Blue's UnBashful Blog

Blue's UnBashful Blog

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MEDITATION...Why you should and How you can!



How meditation is even more Important.....
Top 10 reasons to meditate

There are many articles giving evidence on why mediation is important and all of the benefits it has to offer.  The above links are 2 of those articles. 




     Meditation is typically done sitting with a straight back with legs crossed. Your hips should be higher than your legs.  It can also be done on a chair or against a wall (if your back needs support).   It can be done anytime and anywhere.  A park, at work, a friend's house....anywhere!  The goal is to quiet your mind, even if you are surrounded by noise and distractions. 

     I have a small area set up with cushions to sit on and a blanket in front for support.  "My place" is also where I practice my yoga.  The cushions are set up at the top of the mat.   My meditation area includes a few other things but that is not necessary. For example, before I begin I read an excerpt from a book , I really enjoy Meditations of John Muir by Chris Highland,  then I start the timer and begin my practice.  When the time is up, I close with a short saying or some wise words from a variety of sources, currently I use Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior card set.  The card set includes "53 Principles for Living Life with Fearlessness and Gentleness".  I also enjoy the various card sets from Wayne Dwyer and Loiuse Hay.  The front of the card has an intention and the back of the card elaborates on that intention with words of wisdom.   Sometimes I light a candle or some incense before beginning. 
  
     Meditation can be done for any amount of time.  I have a kitchen timer and I have a dedicated place in my house, with rituals as I explained above; but, those things are not needed. As far as length of time,  I have meditated for as long as 30 mins.  I started out with just 5 minutes, then after a few weeks, 10 minutes, and so forth.   Using a timer timer for the desired time is helpful so that you are not checking your watch, interrupting your meditation.  Most phones have timers!   The goal is to be present and feel your breath, your body, your "world" and to not be thinking about what you did or what you should do. However, these things will pop into your head from time to time or you will hear something that distracts you and that is ok and normal.  When this happens, acknowledge it and continue into your meditation.
 
There are a few different types of meditation:

1.       Mantra Meditation.  This type involves saying a mantra over and over, sometimes with the help of a Mala Bead (kinda of like a rosary but just beads, usually 108).   In this type of mediation you repeat a short mantra over and over.  It’s usually something that you want to feel, do, be, etc....and you say it in the present tense.  For example, “ I am strong, I feel great”, “I am where I need to be, everything is working out as it should”.  It should be something short so that you can remember it.  I often use these mantras while racing or when negative thoughts arise.  “ I feel strong, I feel great” I will repeat on a run when I’m starting to feel sluggish or when negative thoughts start to come in .   But it can also be said during a mediation, using mala beads, or just sitting for a period of time. I'll expand on the power of mantras in another post.

2.       Mindfulness mediation includes sitting for a period of time and being present.  It’s basically sitting and focusing on breath, feeling the breathe as it comes in and goes out.  During this time you focus on the here and now.  Feel the breathe come in through your nose down your trachea and out and acknowledge other sensations in your body, like your stomach rising and falling, your body touching the ground, etc.

3.       Walking mediation involves the above but paying attention to your movements, your feet touching the ground, the birds chirping, the crispness of the air and so forth.
The point of mediation is to be present, to not think of past and future, what to do, what not to do and all of those other things that pop in our mind daily.  Remember when a thought like that arises, acknowledge it and get back on track.

 4.      Active meditation (like walking meditation but more intense) is something I discovered while taking a spinning class at a specific studio with teachers who "got this".   We would spin to the beat of our music the entire time, focusing on the rhythmic beat from the music and also focusing on our breath.  We were so present to the beat and our bodies and breath that it was like a meditation. I have found this active mediation personally in swimming, trail running (running in the woods- with NO headphones), YOGA, and SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding).  When I am doing these actions, I am living in the moment, focusing on each step as a run,  the nature sounds around me, I am "paying attention" to the here and now.  I'm kind of forced to be present so that I don't trip over a rut or run into a tree.  It is the same with yoga.  In yoga we are moving into poses but we practice to focus on our breath, breathing is the basis of yoga, not thinking what we had for lunch or "do you these yoga pants mack my butt look good".  Again, the same is true (for me) with swimming and SUP.  Others would also mountain biking, hiking, volleyball, etc.  There are many studies, info, articles out there that acknowledge this "Active Meditation".  There many organizations for PTSD treatment that utilize these active meditation activities/ sports as part of the healing process.  Surfing is a popular sport for mindfulness and there is a veteran organization that takes veterans to Hawaii to surf to help recover from PTSD.   Here is an excerpt from an article regarding healing PTSD via surfing. 
“The physical exertion and intense focus required to surf often produces flow states, which flood the brain with neurochemicals like anandamide and serotonin, the same substances found in antidepressants. In addition, it’s believed that when people are submerged in water, their bodies alter the balance of epinephrine and dopamine to the levels achieved during meditation.” from the article
"Why Surfing Soothes PTSD" (click here for link to article ) .  This applies to anything that requires that "physical exertion and intense focus".  
Try doing a vigorous physical activity without headphones and that requires your present attention.  It feels amazing afterwards. 


    As a child from very early on I learned to "day-dream" to avoid uncomfortable situations, during classes, in the car for long trips, etc. and this "UN-present" practice continued through adulthood.   My mind was trained to "wander off" and to not be present. I didn't grasp the concept of being present until I started spinning with teachers that focused on the beat of the music ( I didn't know what it was then but I liked it)  I then began practicing yoga and taking private lessons.  (All around 2010, I believe)  It wasn't until I started working one on one with a yoga teacher, Jen, that I began to truly understand being present, mindfulness, and breathing through yoga poses rather than escaping off to "day-dream" land or thinking whatever thoughts that popped into my head like "when can I get out of this pose".  I had an amazing yoga teacher that really helped open my mind to this "mindfulness" stuff.    I practiced with her for several years and learned so much. 

