Blue's UnBashful Blog

Blue's UnBashful Blog

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Kevin Flanigan/ Partner with Low Spark Films/ Low Spark Television closes deal with CBS


Low Spark Television has closed a first look deal with CBS Television Studios.  The deal launches Low Spark into the television business after having success as independent film producers. 

Low Spark Television is the newly formed television division of Low Spark Entertainment, the Cleveland, Ohio and Los Angeles based parent company of Low Spark Films, which specializes in the production and financing of feature films for the worldwide market.  The company, led by producer Tyler Davidson, recently produced the eco thriller The Beach House, acquired by Shudder, and previously produced acclaimed indie features such as Take ShelterThe Kings of SummerGalvestonThe SignalComplianceMy Blind Brotherand The Land, launching some of the most vaunted emerging writers and directors working today.

“CBS Television Studios shares our love for bold, original storytelling, and we couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to work with their stellar team, bringing the skills and relationships we have homed in indie film to television."

Davidson works alongside Low Spark partners Kevin Flanigan and Dexter Braff, and Sr. Vice President of Development and Production Drew Sykes.  

Low Spark is represented by ICM Partners.

Low Spark Films movies....

Monday, December 16, 2019

New Year, Same You but B.L.U.E. 28 Day Program

I have created a 28 day ONLINE program that is in real time.  We work together the entire 28 days through email, texting, and what's app.  It starts January 8th ( I send out information ahead of time so that you can prepare, though some things will be sent daily) and goes through February 4th.  It's a great jump start to the new year with clean eating, healthy habits, self love, letting go, and moving on!


$84 in full ($3 a day!!!)  BUT...  register before Dec. 31 for $75  


$108 in full to be used within 6 months of purchase 

What You Get....

Grocery lists
Daily support/access to me
Guided meditations
Journaling assignments
Daily challenges
book recommendations to be discussed during the 28 days
FREE  distance Reiki session 

What you do.....

Eat whole foods (no processed foods)
No sugars or artificial sugars (natural sugar from fruit is ok) 
No coffee (green tea ok)
No alcohol
Limit online/tv time

Self Care Daily

Choose from a list of self care/ self love each day 

How to register...

before Dec 31...venmo $75 to Megan Flanigan
after Dec 31...venmo $84 to Megan Flanigan
if you need to make other arrangements, email me at

Can you buy this as a gift?

Yes!!!  Venmo per the above (link below)  and send me an email letting me know who it is for along with the recipient's email address and phone number 💙  

I'm so excited for this and can't wait to work with you.  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions via email: 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Thank You, Veterans

Freedom isn't free.  We have so much to be thankful for because of our veterans.   When I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2013 I felt so much shame.  Not only was I going through all the emotions and reactions from November 26, 2013 ("Pill-Gate"), I was diagnosed with something that I didn't feel deserving enough to have as a result of it. Though I clinically know it is something anyone can get I felt it "reserved" for what happens at war.   I have two degrees in psychology, I understand it...clinically.   Understanding it is much different than living it, than experiencing it. Listening to a psychologist and a doctor explain the symptoms in a clinical way was not helpful at all.   I  experienced trauma before but the reactions to those events were very different. 

Doing myself a great disservice in healing and in interacting with loved ones I tried my best to just "deal with it".  Eventually I begrudgingly saw a doctor and went on medications.  I didn't know what to do or how to fix myself, I was trying to understand what happened to me.  Talk therapy was useless, I ended up repeating and reliving it over and over with no resolution.  The medications made me feel numb and detached from everything. I was just going through the motions of life.  I couldn't sleep, my memory or lack thereof was scaring me.

