Serendipitously, I met a Goddess…

 

Once upon a time I took a five-month break from writing because my feelings were hurt.

 

I had apparently decided to participate in the suppression of my Self.

 

Serendipitously, I met a Goddess.

 

She saw me. Does that make sense? I often feel like, despite the fact that I am in the presence of other people, they are still somehow unable to truly see me for who I am.

 

Nothing gets past Jamie. She is the only person I have ever met in my real life to ever discover my online presence, despite the fact that my Blog and YouTube channel are titled in my full name.

 

Jamie took the time to express her gratitude to me for the “kind and uplifting messages” that she feels are “bringing a lot of positivity to the world.”

 

Most importantly, the point of Jamie’s email was to tell me that the haiku I had written in my last post reminded her of a poem called “On Children” by Kahlil Gibran, a poem that is her personal mantra as a Mother.

 

I cannot explain to you what that exchange meant to me. She saw me.

 

The Haiku I wrote about my son that she was referring to is this:

 

HE’S NOT MINE TO OWN

I WAS MADE TO PROTECT HIM

BEFORE I WAS BORN.

 

The poem that Jamie shared with me is this:

 

On Children
by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

Every single time I read this poem I cry. You have no idea how far I have been bent. That I have never broken is nothing short of a miracle. I am that stable bow. Bend me as hard as you can, I cannot be broken. My son is that arrow. I am doing it.

 

I am so proud to have a friend who uses this poem as her parenting mantra. That I could write a haiku reminiscent of Kahlil Gibran’s On Children, without even knowing it, makes me happy to be alive.

 

I am grateful to my friend Jamie because she made me come alive.

 

My heart cracked open. I started writing again, I found the courage to tell her about my app idea and she helped me find a developer to build it. Jamie has allowed me to practice healing her in so many different ways, she has become the physical embodiment of my soul purpose, which is to heal.

 

Did you hear what I just said? My soul purpose is to heal. That is not easy for me to admit and I would love to add a caveat about how I am only supposed to heal myself, but with one comes the other. I have always been a healer, but I have also always kept that fact a secret, even from myself.

 

Why?

 

Because I am so fucking tired of being misunderstood. I thought if I could control the way I was perceived, then it would be easier to understand me and I could finally feel NOT lonely.

 

As you can see, I CREATED MY OWN LONELINESS BY NOT BEING MYSELF.

 

No one could understand me because I wasn’t being me. I am not a lawyer. I am a radiant being filled with love and light. I am totally made of love. I came here knowing many things I should not know and I am going to share them all with the world. I was not born with these gifts to keep them secret.

 

Only I know who I am and only I can share that.

 

goddess

 

My grief healing app is going to launch shortly together with the book that goes with it and everything in my life will change. This will involve “owning” who I am. I am a healer. I am an artist. I make healing art. I am a storyteller. I tell healing stories. I have enough love for the entire world and I will never run out.

 

If you have a friend who came into your life and made it better, tell them. Look them right in the eye and tell them your truth. Then give them a super long heart to heart hug. Just really breathe deeply into this hug and feel the love going back and forth between the two of you.

 

This is your soul mate. And by mate, I mean friend. There are people who come into our lives and we feel like we already know them, we feel like we love them more than people we have known our whole lives. This is what it is to connect with the spirit you agreed to connect with before you were born.

 

Why?

 

To make sure you are following your soul path. No detours.

 

If your friends could care less about whether or not you are on your soul path, they are not your soul mates and that’s ok. Everyone in your life is there for a reason: to help you learn your soul lessons.

 

Be as grateful to those that bend you to your breaking point as you are to those who support you. Everyone in your life is responsible for the person you are today. Acknowledge your own strength; you are not broken, you are learning.

 

XO,

Rachel

ps–tomorrow is my Deer Friend Jamie’s Birthday and I am going to hug her so hard. Don’t forget what I said above about those heart to heart hugs, that’s a prescription for healing. You’re welcome.

pps–Jamie is really special.

A Day In The Life: PTSD Healing

After I made my PTSD Healing video 9 months ago (click here to watch), I was asked to give a break down of what a day in the life would look like.

 

Yesterday was an awesome day for me, healing wise, so today I am sharing the highlights…

 

Highlights make more sense when you start low. Yesterday began for me at 4 a.m. when my husband and I both jumped out of bed horrified to hear our cat was peeing on the carpet.

