People Are Blaming Ariana Grande for Mac Miller’s Death, and It’s Wrong. -Mitch

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If you don’t listen to the radio, read tabloids, or the internet, I’ll introduce Ariana Grande to you. She’s a pint sized singer who has had 10 songs chart in the top 10. She’s been nominated for several awards, and she’s only 25 years old. She got her start on a terrible Nickelodeon show, and has actually make the transition from child actor to adult singer successfully. Some of her songs are legit bops, and I’d kill for her voice and range. There are rumors that she’s a diva (sometimes deciding that she doesn’t want to walk and making her bodyguards carry her) and most of us saw the tape of her licking donuts.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about why I’m blogging about her. We’re not a gossip rag, but we do cover women’s issues, and this is one of them. Arianna’s last boyfriend was a rapper named Mac Miller. I’d never heard of him before his DUI earlier this year, that happened shortly after Ariana Grande broke up with him. Apparently, they’d been together for 2 years, and he was already an admitted addict before they got together. Yikes. I think women, especially when we’re young, have that attraction to a man, and even if he’s got issues, we go for it, certain that we can change them. Spoiler alert: you can’t. Your chances of changing a man for the long haul are slim to none. For any human to change an ingrained behavior, they have to admit that their behavior is a problem and they have to want to change. Yeah, it’s possible that your new man who is a sweetheart unless he’s drunk will make an effort to quit drinking for a while, especially if you’re around, because you ask him to. However, if he doesn’t see it as that big of a problem, he’s not going to change, especially if he’s an alcoholic.

Sometimes I read celebrity gossip when my husband wants me to be cleaning the house, which he thinks I need to change. He doesn’t understand how keeping the house looking perfect at all times isn’t something I care about. I think it would be lovely if I became a person who prioritized scrubbing tile floors and attacking clutter, but it’s not something I see changing. See how that works? In my mind, it’s not that important. I’m not a hoarder living in a shithole, but nobody’s coming to take photos of my perfectly decorated, sparkling crib anytime soon.

Back on topic. So Miller gets in an accident in May for a DUI. He wrapped his car around a pole and blew twice the legal limit. Several sources claim that the biggest factor in Grande’s decision to break up with Miller was his increasing substance abuse. She was in that relationship from the ages of 23-25. She stuck it out for a lot longer than I would hope any young woman I care about did. Miller admitted in many interviews that he had substance abuse issues. He admitted that he wrote and released an entire album with songs about cocaine. Now, do I think that a breakup can  lead to an addict increasing the amount of drugs and alcohol he abuses? Absolutely! But do I think that Ariana Grande had any responsibility to stay in a shitty relationship with Miller, his drugs, and his booze? NO. I think the fuck not, and neither did she. This is the statement she released when the internet picked up their pitchforks and blamed her for his DUI.

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Ah yes. Woman falls in love with toxic addict. She stays for a long time, supporting him and praying things would change. Surprise! He didn’t change, and eventually she bounced. He’s an adult human being with plenty of money for rehab. He chose not to go. I’m not in their relationship, but I can imagine there were plenty of talks about it. Promises to change. Ultimatums, controlling bullshit, tears, and more broken promises. If any other woman were living in that hell, I’d encourage her to get the fuck out. So, why is it that thousands and thousands of people have been tweeting at Ariana Grande that she’s a murder? That this is her fault? That she caused HIS drug and alcohol abuses? He was a grown ass man. He was a man with a terrible disease (as I believe addiction is) but ultimately we’re responsible for our choices and consequences as adults, especially if your choices hurt other people.

And there’s the rub. If you’re in a healthy serious relationship, your partner needs to be your priority. You don’t get to hurt your partner over and over again and expect them to stay. I can assure you that if I stopped managing my bipolar disorder, woke up every day and punched my husband in the face as hard as I could, then grabbed a baseball bat and hit him in the nuts with it whenever I had an opening, he’d leave me. I have a disease, but if I wasn’t treating it and I inflicted harm upon him every day because I chose not to fight it, my husband is under no obligation to stay with me and take the abuse.

Addicts can love you. Of course they can. They just can’t put you or your needs ahead of their addiction. If you let them, they’ll take your soul, they’ll take your money, they’ll crush your spirit, and then they’ll take more. I don’t think they want to hurt you, but if they’re actively using, they aren’t thinking about how their actions affect you, especially the combined effect of months or years of their bullshit. You will never be the priority in the life of the addict you love.

Why in the fuck would anyone blame a woman for getting out of a toxic relationship? Why? You can try to help a person, but if they refuse to help themselves, the abuse is going to keep on happening.

Now we live in a day and age when any nameless, faceless asshole can directly access celebrities on social media. Do they forget that there are actual human beings behind the @s and the #s? They can say things like,

“THIS IS YOUR FAULT,” “You lowkey evil,” “It’s crazy because you really did kill him,” and the most popular, “Fuck you, @arianagrande you did this.”

No, she didn’t do this. Miller did it. He abused drugs and alcohol to the point that the relationship couldn’t go on. Then he bought more drugs, he took them, and he died. It’s tragic. He was only 26 years and and had a lot of life left to live. He had friends, he had talent, and I’m sure he had a family, but addiction doesn’t care. He had a girlfriend who seems to have loved him, who said she supported him and prayed he’d get better, but she finally had enough. In her own words, she isn’t his babysitter or mother.

