Yes! I want to go to a cat fashion show.

Be careful.

It can be dangerous navigating the precarious waters of others emotions. I find it is much easier to stick to my own emotions for several reasons. #1 – I know exactly what I am intending. #2 – I can control the way I feel. #3 – The likelihood of success is much greater. #4 – The level of predictability is much higher. It may seem like all of these reasons are pretty much the same but they are slightly different and all lead to a happier me.

Following the guidance of your emotions will lead you to your authentic self, no compass is needed. Think about it. You know when you agree to do something that just doesn’t “feel” right, you feel resistance. Someone says let’s go blah blah blah, what ever it is, if you’re thinking of anything else you would rather be doing and you stumble or stammer to come up with an excuse, THAT is your feelings guiding you. Listen to that guidance. No one knows better than you what you like.

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Yes. Cat fashion. I’m into that,…NOT.

Hey, I’ve got an extra ticket, do you wanna go with me to a cat fashion show? Ummmm,… I uhhh,… need to,… ummm,… alphabetized the canned goods in my pantry.

I’m not just talking about weekend activities either. I am talking about staying in a relationship that does not serve you. I’m talking about giving others the power to negatively affect your mood. I’m talking about letting things that are out of your control take over your sense of peace. When it does not “feel” good, let it go. Whether you believe it or not you can control your thoughts and your feelings.

Your mind is a tool and you are in complete control. My advice is to use your mind to create a deliberate and mindful focus, rather than giving in to mindless incessant thoughts. I’m not going to lie, it does take practice. It is much easier to allow those thoughts to race through your mind in a never-ending stream, constantly taunting you, BUT it FEELS so much better to reel those thoughts in and focus upon what feels better. You actually begin to FEEL better, with practice. Be easy on yourself

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Changing and yet, some how staying the same

I just want to be clear about this girlie side of myself that I have been exploring. I do love it. I really do, but I have to say it can be really frustrating sometimes, because at 44, it sorta’ feels like I should be more practiced at styling my hair and applying make up, which by the way I don’t do yet. I bought some make up and I’ve tried it a couple of times, but it feels very awkward. I don’t wanna walk out of the house looking like a three-year old who’s been playing with her mommy’s make up.

So, I try, every now and again with the eye shadow and then I shake my head at myself in the mirror and remove it. I feel I am doing well to fix my hair and wear a little lipstick. Even that frustrates me sometimes, because my hair,… Ugh, my hair. It’s getting longer and I just don’t know what I am going to do. Honestly, on the weekend I mostly wear a ball-cap. I’ve been trying scarves and pins and it just gets to be too much sometimes.

I appreciate the space Keri provides for me to explore. I appreciate her support and her efforts to help me come up with solutions to my hair troubles. She’s even purchased some girlie t-shirts for me. She’s very sweet. I appreciate her sense of humor when I come home with a 90′s hip hop hairdo. I appreciate my best friend, Shanna, helping me transform my awful 70′s feathered hair style into a 90′s hip hop look. I appreciate her encouraging me to get little flowers painted on my toe nails, which I wouldn’t have even thought to do and resisted at first, but now I love it.20140824-172235-62555113.jpg

What I appreciate most is the love I have around me and the fact that I am loved just the way I am whether I decide make-up is for me or not, I am who I am and no outward appearance is going to change that little factoid.

I find it interesting that as I am writing this and listening to my iTunes on shuffle that, Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel comes on. It is so fitting that I have placed it on repeat, but I think it’s important to emphasize that I didn’t choose it to begin with, it just came on in a random shuffle. Every single thing happens on purpose. I totally believe it.

I just want someone that I can talk to,
I want you just the way you are.

I said, I love you, and that’s forever.
This I promise from the heart.
I couldn’t love you any better,
I love you just the way you are.

Thank you. Love abounds.

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Let’s talk about that,…

Keri and I decided we would make an agreement and we liked it so much that we decided to write it on the marker board on our fridge. The agreement we made I will share with you now, All feelings are valid.

I am absolutely loving this because, since we made this agreement, it makes it so much easier to have conversations about,… well,… everything. This agreement between us provides a safe place to discuss ANYTHING, because all feelings are valid. Doesn’t that just make perfect sense? It’s so simple and so profound I just have to restate it.

When there is an agreement in place between two people who all feelings are valid it creates a space of trust and safety. We know it is safe to talk about anything and we don’t have to be afraid.

I believe the safety I feel in my relationship with Keri has allowed me to explore a side of myself that I had kept locked up deep inside of me for a very long time. I wrote about this in my blog entitled, Girl Water. I wondered a year ago if dipping my toe in the girl water and flirting with being more feminine was being true to myself. I mentioned that, “if it feels this good, it must be true to myself”.

Well, here I am a year later still exploring this girlie side of myself and I am LOVING it. I like feeling pretty and it’s not just about feeling pretty. It’s more about a sense of confidence. A feeling of being true to myself. A feeling of saying what I want and being the me that I want to be. The me that is not afraid of being my whole true self. The me that doesn’t really concern herself with what being my whole true self means to anyone else.