Meditation is the opposite of daydreaming, it’s being fully present.  It doesn’t matter where you do it or for how long.  I started with just 5 minutes.  You can start with 3 minutes and build from there.  Start small, practice, and notice the positive changes that start occurring! 

There are so many great books on yoga and meditation, and the importance of being present.   Here are a few excellent beginner books:

The Power of Now- Eckhart Tolle
Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen 
The Yimas and Niyamas by Deborah Adele
How Yoga Works by Gesne Michael Roach
The Peaceful Warrior Series (3 books) all by Dan Millman---- AMAZING!

PLEASE feel free to email me questions.  Bluemeg1981@gmail.com

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.” - Lao Tzu 



 

Friday, July 8, 2016

35 Alive

My sis is 10 years, 8 days younger than me.  When I turned 25 she wouldn't shut up about me being "half way to 50" LOL.  Now she is turning 25 and I will be 35... half way to 70!  70! Holy shit time goes by fast Batman.  And Where did the time go? It feels like turning "30" was not long ago, yet so much has happened since then.  I remember coming into the big 3-0 and thinking, "Yea, I understand life, I'm on the right path, I'm making big things happen, life is good".    Life is a cycle of good times and bad times a cycle of feeling happy and feeling sad.  Often times I wish I could go back to my big 3-0 and start over.  I wonder what my life would be like now had a chose a different path. However, I know within every fiber of my being that those tumultuous 4 years happened for a reason and those experiences and the knowledge gained will serve a greater purpose in the future.

 Moving into the second half of the "30",  I want to live more, to give more, to love more, and to definitely laugh more.  I spent the last 6 months hibernating, healing, trying to understand "WTF" just happened, feeling defeated, and feeling lost.  I also felt very alone.  Tough times reveal true friends and the last couple of years revealed that my parents were/are my closest/ true friends.  Though I love and am eternally grateful for my parents, this highlighted the fact that I didn't/ don't have close friends, confidants, or a partner to help share burdens and provide support .  This was and still is painfully felt.   My parents did so much for my broken spirit and wounded "wings".   I am eternally thankful.

I isolated myself as a defense mechanism, a healing tool, and because I surpassed my quota of back-stabbing, two-faced, fake, evil and untrustworthy people in 2012.  Taking office I truly had no one to trust.  I became and am still very cautious of people especially after the following story....  I had above and beyond the "average" trust issues due to specific traumas and violations,  damaging my willingness to be trusting of others.   My position required at least one trustworthy person I could rely on and who wasn't so vehemently against me.  I gave one "last chance at trust" to a person in 2012.   I remember this person pretending to be someone so helpful and loyal.  This person sought me out and befriended me on social media years prior.  This person's "alleged" background ( I say alleged background now because I since found out much that was exaggerated and untrue)  looked great on paper and this person was portrayed as a trustworthy, intelligent, honorable, person that would be great for the position needed.  I remember the exact time,  location, and the exact words this person told me as my trust hesitations were obvious , "I can't help you if you won't trust me".   I wanted to not lose all hope and all faith in humanity,  I wanted to give one more try to trust and so I responded, "Ok. Yes, I will trust you".  Four months later, I realized I had been duped and it was the dupe of all dupes.  This person ended up being the worst of the worst, at the worst time, in the worst way.....this person was the worst case scenario.  I now realize this person's sociopath character.  I now recognize all of the red flags as I reflected back. Upon reflecting back to the beginning, I realized several red flags were raised, many of which I remember at the time having negative intuition, a sense in my gut that told me "no", "this is wrong", " that doesn't make sense", and so forth. I also understand that I ignored the red flags because I was hoping they were wrong.  I was so desperate for the support and needed the help.  I did my best to recover from the damage this person did and to move forward because there was too much work to be done.  Another significant distrust occurred in 2013. Long before I was in office,  I had an emotionally abusive boy-friend from around 2006/7 through 2009 and 2010 ( see blog post Forgive and Forget ).  My ex-boyfriend's abuse became physical on Christmas of 2009, and I had to call the police.  I later found out in 2013, when my life became publicly scrutinized and attacked across northeast Ohio  (see blog post I will not drink and drive...because I said I would)  , I learned that a police officer took my personal file from that 2009 incident and shared it with the media, hoping to continue their character defamation campaign. Being re-victimized is always such a "delight" (sarcasm).  Such vehement personal violations, attacks, and flagrant actions (not to mention some were illegal) take away a person's ability to trust in everything.  In short,  trusting and making new friends is overwhelmingly difficult and I imagine it will be for a while. For the last several months I found that isolating myself was the best "remedy". 


As soon as my mayoral term ended,  my mind, body, and spirit just "collapsed" from exhaustion;  like a tree falling over after being see-sawed back and forth for a period of time with whatever those tools lumberjacks use...."TIMMMMMMMMBER" .    I was beyond burned out.  For 4 years it felt like I was in a boxing ring, boxing a never ending fight, with no breaks, several opponents in the ring with me that punched, kicked, and threw me around, with no coach, no "water-boy",  no referee, and in a cage!    It was like being on a non stop merry- go round, when my term ended I got off the merry-go round feeling dizzy, disoriented, and off -balance.  That is what it felt for the first 6 months.  It also felt like I was banging my head against a wall for that period of time, a brick wall, with spikes sticking out....Oh and it felt like several giant sucker punches from the  Incredible Hulk. 

