Blue's UnBashful Blog

Blue's UnBashful Blog

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Zen Run 5k and Flanigan's Rockin' Rib Run 10k!

What a weekend!  Actually, what a month (I mean, shit....what a year!)....I have ran more races this November/ October than any other year...ever!  Must be due to the amazing weather and the fact that I don't mind leaving my house because I'm not going to get blasted by cold air, rain, sleet, snow, and clouds!  Ok, sorry I will do my best to limit my bragging about amazing weather.  Seriously though, I no longer feel like the "Tin-Man".  

The Zen Run 5k was Saturday here on this island I have been living on since October 1st (but no longer than Dec. 13th as I found a new and more permanent apartment, but that's for another post).  The Zen Run was held on Virginia Key Beach, a beautiful park just over the Rickenbacker bridge towards Key Biscayne in Miami!  I didn't have to wake up crazy early because it was a 7 minute drive, whoop!  I arrived early anyway (habit) and hung out on the beach....tough stuff.   

Stunning!  I was able to use the restroom plenty of times so I was good to go in that area.  I bought some wireless headphones to use with my phone (the only device that carries spotify (refer back to previous post)) and they worked great!  Product review coming after a few more runs!  The weather was cloudy and a cool 75+degrees, "perfect for me" running weather.  It is AMAZING how AMAZING my body feels running in warmth versus in the cold (below 60).  It's AMAZING!  The run was laid back, it was small (only the 2nd year, I believe), and centered around mindfulness and meditation...AMAZING.  (I need a thesaurus, I know).  We gathered for a meditation before the run, it was peaceful and I felt so good.  The run began and I took off down the sandy trails in the park.  It was mostly sandy/ grass/gravel which was great for my body as I had to run the 10k the following day. I felt light, had a great playlist, and enjoyed the run while not pushing myself too much (10k the next day) but just enough to pass a few at the end (my signature move, ha!).  The race finished with a meditation/ yoga practice (I scooted out to get home to Bruiser and to take a nap).  There were booths selling organic and handmade products and music for the day.  



That nap I took?  It was a couple of hours.  As a result of the nap, I didn't sleep Saturday night, ugh!  My mind and negative thoughts were aggressive and honestly, I wanted to stay in bed and sleep but I posted on facebook that I was doing this race so I had to do it!  My bladder was full for the drive north to Davie, Florida and the drivers were insane!  Speeding in and out, it was very nerve-wracking!  I got to the park and traffic was backed up and I had to pee so bad, I was seriously ready to turn around.  But I acknowledged those thoughts and pushed on.  I finally parked with time to only pee once ( a third of the amount I usually pee before a race, due to nerves I suppose).  I hustled to the start line, again having those negative thoughts creep in.  

The race started and my mind was working extra hard with the negativity.  I'm learning to acknowledge these anxious thoughts, embrace them, and then focus on my breath, affirmations, and music rather than dwell and obsess on them.  The first 3 miles were tough but my plan was working.  I didn't look back and I didn't look too far ahead, I stayed focused on the area just ahead of me.  This was the longest I had ran since the Cleveland Rite Aid 10k in May so I was out of "practice".  

I love seeing so many families participating in these races.  There were a lot of strollers with kids and also a lot of strollers with handicapped participants....I love this.  It's such a positive atmosphere and hopefully the kids grow up to want to participate.  Also, if I have kids one day I have no excuse to not run!  Love it!  

The course was totally flat.  I found my "sweet spot" after mile 3 and got into a great groove, my "Forrest Gump Groove" but was noticing that I was getting goosebumps either from the positive emotions I was feeling or probably because I was overheating (something that I will get used to with time!)  I was sure to sip some of my half frozen water (I always bring my own water) and to pour some on my body.  I felt great otherwise.  Then, "Thank You" by Alanis Morissette played the last 3/4 mile and that song, oh that song.  It has had very special meaning for me throughout this entire year, since leaving Miami in January.......EVERY SINGLE WORD (except I'd replace India with Miami), that is "IT". It's like it was written for me, for this year, for this journey.   Of course I got choked up as I was overwhelmed with immense gratitude and I finished super strong, passing many overheated runners!  What an amazing journey.  It's just soooo friggin' rad (and magical).  There was a big party at the finish line with ribs and beer and liquor and booths, oh my!  I walked around a bit so I didn't get too stiff on the way home, and then headed home back to my temporary vacation nap (and to do laundry, take a cold shower, walk Bruiser, get some tasty brunch, and to get ready for my online Essential Oils class).  I'm still waiting on results but I'm pretty sure I "beat" my 10k time from May!  

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"Thank you" by Alanis Morissette....
How 'bout getting off of these antibiotics
How 'bout stopping eating when I'm full up
How 'bout them transparent dangling carrots
How 'bout that ever elusive kudo
Thank you India, thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty, thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you, silence
How 'bout me not blaming you for everything
How 'bout me enjoying the moment for once
How 'bout how good it feels to finally forgive you
How 'bout grieving it all one at a time
Thank you India, thank you terror
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty, thank you consequence
Thank you, thank you, silence
The moment I let go of it
Was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it
Was the moment I touched down
How 'bout no longer being masochistic
How 'bout remembering your divinity
How 'bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How 'bout not equating death with stopping
Thank you India, thank you providence
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness, thank you clarity
Thank you, thank you, silence

Saturday, November 10, 2018

41st Annual Key Biscayne Lighthouse Run 5k

Another race with bay and ocean views and...... sunshine!  And....heat!  Whew, I am still getting used to running in the heat and humidity.  I didn't feel like I was overheating as much as I did during the Freaky 4 miler but I was overheating a little bit.  I'm enjoying listening to my body and recognizing little things like overheating.  My run felt strong, I didn't stop to walk, and my lungs and body felt good.  It was another flat run.  Which is funny because I always complained about hills back in Ohio but I'm finding the flatness a tad bit boring.  So, I just look left or right and see the beautiful views and it's all good.  In a way I'm starting over but because I have been active in other activities like paddling and swimming every day in Portugal for a month and having a strong yoga practice since I arrived I feel good, like I'm not starting over entirely.  I do need to work on my speedwork and of course endurance and 'heat" training.   It will be interesting to see how I do as I add on the miles.  I'm super excited as I train for the Miami Half Marathon in January.  There is an amazing overpass here that is great for hill repeats but I miss running in the woods.  The traffic and flatness don't work in my favor, yet.  Honestly, it all comes down to the mental game and how I can make the boring flatness and overstimulating traffic work for me.  Running in the woods, I didn't get bored because I was in the moment, focused on my next steps so that I didn't trip over a tree root, rock, or slip on some leaves.   Road running is different but it's also where I started my passion for running.  

