friend Linda who knew all the ins and outs of how to proceed.  I had watched and listened to her adventures in the past year and was in awe of her courage.  She was the reason I was able to take the steps to do this at all.

I put my profile up and within the first 24 hours I had 70 views of my profile and about 20 contacts.  It was a bit overwhelming.  It was pretty easy to tell right away who was serious and who was a serial dater.  Some of the interest was obviously scammers and some obviously hadn’t read anything in my profile or they wouldn’t have contacted me at all.  I even had one dude email me with anger because I was looking for someone who was into health and wellness!

By morning three I was seriously thinking of closing my profile down as this really wasn’t for me.  I took one last look at who had contacted me and lo and behold a guy who wrote in complete sentences (and paragraphs!) reached out to me.  He obviously had read my profile all the way through and was thoughtful in his words to me.  I was intrigued . . .

So, tonight, after many conversations we will be meeting for the first time.  I am both terrified and excited.  My anxiety has hit the roof and I have grief coursing through my veins.  Mostly, though, I am proud of me for taking this forward step.

No matter how tonight turns out I know I am brave and that is all that really matters.

Find out more about Della here.

Inspired Vision

athena_boulet
artist: Susan Seddon Boulet

I was journaling this morning and asking my Spirit Guide Mother why I got sucked back into a place of longing and despair.  I was doing so well and then before I knew it I was lost.  Here is a poem I wrote about that journey.

Mother responded in this way:

You are never alone yet you see it not.  You are so easily distracted by the illusions of this world.  It is all fantasy.  Every bit of it.

What is real then, I ask?

You.

When you dwell in your heart you can see through the veil of illusion covering your eyes.

Can we transcend illusion during our lifetime?

Yes. 

By listening with your heart.

By seeing with your heart.

By breathing from your heart.

By acting from your heart.

Illusion will always be a veil covering your world.  It is up to you to choose to move the veil aside and live from a place of inspired vision.

Mother is right.  I haven’t been living from my heart lately.  I’ve been so distracted by what I don’t have in my life right now that I had forgotten about the things that I do have.  I had forgotten all the things that bring me joy.  Choosing joy over pain seems like such a simple thing . . .

Find out more about Della and her services here.

No More Pretend Boyfriends

631fe42ecdb0379876b382e6af736a3cI’m swearing off pretend boyfriends.  What’s a pretend boyfriend?  He’s the one you are having a relationship with in your head but not in real life.

This all started when I was pretty young and just getting interested in boys.  I was pretty shy then and could barely put two sentences together let alone talk to the male of the species.  I would often daydream about being with one of them, just like any young girl, but my daydreaming was at a whole other level.  I created entire stories around these boys.  As I grew into an adult this didn’t stop and instead became a life long pattern on my part.

I recently had a break up from my last relationship and the letting go process has been long and painful.  I would do well for a while and feel as if I had moved through the worst and then I would reach out to him.  I did this several times over the past three months with no response on his part.  This non-response, instead of helping me move on, just made me feel like a crazy woman for reaching out in the first place.  The logical part of me knew that this was The Universe (and him) telling me that this relationship was dead in the water.  The other part of me, the part that couldn’t let go, just ended up spiraling down into a needy, emotional mess.

Recently, I asked myself, what it would mean to let him go.  The answer:  I was afraid of being alone.  If he took up space in my head then I wasn’t really alone.  I would spend energy thinking he just needs time.  Or, that it doesn’t make sense that he could just stop loving me.  He just needs to figure things out.  You see, I’d rather have a man in my head than not have one in my bed.  That was a hard truth for this girl to swallow.  It really, really sucked to realize this about myself.

This actually came at quite a surprise.  I’ve never experienced aloneness in my life.  At least not until now.  I never allowed myself.  I have a strong connection to my spirit self.  I talk to guides, angels, family who’ve passed on, etc. so am never really alone.  I didn’t realize until that moment that being alone and feeling alone are two separate things.  I am good at spending time alone.  In fact, I crave it, but I have distracted myself with pretend boyfriends to avoid feeling it.

I have decided to face my fears around this issue.  The first step is to let this former relationship go for realz.  No more fantasies about him reaching out to me, coming to his senses, realizing what he’d lost . . . no more reaching out to him.

Step two is to embrace being alone.  I mean to do those things that I’m afraid to do alone.  For example, yesterday, I went to the MN Irish Fair by myself.  I do not like crowds of people so this was a big deal for me.  Between figuring out how to get there, how much it cost, what to do once I got there all took a Herculean inner strength on my part.  I felt this act was my declaration of independence from my old way of being.  And, I loved the fair!  I plan on going on more solo adventures in the near future.

Step Three:  take the rest of this year off from men.  This means no fantasy relationships and no dating either.  I want to give myself time to really integrate not being in a relationship before I put myself out there again.  You see, I’ve been single a lot but I’ve never not had a pretend boyfriend during those spaces in between my relationships.

Step four is to really be alone with myself.  I can distract myself for hours, reading fiction or browsing on the internet or watching movies.  I will be limiting those things from my daily life.  I want to spend more time writing, walking in nature, practicing yoga and meditation.  Even though I already do those things I am often not really present while I am.  I can honestly say this scares me.  Who wants to feel aloneness, right?  Me.  That’s who.  I want to kick this fears ass!

