A Story of Divorce, Custody and New Life

I’ve been thinking about things a lot recently with the new year coming up and have decided it’s time to talk. I had hinted and implied before that I would someday tell the story of the hell I went through around 3.5 years ago, why I went away and why I avoided getting personal when I came back. You always love my personal posts, to my surprise, so I figure it’s time.

I’m going to tell this in a sort of way that does not publicly shame anyone (except maybe myself) or create monsters out of humans. First and foremost I am a mother to my dream come true, fairytale daughter and I share her with her father who was my high school sweetheart and who is now my ex-husband and with her stepdad who is the other love of my life. She is truly magical and you can only understand if you’ve met her and spent time with her… everyone she meets feels her light and says so. She is really a beautiful and special girl. An old soul. She is of the utmost importance always.

pregnant woman rainbow deer

Around 5 years ago my first marriage started taking a turn for the worst. I remember watching an episode of Intervention that explained why these adult children’s older parents were so bad for each other, why they shouldn’t be together because they enabled each other and it really startled me. How could they enable each other so much that they could never be out of that rut or get healthy together? How sad would it be to be married to your best friend and you realize you’re bad for each other? And you have children already?

We had our issues as everyone does and we shouldn’t have gotten married at such a young age after only dating each other and never living on our own. It’s all true. I think we were naive as most 20-year-olds are. But I thought I had what everyone wanted. I didn’t have to “date” and I didn’t have to be broken-hearted and go through meaningless relationships. I was always with my best friend and even though we fought and had so many problems we were able to ignore a lot of them and just get through together.

Until around four years ago when we didn’t and couldn’t. I didn’t know why but I was severely depressed and couldn’t find the light. I had this beautiful one-year-old baby I was spending my days with and a nice home and I could not get out of it and I felt like it was all my fault. I would pretend, I would make her fancy toddler meals, have tea parties and art class with her, take her to the park, I would sing with her and cuddle her. I still felt a hurt deep in my heart and I felt alone. I felt my husband didn’t love me or even like me. I felt like he never did and I just always pretended he did. And I was sick. Very sick. We tried a few couple’s counseling sessions, therapy, medicine, we tried it all and we would be ok together for a bit but then we would have an explosive falling out.

We couldn’t do that with a baby. We had our baby, the light of our life and we could not exist like we had for so long anymore. So in desperation I checked myself into a hospital (still feeling like everything was my fault and if I could just be better he would be happy with me and I would feel happy) and when I was released the castle shattered. I guess it was too late. It was horrible for everyone. He left with my baby, I lost my mind. I couldn’t get her because it was illegal for me to go to the home he stayed in when the owner did not want me there and the police said it had to be done through court. I had only been apart from her overnight once before this. It all seemed insane and I was so lost. I went to find a custody lawyer and all the depressed moments in therapy and hopelessness in my years of words were recorded in black and white. All of my medicines, any drug I ever used. I was always honest about my inner most flaws in therapy. I was depressed. I thought it was all me. I thought I would never be right again. I lost everything I’d ever loved and fell into a rabbit hole of despair.

Next came a three year divorce and custody battle. Feet were dragged, dates were moved, forms were lost. I was so ready to be done with this and it seemed every step we made we took fifteen steps back. Something else would come up or happen. Another delay. And another. Once the judge decided to leave town so all dates were moved. I’m not kidding, the court system is this flawed. Meanwhile I don’t see my daughter but every other weekend and the hope is getting smaller and smaller that it would change. I was such a trusting person that I never gathered any evidence to prove my innocence or the guilt of another. The only way I can explain it is I believed everything he had ever said and I knew he would never lie to me. I had years of therapy evidence against me about my own hopelessness and despair. The photos I took when I lost my mind after they left, the words I wrote when I felt violated. My tweets, status updates, videos. It’s so easy to blab things online that are inappropriate and think it will never haunt you, DON’T do it. It will never go away and it will always haunt you if ever your integrity is up for question. My phone was stolen and my private conversations with my best friend were used. I had years of evidence of using bandaids to cover the deepest wounds and those two months of nothingness enticed me to fall apart in the public eye. I had nothing to prove what was happening behind closed doors for all those years and so I could only take the weight all onto myself. I had no family. I had no strength, no self-love or confidence. It had been destroyed over a long period of time.