Music helps!  I'm having a hard time with carrying music.  I have my old Ipod shuffle thing that has music downloaded from itunes but I can't figure out how to upload or change or make a playlist from itunes to my ipod and I'm in need of new stuff....  My music on the ipod is outdated and overplayed.  My ipod also has all the music on it (like the slow jams and the tunes that are good for chillin', not running) so I have to fiddle around and skip over many songs.  On the other hand, I have my big ass stupid galaxy phone.  It's bulky as hell but it gets spotify which I can easily make playlists and change the music, etc.....BUT it's a pain to carry because it's so big and the wireless headphones that I have for it are super bulky.  Come on technology....can I have a device small like my ipod but with the capability to listen to spotify without having to pay an arm and a leg for new music like I do with Itunes?  For the love of Buddha, why does this not exist?  Or does it?  Any ideas?  No, I don't want to wear an arm band for my phone, I don't like them.  I like my ipod thing because it is small and clipped to my sports bra. Any ideas let me know!!!

The run was great, it was a 5 minute drive from my condo so that was nice.  It was well organized though two restroom stalls for the women was a challenge.  Oh, and the dudes wearing overpowering cologne that I can still taste in my mouth was irritating.  (Why, why, why?).  I love seeing so many kids out participating in these runs, it's amazing!  

When I came home,  I did a mediation and took a brief nap before heading to an amazing yoga class at Wynwood Yoga Studio then I came home and laid by the pool...with my new thong bikini bottoms and super white ass.  Yes, thong bikini bottoms.  I have gone from avoiding the outdoors because I was too fat to one piece "old-lady" swim suits, to a two piece,  and now a two piece with a thong bikini.  Psssh, body images?  Later!  I am seriously loving my body.  Stretch marks cellulite, chunky bits, all of it!  My body is amazing, it has been through a lot and I lost 60 +lbs since leaving politics, so I will let the sun shine where "the sun don't usually shine".  Here in Miami, it really doesn't matter, people don't judge as much and that helps.   If I added up all the time that I stressed over my body, what others thought, and all the times it was an issue it would add up to years!!! Years wasted!  I digress, there will be another blog about body image issues down the road...stay tuned!  Suns out, ass out!  

I love these much blue!  

Monday, November 5, 2018

What I've learned living in Miami for 35 days!

I've learned a lot about city/ tropical living the last 35 days and a lot about myself!

1. Uber and Lyft are awesome, sometimes scary, but still helpful!
2. Driving on I-95 can be terrifying (especially in an uber and/or between the hours of 3-7 pm)
3. I figured out how to pay for parking via the pay to park app and now I have my license plate memorized
4. No one is on time, for anything, anywhere....never
5. I love sun dresses
6. I hate wearing a bra and feel comfortable not wearing one
7. trying to make new friends is tough stuff
8. no see ums can be seen....via the millions of bites all over my body, what the freak!
9. When Ubering or Lyfting....look out the window to the left or to the right....
10. There are a ton of convenient apps and Instacart...they deliver your groceries to you!
11.  The convenient apps and services are expensive!
12. I'm reminded that fear causes anxiety and intuition is calm and really learning to differentiate between the two so that  I don't lock myself in my room and never leave for fear based reasons.
13.  Boob sweat is hardcore down here
14. With Halloween came cooler temps (79 degrees)  and people wearing "Ohio Fall" weather pants and a coat and scarf!
15.  I wore a hoodie the other day BUT it was because the a/c is cranked down like crazy!
16. Straightening my hair is really difficult
17. I love cold showers
18.  Spainish is a main language down here and the language barrier is tough!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Shifting from Anxiety to Gratitude

This month I'm focusing on daily gratitude reflections and journaling.  I signed up for Fierce Forward's daily gratitude challenge, starting each day with an email containing instructions for journaling and things to reflect on.  I made such a big move this year and bounced way out of my comfort zone, uprooting everything, taking a huge leap of faith, and a lot of risk.  It's been amazing but I have been reminiscing a little too much and focusing way too much on things that aren't going my way or working out perfectly.  I've been noticing old thought patterns and anxiety creeping in a little more than usual and that's ok.  It's all part of the process, the journey.   I miss a lot of things that gave me comfort and have found myself getting too caught up in those thoughts.  I saw this quote this morning, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for" Epicurus.  This month is a great opportunity to really focus on the things I am thankful for and to not deny those memories and wishes but to recognize them, honor them, and then shift to the present moment and enjoy it.  

Each morning I write down 3 things that I am grateful for today in the morning and then again at night.  Writing down and/ or saying things I am thankful for helps shift the focus of thoughts on lacking to having.  Often times when I'm racing or just running or training in general thoughts of lacking will creep in.  For example, "Why can't I run faster, I wish this didn't feel so difficult", etc.  When those thoughts creep in I  repeat a mantra over and over like, "I am strong, I feel great" or I start thinking of the things I am thankful for at the time like "I am thankful for my health, I am thankful for my legs carrying me, I am thankful for my lungs, I am thankful for the ability to do this" and to add even more I will thank the volunteers, the police officers blocking traffic, anyone and everyone.  Before I know it, I bring my thought pattern back to the present moment and in a more positive way.  I have been applying this practice to my every day living.  When I notice anxious or negative thoughts I become aware and then repeat things that I am thankful for and it shifts my perspective!  It's like magic!  But, it is an ongoing practice  that  must be practiced continuously.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Freaky 4 miler...9 months later!

