Embracing The Itch: Why Tattoos Are Like a Broken Heart

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Why the heck do tattoos have to hurt so bad? “Well Genius, ” I bet you are saying, “you’re getting a bunch of needles, duh!” But hey, listen, it’s not just the tattooing part. It’s finding a way to sleep comfortably by not putting pressure on the part that now pains you, it’s showering and not accidentally letting hot water hit it directly, its people slapping you on your arm not knowing that you are aching. And then,  finally, there’s the annoying itch that lets you know that you are healing.  There’s this entire healing process that you go through, and while some handle it better than others, but healing is a must and it happens if you’re healthy.

So, I got this tattoo last week. A pretty bird to memorialize a friend, “Bubby”,  that I lost on Christmas Eve, last year. See? Continue reading

A Lonely Place

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Shhhh…do you hear that? I guess you don’t, because it’s just me here (well, me and Ameerah and Noah, the kitties-slash-kiddies).

 

Ameerah and Noah

 

The TV is off. No music. No phone. If I listen with my heart and not my ears, there is certainly something to be heard. Trust me, it’s true. Go ahead and try it, take some time and cut off all of your distractions. Do it in the middle of the day, when you are most alert. Listen…What do you hear?

Continue reading

The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Soul-Mate, Part I

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The Get Free, Get Happy Series: Episode 4.0

How could I ever write a series about happiness, without touching on the subject relationship? I could actually create a major motion picture on all the ways that my failed expectations of friends, mates and potential partners have affected my level of happiness in my 31 years of life. And I can’t say that I have it all figured out; but what I can say is that there are universal rules to this game called life, and who we attract is always going to have something to do with who we are.

I think we all understand this concept, regardless of whether or not we conceptualize it. For women, we spent tons of money on beauty products, countless hours to get shiny and appear brand new, tans, waxes, nip this and tuck that–and not to mention fitness fads and diet fixes. Men do it, too. We all go to great lengths to look great and fit the part of partner for our soul mate (if we believe in that sort of thing), or even to attract friends. Most adults that I know complain often about lack of meaningful connections, and some of us have given up all hope.

What do you think? Are our efforts to reel in our soul mate are coming from the right place?

I will leave you with this definition for today.

soul: the principle of life, feeling, thought and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity seperate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existance from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

Tune in tomorrow for Part II:-)


Let Go, Let God!

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Get Free, Get Happy! Episode #3

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.”
Eckhart Tolle

I have a question for you. Ready? O.K., I want you to take a few moments to think about this: If you stumped your toe, would you feel it, if your mind didn’t know it? I mean, if your brain was never aware of what happened in those few seconds where you mis-measured the space between the coffee table and the loveseat? Can’t figure it out yet? Well, what if your small child started to scream from the other room at the same time. Would the diversion from your own incident, to something more important, allow you to not focus on your own pain, even if only for a moment; would you still feel your own hurt?

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

When pain comes, your nerves send a message to your brain, and depending on your fears and perception of that pain, it can either be magnified or lessened. When we continue to obsess over our disappointments, we play out our emotions repetitively,  and by going over the details of our painful stories our bodies feel the same tension and stress similar to what we feel if we actually going through the painful ordeal, over and over; we refuse the possibility of healing, and allow our hearts to continue to break.

Choose forgiveness and choose freedom!

When we allow ourselves to internalize our pain, we can’t forgive and we  allow the people that we hold accountable for our pain power over our lives. While I believe that the pain that we feel, out of heartbreak and disappointment comes directly from our expectations of what we perceive as being perfect–we try to see things that only God can consistently give us in very human people and things–and are spiritually blinded to our attachment to them. It’s easier said than done, to not expect truth and loyalty from the people that we love 100%, but I think it’s easier to at least admit that it’s not realistic; and even if we can’t admit that aspect of taking responsibility for our own lives, I’m sure you’ll agree that no one deserves control over your peace of mind, but you. The more resentment we continue to harbor, the less truth we let into our lives. The reality is this: pain is usually a clue that we need to make adjustments in our lives. If your belt was tight enough to cut off your breathing, wouldn’t you loosen it and if your pants were falling would you not tighten it? Pain and discomfort is usually a sign of resistance of the inevitable. When we feel pain, usually it means we need to cling to what alleviates our pain (try to think permanent and spiritual on this one), and let go of what/who is causing this pain.

“Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” –Ann Landers

I have hurt in my life and begged God to make it stop. I’ve asked the question that I’m sure many people have asked, “When will the tears/pain stop?” The answer was, to my surprise, “when you allow it to, the healing will begin.” Please, I urge you, to not think it’s a human, terminal, condition to continue to go through the same emotional pain, over and over, but until we learn to let go and let God and forgive, we let undeserving situations to run our lives. If there’s the chance of getting “burned”, there is also the option to come out as pure gold in the end; If you have the power to love, you have the power to live and let go!

