Monthly Archives: December 2015

Bewitched is the light

When you don’t know what to do, get still. Get still. Until you do know because nobody knows but you. Nobody knows for you. Only you know the path to your own truth. You always know the answer when you are willing to hear your own truth. – Oprah Winfrey

Some time ago I read a piece on Momastery titled The Erasing. She writes of how, on the other side of a depressive episode, there is light and wonder and magic, almost like you’ve never experienced before. It is a re-learning of everything gained prior to the episode because the blob sucks out of you the ability to feel anything except steep melancholy. She makes an excellent point.

What she also mentioned in that same post is how she writes letters from her up self to her down self. And notes from her down self to her up self. I’ve been doing a lot of that. I wrote some of it here, but there has been so much more scribbling and scrawling in my journal that most of it is illegible. It felt so good to put the energy to paper. I’ve started seeing my shrink lady again so those notes from my down self will help tremendously in discovering those darker parts of me that try to dismantle my sanity.

In the meantime, as I walk further from the blob, I have been writing a lot of notes to myself so when I get to that dark place again I can remind myself who I am. Because I will be there again. It might not be tomorrow or next month or even next year, but I will be there again. And it is important that I remember my Self when I get there. I have saved and printed messages from friends. I created a Fiercely Me corner in my living room. I have taped the below poems in my journal. I have written notes on my white board. The wallpaper on my computer is a mixture of messages to my Selves.

Ego Tripping by Nikki Giovanni Still I Rise by Maya Angelou Say I Am You by Jelaluddin Rumi Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

And now I have started a list of I AM which I highly recommend every single one of you do. There will be moments when you will need to know these things about yourself. None of us is immune to self doubt.

Right now, yes right now, start yours. Write it down. Put it somewhere that will surprise you later. Here’s mine:


I AM truth.
I AM honesty.
I AM authenticity.
I AM compassion.
I AM love.
I AM tenacious.
I AM survivor.
I AM strength.
I AM grounded.
I AM intuitive.
I AM empathic.
I AM determined.
I AM change.
I AM joy.
I AM gratitude.
I AM thankful.
I AM stubborn.
I AM courage.
I AM happy.
I AM goodness.
I AM woman.
I AM fierce.
I AM sister.
I AM witty.
I AM funny.
I AM sarcasm.
I AM intelligent.
I AM emotion.
I AM quirky.
I AM creative.
I AM flexible.
I AM observant.
I AM kindness.
I AM smart.
I AM feeling.
I AM wonder.
I AM hardheaded.
I AM woman.
I AM fight.
I AM badass.
I AM nature.
I AM ultrarunner.
I AM indelible.
I AM unending.
I AM adventurous.
I AM wanderer.
I AM free.
I AM spirit.
I AM confidence.
I AM power.
I AM indubitable.

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Posted by on December 16, 2015 in depression


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lame game

lately i have been mulling over some hard and interesting truths. on most of my runs – especially the long-er runs – i feel strength and confidence as a presence in my body. it courses through each muscle as i check in to make sure of its functioning. (we will not speak of my left leg.) i feel stable. and yet why does that not as easily transfer to my mind?

“Transcendence is more about the personal act of not engaging the enemy, finding a way out of the cage that is being designed for you at a particular moment by others, circumstance, or your own bad habits and ignorance.” ― Darrell Calkins,

many of my past relationships with people have been decided by the Other. maybe i have done the breaking up, but i have been wondering why they got to set the rules, decide our future, what we do each day, how we tackle relationship issues, etc. what decides which direction to choose? i have been contemplating the cyclical nature of my affectations.

the answer i keep coming back to is that i keep letting them.

just as i keep letting myself shy away from embracing the strength and confidence i know i am.

but that’s not all. how can i expect someone else to make me a priority, to consider me significant, worth their time, if i don’t first think that of myself?

it’s a difficult line to tread: how much of it is compromise? how much of it is becoming a doormat? when is it considered selfish? and self-centered? how much is survival and how much of it is ego? i have a very difficult time saying to another person “you must do it my way or else” and therein might lie the problem. maybe if i approach it from a different angle, not an all or nothing as my personality tends to suggest.

waiting. i realize i have spent a lot of time in my past relationships, life in general actually, waiting. waiting for what? i honestly don’t have an answer.

to be noticed? for them to see the hurt their words and/or actions have caused? for them to note what makes me happy and then doing it because they want to, not because they are asked? for them to speak my love language? for opportunities to fall in my lap? for that yarn store to open itself?

