Thursday, January 29, 2015

Messy January

Being present has followed me into January. Normally I would be anxious to slough off this month like dead skin, stripping of the resolutions and the turbulent commotion of the outside world.

I work in an resolution industry. We are constantly moving forward towards an end goal. Change with me, change faster, "I want immediate results!"
They all want it to happen yesterday.

That's why most, if not all quit by March.

I am content with the disarray of emotions. Able to disconnect from people- Center myself, and be alone with my calmness.

I don't mind January too much this year, I have been able to treat each day like what it is: 24 hours.

When we practice detachment life becomes so much easier. Goals are just goals, not life or death. So many people ramp up for the new year, begin running a marathon instead of learning to walk, and end up falling.
I almost typed (failing) but you only fail if you give up.

February holds chocolate and sticky sugar laced fingers. Valentine's day projects, gourmet meals, suddenly the resolve to "be better" seems less and less important.

I like the next month, I love new beginnings. A new start. A hot shower after a long day.
Although I am content to hang out here in January, I have learned a lot this month, about myself, my kids, specifically what I need to let go of.
We all need to let go of something, perhaps everything.
So we can receive it all.

So Far I have stuck to my new year resolution. I have continued eating a plant based vegan diet, with the exception of a few hiccups. I have done yoga every single day, and actually crave it -if it has been too long.
Although I set out to accomplish this "goal" and way of life, I am not attached to this year long adventure, just to the day.
 Just one day at a time.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cold Cold go away

This was the sunrise this morning. Although it was cold, my morning was not filled with snow. Unlike so many of my Boston friends.
For that I am grateful.

Germs have run crazy throughout my house since November. I am so over sickness in any form.
We are due for some good luck around here.

Thankfully I have been taking really good care of myself so the cold is sitting, just waiting for me to succumb to it.
Which I REFUSE, are you listening cold? Go find someone else's immune system.

Went to my amazing friend's house today and grabbed some oil mixtures. Breathe, Recovery, and Fight. Happy to report an hour after rubbing this on Sophia's chest she perked right up.
Fever went down, and she started eating again.

Disinfected my entire house, made some soup and drinking immune boosting tea.
Just watch....I will kick this, wont even give it a chance!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just fall forward.

Dear Dad,
Remember that summer you taught me to dive? Perched on the edge of the dock, you held on to the side coaching. Diving took up most of that day, it wasn't until the sun was setting that I set out to accomplish the task.

"Just fall forward, lean way forward and let go."

You made it look so easy. The jumping out into the nothingness, gently arching and entering the water without so much as a splash.
You were always a pro at letting go.
If you were alive right now we would talk about what it was like for you when you let go for the last time. You would know without a word that I would want to know every single detail.

Remember how difficult it was for me? You wouldn't let up.
Then it happened, I let go and slipped into the cold water, seamlessly. I let gravity take me down to the ocean floor relishing in moment of complete weightlessness.
The momentum flipped me forward into a complete somersault and I popped back to the surface, elated.
You helped me with that fear and countless others.
Years after that I became a lifeguard and taught other kids how to dive, and showed off running off the dock, dismounting into a perfect dive, timing it just right so I dove under the buoy.
You gave me that confidence.
I took it with me every where I went.

I am OK. I am breathing and I think I am even happy. I just wonder what you would say to me now. If I laid out all my fears and problems, what would you say?

"Let go. Lean way forward and let go...I got you."

And without a word I would know it to be true.
I miss you.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Why you should write

Back in the day I used to have a tiny diary with a lock. I guarded that thing like it held the secret to life. I would write swear words, and write pages and pages about problems with my mother, or my friends, or a boy I had a crush on.
I hid my diary under my mattress, because that's what Punky Brewster did.

Ever since I could write, I have been writing. One time I wrote a story about how a sister poisoned her brother by slipping a vile of bleach in his orange juice. I remember reading it out loud to Jonah and how he decided that I was trying to kill him.
In high school I wrote a story about a homeless woman's internal conflict about jumping off a bridge into traffic. It got sent home and required my parent's signature.

