Gratitude Day 17

Day 17 of 30 Days of Tessism finds gratitude in something obvious and sometimes overlooked until it is too late.

Gratitude: Today I am grateful for my health and vigor.  That is something that most of us don’t notice until it is compromised.  Now, while I am healthy, I especially need to be thankful.  I am ache and disease-free.  I can and have pushed my body to the limit in with athletic challenges.  It rewards me time and again.  It surprises me by doing things I never knew it could do.  It shows me that I have not reached my peak yet.

I have been told that your 30s are insurance for your the rest of your life.  Well, I’m glad I’ve been making deposits in my health bank at the gym and yoga studio.  I can only do my best and see how far that gets me.  In the meantime, I remain grateful for the vitality my health continues to grant me.

Full Circle

Here we are closing in on the last few minutes of the last day of the year.  2010 brought many bittersweet revelations, victories & opportunities.  It has been a year of growth and reflection and it’s been as painful as it’s been victorious.

I’ve learned that winning doesn’t always look that way and what you fight valiantly for may not be worth it.  Not every time.  I’ve learned that though I’m sure an incredible destiny awaits me, even in that hopefulness, I underestimate myself & my future.

One of the greatest achievements of this year, besides launching, was November’s 30 days of challenges. Challenging myself to something everyday was exhilarating and exhausting. I’m very proud that I blogged every day and took on something pretty uncomfortable & life-changing everyday. It was a beautiful experience that left me feeling very accomplished…and drained.

The lesson I learned from that undertaking is that while rapid transformation is possible, I need to pace myself in order to maintain change. I did so much in November that I didn’t want to look at this blog in December. This is my first time writing here since then.

While many of the practices are still in place since the challenge, there are a few areas where I’ve absolutely & unapologetically reverted to my status quo.  For instance, I continue with my addiction to lateness & my home regained the clutter I cleared.  Change is a muscle that easily atrophies from lack of use, commitment and accountability.

So here I stand at the end of an utterly magical, mind-boggling year and the usual questions remain.  Now what?  What next?  My answer?  I say anything and everything.

This time, my focus is mastery.   I will take the time master long-lasting transformation.  As long I’m here, I say to life, use me up, galvanize me.  You’re all that I have. 2011 is all about burning like a comet through life.  I look forward to using up every minute boldly, leaving me & my wake unrecognizable and radiating with life & glory.   Bring it, 2011!  See you on the other side!

Challenge Day 29: Dare to Want

One more day to go and suddenly I am incredibly exhausted.  I’d rather nap than blog.  The only thing that keeps me going is my promise.  Good thing I made one, otherwise I wouldn’t have continued.  Thank you for the strength you give me by reading and witnessing my journey.

The last few moments before the end of a grueling marathon can be the worst.  It is in those moments that your mind, body, being resolve whether to finish or to curl up in a ball right there.  The next challenge is important for me to keep going.  Come run with me.

Today’s challenge: Dare to want…wantonly.  Allow yourself to want for no reason.  Want things you’ve never wanted before.  Want until you want no more.  Write it all down.  Change your mind if you need to.  Keep going until you see what you say you want and match that to what you really want.  Write that list about ideal mate that you’ve resisted writing for years.  Go ahead, write it.  Want him and everything.  Go!

Wanting is such a odd thing.  Most of us don’t allow ourselves to want things fearing that wanting things that don’t manifest may kill us or be close to dying.  We treat our wants as if we will never have them and work to push them away.  In turn, we end up yearning those things that we deny.

We suffer when we live as if wanting is a reminder of our inadequacy.  We are stuck believing that we’re not enough to deserve or earn our wants.  What if wanting was a normal part of your day as simple and constant as brushing your teeth?  What if wanting was a tool that you use to design your life?  Today’s challenge is my opportunity to dream to the point of incredulousness, dance into the impossible and shed suffering.  So I will be writing that list and collaging my vision of heart-thumping future.  What have you not dared to want?

Today’s victory: I spent a wonderful weekend failing and winning at most of my challenges.  When I missed the challenge mark, I made sure I went back and hit it dead on.  That looked like heated discussions, impasses and, finally, peaceful resolution.  I’m glad I have these tools working actively in my life.

Gratitude: I am grateful for the incredible community that surrounds, supports and fuels my dreams.

