Missing pieces from unlikely places….

Dear persistent girl,

The missing pieces of your life , the magic solutions and the save-the-day-heroes come from the most unlikely places….

It’s important to be open to the surprise endings and beginnings that show up just when we think we have it all figured out.
Sometimes things that look like mistakes end up being great discoveries.
Often a person who seemed lackluster at first sight turns out to be our greatest teacher or friend.
Sometimes a disaster is just the final event that’s meant to get something out of our life once and for all.

Be open…try to really really see what is really happening and what is possible. Life is full of beautiful and custom designed surprises!

You are loved.

xoxo
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The thing about fooling yourself…..

The thing about fooling yourself…..

In a culture that worships youth….I don’t care what anyone says, it’s difficult when you start to age….when you start to get older and find yourself no longer young or young-looking and to find yourself having less and less days of young feeling. (Actually, it’s only difficult if you resist it and wish it was different than it is…from what I’m told, it rocks once you start embracing it)

After the summer’s yuck-fest of healing, WAKING UP and getting real with myself…grieving, working hard in therapy and with my doctors and finally finding some beautiful peace and clarity….I wanted to share with you a few more things I have learned. I am getting healthier by the minute….from the inside out…but this 2 year sickness left me about 30 pounds over the weight that I feel comfortable at….and only recently have I been able to start tackling that. It’s hard to have a job where you have to be visible while working through something that you wish you could hide until you are done doing it. I have often felt like my body is betraying me…and wished I could hide it under a blanket until it is the shape I want it to be. And I’m learning that things don’t bounce back as fast at 43 as they did at 25. It’s going to be a long journey for my body…….and I’m only just recently coming to terms with that…..and I’ve asked my body for forgiveness and decided to cooperate with it instead of fight with it and curse it….

be really kind to your reflection

AND……..I ‘ve made it a HUUUUUUUUUUUGE goal to stop fooling myself…to stop fooling myself about ANYTHING. (fooling yourself is absolutely exhausting, by the way) I have very little excess energy these days so I’ve decided to use that energy to just be brave enough to see what is real, to believe what is real, and to live in what is real….whatever imperfect broken beautiful thing that ends up being from day to day.

Because…….

In my mind I’ve been 25. And in my mind I am a nicely toned size 6 and it doesn’t bother me at all to wear very stylish high heeled boots. So…some days when I am deep in my fantasy…it is perplexing that my husband is not also 25 or 32….but heading on up to 50 years old. And then I feel uneasy about both of us…and it comes out in all sorts of twisted up ways. When you fool yourself everything feels so weird. (and please understand that this is not about physical looks….it’s an analogy to the whole dang thing with aging and years going by and losing years and things not turning out the way you planned)

let go of what was

I have been 25 in my mind for over 15 years. Well….maybe I have let myself get all the way up to 32 or 33. (I was 32, 10 years ago when my husband had his accident and I STOPPED everything at that age……..and held on for dear life really believing on some deep level that I could stop the clock until things were back to “normal”) While this worked well as a survival mechanism for the last 10 years…..and while I know that is exactly the craziness that it was…..I still hold on tight to SOME hope some days that things can be like they used to be in some magic trick because that seems like it would only be fair after all of the difficulty of those years. I am a Libra and I am always fighting for what is fair :)

Then I look in the mirror. And I used to be able to stand a certain way in a certain light in certain outfits and it made it easy to fool myself that I could hold on to my youth. Those days seem to be gone. The angles, the lighting and the spanx aren’t even cooperating in my fantasy. My mirror is ever coaxing me into the wise woman years…..trying to convince me that it is good to be in your mid forties. (or at least that it is inevitable) My photos look like a different woman all together…………..

melody aging copy

Oh, the mirror. That is where reality hits. In reality I am not 25. In fact, in reality, my oldest child will be 25 any day now. He and his incredible bride (who I love so dearly) have already given us a precious grandson.

brock n sabrina n leo

I am old enough to be a grandmother. I AM a grandmother…I am Mimi!  But in my mind………I am young and fit and energetic and smooth.

mimi and leo

 

….and some days I actually weep over the loss of my youth when I could be spending my heart time thinking of this precious boy. (is that lame or what?)

