anxiety

2015: The Year I Found my Heart

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I reclined back in a big, lazy boy chair in the office of Sue David, an 85 year old hypnotist who I had met a few weeks before. I didn’t even know why I was there really…curiosity I suppose.

Sue’s voice was even and calm and my mind easily followed it as she led me through a healing exercise. Guided by her words I envisioned my blood pumping through my body bringing nourishment and health throughout it.

I was listening, feeling calm and to my surprise completely in control…in fact I remember wondering what all this business was on focusing on healthy blood and such, when something she said, I don’t remember what exactly, triggered something deep within me.

It felts as if my heart burst open…flooded with love, like liquid gold pouring out in a perpetual ecstatic flow. Warmth covered my body and in that moment I knew all was good. All of it. Even in the suffering, I was loved.

I don’t think Sue’s intent was to send me into a euphoric journey, but for whatever reason it worked. I spent the next few days feeling a gentle, blissful high that no drug, no medication could equate with.

The thing is it kept going. I started doing self-hypnosis daily and because I’m not good at listening to what anyone tells me, I crafted my own version that somehow melds hypnosis with mediation, shamanistic journeying and prayer. Really, I’m just sitting alone in my bedroom, breathing deep and letting myself be, dropping the pretenses of all my fears, simply speaking to the darkness and the wisdom within. Maybe I’m talking to God, maybe I’ve connected to my soul, or maybe it’s simply mild psychosis….I don’t know…frankly what you call it doesn’t matter to me. Whatever it is, I go back to it whenever I can and let life flow through me, reminding me of who I truly am.

I could end the story there and you’d think “Well then, this chick has it all figured out” but quite the contrary. Life is life and the pendulum always swings, and I will tell you, glowing heart or not, this has been one f%*@ing hard year.

Probably too existential for my own good this golden outpouring of my heart opened me so far, so wide, that I was left no longer knowing which way to go.  I questioned everything…my purpose, my destiny…but instead of rewriting my book entirely, abandoning the solid path, of all things, I bought a motorcycle. So now rather than giving up on everyone I love, I not only have my devoted husband, my kids, and the strongest, most fantastic friendships I’ve ever had, but I also have a cute little Honda Rebel 250 that reminds me I can do whatever I set my mind to (plus gets me to 70mph on the open road!)

I have learned through my dear friend Marybeth (aka Marydreds!!) the phrase “let go, and let god”. I use it almost daily. And I tell you, when I let go of my need to control, my need to micromanage all the little outcomes in my life, miracles happen. These aren’t big miracles, like the parting of the red sea or anything, but instead they are little messages, signs, as if the Universe is saying “ yes….yes…you’re doing everything as you should.” It is in these moments I feel an out pouring of love towards myself, my friends, strangers, “enemies”!! I see their struggles, their fear, the pain, and love them unconditionally.

I’m just a baby on this road. I’m making it up as I go. Like all of us, my karmic path is thick with crap I’ve accumulated over a lifetime (or more!). Most the time it feels like I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m saying the wrong things, getting upset over silly stuff, feeling jealousy, greed, rage…but something has changed, just a little. I’m not taking it all too seriously. I’m standing a few feet back from my problems looking in and smiling, because for the first time I see the whole of it…like seeing the yin and yang, not for it’s separate pieces, but for its whole.

A few months back my wonderful friend Tim was teasing me incessantly for my overuse of the word amazing. Life is amazing…and it’s beautiful…but it’s also horrible and hard. The trick is as I’m learning from him is to walk the line, not get so swept up in the extremes. Bliss is fantastic.  Joy and euphoria are the things that make life sweet, but the higher you climb, the harder you fall.

The Buddhists, as I understand it, try to remove themselves from the wheel of life, the incessant spinning, the ups and downs. And so, following this logic, I go into this new year, standing back…ever so slightly, fully participating, yet also aware there is beauty and joy in letting go and not holding too tight onto the “should be’s” and the illusions of “ever afters.”

As I rode my motorcycle the other day over the huge bridge that crosses into Flagler Beach, looking at the expansive Atlantic Ocean I once again felt that ecstatic outpouring of joy.  As the blissful sensation filled my being I smiled knowing everything is perfect, just as it is.