I guess I have always identified with the weird and scary. (Remember, Halloween is my favorite holiday.) I love it all.

One of my close friends has joined a health group that requires her to journal each day.
She has voiced her frustration to me, and boy do I get it! If you told me I HAD to write in this blog each day I would promptly give you the finger and my house would actually be clean.
Having to do anything, sucks.
However, writing  really helps you figure out what the heck is up with you. I am talking about that little you that lives inside, that throws temper tantrums and demands cookies and candy and vodka.

One of my creative writing teachers in college told me to "write what you know." I always start with that and usually end up talking about my dad and brother.
Honestly, back in the day the first journal entry I have for after they died was April 26th 2008- "So, dad and Jonah died. What the fuck just happened?" Then I wrote the word fuck for four pages.
Totally serious.

This blog has helped tremulously with my grieving process- because going back to that time helps me sort out everything.

I think it's important to note here that there are two different types of deaths that occurs to us, 1. You know they are going to die. This is like preparing for a truck to hit us head on. 2. Someone you love dies unexpectedly. This is like getting hit by a truck from behind, or getting hit in the face with a baseball bat. You are knocked out, on the ground, looking for your teeth.

April 25th 2008 My dad died of cancer AND four hours later my brother was found dead in his apartment. That's getting hit by a truck, having the truck back up on us, then being put in an ambulance and having someone come up and punch us directly in the teeth with grief.
My ENTIRE life was changed that day.

So, YES, I write about them a lot. I always feel better when I do.

If I am struggling with something I just start writing.
Yesterday a close friend of mine lost her dad unexpectedly. I couldn't figure out why I was so tired and lethargic. Sure I had given blood and was sore from a workout, but that pit deep in my ached. I meditated for a while and then just started writing. What was wrong was I missed my dad, and I ached for the ability to fully grieve for him.

 I felt for my friend and sent her peace and healing light, because I am eight years removed from my tragedy she still has oodles of sleepless nights and crumpled tissues.

 Stop censoring yourself.
I don't write for you. I am so glad you enjoy it, but I write for me. Sometimes I swear, sometimes I write depressing stuff, yep, I get that. But this is me.
"Life isn't meant to exist in a narrow color spectrum of perpetual happiness. That's a movie. It's not reality." Kris Carr

Write what you want and stop worrying about what other people will think. If you are really worried hide that shit, get a lock, or just do what I do, and put it all out there on a public gets easier after you have done it a few times.

Besides, there is nothing like having random people quoting your writing back to you.

It's probably how Taylor Swift feels.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

What the body remembers...see also: What the toe remembers.

The first time I tried to be "healthy"I dropped a blender on my foot, splitting my toenail in half.
In comparison to labor, two c sections and boob surgery- that still tops my list.

The day my blender smashed my toe, my dad was diagnosed with stage four cure, he was going to die....cancer.

I remember hanging up the phone and immediately trying to shove apple cores, flax seed meal and tofu down Josh's throat.

Suddenly the reality that people die, became really, really, really real.

Cancer was no longer a story on the news that I clicked by, or a pink ribbon, or a reason to feel myself up each month, it was raw, and horrific, impending pain, robbing me of my favorite person.

I was pissed off. Made even more upset by the swelling of my foot.

I hobbled, and cried. I shoved my feet into high heels and visited my dad, realizing at one point that the stabbing sensation in my gut hurt way more than my silly toe, and I would have gladly cut off my own foot to save my dad.

Almost eight years removed from the death of my dad, and I can see that whole time in a new light.

I am able to see God in the situation, where I was imploding internally, riding out my anger and fear, it was in that moment when I broke my toe in half, that I was brought back into my body.

I tried to mentally leave, and God brought me right back.

And it was gruesome.

I am healthier today because of my dad dying of cancer. It was that day that I began my health warrior mission. It took my brother dying, and being eight years removed from it, to begin my journey to true mental health.

What I am saying is that although painful, everything does happen for a reason. I can honestly say that I have changed the path that I was heading down, BECAUSE of tragedy.

It took 7 months for my toe to heal. By the time the toenail actually fell off, I was four months pregnant with Allessandra.