The Tao Te Ching says, When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. Have you ever struggled to find work or love, only to find them after you have given up? This is the paradox of letting go. Let go, in order to achieve.Letting go is God’s law.” – Mary Manin Morrissey

The Get Free, Get Happy Series, Ep. 2: It’s O.K.! Be a Baby Today!

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As good parents, I feel that you have to allow children to make mistakes, in order for them to learn. Example:

‘Baby’ is learning to walk. ‘Baby’ takes two steps and falls, PLOP! Mommy/Daddy says, “Awwww, that’s ok. Get up.”  ‘Baby’ looks up at the “big, goofy” people with smiles of admiration. “Wow,” Baby thinks, “All this and all I did was try?”, so ‘Baby gets up and tries again. ‘Big‘  and ‘Goofy’ stand about three feet away, close, with arms outstretched for ‘Baby’ to fall into them and their embrace,  if needed (and the truth is, they expect it. They know, in all of their big-goofiness, that there is a process of succeeding, and it’s rare to reach it without falling). The parents even celebrate the smallest of efforts, even when Baby doesn’t do anything but rock back and forth, trying to get their little legs to do what their young  minds are envisioning, “YAYYYY!!!!”, they yell, clapping, even if ‘Baby’ takes only two steps. ‘Baby’ looks up in awe of how loving ‘Big’ and ‘Goofy’ are, and soon ‘Baby’ is clapping and “yayyy-ing”, too!

With all this encouragement, and a process of practice, many tries and many failures–Baby can now walk!

As adults, we are sent out to live on our own, to live our own life, most of us with a set of instructions: “pay bills, work, eat, sleep, pray, don’t drive drunk, protect yourself, cook, clean, etc.” We leave our youth behind, as well as the desires of our youth. With no parents some of us go wild, others don’t, but for most of us we forget that there are steps that we have to take to fully embrace and walk through our lives. And while we aren’t children anymore, we are all Someone’s child (children of The Creator) and the need for nurturing never goes away, it just shows up in different ways (discouragement, low-self esteem, tears, loneliness). It will always give us confidence and courage to walk a little more steady the next-go-round. And it becomes our responsibility.

Like loving an coddling parents, we have to embrace our short-comings, open ourselves up allow ourselves a warm place to hide if we should ever fall and bruise ourselves. Tell ourselves, “it’s ok, sweetie! you’ll do better next time.” We have to give ourselves credit for trying, and give ourselves the option of being tired and allow us some time to rest, pray for guidance, observe and meditate and breathe before we go at our goals again. Just because we didn’t get the walk right the first, second or fifteenth time, doesn’t mean our try was a failure; “There is a blessing in every lesson” (‘The Truth’, India.Arie);We have to forgive ourselves for being human, just as our Creators does daily.

And might I suggest that this stroking and understanding go on outside of yourself? Nope, not in your head. Be “big and goofy!” Talk to yourself in a calming, reassuring tone, just as you would a child. Stand in the mirror, and look at you as you would look at someone else that you care about–Talk aloud the next time find yourself beating yourself up about how you could’ve done things differently. Tell yourself how much you love yourself, talk to yourself about all the good things that you’ve achieved, and all the good things that you are made up of. Caress yourself! Go ahead, do it–doesn’t that feel good? Give yourself credit for the small stuff–the baby steps. Even if you don’t believe it at first, entirely,  convince yourself! Do you see how confident you become, when you don’t focus on  what you perceive as your failure (in life and love)?

Just as if you were a baby, learning the steps, say to yourself, “”Awwww, that’s ok. Get up.” Try again when you’re ready. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t get discouraged!

Baby yourself! Self-Nurturing is one of the key elements of loving you.

And when you finally get it right. Celebrate with yourself, with yourself! Love yourself up! You deserve it!

“YAYYYYYY!!!!”

Your inner child needs you!

Freestyle Friday!

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This photo shows the place where the rainbow r...

The Mind, where the rainbow ends and begins...

I decided to make Friday my designated freestyle day. Short and sweet, not much thought involved. Maybe it wont have anything to do with coaching at all, and perhaps it will give my clients a glimpse of the real Dee:-)

Attended an Apple Employment Seminar yesterday. It was great! I want something part-time, and the company and products are amazing–I’m sure you know that…

While there, we did a lot of  group exercises. I heard a “grandmother quote” that I never heard before: “If you can lean, you can clean.” Meaning, if you have down time, you could be doing something more productive–like cleaning.

And it got me to thinking about all the time I spend thinking–and over thinking (yes, I was thinking about thinking–that’s just the kinda girl I am, lol). I think a lot. I try my best to get a hold of negative thoughts, but they come, more often, though, I’m thinking about ways to be productive; Thinking of ways to grow; Thinking of things to share with a client; I’m thinking thinking of better ways to live, to love myself to love God, to love my partner, my parents, my friends; Ironically, I think more when I have time to rest. Doesn’t my mind deserve to rest, too?