The night has always been a comfort zone for me.  People are sleeping, my creativity wakes up, and worst case scenarios creep in,  I get into my head and start overthinking everything.  The overthinking and anxiety depends on my monthly cycle.  I have found that a week from getting my period, I overthink like it's my job.   And, that is where I was last Friday night.  I couldn't sleep Friday night for many reasons.  I didn't want to oversleep as I felt this run was really important for me to do.  I was also thinking about finances and where I want to set up roots, and many other things.  My ego really challenged me.  I was nervous about this race for so many reasons.  Mostly, I didn't want to let myself down. And I didn't run much this year due to things like moving my entire life 1100 miles away! 

My hormones took over and I was totally irritated with everything..from not sleeping to my ipod not working properly and having to carry my phone (usually I have driven to races and left my big bulky dumb phone in the car BUT I took an Uber to reduce stress from parking and not knowing where I was going, so I needed to take my phone. ) At any rate I started the day irritated and with no sleep but I was determined to run this race.  I needed to show up and give my all.  Change is difficult for an introverted person like me but I've been adjusting pretty well to some serious changes this year and going with the flow.  Sometimes it gets overwhelming and I just want to stay in the comfort of my bed.

At any rate, I showed up not knowing anyone.  I was supposed to meet fellow Team Hammerhead triathletes for a picture and was excited to meet some new friends,  but I couldn't find them.   Usually, when I did a race in Ohio I would run into people I knew everywhere I turned,  but not here.  Of course, race day ritual...I couldn't poop but had to pee like a million times and each time the port-o-potty didn't have toilet paper. I hung out by the water and soaked up the amazing views and the perfect ocean breeze.    I was in the first wave for the 4 miler and I took off running when the time came.  At first, I was engulfed with cheap men's cologne.  Honestly, I don't know if it was cheap cologne it was just overwhelming and gave me an instant headache and I could taste it in my mouth.  Dear dudes, I would rather smell your body odor than cologne when running.  My goal for the first mile was to get away from cologne dude.  I succeeded.

My only expectations for this race was to show up and to finish.  I focused on my breath, my technique, and my thoughts.  When I run , my creativity and my anxiety come out to play.  It's a great challenge to stay present and one of the many reasons why I love running.  The course was pretty flat so I tried to soak in the views.  So many fellow runners were stopping to take pictures and such... I took mental pictures while racing and kept on running!  At some point as I was running down Ocean Drive...I reflected on when I was in the same place with my parents earlier this looks different during the day!

I ran the entire time and felt strong.  When we turned around and started to run towards the finish line, we were on the boardwalk and you could see the ocean and the sun and it took my breath away.  I glanced to the left and saw the sun coming up over the calm ocean and said "whoa" in a bit of shock and surprise.   It took my breath away but it also filled me with gratitude.  I didn't stop to take pictures, I kept running.  I finished strong and after I crossed the finish line I kept going, but was walking.  I wanted to go back to the views.  I found South Point Pier and took pictures like a tourist.  It was at this point that I looked at my phone and saw the date.

I signed up for this run on Wednesday after getting my triathlon training plan from my coach.  I didn't pay attention to the date, just that it was Saturday.  When I looked down at my phone and saw the date, I again said, "whoa'.  Exactly 9 months ago I was down in Miami with my parents.  My goal was to run the Miami Half Marathon but my winter training didn't go as planned (something about not being about to train in the cold Ohio winters) but I ended up running the Tropical 5k on  Saturday January 27th.  After recognizing the date I decided to walk back to the Loew's hotel as I did back in January.  I took time to reflect on all that has happened since then and how much I much I evolved in just 9 months...It was like I was being reborn, becoming me.

I spoke to someone recently, she reminded me of all that I have done these last several months and that while I was thankful for everything, I wasn't really giving myself enough credit and gratitude for having the balls to move forward like I did.  Taking this walk back to where it began, I reflected on that and honored myself and felt great gratitude for me!

My time was 11:42....non-stop running.  Not bad for not really training.  I have my triathlon/ half marathon training plan and am looking forward to winter training for once! I'm really looking forward to the Miami Half Marathon in January and the Rite Aid Cleveland Half or Full in May!  It felt good to be running again and I wasn't as sore as I thought I would be, yay!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Racing, Training, and Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador Update!

I'll get back to my Miami adventures soon.  I am super excited that I am getting back to racing and triathlon training.  I signed up with my triathlon coach from back home in Ohio, Daniel Smith of PR Triathlon Team, for my plan to get back in the water, in the saddle, and on the road again!  I have worked with Daniel a few years before and really enjoyed the results.  Tomorrow, I will start my triathlon training by running a 4 miler, the Miami Beach Freaky 4-miler! My 1st race since running the Rite Aid Cleveland 10k in May.   I don't have a specific goal and am going to try to treat this as a fun run versus an "A' race, to give me an idea of where my run time stands. 

Typically this is the time of year I start to hibernate and racing doesn't seem appealing.  However, I am in Miami now and the weather is beautiful, starting to cool off just enough for an amazing winter of swimming, biking, and running!  I am super excited because I am back as a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador for 2019!  It's my favorite race ever!  I may even do the full this year, it's been a while since I last did the full (2012).  If you are interested in running this race, I will have a discount code for you to register AND will have a chance at a free entry so stay tuned and be sure to follow my social media pages! 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Savannah, Georgia!

Savannah, Georgia.  Wow.  How will I find the words to describe your beauty, grace, energy, and mesmerizing history?  Kuddos to me for deciding to plan a stop in Savannah Georgia AND to stay for two nights!  Good job, Megs!  'Twas just another great decision I made this year while following my intuition and heart!  Bruiser and I arrived just as the sun went down.  We were stuck in a car for about 8 hours so after I unpacked our travel bags (I had designated bags for our drive so that I wouldn't have to unpack everything each time) we headed out.  We stayed at East Bay Inn in historic downtown Savannah.  I didn't realize it when I booked the hotel, but it's a great location and also a popular spot for the popular St. Patrick's Day celebrations...go figure!  Bruiser and I took a walk around the area, down by the river.  ( Did you know that the river used to be a bit more shallow?  Now it is much more full and the current is so strong that if you were to jump in and start swimming to the other side, you would end up 4 miles down stream?  That is ONLY if you survived! Amazing). Bruiser went into his first doggie store and we picked up a harness so that when he pulled me it wasn't choking him and he picked out a treat!  

