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Que Sera Sera

There is so much to consider when composing a last post. Should one go out with a bang (and what, exactly, qualifies as a bang?), or is it better to more quietly recede? Is there anything left to say, something you mustn’t forget, or has it all been shared before?

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bemorewithless.com

I’m not part of the original WU crew, but was so happy to have been invited by charter member and stellar, going-somewhere author Sharla Lovelace a few years back. (Visit her HERE or HERE, or Google her, she’s everywhere.) This was during a time when my personal life was in upheaval, and so the inclusion was just the creative lift I needed, an outlet fueled by more than only me, and since then the ladies have become forever “writer buddies” I’m proud to associate with.

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We’ve all been through a lot, in life and career, positive and not, it’s clear when looking over our archives. I myself have transformed during the scope of my Unpluggedness. I came on newly divorced and have, in the years spanning my contribution, locked in what it means to be a single mom, healed and established myself in both my heart and my mind after a long-term and abusive marriage, surprised myself, pursued a new career and made it through the transition, dated, cried buckets of tears, learned what it means to be an independent adult, moved twice, rejoiced, stood my ground, messed up, shared and written and felt all of the feelings, and so much more. I appreciate any and all who were along for the ride. It’s been quite a journey—one that’s not done yet, I am happy to know—and I’m grateful the Women Unplugged blog was part of it.

From here forward, you can find me through my personal blog Woman, Determined, at Twitter, and on Facebook. I spend the most time at Facebook, where my goal is to share content as both a writer and a student of life.

These days I am making headway on my novel-in-progress, the one I worked for NANO 2014 and laid aside last spring for that career (day job) change I mentioned above. I recently picked it up again, and I’m working on it daily. I’ve also carved a niche for myself creating custom resumes for folks, from new graduates and baby boomers to blue collar workers and corporate title holders. If you’d like more information about that, shoot me a message through any of the media I’ve listed. I’d love to help you out.

Whether or not we should cross paths again, thanks for being part of Women Unplugged, and part of my life. I wish you all the best in everything.

farewell

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Smile How You Want, When You Want

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Axel Muench/imdb

This lovely girl at left is Rowan Blanchard, a fourteen-year-old actress from a current Disney Channel show.

I saw last night that, according to an article on HuffPost Women, she gets a lot of flack from media and fans for not smiling more often. She has in response made a statement, simply saying, she’ll smile when she wants to!

I get it. Because why is a smile the obligation? Who is that important to, and for what reason?

My two daughters — just a bit younger than Miss Blanchard — have close-lipped, sweet smiles. And every fall, every year, the school picture photographers require that they bear their teeth for the camera, which is not natural for either of them on command. They end up feeling self-conscious, then unhappy with their pictures, and every year I resent those photographers for accepting nothing short of a huge, unrealistic expression based on what I can only assume are rote and rigid ideals, which don’t at all capture my girls in the way they want remembered. Again, for what reason?

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See? My girls are smiling. And beautifully, I might add.

Why can’t children — those in the public eye — everyone — choose for themselves when to smile and how?

Chakras: The Center(s) of You

Are you familiar with the seven chakras, which are the body’s energy centers, and are rooted in ancient Eastern religion? Meditating on and giving conscious awareness to them, regularly, creates a fullness of self and healthy being, as well as promotes stronger spirituality. It might sound hokey, but it’s true. Cross my heart chakra and hope to die.chakras_0

Here’s a quick intro.

(These names may vary from source to source, and the descriptions of the life aspects and abilities they affect are my own, derived from what I’ve learned and how I’ve come to embrace them for myself.)

(1) root chakra — base of trunk — connection to the earth; a feeling of “home” and comfort, grounding, no matter where you find yourself

(2) sacral chakra — low belly — insight and understanding, especially in relation to others

(3) solar plexus chakra — upper abdomen, just beneath the rib cage — relaxation, competency, without worry

(4) heart chakra — behind the breastbone — warmth, openness, compassion, gratitude

(5) throat chakra — throat — confidence and a strong voice, self-expression (your truths)

(6) third eye chakra — that space between your eyes — vision and empathy

(7) crown chakra — crown of head — connection to God and the Universe; personality, perception, intuition

Do you have a few minutes? Are you in a peace-filled spot? Read through those again, study the diagram. Consciously find each center in your body (do this mentally — unless it helps to physically touch your brow or your breastbone, etc., no one’s looking) and imagine clarity. Impress upon yourself strength in each of the described capacities.

It was more than a year ago now that I first began studying the chakras, and actively unleashing, so to speak, the calm power they hold. I find that when I’m especially anxious or unfocused, and feel like life and my peace are out of alignment, a few minutes in meditation brings me back.

There’s a rich awareness, a whole spirituality, a fullness in the universe and God’s control to be found when you can give over negativity, doubt, fear, whatever holds you back or consumes your life, to these energy centers.

To summarize:

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Chakra, Pinterest

I’d like to challenge you to seek renewal in this way, and find for yourself — it’s gonna sound hokey again — the benefits that come from chakra awareness.

