Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Feel Like A Woman

Every time that I drive my son's car around town to do errands, he has a Shania Twain CD that he puts in for me to listen to. It is one of the few CD's that he has that we both like.

This article was inspired by one of Shania's songs and that is where the title of this article comes from. It may be the name of her song even. I am not sure. I love the Music video that she did for this song. She always looks as if she is having the time of her life doing these videos.

My favorite lines in the song are these:
"I feel like a woman."
"I want to be free to feel the way that I feel."
"The best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to have a little fun."

Personally, I think the best thing about being a woman is the prerogative to be free to feel whatever I feel. Men aren't always given that opportunity. Women are allowed to cry over anything and everything. Much of society consider a man who cries as being a sissy. To me, seeing a man cry makes him that much more of a man, a man who is secure in being who he is whatever the circumstances or emotions that come his way.

Because of the incest, I didn't always want to be a woman. I was a tomboy during most of my childhood liking to be running around outdoor rather than cooped up in the house doing housework. Reading a book was the only thing that I wanted to do when I was indoors. Boys seem to have so much more freedom that girls. I was heartbroken the day that I was told I could no longer wrestle with the boys because it wasn't ladylike. I was about 10 or 11 years old at the time.

To me, being a woman-child was the reason that I was abused, so I didn't want to be that. Being a woman meant that I had to go through the pain of periods every month. Wouldn't it be nice if men could have a period at least half of the time. Of course, there probably wouldn't be any babies born if men had to experience the monthly pains of menstuation and forget about them actually going through the pain of labor and giving birth. I was told that men enjoyed sex and women weren't supposed to. I can thank my husband Daniel for teaching me that that lie was just that, a lie.

Both of my parents taught me that it wasn't ok to feel. My mom taught by example, in that she didn't express feelings. She buried them. My dad taught that the alcoholic, him, was the only person who could express his anger. His anger was always in the form of verbal abuse, name calling and rage.

Today, I enjoy being a woman in all of its glorious and not so glorious aspects. I love who I am today. Today that means fully embracing all of me, including those emotions that I have had to learn to express in a healthy manner. Being angry is ok. Being responsible for what I do with that anger is ok. Being joyful is ok too. Happy, angry, sad, frightened are all ok to feel.

I love the line from Shania's song that says, "I want to be free to feel the way that I feel." Today, I am free to do just that or not, whichever I choose to do. Today I can glory in the needs and wants of my mind and body. Today I am connected to both body and mind.

I love playing grownup and being feminine, putting on pretty clothes, doing my hair and makeup. I also love wearing hats or just jeans and a teeshirt, as my mood strikes. I also love playing a child and having fun. Women are allowed to do all of these much easier than a man.

For most of my life, I was way too serious. I had to learn how to play and how to laugh. Laughter is another thing that my husband Daniel taught me. He says he liked my smile so much when we were dating that he would play the clown just to make me laugh so that he could see me smile. I had a shy smile back then. Now I laugh out loud. I believe that one of the reasons that God created mankind was to bring laughter into His world. See if you can tickle God's funny bone today with your laughter and sense of humor.

Today, be all that you can be in all that you do. If you are a woman, be that woman to the best of your abilities. If you are a man, be that man to the best of your abilities. Don't let lies keep you from living your life to the fullest. We are all children of God and that is a glorious thing to be. Blessings to all.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Judgments---Discernment Or Prejudice?

This article was inspired by Reverend Bea Arline's sermon at Christway Unity Church, Hot Springs, Arkansas on April 20, 2008.

What do your judgments say about you?

With your judgments, are you being discerning---seeing reality for what it really is? Or, are you expressing personal prejudices?

Are you allowing those judgments to guide you away from negative people and situations or are they dragging you down into anger, fear and hatred?

Are you using judgment to disconnect with your own shadow side by projecting it off onto others that you are then judging as bad, as less than you?

Are your judgments helping you to see what is or are they allowing the ego to keep you separated into "them against me"?

Judgment, as discernment, helps you to see others as they really are, not as you want them to be. Discernment can also help you to see yourself as you really are, rather than the fairy tale image that you would like to be. Discernment can keep you out of harm's way. It can keep you real.

Take off your rose colored glasses and look at the world through discernment rather than prejudice. Reclaim the shadow part of yourself with love and acceptance, then change what you don't like rather than projecting it on to others.