It was an early night as the Notre Dame game was on so we worked our way back to the inn.  Go Irish!  The next day we took a walk around town, down by the river and back first thing in the morning.   My favorite tree, the oak tree, covered with moss is everywhere.  I love trees in general but this particular tree is so special and mesmerizing.   They were everywhere!   Back in the 1800's the people of Savannah thought there would be a shortage of trees so they planted so many more and that is why there is so many!  A tidbit I learned from the tour we went took.  But first, we took an Uber (Bruiser's first Uber) to the Bonaventure Cemetery.  I don't have the words to explain this destination.  My jaw was dropped the whole time.  Bruiser did get overheated so I had to carry him a bit but I didn't mind.  There were other dogs from up north as it is a highly visited tourist site.  I could have stayed there and walked around forever, kinda ironic since it IS a cemetery...and I felt like I could stay there forever (get it? ok, bad joke but whatever).    The history, the energy, and magnificence is incredible.  (I'm starting to think I need a thesaurus because I keep using the same words: stunning, amazing, incredible over and over....alas...).  It's like being in Plato's Cave for years and finally stepping out and realizing and recognizing such beauty and magic.  

Honestly the views on this whole journey, through this whole year, have been so  bright and vivid, and meaningful and stunning and breathtaking.  Later we went on an Old Savannah Tour on a trolley....Amazing!!! Bruiser wasn't impressed with the heat so I carried him after a bit til we got to the trolley pick up spot.  .  We saw the Sorrell Weed House, Forsyth Park, St. John the Baptist Cathedral, The Pirates house, Old Thomas House, the restaurant where Cape Fear and Something to Talk About was filmed, and so much more.  Our last stop was near our Inn and Bruiser  went to his first ever restaurant.  Many places in Savannah are dog friendly but Moon River Brewing Company was close to the hotel and it is allegedly haunted.  I was able to enjoy a beer and some food on the patio, with Bruiser!  There have been so many things I have done for the first time this year (literally, sooo many) and I'm glad that I was able to include Bruiser in a few!   He tried to start a dog fight but it was cool.   It all worked out.  

I've faced a lot of fears, let go of a lot of stuff, and did many things for the first time this year....fears I never thought I'd be able to face, things I'd never think I'd do, and it was all done this year.  What an amazing journey, full of life- changing break through and immense growth.  I'm still processing it all and in awe of it all.  I am so thankful that Bruiser has been able to join me and I am so thankful for everything.  I'm thankful for all the bad, all the pain, all the suffering, and all the magical moments and synchronicities and connections.   I was overwhelmed with thoughts to end my life just a couple of years ago but I held on.  I didn't give  up, I ran into the negative emotions and I felt and sat with all of it...I let it happen, I felt it, and it massive kidney stones, but it passed!

Thank you Savannah, we will see you again soon!  xoxo

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Driving to Miami and playing catch up!

I took some time off from blogging.  Honestly, I didn't know what to say.  Rather, I had so much to say that my mind was on overload and I didn't know how to process all of the drastic changes and I found it tough to articulate everything.  If I had a computer hooked to my mind,  I would have published at least 3 books by now.  Any way, that technology doesn't yet exist and I am human.  Now, I am called to my laptop and driven to share as the words and thoughts are flowing with ease, grace, and the need to let it flow.  At one point I thought about shutting down this blog because I wasn't as active as I wanted to be and also because the previous posts are reflections of who I was, not who I am.  After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to keep the blog and to just "catch up" and then carry on and move forward while keeping the words that illustrated my past because they are very much a part of my future and how I arrived to NOW. blog posts will be flowing and catching up from here on forward.  

I began the drive to Miami on Friday September 28th.  The number 8 has played a significant role in this journey, during 2018!   That revelation would be a book, or part of a book to explain....Anyway,  I felt drawn to honor the number and decided and planned to start the drive September 28, 2018.

 I was so impressed with Bruiser, he was so well behaved, and made new friends as we made our way to West Virginia...It was also his 1st time in a king size bed...I've always wanted to take him to the ocean and I was making it happen. So surreal. I've always had this vision in my mind but never thought I'd have the courage to actually do it.

 September 28 2013,  five years ago,  my world was rocked and by my own fault, I own it....It was my mistake and my mistake also gave some miserable people an opportunity to try and hurt me, because I was in politics and I was not on their "side" or whatever.  Ah politics, such a vicious beast of thing .  But, it happens and that was their path and their karma. It all happens and happened as it should, we don't know it then, as we go through it: but, I know it now.  I left Grafton that morning at my lowest weight since before politics. I gained 50+ lbs so quickly as my body shut down during the last few months I was in office.  I didn't think I would ever lose the weight.  Now, I only want to wear 2 piece bikinis and I love my body.   Amazing what a couple of years of tenacity, resilience, and perseverance will do!  I am not only thankful for that day 5 years ago but for everything before and after. This year was the year that I let go of it all.  

I let go of that stuff... but I WILL share, it's all part of my story and I want to help others overcome whatever they need to overcome.  As I share going forward, it comes from a place of overcoming and gratitude rather than previous times when I shared it came from a place of wanting justice or a vindication or wanting justice.  I think that is part of the reason I haven't blogged in a while...I was healing and I wanted to make sure that when I did decide to write, it came from a place of love, forgiveness, compassion, and with hope and intention to help others. I am now at that place and while I let go of the anger, bitterness, need for justice and all that, my story still needs to be told.  I am driven to tell my story; but , in a different way.  In addition, as I look back at the memories, I am really proud of myself.   

 We all have to overcome something at some point. Without the downs, I wouldn't be me. I can FINALLY say with 100% certainty that I am my hero, I am my biggest fan, I am my true love, I am everything I am supposed to be at this moment. Dudes and dudettes, life is freaking short and amazing and a true roller coaster ride....Every emotion and every experience is meant to be felt and to be lived fully in that moment.  Embrace it all...good and bad!  Yes, I know...easier said than done, trust me...I know.  I get it!    At any rate, I drove to Florida....just me and my little dog too!  

There was a little traffic as I left Ohio but the scenery was amazing as I came into West Virginia.  Our first planned stop was outside of Charleston ,West Virginia.  I searched and made hotel reservations and a driving itinerary before hand since traveling with a pet can be difficult.  I wanted to make sure it would be a smooth ride and wanted to control what I could control. I'm also a bit picky with where I stay for safety reasons and for health reasons.  The last thing I wanted was to transport bed bugs!   So, I controlled what I thought I could control.   Ha! Control,....something I grasped onto so tightly in the past but grip loosely as I move forward.  How much control do we really have?  None, so just go with it and do what you can.  