Life is hard, but it is also magnificent.

I don’t have all the answers—not in the least, but I know right now, in this golden moment, life is good.

Peace.

May the wisdom of your soul whisper sweet words in your ear…and may you always be ready to hear it.

Happy holidays!!!

Love,

Becky

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Street Performer Wisdom…

I was walking down the street on Beach Street in Downtown Daytona Beach when I saw a street performer, a drummer, maybe in his mid fifties enjoying our mellow Florida weather.  He had a little basket with dollar bills in it as her sat situated in front of a little vegetarian bistro.  I stopped and said hello and he looked up at me with a wonderful smile…one of those smiles that comes from deep in the heart.

He looked at me a kept on grinning. As I was going for my wallet and he said “What a beautiful woman you are.”  Now I suppose one could say he was simply buttering me up, or maybe trying to make a move but that is not the sense I got, he was seeing ME.  Not looking at my goofy pants I had on or the state of my wild curly hair, but he was enchanted simply because I was who I am.

Of course my ego was stroked  a thousand times…I can be insecure about these things, so yes, it made me feel marvelous. But it wasn’t about the surface stuff, I had the sense this this stranger, this guy on a street corner got ME.

We talked for a bit more and in passing I mentioned my husband and the gentleman said, “Well, tell your husband that Spice Man says he’s a very lucky man.”

Spice Man!  What a funny, wonderful man.  I wish I had got his picture to share because he was so beautiful too!

So, very appropriately I came across this marvelous little video shared by a friend on facebook this morning.  Forget the violence in the news, the insane politicians, the noise of negative self talk and fear that follows us all and  watch this video… and know that you are beautiful too.

Peace my friends.  Have a great day.

Catching Sunbeams: The Delicate Art of Stopping Time

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This weekend I went to a symphonic concert featuring the music of one of my all-time favorite bands-Led Zeppelin. Hearing the music performed live was intense and wonderful, perhaps one of the highlights of my decade.

As I sat there in the darkened auditorium and watched the violin bows moving in a synchronized dance, beneath the lights that poured on the stage, I felt as if the music was rushing at me like a wild wind, sometimes forceful, sometimes delicate. Two hours of perfection. When my favorite song, Kashmir played, I listened mesmerized. I didn’t want it to end. I wanted sit there into the night, just soaking in the continuous rolling, luscious sound.

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Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook that made me think of this previous night. A friend was talking of the inevitability of change and reminded me of one of my favorite aphorisms: “This too shall pass.”

This saying works great when things are bad, but what about when things are really, really good? Like that moment during Kashmir. I didn’t want that to pass. I wanted to hold on tight to it and not let go.

Time is a tricky beast. It is slippery and the more you try to hold on the quicker it slips away.

I experience this a lot in life. I try to grab onto time, but it never stays, in fact the harder I grab, the faster it slides from my hands. I want constancy in my life. I want to preserve the magic, the goodness, maintain in those perfect moments.

The other night my eight year old twins were lying on the bed with my husband and I all wrapped up in the blankets, when my sixteen year old son came in and jumped on the bed too. In a rare moment we were all there rolling in bed, laughing in one big tickle pile. It was ridiculous and wonderful. I was laughing so hard tears came from my eyes.

However moments later, as these things go, someone got elbowed, another got tickled too much and the crying began. That precious little sliver of time was gone, as quickly as it came.

It seems just as we get a hang of things, they change. It’s incredibly frustrating. Some days all I want to do is yell out “Wait! Wait! Please stop. Can’t we rewind a minute?” Yet this life of ours is tenuous. It is a beam of light pouring in through a window. It cannot be caught. It can’t be held. And no matter what you do that sun will drift past your window, in its continual dance forward.

I’ve learned a little trick that I use from time to time in those good moments. Rather than worry about losing time, I take it all in, breathe and smile and love it for what it is, not for what it should be or might be tomorrow. When I allow for this perfect balance, it feels as if I actually become the moment. I cease to be the woman who is obsessed with preservation and become one who just is.

When I sat in the concert hall I tried this technique. I refused to give into my desire for control and power and I simply listened. I closed my eyes and let myself feel that music fully…so when it ended it was okay, because I knew there was another moment to come, and another and another, and they were all good.

