Friday, April 14, 2017

A letter to my subscribers

Dear friends,

I have been on this blogging journey now for 17 months. Almost a year ago I created my own website, www.niktebbe.com, so that I can stretch my creativity into more areas as my path is revealed to me. I will never close or delete this blog spot, but I am going to start posting my newest posts to my website's blog page. I hope that you continue to follow my writing and follow me along on my new journeys into learning about how to help guide others in their grief.  Thank you for reading, for emailing me and reaching out with your personal stories and sending me love and encouragement. I appreciate it more than I can put into words.

Love and light,

Nik

Friday, March 24, 2017

I have a secret and it's name is shame.

I have a secret. I've been holding it inside and pretending that it is not there. When it tries to peek out, I push it back down. I've told no one about this secret. Of course, because it's shame, I've simply been too ashamed to say it out loud.

Through my recent QNRT therapy sessions, much reading, and a session of Aura Soma, I have unboxed my shame. It's been an "Aha" moment for me. When it was brought out at my QNRT session, it was like a truth I already knew but I was pretending it wasn't there this entire time. She pointed it out, the fact that I was hiding this secret inside my body/mind/spirit and set me on a path to name it, learn from it, and set that shit free.

Where did I get this shame? I am sure my shame roots back through my entire life. Winding and twisting through all my little broken relationships I had before I met my husband when I was 24 years old. Twisting and digging through my adolescence and into my childhood. I can pinpoint the exact moment that shame crept it's dark black willowy fingers into my heart well over 30 years ago.

What is shame? Shame is a painful emotion caused by your own inner belief that you are, or perceived by others to be,  inferior, unworthy, and unlovable. Is shame guilt? Oh no. They are two totally separate emotions. Guilt is feeling bad about something you've done. Shame is feeling bad about who you are as a human being.



When my husband took his own life? My shame lit on fire. The day that he died I felt my entire sense of self-worth crack. This man. This person who I was with, who I shared my life with for 12 years, who I never once thought would ever leave me..........he left. He left with no goodbye, with no love letter, with no "I'm sorry". Just gone. What did this do to me? It left me in shame. I felt like a child feels when their parent leaves and never comes home........I felt it meant that I wasn't good enough, that I was a horrible wife, an unlovable person, unworthy of true love. I felt like...of course he left.....he left because I am an unlovable person.

Now maybe this is not your personal experience with suicide. If you lost a child or sibling or friend to suicide you maybe never felt shame. You maybe never felt like they left this earth because you weren't lovable enough to keep them here. But if this was your spouse? You just might have shame. It's a different dynamic when it's your spouse, the person you chose to share your life with, leaves this earth without saying goodbye. You promised to share your lives with each other, to take care of each other in sickness and in health, to be together until death-do-you-part. And you parted. Only they didn't give you any warning and maybe no love note to say....."I love you. You are wonderful and lovable. This had nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. I wish it could be different but I have to go. Never for one second think that this means that I didn't love you or that you are an unworthy person."



Shame: The fear that you aren't good enough for love.


Has this happened to you? Have you felt shame in your life? Name it, feel it, learn from it, and let it go free. None of us are unworthy of human connection, of true love just because of another's actions towards us. So if your spouse left you, or you lost your dream job, or your parents yelled at you when you were a child, or whatever it is that brought on that little secret, it's not true. We are all born worthy. We are all completely and totally worthy of love, loyalty, friendship.....no matter what. We don't have to do anything to earn this from anyone and no one can do anything to take it away. How do we let go of the shame? We tell our story. Say it out loud to release it. It can't survive once it hits another's ears and they show you empathy.


My husband left me. My best friend left this earth without saying goodbye or telling me that I was worthy of love. That's my secret. I've been harboring shame inside my soul. 

Today I told you my story and I set that shame free. 

I am lovable. I am worthy. And you my dear friend? You are, too. 

Love and light, Nik 


Sunday, March 12, 2017

A letter to my husband. A year and a half after he died.

Bird,

You have been dead now for 18 months but obviously you already know that. I have been on the journey of my life since that day you put a bullet to your beautiful heart. A journey of pain. I have walked through the flames of hell and finally come to realize that hell is not a place where we go after we die if we are "bad". It is a state of consciousness and it is possible to visit there while your heart still beats.

