Messages from my Dreams

If you read my last post on grief, you may be wondering what my grief counselors said about it.  Turns out that they agreed with me that I have…. and that I will continue the process in one way or another always.  Death is not something you ever get over. You just learn how to live with the new reality.

About a week after my last blog post, I had a great dream.  Scott was there and this time he wasn’t just a character in my dreams, this time he had a message for me.  I don’t remember all of the details, but it was one of those dreams that I feel like I drifted in and out of.  It was about relationships and the different types of relationships. He was asking me what happened to our relationship.  At first I thought he was talking about our relationship while he was alive, and I started mentioning some of the bumps that we went through.  He stopped me and said he was asking about our relationship NOW. I told him that the fact that he died probably had a lot to do with it. Then he said “but I’m here now aren’t I?”  I realized that he was, and that he does come to me a lot in my dreams. When he is in my dreams, I know that he is dead, and we even talk about it. When I first started having those dreams of him, I was afraid that if I acknowledged that I knew he was dead that he would go away and the dream would end.  But he doesn’t. We talk about it. Those dreams are VERY realistic. Many times when I wake up from them I try to fall back asleep because I don’t want them to end. Sometimes I can slip back into the dream, and sometimes I cannot.

It’s been over 3 years since he passed over. Even though I’ve grieved him (see my last blog) and I am happy and can move on, I still miss him and think of him daily.  Most of the time my thoughts of him make me smile, but sometimes I still get very sad. When I am missing him and feeling sad, I often find myself sleeping more than normal.  I never used to take naps… now I love them! I know that one of the reasons for this is that I want to dream so that maybe, just maybe Scott will show up in my dream so I can talk to him, hug him and feel close to him again.

When I woke from this dream, I realized that he comes to me in my dreams because that is how he can best get my attention.  That’s what he told me that night. He is always with me, even when I am awake. I just don’t always hear him or acknowledge that we are able to communicate even when I am awake.  He told me to stop sleeping my life away, and to start paying more attention to the messages and signs I am given while I am awake. That is how our relationship works NOW.

Thanks babe – message received  ❤

Good Grief……

I’m an intuitive life coach, a spiritual healer, and a personal growth and self mastery junkie.  I’m also a widow. I spend a lot of time with other coaches, and I’m often asked the question…”Have you grieved the loss of your husband?” I never know how to answer this question.  Yes I have experienced a lot of grief. I believe that it will never completely go away. But have I “properly” grieved?   WTF does that even mean???

I know that there are 5 stages of grief, and I know that there is no set time frame or even a set order for these stages.  I know you can go back and forth between stages . So let’s look at the stages (from webmd.com) to see if I can answer the question.  

Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion. It’s a defense mechanism.

I think I was in denial way before my husband died, so it’s safe to say I spent a lot of time in this stage.  My husband was an alcoholic. I spent years in denial about this. I used to say he didn’t have a drinking problem, he had a stopping problem.  I stayed positive and never gave up on the hope and belief that he would one day decide to quit drinking and he would be fine. I guess you could call that denial.  The same day my husband died, our only daughter informed me she was addicted to heroin and needed help. Shocked and numb is a pretty good way to describe how I felt.  My husband and best friend of 32 years was suddenly gone, and I was left to figure out how to deal with that and help our daughter. I’m pretty sure “This isn’t happening” went through my head a few times… or a few hundred times.  The shocked and numb part actually has another name. Widow’s Fog. Basically, your brain freaks out and you can’t recall, process emotion, think rationally, make decisions, understand. It can go on for a long time. I wasn’t able to do simple tasks like grocery shopping.  I was in the fog for several months. Many days I didn’t get out of my pajamas. My fog finally lifted after about a year. You can read more about widow’s fog at http://thewidowsfoundation.nl/understanding-widow-fog-part-i/.  I think I can put a check mark next to this stage.

Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings later turn into anger. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. To be angry with a loved one who died and left you alone is natural, too.

I’ve tried to block this part out, but I was definitely very angry.  I took my anger out on my mom and my sister. My sister didn’t even speak to me for a long time because of the way I treated her.  She was there for me whenever I reached out to her, but she kept her distance and I don’t blame her at all. I’ve cursed my husband and my daughter several times in anger…. I just don’t like to dwell on that emotion so I sometimes forget just how angry I’ve gotten.  I still get angry. This is one that I keep coming back to. I don’t dwell on it though, and I don’t lash out at other people over it any more. I think I can check this phase off as well.

Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.


Of course I had thoughts of what I could’ve done to prevent both my husband’s death and my daughter’s addiction.  I know I’ve asked God several times to let Scott visit me in my dreams, or for me to be able to talk to him. I didn’t dwell on this one though.  I am a firm believer that everything happens in divine order and everything is a gift. I don’t like the way this gift was wrapped or what it looked like after it was opened, but I’m learning to find the beauty in the gift.  I am comfortable checking this phase off.

Depression: Sadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.

This one comes and goes.  I still experience all of these signs, but I am able to bring myself out of them pretty easily.  I have an amazing support system and a lot of people that I can (and do) talk to when I’m feeling depressed.  I’ve also got my writing, which I’ve found is a very helpful tool for working through depression. In fact, I started this blog after throwing myself a little pity party tonight, and I feel much better already.

Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.

I not only accept my new reality, I am also able to see that my new life is amazing, and I am finally finding out who I am.  This is the beauty in the gift. I do still feel sad, but I am definitely moving forward with my life. I think that I have my answer.  Yes, I have grieved my loss. I still grieve my loss from time to time, but it doesn’t overwhelm or consume me. I accept it for what it is.

I’m going to forward this to the people that have most recently asked me this question.  Two of them are trained in Grief Counseling, so I’m looking forward to their input. Stay tuned….

He’s Not Coming Back

My husband died a little over 3 years ago. 1,195 days ago to be exact.  I know there is no timeline on grief. I have not been grieving this entire time, at least not visibly (and not consciously).  I actually started dating about a year after he died. It didn’t really work out because I wasn’t ready (and frankly neither was the recently divorced man I was dating).  After that I decided to figure out who I was and what I liked to do. I hung out with friends and did a lot of karaoke! I was going through some issues with my daughter, and so I was still up and down, but for the most part I was actually happy.  I tried dating again, with the warning to the man that wanted to date me that I wasn’t sure I was ready for a long term relationship or if I ever would be. He was willing to give it a try anyway, and we were in a relationship for over a year. It was amazing, until I realized that he was making plans based on me being around for a long time… and I just couldn’t commit to that.  Besides, he loves to camp and fish and I would rather go out and sing karaoke and go dancing and attend spiritual gatherings and classes and workshops, etc. We are still very good friends and I will always love him and treasure what he was for me at the time that I needed it.

Single again, I had a lot more time alone with myself – which is great for self reflection.  I’ve been doing a lot of personal development work, a lot of learning and growing personally and have made some amazing new friends and connections through women’s groups and volunteering.  I’m feeling very confident about my personal development. My career development is a different story. I have made some amazing progress, but I’m not where I would like to be. I have not had the desire or motivation to complete some of the courses I signed up for that will help me with my coaching.  I’ve also noticed that where I used to be very good at memorizing and remembering information, now even when I am speaking I seem to need to use my notes more than I used to. I pretty much stopped holding Mary Kay parties when I realized I didn’t want to become a director, even though holding the parties and teaching skin care is something I love doing.  It’s like I’ve been in a holding pattern and I’m not giving myself the clearance to take off.

The past few weeks I have been very tired, and have been sleeping a lot.  Since my husband passed there have always been times when I get really sad all of a sudden, and I know that these times will always come to me from time to time.  Typically they don’t last very long, I feel them and then let them pass. Lately, they’ve been coming more often and lasting longer. The other day I was talking with a friend who is also a coach specializing in grief counseling.  When she told me my tiredness and lack of motivation was grief. I was surprised but not surprised by that. It’s amazing how we can shove the obvious under the carpet so well.

Last night I attended a gallery with a psychic medium.  I put my wedding rings on a chain around my neck. I was really hoping that Scott would come through.  The gallery was amazing but I was one of the few people that did not get read. I had also woken up yesterday with a bad headache that would not go away.  It was like there was some kind of energy in the back of my head, my neck and spine that was stuck. My thoughts yesterday kept going back to why I was not pursuing the courses that I had signed up for, and fear that there was something that was stopping me from being able to learn and remember things.  Last night after the gallery I came home, threw up and went to bed.