But don’t do it for me. Do it for yourself!

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If you’re interested, here’s a related post I wrote on my Woman, Determined blog last spring. That’s when I recognized the harmonies between the long-established Eastern chakras and Gary Zuvak’s book, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness.

The 7 Chakras: Because Energy is Important

When Enemies Attack

Say you have an archenemy. A real-life nemesis. One you’d banish to a remote island, first chance you got.

There is a long history with this enemy. Unsettling history. And, in the recent past, that history—full of terrible, inexcusable behavior, anger, disgust, embarrassment—has made it near-impossible to be around or communicate with them, though this is one you cannot dismiss from life entirely. There are reasons you are forced to interact with The Enemy.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

So imagine that not too long ago, unavoidable encounters spiked your anxiety. You were a raw, exposed nerve over the idea of crossing paths, the risk of confrontation, even just a few exchanged words, because — while this sounds extreme, it’s fact that will eventually see daylight — The Enemy is a bully with lacking morals, no conscience or sense of accountability, and little to respect. Fully aware of these truths, then, and knowing The Enemy has yet to meet severe consequence for some serious offenses, you found it difficult to occupy the same space without increased pulse, racing thoughts, preoccupation, some animosity.

But that was before…

Let’s assume time has passed. Quality time. Your life has continued. You’ve assessed the damage caused by history. You’ve figured yourself out, repaired said damage (and all on your own). Determined your own truths, and reality-minus-history, what you stand for, what you’ll never allow again. You’ve learned how to breathe, how to cultivate (and retain) inner peace. You have let go of what was never your responsibility to hold onto. You have moved on.

You are revived and strong and victorious.

And then say, with no warning, you get cornered by The Enemy. It happens in the flesh, this is not good. Not good at all. You try to break free — because you’ve learned evasion is best, healthiest — but can’t and, since there is no escape, you are stuck.

Things are said at you. Subtle insults and condescension thrown. You are in the path of destruction.

But here, you recognize The Enemy’s same old tactic, gaslighting, it’s been this way forever and a day, and also…

you realize…

it doesn’t matter. You see it for what it is. You see The Enemy for what they are, and that the attack has nothing to do with you. It never did, and you will not be run over again. You will keep your head, you will call on your power and hold your own.

Forget the things being said to you, they mean nothing, you can disregard. They are a delusion.

You have your own things to say, actually, and so you do. It doesn’t matter that they won’t be heard or acknowledged, that your words will be twisted later, you’re saying them. You are still raw and exposed, but this time, it’s on your terms.

You reject the attack. Because you are bigger than any attack The Enemy offers, from here forward. Maybe you have been for awhile.

Yes, you realize. You have.

And suddenly it’s over. Look at you, you’re still standing.

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You walk away. Your head is stuffy and a brick has lodged itself in your gut, and still you await word of that remote island, but it’s over.

And you won.

(I won.)


A related topic of interest is Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Riding with Respect, Riding for Freedom

A couple Saturdays ago, I was happily cruising down the interstate (fortunately I was ahead of schedule) when two speedy cops cut off the car in front of me, stopped beneath the immediate bridge, and—while making my heart kick into high gear—stilled all south-bound traffic.

That’s when they came. Motorcycle after motorcycle, making a loud and powerful statement as their procession accelerated down the entrance ramp and took the road.

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6th Annual FreedomRide | Armed Forces Day – May 16, 2015 | Photo courtesy W.A.R.

 

It was an impressive sight.

Once all 85* of them were on I-35, we (me and the other cars) were allowed to resume driving, and we followed them for miles. I could feel the reverence, thick in the air above us and drafting these police-escorted bikers.

I could only assume it was a benefit ride, or maybe the Patriot Guard Riders.

Later, my first attempts to find details, some cause for this occurrence, returned nothing. But then I hit on the right search terms and found a Facebook page for the Kansas City-based Warrior Appreciation Rally, the ride’s sponsoring group.

I learned that (because it was Armed Forces Day) I’d witnessed the 6th Annual Missouri National Armed Forces FreedomRide. Their site references the event as “the day we honor, show support, and raise awareness for those who have served.”

The ride begins at a Harley-Davidson in KC North and, with law enforcement escorts the entire way, travels dozens of miles to an area veterans’ home, where they spend hours visiting and honoring those who have done so much, before “saddling up” once again and making the return journey. (The photo above is from early in their trip that day.)

I found myself appreciative of their appearance, and fully in sync as my journey for just a time overlapped theirs.

Soon enough my exit came and I broke away from the pack.

They kept on riding. Because it’s what they do, and for good reason.

Have you seen anything like that before?

*This number was confirmed by a Warrior Appreciation Rally source. I was told they’d have had more if the weather had been more cooperative. Their Facebook page admin said, when I asked for his or her name during our messaging exchange, “We usually refer to ourselves [only] as W.A.R., or the W.A.R. Crew, preferring to keep the spotlight on what we’re doing to honor others and generate attention for the organizations that help our men and women in uniform.”

That, too, is for good reason.

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