In the following years I got completely sober of alcohol, smoking and depression/anxiety medication. In those three court-riddled years I built a relationship with a man who had always been a trustworthy friend and someone I looked up to. In this relationship horrible pains were also experienced. I’m not sure anyone knows what it’s like to be in a relationship with a married woman who is grieving the loss of her family and a marriage to someone else. I’m sure it’s tough and I’m sure it almost magnifies the atmosphere for attacks from fears, lies and the darkness. We faced obstacles through this choice we made to be together during the divorce and other obstacles for simply living (such as when he got a concussion and severe amnesia you can read about here, my 17-year-old soul mate Hobbes passing, my emergency surgery, etc).

As I got stronger and had more bonding time with my child I found I had an opportunity to build something I had always dreamed of, something better and more beautiful than I knew I could have before. My partner had three young children who took to Colette instantly. They were all like long lost siblings within a year. Colette was a baby and because they loved me and always wanted a complete family and a little sister they felt the universe had also answered their prayers. We became the family we never had. I hear it takes around 3-5 years to fully blend a family. With young children I believe it can be much easier, especially when you have those children every other week together. We made sure we were blended before we talked of marriage.. and that the hurts of the past were healed.. and on October 25, 2015 we got married. My maid of honor was Mary (11, my new daughter), my flower girl was Colette (5, my biological, magical daughter), my best man was William (9, my new son) and my ring bearer was Samson (6, my other new son). Suddenly the right things looked like a puzzle that snapped together perfectly.

mylove

How could we have been so blind all those years? I don’t know. I just think my ex and I deep down knew we were bad for each other but we wanted to stay together because we had only dated each other and the history was enormous. In doing that we only hurt ourselves and each other in different ways. We had planned our whole lives, had a beautiful child, had so many opportunities. We were best friends and we had a lot of good times through those years. His mom was like my mom; I really grew up with him. We just were toxic together. We were changing a lot and having growing pains and wanting different things. I see that now so obviously.. apart we do the things we need to do, we do the right things, we put ourselves last. Together we couldn’t do the right things, we couldn’t find the right path, we could only find paths to destruction and hurt in our own unique ways and our daughter didn’t deserve that. She deserved us to be happy apart rather than sick together.

Today we are, she has two families that love her more than anything in the world who would do anything for her. I don’t know a lot about his life these days but I know Colette loves her mother and father and feels loved by us. I still sometimes feel like I failed by not doing things differently, by not waiting to get married, not waiting to have a child.. however then the child wouldn’t have been her and that would have been it’s own tragedy. I wish things could have been easier for her sake because I know divorce is very hard on children even when they don’t remember it.. but I’m so grateful our mistakes could be turned into beautiful stories after all. My bond with her is so strong and special to me. We have a special connection that no one can touch whether she’s with me or with her dad, she’s the unbroken version of me as a child. I’m so grateful for her health and for this fact most of all.

So there you go. Although I was a little evasive.. you know more about what was going on and why you saw me 1. do a 180 with my health, appearance and heart; and 2. disappear for so long.

back and white girl

Thanks for listening.. I adore you.

I’ve Since Been Crowned by Flowers and Love

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to update and felt free enough to explain a little of what has been going on in my life and all of the changes and struggles I have encountered. I felt very disappointed that my work and my blog fell to the wayside in the midst of this but my life was in dire need of most of my effort, the rest was given to love and support my little girl and my boyfriend (Mister Educated).

Although I can’t be too specific because it’s not appropriate and feels gross to put other’s private lives on a public blog, I can say the basics. My marriage fell apart in June. It had been falling apart for quite a while prior to that but it reached it’s breaking point in June. I’m not hurt about it anymore as I was when it happened, I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had and most importantly for the beautiful little girl myself and my ex share. If you met her I have no doubt that you would instantly smile from ear to ear. She is the kind of special soul that leaves a positive imprint on everyone she meets and everywhere she goes. She’s always happy and saying something very clever for her age or something completely silly and comical. She reminds me so much of myself when I was little and enjoys playing with miniatures in her doll house with her Sylvania cream cats, love all animals, loves painting and loves to be outside. She can find fun in most situations and is a ball of cuteness and sweetness.