Since leaving the  "circus", I decided that I won't be participating in any races this year (no triathlons or half marathons) , a decision that did not come easy but was necessary. My main "body" goal this year is to lose my "political" weight (literally 40 lbs (40 fucking pounds!)  piled on faster than I could say "give me that last piece of pizza") over the last couple months in office, and to figuratively lose the weight that comes in anger, hurt, disappointment, and violations.   I will recover from the diagnosed adrenal fatigue with my holistic doctor (lots of vitamins, nutritional supplements, low impact exercise, whole foods diet,  and of course rest).   I will start training towards next race season.  Though,  I will do a couple of 5k's this summer  because it's something I enjoy, and I love the positive and supportive environment.  Finally, I will focusing on  having a kick ass off-season and make a comeback like the Cavs in this year's championship!  I am sincerely looking forward to having an amazing 2017 racing season and am making plans already and I can't wait to earn some more bling!  


I'm also continuing my education (as I always do....."Don't Stop Le-earning") through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition working on health and wellness coaching and  through A.C.E. (American Council on Exercise) working towards my personal training and group fitness certifications. This knowledge, combined with my personal experiences, previous education, and my gifted intuition will EMPOWER me to help others with their health and wellness journey (something I have always wanted to do) .  Mind, body, and spirit health is a necessary combination for success.  I can't wait to help others holistically heal their mind, body, and spirit.... after I heal my mind, body, and spirit.  

I was recently offered an amazing career opportunity, one that I have dreamed of for quite sometime and it was offered out of the blue, an exciting surprise!   I will FINALLY be able to utilize all of my skills, talents, experiences, and education (no more getting stonewalled by ignorant, self-serving, sexist men in politics with personal agendas). Nothing is worse than knowing what to do, how to do it, and wanting to do it, then being stymied, stonewalled, and stopped.....because arrogance, ignorance, sexism, jealousy, and unethical reasons....  such were the reasons my hands were tied in politics.   I am damn proud of myself for trying politics and I gave my all as mayor- (seriously I exhausted all efforts and options.).  I was able to make a lot of changes that most don't and may never know about and there are still things in process that will contribute to the positive changes I was successful in making happen.   

I want to give back and support organizations and causes that mean a lot to me and that are needed.  I unfortunately backed off from many of the volunteer and service organizations that I was a part of as a result of being entrenched in and completely focused on my mayoral position beginning in 2012.  Who knew a "part-time" $12,000/year salary job (at first I honestly thought the mayor position was volunteer)  would take so much time and energy! Bettering my community and helping the residents and businesses was my priority and took at my attention.   I didn't take the position on the for the money, I am not a career politician,  I don't have to rely on being elected to make a living.  My ego doesn't need stroked, the title wasn't "prestigious" and needed for a power trip.   I attended meetings for several years as a resident and noticed that the community was desperate for many changes and the people wanted the changes. I chose that path because I cared.  In taking office, it was worse than I expected.  Everything needed attention and many fires needed to be put out.  In addition, most everything was terribly and embarrassingly out-dated, sub-par, or non existent.  If I had a computer in my inherited mayor office, and if I had a staff coming in taking over previous computers, I'm certain that all of the "m" keys would have been removed.  Fortunately for me not having to go through papers and files was easy; but, it was (still is) unfortunate for Ohio Sunshine Law guidelines that should have been followed....not even a dust bunny was left! My temporary password for my new email that was given to me was "jump in a lake"  LOL.  

I look forward to working with new organizations and re-joining the organizations I enjoyed so much.  Giving is what I grew up observing of my parents, it was how I was raised.  Giving back through volunteering, fundraising, serving on boards, giving back in any and all ways is something I have always done, always will do, and always will enjoy.  "No one has ever become poor by giving"- Anne Frank.


I've been dreading the big "35" for the last couple months. I was grasping at hope, waiting for a miracle, thinking "I'll start tomorrow....", wishing prince charming would show up and rescue me, wishing that friends would appear and help push me along,  I was dong a lot of wishing but NO ONE can create your happiness, your success, your motivate but YOU.  You have to be your own hero, always. 


I woke up this morning, Friday July 8, 2016 feeling lighter, hopeful, excited, and pretty bad ass.   I knew this day would come, when I would feel this way.  It's a familiar process for me, as I have previously gone through/ recovered from everything from grief, to trauma, and anything in-between.... From all of the down times, I've learned what works and what doesn't work me and each time I improve on my "bounce back".  I take time to retreat, to rethink, to just be, and to rest.  After a period of time goes by, from a week to a couple months to a year, when the time is right, I literally awake from my funk. I don't forget and it may take longer to forgive but I am able to move on.  The "35" dread is gone and it has turned into excitement, hope, readiness.  Our bodies (mentally and physically) are amazing, they know what to do, when to do it, and when to signal us to start creating action.  You just have to listen and that comes with time.   I think it's important to go through "the process" and to not push too soon, recovery from anything can't be forced;  otherwise,  I don't fully recover.  My triathlon training taught me many lessons that are applicable to life.   It's important to recover properly after long endurance feats to avoid burnout.  There are an abundance of such lessons to share down the road.  

 I am overwhelmed with excitement for all the possibilities moving forward.  All of the ups and downs, traumas, bad experiences, failures, upsets, wicked people that cross our paths.....they are all great experiences, teachers, and opportunities for growth.  I've had a lot of people ask and I've asked myself many times, "why do good people always go through shit and the bad, ugly, corrupt, and evil seem to always get away with shit and live long".   I have thought about that at length and this is what I have come up with" In order to grow in life spiritually and mentally, you have to go through difficulty, you have to be tested, to be pushed outside the comfort zone.   If  you are a good person facing turmoil, obstacles that seem never ending, if you are going through what seems like a never ending slap in the face, whatever obstacle you face, it is because you are being given an opportunity to grow mentally and spiritually,  to learn, and to gain better understanding and wisdom.

