self-aculization

The Year in Review….Sort Of

I have a lousy memory. Details that everyone around me can recall are just hazy thoughts, like a dream I barely remember upon waking up.

The thought of this used to make me panic. I worried about the precious moments slipping away from me, but while I lament over not being able to remember the details of my children’s first step, I don’t linger on the past, because quite frankly, I can’t remember it so well.

This fuzziness of my history makes time feel very slow. Events that happened a year ago feel like ages ago. People always say “time speeds up as you age” but for me it’s the opposite. My life behind me is just a jumble of faint emotions, blips of reality.

So here I am living in this little bubble of the present and it’s not so bad. I take a lot of pictures and I make sure the people around me keep reminding me of our stories.

For what little memory I have, I will say last year, I really struggled with my shit.

Boy, did I!

But I think all that “shit struggling” was actually the best part of the year. I faced myself head on and wrestled my demons. I looked at the anger, fear and desperation in the eye. I faced the things that were hurting myself and the people around me and smiled at it all playfully.

Although I am FAR from perfect, sometimes, rather than beating myself up for my shortcomings I chose to sit down and chat with my little demons:

“Hey, demons,” I say, “We’re in this together, you and me. We can’t do this life thing without one and other. So let’s make this work. Nastiness is who you are and as shameful and embarrassing as it feels at times, it’s a part of who I am.”

It’s then in this conversation, that I see that my demons are not pulling me down. They are in fact a staircase, supplying the very structure from which I will use to climb to higher places. I will always have my flaws (and some pretty big ones), but I forgive my demons, just as I forgive myself.

To the people I love, I apologize for any nastiness, pettiness, and greed I may have shown you this year. In my heart I want only the best for all of us, just sometimes my demons get in the way.

I wish I could say this year I’m going to figure it all out, that I’ll become a perfect mother, wife, friend, writer, but I realize there’s no winning in this game, just trudging forward and forgiving along the way.

Besides, life would be no fun if we figured it all out, right?

As a side note: I’m excited to tell you about my next book, out April 1st, —Open Souls—all about meeting and greeting your demons. If you want more information you can go to the website and register to be notified about its release.

www.opensoulsbook.com

Peace to you all!

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Confessions of an Agnostic: Why I Believe in God

Twice in my life now have I had the odd feeling of waking up…not in the literal sense, but more, I suppose in the metaphysical sense.

It’s very weird, and difficult to talk about because it is so personal. We’ve all experienced it, I’m sure, we just deny it because it messes with everything we take to hold true.  I’m not crazy, though I have certainly been treated as such for most of my life. In fact its the exact opposite of crazy.

The first time it happened it was very abrupt.  It was terrifying.  I literally thought I was dead.  I was sitting on my boy friend’s bed talking with him when I was hit with this sensation of divine stillness. The chatter in my mind stopped and I was just there. Purely Me. It was beautiful and frightening at the same time.

The self I had spent 19 years with, listening to her strive, worry, and grope and  was gone.  I mean completely gone, leaving me with this thing, this feeling I suppose one could equate with God.

I remember two friends of ours knocked on his dorm door and we let them in.  As they spoke I could hear everything.  Beneath their words I could hear their fear, their need for love and acceptance.  They soon left and I told my boyfriend what was going, crying for the loss of self.  He assured me I was okay.  He had known this feeling himself.  This in fact was something to welcome, he told me.

The months went by and like a good student I l asked questions to my boyfriend who seemed to know exactly what this was all about. But time passed and the magic of his insistent wisdom wore off.  It was all replaced with a new fear–a fear that I was loosing God, that it was slipping out of my hands, leaving me in the world alone.

Anxiety engulfed me like a raging fire and I plummeted into my own personal hell.  Suddenly no choice seemed like the right one.  I was paralyzed with the fear of failing God.

The boy friend and I went our separate ways and I eventual found my balance.  I did the only thing I could do, resorting to the comfort of psychiatric drugs and talk therapies that brought me back to this world.  I do not look back at this period of my life as not good or bad.  It is what I needed to do at the time.

So life went on.  I grew and learned, and continued to hold the unspoken knowledge in the back of my mind that this God-ness I experienced might very well be real, that love is all there is, but whenever I thought too much about it I was sent literally into panic attacks, for fear that the demons wouldn’t slip in again.

