Sunday, June 7, 2015

Only slightly Blorft with a side of Kale

It's not yet been a year. I keep saying it has been, because it freaking feels like it, but it has been nine months. The back and forth. The aches and pains. The darkness. It's been a rough almost year. But holy shit, it's almost been a year and look at you, you are still standing. Congratulations to you, Loreli. You are a bad ass if only for the fact that you are still standing and you still have both eyebrows. And that whole still having both eyebrows thing... well let's take that as a win.

The bad news is. I still don't eat enough and when I do it's the wrong stuff. I am highly stressed. I am angry. I am not the woman I was two years ago. Where she was loving and alkaline, I am acidic. My juicer is dusty and my coffee maker needs a vacation. I need more green vegetables and more burpees and maybe, just maybe... one day.... a date. Shit. I need a date with a side of kale.
This is a brave new world.

So nine months into the break up of the first 12 years of my adult life and it is time to stop being lame. I have cried enough to fill an HBO mini series and eaten enough doughnuts to make me a traitor to my trade. It's time to break up with Dunkin' and do what I do best: sing (badly), dance (with reckless abandon) and detox. A friend asked me this weekend, "So what have you been doing for fun?" And when I did not have a ready answer, I knew we had a problem.  It's time, as my therapist so eloquently put it, to put my big girl pants on. Fingers crossed they still fit.

I want to be a better version of myself. I want to feel centered. I long to get to the end of this journey I have been on for the last nine months. I want to like myself again. I don't need anyone else to be proud of me... I just want to be proud of myself. I use to really like me. It's time to like me again. It's time to detox emotionally and physically. It's time to get my shit together. Completely together. You have cried and cursed and fought. Now it's time to drink juices of beet and lemon and breathe deep and laugh loud. It's time to come back.

Tomorrow I start a 15 day detox. I will be using Supplement RX products ( as well as my usual detox go to: juices, smoothies and salads. The goal is always to go without coffee and sugar and wine. We will see how it goes. I have learned one very specific thing recently, and that is that life will spin you on your head. So find balance where ever you can and don't take it too seriously.  But care for yourself through it all. And so, I will begin to regularly study yoga again and complete at least two workouts a week in the gym specifically designed to make other patrons nervous and uncomfortable. I will commit to healthy sleep patterns. I won't obsess over broken promises or loves lost.  I will start my day dancing. I will smile more and freak out less. I will stop listening to sappy music (Ok, I will stop listening to only sappy music). I will meditate with really specific mantras filled with words like awesome, epic and every so often... sassy pants. And I will only be "Blorft" when it is absolutely impossible not to be:

“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. "Blorft" is an adjective I just made up that means 'Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.' I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.” 
― Tina FeyBossypants

Oh. And I will stop cursing. It's not lady like. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Self Hugs

I woke up this morning to cold rain outside and an absolutely empty desire to get out of my amazing bed. (My mother checked in on me this morning to make sure I slept ok, to which I answered, of course I did, my bed is freaking amazing. Seriously, if you are facing a big life change, step one, invest in a kickass mattress and good sheets... it will save your life.) But I did get out of bed, only because of the children, completely committed to the fact that I could get right back into bed after I got them on the bus. However, I had registered for a 9:30 am Vinyasa class last night before going to bed which was my strong side predicting my weak side would want to crawl into bed and wallow. I got my ass out of bed, I made the kids eat and dress and brush their teeth. I got them on the bus. I talked to my mom. I went to yoga. It was raining. It was very important to go. If you are not doing yoga on a regular basis, you need to be. Right this moment. Seriously, even if you are at work, get off your butt right now put your hands on your desk, push your body weight into your hands and release all over your negative energy down your back and out into the space behind you. Pull all the ick of this Monday out and away from you. That is the beauty of yoga and flexibility.  It does not matter if you can't touch your toes, or if you don't own a single item of clothing with "stretch" in it's title. Flexibility is the foundation of health and you probably don't even know it. Exercises that increase our basic flexibility not only increase the blood supply to muscle tissues but also to your entire body, which allows essential nutrients to be delivered through your blood stream. This means that by increasing our flexibility we can strengthen our basic body function, by more efficiently absorbing nutrients. Which gives us energy, aids in weight management and helps battle depression.  Yoga adds all the benefits of flexibility and quiets your mind at the same time. It can teach us to breathe, which believe it or not most of us forget to do through out the day. Seriously, how often do you forget to breathe in a day? I bet it is more than you realize. That is one thing I will never fully understand about us humans, how are there not more of us fainting regularly though out the day. Seriously, with how stressed out we all are and the breathe holding we do, you think we would be falling out around each other like flies. I know at this juncture of my life the most important thing for me to do is to breathe. And Love. Love. Love. Today I just want to remember to breathe, yoga and love. I am currently using Melody Beattie's  companion meditation workbook and journal to her book "The Language of Letting Go".  It is a daily reflection journal where you read her encouraging passage for the day and then record your feelings. I had not heard of Melody Beattie before bringing my yoga practice back into the studio this month. BeachBee Studio closes their practices with the reading of passages from "Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing your Soul". This was the meditation for today: Nov 17th:

"Sometimes it is hard to trust life with all its sudden twists, turns and storms.
When something unexpected or painful happens, when we become blocked 
or frustrated, when life takes a different course then we hoped it would, it's easy 
to stop trusting the flow of our lives. I didn't ask for this. It's not fair. 
I don't want this, we think.

Keep loving yourself, and taking care of yourself, no matter what- through the storms,
the twists, the turns and the blocks. Take a moment to breathe deep, restore yourself to 
that scared place of self-love and self-responsibility. Feel all your feelings. Then let them go.
Love yourself until you can hear your heart and what it tells you to do."

I know that moving my physical body is the key to healing my emotional core. If I stay in bed all day I will rot. My mind will rot, my heart will rot and my teeth will rot, because I have to get into the bathroom to brush them. Yoga is the crutch I can lean on to love myself. As long as I can love myself I know it will be ok. Namaste pretty much translates to: "My inner awesome gives an epic high five to the inner awesome in you" and who doesn't need a little bit more of that in their life? I know I do.

Mom, do some yoga today.

You've got more than money and sense, my friend
You've got heart and you go in your own way
What you don't have now will come back again

You've got heart and you go in your own way"


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Divorce and Cancer and The Cranberries

Do you remember "No Need to Argue" an epic musical masterpiece by The Cranberries? I do. Boy do I.  It was 1994, I was 13 and I vividly remember listening to "Zombie" over and over and over again. At 13 you are beginning to explore the concept of betrayal, lust, love, honor and trust. This was the year I also locked myself in the upstairs bathroom and refused to come out... with my dad eventually taking the door off the hinges. Reality Bites would be released in 1994, Empire Records the year later. I wanted to shave my head. I wore my great-grandfather 's pants until their mysterious disappearance in 1995. Eventually I would help shave my best friend's head, which amazingly took me and two boys to complete. It actually sounds like a bad joke: "How many teenagers does it take to shave a head? Three. One to mistakenly buzz off a 2 X 2  inch square and two others to convince everyone that full buzzcut was exactly what they were going for in the first place". I wore an impressive amount of overalls. I remember my first real heart break. I played "I Can't Be With You" on repeat and cried my little heart out laying on my... wait for it... waterbed (it was the '90s).  I think back to these years and this album and I have realized those tortuous teenage years have paved the way for this time of my very adult life. I can't lock myself in a a bathroom for hours... I can hardly pee in the bathroom without someone trying to get in. But I can sit here and listen to this album and realize that I have felt all these feelings before. I have lived through it. Of course divorce and cancer is on a much larger scale then Boyfriend #2 of my whole life dumping me in a note found in my locker... but at the time... it was all consuming. Nothing feels as real and true and damning like that first real teenage heartbreak.  To return to where you come from is a very beautiful thing, to look back at the raw teenage emotion and go, well, I am thirty-three now, but I still love that much. I love these people so much that I am completely consumed with the fear of losing them. And though I know one is worth letting go of and one is worth fighting tooth and nail for, it's all relative. This weekend is the "official move out" weekend. On Friday I drank too much and cried and told complete strangers how much I hurt. It was absolutely terrible. But I know it was bound to happen. Because deep down I am still the artsy girl who wears her great grandpa's pants and can be a complete emotional wreck. I am still the girl who starts to cry when she hears a song on the radio. The question is, how do I honor the 13 year old who walked these earth shattered steps before me, but translate and teacher to her to be harder, tougher, stronger. I know I need to become stronger. I need to harden myself to certain things I can not change. Because there are an impressive amount of things that I can not change. And I know, with all the new knowledge I have sitting here now, that if  I am completely honest with myself that I don't want to change anything when it comes to my situation. Talking to a very good friend today I asked her to consider if nothing in her current situation was to change in 5 years, could she live in the environment and be happy? I have asked myself that recently. Could I live for the next five years in my current emotional and physical environment and be fulfilled? I told her that I don't want to enter the next decade of my life being this unhappy. Looking at what has happened with my mom, I have realized that we do not even know what tomorrow will bring. So maybe even if you had to live tomorrow still in a crappy emotional and physical environment, would you stay? I am committed to hard work, but you can only work on changing things for the better if everyone living in the environment is willing to pick up their shovels and do it. I can only work alone on myself. I am accepting that I am angry, that I am sad. I am accepting that listening to The Best of The Cranberries (with heavy emphasis on "Linger") on repeat does not make me weird. I am accepting that everything will get better. I am accepting that I survived being 13 and I am accepting that I will survive this.

