Mommy Issues

Last week, folks everywhere celebrated Mother’s Day: a day of recognition and appreciation for the person who is responsible for giving us life. I held out until 8pm to make the call that, as expected, went straight to my mother’s voicemail. This was fine with me because I’d spent the day searching for reasons to explain my reluctance towards making what would have amounted to a five-minute call.

Make that call...

Make that call…

 

There were no earth-shattering revelations, issues or arguments that fueled my inability to reach out; I just couldn’t. The truth is, my mother and I have never found the path to an authentic bond, which leaves us floundering through most interactions. We avoid conversations that go beyond the superficial, which causes our relationship to be fragmented, distant, and strained.

 

Our exchanges are cluttered with fashioned distractions, nonsensical yammering, and random histrionics. The mutually defensive posturing, coupled with our reluctance to address any elephants in the room, prevents us from having that mother-daughter connection that I hear referenced by others. At the risk of sounding like a shitty daughter, I believe I’ve grown tired of the ambiguous dance so, avoiding the obligatory Mother’s Day call was my equivalent of raising the white flag. [Read more…]

Top Five Drains On My Emotional Tank

Keeping our emotional tanks full is just as important as making sure you have gas in the car before heading out on the highway. If we allow ourselves to become too depleted, we’ll eventually wind up stranded on the side of the road— resentful, tired, and frustrated. I know because I’ve allowed myself to land there, more times than I care to count or admit. My wake of misguided decisions has taught me to focus on the main areas that, if taxed, will lead to my tank being tapped out. Although my list might seem simple, if neglected, the inevitable shit storm is nothing short of catastrophic.

Remember to fuel up...

Remember to fuel up…

 

We all have needs. It doesn’t matter if we are talking physical, emotional or a combination because when those needs are drained, our energy reserves will eventually run dry. Just like a car, if you plan to drive, drive, drive, you have to remember to do routine maintenance and always, fuel up. How/what rejuvenates us is unique to each individual but knowing what we need to sustain ourselves is vital to our continued happiness and well-being. Here’s my top five categories that keep my head above water because if these run low, I might as well call the game.   [Read more…]

Fear And The Unguarded Heart

“We can spend our whole lives escaping from the monsters of our minds.” ~ Pema Chödrön

 

Life makes us tough but there are always options for how we choose to deal with the muck that gets hurled our way. I tend to forget this, which often leaves me stuck, and floundering to find my way out of the weeds. There are currently some areas of my life that are in a state of flux. It’s not a bad thing, it’s as it should be but the circumstances don’t always lend themselves to living a quiet, composed existence. The ambiguity of the path ahead has me questioning everything, which inadvertently opens doors that invite my monsters to the party. That’s when I remind myself that monsters have nothing to offer because they are merely, taxing distractions. My solution to warding them off is to be diligent about recognizing when it’s time to let go, breathe, and allow the universe take over; that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It means I have to remain present. Aware.

Who knows...

Who knows…

 

Change is inevitable but learning to roll with, and be open to transformation, is what offers us the ability to pursue, that which scares us. I’ve admittedly made running from my demons a full-time job but it occurred to me that perhaps it’s time to stop running, and just be. Maybe knowing what happens in the next chapter isn’t as important as knowing that the present moment is exactly as it should be. When worry takes the wheel, and I feel like I can’t breathe, I remind myself that the flash of fear is already in the past. Done. Gone. This is how I choose to walk through the moments of uncertainty, and be still while the storm around me rages on because eventually, it too will pass.  [Read more…]

Relationships Are Tupperware

My Tupperware cabinet is the most infuriating area of my kitchen. I routinely toss the plastic containers and random lids from the dishwasher to the cabinet, with no regard for creating compatible pairs. Sifting through the avalanche of plastic that tumbles from the cupboard reminds me that having lids matched with an appropriate companion always proves to be beneficial. Cooking sprees leave me frustrated because trying to force lids on containers that are clearly not compatible creates a no-win situation. A recent Tupperware free-for-all left me contemplating how my plastic storage debacle may be a mirror image of the stumbling blocks in relationships. Like our relationships, when we try to force a lid on the wrong container, even if it’s close, it is never a secure fit.

Empty? Not so much...

Empty? Not so much…

 

With the exception of my extensive history of failed relationships, I am no expert on the topic. I speak only from my experiences and disasters of my own life lessons. I tend to evaluate relationships in terms of pros and cons, and as long as the pros outweigh the cons, we’re good. And, by the time we reach a certain age, we inevitably come to the table with some amount of emotional baggage; hence the cons. We are comfortable with the person we are, we’ve become set in our ways, and it can be challenging to find the right lid for our container. Herein lies the challenge.

 

 

People change and forget to tell each other. ~ Lillian Hellman [Read more…]

Dogs vs. Cats…

New Age folks often speak of having spirit animals, which are supposed to be a reflection of our personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. It is believed that our spirit animal is a guiding force behind how we work, live, love, and find our way in the world. For the purpose of this post, I’ve decided to forego my urge to sift through the entire animal kingdom, and instead, focus on just two—dogs and cats.

Spirit animal one...

Spirit animal one…

 

Dog energy vs. cat energy…

 

 

I love all animals but I believe that if given the opportunity, cats are the ones with the ability to achieve world domination. They observe, plot, and execute with ninja-like precision. Meanwhile, dogs are content with chasing tennis balls, barking, humping and digging holes. When it comes to comparing cats and dogs, we’re definitely talking about the extremes of the wag-o-meter.