When I whip up a green smoothie in the morning I am always careful to wear shoes, or I find myself stepping back slightly, protecting my feet, it's weird what we remember, it's weird what our soul remembers.
I ALWAYS send light and love to my dad and raise my glass to him. No matter who is watching, it's how I honor my health and his memory.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Start at the beginning

Yesterday I posted a picture of my brother and I when we arrived at Logan airport to be officially adopted.
I remember that day, but not by that picture. I remember feeling utterly exhausted. My tiny body had gone through so much, too much, and after arriving to my life finally, I remember laying my head on my grandpa's arm and falling asleep on the plane.

There are exactly four people that I can think of that I am THAT comfortable with, to fall asleep on. This is what is poignant to me.

My grandpa, my dad, my brother, my husband.

So many emotions rush through me when I look at this photo. The first and foremost is sadness for my grandpa, who passed away two years ago tomorrow. I loved him passionately. I guess I still love him that way, I feel like he graciously took a seat on the back burner, waiting his turn for me to grieve for him.
Understanding, when I say, "I just can't be sad today."
I choose to think of all the happy memories of him, he loved me, truly, deeply, magnificently, loved me.

I think God only gives you a few of those great loves in your life.

The night he died, I laid in my bed and wiped away easy tears. I dreamed of nothing, but felt this overwhelming sense of peace.
I felt safe.

It still gives me goose bumps to think about that.

Another feeling I have looking at this, is the happiness on Jonah's face. How, a week before they both died my dad and Jonah talked alone in the hospital room. As a gift of peace my dad forgave Jonah for everything, he offered an olive branch to a "new relationship" no more bullshit no more dad offered a clean slate and Jonah's face looked much like it does in this photograph.

That was a happy day.
The photograph captured a happy day.

A beginning..

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Night trolls

Sophia finally slept through the night. As I write this it is almost 7 am and I had a good 8 hours of uninterrupted, "My toys are scaring me!" slumber.
Two nights she pulled this, in a row.
Creeping into my room like a demon, peering over the side of the bed and sneezing into my face.

Her toys are scaring her. I mean, seriously? Allessandra used to pull this shit all the time. Toys came to life in the middle of the night, there were people in the corner of her room, "mommy why are so many people going up the stairs to the attic?"
Allessandra feels her feelings. Like, there is empathetic and then there is Allessandra.

The first time she heard Carrie Underwood's "I'll see you again" she burst into tears, because sometimes she "feels too much" and it has to "come out of her eyes." Her description by the way.

She is borderline obsessed with Sia's "Elastic Heart" video, near tears at the end, when Shia can't get out of the cage, she demands to watch it again, and again, and again, until she has figured out every step and lyric.

Allessandra is me...and I feel for her heart and soul.

Last night watching a movie, she was so completely into it, I am pretty sure she was convinced the whole world was turned upside down and nothing was what it seemed. I started to panic, thinking that maybe this cartoon was too much, perhaps I need to keep my almost six year old in a bubble, and gloss over any bad in this world.

Sophia is not like that. Throughout the entire movie, she was encouraging her sister to calm the F down. "Allie! Just close your eyes!"

At one particularly heated moment in the movie, Sophia asked me if I liked her monster costume, the costume she apparently pulls on during a crisis....or when things get "scary."

I pretended to recoil when she growled at me, and she seemed pleased with herself.

My point of this post, is if anything toys should have come to life after watching "Box Trolls" in all honestly I would have expected her to be in my face last night.
But she slept through the night, and so did Allessandra, thank you Jesus.

I call bullshit to Sophia's claim of being afraid...of anything, really.
Clearly she just needs a warm body to place her ice cold feet.

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Monday, January 5, 2015


Dear J,
Tonight the girls were "ice skating" together in the living room. They each wore their hello kitty socks and danced together in perfect unison.

If I called you right now, you would know exactly what I was talking about. If I told you, we would laugh, and I would relax maybe for the first time in almost  eight years.

