Tag Archive | destiny

my balanced life (or my broken heart beats)


 

I’ve never understood how a heart can be broken and still keep beating.  And yet, here I sit once again, heart broken and still beating.

Carrie and Herman Wandall

Checking Facebook is mindless and automatic.   Glancing past the inanities of our every day life as a way to pass the time, fill an overactive mind always seeking new information.

Sometimes buried in the food porn and relationship updates, I stumble across life-changing, heart-breaking news.

Hello Family and Dear friends,

Our dear Carrie will not be with us as long as we would like. Please send your love, visit, call, send a note or what ever way you would like to show Carrie your Love. Thank you all again for all that you have done for Carrie and I. We are both eternally grateful for all your love and support. Love to all Herman and Carrie

Herman and Carrie, who personify Sufi poet Hafiz’s “A Love Like That”.  Carrie, who has fought so valiantly to beat ovarian cancer.  Carrie, who will not be with us as long as we would like.

Carrie standing in the surf

Last time my heart was broken, Carrie healed me. Saved me, really. I wish there were a way to return the gift she gave me.

Heal her, save her, the way she did for me.

I have a hard time imagining my world without Carrie.  Without yoga classes and healing Reiki sessions.  My world is different, I am different, for having met her, for having spent hours in her yoga studio.

Carrie’s love, her legacy, will live on. The lives she touched will touch others, passing on her legacy to all we touch.

Carrie had a way of blanketing people in love and peace.  In my darkest, most painfully heart-broken days, I knew if I could just make it to her yoga studio, I’d be okay.  I’d survive another hour, another day.  Even when I was too beaten to do anything but child’s pose, life was better if I could just get there.

Now it’s our turn to send a blanket of love and peace to cover Carrie as she finishes her journey on earth.

Our turn to cover Herman with a blanket of love and peace as he says goodbye to his love.

Heart broken but still beating.

My balanced life (or everything happens the way it’s meant to happen)


 Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.  Soren Kierkegaard

I had dinner with Sweetness and three of her girlfriends in Charleston this week.  Smart, beautiful girls with their whole lives in front of them.

As we sat at the bar waiting on our table, one of the girls told me she’s graduating in November.  The worst possible month to try to find a new job.

I assured her everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen.

That doesn’t mean we understand why things happen the way they do.

It doesn’t mean things happen the way we want them to, necessarily.

But they do happen the way they’re supposed to happen.

When I graduated from law school twenty years ago, I was pregnant with Sweetness.  She is one of those babies who was planned for, tried for and given up on.  Then she came along, in her own sweet time.

The plans her daddy and I made for our lives changed the instant the doctor said, “I know why you’ve been so sick.  You’re pregnant.”

Plans to move from Camp Pendleton to Florida to take the bar exam and find a job.  Plans for her daddy to get out of the Marine Corps and go to school full time.  Plans to buy a Miata because if I couldn’t have a baby, I should at least get a convertible.

Morning-noon-and-night sickness made studying for a bar exam impossible.

A new baby on the way convinced her daddy to stay in the Marine Corps.  I don’t remember having a vote in that decision, but twenty years later, I know it was the right one.

A two-year hiatus between graduation to my first job as an attorney.  Two years of explaining to people, yes, I’m a lawyer.  I graduated from law school.  I just can’t practice law in this (or any other) state until I take the bar exam.

Looking back, the time I spent at home with Sweetness was the best time of my life.

I look around my life now, my big, wonderful, glorious life filled with love and laughter, and I know I wouldn’t have this life if Sweetness hadn’t come along exactly when she did.

That other life, the one we planned out so carefully, probably would have been a nice life, too.  But I wouldn’t trade it for this life for a second.

Having the opportunity to tell this sweet girl not to worry, things happen the way they’re supposed to, is an opportunity to remind myself as well.

I was married for twenty-three years because that’s the way it was supposed to happen.  I don’t know why, but I know that’s true.

I left my marriage after twenty-three years because that’s the way it was supposed to happen.

Coach came into and out of my life in less than six months.  Lessons learned.  Purpose fulfilled.

Life is a giant puzzle.  Thousands of pieces fit together to make the whole.  Any given piece may make no sense.  It’s only when we fit the pieces together that we see how everything works together to give you the life you have.

Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward.”  Looking back twenty years, I understand clearly how things worked out to give me the life I have today.

Question:  Do you believe things happen the way they are meant to happen? 

adventures in dating (or here comes the rubber band man)


men are from mars women are from venus

I’ve been reading Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, Ph.D.  For some reason, reading Gray’s theories about men and women make me as prickly as a porcupine.  Men are strong, silent types who have to solve their own problems. Women are clingy, drama queens who just need to sit in your lap for a few minutes to make their problems go away.  Seriously?

The only chapter that makes sense to me is the chapter about men being like rubber bands.  They get close to a woman, realize the level of intimacy is too strong for their comfort, and then run as far away as their rubber band will allow.