 I have found that doing what I can (like planning the route to Florida and making reservations ahead of time) are all in my control but I really have no control over anything.  Going with the flow has been an amazing lesson learned and a lesson that I continue to learn.  It's a lesson that I have been learning so much this year.  I think that is a blog post all on its own, stay tuned!   Like, when my tire pressure on my left back tire kept going down and I had to stop frequently to fill it up with air but found that many stations were out of service or they had a confusing device to use...go with the flow!  I could have panicked and reacted in a non productive way, a way that I probably would have reacted if it was years before...years before all of the lessons learned.   I've learned that panicking and overreacting does absolutely nothing.  Nothing is resolved faster or better when in a state of fear or panic.  It doesn't change anything, so why not just go with it and embrace it.  And go with it is what I did for the most part.  I am human and did panic at first and got the heart pumping but quickly realized, recognized, and remembered that resisting is reinforcing and I didn't want to reinforce any negativity.  

At any rate, Bruiser and I stopped at the hotel in West Virginia, about 5 hours from Grafton, and enjoyed the night!  Bruiser adjusted with ease and had no problem with the king size bed and walks around the hotel.  We didn't get an early start in the morning as it was super foggy. I wasn't in a rush and enjoyed the extra time in the comfy bed with my furry companion.  We left around 930/10 (after figuring out how to fill my tire up with air!).  The drive through the mountains was literally breath taking.  I'm thankful for my time driving through the mountains of Pennsylvania otherwise, I would have been extra terrified.  Anyway, I gripped the wheel and worked the downshifting and brakes with ease while enjoying the stunning views.  At one point I think I was in the clouds and I was surrounded by the mountains that are referred to as the "blue ridge mountains'.  I didn't understand the name until I saw the views.  Oh, that's why they are called "blue ridge mountains".  Absolutely stunning and breath taking, no words can adequately describe the views or the feeling as I choked up several times.  I remember driving through a tunnel and saw vehicles up ahead look as if they were falling off the face of the earth, an amazing optical illusion that made me slow way down and got the heart racing, but left me speechless and in awe.  It was a reflection of my life, bracing myself in anxiety and fear, but slowly moving forward anyway knowing that it was ok and the light at the end of the tunnel was not only near but to keep moving toward it, knowing that it would be ok and that vehicles weren't actually falling off of a cliff.  I kept driving forward regardless of the fear and unknown much like I did with life.  

There was a point in planning this move where I was given the opportunity to fly and to not worry about driving, etc.  It was a gracious opportunity given but it was an easy way, a short cut, an easy out.  I felt like it would be cheating to take such an offer and I've never taken an easy way.  I've always taken the most challenging way because if I decide to do something I want it to be the most challenging way possible, that is where the growth occurs.  I've literally chosen paths, made decisions, and have chosen to go the most difficult route because I am not only stubborn but because if I decide to do something I want it to be difficult so that I am challenged, so that I grow.  Show me a short cut and  I will show you how to kiss my ass.  Give me the most difficult path possible!  Make me grow, throw me to the wolves, break me down, challenge me in every way...that's what I want!  

I was gracious for the opportunity my intuition, my heart, and my soul, consistently "drove' me to choose to drive.  I knew it would be stressful for my parents, sending their first born daughter away on the road for a long drive to move 1100 miles away so I did all I could to keep in touch with them and to ease their minds.   And I was no doubt meant to drive this journey, with only what fit in my car as everything else was sold, given away, or thrown away.    I knew that driving this journey was part of my journey and I didn't want to take any short cuts.  It was a fairly short drive to our stop in West Virginia.  I am thankful for having the knowing, curiosity, and intuition to make the next stop in Savannah, Georgia.  I had heard so much about this beautiful city, and it was on the way....why not make it a stop on my way to MIA? As I continued to move forward, I understood my decision and everything made sense.  Next stop, Savannah!   

Sunday, October 14, 2018

I'm in Miami....I MOVED to Miami!

I made it!  I am in Miami, Florida!  If you only follow my blog and not my social media this post may be surprising.  I moved to Miami, Florida.  This year has been quite the whirlwind from letting go of material things, emotional things, physical things to finding my voice, ending my time with status quo and being stagnant, to following my heart, my intuition, and my soul.

I visited Miami in January and thought, "I wish I could move here, just pack up everything and start over".  When I came home,  I couldn't stop thinking about Miami, the vibes, the energy, and the connection I had felt.  On a whim, I booked another trip down in April.  I remember the plane landing and me thinking,  "What the freak did I just do?  How did I get here?  Did I really just have the balls to take a solo trip to this intimidating city to follow my heart, intuition, and soul?  Did I just decide take a chance on something?  Holy shit, I did."  After this trip, I remember thinking to myself, "I don't want to leave Miami, I'm being pulled here, what is happening?  This feeling is overwhelming, something I never felt before." and, "I think I could move to Miami".  I booked another trip for May.

May's trip was different, I took a giant leap of faith and decided to stay with a man I had met ( eye contact in January that woke me up and pushed me from caterpillar to butterfly rapidly and then I formally met him when I went back in April).  May's trip back to Miami included letting go of a lot and REALLY trusting the universe.  I thought, "I've been through some shit, what's the worse that could happen?  Everything "bad" or "traumatizing" happened within 5+ miles of my home so why not get away some more?" I was done playing it super safe and comfortable, that wasn't working for me.  It was time to shake things up....a lot.  And I was ready.   It was amazing.

The thoughts in my head after this trip progressed rapidly from, "I don't want to leave Miami, I need to be here" to when I got home that evening, 'I think I'm going to move to Miami", to 3 days later, "I'm moving to Miami".   It was a decision I kept to myself for a little bit.  I wanted to make sure I was truly listening to my intuition.  The universe sent me many signs that really gave me that "aha  feeling, I'm supposed to move to Miami".  I told my parents and a few close friends.  I announced it on social media in June.   I quickly began preparing to move 1100 miles away from what I had always known, my comfort zone, my safety nets, everything.  From putting my house on the market, to selling most of my belongings, throwing away most of my belongings, and wrapping up all loose ends.  What a process it is to completely pack up and move ones' entire life.  My plan was to only take what would fit in my car, that's it. Oh, and my little dog  too!