don't miss the important stuff

The truth is, I could not be the wild and wacky woman I am TODAY without all of the years it took to get here. I have been in a beautiful, difficult, complex, never ending love story with my beloved for almost 25 years. He is a grandfather…..a Pompie…

leo n pompie

I am the mother to 5 incredible children, 3 of whom are fantastic, contributing to the world adults. I could not be here without having lived to the age I am now.  I have started 2 successful businesses that have gone global…..the first one taught me all of the necessary lessons needed when it crashed and burned and took me along with it. I have written 15+ books and I’m working on my newest book with a major publisher that will be out this Spring. I teach classes to thousands of women every year and I can sit as a peer with the wisest of all humans……..because I have lived all of these years….I’ve won, I’ve failed, I’ve fallen, I’ve gotten back up…I’ve risked…I’ve shown up….I’ve gotten older, and older….and older……and even a little wiser.

……but yet I still try to fool myself sometimes into thinking it would be better if only I was 30 again…..

new adventures are ahead

I wish I was one of those people I have read about who ease into aging with grace and excitement and enough wisdom to know that this is a very good thing. But I have been mourning and aching and fighting it…….and, the worst part of all is that I have indulged in fooling myself into thinking that I would find the “cure” to it if I looked hard enough. I missed a whole decade, really….my 30’s, while being a caretaker to my husband and a CEO to my business and a survivor of so much dang fallout from all of that. I thought some miracle would happen that would even things out and I would get that time back when I was ready….that whole “fair” thing.

This isn’t even about looks….it’s about everything. I want those years back. It’s about hanging on so tight to what is gone and having your body turned so tight in the opposite direction at the road that’s already been traveled that there is no way you could ever see or think about what is ahead….or even what is NOW.

just show up

THAT is the thing about fooling yourself. You think you are going to get that time back, but what is really happening is that you are losing even more time by not living in TODAY. You are losing the precious TODAY. Today my grandson Leo is 5 months old and just started eating baby food. Today I just completed another amazing brave girl camp with my incredible sister as my partner. Today my daughter told me that she will give us another grandchild in 6 months. I could not have any of TODAY’s stuff if I was still 30 years old. If I keep chasing the past, I lose TODAY. And every day there is a new TODAY until 10 more years go by and if you were not going along that ride….you have lost yet another decade wishing you were still in the last decade.

The thing about fooling yourself that you can still be 25 is that you miss being 26, 27, 30, 35, 40………….42…..then 50, 60, 70………YOU MISS YOUR TURN at all of those beautiful ages.

P.S…..the coolest people I know are the older and wiser ones….seriously.

The thing about fooling yourself about ANYTHING at all is that you miss what is real……and the real stuff, with all of it’s ups and downs….the real stuff is where it’s at. It’s the ONLY place it’s at. (I’m pretty sure that’s science…….)

more beautiful days

Dear Melody,

If you want to wear yourself out, suffer a lot and waste a whole lot of time…..keep on fooling yourself and clinging tight to what was. If you want to be happy….to CHOOSE HAPPY…..get real. CLING TO TODAY….let go of the past. You are 43. You are wonderful. You are just right. PLEASE STOP MISSING OUT ON BEING 43.  (p.s. someday you will understand how young 43 really is)

xoxo,

Your 80 year old self

So whether you are 25 now and you are afraid to head into 30…and you wish you were still 18……OR….you are 50 and you wish you were 30. Or you are 18 and you wish you were 25……..or you are 70 and wish you were 50…..whatever it is….PLEASE stop missing out on your turn at being exactly the age that you are right now…because really and truly, you only get to have that turn for one year…..just one year…….

BUT THEN….you get a brand new turn to do a brand new thing…..and you get another chance to make the most of your turn at being that brand new age.

So……….I’m taking this year of being 43 as my BEST TURN EVER at being this age. I’m not gonna wish it forward and I’m not gonna wish it back.

it is your turn

I like it. I like me.

I hope you will join me in taking your turn at your beautiful perfect age. Sure feels lots better this way………..

Here’s to the wise woman years….bring it on.

xoxoxoxo

melody

p.s.