On the horizon: The scoreboard

Challenge Day 26: Have Compassion

I’m in the last stretch of this challenging month of challenges.  Right here I could kick back and say I’ve done quite a bit so I’ll slow down.  Since I’m playing to see something different this month, I won’t do that.  I’ve done that in the past.  Not now.  While I’m pushing, though, I have to remember to do what the next challenge requests I do for myself and others.

Today’s challenge: Practice utter compassion for others every chance you get.  Particularly in difficult, intractable situations and especially for yourself.  Pour compassion into everything you do.

A few weeks ago, Martha Beck tweeted about compassion:

Compassion is such a slick, selective thing.  I can be compassionate with people I like or feel a need to protect.  No problem.  People who I feel threatened by do not get compassion bestowed.  Thus far, I’ve been giving up being right and working on other methods to improve my communication with others.  This challenge asks me to go further and really care for others in the most difficult situations–to care about what I think they might care about.  Faced with compassion, enemy boundaries melt.  I explore this with trepidation but I am very sure that the composition of my heart will change with this application of compassion even in the toughest situations.

Then I’m to go even deeper the compassion game and give it to the last person I ever give it to: myself.  I’m a hard driver of self.  I work hard.  I go hard.  Relentless.  What would being compassionate look like for me?  I’m not sure but I know that it will make a huge difference and I’m willing to explore it.

Today’s victory: I was very kind to myself and gave gifts to myself that I would reserve for giving to others.  Exquisite self-care in action!

Gratitude: I am grateful for adventures awaiting my spark.

On the horizon: Something regularly avoided

24 S Bank St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Challenge Day 24: Let It Go

A new day brings a new challenge.  Now that the Four Agreements are out of the way, I’m left with a week’s worth of challenges to dream up.  I dedicate the next seven challenges to things that I find the most difficult.  Today’s is something I have to keep practicing because it just never sticks.

Today’s challenge: Let things go.  Practice letting go as often as you can.  Let go of people, things, grudges, disappointments.  You name it.  Let it go.  Become a master of unburdening yourself.

Letting go is beyond difficult for me.  I tend to hoard memories and things.  I hold onto data, ideas and what we did last week.  I never forget how you hurt me or how you misunderstood me.  Even my home holds things I refuse to let go.  My favorite poem highlights how letting go feels like losing:

One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

–Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied.  It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Letting go can feel like dying–if we really know how that feels.  It’s a trick that the familiar plays so that you can continue on the same path.  Notice that when you let go, the bottom does NOT fall out of the world.  If fact the world opens up even more for you.

I can hold onto things that hurt me and keep me from moving forward or I can take a risk to see what will show up once I clear out the space.  For the next few days, I’m going to practice shedding thoughts and things, especially the unnecessary.  I’ll take it even further by letting go of the things I hold onto that seem crucial yet haven’t been useful.  I’ll get rid of those items so that I will room for something new.

So it is with heavy heart that I let go of that one that I want to love me so much that my memories overshadow the present.  I’m letting go of the past to make room for an unrecognizable future.  I will do this every chance I get for the rest of this month.  I wonder what I’ll do with all the space I create.

Today’s victory: I literally let go of something today and I feel great!




I let go of a whole lot of hair today (If only you could see the front!) Chopped!  I feel like a new woman.  Letting go can sometimes be fun.  Who knew? Let the games begin!

Gratitude: I am grateful for the delicious that always finds me.

On the horizon: Lightening my heart


We kissed here once.  Those were nice.  Very.

I like your kisses however I get them.  Distracting.  I forget the heart of the matter and cling to them like they’re all that is living.

Your kisses are hard and punishing.  I want to be punished this way.  Not always.  Just that last time.

You weren’t as angry this last time.  No less intoxicating.  Different.

Anger hinted at a possible similar abyss.  Shared desolation.  Maybe you felt what I felt when I was away from you but I’m never sure.

Never know.  You may have cured me of wanting to know.  Curiosity didn’t simply kill the damn cat.  Drove it crazy then it killed itself.

Mmmmm.  So addicted to those kisses–want you connected in that very way–I would sell out almost everything.  Almost.

Especially me.  Renounced myself, my sanity, grace and joy to have them when you seemed to look at such magical things as our kisses with indifference.

I remember them.  They sometimes rock me to sleep, those kisses.

