Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Om Gam Ganapataye - *✿* Ganesh Mantra


I like this YouTube Video a lot and thought I put it on my blog so I could come back to it and play it often.  I'm calling on Lord Ganesha to help remove the obstacles in my life.

I love this one too.  I'm a big fan of Saraswati and all that she represents.

We mustn't forget the lovely Lakshmi.  This song/mantra is beautiful and I listen to often.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I Remember You

"You have been lost to me for many years
But I'm starting to remember you again" - me

I was recently talking to a friend and he commented "I’m not conceited…or cocky….I’m convinced" and "I’m pretty fuckin’ awesome as a whole". I know coming from my friend that he is sincere about this. He isn't being an asshole or a jerk, he is just very confident and secure in who he is. He likes who he is. I have so much respect for him...for his thinking himself awesome and having this kind of confidence in himself.  

This simple and honest statement made me really ponder a few things about myself.  I sat there inwardly thinking about it and realized I had spent a long time not really thinking I was awesome at all. If you asked me to name something I liked about myself 4 months ago, I honestly wouldn't have been able to give you an answer because I didn't really like anything about myself. I had morphed into this stranger I didn't really like very much.

If you had asked me 10 years ago what I liked about myself I could have named several things about myself that I thought were positive qualities. I liked my dry, sarcastic sense of humor. I liked how perceptive I was to how others were feeling. I liked my artistic side and my ability to create things with my hands and imagination. I liked that I was an open book and wasn't afraid to share my thoughts and feelings with the world. I liked that I was honest and sometimes bluntly so. I liked that I was independent minded and how that attribute shined through as a bit of an edgy attitude.

I lost myself, as I have mentioned before. I lost the "me" that I actually liked and didn't realize it until recently.  

I got up this morning and, while listening to music on my MP3 player, I danced.  I danced while my daughter and husband slept and it felt fantastic! Lately when I look in the mirror I am starting to recognize the person staring back at me. When I close my eyes and search my heart, I feel her re-emerging....the old me that has been sitting quietly in the background waiting for her chance to emerge once again and shine. I am happy. It is such a great feeling!

One day I'm going to say to someone, "I’m not conceited…or cocky….I’m convinced. I’m pretty fuckin’ awesome as a whole" and it won't be just empty words I'm repeating. I will really believe it too. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Life Lessons and Little Earthquakes

In 1994 I moved to Portland, Oregon the first time. One day I just decided I needed a change and that I was moving to Portland, OR, a city I had never been to and knew not a soul. I packed up what I could of my belongings into the gold "86 Volkswagen Jetta I bought specifically for the purpose of driving 2000 miles and gave my white "72 Volkswagen Bug to my younger brother to do with what he wanted. I asked my my mom to take care of my beloved beagle, Rio, until I could find housing that allowed pets and then I drove to my new chosen city. I had been working at Sally Beauty Supply and transferred to a store in Clackamas, so at least I was going with a job even if I didn't have anything else.  

I lived in a hotel for the first week or so until I could find an apartment. I looked at several apartments and most of them were a bit depressing and left me feeling a little despondent about options in my price range. The real-estate guy showing me apartments did have one apartment he thought I might like. He said it was in a trendy part of Portland, but that it was a little above what I said my price range was. I remember walking up the narrow steps to the second floor apartment and looking at the #7 on the door and feeling a strong sense of déjà vu. I just knew this was the apartment I was going to live in. The agent bent over backwards to make things work on paper so I could get the place. He was wonderful and it worked out.

I had no furniture therefore I slept on the floor for the first week. Armed with a credit card I went to a mattress store I drove by every day on my way to work and made a much needed purchase. It was a queen sized mattress and box spring and it took up pretty much the whole room that I used as my bedroom.  It was the only room with a heat source so I could close the door and heat only that room. There was a back room that was more like a sun room that could have been used as a bedroom but it was much too cold for my liking.

I felt homesick...very homesick. I missed my dog who I was used to having sleep beside me every night. I missed knowing where I was going when I was driving. I missed having anything that was familiar around me. I missed my friends. I missed my family. I cried a lot and I cried often. I felt so lonely and sad. On my days off it wasn't uncommon that I would spend the whole day in bed sleeping.

I ended up hating my manager at the new store which led me to looking into changing my life yet again. Years before I had looked into Northwest Nannies in Portland, but at the time, living in Missouri, it didn't feel very realistic. But years later and now living in the same city, I decided to look into the agency to see what I could make happen. I ended up quitting my job and starting nanny school. I did a little work with the temp agency but mostly lived off my student loans. They crammed a lot of information in a short amount of time on their students.  We had piles of homework and I felt overwhelmed with school and trying to survive at the same time. I think I had a mini breakdown about every one of the 9 months I attended that school. I was an emotional wreck.

My saving grace was my friend, Nina, who was a classmate and lived with me for a short time. Having Nina by my side, I felt more comfortable getting out and exploring my awesome neighborhood in Northwest Portland around the 23rd and 21st Ave area. Our daily ritual was going for a slice of Escape From New York Pizza, grabbing a latté from Starbucks "to go" and wandering the neighborhood and talking our brains out. It was what kept me sane.  

Along the way I met a few freaks and a few really amazing people. Unfortunately the freaks outnumbered the amazing people. lol People around here take the local motto "Keep Portland Weird" very seriously. lol The winter rains wore on me and I felt really over the rain. My graduation date neared and I felt the urge to run away and try someplace new. I always do when I come to the end of something and I don't really know why. The jobs I interviewed for were mostly on the East coast, but the job I wound up taking in the end was in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I was running out of my student loan money and was starting to panic and stress. I made arrangements with my brother that he would come out to Oregon and help me move back to Missouri for a couple months before my job in Michigan started.

Spring in Portland is magical! Seriously. It is so beautiful with all the flowering trees.  It often felt surreal walking down the side walks with the flower petals fluttering down and all the lovely scents that fill the air. Then two weeks before I was due to move away and all my plans were in place, I met an amazing guy who I dated for the two weeks I had left. It was so unexpected to meet someone I really liked who actually liked me back. But I was leaving and I told myself that I should just enjoy the moment and not worry about anything else and that is what I did. It was a really great two weeks.

My brother turned up to help me move my things and part of me was screaming on the inside, "Don't leave!  Don't do this!  It is a mistake!". I didn't listen. I carried on because, after all, my brother had inconvenienced himself and surely I had to do the responsible thing and follow through. As I put all of my stuff in the U-Haul trailer my apartment called to me saying, "Please don't go! We belong together!" Being the rational person I was I told my apartment I couldn't stay because I had already given her up and couldn't afford to pay for her anymore. I was being responsible.  

Driving down the road every fiber of my being was screaming, "Don't go! You are making the biggest mistake of your life! Just turn around and go back NOW!!" And my response to that voice was, "I can't.  I have to do the responsible thing. I have made agreements and I can't back out now." We carried on driving down the road and that is when I started crying on the inside which eventually led to me crying on the outside...a lot. I left my heart in Portland and a piece of my soul.

I went into a kind of mourning, I think. I never stopped missing Portland. Perhaps it was more than just the city I missed. In fact, I know now it was much more than the city I missed, but it was the city I fixated on. I pined away for my old apartment and my old neighborhood. I missed the mountains, the trees, the moss, the magical springs...and I even missed the rain.

For 10 years I missed Portland...until I moved back. :) I love Portland! God, it feels so good to be back. I've been back for 6 years and I still love it here.  Does that make me an Oregonian yet?

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on that time period and asking myself why it was I didn't listen to that inner voice that was screaming to me to stay. I should have stayed. I know that now. What I have learned from my mistake from so long ago is that sometimes the things that might be the best for us aren't always going to be considered "responsible". I shouldn't follow through with something for the sole reason that I feel obligated or that it is the easier thing to do. Sometimes the best experiences in life are messy, sometimes they are complicated, sometimes they create a series of little earthquakes...but they are so worth it and help us grow and become better people.

I think I have come to a point in my life where I am ready to put that life lesson into action and actually live it.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Closed For Renovations

I had a dream the other night that I was in a house that was pretty much a blank canvas. I knew there had been something there before, but now all the rooms had been cleared out. The walls and floors were bare. None of the rooms had a specific purpose yet.
I once watched a show about celebrity dreams and the interpreter said that anytime a person dreams about a house, the house represents the dreamer. I think this is very accurate because in my dream the house was under major renovations and I feel very much like I am under major renovations as well.

Things are going well with my personal renovations. The numbers are continuing to go down on the scale. New muscle definition is forming and fat is going away. I continue to enjoy my speed walking and exercise routine. I feel stronger and healthier.  

My biggest problem is I want to reach my goals now. I wish I wasn't so impatient. I know that I will eventually reach the goals I have set for myself, it just isn't going to happen overnight and I have to learn to deal with it. lol

Monday, September 19, 2011


Once upon a time, I trusted my instincts, I trusted my intuition. I relied heavily on how I felt in any given situation. I believed in signs and omens and would look to them for guidance. I have always had dreams that tell of future events in my life.

Then one day I had the misfortune of dating one psycho, lying, deceiving SOB and the moment I realized how truly awful he was, it shattered my faith in my own instincts. Clearly I had been WAY off with this guy. He was a great liar, to be sure. From that moment on I ignored my dreams. I no longer saw signs or omens. I ignored what my intuition was telling me and would tell her to shut the eff up because look what a great judge of character she was with that loser from hell. Self-doubt came to live on my shoulder that day...the day I found out everything was a lie and he was dating half of the city's population...and, as it turned out, not just the female population. Don't get me wrong, I love gay men ("Fag Hag" is listed as one of my previous job titles on my resumé)...I just don't want to love gay men...if you know what I mean. lol

I've spent the last few months trying to get back in touch with my intuitive self. It has been slow going, for the most part. Self-doubt is such a powerful thing and a hard habit to break. I've made baby steps forward. I think the hardest part has been trying to quiet my thoughts enough to hear that inner voice that is trying to help guide me. When I do hear her, I often question the validity of what she says. I wouldn't blame her if she gets annoyed with me and stops talking to me.

Dear Inner-voice/intuition,

I'm sorry I haven't trusted you lately and I will try to do a better job in the future. If you could just keep guiding me along the path I should be on, that would be great. Thanks!



Friday, September 16, 2011

Where did she go...the person I used to be?

It happens gradually. So gradually you don't even notice at first, until one day you wake up and don't recognize the person you are anymore and you wonder, "Where did she go...the person I used to be?" This has happened to me and I have been wondering where the "Oktobre" is that I used to be? How and when did she become so lost to me? Can I find her again?   

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  

I think the "when" of losing "me" started to take place the day I moved away from Portland, Oregon 16 years ago. I stepped into a world so foreign from the one I had considered my own when I became a live-in nanny in Michigan. Although I love the family I was with for 8.5 years, I lost "me" along the way. She has been lost for some time now and I want her back. I loathed Grand Rapids, Michigan. Everything from the large amount of mosquitoes in the summer to the long harsh winters to the conservative Dutch based community of GR made me crazy. I never made any truly meaningful friendships, the kind you need to help pull you through the rough times. I felt miserable and alone most of the 10 years I spent in that city. Every day I spent there took me further away from me...the me I want to be.

I finally moved back to Portland and have never regretted leaving Grand Rapids. I don't miss anything about it at all. I had my first and only child in 2008 at which point I became a stay-at-home mom. I love my daughter beyond words. She is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. For the past three years I haven't minded giving all of me to her. She has never had anyone care for her other than me or my husband and for now, I want to keep it that way. But lately I have been feeling like I really need to try to take some time for myself once in a while...if only for a couple hours once a week. I need a little time to myself to find me again. 

I recently got back in touch with someone I care about and respect deeply. I was very pleased to find he had stayed true to who he was all those years ago when I knew him. I love that about him. He is who he is and he isn't going to alter that for anyone or any reason. I wish I could have been more like him so I wouldn't have to be faced with this struggle now of trying to find all the little pieces of who I was and try to put it back together.

I have faith that I am on the right path now and everything will work out in the end. But I wholeheartedly believe this is a quest I can't let go of until I reach my goals...becoming "me" again and never losing her again.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Makes You Happy?

I was listening to a radio interview with Mellen-Thomas Benedict and in the interview he said that eventually our machines will free us from living to survive. He says that eventually we will no longer have to work to survive. How fantastic, right? He posed the question: What would you do if you didn't have to work to survive? Technically I don't work to survive anymore, my husband does ever since I became a stay-at-home mom. But what if I didn't have my husband to support me and our daughter? What then? When I posed this question to myself of what I would do if I didn't have to work to survive and money was not a factor in any choice I made, I completely drew a blank.

So I pondered, what makes me happy? Once upon a time all I wanted to do was create music and if money had never been an obstacle, I probably would have pursued it wholeheartedly starting at the age of 14. I wanted to go to performing arts school but my parents couldn't afford to send me. I settled for singing along with music in my car. It became obvious to me really quick that a stage career probably wasn't my destiny when I got up to help some band friends test the audio on the mic and my lips trembled just saying "testing" on the stage. It is hilarious to think about, but it is the moment that I realized I had terrible stage fright and there was probably no way in hell I would ever be able to get up on a stage and perform in front of people. I did karaoke once and that was only after I was extremely drunk. I still had to have a friend come up and sing with me even though I was so drunk I really should not have been conscious.

Despite my stage fright, I love to sing. It is food for my soul. I may never do it for anyone else but myself, but the very act of singing brings me joy and makes me feel alive. So I guess that is one thing I can say makes me happy.

Writing would also be on my list of things that makes me happy. I hadn't started writing again until very recently and it is only in a journal, but I love the feel of putting pen to paper. I love pouring my heart and soul onto a piece of paper.  I used to write poetry and maybe one day I will again. There was a time that blank paper made me smile because I knew all the possibilities of what it could become.

I'm a crap painter, but I think if given the opportunity and unlimited paint and canvas, I would enjoy creating that kind of art. I have always been crafty and enjoy all types of art. I can easily spend hours creating things.

Singing, writing, and art & crafts...

...that is my top 3 things that make me happy which I would choose to do. Now it is your turn. What would you do if you didn't have to work to survive? What makes you happy?