This morning I woke up with a foggy head, but the pain in my neck and back was gone.  I was thinking about the day before, and my concerns about learning when it hit me that I was in “watch mode” again.  Let me explain what I mean by that. The summer after I met Scott we both went home to our parents. It was the only time we would be apart from each other for that long from the day we met until the day he died.  That summer I was a sad mess. He was all I could think of. I slept in every day until the mail came. He wrote me a letter every day. I would get the mail, read my letter (several times) and write a reply. Then I would go back to sleep or watch tv.  I didn’t talk to friends, I didn’t talk much to my family. I was basically just watching the world go by and waiting until summer was over so I could be with Scott again. When we finally got back together right before school started, we both noticed how being in “watch mode” had made me and my brain very sluggish.  Fortunately the damage was not permanent, but there would be several times throughout the years to follow when I would get in a slump and we would refer back to my summer of being in “watch mode”.

It hit me this morning that I have been in “watch mode” for over 3 years!!!  And if I’m honest with myself, I’ve probably been in “watch mode” since I left my job back in August of 2013.  That puts it at close to 5 years that I have been tuned out. Wow – I am so grateful that I finally realized this.  It’s like a light switch turned on. That’s not the only switch that got triggered though. As I was thinking about the gallery last night and my disappointment that Scott didn’t show up, I realized that he is not going to.  He is gone and he is not coming back. Our time together was amazing but it is over, and now I need to let him go and move on. I will never lose what we had, but it’s time for me to stop trying to hold on to the past.

It’s time.  It’s time for Roni.  

My Story…. The Condensed Version

Sometimes it feels like I’ve told my story so many times, and it surprises me when I’m talking to someone and I find out they have never heard it. I am not my story, but my story is part of who I am now and why I do what I do. I decided it was time to write the condensed version, because the full version (my book) doesn’t want to be written yet!

I grew up in a small town in Idaho. Ironically, my graduating class was the largest in the state, because at the time there was only one high school for several small towns. I wasn’t what I considered to be popular, but I wasn’t shunned by the popular crowd either. I was a band geek and I loved it. I was also in the choir and the honor society. I had enough friends and activities to keep me busy and I loved school. I never had a boyfriend in high school and only attended two dances (both informal girl ask boy dances).

After graduation I chose an in-state college that was about 6 hours away from home. It was a party school and they had a marching band. None of my friends went up there with me, which was kind of nice because nobody knew me, and nobody knew that I wasn’t popular. That gave me the confidence to be myself. I went to a lot of parties and met a lot of people in my first month at college. I was a bit of a wild child. Then one night at a party, standing in line for the bathroom, I met the man that would become the love of my life and my husband – the wild child was tamed!

We got married in November of 1987, and graduated from college in December of that year. In January of 1988 we moved to Los Angeles to start our careers. We moved to Boise in April of 1992 to be closer to our family. We bought our first house in 1993 and had our daughter (our only child) in January of 1994. Life was good. Really good… for about 7 years. In 2000 our fairy tale marriage encountered a few dragons. My husband had started drinking daily. The only times we ever fought were when one or both of us had been drinking too much. We started fighting more often. In 2003 I had an emotional affair which started what I later found out was the 7 year war. I didn’t realize we were at war until we called a truce in 2010. I threatened to leave him many times, but I never meant it. One time he asked me for a divorce and I told him no. It had become a toxic relationship but we were both very much in love with each other.

In 2010 we spent a weekend in Jackpot (our Happy Place), renegotiating our relationship. We decided it was worth keeping, and April 4th 2010 is the day we unofficially got remarried. Things were much better after that. He was still drinking, so there were still fights, but I learned that if I didn’t overreact, what before would be a huge fight turned into a conversation that just didn’t happen. I would just tell him I wasn’t going to discuss that with him until he was sober… and then it never got discussed. The next year my husband tried to quit drinking cold turkey and had a seizure. He was fine but his liver levels gave him quite a scare. After a few months of not drinking he got good news that his liver levels had returned to normal. He was told he dodged a bullet but he should never drink again. That didn’t last very long, and once again he was drinking heavily every night. In 2012 he got let go from his job. They said he was burned out. They were right. Unfortunately the alcohol played a big role in his job burnout and was also taking a toll on his internal organs.