“The only good in pretending is the fun we get out of fooling ourselves that we fool somebody.” – Booth Tarkington

 

You are okay right now

Dear Faithful Girl,

Want to make yourself miserable today? Of course you don’t!! But if you did, a great way would be to try to figure out what and where you are going to be in your life a month from now, a year from now, 5 years from now — and if you will be ok, and how things will EVER possibly work out and if everything is just going to come crashing down one of these days — to worry worry worry.

But you want to be happy, so you are not going to do that, right?

Please remember, lovely soul, that sometimes all that we REALLY know is that we are ok today. That is all that we NEED to know! SO TODAY is a great place to focus our energy. Please remember that sometimes all we can see is the very next step, so it’s ok if all of our energy is simply focused on the very next step, not on the dark uncertainty that seems to stretch out beyond that step.

YOU ARE OK RIGHT NOW.

Isn’t that beautiful? You might WISH you were somewhere else, and you might not FEEL 100% ok, but if you really think about it, you have everything you need at this moment, even if it is just enough to survive this moment. And tomorrow you will have everything you need too. You have made it to now, and you have been tough and resilient through all of it. You will continue to make it, and you will continue to have what you need to make it.

Faith is believing in things that we can not see yet, but yet we KNOW in our hearts exist. Keep the faith, beautiful friend, even if it’s just a tiny little smidgen of faith. Don’t let anything take it away from you.

Because let’s face it — you made it through yesterday, you are making it through today, and you will undoubtedly make it through tomorrow. You will.

Try to smile your way through it. It will make all the difference in the world. :)

You are loved beyond measure.
xoxo

Say YES to whatever lessons life is handing you

Dear Inspiring Girl,

Try for the next 24 hours to say yes to whatever lessons life is handing you. 

Say yes to crazy things that have shown up that you weren’t expecting, but that you know are meant just for you. Say yes to the opportunity to love unconditionally, even if it is difficult. Say yes to the opportunity to forgive another, even if it has seemed impossible. Say yes to the things that are creating resistance, because they are making you stronger. Say yes to a disappointment that you wish would have turned out the way you wanted it to…and say yes to what is going to show up in its place.

We bring ourselves so much pain and suffering when we resist the flow of life…when we try to paddle upstream or walk DOWN an escalator that is going UP.

When we can stop and accept the things that we can not change…accept them just as they are….without conditions or expectations…we are free from so many unpleasant things. After we have done all we can, we need to just let things go, and even say yes to the lessons they are bringing to our lives. It is silly and futile when we continue to hold on to the belief that we have control over things that we can never control….outcomes, people, etc.

Trust is powerful. Trust life as it is happening. Let go of any attachments to any specific outcomes. Trust the One who made you, and the plans that are meant for you. Love unconditionally and forgive freely.

C’mon…..just for 24 hours…you can do anything for 24 hours. Chances are…you will love the way this feels so much that you will stick with it even longer. Isn’t it worth a try?

You are so loved, never forgotten and never alone.
xoxo

Simplify today…..one little thing at time

Dear Extraordinary Girl….

You can do amazing things with the simplest things. You can have so little and be so happy. You can take small amounts of time and perform life-changing acts.

Is it time to simplify? Is it time to pare your life down to the handful of things that mean the most to you, and let the rest go so that… you can give the very best of yourself to the very best things…instead of being spread in a too-thin layer all over the place?

Your heart knows when it’s time…and you will have the strength to do it. And best of all…you will see enormous changes happen in your life when you let the unimportant things go and embrace the things that quietly sustain you and bring you joy.

It may not look like the most glamorous life….but it is one filled with joy, peace and harmony….one where laughter is a welcome and frequent companion…one where worries are few…where long meaningful conversations are many…..
one that is waiting for you when you are ready to take the steps to get there.

Simplify today…..one little thing at time. You can do it.

You are so very loved.

xoxo

Say goodbye and let it go….

Dear Forgiving Girl,

Almost nothing feels worse than carrying around a grudge. It is a bitter taste and a stinging pain and a heavy load that no one else can see, but that clings to us without a rest from it until we finally decide to put it down, wish it well and walk away. Even better, bury it first.

Forgiveness is often difficult because endings are not always clean and neat, and we like clean and neat endings. Often we hold on to something because somewhere in our hearts, we are hoping that somehow, somewhere, in some way there can finally be a way to make a clean and neat ending. Forgiveness requires a bit of grieving and accepting the “death” of what we may have hoped could be but wasn’t, and isn’t, and maybe can never be. Forgiveness lets us create a proper, dignified burial of the hope that we had in that clean ending and lets us say goodbye to it in a gentle, kind and powerful way.