I sought out veterans groups on social media and started reading posts.  I began to understand my symptoms as others spoke of their symptoms.  Though we had completely different causes of PTSD and symptoms are very different and personal, it helped me feel not so alone.  I was overwhelmed with anger, hyper-vigilance, betrayal, and feeling violated.  I couldn't sleep because the trauma put my body into fight of flight mode and I couldn't stop it.  I was in a constant state of fight or flight.  My body started to burn out from being in that constant state.  My adrenals were exhausted, I was exhausted.   I gained weight really fast. Eventually I became so exhausted that I became depressed and couldn't move.  I couldn't get out of bed.  I was still hyper vigilant and in that state of fight of flight but because I was so depleted it was like putting the pedal all the way down on the gas of a car but not able to go anywhere because it's out of gas, needed an oil change, a new engine, and some other stuff.  I was learning more about PTSD but I still carried shame for the diagnosis.  I eventually went off the medications and committed to healing holistically.  That process was long and full of trial and error and it was all on me.

I read and learned of heroic warriors, veterans,  that went through unimaginable traumas and were living and surviving.  It gave me hope and helped my desire to persevere.  I was lucky enough to meet some of them.      I had a conversation with a veteran, a former Navy Seal.  He was aware of what I went through from the actual traumatic event to the aftermath and he said, "you have PTSD, that's a lot to overcome and it takes a toll on you in every way".  Then it happened.  That conversation, that statement helped me give myself permission to have PTSD and to not feel shame.

Veterans put their life on the line for my freedoms and my comfortable and safe life in America and the right to complain and to even take things for granted.  Veterans have also helped me understand PTSD and the symptoms.  Veterans were/ are role models in perseverance and resilience and therefore helped me persevere.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

"38" is not too late!

The word "Great" ( 38 is going to be great) sounded too cheesy and felt too obvious for describing my anticipated 38th trip around the sun.  "Late" rhymes and I dig the theme, "38 is not too late" because it's not.  All of the previous years from 0-37 were all learning and gaining experiences.  Last year was magical, full of epiphanies, healing, and letting go.  I feel like I've been setting up, getting ready for now and for what's to come.  It's not too late to go "balls to the wall" and do the things that I've been putting off due to fear or doubt or whatever the reason.   These last couple of months I've been quiet as far as blog posting, but I've been busy. I've also been working through "writer's block" and a creativity block in general.  It happens.

I needed some more healing.  PTSD as fascinating as it is for me (psychology background) it's not something that goes away, it's a process of healing and learning to cope.  I peeled back so many layers of myself and did a lot of work but there was more.  There were and are more layers to work on and things I needed to process.  I've been discovering more about myself , where I've been, and where I want to go.  In addition to some emotional stuff I've physically been working through what my body has been holding onto.

Trauma not only affects us mentally and emotionally but also physically.  I have some serious aches and pains from being in a state of fight or flight for so long.  I also had such a "yang" (active/ running/ triathlon)) lifestyle that I really need more "yin" before I can balance out and find the "happy-medium" (and hopefully get back to running and triathlon).  I earned my yin yoga certification and through that process really recognized what I already knew but was not accepting which was less yang, more yin.  No running, no strenuous movements, more slow flow and yin yoga, more swimming, more meditation. I need more gentle activities and less or none of what I had been doing.  That was a realization and decision that I begrudgingly made.  I also observed that I need to exercise my brain and my creativity more  so I started learning how to play the ukulele.  

I'm enjoying working on my business health coaching, reiki, yoga, and essential oils.  I'm working on expanding/ creating something similar but different and working with a business coach to help me bring my vision to life  (totally vague until I'm ready to share).  I'm looking forward to having a space to provide reiki in September.  I had an enlightening ten day experience toward the end of May as I completed my first vipassana meditation retreat.  I've been soaking up thoughtful/thoughtless experience and look forward to sharing all about it in a blog post soon.  

My birthday was perfect.  It was a rainy day here in MIAMI and I spent the day with Angelo and Bruiser.  I spent the weekend in advanced 300 hour yoga teacher training with fellow yogis.  I'm looking forward to my 38th trip around the sun, it's going to be GREAT!  

Saturday, March 16, 2019

St. PADDY's DAY! DELISH Vegetarian Reuben (Vegan Option)

St. Paddy's Day is our family holiday.  Christmas, Easter, and such are good and we get together BUT St. Paddy's Day is special in my family.  My parents own The Unicorn Restaurant & Pub since 1983 and I have been celebrating with them since I was born and at The Unicorn since it opened (I missed 1 year being in college).  Since I moved to Miami this will be a year without The Unicorn, family, and it will also be alcohol free!  Sixty- two days I decided to give up alcohol for 30 days and I just kept going, but that's another post!

