Tag Archives: Death

The courage to be vulnerable

If you’re uncomfortable with truth, this post may not be for you.

If you’re uncomfortable with emotions, this post may not be for you.

If you’re here for a “Facebook worthy post” with a false sense of ‘yay my life is peaches and cream!” – this post is definitely not for you.

If you’re still here, I want to ask you:

What does ‘being vulnerable’ feel like for you?

I asked myself this question after witnessing a beautiful soul talk about her struggle with vulnerability. I’m referring to Brené Brown, author and researcher, and total kick-ass warrior against shame. After watching Brown bare her truth on stage, I couldn’t help but shed a few (okay, a lot of) tears and embrace her struggle as my own.

If you haven’t seen her TED talks or read any of her books, I’ll summarize for you. In her deeply insightful book, Daring Greatly, Brown writes:

“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in. We must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly.”

She often reiterates the point that courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.

Again and again she says,

Vulnerability is courage. The courage to be seen.

 

So let me ask again, what does being vulnerable feel like for you? Does it scare you? Do you associate it with weakness? Would you consider ‘being vulnerable’ courageous?

 

What happens when you allow yourself to be seen? When you let your guard down? When you say the truth of a situation and how it makes you feel? When you make a pitch to your boss? When you introduce a boyfriend to your family? When you have a tough conversation with a family member? When you share a lifelong dream with a friend? Do you immediately regret it? Do you crawl up in a ball and cry?

Tell me, what are your vulnerabilities?

 

I’ll start with a few of mine. Here are some painfully vulnerable moments from the past few years of my life that have stuck with me and to this day make me feel uncomfortable.

 

Vulnerability is….

 

-Telling my partner that I’m unhappy

-Admitting that I need professional help

-Saying ‘I love you’ to a man who I know doesn’t love me in return

-Quitting school to have a baby at age 19

-Flying out of the country for the first time, alone

-Telling a loved one that her expectations of me are ruining our relationship

-Sending my book of poetry to a stranger

-Calling said stranger on the phone and admitting that I am completely terrified of watching this book come to life

-Hearing this stranger say that he’s all in — that he believes in me

-Having a dream so huge that it makes me cry when I talk about it

-Wearing a swim suit

-Explaining to my son why mommy is sad some days

-Talking about God

-Overdosing on prescription medication and waking up

-Talking to God about why she woke me up

-Beginning college for the second time and immediately panicking

-Sharing my story in a therapy group after being hospitalized for major depression

-Writing a book and wondering if the one person I desperately want to read it even will

-Letting go of one dream to pursue another

-Forgiving myself for So. Many. Things.

-Losing best friends after telling them I was pregnant

-Surrendering to Love

-Calling my grandma for the first time after my grandpa went to be with God

-Opening up to strangers and accepting them as soulmates (yes, I believe that many people nourish our souls!)

-Looking in the mirror and accepting that this is what I look like

That this is who I am.

———

Phew! I am going to have a vulnerability hangover after this post! But YOU GUYS!!! WE MUST START FACING OUR TRUTHS. WE MUST START SHOWING UP IN LIFE! I don’t know about you, but being vulnerable feels really awful at first, but there is good news. If we can just start to lean into that uncomfortable exposure, it is possible to enjoy a freer, healthier, more purposeful life. Living with intention allows us to embrace each precious moment that waits for us right here, right now.

 

I encourage you to think about your vulnerable self. What are your vulnerabilities? Can you name a few? Why not try writing them down and sharing them with a trusted loved one? What if you started the conversation today? If you find it too difficult to voice your vulnerabilities, think about what is preventing you from having the courage to be vulnerable and show up?

 

Before you begin exploring your vulnerabilities, please remember that you are enough. You are worthy of love and belonging. Do not let others, or yourself, tell you any differently. What you think about yourself may not be the truth. We all have our ‘shit’ that we’d rather not face. This doesn’t change the fact that You are enough. You are enough. You are enough.

Being vulnerable is not weakness. It is courage. It is courage.

It is courage.

Have the courage to face yourself in a naked, honest way.

Enter the arena that is your life. It may feel scary, it will be painful at times, and that’s okay.

Your soul thanks you.