I don’t need to be a fan of her to say this. I say it as a human being who has addicts in her life; particularly addicts who have been enabled by others. Let me tell you: that doesn’t work either. Nothing will change until the addict wants to change. Ariana bounced right out of her relationship with Miller to a quickie engagement to Pete Davidson of SNL. I love Pete on SNL, but he’s been very vocal about his own issues with drugs in the past, so it’s possible this young lady might be in for more of the same. As someone who made shitloads of really terrible choices in her 20’s, I know some of us have to make mistakes several times before we learn our lessons.

In the meantime, blame the addiction, and yes, blame the addict. They’re still culpable. However, you cannot blame a romantic partner who has had absolutely enough of this bullshit.

-Love, light, and accountability,

Mitch

 

 

 

 

 

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Criminal Minds’ Penelope Garcia is a Revolutionary Character We Need -by Selfish Mitch

All female bodies are not the same, nor should they be. AK and I are almost exactly the same age and the same height, for example, but her body is healthiest at a size 0-4, and my body is healthiest at a size 8-12, depending on the brand. I have a broader, more bulkily muscled frame than she does. Her frame and muscles are lean. We’re both beautiful in our own way, and we think all women are too. For us, the goal is to be as healthy as possible, and if we look great, that’s a bonus.

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Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia  (source http://criminalminds.wikia.com/wiki/Penelope_Garcia)

 

However, if you watch TV or movies, look in fashion magazines and on popular Instagram accounts, you’ll find that the vast majority of women are size 00-4. They might be tall and lean like Taylor Swift, Allison Janney, or Blake Lively, or they may be short and tiny like Ariana Grande and Jada Pinkett Smith, or somewhere in between like Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. All of those ladies are beautiful, but Hollywood has a type.

I’m glad that in recent years we’ve seen more representation of different body types in the media. Plus size model Ashley Graham is a great representation of that. Still, have you noticed that in film and television, women who don’t fit in a sample size, like Melissa McCarthy and Chrissy Metz, tend to have story lines that are dependant on weight issues? McCarthy and Metz are both incredibly talented, but Hollywood doesn’t really seem to know what to do with them. Melissa McCarthy is a really talented comedian and seems to really enjoy physical comedy, which is great, but she’s rarely shown as the beautiful, strong, kick ass type. Instead, she’s often in an unflattering wig and clothes that don’t fit, and fat jokes abound. Rebel Wilson is another talented, plus sized actor, and she’s best know for her turns in the Pitch Perfect trilogy, in which she plays a character who goes by “Fat Amy.”

Here’s where Penelope Garcia, who has been played by Kirsten Vangsness on CBS’s Criminal Minds, is revolutionary. Vangsness and I have similar shapes, so when I discovered Criminal Minds earlier this year (I know it’s kicking off its 14th season, don’t @ me), I paid attention. I almost never see women my size represented on screen, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one as strong, powerful, and put together as this character. Vangsness is a size 12 according to a recent article I found, but she, like most women of my size and shape, can go up and down a bit, especially depending on the brand of clothing you’re buying. She’s not technically “plus sized,” but she’s certainly a body type we don’t see much in Hollywood. She discussed the topic in an interview with Pride.com.

“Stylists on the set of the CBS series have gotten a bit of Vangsness’s do-it-yourself spirit as well. “They kept saying, ‘Can you bring your own clothes? We don’t have anything in your size.’ Because in Hollywood they have size zero and size 22,” says Vangsness, who is a size 12. “But if you lie somewhere between the 12 to 16 range…they keep trying to put you into a size 4. It’s the strangest thing. What ends up happening is they buy four size 2 Marc Jacobs dresses and make one size 12. Then someone out in TV land watches it and is like, ‘I can get that dress.’ No, you can’t because you don’t have a seamstress that will alter exactly to your body. I feel for everybody.”

I feel you, girl. We’re also in that size range where straight sizes fit us strangely and most plus size stuff is too big.

The character of Penelope Garcia is a rich and layered one. She’s a brilliant former computer hacker who leaves the dark web to go to work for the good guys, profiling criminals. She’s strong, witty, and doesn’t apologize for the space her body takes up. She’s confident, a great friend and co-worker, and a solutionary. She’s also a bit of a weirdo, wearing bright clothing and usually a few more accessories than fashion dictates. She has romantic relationships with attractive men and a flirtmance with co-worker Derek Morgan, who is played by the ridiculously attractive Shemar Moore. Their platonic friendship is deep, layered with mutual love and respect, but they never cross the boundary into a romantic relationship. The sexy banter between them would be enough that most HR departments would write them up, but it’s sweet, funny, sexy, and a great break in the middle of serious storylines about psychotic serial killers.

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Shemar Moore and Kirstin Vangsness photo source

What Penelope Garcia doesn’t do is whine about her weight. She doesn’t come into the office bitching that she only eats carrot sticks and still will never be the size of her gorgeous, athletic, thin, co-worker and close friend, J.J. Nobody suggests Keto or Paleo or the Cabbage Soup diet to Garcia. I haven’t heard anyone say, “Oh, Penelope. You have such a pretty face. Have you tried Pilates?” They do invite her out for drinks, confide in her and love her, and she pays that all right back. She’s been on the show for 13 years, and I’ve never seen Penelope Garcia give a fuck about her weight. She’s healthy, she’s happy, and she loves herself. She doesn’t hide her figure in oversized black sweaters; she flaunts it in bright, sometimes crazy, but flattering patterns. Her hair color changes often, and her makeup is bright. This is a woman who isn’t trying to blend into the wallpaper, making self-deprecating jokes, and waiting to start her life when she hits a magical number on the scale. In a world where people call Beyonce fat and where Scarlett Johansson has been turned down for roles because she’s too curvy, Penelope Garcia living her best life is what we need more of, especially since Vangsness is entering her 14th year of playing this groundbreaking character and I don’t see other shows stepping up and showing other 3 dimensional average sized women. Think about this: Criminal Minds premiered just months after Friends Joey, Chandler, Ross, Phoebe, Rachel and Monica took their final bow. I loved Friends, of course, but the Monica fat shaming was a bad trope. In fact, in the episode about what could have been in alternate futures, tiny Courteney Cox was in Monica’s fat suit, portrayed as an awkward 30 year old virgin who had never been in love and doesn’t seem to have any rich relationships in her life. We haven’t evolved enough since then.

