car trouble

I was driving down the freeway on the way home from work, admiring all the sexier cars going by, thinking “someday I’ll have a husband who wants me to drive one of those,” when I caught myself at it. I mean thinking that very crazy notion.

And I realized that I don’t need anyone’s approval or wish for me to drive a hot car — I can have whatever the hell car I want for myself because I’m in charge. And I value me and I don’t need approval from anyone. Of course I know this. Of course I’ve had this realization before…yet still, on some level, I realized this mental pattern meant I’m still seeking direction, approval, competence, the “go-ahead” from somewhere outside myself.

Clearly this is a pattern for me:  one of those nasty, sticky karmic lessons that doesn’t want to go away until it’s well and truly engrained into my noggin. Seems like every time I peel back another layer, I need to learn the same lesson again, in some nuanced new way…

So I hereby declare myself competent, independent, in charge and approved. As is. And I will do what the hell I want…whether it means driving this rice grinder into the ground or hailing a hot new chariot. It’s all me, Baby!

witnessing the shift

I am in a completely different place than I’ve ever been before:  I feel empowered, strong and clear in a way that I probably haven’t ever before in my life.

Let me explain…

I’ve been using creative visualization, conscious intent, meditation and gratitude to heal my heart, transform my energy and get my head on straight. And, despite my deep desire for partnership, I am finally un-stuck to the outcome. In other words, I’m detached. I’ve set my intent, asked the universe to deliver and let go of the need to control how things manifest.

As it relates to dating, here’s how this shift has affected my mindset:

  • I’ve started to enjoy dating. I go out to meet people and practice leaning back in to my feminine energy. I know that the universe has a spectacular sense of humor, so I just open myself to where the experience might go. I’m laughing about that guy I’ve seen twice who keeps finding ways to tell me that there’s no chance for romance between us…but then wants to see me again. Whatever!
  • I trust that I’ve attracted people into my life for a reason. I stay attuned to whatever that lesson or gift might be.
  • I may offer or suggest, but I won’t chase. I may lead or invite, but I don’t make the first move. I let him manage the accelerator; I’ll be ready to brake, if necessary.
  • I shrug off rejection. His loss. He’s doing me a favor by opting out early. I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone I had to convince to like me. And I’ll take whatever gift or lesson I might have learned from the experience. As my good friend Max said, “When a woman chases men, she always catches the weak ones first.”
  • I enter situations with no expectations. Look at my recent trip to Chicago…  Sure, I hoped to share a few moments of closeness with Chi-guy. Instead, I learned that he’s in a relationship and didn’t tell me about it. There was a time that I might have been hurt or upset to learn this. Now, I’m bemused and curious about why he didn’t mention it (is it because he likes my attention?), and I was only very slightly saddened and disappointed. In fact, I was surprised at how un-emotional I was about it…because I knew that he was doing me a favor. If a man thinks he has nothing to offer me…well, then, he clearly doesn’t.
  • I’m flirting with all kinds of men and women in all kinds of situations. I like to flirt; I feel good, and it makes others feel good. It keeps me in touch with my pleasure center.
  • I say “yes” more often. I ask for help and accept it. I’m open to support.
  • I’m saying “no” to distractions to what I want. As much as my 40-year-old libido would love some satisfaction, I’m just not interested without the rewards of emotional intimacy. I’m holding out for the relationship.
  • I know the right man for me will be strong, masculine and forgiving. And, most of all, he will demonstrate through action that he truly and deeply wants to make me happy.
  • I am deeply grateful for the very masculine attention I receive. It’s wonderful to notice!
In summary, my boundaries are healthier than ever, I have greater clarity and I’m genuinely happy in my life. I’m pleased with the choices I’m making and the direction I’m going. Even though I haven’t manifested that amazing ideal job, life partner or other desires, I’m relaxed and peaceful about it. These things are coming to me — I can feel it!

Independence Day status report

Today, Independence Day to be exact, seems like as good a day as any to report on the status of my own independence…and I do have some good news to report:

Today I felt that old, elusive feeling…the feeling I recall feeling at thirty (a decade ago), after I’d purchased my first condo and luxury car, knowing that I was self-reliant and could allow myself abundance. I felt a glimpse of that in-the-flow, abundant feeling, completely fulfilled, with no need of anything more than what I have here; complete in and grateful for all that I am and all that I have.

Wow! Seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way, and recognizing it brings the realization that I’ve spent too much time in the past couple of years feeling inadequate, damaged or lonely… in a word, like a failure.

The hidden message or blessing in this is that I don’t feel like I need a man in my life to be complete. At some point, I’d love to find a co-conspirator and partner, but right now I feel happy to be single me, happy to be a mother to my littles and simply filled with joy at being present.