I won't go in to long ramblings about what our kids and I have been up to because well, you already know all of that. I don't think you're watching over us on some cloud, but I do believe you are always somehow aware of things we are doing. I know that you are on your own soul's journey of learning and I hope that is going well for you. I often wonder what you're doing out there in the universe as pure energy. Do you fly through the cosmos? Do you "sit" around with your soul family buddies and talk about past lives? Are you in a new life yet? Or are you still healing from this last one.

I miss you. I still miss you. It's Sunday morning and I miss you sitting here with me at our kitchen table drinking hot, black coffee. My eyes well with tears writing that. I hold so much in. You know me so well. Better than anyone. I keep shit to myself. I have been so mad at you since you died and I have loved you more now than when you lived in our house. There is so much I could say about you being dead, but basically.......I just miss you. I miss having a best friend. I miss having a buddy to hang out with. Someone who cared about me, who took care of me, who had my best interest at heart. Someone who knew my moods, and my joys, and my pains, and what made me laugh. Someone who cared every moment of every day whether or not I was happy, or sick, or sad, or mad, or all of it.

Why did you have to die? Why now? Right when our kids were getting a bit older and more independent and we could have have more freedom to do things just you and me. More freedom to take our kids out adventuring. It sucks.

I keep dreaming of you. Is this you visiting me? Sometimes I am so sure that it is because in those dreams both you and I know that you are dead. I have dreamt of you driving me around in our car but I can only see the side of your face. This I imagine is you telling me that you're helping me in my life from the other side. You used to drive the car everywhere we went and I read the maps. Now I have to drive the car and read the maps and I have to tell you it's quite a hassle. I like our way much better. I have dreamt of you standing in a room and you won't talk to me. I guess this is a replay of how I feel in my daytime life. You just won't tell me what the hell happened. Like it's some mystery and I have to tell you that sometimes, just sometimes it drives me crazy wishing you would just tell me the truth of why you had to die that day. I have dreamt of you and other women. Yep, that super sucks. That I know is my subconscious telling me to let go, let go, let go. But I gotta tell you that even though I know the meaning of that dream from countless reading about dreams and all they mean, that one leaves me feeling sick to my stomach for days after. I'm good to never have that one again. Then there's the dreams where you just come to visit me. And I'm so damn happy to see you that I run to you and hug you and I can actually feel you in my dream. You're really there. In the flesh. Your warm hug and your work smelling flannel shirt and your scruffy face.....it's all there. And you smile, and you laugh and you're happy. And we talk about all that's been going on even though we both already know. And then there's the dream I had last night. You and me sitting having a conversation that I need to let you go...a little bit more. We were both agreeing on that fact. And there was another man in the dream. And I don't know who he is or was but you were almost passing me off to him. How weird it that? Yea, it's weird. Gosh Bird. The crap I've had to endure in my mind since you died. I often wonder how you would handle all of this had it been me that died. A ghost really can haunt you except it's not scary and it's not the way they portray it in the movies. It's comforting, it seems normal after awhile, and you become used to it.

I wish we had one more day, except..........which day would I pick? A replay of a wonderful day we already had or a new one? A day with just you and me wild and free...laughing and driving in your little car? Or a day with you and me and our children? You see? There's too many I would want. I want it all. All in one day.

So my dear husband, I hope all is well with your spirit. I am sure it is hard for you to see our grief and our pain and I'm not sorry for that. You should have to see it and to understand how much we loved you and love you still. Experiencing and witnessing someone else's grief only makes you more compassionate, more loving, more grateful, more aware of how precious life and love is and it doesn't matter if you are in human or spirit form.

I have taken a self-driven, self-directed course in spirituality since you died. It's like I crammed years of knowledge about the universe, spirits, death, spirituality, and more into my brain after you died. Countless books, blogs, articles, programs that I have watched late at night when our children sleep. I am thankful for my new knowledge and my awareness of soul's and their journey. It's all been an awakening for me. Or more like a remembering because everything I have learned I feel in some ways, I already knew from all of my own past lives. Losing you made me remember me. Losing you made me come back to me. Losing you made me find my soul.

I know that you are out there flying through the cosmos. Sitting in library of life studying. Talking with other souls. Doing cool "soul" stuff. Maybe you're in a new life already but of course, part of everyone's soul stays out in the beyond. Souls are energy and can be in more than one place at once.