 I can say with 100% certainty that every single person that hurt me, gave me a hard time, violated me, wronged me, and so forth is the same person they were years ago and they will continue being the same, routine, evil person doing the same stuff in their small "box" .  When I was in office there were so many "haters".  I have files and recordings full of those slandering, gossiping negatively, illegally causing harm and so forth...and I feel bad for those people.  They wasted a lot of time and  energy  and some even wasted money supporting their negative cesspool. Psychologically it was a myriad of things that drove them to do what they did and the reasons ranged from jealously, deflecting from their own wrongdoings, trying to fit in with the "cool" kids/ group- think (being a minion to a psychopath),  being over controlled by their wives at home and therefore being over controlling outside of the home, arrogance, narcissism, and some were just bullies.  There was one sociopath and two psychopaths, I'd love to be a fly on the wall in those homes.  (Human behavior has always fascinated me)  These people spent/ spend time on facebook being a keyboard warrior rather than traveling, learning new things, making memories with friends, reading a book, and the like.  AND that's all they will ever do, it's all they have ever done, and that is it.... To me that is not living, THAT SUCKS!!!  Give me pain, trauma, disappointment, failure, embarrassment any day over what those people did, do, and will continue to do.  I want to live, to give , to love, and to laugh. I want to Believe Love Understand and Empower!

The big "35"  is the year I take back my life and "Unfuck myself".  It's time to be who I was before all that stuff happened that dimmed my fucking shine, and to shine even brighter. It's time to move from caterpillar to butterfly.    I am so excited and I can't wait to share my story from the years past and I look forward to sharing new adventures, challenges, and excitement that is to come! 





Monday, June 6, 2016

Hold on for one More Day!

Hold On by Wilson Phillips

I used to dance up and down the driveway to this song, with my "skip it" ( that painfully cool device that beat up my ankles).  I blasted this song on my Walkman or pocket rocker and I loved the message in this song, the message that we are resilient and that we are responsible for our own happiness.  It was so empowering.  Even as a kid in the single digits, I got it and I loved the message.  Today, however many years later, I'm digging myself up from rock bottom and this song comes to mind.  Some days it feels like I am walking through waist deep mud, with a chain looped around my waist with someone pulling me from behind so as not to move forward.  I'm doing this all while carrying a ton of bricks above head, with my eyes blindfolded and my hands tied behind my back, while a rainstorm pounds down on me.  That's how it feels most days trying to get out of bed .  But, I always hold on for one more day, regardless of how much I want to quit.  I have wanted to quit so many times and those demons cheered and continue to cheer for me to quit, reassuring me relief.  I tried but I could never follow through, mostly because of my family and because I am not a quitter, but also because....I had to hold on for one more day. I tell myself, "one more day".   My body was defeated and my mind was cashed out, but my spirit/ my soul, that 1% told me to hold on for one more day.  And so I did.  No one knows what your rock bottom feels like, no knows nor understands your breaking point, no one knows your despair, no one knows your fight.  No one knows what makes you tick, what makes you want to stop, that is all on you and it's different for all of us.  I am climbing up a slippery glacier with little support and I don't know where the top is and I don't know where I am going, but I will hold on for one more day.  I will hold on because I know that I am resilient and I know that I am tenacious, and I know that if I hold on for one more day I will make it!  Sometimes we can't adjust our sails or we don't know how to adjust our sails in the stormy waves of life, sometimes we have to brace ourselves and just barrel through it, go with it, feel it, accept it and wait for that storm to pass, take the beating and hold on for one more day.  There is an Irish saying in a favorite restaurant of mine, "Free Beer Tomorrow. Hold one for one more day, you never know what will happen, just hold on! 

Hold On

By Wilson Phillips
I know there's pain
Why do lock yourself up in these chains?
No one can change your life except for you
Don't ever let anyone step all over you
Just open your heart and your mind
Is it really fair to feel this way inside?
Some day somebody's gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don't you know?
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things'll go your way
Hold on for one more day
You could sustain
Or are you comfortable with the pain?
You've got no one to blame for your unhappiness
You got yourself into your own mess
Lettin' your worries pass you by
Don't you think it's worth your time
To change your mind?
Some day somebody's gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don't you know?
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things'll go your way
Hold on for one more day
I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day and
Break free the chains
Yeah I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day and you
Break free, break from the chains
Some day somebody's gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don't you know?
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day yeah
If you hold on
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
If you hold on
Can you hold on
Hold on baby
Won't you tell me now
Hold on for one more day 'Cause
It's gonna go your way
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can't you change it this time
Make up your mind
Hold on
Hold on
Baby hold on