"I have decided to leave you forever.
I have decided to start things from here.
Thunder and lightning won't change,
What I'm feeling and the daffodils look lovely today,
And the daffodils look lovely today,
Look lovely today."
- Daffodil Lament , The Cranberries

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cancer And Karma

Why has been the dominate word in my vocabulary for the last 6 months. When what we perceive as tragedy strikes we automatically search for answers to the question of why. Why is this happening? What did I do to deserve this? What could I have done differently? Am I being punished for something I did in the past? Why? It becomes torturous. Too often we beat ourselves down using why as our hammer.

I know exactly why my mother has Myelodysplastic Syndrom or MDS. It was directly caused by the treatment she received for her breast cancer. Her past chemotherapy damaged her DNA and she now needs a stem cell transplant. It's science. She did nothing wrong. This is not punishment. It's chemical just as her breast cancer was hormonal. This is not a cosmic karmatic question. 

Often I hear people say "Karma's a bitch." I want to shake these people. Karma has no personality traits. Karma is a reflection of our social environmental reaction in times of stress. Karma is a mirror, not an antagonist. My mom did not get cancer because of bad Karma and if she had not found a viable donor that too would not have been related to bad Karma. Karma shows itself in the love projected onto you when you are in trouble. I can't direct the outcome of this treatment. It may succeed. It may not. Karma is not the reflection of that outcome. Karma only shows itself in the manifestation of the hope generated by those who love you and merely by the fact that you are loved. That you will be missed. That people find you valuable and that you earned this value.

My mother is not perfect. But she is good and giving and she is loved. She is worth our love. She has value to those around her. Her Karma is measured by that.  Her Karma is reflected by everyone who has offered their time to care for her. Measured in the well wishes, the cards, the prayers. I am a reflection of my mother. I am her Karma. 

One thing I have heard over and over again lately is that I have given too much of myself to others. I spread myself too thin, which in turn left too little for some else. This reasoning quickly pushes me to think, did I do this? Is my current situation a reflection of poor choices I have made? What is my Karma? How does this effect my Karma? It is interesting to think that some people think you need automatic response to giving yourself selflessly. What will I get in return? How quickly will the favor be returned? I look at social participation as an investment. I have never looked to be repaid. I have always believed that the more positive energy one put into the universe would merely inject positivity into your own personal being. Nothing more, nothing less. 

