The Vanishing Middle Class

There’s a silent war going on, and it appears to be going unnoticed. There’s a large divide, the haves and the have nots, and I’ve never seen anything like it in my adult life.

I don’t know, maybe I’m noticing because I’m directly in the middle, and if shit really hits the fan, I could end up in either groups, which is an uneasy feeling.  As an American, I’ve always thought that if you work hard you can live the dream, and I feel like we have.

My hubby and I started out without much.  It took me six years after we got married to graduate college and to start working full time.  Fast forward to now, and we have both done well in our jobs and have everything we need and most things we want.  The thought of losing everything when we’ve worked so hard for it is foreign and scary.

Disclaimer: The following are personal opinions and observations from my school and state (Michigan), the processes and information may be different elsewhere.

The first big battle was in March when schools shut down and everyone had to stay home.

Even though the district I work for is one of the wealthier ones in our state, the inequality within some of our families was apparent.

In the United States, the public schools must guarantee that everyone has equal opportunity for education.  Well, if suddenly everyone is expected to learn from home in quarantine and some kids don’t have internet or computers, that isn’t equal.  And it was up to the public school to fix it.  So what did the public school do? They put all learning on hold until every family had a Chromebook and internet, and food of course, because it is also up to the public school to feed the hungry.  All of that had to happen to make it equal, and that took time, and you better believe that schools got so much shit for that. Why? Because the parents who had internet, whose child had a computer, whose child had a hundred activities suddenly cancelled had to wait for the proper instruction to begin, and many parents were not happy.

So, a few weeks after the shutdown, it was announced that schools will be shut down until summer vacation.  We learned that we will not see these kids in person again until the following school year.

It’s ok, everyone had what they needed, right? In theory, yes.

This sums up the last two months of the school year: Generally, the academically high kids did everything that was expected of them. The average kids were all over. Some started off doing everything, but dropped off the last month, while some hand picked which assignments they wanted to do, and some did excellent, proving that the environment was favorable for learning for some kids. The low kids, or economically disadvantaged kids, were less engaged and typically finished less work than their classmates.

Some of my students did very little to nothing that last few months of school. I work with students who have learning disabilities, and I worry that this will put them farther behind, as normally there is a sense of urgency at school to catch them up.

I don’t blame the parents.  One of mine had to quarantine with three small children in an apartment, I simply can’t imagine since it went on for months. And others are essential workers and can’t be there all the time, or most the time, to help with school work, so the child is left supervised with an older sibling, grandparent or on their own. These families are in a tough spot and it’s heartbreaking.  My colleagues and I would complain that we felt like we were stalking the families. We were just worried and wanted to see how we could help, but many calls and emails went unreturned.

Now it’s the fall and the start of a new school year. I envisioned the first day of school very festive with everyone just happy to be there.  But the disease is still here, and we will not be going back to school.

Parents are divided, like the rest of the country.  Some are adamant about keeping their kid home. Others are positive that this virus is a hoax and they aren’t going to pay their taxes because their kid can’t go to school, etc etc etc. And other kids truly need school. It’s their safe place, the only safe place for some.

Our president wants the schools all in session this fall. He thinks that mental health problems, neglect, abuse and hunger are far worse threats than this virus. Plus, public schools provide eligible kids with important therapies, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. He is absolutely right, and I think schools should be able to open with safety measures.

There’s only one problem: Public schools don’t have the money to open safely, period. Even in my district, with community and financial resources, there are way too many variables and unmet standards to be able to open safely at this point in time.  The variables include important resources, mostly people, that we don’t have (adequate janitorial staff, substitute teachers, extra teachers for smaller class sizes for social distancing, etc).  But we have to open, they say.  Why?

Because of the hungry?

Because of the missed therapies for children with disabilities?

Because of the parents that need to get back to work, they need child-care.

When did this all become the public school’s’ responsibility?

 

So while the political shitstorm is brewing, and the virus is still spreading and while the teachers are preparing to teach virtually,  there is a divide happening.  I see it everywhere.

Parents on one end are organizing small learning groups and looking for teachers to hire, or sending their kids to private school where the class sizes are small and they can attend in-person classes safely, or hiring tutors, etc. Lucky for me, my hubby is working from home now, and my kids are older so my family falls in this group.  If I had kids who needed child-care, it would be much more difficult. The kids in this group will all be fine- many may even excel with the online or small group learning.