But how do I like to think of you? You already know. You're out there in the woods in a tiny cabin. I can see it. I'm walking through the woods and there's suddenly a little path and I follow it only to see a tiny handmade cabin with smoke coming from the little chimney. I walk up to the window and peek inside and there you are. Flannel shirt. Work boots. Ratty jeans. Scruffy face. Glasses on. Sitting at a little kitchen table reading the newspaper and drinking coffee. And you're content. And you're happy. And I don't knock on the door because it's not my time yet to come inside and join you at that table.

Someday my friend, someday. Until then, keep the coffee warm.

All my endless love,

your best friend.........Birdie


Monday, March 6, 2017

We're all broken, that's how the light gets in.





We are all broken. We all have a story.

 A time that someone ripped out our heart. A time when someone we loved died. A time when someone yelled at us so cruelly and shattered our self-esteem. A time when our entire world broke and we woke up the next morning to see that the sun just kept on shining even though our inner world was shattered. 


We are all broken but that's how the light enters us. Or it's how the light that we already have shining inside of us escapes to reach others. It escapes through our broken cracks. 

All any of us wants is someone who understands. Someone who says to us, "My world stopped, too. My heart shattered, too. And I was drowning. And I was angry. And I felt unloved and unworthy." Isn't that what we all want? We want to hear others stories. Real, raw stories. 

Or is it just me? Is it because I feel so alone in my widowhood?  No girlfriend to commiserate with over the woes of being a young widow. I want to roll over in bed and say to my husband, "Holy SH#T. Did you hear you're dead? How am I going to deal with this? How am I going to live with a broken and bleeding heart? Can you hold me?" But, I roll over and he's not there. There's just a huge empty place in my bed where he slept for all those years. 

This is why I keep writing. Why I keep blogging, and posting on Facebook and reaching out and answering emails. Because I also need to know that I'm not alone. I, too, feel broken. I want to let my light shine out of those broken cracks to reach others whom have walked in my exact shoes. I reach out with my words so that I can find the others. The other broken ones. Why? This is why....

So maybe being broken isn't a bad thing.  Maybe we need to stop internally putting ourselves down because of it. It isn't a shameful thing to be broken hearted. It only means that you know how to love. Sure, I wish every day that this tragedy never knocked on my door. I wish every single morning to roll over and have my best friend sleeping next to me. I wish every day to hear his boots in the hallway. I'd risk it all to have him back. But, this isn't a fairytale. I have no magic ball and there is just no going back. Maybe being broken is how we find our humanity. 
Maybe it's how we find our true appreciation of life. Only in my sorrow has a beautiful sunny day brought me to tears.....of joy. Only in my sorrow have I truly understood that love never dies. Yes, my husband is dead. But also yes, he sends me messages of love. He sends me songs on the radio that only him and I would know were ours. He blows out lightbulbs when I'm in our basement crying. He sends dragonflies when our children are laughing. He comes to me in my dreams and tells me to be happy, to live, to let go a little bit more. Maybe being broken is how we find our understanding, our grace, our gratitude. Without my brokenness my light most likely would have never made it out of my soul to lead me to my purpose. Without my brokenness I wouldn't get teary eyed just from hearing the exact same Bruno Mars song every single place I go. 





Hello, my name is Nik and I have a broken heart. And yes, I'm doing things to help me find the joy and the desire to keep on living.  And yes, I am looking for the joy. But I'm not exactly trying to "fix" my broken heart. It's apart of me. It makes me who I am. My life's story makes me more compassionate. My tragedy made me fall into my purpose. Almost every person whom I have ever loved has hurt me, yelled at me, broke me, left me. I'm one of those people now who would be more surprised if someone actually stayed.  And yes,  I can feel joy again. I have days that I feel happy again. I have found my soul and have fallen into my purpose. And yes, I still have days that I feel unworthy. I still have days that I wonder how it's all going to really work out for me. And then I remember to live in the now. To take it day by day by day. I only now truly understand that we only have today. All we have is what is happening right now. The past is gone and the future isn't ours yet.  We can plan and plan for the future, but there is no knowing that we will even make it to Friday. 







We are broken, most of us, in some way or another. Someone broke a piece of our heart that we will never get back, that cannot be fixed or glued or fully healed. 




So right now? Pull the bandaid off the cracks of your broken heart and let the light in. 



"A person once asked me what was my religion? I answered.........All paths that lead to the light." 