If we women do not chase after them (with phone calls, texts, emails), eventually, they will realize they miss us and bounce back to us with even stronger feelings than they had before.

I don’t know if that is true or not.  But I do know one night, Nature Boy told me he could live the rest of his life on air and my touch. Then the next morning, he yelled a lot, ran down the stairs, jumped over the doggy gate and got bitten by my sweet Rocky dog, never to be seen again.

I tried calling him after that, tried to figure out what went wrong, tried to assure him I didn’t want more than he was willing to give.

Then, I gave up.

A couple of weeks passed, then the text.  Have a great day.

Then a few days later, a phone call.  Hey, what are you up to?

About a week later, a phone call about his computer freezing up.  He doesn’t know what to do.  “Bring it to me,” I say.  “I’ll fix it.”

Do you ever wonder, when you haven’t seen someone in a while, if you were missing them, or just missing being with someone?

I was missing him. 

Do you ever wonder, if you come back together again, will it still be as comfortable? As peaceful?  As exciting?

It was.

We spent the evening together, downloading anti-virus programs, updating his security settings, basic computer fixes.  Went out for sushi while we waited on updates.  Laughed and talked about anything and everything.

When he kissed me at the end of the night, it was like that first kiss all over again.

Boing.  Rubber band man is back.

Another week passed, with calls (from him to me, not vice versa), and another meeting to give his computer back.

And now he’s MIA again.  Guess he’s trying to outrun the rubber band again.

Question:  Have you read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus?  What’s your take on Gray’s theories?

live your dreams or live your fears


In this small Southern town I live in, everyone knows everyone.  Everywhere I go, chances are good I’ll see someone I know.

beautiful Southern sunset over the May River

Darryl is a server at two of my favorite restaurants.  We also run into each other in the evening at other restaurants and at the Farmer’s Market.

(Farmer’s Market is a pretty big deal around here.  We do it Southern style, which means that in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables there’s also live music, fried shrimp, and the crepe lady who is really and truly French.)

Darryl always asks how I’m doing.  I always tell him I’m doing great.  For two reasons, really.  Great is my standard answer to how I’m doing.  And I usually am doing great.

One day at The Cottage, after I told him I was doing great, his response was, “Living the dream?”

I assured him I was.  And I am living the dream.  I have an incredible life.  Counting my blessings could take all week!

I asked him if he was living the dream, and he responded that he was dreaming the life.

I wonder how many of us dream the life instead of live the dream.  What holds us back from living the dream?

A few days ago I was reading something by Joyce Meyers that talked about living your fears.  It made me think of Darryl, who’s dreaming the life instead of living the dream.

What’s your dream?  Are you living it yet?  Or just dreaming about it?

If you’re still just dreaming about it, what’s holding you back?

I have a friend who wants to be an author.  Every year, the goal of writing a book is on the resolution list.  He’s a successful attorney with two beautiful children, but he still has a dream.

I don’t know Darryl well enough to ask him what his dream is, but I know from his answer that he isn’t living it yet.

No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to live the dream.

Salsa dancing at 84 like abuelita, my friend’s mother.

Kayaking at 55 like my friend Denise.

Starting a blog and writing my first book.

Riding a zip line and whitewater rafting.

This year has been my year of living the dream!

I wish I could take everyone by the hand and drag them into the dream with me.  But it’s a step you have to take for yourself.

Question:  Are you living your dream?  Or living your fear?  Living the dream?  Or dreaming the life?

adventures in dating (or one brave heart)


“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”

Jim Morrison

I’ve never considered myself to be brave.  But I’ve had an epiphany this week.  I am brave.  Brave enough to risk my heart.  Over and over again.

be brave banner

When I meet someone I feel a connection with, whatever you want to call that connection, I risk my heart.  Willingly.  Gladly.

Sometimes, like with Coach, that connection makes sense.  Coach has a master’s degree.  He’s a nationally known strength and conditioning coach.  Respected by his peers.  He’s smart and educated, an optimistic people-person.  On the surface, he was a perfect match for me.

Sometimes, like with Nature Boy, that connection makes no sense at all.  Educationally and professionally, Nature Boy and I are on completely different levels.  I’m a tried-and-true Type A.  He’s more Type Hawaii.  I plan my life five years in advance.  I’m not even sure he plans his life five hours in advance.  But the connection I felt when I was with him was so strong, I didn’t care about any of those things.

As opposite as they are, the one thing they have in common is the connection I felt when I was with them.

It is easier to go out with people I have no connection to.  You aren’t risking anything when you don’t care.  Your heart is safe when it has no connection to the person you’re seeing.

Maybe because my heart was thoroughly shattered when my marriage collapsed, I can’t imagine any other relationship destroying me.  I faced soul-crushing heartache.  And I came out on the other side.  Stronger and braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I love.  Freely.  Easily.  Without reservation.  That quality attracts people to me.  Children sense the unconditional love that flows through my heart to theirs.  They know I love them just the way they are.