Just happy to be the me I love to be.

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Aren’t we cute?

Yummy feelings of LOVE

It’s difficult to put into words how much I love my 12-year-old golden retriever puppy. He is a part of me. It’s like I am a poly cotton blend, except it’s more like puppy human blend. His fibers and my fibers have woven themselves together to provide a very cozy feeling relationship that wraps us both up like your all time favorite blanket. You know, the blanket your grandma made for you. The one you wrapped up in every single night of your childhood and every single time you stayed home sick.

The love that was hand stitched into that blanket warmed you to health, soothed you to sleep and wrapped you in an embrace of love that you will carry with you deep in your soul no matter if that blanket still exists or not.

Why am I writing about this? Well, I gotta tell you, I sat down to my keyboard to write a blog this evening and I looked over at my wife loving on our puppy and he looked at me with the sweetest brown eyes, blinked his little blonde eyelashes at me and I felt my very being swell with yummy feelings of love. It was like the perfect mixture of warm melted butter and your favorite jelly on toast, oozing out of all my pores. For me that would be more butter than jelly and the jelly would be a very thin, barely visible, smear of strawberry, delicately and purposefully spread to cover the entire piece of toast.

Waffles is our golden’s name and he will ALWAYS be with me, no matter if his physical form exists or not. His eternal spiritual being will always be with me even if he re-emerges into another physical being of another dog.

There are two reasons why I am writing about him in this manner. #1- Even though I know what I am knowing about him being with me for ever, I am also knowing that he will transition. when he does it will be before I am ready and I will be sad. #2- I managed to total my car this last week. I was not ready for my car to make that transition and yes, I did feel a flicker of sadness as I cleaned out my little silver bullet today. I said good-bye to my little car and my very first Apozitude window lettering. I sat on the curb next to my car in the auto body shop and looked up to the sky. I thanked the universe for providing me that car and for the car doing such a good job of protecting me. I am grateful for what I have.

Someone asked me later in the day if I was sad to let my car go. I said, “Yes, a little bit, but it was just a car”. I would MUCH rather be sitting here cuddling with my sweet little Waffles Bear.

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Aww,…what a sweet face. I love you puppy.

Spilled coffee? Perfect opportunity? YES!

Ok, so you’re running late and you’re in such a hurry you spill your coffee all over your lap. You rush back into the house to change and then you’re running even later to work so you’re speeding along and you get pulled over. You get a $150 ticket and you are pounding your fists against your steering wheel in frustration. Could one more thing go wrong? Oh yeah, you could keep this momentum up all day. However, there is a choice, and the reason I used this particular example is because this very scenario happened to me just this last week. However, my result was very different.

I was walking out to my car to go to work and someone had just sent me a text reading, “make it a great day” and I responded, “nothing can keep me from it”. I put my phone in my pocket and got in my car. I had my hands full, so I held my coffee cup between my arm and my chest and when I bent over to set my purse down, I poured about 75% of my coffee into my lap. I just had to laugh and I said aloud, “Not even this”, after an expletive of course.

I thought to myself this is absolutely perfect! It’s the perfect opportunity to prove that nothing can keep me from making this a great day.

Matt in the Hat

I love summer time, especially in Portland Oregon. It rarely gets unbearably hot, and even when it does get a bit warm, it’s usually cool in the shade. A nice cold beer is never too far away and that always helps beat the heat.

One of the things I see in the summer time that really baffles my mind is the people who are walkin’ around in flip-flops, shorts, a tank top and a beanie (a ski cap, itchy, hot wool/cotton cap). It’s summer time. Why do you need a beanie???

Keri and I have discussed this seemingly odd choice amongst ourselves many times and have never come to a reasonable conclusion. It came up again yesterday, because I saw someone wearing a beanie, walking down the street on my way to pick her up from work. When we went to dinner at Dot’s Cafe and there was a guy working there who was wearing a beanie. I said to Keri, “I’m going to ask him”. She said, “No. You’re not?” in her hopeful, oh god please don’t, tone. I said, “Ok, but I am going to ask our waitress.”

Our waitress didn’t know the answer either, but said, “Matt is wearing a beanie today, why don’t you ask him. I’ll send him over” So here comes Matt in the hat and as he approaches our table he says, “You have a question for me?” So I asked him. His reply was simple, “It feels like a cozy blanket on my head. I don’t have any hair and I like it.”

The moral of the story, Do what you like. Do what feels good and don’t worry if anybody else understands it or not. It’s not for them. It’s for you. Not everything is for everybody. Thank you Matt in the Hat for the lesson.

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Inner Poise

Unless you decide to live like a Tibetan monk or Howard Hughes, you are going to come in contact with people. I guarantee those people live their lives very differently than you do. You cannot avoid people, therefore you will encounter contrast. It has taken quite some time for me to realize this, but I have completely come to terms with the idea that I have ZERO control over anything other than myself and my reactions. When I say I have completely come to terms with this idea, I mean in this very moment, because no one is perfect and I do have my days, my moments when I get flustered by what other people say and do.