I ask to be guided to release judgments that may harm me or others. I ask to become more aware of discernments that may protect me or others from harm. I ask that this be done for the highest good of all concerned. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Reverend Bea's closing words were, "We often have wisdom missing from our judgments."
Patricia Singleton

Friday, April 18, 2008

Attitude Is Everything

A few days ago I asked for inspiration and boy am I getting it. This is the third article that I have written today. I am not posting them all on the same day. I am spreading the inspiration out so as to not bombard you with too much information all on one day. This week's lesson in Andrea Hess' class "The 7 Keys to Intuitive Development" is to "Ask. Ask. Ask." for what we want in the form of intuitive information from our guides. Andrea says most of us don't ask for intuitive information. This article is the one of the fruits of my asking for inspiration.

Here is an email article that I received today from a friend. It is an email that goes around the internet quite frequently. I read it, enjoy it and pass it on to friends every time that I get it. This time I decided to share it with my readers as well. It is an attitude that I intend to put to use in my life. I don't know the original source of the information. I would give you full credit if I did. I love your message. Here it is:

"John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, 'If I were any better, I would be twins!'

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, 'I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?' He replied, 'Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or ... I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or ... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose to point out the positive side of life.'

'Yeah, right, it's not that easy,' I protested. 'Yes, it is,' he said. 'Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life.'

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks in intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, 'If I were any better, I'd be twins ... Wanna see my scars?' I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

'The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,' he replied. 'Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or ... I could choose to die. I chose to live.'

'Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?' I asked. He continued, '.. the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action.

'What did you do?' I asked. 'Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,' said John. 'She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'GRAVITY'!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.'

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude .. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."

In the email you are given the choice to delete the email or to send it on to your friends and family. Instead, I chose to share it with you.

To live life fully or less than full is a choice that we each make every day. Whether we are aware or not, we do choose. How are you going to live today? I make the choice to live my life fully for today. Tomorrow I may choose differently, who knows? Tomorrow is just that, a day that hasn't gotten here yet. Tomorrow, I will choose again. Today, have a glorious day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Law Of The Garbage Truck

This is from an email from a friend. I don't know who to credit with originally writing it. It is well worth passing along, so here goes.

"The Law Of The Garbage Truck
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital.' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Do not take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.'

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....

'Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.' You gotta love them too!"

The person that sent this email to me ended it the words, "May God Smile On You Today."
Thanks, Donna for this wonderful lesson from your forwarded email.

I would add a few more words to this. Bless those people as you send them on their way. I didn't same damn them. I said bless them. Haven't most of us been there, done that, and then later regretted our actions and words. I hope that more of you will remember this garbage truck analogy the next time you find yourself in the position of blasting someone for being in your way. We all have way too much stress in our lives. Blowing off stream by blasting someone else isn't the way to release our frustrations. Stop, take a breath, and think about your blessings instead. You are alive today. Enjoy it. Have a glorious day.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Boundaries And Inappropriate Behaviors

Boundaries are not wall. They should be flexible.

Boundaries are not rigid. They should be adjustable.

This doesn't mean they should collapse at the first sign of resistance from yourself or other people. Boundaries, especially when you first set them, will be tested by others who aren't used to them being there, by others who don't like your new boundaries at all, and by yourself to see if you really mean what you say.

Boundaries are not being selfish. They should protect us from the inappropriate behaviors of others. Sometimes, boundaries also protect others from our own inappropriate behaviors. One boundary that I have set for myself is that I cannot try to fix other people. No matter how much I may think that I know better, I cannot tell another person how to live their lives and how to make their choices. I don't have that right. No one does. In codependent relationships, fixing was often something that I tried to do in the past.

When I first heard about boundaries in Adult Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon, I was confused. I had no idea what they were talking about. I grew up with incest and alcoholism in my family. The two worst alcoholics were also rageaholics so there were no boundaries.

Codependency was rampant in my family because of the alcoholism. Everyone tried to fix everyone else. Rage and silence lived in the same house. Fear was always around waiting and feeding. Everyone tried to placate the alcoholic. No one paid attention to the children. We were fed and clothed and taught to not feel unless it was rage which better not be expressed unless you were the alcoholic. We were taught to live with abuse and inappropriate behaviors because that was normal in our family. I grew up as the oldest of three children. My dad was the third oldest of the 13 kids in his family. I grew up with an extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. My grandfather was the violent alcoholic head of the extended family. Every weekend was spent at the house of my grandparents. The only time my grandfather drank was from Friday evening when he got off work until Sunday evening when he ran out of money to buy more beer.

Growing up with the incest and alcoholism, which really is a family disease, I didn't know that living with people who exhibited inappropriate behaviors every day wasn't normal. It was normal in my family. Not knowing what is normal is a characteristic of adult children of alcoholics.

