The First Year, again

So, when I realized that in the scheme of things, in the scope and sequence of things, in the Great Design and Master Plan of things what time it was, well just imagine! I was both dismayed at not having known what I should have known, what I should have understood from the beginning, what I had never been told–yet which every sign had made so abundantly clear whenever I had kept all three eyes open: it was the the beginning again. It was the first year.

I sat for a while not knowing, and trying to feel. Knowing and trying not to feel. Feeling and wanting and not wanting to know what I now knew and must be responsible for. I felt the unction, the vibration: “work while it is day, for when the night cometh no man can work.” I heard The Voice: “What will ye?”

What will I, indeed, I thought! What will I and what won’t I? I remembered that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And I looked down at remains of the harvest in front of me, of which I was still partaking. And this being the first year in the cycle, I made some decisions about what I would sow this Time. And I looked inward, both sad that I had found out late and yet relieved that it was not too late to sow something I could look forward to reaping.


Happy Birthday…I think

My birthdays tend toward melancholy and nostalgia. I know better, and yet that’s how it is. At my age, it is difficult not to look back on the “glory days” that, oddly enough I didn’t know may prove to be the highlights of my life. It’s equally difficult not to regret what projects still have not been finished, what words left unsaid, what relationships abandoned, what dreams yet unrealized.

And so, yet again it is time to reassess. Scrap unworthy goals and set new ones. Determine what is worth pursuing and what paths are better not following. With–statistically speaking–half my life already over, what will I now do? Where will I go, and with whom?

But while I would be lying if I said I don’t want to do more things than I have done, truthfully what I am finding more imperative each day, is HOW I DO THOSE THINGS. That is to say, even if I only do one small thing, did I do it with integrity? Did I persevere until I saw the results I was initially looking for? Or did I allow myself to be dissuaded by nay-sayers (even those that insist in hanging out in my own head)?

At this point in my life, more important than accuracy, or even consistency is authenticity. If there is one thing I will celebrate this year, it is the blessing of still being on the path to being my most authentic self, and showing as much grace and mercy to myself as I show to others. Whatever I do, I will do it with boldness and with tenacity and with joy. Because that is who I am. I will give my strength to what I believe I should (until I see things differently) and then if need be, I will change my course, because that is OKAY.

This year, I want to live unapologetically–even if I do so quietly. I will accept that I don’t have to be popular, neither on social media, nor in my real human interactions. I will cast out the fear of judgment and criticism of people who have never taken the time to get to know me. I will give myself the love that I know I deserve. I will be my friend. I will embrace every part of me, and wish me well.

So, I guess this is a happy birthday, eh? Happy Birthday, ol’ gal! Happy Birthday.



I have been quiet on the issue of weight loss for the past couple of weeks. Mainly because I didn’t want to offend any of my fellow weight-loss-journey bloggers who have had (or are still waiting to have) some type of surgery. I can’t reiterate enough how happy I am for all of you; for all of US. I simply decided, as you remember, to take another route. And of course I’m still believing that we will all end up together at the same happy place.

So, meanwhile, the other (more shadowy) reason that I have been quiet is because I wanted to see some positive results on this journey before I started blabbing about what I’m doing. I am so grateful and so relieved to be able to report that for the 3rd week in a row, I have seen more weight loss. Is it DRASTIC weight loss? Heck no. But it’s the kind of 1.5 lb-2 lb loss that keeps you smiling that thanking God.

So what does God have to do with this anyway? Well, for me it just makes since. I have trusted God for everything else in this world. I decided AGAIN (with a little prompting) to give my weight issue to God as well. It’s ironic that what I’m doing is NOTHING NEW and it is COMPLETELY NATURAL and I don’t have to spend any money. Well, except for new clothes, because I am shrinking. Yippee.

