Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Best Break-Up Ever!

A few days ago I stumbled across this amazing quote (pictured to the left) by Eckart Tolle from his book "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose."  The concept behind the quote was so powerful to me, that I actually had to sit with it for a couple of days.  

It stayed with me to the point that it became central to some of my conversations with my husband Tyson.  In fact, it made such an impact on me, that I began to purposefully react (or not react) to things around me.

So often we hear people say that 'they just want to be happy.'  

"Dammit!"  they scream, "I just want to be happy!  Is that too much to ask?"  

Usually that statement is decked out with a list of the things they believe will make and keep them happy.  Hell, I'm guilty of it, myself.  I can't count the number of times that I have felt like if I could nail this just-out-of-reach goal, I will become happy.  Sometimes I think buying things will hurdle me into everlasting happiness.  And, while those things might seem to work temporarily, nothing ever lasts long.  Instead, life just becomes a constant cycle of searching for happiness grinding along in my mind, alongside most everyone else.  

It never dawned on me to forget the constant pursuit of happiness.  

The very thought of not pursuing happiness was equivalent to giving up the ship, abandoning hope, losing interest in life, and having no goals.  The fixation on becoming happy is so vested in me, that it is gift-wrapped around every goal, belief, idea, accomplishment, promotion, excursion, and experience in my life.  No matter what I do, I am always wanting for more.  I absolutely 100% believed that this was how life was meant to be lived.  It was the very definition of being alive.  

After all, no goals?  No energy.  No energy?  No willpower.  No willpower?  No life.

That was what I believed until my eyes flickered across this about a week ago:  "Happiness is ever elusive, but Freedom from Unhappiness is Attainable Now by facing what Is, rather than making up stories about it."

At first, I was offended.  What?  Happiness is elusive?  What the hell have I been doing all my life, then?  And, for what?  Nothing??

Um...Yep.  

Re-reading it, I began to move past what I initially took as an insult and moved on to the idea of being Free from chasing the Happiness from one object, goal, or job, to another.  

I settled on the feeling of Freedom.  Freedom, the very word, has an amazing ring to it.  It is a breath of fresh air.  It is a word that allows a person to look up from the daily grind and notice that not everything is grayscale.  

I considered my choices.  

Happiness or Freedom?  In this moment right now, which would I choose?  I sat on my back deck staring at my herb garden contemplating.  The pursuit of Happiness...Is it like a bad relationship you just can't get out of because from time to time it seems to promise a dribble of what you're looking for?  Yeah.  That about sums it up.   I re-evaluated Happiness.  

And that is when  I realized the little Son of a Bitch is always ten steps ahead of me, and it is never, ever going to let me catch up.  It would always just be short bouts of almost good, mixed in with broken promises paired with bad excuses.

I decided it was time to break up.   

On to Freedom, I thought.  

Oh, God...what does that mean?  

Okay...it means...not grayscale.  Not too shabby.  Not the same-old-same-old repetitive routine, either.  

Kinda nice.  Fresh air.  New altitudes.  Floating. Feeling lighter.  Smiling.

I liked it.  I liked Freedom.  The idea of it was feeling like being in the cool relationship you've always wanted, the kind that didn't require the base work that ensues when egos clash.  It was a mutually respectful relationship. 

Who knew that the search for the ever elusive happiness was a bad relationship?  Who knew that leaving the relationship would lead to instant relief?  

Back to the quote...the last thing to consider was, again, something else that felt like an insult.  The part about "making up stories about it."  Was enlightenment calling me out as a liar or a fake?  

My first reaction was that I don't make up stories - I tell the truth!  I spit out reality to the point of uncomfortable most of the time.  And then it hit me - the stories weren't about reality.  The stories were the things I used to convince myself to try to bridge the gap between what I wanted or needed to be happy.  Of which the actual arrival time is always delayed.

For some people the stories and bridges go like this:  "It would have been a great experience if it weren't for that guy opening wrapped candy through the whole play!"  Really?  It isn't that he's just a jackass, or you're sabotaging your own date night?

Or..."I would have strolled into that party with total confidence if I could have lost those last five pounds."  Really?  Because everyone in the room knows your secret weight-goal number?

Or the ultra-flexible..."It's not fair that _______________ (fill in the blank).