Believe Love Understand Empower


Sunday, May 22, 2016

907 Days Later , I'm Not Ready to Make Nice


Dixie Chicks I'm Not Ready to Make Nice

The link above will send you to the music video for "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice" by the Dixie Chicks. 
"Shut up and sing or your life will be over" was more like 'Shut up and agree ( "listen here missy ")or your life will be over' .   And 907 days ago...Tuesday November 26, 2013, I remember that entire day from every meeting, every step forward,  and evening happenings.  I had a great day, even posted so on facebook so of course it was true.  I went to Walmart with my sister to get a turkey for thanksgiving and on the way home received a call from a friend at 10pm about a Fox8 news story that featured yours truly.  I was brought to my knees, every negative emotion running through my mind hit me at once like a ton of bricks dropped from above and immediately took my breath away, like some coward sucker punched me in the stomach. And that is indeed what happened. Cowards.  Gutless, deflecting from their own flaws, ignorant, despicable, grasping for air to keep themselves from drowning  in their self made corrupt way cowards .   I screamed, screeched, and emptied cries of pain, disbelief, anger, and more anger.  I was violated by those in power, by those wearing badges. It was a violation that topped all previous violations and traumas, a violation that rocked my core like none before.   And 907 days later, the investigation continues because each question and each unveiled direction created a domino effect leading to more connections, corruption, and more disbelief. And  907 days later I know who, where, when, what, and why.  And 907 days later, I'm not ready to make nice.  This song (I'm not Ready to Make Nice)  by the Dixie Chicks, every single word, resonates with me in a way that I didn't think would ever be possible when I first heard it so many years ago, when I was an innocent looking up to those above me, relying on their decisions and actions to keep me safe and to keep me secure.  Years ago when my eyes were big and my faith was strong, when I believed that good always wins and heroes did no wrong.   This song is a response to political character defamation an bullying that was lashed upon the Chicks years ago for getting political (This doesn't mean I agree with their politics) and 907 days ago there was a personal attack on me in retaliation for doing what was best and an attempt to discredit the knowledge I had and the continued efforts I made and will continue to make towards exposing political corruption. #pillgate #justsaynotopolitics #believeloveunderstandempower #notreadytomakenice #imstillmadashell




Not Ready to Make Nice

By Dixie Chicks
Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I'm not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I'm still waiting
I'm through with doubt
There's nothing left for me to figure out
I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying
I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell, and I don't have time
To go 'round and 'round and 'round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
'Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should
I know you said
Can't you just get over it?
It turned my whole world around
And I kinda like it
I made my bed, and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets, and I don't mind saying
It's a sad, sad story
When a mother will teach her daughter
That she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they'd write me a letter
Saying that I better
Shut up and sing
Or my life will be over?
I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell, and I don't have time
To go 'round and 'round and 'round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
'Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should
I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell, and I don't have time
To go 'round and 'round and 'round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
'Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should, what it is you think I should
What it is you think I should
Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I'm not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I'm still waiting



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Disconnected Stay-cation Home-treat

When I was around high school age, I remember talking to my uncle about technology.  I don't know how the conversation came about but I remember stating something like, :technology is going to make our society more lazy, more obese, and more hateful". The pretty recent Disney movie Wall-E is pretty much exactly what I pictured many years ago.  Well, how about that Nostradamus, I was right.  College wasn't so bad, we had AOL instant messenger but we didn't yet discover texting and didn't have smart phones.  I have noticed a significant change in our society's behavior and culture since facebook.  Keyboard warriors, fake friends, and zombie soul-sucking energy vampires was created with facebook. Holy shit.  I personally was vehemently attacked via social media upon my DUI bad decision and furthermore when a police report was falsified and bitter police charged the local media and social media for a character defamation hail mary creating the infamous "Pill-Gate".   Boundaries ceased to exist and any joe blow could make up a fake name and slander the hell out of me like it was their job.  Whatever,  I called out a shit ton of corruption and I gave them ammunition when I made the mistake of drinking and driving (something I will never do again).  But to say what they did was right and that I made a bad decision that made me a target and gave haters an opportunity is like saying I was raped because I had a few drinks and my skirt was too short. That issue will be resolved in time. 

Smart phones has created an unmindful society from texting and driving to checking the phone every minute to see if we received an email, text, facebook "like" or otherwise.  It has made us more inefficient, more vulgar, and  more gullible.   The generation of immediate gratification has created a monster.  With that being said, after 4 years of always being connected and putting over 2,700 people's needs ahead of mine, I needed a break!  I decided that I would shut everything off Thursday through Sunday.  No internet, smart phone off, no email, no phone, no TV, no media...I stay away from news since I was in politics, I have a box full of examples of how the media twists and turns, lies, and is just flat out negligent.  ! I purchased a pre-pay cell phone and gave the number to my immediate family only to use only in case of emergency. 

Sweet baby cheeses it was like I unplugged from the Matrix but there were no men in black suits with expressionless faces chasing me.  It was amazing.  At first I was anxious and would reach for my phone out of habit.  But then I became present and mindful, my creativity came back, I could think without interruption, and I was focused. 

I spent these days on a juice cleanse care/of Fruit Vibe in Rocky River, I love their juices!  I took detox baths ( Epsom salts, baking soda and lavender), I wrote, I reflected, and I just was.  I exfoliated and dry scrubbed, pealing back layers of thick skin, eliminated scars, healed wounds, dried tears and confronted tears that were suffocated by others' needs, all accumulated over years of being connected.  I confronted my disgust from a corrupt government system, and broke free from fraudulent friends.  I hydrated myself with lots of water after feeling like a withered flower left to die in harsh dry conditions.  I meditated.  I refueled everything that was lost, damaged, and neglected.  It was amazing and I plan on doing this at least 4 times a year!  I'm currently exploring ways to disconnect daily and to not be so attached to my stupid smart phone.  You must try it!  If you need help in making this happen, email me at bluemeg1981@gmail.com. 






Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Learning to just be in 2016

The year started off with a football game in Arizona.  Me and the family took a trip out west to watch Notre Dame play in the Fiesta Bowl.  I desperately wanted time to myself, to heal and unwind, and to get back to a normal routine full of positive adventures.  In the past I put many things on hold when it wasn't convenient for me and each time I regretted it deeply.  So, I said "Yes".  I shy away from things when I don't feel like myself, especially when I've gained LOTS of weight and have nothing to wear.  I've learned that I miss out on a lot because of body image issues and I'm tired of it. 