Eventually the show was over and my husband and I with our two friends walked over to my favorite bar for a drink, and that was perfect too. Every moment was different, brand new…and every moment was perfect in its own beautiful fragility.

It feels as if we have little control over our lives…but I sometimes wonder. What if in fact we have absolute control? What if we treated these moments as if they were just a tiny feather resting lightly in the palm of our hands and opted to not hold on? If we did this, I mean REALLY did this, would those moments…or even life itself…. become timeless?

I think yes.

Change is necessary, loss is inevitable, but when we sit back and just let the music play, everything works out just as it should.

Beautiful and Broken: Redefining Depression

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I have been depressed…well, I think that’s what you call it. I have felt unmotivated to write, uninterested in finding a job, failing to eat right, or care for my home. I have detached myself from my family and opted for time alone.

Then this morning I woke up at 4:30am, as I do sometimes, and I simply starred into the blackness of the room. Rather than overthink and brood (like I do so well), I just breathed in and out and allowed myself to shed myself of all the noise, the guilt, and the feelings of inadequacies that stirred within.

As I did this I tried something. I let the darkness speak back to me.

With gentle, loving firmness it said:

I see you running around in life, chattering away in your head, trying to make something of this little existence of yours.

“Ta da!” you say. “Look at me. I’m a writer!”

“Ta-da! Look at me I’m a good mom!”

“Look how lovable I am!”

But it feels empty doesn’t it? Because these labels, these actions are less about You as a human being and more about what you want people to think of you.

“I am a woman who writes good novels”

“I am a woman who organizes events”

“I am a woman who makes people happy”

or on the flip side what you tell yourself when you’re alone….

“I am needy”

“I am a disaster”

“I am mentally ill”

…and on and on and on…

These definitions are you if you choose, but really, if you ask me? I think you’re just using these labels as a disguise for the real wonderful YOU that you are.

Be depressed if that is what you want.  This is your choice but recognize that darkness is only what you make it. Perhaps this “bad” feeling you have is simply the sadness of letting go—letting go of who you think you should be.

Depression is about fear, but I know you, you’re not really afraid, not deep inside. Inside you know the Truth of who you are. Depression is just another mask you wear.

Picture this—Imagine those marvelous little selves that you have created, each a beautiful work of art. Imagine all these versions of “you” hanging as paintings in a gallery, on the walls of a museum. You’ve got one titled “Mom”, one titled “Writer” one titled “Fun loving”, one titled “Clever” Look how nicely you’ve treated these images your whole life, with their nice golden frames, so perfectly placed for everyone to see.

But think of this, maybe they are not You. They are likenesses, merely facsimiles of you. The truth of it is that your “you-ness” is constantly changing, a moving target. You will never be the image on the wall, not really anyway, and the more you try to preserve yourself as those exact paintings you will fail, because those pictures are static and you, my dear, are not.

So now, as you stand there in front of your masterpieces, imagine yourself, one by one pulling them off the walls, as aggressively as you’d like. Imagine even, if you’d like, splitting each of them over your knee, sending an echoing crack through the museum.

And when you are done, settle yourself on the floor around the broken frames, the torn canvases, the paintings you called “you”.

And as you sit there, looking at the mess, let yourself feel sad. Feel that loss, that realization that maybe you’re not really who you said you are. Maybe you never even were. And as you look at the debris let these words come to you:

“Without those paintings I am nothing,”

Pause for that for a second and say it again: “I am nothing.”

It feels scary, maybe?

BUT What if…just what if… in that nothingness you are in fact everything…an absolute duality of all and nothing. What if as you shed these “supposed to be’s” you become simply YOU.

Look around at how beautiful and broken you are: a glorious, glowing fragment of all that there is.

Yes, you are mom, you are writer, you are friend, you are fun and clever but you are those things not because someone told you that’s what you are, you are those things because it reflects your essence, your Truth. In the end people don’t care about the “ta-da” they care about You.

Don’t be afraid to be nothing…because out of the rumble of emptiness comes beautiful, glorious You.

You are not depressed my dear, just walking the path of continually letting go.