I did it!  Well, of course I did.  Duh!  I've literally done everything in my life that I said I would do.  I make things happen.  I came back from a month in Portugal and still had so much to do as far as packing, eliminating, and saying "see you later" to friends and family.  I originally wanted to be in Miami by October 8th but then I was driven to move it to leave on Friday Sept. 28th and to make it to Miami by Monday Oct. 1.  Here I am, about to start my 3rd week living in Miami, Florida.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Attachments and letting go

Something happened.  I worked on myself.  I put myself first.  I wanted to change.  I wanted to let go.  I didn't know how, I just did things that I felt were right.  I began yoga teacher training, I had amazing reiki sessions.  I let go.  I think it happened overnight though I'm not sure.  It just happened.  I'm sure that it happened at the exact moment that it was supposed to happen.  Looking back, I remember packing things up so that I could replace my carpets with flooring.  I packed things up, most of which is still packed up.  I started wanting to get rid of old clothes and bagged them up.  Next thing I remember, I was packing up everything that no longer served me. 

It began as getting rid of things that no longer serve me but then it became about shedding the old me, letting go.  Letting go of memories that I clenched onto because I felt that I would never have new memories that would make me happy.  I clenched onto the past so hard that I saved old college papers, clothes I hadn't worn in years, tickets and memorbilla from everything, every moment that I felt made  But, I was changing.  I was different.  I grew, I moved on, I let go.  I no longer feel attached to things, nor people, nor places.  I'm over it all.  I want to make space for all the good things coming and I no longer feel the need to be defined by things that happened years and years ago.  I no longer want things in my life that no longer serve me. 

I threw away old swimming trophies from years ago.  That time in my life was so fun and memorable but the trophies no longer served me.   I kept them above the kitchen cabinets in my house.  I'm sure no one saw them.  They served no purpose.  But, I clenched to old memories so much like I was hanging off a cliff and letting go meant falling towards my death.  Quite the opposite it was like I was in Plato's Cave and I was the person that saw the shadows and got out.  Now, I want to tell everyone about those shadows, about the attachments and perspective I have gained. 

 Why do we hold on to so much stuff?  In talking with an amazing man that gets IT, I realized that I was holding on in fear of not having good memories moving forward, I held on because I felt those things defined me and I needed to be defined, I held on because I felt like I needed to justify myself and prove myself to others.  Ironically no one saw those trophies, pictures, it was not even relevant.  I held onto things that came from my Grandpa, things I felt that I needed to hold onto in order to keep his memory alive.  I know that my grandpa doesn't sit in the after life watching me and loving me because I held onto a pull over he once wore.  My grandpa wants me to live and to be happy and he wants me to feel alive.

We hold onto so much.  We hold on to memories, things, traumas, we hold on to everything.  In turn, our body holds onto these things and they weigh us down.  They hold us back.  They prevent us from being present and from moving forward.  It's fascinating to me how much I hold onto.  I heal onto things for memories and because I felt like I had to display my accomplishments to define me, like I needed to show my worth to others.   I am worthy, I am brilliant, I have accomplished so much...I know that now, I don't need to show it or hold onto it.  I now know my worth and it doesn't matter what others think. 

I felt a strong need to prove myself to others and it overwhelmed me so much that I lost myself and wasn't happy.  I kept trying to prove myself to others but the others didn't care, so why take up space?  It prevented me from moving forward, it weight me down.  So, I let go.  I'm letting it all go.  Literally, everything...I let it all go.  I have an amazing story that will be told but it  won't come from a place of justice or vindication, I want to share my story because I want to help others.   The events and injustices no longer matter.  I'm over it.  And it is so frereing.  I feel so light.  I am making room for things that matter, I'm creating space for good memories, for all the good things coming. 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 10k!

I have many special memories running this race.  It was my first half marathon in 2011 and my first full in 2012 and I enjoyed running it other times for other reasons.  It's my hometown race and I love it.   I wanted to do the half this year.  I was honored to be selected as an ambassador for this race and really enjoyed being a part of promoting a race I love.  I decided to run the 10k, I wasn't able to train.  What can I say?  I'm not a cold weather runner, it's hard for me to train when it's raining, snowing, and cold!  I also had yoga teacher training and focused on my yoga practice over the winter.  I felt the running was too much and that's ok. 

I went into this race with no expectations other than finishing, having fun, and being injury free.  I woke up super early and grabbed what I needed.  I looked at the weather and it looked cloudy but good.  On the drive downtown, it started raining.  What?  This was not in the forecast.  Fortunately, I grabbed my blue Akron half marathon shirt. This shirt meant a lot to me as I earned it after a tumultuous time in my life.  I decided to shed it the last mile as I no longer feel attached to it and the memories it held.  I've been doing th a lot lately...shedding, throwing away, and letting go of things that no longer serve me, that's another post. 
The garage where I was to park wasn't open.  No worries.  I found another garage.  I noticed my gas tank was on empty.  These are all things that would have set me into panic mode in years passed but I was going with the flow this year.  I've been going with the flow a lot this year and it's been working well for me thus far.  No need to stress the small stuff! 

I walked around near the start line to keep warm and fluid.  I didn't see anyone I knew but I felt good.  I felt present and took in all the sights and energy.  We finally started and I crossed the start line.  I kept thinking, "ok, Megan, this is not an A- race, let's have fun and see how I feel".  I felt great.
Fortunately I have been cross training with HIIT at Cleveland Fit Shop with Jake Barb.  That helped!  I was in the moment and feeling incredibly thankful for how much my life has changed this year and how much I have overcome.  I teared up several times but I really enjoyed running. I soaked it all in.   I realized how much I loved running and can't wait to run more in the warmer weather. 

So, I walked the hills, and didn't push myself too hard as I didn't want to hurt my hip again as I did when I ran the Miami 5k.  Before I knew it, I passed 2 water stations, had no idea what mile I was at and kept on moving.  I started picking up the pace the last mile and per usual I started hauling ass the last .5 mile, wanting to pass the next person ahead of me.  Not in my plan, quite the opposite, but I really love leaving it all out on the course.  And my hip felt good! 