The family and I had a really awesome trip to Arizona, despite an ND loss, germs, an overwhelming amount of flatulence on the airplane ride home, and fat clothes.  It was so great to create new memories with my family, to enjoy the sunshine, explore a new area, and to just be....where no one knows us.  
Upon return I tired to get into a routine but failed as I needed to just unwind and to just be.  I needed to just be, to just feel, to just go with the flow after years of spinning around on a merry go round.  Remember back to the days of recess when we carelessly spun around on the merry go round?  We stood up and felt out of balance and needed to wait for the dizziness to subside.  That's how I felt and how I still feel. The merry go round of fight or flight has stopped but I'm still a bit dizzy and working on getting my balance back. 

I took time off from managing apartments, well at least I tired. Of all things I got called for Jury Duty, though I didn't have to report it was a weight on my shoulders for many reasons.  I've watched a lot of television and have gone to they gym, practiced yoga, and so forth.  I haven't felt quite ready to get back into a routine.  My mind is screaming, "hurry up you type A perfectionist, time to get to training, time to lose that weight (so that everything else falls into place; because, god forbid I don't love myself unless my body image is on point).  But, my soul was screaming, "No, Just be.  Just feel what you are feeling, acknowledge it, accept it, and let it happen.  Do what you want  and what feels good to you".  So that is what I have been doing.  It has been like beginning a
meditation practice.  Sitting still and being mindful, being present, but having that itch to scratch.  It was quite the challenge, but it was a challenge and that is what I live for...challenges. 

This month I deactivated facebook for a bit and I really enjoyed it.  I truly feel that facebook is a major contributor to many issues in our culture these days, that is another blog post....or book.  I went to the Dropkick Murphy's concert with my brother, it was so much fun.  We had a limo so we didn't have to worry about driving and I felt safe because my BIG lil bro was with me.  Our family and friends honored and recognized my father at the Leadership Lorain County Difference Maker's Gala, a fun night dedicated to my amazing father. 

I've decided that I need to do more than deactivate facebook for a bit.  I need a "media blackout".  From Wednesday through Sunday I will be shutting everything off including email, internet, TV, texting, phone, etc.  I'm going to create a spa-filled, relaxing, disconnected holiday for myself.  It will include a juice cleanse, detox baths, massages, reading, meditating, exercising, yoga,  sleeping, and napping with no distractions.  I'll journal and it will be a sort of relaxing, planning, jump start to my spring of 2016.  In a perfect world I would travel to somewhere tropical with all of the above but I'm so close to a big financial goal that I've been striving for so I don't want to spend the bucks until I reach that goal, plus did I mention that nothing fits?!?  This is a happy medium and disconnecting from everything seems like a heavenly approach regardless of where I am located. 

Check back after I reconnect to see how it went!  I hope you're 2016 is going great.  With all of our technological "advances" don't forget to reconnect to yourself and the things that matter and to just be in 2016. 




Thursday, December 31, 2015

A year in review 2015

Oh 2015, what can  I say?  It was a decent year.  I wanted to complete as many races as possible and survive my last year in politics.  I succeeded at both.  It was a great racing season with lots of bling.  I didn't have many PR's but I finished what I set out to do, less a few planned races at the end of the year. I had fun!  I learned how to SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board) and fell in love with this new activity!

Politics is not for me.  I like to accomplish things, be productive, and not wasteful.  I'm ethical, educated, experienced, and I have morals.  I can't kiss ass, won't conform, and complying with a status quo that is subpar is not something I want to do.  I don't have an ego that needs stroked.  As a citizen I'm disappointed to learn that ethics, sunshine law, common sense, data, facts, and so forth are not common themes in government nor are such practices that are followed. In fact, I'm pretty disgusted with Government operations.  We have the best system in the world, but it is seriously flawed and will continue to erode until serious action is taken across the board.  At any rate,  I accomplished what I could with little tools and little support.  Rather than just complaining, I stepped up to the plate and put my words into action.  It was a learning experience to say the least. Now I have a ton of information that I can put to use and help to educate citizens on local government, the local media fiasco, bias, and negligence, and the  general corruption in local politics....awe, I digress.  I have been burned out politically for a while, one can beat the head against a wall for so long before developing a massive headache. 

I focused all of my strength and effort to the last few months in office.  This took a lot out of me but I'm not a quitter and I wanted to insure that there were no loose ends.  I chose not to run for re-election for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, I felt like I wasn't able to be as productive as I wanted, as I set out to do.  This was a result of being stonewalled and railroaded with just about everything.  The majority of council refused to communicate with me, bottom line.....sexism, ageism, "Flanigan"-ism, stubbornness and/or ignorance, whatever the reasoning it's moot now.    I also didn't feel comfortable staying in a position where my ethics and morals were compromised.  As Mayor,  I was in charge of departments per the Charter but I wasn't given the authority to implement changes, policies, and so forth that I felt were needed for the safety, well being, and success of the Village.  I feel that the position, Mayor, is a total waste of tax payer dollars when the council is obstinate, and there is no vote nor veto power by the Mayor.  The position turns out to be a scapegoat/ figurehead type position  and I'm not comfortable with that.  Running for re-election would have been strictly ego driven based on what happened over the last 4 years and I am not ok with that either as it's neither beneficial nor feasible for the Village.    Our local media is ridiculously biased, lacadasicle, and negligent.  They only reported when a story could be told to make me look bad.  I  ran for office with the strict intent to help the village in which I was born, raised, and living.  I don't need a title for my ego and the pay was mostly donated back to the community ($13,500 a year before taxes were deducted).  It was a tough decision but I made the right choice.  I need to be in a position where I can utilize my education, experience, knowledge, passion, and drive.  I have a lot to offer and being stuck in a position where my hands are tied is not something I want or need.  I'm looking forward to getting my voice back!

