Sober Blogging Network

Words Are Life

“In my religion, we are taught that every living thing, every leaf, every bird, is only alive because it contains the secret word for life. That’s the only difference between us and a lump of clay – a word. Words are life, Liesel. All those blank pages, they’re for you to fill.” ~ Max Vandenburg, The Book Thief

I was talking with my writing group about why we write. Aside from the all too human need to make a mark on this world by creating something, on a selfish level I acknowledge that I do what I do because I want to matter through human connection. But there is more to it than the psychological need to be heard and urge to leave something behind. I write to find meaning and purpose for the suffering and the madness I see all around me.

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” ~ Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. 

Why I feel a need, and a responsibilty to write here in this space is a bit different. If I possess the empathy, intuition, experience and deductive reasoning, and the means to communicate effectively and with compassion, I believe I have a responsibility to do so. To reach out and help others learn how to use the tools that I have. I’m no expert in any of this and I only ever speak from my heart but I hope my words effect change somehow, for someone.

I write to be a part of transformation. 


On February 6th 2014, four days after I stopped drinking alcohol, I started this blog. My two-year soberversary is fast approaching and my January posts, inspired by fictional philosophers who’ve inspired me with their bad-ass thoughts, is a way of celebrating my journey. I hope, in turn, to inspire you on yours.


Reconnect with Loved Ones

Toph and Korra

Toph: Your problem is, you’ve been disconnected for too long. Disconnected from the people who love you and disconnected from yourself.

Whenever I’m going through something difficult I have a tendency to pull away from loved ones. Especially in the past when I was still drinking. Sometimes it was because I felt ashamed or guilty for how I behaved and apologizing was too uncomfortable to deal with. Other times it was because I wanted to punish myself further and reinforce feeling alone. In other words I wanted to keep feeling sorry for myself. Sometimes I simply wanted space to figure things out, which is fair. But staying away for too long never did me any good.

I used to think that pulling away from loved ones would allow me to ignore my issues, but it didn’t. Over time and through much heartache, I learned that I can’t run away from the people who love me because in the end I need them as much as they need me. We are connected and share a bond because we were meant to be there for one another. Some journeys we cannot undertake alone and we should not put pressure on ourselves to do so.

I’ve learned that it is important to find a group of people (family members, friends, blogging community) who are willing to share your journey, cheering you on, caring for you, learning with you and helping you to heal. It is as important to also allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to ask for help. I did not do that in the past. I was ashamed and did not reach out when I really needed to. I equated vulnerability with weakness when it is actually the opposite. It takes strength to reach out and admit that we need help.

On that note, I am listening.
Love and light,


This is Post R, in the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015. My 26 posts are inspired by the quotes from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, two Emmy award-winning animated television series created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The setting for both series is in an Asian-influenced world of martial arts and elemental manipulation. The shows drew on elements from East Asian, South Asian, and Western culture, and (aside from the kick-ass story lines, beautifully developed characters and exceptional storyboards) are where I found a wealth of inspiration and perspective on my own life.

The rest of my A to Z 2015 posts can be found here.


Iroh and Ming Kindness

Uncle Iroh: Thank you, Ming. Your little gestures of kindness have made my days in prison bearable.

Kindness received and shown in any sort of recovery is invaluable to its success. I will always be grateful for the support and kindness shown to me when I first gave up alcohol.

My boyfriend’s support meant a lot to me this past year. His consideration of my efforts to stay sober, by cutting back on his drinking, keeping his fridge well stocked with non-alco beverages for me, being willing to discuss my rapidly changing moods in the early days and to talk through my thoughts on every related subject helped me not to feel abnormal.

My girlfriends were great too. They were 100% supportive of my choice and assured me that they were going to be available to me when I needed them. One or two even went so far as to opt to meet for coffee or lunch so I would still have my girls’ time without our ‘regular’ drinks, or abstain from drinking when we did go out so I wouldn’t feel like the odd one out. In those first few weeks I was touched and reassured that I my friendship was still impotant to them too. When my boyfriend and I broke up and my sister migrated a few days later, my girlfriends made sure that I was not alone.

My mom, although I’ve told her that I don’t want to know if she reads my blog and that I’m not ready to talk to her about my sobriety yet, every now and then sends me short, sweet and encouraging “I am proud of you” messages.

These little acts of kindness make me feel loved and supported, and boost my confidence in my ability to continue. In turn, I try to do the same for others I meet who are also trying to quit or stay sober. I am always moved and appreciative of readers who take the time to read, like or comment on my blog and I return that kindness as often as I can. Many times this journey is not an easy one and these little gestures go a long way, for all of us.


