The Fixer

Today, I wobbled. I knew it would happen eventually and I know it will again. I don’t like it, but I know it’s a reminder of where I’ve been and I know it’s a clarification of where I’m going and who I’m becoming. If I told you I enjoyed experiencing or observing it today for a noble lesson for earning greater wisdom, I’d be a liar.

Today, I was faced with a situation I wanted to “fix” for someone else.

In the name of all that is holy, I promise you I recognized a lifetime of savior behavior trying to pull me in. I have done so well these past weeks at letting go of imagined control of circumstances, being grateful for exactly where I am, and respecting that everyone is responsible for where they are and what they decide to do with where ever that is.

I’ve been happy, I haven’t worried much, I spend most of my time looking for what’s right, and I know I’m going to be just fine. I know I can’t make things be okay for everyone. I know I don’t get to choose well-being for someone else. They have to decide that for themselves.

So I trembled inside while I allowed things to flow along without me.

I let the chips fall. I watched in fascinated horror as things unfolded around me that I didn’t want to hear or see. I forced myself to show respect for individual choice by keeping my mighty powers of persuasion (manipulation?) to myself. I did not allow myself to remove someone’s opportunity to learn for themselves just because my life would be happier or easier if I did so. While I wouldn’t hesitate to save someone from their death had I the power to do so…

It is not my right to save someone from life.

Who the hell did I think I was all of these years I was “saving” people? Lord knows I had to be ground up repeatedly before I learned what I kept refusing to learn. The world kept turning today. Nobody died, and no animals were injured in the making of this day I experienced. These two things will allow me to sleep sweet tonight.

I do not have the power to make anyone but me healthy, wealthy and wise.

I’ll admit (just this once) that I have previously emptied myself in all ways possible to save or benefit someone I cared for. I did not see that I perpetuated any weaknesses or behaviors that held them down. I didn’t know I was stealing their lessons from them. I inadvertently made myself happy at their expense by removing their opportunities to stand, or decide, or grow on their own.

It was misdirected love, ego and arrogance.

Who the hell did I think I was? It’s embarrassing to admit that I believed I could love anyone into wellness, productivity or sanity. Maybe it was easier to focus outwardly than it was to see myself clearly and deal with that.

I am a recovering enabler. My name is Shelly.

I am only the boss of me.



And then she began to add color

all around her in the quiet

shimmer of gold, bronze and

cream of her surroundings,

a scarlet pillow there,

an emerald throw,

etched candles

richly scented…

She discarded

all that was not her,

books and trinkets empty

of meaning or value,

any gift not given from a

loving heart,

she tossed away

refusing even to gift

to another anything lacking


She opened drawers

and boxes and her heart,

pulling out pieces of herself

into the light,

loving reminders

of moments and memories

that made her laugh

or lit her eyes…

She placed them in every room,

knowing she would

never again

allow anything in

that was less than true

or beloved to her,

nothing would detract

from the life and vibrance

she needed…

She knew she would seek

only those things,

those experiences and

those people

offering contrast, accent or

growth to the world she

was creating…

She carefully swept

the uselessness of misery,

worry and doubt off the porch,

and every evening

when she walked in again,

she began to add color.



The Marks We Leave

Do not grieve the marks we leave

behind, the matching scars

that we must carry…

It happens thus when one of us

lives from the open heart

we will not bury…

Let it never once be said

that in our fear we let

our courage falter…

Far too easy it would be to

disregard the lives that

love would alter…

Deconstruct the walls that crush

our bones to dust as they

begin to tumble…

Do not take the easy way,

avoiding pain that dares

to keep us humble.

Love is meant to leave a mark,

if given time enough

and we are brave…

We may find the beating heart

within us, is in fact

the one we save.







Past Tense

I wonder why we seem to think there is some kind of before and after in our lives. We achieve this glory moment and it defines us, we learn this skill and it makes us valuable, we had these troubles and it took us down or we made this or that mistake and it made us weak. Why do we feel such a need to either live in the past or let go of it? Why can we not just accept our becoming every moment along the way? Our glories give us confidence, our skills learned give us momentum, our troubles give us strength and our mistakes are merely us discerning what we want and what we don’t want in our lives.

How quickly we seek to remove the stones that are the foundations for the castles we hope to build.

If something no longer serves us, so what? Maybe it doesn’t want to. Maybe we should find something that does, or better yet, serve ourselves. If we’re not appreciated where we are then we’re not appreciating ourselves enough to be elsewhere. If we don’t like what we do or how we feel, who’s responsible for changing that? Everything up to now is just us becoming who we are now on the way to more. That’s it.

We’re all in the same world making our way through as best we can at any given moment.

Everything we’ve done is just another paint stroke on the canvas, this masterpiece of life we’re creating of ourselves. Sometimes the colors are violent, or sorrowful, or bold, or bright. It doesn’t matter because we add depth and texture every day by the choices we make and the talent we learn by being brave enough to do so. Everything we’ve ever given out or taken in, no matter how selfish or noble has grown us to who we are so far.