The Unicorn Restaurant has mouth watering food and I especially love their reuben sandwiches so I decided to make my own version down here by the beach.  It is vegetarian and with a vegan option.

Check it out!

Corned "Jack"

1 can of Jackfruit drained and rinsed
1 cup filtered water
1/4 cup pickling spices (or corned beef spice if you can find it!)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 beet ( if you want to make it red)

Place drained and rinsed jackfruit in crockpot on low
Add water, spices, acv (you may want to use a cheeseclot or something for the spices, otherwise you will need to pick them out (which is what I did)

If you want the red color, add the beet

Cook on on low for 4 hours

remove from crockpot and chop/ pull the jackfruit (like pulled pork)

Thousand Island Dressing

1 cup cashews (not soaked)
3/4 cup filtered water
2 T. pickle relish
2 T. ketchup
1 t. stevia concentrate (or honey)
1 yellow or white onion

Place all ingredients in blender (except relish and onion) and blend until smooth.  Stir in relish and chopped onion by hand

SWISS CHEESE SLICES or this VEGAN cheese spread

3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 medjool date
1/4 t. liquid smoke

Place all ingredients in blender...will have thick consistency

Sprouted Rye Bread!

Toast the bread, place the jackfruit on the bread, place swiss cheese on top, broil until cheese is melted

Place a scoop of sauerkraut on top and then dress it with the thousand island dressing and ENJOY!


Monday, January 28, 2019

Vegan/ Soy Free/ Organic Spring Rolls and the Number 28

On this day a year ago I was in Miami with my parents.  On this particular day, the 28th, something magical happened and everything in my life changed (for the better).  I began loving myself much more and began taking care of myself even more than what I was currently doing.  I came back from Miami and signed up for my yoga teacher/ mentor/ reiki healer's 22 day Mind Body Spirit Detox group.  (Lisa Gianvito holds these groups frequently at her home over 22 days or  as a workshop through 3 Sister's Yoga Studio...if you are in that area, check her out!).  The 22 Day Mind Body Spirit Detox group consists of eating whole foods, no alcohol, meditation, yoga, journaling and such.   So....This was one of the recipes that she made for us and it's amazing.   I changed the peanut sauce a little because I don't eat soy and I love ginger.  It's vegan, soy free, and organic!

I chose all organic products....

Peanut Sauce...

Peanut butter , sriracha sauce, ginger juice, balsamic vinegar ....mix all together til it tastes the way you like and the consistency is good for dipping

Spring Rolls....

Use whatever you want....Today I used carrots, cucumber, pickled ginger, avocado, tomatoes....I also like to use alfalfa sprouts, can use whatever you have in the fridge or whatever you like!  

They are pretty amazing and filling!  And the peanut sauce is amaze balls.  

Check out Lisa G. if you are in the Northeast Ohio are (Cleveland/ Lorain County)  Lisa's website !  After living in Miami for 118 days,  I look forward to leading my own group (consisting of 28 days of yoga, reiki, mediation, whole foods, and such)  here in Miami, Florida!  

Monday, December 31, 2018

Thank You, 2018, Thank You!

  Well, this was the most life-changing, most amazing, most magical, most terrifying year of my 37 years on this earth!  Wow.  Prior to 2018, I was healing and moving on but it was at a slow pace and I wasn't quite sure of a few things.  There was more that I needed for healing and moving on and letting go but I wasn't sure what that meant or how to make it happen.  Prior to 2018 I was slowly creeping forward at a nice walking pace and then 2018 arrived and I went into full on sprint mode.  I still have much more work to do but I have a much better sense of what it is I need to work on and where to focus my attention for continued growth and development.  I am thoroughly enjoying the process and this journey and feel incredibly lucky and blessed for everything that 2018 brought into my life.  Things are falling into place and life just makes more sense to me.   I have a much better understanding of everything.
Ironically, 2018 started out with a visit to Miami, Florida and is now ending with me living in Miami, Florida.  I feel like Miami played a huge role in my life this year for many reasons.  There is no doubt in my mind that I was pulled to Miami and without doubt I am supposed to be living here right now. I am proud of myself for not only recognizing that pull and listening to my intuition but to following through and having the tremendous amount of courage to follow my intuition and to make it happen.  It was a huge move, I'm still impressed of and proud of myself.  Nice job, Megs!  