This is Post K, in the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015. My 26 posts are inspired by the quotes from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, two Emmy award-winning animated television series created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The setting for both series is in an Asian-influenced world of martial arts and elemental manipulation. The shows drew on elements from East Asian, South Asian, and Western culture, and (aside from the kick-ass story lines, beautifully developed characters and exceptional storyboards) are where I found a wealth of inspiration and perspective on my own life.

The rest of my A to Z 2015 posts can be found here.



Huu: “I reached enlightenment right here under the banyan grove tree. I hear it callin’ me, just like you did. See this whole swamp is actually just one tree spread out over miles… branches, spread and sink and take root and then spread some more – one big living organism, just like the entire world. Do  you think you’re any different from me? Or your friends? Or this tree? If you listen hard enough you can hear every living thing breathing together, you can feel everything growing. We’re all livin’ together, even if most folks don’t act like it. We all have the same roots, and we are all branches of the same tree.”

This is actually how I feel about everything and everyone around me. We are all connected, in ways we are yet to understand, and what affects one, affects all. Human beings are social creatures by nature and even if we don’t always feel like it, we do need each other. I have found so much support and encouragement from the people I’ve met online in this Sober Blogging Network, that it boggles my mind to think that we haven’t actually  met in person. Yet, that fact does not lessen the value of the connections we’ve made in this space.

It is interesting to think that it sometimes seems easier to reach out and ask for help, or to comfort a fellow blogger, than it is to just say hello to a stranger in “real” life. I make an effort now, to form connections with people I see regularly, at the coffee shop, at the grocery store or at the pharmacy. I smile and make small talk. In time I see people open up and respond to my attempts to connect. It does not always work, which is fine too, as I know there have been times when I have been an uncalled-for-mega-bitch to strangers. I try to be different now.

I think humans have also lost their connection to nature, to the Earth, and to the cosmos. We are more a part of the whole than we understand. Maybe that’s why so many people are lost. But I do have hope for our future. Many people are seeking truth, and yearning for ‘something’ they know they need even though they don’t know how to find it, or what ‘it’ is. They’re looking for ways to genuinely connect, which is enough for now.


This is Post C, in the A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015. My 26 posts are inspired by the quotes from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, two Emmy award-winning animated television series created and produced by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The setting for both series is in an Asian-influenced world of martial arts and elemental manipulation. The shows drew on elements from East Asian, South Asian, and Western culture, and (aside from the beautifully developed characters and kick-ass story lines) are where I found a wealth of inspiration and perspective on my own life.

The rest of my A to Z 2015 posts can be found here. 

Booze-free Breakups, Blueberries and the Brightside

A few days into Sober Singledom and I’m doing alright. The episodes of being Miss Bitch while driving (swearing in sign language at incompetent and inconsiderate motorists, or grinding my teeth when faced with ineptitude at the office) are becoming less and less. Today is a rough one. I know my temper is short these days so I am reminding myself to breathe. Nevertheless, I have learned a few tricks while finding my way about this unfamiliar territory.


It’s remarkable how much this week has reminded me of the first few days after quitting, with the odd sleeping hours and the over-thinking. It’s ridiculous! Without the usual alcohol numbing escape I am analyzing everything. In between the “WTF” and the “How dare he?” questions, [Okay Phoenix, give Mr. Potato Head back his angry eyes] there are the “What if it’s really me?”, “What if I’m f***ed up?” and “What if I’m unlovable and will never be a compatible with anyone?” feelings. I know it’s okay to be sad, feel vulnerable and have my mind’s cogs turning and questioning everything.  I’m going with it but being careful not to get carried away by it. I accept that my sadness and regret stem from the fact that I’ve lost something that was a part of me, into which I put time, effort and emotion. It is natural for me to feel regret and loss but I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am NOT back to square one. I am not the same person I was before the relationship began and today’s Me has so many new opportunities that the old me didn’t.