 

How did we hear it?

 

It was super loud for some reason because she backed herself up against the wall and her urine was ricocheting off of the wall and onto the carpet. A waterfall of cat pee.

 

CAT PEE!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Don’t judge. My cat has never done this before and she is recovering from major surgery. My 10 year old kitty had 4 stones removed from her bladder! Honestly though, I think she peed on the floor because of the stupid cone…

 

Bebe Meme

 

Anyway…I sat on the floor in a daze watching my awesome husband scrub the carpet, then I got a bucket of water and started to scrub the soap out and by the time it was over, I decided not to go back to bed.

 

Sigh.

 

I did not get enough rest, which has been happening for like the last 3 weeks, so I felt discouraged. I made myself a really fancy bubble bath with special salts and essential oils. I turned on my salt rock lamp and stared at my plants. It was difficult to keep my eyes open.  So tired…

 

PTSD Healing

 

Just the night before, I had decided not to go back to sleep if I found myself awake in the very early morning hours due to the horrific nightmares I found myself experiencing after going back to sleep.

 

Being awake at this time, taught me something fascinating: my brain is on fire between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m.  Everything is intense, asleep or not. I must say, being in the bathtub at this hour really helped me to process many complex emotional concepts; it was like lucid dreaming.

 

You’ll have to take my word for it, as I don’t remember any details from my awesome bathtub experience, only that I was totally brilliant and had a lot of answers. I may have had all the answers. This girl was on fire. Next time, I’m writing that all down…

 

When the water in the tub cooled down, I transitioned right to the shower to heat things back up. It’s not everyday that I am awake before my son, AKA the Rooster, but of course, this is the one day that he sleeps in and will therefore not be needing any nap today, thank you.

 

I used my shower time wisely, plotting out the next few hours with my son, using my awake brain for once. I wanted needed him to take a nap later on so I could get some rest too. I got our breakfast all ready and suggested a bike ride. Luckily, he went for it.

 

This was only our second time ever riding together, usually I walk alongside him as he slowly and rather randomly pedals toward the next stick he would like to pick up and bring with us. Oh, training wheels…

 

Did I mention that I LOVE MY BIKE?!

 

PTSD Healing

 

The weather was perfect yesterday. Upper 70’s, sun shining, blue skies with really cool clouds that looked like Ocean waves. It was by far the longest bike ride my 3 year old has ever been on.

 

Oh and now it’s like 8:30 in the morning…I have a long way to go…

 

Grocery shopping is a must, but I am not looking forward to that so I enhance the trip by bringing the artwork I had recently finished and was gifting to my best friend, so I could ship it to her.

 

PTSD Healing

 

Gift giving feels amazing, especially if I make the gift.  This piece of art is really special. I made it with my precious hands, it has six real orchid blooms “glued” in (with Gel Gloss Medium) and a real lego flag. This is the home I built for my Haiku and it is remarkable (#selflove). I cannot wait until my BFF receives her gift and tells me all these things.

 

When we got back, I noticed that I had missed a few texts and calls on my phone and one of them was from my son’s Nana, just checking up on me. I texted her back immediately asking her if she wanted to come over for a few hours this afternoon to babysit while I took a nap and SHE SAID YES!!!

 

This news enabled me to have a 45 minute sword fight with my son. I felt like everything was going to be okay. I was going to make it. Actually, we were having the time of our lives.

 

And then…I got my nap. It was awesome. It was more of a focused meditation of positive thoughts than actual sleeping, but it was amazing to be by myself to fill back up.

 

rachel introvert meme haiku

 

I took the time to journal my gratitude and then I took my second fancy bubble bath of the day. I cannot tell you how amazing the first 45 seconds of a bubble bath feel, it’s like some awesome chemicals are being released throughout my body. This helps me deal with the fact that carpet cleaners will be at my house in a half hour and I have to move all the furniture off the carpets (see cat pee incident from above).

 

Moving all your furniture around feels super weird to me. More like, having huge household items obviously not where they belong causes anxiety within me. Where should I sit? Should I just stand? My husband came home from work early and took our son over to run an errand and I decided to NOT be awkward about the situation. I decided to get out my laptop and complete a chapter in my online screenwriting course. By the time my guys returned, the carpets were done being cleaned and I had a 100% on my online quiz.

