Peeling Away My Layers…

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I’ve recently peeled back a few layers. Yet, I get so tangled up with the layers that still exist and impatient with what’s beneath them. I’m starting to recognize that some of my “issues” aren’t removable layers, they are the permanent flaws in the flesh beneath. They are a part of me. My scars. My cracks. I may be able to alter them, but I can’t erase them.

I’m trying to remind myself that as I continue to work behind each layer, I have two choices.

1) Hide my scars by covering them up with makeup that feels heavy and shameful. At the end of each day, washing off that makeup only to reveal my true self while staring into a mirror of disappointment. Day after day. Exhausted.

OR…

2) Expose each scar for what it is. Apply the proper medicine to repair the open wounds, but stop worrying about completely removing them. The scars are mine. Own them. Share my stories of why they exist and in turn possibly help others feel less ashamed of their scars. We all have them.

So what about those last twenty layers? Well, some may be offering me protection I don’t realize I need right now. Ultimately, each peeled back layer will reveal more scars, right? More repair efforts. I guess I just feel if I hurry up and rip off the band-aids to fully expose myself, I can start mending the cracks and will once and for all feel free.

What if now isn’t the time to feel free? Maybe it is time to sit in these feelings for a bit. Now is the time to research what materials will best repair the gaping holes. Stop using cheap methods of repair. Find the gold.

In the end, does anyone ever truly feel completely free?

The realist in me says, “NO!!!”.

My newfound curiosity says, “Well, maybe?”

Just maybe.

My Past, Present, and Yet to Come…

Most recently my life seems a bit reminiscent of the classic Charles Dickens film, A Christmas Carol. No, I haven’t been visited by ghosts, but I definitely feel like certain angels on earth have been put in my path for good reason. God and The Universe (I personally believe that the two like to work together), but whatever you believe or don’t believe I can assure you that there is most definitely a higher power helping me out and moving my puzzle pieces into perfect alignment, I’m grateful. I’m feeling so at peace lately. I’m feeling balanced. Come meet my angels on earth…

THE ANGEL FOR MY PAST: Earlier this year I was at my worst. Plagued once again with deep rooted feelings of abandonment and disappointment. I was sick and tired of pushing those feelings down. Each time they resurfaced they felt stronger than the time before. An upcoming trip was causing me major anxiety. My years of reading self-help books wasn’t working. I was short with my husband and kids. I was extremely defensive about everything. I was unhappy with just about every single aspect of my life. I was broken.

Enter Angel One: I will lovingly refer to her as Fairy Godmother. She is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She was referred to me by a friend. I made an appointment. I was vulnerable. I told my story. I spoke about my past. I cried. I opened up about why I was hurting so badly. I cried. She listened. She validated my feelings. I cried. She suggested solutions. I cried. Slowly, I started gaining confidence. Most recently I had a very emotional session, but my tears weren’t sad this time. When I went from seemingly happy conversation one minute to bursting out into tears the next Fairy Godmother asked me, “Where is this emotion coming from?” I replied, “I just realized that I’m doing much better than I’m giving myself credit for.” Over these past 6 months she has helped me recognize that I don’t give myself enough credit for my accomplishments. I’m so grateful for the clarity I have receive during our visits. I’m so thankful for the help I receive from my Fairy Godmother.

THE ANGELS FOR MY PRESENT: Living in the present has always been so hard for me because my unresolved pain was never allowing me to move forward. My progress with Fairy Godmother catapulted me into wanting to make up for lost time.

Enter Angel Two: This is more of a group effort, but it starts with Whole 30 Certified Coach, Jacob Henriquez. I’m not exactly sure how long, but for at least a year or so, I’d been captivated by Jacob’s famous morning coffee pours on Instagram. I loved his message of inclusiveness. Even when I went through my “I wanna be a brat and hate Whole 30” phase…I kept following Jacob. I was coming off of a HARD CORE Intuitive Eating Rebel Binge and around mid-July I was squirming my way back towards The Whole 30 Community. Jacob announced that he was opening up a September Whole 30 Private Group and I felt an instant vibe that this group was exactly where I was supposed to be. I just knew this was going to be a safe space. It turns out that it wasn’t only a safe space, it was FILLED amazing group members and we instantly connected. Through sharing our struggles, our accomplishments and OF COURSE pictures of our meals…we have bonded. Like all groups, not everyone thrives, but for those of us that have stayed the course this month, our experience has been nothing short of amazing. We are genuinely cheering each other on, even for those who are still struggling. No judgement. Refreshing. Life changing. Shall I say, easy. I’m so grateful for Jacob, along with his partner in crime, newly certified Whole 30 Certified Coach Alexis, and the members within our group. My present life has certainly taken on a new form.

