Category Archives: the arts

Clear Intentions

 

IMG_1995

There is a healer in one of my groups who never fails to pull cards that resonate with me. This is the same woman who pulled the card I posted before. I am sure trying to attract what I want. On a friend’s suggestion, I began a Manifestation 100 two weeks ago and have had a fitful time keeping up and playing the game. I hope to hit that hard in the coming weeks now that school is out for summer.

I have now gone from being the top candidate for a position to not getting the job TWICE in a couple weeks’ time. My intention is off, I know it, I just don’t know how to fix it! It’s complicated! We want to move and to find a good neighborhood and a comfortable school environment for me where I am appreciated and valued and not overlooked. Our home is for sale because we got that initial offer. Our open house was last weekend. Love this house but it’s time to leave. Have applications in here locally for leadership positions, also in Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas area.

“Gotta get clear about this.”

Those were my thoughts last week after I got the call that the principal recommended another candidate. This is the same school where I had been the number one candidate on Tuesday but that a last minute internal candidate applied and, well, I was not the one recommended fro the job. Turns out the high school position opened up in the same area and so my name will be passed along for that.

During my time away from writing (two weeks), I have also spent a bit of time on a Facebook group for empaths. I ordered a book from a woman in the UK and when it arrived, it came with some special bonus materials.

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist was included. This happens to be one of my newest favorite books. I read it about four or five years ago but I have checked it out from the library and had not been able to mark it as my own. I look forward to re-reading it from this place along my path. And having read Warrior of the Light.

Additionally, it came with a card:

IMG_2160

I know this is why these positions have not fallen within my grasp. They are not the ones meant for me. I know I need to get clear.

IMG_2101

5/27

This is why I have not written in a while. Couple the intensity of these situations with also interviewing in my own district and finishing out one of the most stressful school years on my record…and I am TIRED. I decide to lay low and not push against the world.

 

I interviewed in my own district, for what it is worth. It’s been an interesting experience. I’m gaining confidence through every interview, no matter it has been (here, Colorado and Austin) and I am able to imagine a life in many different places. I have been afforded the time to think through this and make a solid decision as things come to me. I am grateful for the clarity that abstaining from drinking has given me. I have permission to explore my feelings again.

 

Just Wednesday night I got an email from that same principal saying that it might be a long shot, but that there is an English position in his middle school and he wondered if I might be interested in applying.

I took this opportunity to apply immediately and also to locate the high school position and apply for that one as well. I am still not certain why no one has contacted me in regards to the high school theatre position I applied for when I applied for the middle school job, BUT – CLEARLY this district has many positions for which I am qualified. It is a lovely location – near my parents and my brother and in a quaint town that’s just over “too small.”

The Colorado River runs through it. Are you listening to the words coming out of my fingers here? There are at least two yoga studios in the town. Haha! It just all seems pretty cool to explore…

IMG_2064

90 Days

Last Sunday night I celebrated the closing night of our 4 show run of this little musical I put together. I was scared to death to do it and I wasn’t exactly sure I was going about it right, but I kept trusting the process and failed to panic and get crazed. The designers that worked on the show all worked so incredibly hard to get everything just right and it was a cute, entertaining show.

I can hold my head high in the community that I pulled it off! The children had a blast and all the parents seemed pleased and proud. The energy was amazing and cheerful.

In the midst of a very hectic time, I maintained my yoga and breath work and I continued my hobbies and self-care regimens. I did not even feel tempted to drink. It’s as if this time is just different. I’m done throwing away my one precious life.

I spent two days after my show closed staring at walls and computer screens. Well, and clouds when I could get outside, but I think that is much more positive idle time.

I just worked for ten weeks solid on a musical production with 40 children – staring into space for a couple days seems appropriate. But it’s not the kids or the show that have me this way.

It’s an individual that I had to work closely with that was not a good fit on a number of professional levels. He is concerned with his own ego and is power-hungry and it gets all over me. Unfortunately, his performance was not entirely supportive of the production and it is the truth. I have recorded my notes and I will have faith that the truth will prevail. But it was no fun having that mess all over my perfectly wonderful experience.

I celebrated 90 days without alcohol the weekend of the show – how cool is that?! I cannot express how amazed and proud I am that I pulled it off. Stepping into unknown territory without familiar coping tools. And things were mostly effortless. I felt more in control of my experience and everything remained calm, cool and collected until the very end.

I think that’s something of which to be proud. So what if no one in administration or even the teacher who has the upperclassmen came to see it. Guess they all knew it was going to be WONDERFUL.IMG_1366It was.

Tonic and Lime, please.

10 weeks. 70 days.

For ten weeks I have not allowed alcohol of any kind to pass my lips. Strange that even though my last drink of choice was red wine, the drink I miss the most is BEER.

Ice cold draft beer.

It’s a great time to live in Memphis as there are craft and micro breweries popping up all around town. There are a fair number of outdoor events and the food truck craze is full on here. Couple that with spring weather and a nice afternoon in a hammock…a beer is an excuse to take a break and I sure do forget to do that.

img_4848That one time I spent TEN WHOLE MINUTES resting in my son’s hammock. I likely had an afternoon beer after I snapped this proof that I do stop moving sometimes.