Sending light and so much love to you all.

Let’s be courageous together.

I love you!

 

-Ki

 

**Infinite thanks to Brené Brown for starting the conversation on vulnerability and shame. You can never know how many lives you are saving right now. You are a beautiful, brave warrior. You inspire us to enter the arena ever day of our lives.

Renewal — Let’s do it together

Although a sense of renewal

Is not quite the feeling

This first day of February, also a Sunday,

I begin. In bed. With books.

Exhaustion, I continue searching

For understanding yet to be understood.

Am I still too stubborn?

The silence between frustration and epiphany mocks me

So I sip my coffee and wait,

Slow living.

I was always a late bloomer.

Do other people wonder these things at 10AM?

 

Sometimes Spring waits for the chill to leave its lover, March

And my bones lead me out in April sun.

I frolic with all that’s been waiting too,

The perk of late Spring, ready to be seen,

All of us warm in beginning,

We sprout up

Like new grass.

One month into our New Year’s Resolutions – have you kept to yours? I know that I have been quite proactive, but the thought of ‘keeping to’ a promise made months ago seems oddly, like a contract.

Admittedly, I do not make New Year’s Resolutions. Although the impending new calendar year brings thoughts of how I’d like to keep working toward my goals

I just cannot help but think that making these ‘New Year’s promises’ to ourselves seems so fixed, so permanent, and a bit naïve. I wonder, in making these resolutions, did we leave room for reform? Did we leave a moment for spontaneity? Perhaps a detour on the path?

I know that when I packed for college and made resolutions to study diligently and to become a psychologist, I hadn’t a clue that I’d choose to create life within and sprout a family in Indianapolis. Yet at that time, I felt guilty for ‘quitting my dreams’ and starting anew. So, why then, harp on making resolutions at all? Wouldn’t you agree that many of us become so fixated on making plans for ‘what we think we should do’ only to end up losing ourselves on the path completely? We bite off more than we can chew in January, and then here we are one month later, perhaps disappointed in ourselves and exhausted.

This is the reason, at least for me, that making resolutions is quite dizzying. I focus so much of my efforts on achieving the final results that I leave little room for the process in getting there.

So, what can we do right now?

The problem is not that our resolutions are too big. I think perhaps the issue is that we don’t truly know what we want? Or how to get there?

——-

A friend asked lovingly, “Hey Ki, what is something you want to accomplish this year?” I immediately replied, “To publish my book!” Yet here I sit, unsure of how to do that, unsure if my book is polished and ready for publishers? I sit here with more questions than answers, and I am exhausted. I study, I read, I write, I edit, and yet, I’m so lost I haven’t a shred of an answer to any of my questions. Do you have many questions too?

Perhaps we need to connect more with ourselves than with our ‘end results.’ I truly believe that we can’t expect such grand accomplishments from ourselves if we haven’t built a strong relationship with our true nature. You know, that little voice within. Your intuition. That little flitter. That butterfly in your belly. That little thing that beams when you are TRULY living. Have you first connected with that part of yourself before making resolutions?

You’ve made room for new resolutions in your life; have you made space for quiet, reflective thought too? Or simply, room for a quiet space in your mind…

I know that I have only just begun tapping into that inner Ki. I know that I don’t really know what I want to do with my life. (But what 25 year old really does??) I know that writing poetic verses and spiritual prose allows me to feel beautiful, and in connecting with that free side of Ki, I am slowly learning to accept myself. I know that I really don’t know much at all, and that’s okay. I know that if my friend asked lovingly today, “Hey Ki, what is something you want to accomplish this year?” I’d instead respond, “To write for myself and only myself, and if that ends in a published book, then hell yes!! If not, then I will continue to write and sing my odd thoughts, and work my craft until I am no longer inspired to do so.”

——-

Let’s focus this year on reforming ourselves. Reforming our thought processes. Renewing our light. Connecting with ourselves in a naked, honest way. And hey, let’s be patient with ourselves too, okay? So you’ve made resolutions and not kept to them. That’s okay. Forgive yourself. Right now! Say out loud, “I forgive you. I love you. I am not my habits.”

As Stephen Covey says in his beautifully enlightening book **The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

“Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground.”