i have begun reminding myself almost daily that most of us are not ‘lucky’. we have not been handed our jobs or experiences or Life based on anything more than hard work and creating those moments for ourselves.


every day i wear buddha to assist in reminding me, “no one saves us but ourselves. no one can and no one may. we ourselves must walk the path.” if i want to feel significant to someone else, i must first be significant to myself. if i want friends, i must first be a friend with myself. if i want someone to love me without rules and hug me through the bad days, i must first practice self love and compassion with myself. i have to put out into the world the energy i seek from others. if i am not getting what i need in the idea of balance, then the strength to walk away i shall have. there is no more waiting, only doing.

Do or do not, there is no try. – Yoda

consider how this applies to the dirtbag life. running goals. i have watched many elite trail runners (via YouTube) on their journey to the finish line of their 5o milers or 1oo milers. they pick a crew who is going to lift them up in confidence. they purposely surround themselves with individuals who believe in them without condition on and off the field when they are unable to believe in themselves. they need a team to lift them to success and in order for that to happen, the runner needs to expect of their team what they also expect of themselves*.

my first 5om was a lark, a challenge to see if i could do it. and now i know i can. so it is time to make myself do them better. training harder. lifting for trail runners.** hill repeats on the trails. fartleks. clutch runs. and i am gonna pick a crew who will help me get there.

i really need to stop getting in my own way.

i will not accept mediocrity.



*vanessa runs speaks to this extensively in both her books the summit seeker and daughters of distance.

**shout out to @colesquaredlife for being willing to take on this challenge!





Posted by on December 11, 2015 in meditation, thinking


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Glow Worm


Finally the depression I had been feeling for years got so bad I shut down entirely and recognized I needed to seek therapy right away. With prodding from a friend coupled with recommendations from their therapist – helping narrow the choices significantly because when you’re deep in a depressive episode, decisions can be hard and the simplest can be overwhelming – I started seeing who I affectionately refer to as my Shrink Lady.

It was only a couple months later I finally decided to speak out loud to myself and others I am a trail runner, to admit to myself my truth and breathe into that decision. I felt a faint murmur of that warm glowing feeling. It’s kind of like a hug from the inside out, like it’s your soul coming from deep inside giving your heart a squeeze. It’s kinda like your insides say, “Whew.” I didn’t understand what it was at the time but have felt it several times since, each time gaining intensity or maybe it’s just I’m more open to the idea now.

About four months after seeing the Shrink Lady I started to read Daring Greatly and lurked over Fierce Forward. I took copious notes and tweeted much of what I found insightful and promising. I learned about numbing as a means to cope with life’s stressors and you can only stop feeling for so long before the body demands you pay attention.

I felt the glowing feeling as I learned about shame and how every one of us let it rule our judgment side.

I felt it again when Chevy came back into my life.

And again each Wednesday morning when out on the sunrise trail run.

And again when my kid clearly enjoyed his accidental Home Alone moment.

And again each time I attend the Virginia War Memorial 5k. Or visit any war memorial for that matter. Or visit my dad where he is interred.

And again every time I traverse Texas Beach.

And again when I treated my kid to Halfway House for his 16th birthday.

And again on this best run ever.

And again during as well as completing my first 50 miler.

And again when spending a weekend in DC with some pretty fierce women as we happened upon The Frey doing a sound check by the National Monument.

And again when Chevy and I camped on our own.

And again when my 16yo said to me, “I’m not a big fan of looking back on past relationships, they’re over for a reason.” (I mean, where did that come from?)

And again as I realize I really do want to get better faster stronger at this ultrarunning thing so hiring a coach is necessary. After all, admitting your truth means admitting you suck at training yourself.

And again on Sunday when I just happened to look right and see this:


And then a bit later came upon this:


And again even now. Enlightenment is imminent and the confusion that exists is of growth and transformation and steeling determination. It’s my heart and mind sorting through slop and trusting the process. I sense the fire smoldering, confirmation I am headed in the right direction. I am a volcano bidding my time, waiting for the right moment to erupt into something new, covering the old with ash and hardened lava; multiple layers that form an island, breaking through the pressure of my own confinement.

It’s an addicting feeling, that glow. It keeps me guided toward my truth. It reminds me with a temperance of poison when I’m going in the wrong direction.

Yet it is moored by kindness.

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Posted by on December 9, 2015 in depression, shine on


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