You probably have already heard of Gwen Shamblin’s Weigh Down Workshop because it’s been around for at least 2 decades by now. I found out about it through a friend probably about 13 or so years ago, who told me that she had not only used the program to lose 80 pounds, but also to quit smoking. Even I lost about 40 pounds before I just got complacent. I kept the weight off as well as the 4 dress sizes I went down for a few years. It was only later that I began to feel that familiar desperation again about losing weight quickly and I started seeking other alternatives. Indeed if I had never taken that cursed Phentermine, I may have never experienced the devastating ballooning effect that took me higher up the scales than I have ever been before! Oh, well, I won’t keep brooding over horrible mistakes, but will look ahead to a bright future.

Now I will use these principles until I lose the remaining 118 pounds that I want to lose to get to my ideal weight. God will help me. The basics are to simply ONLY eat between the boundaries of hunger and fullness. The End.

Okay, I admit, there is a little more than that. The key is to wait until true, physiological HUNGER manifests itself and then eat a small portion of whatever food you want. When you feel satisfied–not stuffed–you put away the rest of the food or throw it away. You are free to eat again when you feel hunger. BUT WHAT IS THERE TO KEEP A MORBIDLY OBESE PERSON FROM EATING ALL DAY????? Well, that’s where God comes in. Personally, I would say, “That’s where DEVOTION comes in.”

There are millions of people who don’t feel particularly religious or spiritual, so they might initially feel turned off by saying one should turn to God to help with weight loss. I get that. But in all sincerity, human beings have proven for millennia that we are creatures of habit; we know how to commit to something. We ALL adore something, even if it’s our grandkids or our car. We all understand the nature of sacrifice. So, even if we think we are not religious, we actually ARE. The key is to transfer our devotion/love for food over to the Creator. And that’s how we feel empowered and committed to allow nature to do what it does best: heal and restore.

AM I A CHRISTIAN? Well, I’m glad you asked. If you asked me about myself, I’d gladly say yes. But if you asked someone else that about me, they might think I am not. They might see my beliefs, as delivered to me by my beloved Guru, as too liberal, too unorthodox, or absolutely inconsistent with fundamental Christianity. Of course I would beg to differ, because after years of discipleship, I have not seen any incongruence with the teaching of my guru and those of essential Christianity. If anything, my life and my faith have DEEPENED and been greatly enhanced. Most of all, my DEVOTION has gone through the roof, which is the point I am making about my ability to now be successful in implementing the principles of Weigh Down Workshop, a program which is unapologetically “Christian/Bible based.”

May you reach all your weight loss dreams! I’m certainly headed there with you, thanks to this amazing grace I have found.


I’m Out

Well, if you followed my blog because I was about to have Weight Loss Surgery…I’m sorry for both of us.

I’m opting out of the surgery, and I’m still pressing toward being my most authentic self. I hope you will remember that my original purpose for beginning this blog was to discover and express that true Self.

I am sooooooo happy for all my friends here who have had and those who will have the surgery. I wish you the best of luck and the best of health. I honestly mean that. I pray we will all get there; where we want to be.

As for me, I had to confront the truth: that I had made a fear-based, emotionally-charged decision: something I know from experience is a horrible thing to do and rarely has good outcomes. On the contrary, the decisions I have made that way have usually come with a horrifying price tag and many, many regrets. At the age I am now, I honestly cannot afford to make many more decisions like that.

Somewhere deep inside I have believed and do believe that I will receive Divine help. And yet it seems that looking back, I have consistently drawn back in doubt and then fallen into the trap of trying to do what has been successful for other people. I have never been true (over the long term) to the Guidance that I know for a fact that I have received. Instead, I have made many choices in desperation. Even now, I am carrying around an extra 100 pounds on my body that is largely due to one of those decisions to act in desperation when my weight-loss efforts were not paying off dividends fast enough for my satisfaction.

Be Blessed. Be Happy. Be Well.


The Irresistible Invitation

I hear your call: the invitation. Your call is insistent, almost irresistible…

and yet I hesitate,


hand10I see your outstretched hand, and I want to…

It’s just that I’m afraid and

hence the air of bravado, the gregariousness

that I despise in others: the stupid sham.

But I put it on anyway, even in layers.

I pretend to believe that it covers me,

covers the bruises left by emotional abuse;

the scars left by rejection.