My glass is filling up more and more each day. So much so that I am working towards eventually becoming a Whole 30 Certified Coach myself. It took me FIVE rounds of Whole30 to finally decide to hire a coach. I’m thankful for the inspiration I’ve received that helped me decide I wanted to start working towards helping others find their peace with food, the scale, and/or their body image like I am. I’m slowly feeling unstuck. It’s nice.

THE ANGEL OF YET TO COME: Wow, seems weird to type. I used to NEVER think about my future. If I did and it was positive, it was fleeting. When it was negative, I was stuck. A member in our September Whole30 group shared Seth Godin’s recent blog post about being stuck. In it he says, ” The only way to get out of the spot you’re in is to do something that feels unreasonable…”

Hmmm? Okay, God/Universe. I hear you. I’m listening.

Enter Angel Three: Personal Coach, Tracy Bianco. Several years ago, I was virtually introduced to Tracy through our local Chamber of Commerce. After following her Facebook Page for quite a while, I mustered up the courage to personally introduced myself to her at an EmpowHER Women’s Conference in June of 2019. Shortly after I joined her Facebook Group centered around “Clearing Our Clutter” and I was a semi-active participant. Fast forward to the end of August. Tracy sent me an email. It was a personal email. She remembered me introducing myself and she was launching a new program that she thought I may find interesting. Her instincts were correct. In the short time I’ve been working with Tracy, my life is already starting to change. She’s helped me home in on the risks my brain won’t allow my heart to take. It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to working with her more over the next 6 months. For someone that never invests in myself at this level, it feels unreasonable…but I’m excited. I’m slowly pulling myself off of that sticky trap.

THE MORAL OF MY STORY: Once again, EMBRACE the help from others. ASK for help from friends or family. Hire the help, if you have to. You are worth the investment!!! It’s not weak to ask for help. It’s not weak to reach out and have others take some of your burdens away so that you can shine in other areas of your life. When I started cleaning up my mental clutter, the world around me started to look so much different. It can for you, too.

God bless us, every one!”
– Tiny Tim

Fear of Judgement…

Judgement.

The worst part about public journaling. Am I using the correct they’re/their/there? Am I misusing commas? Is this effecting me or is it affecting me???

Ugh…

However, there is something very cathartic about just putting my authentic self out to The Universe and not giving two shits about any shade that gets thrown my way.

Ahhhh….my sigh of relief.

I know I always use too many (dot) (dot) (dots)….but that’s my thing! It’s me!!! Read this…or don’t.

I’m grounded. I’m good. I got this.

The Final Pieces…

I’ve been standing in the store for decades looking for a new puzzle. Looking at all the options to choose from, but never making a decision as to which puzzle was MY puzzle. Some were too hard. Some were too easy. Some were too expensive. Too big. Too small. Not the right colors. I found every fault and every excuse, but no puzzle. Did I really want a puzzle?

Yes. Dammit. I wanted a puzzle. Everyone else seems to have a perfect puzzle. I wanted my very own puzzle. I desperately kept searching and finally I found one! It’s a picturesque view of a life I don’t want to run away from. It came with a feature I didn’t know puzzles had. The picture isn’t static; it changes and evolves over time. It does require a bit of maintenance, but once you’re finished with it you just get to sit back and enjoy the view. Trust me, that feature wasn’t cheap, but it going to be so worth the investment.

I BOUGHT THE PUZZLE!!!

I brought it home. I was sitting with it at my dining room table. I was so excited. I frantically sliced open the box. Shit, the pieces went flying everywhere!!! Some were on the table, in my lap, all over the floor, and some still inside the box. I thought to myself, “I hope I didn’t lose any pieces. I’m such and idiot to get so excited.” I almost packed it up and took it back. Instead, I gathered my thoughts and thought about all the reasons I wanted the puzzle in the first place. I calmed down and I started picking up the pieces. I think I found them all. I dumped the remaining pieces out the box. I started by flipping all the pieces right side up. I was finally ready to start putting my puzzle together!

I was determined. I put up a wall. I worked on my puzzle. Head down. Alone. I took my time. I wanted so badly to get it right. One by one, I slowly started finding all the outer edge pieces. Piece by piece the picture started to reveal itself. Then I had to stop and make dinner for my family. I got up from the table. At dinner the puzzle was in plain sight, but I didn’t talk about the puzzle.