My bridges and stories?  They're a little messy.  Perfectionism.  Self-Control.  An unbearable self-sentence of proving I can do things the same way that other people can.  You know, like walkers and Olympic athletes.  

The spark of denial that negates disability factors for me: I honestly don't get it when something is inaccessible - I mean seriously - aren't we supposed to be able to hover by now?  What are we doing crabbing about freakin' concrete and steps?? 

Or... that it takes me forever to load me, the baby, and my chair into the car...when I should be doing it as quickly as a Walking Mom.  Really? 

And my favorite denial...I'm short.  If anyone had a Jack Russell's Napoleon complex....it is me.  I'm shocked when I can't reach something on the top shelf.  Seriously!  I'm like, "What the hell?  Who moved the Bloody Mary mix way up there??" 

What do I do to sabotage myself?  I never rest on my laurels, I'm never happy with the end-result (because there is always room for improvement),  I think this or that could have  or should have gone better, and I don't allow for mistakes on my part. 

Generally speaking, no matter how authentically happy you are in your day-to-day interactions and conversations....the happiness is always elusive when you have the habit of throwing a wet blanket over everything because you think it should either be better than it is, or that it wasn't good enough in the first place, or.....you're just not seeing the story for what it is:

Bethany...Not every place in town is going to be accessible - stop whining and help make changes.  Oh, and FYI, you're a mom who rolls, so everything it is going to take longer.  A lot longer.  And newsflash -  you're short as shit - and sidebar...stop drinking Bloody Mary's....Ceasar's are much better! Besides, the Clamato juice is on the second shelf!  

Boom.  There it is.  That is "What Is."

"What Is" is The Moment.  The Right Now.  The Present.

The past doesn't matter, it won't be personally repeated for you.  The future doesn't matter, because it isn't accurately predicted for you.  What matters is Right Now.  This moment.  This time-pod of Pure Potential.  This second of Inspired Action towards only the very next step - which by the way, is freaky blind faith.  Not the religious kind of faith.  I mean Faith as in: I'm going to take my next step because I know that the concrete will be under my hypothetical foot sort of Faith.  

The difference between keeping your eyes on the prize way down the road, versus acknowledging right now, is profound.  You can actually see the Big Picture!  Not as something outside of yourself, or too far ahead of yourself, or as a "thing" you are pursuing...No.  Instead you are looking yourself directly in the eye, where you are Right Now, taking what you see for what it is, and swiftly moving on to the very next (and only the next) step. The release right after the best break-up ever.

There lies your Freedom.  There is your departure from Un-Happiness.

Call it.  Break up with the Things.  The chase.  The pursuit.

Call it for what it is.  Feel the Freedom.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

I Traded My Prada Bag for Baby Clothes

Bethany & Trevin: Fourth of July 2014
Today I write to you from my home office, which is littered with Duplo Legos, a vintage Marshall Fields ABC baby quilt, and plastic trucks and toys.  This is pretty significant, given that two months ago, my office was only slightly littered with Post-It notes, files, metaphysical and holistic health books, and speech communication and feminism textbooks.  

It was a female's female tableau of controlled chaos consisting of papers, scribbled notes to Self, a half-empty bottle of Chanel Mademoiselle, and lipstick marked coffee cups.  

So why is this Rolling Diva's office now featuring cars, trucks, and legos?  Because through the love and collaboration of close family, my husband and I have adopted my biological great-nephew.  

Yep!  The Rolling Diva has become a Rolling Mommy - again!

Tyson and I were thinking we might be seeing light at the end of the parental tunnel with our daughter's senior year of high school upon us.  We had sat and envisioned the travel we'd be boasting, the cocktails we'd be toasting, the parties we 'd be hosting, and the steaks we'd be roasting Brazilian style.  Honestly, we were starting to call the house The Micro Mansion due to all of the fun plans we had for the joint!

And then we placed ourselves back at "Start!"  The miraculous happened, and through circumstances, all of which are imbued with and based in love, we became adoptive parents to the most magical little boy I have ever known.  Those close to me knew quite clearly that such an adventure was not on my list to do; yet those very close to me knew that it was a secret longing in my heart.  

Funnily enough, a few weeks before all of this synchronized, I was of course, out shopping for bargains.  I love to shop consignments and Goodwill to glean great buys, particularly in the realm of fabulous shoes and bags.  In fact, the Marshall Field vintage ABC baby quilt I mentioned earlier is actually is a Goodwill bargain beauty.  

