?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> The Girl Who Looked Into the Mirror tag:typepad.com,2003:weblog-1795272 2010-11-11T11:19:14-08:00 Reflections on lying, lust and love TypePad Excruciating Vulnerability tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef013488e50308970c 2010-11-11T11:19:14-08:00 2010-11-11T11:19:14-08:00 I'm using the photo above to demonstrate what Excruciating Vulnerability is not. Obviously, Santa has gone a wee bit over the top when it comes to authentically expressing himself and being transparent with others. And while this image is meant to illicit laughs, it's no laughing matter that so many us feel unable to express ourselves in an open and honest way with others. I struggle with this myself in certain areas of my life still and I know I'm becoming more courageous to say the things I want and need to say. It's an easier said than done kind... Lisa

Santa 
I'm using the photo above to demonstrate what Excruciating Vulnerability is not.  Obviously, Santa has gone a wee bit over the top when it comes to authentically expressing himself and being transparent with others.  And while this image is meant to illicit laughs, it's no laughing matter that so many us feel unable to express ourselves in an open and honest way with others.   I struggle with this myself in certain areas of my life still and I know I'm becoming more courageous to say the things I want and need to say.  

It's an easier said than done kind of thing.  We say we want others to know how we really feel and yet more often than not, we don't follow through and actually do it.  We don't say what we really want to say.  We hold back.  We hide out.  We give hints, but hell no, we aren't going to say everything we want to because to be that vulnerable is excruciating or embarrassing or exposing just too damn much of ourselves.   But what if we looked at being genuine and real differently?  What if we thought of excruciating vulnerability as exciting and exhilarating and emancipating?   

What if the thing that freaks us out (name whatever fear it is) is the very thing that frees us?   

If you haven't clicked on the link in the first paragraph above yet, please do and watch the entire twenty minute Ted talk with Brene Brown.   (A word of warning to those who are not yet familiar with Ted...you can spend all day watching videos of amazing speakers with brilliant and beautiful messages and ideas.  This would not be a bad thing, actually, as you might discover just listening to what others have to say is a day well spent.)  It was Brene's video that inspired me to write this post.  Her passion for being courageous, authentic and transparent resonates with mine in a big way and reminds me to keep being the change I want to see in the world.  I'm going to reach out to her and to Regina Perata and Colleen Wainwright and let them know I appreciate their willingness to be transparent and to be seen. 

Transparency is a growing edge for me.  I don't share as much as I'd like to sometimes because I'm scared of what people will think.   Despite my propensity to share personal things and partake in risky adventures, there is just some stuff I don't want to stir up.  I don't want to rock the boat (change the status quo) or sail a new ship (create something entirely new and unknown).  What that really means is in some situations, "I'm not willing to risk being who I really am with you" and that truth makes me feel incredibly frustrated and terribly sad.     

I know I'm not alone in feeling this way.  I wholeheartedly believe it's imperative that we can be who we really are and to share our truth as we know it with others.   Yes, excruciating vulnerability is scary and it is what we need to do to grow ourselves, to help others and to make our world a safer and healthier place.  To see and be seen by another. To love and be loved by another.  This is what we're here to experience.  This is it.   

How will you be vulnerable today?

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Monday tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef013488d174e4970c 2010-11-08T17:25:51-08:00 2010-11-08T17:25:51-08:00 On Saturday, I had the opportunity to spend time listening to the wisdom of these three creative and courageous women; Jennifer Louden, Patti Digh, and Susan Piver. I took part in their day-long writing retreat and came away from the experience with a few gems. Ass plus chair was one of them. If I want to write, my buttocks need to be firmly planted in a chair at my desk with minimal distractions and I need to stay there longer than it's comfortable. I do not need to get up and do anything everything else that suddenly appears to become... Lisa

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to spend time listening to the wisdom of these three creative and courageous women;  Jennifer Louden, Patti Digh, and Susan Piver.  I took part in their day-long writing retreat and came away from the experience with a few gems.