There is no past tense, no before and after, there is only us constantly becoming.

Shakespeare wrote, “What’s past is prologue”…meaning what has happened up until now only sets the stage. Everything we’ve been and done matters, but this is not the whole of us.

Every moment had value in creating now, and now is all we have to savor. So we should. We forget that our lives should be held as sacred as the moment of sunset when the edge of dying light is at it’s most beautiful. We know it’s important to pay attention, allow ourselves to be in awe of it, to perceive in clarity and detail the wonder of what we’ll only hold for a sliver of time.

What’s past is prologue. No shame, no blame, just a becoming of life at it’s most beautiful.



Ramble from the Flip Side

I woke up this morning thinking… “What’s next?”.

It made me smile as I rolled out of bed because apparently looking forward to whatever is next…is what’s next.

It seems my willingness to give up on things I used to fight for is gaining momentum and the side effect is an appreciation for new and interesting experiences that reveal themselves now that I’m not struggling for or against something every damn minute.

Working 2-3 jobs didn’t make me strong or prosperous, it made me stupid and tired. I found that having to ask for quality time or attention from anyone made the relationship irrelevant. Why try to hold anyone who isn’t holding on to me? I guess I grew weary of wrestling with life, worrying about money, wasting time trying to meet ridiculous expectations of people who don’t meet their own and finding some noble purpose to serve.

So I quit. I let go. I gave up and relaxed into what’s next.

It’s interesting what a day will offer me now that I’m present to enjoy it. I love to write (more than these little rambles) and have had the opportunities to write a couple of bios, an interview/article on someone for a website and this weekend I will write my first speech for someone addressing congress next month. I pulled my book (10 chapters so far) out of my drawer and back into progress, because I want to finish it so I know how it ends.

My life is kind of unfolding like that, and it makes me happy.

I suppose things don’t bother me like they did before because I know I have control of me no matter what happens, everything else is just a roll of the dice. When I offer who I am, life meets me there and offers up something interesting to play with, and I’m happy to do so.

I remember feeling something like this when my son was born. The exhilaration of knowing that I’d brought this amazing person into being and anything was possible for him. I knew I could offer no greater gift to the world. I knew he would astonish me with his heart and his effect on the world around him. I couldn’t wait to see his life unfold or how many lives he would change just by being and becoming all he was capable of. I feel that way now.

Only this time, it’s me.

What’s next?




Sometimes thoughts I’ve learned to let go of come back to whisper to me. A phrase or song or mannerism will bring me a good memory of something that makes me open up to it for a moment, just long enough to usher in the trash that came with the whole package.

I’m at a place now where I can usually sigh and shake my head at the foolishness of the much needed lesson and move on. Usually. Every once in a while, if I haven’t focused enough on what truly matters to me, it lingers throughout the day like a nagging little voice in the background, a hot and irritating breath at the back of my neck that makes me want to swat something and be left in peace.

It’s like my life gets slightly out of focus again for a little while.

I know that to reject anything means I might as well chain it to me and jump off a bridge, so I’ve learned to let it whisper all it wants while I remind myself to be thankful that I’ve experienced something that by its contrast taught me that I wanted the exact opposite in my life. I know now that focus on what I’m creating for myself will silence the foolishness.

If that doesn’t work, I pull the plug and do a hard reboot.

I shut the phone off, cook something nice for dinner, write a little, grab a good book, a glass of wine, take a bubble bath and tuck myself in bed. I sift the bits of good out and say thank you. I hold all the ugly for a moment and look it in the eye so I won’t forget what it looks like the next time it comes sniffing. I let it out the back gate so to speak, without feeding it, and turn to welcome its exact opposite with open arms.

I’m a skilled driver on memory lane now… I see the view and avoid the cliffs.

I’m fortunate to have this kind of clarity now, I know. Things that used to blindside me just call me to take better care of myself for a bit. I know where to put my attention, what I have to offer and the gift of it by doing so where it makes the most difference.

I’ve learned to stop, spoil myself a bit, sleep sweet and start over in the morning.

Sweet dreams…

Song of the Gods

You have yet to uncover

the mystery

of you…

Unaware of your own

power, your vibration unfolds

before you as

you enter the room,

uplifting or depressing

the perceptions

of all who wait there…

A room full of gods

and none of you wield

your authority

with any deliberate


You create your own worlds

and lament

your circumstances,

you hold fear

and folly tightly

to your chest and curse

the consequences

that weigh you down…

You think you must be hard

and cold and relentless

in your fight for


you believe that struggle,

hardship and sorrow

is the price you pay

for a victory

that leaves you wanting…

you turn dreams

into goals and lists

and actions

when you could be

calling down the moon

with just your smile

or raising the dead of heart

with your laughter…

you are each

living gods

needing only to

relax into your own

powers and sing

the song

of life.