A week had went by and I realize I had not returned to my puzzle. I said to myself, “I’ll revisit it tomorrow.” Over time, this took place over and over again. Eventually, I would always come back to the table and start placing more pieces together. It was frustrating though. Inevitably, the table had been bumped. Some of pieces were out of place. I had to keep redoing work that I had already done once before. I thought hard about putting the puzzle back in the box, but the desire to some day complete the puzzle would reel me back in. So, I would put my head down and refocus. When I made progress it felt so good. I was still working alone though. No one patting me on the back along the way. Did I really still want this damn puzzle?

One day my doorbell rang, a friend stopped by. Oooh, maybe she will offer to help! No, she was having a tough time and wanted to talk. She saw my puzzle. She told me how much she HATED puzzles and how much they stressed her out. As frustrating as the puzzle was to me at times, I was still loving the time I was giving my puzzle, but in that moment I sheepishly agreed with her, “Ehhh…yeah..it’s nothing important just something to occupy my time.” We decided to headed out for dinner and a few drinks. The next day I had a headache. I didn’t work on my puzzle.

Two weeks went by…

Two months…

Before long I didn’t even notice the puzzle sitting on my table. Looking at it had become daunting. I let the puzzle fade into the background. My husband saw, but he never said anything. I’m sure he was annoyed with my unfinished dining room disaster, but he never complained. He didn’t have to. I knew. He also didn’t offer to help. Why would he? I had put up a wall. That was my fault, but I’ll be damned if I was going to ask him for help. Instead, I would defiantly sit at the table and continue working alone. I was simultaneously very busy throwing myself one hell of a pity-party. Concentrating on my puzzle was difficult.

Until one day…. slowly but surely the the work I was putting in was starting to pay off. My progress started to over shadow my pity party.

I had a change in perspective. An epiphany. I recognized that I COULD continue and finish this puzzle completely alone if I want to. I’m fully capable, but who will I share my excitement with? I no longer want to sit alone in my dining room working on this puzzle. I’m also no longer worried what others think of my puzzle. I’m proud of my puzzle. My puzzle is amazing and should be shared with others.

So, I’m recruiting a team to help me with the final pieces. Do you want to be on my puzzle team? If you hate puzzles, that’s okay. You don’t have to physically help me put my puzzle together, but maybe you could sit on the sidelines and cheer me on. Too busy to sit on the sidelines, I understand. There is only so much time in a day and chances are you have your own puzzle you’re working on, but maybe you could make time to stop by every now and again to do a quick check under my feet and make sure I haven’t dropped anymore pieces. I’ll appreciate it. I’ll reciprocate. I’m available to help you with your puzzle, don’t be afraid to ask.

I can’t wait to see my finished product. If you’re working on a puzzle, I look forward to seeing yours, too.

In the meantime, I’m going to ask my husband and kids if they want to help. I hope they say yes.


One morning she woke up different.
Done with trying to figure out who was with her
and who was against her, or walking down the middle because
they didn’t have the guts to pick a side. She was done with
anything that didn’t bring her peace. She realized that
opinions were a dime a dozen, validation was for parking,
and loyalty wasn’t a word but a lifestyle.
It was this day that changed her life.
And not because of a man or a job but because she realized
that life is way too short to leave the key to
your happiness in someone else’s pocket.

My First Blog Post….My Why

I have an obsession with notebooks. I love stationery. So, why? Why blog publicly rather than in a personal journal? Simple. I don’t want to. I don’t get satisfaction out of keeping my feelings to myself. So, if you’re reading this…thank you.

Connection. Sounds silly that I’m typing my feelings into the ass end of a website in hopes to connect with others, but I am! This space will not be the highlight reels. This space will be authentic. This space is a safe place to be vulnerable. This space speaks truth. What you read is what you get.

Self reflection. Yes, I want to look back a year from now and have a record of my accomplishments AND my struggles. Much like the Facebook memories feature, I love going back in time. I’m sure my blog will evolve over time, just like I do, and I want to be able to look back. Has life got too complicated? Do I need to go back to the basics? Let’s take a look back and see…..

Compartmentalization. I don’t view this as negative. I personally use it as a tool. A coping mechanism. It helps me be mindful and present. This space is a place I can put my thoughts and bullshit to bed at night. This girl needs her beauty sleep, okay!

Finally….why not? It’s my business. I do me.

Aaaaannnnndddddd……if you’re still here. Thank you. I love you. Well? Maybe I just like you, but either way…I hope you stay.

More of MY WHY can be found in the “About Me” section of the blog. Check it out, if you want. If not, that’s cool too.

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.