One day, I innocently rolled into Goodwill to find that they had randomly received a mother load of Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Kate Spade, and Coach bags.  

I nearly peed.  

I trolled through the bins, hugging each and every designer handbag lovingly before settling on what is now my new-to-me Chanel school-bag-purse.  And after some very brief deliberation, I caved and also left with a white alligator Prada bag.  

You know, for funzies.  

I was so happy I took pictures of them and posted them to Facebook, hailing the praises of smart Goodwill shopping.  And then, within a week I found myself back at Goodwill returning the Prada bag.

A week after that I was back cashing in the gift card for a cartload of baby clothes.  

And then a week after that I traded my beloved Smart Car for a Honda Element, shocking the hell out of my husband, the car dealership, and myself.  I admit it.  I cried a little.  Okay...I cried a little at the dealership, and a little more the next morning when my beloved Smart Car was no longer in the driveway.  

However, a week after that, far better than any material possession could possibly provide...I became the mother of a beautiful baby boy.   

Had anyone told me weeks before, that I would ever trade a Prada bag for baby clothes, give up my hot little car, and willingly start the parenting path all over again at this stage of my life - I would have chanted through a bull-horn, "Oh, hell no!"  

Yet, here I am, the happiest that I have ever been, traveling the joys, the highs and lows of learning how to manage a toddler, a senior in high school, an ambitious husband, and my own ambitious self in a whirlwind of effervescent life.  To to try and describe it, I would say that it feels like an out-of-body experience, a rushing vortex of thrilling energy, and a rush of refreshing cold air all at once.  

To try and encompass the unfolding of all of the events leading up to this miracle in my life with mere words, "Divine Timing," "Divine Intervention," "Cosmic Orchestration" (or whatever you choose to call it) would still fall tremendously short.  

Has it been perfection?  

No.  Not at all.  It has been very human experience full of learning, cooperation, give and take, and new ways of maintaining balance.  Everyone in the house has a new role to play.  Everyone in our immediate and extended family have new roles to play.  All of us have grown from it. 

While I have parented an early childhood age from my chair with Rolling Diva Style...parenting a near two year old from a chair has challenged me to pull out all stops imaginable in creative problem solving.  As it happens, accessibility, strollers, diaper changes, tubby time, private time, cooking, dinner time, travel, socializing, and shopping...it's all changed...and hardly any of it fits together naturally, smoothly, or like I thought it would.  

Getting in and out of the car, grocery store, or even the house takes a lot longer and involves far more awareness than balancing a Starbucks, laptop, and files - not to mention loading and unloading the damn chair into the car.  

Shopping has gone from 'serious' internal debates of which shade of red rocks the sex goddess in me  - yet easily transitions into corporate mogul wonder woman -  to figuring out which developmental toy is needed for "lil' man" that isn't too above or below his ability.    

I used to think that trying to make my specialty secret-sauce spaghetti was a challenge with two Jack Russells and a not-so-bright Pug mingling around the kitchen as difficult.  Level Ten of such a culinary  project is that much harder with the Russells, the Pug, and now the Boy and his toys!  

Yeah.  This is definitely gonna be a Rolling Diva Lifestyle Adventure - and you know what? - I am so glad I can share it with you!  While Raspberry Vogue has no intention of becoming a Mommy Blog...it will certainly include the adventures, challenges, and rewards of this new chapter in my life.  

After all...Who would I be if not a storyteller of my Rolling Diva Lifestyle if I did not include my Grit with my Glitter? 

I mean really....This Rolling Diva Mommy carries a Chanel bag with diapers, a laptop, lipstick, and professor paraphernalia in it while wearing stripper heels.  Seriously, my son already knows the words
"Chanel," "Booty,"  and "Excuse Me?" He also dances to "The Gummy Bear Song," and "Ace of Base" on the beat.  

So, Thank You, readers, for allowing me to share this life changing moment with all of you.  