Unfortunately, men sense that same quality and run away.  Nature Boy ran away, rather than acknowledging his feelings for me.  Rather than letting my heart heal his.

I don’t blame him.  He’s been hurt and doesn’t want to be hurt again.  His choice is to play it safe.  Protect his heart.  I might have made that same choice once upon a time, a long time ago.

I can’t play it safe anymore.  I would rather have a few months of something special than years of nothing special.  Even if that means I might get hurt.  Hurt doesn’t last forever.  Beautiful memories do.

swan soul mates

One day, my heart will find my soul mate.  He’ll be brave enough to risk loving me back.  My unconditional love will be met with unconditional love.  We will have a connection that lasts for an eternity.

Until then, I am brave enough to put myself out there, put my heart out there, as many times as it takes to find him.

my year of balance (or Regina Mae floats away)


I take care of my body with intention.  I practice yoga.  I get acupuncture.  I do detoxifying foot soaks.  I get rainbow oil treatments.  I tap using EFT.

yin-yang symbol

I am a Reiki master.  I meditate.  I pray.

Four years ago, I was overweight, stressed and unhappy.  Perimenopause meant hot flashes and out of control emotions.

Four years ago, I started my journey into holistic medicine.

Four years ago, I started seeing my brilliant acupuncturist, Dr. Rahmie Valentine.  Week by week, her needles worked their magic on my meridians, or energy channels.  Lying on her table, I feel myself float away.  From the table.  From my troubles.  From my pain.

As my meridians opened up, I saw definite, palpable improvements to my body and my emotions.  My hot flashes went away.  My emotions came under control, allowing me to stop using Lexapro.  My digestion cleared up, resolving a lifetime struggle with IBS.

During one of my treatments, I mentioned to Rahmie that I had inexplicably started doing yoga at home.  She referred me to Carrie Peterson Wandall, who became my beloved yoga instructor.

girl in downward facing dog yoga pose

Yoga helped me get in touch with my body.  It helped me start to hear what my body was trying to tell me. I lost twenty pounds in yoga.  I learned what peace feels like in my yoga classes.

After surgery, I told Carrie that I felt like I just couldn’t shake the anesthesia.  I felt like I was walking through a cloud.  She referred me to Barbara Bock, R.N., Ph.D.

Barbara is a registered nurse who earned a Master’s Degree in Health Care Management and her Doctorate in Health Care Administration.  Barbara spent years in traditional medicine before her own health crisis led her to holistic healthcare.  She is a Reiki master and Licensed Massage Therapist who uses her life experiences and intuition to change people’s lives.

Barbara introduced me to the world of detoxifying foot soaks.  After the first soak, I felt like a new woman.  I slept better.  I had more energy.  I felt lighter as I walked out of the treatment room.

reiki hands and om symbol

Carrie also brought me to Reiki.  “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing.”  Carrie introduced me to Bob Calabrese, who gave me my first degree attunement, and Vivian Quattlebaum, who gave me my second degree attunement.

Eric Burns gave Carrie and me our Master attunement together.  I met Eric at one of Carrie’s Holiday Restorative classes.  She lined up several Reiki practitioners to go around the room and give Reiki to the participants as we laid in various restorative poses.  When Eric gave me Reiki, my entire body tingled.  To this day, I’ve never met a more powerful Reiki practitioner!

Four years after starting my journey into holistic healing, my body is healthier than it’s ever been.  Yoga and meditation are easy ways for me to keep in touch with my body and mind on a daily basis.  Monthly acupuncture visits keep my meridians flowing.  Rainbow oil treatments are the newest feel-good addition to the repertoire.

I can’t wait to see where this journey leads me next.

Question: What do you do to take care of your body and soul?

adventures in dating (or I get by with a little help from my friends)


group of smiling friends

 

Men are lovely but what every girl really needs is her friends.  Men come and go like the tide.

A tight group of friends will carry you through heartaches and heartbreaks.  They will celebrate with you when things are going well.  They will analyze your love life with you until even you don’t want to talk about it anymore.

This week, I need my friends even more than usual.  Nature Boy and I spent five days together last week.  It was fun and easy.  Being with Nature Boy is always easy.  But he’s as skittish as one of the wild stallions who roam out west.  By Friday, he’d scattered like one of those startled stallions.

Since Coach left, I’ve done a good job of not getting too attached to any given man.  I rotate a few fellas, going out when our schedules collide.  I’m always open to meeting new guys.  But Nature Boy makes me feel things I’ve never felt before.   He makes me want things I haven’t wanted in a long time.  Stillness.  Togetherness.

I’m thankful for my generous friends who laugh with me, storm with me, cry with me.  Whatever I need.  Whenever I need it.

What I need most this week is to stay busy and to forget.  Forget how good it felt being with Nature Boy.