Ok, maybe I’m overdoing it a bit with the alliterations but work with me. I have a plan. I’ve been keeping myself busy without running from the rough stuff. I know I need to process everything to get through it, but I’m also taking care of ME in little ways, with mani-pedis, full body scrubs and moisturizing. You know how after a break-up, life feels surreal? Well being in contact with my own skin helps me to feel present and grounded. I’ve gotten a haircut and covered the 3mm of gray hair that would’ve frustrated me a week from now. I went to the dentist to clean and polish my pearly whites. I keep a new canvas with paints and brushes at the ready and try not to binge watch TV series, unless I really need to. I have my girls on call for silly pep talk or a heart to heart, and reach out on my blog when I need to. (Thanks so much to all of you for reaching back). I cleaned my apartment and de-cluttered my kitchen. Oh! Speaking of kitchens…


I can’t run to booze, cigs, or weed to alter my mood, so I’m keeping my fridge stocked with feel-happy foods. Did you know that there are many foods that actually have a positive effect on our mood? Blueberries, strawberries and raspberries contain nutrients that help reduce stress and depression. Dark chocolate (yum) is high in magnesium, a mineral that calms muscles and reduces stress and anxiety. It also contains phenylethylamine (the same chemical generated by the brain when falling in love), causing the release of endorphins. Salmon and walnuts are packed with omega-3 which helps fight depression and mood swings. Avocados, coconut milk, almond milk and mushrooms all contain vitamin D which can improve mood by enhancing the production of the happy hormone, serotonin. Synthesized by the body in response to sunlight, serotonin becomes a feel-good neurotransmitter. Greek yogurt is a mood and immune system booster. Green tea, which is my go-to hot beverage, is full of theanine, an antioxidant which acts as a calming agent. I always knew bananas were a happy food and add them to my smoothies a few times per week. They are full of energy, vitamin B6, tryptophan, iron, magnesium and potassium. In fact, one banana has enough stress-reducing magnesium for the entire day!


My impatience won’t last and I have admitted that the Universe is not really out to get me. I am so thankful that I am not dissolving into tears which I may very well have been doing if I’d been drinking. Being weepy and sorry for myself always came hand in hand with being too drunk.

I tell myself that the over-thinking and super analyzing is going to get me where I need to go much quicker. Instead of swallowing the rough feelings with whichever drink of choice as I would’ve done before, I am woman-ing up (with my pillow in hand) and allowing those pesky feelings to be sorted out.

My ex and I are on good terms and that’s a relief. We might even become better friends down the road because there was no damning, reckless,hurtful or resentful behaviour by either party in the end.

Because I have a sober head and able to stop an emotional meltdown, I am happy to report that I don’t see any risk of me turning to hook-ups to feel less needy. I know it is natural to feel that way after a break up as I am out of my comfort zone and just want to feel safe again, but that won’t happen by jumping into waiting arms or onto a waiting body. The age old advice: “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else” is utter BS. Those rebound relationships are never good. For me anyway. All my life, all they have ever done was delay the process of healing.

All these blueberries and dark chocolate and body treatments are actually good for my skin. Taking care of myself is comforting and protective in a way. I feel safe and fairly stable.

Remaining sober and taking care of myself physically has allowed me to be more present and recognize the positive things that are happening. I found the gumption to request and receive a raise at work which allowed me to buy my sister’s car. She is migrating so the sale of the car will help cover her start up costs. New articles are being published and proposals for future commissions have been accepted. I have seven articles due, my mom is visiting next week and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a break up, or booze jeopardize the positive adventures coming my way – career-wise, creatively or otherwise.

Love and light, Phoenix.

Click here for Blueberry Coconut Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Bits

You Have A Lot To Offer


On my one year anniversary I wrote from my heart about what I thought it took for me to reach my first milestone: Acceptance of self, understanding, community, structure and knowing when to ask for help. I forgot to add one valuable component: BEING OF SERVICE

On the days when I feel at my lowest and the most disconnected from myself are the days when I feel purposeless. Those are the days when I stay under the blanket and binge watch TV series like Vikings or Games of Thrones, or Harry Potter movies, just to disappear into a another world. But, once I get tired of hiding, (and feeling sorry for myself), I get to work. I look for ways to be of service. Trust me, helping others, helps you in so many ways too. I have found so much of myself by being compassionate and caring when I can. The big and the little things do make a difference.


I was lucky when I first gave up drinking, as at the same time I was also just starting up my own writing group. The little club I founded has proven to be one of the stabilizing factors of my journey. It became a space for creative growth with a fantastic energy which not only helped me but also helped the other writers in the group. It brings me such joy to hear them say they have learned, grown and found their own voices just from being a member of our group. Aside from identifying a hobby (which has always helped me) and bringing together other creatives with a passion for writing, being in charge of the group gave me responsibility and purpose.


I try often to get involved in community clean up campaigns, fund-raisers and the like but last year I turned it up a notch. I made a point to surround myself with people who were actively making changes. I went to social enterprise meet-ups to find out who was involved in what and volunteered for projects. I couldn’t help out monetarily but I volunteered my time, helping with food and clothing drives and by writing articles or blogging for free.