Spirit animal two…(will kick your ass)

Spirit animal two…(will kick your ass)

[Read more…]

Let’s Talk LGBTQ Equality

One glance at news or social media feeds is all it takes to know that Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act has the nation in an uproar. Although it was later amended, this is but one of many similar bills/laws that have been in the works in states around the country. Rather than focus on a particular situation, I suggest doing a broad sweep of the movement underfoot that continues to foster discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community. I try to avoid discussing both politics and religion because doing so often leads to heated exchanges that do offer little in terms of a resolution for either side. That being said, I also find it increasingly difficult to sit silent while the battle rages on, and injustices aimed at the LGBTQ community are entertained. It saddens me that in 2015, I have to look at a map of the United States to find out where I am welcome to travel with a partner and be treated with the same dignity as any other couple. I suppose I could go off on an angry rant but it serves no purpose in this discussion. Anger only perpetuates the polarization of folks who instead need to meet in the middle from a place of mutual respect and compassion. The bottom line requires a shift so the focus is not on right vs. wrong but instead, the need for everyone to be treated equally. No more. No less.

Have compassion...

Have compassion…

 

Gay as a lifestyle choice…

 

Some argue that being LGBTQ is a lifestyle choice, which I believe is not rooted in fact. It is no more a choice than it is to be left-handed, heterosexual or have brown hair; it is how we are born. However, intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination are conscious choices that are continually perpetuated by a vocal minority. So, before jumping to the conclusion that LGBTQ folks are a subculture of deviants ask this: why would any rational human being make the choice to live a lifestyle where our basic rights as citizens are constantly under attack? We wouldn’t, it isn’t a choice, and there is no room for shame when honoring your authentic self. [Read more…]

Making Friends With Anxiety

I frequently refer to anxiety as one of those gifts that keeps on giving. So, how in the world can I, an individual who claims to be grounded in reality, refer to a potentially debilitating condition as, a gift? Trust me, there were many years when I allowed myself to be held captive by the habitual ebb and flow of my anxious mind. It wasn’t until I made a conscious decision to make friends with anxiety that I began to see the benefits of a condition that had previously left me housebound. I like to think of it as an arrangement, where both parties agree to disagree but peacefully coexist. That’s the current state of affairs in my headspace, and so far, the new mindset is serving me well. Allow me to explain.

Kinda...

Kinda…

 

I’ve made no secret about the fact that anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia have long been active components of my life. Mental illness has a tendency of just showing up, and regardless of your plans, it takes the wheel. No invitation is required because that isn’t how these little buggers operate. It’s easy to feel blindsided as you are abruptly tossed from the driver’s seat only to become a passenger on an unsolicited ride. Shitty? Absolutely. However, with a slight adjustment in perspective, I’ve learned to harness the seemingly unbridled energy of anxiety to better suit my needs. Game on.  [Read more…]

Searching For Balance

Balance. Sometimes, it feels like I spend so much time hanging around the extremes that I forget to stop in the middle. These last few weeks have felt like a non-stop exercise in polarities; I’m either running at full tilt or passed out. I need to find my way back to center because that’s where I function best.

No rest for the wicked...

No rest for the wicked…

 

As a student of Buddhism, I understand that following that Middle Way is the best route to staying grounded. When I allow life to spiral out of control or take on too many things at once, I find myself flying by the seat of my pants. This may feel good to some but for me, a person with extreme anxiety, nothing could be more unsettling. It’s also, counterproductive.

 

Change is good, and learning to adapt to changes is paramount for keeping pace with the inevitable fluidity of life. The trick, for me, lies in rolling with the changes but also keeping my feet on the ground. Herein lies the conundrum.

[Read more…]

Taylor Fulks Talks Audiobooks and GiveAway

Giveaway imageThis is it!

My 2nd Anniversary Blog GiveAway!

Yeah…I know! I can’t believe it! My journey is almost complete…It will officially end May 16th when I run in the #WarriorDash 5K obstacle run to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. I’m happy the money is going for that worthy cause, but my reasons for running are selfish, I’m afraid. This book journey has taken me from quiet, subdued, doormat, and transformed me into a Warrior for myself and Sexually Abused Children.

So here it is, two years of social media, my new and improved website, and the revised publication and redistribution of my book, in ALL formats, including an audiobook! Who’d of thunk it! Now it’s time to Celebrate! And this time, I’m doing it right!

So, what do you have to do to be entered in this Rafflecopter Giveaway? Just leave a comment and share this post (Facebook, Twitter, etc…). Easy-peasy!

You don’t have to wax poetic. You don’t even have to say anything…you can leave an * or an emoji, or any (clean) text you want. You’ll automatically be entered in my Giveaway, which by the way, is HUGE!

First prize…A 7″ HD~8GB Kindle Fire

Second prize… A $100 Amazon Gift Card

Third prize… A $50 Amazon Gift Card

Fourth prize… A $25 Amazon Gift Card

So…Let’s do this!

[Read more…]

Who Dropped The Clutter Bomb?

Home is where the heart is or in my case, the mess. Our space should tell our story; who we are, things we love, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. I enjoy my house. It’s filled with the things that keep me grounded, make me smile, fuel my creativity, and quiet my head. Currently, I’m living in a house that looks like a war zone, and my OCD world has crumbled around me. The bomb that was detonated came in the form of my commitment to meet a deadline. That pesky manuscript that has been sitting on my desk, and whirling around in my head, is finally being finished. I dove in headfirst, full speed ahead, and everything around me has turned to shit. I suppose this means that I’m actually getting something accomplished, right?

Stay the course...

Stay the course…

 

I used to laugh at the status updates from people who raised the white flag and surrendered to cohabiting with clutter. Today I am coming out, again, but this time—as a slob. Temporary? Absolutely. However, I am shocked and appalled at how quickly I’ve lost control of, well, everything. I am one person with two small dogs, one of whom doesn’t even go outside. How the hell did life go from a calm, orderly existence to mayhem—in a month? Here’s my personal freefall into chaos, courtesy of a funnel cloud of questionable origin.

[Read more…]