Saturday, February 25, 2017

How to keep your grief from pulling you under the waves

I have now lived 534 days without my husband. Inside of those 534 days I have felt unimaginable pain. I have felt like my heart was on fire and bleeding. I have felt like I wanted everything to just go black. I have also felt joy like I have never felt before in my life. Joy that has filled my heart until it almost burst. Joy that filled my eyes with tears just by watching my children hike a bluff and giggle out loud. Joy at the pure beauty of life. It really is true that sometimes you have to shake hands with death before you can completely be grateful for the simplest joys in life.

In 534 days I have been broken. I have been depressed. I have experienced anxiety over new situations. I have been stressed about the fears of my new life. I have been plain old terrified to just move one foot in front of the other. I have cried for entire days. I have screamed through entire nights. I have laid on my husbands grave and begged the universe to just bring the man back to me. I have felt like I will just stay single for the entire rest of my days. I have felt like I want to fall in love again and share my life with someone. I have avoided people. I have avoided myself. And so on and so on.

Inside of those 534 days I have also been happy. I have smiled. I have laughed out loud. I have felt gratitude for what I still have in my life.

It has taken me 534 days to realize and understand that grief is not something that can be fixed. It is not a disease or a sickness that has a cure. Time does not heal all wounds. Some wounds scar over but some of the pain is there......forever.



How do you keep your grief from pulling you under the waves? I don't have all the answers. No pastor, no minister, no bishop, no spiritual mentor, no psychologist or grief expert has all the answers. The simple and very complicated answer is this: You just keep living. You just keep pulling yourself out of bed every single morning even when it hurts like hell. You get up. You make the coffee. You go about your day. You allow yourself to feel your emotions and you try to learn from them. You savor the moments in your life that you feel laughter again, that you feel pure joy just from the sun hitting your face, just from a hug from a friend who cares or a stranger who sends you a kind note. You fully accept that this is now who you are. You are now a person who knows how to live side-by-side with joy and pain. You take care of yourself and throw out anything in your life that isn't aiding in your healing. Yes, you can heal your grief just a little with nature, exercise, healthy eating, spirituality, friendship, love. No it will never fully, fully heal and maybe you wouldn't want it to. Grief is love. It's all the love you want to give to the person who you lost. It's all the hugs you haven't been able to give to them. It's all of the conversations they have missed, and the dinners, and the adventures, and all the times they weren't there to wipe away your tears. And love? Love doesn't die. My husband died but the love is still there.



In 534 days I could have let those wretched waves pull me under until I too left this earth. Instead, I learned to surf. I learned to let go and float. I learned to listen to my emotions and to not push away the feelings of anger. I could have ran away. I could have became an alcoholic to numb the pain. I could have never gotten out of bed. I could have never opened up my curtains and let the sun in.

Instead I choose to believe in love again. I choose to believe that I am still worthy of a beautiful life. I choose to ride those waves when they hit me and yes, they still knock me to the ground.



I choose to do the greatest thing that I believe that I can do for my truest friend. I can live again. I can find joy again. I can get out there and go on adventures that scare the hell out of me. I can fully embrace life and all of it's dark and light times. I can believe that maybe there is a fairytale out there waiting for me still. An alternate reality. I can also believe that maybe I will be ok.....alone.

Has a grief wave hit you this weekend? Lay on your back, relax, and float.

Float until the wave brings you to shore and then get out there and live........again.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Healing your grief isn't all rainbows, joy, and unicorns.


Healing your grief isn't all rainbows. It isn't just that you choose the higher feeling thought and forget the pain. It also shouldn't be swimming too far into the deep of the dark part of your broken heart. Can you fix grief? No. It's not something to be fixed. It's something that you can heal parts of and learn to live side-by-side with the rest. You can heal some of the emotions like: anger, resentment, and denial but you will always have a bit of grief in your heart because that grief is your love for the person you lost.


Healing has to be a balance. Every day? Yea..........No. Somedays you will swim so far out into your grief that you will wonder if the ocean you are in is endless and that maybe you'll have to fight to swim forever. Other days you will somehow, someway put your grief and sadness to the back of your mind and you will truly enjoy your life. You will be beaming with gratitude for all that you still have, for all that you still are.









At certain points in my grief journey I have jumped onto a unicorn and rode off into the sunset. I have thought, "Forget all of this pain. I am going to lock it up in my heart....stuff it down...I am flying this unicorn into the light and I'm going to be joyful and eat pink cupcakes every day and pretend that my heart isn't on fire." Why? Because somedays that is all that kept me alive.