In my community, there are always people who need assistance. Banks, churches, social enterprises are always posting notices about items needed. I try to clear my closets at least twice a year, and my pantry more often than that. My sister has a toddler so I’m always giving away baby clothes and toys.


Writing has always helped me. This is why I blog and I suspect this is why many of you blog as well. So I started writing encouraging and uplifting pieces for online journals that publish such work. I did it for fun and to keep myself busy and there is nothing more rewarding than reading comments which say that you’ve helped someone. Most online journals have a “Write For Us” section or you can simply send them an email to ask.


Many times I feel very wrapped up in my own life and my own issues. Which is also okay because I know I have to put my stability first, but I do make an effort to be there for my friends and family as well. Many times what people need is someone who will listen to them with kindness and without judgement. When someone is telling me about themselves, or a raw deal they are going through, I try not to interrupt them with my own feelings, thoughts, and stories. Simply listening, without going into my typical “must find a solution mode”, helps.


We all feel cut off from friends and family and very alone at times so it stands to reason that your own loved ones also feel this way now and then. I try to remind my over-analytical self that sometimes when a loved one is being distant, it has nothing to do with me, and that they might be going through something as well. So I send a text message or call just to let them know that I’m thinking of them. Little gestures go a long way too.


These days, life is so busy. I’m always rushing about, juggling two jobs and my constructive extra curricular activities,  but I do try to remember that kindness goes a long way. I hold doors open for strangers, I chat with the people who serve me food or cash my purchases at the grocery or drugstore. I smile at people and say Hello or Good day. It makes a huge difference to my mood and the way people respond to me as well. Even a simple smile, a Hello, or compliment could lift someone’s spirit! Some days I’m a right proper grump and don’t feel like being courteous, which happens to all of us, but I regret it after as I’ve found that on those days, my mood inevitably deteriorates further and I end up under that blanket, hating the universe. So I try.

“Compassion is not prevention of all negative certainty, it is a home floating on the sea of fear, that equally brings assistance to those sinking.” ― James C. Emlund

Helping can be just about anything as long as it is done with sincerity. Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others.

Hugs and love, Phoenix

How Did I Get This Far?


Two days ago my sister sent me an early Happy One Year message to say congratulations. I’ve been silent on this blog for a couple of months because my mind and heart were filled with unanswerable questions every time I tried to write a new post. As my anniversary approached I really had no idea how I would feel on the day itself.

Would I feel a sense of accomplishment? Or would I feel strange and a bit directionless as I usually do after a very rewarding experience? A tiny part of me even speculated that I’d feel sorrow or a sense of loss as I would no longer be a ‘newbie’ with all the gentleness, kindness and kid-glove handling that usually comes with being at the beginning of any journey that is deemed difficult. And then of course, there was the part of me that was a little freaked out by the big “So What Now” question. I even felt a bit guilty because, while my first year has been an intense emotional journey, for me it has not been particularly challenging physically or mentally (aside from the over-thinking). I know of so many others who are really struggling and I wish I could help. I’m not certain of what is different about my journey so far that has allowed me to reach this milestone, but I can tell you what has helped me:


In the first few months learning to recognize and understand what my triggers were helped me a lot.  Learning to accept and gently face my own personal issues has become invaluable to my growth. It’s not easy and sometimes I want to damn it all to hell. Believe me, I miss the abandon that can come from giving in to the madness. Sometimes I miss not caring so much. But, the trade-off is worth so much more to me than giving in. I have embraced walking around in my wounds, hand in hand with my dark side, and facing the shadows together, and I have to say, some days I actually enjoy exploring this new territory because I know that I’m wiser, tougher, and more whole because of it.

“As frightening as it can be, that pain will make you stronger. If you allow yourself to feel it, embrace it, it will make you more powerful than you ever imagined. It’s the greatest gift we have, and it comes from the most human part of us: Hope.”  Professor X, X-men: Tales of Future Past


In the beginning I worried a lot about what people would say. I was ashamed and felt dirty, broken, unattractive. I thought that having a problem meant that I was a problem. Of course, I was wrong and even now, I still have to remind myself often. It’s takes a lot of work to change self-defeating habits into self-appreciating ones but it IS possible. You are not broken. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Making the decision to give up drinking is a big step in itself, one you should be proud of. Trying every day is also another.