 

freeyourbeautifulmind

Often we don’t forgive because we feel like whatever or whoever we are forgiving does not “deserve” our forgiveness. But, beautiful soul, it is not about the who or the what. It is about YOU and YOUR soul and how your back aches and your soul aches from carrying that yuckiness around with you everywhere.

Today is a great day to finally let it go. Say goodbye to it and let it go.

Ahhhhh — doesn’t that feel good?

You are so very very very loved.
xoxo

For all of the caged birds – let’s break outta there…..

Hello beautiful friends…. I promised to give a continuation of this crazy journey I’ve been on healing from adrenal exhaustion…chronic hives,etc….and before I begin I want to tell you that I’ve had a giant progression on all levels. I feel so grateful every day these days to have finally found some answers to the health problems I’ve been having. Parts of it have been less than a good time, however…so part of this post is kinda sad and down in the dumps…because that is exactly where I was…..and as someone who values fun and joy and ease……it has been quite a stretch for me to take the healing path I took over the summer. But I am a brave girl…and after this summer, I claim that title for myself without question. Been doing lots of reconnecting with my beloved too…. 10382654_10204110893268877_7320987823718838074_n Again I want to tell you that I am doing great….better every day….and the purpose of this post is simply to sort of beg you, dear friend…..to really examine what might be keeping YOU from flying free……I’m so thankful to be feeling the way I am feeling lately….living the life I really want to live…because I’ve felt caged up, trapped and stuck for a long time now……. And having a chronic condition can really mess with you. I’m kinda tired of talking about this because it makes me feel like a huge whiner…but ya know what….it’s stuff we gotta talk about. So…here goes….. Above all things, I need freedom. I am a free spirit and a wild flower. This is not big news…I have been a weird and wild human from the moment I knew I could be. I’ve always danced to my own drumbeat…a drum that’s collaged and painted and covered in funky artsiness….a dance that resembles the wind. Yes, I need freedom. I know that you need freedom too…we all do.

the cage was in her headartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn about Soul School

Another thing I am…is someone who is compulsive about needing to make sense of everything. When I can not make sense of things easily……I create economies, ecosystems and governments in my own head to make sure things make sense for me. I then live by those made up, very rigid and stringent rules for myself….just so things can make sense for me. I create systems to “pay” for things, and I make sure I pay dearly. I make hefty contracts with myself. And I kill myself to live up to them. Somehow, from a young age….I learned that I could make things make sense if I did this. You can probably understand now how tormented my mind and heart gets when I’m feeling weak….or sick…..or less than who I wish I could be…..when I need to be free….yet I create constructs that are rigid, demanding and dictatorial….and I do this to myself. Thing is…I bet you do this too. We are so mean to ourselves.

be freeartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

Are you ready to be free too? I sure hope so……cages suck.