 

This makes dinner preparation easier, but I am still feeling kind of confused about why all my furniture is piled up on the tile; my brain does not like the chaos. So I repotted some plants:

 

IMG_1854

 

 

IMG_1856

 

IMG_1848

 

I emptied out the huge green pot and put the remaining strand from my elephant plant into this much more appropriately sized pink pot. I’m pretty excited about the prospect of getting a new plant for the big green pot.

 

While I was working on my plants, I had an idea for another piece of art that I had been working on, so I went for it:

 

PTSD Healing

 

Ahhhhhhhh. This feels so good–not only do I have a home for my awesome Haiku, but now I have a home for the 5 orchid blooms that fell in the past week (resulting in me repotting the plants). YES!!! Everything has it’s place.

 

Just kidding. We can’t put the furniture back until the morning when the carpet is dry. That’s okay, my husband and I ended our night with some serious jig saw puzzling and my third bubble bath of the day.

 

PTSD Healing

 

Yesterday was an awesome PTSD healing day.

Here is a recap of why:

  1. Bubble Bath
  2. Shower
  3. Bike Ride
  4. Gift Giving
  5. Play Time
  6. Meditation/Nap
  7. Bubble Bath
  8. Journaling
  9. Screenwriting Class Quiz Success!
  10. Repot 3 Plants
  11. Make Art
  12. Jigsaw Puzzle
  13. Bubble Bath

 

This list is not all inclusive; as in, I did not tell you about everything that happened yesterday, I got a lot of work done that does not apply to this story and I also got a lot of joy and healing out of the other experiences in my day that are simply not applicable herein.  The above list includes healing exercises that are specific to me, these are things that I like to do because they make me feel good.

 

I would love to know what your healing exercises are; please share with me by leaving a comment below.

 

XO

~Rachel

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very_inspiring_blogger

Thank you to Ally for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger award.

IMG_1207_2

 

This remarkable act of kindness will not be forgotten. My gratitude can best be expressed through Haiku:

IT’S NOT JUST MY FACE…

ALLY, I HAVE TO TELL YOU:

YOU MAKE MY HEART SMILE.

Wahoo! To be nominated by Ally as a Very Inspiring Blogger is actually quite remarkable. Check out Ally’s blog, Welcome to My Little Piece of Quiet, and see for yourself; you will love receiving her Quote of the Day. I know I do. Thank you, Ally, your continued encouragement and support mean the world to me!

Very Inspiring Blogger

  1. When it comes to unhealthy cycles, I am a wrecking ball. I am a sledgehammer. Hulk Smash.
  2. I love my best friend; she can do anything (read about it).
  3. I take a fancy bubble bath every single day, sometimes twice.
  4. My undergraduate major was in Sociology.
  5. When I have an epiphany, I make a video about it (watch this).
  6. Intuition and Sensitivity are my Superpowers.
  7. I cannot stand small talk. Go big or go home.

Here are my official nominations for the Very Inspiring Blogger award:

  1. SARK
  2. Michele Rosenthal, Heal My PTSD
  3. Kelly Rae Roberts
  4. Midnight Blues
  5. Uncomfortably Honest and Honestly Uncomfortable
  6. Robin, Rach & Joe!
  7. Kindness Blog
  8. Marvelline Marvels
  9. I Love to go a Gardening
  10. Positively Introverted
  11. A Small Act of Kindness
  12. Creating Your Life Journey
  13. Of Means and Ends
  14. INFJ Reflections
  15. Seven Years in a Drawer

Should you choose to accept this award, here are the official rules:

  1. Post the award icon on your blog;
  2. Thank the person who nominated you;
  3. List 7 facts about yourself;
  4. Nominate 15 other Very Inspiring Blogs;
  5. Post these rules.

 

MY FELLOW BLOGGERS,

THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION;

I WON’T FORGET IT.

 

XO

~Rachel

Rambo First Blood is the greatest PTSD movie of all time

We visited Mount Rainier National Park, Washington for our 11 year dating anniversary October 13th.

 

IMG_5970

 

Within the first 24 hours, I had an incredible life epiphany involving the movie Rambo First Blood, which is filmed in Washington (and Canada, let’s be honest).