I was hanging out at home before my last council meeting going over everything that has happened over the last 4 years, almost in tears, and former Navy Seal, Christopher Mark Heben rang my door bell. I do not have the words to express how much this meant to me at the most perfect time that I needed it. It was a brief encounter that completely changed how I was feeling about the last 4years and about the future.  I was going to wrap up the year as down and out or I was going to be ready to reinvent myself;  I chose the latter.  He gave me the best pep talk ever. and I'm extremely thankful.  Wow. I am still speechless and I am enjoying his book, Undaunted.  It is a great read!  I'm looking forward to starting his Seal Team Challenge in 2016 as well. 

Furthermore, I was able to go swimming with Bruiser, #2 on my bucket list.  It was a blast and I will be doing it more in 2016.  I love my little furbaby so much. I'm looking forward to more Bruiser and Meg adventures in 2016.   I also became vegetarian in November.  Yep, I went from a meat lover to a vegetarian.  It took me a while to adjust to this way of life and my weight certainly suffered; but, I feel happy with my decision.     

The last quarter of 2015 included massive weight gain.  The last couple of months in office really took a toll on me and I stress ate like it was my job. In addition the stress hormone, cortisol, was bonkers.  Weight has always been an issue for me, I've always struggled with body image issues.  As a result  of this recent weight gain, I'm learning to love myself unconditionally and I reached the point where enough is enough with regards to my own body shaming. More on that issue later.   I look forward to shedding major pounds in a healthy way this new year.  I want to be in my best shape ever, for myself, my racing, and for my health!  Yes, I realize how "New Year's Resolution-y" that sounds and I don't care.   

"Enough is Enough", that short yet powerful sentence wraps up 2015.  Enough self abuse from myself, enough negativity, enough with being silenced, bullied, bullshitted, stymied, stonewalled, and stuck.  Enough!  I'm a very nice person and I was faced with many obstacles and battles.  I really had to pick and choose what to fight but in doing so, I feel that people underestimated me and treated me poorly, thinking that would be tolerated.  I let a lot slide.  I have no tolerance for disrespect, bullying, lying, being treated poorly.  I simply will not accept those behaviors and types of people in my life as I move forward.   Enough of that shit.  I have a lot to offer, I'm a great person, and I have a lot of awesome, badass, positive things to give back in this life and it will happen! 


I'm so excited for 2016.  It is going to be the most epic year yet! 

Cheers to Peace, Love, and M.F. Happiness <3









Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tri-ing and Swimming, and Running and Living.....Ommmmmmmm MY!

I haven't done much blogging....but I HAVE BEEN BUSY!  Busy, enjoying summer, working towards the future and of course Tri-ing, Swimming, and Running....Ommmmmmm, I can't forget yoga, my practice is very important to my mind, body, and spirit and it has helped me in a million ways. .   Let's sum up these races, shall we?

 The Thirsty Dog 8k was wet, complete downpour but a strong race and finish. 

The following day, the Milton Man Sprint Triathlon was wet as well and chilly!  The water was not as cold as I thought but my feet got quite chilly on the bike and I was sore from the 8k the day before.  My running.....looked goofy, like I was the tin man. 

 The 1/2mile Open Water Swim Meet.  Oh Boy- I was late waking up,  got lost on the way there, literally parked the car, grabbed my goggles and ran to the pavilion to get numbered and capped.  I made it just in time and I placed 1st! 

The Greater Cleveland Triathlon is one of my faves, mostly because the swim is challenging.  However it was a safety concern, swim was canceled and this turned into a duathlon, 2 mile run, 14 bike, 2 mile run.  I placed in my age group, even after spending a bit of time in the restroom with tummy issues.  It happens!

The Perfect 10miler was pretty perfect.  We started at Beachwood place which was pretty fancy.  The route was great and it was organized really well, I enjoyed it though I had to pee so bad but didn't want to get behind.
 

The Akron Burn Rubber 10miler was pretty neat!  I barely made this race as well.  I parked, grabbed my stuff, raced to the corral and then started running.  The sun was a bit brutal.  We got to run around the rubber area thingy that the cars go on (I think?)  that was cool- though it was black-top rubber stuff with no shade but no complaints here! 


My favorite triathlon, Vermillion!  The race that popped my triathlon cherry many years ago.  I love the venue, the course, the fans, it's just great all the way around.  I missed 3rd place by a few minutes this year and came in 4th.   I was bummed because I felt that I could've placed 3rd had I not pushed it too hard the day before at Burning Rubber.  I'll share a funny story about my first tri at Vermillion in the future. 

My tri season usually ends after Vermillion and then I do a few runs but I just became obsessed with finishing these races.  I think I feel like I failed in some areas of my life and so pursuing the finish medals and shirts is making me feel like I am accomplishing something.  AND it's all up to me- no one can train me but  me.  But, I also LOVE the atmosphere and the people- each race brings so much positive energy I'm just happy to be able to participate.  I get to swim, bike, run.  It is a privilege! 

Leave no Trace Trail Half Marathon was a new one for me.  I felt like I've done the half distances a few times already so why not?  The course was beautiful and it was tough.  I was out there for at least 4 and half hours.  It was well worth the time and I will do it again!