I have learned through some pretty painful lessons on this healing journey. I’ve learned that I have constructed my own cages, my own locks and my own misery……all of it in my head. Sure….lots of it has come from traumatic and difficult experiences…but those experiences are over and what’s left is just my own thoughts. This has been new knowledge that is so powerful and empowerING….but also incredible painful. Know why it’s painful? Because I never would have imagined that it was ME doing this to myself. I have already done SO MUCH soul work. I have worked very very hard. I have worked so very very hard to get out of the cage I was in. But then I felt like I got thrown back in when I lost my health…..and it is easier to believe that the wild and wacky personal system I constructed in my head is REAL (and by the way, in my head, it only applied to me…not to anyone else)…and that the rigid rules requiring perfection are to blame for my anxiety, my sickness, my sadness…my problems. The thing is though…..I MADE THOSE RULES. Then, I believed those rules. I believed that not keeping them meant I could not keep anything good or true or wonderful or beautiful. Yes, I know you might be saying “WHAT THE?” because I teach this stuff every day…I have witnessed miracles in thousands of women who have learned this stuff FROM ME. And I believe everything I teach…it’s just that I created an economy in my head from a very young age that I have to pay and pay and pay for things….and when I got sick 2 years ago…I couldn’t pay in Superhero proportions anymore…..which put me into a tailspin of massive panic that added to my sickness…..(a sickness that came from too many years of exhaustion from trying to live up to my made up personal economy) Well, I couldn’t pay anymore…so I threw myself back in my own cage. Sister….if this is resonating with you please just hold hands with me for a minute ok? We are not meant for cages. This is a miraculous, huge, amazing and life-changing realization for me. It really is….but like I said, it was also wildly painful one that I have been working through for months…making giant breakthroughs over the last months especially that have finally led to a steady incline in my health, my energy, my outlook and my joy. …because I have not been able to be set free until I have taken total and complete responsibility for my own thoughts….my own internal rules…and the way I see things, judge things, punish myself and reward things. Things=me….my actions, my aging, my goals, my energy, my limitations, my creativity, my moods…… AND how I judge everything else in my life….what I do to myself when things don’t turn out the way I wanted them to…the way I planned for them to…the way I worked for them to…the way I think they should have…….things like relationships and projects and healing…. My biggest question always comes around to some form of….”why aren’t things different than they are?” (and even worse…they often go to….”is this my fault?”) It’s no secret I’ve been struggling with these chronic health conditions for a few years now. Some of them are very visible and some of them aren’t. I will admit that I have been through a heck of a lot of trauma. (Just like so many of us have) When my physical health failed, I sought out healing on every level. I needed some help with PTSD and I needed help with some deep grieving. I needed help with some anger. I needed help with the hives that covered my body and with the exhaustion that kept me from everything that I wanted to do. I needed help with a 30 pound weight gain that nothing seemed to be able to stop or slow down. I needed help most of all making sense of it.

everything changed fly freeartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

Here’s what I know now. Some things will just never make sense. Some things that happen in life send us swirling and and whirling and whipping in the wind until we are ragged and full of holes. When we make up reasons for what caused those things….reasons like “I must have deserved this” or “I could have prevented this if….” or “I must be cursed” or…… “I guess misery is the life that’s meant for me” ….or….”I guess I didn’t pay enough for this good thing, so it was taken away…” ….when we make that stuff up…..we build big old cages right around ourselves. My constant pursuit of making sense of things that will never make sense has led to so much suffering on so many levels that it makes me want to just want to bundle up my body in a giant swaddling blanket and rock myself to sleep, singing lullabies and telling myself the truth. Now I have worked very hard to expose this crazy system I had created for myself (and also give my little-girl self an A+ in creativity for making something so complex to help herself survive) …..and I spent the summer examining all of it. I cried a lot over the lost years…and I kept trying over and over and over to make it all make sense. Some of it still doesn’t and that is ok.

she finally set herself freeartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

I am done “working hard” to make things make sense. I am all about easing into things now. I am all about cooperating with myself and all of my broken thinking instead of battling it. I am all about going with the sweet flow instead of standing against it, crying about why it’s not going a different direction. I am all about choosing the happy that is all around me. Making sense now consists of cooperating with however things have turned out today….and finding all of the goodness and treasures in whatever that is. I have exhausted myself battling the way things are, instead of surrendering to how things are and easing myself into the flow of how things are. How things are happens to be exactly perfect for me to become who I am meant to become……just like how things are for you is exactly perfect for you. Even when it sucks big time and you want to fight it and make sense of it…….

you have your own wingsartwork from Brave Girl Soul School collage sheets, September 2014….click here to learn more

My personal made up economy has collapsed. The tyrants have all been fired. I am building a commune up in there now full of love and cooperation and ease. I’m gonna dance and sing and work with how things are instead of cry over how they are not. once I surrendered….I finally started to heal…….surrender kinda means to stop trying so hard to bend things to go your way….and I never thought that sounded very brave…..what is learned is that it’s one of the bravest things of all…..fly free…..go with the flow…. 10649797_10204110896028946_4573309657237418887_n I want to tell you everything I’ve learned……. FLY FREE COVER SHEET FOR PRINT (1) For now…I really hope you will check out SOUL SCHOOL….where I teach all of my life lessons mixed with beautiful healing projects that anyone can do. Did you know we create a brand new SOUL SCHOOL lesson every single month? This month just so happens to be called FLYING FREE…and it’s all about everything I just talked about…full of journaling prompts, lesson videos and art journaling and projects to go with it…along with tons of collage sheets and resources to give you a whole toolkit.  (See EVERYTHING included in the September “Flying Free” class and toolkit here.) I hope you will check it out….we work really hard on it and we are all super proud of it…and the thousands of you who are participating have given such beautiful feedback about loving it that I just don’t want anyone to be left out. You can get a monthly subscription for as little as $10 a month!! Your beautiful soul is worth whatever it takes to be fed and reminded and grown and healed. I love you all. Thanks for letting me be real. I am ready to fly again. No more caged birds. Let’s examine our thoughts and let go of all of the thoughts that don’t serve the highest part of our spirits. That’s a lot of trash to take out, a lot of cleaning up to do…….but it is making room for all of the good stuff. sending you love and freedom and keys to the cage…. xoxo melody