This was a remarkable year for personal development, facing fears, releasing and letting go of anything that didn't serve me, opening my heart (and all the other chakras!), and taking huge leaps of faith.  I completed yoga teacher training (200 hours), completed Reiki Master certification, followed my heart back to Miami on a huge leap of faith and have loved like I have never loved before.  I literally shed my clothing as I started out in a one- piece bathing suit, ended up letting go of body issues, went full on skinny dipping after paddling to an island,  and ended up the year rocking a bikini with a Brazilian bottom.  I went swimming in the great, wide open ocean after flying across the ocean!  I did all things that scared me, that were out of my comfort zone, that challenged me, and as a result changed me for the much better!  

I learned so much about myself as I faced these challenges and fears.  I learned so much about life and being mindful. I tried new things!  I took a lot risks that became rewards.  I'm so excited about 2019 and have no doubt I will face more fears and challenges; but, I feel grounded and balanced and ready for whatever happens. 

I found amazing yoga studios in Miami and look forward to starting my 300 hour advanced yoga teacher training at an amazing studio across the street from me!   I found an amazing gym just down the street.  I'm excited to train for half marathons and triathlons and facing my fear of open water swimming in the ocean!  I'm incredibly blessed and thankful to be able to be so close to the ocean that I can visit everyday if I choose!  I'm looking forward to my first Vipassana meditation retreat in May.  This will be a huge challenge in so many ways and I'm a bit scared but I feel that it's going to be powerful and I will learn so much.  I will also be attending Eckhart Tolle's event in Miami in April followed by his wife's workshop, Presence in Movement, both programs that have been relevant in my life and this process and it will be cool to check them out in person in Miami!  I look forward to lots of love, water, and exploration.  I look forward to helping others through reiki, yoga, and health coaching. Giving back and empowering others to heal themselves and become the best versions of themselves is a mission of mine, as I have done for myself and have been blessed to have had amazing coaches and spiritual guides.  

New Year's Eve, I usually hang with the family at The Unicorn in Grafton ( IF I do anything).  I'm laying low in my apartment tonight, finished my 2019 vision board, did some journaling, spent the day at the beach after an amazing workout at The FitShop NMB, and taking a hot bath in my amazing tub, followed by an early bed (if the fireworks don't keep me up, ha!).  I'm looking forward to a workout at The FitShop NMB in the am and maybe some yoga if I can find a class, and.....time at the beach!  

Thank you all for continuing to read my blog, I started this thing in 2009/ 2010 to help heal after an abusive relationship and I've continued to use this blog as a way to illustrate my continued healing from that trauma but also other traumas and things that have occurred since, Wow!  A lot has happened since then. I debated deleting the blog and starting over but glad I have kept it going.  I'm excited to see the "hits" growing to over a 100 clicks each post....thank you!!!  Follow my facebook, instagram, and facebook pages too....don't miss out!

May your 2019 be filled with Believing, Loving, Understanding, and Empowering!  

Much love and gratitude, 



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Amazing Spaghetti Squash....Vegan/ Vegetarian....Good for you!

This was incredible and super easy. 

Cut slits in spaghetti squash (to vent/ all over), with paring knife. 

Pop in oven (after pre-heated) at 375 for about an hour....until you can easily put a knife in and out. 

Let it cool for a little you don't burn your hands....

Slice open vertically and scoop out the seeds.

Take a fork and fork the "noodles" out into cast iron pan (cast iron pan was on low heat sauteing onions, garlic, jalapenos) ...* you can add butter if you'd like but it's not necessary! 

Stir around for  bit....for the "noodles" to soak up the flavor.

Serve....I added crushed red pepper flakes and a squirt of lemon juice....Boom! 