A Fallen Jew Reflects on Yom Kippur

My uncle, my dad, grandpa and grandma….dressed in itchy clothes

For me as a child the Jewish “Day of Atonement”, Yom Kippur was the lousiest holiday of the year. We were forced to fast the whole day, wear itchy clothes and sit in services for hours while our bellies churned.
 
But I’m learning we did it all wrong. Apparently to some Jews it is a celebration of forgiveness–God forgiving you for all your shortcomings, all your failures and seeing you as the perfect being you really are.
 
Back as a kid we were taught to think about all the bad things we had done and then feel really guilty for them, then promise to never do them again, then do them again anyway because we never really resolved any of our issues.
 
The Jews in my experience didn’t get a lot of breaks. Life is hard, you feel bad about it, you feel better for a little while and then it gets hard again.
 
But here it is, this little gem of a holiday, a crystal moment where we get to bear it all to God…all our ugliness and then… there it is!  Forgiveness.
 
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could carry that spirit of that into everything we do? Forgive ourselves unconditionally for our short comings? Live life like it’s Yom Kippur every day (minus the itchy clothes, of course).
I’ve fallen from my religion, but I think tomorrow I’m going to observe this one, in my own way.
 
Its time for a clean slate.
 
“Yom Kippur is the happiest day that ever existed. It’s Christmas for Jews. But instead of gifts being dropped down chimney, we ourselves rise and are turned into the gifts we always wanted to be: our true essence, our true selves, pure and holy and as real as it gets with no more illusions.”
Elad Nehorai

Many thanks to Elad Nehorai whose blog inspired me:

Just Call Me “Clutch”

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Our bikes for the weekend

This weekend I learned to ride a motorcycle. Yes me!  I did it!

I’ll be honest, my first ride felt horrible. There were so many things to pay attention to. It all got garbled up in my head. I worried and panicked and overthought, making it all worse. I stalled, pulled the throttle at the wrong time and forgot everything I was supposed to know.

Dave, the instructor was a tough-love kind of guy…he was a big dude, with a Southern accent, a white goatee, and a missing tooth. He told it like it was and didn’t give me any breaks for being the only girl in the group. I kept messing up, he kept yelling at me, and man, I wanted to cry.

After the first lesson of the day I had to step away. I actually hid in my minivan and yes, even cried, angry at myself for screwing up. I decided then in my misery and anger that I was going to leave and be done, walk away, and cut my losses.

So I approached Dave and said, “I think it’s better if I leave.”

He looked at me and said “You’re doing better than you think you are. Just don’t over think it. How about one more round and then decide?” And so I agreed.

And you know what? The next lesson went so much smoother. I actually had fun.

I returned to the break area with a smile on my face. I had practically forgotten about my escape plan.

But then, of course, in round three things got hard again…I mean really hard. I kept stalling the bike and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to shift into second. Do a figure 8? Forget it. I failed at it four times, with Dave yelling at me the whole way…pretty soon I had the whole class shouting at me “use the clutch!!” As crappy as it felt at first, it became almost comical. At one point I found myself even smiling….and suddenly out of nowhere I was getting it right, taking the turns like a pro. I had stopped overthinking, and was just doing.

At the end of the first class everyone patted me on the shoulder and said “We’re so glad you didn’t leave.” They were rooting for me.

After another round or two Dave gave me the nickname “Clutch” because of my frequent neglect of this vital component. Pretty soon all the guys were calling me “Clutch”. I sort of liked it. I felt like the kid sister who everyone picked on but still loved.

I had far from mastered anything except maybe putting up the kickstand, but I had come a long way. All I could think is “When am I going to get my own bike so I can practice, practice, practice?

At the end of the final day, after all our work and testing Dave had us pull up in our spots.  He said to the group “I‘d like to congratulate you all…you’ve passed.”

Me!? With a motorcycle license? When Dave handed me that little card, you’d think I was receiving my diploma. I was grinning ear to ear.

Before I left I asked I asked Dave for a hug, which I’m sure looked out of place out on a range with a bunch of guys and their bike’s, but I didn’t care. He wasn’t just my instructor he was my weekend guru. He didn’t let me give up.

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Me and Dave!