Disappointments can be BIG blessings

Dear Seeking Girl,

Have you ever been disappointed? Have you ever carefully planned, or saved, or studied, or sacrificed, and still had a big disappointment come into your life and knock the wind out of you?

That big disappointment could end up being one of the BEST things that ever happen to you.

Sometimes NOT getting what you thought you wanted is the greatest, most miraculous blessing that you can ever count in your life. It can save you from so much heartache, and it can keep you on the exact path you were meant to be on…..or even lead you to the right path.

Brave Girls Club - your path is YOUR path
It is difficult to do….but please just trust. Trust that you will all end up exactly where you are supposed to be, to learn exactly what you are supposed to learn and to become exactly who you are meant to become.

Everything always works out somehow, doesn’t it? It’s okay to cry a few tears over the disappointment, friend…but then step into the warm, sunny light of your beautiful future. It is gonna be SO GOOD.

You are so very loved.
xoxo

Being willing….

Dear Inspiring Girl,

Willingness is so important. Do you think you could just try try try to be willing this week to take chances…to hear someone out….to let something be….to let things work themselves out…to learn something new that you may not have been willing to believe in before? Just be willing, that’s all. It’s such an important first step to take when things seem so far out of reach.

So…if you are up to it…please be willing to let change happen, be willing to trust, be willing to forgive, be willing to try something new, be willing to see yourself in the beautiful ways that others see you, be willing to accept love, be willing to give of yourself, be willing to believe in your dreams, be willing to believe in the path that is meant just for you. Be willing to believe that there are unseen hands helping you along every single day. Be willing to believe in yourself.

Doesn’t that feel good? It feels good because there is so much truth wrapped around it….and it all started with just being willing to believe it.

You are loved so much more than you could ever imagine.
You really are.
xoxo

I showed up angry, I showed up sad, I showed up hivey and chubby and exhausted…… the summer of LIGHTER AND LIGHTER is almost over.

I am on day 90 of a 100 day hiatus from how my life WAS….and before I start writing about what exactly transpired over these months……….I wanted to set the stage. I am SO READY to close this chapter. This was no sabbatical….it was more like an emotional/physical/ mental boot camp. Today I can be all light hearted and cheerful about it…..in the middle….I wasn’t so much fun to be around. This was not my favorite summer of all time.

I made it

This blog post is gonna sound really ugly at the beginning but I promise it all turns out in the end.

to show up

As someone who tries to see the bright side of everything, as someone who believes in extracting the valuable lesson in everything and letting the rest go……it has been a terrifying few months when I could do neither. I have known myself as someone who could will myself to do just about anything….someone who could overcome and just press on….power through it. Tough it out. Well……

My 100 day hiatus is almost up. In May, after nearly 2 years of chronic hives and a gradual decline in vitality….then a swift decline in vitality and a startling weight gain, I decided to take the summer to really figure out what was going on with my body.  I did not write much, even though I had planned on it, because it was all just too personal…I know you get that. Also….I didn’t have much to say that was good or inspiring. Things got much worse before they finally started to get better….in fact, I was sure I was ruined for life when I was just a few weeks in. I did not have it in me to see the bright side of that. What I learned this summer was that although my symptoms most certainly manifested in my body…..they started in my head, my heart and my soul. Shutting my body down was my self’s last resort to get me to stop and take care of some old, yucky infected soul wounds that I have powered through but never let myself feel angry about…hurt about….I have never let myself grieve things that were lost by natural causes, lost by unfairness, lost by my own decisions, lost by things that were out of control. My way of dealing with everything has always been to press on…press on…press on…….power through it and always always always look at the bright side.