Because of the abuse, I had walls that I hid the real me and the wounded me behind. Walls are not boundaries. Walls are rigid. Walls are solid. They kept you out and also kept me a prisoner trapped in the abuse. In hiding from you and life, I was just existing, getting through each day, just going through the motions of surviving and not really being touched by anyone or anything, a prisoner of my own fears. If I let you get too close, you would hurt me. The walls that protected me also kept me a prisoner of fear and despair.

Someone in Al-Anon recommended that I read two of the books written by Melody Beattie called Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency. I saw so much of myself and my family in those books. I also learned about healthy boundaries and how to use them. I recently recommended these books to my friend who is new to Al-Anon. They are wonderful resources to having healthy relationships with others and with yourself.

The first step, for me, in setting boundaries was to let down my walls. This wasn't a one-time occurence. In learning to do boundaries, it is a back and forth process of letting down the walls, getting scared and putting the walls back up, noticing that the walls are back up and letting them down again going back and forth until you feel safe without the walls. In the beginning, it is like a pendulum swinging back and forth until the swings became less and less until you finally find balance near the center.

You know that you have healthy boundaries when they protect you from abuse and inappropriate behaviors without you hiding behind walls. You know that you have set healthy boundaries for yourself when you recognise that you are no longer abusing others with your own set of inappropriate behaviors. You know that you have healthy boundaries when you are no longer abusing yourself with your own inappropriate behaviors.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the inspiration and the flow of energy to write these words and to share them with others.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Andrea Hess from Empowered Soul at taught us in her class "7 Keys to Intuitive Development" this week that any time you ask for something from your guides, angels, Higher Self, or God that you should end the request with the words, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." The gratitude opens you up to receive more. I do it because I like the way that my heart feels more expansive when I am in the feeling of being grateful. Being open to more receiving is an added bonus for me. Andrea, thank you for being such a wonderful, wise teacher.

Stephen Hopson at Adversity University at
writes a gratitude article each Friday to express his gratitude about people and events that have inspired him each week. This week he is sharing a preview of his soon-to-be published book. Thank you for being an inspiration in my life and for the inspiration to write my own gratitude article today.

Pat Ruppel of Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom at has fast become one of my favorite bloggers to read. She recently wrote an article about the power of hugging a tree and feeling its silent courage. As the title of her blog says, she gives you "plain talk" and "ordinary wisdom." Your articles enriched my life. Pat thanks for being so down-to-earth with your brand of wisdom.

Another wonderfully wise and loving blogger that I have met is Corinne Edwards of Personal Growth with Corinne Edwards at . I personally grow with the reading of each of Corinne's articles. Thank you, Corinne, for sharing yourself through your blog articles.

This wasn't the article that I planned on writing today. That article is still somewhere in the ethers of my mind. This is the article that came out of me when I sat down to write after reading Stephen Hopson's Friday gratitude article. This is the article that came about from the flow of the Universe when I asked for inspiration to write today's article so I chose to go with it instead of the one that I had in mind for today. The other article will come out, or not, when it is supposed to, so I say, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." to the Universe, God, my guides and my angels for giving me the people above who inspired this article. Have a glorious day. I am enjoying the glorious sunshine coming in my office window as I sit here typing. It is warm and bright and glorious after all of the rain that we got here in Arkansas the past two days. Thank God that we didn't get the servere weather that was predicted.
Love to you all,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tools Of The Ego

Page 86, Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth says the following:

"A shy person who is afraid of the attention of others is not free of ego, but has an ambivalent ego that both wants and fears attention from others. The fear is that the attention may take the form of disapproval or criticism, that is to say, something that diminishes the sense of self rather than enhances it. So the shy person's fear of attention is greater than his or her need for attention. Shyness often goes with a self-concept that is predominantly negative, the belief of being inadequate. Any conceptual sense of self---seeing myself as this or that---is ego, whether predominantly positive (I am the greatest) or negative (I am no good). Behind every positive self-concept is the hidden fear of not being good enough. Behind every negative self-concept is the hidden desire of being the greatest or better than others. Behind the confident ego's feeling of and continuing need for superiority is the unconscious fear of inferiority. Conversely, the shy, inadequate ego that feels inferior has a strong hidden desire for superiority. Many people fluctuate between feelings of inferiority and superiority, depending on situations or the people they come in contact with. All you need to know and observe in yourself is this: Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that's the ego in you."

I am reading so much from this book that resonates in me.

"Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that's the ego in you."

How often in your day do you feel one or the other of these two? The majority of my judgments about myself and other people probably come in the form of feelings of inferiority or superiority. This book is giving me so many awarenesses of the tools that ego uses to stay in control.

I can relate so much to the feelings of ambivalence of a shy person. Believe it or not, I was extremely shy until I was in my late 20's. My husband helped to tease me out of most of my shyness. He helped me to come out of my protective shell.