Yet, suddenly, I will admit to questioning Karma. What did I do? Why? And then it hit me. Why would I ever let the actions and choices of someone else, become the design of my mirror? My Karma is not a reflection of the action of others. My Karma is not defined by what is done to me.  Yes, I have been wronged. I have been lied to. But my Karma is not a reflection of this, my Karma is found in the overwhelming response of support I have been offered. The doors that have been left open for me should I need a haven. The notes. The phone calls. This is my Karma. This is what I will teach my children. We do not give of ourselves because we have expectations. We give of ourselves without ever expecting anything in return. Because when we need them, our Karma will be reflected in all the hands that reach out to help us. 

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.” 
― John O'DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Divorce and Cancer and Social Media

Months ago I began erasing my husband from my social media presence. I took pictures down from Facebook. I changed status'. I erased any ties to a life connected with him. Then, a couple days ago I defriended my husband. And then I messaged his sisters and defriended them. And then I wrote a blog post about how much divorce and cancer suck. And then I received a whole lot of posts and private messages. And then I cried. And then I went to yoga and every song played reminded me of my marriage... every single one. And then I fell on my face in half moon pose. And then while sitting in bed I got this:
And then I smiled. And then for the first time, and this is truly lame that is was honestly the first time, I was completely sure I could do this. I have been devising a survival plan, involving Yoga, Journaling, Therapy, Wine and Ethan Hawk movies.... but a plan is just a plan unless you commit to it. I have not felt completely invested in it. I know I have been waiting for minds to change or to wake up, maybe to find this has been a dream, mom is healthy and my reality was still intact. But I know that this is my reality. And for the first time I can honestly write that without adding "Sadly". It's hard, but there is nothing "sad" about it. It can't be hopeless or sad if you send out into the universe your mess and receive in return love. I have felt like a house with no foundation, and then all of a sudden to to feel all these hands reach out to steady you and hold you upright all at once. Very often with Social Media we paint our lives in a manner to stand up to social norms. We often "Vague"book in order to receive support with out fully committing to to drama we all experience. I think that there is a beauty in being able to relate personal pain and joy with in minutes to such a large audience. We all want to be taken care of. We all want to feel supported. I defriended my husband because I knew, for now, I needed to carve out a small space that was just my own. Though I will be living separate from him, he will always be welcome in my home due to the children. Social media provides the space I need where I can go. And though I know we have some mutual friends I do feel like I have made a small space that can be just mine. My own social media wailing wall, somewhere to grieve. The five stages of loss are : Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining , Depression and Acceptance. I am standing at a crossroads looking at Depression and Acceptance. I have traveled roads 1 through 3 and am refusing to be forced down road 4. I truly believe there is fork at roads 4 and 5 and it is completely possible to skip one all together if you so choose. And I choose to skip road 4 and instead journey on to acceptance. There is no shame in depression. But I don't have time to mess around. I have a whole life ahead of me, two kids to love and a Mom to do yoga with. But you can't do it alone can you? I am probably the luckiest person on the planet. Sharing something, anything, the pain, the joy, it's all beautiful. The ability of humans to understand and reflect the emotions of others is a great miracle. I would like to believe in miracles more than anything else today.

" If there's any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it's almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt."
-Before Sunrise

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Divorce and Cancer

If I stop and think about the current state of my life my chest begins to tighten and panic sets in. All the things in this world we as modern humans grasp onto in times of stress are paper thin in my life. My husband asked me for a divorce in September and my mother has cancer. I need to own that.
I need to say it again:
My husband is divorcing me and my mother has no shit cancer.
And again:
My husband does not love me anymore and my mother has fucking blood cancer.

Fuck Shit Damn.

Do I feel better? No. Will I feel better. Yes.
Do I hate my husband? No. Can I stop loving him? Yes.
Can I lean on my mom? No. Can I lean on others to be strong for her? Yes.

Can I dance? Yes.
Am I worth loving? Yes.
Is it ok to feel like punching the wall? Yes.
Is it ok to punch the wall? No.

There have been two constants in my life for the last eleven years. My mom and my husband. They have defined who I am. You can say your parents don't influence your choices as an adult and you would be a liar. You can say your marriage doesn't change you and you would be a liar. The two things that have held the most influence in my life are disappearing or in danger.

Who am I if not my husband's wife? Who am I if not my mother's daughter?

I am my children's mother.

I am my sister's sister.

