Everyday Musings

Wake Up!

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I learned two really interesting things recently.

One: the earth’s water is part of the biosphere, which means not a drop escapes, nor has a single drop of water been added since the dawn of time.

So basically, your tears were once part of the ocean, part of the blood running through the veins of dinosaurs, and part of the dew on the grass where kings have walked.

The water you drink was once part of the Amazon River…it ran in gutters in Medieval Paris and it passed through the bodies of the Pharaohs.

This is a fact. Check it out. Science is fun.

Here’s fact number two: By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will be in water crisis. Water use has been growing at more than the rate twice of population increase in the last century. By 2025, 1.8 Billion people will be living in countries or regions with ABSOLUTE water scarcity. Where will those people go?

2025. That’s only eight years from now.

Wake up humans! Wake up!

My Closet

Velvet Above Ground

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My latest obsession. So much so that I just acquired this jacket today (from Anthropologie).

Also, before I left town, I went rummaging through my storage for my winter clothes that I hadn’t unpacked since my first Oklahoma winter a decade ago (I was 5 sizes smaller back then) and found a bunch of velvet stuff…some things dating back to the 90s and early 2000s.

Honestly, I never thought I’d unpack that box again except to reminisce…and it was like finding treasure. (I even found the bolo jacket from my Betsey Johnson raspberry crushed velvet wedding dress back in ’93).

Some things are still a little snug, but I’m only 7 pounds away from my Seattle weight (for the first time in a decade). I’m going to have to up my game a bit…but hey.

Velvet was BIIIIG in the 90’s, and happily it seems to be experiencing a pretty decent comeback this year. (It was everywhere in Anthro today…I even snagged a pair of dark olive, crushed velvet, wide-legged lounge pants that will look great with an oversized grey or black sweater when temperatures drop to snow-level this winter).

So now I have velvet dresses in minis, midis and maxis, long shirts, short shirts, blouses, blazers and pants (thanks to my velvet obsession more than a couple of decades back, and today’s double find). I’m going to be so soft and shiny this winter…(and I’ll be throwing in some tulle and brocade and satin and high waisted skinny jeans and cords — remember those? — just for variety).

Oh, and some old grunge t-shirts from my WAAAY-back past to go under the velvet jackets. Mmmm-hmmmm! A little original Alice In Chains paired with some taupe velvet, maybe?

Now, if it would just start chilling up a bit…

Everyday Musings

Buying the Table.

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Every woman should be able to live her life on her own terms. She should own her freedom…which means she has her own means to provide, financially, for herself and her loved ones if necessary (and if possible). The concept of ‘provider’ shouldn’t be a ‘male’ one…but a human one.

Then again, I’ve never been supported by a man, except for the four years between the birth of my children and when I began to raise them on my own. I’ve always bought the house, and I like that. And if I have it my way, that will never change.

I guess I value freedom over the need to depend on someone in order to be in a relationship, because many men don’t like to share the pants (especially at my age). I enjoy compromise. I don’t enjoy “I’m the man, so I’ll dictate the rules”. Maybe that’s a flaw of mine, and maybe I’ll never achieve so-called ‘domestic bliss’ because of my opinions on the matter…but some women aren’t meant to be bought, bridled and groomed like a horse.

Sex and the City fans will recall a scene exactly about that…when Carrie walks past a horse in Central Park who isn’t cooperating with having a bit stuck in its mouth, and thinks to herself “maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed…maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them”.

If the cost of domestic bliss is to give up my independence, then I’ll pass. I know how to compromise, form a partnership and share the reigns…but I do not know how to give up my financial freedom in order to make a man feel more comfortable.

Most of my women friends are the same. Some have chosen men who don’t need to dominate financially, and they are in satisfying relationships because they don’t have to contend with a fragile male ego.

Men who view women as equals are rarely bothered if their wives or girlfriends are financially independent. Does this make them any less ‘manly’? No. It makes them secure and attractive. (As a side note, I’m not talking about lazy-ass men who take advantage of their girlfriends or wives because they’re opportunists…I’m talking about actual ‘partners’).

And some of my friends are single because there aren’t an abundance of men out there than can handle a woman who can pay for her own high heels…her own car…her own house, (especially in ‘patriarchal’ states, where women should know ‘their place’). An independent woman is too intimidating for these types of men. After all, she could leave at any time if she’s not treated with love and respect.