I smile the smile that has dazzled hundreds, laying it on thick,

surprised and dismayed that it never fails to fool the rest. Aye, the fools!

The heartless fools. But you were never deceived.

I wink the wink that has smitten them in droves,

pucker and pout and raise and eyebrow: make a suggestion

that leaves them thinking they thought of it

and baby somebody’s gonna get hurt, but I’ll make sure it’s not me.

Oh, God! They don’t SEE…

But I know you see. With loving eyes

you penetrate the disguise

removing each layer (OW! Could you be more gentle?!) as I wince in pain

embarrassed and ashamed.

You don’t blanch at the ugliness, the stench of ill-treated sores.

You dress my wounds, bathing them in your tears (of joy?)

It is for this that you have called to me!

And now I recognize you for the Wounded Healer that you are.

I want you for my own!

…But you have others to attend to…

2007. Dedicated to Henry J. Nouwen, author of “The Wounded Healer.”


Up and Down (Part 2)

It was difficult to accept the diagnosis of Bipolar from the psychiatrist because of the way I had been raised. We come from a very fundamentalist religious background that pretty much “demonizes” every sort of illness and ESPECIALLY mental illness. I am not pointing fingers at anyone; I’m simply explaining why it was so difficult to accept. What made it worse was the way people would preach a doctrine of physical and spiritual perfection that made those of us who were still struggling in any way do the most hypocritical thing possible: hide our ailments and pretend that everything was okay. Admitting any sort of sickness or disease or disorder or habit after having professed salvation was the same as saying that Christ had died in vain or that despite Christ’s great sacrifice you are lacking in the faith required to receive the benefits. Either way, you’re a loser.

I can’t tell you how many prayer lines I stood in, each time believing that THIS was the night that I would be set free FOREVER. But as the months rolled on, each black pit of depression was blacker than the previous one. I lived in secret misery for years, still proclaiming Jesus as the healing miracle worker who has no respect of persons. I simply attributed my own lack of change to my inability to continually exhibit the faith that was sufficient to move Him. It was like being at the grocery store with .50 cents and the cashier telling you that you need $50. No matter how much you believe in her grace and mercy, and no matter how much you beg and plead, and no matter how much you seek to flatter her with praises you’re not leaving that store until you pay up. That’s the way I saw my own faith deficiency. And with each passing year, I felt more hopeless.

I took the meds. First, Lamictal at the lowest possible dosage. Three months later the psych increase the dosage. Later he added another med and then later increased that dosage as well. At the end of a year, I was on 3 different meds including stuff like Welbutrin and Abilify, all at the highest dosages. Eventually I was not myself in ANY way. I was in a distracted, agitated, sleepy CLOUD which did block out the crazy-impulse voices, but unfortunately also blocked out my own voice. I don’t remember being able to think ANY thoughts or feel any feelings except aggravation and lethargy. I remember wondering what was the point if one way or the other I was still going to feel like a miserable wretch.

Knowing that I had been advised not to ever come off all those meds without doctor approval or supervision, I still did it. My psychiatrist had told me that I would be on medication for the rest of my life, period and that we would just keep switching up and changing things until we found what “worked.” After a year, we had not found that magic combination. So I prayed that God would help me and sustain me when I threw the remaining meds in the trash. I committed to trying to live in a way that would not welcome anymore drama into my life and in return I just wanted Him to help me not to kill myself.

Seven years later, I am still alive. I try to live in a balanced way. I am thankful to have loving, supporting friendships as well as a loving husband. I work a full-time job and am working on a Master’s Degree. Until recently, I had been committed to eating well and getting lots of physical activity; things that I know have an impact on one’s ability to cope with life. Above all, I have embraced a spiritual path of meditation and have been blessed by the teachings of my guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. I give glory to God for having stabilized and sustained me thus far.

THAT’s why I was so upset about the recent Psych Eval in which he said he would not recommend me as a candidate for weight loss surgery unless I got back on medication. It’s like a slap in the face and a total disregard for my growth over these seven years.