Category Archives: Anxiety

Just Get In The Dang Rowboat

“Surrendering is the free-falling backwards into the unknown and trusting that The Universe will catch you.” ― Jen Sincero, You are a Badass.

This is just one of the thousands of motivational quotes I’ve been collecting lately.  In addition to reading dozens of self-help books, I’ve been Googling “How to manifest a dream,” or “How to figure out what dream to manifest,” or “Can someone tell me what to do?”

After all this in-depth research, I’ve learned I only need ask The Universe for what I want and, poof, it will arrive.

IMG_0398

Really?  It’s that easy?

I picked one colossal dream – Make Money From My Writing.

I wrote the dream down in my journal several times each day. I wrote it with a fountain pen. I will make money from my writing.  (Good karma using something beautiful.)  I wrote it with colored pens. I will make money from my writing.  (Good creativity using multi-colors.)  I posted it on my phone’s wallpaper, I WILL MAKE MONEY WRITING. (Covered in all my app tiles – maybe not such a good choice.)

I taped a note on my bathroom mirror and repeated it over and over while brushing my teeth.  “I wih make moyee from my whiting. I wih make moyee from my whiting. I wih make moyee from my whiting. ”

Then something did happen.  My brother from New York called and said, “I don’t know why I feel compelled to tell you, but ever since you helped me…”  I held my breath.  This was it.  The Universe had been listening and was ready to help me make money at my writing.  “…pick out a comfortable chair for my room, it’s changed my life.”  He went on to explain how that one change led to another change and another.  He continued.  “And the way you reorganized the kitchen, it’s amazing.  You should start a business decluttering and organizing people’s lives.”

No thank you.  I’m going to make money from my writing.

The next day I heard from a friend who wanted to thank me again for decluttering and organizing his room.  It had changed his life and he suggested I should think about starting a business doing that for people.

Nope.  I’m going to make money from my writing.

I shared with my niece about the two random calls of appreciation.  Before I could complain that The Universe was not listening to me she exclaimed, “You should totally start that business!  You are incredible at it.”

No way.  I’m going to make money from my writing.

That weekend, my sister-in-law said, “You are so good at organizing, you should start a business doing that.”

FrogHello?

Universe?

I’m free falling backwards into the unknown and trusting, but you are not delivering.

 

And then I thought of the old joke about the drowning man.

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and she is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and she is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

The stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and she is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. When he got his chance to meet God, he exclaimed, “I trusted you but you didn’t save me! Why?”

God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

What the hell.  I’m going to climb in the rowboat and see what happens.

Anyone interested in hiring The Mayor’s Decluttering, Organizing and Life Changing Corporation?

Blue Mayor

Awesome drawing by Annie Raab

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dream the impossible dream? I can’t even dream a possible one.

 

IMG_2410 copy

The first question in all these self-help books I’ve been reading is, “What’s your dream life?”  My dream life?   I can have a dream?  They may as well be asking me what time I want to leave for a trip to the moon.  It’s impossible.

Growing up in a poor household with a ton of hungry kids, I learned early that dreams were for schmucks.  My parents’ mantra was, “No sense in even trying because [fill in the blank] will never work anyway.”

When I was in junior high, I came up with the brilliant idea to audition for the cheerleader squad. This was back in the day where the student body voted, so it was basically a popularity contest.  Everyone already knew who the cheerleaders were going to be, but some small Dream Spark inside me determined I should give the impossible a try.  Since I’d successfully been a wallflower for the first fourteen years of my life, I did not make the squad and I cried my eyes out.

The next year when it was time to tryout, and with my Dream Spark barely an ember, I signed up  again.  As I jumped around our yard attempting to get my distinctly uncoordinated body to remain upright, Mom came outside.  Twisting a worn out dishcloth between her hands, she lowered herself onto a rusted swing.   “Please don’t try out again,” she whimpered.  “I can’t handle the rejection.”  Whereupon she buried her face in the towel and cried her eyes out.

That flood of tears extinguished my Dream Ember and I’ve never dreamed an impossible dream again, let alone a possible one.

Unicorn

But now these damn self-help books keep throwing matches at my Dream Ember to try to revive it.  I read a quote in one that said, “Create a vision that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.”  What? The?  That’s a made up thing, right?  Like princes on white horses, and dragons and unicorns?

I took the book to my therapist appointment and, stabbing my finger at the quote, demanded she confirm that it was a fairy tale.  She looked at me like I had two heads (something, I’m pretty sure they are taught in therapist’s school not to do) and said, “I jump out of bed every morning!”

I walked out of that appointment a muddled mess.  When I got to my car I paused to look around and wondered, WaitAre all these people walking around magically thinking up dreams, and goals, and aspirations too?

I’m available Wednesday for a trip to the moon.  Anyone want to come along?

 

Hello, from a deep dark cave.

MayorTHello, residents of Crazie Town.

You may be wondering where in the world have I been for the last 616 days? Then again maybe not.  Maybe you don’t care one whit about me.  But, before you delete this, I’ll share one parting shot from my Catholic Guilt Mother, “Go ahead without me.  I’ll be fine here all by myself.”

Somewhere, around day 597, I crawled into a deep, dark cave, curled up in a fetal position, and decided it was a good way to live out the rest of my life.

A few months ago I was listening to a podcast from best motivational speaker ever, Mama Ru/ aka: Drag Superstar RuPaul, and when asked how his past formed his life he said, “I am NOT a victim.”

Five little words changed my path.

Those words circled around my head for weeks, then they moved to my heart, then to my soul.  I realized I didn’t want to be a victim anymore.

But how could I change my entire way of thinking?

I now read every self-help book I can get my hands on.   I write my thoughts and fears and, (dare I say it?) dreams, in journals.  Lots and lots of journals.

Here is a small sampling of what I’ve mowed through so far.

IMG_2410 copy

I have a loooong way to go.  As the lyrics from my favorite song remind me all day long – “I am brave. I am bruised. I am who I’m meant to be.  This is me!”

Who I am is not a victim.