But then there’s the other side.  Low internet bandwidth, small space, distractions, little or no adult supervision, on top of potential hunger, abuse and neglect are just some of the obstacles facing some of our families.

And some schools are planning to open in a few weeks, despite unsafe conditions. I’ve read from teachers unacceptable protocols in lower socioeconomic districts, such as cardboard dividers (instead of plexiglass), 3 feet space between humans instead of 6 feet, lack of cleaning supplies, etc.  I wonder how effective the learning will be in this environment. Most places are making the kids stay in the same room all day long with little room for movement. My heart breaks for these teachers and families, as their fate is determined by zip code?

I don’t have an answer, only 99 problems with zero answers.

But it’s the divide of the classes that is bothering me most, along with the anger that is directed at public education.

 

The Death of Should

I will not feel guilty for not taking political action.

I will not feel guilty for the choices we’ve made for our kids’ education this year.

I will not feel guilty for eating 4 mini ice cream cones.

I will not feel guilty for saying no.

I will not feel guilty for allowing my child to play video games all day.

I will not feel guilty for not making my teenager drive.

I will not feel guilty for keeping the news off.

I will not feel guilty for avoiding toxic family members.

I will not feel guilty for not drinking.

I will not feel guilty for ‘me’ time.

I will not feel guilty for writing all day long.

I will not feel guilty for not cleaning.

I will not feel guilty for not being more like someone else.

I will not feel guilty for putting myself first.

I will not feel guilty for how I feel.

Now begins the funeral of SHOULD.

All of these are things that I’ve said, preluded by I should/shouldn’t have. This is faulty thinking that does nothing but cause negativity/unhappy feelings (guilt!).

Rest In Peace should.

Day 490 and ODAAT

As I predicted, my inner alcoholic voice, Betsy (DeVos), has been doing pushups while I’ve been working my soul off and has returned to torture my thoughts.  She’s not too bad yet, but this is how it starts.  She sees a vulnerability and jumps on it.

My best friend is getting married in September and I am beyond excited.  As I’m talking to her about planning, she could care less about the planning.  She wants nothing more than a ginormous party with all her people.

My first thought?

Good thing they’re not big drinkers.

Followed by…

Maybe I could handle one night of drinking. 

Then, the consideration.

Maybe I can. Do I want to? Why do I want to give anything more than I already have to alcohol, and to that evil Betsy?

I’ve seen alcohol do really shitty things to people over the past few years.  It’s a tricky substance. It makes you think you need it, but the reality is that’s not your voice, it’s your addiction speaking, and it sounds just like you.

I wish everyone would see alcohol for what it really is, but then again, seeing these situations from the other side helps keep me away from that nasty shit.

This summer, hubby and I have gotten into the show 90 Day Fiance.

The episode we watched last night really struck a chord with me.  The man who is 48 brought a 24 year old woman from Thailand to be his wife. Both in Thailand and America, the bride-to-be was in tears over his drinking.  Last night, his friend asked him if he would stop, and his answer was no, because he didn’t want to.  There’s more to the episode and situation, but I could without a doubt see myself in him.  How sad that he chose a toxic substance over a beautiful young lady who left everything she knows to be with this man, and he can’t put down the drink for a night.  That could have been me, a hundred times or more.  Granted, my hubby never gave me an ultimatum or asked me to stop, but I can guess what my response would have been in active addiction, probably similar to the man on this show.

Seeing things like this make me never want to touch it, ever again. I’ve already given too much of my life to alcohol, I won’t submit myself to shackles again, that would be insanity.

But.. I also won’t think about drinking tomorrow, or in September.  For now, I will take it One Day At A Time. Today I am not drinking and that’s my focus.

 

 

 

 

 

Peace & Suffering and the 2020 Pandemic

This summer has mimicked Buddhism’s idea of peace & suffering, at least in my life it has.

A few months after my mom died, I had a deep conversation with our school secretary. She talked about suffering and how we need it to have happiness.

I nodded my head but had no idea what she really meant until I started to study Buddhism. I’ve often thought back to that conversation when I think of suffering.

This summer has been incredibly bipolar and is either laced with suffering, or feeling on-top-of-the-world happy.

One listen to the news usually leaves me feeling scared and desperate, so I keep it off.

