Monthly Archives: June 2014

I have a secret,…

I have been a master. A master of illusion. Often in the past it may have appeared that all was going well on the outside, meanwhile, on the inside I was spinning out of control with anxiety. I think it’s important to write about this because I am often very surprised when other’s share their perception of me with me. I have often been perceived as a rock, handling stress and managing things with ease (this might come as a surprise to my wife 😉 as she has seen me unravel right before her very eyes) Anyway, I am here today to clarify that misconception, because it is important to realize that people may not be exactly what you think you see AND it’s also important to share, so that we know when we are having challenging times that we are not alone.

I recently took a scary chance and shared my feelings of anxiety that were growing and gaining momentum. In that brave glorious moment the sky opened up and peace and ease where delivered to me when a coworker shared a little trick to help me manage those moments of anxiety and it has been such an amazing tool for me that I am going to share it with you.

When you’re feeling anxiety, and not just anxiety, but anything that is less than desirable and you feel like you just might spin out of control,… I used to say, stop and take a breath, but sometimes (who am I kidding? often) as simple as it seems to just stop and take a breath, it can be very difficult because you’ve got this pattern of thought going and going and going and the momentum has gotten to a place that it feels virtually impossible to stop these crazy thoughts. One is just feeding the other and it can be challenging to just stop. So, here’s the little trick, instead of trying to stop the flow of thoughts that seem to be taking you on a little internal tilt-a-whirl, switch your thoughts to counting. Counting? Yes, counting. Simple as, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

It seems way too easy, I know, but it works!!! For me anyway. I was told that stopping the incessant thoughts by starting to count can retrain your brain. It’s kinda like reprogramming. A fleeting thought occurs, example: “Why did he do that? Is he mad at me? He must be mad at me. Why else would he,…” You’re probably familiar with the rest,…incessant thoughts rage on, until they ruin your day. Unless,… you stop them by beginning to count. Just keep counting until you feel the anxiety or frustration or whatever the negative feeling is, begin to melt away. So far the highest I’ve counted is 58. I’ve only been doing this for 4 or 5 days.

The more you interupt the process of negative emotion snowballing in your mind the quicker you will reprogram your brain to release the fleeting thoughts that do not serve you.

I can’t believe that jerk just cut me off. Who does he think he is? Ranting and raving,… Blah blah blah blah,… One,… two,… three,… four,… five,… six,… seven,… eight,… nine,… ten,… eleven,… twelve *sigh* peace

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Training your inner dog

I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a daughter, a friend, a lesbian, a cousin, a niece, a customer, a stranger and on and on,…

Bigger, than all those labels of roles I fill in this time I have chosen to walk this planet, I am an eternal spiritual being. I have been here before and I will be here again. Without the physical body of Angel Zamudio this lifetime will end and I will still exist because I am an Eternal Spiritual Being (ESB). The essence of me, the bundle of energy that makes me who I am will carry on long after Angel Zamudio is gone and that is because I AM. There is no label to define me. I am more than words.

I AM and You are too. What ever it is you are seeking, take a moment and close your eyes. If we really are ESB and we ARE, then every thing we could ever look for outside of ourselves is a limitless path of suffering because everything we could ever need is right there within. It’s kind of like getting all worked up and stressed out because you can not find your keys and they were in your pocket the whole time.

The key is to stop the frantic search and look within. The answers, ALL of the answers are right there within you. Stop the frantic search. Stop the constant stream of thoughts. Take some slow deep breaths. Be still and allow the answers to flow.

If you are reading this and feel resistance developing, stop reading and just sit with that resistance. Allow it to be. Ask yourself what am I resisting. Allow the answers to flow to you.

Think of it like training a dog to walk with a loose leash. You begin on your walk and every single time your dog quickens his pace and makes the leash tight (resistance), you stop. Once your dog comes to a complete stop, you begin to walk again. Sometimes it will seem like you will never get through the walk because of how often you have to stop, but once you have trained your dog or your resistance to relax you will have a lifetime of pleasant walks.

It is worth the effort it takes to know the peace and happiness that exists in the realm of no resistance.