I am a friend.

I am Loreli, whether Vickers or DeLeon, I am Loreli.

I am kind and compassionate. I am strong willed and stubborn.

I am not perfect.

I am beautiful.

I am angry. I am sad. I am scared.

I am hopeful.

I do not hate my husband. He is human. I am human. My mom is human. Being human means making mistakes. Being human means being vulnerable.  Being human means there are glorious moments and Fuck.Shit.Damn moments.  Life is uncontrollable and I need to let go of my need to control it. Accept the fact there there are a million things out of my control and absolutely only one thing in my control, my reaction to it all.

So I chose compassion within reason. I will not put his comfort above mine, but I will make sure I act in way that builds a healthy partnership. I will begin to trust him, if only as a partner and co parent of our children. I will let him help me so that I can take care of my mom.  I will  do everything in my power to release the negative so that I only bring positive energy into my mother's battle.  I will commit to leaning on my friends so that I can gain my emotional independence from him.

In no way do I believe any of this will be easy. but I have decided to commit to releasing myself to the glorious mess which is the universe.

Tears and smiles and all, I will be the Loreli I want to be.

I am the Loreli I want to be.

I will let go to be present.

"Today I will go on living my life and tending to my routine. I will decide, as often as I need to, to stop obsessing about whatever is bothering me. If I don't feel like letting go of a particular thing, I will "act as if" I have let go of it until my feelings match my behavior." 
-Melody Beattie
The Language of Letting Go

Friday, June 20, 2014

OMG, We just went to Longhorn Steakhouse!

So yesterday was an experiment in Flexitarianism both inside and outside the house. We battled meetings, children/ family, home construction and hunger. Here is a break down of everything we ate:

Egg Cups 
(Logan calls these Origami Eggs)

We were out of toast, but we were flexible, so we made these:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, rub a cupcake tin down with organic butter and line with nitrate free turkey bacon, crack an egg into each cup and bake until whites are firm and cooked though - Top with  basil, fresh pepper and sea salt

I cooked mine until the yokes were completely cooked through, similar to hard boiled, as we currently  have to be careful of bacteria 
Still Wonderful!

(Coffee with Organic 1% Milk and Stevia)

Green Juice with Coconut water

Big Salad with Chickpeas, Pistachios  and AVC Dressing

(this is where things get crazy)
No Sugar Frozen Yogurt 
(no toppings for mom/ topped with berries for me)

(OMG We are Longhorn Steakhouse)

Mom's Choice
Salmon (cooked well done) Green Beans and Salad with oil and vinegar (the vinegar selection was Balsamic - which we are avoiding due to high sugar, but we had it last night)

My Choice:
Flank Steak (Cooked medium well), Broccoli and Salad with oil and vinegar

I don't want to develop a ridged plan, I want there to be room to wiggle but still make good choices. We were too hungry (and that is a principle of this, learning to listen to your body and understand when it needs fuel) to wait to eat until we were home and for me make polenta (which was the original plan) and Mom knew that Longhorn Steakhouse had a good choice for her, so off we went! #winning

And so far today she and I have had Toast with Avocado and Tomato/ Tomato Basil Salsa:

Toast With Avocado and Homemade Tomato Basil Salsa 
and coffee

Roma Tomato Basil Salsa 
("I Quit Sugar" By Sarah Wilson Recipe)

Mix 1 pound chopped roma tomatos, 1 tbs minced garlic,1/2 cup chopped basil. 1/2 olive oil, 
1/4 cup ACV, 1 tsb fresh ground pepper and 1 tsp Salt

We could not find Ezekiel Bread at the store yesterday so we used whole grain bread

(this would usually be green juice but due to construction had to be flexible)
One Origami Egg

Green Juice mixed with Coconut Water

Same Salad as yesterday

Polenta Patties with Sautéed greens and Roma Tomato Basil Salsa
(From "I Quit Sugar" Sarah Wilson)

Be a Flexitarian – try to be flexible when it comes to eating.
Eat healthy, but enjoy the occasional indulgence and meals in the
company of friends without scrutinizing ingredients or feeling guilty.
Darina Stoyanova