Ass plus chair was one of them.  If I want to write, my buttocks need to be firmly planted in a chair at my desk with minimal distractions and I need to stay there longer than it's comfortable.  I do not need to get up and do anything everything else that suddenly appears to become utterly fascinating other than sitting and waiting for the words to show up.  The other gem was this...Meditation isn't about making the voice in your head disappear.  It's about noticing and letting go of your thoughts so you can hear what the voice really wants to tell you.  I heard loud and clear what the voice said and that leads me to today's question.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...       

Self portraits 147 
"What do you think could really make a difference in your life?"

Having more patience for myself and for others.  It would not only decrease my pace, but I hope it would help me become more focused.  I think it would have a huge impact on me living in the present rather than always looking forward to what's next.  I also wouldn't find myself muttering nasty phrases to the slow drivers in front of me. 

Share a comment here or post your answer and a photo on your blog and let me know where to find you.

 

The Middle Place tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef0133f5968c30970b 2010-11-04T12:11:38-07:00 2010-11-04T12:11:38-07:00 The Turning About The turning-about is upon us, the turning of mind, the expansion of eyes, the presence of children who bathe in the light of the stars; their distant brothers move closer, cherish the light that shapes from within. Our heritage, the spirit who soars, the mind that dreams, the heart that reaches out. O' children of creation, the island of light is within you. As you reach for your home in the Sun, the lamp of your becoming strikes brilliance everywhere... you are free. ~Richard H. Geer~ I was not thrilled with the results of the election yesterday.... Lisa

P1000299a The Turning About

 The turning-about is upon us,
 the turning of mind, the expansion of eyes,
the presence of children who bathe
in the light of the stars;
their distant brothers move closer,
cherish the light that shapes from within. 

Our heritage,
the spirit who soars,
the mind that dreams,
the heart that reaches out. 

O' children of creation,
the island of light
is within you.
As you reach for your home in the Sun,
the lamp of your becoming
strikes brilliance everywhere...
you are free. 

~Richard H. Geer~

I was not thrilled with the results of the election yesterday.  I could have complained and whined and worried.   I've been there and done that and it does no good.  Instead, I danced and wrote and sat in the sun and that turn-about felt good.  I am free when I choose to be.

The right will see it one way and the left will view it another way and meanwhile, the very place we should be looking at, the middle, is forgotten.   The place of compromise and consensus.  The place where we agree to disagree and we do it with decency despite our strong convictions and emotions.  The place where we ask, "How can we help each other?" and we realize we're all in this together. 

The Turning-About isn't upon some of us.  It's upon all of us.      

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Monday tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef0133f580a073970b 2010-11-01T08:40:09-07:00 2010-11-01T08:40:09-07:00 Beginning today, and every Monday, I'll be posting a question with an accompanying photo. Remember what Snow White said as she looked at her reflection, "Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest one of all?" It'll be like that with better questions and with your participation. Life and learning about who we are...this isn't a solo adventure I'm on. It's one we're all a part of. It's time to open up this conversation about being real and being true in a much bigger way. Submit your answer and your photo. C'mon, do it. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall... "What... Lisa

Beginning today, and every Monday, I'll be posting a question with an accompanying photo.  Remember what Snow White said as she looked at her reflection, "Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest one of all?"  It'll be like that with better questions and with your participation.  Life and learning about who we are...this isn't a solo adventure I'm on.  It's one we're all a part of.  It's time to open up this conversation about being real and being true in a much bigger way.  Submit your answer and your photo.  C'mon, do it.   

 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

P1030598a1 
 
"What scares me most?"

The fact that life is incredibly short and I'm quite certain I won't experience everything I want to.       

The Sudden Realization of Everything tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef0134803c5125970c 2010-10-25T17:58:46-07:00 2010-10-25T17:58:46-07:00 Some people call it enlightenment. Others call it waking-up or a cosmic bonk or being present to what is. No doubt there are many names for that moment when we become acutely aware of how remarkable life is and how life is remarkably short in the overall big picture of things. I'm calling my moment, "The Sudden Realization of Everything". I do not know everything there is to know about life or about myself, but I got enough of a glimpse recently to know everything I've been avoiding, procrastinating about, and escaping from is the very thing that will set... Lisa

P1030526Some people call it enlightenment.  Others call it waking-up or a cosmic bonk or being present to what is.   No doubt there are many names for that moment when we become acutely aware of how remarkable life is and how life is remarkably short in the overall big picture of things.  I'm calling my moment, "The Sudden Realization of Everything".  