I rise off the cast iron with water and put it back on the stove on high heat to dry!

Enjoy ! 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Healthy Keto No Bake Cookies!

Don't break the sugar or calorie bank this need for it! 

Super easy Keto No Bake Cookies.....

2 Tablespoons REAL BUTTER (no margarine and tastes like butter stuff....THE REAL STUFF!!...preferably from grass fed cows with no junk added!)

2/3 cup organic creamy peanut butter

1 cup unsweetened organic shredded coconut

4 drops of stevia

a drop of vanilla

1 tablespoon cacao powder (not cocoa) 

p.s. you could also add macca, though I have not tried that yet.....

p.s.s you could also add DoTERRA essential oil of your choice like peppermint, cinnamon, orange (one of the oils that is labeled as essential oil me for more

Melt the butter

add the PB and mix.....

add stevia

add vanilla

add cacao

add shredded coconut

mix it all together nicely (or naughty)

scoop out spoonfuls onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet and set in the freezer for about 10 in the fridge! 

Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Healthy and Hearty Cast Iron Frittata!

I recently purchased a cast iron skillet, after much contemplation and intimidation.  I decided to check out some you tube videos and google some "how-to's" and then I dove right in.  I've been sticking to fairly easy recipes and getting the hang of it but it's rather simple and the results are pretty amazing!  I'm developing a real passion for cooking these days.

You can add or take away anything you want...I didn't add meat because I have been eating a mostly vegan, sometimes vegetarian diet.  I do recommend organic ingredients!  I also like a bit more heat. 


Pre- Heat oven to 350/375

This was super easy in the cast iron skillet!  Also, I was using a 12 inch skillet


1. Medium heat to skillet and melt about a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil  (unrefined coconut oil has less of a coconut taste and is great for cooking).  Chopped red pepper, chopped green pepper, green onions, jalapeno slices, half an onion, spinach, parsley, several garlic cloves.  Saute until the onions are translucent and the spinach/ parsley is wilted.

2. Egg mixture...I cracked 12 eggs into a bowl, added some heavy whipping cream, Himalayan salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper , horseradish, garlic pepper and "whipped/ whisked" the mixture. 

3. Once the saute was ready, I made sure the ingredients covered the pan and then I poured the egg mixture over top and then put it in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden or puffed up. 

****careful, your cast iron handle will be HOT!!!  ****

Also, I do not wash my skillet in the dishwasher and I do NOT use soap on it.   Simply, wipe it clean/ scrub remaining food off with a cast iron chain scrubber thingy, rinse off real well then place on the stove on high heat until completely dry. 


Monday, December 3, 2018

Home Sweet Home, North Miami Beach!

We did it!  Bruiser and I moved from our humble vacation rental that was in a great location but not a good fit to a great location and a perfect fit.  I packed up everything I could into my Honda Pilot and headed north to sign the lease, get the keys, and wait for the furniture guys to arrive on Wednesday November 28th.  Ashley furniture did an amazing job, delivered on time, set up perfectly and I independently unloaded the first load from my car.  My initial plan was to move in slowly as I have the vacation rental through Dec. 20th; but, once I got the keys and the furniture I didn't want to stick around where I didn't feel comfortable.  So, I hauled ass back to the Key thinking I could throw my remaining things in the car, and Bruiser, and make it before rush hour traffic.  The timing was too close so I decided to wait out rush hour traffic.  

Here is Bruiser, so excited but so tired.  He was tired from going with mom back and forth and watching the unpacking but he did awesome! I-95 was lit up like a Christmas tree on the way ...brake lights everywhere, it was not my favorite drive and I should have waited a little bit longer but we made it! It is not easy moving box at a time while dragging (or having Bruiser pull) on a leash...lock car door, walk, unlock door to bldg, walk, unlock apartment, drop stuff off, lock apartment, walk, unlock car, pick up more stuff, lock car, walk, unlock bldg....repeat a million times..I didn't want to leave Bruiser in a new space and go back and forth so we did it together.  