Well…then I got sick. In June…..I got diagnosed with Stage 3 adrenal exhaustion. This was after, like I said, nearly 2 years of disfiguring welts and hives that moved all over my body and stayed for weeks at a time. After all of the blood and saliva tests….I learned I was depleted in everything. Even my cholesterol was low! There was nothing left in my body to power through with…not even a drop. My doctor said….‘you have squeezed every last drop of every single thing out of your body…….you have no choice but to stop and replenish it all…and it takes a while to do that.

melody ross i dont want to look like this

2 years of chronic hives, stage 3 adrenal fatigue and a 30 pound weight gain….hellooooooo, healing hiatus…where are you????? (and by the way….WHAT THE H????? Remember, God, that I just finished this 10 year marathon of helping my husband heal and seeing our life fall apart and working my bootie off to put it all back together…….and now this??? WHY???)

why this

That is when I stopped writing.

That is when I got madder than mad. (I was even mad at my doctor) This is new for me…I really and truly thought I did not have the gene that helps people to feel anger….turns out, I just had a really thick wall with a really locked up gate that held in all of my very human anger….years and years and years of it.

That is when I pretty much stayed in my bedroom and cried and made art from my bed all summer because I lost my energy and my zoom and my pizazz and my sparkle… and all I could do was rest most days….another totally new experience for me.

and….that is when I went into a pity party of such sizable proportions that I didn’t even know who I was.

i do not understand

This summer (and for the last 2 years) I had grotesque hives in ways that made me look like that guy in Goonies…no matter what I did..they itch, they hurt, they make me want to hide and sleep in a bathtub of oatmeal…….my weight climbed, leaving me 30 pounds heavier than I was before this all happened. My energy went away, my joy went away and I every day I faced a new issue. It was not the best year of my life.

I have WANTED to write….I have wanted to write blog posts with titles like “2014, the year I got old and dried up, puffed up and messed up” or…..”when beauty and youth fade overnight and leave you a shell of human” or…..just simply “life is not fair and it really really REALLY sucks.”

but…I didn’t. I am glad I didn’t. Hopefully you can see why I stopped writing. In fact, my writing has withered over the last 2 years since those hives showed up because my energy, my vitality, my sparkle, my shine, my confidence, my smile, my mojo….all of it was slowly draining out of me…….but I just kept powering through it instead of filling it back up.

I will tell you that I wanted a magic pill….a magic program….a silver bullet…..a secret code….SOMETHING that would make me better overnight. I believe in choosing happiness above all else…I never thought it would be so hard for ME to find it. I thought happiness was my special talent!!  It has felt very unfair when I begged and I begged and I prayed and I prayed to be healed. It made me feel very sad, mad and negative for lots weeks that turned into lots of months. I don’t like this side of me that behaves this way….but I do love her. She has put up with so much. Soooo, I finally let that side of me be as mad and as sad as she wanted to be….I surrendered to it….and I let her say it, I let her feel it…I sat next to her through it. When she would listen…I would tell her that it was gonna pass and everything would be happy again.

…and I even started therapy…which I have never ever ever done.

I was so thankful when, after talking for 2 hours…..my therapist said….”you have been through a LOT of trauma, dear…..you HAVE to let yourself heal from that….you have to let yourself be mad at how unfair it felt, how sad it felt, how lost you felt, how alone you felt…..you have to work through this anger and sorrow and despair.”

So…I started doing that.

I am doing that.

I wrote in one of my first “lighter and lighter” posts about how it knocked the wind out of me when I realized that my husband can not remember the worst things that happened during his 4-5 years of mental illness that resulted after his brain injury. I think I started going downhill fast when I realized that we were never going to be able to heal from those years together because he can not even remember them. It really really REALLY stinks when you are the only one holding memories that have never been dealt with. It makes you feel crazy. It makes you feel infuriated.

-press on beautiful soul

I was reminded that over the last 2 years I have done some major overhauling in my life through facing painful and difficult things that had never been talked about…..on top of my son getting married 2 years ago, my daughter getting married last year and our first grandchild being born this Spring.(all the the most wonderful things you can imagine)  We have moved 5 times in the last 5 years and life was very uncertain for a very long time. We started a new business on a shoestring and gave it all we had. We love everything we do and we give it everything we have…..