And so here I am with A MOTORCYCLE LICENSE!!!! I did what I thought I couldn’t do. Thank God I didn’t quit.

The funny thing is that all the work I did this weekend seems to directly apply to the rest of my life. There are many moments lately where I feel stupid and want to walk off “the course” and hideaway, but I’m going to keep on riding, because I know if I let go and stop worrying so much there are good things to come.  There always are.

One thing I learned out there this weekend is when you ride is that you need to look in the direction of where you want to go…not at the ground, not at your speedometer, or your foot brake… look ahead.

And when you do, the bike follows…wherever you want it to go.

And so, as I continue dealing with life, I’m going to keep looking ahead…looking out to where I want to go… and when I do, though I may falter once in a while, I will still ultimately ride in the direction of where I want to be.

Many thanks to Dave and all the guys today who supported me (and thanks for not running into me all those times I stalled).

Keep on ridin’

Becky (aka Clutch)

P.S. I go bike shopping tomorrow!! I’ll post pics!!

The Reason I Keep Falling off of Chairs

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Me standing on a chair circa 1973

My mom has a story she likes to tell.

I must have been about one and half. I was wandering about our little two bedroom house when I discovered my little rocking chair in the living room. Being new to the whole world of furniture and my toddler capabilities I decided I would climb it.

So I pulled myself up, got my chubby feet on the seat and stood. Ta-da! I could see the world from a whole new perspective. Now, keep in mind that was probably one of the first times I had climbed a chair in my life, so this was a Mt. Everest achievement.

My mom clapped and I smiled at my victory… I then proceeded to fall off, right onto the floor. I laid there and cried and cried, and then as the story goes, I picked myself up and climbed again.

But the show wasn’t over yet . After doing my little victory dance at the top once again—I fell a second time and cried, of course.

My mom says this cycle went on and on, over and over.  Climbing…victory…tears…crying…climbing…victory…tears…

I can only imagine this must have been funny—if not heartbreaking—to watch.

I tell this story because I feel as if I am that child again. Over and over and over I fall back into old patterns, heart broken, aching in confusion and doubt, yet here I am standing up again, climbing, climbing, climbing. I keep doing it no matter how hard…or how many times I fall. And let me tell you I want to give up. Many times I want to go running back into my mom’s arm and say “I quit. I can’t do this anymore.”

However what I instinctively knew as that toddler was that everytime I climbed that chair my muscles got stronger, my coordination got better, and I grew as I person. I became more of who I was supposed to be. And in spite of the bumps and bruises and the seemingly futile activity I pursued, I was going somewhere—somewhere big—not just to the top of that chair, but I was paving the way for the real mountains I would climb, for the miles I would run, and all of those other insurmountable tasks I would achieve in my 43 years thus far.

I keep “climbing” in my life now because I know in the depth of my heart that there’s purpose to this madness. Honestly I’m not even sure of my end goal, but I’m going to keep trying and eventually master the art of the fall.

I understand now that that the act of failing, suffering, and hurting are as important as the victory on the hill. These are the times we stand back and say “whoops, maybe I need to take this next climb slower” or “maybe I should try a different approach.” The power is in  process, not just the victory.

Ultimately I know my life is about more than just standing high to see the world, its about the bruises as well. . Maybe someday I’ll look back at to where I am now, and be able to say “look at all those marvelous times I fell….and climbed again.”

May your falls be graceful, your victories grand.

Peace to you.

Becky

P.S. I wrote this blog post and went into my photo files hoping to find a cute baby picture and lo and behold there’s me standing on a chair. I don’t even recall ever seeing this picture before. How weird is that?

Serenity Now!!

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I never quite got the mantra thing. Don’t get me wrong, I was right there with all the suburban housewives in my yoga pants doing the downward dog, all of us trying to squeeze the dissatisfaction from our lives with a pretzel pose. It may have worked for some of them, but after class I’d always get that taste of dissatisfaction lingering in my mouth.

In some classes we’d chant. This was the worst for me. It was like going back to my Jewish synagogue when I was a kid, trying desperately to divine something out of words someone handed me on a sheet of paper. In fact as a kid this sort of thing just made me feel more detached.

