Yoga Retreat Sneak Peek Review


I was conflicted.  I am in South Louisiana.  My state flooded last weekend…well, the southern part anyway.  So, while I am doing what I can – financially and practically, I feel unbelievably grateful because we didn’t sustain any damage personally.  Our neighborhood, yes; us, no.  So, while my life doesn’t have the incredible inconveniences that come with natural disasters (this IS Louisiana, don’t forget; I have spent too many nights and days to count that we were “out” of electricity. No air conditioning in South Louisiana after a hurricane is vomit-provoking)

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is, I almost feel guilty taking time in my day for my job that I love. But I am.  So, here goes…

The Yoga Retreat (21 Days) will be out in September.  Today on Beachbody on Demand, we had a sneak peek.  I never really check out the sneak peeks, but I was intrigued by this one because I have always been interested in yoga and have never been able to successfully complete one single “lesson” or “practice” as I’m now told.  So.Today I did!  It was amazing.  The guy who teaches it is very cool, not the kind of guy I was expecting at all.  He seems pretty Southern California, laid back, very knowledgeable and encouraging.  I started the Core Practice and complete it! I couldn’t believe it!  The moves were doable, somewhat challenging, and let me know I was working.  What I really liked was that he encouraged proper breathing and said that breathing IS the practice.  There was someone modifying and I didn’t have to look at that dude at all.  I am really excited for this to come out and I will definitely be getting it.

I am doing 22 Minute Hard Corp beginning on September 6 and I know I can incorporate the 21-Day Yoga Retreat into my day.  The Core sneak peek was just about 3o minutes and was really relaxing and centering.  Let me put it this way: as soon as I finished my 30 minutes, I immediately clicked to do this review!  And writing reviews is something I never do.

And on that note – reviews –  that is changing!  I am going to start another FB page – one devoted to my health coaching practice and Beachbody coaching.  I am 48 and badass.  I’m going to start acting like it.  I realize more and more that I have a lot to offer and I intend to do just that.  No one gets through this life unscathed and when we can grow and share, I think that’s what it’s all about, right? The idea for the new page came to me from my 16 year old daughter a couple of weeks ago.  I liked the idea when she told me.  Then, this evening, I kept pulling pair after pair of yoga/running pants out of the dryer and with each pull, I remembered things about each pair – where I got them, how long they have lasted, do people really appreciate the craftsmanship of Lululemon athletic wear?  So, I just thought it seemed completely natural that I start embracing my badassness & just start sharing.  I might even help someone! 🙂

Alright, time to go watch the triathlon on the Olympics!  Peace out.


Purely therapeutic


I am getting this out from my head into cyberspace because I need to.  It’s a selfish post, really.  I was kneeling in Mass today. I pray.  A lot.  I am constantly trying to stay connected to God.  Any who.  So, I’m kneeling there in Mass as the priest is preparing the Eucharist.  I heard in my heart God asking me to write a letter about how I felt the day my dad died.  huh?  “Are You sure, God?”  Then, I understood the same way I knew about the writing that He knew I was always seeking Him.  So, if I know I am hearing from Him, why do I question Him when I do?  Well.  Okay.  You got me, God.  So, here I am.