I don't want this to be sad, because I don't feel sad right now. I feel elated because I think that maybe you were there.
If it works that way, if I think about you so much that maybe your energy manifests itself in the shrill of their laughter, I hope it does.

Remember how we decided that if one of us died first we would come back to make sure that the other one was OK?
I think that maybe tonight I finally saw you.

I love you,

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

I hate your stupid face...and other thoughts today..

In yoga we are not suppose to think about anything. Stretch to the other side of the room. Reach and make space. This particular class I can't even function. My head pulsates with stress, a wave of pain washes over my third eye and I am unbalanced, off kilter, every single pose I waver, reaching for an invisible wall or table to my left or right.
I have fallen every single time, I probably could f up corpse pose, and all you have to do is lay there.

Toxic thoughts. I am better than this. I bring my hands to my chest and breathe. Set my intention. If I fall I will stand back up. If my headache becomes unbearable I will breathe into the pain.

"Think about nothing," he says, lifting his foot effortlessly behind his head.
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.
And this is where I am today, silently cursing an invisible barrier that keeps me from peace. Keeps me from forgetting the chaos and the laundry. The bills and the echoing screams from deep inside.

"Breathe into the pain."
And I do, for a second, forget everything and pin my attention to the dull ache in my hip. "Five deep breathes.."
I hate your stupid face.
And I drop into child pose before everyone else- and I don't care.

Just me and the universe and my toxicity.

Join me, won't you? Lets kick into a handstand and slowly lower our legs to the top of our shoulders...or let them slam to the ground, whichever...ok lets press our palms into the ground and raise our legs above our heads, using our core...or not...or just kick your legs like an asshole and fall forward into the wall...find where you are today...if screaming at the top of your lungs feels good, lets do that,if you want to punch the teacher directly in the throat that is also OK...find what feels good.

Let's skip the handstand, let's just skip this whole thing and lay on the ground and breathe into the frustration.

And now we are meditating and I am acting like a child and humming in my brain. I can't hear you, I can't hear you, la la la la la la la la lalalalalala.
 He doesn't care. He just keeps talking. My brain starts jumping around, I am thinking about everything, my head is swimming in pain and I think about pain killers and banging my head against a concrete wall.
He is humming now. I resist the urge to leave. Resist, resist, resist. Like I have resisted this entire practice.
It's over finally and I lay back. Frustrated. Defeated. Tired. I remember that I have not done yoga with the children or photographed it.
It was a stupid idea anyways. I think I might shave my head and deactivate all of my social media..probably move to India,or my bed and hide for awhile.
People will be fine with that.


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Thursday, January 1, 2015

So you wanna join me? Let's do this!

So I have heard you loud and clear and you want to join me. AWESOME!

First things first- don't go vegan today, especially if you have never tried it, you should get a few books and then try a vegan meal once a week. If you love it then keep going. I have been flirting with being vegan for a while now...and let me just say this now, if you are in a situation where it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE for you for the love of you know what...just freaking eat.

Try this book The Kind Diet

This book has different strategies for approaching the lifestyle- also suggestions if you are trying to build muscle and how to address the WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN question that you will get from everyone.

This book is epic Thrive

This is for the individual that runs lots of miles or does anything that requires tons of energy and you are thinking ohemgee what will I do without sports drinks/ protein powder and chicken?

Yoga everyday...if you are joining me..and you don't have the money or the studio to attend everyday..this is what I do. (10$ a month) (Some classes are actually free some cost money) (Click on take a class) 15 days free then 20$ a month
and Youtube! YOU GUYS is chalk FULL of free classes. My favorite Fightmasteryoga, Adriene is doing 30 days of yoga classes FREE on her youtube channel. For every single level! Check it out!

To do yoga everyday you DO NOT have to do like an hour class everyday...just dropping into child pose/downward facing dog counts...I mean we all agree it's totally half assing it..but it counts.

Sometimes I just put on Taylor Swift and do my own stuff..sometimes I just hang out in a headstand...depends on the day.

My all time favorite book. 

Tara has her degree from the same school that I am enrolling in. I love her and I love her book.
She got me back into juicing and meditating and smiling more.

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