So this weekend, I plan to rest. I’m going to clean out my mind; Thoughts are going to come, but I’m going to clean mind of clutter and anything that needs to be put away–(until another season in my life)–that’s going into some mental file, for a more proper time; Any negative thoughts–lies–are being put in the spiritual-circular-file. This weekend, I’m going on a mental retreat–leaning and cleaning…

Have a good weekend friends!

Also, I just saw a trailer for the new Tyler Perry movie–N’tozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls When the Rainbow is Enuf”, starring Janet Jackson, Loretta Devnie, Phylicia Rashad and Kerri Washington. It doesn’t matter what color of the rainbow you are–I have read and re-read this book maybe a hundred times. It’s pretty, painful and poetic. Can’t wait!

I Was Once Unlovable (A personal journey)

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I remember it like it was yesterday. It was about 105 degrees. I stood at the heart of Center City, Philadelphia waiting for my, then, lover. She hadn’t been to our home in days. We hadn’t had an argument, yet somehow she was absent from my life, with what I thought was no cause. Somehow, although we’d barely spoken, I had convinced her to go to couple’s therapy.  At the time, I was over

The Infamous Clock

350lbs., my legs ached from standing. With tears in my eyes, I watched as people climb the stairs. I wore a fake smile (something I still do when I’m very uncomfortable). I slipped my pink, shiny, cell phone in and out of my purse  praying for a text from her, as I watched the big, yellow clock at the top of City Hall, glow (tauntingly) for two hours.

I called her phone. Straight to voice-mail. And although I knew she had abandoned me for the past week, I’d convinced myself that she was underground, on the train with no signal. Although she’d cheated on me, mistreated me, and took me through an emotional hell, I thought to myself, “no one can be this heartless.”

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
— Maya Angelou

It wasn’t the first time I fooled myself. All of my life, I had spent most of my energy trying to prove to others what I was worth. And when they didn’t I tried harder. I was always sensitive enough to see that if I met myself on the streets I would be enthralled my intelligence, my natural empathy, my eccentricities. I never bought into the fact that I was garbage, yet I was convinced that no one else would ever perceive me as a treasure–but I still tried; When you are emotionally abused, rarely hear a kind word, it is quite hard to understand that love is an action word.

She never showed up. I wanted to turn around and go home, but no one was there. My heart was shattered. My friend’s already told me so. God already told me to let go. The proof was there. My only question was why?

Why?

I somehow ended up at the door of my therapist’s. I walked into the high-rise apartment building, still smiling like a mannequin, tears fighting with my eyelids, blinding me to my own name as I signed in at the security desk.

I tapped on her door, inhaling the lavender scent that swirled around my anxiety like a dance, forcing my spirits to lift–a little–I danced that dance with lavender every week for the next few years.

It took two traumatic heartbreaks, wasting my time pursing unworthy people, declining physical health, chronic loneliness and tears that I thought would never end–and of course years of therapy to realize that:

It’s me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole, “Me,” This Fire


It was me the entire time–not her. As a child, I didn’t have a choice–or have knowledge of the choices that I had. As an adult, I knew the idea was to be independent, but I didn’t know that independence was not just about paying bills and working. Being independent is about having your own mind, making your own way, loving your own self, if no one else ever does.

I was resisting loving me, and when you resist what is inevitable your life will surely be a rerun of the lesson you are supposed to learn. What you resist will persist. It wasn’t everyone else that was being heartless–it was me. And until I began to love me, I realized that I would continue to be unlovable!

I will say it a million times! It is unfair to hold other’s to standards that you don’t hold yourself to. And lazy. How can we expect anyone to do the hard work of loving someone so human, when we can’t do it ourselves. No one said love was easy, but it is an action word. If you know that, then you know to put it into action!

I did it–do it–until I get it right. There is no formula for loving yourself, except to do what makes you smile, genuinely–from the soul and not on the surface (sometimes my spirit smiles, while my tears fall). For me, sometimes, it is watching classic episodes of Sesame Street. Other times, it is walking down the street, talking to God, not caring if people think I’m crazy (secretly, hoping they do). Recently, it has been doing the job that I feel I was made to do, utilizing myself as the gem that I am…But most of the time, it is telling myself loving things–loving myself is teaching people how to treat me, by treating myself well.

If you find yourself asking, “why?”, be sure the question is directed to you. Instead of asking someone, “why are you treating me like this?”, ask yourself, “why are you allowing someone to treat you like this.” So on, and so forth. I think you’ve got it. Right?

If you can wrap your arms around yourself, hug, and know that the key ingredient to the pie of life is knowing that you can only control you, you will find that no longer does your sunshine depend on someone else’s forecast. And thats a very good thing!

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.  ~African Proverb

NOTE: Life coaching comes after the therapy. I needed to deal with issues that went back to childhood. I didn’t know what I needed to let go of. Coaching deals with now, not the past. If you are ready to set goals for today, and love yourself today, then coaching may be for you. Email me for your free, confidential consultation: coachmysoul@gmail.com