I often think of the episode in Seinfeld where George’s Dad went on a kick, trying to reduce his anger. He was told if he just said ‘serenity now’ his problems would go away. So, in true Seinfeldian fashion, George’s dad, misinterpreting the purpose of his assignment exploded in anger passionately shouting “Serenity Now!!!”

That was me in yoga class some days.

Yoga was nice.  It made me limber, I learned how to breathe, but I often found myself like George’s dad, arms to the air, on the verge of a heart attack, frustrated that I still wasn’t fixed.

So, as of late I’ve tried something new. I’ve been doing hypnosis, and oddly enough—it works. Hypnosis works under the principle that all those conversations we have with our thinking mind—the busy, crazy, fretful entity that it is—are unproductive. We tell ourselves “Stop eating all that crap” and we do it anyway because our subconscious desires are out of whack with the great, steadfast logic our conscious mind.

The head knows that eating a whole box of Little Debbie snack cakes is not a good idea, however if the subconscious mind, let’s say, is heart broken over a recent break up, it may think that eating all those oatmeal pies is a good idea.

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My teacher Sue David

In the case of the Little Debbies our subconscious and conscious minds are in disagreement and according to Sue, the subconscious wins.

In hypnosis, you talk to your subconscious mind and you go straight to the source of your problem. The theory is that because you’re communicating with the highly suggestible subconscious, in a state of peace, you embody the solution deep within you, and bypasses the noisy, neurotic  conscious mind.

I know it sounds like a gimmick to some of you (Tim Baker!), but I tell you it has affected me profoundly.

For me, hypnosis is powerful because it bypasses my anxiety ridden head games (for which I am a gold medalist!) and instead goes straight to my heart. It in essence shuts me up and says “cut the crap and just be.”

Several months ago Sue David my hypnotherapist (who does Skype calls if you’re interested!) told me that while I was under I would hear a message. She said to listen for key words that I could use to bring me to that mellow state.  Essentially she was telling me to find my mantra. This made me nervous. What if I chose the wrong one? Would it be good enough? How am I to know? (THAT’S the conscious mind talking!)

One day while I was relaxed and under self-hypnosis, I heard this: “I am Beauty, Love and Light”

Of course this wasn’t magic. It was just me—but a very relaxed, chilled me, that didn’t have the regular BS running through her head.

Here’s the cool part, with these words I felt an emanating force of love surrounding me, streaming from my pores. It was divinity, but not scary divinity like I was taught as a kid.

This was just the sheer understanding that it all makes sense. All of it.

All the stuff I worried about,  all my maddening seeking for perfection–it was all quiet. It was just me, these three words, and this beautiful, calm place I had created for myself.

And so, apparently I now have a mantra. When I go into my state of relaxation, ride the river of my subconscious mind I say those words to myself. It is in these moments that I am reminded of who I truly am…and the coolest part–when I come out of hypnosis and my kids are whining or I didn’t get enough sleep I still feel the power of the mantra.  There’s no magic, just quiet time with my heart and an understanding from my depths that I have the power to make change. I no longer need to be afraid.

I am beauty, love and light…. and so are you.

Peace,

Becky

Life without Exclamation Points

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Life came to halt last week and it was all because of one very tiny computer malfunction…

My exclamation point key stopped working.

Yes, I know in the real world this is no big deal. Its one key out of 30-some, but being without it affected me in interesting ways.

As a writer, I know better than to litter a manuscript with exclamation points, however when I chat with my friends on facebook, I like to do a lot of exclaiming…because that’s how I talk, with lots of drama, excitement, passion. In person I communicate loudly, dramatically, flapping my hands like a baby bird trying to leave the nest, pantomiming life’s dramas with animated finesse.

However with that punctuation mark missing my words just lay flat.

All of this happened at an interesting time. I had been oscillating between really happy and really miserable—singing in the morning, crying in the afternoon, and ready for bed by five. From a psychiatric perspective one might say I was “rapid cycling”.  Personally, I just saw it as growing pains. I was processing a lot of new information and like a teenager exposed to rapid life changes, I was feeling moody.

My friend, who for better or worse, has had a front row seat to the pageantry of my emotional ups and downs found my keyboard predicament amusing. After a hearty dose of teasing (and flaunting his own exclamation capabilities), he paused to point out a possible advantage to my predicament.