Midnight Moon

There is no forgiveness


no blame to be cast

upon the lessons

that I drew to me by

my own desire

to know.

I am certain now

that those I called to me

were the stones

I used to break me


the fires I fed

to burn the fury of

who I am not,

the steel to carve

the false

from the heart

of me.

There are no regrets

to be spoken

that linger

when joy grows

within me,

a flowering vine

climbing crumbling


knowledge bowing

to me as I

unwrap each new


There is no obstacle

to overcome,

no hurry to be

somewhere or someone


no harm to inflict

or endure.

There is only the sifting

of clouds,

the choosing of

endless stars

and light from

the heart

of me.



Quiet Heart

I heard a phrase this morning that was a perfect description of where I am right now.

Do your best to live at the edge of appreciation.

I’ve weathered a lot of turbulence and at times have not handled it well. I have equally held things inside when I shouldn’t or expressed myself after jumping to conclusions when assuming I knew the facts of a matter. Both are detrimental to repair, healing and peace of mind.

I’ve been practicing a new state of mind for me with the emphasis on gratitude first, and it has truly helped me sleep better and let go of so much that I truly have no control over. I’ve learned to pause, knowing that some things are just human nature and fade to smoke in a day or two and mean nothing at all. If it still stands after a breather, I just have to air it out cleanly and let it go no matter the result.

Since I make plenty of mistakes myself, I know what it feels like when somebody loses traction for a moment. It’s easy to over-react, over-compensate and spin out. I really hate it when that happens whether I’m doing it myself or bearing witness for another. It’s awkward and a little embarrassing when we come out on the other side.

We need to relax into knowing that it’s all going to work out.

Everything cycles out. Knowing this, we need to savor the joy as we let it in and let go of the stress of our troubles as we pass through them. We need to ride the wave instead of letting it beat us half to death in our frantic bid to control our circumstances.

I’ve stressed myself sick. I’ve been so hurt and angry I couldn’t sleep. I’ve been so depressed and felt so powerless that my heart was numb. My sick, sleepless and numb self changed not a single circumstance.

Gratitude changes everything.

I can’t feel angry, depressed, numb or powerless when I’m mentally expressing gratitude. Try it yourself, you’ll see. It’s just not possible. That job you say you hate…what good things does it bring you? The loved one who hurt your feelings…what wonderful traits do they have? That horrifying lapse in judgment you had…what did you learn that was critical for your future?

I learned to quiet my heart.

I learned to feel more and love wiser. To mend instead of bash in retribution. To act when I chose as opposed to react when provoked. I give because I want to and am happy because I can be. I forgive quickly because I care about the state of my heart.

I’m not so easily provoked any longer.

Contrary to what you would think, this has made me stronger. It has given me clarity in questionable circumstances, it has allowed me to restrain my impulses and save me from the sorrow that comes from retaliation and rash behavior.

Thank the gods old and new.

The first time I heard the phrase “life happens for you, not to you” I wanted to beat somebody up. Anyone. I looked for volunteers. Fortunately no one did and I don’t have that to regret. Because I have found that to be true once all the smoke has cleared.

I have experienced much, as have we all. I have learned much. I’m giving it up.

I surrender with a grateful heart…

A quiet heart.


A Beautiful Life

There are some days where the rubber meets the road.

Now I’m laughing at myself for trying to define this day with such a statement when I know that this is true for every single day from the moment I climb out of bed. It’s the same for all of us isn’t it?

We can tuck ourselves in at night expressing gratitude for what we have and who we love, we can wake up and be wise enough to claim them again before we get out of bed…and then the games begin.

There are consequences to face in our personal lives, our work space and we witness unspeakable violence in the world around us. It hurts our hearts and tries our faith in ourselves and each other.

We wonder sometimes what it is that will finally break our spirit.

Will it be the Hammer of Thor that knocks us off our feet or the million paper cuts we sustain on a daily basis? Are we kind enough to each other? Do we listen well and fully?Do we expect more from others than we do ourselves and are we disappointed when they don’t live up to the standards we don’t achieve?

Are we posturing, posing, judging, ranting and generally being asses in our own quiet ways? Are we bemoaning that the world has let us down without asking why we have let us down? Why are we asking the world questions we should be asking ourselves?

I think we owe ourselves an explanation.

More critical than going to sleep thankful and waking up with appreciation is actively living with gratitude. It doesn’t seem like much to split your last twenty dollars between Puerto Rico Relief Fund and Go Fund Me for Las Vegas Victims, but everyone’s last twenty would sure add up wouldn’t it? Because we had twenty and we love people who love people who are hurting in these places.

Living grateful means acting on the fact that we have more than enough to choose joy and be kind when someone isn’t, or listen when someone won’t, or offer a safe and quiet comfort when someone needs only that. It means we don’t pay someone back injury for injury, even if it would appear righteous to do so. A pathetic life would be taking everything you can because you can.

A beautiful life is giving what you have and who you are.

That’s where the rubber meets the road.