Let’s be gentle with those tender parts of our true nature.

Friends, there is always purpose in beginning again, even if you have to build yourself from the ground up. You don’t have to wait until the New Year. Your chance to begin is this morning. This moment. Right now. Let patience fill the space between frustration and understanding. We are all trying to find the way. But please remember, your way IS the right way, for you.

Just keep walking.

And if you have no idea what the hell you’re doing, have a laugh, and know that there are many people out there (probably more so than who truly want to admit it) who feel the same.

You’re not alone. Let’s figure this out together.

 

Light and love and PATIENCE,

Ki

ki light

I invite you to read Stephen Covey’s

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

**I have started a small book club with readers worldwide, and invite you to join! A friend of mine suggested I read this book, and in reading it, I am seeing my life in a whole new light. I am currently taking notes and letting this book soak into my brain. If you start reading it too, let me know! I’d love to hear from you. We can read and discuss it together!

 

To my friends

With so much wrong in the world, I wonder what is right anymore. As unfortunate events continue to unfold in the world and shake up the minds of my generation, a few close friends have turned to me for advice. I think, me?! What can I give? What wisdom do I have within me? I don’t know anything other than what I live each day. I’m not a teacher, nurse, politician, world traveler. I’m not necessarily cultured, I didn’t even finish my degree for God’s sake! I’m a mom, a ‘kind-of’ writer, what can I possibly give to these friends during such a scary time in our world’s history? I’m probably the least qualified person to give advice, yet for a split second I am humbled that others look to me, so it’s time to do what I love to do: Remind the world that there is good everywhere, and it is up to us to see it and spread it like wildfire. I wake up each day with these words in my heart: You are the light. Be it, live it, spread it everywhere you go. The same goes for love. Be love, live love, and spread it everywhere you go.

So, to you friends, this is what I can offer you today:

I, too, am scared. What a scary time to live. What a scary time to raise a family. Ebola, ISIS, beheadings in our own country, terrorism, disease, cancer, abductions, and the list goes on. But let me remind you that you have a choice each morning when you raise yourself and your spirit from bed. You must choose life. You must choose to live. Live for the moments of true connection. Yes, that’s the secret. That’s it. Use every moment you have to connect with the world and the people around you. Get out of your head, and get into the world. Let the fear, the doubts, and anxiety pass, and plug yourself into what truly matters.

Spread goodness —

You don’t have to be a powerful person to spread a powerful message. It is up to each of us to harvest an inner love, an inner goodness, and we must spread this goodness, this light, to every person we know, to every person we pass on the street, to every person who serves us in restaurants, to every person who shows us hospitality, to every person with a beating heart. Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all did this every day? If we all smiled at each other? If we all cared just a little bit more?

Live spontaneously —

Plan for your future, yes, but don’t forget about spontaneity. Perhaps it feels impossible to be spontaneous when there are bills to pay and meetings to attend. At times, yes, you have to suck it up and go to work. There are evenings when you have to clean your house or go to bed early, but don’t forget to look for the moments when you can look into another’s eyes and connect with him. Get out of your routine, get out of your head, and tap into that universal energy which brings us all together. Go for a run in the park only to be surprised by an old man’s genuine interest in how your day is going. Ask how he’s doing, and leave the park feeling renewed. Call a friend half-way across the world and be surprised when the chat ends 3 hours later. Make a side note about how good it feels and how much you needed that spontaneous chat. Talk to the new neighbor on your street and find out that she’s from England and needs a friend, just like you do. Yes, all of these examples are recent experiences of mine.

Laugh and dance and yes, have a good cry –

I cannot tell you how good it feels to listen to a favorite song of mine when I am at my lowest. If you are a close friend, you know I love European dance music (which I’ll admit is a bit odd for a Midwest American girl, but hey! It’s who I am!) – There is nothing better than getting lost in the words, the beat, the rhythm, and connecting with that silly side of myself. It is good for my heart, my health, my soul. It is good for you, too. I really do believe it’s good to get caught up in our emotions sometimes. I believe in laughing until our bellies hurt. I believe in crying until our souls are cleansed. I believe in dancing ridiculously until my toddler asks me to ‘please stop, Mom.’ We are humans! We have emotions for a reason! It is okay to feel them — It is okay to let them move through us, so long as we remember to come back to what matters most.