He suggested that maybe without the highs (as expressed with exclamation points) that maybe the lows wouldn’t be so bad.

I smiled at the notion that a punctuation mark could change my mood …but then again…I thought. Why not?

And so as a silly experiment, instead of taking that five minutes necessary to fix the key, I decided to let it stay broken.

At this time I was also trying out another experiment: mindfulness—letting go of negative thoughts, letting them pass through me, like watching birds migrating down the coast, each one moving by slowly, silently without significance.

And so the days without my favorite punctuation mark progressed. It was frustrating at first. My words didn’t have their normal power, but something else was happening as the mindfulness began to set in, I was watching my intense thoughts pass through me.

At first this made me feel kind of dull. I wasn’t used to the quiet.  I thought to myself,

What do I fill my head with when the intensity is gone?

The answer was astounding: in the quietness, in this life without exclamation points, there was something hidden…JOY.  Love in its purest form.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if there was any correlation between my broken computer key and my feelings of rapture. Could my missing punctuation make me feel more calm or was it the gentle acceptance that nothing in my mind needed to be grasped so tightly? Or maybe it was a little bit of both.

I do like to think that by removing the exclamation point I symbolically let go of some of the drama in my head. I don’t know for sure, but it’s fun to think about all the same.

I’m just beginning this lifelong path to mindfulness. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve chosen to do, but I’m tired of the roller coaster. Sure, I’d like to keep the nice rolling hills, but I’m ready to say goodbye to the violent ups and downs.

Now, I’m not saying I’ve given up on excitement or passion. I love life and will gladly live it with a happy heart. I just want to start recognizing those overwhelming emotions—the useless, fear based ones that cause me so much suffering.  I’m ready to let them go.

I can do this and I will. It’s going to take a lot of love and perseverance on my part, not to mention forgiveness and a dedicated willingness to change.

Since I started this story I’ve fixed the exclamation point on my keyboard and I’m going back to telling my stories with pizazz, however something has changed. I am now a little more conscious of my highs, my lows, and the glorious feeling of life in between.

Peace,

Becky

Check out my books at www.beckypourchot.com

The Paradox of Wanting

Dalai-Lama-Remember-that-sometimes-not-getting-what-you-want-is-a-wonderful-stroke-of-luck

After my most recent book came out my friends and family thought they had me pegged, “Olivia is clearly you,” they’d say.

Olivia is my female protagonist– A sexually uptight, neurotic owner of a cupcake shop in St. Augustine, Florida. Now, if you know me at all you know I’m far from sexually uptight, I don’t live in St. Augustine, nor do I own a cupcake shop. Neurotic? Well, maybe.

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Olivia has a problem in Open Souls. She found a box, opened it up and now she and Brad, a complete stranger, are both watching their identities dissolve as they slip into their own Pandora-like journeys.

At first Olivia finds herself in a state of spiritual awakening, suddenly aware of the beautiful details of the life, completely liberated from her fears. With this comes a sexual awakening that brings her an exquisite sense of self-awareness and freedom.

However after getting a taste for the divine, she is hungry for more. Crazed and manic, she finds herself a hopeless being of want, lust and desire.

While Olivia is not me, her story is my own; tasting happiness, but never being able to quite hold on to it.  Her story–our story is one of never ending desire.

The things I want: appreciation, love, attention, understanding… good food…sex! They are all ethereal. Moments in time that pass. In fact, in my experience, the act of wanting repels the exact things I want. The more I want, the more the more my desires run away, like a child wanting a rainbow so much she chases it to exhaustion, only to watch it fade, never to return.

Such a paradox we live in! Wanting, wanting, wanting in an endless loop. What an exhausting job it is to be the child chasing the rainbow.

I don’t know much, but I do know that we can never truly have what we think we want.

However if we sit back, let the breeze blow against our skin and simply BE, we might just realize that everything we truly desire we’ve in fact had all along.

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I am proud of Open Souls. 

To help spread the word of my little book, Open Souls is free on Kindle between July 16th and 20th. Check it out!

Get Open Souls Free Here.

May your wants be little and your hearts be full.

Peace,

Becky