Thursday, May 28, 2009


I can hardly begin to express my frustration, but let me take a crack at it. The California Supreme effing Court just doesn't get it. How is it possible that the Supreme Court of California has decided that the ban on same sex marriage is constitutional? This isn't about people voted on it and I should just deal with it. This is about people voting on rights, which should be disallowed in the first place. 

Murderers are allowed to get married. Murderers. People who take the lives of others. People who willingly and knowingly strip people of their right to live and breath...those people can get married, but me, no I can't. And I'm tired of hearing bullshit arguments of, "Well you can get married, you just have to marry someone of the opposite sex." Well isn't that fancy? 

You can't always get what you want, 
You can't always get what you want,
You can't always get what you want,
But if you try sometimes
You might find
You get what you need. 
~Rolling Stones, of course.

Maybe this loss is just what we need to propel ourselves forward into growth. Maybe this loss is a sign of rampant stagnant behavior in believing that someone else is and will be responsible for making sure my rights are handled neatly and tidily so I don't have to get my proverbial hands dirty. 

So that was on Tuesday as the decision was announced. I tend to not act out of anger. It's just how I was raised. It's not about not doing something I'll regret, but taking the best step forward. If I'm angry and haven't processed that part then I tend to not know what the hell I'm talking about and I just spout out silly arguments that sound better in my head than spoken. 

A friend of mine said that the decision was exactly what she expected, but I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed because I really thought that the Court would see that Constitutional rights were being trampled on. I'm still in the midst of processing exactly what the decision means, as far as what action needs to be taken so that I (we) may realize equality in rights around marriage.

There are arguments that state calling it marriage is the whole issue and as long as we (the gays) don't call it marriage, then we can have all the rights we want. There are arguments that state that not calling it marriage keeps a same sex [married] relationship different and somehow less meaningful than a heterosexual marriage by simply changing the word. This argument states that there is a specific connotation that comes with marriage, that connotation being that it's a permanent relationship and unless it's called "marriage" it's just not the same in the public's eye. There are the arguments that marriage ought to be between a man and a woman because that's the way that God intended it. And of course there are countless other arguments around this issue that I could spend all day recounting.

At the moment, I have no problem with calling marriage between same sex couples something other than "marriage" as long as the rights of each institution are equal. My inclination is to believe that no matter what "it" is legally named, it will end up just like Kleenex. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. So really, call it whatever you want to because to me, it doesn't matter what you think of my relationship--I'm not in it to please you. I'm in it to fulfill myself and my partner in sharing love, growing individually and as a couple, and everything that comes along with those paths.

My relationship with another woman has only the effect on another couple's relationship that they choose to allow it to have. One can choose to see my relationship as one of love and trust and support and partnership and growth and fun and struggle and learning; just like many heterosexual relationships. And of course there are other ways to view my relationship, but to do so is to ignore the truth of what the relationship is: love and growth. 

I challenge anyone who believes that God disapproves of my same sex relationship to look at your own life and address the things that God disapproves in your life and relationship before you go judging mine. I have my own relationship with God, and it doesn't include the judgement anyone else brings.

And as for Prop 8 being upheld, my first thoughts included: "This state sucks!" and, "Maybe it's time to get out of this place," and, "How can this progressive state be so shockingly stand-still?" I'm allowed my initial thoughts to flee. I'm glad I don't act on impulse. Because the reality is that California is a great state. I love living here, and this issue is not enough to get me out of here. And learning takes time. 

I'm willing to be a part of an action that brings California back to a state of grace, back to a place where people can come as they are and simply just be themselves. I am willing to fight for the things I believe in. I am willing to be a part of something greater than myself so that people after me can benefit from things I never had or things I had to struggle for. I hope that someday the GLBT community has the opportunity to take our equal rights for granted, and that we never do. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I sat in my chair thinking about how wrong it all was. How wrong that this man was yelling at this woman. How wrong that this woman was not able to ask a simple question to get further clarity. How wrong that this man was unleashing his frustration on this woman. How wrong that now it was two women and they were both crying. How wrong that these two women had been victimized by this man’s anger.

I wanted to walk across the room and hold those women. Hold them and tell them that everything was going to be okay. That this man was just a big bully and that his manners were terrible. That this man had lost himself and was too arrogant to see that you were just asking questions. I wanted to tell that man to get a hold of himself and have some compassion. I wanted to walk across the room and protect those women. Protect them from that man and his anger. 

And all at once I wondered what it was in me that made me think that these women needed to be protected. I began to think about my own emotions and was completely uncomfortable in my chair watching this confrontation unfold. Confrontation is uncomfortable for me and I can’t be with it. I can’t just sit there and watch it unfold. I need to take action; I need to do something. And instead of doing anything, I continued to question myself and my motives as to what emotions were being stirred in me by just watching it all happen. 