I'm not sure there will ever be a race that I don't get choked up during and after.  Crossing each finish line means so much to me and I always feel so thankful for the ability to cross another.  There is always a reason I get choked up crossing the finish line.  Today, I got choked up for how far I have come and how magical my life is.  I'm so blessed and thankful with how far I have come along this year.  This year has been magical in its entirety.  Thank you CLE for the memories! Thank you body for doing amazing things, thank you mind for being present, thank you soul for the tenacity and resilience,  I love you! 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Please and Thank you

I spent most of my life begging and pleading, "please..."  Please take this pain away, please help me, please... " I can't believe this shit is happening, why me". .....I spent years on my knees begging, praying, and hurting.  Now....I can't stop saying "Thank You" and "Oh my Buddha, I can't believe all this good shit is happening'.  I talked to someone recently in panic mode because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for what has happened a million times before and she said, "you know what Megan, you deserve this,  you have been manifesting this, and it is happening.  It is real...just go with it and embrace it".  Regardless of what happens, I have found myself, I have let go of the shit that has been weighing me down for  I now flow, I speak my truth, I live my life...I am so thankful.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I am open, I am free, and I am loved.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

I used to keep track of many days it's been since 11/26/ I don't

I hesitated in sharing this because I don't need to waste anymore time on it, I have so many good things that need my time...I'm literally overwhelmed with all the good things happening.  Alas, I feel that it is important to share, we all go through shit and have struggles, most not so public and that's ok.   It is a huge part of my story and I love my story, wouldn't change any of it.    It's all about how we change and grow from our negative experiences.  I hope I can help others overcome stuff,  inspire others to hold on and move through their own storm...I want to be a person that I needed to others and that takes sharing.   Someone brought up pill gate to me today. Typically this would irritate me in many ways.  As this person talked,  my heart didn't start racing, I didn't feel tense, I didn't feel the urge to vomit, I didn't get upset,  I didn't crave justice and vindication, and I didn't dwell on it, my face didn't even flush.     It's been a while since it popped in my head, it's good to have a reminder once in a helps me measure my progress and I appreciate that.    I'm sure it will bother me a few more times in the future, but today it did not bother me at all.  I just responded with the following, " A lot of people in positions of power worked really hard and took a risk to try to bring me down because I stood my ground, called out their wrong doings and rocked the boat.   ..I, one person, did not go down....I stumbled and it affected me more than anything else in my life but I rose up and became a much better person in spite of it.  I see it as getting into a boxing ring, out-numbered and such, they took a few hits on me, knocked me around, and I left the ring a bit bruised.... but I left the ring and found so much more.  They are still stuck in the ring, swinging at my memory and whatever issues they struggle with so deeply that led them to plot and plan as they did.  To me, that is a win....Honestly it's been quite helpful because now when I get nervous, anxious, or scared of something I think to myself, ' Eh...I've been through worse, I can do this.'"  We are all so resilient....We just need to reach deep. 💙💙💙   #justsaynotopolitics #believeloveunderstandempower #pillgate #belikewater #beyourownhero

Darkness and Light

I took my sister to my favorite breakfast spot, Townhall, and a friend of hers recommended we check out the Cleveland Flea..sure, why not!?!   It was so cool!  I had no idea that Cleveland had such an awesome event. We were like kids at Christmas.  I really enjoyed the giant chalkboard.  Of course my creative sister came up with the "you can find the light in the dark, if you look at it right"....she was trying to quote a sublime lyric.  She claims she didn't get it right but as soon as I saw her write it out, I knew what I needed to write...." then you become the light".  This resonated with me so much because the darkness consumed me for so long but I stuck it out, held on, and the darkness in my life has become the most bright light ever.  I find that so fitting because my brightness has become as a result of my darkness.   I would not have felt this light if not for the darkness.........and because I stuck it out I recognize the correlation and I appreciate the darkness so much.  

Sunday, April 22, 2018

B.LU.E. Jeans

If you follow me on social media then you saw my recent post about finally being able to fit back into my pre-politics jeans.  If you follow my blog then you are familiar with the struggles I have had during my time as mayor and most painfully the time following when my term as mayor ended.

I have been struggling with body image, anxiety, depression, trauma, for so long.  Things finally started to turn around when I began yoga teacher training in Jan of this year. I didn't know it then but looking back I see the domino effect.   I remember the first weekend thinking, "oh my Buddha", what did I get myself into now.  I didn't feel ready, I felt out of place, still struggling with weight and all the above.  I promised myself that I would be open and I would just be.  I promised to Be Like Water.  So much has happened this year, it's been a whirlwind.  But, let's focus on these jeans.

These jeans represent so much baggage, pain, struggle, you name it.  When I ran for office in 2011, I ran because I was happy, thought I figured life out, and wanted to give back.  I knew it would be tough but I had no idea how tough.  The carpet was quickly pulled out from under me and I spent 4 years beating my head against a wall and chasing my tail.

After those 4 years, I was in the worst shape of my life mentally, spiritually, and physically.  There was literally 0.5% of me that refused to give up.  The 0.5% is what brought me to today.  Last Wednesday I went to throw on a pair of jeans to head out.  I put the jeans on and noticed they were a little snug.  My first thought was, "oh for fucks sake, I gained some weight again".  My intuition led me to check the size and check my closet.  Turns out I grabbed the wrong pair.  I grabbed the pair of jeans that have been sitting in my closet for years, neglected as I neglected my mind, body, soul.  During my last 4 months in office, I couldn't get those bad boys pass my knees.  I hung on to them "just in case".   I rocked those jeans last week.  My other ones (just a size up) were feeling too baggy.  My thought was, "oh for fucks sake, I'm going to have to spend more money on new clothes since I'm losing weight".  Then, I noticed I had 3 pairs of jeans (tags still on), no idea when I bought them- it must have been years ago.  I found them when I let go of NINE bags of clothes (stuff I hadn't worn in years).  I have been feeling a strong urge to purge stuff that no longer serves me and to create space for better things.    So I tried them on and they fit.... they are new!  I already spent the money so no worries!  Ha!  It's insanely miraculous how the universe has been working in my favor.