After watching my husband go through job burnout, and realizing that it was very unlikely that he would ever work again, I started noticing that I was also becoming very burned out at my job. In August of 2013 I decided to retire early from my corporate career and pursue my Mary Kay business on a full time basis. I found a studio to lease and fixed it up really cute. Business was good. Life was good. I had time to spend with my family and there was a lot of love in our house again.

Sometime around October of 2014 I started getting depressed. My husband had a lot of social anxiety and I was starting to pick up some of my own. My 50th birthday was coming up and we were planning a karaoke party. My husband was working really hard to get people to come. I created an invite…. And couldn’t bring myself to send it out. I even tried to cancel the party but he wouldn’t let me. It was a small gathering but we had a great time, and it meant so much to me that he did worked so hard get people there. I started sleeping a lot and was getting sick more often. I had been working as an assistant for my Mary Kay director part time and I gave that up because I was having a hard time getting up in the mornings. We got through Thanksgiving and Christmas and had a very low key birthday celebration for our daughter’s 21st birthday in January of 2015. My husband almost didn’t go out with us for her birthday because it was so late before she was ready… but he did and I’m so grateful for that.

I got sick again on February 6th and spent 2 days in bed. On February 8th I felt good enough to get out of bed and found that my husband had decided to quit drinking and he was detoxing. It was the first time he had been sober in so long. We had an amazing day talking and planning and researching essential oils to heal his liver. I massaged his back and we cuddled. He told me that he knew he wasn’t always nice to me but that he always loved me. It’s a day I will never forget. Late that night he started getting really weak and confused and wasn’t making any sense. He didn’t want to go to the hospital and told me not to call the ambulance if he had a seizure again. My daughter came home and she convinced him to let us take him to the hospital. She feared that his liver was failing. It was hard for us to even get him in the car, but we did and we rushed to the hospital. On the way there, he stopped breathing. We got him to the ER and they rushed him inside and worked on him for what seemed like an eternity. He had internal bleeding and they gave him 6 units of blood in the ER. They moved him up to ICU and got the bleeding stopped, but he never regained consciousness and at 4:15 am on February 9, 2015 he took his last breath. The cause of death was massive variceal hemorrhage precipitating cardiac arrest due to subacute liver failure and chronic alcoholic cirrhosis. He was 49 years old.

While waiting in the hospital, praying for a miracle… my daughter informed me that she was addicted to heroin and needed help. The next few days were a blur. Scott’s mom and brother came to town, and so did my sister. She was my rock, because not only was I dealing with the mortuary I was also trying to figure out how to get my daughter the help she needed. With the help of another family member we were able to get her checked into a detox facility the day that my mother in-law and brother in-law left. We kept her addiction from them at the time because they had lost Scott’s sister and Dad in the last few years and we didn’t want them to worry about her also.

My daughter left the detox facility, but relapsed again. The next several months were a rollercoaster of her relapsing and detoxing, and she was in and out of the detox center a few times. I spent most of my days in a fog and in my pajamas. Somehow I pulled myself together in March to attend Mary Kay career conference in Utah, but I don’t remember very much of it. We had decided instead of a funeral to have a celebration of Life for Scott in June.. on his 50th birthday. Somehow we pulled that together, although I don’t remember much of that either. On July 4th 2015 my daughter’s boyfriend got pulled over for speeding and was arrested for trafficking heroin. She went back into the detox center and it looked like she might finally be ready to accept the help she needed. Things were looking like they were finally turning around.

On September 1, 2015 a plain clothes police officer came to my door looking for my daughter. He told me that she wasn’t in trouble, but that she might have some information that could help them. I told them she was at the Idaho Humane Society setting up some community service for a traffic violation she’d gotten. I asked them for their number and told them I would have her call them when she got home. About 20 minutes later I heard her pull up, and then I heard some commotion outside and when I went out there were about 10 plain clothes officers handcuffing her. They had been waiting outside my house for her to come home. So much for not being in any trouble. It turns out she had been indicted by a grand jury for trafficking based on an investigation involving a confidential informant – for events that took place in December of 2014. She was given a $100,000 bond. Long story short I paid the bail bondsman $8,000 and cashed out her college fund to hire a lawyer. She ended up getting arrested again in December of 2015 and the bond was revoked. The lawyer got her charges amended down to aiding and abetting and she went to prison on a rider program. She was released in November of 2016. A friend of mine gave her a job after she got out and she did really good for several months. Unfortunately, she relapsed again and in November of 2017 she was arrested for a probation violation and picked up a new possession charge. This time God stepped in and she was accepted into the New Life Addiction Recovery Program through the Boise Rescue Mission. Her Judge granted her probation contingent on her successful completion of the New Life Program, and she is currently doing very well and finally getting the help she needs so she can get her life back on track.