I also started talking to another very special person in mid-August. This is a person I had cherished having met and being a friend of mine. He taught me a lot of valuable skills and ways to see the world and I openly considered him a mentor. I met him in 2003 in college but remained friends with him after graduation via short occasional chats online about our families and work. We decided to hang out after we began talking again in August and the connection we had was still there but things had changed quite a lot. The connection was less of a friendship and inspiration connection and more of a romantic connection. The attraction was almost unbearable and we couldn’t get enough of just hanging out and talking or going to dinner and laughing, everything we did together was a very uplifting experience for both of us at the most painful time in my life. A month went by and things became gradually more serious until in late-September when I moved in because he offered that I needed a safe place to get my new life in order and get back on my feet. Since then we have became not just star-crossed lovers and soul mates united, but a family. We have a gaggle of smart and beautiful children that adore each other and hanging out with us and we are both happier than we have ever been before and so thankful we were united at last.

Our home is a big, old house. Over 100 years old to be exact and my Mister (as I lovingly call him because we will not be publicly open until after everything is resolved sometime next year) spent most of his past free time fixing and remodeling every room, nook and cranny until we got serious and I began helping as well. It feels like such a positive environment as soon as you walk in the door and you feel a lightness that is created from love, effort and a million memories left from a happy family. The floors, stairs and accents are lovely and original hardwood, there are 4-stories including a finished basement and loft studio and our sparkly mint and latte fireplace we just rehabbed and intricately tiled is the heart of the home. There is a large, fenced-in backyard with gardens of all kinds and a play set for the children. The front has gardens, stones and red hedges to welcome passersby. There are two balconies, one amazing one off our bedroom and another unfinished as well as a big front porch. It is a big change going from apartment life to a antique mansion but I’ve adjusted quite nicely and I adore living here. I haven’t felt I had a home since I was a child and I feel through and through that this is my home and my long lost beautiful family, my cute 15-year-old house cat Hobbes included.

I am happy now. I have found my higher power and I don’t take any medications for anxiety or depression anymore, I don’t ever drink even recreationally or socially and I work towards a more healthy self daily. I still have struggles such as doing extremely trying self work and moving on completely and I recently found I have pre-cancer which I have been getting treated but I never thought it was possible for me to have what I have. It has been an IMMENSE amount of work thus far and still is as I am still not where I want to be. I’m rebuilding myself online yet again and offline as well in my new community. I adore the opportunities that continue to pour in and I very much missed blogging and doing designs especially for you. I am home now and I am back. Thanks for hanging in there on this long and bumpy ride. You wont regret it!

Some exciting things coming in the future that were put on hold over a year ago: kid-friendly projects and activities, more reviews, interviews and features, his and hers articles, the world according to us articles, more tasty and easy recipes, positive energy projects, diy and craft projects, kawaii kitty care articles, art features, more products in our new shop (officially open again!), pretty photo shoots and daily life shoots. Stay tuned!

Learn to See People for Who They Really Are

on melrose

I’d like to travel, for a moment, back to the time when I was five years old. I remember my mother shushing me for trying to talk to a stranger. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. She said that “we don’t talk to strangers,” and that “it’s rude to ask people personal questions!” This made no sense to me at all – if you never talk to strangers, how are you supposed to make any friends or get to know anyone? Obviously I wanted to avoid a spanking, so I did as I was told, but even the threat of corporal punishment couldn’t quell that insatiable desire inside me to talk to people and get to know them. Now, of course, it’s part of my work as a relationship expert, but what I’d like to do today is pass on to you the skill of really getting to know people, including yourself.

Going back to my childhood for a moment, I used to make mud pies quite frequently. I’d put them on my neighbors’ doorsteps and wait to see how they reacted. In my head, this was a way of testing the waters to see who was friendly and who wasn’t. If someone accepted the pie and the humor that came along with it, then for me they were safe, friendly, and open. If they didn’t see the humor, then I would use that as a sign to steer clear. I didn’t cry about it or beg them to like the pie or call them or stalk them or promise to change the pie into something they’d like better… I just moved on to another doorstep and tried not to take it personally. My pies weren’t to everyone’s taste, and that was fine. No big deal.