But, Mitch, you say, there are other female fictional characters that appear on screen with more weight than we’re used to seeing. Surely, they can’t all have fat plotlines! I haven’t seen every movie or TV show ever made, so that might be true. I think we’re close with the amazing Aidy Bryant on Saturday Night Live. In fact, she did a Weekend Update segment as herself discussing how hard it is to get roles that don’t revolve around her size. She was once offered a part in a movie. The character didn’t have a name-it was just “Ugly Fat Friend.” Aidy is anything but ugly, and to keep up with SNL’s production schedule, guest starring in other TV shows, and doing stand up and other projects, she must be pretty damn healthy. The great thing about SNL, whether you’re a fan or not, is that the actors often do the sketch writing as well. They have more control over what they do and how they’re seen.

Click play to see Aidy owning this song along with her female castmates and guest star Saoirse Ronan.

We also have the hilarious Katy Mixon headlining her own show on ABC, called “American Housewife.” The show was originally entitled, “The Second Fattest Housewife in Westport.” I have to admit, the character is super relatable to me. Katy’s character, Katie Otto, seems pretty happy with who she is, and she has a loving, supportive, thin, capable husband (which is something I’ll get into in a separate post.) The character and her family move to a super affluent area so their children can have the best education possible, but they’re a middle class family in an area like the Hamptons or Calabasas, and the other moms are tiny, mean, and judgemental. Katy keeps it real, and seems to be happy with herself, but it is hard for her to not fit in with the other moms, even if she really dislikes most of them.

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Mixon playing Katie Otto, who is not having any of this bullshit today. Image: https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/television/2016/10/09/american-housewife-tackles-weighty-subject/HA5mA0bUWzPBrpT5q0LCOI/story.html

She actually creates extra trouble for herself by pushing back against the other parents. She thinks these people are all shallow and materialistic, and for the most part, they are. She’s concerned about her children’s values changing to reflect those of the new community, and she fights it pretty hard.  Still, there are several fat jokes in this show, and some of them are pretty cheap. Also, I think it’s important to note that Katie doesn’t make an effort to know most of the juice cleansing, work out clothes wearing, luxury SUV driving moms, so she’s also being judgemental based on looks. I still call it a bit of progress, just not badass Garcia progress. I do want to note that American Housewife has a different kind of progress-Katy’s best female friends are women of color, and one of them happens to be a lesbian. I love the real-life aspect of that. She has friends who don’t look just like her, who come from different backgrounds. She and her husband are very much in love and rarely put each other down, especially not to the extent we see in other sitcoms. They are portrayed as partners, which is good to see.

In today’s society, even though racists and homophobes, abelists and misogynists still run rampant, they’re being called out.  It seems like fat jokes are the last frontier for jokes about people. Hell, even Glee, the show that had a “very special episode” and set it’s social justice warrior mission to music every week, had unchecked fat jokes.

Still, it’s TV. It’s the movies; it’s not real life, right? In today’s society people are influenced by pop culture. TV shows, movies, reality stars, and even the President drop cruel words into our ears and onto our screens, and those words embolden people. We become a sum of our experiences, and if we are constantly taking in “jokes” about fatness, about people being different sized, that seeps into the general consciousness. When Trump calls Rosie O’Donnell a disgusting pig and says Heidi Klum is sadly, no longer a 10, it makes people think it’s OK to say those things as well. (Along with all of his other problematic opinions on “others”.) Sadly, I still hear people refer to people they care about as, “my fat friend? The one who you met at my party two years ago?” That’s the rub about being considered average or larger sized in our culture. You’re reduced to one characteristic; two if you’re lucky.

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I look different in these photos, but I have the same heart, mind, sense of humor, love, and ambition. Who I am doesn’t change with the way you see me. My self esteem no longer lives and dies by the scale. I’m stronger than that now, but many girls and women aren’t.

 

The fat funny girl. The fat girl with great hair. The fat girl who shouldn’t wear skirts that short. The fat bitch. The fat girl who’s got a great personality. The fat girl who is actually really pretty if you get to know her.

So, how do we react to this? How do we stop it? We can support movies made by female directors and screenwriters. Women, even women in Hollywood, have friends who are more than their weight, and that can come through in their storytelling. We can vote with our dollars for TV shows and movies who are doing it right.

In this world, we can use the internet to tell people exactly what we think of them. The comments any celebrity’s instagram will tell you that. So often people tell them they’re fat, they’re unworthy, unattractive. Don’t do that. If you know people who do that, call them out. Tweet at producers and studios that you want to be represented and respected on screen.

Most importantly, love yourself exactly as you are, exactly as you look right now. I’m working on losing weight put on by some medication right now, because the sudden weight increase has been hell on my joints. I’m working on becoming healthier, and for me that’s about 25 lbs of less fat and more muscle than where I am right now, but I’m not putting my life on hold until my favorite jeans fit again. I still love myself and know and respect myself and my journey.