I’ll buy the table…every time. That way I can choose who dines with me and who doesn’t. Harsh? Maybe. But there’s no greater freedom than being able to say “please excuse yourself” if the need arises.

Everyday Musings



I just found this quote, and I love it. Humans are emotional beings, and some of us feel more deeply than others. There’s a time to keep your poker face on…but those times should be rare.

If we are to have honest human interaction and connection, we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and express our feelings. I cry when I’m happy, sad, angry, embarrassed, frustrated, relieved or proud. I cry a lot. But I can honestly say I smile or laugh even more.

The Source of All Divine Creation made our tears from the same formula that S/he made the oceans. Our tears represent a mighty strength…not weakness. Our emotions are the source of all great art, music and literature. Where would we be without our creative thinkers and feelers?

Repression of feelings, I believe, is a far greater sickness than what some believe to be the ‘madness’ of emotional expression. To consistently hold back emotions is to warp our humanness…and it hardens the soul.

And pardon me, but a brittle soul just doesn’t seem all that appealing.

La Vie Bohéme

To Be a Bohemian.

Here is something I believe:

Bohemian-ism isn’t a style. You can’t ‘become’ a bohemian merely by dressing like one. 

You’re either born bohemian or you’re not. You can LOOK like a bohemian…but bohemian-ISM isn’t something that goes in or out of fashion. Bohemians have existed since the dawn of time…they just didn’t get a name until the 19th century. To ‘be’ a bohemian means a lot of things, and these things haven’t changed in the last 5 or 50 or even 500 years. I’ll do my best to explain those things in just a bit.

(As a side note, the ‘name’ came from the roving Romani people the French called Bohémiens because they were believed to have arrived from Bohemia).

About a half dozen years ago (give or take), a new fashion trend was sweeping the United States like wildfire. It was dubbed ‘Coachella’ (some called it ‘festival’) style, after a famous music and art event that had its start in 1999 (the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California). The fringed, bangled, tattooed (even if temporary), bejeweled and avant-garde styles that emerged were characterized with words like “gypsy”, “bohemian” and “hippie” – three very different archetypes lumped together like adjectives to describe the nouveau free-spirited look. Fashion magazines, online blogs and and social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest were covered in boho-esque photos as women embraced the wild, artistic, anti-bourgeois look.

Boutiques (like mine) popped up all over the place, selling flowing skirts and billowy blouses in bright, patchwork colors. Cropped, fringed and beaded tops flew off the racks. Torn, frayed and worn denim jeans were stacked a mile high on store shelves. Hats and headbands were ‘must-have’ items. Jewelry was layered like a mille-feulle cake on crack.

Suddenly,  nearly everyone was a “bohemian”. Hooray! High fives all around!

Screen shot 2017-07-10 at 4.03.40 PM Ahem.

That’s not exactly how it works. I don’t mean to sound like a snobbish Zingara, but there is a certain creed to ‘bohemianism’…a manifesto of sorts. If you don’t live by the creed of bohemians worldwide, then you really can’t claim to be one.

Here’s a simple set of questions I’ve put together to determine if you’re a bona fide Bohemian, or if you’re just a ‘trending’ bohemian (which isn’t really bohemian at all). In my opinion (and in my experience), bohemians are bohemians from the time dad’s sperm penetrated mom’s egg and the little bohemian zygote was created.

So let me ask you:

  • Do you like new things? If you do, you’re probably not a bohemian. Bohemians invented repurposing, reusing and recycling.
  • Is having or saving money important to you? Bohemians generally don’t think much about money…they’re too busy thinking about politics, art, poetry and philosophy. Having money is only important to bohemians if they run out of liquor, books, coffee, sketchpads or paintbrushes.
  • Have you ever written a personal manifesto, poem or novel? Bohemians write like they breathe. If they don’t have paper, you’ll find them scribbling notes on cafe napkins…or the backs of their arms.
  • Are you knowledgeable in history? If not, you’re probably not a bohemian.
  • If you enjoy watching television, you are not a bohemian. Movies (especially foreign and independent films) and documentaries are one thing, but network and cable programs are… NYET.
  • Are you a fastidious housekeeper? If so, you’re probably not a bohemian.
  • Do you travel…a LOT? Bohemians travel whether they have money or not. Travel is imperative to 99% of all bohemians. If you aren’t traveling, planning your next trip, or just arriving home, you’re probably  not a bohemian.
  • Can you quote Kerouac, Ginsberg, Baudelaire, Woolf, Parrish, Nin or Hemingway? If you can’t, or you haven’t read at least one or two books by each of these authors, you probably are not a bohemian.
  • Do you shop at chain or big box stores? If you do, you are probably  not a bohemian. If you eat fast food on a regular basis you are not a bohemian. If you subscribe to capitalism in any form you probably are not a bohemian.
  • Do you think war is a necessary evil? If so, you’re not a bohemian.
  • If you’ve never experimented with drugs, you’re probably not a bohemian. Bohemians will usually try anything (usually natural substances, like mushrooms, weed, peyote) at least once.
  • Do you need to stick to a schedule? If so, you’re definitely not a bohemian.
  • Do you have fake nails, fake breasts or hair plugs? If so, you’e probably not a bohemian.
  • Do you adhere strongly to one religion? If so, you’re probably not a bohemian.

So there you have it. It’s not an exhaustive list of questions (and examples), but it covers the basics.

I am a bohemian…and always have been. Every decade of my life. For example:

0-9: When I was about four years old, I remember going to the fabric store with my grandmother. She had to drag me away from the velvets and brocades, because they were not practical for school clothing. This distressed me quite a lot, because I wanted a VELVET romper. If I could have said “fuck polyester” back then, I’m sure I would have. Bohemians are attracted to anything with texture, color or shine.

velvetLime green velvet, antique silver and gemstones are VERY bohemian things.

When I was about 8 or 9 I started writing poems and short stories. I became obsessed with reading and writing from a very early age, and I loved art almost as much as the written word. I wrote and drew all over myself, all the time. My parents had to fork out a lot of cash on paper to try and dissuade me from using my skin as a canvass or notebook. I was spanked over and over again for doing it, but it didn’t stop me. Bohemians are stubborn in their convictions. My skin, my prerogative.

booksEssentials from my library.

10-19: I fell in love with theater and dance around the age of 14. I was in every school play and my bedroom was decorated in vibrant oranges, greens and yellows and my walls were covered with framed copies of “Playbill”. I made a macrame planter and stuck a goldfish bowl in it, complete with goldfish. While other kids were going to parties on weekends, I would lay in bed, painting (watercolor) until 3 or 4 a.m. I embroidered on my jeans. I started reading the Kama Sutra and blending my own perfumes from essential oils. I made all my prom dresses.

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threeThat’s me on the left, age 19, with fellow bohemians Mike and Biff (Judy).

When I went to college, I studied journalism, French and dance. I starved for two weeks so I could use my grocery money to purchase my first pair of Capezios. I ate with chopsticks and my hands more than I used silverware. I had Mucha posters all over my dorm room. I took a year away from college to hitchhike and backpack my way around the states after my sophomore year.

20-29: I became a journalist and started smoking Djarums. I studied communism, socialism and all the other political isms. I got married, but continued to do theater and dance until I had children. I grew a garden, and allowed my kids to forage, naked, through the vegetable patch. I let them dress themselves most of the time. I made out with a few very attractive (to me) women, just for the fun of it.

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30-39: I got divorced and remarried. My maid of honor was my best guy friend, and my wedding dress was Betsy Johnson made from raspberry-colored crushed velvet. I went back to college for a degree in interior design/architecture. I started a company and designed furniture and did commercial and high-end residential interiors. I published a zine. I made costumes for my kids for their talent shows. I taught set design to middle schoolers for six years. I traveled a lot. I took my son to Europe when he turned 15. My daughter and I took a train to New York City (from Seattle) to shop for school clothes.

19895004_10154958253713198_7777982431366686783_nAn interior sketch…I designed the table with the lead glass base (to fill the room with rainbows in the morning) and mohair covered chairs.