So I’m asking you now to make the leap forward with me and apply this to your own life. How many of us currently play a much more neurotic version of the mud pie game, giving too many pies to people who don’t want them, and causing unnecessary suffering by not listening to our intuition when it tells us the response to the pie isn’t a positive one?

Learning to see people for who they really are – and who they aren’t – is not just a matter of learning a few clever tricks that will give you insight into the opposite sex, and that’s not what I’m trying to do here. Instead, I want to give you the power tool of all power tools for your relationship tool belt – the knowledge of how to inner-view for success!

The difficult part about “learning to see people for who they really are” isn’t the people out there – it’s learning who YOU really are and what you really want. If you look at great relationships and think that could never happen to you, I want you to know that you are wrong! Great relationships ARE possible for you! You just have to put in some initial legwork getting to know yourself, and setting up a plan that will not only help you succeed in finding someone compatible for you, but that will also greatly increase your chances at having a great relationship.

Remember that getting older does not necessarily mean getting wiser. Many of us make the same mistakes over and over again. But the basics of a great relationship are easy to learn, no matter how many times you’ve gotten it wrong. When we want to explore a spark we feel for someone, we offer up the adult version of a mud pie: a friendly introduction, a smile, or a flirty glance. Then it’s the intuition’s turn to measure the response we get from that, and decide either to back away, or take another step forward into a conversation. After that next step, then the intuition does its magic again, and again it’s up to us to read the signs and choose which way to go. My goal for you is this: once you have a comfortable knowledge of who you are and what you want, then you can learn to take your passion for connecting with someone, and use it wisely, to make sure your time and energy are spent on the positive road to your next great relationship!

Awakening the Divine Intuition

When you first meet someone, your body goes through an entire system of processing input, long before you’re even cognitively aware of what you think about the other person. This process is a collaboration between your senses and your intuition, and it helps you “know” the most important things you need to know about a person within the first few seconds of an encounter. You’ve certainly experienced this before: someone introduces themselves, and immediately you feel your body either opening up to them, or closing itself off. This is due to your body interpreting all kinds of different input and making conclusions that tell you what kind of situation you’re dealing with. It takes into account things like the person’s walk, talk, smell, or eye movements, and decides whether the person is aggressive, shy, nervous, confident, and so forth. Theoretically, if you follow what your intuition tells you and don’t let the process go any further, you can know within a minute if you are in a safe situation or a dangerous one, and to what extent you can relax around this person, both physically and emotionally.

that book

However, what happens after the initial data filter in your “belly brain” or intuition is that the information then goes to the next stage of filtration, in the brain. This is where a less accurate assessment goes on, where your habitual behavioral recognition skills kick in. It’s kind of like you have a database in your mind of all your past experiences and familiar patterns, and when you get in a new situation, your brain tries to make sense of what’s going on by comparing this situation to things it has seen, heard, or experienced in the past. It then tries to categorize this new person in a way that it can recognize and understand.

This is where the problem is. We have a lot of built-up defense mechanisms in place based on beliefs we have and stories we tell ourselves. We have learned and inherited a lot of prejudices that we use to apply to new people, regardless of what our intuition tells us. For example, perhaps when we meet a woman with fake breasts and a fake tan, we automatically assume she is shallow or insecure. Or maybe when we meet a guy with crooked teeth and a southern accent, we assume he is uneducated. When we let this second phase of filtering override our intuition, this sets us up for problems down the road.

Think of it this way: remember when you had that awful breakup, and then when you looked back on the relationship, you realized you knew it was going downhill long before it actually did? Knowing in your belly that things aren’t right is your intuition at work; deciding to ignore the bad gut feeling and continue as if everything is okay is your brain overriding your intuition. It’s strange that we have taught ourselves to do this, because it doesn’t benefit us in any way. Your body never lies, but your brain will tell you whatever it wants you to hear, whatever will protect it from pain in the short term. The brain is a wonderful servant, but it’s the intuition that is the better master. Your “belly brain” is a much more accurate connection with the truth, and the second-hand information from your brain, while useful in many respects, should never be taken as your sole source of facts.