Unplug, and Be present —

Turn your phone off right now. What would happen if you unplugged for half an hour a day? What would you do with that time? Would you pick up a book? Would you meditate? Would you take a walk? Would you say a prayer and send good vibes to other parts of the world? My, oh my, what 30 free minutes can do for your soul! I dare you to try it!

Most importantly friends, Be with the ones you love. Your presence is the only thing that truly matters. If you can give nothing else to the world, at least give it your attention. Stay current with what is going on around you, and keep those you love most close to your heart. Make a phone call to an estranged friend. Say I love you. Give hugs. Offer your time, your advice, offer your true self to the world. When the money runs out, when we’ve traveled the world and returned home, when the child in us is tired and needs a rest, all which is left are the people we love. Be present with them, that IS enough.

Cheers, friends.

coffee mug ki

Be

I believe there are times when life moves through me with such speed that I forget why I get up each day. Yes, there are days when I rise as scheduled and sleepwalk from moment to moment. In the next two weeks, I will attend two weddings, one birthday celebration, three soccer games, and one funeral. In a 14-day span, I will laugh, I will undoubtedly cry, I will cheer at the top of my lungs, I will be angry, and I will experience such blissful joy that I am again, moved to tears. My soul will be joyous, my heart will ache under a black dress, and my head will again come to know that life moves through us all, it’s fluidity an undeniable gift.

I do not know if I am prepared for this lesson, to appreciate the precious gift we have each day. It seems a bit difficult to appreciate life when mourning a man whose own life ended far too soon. I am feeling many emotions this week. A bride-to-be excitedly glows as we chat in anticipation of her big day. Hours later, grief glazes Danny’s eyes as his uncle’s final days flitter in the space between us. I seem to wear everyone’s emotions lately. I simply cannot avoid it. It is who I am. It is in my nature of being.

Perhaps it is a gift that I can find a piece of myself in others’ feelings and experiences. We all – sooner or later – try on these different hats of emotion as we experience life. Each one of us feels the same feelings eventually. Joy, sadness, grief, nervous anticipation… the list goes on. As new beginnings and abrupt endings course their way through us, we live every emotion, each day, every one of us.

As few of you know, I began a journey back in the spring that has led me to creating a story for my son to read one day, when he is ready. In this story, I relive experiences in my young adult life that perhaps he will relate to, maybe even find relief in knowing. I explain to him that all emotions are okay. The ups and the downs are good and healthy and human. Bliss and grief and happiness alike – in our own way, we feel it all in time. I write to him,

“Your sadness, I have felt – though perhaps not today.

Over lifetimes, trust me

We all feel the same way.

Be present with it all.

That is the lesson.

That is the gift.

Be with each moment.

Now is your time.”

 

For whatever you are celebrating, or grieving, this moment offers you a chance to feel the experience of being alive. Whether you are high, or have fallen so low, those around you are here now to guide you through. As you wake each day, step with risk – and land with trust. You were created to feel it all.

It is time to be who you are.

You are loved.

-Ki

blog tree ki stuffs

Thanks to Mark Nepo for guiding me daily.

And to a lovely friend who says I think too much and should just be… you’re right. Thank you for being honest with me always.

 

Rock and a soft place

Sometimes I find big rocks

And climb under

Every ounce of their weight

Upon me

And the heaviness saves me from the

Light

I hide within

 

Chewing on thick

Black dirt

As I wait it out.

 

Darkness

Loneliness

Embrace with

Open arms to those chronically ill

From agony.

 

Sometimes the darkness

Turns warm

From the sun

 

Rocks lift

From my crushing bones

I breathe a breath

Shared with you

And you laugh at

The absurdity of my

Climbing under

Dirty rocks.

 

I laugh in nervous anticipation,

Eye a boulder that will

Consume me

Soon again.

 

We laugh together,

And this is comforting

But not as comforting

As the agony that bleeds

In me.

 

Now I live,

Swimming in the space

Between a rock

And a soft place.