This brings me to today's race.  Challenge Cedar Point, formerly known as Rev3 (Which I completed the half iron 70.3 distance at Rev 3 on Sept. 11, 2001, an AMAZING experience.)  The company is now Challenge family.  They have a sprint distance which I was to complete in addition to a kids triathlon on Saturday followed by the Full and Half Iron distances on Sunday.  Today's event did not go as planned, mother nature was cranky.  The swim got canceled and then the bike got canceled.  We ended up doing a 5k "fun" (not timed) run.  It was fun, we got to run along the beach and check out the wicked waves.  I will definitely do this race again.  Kuddos to the race organizers and volunteers,  ya'll were troopers!
 
 
 
I managed to organize and carry out a fundraiser for our fireworks, again raising over $15,000.  I didn't run this race but it certainly took a lot of time and great help from Peace Racing!  A busy couple of weeks, or months?  I don't know, is it labor day yet?  Time flew by but more adventurous stories to tell and more adventures to be had on the way.  My Type A and OCD personality really wanted to get current on my "race reports".  TA-DA!  AND I even missed 2 races due to a back injury :(  My friend's Rise and Shine 10k and then the Canton City 10k.... I'll get them next year!
 
 
 


Sunday, July 19, 2015

F.A.Q.'s / How do you do it?

Some frequently asked questions and statements:

1. Why are you still single? 
I have no idea?  How am I supposed to answer that?  Prince Charming's GPS isn't working?  I don't know.  I do know that I have never had a good/ healthy relationship.   In the past I was needy and as a result I ended up with narcissists, a sociopath, a psychopath, and a bunch of jerks.  I will never settle again and I have higher expectations.  I focused on furthering my education while most of my friends got married and started families.  I'd like to eventually start dating again and I thought I recently found a good match; however, it just doesn't fit for me right now.  I have a crazy schedule and I'm not willing to sacrifice a lot of things that I did in the past.  Bottom line, I don't freaking know.  Stop asking, it's an annoying question that I can't really answer. 

2. Statements that serve no purpose that are pet peeves
"You look tired" , "You look sick", "You look angry".  First, none of these statements serve a purpose, stop saying them.  My response is usually, "thank you, you too".  The statements should just not be said.  I have always received comments like, "you should smile more" or "why do you look so serious" (usually when I'm at work).  Most of the time I'm thinking and concentrating and working in my head, these actions result in a "focused/ concentrated face", don't take it personal...move along.   The best (most annoying) comment ever was from a coworker several years back who would ALWAYS pass my office as I was staring at my computer, either reading emails or figuring something out (you know, concentrating) and he would ALWAYS say, "smile".....No, I'm not always going to smile, especially when I'm working and/ or when I'm focused.   Who smiles at the computer during work?  No.  I'm a genuine person, I can't fake a smile it looks bad and obvious.  I will smile when I sincerely mean it.  Thank you for understanding. 

3. How do you do it all?
We ALL have the same amount of time.  We have the same amount of time as Bill Gates, Donald Trump, and our neighbor.  We have the same amount of time that Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and George Washington had.  We all have the same amount of time in a given day.  Understand that 1. I don't have kids, 2. I don't have a husband or boyfriend 3. I'm efficient and productive, I've never been a stand around the water cooler and gossip person.  4. I don't like to be bored or to waste time.  5. If I can't do it or if I can't dedicate myself 100% to something, I say "No".  It's good to say no, it's ok to say no. If you can't commit, just say no. 

With the above being said, I value efficiency and productivity.  I'm not a clock watcher, I like to work and get things done.  I remember one job I had at American Standard, I worked maintenance, 3rd shift, in the hottest department (the kiln department) over the summer through college.  My supervisor would give me a list  and I would be done in an hour or two, search him down and tell him I was done and needed more work.  He always said, "take a break, you're working too hard" or "take a nap" (yes seriously).  I cannot do that, it's not in my nature, it's boring, it makes the time go very slow.   The below was given to me when I left the job (made during their work time), I've always found it humorous on many levels.

I recently finished reading Tim Ferris's book, 4-Hour Work Week, and he made great points that illustrate how inefficient we have become since technology.  He provides examples on how much time we waste by unnecessary meetings that take up time, delegating tasks, and dedicating times for certain tasks such as checking voicemails and responding to emails and so much more!  I read this I thought, "wow! this is exactly how I have been operating!". 

Most importantly, I learn to go with the flow.  I schedule my week on Sundays and almost always it changes...... several times, I adapt, and I change with it.  I'm very accommodating to others but I also make time for myself.  Keeping myself healthy mentally and physically result in me being most efficient and productive as well as happy and preventing burnout. I schedule in daily things such as mediation, reading, writing, etc. and I use a timer for those tasks and I make it happen...which brings me to #4

4.  How/ why do you workout so much? 
All of my physical activities and hobbies are crucial to completing "Me".  Each regular activity I do serves a purpose from physical health to mental health, stress relief and providing focus and creativity.  I come up with my best ideas, responses, and so forth during a workout.  Each activity helps me in one or more of these ways and by also giving me the tools to face challenges, obstacles, burn-out, and so forth.  Spinning, Yoga, Swimming, Biking, Running, Trail Running, Triathlon, Strength Training, Aikido/ Self Defense and recently added, Stand Up Paddle boarding.  I'll go into detail with each activity in future blog posts.  I make time for these things because they make me a better person and help me function.  I'm also very organized and structured.  I don't waste time trying to find paperwork or things I need for a task or activity...


Bottom line is, if you want to do something you will make time for it.  I'm not perfect.  I miss workouts sometimes.  Some weekends I don't leave my couch, and that's ok.  Sometimes you just need to nap and stare at the TV.  I go with the flow and I listen to my body.  If I can do it, anyone can do it .  We all have the same amount of time. 

Be organized, be like water, be ok with saying no, make time for yourself, and believe, love, understand, and empower <3