So if the intuition has precision accuracy to lead us out of danger and into happiness, and the brain is flaky at best in this regard, then why do we do we so often override our intuition in favor of the brain? This is exactly what the divine feminine in each of us is crying out about, and it’s why it’s so important, especially in our complex culture, to reawaken her and let her do the job she does best. So much has been written about our systematic blocking of our intuition, but suffice it to say that until we learn how to reconnect and relearn to inner-view, we will continue to put ourselves in dangerous situations.

Sit down and make a chart of body versus brain, and find out which has led you astray more often.

Build a Great Relationship: Start from Within

Dating can be scary. If you’ve just come off a divorce or a serious breakup, you may be wondering if it’s all worth it, or if you’ll just end up in the same place again. If your’e a single parent, you may be hesitant to start bringing someone new into your family’s life. If you’re newly on the scene after not having dated for many years, the thought of online dating can seem intimidating. For whatever reason, if you’re not sure how to approach the whole dating game, try these tips.

Put your most important foot forward. If you start out with “sexy” then that’s what people will value most about you.

Dating is not a sales pitch. Who you are is a sacred gift, it’s not a product.

Know that the single people around you are not your rivals. Smile, we’re all in this together! There’s enough love to go around, you don’t have to fight other people for it.

When you feel that spark of chemistry, ask yourself some questions. Is this excitement, or fear (they feel similar, but not the same)? Do you find yourself questioning your values and action and feeling insecure, or does this person really bring out the wonderful things in you, leaving you feeling invigorated and glowing?

Gently press the brakes. It’s okay to slow down, and it can keep you from making a desperate move that could end in disaster. If this person is really the right one for you, then they’ll be patient and let things happen in due course. There are 1.45 million potential partners out there for you – you don’t have do drastic things with this one right this second in a desperate bid to hang onto them. Just take a step back and think things through before making any big decisions.

Learn about this person and what they have to offer. The last thing you need is to get into a situation where its give-give-give on your end and take-take-take on theirs. You want someone who balances you, where the give and take are equal.

Don’t try to find people who would be attracted to the person you think you should be – go for the ones who like you for who you actually are! I used to put so much effort into making myself less high-maintenance because I thought people wouldn’t be attracted to my big nature. Turns out, my husband loves my big nature exactly the way it is!

Resist the urge to drop your drawers until you’re sure this person shares your relationship goals, and that they feel the same way about you! The day after you have sex is not the time to find out they just want a casual fling, if you’re looking for marriage.

Prepare yourself for your new relationship with a daily clearing ritual. Let go of old items or photos that only bring back painful memories, or you can do what I did and have a wedding ceremony with yourself so that you make the most important commitment of all!

Stick to your guns when it comes to deal-breakers. Perhaps you won’t tolerate a drug-user. Or maybe you can’t stand to be with someone who’s into porn. We all have areas where we draw the line – make a list of yours so that you aren’t tempted to bend those lines. You can learn more about deal-breakers by getting a copy of Hindsight, What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers.

Never compromise your safety or integrity – trust your true instincts, and don’t set yourself up to fail!

But if you want the best piece of advice ever… it might take you a long time to get in etched in your mind, and to put it into practice, but here it is: Great relationships begin within! ®

Find Out What You Really Want

Have you ever walked to the ocean, when no one else was in sight? The seagulls aren’t even awake yet and all you hear is the roar of waves crashing against the rocks? The sand is still cold because the sun has yet to emerge from the horizon, the sky is still gray. All you hear is that deep, rolling thunderous noise of the tide coming in.

And all you can think is “Woah.”

sandtoes

Because you see, with your own two eyes, just how big the ocean is. That it’s so much larger then you originally thought. Sure, textbooks may have taught you that our Earth is mostly water, but now you’ve seen it.

I definitely had my own, ocean-sized ‘Woah’ moment last night.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ashli Jade, I’m an on-again-off-again blogger living in the suburbs, which has led to several cases of same-house-syndrome ( Ever walked into one that wasn’t yours?) as well as- in combination with other things going on- mild and moderate depression.

My parents had met in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The second most populous city in the state and you still have to drive an hour to Denver if you want to do something worth your time. They married shortly after I was born, and soon after a separation between the two landed myself, my newborn brother, and my mother in Sacramento, California with a strange old woman who smelled of something she called ‘spinach’ and hung lowercase Ts in every room and made us touch our foreheads, chests, and shoulders before eating ( I would later learn that she was my grandmother).