 

When I was looking at how to quit drinking this summer, one of the options I thought to give myself was to allow only beer when out and about at festivals and concerts. In my mind, I was pleased with the image of being “that” kind of drinker. That image appeals to me, but the jury is still out … not sure if I even want to think about what might be in store for me – someday. Gotta concentrate on today.

Based upon the limited recovery reading I have had time to do, it doesn’t sound like a “healthy” relationship with alcohol is likely in the cards for a girl like me. The data indicates that I’ll be fine with a beer or two at first, but that after time, and a short one at that – I’ll be chasing 12 packs and kegs again because those addiction pathways are deep and not easily mended by a little sobriety thrown into the mix.

So, I continue to choose NOT to drink. Went to a concert Saturday night for a college and life-long favorite, Ben Folds. Ordinarily, I’d have “pre-gamed”having at least two drinks before I even left. Then I’d have spent half of the evening wondering how I was drinking so fast and when I could get another drink from the bar without missing my favorite song. Or, I’d have spilled all over myself and been an embarrassment. That last part’s not entirely true, but it has happened before. At minimum, the drinking at the concert would have been automatic. It may well have been my first sober concert ever.

Turns out that I was perfectly happy drinking a tonic with lime. They actually didn’t have lime wedges, so the bartender used lime juice and it was DELICIOUS! It’s like I play a little game with myself – where I used to call it a “treat” to have an alcoholic drink (even though I would have four or more daily), I now reframe it and call my “non-alcoholic replacement drink” a gift to myself. Something about allowing that psychological process to happen is helping to shift things for me.

I have always struggled with self-talk. My inner critic is a blazing ASSHOLE. My mother was (is) very critical. She’s wicked smart, but because she had me at 15, she lost out on many opportunities to advance herself. She made a wonderful career in the USAF and obtained her Bachelor degree in journalism, but she still has untapped potential. She is an authority on just about everything. So, I carry that with me and it’s loudest when I am not perfect. You know, all the time. 

Strangely, I find it easier to silence that critic now that I am free from alcohol. There’s less happening in my brain to confuse the issue. Things are far from perfect and I have a heaping lot of mess to sort through yet, but I can much better discern bullshit from truth.

Good thing, since my 2017 word is TRUTH.

I’m getting plenty of it.

 

New Imaginings

I wept at the beginning of yoga this Saturday. The instructor created a really great flow that happened to work well for me and I was more able to get out of my own mind and just BE in the pose and spend the time with myself. I cried in meditation too. After weeks of not being sad or anxious at all, really. I don’t know if I have managed to put a spell on myself or what, but I feel a gamut of emotions, but they just wash over me, like the tide. Eb and flow.

Nothing rattles my cage much and I think that my calm affects the entire home. I do not say that to be egotistical, but realistic. We ALL affect one another. I have worked so hard and studied so much to change and help my youngest son  and while that has been a noble cause and much progress has been made, I promise that my work on myself will go further.

I am intentionally creating a better life for myself. I had a vision of what I thought it would be and there has been a peeling away of many unnecessary layers in recent years and this is the last big one. Underneath this one is the truth of who I am. I have always known that I am a treasure to be sure, but trauma has a way of dulling one’s shine.

There are many resources available these days which link addiction and trauma and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Of course, an additional connection I also share is the link between giftedness and all of those things. I think back to Grace saying I have been running from crazy all my life. It’s true.

No one taught me about my gifts.

No one explained “giftedness” to me. I thought I was supposed to be smart at everything and get perfect grades. When others in my class of “Talented and Gifted” kids succeeded in ways I could not, it never occurred to me to consider the ways I excelled in which they did not. Looking back at that now, it seems silly. But that is how retrospect works, I suppose.

I am grateful to be able to read articles like this one now. I feel like I have misinterpreted myself all these years. It looks like the work of Stephanie S. Tolan will be some interesting reading  for me as I stumble through this latest discovery. I find the link between my giftedness and low self-esteem as this article describes in studies. I visited her website, but found that my primary interest is with her blog, The Deep End.

I remember my giftedness being fostered when I was in Germany in the Department of Defense schools and I recall some off campus programming once my parents were stationed in Florida. Unfortunately, those exploratory courses (the two I remember best were about government, specifically electoral college and latex mask-making) gave way to honors academics. No longer were creative outlets or alternate teaching methodologies relevant or seen as appropriate offerings. Kids like myself suffered.

How many others are out there who also feared their gifts, not seeing them for their promise but instead seeing a burden? How many years did I keep drinking because I thought I had found a “delicate balance” and didn’t want to upset it into “crazy” territory? All the while, I was creating new, negative pathways in my brain and I had no idea. Why do they not teach us these things in school? How much of this can I teach in school?