If you have someone in your life that you see as overweight or fat and that’s part of your description of them, even if it’s only in your internal dialogue, stop that shit now. That person is aware of their weight. You don’t need to tell them. They know about diets and exercise, and if they want to work on losing weight or being healthier for themselves, that’s their journey. It’s not yours. It’s fairly likely they are their own worst critic, so you don’t need to tell them that something is tight or doesn’t look good on them. No, not even if you’re “just worried about their health.” Their health is their own damn business. I have friends who eat like shit, don’t exercise, and binge drink regularly. They almost never have people tell them to change because they’re damaging their health. I polled my friends. Unless they’re over size 10 or they’re size 00 or 0, nobody remarks on their “health”. In fact, I have one friend who drinks daily and smokes like a chimney. Nobody said a word to her about her health until she gained a bit of weight. So fuck that.

Everyone’s body is different. I look thin, strong, and healthy at 155-165 lbs if I’ve been working out. AK, who is my height and age, would look completely different at that weight. That’s my peak healthy weight, but for her, I’m not sure if she hit that weight when she was pregnant and felt huge. I have very thin friends with health problems and a friend who is a size 4X whose doctor constantly remarks on how healthy she is overall. Low blood pressure, great cholesterol numbers, etc. She’s working on losing weight, but she’s doing it her way. You don’t get an opinion or comment.

I’m hoping AK will write a post soon about her experience with people telling her she’s too thin. We hit opposite ends of that spectrum, and that’s not OK either. Sorry this is long, but I have words.

-Love, light, health, and the incredible badassery of Kirstin Vangsness AND Penelope Garcia,

Selfish Mitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smooth Move, Universe. I Hear You Loud and Clear -Mitch

An unexpected kickstart to Eddy’s Happiness Project

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This is Eddy. He had crawled up on the arm of the couch facing backwards and wasn’t sure how to get himself down.

As I wrote in my last blog, My American Bulldog, Eddy, passed away suddenly of a heart attack. He was only seven and a half, and this loss has been terrible on me, and on everyone else who loved him. I’ve spent a lot of time crying, which I think is really normal, but as I was going through photos of him (I’m so glad I took so many!) I started to think about what Eddy cared about. I mean, he was a dog. He wanted food, he wanted walks, and he wanted love. However, his favorite thing was when his family was together and we were all happy. He wasn’t smart, but this guy knew how to spread love. It was hard to be in a bad mood with him around because he was always such a joyful boy.

I decided that the best way for me to honor Eddy’s memory is to find joy and bring it to others. I plan on doing a lot of journaling and beginning each day with meditation while I walk in nature and writing down my gratitudes each day. I figured I’d start Monday, because I like to start things on Mondays, and my journals will arrive from Amazon on Monday as well.

For some reason, I woke up at 6 am feeling better than I have in weeks. Maybe feeling better than I have, physically, in months. I got up, stretched, puttered around the house until just before seven, then grabbed Thor and his leash and decided to start our walks today instead of Monday.

 

 

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Walk? Hell, yes! -Thor

As the little man and I cruised through the neighborhood, looking at the beauty of the Superstition Mountains, we were both deep in thought. Thor was thinking about how cool it was to be able to pee in 634 different places. I was thinking about how odd it felt to walk without Eddy, of course, but I was also feeling grateful for a beautiful, cool morning and that I had my Thor to love. I was thinking that today was as good of a day as any to start spreading happiness to myself and others.

I blog under the name Selfish Mitch, because being selfish has always been a quality I’m aware of, and it certainly hurts some relationships when I’m not living in self awareness and trying to be my best self. If I get stressed or angry, that’s the trait that comes through a lot. Still, when I was diagnosed with chronic illness, I realized it was kind of great that I was born with the innate ability to say “no” to other people and things in my life that don’t serve me. Saying no to others and saying yes to ourselves is actually a big problem for a lot of women, healthy and ill alike, and it’s why so many of us feel frazzled. Women often give, give, and give before we tend to ourselves, which leads to feeling tired, grumpy, unhappy, and unappreciated. It’s honestly one of the reasons AK and I started this blog–to share our journeys of self love and self care as we try to find balance with the world. Still, I’ve been sad and stressed and not feeling well for quite a while, and I realized that I’ve really just been focusing on me too much. Being a little selfish is good. Being super selfish isn’t.

Yes, Eddy’s Happiness Project is about bringing happiness to myself, but a big part of it is purposefully spreading joy to others. As Thor and I were walking around we were both happy. I haven’t felt well enough in the morning to walk him around the neighborhood, so he was thrilled to explore. I was feeling grateful for my body and mind feeling healthy, grateful for a beautiful day, and I started thinking of how I could give back this week. I didn’t have any brainstorms, but there I was, on an unscheduled walk, and all of a sudden a skinny little pup without a collar came up to me. He looked like a chihuahua mix, and he let me pick him up right away. I looked around for an owner, and didn’t see one anywhere. We were pretty close to home, so I picked the little dude up and carried him home. He instantly found Thor’s food and water and filled his belly. I let them play while I grabbed my phone and tried to find his owners. Sure enough, the night before, someone had posted a picture of him on nextdoor.com. They went out to dinner last night, and when they came home their front door, side gate, and garage were wide open, and their little Max was gone.

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The guys on the way back to reunite Max with his Mom

They’d been up until 3 am looking for him. They thought that either the person who broke into their home took him, or he’d run away scared. He’s 8 years old and they’ve only recently adopted him from a rescue group, and he doesn’t know his name yet. We also live in an area where coyotes are known to grab cats and small dogs, so they were beside himself.