Eventually, a divorce was issued, which brings us to them now living on opposite sides of the same street and me not remembering a time when they were together. You’d think, after sixteen-seventeen years I would have gotten over the fact that I never really had a family. That I would have found some way to cope after all that time. But the truth is what I didn’t know what a family was, or what I was missing. I had been under the impression that what had happened was what was supposed to happen ( Don’t get me wrong. Both my mom and my dad are amazing people and we love each other very much and so on and so forth.)

The shocking thing was, as I got older and became more associated with other people and their families, and saw what they all had in common that mine didn’t ( ” You eat Thanksgiving dinner together?”), I never really became resentful toward the situation, sometimes upset, but strangely never bitter towards them. And that’s where our story begins.

For as long as I could remember, I’ve had one mission and one mission only: Get a boyfriend. In second grade, all I wanted was a boyfriend, and the same goes throughout the years until about midway through my sophomore year of high school. As I continued getting older, the obsessive goal had become more and more intricate. Suddenly, I didn’t just want a boyfriend, I wanted a high school sweetheart who I would get married to and we could have a healthy relationship and nothing would ever go wrong.

Crazy thing was I never really got one. Of course there had been flings here and there, but I was far too picky. No one that crossed my path lived up to the ridiculous expectation.

But never once did I question why I had wanted it so badly. Yes, all my friends were always in loving relationships, but they all also had horrible piercings and self-done tattoos and I didn’t want any of those.

Last night, something came to the surface. It was never about having a date on Friday night. It was never about just having a boyfriend, that’s not what I wanted. I had wanted my own family. My own family to have holiday dinners. My own family to sit with at church. My own family.

Currently, do I know that I have a family? Yes. Did I have to date someone to find these wonderful people? Absolutely not.

But that it isn’t the point of this.

The point is that sometimes, if not all the time, we need to ask ourselves why. If we don’t, we may spend our lives trying to accomplish something that isn’t worth our time, nor is it what we really want. Because if you don’t ask why, by the time you realize that that what you’re really striving for isn’t what you want, but the feeling associated with it, you will have already wasted to much time and energy you could have put into doing something you love.

Money, fame, significant others, luxury items…They don’t emanate some healing force that magically cures unhappiness or illness. They don’t make you young and full of energy.

Ask yourself why, and keep asking yourself why you want what you want, why you’ do the things you do, and eventually you’ll come to the bottom line find feelings that you’ve been chasing, and you can decide whether or not it’s worth going after. Or if you’re going after it the right way.

Who is to blame? One Iranian Claims Immodest Women.

In a public speech on Friday in Tehran, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi told the faithful that modesty would be the only thing that would save them.

“Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes,” he added.

Seriously? A statement like that might almost be comical if it weren’t so sad. When I read things like this, all of a sudden it’s no surprise where the archetype of woman-as-victim-or-prostitute comes from. I wonder what else this man would blame on women and their promiscuous ways. Tsunamis? Terrorism? The hole in the ozone layer? Women should be more careful about what they wear, or else the world might collapse in on itself with all our sexual power. It’s hard to imagine why men feel so threatened that they adopt this dangerous and nonsensical line of thinking. I wonder what will be required to snap humanity out of this nightmare of diseased thought.

modesty

If I had the ability to see the future, I would make this man look at the inevitable point his path leads to. The world is now run by women, many of them descendants of Iranian women who, coincidentally, felt the need to create genetic engineering facilities to alter the male anatomy. Nowadays, men aren’t born with penises – penises are only given to those men who show through consistent effort that their actions are worthy of respect, and who can convince a sacred council that they are honorable enough.

If I were an analyst, I might see this as a textbook case of childhood trauma left untreated, and of delusion left unchecked. I would probably note that this man was showing all the classic signs of projection brought on by fear and a feeling of helplessness, thus creating the fantasy in his head that women have some sort of magical evil powers. I’d probably recommend that he take a nice long break in the state hospital while professionals helped get him back on the right track.

If I were enlightened, I would see this as an opportunity to take an extremely weak and sick soul, and help him down the road to spiritual repair. I would recognize immediately that this man had lost his hold on reality, and lost his tether to the Divine. Such a seriously damaged soul would probably need a jump start, which could be implemented by way of a two-by-four to the forehead, as was the tradition of a particular ancient monk.