So now 20 years later I have an amazing family and devoted husband, life couldn’t be more perfect.  But for a long time I was not satisfied.  I wanted more.  I wanted the other, not what I had, but everything else.  I complained incessantly about people..my friends no less.  I didn’t just expect perfection from myself, I expected it from everyone else.  While I could feel God on my walks on the beach I couldn’t control my fear and anger.

So, this next part I’m hesitant to say, because it just feels so odd.  In the reality I help for 20 years this was not supposed to be.  I was not supposed to feel God every second of everyday, to look at everyone I meet with compassion and love.  These are not things meant for this little neurotic Jewish girl. My story went like this: you are helpless, the world is out to get you, you will try but never suceed.  Yuck!  I’m done with those thoughts.

I’m letting go of my need to be good. No, I’m not turning into some crazed sociopath.  Good is something that is my essense, I don’t have to try  I am good, because I let myself be…and sometimes I’m bad. If you saw what I ate for dinner, or what thoughts jjust crossed my mind, you’d see) But bad is all part of it…so ultimately that’s good too.  Does that make any snese?

I am the one writing this book. I choose where I go.  I have control because I have faith in myself.  I am God!  As are you! We are beautiful.

The Butterfly and the Dragon

butterfly

I recently attended a class by Ali Rodriguez, a local business consultant who spoke on “Passion to the Fifth Power”. Her lecture, though business in nature, felt more like the words of some sort of Indian yogi than someone teaching us how to get rich quick. I liked her right away.

Ali’s shtick was all about overcoming fear, finding self-confidence, and listening to your gut. She said turn off the voices around you and focus on what you want, not what everyone else wants for you.

Here’s what I know about me: My outside voices are loud. In regards to business they’re constantly telling me, “You should be marketing more. You should be on Twitter. You should be doing book tours. You should, you should, you should.”

But when I step back from those voices and listen to my heart I hear, “Write, write, write. Spend time with your family. Bake a cake. Find joy in the simple things in life. The other stuff will come later. And if it doesn’t, oh well, at least you lived a wonderful life.”

So over the past few months I’ve been watching as my goals shift from trying to impress the world, to simply letting it all go, allowing myself be truly me.

That’s big stuff.

I’m finding when I listen to my gut and follow what it says I am happy. I am content and my writing is good.

Last night I went to dinner with some friends. Tim Baker and Nadine King. I love these two. We have this playfully antagonistic relationship that borders on hostile if we’re not careful. If anyone else in the restaurant was to guess our connection they’d suppose we were a healthy, if not moderately dysfunctional family.

Tim is another local author.  We don’t always see eye to eye. I’m pretty sure Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald got into similar disagreements in their time.  Tim worries about my career path as a writer. It concerns him to see me flitting about, wasting my time on different marketing techniques, only to have them fail.

To him, my actions are like that of a butterfly, flitting about, testing each direction, but never really going much of anywhere.  I wont deny that I like to flit about. To me it keeps life fun and it keep my spirit alive but from our conversations I’m learning that to some I come off as flighty and unfocused.

Tim on the other hand is very focused and sticks to the path. He moves though his life in straight lines. He makes a calculated plan and moves forward. Tim, I suppose is sort of like a dragon. A dragon has strength, he has determination, and he certainly doesn’t falter with a shift in the breeze. A dragon has goals and power.

How cool it would be to be a dragon. He gets stuff done, impresses people with his strength and conviction. But as a writer I am not a dragon. (I’m a dragon in other areas of my life, but that’s a different post)

Right now, I’m fancying simplicity, vibrancy, and beauty in the detail. I’m scouting out flowers, taking a sip here and there and smiling. And in the end, like every female butterfly, I will lay my eggs (or in my case create a really good book or two).

The route I’m going isn’t going to get me thousands of book sales, but right now it is okay. I know it’s not the route for everyone, It’s certainly not Tim’s, but that’s okay too. I can only be me. As long as my gut keeps pointing me in this gentle direction, I’ll flutter my wings and eventually make my way there.

www.beckypourchot.com.

Side note: The letters between Hemingway and Fitzgerald make me laugh. After bashing his friend’s manuscript, Hemingway says in a letter to him: “It’s a lot better than I say. But it’s not as good as you can do.”  I would have loved to have sat down with those two, plus, maybe Tim and seen what kind of crazy discussions we’d land ourselves in. I can guarantee there’d be yelling…and maybe a little crying (from Tim, of course)

Here are two links their letters:

July 1925

May 1934