 

By the time we arrived at our cabin, it was dark and our son was already asleep, so after unpacking the car and tucking him into his bunk bed, my husband and I got to just sit out on the back deck, relax, and enjoy the woods. My husband and I kept remarking to each other how happy we were that it smelled like autumn. We are both from Western New York (AKA the 716) and LOVE everything about the fall. It is so hard to live in a desert when you love the fall.

 

As we were sitting, we both found ourselves smiling to hear that old familiar sound of an autumn leaf falling from its tree. I kept getting excited, straining my eyes into the darkness beyond the deck trying to see an elk. Over and over again, I found myself holding my breath and straining to hear what I hoped to be the sound of hooves walking on top of autumn leaves and branches. But something was not right.

 

It actually was not familiar. The sound. I couldn’t understand why it seemed like an animal was getting involved with the leaf as it fell from the tree when there ended up being no animal follow up sounds whatsoever. It was weird. Anticlimactic.

 

The next morning, we bundled ourselves up to explore the backyard in the daylight with our boy and I could not believe how beautiful it was.

 

IMG_6361

 

As I was standing here taking in this moment I saw, for the first time, what my husband and I had been listening to last night. The noise started so high, I had to totally lift my face up to the sky to see what was going on. One huge leaf falling from the top of a 100 year old tree and hitting hundreds of branches on its lengthy descent to the forest floor.

 

Obviously that’s when it hit me. Rambo. As I have mentioned before in previous blog entries, Rambo First Blood is the greatest PTSD story ever told. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that my brothers and I watched it nearly every day of our lives as we navigated a horrifically abusive and neglectful upbringing. Since I was too young to be watching it, let alone memorizing it, many moments from that movie have stuck with me. Haunted me.

 

It was in this moment of watching the leaf fall that I finally understood what was so bad about the scene where Rambo jumps off the cliff and is badly injured, as he hits many tree branches before hitting the ground. Rambo wasn’t falling through upstate New York trees, he was falling through Old Growth, which means he had to hit MANY branches in order to reach the ground. More than I ever even knew about. Until just now in this moment.

 

IMG_5983

 

Oh man. Rambo. It was worse than I thought.

 

I was so struck by this information that I began to excitedly point out the great distance the leaves were falling to my husband and son. I had this feeling of weird validation flowing through me because it now suddenly makes so much more sense that I would be haunted by the imagery of a human being falling through an old growth tree. But even as I was saying out loud to my family, “look at how many branches that leaf is hitting,” I became overwhelmed with a totally new idea:

 

That’s life.

 

WHAT?!

 

In response to my question my brain showed me the other moment from Rambo First Blood that haunts me: in the scene shortly after Rambo falls through the trees, a police officer falls from the helicopter straight to the ground, landing face down on rocks. It is just horrific. The surprised sound of his scream as he falls. You can tell it was blunt force trauma that killed him when Rambo grabs him by the jacket and flips him over, revealing his smashed in dead face.

 

WHY ARE YOU SHOWING ME THIS?!

 

That’s life.

 

Oh. OH! OMG!!

 

That’s life. Who do you want to be? Rambo, the hero who hits every single branch before hitting the ground, who then is mercilessly shot at until he has to throw a rock to successfully defend himself so that he can stitch up his own wound in peace.

 

What’s the alternative?

 

The dirty cop that tries to murder Rambo in an insane abuse of power play who falls from the helicopter all the way to the ground and dies instantly.

 

Um. Rambo. Everytime.

 

Rambo First Blood

 

This story resonates with me because 2014 has been packed with punches; loss, grief, hurdles, mind fucking power plays, you name it. I am tired.

 

Hey, also though, 2014 has been full of AMAZING gains emotionally, creatively, spiritually, personally and collectively. I love my journey. I am just getting started.

 

Do I hit a branch every damn day?

 

Almost.

 

But at least I don’t fall all the way to the ground and die.

 

thisisnottheend

 

XO

~Rachel

 

Rambo First Blood

The time I was nominated for The One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog…

 

I am incredibly GRATEFUL to Midnight Blahs for nominating my blog “Oh, Brother…” for the One Lovely Blog Award.

 

one lovely blog

 

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “LOVELY” by the fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to CONNECT with viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:

 

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts or things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 or more bloggers you admire and inform the nominees by commenting on their blog.

 

Gratitude

 

Gratitude surrounds her.” Thank you Midnight Blahs for truly seeing me. I think YOUR blog is lovely 🙂

 

one lovely blog

 

(1) In college my comedic timing was compared to the great Gilda Radner’s.

(2) When I was 8 years old I dressed up as my hero, Carol Burnett, for Halloween.

(3) I will work Rambo First Blood into any conversation.

(4) Things got out of hand between me and a giant stuffed panda bear on YouTube this summer.

(5) My mouth gets me into trouble all the time (INFJ problems).

(6) I have been a volunteer activist for V-Day Until the Violence Stops since 2002.

(7) Lately, I have been expressing myself more and more through the ancient art of Haiku.

 

one lovely blog

photo by @true_heart_jamila on Instagram

 

It is my pleasure to announce the following One Lovely Blog Award Nominees:

 

 

If you enjoy my blog, please check out the above list for your reading pleasure.

 

XO

~Rachel

Heal your Self, heal the world

Joan Rivers + Robin Williams = My New Angels

{originally posted September 6, 2014}

 

Ever since Robin Williams went home, I have been thinking about loss (of strangers) like a gain (of angels).

 

Robin Williams Angel

 

I wrote this haiku for Robin Williams because I was so sad to lose him and suddenly reminded of what he taught me:

 

ROBIN WILLIAMS’ MORK

ALLOWED ME TO BE MYSELF

NEVER FORGET THAT

 

What does that mean? Well, if you’re not INFJ like me and Robin, you probably won’t understand, but I have always felt very much like an alien. Like I’m not supposed to be here. I guess that’s how Robin Williams felt, too.

 

INFJ

 

I felt stronger having gained Robin Williams as a guardian angel, like I AM supposed to be here. Yesterday when we lost Joan Rivers, I basically grew a pair of brass balls.

 

IMG_6026

 

Joan Rivers was not a perfect person, but for me she is a symbol of ferocious tenacity. I was born in 1981 and watched Valerie get replaced by Sandy Duncan on her own show because she dared ask for a raise. I watched Roseanne get crucified for daring to demand she be properly credited as the creator of her own show. I watched very intently to see what happened to women who spoke up. I still do.

 

I very angrily explained to my sweet husband last night that Joan Rivers did have the CLASS to only speak highly of Johnny Carson when she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon after nearly three decades of being banned from NBC. Johnny Carson was so angry at his protégé for daring to accept the offer of her own show with a different network (after guest appearing on his show for nearly 20 years without being offered her own show by that network) that he BANNED HER from NBC for life and now Jimmy Fallon is some hero for undoing that shortly before Joan Rivers’ death.

 

Hero. A hero to me is someone who will open their mouth and say what is going on regardless of the repercussions. Joan Rivers was not politically correct and she was often TRYING to shock and offend people with her outrageous comedy style, but she said what she felt and that inspires me. Too many girls and women are stifled. Oppression is stifling and often leads to depression.

 

Robin Williams Angel

 

(I MADE this Meme AND wrote the Haiku–do you LOVE it??)

 

XO

~Rachel

Heal your Self, heal the world

Hug Yourself + Love Yourself = Heal Yourself

Ever hug yourself?

 

I do.

 

hug yourself

 

Additionally, I made a YouTube video about it. I’m that girl.

 

Actually, I wrote the script for: Hug Yourself + Love Yourself = Heal Yourself, hours before learning some pretty heinous news.

 

hug yourself

 

I am increasingly intuitive like that; producing and directing this movie was healthy for my grieving process. Not sure what else I would’ve done with my seconds, minutes or hours. I made the set and shot the footage in record time. I’d say this one was fast tracked for sure.

 

hug yourself

 

I have PTSD. This means my response to major change can cause me to judge myself pretty harshly. Luckily, grief is here to heal the feelings associated with major change. I will lean into the anger, depression, acceptance, bargaining and denial. I am proud of myself for facilitating a creative outlet for my grief.

 

Last night I wrote my first Haiku:

 

If you’re deserted,

You can have extra dessert.

PERMISSION GRANTED.

 

Also ate 2 brownies last night.

 

Full disclosure, I eat chocolate every single day.

 

If I need something, I am going to give it to myself. I am not going to wait for someone to come and save me. I will save me. I will love me.

 

HUG YOURSELF!

 

I hope you enjoy my latest YouTube video and that you all start hugging + loving + healing your beautiful selves!

 

XO

~Rachel

Heal your Self, heal the world