I do not know everything there is to know about life or about myself, but I got enough of a glimpse recently to know everything I've been avoiding, procrastinating about, and escaping from is the very thing that will set me free.  And while I can't completely articulate just yet exactly what that thing is, I know it's fear-based and I can no longer ignore or pretend it doesn't exist.   I'm ready and willing to dive deep into the  places that both scare and surprise me.  

My hope is to discover the reasons why there's always been a part of me I have not wanted to look at, accept, and love.   I've been hiding out for a good long while from my writing.   My commitment is to write the stories of my experiences and share all of what I know and learn here in order to support my healing process and to connect with those who are on a similar journey of their own. 

As Anna Halprin says so beautifully at the end of her book, "Returning to Health with Dance, Movement and Imagery"...

 "It's about living and feeling fully the whole spectrum from joy to sadness (however long that lasts) and dying with a sense of peace (whenever death comes)."  Yeah, I want that. 

 

Be a fool in love tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef01347f957d99970c 2010-04-01T21:43:19-07:00 2010-04-01T21:43:19-07:00 "Better to be a fool in love and be aware of your ignorance rather than doing foolish things and doing nothing to learn from them." ~ Lisa Evans Take a risk. Do something that most people would consider NOT doing. Tell him or her how you really feel. Be unafraid to let your silly, somewhat obnoxious self show up. Don't worry about what others think. Be a fool all the while knowing you still have much to learn when it comes to love. Lisa

Bunkleberrycard 
"Better to be a fool in love and be aware of your ignorance rather than doing foolish things and doing nothing to learn from them."  ~ Lisa Evans

Take a risk.  Do something that most people would consider NOT doing. Tell him or her how you really feel.  Be unafraid to let your silly, somewhat obnoxious self show up.   Don't worry about what others think.   Be a fool all the while knowing you still have much to learn when it comes to love. 

I'll Always Remember the Good Times tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef01310ff88ff1970c 2010-03-29T21:41:36-07:00 2010-03-29T21:41:36-07:00 I saw one of my exes yesterday. He stopped by just to say hello. He and I, along with my husband, spent a half an hour or so sitting together in our living room having a nice chat. The last time I saw Rick was in December when we had lunch together. Seven years ago, if someone were to have told me these things (shared meals and home visits) would be possible in the future after our break-up, I don't think I could have said with complete confidence that we'd be friends again. I know I would have hoped that... Lisa

DSCF0032 I saw one of my exes yesterday.  He stopped by just to say hello.  He and I, along with my husband, spent a half an hour or so sitting together in our living room having a nice chat.  The last time I saw Rick was in December when we had lunch together.  Seven years ago, if someone were to have told me these things (shared meals and home visits) would be possible in the future after our break-up, I don't think I could have said with complete confidence that we'd be friends again.   I know I would have hoped that to be the case, but I wouldn't have believed it at that time.  There was just too much stuff to see beyond the pain and the anger.  There was also a helluva lot of growing I had to do to understand my role in the unraveling and eventual ending of our relationship. 

Even though Rick and I have owned up to our crazy-making behaviors with one another and have said our apologies, we still remember how mean we were to each other for so many years.  It shakes me still to this day and makes me incredibly sad sometimes.  I think he would say he feels the same way towards me.  Every so often, I'll just call him up to say, "I'm so sorry and I love you" and he just listens and understands.  That space he holds for me heals my heart a little bit more and allows the good times we shared together to shine through again. 