Where can I go to turn this into a career? This is very much where my FLOW STATE gets rolling…theatre, drama, film, trauma, giftedness, writing, speaking, yoga, play, addiction, energy, therapy…I want to be able to delve into this more regularly. I wish I could teach workshops to teenagers or even elementary school kids. I have so many ideas and so much I could offer if I could just figure out the HOW…

Until I figure out what I am going to do for “the rest of my life,” I very likely will engage in Reiki training and yoga teacher training as early as this summer. I just booked my trip to Colorado Springs and Greeley to check out their teacher fair in April. My oldest is moving into 8th grade next year, so we’re cutting things close for our dream of moving from where we have lived for almost twenty years. We keep trying and had some interviews for Germany, South Korea (Department of Defense schools) and two positions in Austin, TX last year. Still working that angle again this year, but expanding to Colorado.

Worst case scenario, I see Colorado for the first time and also a former colleague and maybe even my best friend from seventh grade (we’ve seen each other since then, but not after 1991). Best case scenario: we have the possibility of a completely different everyday reality.

Cheers! I’ll drink to that!img_8375

 

Good Mornin’

I went to bed last night about 11:30, having enjoyed my second day with all that extra time. Yes, I am still thinking about drinking almost as much as I was when I would actually engage at the end of the day (or the late afternoon), but, already I am benefitting from the clarity that comes with not giving up hours to the sauce. I knew it was a gamble, getting that vat of Cherry Coke at the movie theatre, but I wanted a treat. I omitted desserts and most treats for the past 5 years as I had to save my calories for alcohol and would “jest,” “I drink my dessert.”

Not cute. But especially not cute when I drank my meals too.

My first thought when I woke this morning was the Frank Sinatra quote I used to enable myself at the beginning of this habit I found myself in: “I feel sorry for people that don’t drink because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day.” Well, FINE. Because I feel fricking awesome this morning.

My husband happened to have some spring in his step yesterday and I managed to hit the sack before he got there. I am a night owl anyway, and especially when I want another “halfsie” of wine, so this rarely, if ever, happens. My husband has some medical issues (bicuspid aortic valve and testing for sleep apnea next week) and has been quite vocal in his sleep. This didn’t bother me really, when I would pass out to get to sleep, but when I would wake at 3 a.m. once the alcohol wore off, I would have the hardest time getting back to sleep with all the ruckus from the other side of the bed. It would be perfectly silent, I’d almost drift, and then a noise-making monster would appear.

For night one I planned to take 5 mg melatonin in place of the booze. I know I have relied on the drink to help me sleep. I had my last few glasses of wine the night before and I slept so fitfully, tossing and turning from 2 a.m. on, so I was “fragile” on the drive home from my parent’s house. Ready to cry at a moment’s notice. BIG tears too – the ones that come with twice as much snot so you can’t be all incognito about it and casually chase a tear away.

Reading Imperfect Birds and The Artist’s Way fit that bill, as did the death of Carrie Fisher. Having the same name was an obvious connection, but as a young actress being eaten up by the pressures of even college theatre, I identified with her struggles in the film industry. Getting a Bipolar diagnosis was another thread to connect us.  I never read her books, but I knew they were there and that she shared her struggles with addiction; I just hadn’t been ready to hear them since, by then, I was in the middle of my own story.

I was tired without all that sugar pumping through me when bedtime came, but I had that uneasy feeling that can come with melatonin supplements similar to when you wake up from almost falling off a building or a cliff in a dream. It was a little spooky and I wanted to avoid taking it again, if possible, though after the initial swooning, I had a decent sleep and a great vacation day puttering around the house.

A friend invited me to a movie yesterday afternoon and I asked what she was interested in seeing. She said, “Fences” but that she was flexible. Having studied August Wilson I was delighted. It’s not just anyone that chooses to watch a film like that and they are usually aren’t asking me along. Mostly, I watch the films I really want to see all alone. That’s what happens when you are a highly sensitive, INFJ with a propensity for sadness. During the first scene where the waterworks begin to flow for me, my friend remarked nonchalantly, “Oh that’s right, you’re an emotional one.”

The film was beauty. Wilson wrote the screenplay himself and Denzel Washington stars and Viola Davis (WHOA) slays in this family drama. I remembered the play moving me, but not really what it was about because it was twenty years ago that I saw it performed in my college theatre program. I highly recommend it in any format you prefer. Of course, at the root of their family troubles is a legacy crippled by alcohol. As with most signs from the Universe, I could have missed this one, but it was not lost on me.

Before retiring to bed, I learned that famed actress and Carrie Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, died after suffering a stroke while planning her beloved daughter’s funeral. I teach her breakthrough film, Singin’ in the Rain to my theatre and film students every year and I sing “Good Mornin'” to my boys when I play the wake up fairy at home. The tenacity with which the 19 year-old Reynolds approached this role with no dance training or experience must surely be akin to the way Fisher and I also approached things. All or nothing. Dancing until there is blood in our shoes.

I’m sticking with staying all out on this drinking thing. And I wish you all a “Good Mornin'”.

Oh, and last night? Almost fell right asleep, except I remembered that I tucked some earplugs into my nightside table…so, last night – no monsters under OR in my bed.