meditating and mantra

For the past month or so, a particular mantra has been on my mind. It goes something like this:

“I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”

This particular mantra has been part of my consciousness for so long that I can’t recall where I first learned it. Possibly it’s as common to meditators as “om mani padme hum.” I’ve done a little research, and it turns out this is an ancient Hawaiian / Polynesian mantra that is part of a healing practice of forgiveness. According to Wikipedia, “Ho’oponopono” is defined as “mental cleansing.”

I’ve played around with it over the years. And, since it’s back in my mind, I’m going to work with it a lot more over the coming weeks. With this as a reminder to myself, my daily meditation practice will go something like this:

Inhale:  “I’m sorry.”

Exhale:  “Forgive me.”

Inhale:  “Thank you.”

Exhale:  “I love you.”


Maybe it’s just the medicine I need to restore my faith in the possibility of love.

Join me?


I started writing this post well over a month ago:

Every so often, I still catch myself in that contracted state of responding from a place of fear or lack, as though I’m in a full-on life flinch, constantly anticipating another of life’s right hooks. And then, moments later, when I realize what I’m doing, that the proverbial perceived threat was only imagined, I relax and wonder at this baffling behavior…

Often this realization hits me while doing the most mundane of all activities, such as grocery shopping. I’ll neglect to buy ingredients for some fabulous meal I’d love to make because my children wouldn’t appreciate it, or it’s too much work for just one, or for some other reason that ends up sounding much more like an excuse. Banal example though it may be, it’s symptomatic of the recent phase in my life spent focused so much on making others happy that I’d forgotten to take care of myself.

Sometimes this divorce-recovery stuff seems like a slow climb out of the bomb shelter. Imagine me stepping up and out cautiously, feeling a bit leery, eyes squinting against the brightness of daylight.

Today, I can happily report that I bought old favorites like Brussels sprouts and Swiss chard and more while grocery shopping. I intend to make the foods I like and, if my children won’t eat them, I’ll take the leftovers to work. I also enlisted some help and cleaned a bunch of junk out of the garage. For the first time in nearly a decade, I can actually park my car in it!

In other words, I’ve successfully taken another leap or two in relaxing into this new position of President and CEO of my own life.


my, how I’ve grown!

If you look back to when I first began writing this blog, there was a lot of purging and a lot of stuff about the failure of my relationship. It must have been cathartic, because it’s rare that the anger, resentment or blame flares up anymore. In fact, while I’ll confess to anyone that I still care for my ex (he is, after all, the father of my children), I’m detached about it. I would never go back to our relationship or him. When I dropped off the children the other day, he hugged me and told me that he loves me very, very much…and the only thought that came to mind was “have you been drinking?”

Amidst the un-flings and failed attempts to get laid or find romance these past months, I’ve largely healed my heart and re-set my standards. Perhaps it sounds odd that I even needed to re-set my standards…and, yet, I clearly once accepted so little for myself that they were due a bit of re-calibration. And to do so, my self-esteem needed an overhaul. Leaving a stressful job, spending lots of quality time with family and friends, yoga, meditation and a healthy diet have worked wonders. In many ways, I’m restored with a much more solid sense of self. And, while I’m feeling great, I plan to keep up positive momentum on that front.

I’m also getting better at catching myself when I fall into old patterns of behavior. I’ve noticed and curbed impulses to use behaviors associated with masculine energy in relationships with men — if he’s not providing it, I’m not interested. And I’ve dialed back my need to mother people who are (technically) no longer children. I’m grateful to have been able to take the time to glean the lessons of my failed relationship and grow from them. While dysfunctional behaviors that I’m not yet aware of are likely to reveal themselves as I explore new relationships, I’m going to be gentle with myself and my “other,” and I’m going to be a lot better at forgiving myself when I make mistakes. These are joyful discoveries for me — they bring me closer to realization of the woman I want to be.

Perhaps best of all are the great qualities I feel expanding — courage, patience, deservingness, trust, allowance and good humor seem to be blossoming within me. My “vibe” is more consistently positive than ever before.

These are good days. I am enjoying among the best times ever with my children (our recent vacation was amazing — they’ve just reached an entirely new level of fun, interest and expression), and I’m putting into practice so many of the relationship tools I’ve learned in the past several months — even some of those tips that involve relating with men. While I’m not about to report anything, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way things are going!

cheers to the independent girls!

I spent time with a girlfriend over the weekend with whom I have a few things in common. We’re both divorced; our relationships fell apart right around the same time in our lives (roughly 40, and with children at about the same ages) — the difference is that she’s a decade older, and so her divorce has been final for far longer.

And here’s what I noticed about our interactions:

  • We met at a beach, and she’s clearly more comfortable with her body / in her skin. I suspect some of this has to do with her being more fit than I am, but women have a bad habit of being self-critical regardless of physical condition — so either that’s maturity or a natural self-assuredness or perhaps it’s just that she hasn’t had someone making negative remarks to her in the past decade. Surprising how long it can take to banish that voice!
  • She is completely self-sufficient and free. Her children are both college-aged, independent, working and, while they’re living at home for the summer, they help with the grocery shopping and such, too. She doesn’t have to think about picking them up from childcare at a certain time…how nice!
  • She looks amazing and nowhere near her age — and she doesn’t wear makeup. Maybe I should try going au natural? I rarely wore makeup (before that last corporate gig where everyone seemed to be in a fashion show), and I’m big on letting my inner beauty shine through.
  • She is so over the ex, the divorce, etc. I start talking about my past relationship, and I find myself becoming snarky, bitter, resentful or angry. I’m thrilled to know that, at some point, all of that baggage will just be gone.
  • She’s bought herself a fabulous car and has had a great deal of remodeling done on her house — clearly she is comfortably in the driver’s seat in her life. Sometimes I still feel as though I’m looking around, waiting for some man to magically appear in a tool belt to take care of things.

As I wrote in my last post, I am getting better about these things. I am stepping back into full accountability for everything in my life — my happiness, my home, my car, my career, my parenting and all my decisions. And I am beginning to feel fulfilled again regardless of whether there’s a man in my life — I can live happily without.

I am also committed to being myself, flying my freak flag and letting the men (and women) who are intimidated or turned off by that to opt out of my life. It’s okay; they’re doing me a favor. I am (to take a phrase from John Randolph Price’s The Abundance Book) my source and my substance.