And you know what? That's ok. Sometimes it helps me to be hopeful, to be grateful, to be joyful. Sometimes I need that unicorn to fly me off in my mind to a new life.......one that isn't on fire.


Does being joyful cover up the pain? No. Does looking for a rainbow make the pain go away? No. But you deserve to try to find your hope. You deserve to laugh out loud. You deserve to feel joy. Some people think spiritual mentors that are telling you to look for the love and light are only hiding their own pain. That is not me. I am putting my pain out there for all to know about. I am opening up the zipper on my shattered heart and doing my best to show you what's inside. And I'm also trying to show you that there isn't only darkness and pain inside of my heart, there is also love, there is also light. I accept both. I embrace......both.






It has been 16 months since my husband died. 16 months that in some ways feels like 17 years. He has missed two of my birthdays. He missed two of our daughters birthdays and two of our little boys birthdays, too. He missed our would-have-been 10 year wedding anniversary. He will miss everything...forever. I miss him every. single. day. I still sometimes want to climb a mountain and scream and curse and yell.


Am I cured of my grief? No. There is a missing spot in my bed where my best friend used to sleep. There is a missing place at the dinner table, in the car, on the couch, and in my heart. Grief lasts forever because it is love. But it changes, it evolves, it softens, and you become a different person than you were before. I no longer recall what it's like to live a life without a twinge of pain in my heart every day. I'm kind of used to this now.


Am I still in shock? No....and sometimes just a little bit.....yes. Sometimes I step back and look at my life and I just cannot believe that this all really happened. That he is really, really gone and is never going to hold my hand or make me laugh again. I almost can't breathe when I think that we will not grow old together. That he won't be there when I'm old and grey to sit around a campfire with and recall our adventures.

I have been down in the dark hole of grief. I have sat down in that dark, cold hole in my mind and not wanted to climb out. I have wanted to stay deep in my grief because it's where I could drown myself in my love for my husband. I felt that climbing out of that hole would be a greater and more exhausting excursion than I possibly had the strength for. How did I get out of that darkness? I had to get mad. I had to get honest about being angry that this was my life. I had to reach down deep and fight for my life. I had to believe that I was still worthy of life, of love, of happiness.  And all of those emotions raised me up out of that hole.

Grief is falling back and forth, round and round between all of the "stages". Shock. Anger. Denial. Bargaining. Acceptance. Over and over. Sometimes all at once. What I was never told was that there is life beyond those stages. There is still grief beyond those stages. And those stages are just emotions. I still feel anger sometimes and have come to fully know that I'm going to be honest with myself about it. Feel it, name it, learn from it, heal it. I still have grief but it's not like those first days, weeks, months.


I'm at the top now. I still have grief but I also can feel joy again. I see rainbows, again. I'm flying on a unicorn and spreading love and light because it feels good. It feels better than sitting in that hole not wanting to ever climb out.

Does being a widow suck sometimes? Yes. Do I have things about my life now that I don't love? Things about myself that I don't fully accept? Yes. I'm human. But, I'm working on it. I'm loving myself through it.

I have not been "single" since I was in my early 20's. I am now 37 years old. I was with my husband for a total of 12 years. Are there parts of being single that I enjoy? Yes. And writing that right now I can hear my best friend laughing. He is smiling and nodding and is joyful about that statement. I don't have to wash his dirty socks. I don't have to pack his lunch. I don't have to have dinner on the table right at 6:00pm. I don't have to go along with all the hobbies he liked to do that didn't really float my boat. I can stretch out in bed. I can spend my days, nights, and weekends however I like. Plan my future however I like. I could pain my living room hot pink and nobody's going to care. I don't have to check in with him on parenting our children. My life is now all my own creation. And that is both beautiful freedom and sorrow wrapped up in a little box. At times I would give anything to have to wash a load of his stinky work clothes. It is possible to like parts of your new life even while wishing that it never were this way. That's part of the healing, part of the letting go. My husband freed me to be able to fall into my purpose. Does pain bring every single person who experiences it a purpose? Of course not. Am I special because I believe my pain gave me a purpose? Heck no. I'm just a regular, broken-hearted girl. But I have chosen my purpose. It came to me in a little black box months after my husband died and when I unwrapped it, I cried rivers of tears. Tears because I felt in my heart, in my soul that this was my purpose. This was what I was going to do because it somehow made me feel better, made me feel good, made me feel joyful. I was going to spend the rest of my days making other people feel less broken. Which in turn, makes me feel less broken.