I’ve learned so much and grown so much through all of this. 1 month before my husband died and my life as I knew it shattered into pieces, I attended a Mary Kay event. National Sales Director Julianne Nagel was the guest speaker. It was her first speaking event since being trampled by her horse 3 times. Doctors were surprised that she lived through it and didn’t think she would ever walk again. As she stood on that stage, she spoke of her experience as an Adventure and a Gift. She talked about how grateful she was for her Adventure. Her story had a HUGE impact on me. As I was sitting in the hospital saying goodbye to my husband, I was able to see the Gifts that God had given me. I didn’t like it, but I knew it was a gift. I was able to have gratitude for the life I had with him. I was able to have gratitude for the fact that he lived the life he wanted to live. I was able to have gratitude for the fact that God has great something planned for me and that the events and “Adventures” that I was having would teach me and inspire me towards this greater plan that God has for me.

There are no coincidences. I believe that everything happens in Divine order. This part of my story has set me up for the next chapter. These experiences have shown me how strong I am. These experiences have opened doors for me. My path is clear. There will be obstacles, but my path and my purpose is clear.

Stay tuned.
To be continued.
This girl is unstoppable, and she’s just getting started!

Visualize your future…. Feel it in your soul

I’ve known about the law of attraction for several years now.  I’ve witnessed it in action it many times. Some by intention and purpose, and many more through thoughts and feelings without even realizing what I was creating until after it happened.  I can now look back on almost all of my life experiences and see where my thoughts, fears, feelings, reactions, worries, excitement and dreams created them.

I recently read the book Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.  I’m reading it again now and will probably pick it up again after that. It’s a beautiful reminder of what I already know, and what I keep forgetting.  I have had the saying “Ask for it, Believe it, Receive it” on my bedroom wall for over 5 years. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up, and the last thing I see before I go to bed.  Well, except for the nights that I fall asleep on the couch! It has been part of my Affirmations that I say out loud on a daily basis. And still, I forget to ask. Many times I don’t even know what to ask for.  Many times I feel like I don’t deserve to ask for more. I tell all of my friends and my clients how important this is, how worthy they are…. and yet I still struggle with applying it myself.

A few weeks ago I was asked by one of my coaches to describe what I want my life to look like and more importantly feel like.  This was a real struggle for me. I’m still working on it. I get stuck because I have some major patterns that allow me to believe that it is bad to be materialistic.  I have patterns that allow me to believe that people who like really nice things are snobs. I have patterns that allow me to believe that people who spend a lot of money on nice things are greedy and selfish.  (Side note. Writing is such a powerful tool! I have never written or even spoken about these blocks until just now… I’m excited to do some clearing on them now that I am aware of them!)

This morning a friend and mentor posted on Facebook that she was having a spiritual gathering in her house.  She lives 5 hours away from me so it’s not like I can just hop in my car and be there. But when I saw the post I really wanted to be there and my first thought was I wish I lived closer to her.  Then I realized that what I really want is to be able to jump in my car for a last minute trip when situations like this come up. That to me is true freedom and that is what I want my life to FEEL like.  Free. Free to do the things that call to me. Free to live spontaneously. The feeling of this realization is SO POWERFUL right now, because I know how the law of attraction works. This has been a missing piece.  Now that I’ve seen this piece, and felt it deep in my soul, I know that the next piece will be easier to spot. And this will continue until all of the pieces are just falling into my lap and I am manifesting the life I want to live.  The life I was created to live.

Visualize your future.  Feel it in your soul. Ask for it, Believe it, Receive it.  Enjoy!