40-49: I got divorced for the second time. I started smoking Djarums again. I moved across the country to my hometown in a red state (imagine that) and started writing professionally again. I made perfumes. I dated a couple of tortured alcoholics. I drank too much myself. I still made art all the time, and I passed out Anais Nin’s ‘Delta of Venus’ to all my girlfriends. I reveled (and still do) in being ‘shocking’ in conservative Oklahoma. Since moving here my life often feels like a Cole Porter song.

artsOne of my art boxes.

Now I’m in my 50’s, and not much has changed…except that I don’t date tortured alcoholics anymore, and I rarely get drunk. An old bohemian knows when to start taking care of the vehicle. I write and make things…constantly. I dress how I want to dress, and I live a very unconventional life. I swear a lot. I wear bindi. I stopped smoking Djarums for the same reason I quit drinking in excess. I practice yoga and meditation and make my own incense. I belly dance. I’m writing a history/design/lifestyle book. I’m learning to play the ukulele. I believe you’re never too old for another tattoo. I own a bohemian boutique in the East Village in Tulsa. I practice magic.

And I blog about being a bohemian. For real.




Everyday Musings

The Little Things.

After that last super heavy post, I thought I’d  lighten things up a bit and write about things that are making me happy today.

Sometimes it’s the little things. For instance, I love the way my friend Janet turned my plain, white table into a bohemian work of art.


I like the way my dog pees on the tires of this grossly macho monster-type truck that’s parked near the dog park in my apartment complex. He pees on the driver’s side rear tire every morning…this one right here.


I also like this bar of soap that’s in the dressing room/bathroom of my little shop.


Here’s something fun…the new labels I made for Luna Joon’s Sea salt hair spray. I love mermaids, and this spray is bomb:


Speaking of mermaids – I love that it’s July. July means lots of pool time…especially when my daughter comes to visit in a couple of weeks. July is a great month for mermaids.


Lately I’ve been drinking lots of fruit waters and experimenting with different combinations. Fruit water has replaced just about all my liquid intake (except, of course, my morning coffee). This isn’t my photo…but I thought it was pretty, so I’m adding it. I have no idea who took it. Right now my favorite fruit combo for water is dragonfruit, lime and pineapple chunks.

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And finally, in reference to my earlier post, I’m loving my new arms (minus the horrible bat wings I used to have). Thanks to my hot trainer that lives a few doors down (and hours and hours sweating and swearing), those bags of dead mice that used to flop around when I waved my arms are gone. He just started teaching me to box. He thinks yoga and the gym are all great and doing me a lot of good…but he thinks I need to punch things…which will relieve stress and give me some impressive guns, eventually. I hated my arms a couple of months ago…now I’m kind of proud of them. Those arms have been working for me for a lot of decades…they deserve to be strong.


That’s it for now. Those are just a few of the things that are making me happy today (and nearly every day, actually). I find that focusing on what you’re doing RIGHT at the current moment really helps you get over all the dumb things you did wrong in the past.

Gratitude for the small things is a really big thing.



Everyday Musings

When Healing Hurts.

This spring I decided to begin a new, enormously daunting project. I decided to become stronger – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually – than I was a decade ago.

That’s a tall order, considering the shape I was in at the time I made the decision.

It’s actually a project I started in mid 2009, about eight years ago. I had just come out of a bad relationship and decided to put myself on a sabbatical from dating to figure out why I kept picking guys that seemed so great in the beginning, but turned out to be not so great in the end. I had a knack for choosing emotionally unavailable alcoholics (they’re very cunning, I found, and I apparently had ‘codependent’ tattooed somewhere on my forehead), and I wanted to put a stop to whatever it was that seemed to draw me to that type of man. I especially wanted to put a stop to whatever it was that KEPT me in awful relationships with emotionally unavailable alcoholic guys long after I realized who they were.

My original goal was six months..no dating. I thought it would KILL me not to have a guy around (I’m not kidding…I hadn’t been alone for more than a couple months at a time since my first boyfriend at age 14). Six months went by and I was feeling so good about it I decided to go another six months. Then in winter of 2010 I lost both my parents, and I sure didn’t feel like dating after that.

Despite the loss of my parents, I had become a much stronger, much more together person during that sabbatical. Taking the time out to find out who I was and to become content to fly solo led me to believe I would never make another bad choice. My project was complete. I was single, happy, evolved and healing.

But just when we think we’ve got a handle on things, the universe will come along and test us. About 9 months after I lost my parents I found myself in another toxic and emotionally damaging relationship that lasted (off and on) for about five years. The first year had seemed perfect (well, except for the red flags I was ignoring)…until we moved in together. It was only after living under the same roof did I realize that ’emotionally unavailable alcoholic guy’ was back…in spades.

My body was a stranger to me. Whose extra 30 pounds of fat was I carrying around? I was battling anxiety, insomnia, low self-esteem…a laundry list of the very things I had worked so hard to exorcise. The thought of starting over at square one was a dismal one. It was so disheartening to realize I couldn’t trust my judgement or my instincts after all. It seemed that instead of improving myself and becoming stronger I had merely jumped right out of the frying pan into…hell.

And how do you find the strength to climb out of the fire and take another shot at it?

So here’s the point of this post: I’ve come to the realization how painful healing and rebuilding is, and why a lot of people quit before they reach their goal(s). It doesn’t matter if the healing is emotional, mental or physical…the bottom line is, it HURTS.

This quote describes what I’m trying to convey…perfectly.

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Ask anyone going through physical therapy after a terrible injury and they’ll tell you how painful healing can be. Repairing the broken parts of you can be excruciating.

Look at what people go through when they’re trying to break an addiction…uncontrollable trembling, sickness and mind numbing pain.

So…a couple of months ago I decided to fix myself…again. I made a conscious decision to turn my ship back around and set sail to the port I left so long ago, when I felt strong, healthy and confident.

First I changed my diet. I started eating good, healthy, organic food. Then I decided to get my ass back to yoga class. I downloaded meditation apps. Yoga and meditation were things I couldn’t live without when I was healthy and happy, but were tossed to the wayside after meeting EUAG (emotionally unavailable alcoholic guy). Go figure.

I dusted off a few of the inspirational books I had purchased in the summer of 2014 after I was unceremoniously dumped (very unexpectedly via an email – a method which actually makes me laugh now) by EUAG. I had just been diagnosed with cancer less than two weeks earlier, so yah…THAT was a double whammy that had me reeling. I was scared to death and heartbroken, but at least I was lucky. The cancer was detected before it had a chance to spread to other organs or my lymphatic system, and a total hysterectomy solved the problem.  

So, once I was healed physically I immersed myself in a hectic social life of drinking and dating new guys…(because why not pour gasoline on the fire and go balls-out; ignoring what I really needed?). Granted, I was seeing a counselor, but I didn’t REALLY want to hear what he had to say. He was telling me to move on, that the break up was actually a gift. Me? I wanted to wallow in my poor choices. Healing takes work…and I felt too sorry for myself to make the effort.

Seven months later I took EUAG back for another year of crazy before I decided how ridiculous it was to try a do-over of something that failed miserably the first time. We attempted to stay friends for another year after that, (like I said, I’m stubborn), but the same things that were toxic in the relationship remained toxic in the friendship. By the time the whole ordeal ended a few months ago, I thought I was fine. I had finally walked away, and I felt good about it. It was something I knew I should have done a lot sooner. Plus, I was starting a business…and I had moved to a new city and had new friends. I even met a really great guy. All good, right?

Then about a month before opening Luna Joon in Tulsa, while I was having a phone conversation with my son, somewhere in the middle of me telling him how ‘great’ things were, he interrupted me mid-sentence and said “Sorry, mom…but bullshit.” After a moment of stunned silence he said, “Mom…you’re not ok”.


Then he said, “Remember when you used to work at the newspaper? That’s the proudest I’ve ever been of you. You were really happy when you had that job and when you were on your own. You were strong. You were fearless. You’ve changed so much since then. You seem so fragile now. Maybe you should try doing what you were doing back when you actually WERE ok.”

After we finished talking I hung up the phone and I cried. I cried so hard my throat tightened up and ached. My son was right; I was broken as fuck. The weird part about it is this: I didn’t even realize how broken I was. I had to think back a half dozen years ago to the person I was when I “used to work at the newspaper” (I was a writer there from 2008-2011).

I was a completely different woman. Where six years ago I felt at peace most of the time, despite any circumstance (even losing my parents) now I was always worried about something.

Then, where I had been strong enough to endure huge losses and still pick myself up and keep going, I was now someone who crumbled at the slightest bump in the road. Where I was optimistic and positive and always seeing the best in people, I was now jaded…and untrusting of nearly everyone. Insomnia. Anxiety. Worry. Over-thinking and over-analyzing everything to death. Beating every dead horse I could find.

All the things I had vanquished during my 20 months of soul-searching and hard work were back…only this time around I was overweight, too.

The woman I had become over the last half dozen years didn’t remotely resemble the woman I was.

Let me be clear about something. This was no one’s fault but my own. I chose to stay with EUAG. That was on ME. Even when everyone I knew and loved (including our mutual friends) told me I’d be better off steering clear, I chose beat the dead horse. I chose to stop healthy, mindful practices. I chose to eat too much and stop doing things that brought me joy. I chose to wallow for years on end. My choices…my consequences. Period.

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And here’s the thing. You can’t clean up your shit until you own it. AND THAT’S HARD TO DO. It’s painful. Nobody likes to take a long, hard look at the clusterfucks they create for themselves. Flaws and mistakes? Who wants to look at those?

But flaws and mistakes are ok. Everyone has them…everyone makes them. They’re only a problem if they’re fixable and you’re not interested in fixing them. And sometimes people don’t want to fix those flaws and mistakes because fixing them isn’t nearly as much fun as getting used to them and having them over for dinner on a regular basis.

Fixing hurts.

Emotionally, staring down your fears and insecurities when you want to run is painful. Mentally, you have to practice (constantly) rewiring your brain, and that’s pretty damn difficult, too. Physically, you have to have the discipline NOT to eat whatever makes you feel better when you’re feeling like crap…or feeling sorry for yourself…or bored with your life because you’re not living to your full potential. You have to work your body and your muscles (including your heart) if you want to be strong and healthy and get back into your skinny jeans… and your muscles will not be happy about that in the beginning. I’m starting to sport a pretty decent set of guns, but even after a lot of of every-other-day upper arm workouts, they still hurt. 

Totally worth it, though.

Here’s something I did to help me start fixing. In the beginning, I put a rubber band around my wrist and every time my head started to go into a negative place (self blame, blaming others, feeling angry for no reason, feeling afraid for no reason) I’d SNAP that little sonuvabitch HARD. Pretty soon I got sick of the sting so I PURPOSEFULLY and MINDFULLY began to think more positively. The rubber band on the wrist is an old trick, and it sure worked for me.

When I first got back into meditating, my brain wanted to go ANYWHERE but to a peaceful place. It wanted to make long lists of things I needed to be doing (besides sitting cross-legged in the middle of my living room floor). It wanted to replay episodes from every series I binge watch on Netflix. It wanted to go over the last fight I had with my ex, and it promised to let me win if I’d just go there and play it out. It wanted to ponder politics, religion, sex, my budget, my haircut, my neighbor’s haircut…ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to avoid NOT THINKING ABOUT ANYTHING.

It was like training a stubborn dog. My mind did not want to roll over, fetch, shake hands or play dead. I got headaches trying to put a leash on my thoughts. The first few weeks of getting back into meditation were frustrating and difficult.

Again, however, totally worth it. Now I can meditate a full fifteen minutes before my brain starts to dig holes and pee on the carpet. I’m aiming for a half hour, but 15 minutes will do for now. After meditation, there is no place for fear and anxiety. No place for self-doubt or worry.

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And here’s another thing. Believe it or not, you get to a point where you stop avoiding the pain…and you actually welcome it. Numb isn’t good. Numb is when you stop feeling pain because spiritual gangrene has set in. Feeling pain when you’re doing self-work means you’re doing it right. Also, the pain becomes more manageable. It hurts less and less the further you go in your healing process. Sometimes you need to stop and have a good cry…and that’s good. Tears are meant to help things along.

But…there’s a bonus. I’m a whole lot better now than I was when I had that conversation with my son a couple of months ago. Last night we talked and when I said I was doing good he didn’t call ‘bullshit’. A couple of months from now I’ll be even better. I don’t know how long EXACTLY it will take me to reach my goal of being mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually better than I was ten years ago…but I know now it doesn’t seem so daunting a task.

I’ll let you know when I arrive.