 

 

–Original Poem–

Human interaction is a peculiar thing. Describing what goes on in this head of mine is always so difficult in plain verse. I could talk about depression, anxiety, dark thoughts, but I’d rather just tell you that sometimes I hide under heavy rocks, and this is comforting, more so than truly living…. But it is in breaking free from my agony that allows for my passion of writing to continue. And in writing, I live. One day at a time.

I hope you find your passions, your hopeful ways of escape from the mundane, from the agony that you feel sometimes.

Keep living through the heaviness of the world. Keep going. Keep swimming.

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

-Charles Bukowski

Cheers, readers.

for blog -- rocks

Thaw

I trace every face

In search of your love.

I wonder if you do the same…

Like a lost child in search of her mother,

I am.

The weight of that simile

Suffocates me.

Be love, and I’ll show myself to you.

Resilience, live me

Until then.

 

My body is cold from this horrendous winter. I was told to wait patiently and sure enough, spring will show herself again. So ‘they’ said.

I waited, and here she is. Her warmth now mending the aching bones I carry. Like my body, my heart grows cold from relationships strained, and I build walls around it for protection. Yet just as seasons change and frozen lakes thaw, my heart grows warm as I lower these walls and open myself, once again, to those I love most.

I encourage you to do the same.

Cycles, seasons, all things impermanent. Be love, and forgive. Resilience is a beautiful color on you.

 

With love and light,

Ki

sun

 

Calling

Sometimes I find myself laying on the floor at weddings wresting ugly thoughts that scream at me, telling me I’m not beautiful, not worthy, I don’t deserve to be here on this Earth celebrating with wonderful people. And then I look up at tiny lights on the ceiling that are actually a direct reflection of lights within me. For the most powerful images are not those from our past, nor the ones that lay ahead; they are the voices and images that lay patiently within us. So I wrote a poem about that day, at a wedding, laying on the floor.

 

————————————————–

 

My efforts to love you

Tossed away.

A severed connection,

You put me at bay.

 

Now I find myself in a beautiful house, with beautiful people, with a beautiful spouse.

 

And I lay on the floor only to find,

Nothing consumes me like you

On the mind.

 

I look up.

I see a miraculous sight.

Colors glowing, illustrious light.

I wonder why it is you treat me this way.

Flip of the switch

We’re strangers that lay.

 

One day you love me,

I’m beautifully so

Exquisite like diamonds

Inside, I glow.

 

Yet today we are strangers

With hollowed eyes

Ignoring passion

For you,

Hear the cries.

 

Tonight I know you have left my side

Your abandon, I surrender. You win. I abide.

How long will this last? Who me? I don’t know.

The mirror shouts reflections you refuse to show.

 

This love, it is patient.

This love is for you.

Though you won’t wait for me,

I’ll wait for you.

 

I say I, when I mean we.

For I am you

And you dear, are me.

I speak to you daily

Can’t you see?

I am the light

That only you can set free.

Love me completely.

This is how it must be.

Surrender yourself

Let go

And breathe.

This you know, we both truly need.

 

Love yourself,

That’s all I will say.

That’s all I want

For you each day.

 

Look up at those lights as you lay on this floor,

It’s me, I’m calling, please do not ignore!

Get up now dear

Please lay no more.

Reach out, be brave

Now open the door.

 

I’m calling.

for me from missy

–Original Poem (original artwork created by a beautiful soul and friend of mine)–

I challenge you to listen today. Listen to the voice within. Stop for a moment. Don’t look forward, don’t look behind, look at what is calling out to you in this moment. Can’t you feel it? Can’t you hear it? It’s you. Won’t you accept this beautiful gift?

Love and light,

Ki 

 

 

Burning out

Out of your mother’s womb

Out of this world, you came.

Out of your mind in

Outer space, we remain.

 

Starry-eyed,

In awe of your aura,

I reach for you in a darkened space.

No spoken word.

What is this love, unheard?

Gravity, make us one from two

This I beg of you.

 

Each morning you show yourself,

And I swim to you.

Each night you disappear,

And I remain.

Tell me this is not love, my sun.

 

Your warmth lives me

As I dance around a sickly mind

Swaying, melting into our axis of desire.

Curtsy and waltz away for a time.

Tell me, how is the view?