Plot Twists

Okay – so apparently I am not ready for a daily blog.  Or at least I wasn’t.  I’m starting a new coaching program and before I start working with clients I’m going through the program myself.  For the program I had to come up with 2 personal and 2 professional goals that I want to accomplish in the next 21 days, and I have a coach that I must call every day for a 15 minute call to discuss the progress I’ve made on my goals.  Writing a daily blog did not make the list, but writing the most difficult chapter of my book did.

One of my longer term professional goals is to publish my book in 2017 – or at least finish it by 2017 and have it ready for publishing.  I started this blog so I could start getting some of my ideas down, and I have created a list of chapter ideas… but I’m having a challenge with where to start.  Do I start at the beginning?  If so where is the beginning?  Do I start at the end?  If so where is the end?  Do I try to get everything in one book or do I have more than one book to write?  These are the questions that have kept me from actually starting my book.

The more I’ve thought about these questions, the more I’ve realized that I just need to start somewhere. And I’ve decided that the best place to start is with he hardest chapter to write. I have to write the chapter about the day Scott died.  I know that writing that chapter is going to lead me to writing about the days and months leading up to the day he died.  I know that writing about those days are going to lead me to writing about the years leading up to the last months.  There is a part of me that does not want to acknowledge how long that part of my life was in decay.  Writing about this is going to bring up a lot of things that still need to be healed.  But they cannot be healed until I allow them to come up.

I know that it is time for me to bring these up and heal them.  I recently attended a webinar about how to write a book that will impact the lives of others, and one of the things mentioned was having your target audience and knowing exactly who would be helped by reading your story.  I just found out that the husband of one of my very dear friends passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last week at the age of 49.  My story can help her.  This part of my story especially.

Now I  just need to start writing it.

Why I Write

Everybody has a story. My story is powerful and I tell it because I know that others can learn and heal from it. You may hear things that you think would work for you in your life and be inspired to take action. You may hear things that you recognize in your life, and you may be inspired to take action to expand upon them, or change something so that you don’t go down the path that I did.

My journey has been filled with tremendous peaks and valleys, as I feel every journey is. I tell my story so that others can be uplifted by the peaks, and so that those that are in a valley can see the gift in their valley and recognize that they will again be at a peak. I tell my story to provide perspective. Some of my highest moments might seem like deep valleys to some people, and some of my deepest valleys might seem like a welcome respite to the valley that some people are in at the time. I tell my story to celebrate the roller coaster of life. There have been many times that I have screamed out loud “Let me off this F***ing Roller Coaster!”.

There have been times that I’ve spoken out loud that I was done with this human experience.  But I’m not done.  I’m actually just beginning to really see how amazing this human experience can be.  I want to empower others to see this also.  I’ve learned to love roller coasters again, and that’s a good thing!

Being Lonely vs Being Alone

I am so grateful for my daughter and my pets.  They keep me from being lonely.  At this moment my cat is scratching up against the screen of my ipad…. trying to compete with my keyboard.  She would prefer that I scratch her – but I promised myself yesterday that I would blog daily – and it’s 11:30 pm and I don’t type very well with just one hand.  My daughter and the dogs just left the room – after trying unsuccessfully to capture the cat.  Part of me is craving alone time so I can blog without distractions and then fall asleep in a silent house.   But I would much rather forgo that scenario and have those that I love near me.  I can always get away for a silent break – but when you are alone you cannot just summon the comfort of family, pets and friends.

My cat has now jumped off the bed.  My daughter came back into my room trying to capture the cat to apologize to her for trying to capture her before.  The dogs are barking because they want the cat too.  I am tired enough to fall into a grateful slumber in my cozy bed, knowing that I am surrounded by love and companionship.

Tomorrow I think I will blog from the coffee shop!

I AM

Wow – it’s been over a year since my last post, and what a year of transformation it has been.  I want to start this post off by saying I AM HAPPY.  I’ve come so far in the past year, not despite of but AS A RESULT of my challenges.   I have proved to myself and others that GRATITUDE and the right attitude can make all the difference in the world.  I have chosen to view each and every opportunity that I am presented with as a GIFT that I am extremely grateful for.  And for this I have been blessed time and time again.  Is my life all rainbows and unicorns?  Of course not.  That’s not what life is about.  Life is about the journey, and making the most of every moment of it.