It’s just nuts to me that I woke up feeling amazing and somehow decided to go for a walk, during which I was brainstorming ideas to spread happiness around, and I was out at just the right time to find Max. He was standing in the middle of one of the busiest streets in my neighborhood. I hear you, Universe. I hear you Eddy. I was propelled into the right place at the right time to make a couple weep with joy. How amazing is that?

One other thing: a couple of days I turned off my Facebook notifications on my phone. It’s a huge distraction getting alerts pinging on my phone all day long. Once I got home, showered, and opened my computer to handle incoming calls for my real estate team, I did check facebook quickly and a new friend, who happens to be a fellow Poshmark seller, posted that she gave away some furniture to a family that had lost everything and asked if anyone could help. Since I have so much stuff that I’m reselling (650+ active listings on Poshmark, probably 300 more items to list) I will usually help by donating clothes. The other seller and I got into a dialogue about her idea to do classes for low income women to teach them about reselling. That’s another project I could get behind. It could seriously make a huge difference in the lives of families struggling to get by, and it wouldn’t take much of my time.

It’s just amazing what happens when you send signs into the Universe and you have clear intentions. I feel like I manifested two different ways to spread happiness just by going out into nature and asking for what I want. I never feel more spiritually connected than when I’m out in nature, and today was a huge sign that I’m headed in the right direction. Right now, I am happy.

Thank you, Eddy. I promise I’ll honor you forever.

Your loving Mama,

-Selfish Mitch

Introducing “Eddy’s Happiness Project” with Selfish Mitch

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around much lately. My dog, my sweet, sweet bulldog, who was really my favorite person in the entire world, passed away suddenly when my son and I were out of town visiting family in Montana.

There was no warning. He was happy, jumping around, playing with his puppy brother all the time. He’d been swimming in the pool just days before he passed away. The night it happened, my husband called me and said be thought Eddy didn’t feel well. We faced timed and he looked mopey, but OK. He was always moody when his mom wasn’t home. I got to tell him I loved him and I’d be back in a few days.

Two hours later, my husband called to tell me that my best guy was gone. I’d say my heart was broken; is broken, but that doesn’t even begin to describe how deeply I’m feeling this pain and loss. This dog was more than my emotional support animal. He was the sweetest, silliest animal in the world. He came into our home as a 5 month old energetic American Bulldog puppy. When he wasn’t running, he was on my lap. He arrived shortly after I’d been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The doctors had told me that I had blood markers that indicated I had an autoimmune disorder, but I didn’t check enough boxes yet for a diagnosis.

Eddy was with me. He was there when I had unexplained high fevers and pain. He didn’t mind missing his walk when my joints were too swollen to grasp his leash. Every night, between 9-10 PM, if I was in the living room, he’d growl at me until i went to bed. He wanted to go, but he doesn’t like to sleep alone. He wasn’t a smart dog, but it didn’t matter. He knew love. He knew how to comfort. He made us all laugh more times than we could even count. Every day of the seven and a half years he had on this world was filled with joy.

The night after he died, I was still in Montana with my family. My sleep was restless, but as soon as I woke up I felt the strongest wave of peace roll over my spirit. My sweet baby boy came to me in my dream and spoke to me. He told me that he was sorry he had to leave me, that he didn’t want to, but that it was necessary for him to go now so he could return to me when I need him the most in the future. He’s been back a few more times, reminding me to try to find joy. I feel him with me so, so much.

 

The best thing I can do right now, I think, is to honor his memory by taking a few risks. I’m going to dive right back into something that’s been a true PASSION in my life. I’m pretty good at most stuff I decide I want to do, and I happen to love working in real estate, but being on stage is what makes me light up. It fills my heart. With my heart feeling so, so broken right now, maybe putting myself out there can mend a shard or two of my heart. Time will help, I’m sure. The feelings I have so often that he’s still right here with me helps too, but I know that I’ll miss him deeply every single day until he returns to me. Little Thor is doing a lot of work around here, spreading his love around. He misses his big lug of a brother too, and I think they may still be communicating too. Sometimes I’ll think of Eddy and when I look at Thor he has his tongue sticking out. There are all kinds of little things like that that make me know that the Vail between the worlds of the living and the dead isn’t as heavy and restrictive as most people think it is.

I’m incredibly grateful that AK and I started our dialogues that have lead us to where we are right now. If feel like I’m growing at a pretty astounding rate. As I dive into spirituality, my mind feels open. I the impulse to be kind to strangers a lot more. I am coming to be really tuned in to my empath abilities. I’m very grateful for that. The more I learn about being an empath, it just checks so many boxes. I’m using this ability to better help my real estate clients. I’m using it to be a better friend. A better wife, mother, and sister. There are no limits, as I’m a firm proponent of lifetime learning.

I think if I hadn’t been going down this spiritual path of self discovery, self love, and self care, I’d be a much bigger mess. I’m still feeling the loss. I’ll sometimes have a memory pop up out of nowhere and it feels like someone has punched me, HARD, in the gut. It makes it hard to breathe. I have techniques and breathing that can help me. I can get up and do some exercise to get endorphins flowing. If this had happened a year ago, I’m pretty sure I’d be looking for answers at the bottom of a bourbon bottle. If it took 3 weeks of constant drunkenness, then that’s what I would have done. That’s not who I am anymore. I’m making healthy choices, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. I am going to take control of my life to find a way to build that happiness Eddy always wanted.

I’m proud to know that I’ll be starting Eddy’s Happiness Project. I’m going to spend a lot of time journaling. I’ll start each day by writing gratitudes. Then, I’ll make 3 bucket lists. I’ll have a short term bucket list, a long term bucket list, and an ongoing bucket list.

For example, my first item on my short term bucket list is auditioning for a couple plays with local theater companies. I think short term goals should be fairly easy enough to complete in 3-4 months.