That day was terrible.  I didn’t want to go to school because in my spirit, I knew something was so wrong.  But I was pushed out of the door to go to the bus stop at the corner.  It sucked.  I didn’t want to go, but I was 8.  And I never bucked the system.  I remember before I left that I kissed my dad good-bye and he told me, “I love you, baby girl,” and those were the last words I would ever hear him say to me.  And that would be the last time my life seemed “normal” which it wasn’t, but at least he was there when he wasn’t sick and in Houston. Around 2:00, my brother came to get me at school.  I was at recess.  Someone ran out to get me.  My teacher, Mrs. Morrison, was looking at me with the most empathetic look I had ever seen.  Then I saw my brother.  And I knew.  He picked me up and carried me out without saying anything.  When we got to the front of the school, he put me down, kneeled down in front of me, held my arms lightly and said, “Mary, Daddy went to Heaven.”  I remember standing there and the words hadn’t really hit me.  They kind of bounced off me and were swirling around me unable to attach to me. I felt like I had left my own body as we walked to the car.  Someone else was with us; I can’t remember who.  I think we went to pick up my other brother at his school next.  I’m not totally sure about that.  I remember going home soon after and seeing a lot of cars in our driveway & parked along the street near our house.  I walked into our house and just wanted my mom.  She was lying down in my brother’s room and when I went to see her, she put her arms out, not to draw me to her, but to signal me away from her.  And so it began.  The unravelling of life as I knew it.  Next thing I knew, the old housekeeper had me by the hand, leading me outside onto the back patio.  No one was out there.  It was cool and muggy.  I had never even met this housekeeper in my life.  I had heard good things about her, but I had never met her.  We didn’t have much conversation.  After that, I was much like those words I heard from my brother – the ones that were unable to attach anywhere – I was just floating around, looking for someplace to belong.  We are Irish Roman Catholic and so there is a lot of celebration surrounding death.  We had an Irish wake at our house (code for everyone gets bombed).  I wore my Martha Washington dress (minus the bustle) to the funeral home with a pair of white patent leather shoes.  I am writing only from my perspective, but I can’t help but think how extremely difficult this whole situation must have been for my mother.  She had already lost her first-born daughter years before and I think life was just difficult back then for her.  Anyway.  We all stayed out of school for the rest of the week, I seem to remember.  We went to my dad’s grave soon after and I remember wanting to bring a card to him.  Hmm.  I must have missed the whole death memo.  It’s sweet in a way, I know.  So, as I continue to strive to be obedient to God, I recollect feeling abandoned times two.  From my dad and then my mom.  I was afraid.  Our home became pretty dysfunctional not long after.  I remember my mom staying home with us for awhile before she got a job.  I remember thinking she was so sad. I remember finding bottles of liquor hidden, fresh made drinks hidden above the sink in the cabinet.  I don’t know what she thought.  I recognized that these things were hidden, so I thought I shouldn’t say anything.  “Hey, anybody left a bourbon on the rocks up here?”  “No?”  I would smell it and then put it back. When I would find a bottle, it was like finding a live grenade.  I would find a fifth under her sink, close the cabinet, and just get the hell out of there.  I think what God is trying to show me is something I learned almost two years ago from my favorite counselor ever, “Pain concealed is pain unhealed.”  I wasn’t aware there was anymore pain associated with that time, but maybe there is.  It is a little painful typing all this crap and remembering the aftermath.  Not enough money.  Not enough food.  Roaches moved in.  And brought all their relatives.  No guidance.  My sister really stepped up a few years later when she had grown up a little.  The church would drop off a box of food every Christmas.  It was pretty dysfunctional.  Everyone kind of spiraled their own way.  I never really knew what was normal.  I have spent a lifetime guessing/trial & error.  Finally, FINALLY, I realized that God is there.  Has always BEEN there.  Will always BE there.  I can turn to Him ANYTIME.  I just didn’t know it back then.  My dad had introduced me to Jesus and I knew my mom knew Him, but I didn’t know how to get to know Him.  That happened through trial & error, too.

Okay, God, I hope I have done what You have asked.  I love you.

Finding my way


So, it’s no secret that I live in an emotionally abusive relationship.  I’m just trying to figure out the best way to deal with it AND cause the least amount of damage to my daughters.  I am truly trying to see this from all sides.  I’m almost 50.  It sucks to think I might have to just pack it all in and start all over.  That’s a possibility.  And I would be okay.  I just don’t know about my girls being with their dad…same old thing – no parenting, no loving, just being present in his world.  Life with an abuser is not a two-way street.  It’s a one-way street.  Everyone travels the same way – HIS way.  No arguments are tolerated.  No mistakes are made, well, not on his part.  He “walks in the fruit of the Holy Spirit.”  Hmm.  I didn’t log in to throw stones, but I do some of my best thinking while getting this junk out of my head.  I definitely find that I need accountability and fellowship with a woman – a sponsor?  I’m just weary.  I’m weary of trying to find peace and joy and relegating myself to staying here hoping something will get better or change.  I went to Celebrate Recovery on Monday night.  I had to hold back tears within the first 3 minutes, no kidding.  It was just such a powerful, safe place to be.  I loved it.  I didn’t want it to end.  I will definitely be going back.  Suffice it to say, when he and I are together, I feel like my lamp is covered up, unable to shine.  That makes me wonder:  is there a way I can become stronger, not put up with his bullshit bullying anymore and just make a stand?  When I venture out in that direction, things deteriorate quickly and the verbal assaults break loose – no holds barred – things, situations are skewed, piled together and made false – so quickly and so crazily, it makes my head spin.  Gas lighting, I think. I enrolled in an online course to try to get some direction on how to deal with emotional abuse – either find a way to stop it or find a way to get out.