By the way - you can leave comments and ask me questions.  I will personally read them and answer them!   Maybe that way we can help each other solve the world's problems while managing things like disabled parenting, the rights of women with disabilities, education, health, and spirituality...with a touch of spice, sass, and style!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Not All New-Agers Wear Birkenstocks

As many of you know from past installments, I often find myself visually not fitting into the scene I am interested in.  Some of you may recall my first day of Feminist Theory class, outfitted in leopard skin stilettos, a push-up bra, and perfect make-up.  I had a total "Oh, shit!" moment when the course opened with the reading of a poem that harpooned Miss America, Vogue magazine, Barbie, and essentially all the glittery, froo-froo things I adore.  

Glancing around the room that day, literally feeling like Chanel in a room full of patchouli, I noticed a lot of jeans paired with t-shirts advertising different movements, feminist phrases, and nature scenes.  There were head scarves, nature jewelry, and Birkenstocks in late Fall.  I don't know about you, but when you're dressed like Barbie-who-happens-to-be-in-a-chair among hardcore Feministas...you just stick out.

Or do you?

My friend and partner in academic crimes, Lori - who by the way is absolutely beautiful and diverse, fits no one's mould, and is also a brilliant activist and writer - sat beside me in a fit of giggles and leaned over and intoned under her breath, "You're so fucking screwed!"  

I completely agreed with her.  I was screwed.  I just needed a pink pen with a marabou feather festooned atop it to be a wheelchair spin-off of Legally Blonde.

But, as it happened, I sent a home run over the pitcher's plate and hit the learning curve while keeping a death grip on my Vogue magazines, Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, and assortment of heels.  None of which makes me subservient to machismo.  

Maybe I wasn't the only one in the room to rim the learning curve, after all?

The fact is, regardless of what we wear, our thoughts and emotions are who we are, from the heart.  And, frankly...the media has never gotten it right.  Like, ever.  I have never understood the stereotypes associated with different groups.  Like the first two paragraphs of this blog entry...most people will nod in grim agreement that this is exactly what Feminists look like...which in reality, is not truthful and shouldn't be taken as a blanket statement.  Not all of the class members fit the media-based stereotype I gave you with poetic license.   

The fact is, we could choose any subgroup or clique and accurately design a definitive fashion statement around them based on what the media tells us, and believe we have the right to say that if you look and dress like this....then your belief system must obviously be  this.

But stop for a moment and realize, that if that method really is accurate, then I have completely misrepresented myself.  On sight, most people who see heels, make-up, sparkly jewelry, and blonde hair automatically think, "Bimbo."  They think, "here is a woman who gets by on her looks, has completely fallen prey to socially engendered roles, submits to men, and is not even remotely in touch with the words Human Rights, Equality, Intelligence, or Hard Work."  

If you met me, you would know instantly that none of those statements are true, or even remotely apply to me.

Let me give you an example of one encounter that I had. I get acrylic manicures regularly because when you use your hands to get around in a manual chair...it wreaks havoc on your hands, fingers, and nails.  I get the manicures because they keep my hands looking and feeling healthy and beautiful.  They save my nails and fingers from rough work...literally.  

But, instead of making the connection between hands on wheel rims and forward motion, I had a woman say to me at the copy machine at work, "Well!  Judging by your hands you obviously don't do housework!"

My instinct was to zip back at her, "And judging by your cracked and dried heels, you don't have a pumice stone or lotion."  

Instead I curved a cat-like smile at her and said, "No.  I'm not very domesticated.  My husband loves that about me."  

And rolled away.

Lately, I have been sharing more of my spiritual, new-ager, metaphysical self as I prepare to complete my degree, and begin to see clients.  I have always had an affinity towards the concept of "there are many paths home," and I am finally getting to a point where I can meld my passions, beliefs, and training into a very flexible occupation.  

I don't have to give up who I am to do it...I can keep my spirited self with compassion, come from light source but in a very human way, be spicy, be open-minded, and not pretend that I have reached higher levels and plains that keeps me from making mistakes.  I will make mistakes every day.  I think I've made at least 50 mistakes today already and I haven't had lunch.  

Yet, what I've been running into as I have begun to share my near-future plans with others, is an immediate commentary on my appearance, that goes something like this:  

"You don't look very spiritual."  

"Aren't new age people all stuck in the 60's?"  

"But you wear makeup."  

And my favorite, "You don't look like a hippie."  

Hmmm.  