If I were Mother Nature, I would make it clear to this man how unacceptable I find his false accusations and unjust shame against my beautiful creatures. My point would come across in the form of a shit storm so intense and powerful, he would have no chance against the tidal waves, hurricane winds, and endless bolts of lightning. After I felt I had stated my case adequately, a torrential rain would come down on him, washing him clean of all this nonsense and leaving him free of his delusions.

If I were a man, it would make me sad and angry to see another man behaving like this. My shame at his words would make me want to think of ways that he could be taught not to humiliate and degrade my sisters, mothers, daughters, and indeed all women everywhere. Maybe binding his feet would be a good way to start, or maybe a chastity belt would be an even better idea, so he could feel the oppression right where it hurts a man most.

If I were an Iranian woman, I’d steer clear of the men in Tehran and be a celibate lesbian instead!

Why So Many Women Are Afraid to Self-Promote

Are you a history buff? No? Me either, but I will never forget Glenn Close in Dangerous liaisons. The scene still stuck in my mind where her life of privilege and power climaxes in ruins- because she dared to what? Manipulate people to suit her purposes, avenge herself (jilted by the man she loved who used her and tossed her aside for a younger version), seek revenge, relish the feeling of power, and revel in her own self centeredness. Gosh, this reminds me of something… what is that… I know-MEN.

Ohhhh, wait a minute, is this male bashing? Some may say so, I believe it is simply one passionate opinion about the pandemic affect of this two thousand year old inequity. What I am trying to say really is that, how come when a woman tries to bend things to suit her needs she’s a thankless whore and when men do it they are…just being men. When women are shrewd in business, arranging people, places and things to most optimally benefit her desired goals they are willful bitches and men, savvy hunters?

Am I saying we women want to adopt such scruples? Hell NO. What I am saying is enough already! And set forth a motion to do away with this reckless thinking and embrace a more lavish approach to achieving, creating and realizing what we all want and need and would like.

We will collectively grow up and subscribe to the more the merrier, there is plenty for everyone and then you wait and see what happens!! Until then lets inquire whether or not we want to continue to subscribe to an antiquated way of promoting our passions, taking care of our selves and achieving our deepest desires; groveling along, manipulating our pretty little way to success, trying to be the good girls and wives that we were taught to be.
So let me offer a few pointers and suggestions, how do I promote myself without feeling shame or frightened of how others will view me or instinctively feeling like I may offend people that I believe I need in order to survive~

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First~ Ask yourself who your source is? Go on really. Who or what is the source of flow, money etc in your life. You may not like your answer but you will see it is the source of your angst. A clue is if you believe source is outside of you, or have simply forgotten- there’s the work to be done!

Second~ There is no other! This means we are all one and whatever you see or experience outside your self is simply a projection of your own material and beliefs. Maddening isn’t it. But when you think about it really its empowering and ultimately freeing! And a stellar opportunity to embrace and heal your own beliefs and story about yourself and the world around you! Like men have power women don’t, self promotion is shameful etc. cause if you see it or believe then its true (for you).

Third ~ And last for now , have some fun and stretch yourself. Try celebrating yourself out loud and test some of those theories. Will people really think you’re a shameless self promoter? And if they do, so what? Once a woman told me something I will never forget; “She said to me’ Honey child, half the people you meet aint gonna like you no matter what you do, the other half will. You might as well get over it! So, as Don Miguel Ruiz says, don’t take it personal! Or you stand in it and feel the burn and heal whatever insecurity keeps making you feel this way! I am a big self inquiry fan and find that when I face the daemons they go away. The shadow isn’t so scary when we shed light on what’s really underneath it all!

How to Have a Better Tomorrow Night

There’s just something about being in a relationship that can turn us into crazy people we don’t even recognize. You can be a perfectly sensible, reasonable person who behaves normally, and then all of a sudden this person comes into your life who hypnotizes you somehow with their apparent perfection. Suddenly, past values and morals go out the window in the pursuit of sex, or who knows, maybe even Happily Ever After. Then, after the spell wears off, you’re left wondering which window you threw your values out of, and how you’re going to get them back. If you’re feeling like you need to get yourself together so that in the future you can feel good about yourself and get in a good relationship and enjoy your life… here’s some advice on how to get that fantastic future started right this second.