I went out on my run this morning.  It was supposed to be 14 miles.  I stopped after 2.8 and I am now glad I did.  It started POURING.  And thundering and lightning.  Idon’t playdat. The interruption has caused me to think about my running plans.  Runners have running plans for YEARS.  I’m already trying to figure out how to fit Chicago and Disneyworld into the next 24 months.  Yes.  That’s a fact.  The reason my contemplativeness has come up is because I am in Week 8 of Marathon training for a marathon on October 9…which is not scheduled.  I was going to go to LA to do the Long Beach Marathon & see my son for the weekend.  Hubs saw it on the computer and shut that down in a big way.  He told me I could drive to Tyler – nope – one day, but not this one – Tyler is constant hills and I’m not prepared for that at all.  So, sigh…now I am thinking that perhaps I’ll just do the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon – I’ve done that one about 5 times at least – the only cost is registration & gas to get there; the least expensive by far.  That won’t be till the beginning of December, which gives me a chance to consider backing off on this training which is difficult in the best of circumstances.  Living with a prick and getting those miles in while summer time is in full bloom in South Louisiana is really much more difficult.  Although I have to say, he has been a lot less confrontational about me going out for runs.  I’m thinking – Baton Rouge in December, LA in March, and either Disney or Chicago toward the end of next year. Disney would be a BLAST.  I want to do the Dopey Challenge – a 5K, 10K, half marathon & full marathon – all with ridiculously early wake-up calls and start times, but so what?  We only live once and I ADORE Disney!  And I am thinking of raising money for a charity as well.  So, why not?

Today – summer.  Hubs left town to be with his older two children and won’t be back till Monday night.  We can all exhale and be ourselves.  I am looking forward to having time with my girls.  We are going to spend the night in New Orleans tomorrow, just the three of us.  I can’t wait.  I wish my son could be here with us, but that’s okay.  He is working so hard to make a life for himself.

That’s the current state of the un-union 🙂  Good news is:  God loves me.  Since He’s the King and my Father in Heaven, I guess that makes me a legitimate princess, right?  Yes, I think so.  Finally, someone who thinks I’m worth dying for.  🙂



Hating the way I feel right now.  It’s the end of the month and my last month of my lease at my apartment.  I am giving it up because I am out of money and that sucks.  I feel hollow in my core, as if I just lost something dear to me.  I guess I just did.  The first time I went there after I had signed my lease was one of the most peaceful days I had experienced in a long time.  No furniture, just space and quiet peace.  My heart is broken.  To think we don’t have a place to go when the shit hits the fan sucks.  I am using the interim to save money, pay my credit cards down/off, and to submit to God’s Will.  I know He wants me to trust Him and I do, but I really feel bad.  The other part that scares me is that alcohol is off-board and I am still here dealing with the same crap that made it easy to drink.  I will embrace my sobriety.  I have a new sponsor – one of the first friends I made in sobriety.  I watched her pick up her 13 year chip on Saturday night.  She’s awesome.  She takes her recovery very seriously and I look forward to spending time with her.  Starting tomorrow night in fact!  There is a book study that she has recently started so I will be going to that.  I know this too shall pass.  I’ve put moving off till the last second because I thought something would change.  (Stop laughing:)

So, with no net to speak of, I have my 180 hours DONE and now I am looking for a place to do my CIT work.  The worst case scenario is that I will work three days a week next school year and that’s a pretty awesome thing.  I love it there.  I just can’t support myself with that alone.  The best case scenario is that I get a CIT position and start learning how to be an addiction counselor, which is where my real passion lies.  (Okay, kids and addiction are my passion areas:)

I already scheduled to get my washer & dryer picked up – I had rented them.  The good news is that I already paid for my Integrative Nutrition school – the last payment was about a month ago.  So, little by little, I will get to wherever it is God intends for me to be.  The more I type, the more I realize one of my primary defects of character is lack of trust of God – I definitely need to work on that.