It can be hard to remember good times with a previous partner when the break-up is fairly recent and the emotions still incredibly raw.  Time and self-introspection can bring forth forgiveness and foster renewed relations with your ex, but being patient and doing the work is tough.  Being adult enough to look at your own shit and being able to admit it to the one you once loved is certainly humbling, but it's also incredibly liberating.  It also creates an opportunity for something else to show up and replace what you once were.  For some it can be a reconcilation and then a reestablishing of the relationship.  For others it's a mutual understanding and then a moving on.  And then there's those folks like Rick and I.  For us, we found out we could be friends again when we let go of all the stuff we allowed to get in the way of us loving one another well when we were together. 

Good times are more easily remembered when you can say "I'm so sorry" and "I love you" not only to your exes, but to yourself.   

Don't feel sorry for Sandra ~ Be happy for her! tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef01310fdef54b970c 2010-03-25T16:08:13-07:00 2010-03-25T16:08:13-07:00 I do not envy this woman right now. Three weeks ago, her professional life was proudly honored and celebrated when she won this year's Oscar for Best Actress. One week later, her personal life came a-tumbling down as rumors surrounding her husband's infidelities played out in every form of media, most predominantly in the tabloids. This whole situation sucks and I'm happy for her. Huh? What was that? Yes, I'm happy for her. I feel bad about the unraveling of her marriage turning into such a public spectacle. It's unfortunate that when you're a well-known celebrity everything about you can... Lisa

Sandra I do not envy this woman right now.   Three weeks ago, her professional life was proudly honored and celebrated when she won this year's Oscar for Best Actress. One week later, her personal life came a-tumbling down as rumors surrounding her husband's infidelities played out in every form of media, most predominantly in the tabloids.  This whole situation sucks and I'm happy for her.  Huh?  What was that?

Yes, I'm happy for her.  I feel bad about the unraveling of her marriage turning into such a public spectacle. It's unfortunate that when you're a well-known celebrity everything about you can become known well in an instant.  The price of fame and fortune can have nothing to do with money and yet can be a very expensive one.  I feel bad for her step-daughter who's probably wondering what the hell is wrong with her parents and is hoping she can be legally adopted by Sandra.  I feel bad that Sandra may lose all contact with this child should she decide to divorce.  Having said all that, I don't feel sorry for her because she now has the opportunity to make different choices for herself.   

I'm happy the truth has come to light. Of course, we (the public) don't know what the real truth is, but you can be damn sure that Sandra knows what it is at this point.  And now that she does, she'll decide to either stay on with a man who cheated on her and forgive him or move on and meet someone who is man enough to remain an honest and committed partner.  My vote is for moving on.

I'm happy she can take a closer look at her role in all of this and see what was missing and what was needed for HERSELF in the relationship.  No doubt she's in an emotionally-raw and vulnerable place, but I also hope she's able to listen to her own truths and not settle for anything less than what she really wants in her life now.  I wish for Sandra, as I do for Elin Woods, the courage and confidence to let go of these men who have no concept of what integrity, kindness or respect means in a marriage or for themselves. I wish those same things for anyone (man or woman) who has been cheated on numerous times to walk away with your own sense of self fully-intact. 

Self-psychoanalysis...an accurate perception is possible tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef01310f8ac6e1970c 2010-03-22T20:21:19-07:00 2010-03-22T20:21:19-07:00 I've never had my very own psychotherapist. Oh, I've been to pre-marital counseling (It worked. I didn't get married) and we-better-do-something-different-before-one-of-us-kills-each-other counseling (This worked as well. The something different was me breaking it off which led us both living to see another day), but I haven't had a solo session with an official PhD of the human psyche. Have I considered it? Sure, but when I can have a nightly go-around in my dreams for free, I know I can save myself a lot of money and get some pretty damn good advice from my own head provided I listen.... Lisa

Introspection
I've never had my very own psychotherapist. Oh, I've been to pre-marital counseling (It worked. I didn't get married) and we-better-do-something-different-before-one-of-us-kills-each-other counseling (This worked as well. The something different was me breaking it off which led us both living to see another day), but I haven't had a solo session with an official PhD of the human psyche.   Have I considered it?  Sure, but when I can have a nightly go-around in my dreams for free, I know I can save myself a lot of money and get some pretty damn good advice from my own head provided I listen.