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Sugar candy

As my Grandma used to say, Well,…aren’t you just as sweet as sugar candy? If you can imagine it,… She spoke it in a strong Texan accent. I sure do love my Grandma and I sure do love my wife.

The reason I’m writing about what my Grandma used to say is because my wife is deserving of this little quote. This past weekend we had gotten ready to go out and about for the day and realized we were a little more tired than we thought. So, we decided to take a nap. It was a little bit of a bummer too because I had gone to the effort to style my hair instead of just throwing on a ball cap.

I was crawling into bed and said, Darn, I just fixed my hair. Keri said, oh well, it’s fine. I whined a little and said, I just don’t want to sleep my cuteness off. Without missing a beat Keri said, You could never sleep your cuteness off.

Isn’t she just as sweet as sugar candy?? I’m about to get a cavity just thinking about how sweet she is to me.

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Yum!

Are these the last tears I will cry?

I have been told time and time again that a belief is just a thought that you keep thinking. These words are so fucking frustrating. That is my belief. Why are these words so frustrating to me? BECAUSE if a belief really was “just” a thought that you keep thinking wouldn’t changing your beliefs be as easy as changing your mind????

Let’s see,… I think I’ll have a bowl of ice cream. I love ice cream. Wait. What do I love about ice cream? I love the sweet creamy flavor melting on my tongue. Yummy. What else do I love about ice cream? Just ice cream! Not the waffle cone. Ok, not much else really, because ice cream usually upsets my stomach. Do I really love ice cream? I think I love the way ice cream tastes, but I DO NOT like the way it makes me feel. I know there are alternatives, but this really is just an example.

What is this an example of exactly? This is an example of the concept that I believe I love ice cream. The wonderful experience of eating ice cream is very short compared to the awful long experience of having a stomach ache caused by the short wonderful experience. Is it worth it? NOPE. So, have I changed my mind about the fact that I love ice cream? I sure have because the bigger experience is not something that brings me joy. I believe I don’t like ice cream.

I believe defusing self-defeating thoughts is as easy as changing my mind. What belief do you have that does not serve you? I’ll share one of mine with you. This self-defeating thought I’ve been thinking and saying since I was a child. I am sick and tired of feeling this way, so I am going to announce this to the world in an effort to defuse this self defeating belief once and for all.

An only child is a lonely child.

It brings tears to my eyes just to type out those words. I am SO FUCKING TIRED of the feelings those words create in my heart and in my soul. This is the perfect example of a self-defeating thought that I keep thinking that does NOT serve me!!! It does not bring me joy. I am done being a lonely child!!! I am part of a wonderful enormous loving family. I can not say that these are the last tears I will cry over these lonely feelings, BUT I can say that I believe this is the beginning of the end.

I believe I will change my mind in an effort to end this torture. I would much rather focus on the connections that I have that feel loving and supportive. I believe I am surrounded by love. I believe that I LIVE my life on purpose and with great intention to experience real connections. I don’t have time in my life for superficiality. If it is not true and genuine I let it go. The perfect song to capture and convey this feeling inside me is sung by Clark Anderson on the Living Out Loud soundtrack titled Give Me Something Real.

Drop the mic. and walk off stage,…

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Drainers Evicted!!!

We ALL have shit to work through, even the person that you look up to the most and hold in the highest regard has shit to process. It’s just part of the deal you sign up for when you decide to walk the earth. You said yes to being human and when you said yes you knew there would be conflict and contrast.

The key ingredient of conflict and contrast is resistance. Resisting what IS,… your imperfections, the imperfections of your situation or the imperfections of someone you love, are in fact the source of your suffering.

Stop doing that!!!

How do you stop? The opposite of stop is start. The opposite of resist is allow. It’s simple really,… Stand up and walk out. Get in some open space and feel the glorious freedom.

Start allowing.

We’re all dealing with our own SHIT the best way we know how with our current level of awareness. So, just keep in mind how you’ve felt on a particularly shitty day. Take a moment to consider that someone who was rude or exceptionally reactive to you, could have just had a totally shitty day.