I felt uncomfortable, yes, but that was just on the surface. There was something more than discomfort there, something deeper. Underneath the discomfort I started to feel sadness. Sadness, not for the women being confronted, but for myself. Where did that come from? I could see my child-self in these women, and as a child I was incapable of protecting myself, I was incapable of standing up and speaking my mind--doing so would create a physically and verbally unsafe environment for me. As a child, I was unimportant  and need not share my opinions because they didn’t matter, and wouldn’t be heard regardless. As I sat there and thought about these childhood feelings that were very much visiting me in the here and now, it occurred to me that somewhere along the line I became an adult.

And as an adult I have grown to learn that I can and do stand up for myself. I’ve learned that sometimes people get angry, even get angry with me. Sometimes the reason is valid, and sometimes it’s not. Whatever the reason, I’ve developed the skills to assess the argument, know its truth and address it accordingly. I’ve learned to own my part of that truth and discard the rest as I see fit. And then a flash of anger came. 

As an adult I’ve learned these things, but as a child I hadn’t learned to protect myself. That job belonged to my parents. And they didn’t always do a good job. As I thought about that, the anger became stronger. Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart beat faster. What was this about? And almost without thinking, I began to sob, I began to yell, to spew, to actually feel the feelings instead of sitting in my discomfort and trying to shift the focus onto something or someone else. 

This experience happened over a period of a couple of hours, some of it in a large group of people, and other parts in a smaller, more intimate setting . These interactions and thoughts were the result of my training in ProcessProcess, being actually processing what’s happening for me right here and right now. What’s going on, what’s happening in my body right here right now, rather than what am I thinking about and how can I shift the focus from myself to someone else?

From that experience I was able to let go of some of the past simply by reminding myself that it was just that: the past. And the rest of it I was able to let go of because I allowed myself to just be present with myself in the moment. I was able to own my feelings as they were coming up, and acknowledge them, hold space for them and then give them permission to be released. I don’t need to hold onto that anger because I’ve now been able to express it. In that experience I was able to feel it all and let go of it pretty quickly. I suspect other things may not be as “easy” to release. But the important thing is that I’m learning to exercise the muscle that allows me to really be present with myself rather than deflecting.

Staying in the here and now has no room for anyone but whomever your emotions belong to (that would be you). I encourage you to find something you can’t be with today, and then to own it. For me, it was confrontation. My hands got clammy, my heart raced, I physically felt uncomfortable. Find whatever puts you in that place and then be with it. Really be with it. Honor it. Have compassion for yourself and those feelings, those emotions. Stand up for yourself and those feelings and emotions. Address them and love them. Actually feel your emotions. When you do this, the discomfort you feel will no longer be for hiding; it will be for growth.


This post is also available at As I continue to build that site, I am working towards putting all coaching related posts there. I welcome your feedback!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coming Back

I've been MIA, it's true. And all with good reason. Not that I need to get into any of that here, suffice to say that 7 Days is coming along better than ever, and I've been able to take some successful strides in my Coaching career. 

I have a couple of posts I'm working on around Balance and Process. Balance being how effectively we are able to balance ourselves on one leg while life is coming at us full force, and Process being what's going on right here and right now. These two pieces of my learning in Coaching have transformed my personal state and being. And that's what the posts will be about.

In a matter of just a few months I've read more books than I have in the past few years, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the growth I've encountered as a result. And maybe I'll have a post about that this week. 

All this to say that sometimes life comes at you. And what can you do but roll with it. I'm not sorry I haven't posted, but not posting reminds me how much I miss it. So, thank you for that.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Time Flies

Today I'm writing about the last day. The last day. Some days it's so easy that I feel guilty for remembering it all so clearly. And then there are days like today where I struggle to remember what exactly happened at all. I remember there was a day we had In N Out Burger in the room. What day what that? I remember there was a night my uncle fell off a chair. What night was that? I remember that there were a few days where my father still had his eyes open. I don't remember the last time I looked into his open, aware, alive eyes. And I feel guilty for not remembering. 

This book and writing it are my life. There are ups and downs, some days are easier than others, and  some pages flow and flow and flow like it's not even me writing them at all and some pages feel as though they're being ripped from me--even my finger tips feel bloody as my heart is transfered from my body through the keys and into, up onto the screen. And still there are times where I feel everything flowing through me just as it should be, like it's all a part of me--my body and soul (even my father's soul) are connected and creating and owning this piece of my life that is so important, that shaped me, that molded me from the woman I was before into the woman I became after. And all of this helps me recognize that it will all happen again because this is the way of the world, and I accept that.

I am not the woman I was when my father died. And in reliving those days just before his death, I see clearly just how strong I was, just how weak I was, just how normal and crazy I was. There was so much growth to be had in those last few days that I couldn't possibly have absorbed it all in just those days. It's in looking back with an honest eye that I can both see and acknowledge where I really was and thus track my growth over the past three years. My God, has it been three years? Three years, four months, three days. Yes it has.

Time flies, even when it's not all fun. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not What It Always Seems

I like to think of myself as an organized woman. Somehow this gives me the warm fuzzy that my mom would be proud. Which is really to say that my mom's psychosis of needing me to do what she said so she could feel loved and respected worked. I'm learning to let go of that, which makes me happy. I do so love things being clean and neat and tidy, but there are some things that just need the space to look and feel and be lived in. One of those spaces is the dresser in our bedroom.

