Judgement Detox & EMT- My Newest Read

I judge other people. Even as an Empath who can feel the underlining vibrations that often cause people to behave the way they do, I have a difficult time not passing judgment on others. I judge the teachers I work with. I judge parents in the supermarket. I judge politicians in the news.

Gossip and judgment: we all participate in these two negative energy creators. Brene Brown says that we gossip to force connection, and I believe that is so true, but even if I stop talking about people behind their backs, I can’t seem to stop the judging them.

Fortunately, Gabrielle Bernstein released her book Judgement Detox last year, and I started reading it as a part of a Women’s group I joined online.

Screenshot 2020-01-25 at 4.13.16 PMIf you are looking for a solid direction for how to stop a “judgment spiral”, this book has been really helpful.  Bernstein gives you practical, hands-on advice for how to identify your judgement and then direction on how to move past them.

Her chapter on EMT or “tapping” has been such a game changer for me, and I am super excited as I move forward with this new found healing process.  Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure. People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain.

EFT focuses on the bodies meridian points where the energy flows through and when these points or are imbalanced, then the energy becomes lessened or blocked. This leads to emotional or physical illness.  It can also cause you to unfairly judge others to feel better about the imbalances in your own body.

Since starting this book, I can feel a change and a healing happening.  There is a strange sense of warmth that is spreading throughout my body.  It feels like I turned a faucet on and there is an energy that is moving through me that was not there before.  If anyone else has used this technique and can weigh in on this, let me know!

Love and Light, Everyone!

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Filling the Silence

Much of the time, I am trying to fill the silence.  There has been a lack of silence in my life.  My family growing up consisted of three male siblings. My father is a very loud man. We used to joke that to be heard in our house, we had to yell.  Noise was a constant.

I’ve often been lulled to sleep by the sounds of people talking and laughing.  I often read and write while listening to music. For me, silence has been an uncomfortable acquaintance. But now in the light of all that has transpired in my life recently, I feel the need for silence. I crave it. After teaching all day, I seek the quiet of my room and the solace of my meditation pillow.

The silence is tough, though. Though the desire for it is real, the practice of it shows the humming of my mind.  Thoughts and fears and anxieties swirl around and my brain gives no real signs of letting up.  Questions and plans trying to cram into each other and vie for my immediate attention.  Things I have never pondered before need to be addressed, and suddenly I want to leave my mat to find a solution.

But I don’t. I realize that the silence wants me even though my mind is trying to thwart it. I sit longer. I will my legs to remain crossed. I focus on my breathing. I feel the rush of energy from the world around me as my breathing stays steady.  My thoughts float through for a few seconds, and then whoosh, they are back again and the process to steady the ship starts again and again and again. Meditation is the process of your mind unwinding. One minute, five, minutes, ten minutes…sit as long as you can and feel the space (between the breathing and the thoughts) get larger.

This is meditation for the beginner, for the moderate, for the anyone less than someone who is an enlightened yogi (at least that is my assumption-enlightened yogis feel free to weigh in here).  Giving up and saying that meditation is not for me because this process happens doesn’t have to happen. The process is normal.  The process is healthy. The process is right.

Love and Light ****

photo of a man sitting under the tree

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“Closer I am to Fine”

“I’m trying to tell you something ’bout my life/ maybe give me inside between black and white”– Indigo Girls

I feel like my friend is trying to communicate with me. After three days of grieving and asking for some type of sign, little things are starting to seep through.  I say seep through because I feel that any contact with the spirit realm is like getting messages under water. Some are clearer than others.

First, people keep mentioning Gettysburg College, which is the college my friend attend and where I visited many times.

Next, last night my fiance started playing 90s grunge music while making dinner, and one of her feature songs on one of her many mix tapes for me (Rage Against the Machine- “Killing in the Name”) was blaring from the speaker.

But the one that really took me by surprise was when we were watching television and a new episode of Schooled came on.  This is a show that takes place during the 90s.  It follows a female title character who teaches in the high school she attended as a student.  There is a hyper-focused gym teacher who reminds me of my fiance. He is completely sports oriented and driven, also like my guy.  This gym teacher is in love with a woman who is not really interested or involved in sports. Again, this mirrors our relationship. The gym teacher struggles to understand and still connect with the love of his life, and so he agrees to go to Lilith Fair. This was a concert that my friend and I attended in the 90s.  As we were watching my heart started to race.  When the entire show then revolved around a song by the Indigo Girls (“Closer to Fine”), my eyes filled with tears. How many times did we sing this song?  How many times did we put our arms around each other and recite each line word for word?  How many mix tapes featured this one song?

“Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear/ And I am wrap my fear around me like a blanket/ I sailed my ship safety until I sank it/ I am crawling on your shore…”

Here is my message. I hope it is one of many to follow.

“There’s more than one answer to these questions/ Pointing me in a crooked line/ And the less I seek my source for some definitive/ The closer I am to fine, yeah/ The closer I am to fine, yeah…”


Love and Light, Everyone


Sadness and REM

My friend loved REM.  Every mix tape she ever made me had an REM song on it.  I have been listening to their songs for the last two days.  I feel like somewhere in the lyrics and melody there are answers.

     “You were a shirt of violent green, uh huh/ I never understood the frequency” plays from my Alexa.  Maybe that’s it.  Maybe I just never really understood her.  I never understood the depth of sadness she felt.  The unabated loneliness and longing.  How was her life and her expensive house and kind husband not enough?  It was never enough.

What was she trying to numb?