I want you to know that life is both. It's joy and pain. Rainbows and thunderstorms. Unicorns and lions. Light and dark. And both have beauty, meaning and purpose.




Your healing journey will not be all darkness.
It also won't be all rainbows, joy, and unicorns. It will be both. 

Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be raw and real and you will see what you still are grateful for in your life. And those painful days? Just love yourself through them. Don't fight them.

Fall into your darkness and let it float you into your light. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Stop looking for your soul mate and start looking for your soul



February. The month of love. 
Has our society become love obsessed or is it just human nature to desire to pair off two-by-two? 







I am a  woman who has dated since the age of 15, had boyfriends, had her heart broken too many times to count, got married, had children and then became a widow. Wow. Sometimes I wonder how my heart still beats with all of those cracks.  I am standing on the outside of it all now and I think we all need to stop. Stop and think about finding our souls and not our mates. I'm not saying that no one should be out there hoping. Hoping for love. Hoping for a friendship with someone who loves the same things as they do, who they can laugh with, who they can share joy with and feel safe with. I spent so many years of my life looking for my other half that I completely missed the point. I completely forgot about...me. I should have been looking for me but no one ever told me that.





People tell little kids, "Do you have a boyfriend?" In middle school we are made fun of if none of the boys like us, and in high school all of our friends start going steady. Really? All those years and all those hours spent chasing after another human when we could be learning about ourselves. Society tell college kids to go out there and find themselves and then movies portray college kids partying, getting drunk and sleeping around. Seriously? This is how you find your soul? Just....no. I don't believe that this is the way it is supposed to be. This is not the way it was hundreds of years ago.










Quit asking young people when they're going to get married. Maybe they don't want to get married. Maybe they don't know if they want to get married. Stop asking anyone at all when they are going to get married or when they are going to find a relationship. Maybe they are perfectly content being single. Maybe they would like to find someone to share their life with but it isn't an obsession to them. Maybe they are just leaving it up to the universe.






So back to the point. Let's guide our children to their internal beings. Let's not wait to read self-development books and dive into our spirituality until we are adults. Teach your children that they are whole all on their own. Let them know every day that they are amazing creatures with a soul that needs self-love. 

So right now in my personal life? I am loving me. I am following my own soul's whispering. I am healing my grief and my old emotional scars from my adolescence. I do not need a guy to make me feel worthy. I already feel worthy. I am completely complete......just me. My life is filled with love from so many people and animals. My life is full and wonderful and complete. And if some amazing guy shows up at the grocery store one day and starts talking to me about things I'm into? Well that would be fantastic but I'm not sitting around crying and wishing it to happen. I am just going to live my life and be authentically....me. I am going to fully and completely love myself. Something I didn't do my entire life until now.  It took my husband dying for me to take a good, hard look in the mirror and ask myself what do I really want from my life? It took my husband dying for me to listen to my soul. It had always been whispering out to me but I was never listening. I covered up the sound with my insecurities. I hear it loud and clear now. 


Why do I think so many marriages don't work out? Why so many people are miserable? Why so many people "these days" get divorced? Because they didn't take the time before they got into that marriage to love themselves, to find their path, to know what true self-love is. So then they attract someone who isn't the exact fit for them. Or they get married and years later they find their self-love and they just aren't going to take someone degrading them and putting out their dreams anymore because in life we have to put ourselves first......just a little bit. If you don't love yourself, if you aren't joyful, if you are not excited about the path you are on.....how can you fully and completely love and care for another person? 







So this month? Are you single? Look within. Care for yourself. Take yourself out for coffee and on a big hike in nature. Buy yourself some flowers at the farmers market and meditate to clear your mind every day. Follow the things that excite you whether that's cooking, writing, hiking, traveling, yoga or whatever else makes your soul light up. Take a class. Take a hike. Go to coffee with girlfriends who like to talk about things besides kids and guys. Put down the wine and pick up a book. 




And if that new guy shows up in the grocery store line and asks for your number? If he seems dreamy and out-of-this-world? Give him the digits. And if he never calls? It won't matter because your life is full and beautiful the way it already is. And if he does call? Pick up the phone if your soul whispers.....go for it.