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It Really is About YOU (Usually)

Hello from northern California. I'm writing with impressive, snow-covered Mt. Shasta right in front of me, reminding me that I am a mere speck on this beautiful earth. I like to think I'm a sparkle in the fabric, but I didn't always feel glittery and bright. In fact, I spent way too many years driven by my scared-to-death ego. It didn't look like I was afraid. In fact, most people would have said I was full of courage and spunk. It was really a ton of bravado, the definition of which is a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate. Oh, how I wanted to impress and/or intimidate all the while feeling small, inadequate, and "not-enough".

I was also nearly soulless which is described as lacking or suggesting the lack of human feelings and qualities. The truth is I was full of feelings and emotions that terrified me so I shoved them deep down inside and I created a shell on my outside. I usually acted in exactly the opposite way from my desires. It was so painful, however I truly believed it was how I was going to survive.

I don't know exactly why I felt that way. I have some thoughts and ideas ... I've come to understand that I was filled with anger and rage and I believe a lot of women take that on from the time we land in this earthly incarnation. The overriding patriarchy instills a sense of oppression on us. Often I think it's so pervasive yet subtle that we don't even understand or are aware of it, but it percolates in our depths. By the way, I believe this ancient societal "system" doesn't serve men either and may be the reason so many have anger issues, too.

I also know that my dear mother unknowingly brought a lot of her grief and frustration and resentment into her parenting. She didn't understand it and neither did I even though I have come to understand how justified she was to feel the way she did about life. It saddens me that she never found a way to reconcile with it.

This week's MQ (Monday Quote) is a nugget of wisdom that I've thankfully acquired over the years:

"Even though it feels easier and you really want to make someone

else the reason for feeling grumpy and out of sorts,

it's always about getting in touch with what you need."

Almost from the beginning of my marriage, whenever I felt upset or angry or annoyed, I wanted to make my husband the cause. (I truly felt that if I took personal responsibility, I might die -- crazy, huh?!?) I definitely wasted a lot of time making us both miserable by trying to make him the "bad guy". I refused to see my part in almost everything and my mantra was, "If only HE would get his sh*t together (my life would be so much better)". I've grieved my actions and attitude A LOT over the years once I finally got in touch with the truth.

I started to have glimpses of a better way to be in this world and I really got full permission and got on the road to understanding when I enrolled in Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts ( in NYC. I started to realize how much I had abandoned my true self from a very early age, maybe even birth. It's what a lot of us women do. We shut down our instincts, our desires, our juicy goodness, abilities and capabilities. The difference between these last two words is that ability is the skill to do something and capability is the extent of our ability. All too often we accomplish so much without even acknowledging the importance or wonder of what we've done.

I also realized that usually when I was the most upset with my husband (or almost anyone, for that matter) it had more to do with needing to practice some self-care and next to nothing to do with them. All I had to do was ask, but for a long time I simply didn't have that information or awareness. I didn't even know what I needed or wanted. I was pretty much a hot mess and everyone around me got caught in the fallout.

It's taken me quite awhile to make friends with my poor, frightened ego and to finally hear the sweet voice of my soul. When I exhibit bravery or pluck or strength in the face of pain or grief or just because I want to do something I've never done before, it comes from a place inside where the Divine resides. I sometimes still act or react in ways that aren't in my best interest or very nice. Fortunately, I am usually able to quickly identify when that's happening, but I am still a work in progress and likely will be until my last breath. That's OK. I'm light years from where I was and where I've been. Sometimes I wish I had learned some of my lessons sooner and that's one of the reasons I write my MQ's and blogettes. If I can help someone else find a better way to fully enjoy this life and feel delight in being here (and accomplish that earlier in life than I did!) ... well, that is what I wish for you.


Have you ever thought you'd like to get away, rest, and relax while also exploring having a shift in mindset that might help you fully embrace and embody life? Would you like to get together with others (maybe 10 or 12) looking for the same thing? If so, please contact me ( or reply to this email. I'm in the designing stages of a luscious, comfort-filled retreat. I'd love your input.

Love and Sparkles,

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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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