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Dear Maryanne,

My girlfriend and I have a serious relationship together. She thinks I’m cheating on her even though I am not cheating on her. She also has been trying to find ways to track my cell phone or track my text messages. She’s now questioning if I am bi or not. She did all this without talking to me as I found this out. What do I do and why is she doing this? I am not cheating on her, nor am I bi and I have nothing to hide. I love her very much.”

– Robert (30, Lakewood, CO, USA)

Dear Robert,

Clearly there’s something going on here, and I think there are two main possibilities. The most likely one, I think, is that your girlfriend is accusing you of the things that she feels guilty about. Perhaps she’s covering up for the fact that she’s the one who is cheating. Perhaps she’s having an affair with another woman, and that’s where the questions about you being bi are coming from, from her projecting her own behavior.

The other possibility is that she’s just having a huge bout of insecurity. It happens to everyone at one time or another, and sometimes it’s nearly impossible to control. You can help clear things up by sitting down with her and asking her what evidence she has found of you being unfaithful or bisexual. If she doesn’t have any, then you need to set some very clear parameters of personal privacy. Good relationships are based on trust, so of course the cell phone investigations need to stop. If you two are really serious about each other, but she still cannot accept your word and your love as the truth, then at least you know what you’re dealing with, and you can take care of the issue now, while you’re still unmarried with no children!

Feeding the Wolf Inside

Yesterday started like many another: I woke up. Normally I am grateful I’m on the right side of the ground, count up the hours I slept peacefully, pause to recall and explore my dreams, evaluate any disturbances and inquire into my feeling state. Then I ritually discuss mutual inquiry with my husband.

Except on this morning I skipped the gratitude, climbed over my anxiety, and went straight to how many hours of sleep I had accrued. Deciding I had enough, I detached my cat from my face and half-heartedly asked my husband how he had slept. Looking back, I can see I had fed the wrong wolf—and off I went, spiraling towards the vortex.

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I raced to beat the clock; we had to be at the airport by 8am, it was 6:20, and I was standing there in my jammies machinating over whether or not the heavy rain would delay our flight. Thundershowers were expected. While I showered I imagined our plane being tossed into oblivion amidst lightning and thunder, spat into the abyss.

The plane was on time. A good augur, I decided. I stowed my bag overhead, happy there was room. And I went back to stressful thinking. Sit down, other people are getting on, and anyway God’s not going to kill you and David at the same time, it’s not possible that you both have the exact same exit strategy. Some relief came over me. Then I thought, Right, my girlfriend died on a plane and my other girlfriend’s husband, so the odds of me dying on a plane are about…well they’re astronomical. Right? What about terrorists? Does that person look like a terrorist?

I stopped myself. Here’s the deal, sweetie, I gently but firmly say to myself, hoping to interrupt what how now become completely paranoid and insane behavior. Have you noticed, Maryanne, that every time you get on an airplane some part of you searches for any warning that the plane will go down, and it’s never happened?

I liked that. My inner parent is great. Anyway, what are you going to do, never get on a plane? Live your life trying to dodge every Tom, Dick and terrorist attack lookalike? No. God is not some guy in the sky. God is the great Divine and you are not this little body, you are a big, magnificent spirit on a purpose-filled mission ~ when it’s your time, it’s your time. That’s all. I eased back into the seat, comforted by the resounding truth of my words.

I remembered in that moment how far I had come from not even being able to set foot on a plane many years ago, or even leave my house, as I suffered from the worst kind of anxiety disorder. Never having taken medication, I struggled and fought to heal myself and today I sat, still and calm, taking a moment to praise myself for the progress I have made.

I am reminded again of the story about a Shaman who used to gather the children of the village each new moon to tell the story of the dark and white wolf. It is said that the dark and white wolf have battled since the beginning; the dark wolf grows strong when he is fed fear, lies, greed, dishonesty, and the like. The white wolf grows stronger with love, compassion, truth and care. The children would squeal with delight as he would recount their battles, and at the end of the story beg “Tell us who won the fight, grandfather?” to which he would reply. “Whichever one you feed, my child!” Free will is indeed the final answer.