Well...here's the deal.  Neither do the majority of the holistic practitioners that I have been meeting along the way.  In fact, I am finding that in the holistic community, you get just about every flavor of person imaginable, just like the Feminist community.  They are all unique, they all have a personal style, they blend in to the fabric of the crowd.  I have not seen one practitioner that might fit the media's portrayal in any stereotypical way.  Just like none of the other group-sets tend to fit media portrayals - and we know what we think about the media portrayal of women (with and without disabilities).

So today's lesson is this:  Not all new-agers wear Birkenstocks.  

In fact...this one wears stripper heels.  


Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Truth? Drop an F-Bomb and Just Breathe.

I don't know about you, but it seems I am not very Politically Correct, and this is sometimes mistaken as being not very calm or centered.  Obviously I know when to tailor my words in public to be more acceptable, sensitive, or in some cases silenced...but the inner dialogue I usually have going on?  It would probably make a sailor blush...and I don't think that is all bad.
  
Research shows that people who swear (even well educated people) tend to be more honest than those who monitor their words very carefully.  I think that maybe after years of personally hitting so many highs and lows just by living life as anyone does,  I have come to holding sort of a 50-yard line stance, regarding nearly everything, that comes complete with bullshit detectors and self-protection shields all wrapped around an insistence to Speak My Truth.  

Sometimes, lack of PC Vocabulary, Direct Honesty, and Calculated Responses batted back over the conversational net get misinterpreted by others who had expected that I will either react meekly, be clueless as to the game being played, or that they will be mindlessly agreed with on their point of argument.  When the conversation doesn't play out that way...most people react to me first in a stunned manner, second in an offended manner, and swiftly to a third defensive manner.  Occasionally, while in their defense mode, assumptions are made about me (and verbalized) that I am unenlightened, rude, or unsympathetic.  

At first, my knee-jerk reaction inside is to flicker to the thought that, "Wow...to be enlightened and helpful, maybe one does have to be more gentle and non-confrontational.  Maybe I'm not a peacemaker, a helpful person, or someone with depth of understanding after all. Maybe I do need to be more politically correct in my conversations.  Maybe I shouldn't drop the F-bomb so much - even though it does brighten and solidify the message quite strategically."  

Note I said flicker.

Right on the heels of any momentary self-doubt, I quickly realize...wait..."Oh, Hell No!"  

The fact is, there are Lightworkers who are Light Warriors.  They speak the Truth, they cut the cords of deception, and they slice away the nets and snares so many people are caught up in.  They don't hurt others.  They don't even open up cans of whoop ass on some that have potentially earned a few cans to be opened on them.  

No.  They use their words of Truth for Freedom.  Freedom for others to breathe the fresh air, break the chains of their own personal silence, the prisons of their own making, and the limits others and society have placed on them.  And sometimes, out of necessity...those words are salty, spicy, and very intentionally placed.

It is true - sometimes it is painful to hear the truth - especially when the delivery is peppered for perfect grilling.  Sometimes it is more painful to deal with the truth of a situation and gain personal freedom, than it is to remain limited, small, and entrapped; so people sacrifice themselves to limitation, and never get to experience their full potential because cutting the cords, being honest with themselves first and others second, really does hurt too much.  It is excruciatingly painful.

But I believe in short term pain for long term gain if it means there is a positive outcome.  I believe that sometimes as wounds to our Spirit heals...it often hurts far worse than the trauma that left us wounded in the first place.  I believe in and completely understand that the darkest hours are just before the dawn.  

But that means that I also know how exhilarating it is to grab that first gulp of fresh air.  I know what it is like to realize a toxic relationship is finally over.  I know what it is like to lose, because losing the battle wins the war in the end.  I know Spiritual Warfare.  I know wrestling with Self and seeing the Higher Self come out the winner.  I know the indescribable elation that comes from bouncing back to life- time after time, over and over again.  

Perhaps its simply the peaks and valleys of my life that have opened the door for me to be far less concerned with being politically correct, and instead getting right to the kernel of the issue, or perhaps I was just born with my finger on the pulse of the power of words.  But, I like that about me.  And I like that about the friends that I attract into my life.  I love that about my intimate relationships.  My family.  My marriage.

If I could wish for anything for people, whether they are dealing with pain that is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual...it would be that they could swiftly find their Truth and be brave enough to tread the waters further out from the shore and find they can swim like a mermaid in their own inner peace, inner knowing, inner wisdom, and inner freedom.  Our battle in life is internal.  But we take it so seriously, we think it is something very real, very physical, and very tangible...and we mistake it for being reality, when it isn't.  