There's the candles on the edge that give a cozy feel to it, knowing that at any moment we can light the candle and thus give life to the bedroom by creating the fire. There's the the self sufficient succulent which needs watering only every 3-4 weeks, but still needs watering or else it will die. The framed picture of love and smiles in the snow: even when it's cold outside there's warmth in the heart and seeing that always reminds me of just that. The cases for our glasses, which is just a part of life that we've accepted: sometimes we need help to see things clearly, and there's nothing wrong with a little help. My favorite pair of sunglasses which belong put away (as well as the other pair right behind them), but there they are, out on the dresser where they don't belong and which won't give me anxiety for at least another hour. The money on the dresser that may or may not be salvageable after Jackson decided $20 bills were his chew toys of choice. The money we budgeted for and did not spend and therefore set aside to spend in Vegas as a reward. Fat Bob, who's housed said budgeted and unspent funds until he no longer could fit anymore. A necklace which doesn't belong there but will sit there until it gets moved to its rightful place, be it around a neck or in a drawer, and until then will not give me anxiety because I refuse to let it. Three tubes of Chapstick because apparently moisturized lips are very important to me. And my very first business card proclaiming my status as a writer and where one can find samples of various parts of me and my writing. 

I look at my dresser and I no longer see clutter, but I see a life that is lived and a room that is lived in. These things will all find their rightful homes in good time. They will keep there until we need or want those items again, and then the cycle will repeat itself. Sometimes things get put away, and sometimes they don't. I worry less about the appearance of being neat and tidy simply for the sake of appearing neat and tidy. And I listen more to the importance of just letting life be what it is. And what it is is sometimes messy, sometimes clean and sometimes in between. But it's always lived, whether for outward appearance or inward reflection, only we can decide. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Excerpt: The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

This is an excerpt from a chapter I'm working on right now in 7 Days:

A cell phone is ringing. I lift my head and see that I’m the only one in the room. It’s my phone. It’s Rick. I answer. He’s at the hospital. Doesn’t look good. 12-24 hours left. Doctors want us to say final good-byes. Final good-byes. Final. I stare at my journal. It’s still unfinished, the pen still in my hand. I set the pen in the crease between the two open pages and then close the journal. I get up and scan the room. What am I looking for? Final good-byes.

A man walks into the tiny consultation room. He greets me with his name, a consoling smile, and holds his hand out for me to shake it. I reach out my hand but I do not shake his. I tell him I’m sorry but I have to go. I tell him my father is dying and I just got a call. He pulls something from his breast pocket. He puts his business card in my hand and tells me to call him if I need anything. I think this is odd. I take his card and I walk out of the room. I put my sunglasses on. I walk outside. It’s raining. I keep my sunglasses on and my face towards the ground. I walk to my car.

Rain falls on my head but I don’t walk faster. I lift my head and see the cemetery as I use the keyless entry to unlock my car. My mother is just over there on the right. In The Mausoleum of The Resurrection. I think, “resurrection” is definitely the wrong word. It’s been years since I’ve come here to see my mother’s niche. I don’t feel her. She must not be here today. Maybe she’s with my father. Maybe she’ll greet him. The car door is open and I’ve been standing in the rain with the car door open thinking about my mother and this business of her greeting my father on the other side. How long have I been standing here?  I get in the car. I close the door. I cry. I start the car. I begin to sob. I lay my head on the steering wheel and I sob. As quickly as it started, the sobbing ceases and I wipe my face. I put the car in gear and I drive to the hospital.

I call Reese on the way. I tell her my father is dying today. I tell her I’m on my way to say my final good-byes. My throat tightens; my chest feels as if it’s ready to burst, as if a thousand knives are scratching to get out, as if broken glass is running through my veins. I keep my tears silent. Now is not the time for an outburst. Now am I driving and talking and listening and waiting. There is no time for bursting now. She is sorry, but what can she say? She knows she cannot change it and she cannot make it better. She says something but I don’t hear her. I tell her I will be okay, that I’ll be fine. I tell her I will call her later. I hang up the phone. I tell her I love her.

The car has stopped in front of the hospital. I guess I’m here. I turn the car off and remove the key from the ignition. I stare at the steering wheel. Then out at the rain. The drops melt into the windshield. The wipers are mid-wipe. I take a deep breath. And another. I hear a melody in my head. Tom Petty seems to come to life: …and the wai--ting is the hardest part… I hear this on repeat like a broken record: the wai--ting is the hardest part… the wai--ting is the hardest part… the wai--ting is the hardest part… the wai--ting is the hardest part. The melody drifts away.

I take another deep breath before getting out of the car and into the rain. I have no umbrella. I stand in front of my car and look both ways for cars. What if I wait for a car and just walk in front of it? I see a car in the distance. The headlights spotlight the rain rushing almost sideways towards the ground. The car gets closer. I brace myself against the wind. The car passes me. I step out into the empty street and make my way to the inside of the hospital. There are people waiting in the lobby. There are people waiting at the information desk. I pass both of these areas and press the elevator up button. I have all the information I need. And I will do my waiting on the third floor. …the wai--ting is the hardest part…