The goal of this is to accept that I am enough on my own and to never lose myself in a relationship again.  In my unconscious fear of feeling alone, when a relationship began to fail, I would change.  I would desperately become someone else to try to save the relationship.  I would abandon myself to stay with them.  This new way of being is a supreme act of self-love.  I know that I am up to the task, yet I am afraid.  I am afraid that I will never have that great love.  I am not there yet but I know this great love that I long for is me.

Find out more about Della here.

Is It Safe For Men To Be Vulnerable?

older-men-greater-HPV-risk

Recently, one of my male friends posted something incredibly personal and vulnerable on social media.  My first response was “I don’t want to know that about this person.”  My second response was shock that I would have this thought in the first place. For years I have been wanting men to become more vulnerable and share their emotional self and when one of them do I turned away.  I didn’t turn away for long.  I caught myself fairly quickly but my initial reaction gave me pause to see where I still have work to do and the challenge that men are having with being vulnerable in today’s world.

A former boyfriend would always tell me “We got this!”  I felt safe and supported when he would say this to me.  How do men be both strong and vulnerable for us?  The only way they can is if, we as women, allow them to be.  Me saying, “I don’t want to know this about you,” doesn’t create a safe place for vulnerability to occur.

The world we live in has conditioned us to see vulnerability in men as weakness.  When in truth, it takes great courage and strength to become vulnerable. The only way to change this is if we allow one another to be our authentic selves.  Authenticity is often messy and emotional. Holding space is a sacred act that we do when we listen.  True listening involves not just hearing the words that someone speaks but being completely present for them as well.   We have a long way to go with creating a place of safety for men to become vulnerable.  I wonder how the world would change if we did?

This is one view and it is completely from a feminine perspective.  I would love to hear from men what they need from women and even other men to feel safe with being vulnerable.  Please tell us what you need so we can be there for you in a much more sacred way.

Della’s website can be found here.

p.s. – Since I wrote this several days ago I’ve had the awareness that in turning away from this male friend I was also turning away from my own inner man . . . food for thought.

Is Your Inner Child In Charge of Your Relationship?

babycryingMine sure has been.  She has picked every single man I have dated in the past 25 years.  Now these have not been bad men.  They have all been beautiful.  My inner child can see an awesome playmate a mile away.  She is drawn to innocence, gentleness, humor and fun.  Every one of these relationships was incredible in their own way.  That is, until my adult showed up.  That is usually the point where the relationship would dissolve and the tantrums (mine) would begin.

While talking to a friend, I was sharing my struggles with letting go of my last  boyfriend.  We had recently broke up and I couldn’t seem to let him go.  My friend playfully pointed out that I was acting like a brat.  He said this with love but what I heard was that I was acting like a child.  He said you want this man and only him and it can’t be any other way.  And it was absolutely true.  He reminded me of what my adult wanted, a helpmate.  My inner child was willing to compromise what the grownup me wanted to get back together with this man.  The internal struggle would always look something like this.

“But I love him so much!”

“Yes, but he’s not for you.”

“But I know he loves me.”

“He’s not available,” says my adult self.  “You want someone who will return your calls, tell you he loves you first, build a life together, step up to the plate. . .”

“But, but, but . . . ”

Through the help of this friend I was able to see how my inner child has been in charge of my romantic relationships and keeping me in pain.

Parenting Your Inner Child

Once I became aware of my pattern of behavior I imagined myself holding my inner 2-year-old in my arms.  I told her that she had to let this man go.  I told her I understood how much she wanted and liked this person but he was not the right man for us now.  I told her I wanted her help in the future because I wasn’t always able to see like she could see.  I told her, with her help, the adult me would decide how to proceed with any future romance.  As I imagined holding my inner child I cried like I hadn’t cried before.  I cried like a parent whose child is hurting and you’re hurting because they are.  I cried cleansing tears.  I cried tears of love and acceptance that things were exactly as they were meant to be.

This was my first real step in moving forward.  It took awhile to get there.  Acknowledging my inner child was the key.

You can find out more about Della and who she is here.

Claim Your Inner Child Workshop

Painting & Poetry

To be completely honest, its been rough lately.  I have gotten to another layer of grief around the ending of my romantic relationship.  We were in the denial stage for the past few weeks and tried on the “lets stay friends” roles.  Nothing changed.  Of course, it didn’t.  We needed these past few weeks to realize that just because two people love and even like each other it doesn’t mean they are meant to be together.  That is what is so hard about this ending.  Neither one of us are assholes.  It would be so much easier if we were.  This has been the hardest ending I’ve ever had because of that reason.  There is nothing to be angry at him for.  I mean, I could find things if I really wanted to, and I have tried, but its not very honest in the long run.

I was talking to a friend last night and telling her how lost I am now.  I’ve always known who I wanted to be when I grow up.  The past 20 some years I’ve even lived some of that dream.  Now, I just don’t know. . . So, today, I did what I do when I just don’t know.  I wrote a poem and I painted.  The poem came from a place of deep sorrow and I wanted the painting to reflect the same.  That’s the beautiful thing about painting.  It becomes its own thing.  Painting comes from the heart and soul and knows more than the mind.  The wisdom of the painting tells me from deep grief a new life is formed, if we choose it.  I hope to have the courage to do so.

 

 

The QuickeningThe Keening

Voices,
keening on the wind.
Echoing.
Grief in my heart.
Breath.
Held in.
Body,
curled tight.
Not.
Understanding.
Why?