“here’s a problem, feather, iron
Bargain buildings, weights and pulleys
Feather hit the ground before the weight can leave the air
Buy the sky and sell the sky and tell the sky”
        Perhaps she just never trusted me enough to tell me.  Perhaps she held on to secrets
that she felt I was unable to handle.  The hurt was so deep that only she felt she could
manage the weight of it.
         I wish she had been able to trust me enough to help her.  I wish she had trusted me
enough to believe that I only wanted to save her.  But it is too late now.  It is all too late
now.  My forgiveness means nothing in the face of an absent friend who now cannot be
reached by any lengths.  I am only left with the songs we played together as we danced
and laughed as children.
“Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse…”
I am so very sorry.

The Space Between

“It has been said that it’s the space between the bars that holds the tiger. And it’s the silence between the notes that makes the music. It is out of the silence, or “the gap,” or that space between our thoughts, that everything is created-including our own bliss.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I am trying to be aware of the space between my feelings of loss and guilt because there is space. These feelings are not constant, but feel more like miscued beats of the same tune.  Some are louder and more forceful than others. The emotion causes me to tear up.  At times the feeling is softer and more subtle.  It is more of a gentle breeze, but it still creates a slight sting of sadness.

The space between is where the healing occurs and where the spiritual growth resides.  My awareness must remain with the spaces, but it is easy to lose focus and let the lines blur into one another.  The memory of her laugh and even just her voice stay clear in my mind as I try to move forward through this grieving process.  I feel that I am grieving for more than the loss of a friend but the loss of our past.

It is in the wisdom of silence that I feel I will find my peace and this dance with grief will come to a pause.  The echoing music plays deeply inside of me and create a symphony all for me to listen and find freedom.

“It’s the space between the bars which makes the existence of the cage. If there would not have been any space between the bars, it would have been a room.”Venus (Blogger)

white bird cage

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Grief and Other Tough Things

I feel a bit lost today. After hearing about the death of my friend, I am struggling to stay grounded.  I cry at random times.  Swimming this morning was good, but I am still left with a strong sense of sadness.

Memories of our times together growing up keep entering my mind. The bring a feeling of lightness then dark.  Each one clouds into the next, and my guilt and remorse are constant.

It is always a crazy argument to ask if one could have had some impact on the situation when a loved one dies from suicide or overdose.  There is no way to really prove it, and the circular argument just leaves you drained.  Perhaps if I had not walked away…if I had pushed harder to stay in her life…if I had loved her more, and who am I now to say I love her at all.

I keep praying for signs from her from the other side.  I keep coming up with possible symbols of our time together and look around for those with the hope that maybe she is sending them to me.  Does she forgive me?  Does she know that I’ve forgiven her?

There have been so many times when I have felt so confident about communication with our loved ones on the other side, but now I am not so sure.  Hatred and anger are strong emotions.  Those emotions could just as easily cross through the space/time continuum.  What if there really are no lessons learned?

two women sitting on rock facing on body of water and mountain

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Death of a Friend

I met my friend when we were in sixth grade. During middle school and high school, we were inseparable. She was the maid of honor in my wedding. I was the matron of honor in both of hers.  She was with me through both of my pregnancies.  I stood next to her at  her father’s funeral. She struggled with drugs and alcohol.  Her parents were alcoholics.  She was always struggling.

We official became best friends on a class trip to the Baltimore Aquarium at the end of our sixth grade year. We sat on the bus together on the way up and the way home.  It was meant to be.

My friend loved to eat Cheez Wiz right out of the can even though she was a vegan.  She said that there could never be dairy in a can that didn’t need to be refrigerated.  She could make me laugh until I peed myself.  That’s how funny she was.

My friend stopped talking to me five years ago.  We were meeting for lunch.  She had just been released from rehab for the second time.  I was starting to go through a very painful divorce.  She showed up to lunch so trashed she could barely pick her head up off of her chest.  When I left for a moment, I went to the bathroom to call her husband to ask him what was going on.

“Ron, it’s Kelly.  I just got here with Rachel for lunch. She is visibly intoxicated.  Did you know she is using again?”

“No,” he responded.  “All I know is that she left this morning.  Wait, I thought you were meeting her at 9 for breakfast.”

“Uh,” I stuttered.  I had known about Rachel’s martial problems and I also knew that she had cheated on her husband multiple times, but I did not realize that our lunch date was a cover.  “I…”

“Don’t bother lying for her. I know you are her friend, but she’s fucking cheating on me again.  I am done. I stuck with her through rehab again. Tell her she can go fuck herself. I will be gone before she even gets home.”

“Wait, no, I just wanted to know what was going on.  She can’t go home to an empty house. I can’t be in the middle of this,” I begged, but I knew it was falling on deaf ears, and I was also starting to realize that I was going to have to take full responsibility for calling.  I also knew that I was not going to lie.  I would face this head on.  Our friendship was strong enough.

When I went back out to my friend, I told her what had just happened.  Her response couldn’t have been more awful.  In the middle of the restaurant she started screaming at me.  She was furious and she openly blamed me for ruining her life.  I was a traitor. I was horrible. I was not her friend.  Against my pleas for her not to leave and drive home in the shape she was in, she continued screaming and got in her car and drove away.  She called me minutes later and continued screaming at me that I had ruined her life. I knew it was the drugs and alcohol that were causing her to behave this way, but it didn’t make it any easier. I texted Ron to let him know she was heading home and asked him to let me know when she got there safely.  I texted her about once a week for the next month, and she ignored them all.  About a year later, she texted me to say that she was sorry and that she was no longer angry.  She wanted to make amends.  I basically told her to have a nice life. I was not interested in having her in my life anymore.  I was angry. I was hurt.

Now today, six years later, I received a message from another friend that she has passed away. She sent me her obit.  It doesn’t say much.  It only included where she lived, her living relatives, and her age: 43.

I am not sure what I feel or even how to feel. How do I mourn a friend who I lost so many years ago? Am I just sad that there is now no way to make amends?  Why do I keep breaking into tears?