And, yeah that time when you–when we…I’m so glad I had that.  Rooting in the desert of something denied, I have that jewel filed away.

Feeling you feel me feeling you.  Blessing.

And I know it was right and good because I still feel good.  No regrets.

Wounds heal.  Sun kisses.  Always.  Grateful.


Once was a boy so beautiful that all I wanted to do was kiss his eyelids and drench him in adoration.  Not sure it was the eyelids or the overdue need in me to love before it burst violently through my ribs.

I had gotten it in my head that he was the one to give all to and though he was nice and seemed to somewhat care, what I had rattling around in my chest waiting to be freed was not for him.

Not now.  Maybe for him when he was innocent and could understand the endurance of my illogical love, once given always abiding.  Back when he believed.  Now, not.

Maybe for his future self that might lay down weapons formed from betrayal and disappointment.  But I think that when he does it will be for someone else who, like me, yearns to kiss his eyelids and live lips tucked into the crook of his neck, his scent her only anchor.

He isn’t a boy really, though until we grow into creatures who claim their dreams, we remain children seeking succor.   And though I may focus on him, I know that this has less to do with anyone than with my delinquency.

Time has come for me to love like first bite of mango in summer, dripping juice.  I am ready to be someone’s home.  Someone’s deepest comfort.  His greatest escape.  I am ready to crawl onto his chest and know no harm can reach me.  I am ready to give him every ounce of light this body has because he would reflect it, our love-force perpetual.  Ready.


It can be a shock to realize how unimportant you really are, especially to someone who is a big deal to you.  Where they leave an indelible imprint on your existence, you register about as much as a gnat: annoying, briefly smashed and flicked off with a shudder as they amble their way through life, forgetting you as soon as they meet you.

I will never know the cause of this imbalance.  What if you were someone to whom everyone was significant yet you were the opposite to them?  What would you do?

Just so you know, you were not that much of anything and no mark was left.

Oh, to be unimportant, dismissed, dismissible, that is what creates the crazy lady, a scorned creature.  Problem is that the scorn ravages just you and no one else because, all in all, even they are not as important as you are to you.  You are forever the target of your own enmity, a magnet for pain and stress.  Endless stream of poison.

So let go.  Free yourself.

You are nothing to him and it’s ok.

You’re so used to being a force of reckoning.  Everything quails in the wake of your presence.  Then, there you go: you don’t even register and there’s nothing you can do about it.

You can always Rumpelstiltskin yourself or something but that would only leave you dead or living ripped asunder.  Would be hard to walk, right?

So pick up your ego that spills out of your eviscerated soul and hobble as you heal.  Crawl first.  Grovel.  Just hold on.  Breathe shallowly until pieces of you stop slipping out mixed with intestines.  One day.

Un&Thank You

I so thank you for making me feel giddy again, believing and feeling so lucky at my gift that I could keep unwrapping forever.  Each layer would caress my heart, make me ache and give me solace because I had you.

Thank you for touching me with such a steady hand of ownership, acceptance and promise, often on the small of my back.  Thank you for reigniting my adoration of music though, now, you two are painfully connected.   Thank you for the privilege of that moment that no else could attain.

I unthank you for the last incomplete kiss, not allowing me to swallow you and drown in tasting you with a thirst I could never, would never desire to quench.

Unthank you for that which was not and could have been.

Unthank you for no days of sneaking mushrooms onto your plate or scoring the rejects at dinner.  Unthank you for no birthdays where I would bless the day you were made for me.

Unthank you for all the mornings I will not wake up entwined in your arms, remembering our silly jousting accompanied by that sweetness that I almost had and always prayed for.

Unthank you for missing morning breath kisses so deep you would know my bottomless, unconditional desire for you.  Unthank you for this hole you burrowed yet never filled, leaving me more than hollow.  Bereft.

I un&thank you for reviving my dying heart only for me to kill it again.

One Day

One day I will love you and that day I dread.

That day I will admit that I have always loved you.  Before I knew you and long after.  And then what?

Until then, let me turn from my impotence.  Let me escape in slick saliva.  Tentative.  Begging for reprieve.  Not there.  Not now.  Not yet.  Please.

What will I lose when I already know?  Were, are, never mine.

Losing you again is nothing new.  It was always with me.

Ecstasy ends when kisses there disappear.  I panic even now as your scent recedes.