As long as it stays off, and no one is texting me horrifying news stories, then I can remain safe & happy. But it is impossible to keep running from the reality of the state of the world, and especially my country 🇺🇸

I finished the first draft of my novel, which is something I never truly believed I can do. I am overwhelmed with excitement and joy, but it sometimes feels irresponsible and negligent, and I’m not sure why.

My best friend is getting married on September 12th. They met in 2000, the around the time my hubby & I met (same month even, I think) and we all have been friends since. I recently got ordained and I am going to marry them. I am so honored and excited for this. But again, it feels kind of irresponsible and pretentious to be so excited right now.

It has been a very hot July. One day, in particular sticks in my mind. It was not a happy day.

I went outside to check something with the pool. It was stifling outside and the sun was intense. Normally, this would be my favorite kind of summer day, but not this day.

As I went outside, the heat felt miserable and so did I. There was nothing but silence in the air. No kids playing, no laughing, no screaming, nothing. I looked at my house and thought of all of the kids (I had 4 at the time, one extra cousin) who were sitting in a dark room inside doing nothing but screen time.

The sadness that day was overwhelming and the only thing I wanted to do was to crawl in my bed and disappear. A better mom would have made the children come out and turn off their screens.

I will not be getting any mother of the year awards for 2020, but it’s okay.

Another day in July was similar but quite different. It was hot and sunny and I was fully enjoying it without a care in the world. I had tears in my eyes because I was so happy (and I made the kids come out).

How can two identical days be so different?

One thing is for sure, while the bad days can be awful, they do make the good days better.

How are you doing with the pandemic this summer?

The Cost of Returning to School

If you are reading this, I’m going to apologize upfront.  My recent posts don’t have a lot to do with sobriety, as it has taken a back seat in the midst of this pandemic.

Don’t worry, I’ve learned that even in the back seat, my addiction is doing push-ups. This means that while I’m not worried about drinking at the moment, that feeling can hit me at any moment and change my callus attitude towards alcohol.

But this post isn’t about drinking, it’s about my heart.

Teaching has broken my heart twice in thirteen years.

Back in January 2010, our governor took away school funding and consequently I was laid-off completely out of the blue one Friday morning.  The principal told me to come back on Saturday and get my stuff.  I wasn’t even able to say bye to my students, and I cried all the way home.

It made me stronger.

My heart is broken again by this profession. It’s not the kids, the administration, the testing or curriculum, although these are what you might typically think when you think about complaining about education.

I can’t take the politics of it, I’m beyond tired of everyone saying that schools need to open.  Some people are saying that they should get a tax refund because their child participated in school from home for awhile.

This is where I’m at with the whole We need to open schools come hell or high water stance.

I agree, many kids need to come to school.  But at what cost?

We’ve all seen changes everywhere and these all have come with a cost. My doctor’s office, which normally triple books is only working at a fraction of the normal capacity, taking the time to carefully disinfect and take the precautions necessary.  I could go on and on giving you examples of changes because of COVID precautions.

I’m seeing some changes at school this summer that is promising.  My friend teaches summer school and feels safe and protected, although she sees the students individually and thoroughly disinfects after each child.  She currently has the resources she needs to be safe.

What is safe?

Plexiglass is safe, it can be disinfected and can stop germs from spreading across the room. Plus, it’s fairly inexpensive, so it’s doable, right?  Sure, unless you are the unlucky person who teaches in this local district:

Cardboard?  Can that even be disinfected? Really?

In this district parents can opt out of daily temperature checks for their child. Would you want your child to attend this school?

Will the poorer districts see more fatalities because of poor cleaning procedures and lack of safety equipment?

This feels eerily like a colossal science experiment, where no one really knows what is going to happen.  Science has shown that kids aren’t commonly affected by the Coronavirus, so they should be fine.

I think students will be okay, for the most part, if we practice the same social distancing routines that we’ve been doing since March. The only thing is that, some schools don’t have this capability.  You can’t turn a dollar into a million, you just can’t.

I’m kind of a jerk because I have been feeling relieved that so many districts in the south go back a month before us.  I thought they would be the guinea pigs.  But, the friends I know in the south have had their start date pushed back a month.

So we’re all going to be the guinea pigs.

I’m not really afraid of getting Coronavirus and dying, except for feeling bad for my family. But the thought of losing just one student, or or just one colleague to something that we could have prevented makes me cry.

If you had asked me about my school’s resources before the Coronavirus, I would have complained. I would have told you that our School Social Worker is only at our school for 1.5 days, and the half day is usually spent in meetings. She has one day to fit in all of the students on her caseload. Consequently, if a student who is not on her caseload needs to see a social worker, he or she is going to have to wait. I would have told you that our academic support caseloads are too high and we don’t have enough staff.

I can’t imagine having even less resources than before, but with all of the extra precautions and personal protection equipment school will now require, I can’t see most public schools meeting their most basic needs, let alone keeping Corona under control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Boy Hands

 

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In seventeen years
You’ve become quite a man
Gradual changes
All but your little boy hands

First the Deep voice
Then the Facial hair
Word play and sarcasm
Nevermind, I won’t go there

You made me a mom
You made me crazy
Watching you grow up
Has made life a little hazy

Little do you know
I’ve been watching you
Cherishing the things
That have yet to grow

My favorite thing
That’s not yet a man
One thing that stayed the same
Is your little boy hands

Day 481 and the Gifts of Sobriety

Day 481

It’s 10:00am on a Monday morning.  My niece and I are in the pool, she’s jumping off the edge and swimming like crazy while I’m floating around trying not to get splashed. My favorite Milky Chance song comes on and all I feel is pure joy as I look at Jessica and we smile big at each other.  “This is the best pool party song!” I say to her.  I feel peaceful and so happy that tears begin to form as I think about my life. It was 10:00 am and we had already been for a walk and play session at the park. I felt productive and alive, a far cry from where I sat stagnant for years.

I’ve had a lot of these realizations lately, especially now that it’s summertime and I’m naturally around more family and drinking. Sometimes I miss drinking.  But it’s not the alcohol I miss, it’s the mirage surrounding it.  Sometimes I feel like an outsider peaking in, with the ability to see things that said drinking person cannot or will not see.  I don’t judge the person, I do judge alcohol though and I think it’s the devil.

I think about the role alcohol played in my life.

It stole the show, in my adult life, it stole a lot.

It came with gifts.

When I look around at 10am on a Monday morning and appreciate all of the small things, and know, intrinsically, that things could have turned out so much different, how can I not be so grateful?

One look at the first year, or two, of this blog is a stark reminder to me. The years I had of day 1’s is enough to make me not want to touch it, ever again.

We are the luckiest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turn off the Chaos

It’s hard to go about this summer in a normal way when so much commotion is going on in the outside world. I was in a bad place mentally about a week ago and couldn’t stop thinking gloom and doom thoughts about the future, especially going back to work in the fall.

This summer has been anything but ordinary.

2/3 of the kids in my household were ready for summer break to be over before it even began. If you know how my kids feel about school, you know this is significant.

The start of summer is usually pure sweetness, and I can breath a huge sigh of relief after the mayhem of the end of the school year.  Summer vacation is well loved and well earned.  The start of school in autumn is far from my mind as July approaches.

Not this year. All I can think about is fall and the thousands of questions I have about the new “public school” normal.

So I turned it all off, ignore.

I feel free.

I am safe in my bubble.

I don’t have to think about school, or strikes, or Coronavirus, or politics.

Not yet.

Maybe never.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 471 and Lessons of 2020

This has been the strangest summer ever, which isn’t surprising considering how weird and messed up 2020 has been.  I went to a psychic in November who gave me a heads up about 2020 being filled with lessons for me.  I was panicked, and would have felt better if I knew that 2020 would be full of lessons for everyone.

Between that psychic and reading Sylvia Brown’s Prophecy days before the school shut down.  Sylvia predicted that education would change in 2020 and most would be online.  That was March 11 and I scoffed at this idea.  Well guess what, by March 13th the schools were shut down and whisperings of online teaching were everywhere I turned.

The psychic incidents bothered me more than I thought they should have, even months later. So, I made an appointment with my therapist to talk about the anxiety I felt after the psychic incidents and to see if she could help me.  She does a lot of Cognitive Brain Therapy, and I thought that might be helpful with my negative thoughts regarding the psychics.

I love my therapist, but went into the appointment not knowing if she would be able to help me with this. I actually thought about cancelling my appointment several times, thinking I would sound crazy.  She, in all of her awesomeness, did not disappoint.  And of course, she made it sound, oh so simple.

But I think it is.

It’s about control.

I made a lot of good decisions in 2019.  Those decisions impacted my life positively, as I would expect.  Consequently, 2019 was a great year, but I was anticipating an even better 2020.  I would get my braces off, lose weight because I had gotten off pred, and I would have my Master’s degree.  I used to say, 2020 is going to be my year!

Then I saw the psychic.  She did not tell me what I wanted to hear, she wasn’t even close to telling me what I predicted.

“Your 2020 will be filled with lessons.”

Is that an indication that 2020 might be a trying year?

“Yes.” She said to a surprised me.

And she also said,

“Your money situation will change.”

“Your career will change.”

“You will be more in a caretaker role.”

And then towards the end of my session:

“Take off the mask and show your vulnerability.” Now, I think she was talking figuratively, but it’s still kind of freaky given our current mask situation.

You have to understand that none of this was good news to me.  Then in March when our country shut down, everything seemed to come true.

My job changed drastically, and I was more of a caregiver, being home with my entire family at home with me for months and months.  Hubby’s salary got decreased 25%, and I was anticipating a possible layoff.  The lessons do keep coming, but then again I think they always do.

Back to my therapy appointment to address this.  Sara helped me tremendously to look at this through a different set of lens.  We like predictability.  After COVID hit the U.S. and we went on quarantine, and my psychic session came true, I had friends and family calling to get that psychic’s number.  Sara says that we seek out psychics because we crave control, yet talking to one gives up our sense of control.  What?

I really like predictability.  I was ecstatic that my 2019 was a great year, I earned it!  I couldn’t wait to find out about 2020, because if I continued on this trajectory, 2020 could be the best year ever.  So of course it felt like the house of cards I had diligently built came crashing down after I learned about all of the lessons that would be coming.

It was ok and by December I had the great idea to write and finally publish a book called, The 2020 Survival Guide.  I never ended up writing it and am kicking myself now because that sucker could have been a bestseller given the shenanigans 2020 has given the world.

January was ok, but cold and I had a college class that was so much work and I absolutely hated.  February was ok, but the Florida and Miami trip was difficult and filled with many lessons.  When March rolled around I was thrilled that the year would soon be 1/3 over and I was anticipating a great month.  Then the Sylvia Brown incident happened and schools shut down. It felt like a slap in the face, again.

I went through a depression after the schools shut down, very similar to how I felt when I got laid off from my first teaching job.  School has broken my heart twice in my career and these are the two instances.  This itself was a lesson.  You don’t always get to choose to close the door. 

In the months/years after getting laid-off , I discovered that this was one of the best things to happen to me, especially so early and I touted this concept regularly to people in my life, including students.  I always put myself first after this, never the school.  My opinion is that they will get rid of me in a heartbeat if they needed to, so I wouldn’t hesitate to leave a job for a better one.  If I hadn’t gotten laid-off I’ve often wondered if I would have stayed, not only out of convenience, but the thought that “But the kids really need me.”

But that wasn’t my internal voice, fortunately.  My internal voice said to work for me and what I wanted, and I acknowledge that this helped me climb up into one of the top districts in my state.

When a door closes, that’s room for a better one to open. Only, when the schools shut down and I was faced with uncertainty, I felt zero comfort until months later when I realized that quite often, actually, that door closes on it’s own, out of our control. I felt better after making this realization, but it did take a long time.  DUH.

By June I was thinking about the psychics much less but still bothered by it daily.  What did it mean?  Was I handling quarantine and COVID way better than I would have because I had a heads-up?  Would I have handled it better not knowing?  Why did I have to pick up Prophecy and laugh at old Sylvia?

Anyways, it’s all about control.  I was/am bothered because it made me realize intrinsically that no matter what decisions I make in my life, ultimately, there are things that I can’t control.  That is ok.

Realizing that this is the big issue at hand has helped a ton.  Sara told me to say a mantra every time I think of the psychic incidents, I am more in control than I think I am.

Funny thing is, since I talked to her more than a week ago, I haven’t had to say that mantra at all.  Maybe just talking it out with a neutral person helped, someone who is excellent at putting things into perspective helped.

Another funny thing is that as I was talking to her and talking about 2020, I realized that 2020 is my year.  Despite the COVID, the quarantine, the political shit show, etc, I am doing just fine.  Sure, some things really sucked, like the schools shutting down and teaching remotely, and not being able to get my pets seen unless they are on death’s door (ok, not really, but it is super hard to get them in and both Jules and Milo have been high maintenance during this time).

But if you don’t take COVID or the state of our country into consideration, 2020 has been weird but awesome at times.

I started writing, I mean really writing.  It is extremely therapeutic and I can’t get enough of it this summer.  Hubby has been on vacation this week, and I’m a little cranky because it is Friday and I’ve barely written this week with him off.  I am eager to get back into the flow next week.  I think part of it is the state of education.  I’ve felt a pressure for a while to do something else, and not knowing what is in store for the fall has put me into workaholic mode.  I really do work so well under pressure.

We are so fortunate that hubby’s salary has gone back to 100% and it is looking like I have a job in the fall.  Because of COVID he is still working from home 100% and now wants to permanently work from home at least three days per week.  This makes our household a little easier to manage. Also, thanks to COVID, my story Karma Revolution exists. It totally wouldn’t without this disease, so there’s that. Now that I look at it I think it’s a really dumb story, but it sure accelerated my drive and gave me the confidence I need to start getting this story out.

That’s my update. Oh it’s day 471 without alcohol, so I guess my next big milestone (500) is coming up.  I’m not thinking about it much anymore.  I do absolutely love reading my early entries, I have come such a long way since 2017, and I wouldn’t even realize it if I hadn’t written.

 

 

 

 

False Life Stories

After working with and spending so much time with myself the past few years, I’ve really realized that I can be a tough nut to crack.  I have this invisible shield that says to everyone and everything, “It’s FINE, all fine.” even when it’s not fine.  I believe it’s a few things including my intrinsic beliefs and the power of resistance.

A few weeks ago I discovered something I never realized before, I am a big picture/whole picture thinker.  

THIS is why you can change something in your room, or my own room or yard, and I mean like an entire 30 ft tree gone, and I will probably never notice.  I struggle with details.. this is why I have a BIG story in my head but took years to even attempt working out the details.  I am probably this way to a fault, and probably have certain compensatory skills that I’m not even aware of.

Maybe that is partially why the steps and my soul work is a huge process with me.

When it was time to do step 4, I didn’t think I even needed to start it because, and I quote myself, “I am cool with everyone.”  Boy oh boy do I recognize that tone as the inner beast known as my ego.  I was looking at the big picture.  The only thing is that, it’s the key details that are going to make ya or break ya.

But don’t worry, after that time I relapsed and eventually started the steps over.  Nearly a year later and I couldn’t even believe I thought I was actually cool with everyone. Now, a year after that and my step 4 list continues to grow and I continue to work on it.

It was similar when I was asked to tell the false story I’ve been telling myself.  I didn’t have much to go on, um…. “Everyone is mad at me.” (which was something I struggled with in the past, but more so when I was drinking).  Again, all I could see was the big picture.  I’m pretty darn real with myself, so didn’t really think I had any fake news.  Turns out I was dead wrong.  There’s a lot of false stories, that I have told myself for years, and continue to tell myself. 

One example is that my in-laws don’t like me and don’t think I’m good enough for their son.  After 19 years of marriage, and 20 years of not jiving with the inlaws seamlessly, I finally can see the key details of this big broad picture.

The very first time I met my in-laws was at the house that my husband and I now own. It was a lovely time.  We played Boulder Dash, and I met one of his brothers, and I remember having a nice time.  At some point during the visit, I started to believe that his family is perfect and that I am not good enough.  I have a terrible memory and this was 20 years ago, so it’s hard to recall, but I remember feeling sad when I left.  I drove almost an hour to my friend’s house who I was house sitting for at the time.  I drank, and cried and listened to the Verve Pipe that entire night, all the while thinking that I loved his boy and just wasn’t good enough.  I still think of that night whenever I hear the acoustic version of The Freshman.

We, obviously, ended up married, with kids and pets and careers and have worked super hard to make it all happen.  Yet this is still an intrinsic belief of mine.  And it took me 20 freaking years, and a ton of soul work, to realize that it’s only me that’s been telling myself over and over and over again for all this time.

I’ve been studying a lot about the power of the mind and how it affects us everyday, actually every moment of every day.

We all have life stories that we tell ourselves and many of them are false, but we continue to think and believe them and act upon that belief so you are then living in that reality.

So that’s where I’m at.. and it’s freeing to realize that something doesn’t have to be your story.