Tag Archives: Positivity

The M&M’S Must Come From Within

20160424_154105I started hiking about 18 months ago, after swearing it off as a young teen. Many weekends of my childhood found me struggling along behind my dad on various trails in Washington State. I hated hiking. I hated it so much, in fact, that I promised myself I would never do it again once I became an adult. And I didn’t. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The last time I hiked as a kid was uphill, in the snow. Continue reading

The Inner Family

IMG_20160302_122136There are parts of myself, eras of my life, and things I’ve done that I simply can’t bear to remember. Scenes that embed themselves into my deepest memory banks and lodge themselves under my skin. I try not to revisit the images, relegating them to the corners of my mind, preventing the inevitable shame attack. Continue reading

12 Years Of Unchecked Prosperity

IMG_20160122_094111Monday I sobbed over my cancer-stricken cat Mokie as our vet slowly, gently injected him with the sodium pentothal that would put an end to our collective suffering. He’d been losing weight since early summer, but never a thin man, he looked fabulous for a period of time before we realized something was wrong. Such a cruel irony that the boy we’d affectionately called “Fat Man”, who tipped the scales at more than 14 pounds at one point, whose head seemed too small for such an engorged body, was wasting away into a delicate skeleton. By the end, he lost more than half his body weight, earning him the new name of “Tiny Love Man”, or TLM for short. It was a mindfuck at best that our boy who once seemed to gain weight by breathing was in a weight loss free-fall, his appetite dimmed, muscles wasted, bones protruding.

Mokie went from a boisterous, energetic, curious big boy, passionate about food and attention to a tiny shadow of himself within a period of three months. Continue reading

We Hit The Rock

20160103_145330I’d been up to Sedona once, last decade when I was living in Arizona (before the ill-fated move back to Seattle) and hadn’t given it much thought since. I remembered the stunning unreality of the colors–rusted reds striated with washed out yellows, deep azure and dark greens. I had the overall impression of a tourist trap, however, and didn’t go for the whole vortex, center-of-the-universe spirituality trip. I’m too atheistic, too urban. Ten years later seemed like as good a time as any to make another visit, see what I could see. Plus, it was a full moon that night, a blood moon, in fact, and maybe we would stay long enough to see it rise, away from the bright lights of Phoenix.

In the car on the way up I jokingly suggested to my two companions we should buy a crystal each and use them to guide us to the vortex. Why not embrace some irony while reveling in nature? Continue reading

At Hope

hopeA few months ago I resolved to take a certain path in life, mostly relating to career, and more importantly, actually setting a life goal. I’ve rejected goal-setting for as long as I can remember.

Junior year in college I started hanging out with some new friends, who happened to be very ambitious people who had their lives neatly mapped out to include all kinds of tall orders, pies-in-the-sky and grand visions. I hadn’t thought much beyond next quarter’s class schedule, let alone life after college. I would listen in rapt fascination at their conviction, wondering if any of what they wanted was possible, and secretly dismissing their plans as grandiose, their future lives as boxed-in before they could begin. One time one of them said, “people without goals are losers. I simply can’t understand them.” Not long after that assertion the relationships ended and I parted ways with the group. There’s only so long a loser can hide out, before her lack of goals is revealed, her worth as a friend diminished. But to me they were the losers, setting everything up into tight patterns in advance, every detail accounted for. What about spontaneity? What about living for the moment? What about crisis, and life is messy, and shit doesn’t always go your way? These people knew nothing. I was the realist. Goal setting was out, because life smashes your plans and hope spirals down and away, and I was a cynic already at age twenty. Continue reading

Perception Is The Enemy Of The Good

percepI’m starting to come around to the idea that how we perceive our lives and daily reality contributes hugely to our happiness quotient. Have you ever looked back on a period of time in your life and realized, hey, I had it pretty good right then. I was happy and didn’t even know it. I have. I’m challenging myself to have those realizations more closely to the moments I’m living, rather than in retrospect. I’m doing it one small bit of awareness, one little shard of presence at a time. And it’s kind of working. I’m going to keep trying and see where it leads, with gratitude as my guiding force. Continue reading

Managing Expectations Down To Nothing

expectI didn’t even realize I’d done it until I looked around and saw that I had. I’m superstitious and fear disappointment just as much as the next person. I believe in Murphy’s Law, and that the universe is random and chaotic, and have a Midwesterner’s tendency to downplay good fortune. I do this to avoid inviting bad luck. I don’t count the eggs even after they hatch and have been sold at a profit. I try to be prepared for the worst, because doing so ensures a fairly well-prepared today. I have built a life on avoiding discomfort by attempting to maintain balance. I try to look out for myself and make healthy choices. The view I have of my life is a precious, hard-earned stability to be cherished. It wasn’t until very recently that I was forced to peer below the surface where I confronted a glaring truth: I had worked so hard to manage expectations for myself and my life, that I’m not striving for anything more than stability.  Continue reading

High Hopes In A Dark World

hopesThe power of a voice and the distance it can travel is astonishing. One simple post on social media can leave the world with numerous meanings. Just the other day, I posted a photo with the caption, “High Hopes in a Dark World”, and the feedback I received was very diverse. Most were wondering if something was wrong, or simply admired the creativity and perspective. Continue reading