However, there are always exceptions to the rules. If someone is generally over reactive or consistently a source of drama, known as a drainer because they drain your life energy, clarify your expectations. Let your boundaries be known. If the suspected drainer doesn’t respect your boundaries, it is up to you to evict them from your life and the sooner the better. Otherwise you are allowing the drainer to remain in your life.

The only person you can be aggravated with in a situation with a drainer, is yourself for allowing them to stay. This is your life. You have permission to decide who is in it.

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Are you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down????

I don’t know if it’s in or if it’s out, but I’m really diggin’ giving people the thumbs up. Just to be clear I’m not just talking about peeps in my circle. I am talking about complete and utter strangers.

I saw a really cute older couple driving a new VW bug last week and when we stopped at the light, I looked over at them, smiled and gave them a thumbs up. The older woman in the passenger seat smiled waved back at me and gave me a thumbs up right back. It felt good.

Later that same day, I was on my way to pick up Keri from work and I was stopped at a light and I glanced over at the bus stop. There sat a 30’s something dude with a curled up waxed mustache. I smiled at him and gave him a thumbs up. He had both of his hands in his front jeans pockets sitting on the bench and he smiled a shy smile and gave me a thumbs up right back.

It is that easy to make some one’s day. Did these people really have their day made by a stranger giving them a thumbs up for reasons they have no way of knowing? I, like them, have no way of knowing, but what I do know is that it created happiness in me. I am the someone who had their day made and I did it all by myself. Well, not completely, because they were involved right? BUT I bet you a thumbs up, if you looked at yourself in the mirror and gave yourself a genuine thumb’s up you would make your own day. What the hell!!! Get generous and give yourself two thumbs up!

Create good feelings in yourself and then share yourself with the world. I’m totally diggin’ it.

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We Luh ya’ Puppy

Whenever I write about Waffles, I always feel I should clarify because I don’t really know how many people are reading this blog. I imagine it is more than I know and that new people are discovering Apozitude all the time, so I have to be sure that when I mention Waffles, every one knows he’s our sweet little golden retriever.

Waffles is the sweetest most gentle puppy you’ll ever meet. He will be 12, July 13th. Wow, that’s next month! I can’t believe it, Puppy. He is so loved by so many. He has a very special spirit this Waffles Bear of ours. We feel tremendously blessed to share our lives with him. Do you know the song, I Luh ya Papi, by JLo? I sing that to Waffles all the time. I luh ya puppy. I, luh ya, luh ya, luh ya puppy.

The first week of May Waffles gave us quite a scare as he walked up to my wife, Keri, and leaned into her legs as he started to have a seizure. We weren’t sure at first what was happening, but figured it out real quick. I have epilepsy myself, so I kind of feel like I had an idea of what he was experiencing. Keri has seen me have seizures before, so she had a different perspective on the situation. Together, I feel we handled it like a couple of pros.

After a trip to the emergency Vet that evening, our regular vet the next day, blood tests and much consideration, we decided to take him to a neurologist for an MRI and spinal tap to determine if a brain tumor was the cause. It was devastating news at first to have confirmation that a tumor had started to grow on his brain. We did further tests to rule out any other tumors in his body, once we knew what we were dealing with we decided to seek treatment.

Dr. Cyman gave us a good prognosis and laid out a course of radiation treatments. His treatments have been going just fine. I think if it were me enduring what he’s going through, I’d be crying, just from the anesthesia very single day, but he’s taking it like a champ. He’s kinda drag ass going in for the treatments, but his energy is very good afterwards and he hasn’t complained once.

During the weekends when he has a break from the radiation we do some of his favorite things. We took him to the beach before his treatments began and he played like a puppy, chasing the ball, exploring the beach and we’ve taken him to a local park where he threatened to chase some ducks, but was a little stand offish when the ducks reached the water. He needs a little ramping up to jump in water. We’ve played soccer and he really enjoys all of these activities, plus they provide him some exercise. It is also really good for Keri and I to see that he is his usual strong playful puppy self in spite of the tumor.