Sure, I’m still dealing with some lingering pain, loneliness and resentment…but even acknowledging that is an act of further letting go, further allowing myself to heal.

And here’s where I come back to the dating thing. At this very moment, I don’t care if I date any time soon. Sure, I’d love to go out and have some fun — and to have someone fun with whom to have fun. But I do have those people — I have girlfriends. Many of the men I’ve met online have proven flaky and seem to not have taken the time to heal themselves. I’m not saying that as a judgment, because I’ve been pretty wishy-washy, too.

What I am saying is “do the work, people!” It’s worth it to heal yourself and be whole before you try it all over again.

my eyes are on the prize

The theme for the past week or so is keeping my eyes on the prize. It’s popped up in dialogue with friends, in horoscopes, on the radio…

So what is the prize?

Well…it’s not any of the men I’ve written about here, regardless of how much I’m intrigued by or adore them. It’s not my current day job.

The prize is enjoying life now.

The prize is spending quality time with my children.

The prize is good health.

The prize is a healthy, loving relationship.

The prize is fulfilling work that shares something positive with the world.

how to write goals with feeling

Awhile ago, I read a great article in O about goals and creating.

Author Martha Beck advises writing down what you think you want. For example, “I want to lose 30 pounds.” Or, “I want to start a business.”

Then ask yourself how you think you’ll feel when you’ve accomplished your goal. For the first it may be, “I’ll feel fit, energetic, confident” and for the second it may be “I’ll finally feel in control of my life, freedom.”

Sometimes there’s a disconnect between what we think we want and the way we want to feel. For instance, many people who start a business feel anything but free or in control — in fact, they may feel as though they’re always working and that life is more stressful than it was before. And for some, a weight loss goal may seem overly daunting.

So the author recommends using adjectives to help you re-write your goals, beginning with how you want to feel. If you want to feel “fit, energetic and confident,” your goal may seem more specific and achievable, and you can support your goal with smaller and achievable steps like “eat more vegetables, exercise regularly, take a pole dancing or burlesque class.” And, if you manage to take those small, manageable steps toward feeling the way you want, you may find yourself on your way to losing 30 pounds after all.

So when it comes to feeling more in control of my work-life balance, income and freedom…well, I haven’t figured that one out quite yet.

…and what are you up to?

So if you’re sensing that I haven’t been as full-on committed to the quality of posts or storytelling in this blog recently, you’d be right. Thus, I’m going to give you a little glimpse into what I’ve been up to:

  • I wrote a children’s book (obviously much cleaner than what I write about here), I’m working with an illustrator and raising the funds to get it published on I hope you’ll support the project!
  • I began a new gig that has me commuting across town, working all day and racing back after work to try and pick the children up before I have to pay a late penalty.
  • I signed up for an online course to brush up on some new media skills.
  • I wrote a down-and-dirty business plan for a statewide entrepreneurial competition. (I’ve been feeling overwhelmed enough so that, when I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” and arrived at being selected for the next round, because then I’d have to commit to further work on it…well, I figured I have nothing to lose.)
  • I’m exploring the possibility of buying a business that I’ve admired from afar for some time.

Additionally, I’ve been working on summer arrangements for my children, car shopping, getting a new roof, trying to keep up with the house and yard work, and failing miserably at maintaining my exercise and meditation routines. And, while I’ve taken a break from the online dating game, I’m actually checking in to other sites that might prove more fruitful, either because of sheer volume or who knows? There are some cool concepts out there that I want to try…which you may hear about if I find I’m inspired to write about them.

After a few-month period of shedding and releasing just about anything “extra,” it seems I’m now doing my damnedest to bite off way more than I can chew. You know me by now:  always trying to find my balance, I struggle with wondering whether I’m genuinely pursuing multiple passions or if I’m just throwing a bunch of shit at various walls to see what will stick. I am, in fact, a bit overwhelmed, and yet I’m managing my stress much better than when I was in the social pressure cooker of my old work life. I’m just plugging away, step by step, working toward my passions, knowing that the “right” things will fall in to line naturally.

And, with that, I’m gonna go and get my “om” on, and follow it with some zzzzz. Dream sweetly!

why I’m doing this

Ira Glass on creative work

I’m here, writing nearly every day, for these simple reasons:

  • because I must write
  • to discipline myself to write daily (or almost daily)
  • to prove to myself that I can commit (where previous efforts toward that end have failed)
  • to not suck
I’ve always written, just not as regularly or creatively as I’d like. And I think Ira’s quote sums it up pretty well.
p.s. You can find the original poster here:

resonance vs. dissonanace

The human mind makes countless judgements in the blink of an eye, the high-tech matter between the ears filtering what’s important and what’s not. We notice, determine and discern, consciously and unconsciously processing information for relevance, significance or congruence.