However, it is my intention on a daily basis, sometimes a minute to minute basis, to let go of what I have no control over because it simply does not make me feel good. I have to remind myself, Let it go. It doesn’t feel good to focus on it. But did you hear what she said to me? I know. Let it go. I can’t believe the gall,… I know. Just let it go. But,… Let it go. Ok, I should let it go? Yes. Just take a deep breath and let it go.

So, you can see the challenge I find myself faced with is maintaining my good feeling self in the presence of something I find undesirable. I have noticed that when my attention is focused on something I don’t like, that “something that I don’t like”, lingers and grows. It can ruin a WHOLE day. It is crystal clear that energy flows where attention goes. Resistance equals persistence. When you find yourself pulling against something unwanted, doesn’t it seem to just get stronger? That’s because your attention to it is like doing a bicep curl, ya see? The resistance of the weight makes your muscle stronger. Same with focusing on the negative OR the positive. Choices!!! We all have choices.

I really don’t like this slow moving bumper to bumper traffic, but I love my car and I love this song and I love the sky I can see surrounding all of this traffic. It makes me feel good to look at the sky. The sky is so peaceful it reminds me of being by the ocean and the meditative lull of the waves. The rhythm of the waves rock me to a very peacful serene place. Every time I go to the beach I look at the sky and I take that feeling with me everywhere I go because no matter where I go, there is always sky.

But then there are the more challenging situations. I really don’t like the way this person is behaving and I’m not crazy about the way this person is talking to me, but I do like the way I have control over my reactions. I like knowing that I can maintain my sense of calm and their actions belong to them. I like knowing I have space to be me and I can allow them to have their space to be them. I like how good it feels to remain calm. This external experience can not disturb the peace that dwells within my soul.

Peace out.

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Be a smart bunny

You know when you see some dumb bunny on a motorcycle on the highway weaving in and out of traffic and all he or she is wearing is a helmet, tennis shoes, shorts and a tank top that he or she really could not value their skin all that much.

Asphalt is very much like the ocean in that they will always win in a battle against the fragility of the human. Just sayin’.

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SERENITY NOW!!!!

One of my favorite quotes from a weekend spent with friends, “Oh shit!!! I’m gonna tear this tin can apart.” Our friend was telling us about how she was having a little bit of a panic attack when she was on an airplane. Why is it so funny sometimes to hear a story someone is telling about being terrified?

She really had us laughing our asses off when we decided to take a little drive down Long Beach. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! That was some hilarious shit. Ok, twist my arm. I’ll spill it. LOL

We had just had a yummy dinner and Lenny wanted to drive down the beach and see the sunset. Okie dokie, we all agreed. Let’s go! So, we all piled up in their truck and headed down to the beach. When we get there Sherrie starts barkin’ orders to Lenny not to get to close. She’s telling him where to drive and we’re all laughing and talking. Every once in a while you can hear her nerves in her voice. She didn’t want him getting too close to the water. “The tide comes in fast and it could suck us right in. LENNY!!! Don’t get too close!!!”

So, in his sensitive and mindful way he steers away from the water. Guess where we went. Yup right into the soft beachy sand. Guess what happened next. Yup, the tires just started spinnin’.

LENNY!!! We’re going to die!! Here comes the tide!! Put it in 4 wheel drive and get us out of here!!! If that water gets up to that rock, I am going to FREAK OUT!!! I was thinking, oh, ok. That’s when you’re going to freak out. Keri, Lenny and I are laughing. Lenny puts it in 4 wheel drive and hits the gas. The whole truck is shakin’ like we’re having an earthquake. He looks over to us and says, “You feel that?” What Lenny? You mean the whole truck shaking all of our guts down to our asses. Is that what you’re asking us if we feel? Yes!! We feel it!!! He smiles his cute little smile and says, “That’s four wheels”. Yes, indeed. It was four wheels, going nowhere fast. Oh wait, that’s not true. We did go about 6 inches forward and about 6 inches backward for about 15 minutes.

The water is creeping closer. Sherrie sinks down into her seat as if she is relinquishing your life to the ocean. We’re dead. Lenny and I hop out of the truck and start hand digging trenches out from behind the rear wheels. Keri is laughing her ass off. Sherrie glances back at her like oh my god can you believe this, we’re going to get sucked out into the ocean and die. Keri says, don’t look at me you are making me laugh. I’m on the passenger side digging out the trench and out of the corner of my eye I notice Sherrie has opened her door and right smack in the middle of her panic is standing on the step up to the truck thingy taking a picture of the sunset. Oh, that’s pretty and gets back in the truck.

Some beachy jeep dude stops and says to Lenny, “Hey, you don’t have your wheels locked in to 4wheel”. He jumps out of his jeep and flips a dial on the front wheels and off we go. Oh my god that was hilarious.

Sherrie posted her sunset picture to Facebook and one of her friends comments, Serenity. There wasn’t an ounce of serenity coming from Sherrie that night. It was so funny. I love you Sherrie and Lenny. Thank you, both for a wonderful time.

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