 

Meet me at the moon

Mediation will caress us both

Just as I long to caress you, and you,

Me.

Making waves as we travel closer.

 

Earthlings can only imagine

A kind of

Burning out.

This love, it begs release.

 

Come out of you.

Come out of me.

Shine these lights on each other

Blending all that we are

Intertwined.

 

Let it burn out of your heart

Out of your body

Out of this world

Just as you emerged,

Allow it.

 

We are but stars burning out,

Time

An imagined friend of ours,

Plaguing our delusional lives,

Whispering sweet tomorrows.

What are you waiting for?

 

I know you’re scared

Of a love that burns so deeply within,

But I fear never unveiling the true essence of mine.

 

I may be your fool,

But every inch of this fading body

Carries a piece of love

Now seen

For you, my dear sun.

 

burn out blog post

 

–Original Poem–

 

I am so grateful for friends who encourage me to live, love, and let it out. Thank you, always.

-Ki

Listen

Lend your ear to a flower. I think this is what she’d say….

 

——————————

You ask, what might my thoughts entail?

Well human, my language is beautifully frail.

I will whisper my thoughts, my wisdom, my strife

If you promise to listen to a simpleton’s life.

 

My birth, so humble, in a cold, damp place

Where transformation ignited my elegance and grace.

From the darkness I rose to a world brand new.

Brains remain dazed, “How is it possible she grew?”

 

As I stretch each day, my roots finger deep.

My inner is hopeful to unburden my grief.

My stem I admire — such strength to the core

But passersby gawk and lust after more.

 

Hypnotic scent upon my petals, “It is certain,” They say

“That diligent bees will visit one day.”

But the bees I loathe, for they come and they go.

It is the sun who sustains my desire to grow.

 

Do you follow, dear human?

Do you hear what I say?

Can you feel the music

Of my silent display?

 

I stand here rooted, observant of you.

You humans amaze me at how much you ‘do.’

You work, you wander, you question, you squander.

No wonder you flock as you do.

 

Step away from the bustle, you all come in herds.

Leave your cities behind to admire my words,

But why do you pick me so?

 

You lust after beauty,

You see me, you use me

And open the wounds I have sewn.

 

Can you feel my death

In your brilliant displays

On your tables, in vases, in windowed cafes?

When my frailty shows, tossed away I go

And you forget my life and my gift.

 

So human, you see, life is simple to me:

Born, I grow

To the world, I show

Love is the way, I know.

 

Do not pick me now,

Please step away somehow

For my gift can be yours

If you open Love’s doors

To abundance galore

This I know for sure.

 

Just please do not take me, bend me, or break me.

To possess me is not love at all.

 

Stroke me, smell me, do as you please

But leave me to bask in this cool spring breeze.

Live slowly and love all that Is on Earth.

Recycle my message

To ignite your rebirth.

 

I love you, dear human.

Do you love me too?

Reciprocity heals.

Let’s breathe

Anew.

 

–Original Poem—

 

So many thanks to a wonderful friend who challenged me to write from the perspective of a flower and divulge my thoughts and feelings. I am beyond grateful for your creativity, inspiration, and encouragement to post this poem to the blog. Sending light and love to you! Namaste.

In Recovery

I am in recovery.

Aren’t we all? Every person I know is recovering from something —

A broken heart; addiction; loss of a loved one; failed marriage; estranged relationships; eating disorders; disease; depression and anxiety; foreclosure; abandonment issues – let me tell you, the list goes on. This is life. This is what so many of you are struggling with day to day, and it just breaks my heart each time one of you reaches out to me and shares your story. I feel your pain. I feel the struggle. I struggle too – you guys know this, and that is why I am so thankful I have this platform to share my story as it unfolds.

I am recovering from an abusive relationship with myself. You guys know this. It actually seems silly to say it like that – to articulate it in such a way that places me as the victim AND the offender, but this is my truth. It is the least I can give to you to show my appreciation for what you guys give to me each day. I’ll be honest; I am embarrassed to voice the terribly destructive thoughts that float through my mind just as a coy, fluffy cloud passes over a brilliantly blue, seemingly spotless summer sky. Within seconds of the clouds’ arrival, they chisel away at yesterday’s half-assed attempt to convince myself that I am worthy of anything. Sky is now grey with ash and soot – and all I’m left with are the tears that cleanse my soul. Back to square one, yet again. Confused, frustrated, angry with myself. How could I let this happen again? How could I let those innocent clouds become knives – cutting through each layer of my confidence? I bleed profusely, and my world is suddenly painted red with suffering and deception.