One of my most recent blessings is to be part of the brand new global movement  #IAmToWeAre.  This movement is to empower and inspire people to celebrate their “I AM” core values so that they can break through their limiting beliefs.  We are encouraging people to take pictures of themselves with signs that say #I Am with their core values listed, post them to our I AM facebook page @IAMTOWEARELEADERS.  We are also planning to take our inspirational message and core values training to middle schools and high schools to help build student leaders through community projects…. going from I AM to WE ARE.

#IAmAccountable #IAmAdventurous #IAmAmbitious #IAmBalanced #IAmBold #IAmBrave #IAmCheerful #IAmCommitted #IAmCompassionate #IAmConsistent #IAmEnthusiastic #IAmFair #IAmFaithful #IAmFit #IAmFocused #IAmFun #IAmGenerous #IAmGoodness #IAmGrace #IAmGrowing #IAmHappy #IAmHealthy #IAmHelpful #IAmPositive #IAmReliable #IAmResourceful #IAmSerenity #IAmService #IAmGrateful #IAmLoving #IAmHonest #IAmJoyful #IamStrong #IAmUnderstanding #IAmALeader #IAmMakingADifference

Filling in the Gap

I’ve started many blogs over the years, but this is the first time I’ve actually published any of them.   My first blogs were more like personal journals.  I never intended for anyone else to read them.  They were written to help me remember how I was feeling, because I am really good at blocking out painful experiences and eventually pretending they never happened.  They were also written so that I could process what I was going through, and so that I could discuss situations with my husband when he was sober in hopes that he would realize what he was doing when he was drunk and maybe he would stop drinking.  That didn’t work.  Occasionally I run accross one of them…. and I’m pretty sure that I’ve deleted a lot of them.

In October of 2015 I started a new blog, under a fake name.  I wanted to write about what I was going through, but I wasn’t quite ready to share my story with the world.  I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of my writings, and I didn’t want to hurt anyone in any way.  I was grieving the death of my husband just 8 months earlier, and my daughter had just been indicted by a Grand Jury on drug charges.  I did put the blog out on wordpress, and I did share a few of my posts with a few of my friends.  In December of 2015 my daughter went to jail, and eventually prison, and my blog fell by the wayside.  I was alone for the first time in my entire life.  My greatest fears of losing my husband and my daughter had manifested and for the first time in my life I was forced to look at my own issues instead of trying to fix everyone elses.

I spent the next 12 months finding myself, learning to live alone, and learning to break free from my codependency.  I even tried dating, but decided that I wasn’t ready to commit to anyone, and that it was going to take a very confident, secure man to be able to handle the fact that I wasn’t divorced and would always be in love with my late husband, and that I had a daughter who was getting out of prison soon and would be living with me.   My daughter was given a rider and a chance to get out of prison early – and she made the choice to view her arrest as a rescue and turn her life around.

I had a lot of support from my friends and family during this time of my life, and the thing that helped me the most in not only surving the events  but actually Thriving because of them was my Attitude of Gratitude.  I had learned just one month prior to my husband’s death to look at everything in life as a gift and to be grateful for it.  This was not always easy – but it was definitely effective.

On November 2, 2016 I attended a lunch of my WOWI group – which stands for Women of Wisdom and Inspiration.  We were talking about gratitude, and I told my story of my “gifts” and spoke of how I was grateful that my daughter was coming home on November 18th.  At that lunch, an amazing women heard my story and offerred my daughter a job when she got out.  Talk about overwhelming gratitude!!!  On November 3rd I attended a fund raiser by myself to support a friend.  I was being brave and putting myself out in the world again.  At that event a handsome and charismatic man sat next to me, we chatted during the event and he asked me to coffee the next day.  I had just decided that I wasn’t ready to date, and was up front and honest with him and explained why when we went to coffee.  He understood where I was at and still wanted to date me so I decided to give it a try.  He invited my daughter and I to attend a self help seminar that he was facilitating on the day following her release from prison, and he came to court with me on the day of her release to support me.  November 2016 was definitely a month overflowing with blessings and gratitude.  I even started blogging again!

I recently launched my web page and officially started my public blog.  I decided to go ahead and re-post my anonymous blogs from 2015 and 2016.  I’m actually writing this post on June 16, 2017 – but I’m using November 20, 2016 as the post date so that this post appears in the appropriate chronological order – filling in the missing gap!  If you are reading this, I thank you.  I hope that you find it insightful and entertaining.