So here's what my self-psychoanalysis has diagnosed, as well as its accompanying treatment plan:  Dreams of lustful exploits with my exes have been occuring more frequently because the real story behind all the sordid tales and make-believe mojo is one I can no longer ignore. For many years, I've wished that the story would just appear on the pages of my journal and that would be enough resolution and completion for me.  For the past year, I'd hoped that this blog would be the place where my inspiration turned into committed action.  Apparently not according to my dreams and to most of my fully-awakened states of being.  

Apparently, I'm one of those folks who believes she's a good enough writer (when she writes) and has a decent enough of a story about three topics most relationships encounter (lying, lust and love) that I'm compelled to write a book and make this story of mine public.  What is also quite apparent is I have reached the point where as Stephen DeStaebler says, "Artists don't get down to work until the pain of working is exceeded by the pain of not working."  The pain of not writing has now become big enough that I'm paying attention and doing something about it.   

So the treatment plan is a consistent schedule (inspired by my admiration for this writer's commmitment to his work and his community of readers) and is as follows...Mondays and Thursdays ~ posts filled with passionate and provocative words to stir up juicy conversations within your own head and heart as well as here on this blog.  Sundays ~ this will be my end-of-the-week fess-up on how well the book is or isn't progressing.   This treatment plan scares the shit out of me and I know it's time to do that which scares me. I came across this question a few days back and my answers reinforced the validity of the dreams I've been having.  The answers are my book and my fear of, well, of everything.   (Click on the link for the question and the kick-ass article that came with it as well as to understand my answers.) 

Take a look at your dreams and what they're telling you.  Be your own psychotherapist and be honest when you consider whether or not your own advice is worth listening to.  Decide if the pain you feel not doing something is greater than actually doing it.  Create a treatment plan that scares you and inspires your greatest work.  

Beginning Again tag:typepad.com,2003:post-6a00d8341ccf0553ef012876baf033970c 2010-01-08T17:13:44-08:00 2010-01-08T17:13:44-08:00 Early morning hues. Pink clouds dance with blue skies. Possibilities. I failed miserably last year in being a writer. Oh, I wrote some, but it certainly wasn't here on this blog and it wasn't about the story I want to tell and turn into a book. Writers write every day. And that is why I I failed. There were way too many days when I chose not to write anything at all. Looking back (just for a brief moment, because this post is really about looking forward), I didn't write because sitting with the discomfort of a blinking cursor reminds... Lisa
Morning sunrise
Early morning hues.
Pink clouds dance with blue skies.
Possibilities.
  
 
I failed miserably last year in being a writer.  Oh, I wrote some, but it certainly wasn't here on this blog and it wasn't about the story I want to tell and turn into a book.  Writers write every day.  And that is why I I failed.  There were way too many days when I chose not to write anything at all. 
 
Looking back (just for a brief moment, because this post is really about looking forward), I didn't write because sitting with the discomfort of a blinking cursor reminds me that writing a book isn't going to be easy.  I didn't write because telling the story of my indiscretions and infidelities isn't going to be pain-free. I didn't write because saying yes to anything other than writing created the illusion of comfort for a short time. I didn't write because being completely honest with myself wasn't happening in some areas of my life last year. And when you want to write a book called "The Girl Who Looked Into the Mirror" and the girl (me) wasn't willing to do that (look into the mirror) and face up to certain things, she really has no business writing a book about the importance of loving and being honest with yourself. 
 
Looking at life right now looks pretty damn good.  It's like looking at those clouds the other morning (the ones you see in the photograph above)...they were eye-candy for the spirit, but they were also eye-opening expressions of time.  As I took in the beauty of the new day beginning and watched the clouds change shape and then disappear altogether, I was suddenly and acutely aware of how fleeting one's life is. The illusion of "having all the time in the world" to write a book or read all the books I own or travel to India or to do whatever it is I want to do doesn't exist sometime in the future.  It exists right now in making the time every day to move towards what I really want. 
 
And that's what I will do this year.  Every day I will be a writer. I've faced up to those things last year that stopped me.  I've forgiven myself.  I'm looking forward.  I return to this blog and I begin to write my book.  The reflection is telling the truth again.