As it relates to dating, we notice little things about the folks we meet and add them to evidence for or against our potential or compatibility. We’re searching for clues, for resonance or dissonance. I wrote of that cosmic call-and-answer phenomenon I experienced when I met more-like-it. This is a great example of resonance, cues that I’m getting closer to attracting the kind of man I’d like in my life. I use this information to get even more specific.

For example, my list doesn’t specify what type of car my future mate should drive, yet I find I notice and interpret. I like a nice ride, and I suspect my guy also has an appreciation for foreign engineering. I’m not going to add this sort of thing to my list, but it resonates with me. (Let’s not discuss that my foreign-make luxury sedan is rusting and 15-years-old.)

Also, based on the kinds of conversations and emotional maturity level of the various guys I’ve met, I think I share a greater resonance with divorced men who have children. They seem a little more introspective and…well…humble. I’m not going to rule out a man who’s never been married nor had children; right now I just find it easier to relate to guys who’ve gone through something similar to what I’ve been through. Perhaps I won’t feel the same way in a few months or years.

If you look at the stats (50% of first marriages end in divorce; 70% of second marriages end in divorce), then I should probably reconsider. Marrying a guy who’s never been married could at least improve my odds by 10%, right? Bring it right on down to 60% chance of divorce. Now that’s winning!

I was once telling a friend about the lobbyist. I scoffed at the idea of even flirting with him, until my friend pointed out, “How do you know who can love you best?” It’s a good question. Maybe the man who will love me best is an actuary or a litigator…but it’s certainly easier to envision having a relationship with someone who shares a certain intellectual or career resonance, as well. (And by resonance, I’m leaning toward compatibility, understanding, rather than sameness.)

So…is all this an exercise in intellectual laziness? Am I looking in the mirror and trying to find someone just like me? Or are these clues to finding a match and a sense of belonging real?

Ideally, I’d like to think there’s someone out there with whom I share plenty in common, but who can also stretch my mind, imagination and sense of what’s possible, just as I hope to do for him.

that’s more like it…or not

I wrote a several days ago about more-like-it, who I met at a coffee shop a few weeks ago. I’d met him online, then in person, we’d talked on the phone, and I was enjoying getting to know him and his flirtatious personality.

When we first communicated, the conversation and flirtation flowed naturally. He was articulate and we seemed to be of a similar mind. He said all the right things. When we first met, I learned he had studied Japanese in university. I had lived in Japan. I was looking for someone who had bandwidth, presence and was concerned with health. He talked about balance, engaged parenting and cooking with organic ingredients.

I confess that physical beauty matters to me (I am a Libra, after all), and I’d give more-like-it a solid eight on a scale from one to ten. In the world of our online dating site, however, he’s a 26 (yes, out of ten) — far and away the best match for my physical type that I’d met (not only because of general attractiveness, but also because he could easily be assumed to have sired my offspring).

Finally, previous to meeting more-like-it, my most recent emotional attachment had been to Chi-guy. I wondered where all the guys like him — articulate, attractive, creative, intelligent and so much more — were in this city. Sure enough, more-like-it shares both age and astrological sign with Chi-guy. (Both are Virgo goats; neither an auspicious match for me.)

At the risk of being redundant, so much of what I’d put out there on my list, what I want — both written and unwritten — and more was reflected back at me. Though I doubt I’m explaining it very well, what I experienced was like some bizarre universe communion, a cosmic call and answer. I felt validated. And kinda powerful.

More-like-it was emotionally expressive and warm, yet I sensed there was something holding him back. His pain was palpable — too fresh for his divorce timeline. Following our last lunch, during which I asked him what he wanted (he said he wasn’t sure he knew), he spent some time reflecting and realized he wasn’t ready to date. So he dropped out.

I can’t deny feeling a little disappointed. I could feel a definite intellectual connection and was beginning to sense a physical connection, but we hadn’t built that emotional bridge yet. This was a pretty rockin’ guy, with a lot of positives going for him. The thought that I might get to know him better had given me something to look forward to.

More-like-it had solid, compelling reasons for taking a couple of steps back and away from dating. And I took a pause myself — I cancelled a date or two and left some messages unanswered for a few days to re-evaluate my own readiness. (Suddenly my profile seems to be on fire!)