He gave me a little bit of a scare.  He developed nasty tummy issues prior to moving, like he must have picked up something from our walks or the dog park.   Fortunately, I found an amazing Vet. down the street from our new place. He has enlarged intestines and bladder's been interesting taking him potty as we are on the 3rd floor and he's used to going right outside the front door. At first I had to carry him like a football and make a run for it. But, he's been adjusting well and loves the view.   He watches the ducks in the river and checks out the people walking by on the walking path.  His tummy has settled significantly with "special" food and some probiotics. I love my little guy and am so thankful he has been able to join me on this journey!

I am loving my new home.  I feel comfortable, the energy is amazing, and I am inspired and invigorated and full of gratitude and to be honest I'm still in a bit of shock.  We have parks, the ocean, Whole Foods, healthy and organic places to eat, a well-known Italian farmer's market with fresh fruit, veggies, meats, and such across the street, stores, a veterinarian, and more all within 2-4 miles.  The apartment complex has a gym, yoga studio, pool, fire-pit, and walking a dog park.  My apartment view is the river, which is amazing.  A goal of mine when I came to Florida was to be in or near water at least 20 minutes every day.  I can look out my windows and see water, it's amazing (check out Wallace Nichols' book, Blue Mind, for all of the amazing and positive effects of being in or near water and it's a great read).  I'm close to everything.  There is an amazing yoga studio that I can walk to from my apartment.  I'm just so happy and excited.  I love the openness of the apartment and the kitchen.  I have been cooking again and really enjoying getting into a healthy routine.  I love having a full size washer and dryer in the apartment and central an amazing bath tub.  I love taking baths and have taken a bath every night.  

There are some things I am adjusting to here in Miami.  The traffic is insane compared to Grafton, Ohio.   The other day I was in the left turn lane facing east, waiting to turn left...the light turned green and an old man with difficulty walking was crossing the street, I had no problem waiting but 2 cars behind me went around me on each side and honked their horns and almost ran the poor guy over....Geez! And I'm pretty sure the traffic lights are read for 5 minutes at a time.  I don't know anyone yet, I'm so excited I want to share my journey and such with others but that is difficult. A girl needs some girl-friends.    I'm enjoying my own company again and learning new things, and really falling in love with myself and life.   The mosquitoes are insane but I bought indoor traps that have helped immensely.  Obviously, I miss my family as we are all so close and my niece and nephew are growing so much.  One of the very few good things about social media is that I get to see all the pictures! 

When I was in high school and undergrad, I wanted to move to a city.  After several traumas and my time in office as mayor, I only saw myself living in the woods, isolated from everything and everyone.  I wanted to be far away from humans, human sounds, everything human.  Looking back, I realize that I craved that solitude because I needed to heal. Now, I want to be in a city, near energy, and opportunities.  I am healing from those past traumas and I no longer want to be isolated.  I look forward to sharing my journey with others and helping others heal as I have healed myself.  I've not only learned so much about myself this year but I have grown more this year than all of the previous years combined.  

I continue to write and to work on building my holistic health business consisting of health coaching, reiki, yoga, and essential oils.  I am looking for a part time job teaching yoga at a studio and/ or providing reiki at a salon so I've been looking for leads in those fields.  I would love to even work retail at a boutique, a job where I can meet people and get out in the area.  I'm excited to continue stepping out of my comfort zone.  Though, I catch myself being guarded out of habit.  .Certainly living in a large city the crime rate is higher and I need to be vigilant...that is a given and my head is always on a swivel, but it's different than how I was guarded back in Grafton and Lorain County. Though my odds of being a victim of a crime are higher here, I feel safer here.  

My space.....

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Oh so Thankful....moving to North Miami Beach and Following my Intuition!

As most people headed out to the bars last night I headed to the beach with the most amazing human I have ever met, Angelo. We stared up at the stars while listening to the ocean, under the almost full moon, while engulfed by a warm breeze.  Next Wednesday I sign the lease to my new apartment! I've been living in a fully furnished vacation rental.  It's been amazing and a great location (Key Biscayne) while I "Adjusted" to big city life and moving so far away.  But too isolating and too "vacation-y".  Which has been great but I can't relax forever, I need to do!  