A fourteen-year-old Ki would have chosen booze…. Yes, alcohol was my friend at a young age. You’d never know it then. I was a ‘straight A’ student, a talented athlete, and I wore a pretty smile that I meticulously painted each morning as I awoke. Funny thinking about it now, I was never really awake. I was sleepwalking through my life. Yet, you saw all the potential in the world. I saw nothing but lies and pain. God, if I had only known then how much the world offers us each and every moment, every single day, I am certain I would not have slept for so long. You cannot sleep through life and truly live. As I think about her now, my heart breaks for fourteen-year old Ki. I carry a piece of her with me today. She’s still in recovery. I am teaching her slowly that hurt is a natural part of this life, but it can be managed and sorted through. Recovery is possible.

I recently found meditation. Or shall I say, meditation found me? For I am certain that the Universe offered it to me – crying out to me to take this opportunity and run with it. Fucking hold on tight, and run with it (I’m certain that this is how the Universe speaks – this is your cue to chuckle). A wonderful friend of mine sent me a link to Oprah and Deepak’s Desire and Destiny 21-day meditation class. Something deep within me whispered that day: This is a bit out of your comfort zone, but you have no other choice. You’ve exhausted all other options. This will be your therapy. This is where you – Ki — will rest easy. You cannot do this alone anymore. Being strong does not mean you must walk a path of recovery alone. Let this be your guide. You will not regret it. You deserve this. Yes, you DESERVE this.

And I never looked back. I have been quietly meditating since November 13, 2013. I am confident in saying that it has changed my view of this life completely. This post is not an opportunity to ‘plug’ Oprah and Deepak and sell you a CD on meditation (no, I did not get paid for providing the link). I’m telling you guys that you MUST find something that guides you in your recovery, whatever it may be. TRY EVERYTHING!! If exercise is your meditation, then get a gym membership today! If reading is where you find your bliss, then by all means get in the car and go to the nearest bookstore and stay until it closes. If going to church is where you feel your heart mends the quickest, go to the next available service – and if you’re too hesitant to try it out, send me an email and I will go with you! (Provided you are in the Midwest, USA)

Please, please, please take it from me – if you do not know your path in life and you do not know what helps you become a better version of yourself – then you must keep on trying. Dip your toes in foreign waters. Hell, I’ve tried on religion after religion; considered joining the police force (what??!); thought having a child would fix me (This IS NOT THE ANSWER, I PROMISE YOU. Children bring happiness and joy – but they WILL NOT FIX YOU); I even joined a local group of Instagrammers who share my obsession with photography, and this has worked out wonderfully for my social and mental health. My point is you must keep searching. You must keep testing new waters. Some of these endeavors will do wonders for your recovery. Some, well… just won’t. But that is the beauty of this life: You have the choice to try new things. You have the choice to overcome that which you perceive as a struggle. Release the fear. Let go of the thought that you are struggling. Recovery is positive. It is an opportunity to learn and grow. Your setbacks are beautiful because in the end, they provide you a new opportunity – a new direction – in this beautiful life.

The catch?? Only YOU can do this. Only YOU can walk your path.

As Oprah and Deepak often remind me — Moments themselves are the gifts. The journey itself, the rich reward. Find the gifts in every problem in your life. Start over today. It’s okay to admit you didn’t get it right the first time. Recovery is a second chance at life! A rebirth!

As I’ve said before, we can always begin again. I’ll be here; anxiously awaiting your emails, your pictures, your smiles as you tell me what it is that nourishes your soul and guides you toward a healthy recovery. I am with you.

And I will chat with you soon.

Cheers, readers.

Ki

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Inspiration for this post:

–The place where this little dove has flown and found a home; your heart; your love; all of YOU–

–Poet: Jules R. Ryckebusch

–Musician: Edward Maya