He told me that I deserve to meet someone amazing and spend time with people who are “all in.” Yet some of his reasons for backing off are the very reasons I’m staying in. I’m looking at things differently these days:

  • I’m meeting people because I enjoy meeting people (even when I don’t really feel like meeting people).
  • I’m flirting to practice flirting.
  • I’m dating to develop confidence in relating to men romantically again.
  • I’m taking what I can from each interaction, trying to give and receive something positive each time, continuing to develop a clearer picture of what makes me feel good and what a life-affirming relationship looks like for me.
  • I’m not “all in” myself. And I may not be until I fall in love. “All in” suggests commitment to me, and the only commitments I have right now are to myself, my children and to putting myself out there.
  • Even if I’m only 85% ready to date, dating casually is what’s going to get me ready. Learning to take the small disappointments in stride is the fuel I’ll use to both toughen up and open my heart.
  • Who can say they’re ready for a serious relationship? You’re only ready if you find someone who inspires you to open your heart, take risks and be fearless. And that happens over time.
  • Although I ultimately want marriage, I don’t expect the guys I date to know what they want right away — and I especially don’t  anticipate they’re going to know whether they feel something special for me for a long time. They may use dating to develop clarity, too.
  • I feel vulnerable putting myself back out there, but facing my fear and challenging my beliefs is exactly what I need to move forward right now.

Yes, the human heart is fragile and it’s unfair to mislead anyone. But if we’re authentic — even if that means admitting uncertainty — it’s not misleading to discover, learn and grow in relation to others. In fact, most of us are doing these very things every day. And I have learned something from every single date I’ve been on.

So, while I’m a little bummed that I won’t be spending time getting to know more-like-it better, I’m going to add some of his amazing qualities to my list. I’m going to use having met him as evidence that great guys are out there, in this very city! And I’m going to ask the Universe to give me more of that cosmic “call and answer” dance — it will make putting myself out there all the easier.

revealing my truth

As I take this pause in my life to reflect, reconsider, re-configure and re-focus, I’ve devoted a significant amount of time to thinking, creating, writing, meditating, yoga, healing, expanding — in a word, growth.

So, while I’ve had several coffees and networking meetings and informational or other interviews during which I’ve projected my energy outward and, all told, hours of meditation directing my energy inward, I’ve recently been given some feedback that’s helping me grow and change where the rubber hits the road:

  • First, a colleague pointed out that having an anonymous blog is really contrary to the whole online paradigm. The world is moving toward authenticity, transparency and accountability. I’ve discussed my reasons for anonymity, but there may come a time when I need to reconsider. Besides, it would sure make publicizing and marketing it easier!
  • Chi-guy pointed out that I lied to him when he asked me if I’d shown anyone his risqué photo(s). Um, yeah, I wasn’t really sure how he’d respond if I confessed that practically every woman in the city had seen the hammer (or at least every woman I know). This small untruth was meant to shield him from harm, yet I suspect I might have caused some — perhaps he thinks less of me for this, or has now used this information to confirm a belief that women are dishonest with him. Of course when I asked him about it, he said that’s why he didn’t include his face — he was expecting that I’d share (and probably proud of it)!
  • This insight reminded me of something I recalled my therapist saying a long time ago:  I need to stop trying to protect others from myself, from seeing the full, real me. I need to stop hanging up the phone and thinking, “OMG, did I really say that?!” and just allow that I am who I am. I mean, what I’m writing here is all authentic and full-on me, but this blog is anonymous…(except that many of the readers are friends of mine with whom I’ve shared the link).
  • Add a hard look in the mirror to these blind spots, and what I’ve begun to see is that I have a habit of telling myself little white lies. I tell myself that I’m not really sure what I want, that I’m not ready to commit to a specific choice when, in fact, I know damned well what I want. Sometimes the truth is simply obscured by the daily tasks and work and parenting and life…and that’s why taking this “career break” has been so incredibly empowering. I have the time and the space to really figure out what feels true to me and reveal it not only to myself, but to others.
  • I was chatting with a colleague about goal-setting a few days ago and about some (unattributable) statistic that illustrates how powerful it is to write your goals down. My colleague suggested that one should go a step further and tell as many people as humanly possible. I agree. You can’t do it all alone. And, until recently, I was hiding my truth, afraid of exposing my deepest desires in fear that others may ridicule them or I might fail. Maybe so, but it seems even less likely that I’ll manifest those same dreams while hiding in my proverbial closet!

Just as I finished this draft, I checked out Rob Brezny’s Free Will Astrology horoscope for Libra for the week, an excerpt of which reads:

“…Inner truths that have been hidden from you are ready to be plucked by your penetrating probes…”

So here’s to revealing — and then sharing — my inner truths!