I love my new apartment, the amnetities, the area...everything.  I was completely overwhelmed in looking for apartments when I started the process.  My plan was to move to this vacation rental (I secured until Dec. 20) and then just go with the flow when I got here.   I did that but trying to find a place to live down here is insane, probably because there are so many options and variables.  I wasn't sure if I should buy or rent or where to go.  I had a few things that I had to have, like pet friendly, gated, etc......

After spending much time on apartment search apps, I asked God/ the universe ...."Please let me find a place quickly, and please give me signs so that I know it's where I'm to go".  So, I was searching and this brand new complex popped up in one of my search feeds..."Lazul".  The name sounded familiar then I recalled that Azul meant Blue in Spanish.  I thought, ok I gotta check this one out.  Lapis Lazuli is one of my favorite stones/ colors that is related to awakening....and is BLUE.    SO, I went to check it out.  It's amazing with pool, dog park and grooming, yoga studio, gym, the apartments have soaking tubs which is a huge bonus as I love my baths,  etc.  I'm taking the tour and I thought to myself, "ok, universe I need some help.  I want to be on the 3rd floor, and I want to face the river, I want the 1 bedroom layout because there is more sunlight than with the studio, and I want the #8 in my room because the #8 has been dominating this journey of mine this year." So, I asked my tour guide, "Can you show me room # 308?" , while thinking if it meets my criteria then it's a sign.  

She showed me apartment # 308 and it was a 1 bedroom layout, facing the river...ok!  I don't like to make decisions quickly, I like to think on it, sleep on it, and allow my intuition to guide me.  I left the apartment and started driving around the area to check it out.  Yoga studios, down the street from Oleta State Park, tennis courts, golf course, Whole Foods, and close to the ocean and the bay!  My anxiety and my fear was creeping in.  I was thinking, is this the right place?  Should I keep looking?  Signing a year lease is a big commitment and I wasn't sure.  I went ahead with the application and then left the rest up to the universe.  

I checked the mail a few days after and a friend that makes bracelets and other amazing things sent me a personalized  bracelet with..... Lazuli, I laughed as I opened it because it was beautiful but also a sign.  I had a feeling to check the brochure I was given while I was on the tour.  I had a question about the yoga studio and felt compelled to call them at that moment.  I looked at the brochure and noticed the 10 digit phone number contains 5 number # "8"'s.  OK, ok, this is the place.  As soon as I made that statement, I had a feeling of peace and knowing that this is where I was to move!  

I have always had amazing intuition and gut feelings but I mostly let fear and anxiety and other people's opinions lead me in the opposite direction in which case I was always left with thoughts of regret and thinking, "I should've followed my gut".  This year I listened to my intuition all the way and it lead me to Miami and led to awakening myself and really becoming who I was meant to be all along. 

In the months leading up to finishing my 4 year political term, I had dreams of taking an extended vacation to Florida.  I also just wanted to get away from that bad energy.  But, I was super overweight and wouldn't be caught dead in a bathing suit so I filed those dreams into the "not going to happen" file in my brain.  Deep down I didn't want to run away from my feelings either.  Regardless of where you go, your bad habits, thought patterns, and negative feelings WILL haunt you. Happiness is an inside job, the external doesn't matter.   So, I stayed not only because I thought it was unrealistic but also because I wanted to heal myself.   Looking back on this journey, once I addressed my ego and my fears and started to "let go" of the past, the expectations, and more....everything....LITERALLY EVERYTHING has fallen into place.  I'm now living what I have been dreaming and what I have been manifesting.  I "had the power all along", I just needed to let go.  A year ago, I was still struggling with ending my life, but I held on because I didn't want to hurt my family and because deep down I knew things would get better.  I just didn't realize they would get sooo much better.  

My gratitude used to be a "fake it til you make it practice", now it's legit and very real every single day!  I still have challenges and anxiety and fear pops into my thoughts but I am able to quickly shut that down and override it with the amazing things in life.  I FEEL, literally FEEL the gratitude and in doing so it keeps coming back to me.   Believe, Love, Understand, Empower.....It's a cycle, it's a process, I lived it, am living it, and it worked and keeps working!  

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!