Bottom line – I just can’t see not being present with my girls.  They get very little when I am not here and that is unacceptable.  I can take a lot of crap to ensure they are properly supervised and properly advised.

So, here goes the next chapter apparently.  God be with me.

Where does change come from?


As usual, not sure where to begin. I’m in the house again, full-time. The reason? I cannot sit idly by and watch them go Unparented & unmothered fifty percent of the time. So I’m here. And I’m running out of money to keep my apartment. Which suits him. Daughter told me he will definitely revert back to his old ways once he knows we gave up the apartment. I told her we can get a hotel on those days. It sucks. The struggle is real. I am getting my hours done as fast as I can. I now have 154 as of last night. 180 is the magic number. Then I can apply for my CIT & start accumulating 5000 hours of supervised work in addiction (that encompasses a LOT of categories).

There are some good times, don’t get me wrong. It’s like being with an okay-friend…don’t say anything you wouldn’t tell the whole world. Don’t trust that this person has your back. Anything from your past can and will be used against you.

We went to an open aa meeting last night. I could hear hubs telling an old-timer at our table that he had been around the program for 2 years (well that’s creative) and that he had no idea I was an alcoholic. For a nanosecond, I almost turned around to chime in…but I didn’t. (thanks, God) Why should I? I don’t owe him or him stranger any justification. Your remarks don’t define me. 

Anyway, I’m just doing me. Trying to be who God wants me to be, not who anyone thinks I should be. 

Yes, it sucks knowing I’m back in the belly of the beast. But I don’t have to unpack & live here. I try to get what I need out of each day…which isn’t much, I’m happy to say. The things I love are intangibles…FaceTime with my children – FaceTime as in sitting together and having real conversations; alone time with God; meditative quietness; snuggles with Neville the Beagle; workouts; running; trying to be of service; trying not to lose myself again…that last one is the slipperiest. 

I know I’m fulfilling God’s Will for me when I feel completely on-center. 



You pulled me outside tonight…

Creepy, foggy darkness 

Illuminated cotton-ball moon.

Running didn’t feel right.

Music & walking with You did.

“Lost” on my search bar 

Turned up amazing songs that mean so much to me. 180 Degrees South = Utah a couple of summers ago. Clear air, clear skies, clear people, clear objectives, clear eyes, clear thoughts (somewhat) and especially clear hearts. My son’s face reflected love and life again. I was honored to witness his re-birth. I just get these fleeting moments of…anxiety/remorse/sorrow over my brother. I know I won’t, but I never want to forget any of our memories, even the bad ones. He fought so hard at times to be the person he so desired to be. I loved when he was in a good place. We could talk for the longest time. He always made me laugh and had the perfect impression of our mom when she was drunk. Joe was a riot. He would take me out on a school night and I would get so loaded that I had to miss school the next day. Loaded as in the next morning I would put my foot on the floor to make the room stop spinning…not my finest moments, but part of my story. We were lost souls, lost siblings…he taught me how to drive a 5-speed one evening and then when we got home, he showed me how to shoot whiskey. Turns out I was good at both.:-/

Anywho…sigh…I guess I’ll be using my blog for a variety of brain dumps. I’m not sure what the half poetry thing is about. I think my brain is tired. I miss Joe. Getting through this without having seen him to tell him goodbye AND not having my sisters present has made this exceptionally difficult. I take refuge in the fact that next weekend me and both my sisters will be together and that will help I’m sure.

Tomorrow is Friday. And Festival International weekend! 



This incredibly intense pain

Jumps up and bites me

Right on the throat.

Intense burning pain…

I miss you, Joe.

You loved my poetry;

I loved your plans;

Your fervor for God. 

And now you are with Him

And that’s cool. 

But not really – 

I just really miss you. 

I run and think I’m okay.

Then I turn off the lights to sleep and something just hits me – I’m reminded that I will never see you again until after I die. And I remember how heroin and whatever else wormed itself into your life and took you away from us. 

I just really miss you. 💔