I remember spending most of my free time at school in the library with my head stuck in a book so that I could hide from people. I didn't know how to talk to any of the kids at school. I was so afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. I was afraid of drawing attention to myself and at the same time, I craved the attention. I was starved for attention at the same time that I was terrified by it. I remember wearing make-up to school one day. I probably put it on in the bathroom at school so my dad wouldn't see it and tell me to wash it off. One of my teachers commented on how beautiful it made my eyes. I was in heaven and hell at the same time. I was pleased at the compliment from my teacher and I was terrified by that same attention and didn't know how to react to it. I didn't know how to handle the ambivalence. I went home and washed my face and didn't wear make-up again until I was in college.

I didn't know that I was pretty until one day, I overheard someone talking about me. I was 19 years old when I heard this friend ask another friend, "Doesn't she know that she is pretty?" I had no clue. I was so shy and withdrawn. I wore neutral colors and did my best to be invisible to others. I doubt that most of my classmates would recognise me as the author of this blog. Today, I am quite vocal about my beliefs and feelings. I doubt anyone that I went to school with would imagine me as a writer.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Reconnecting With Self

What follows are two letters that my sister Joann DeHoyos wrote to herself recently. She asked me to post them because there might be others who feel as she did when she wrote these letters.

"Hello, Jo Ann,
How are you doing? Fine I hope. As for me, I'm not doing very well. Physically, yes but mentally, no. I am going through a lot of hard times since I lost my son. Nothing seems to go right anymore regardless of how hard I try. The harder I try, the worse it gets. I don't know what to do anymore.

I am almost at the end of my rope. What do I do when I reach the end? Keep on fighting or let go? I don't know how far down the bottom is if I let go. How far do I fall? Is there a bottom? Who knows? I don't. Do you?
Love always,

When I read the above letter, I asked Joann to write a second letter to Me from Joann to see what she could add to the first letter. Here is what she wrote:

"Dear Me,
I am so sorry to hear that you are going through hard times. I have been there and done that. I also have been at the end of my rope. Believe me, it is no fun. The next step is suicide and we don't want that.

Since then I have met a friend named Ruth. She pulled me back up and has not let me fall anymore. I don't know what I would have done without her. So please, if you ever start falling again, write me and I will be there to pull you back up. I promise I won't let you fall.

My sister has also played a major role in helping me. Without her and Ruth, I would be in the same place as you. I am so lucky to have someone to love me. Bye for now.
Jo Ann"

None of you know my sister or the courage that it took for her to write either of these letters to herself. I am proud of her. Jo Ann, none of your growth would have happened until you made the decision to allow it. Now that you are beginning to open up, keep going. As I have been telling you, it is time to learn to love yourself. People always treat you the way that you believe that you deserve to be treated. Love yourself and people will treat you with love and respect. Nothing that Ruth or I either one can do will affect the way you see yourself. I love you. Now love yourself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Remembering My First Meditation Experience

Last Wednesday night was the first of six classes on developing your intuition that I am taking over the telephone with Andrea Hess. Andrea is a great teacher as well as being one of my favorite bloggers. Check out her blog and classes at .

For homework this week, we are learning to meditate. You meditate on the light of a white tapered candle as you count your breaths for 15 minutes in the morning as soon as you wake up. For the evening meditation you have your eyes closed and just look at the space between your eyebrows. Both of these are slightly different ways to learn to quiet your mind and your thoughts. That doesn't mean you won't have thoughts. You will. Stilling your mind isn't easy. It takes a lot of practice. With practice, you will occasionally find that there are no thoughts. Most of the time, I find myself with just brief moments of silence followed by hearing my thoughts. When I notice my thoughts, then I go back to counting the breaths or to focusing on the third eye area depending upon which meditation I am doing. The secret is to just let go of the thoughts and refocus your attention.

Meditating is not new to me. I learned to meditate about 10 years ago using very similar techniques to those that Andrea has shared with her class.

I remember my very first session of meditation so clearly. I found myself face to face with a terrified little girl who was screaming that she didn't want to go there again. She was hysterical. She was crying. I was crying. She was me.

I had never realized before that day that when the sexual abuse happened to me as a little girl that I went into my head. I disconnected from my body in the only way that I could by going into my head. I stayed there for many, many years totally disconnected from my body and my emotions.

So before I could learn to quiet my mind to meditate, I had to quieten the cries of the little girl in me. I had to learn to comfort her and let her know that she was safe and the abuse wasn't still happening. Getting that little girl to trust me has probably been some of the hardest work that I have done in recovery.