My long term bucket list includes getting a speaking role on a TV show or movie. Even if I’m just there as an extra with a couple of lines, I’m into it. Most of these long term goals should be achievable in 1-2 years. I’ll put longer term goals too, like AK and I flying to Montana, renting a car, and hiking different trails all over the state for a month. I don’t know that we could make a month happen right now, but a few years down the road it should be easily doable if we are clear in our intent, ask the universe for what we want, and do the work it takes to get us there.

My ongoing bucket list will contain things like 5 workouts a week and eating on-plan 80% of the time. It will also show my dedication to my work commitments. That one is important, because I plan to buy myself gifts when I achieve milestones.

I’ll be sharing my results here quite frequently, so please follow along! If you’ve been looking to bring more happiness and joy into your life, this might be a great way to do it. All you need is journal, an open heart, and an open mind. Oh, and pens or pencils, I suppose.

Feel free to contact me at any time if I can be of any help to you!

If you’re trying to to bring yourself up from grief and/or depression, I want to help. Let’s be those rays of happy sunshine that breaks through the clouds of despair.

Wishing you love, light, and peace,

Selfish Mitch

Sex, Intimacy and Dare I say…the Feels

Oh fuuuuuck…the big 3 of every relationship (we’ll talk about communication with the throat chakra…although, you’re probably starting to get that it’s all fucking connected).  The Sacral Chakra is located just below your belly button, is orange in color and gives us information in regards to our emotions, sexuality, and creativity.  I’ve read many times, that it is a frequently blocked chakra for women and it makes total sense, but through my journey as a Twin Flame, I can tell you it’s an off balanced chakra for men, as well.

A huge part of spiritual awakening, is healing and healing is all I have been focused on for the past year…I admit, I was carrying a ton of shit and when I began this journey to self, I had no fucking clue just how much shit there was.  Our journey as souls, having a human experience isn’t a straight path and as it spirals lessons and healing that have not occurred will continue to come back.  We also bring into each life the shit from our past lives and our ancestors.  This is where I am in my journey, past life shit and how it connects to the present.  A lot of my guidance, is telling me that it is imperative to heal these ancient wounds in order to move fully into the future, so that’s where I’ve been focusing, always following my intuition and Divine team of ascended masters, spirit guides and angels.

So, the Sacral chakra…as feminine energy in a woman’s body, there is little doubt that this little sucker needs to be attuned frequently.  When the sacral chakra is blocked feelings of shame, guilt, lack/fear of intimacy and low sex drive/self esteem/worthlessness take over.  These are feelings I’ve felt my entire fucking life, sexual abuse, harassment and relationships with emotionally constipated/narcissistic men have been common patterns in my life.  Shit, not only with men, but women, as well.  Growing up, my mother made me feel shamed and guilt on a daily basis and I continued to carry these feelings into adulthood. I now understand that these feelings were not my own to carry, they belong to the people who projected them onto me.  This is common with Empaths, we are magnets for the hurt and when not aware of how we filter emotional energy, we absorb.  Not to say that I’m completely innocent here…I’m not perfect and have had my own guilt & shame over choices I’ve made, including my sexuality and inability, at times, to be vulnerable in my emotions, out of fear of hurting others.  Some of these feelings have been put there by our fucked up patriarchal society, that dismisses the importance of our emotional intelligence.  Simple things are society has been programmed to believe, like the word homewrecker.

home·wreck·er
ˈhōmˌrekər/
noun

informal
  1. a person who is blamed for the breakup of a marriage or family, especially due to having engaged in an affair with one member of a couple.
    “she was accused of being a homewrecker”

This is the first definition that pops up in Google…I’m okay with the fact that it says person in the definition, but look at the example sentence…have you EVER FUCKING heard anyone call a man a homewrecker?  Just this simple word BLAMES women for ending a relationship…I call BULL FUCKING SHIT.  I know this is a very small example, but you all can think of a million more surrounding us everyday.  Here’s the thing though, this patriarchal programming hasn’t helped men either.

I can’t think of 1 man I know that is emotionally mature, who is capable of being vulnerable and openly communicating their feelings.  I don’t blame them though, I blame the systems, the programming that has us all fucked up.  There is a gross invalidation of feelings that begins at birth with our boys.  As a mother of 2 boys (15 and 4), I have experienced this and it breaks my fucking heart.  As a teacher, I have seen it in boys as young as 5.  How many time have you heard/seen someone tell a little boy to “Man up”, “Don’t be a Pussy, Crybaby, or the best…little girl”?  These common statements teach boys 2 things:  1.  Your feelings aren’t important and 2. Girls, because we are emotional energy, are weaker, lesser somehow (ladies, we are born feeling worthless).  In my journey, I have come to learn the importance of Equanimity:  the balance of mind, body and spirit…the balance of thought, action AND FEELINGS…as within, so without, right?  We must start understanding and teaching that the thoughts that drive the action begin with…yup, going to say it…YOUR FUCKING FEELINGS…when they are not aligned is when shit starts to go downhill.

Everything is about balance and chakras can be overactive, as well.  When that happens, you will find someone who is over-emotional (old Me for sure), fixated on sex, manipulative and/or unable to relax, to flow and just enjoy life at every moment (I’ll own this one as well).  I was always called too sensitive, or overly-emotional and I was very much, as an adult, someone who had a hard time relaxing, being present.  Mindfulness practices to be present were one of the first things I began working on over a year ago.  Simple things, like just stopping & breathing, giving thanks for little things, like a hot shower.  At first, I had to work at reminding myself to do this.  Now, it’s automatic.  The practices I’ve talked about (meditation, yoga, etc.) have also taught me I am not my emotions and although every emotion is valid, I no longer attach myself to them.  I acknowledge, accept and release.  I no longer am reactive when certain emotions, that used to be triggers, come up and I am able to see when others are projecting their emotions.  Pretty powerful shit, y’all.  I have also come to realize how fucking sacred my sexuality is.  I have my Twin to thank for that.  It is also sacred, and this have fucking frightened the shot out of the patriarchy since the beginning,because, we as women, are the ONLY ones who can connect the Spirit world with the Physical world, through the ability to give birth.  With great power comes great responsibility, thanks Spidey…my beautiful Divine sisters, it is up to us to find our balance within, to bring forth the balance we so desperately want to see in the world.

As always, I look forward to questions, comments and emails about any of this stuff I am writing about, as well as, Tarot reading/healing sessions.  I will post chakra information on our FB page, Oh My Goddess, and hope you will check it out, like and follow.

Peace, Love and Light

AK

P.S.  The colors of each chakra are important to note.  You can do lots of little things to bring balance to chakra by eating foods, wearing clothes, etc. of the color associated with each chakra.

P.P.S  Sacral chakra affirmations can begin with “I feel…” and “I create…”

 

Men: Can you NOT?

I haven’t blogged in forever, even though I have a bunch of partially formed posts in my mind. I’ve had some shit I’ve been wading through, but I’ve righted my ship and am striving to move past it.

As you may or may not know, I’m a real estate agent. In this day and age, social media is really important for any self employed person who needs to be hired several times a year by several different people. I keep most of my facebook public for that reason. I make it a point to be authentically myself on social media, but I do strive to refrain from  discussing topics like religion and politics. Why? Nobody wins.

I am a liberal living in a very red area of a red state. I did discuss politics during the 2016 election. I mean, it was a shitshow. A legitimate, no holds barred, embarrassment to our country. I personally believe Donald Trump is the human embodiment of the worst parts of America, and somehow he ended up in charge.Still, I’m not a huge Hillary fan, for reasons I don’t have time to get into here. I voted for her, but I’m a Bernie Sanders kind of gal.

What I learned from discussing politics on Facebook is that you either end up in an echo chamber or you end up fighting with people who have different beliefs and values than you do. It’s frustrating. It ended up sucking up a lot of my time and adding a lot of negative energy into my life, so I just decided to stop engaging with people; especially the people who will never change their minds. I still read people’s posts because as a human and a businessperson, I try to understand and find common ground with everyone. I actually understand why some of my friends voted for Mango Musselini. I don’t like it, and I don’t agree, but I understand.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, it’s important for me to make business connections on social media. I’m married and am not interested in the least in a physical or emotional affair with anyone, so I try to screen the dudes who request me. I try to only accept friend requests from people with whom I have mutual friends. I generally don’t accept requests from men who are posing with their shirts off, or men I wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley. I don’t think this guy was shirtless when he friended me, but he might have slipped through. I also check their friends list, and if a large number of their “friends” look like catfish bikini girls, I decline too. Still, creeps slip in. Let’s examine this exchange with a new facebook “friend” here.

I just want to understand what this guy’s goal is here. Like, when the losers come out and declare themselves to be creepy internet pervs, I know what they want. They’re not gonna get it, from me, certainly, and probably not from anyone else, but I don’t get what this guy even wants.

Let’s begin.

dick4

 

So we start out fine. Work talk, networking, blah, blah, blah. A bit of a yellow flag with the “nice picture” comment, but OK.

dick1

Well isn’t this guy living the Bro dream. He wants to pump iron on the beach on youtube next to babes in bikinis. I gave him a little bit of room since I’m interested in fitness too, but I do want to know who he thinks is going to watch this channel. Also, where is he going to get these women? Will he provide said colorful, skimpy bikinis? I feel like it might be tough to just happen upon a sandy beach with weights to lift that also provides hot mamas in bikinis. Bright, barely-there bikinis, at that. Also? Why does Roland think I would give a single, tiny kernel of rat shit about any of that? FFS, man.

On we go. Ya ready?

dick3

Well, that sure took a clear turn, didn’t it? Is this honestly the way homeboy is expecting to make a friend or a business connection? I’m mystified at this response. It’s super douchy. I do not like abortion, and I’m still feminist AF. I hate abortion so much that I’ve never had one, and I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would. However, I’ve luckily never been in the situation where I’ve had to make that choice. I think it’s pretty easy to stand on your moral high horse when you’re not in that situation. I have friends who I love very much who have made that decision. I don’t love them any less and I supported them through that choice.

Life isn’t perfect. We live in a county where large groups of people spend a fortune trying to make public policy to ensure that every baby that is concieved is born, but they stop caring at the moment that the kid takes its first breath. Single mom can’t afford health insurance? She shouldn’t have had a baby. Married Mom and Dad both need to work at least 40 hours a week at minimum wage to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads but still can’t afford day care? Too bad. They should have used protection. If they can’t afford their own damn health insurance and birth control they should just abstain or use the rhythm method, because not one damn dime of MY TAX DOLLARS is going to pay for anyone’s birth control. Kid needs a heart transplant or treatment for childhood cancer? Kid shouldn’t have chosen to be born to a poor family. Tough break.

So, back to my new friend here. He started out being glad to be my facebook friend, but went from happy and talking about bikini babes (that be clearly wants to ogle and probably bang when he’s done lifting weights. The irony is that I’m pretty sure if they have sex with him, it’s not going to be a committed relationship, but it’s fine somehow. Somehow, folks like this appreciate sexually liberated women when they’re the recipient of the bootay, but these girls are whores if they sleep with any other man. They will be told that they shouldn’t spread their legs unless they’re prepared to face the consequences of an STD or baby with anyone else, and if the father chooses not to be involved or pay child support, that’s what they get for sleeping around. Of course, they say the same thing if the woman was in a committed relationship and the man removed himself from the situation.

Also? Let’s be really fucking clear on one thing. If you’re speaking with a woman who defines herself as a feminist, you’re never, ever going to change her mind if you lead with “feminazi”. At this point, it’s clear that you’re just a mysoginist asshole, and all converstation will end. If you don’t support what you believe to be the “feminist agenda” and you’re anti-abortion, cool. I don’t agree with you, but I understand how some people feel that way. I truly do. I was raised Catholic, but luckily my very Catholic mother wanted her daughters to be able to support themselves and be free thinkers, and you bet your ass she raised her only son to respect women as well.

The words you put out on the internet are there forever. Did this guy write something so horribly offensive that he should be burned on the stake? Should this conversation have repercussions on his career? I don’t think so, but they could, hypothetically, cost him customers if he’s an entepreneur. As a Realtor who writes on this blog, I understand what walking that line is like. Hell, I’ve said and written things that are potentially more offensive and likely to cause me to lose business than this man did in his conversation with me. I want to be clear that I’m not condemning him, but I really want to make it clear that this isn’t the way to approach women if you’re trying to build a busines or professional relationship, so just don’t do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lupus Is a Bitch but So Am I

Lupus. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. SLE.

If you’ve been reading my blog entries, you know that I’m a Lupus Warrior, but do you know what that means? Do you know what Lupus is? I’ve written about how I manage it, but most people don’t have any idea what it is, what it is, and what it can do to me, or to anyone living with it.

First of all, in layman’s terms, Lupus is a disorder of the immune system. In a healthy person, your immune system is your best line of defense against a virus or an infection. It’s a pretty neat thing. It just kind of hangs out in your body until you need it. When you get a virus, for example, your immune system says, “Wait, what the hell is this? This isn’t supposed to be here!” It cranks up and those white blood cells go to work to chase that shit out of your body. When you get a cold or the flu, you feel like crap for a few days while your immune system does its job. Hopefully, whatever bug you’ve contracted is weak enough that your body can just drop kick it out, but sometimes you need antibiotics or other medical intervention to speed it along and not make you suffer too long. It’s really cool that your body knows what to do with foreign invaders. A little chicken soup, a bunch of vitamin C and echinacea to boost that immune system up, and a healthy person should be up and at ’em again pretty quickly.

Well, I’ve never been normal, but I’d give up most of my fun quirks that make me unique if I could have a normal ass immune system. In a person with Lupus (or other autoimmune disorder), our immune systems are confused assholes who cannot tell a cold or a flu from normal healthy tissue. Your immune system says, “Hey, look, a kidney! Let’s protect that!” Mine looks at my kidney and can say, “Fuck yeah! Dinner!” and attack it. You may have heard that Selena Gomez, who is not only pretty and talented like me, but also has Lupus like me, just had a kidney transplant. This is serious shit.

People with Lupus take immunosuppressant drugs regularly to weaken our immune systems. I’m lucky so far in that with a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, I get by with taking only one mild immunosuppressant, but that leaves me very susceptible to any kind of gunk that’s going around. Most of my mom friends stock up on Vitamin C and other immune system boosters when their kids get sick, in the hopes that they won’t catch it too. I can’t do that. Since my immune system is already working overtime since it shouldn’t, we don’t want to give it any extra ammo. My best defense is to rest and cross my fingers and bargain with the universe to just let this be a cold. Just let this be a flu. I have a much higher chance of a cold or flu turning into a serious sinus infection, or bronchitis, or pneumonia, or something even more serious. In fact, many people are moved further towards the diagnosis of autoimmune disorder when downing Emergen-C makes them worse.

When I tell you to cancel our plans if you or your children have minor illnesses, it’s not because I’m feeling overdramatic. It’s because your cold could become my cold, and that cold could easily turn into a hospitalization because of a nasty turn. When I tell you that I’m under the weather and need to rest, it’s because I’m trying to protect myself from being out of commission (since I’m in sales that’s literal and figurative) for weeks. I’m not avoiding you, I’m not trying to stay home with my dogs and read a book instead of what we were going to do (OK so I admit that the dogs and books are really the only perks here.)

There’s self care for the body and self care for the mind, and preventing Lupus flares is both. It’s really my first priority in my life, because like I’ve said, when I go down, everything around me goes down with me.

Have questions? ASK THEM. I’m clearly not shy. In fact, it kind of pisses me off that people who are rather close to me know I have Lupus and they don’t do so much as a cursory google to figure out what I’m dealing with. Lupus isn’t what I call a “Casserole Disease.” It knocks us out for weeks at a time or longer, but since we don’t get scary skeletally thin or lose our hair or anything, and in fact, LOOK FINE, people assume we are fine. In fact, the thing many autoimmune patients report hating the most is the refrain, “BUT YOU LOOK GREAT!” Like, sorry that I’m pretty and you can’t tell by looking at me that what I am telling you about a well documented disease is doing to my entire body, but it’s a true story. Nobody asks if they can come by and bring a meal or run an errand for us. Almost nobody asks me how I’m feeling unless I bring it up. Obviously I don’t want to be treated like I’m fragile, but maybe an ounce of compassion would be cool.

Signed,

Selfish Mitch, who thinks people could at least spend a 4 minutes on Google before they pretend to know my life.