Something that I began to do years ago, back in the beginning of learning my truth, was a heartbeat breathwork meditation exercise.  Give it a try...

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Heart Beat Meditation

Sitting comfortably in a meditative pose, or in a comfortable chair, start to take note of your breathing.  Is it shallow?  Is clavicular?  Is it diaphragmic? If your breathing is from the clavicular area, start to bring your attention down to your diaphragm.  Ease into breathing from this place.  Begin to breathe from this place more deeply. Next, gently place your right palm over your heart and focus on your heart beat.  Begin to breathe in for two heart beats, and breathe out for two heart beats (especially if you are a shallow breather).  Work your way up to drawing in breath for three heart beats, and exhaling for three heart beats.  Work your way up to drawing in and exhaling likewise for four, then five, and then six heart beats.  Spend time becoming comfortable with each counted intake; don't move on to higher counts until you are completely comfortable diaphragmically breathing in and out at lower counts.  

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It is totally okay to only get up to three until next time.  The important thing is that you have slowed your breathing down, you have begun to get acquainted with deeper proper breathing, and you have moved your breath placement to the belly.  

In stressful moments of your day...just tune into your heart and your breathing.  They are the doorways to your truth.  They are calming.  There are no mantras to memorize.  No extravagant set ups or special outfits to wear.  

It is just you.  Your heart.  Your breath.  Your truth.  You.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Garden Grows

Words can't describe how happy I am that it seems we've gotten past Old Man Winter!  I am such a Spring and die-hard Summer person, that while the winter months can be comforting and reflective...I am not myself.  

I thought that I could make it through the last of the icy fingers of cold damp Southeastern weather without rolling myself straight into a tanning salon, slapping down the money to thaw myself out.  Not quite.  In the end, I bought myself a sweet tanning package and I now look like my sunny Scandinavian little self inside and out.

I have started my adaptive box gardening, too.  We had a warm spell, which helps run the maple sap rather nicely.  But it tricked me, once again, into loading the Smart car full of plants, herbs, and veggies a bit too soon.  One unexpected frost later - like a day after we hit an uncommon 80-degrees - I lost some Sweet Basil, the outer leaves of Hostas, and a good percentage of my German Thyme.  

This year's gardening is otherwise going well.  I've reconstituted the Cilantro, added to the Curled Parsley, placed Lavender on the front walkway to entice guests, and replaced the Rosemary.  New to the veggie section is Romaine Lettuce and some Spinach...which is a great idea since we load both of these greens into nearly every at-home dining experience.  

It strikes me how working the garden beds, watching the Tulips and Hyacinths bloom, and nurturing culinary herbs and organic veggies brings back pieces of myself I sort of thought had gone missing. 

I don't know about you, but I have noticed that the daily grind, the routine of life, and the focus on solving all of the problems that bubble up sort of erodes our Center.  This past year has had some interesting and unexpected highs and extreme lows that caused subtle and not-so-subtle shifts inside of me.  Navigating those peaks and valleys shut down an aspect of my nurturing self.

Whenever I hear someone say that they have lost a part of themselves, particularly that nurturing side of their persona, I automatically think that they mean they are finding it hard to care.  They are being challenged when it comes to caring about others, family members, friends, the environment, the state of the world.  It hadn't crossed my mind that what they may have meant was that they had lost touch with the nurturing side of themselves for themselves.

Routine can make you chilly.  Constant problem solving can turn you rather robotic.  When you're chilly and robotic, there is a pretty good chance that you're also exhausted.  Referring back to Old Man Winter, for me the length and strength of this past winter season did not help the situation.  It was abnormally cold compared to the last decade, and it just kept hanging on.  

I am thankful for the Sun.  I dare say that I am a worshipper of Ra.  With my fingers in the dirt, taking the time and living the process of watering, trimming, watching, and enjoying life springing from the Earth while soaking in the rays as been a tonic for my Soul.  I have taken to meditating in the garden, in the sun.  I've begun drinking loads of fresh water.  I feel like the very plants I am taking care of...I feel like I am stretching, growing, and rejuvenating.  I'm paying attention to Me in all of the right ways.

And that feels Extraordinary!