I used to think to myself, "Why is this shit happening" (seriously, my 4 years in politics was not far surpassed all previous traumas and challenges, and I got rocked left and right, up and down.)  Now, I keep thinking to myself, "wow, I can't believe this awesomeness is happening" (so many times, over and over).

Today, I remembered posting on facebook about the jeans and for some reason I checked the size on these new jeans...they are actually a size down from the pre-politics jeans!!!  According to the scale, I still need to drop a few lbs but I feel amazing. Most importantly, I feel MORE confident now then when I wore my pre-politics jeans.  I feel freer, lighter, and more grounded than ever.   I have always been a back of the room, in the corner yogi when I practice at a studio.  I like my safe space where no one can see me and I can lean on the wall.  Last week I went to a yoga practice, laid out my mat in the middle of the room, let go of my baggy t-shirt, and got down to my form fitting tank top where you can see all my curves.  I let go.  I let go of the comfy baggy clothes, the corner, the safety net, and I was just me.  It was an amazing practice and I felt so good.

I no longer want to eat bad food, be around negative people, I no longer want to do or be around anything that no longer serves me.  I no longer want to hide, I no longer want to be quiet, and I no longer want to stay put.  I want to do everything and anything that makes my soul feel good.  I no longer want to wait for the perfect time, or just the right moment, I want to do it all now.

One thing that hasn't changed is B.L.U.E.   I created B.L.U.E, in 2011 when life was great, not knowing what was to come, but the whole time Believe, Love, Understand, and Empower never left me.  I'm so excited for what's to come but I'm focused on the present...right now.  I know if I just Be Like Water and Believe, Love, Understand, and Empower, it's going to all work out as it should and it's going to be better than I could have imagined.  I am ready for it and will rock my BLUE jeans.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Golden Turmeric Milk

I went to breakfast this morning with my sister.  She tried the golden tumeric milk and I took a taste.  I immediately ordered my own. It was to die for.   I no longer drink coffee.   I enjoy tea but sometimes want something with more comfort.   I decided to try it at home and I nailed it.

Golden Turmeric Milk not only tastes comforting , it helps with:
Liver detox
clears mucus
helps with diabetes
weight loss
helps with pain
inflamed joints
helps purify blood
helps with depression
wound healing
helps the digestive tract

Here's the super easy recipe:

I can of coconut milk
1 tsp coconut oil
1.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tspginger powder
1 tsp honey
sprinkle black pepper (helps absorb the turmeric)

put it all in a blender and blend, then heat it up in a saucepan on the stove.

Cheers to good health!

Just do it

We are born with 2 fears, all other fears are learned.  We are born to fear falling and loud noise, all other fears we develop and learn as a result of negative reinforcement.  How can you tell the difference between anxiety and intuition?  Anxiety comes from a place of fear and panic, intuition is calm and loving.

I realized tonight that my writer's block is coming from a place of anxiety and fear.  I feel that I need to articulate the most structured and poignant blog post before posting.  My aha moment tonight was, why not treat my writing like I have been treating my life as of late?   Just do it.   Stop overthinking and just let it flow. Be like water.

Monday, April 16, 2018

CONGRATS to my RACM FREE Entry Winner!!!

Many thanks to everyone that participated in my FREE ENTRY week!!!  Congrats to Tisha Chrobak on winning!  

If you didn't win and still want to run, use my code: MFCLE10 for a 10% discount on any distance! I'm getting so excited for this race as it is my favorite.  My hip has not been cooperating.  Right now, balance and patience are incredibly important to me.  I really wanted to do the Half as it is my favorite distance but I'm thinking the 10k is the best option for me now.  There is no sense in pushing it (usually I would push it so this is a good learning experience in patience and in balance) and risk being out all season.  I'm going with the flow, being like water.  

I'm looking forward to all of the good vibes and energy that this hometown race brings.  I want to have fun and soak it all in without worrying.  Listening to your body is an important trait to have, it takes an incredible amount of patience and understanding.  

See you at the finish line Tisha!!!  

p.s.  I owe so many blog posts but I am still overwhelmed (see previous post) and trying to gather my thoughts in an organized manner.  Amazing things have been happening for me since January and it's overwhelmingly good.  I'm so thankful.   Until I can sit down and properly write, I'm keeping it short and sweet.

I also returned from an amazing trip to Miami, Florida last Tuesday and had an event every night, then yoga teacher training all weekend.  All amazing things but still need time to process before I share all the goodness. Honestly I feel like more like dancing than I do writing.   xoxooooommmmmmm

Thank you for reading and following <3

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador RACE ENTRY GIVEAWAY WEEK!!!

Guess what week it is?  It's my Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador week! You know what that means?  As of today, Tuesday April 3rd....we are 46 days away from Race Day Sunday!  The Rite Aid Cleveland was my 1st half marathon in 2011 and my 1st full in 2012.  I love this race because it's in my hometown, the CLE vibes are fun and tenacious, and the weather is unpredictably fun!  This year the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon will again be hosting a "series".  What's the series? 

The series:  
  • 8K and full marathon (Total Distance 31.2 miles)
  • 8K and half marathon (Total Distance 18.1 miles)
  • 5K and 10K (Total Distance 9.3 miles)
The Challenge Series spans over two days (Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20). Participants who take on the challenge will be required to finish one event per day.
First event on: Saturday, May 19 - Events include the 5K or 8K starting at 8am at Public Square.
Second event on: Sunday, May 20 - Events include the full marathon, half marathon or 10K starting at 7:00 a.m. at Quicken Loans Arena and finishing at Superior Avenue and W. 3rd Street, just east of Public Square! ALSO means that I get to give away a FREE race entry to any race, even the series!!! 

How do you enter to win?  Pretty easy!

1. Follow me on twitter @bluemeg1981
2. Follow me on instagram @mflanigan_b.l.u.e._
3. Follow my facebook page, B.L.U.E. 
4. Leave me a comment in the comment section of this blog post.   

You have until 11:59pm Sunday April 8th to enter!  

P.S., if you don't win the free entry, it's all can still use my code: MFCLE10 for 10% off registration.  

See you at the finish line!  

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee.