Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rise up: Single is my new Strong Suit

I'm not one for sugar-coating anything. I'm hurt. I'm scared. I am thirty-nine years old and maybe for the very first time in nearly four decades....I am truly single. Alone, no phone numbers, no back-up, no anyone.

Me Shooting Long bow to RISE UP

I spent the better part of a week in a sloppy, sad pity party for myself and then I sat up and realized that everything is just beginning if I so choose it to be.

Relationships are hard. My Divorce feels like a big red "F" on my life's report card. My heart recently got broken (again.) and I find myself less angry or confused or blaming; but single-focused.

Instead of running through the laundry list of my faults or possible reasons things don't work out in my relationships I am turning into myself-Full introspection.

Full acceptance.

I've gained and lost weight and beat myself up about it. I have had mood swings that could make a typhoon peel back. I have made mistakes, earned some karma and I'm still standing. It is easier to point a finger or blame old partners for "this" and "that" but I'm too old now and I know better. Whatever happened, happened because I either allowed it, caused it, or attracted some low vibrational energy that I ( I repeat) that I was putting out into the relationship. So here I am. Sweet.

I'm not looking for a "hoo-rah." I don't want pity or pats on the back in some thin-solidarity singledom-pep rally. I think I'm sharing this post and video because the bottom line is when life kicks you in the guts the point is that we have the choice.

We have the choice to see ourselves as able and worthy; NOT entitled. We have the choice to NOT hold on to anger or past mistakes, but instead, to look to the future with the seasoned eyes of a human who has hurt and healed (or is still healing..) and had to claw back from a dark, vapid, easy-to-fall-into-place.

If only one man or woman reads this, watches my silly video of my empowering hobby of archery and thinks to themselves: "I can rise up." or " It gets a little better day by day." Then that is worth everything to me. I am alone. I have one family member miles away and three beautiful kids to raise but in times like these I am alone. The thing I choose right now is to trust myself.

The best gift, I think anyway, that we can give ourselves is the truth and the trust we deserve about who we are, who we've been and most importantly, who we want to be.

I want to be strong. I want to be happy. I want to be better than I was yesterday, last week, last year. Maybe I'm knocking on forty's door...and I'm carrying some strings and baggage but I choose to be a better decision-maker, life-liver and love-giver, today, right now....
fully single and nose-deep in my strong suit.

So whatever you might be facing today. Whatever ugly doubt is trying to convince you that you can't do it...RISE up. RISE UP a little, a lot, for a minute, for a year...just keep RISING until you don't ever question your God-given right to do so.

I love you, I love me, I love throwing fast arrows with a bow, I even love some of my "extra padding" that my ex-boyfriend hated, so love yourself, love each other. Love.
"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Review: John Mayer and The Search for Everything...found.

It doesn't surprise me that my future-second husband, John Mayer is what it took to inspire me to write again. His new album titled: "The Search for Everything" has been partially released as Wave One and delivers solace, beauty, introspection and the kind of ethereal longing and living true fans have come to know him for.

I watched live on Facebook when he answered questions and spoke about what and why he is here now singing from this active voice of love and growth. He didn't answer anything I asked, but that is par for me.

The four songs on Wave One have everything you (read: I) could need. To me, it feels like a cross between Battle Studies, (but less over-produced and more authentic.) and Room for Squares.  Don't get me wrong, I love Battle Studies; but I love his true voice as-is rather than when it gets a bit remastered. I'm the gal that likes to hear his pauses, the breath in-take and the little grovels that appear and disappear like tides in the ocean of effervescence in his voice.

The weight is like that of Battle Studies, but it has the depth and "balls-out" energy of his early days in 2001's album "Room for Squares." His music, nearly sixteen years later, solidly stands in that initial innocence of purity, or how I see it, the rediscovered awakened innocence of having lived, loved, lost and learned more.

"Moving on and Getting Over" has the funk of his insatiable hunger for true jazz and blues but he manages to keep it commercial enough for the masses that don't appreciate how hard and dirty some of the true blues he's played and pulled off like the old-timers. The song is a bit forlorn, yet anthemic and feels like you've just put on that cherished old sweet-smelly sweater you thought you had lost. I love it. I play it on repeat while practicing my recurve bow and arrow or when I'm trying not to cry in the shower.

"Changing" has the whiny-guitar folksy sound that only he resonates. It starts out like a singer-songwriter's dream and then smacks you with his magical fingers manipulating the guitar and your heart. His ability to write music that speaks love and affirmation astounds me. "I am not done...changing." are words to live by whether you are nine or ninety. It is a permissive song to himself, but also to those of us who find our lives toggling between thirty and forty and taking stock unapologetically making tweaks to see what serves our purpose best.

"Love on the Weekend" will be the first chart-topper. He released this one when he did the live Q&A on Facebook. It's pop-y, but still stands true to his voice and melody of Continiuum and some songs off my favorite album of all times: "Born and Raised." He sings with adoration and that lust-drunk place when you finally love yourself enough to share that love with someone else. It's catchy and happy and 100% John Mayer. Listen for it, you'll be slow-dancing with someone or making love to it in the near future...on some weekend, no less.

"You're Gonna Live Forever In Me" is a song that sounds like he merged with Billy Joel, Nick Drake, and channeled some Simon and Garfunkel. The lyricism is poetic.  The scratchy strained voice is wholesome and melancholic whilst still staying in that contemplative upbeat place of walking through New York City with both hands in pockets, whistling in surrender with a touch of hope.

There is no good reason, arguably, or otherwise, NOT to buy, listen to and love this first portion of "The Search for Everything." There just isn't. If you can't relate or connect with either the words, perfect musicality or vibration he is putting out into the world then your soul is perhaps in the lemming-line of false music or just lost...your soul is lost.

Let it be found here with him.

John, I love you the way a child loves a teddy bear that got them through life's ugliness and awkward days. Your voice teaches me, hurts me, and heals always has. I feel like I grew up with you since your first album and now, still, in the single, somedays-very sad new life I'm forging, you bring sound-snuggles and light. Thank you.

"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Elephant Journal Article- "How Grief Changes People."

My first article for Elephant Journal!

If you have been a follower for long enough you know I have talked about this before, but in this article for the Elephant Journal I spare no truth about how grief really affected me. Not "the story" I held like a badge that was palatable and encouraged compliments of bravery, the REAL story on how it found me and how it ought me so much.

"How Grief Changes People" - Elephant Journal

15 things I learned from my Big-Fat-Failures.

It happens. You know it. I know it. Our self-berating negative self-talk knows it, but somewhere in the spaces between guilt and remorse and forgiveness of self and others there are lessons to be found. Here are fifteen of millions that I threw on a picture from last weekend in Michigan. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Peek-a-BOO! Where'd You Go Lulu?

So, I'm that annoying personality that disappears. Yes, as in "ghosts" from life, parties, blogs, anything that might lead one to believe they can feel comfortable with my long-term presence. It is a terrible trait and I am just now unlearning. I DO care. I DO value community and relationships, it's more an issue of I stop believing in my own value-add and save everyone the trouble of wishing I were not there or shut up...etc. That's honest. That's also a thing of the past. So here I am! (again.)

To my credit, life is busy. I'm learning how to be a single mother. I bought a house. I'm halfway through mediation in my divorce. Im truly writing a couple novels and trying to manage income through art and writing and most recently, I've been gardening and building a "She shed." Below a little ditty I whipped up for the room.

This past year, I've learned that I am a total introvert. More on that later. But I'm back and I missed holding myself accountable to posting and writing. I no longer write for The Huffington Post and will soon start writing for a new publication that I'm excited about.
I apologize for disappearing, and I have no expectations that I would regain such popularity as I had last year (in writing at least.)

I am here now. I start again, now. and I really really can't believe how much has happened in this past year. I'm grateful to share it with the four of you who might keep coming back. Thank you in advance.

That IS sarcasm, but I actually will be grateful.

Below are a few ways to take a look at some of the things I'm doing and the projects that are holding my time, attention and interest:

Mind you, I am not "complete" with any of it, but as I do things I am learning and as I learn I am doing more.

So bare with me as I navigate what it is I'm supposed to be doing with my life. Funny enough, I have no idea where it is all going, but I truly am grateful if you hang around to share it with me.
Lulu ( Laila.)

The Peacock Heart llc.

My Public Facebook

White Lava


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Death, A Birthday, and a Hallmark Holiday- Valentine's day love....a little differently.

It's been awhile...
I know. I've been doing that thing we do when we are in between places of emotional health worth talking about. You know, not down enough to sob and grunt and connect, but not beaming and inspirational.

Today is Valentine's Day. It means a lot to me, but not in any way you would think. Yes, I made my son adorable hand-made valentines for pre-school....yes, I eat chocolate but that is about where it stops for me.

Here's a short five-minute video explaining what Valentine's day is to me. Here's a few minutes of your time to remind you about how fleeting love and life can be and how that isn't a scary or sad thing, rather the biggest reason to share, be, give and always love the ones you do, and even the one's you think you don't....because love is most important- Not a Tiffany's bag. Not an engagement ring size. Not the grades your child got in the latest comparison score tests for genius/gifted/grounded/super children.

No, What is important is that the people you love...know it.  At least, that's what I think (feel.) I've been wrong before...


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Manifesto For the FU&%ing Middle.

This post was originally published in a different site of mine, but I thought I'd share here too. Short story is this: I meditate. I meditate every day. I haven't missed a day in over a year.
Strange things happen all the time. Ask anyone who knows me. ALL. THE. TIME, so I keep "Medijournals." Literally...I have about eight filled with my daily gratitude lists, love and light recipients...etc. ( see below pics.) 
Yesterday, sitting in my little serenity spot, I wrote the following, by hand, in the journal (see other pic) in about eight minutes.
 I'm not sure what I was on about, but I agree with me. I think. So there it is. The illustration above it was something Id started as a pastel underpainting that morning. My motivational speech to....ME? Meh. I like it. 
Note: Any "Clunky paragraphs," misspellings, missing commas, or awkward commas are the fault of Brent Jenkins. Thank you. 
We, I, you, the whole (thing), is fusing back in anti-Pangaea style. Pulled by the subconscious ocean of love, acceptance, truth and the loudening whispers of the general good that exists in the world.
We are the dreamers and the doers. The “don’t hate “ and “don’t take yourself so seriously, dude.” –type of “middle.” We, the ones who “ask to gain wisdom; but don’t preach for ‘follows” know that likes are a lonely barometer in a quite world of text, pings and insta-things.
Give OF yourself again, or… for the first time. GIVE a little in all this indulgent, bat-shit receiving.
Lean forward to your next “now” which is shared here- with me, us, all. Now is given to none of the elite or special, but allowed for each of us like time and money. Lean over and belly flop, swan dive or fall, fast into an open invitation from the universe that is letting you be WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
Risk the rebellion ripple. 
Risk the heart-stuff spilling. 
Risk the meaningless muse of “embarrassment” and “Also-ran” mentality in fear of losing. What if you don’t lose? Better yet, what if you WINbut on your terms, according to YOU?
How can anyone truly worry about the thoughts of a collective that’s cracked out on corn sugar, cunning politics, computers and the cold confusing anti-consciousness that looks like an energetic moving sleep-walkway?
Are we just too “busy” non-collaborating, self-congratulating and posting our false feats to social media as a judge and jury of hypocritical adults? These same adults, the meanest of which, are each hiding his own inner-child.
A “child” in them that is hidden but riddled with original hurts and therefore can’t truly see themselves because criticism distracts us while we are diligently amassing transient tokens to prove something. Others are feverishly manufacturing photos instead of creating experiences to heal and acknowledge a vulnerability that strangely, is possessed, by each and every other human on earth!
It’s all too much to ask, I know…Let’s wait for the “right time.” The “right circumstance” or “the right initiative.” Something will be at the end of the tunnel…. a light to illuminate us back to living or a train that this is dumbing down an entire existence, ego or entitlement generation., right? Right. You are right!
That is exactly what I’m talking about.
Scramble to the center. Few at first, but plenty…then…
Find those seeking sincerity, but try not to scowl at them for being so just because you forgot what it looked like. 
Leap into a love of self that is not selfish, but a necessary stepping-stone to raise, build or be a value-add in a family, workplace or society.
Trust yourself.
Believe in you, not in ways of being pious, exclusive and/or pretentious.
Engage in a loving, trusting compassion for all and fucking find some other word for “oneness” so you don’t feel too “esoteric”, “new-age” or “off mainstream.” (God Forbid, what would "they say about you?!)
But then, try it without judging or comparing or sizing up a way to realign more with the empty categories of “cool” some idiot spouted off on a twenty-four hour cable news channel.
Find your fucking fear and hold it in the deepest embrace you can muster.
Walk beside it, come what may, but stand solid and sure-footed In ALL of yourself, the whole shebang exactly AS YOU ARE….
HERE and desperately in this moment…you, I, they, we, together.
The “thing” we’re each waiting for. You are that “thing.”
You feel it and we can reveal it.
No attention-seeking cacophony and stir necessary.
Stand in yourself. 
Stand for something. 
Stand sincere
Stand silent or screaming, 
But know WHO you are.
Believe in betterment. 
 BE, TOGETHER, who we’ve been hoping would come to change us. Be here.
Be now. 
Be the bold Meliorism. Look it up. It’s a word…maybe not on wiki or UD, but it’s in your dictionary.
Love and levity and light and more love,
Sing with me: "It's gonna take a lotta looooo-vvvvveeee...."

"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."