We have always said Waffles is our dog of dogs. He’s such a wonderful sweet adorable puppy. We’re very grateful for our sweet friends who have helped us get him to his appointments. 5 days a week for 4 weeks has been challenging, but we are happy that treatment is available and that we’re able to make it happen. We made an agreement when we decided to adopt Waffles that we would do what ever we could manage to provide the longest healthiest life we could for him. We are keeping our promise and he has kept his promise too. 🙂 He promised to be the BEST puppy in the whole wide world. We love you Waffles Bear.

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Happy

I absolutely love the still quiet time of the morning when almost every one else is still asleep. I woke up around dark thirty this morning and I laid in bed tumbling ideas for my blog around in my head. I say it was dark thirty because I didn’t look at the clock until I was trying to decide if I should just get up and start writing or try to go back to sleep. I peered over my sweet slumbering wife at the clock on her side of the bed. The little green digital numbers whispered to me, why don’t you try to sleep a bit more it’s only 3 in the morning. It’s a very smart clock.

I went back to sleep with out much effort at all because I knew the next time I woke up, I would be a bit more rested and it would still be early enough for me to get some of that still quiet time I enjoy so much. I opened my eyes again and it was 5:15. Perfect!!!

I took Waffles, my adorable little golden retriever, out for a walk about. “Go Potty, go on” I love the cool morning air and how the silence hangs like a sheer curtain behind the sound of the breeze and the chirping birds. I look up at the trees and the sky and I express my gratitude aloud. I look at the sky all the time. The big beautiful sky. I smiled the whole time.

Watching the sky always warms my heart because it reminds me of a time when Garrison was about 4 years old. We were on our way to his daycare one morning and from the backseat I hear his little voice say, “Momma, look at the big beautiful sky”. I can still see his little index finger-pointing up to the beautiful sun peeking through the clouds to greet us for the day.

I have so much to be grateful for and the sky is a constant reminder. I love my life!!!

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Fly your Freak Flag

Every body is weird to somebody. It’s inevitable. It’s undeniable. Not a single one of use is raised the same way, not even two people in the same family. I see it all the time in my friends and family members who have siblings. Two people have two or more children and though the parenting style is exactly the same, it is perceived completely different by each sibling.

This lesson about every body being weird to some body goes back to when Garrison was growing up, well actually is goes back to the beginning of time. I remember this lesson growing up, but it wasn’t until I was teaching it to Garrison that I finally embraced my inner weirdo.

My inner weirdo was so happy when I finally accepted her. She was so happy she couldn’t contain herself and she quickly became my outer weirdo and before I knew it, (well,… forty some odd years later) I fully embraced the weirdo that I am and I don’t have to hide her, ME any more.

I am myself.

I just finally got tired of asking myself, Why am I not myself??? WHY? am I not myself? Why AM I not myself? Why am I NOT myself? Why am I not MYSELF?

When you finally get sick of being someone who is not true to yourself, you don’t give a shit what anybody else thinks because you are too busy enjoying the hell out of being yourself. If someone doesn’t like it, well, they don’t have to hang around. I am going to dance like a fool. I am going to sing off-key. I am going to facilitate fun and I am going to experience people the way I, Angel Zamudio, choose to do so.

You have choices too. You can stay and have fun accepting me for who I am, you can stay and judge me, or you can leave. One thing is for sure though, I will no longer keep myself tethered. It feels too utterly amazing to be my whole true self. So, look out world cuz this weirdo is flying her freak flag high!!!

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Gratitude and Tears of Joy

I don’t know about other people, but when I share a moment of love or joy with someone it makes a lasting impression on me. I can remember fine details about the sound of their voice, the expression on their face and the volumes that their body language speaks. I am very grateful for these observation skills because it allows me carry smiles around with me in my mind. I can imagine them and actually relive moments of joy and love.

I can totally picture the adorable smiles you get on your faces when you hear something that pleases you. I can see the little tears that well up a bit in some of your eyes even when you’re happy or the way some of you scrunch up your nose. I can imagine others of you tossing your head back as you guffaw. These are precious and treasured memories. Thank you all for sharing yourselves with me.

Although my dad passed away almost 9 years ago, I can still hear his voice in my head saying, “tears of joy, tears of joy”. He said that every single time he told me about the day I was born and every time he told me that story he cried tears of joy.

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