Life has just been really grueling….happy and sad…constant going….constant survival mode. Constant POWERING THROUGH IT. It has been this way for more than 10 years.

My body is tired. My soul is tired.

-this might take a while

Plus…….this thing that happens in your 40’s…..when you start to age, you start to look different and feel different….when you start to question everything in life because you have new wisdom…..it is a weird time. Middle age is not for wimps…that’s all I’ve got to say.

SOOOOO…the good news is, dear friends…that I am writing because I am shifting. Everything is shifting. I see the light. My body is balancing….my heart is balancing. I have so much to say about all of the different facets of this………as this summer I have learned so much about my marriage, about being a mother, about being a woman, about being a friend and letting others be a friend to me. I have learned so much about limitations. I have learned so much about choosing…and deciding.  I have learned so much about patience and impatience. I have learned so much about the value of anger and the purpose of anger. I have learned so much about myself….my beloved, precious self (I can say that now and really mean it) I have learned so much about what happens when we believe the yucky lie that we have to pay dearly for anything good, including happiness…..and I am learning every day what GRACE means.

I have been angry at God, angry at myself, angry at my husband’s loss of memory, angry at my body, angry at the world…..I have been angry this summer about how life works. I have been angry angry angry….mostly about things that I can not control…and that made me even angrier.

But I am seeing the other side of it.

When I can…I want to write to you all that I have learned about these chronic hives, about what I’ve learned about hormones…what I’ve learned about adrenals…what I’ve learned about how it’s all connected to old secrets, old memories, old wounds and old stories……..because I want to give you all the information I can about how this healing is evolving so that if you are going through some of the same things….maybe I have a map that will help you on your journey.

Because I AM HEALING. I AM.

melody ross I will tell you the secret

I see this vision of myself coming out of this brighter, happier and more at peace than ever before…….because I went on a quest and I was gifted with some gifts of knowledge and wisdom…….(gifts I may have declined had I been given the choice when they were offered, but that I am profoundly grateful for now)

….thank goodness because I thought this was all just a bunch of crap while I was in the middle of it. I thought this was my new life. Just being honest. I swore a lot, I cried a lot and I felt sorry for myself a lot. I was jealous of others a lot. I begged a lot…I yelled a lot………..I hid out a lot. I did what I needed to do…and I let myself do it.

Ok..this is too long already but I will write more when it is time.

Love you all so much……..please hang in there…stay with it. When my friends kept telling me to HANG IN THERE and STAY WITH IT this summer, I sometimes wanted to punch them in the face, but I knew they loved me and that I could trust them…so I did. I hope you will do the same.

Because life is really hard sometimes….but sometimes that’s what it takes to get us to the next place we are meant to be.

Finally…..as the post is titled…”SHOW UP ANGRY…SHOW UP SAD…” please make sure you reach out when things are tough. This summer it has been a real exercise in trust as I have been honest with my closest circle about how yucky I felt. It is excruciating to have to admit how you really feel, especially when you feel like there is no way out of it. It was a floatation device for me to be able to reach out to a few trusted friends and family and really be honest about how angry, sad and hopeless I felt some days. PLEASE REACH OUT AND BE HONEST…don’t keep it inside. They all told me it would pass…and it always did….even when I was sure it wouldn’t.

You are beloved and important and human…..that means you have human frailties and limitations, that means you have up times and down times……that means you have hard things to learn sometimes. Know how I know that for sure??? Because I am human and I am living it too. Even when there seems to be no good news to share…..reach out, ok?

I promise I will write more about the chronic hives (they are gone!) and I will write more about the adrenal fatigue and the hormone imbalances and the anger…..because I know there are lots of you suffering with the same stuff. Let’s all help each other figure this out.

I feel alive

I am getting better. I feel good today. Good feels sooooooooooooooo amazing…just regular old good feels sooooooooooooooo incredible. What a gift.

melody ross good chronic hives day

I choose happy…………it’s always looking for me just as hard as I am looking for it. The reunion is so exquisitely sweet when we finally find each other again.

xoxoxo

melody

melody ross lighter and lighter end of the battle