“I stand firm in my belief that anyone who has repeatedly demonstrated that they do not posses an off switch would be far happier if they stopped trying to locate one. Stopping drinking for such people equates to the beginning of self-love, contentment and living a full life. Freeing the mind by calling it a day on the fight with alcohol is a true gift.” Soberistas


In the beginning I went to a few AA meetings because that was what was expected. I found a greater sense of community and healing here however, on the Sober Blogging Network. I could relate better to fellow writers and bloggers. No matter what “our drug of choice” is, or the level of our addiction, the struggles we face are the same. We all endeavour to value ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. We all face demons and dark sides of our past in the first few months of sobriety, and we all have to find the tools to deal with them and heal. We all have to come to an understanding about our triggers. We all want to feel better and be proud of our accomplishments. We all want compassion. We all want to be understood and to believe that we are not alone. Whether that sense of community comes from the Sober Blogging Network or from AA Meetings, it is invaluable to have. Find a community that feels comfortable for you and say Hi. You’ll find that there is always someone willing to smile back at you.


Trust me when I say that it is okay to ask for help. Whether you ask members of your AA group, the Sober Blogging Network, your friends, the higher power you believe in, or even me, you will find peace in asking. This is not a journey you have to undertake alone.


On the days when I feel at my lowest and the most disconnected from myself are the days when I feel purposeless. Those are the days when I stay under the blanket and binge watch TV series like Vikings or Games of Thrones, or Harry Potter movies, just to disappear into a another world. But, once I get tired of hiding, (and feeling sorry for myself), I get to work. I look for ways to be of service. Trust me, helping others, helps you in so many ways too. I have found so much of myself by being compassionate and caring when I can. The big and the little things do make a difference.


I figured out what worked for me and what brought me dangerously close to the edge. I changed my socializing habits and my diet. I made lists of what was important to me, pinned them to the fridge and stashed them in my wallet. I made a commitment to this blog. I focused on making the creative pursuits I enjoy a greater part of my life. I made a commitment to healing myself, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. What worked, I kept. What didn’t, I tossed (without looking at myself as a failure). Different methods suit different people. Figure out what suits you and makes YOU happy.

“Part of recovery is structure: Recognizing what is working and sticking with it.” Sherlock, Elementary


I have officially been sober for 365 days. Yay me! I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of emotion I felt when I received my sister’s message that day. For the rest of that day, I was one of those people you see walking around with little smiles tugging at the corners of their lips. I was happy with ME. I was proud of myself, finally. And I still am.

Love and light to you all,


Coming Up On One


I’ve been thinking about if it would mean something to me when February 3rd rolls around and marks my one year soberversary. I’ve written about my response to friends who advised me to be careful around my eight month mark because they knew people who had fallen off the wagon around this time. I said that it’s not about counting the days or months for me. It has about understanding the nature of my relationship with alcohol, recognizing my triggers, and learning how to truly care about myself.

But, lately I’ve been thinking that there is something important and beautiful about reaching that One Year milestone. My guy says that the first anniversary is significant from a cyclical perspective. On February 3rd, I would’ve gone through Carnival, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my birthday, loved ones’ birthdays, Christmas and New Year’s as a sober person. I would’ve celebrated and participated in yearly events differently than I had grown accustomed to. He has a point.

Then, as the Universe usually arranges, just as I was deep in thought about all of this one year anniversary stuff, I saw an episode of Elementary where Sherlock’s sponsor explained to him why he should care about his first soberversary:

Alfredo: Milestones like this one, they’re yours, but they’re not about you. They’re about all the people who haven’t got there yet.

Which of course I totally get. I have been so encouraged and energized by fellow bloggers who have made it past their first year:

Primrose just celebrated her first year, so did Vodka Goggles, and Sober Learning is days away from her anniversary.

Allie is at 9 months too like me.

Then there’s Cynthia Ann who talks about The Recovery Timeline on her blog Second Sobriety.

We are all so genuinely happy for one another when we succeed that the meaning of making these milestones, especially during our first year, has got to be greater than each of us.

Making The Switch


Recovery takes time and yes, I found out the hard way that I would have to finally deal with challenges I had faced in my past if I wanted to move forward and claim the life I know I deserve.

For most of my life I have been my own worst critic, judging and condemning myself in ways I would never do to a loved one. I was particularly harsh whenever I drank, which, after two decades, was sometimes at least a four-times-a-week routine.

Many times I wonder if the first step to recovery is actually deciding to love yourself rather than putting down that drink.

Learning to love and be gentle with ourselves is the hardest thing we will have to learn and that’s understandable actually. Because it means reversing years and years of habitually telling ourselves we’re not worth it.

It helped me to figure out the root cause of my feelings of unworthiness. They came from a long time ago and as the years went by I repeated those negative thoughts to myself whenever a situation occurred which stirred emotions similar to those I felt I during a difficult experience in the past.

Fortunately for me, (and I’m only scraping the surface of the coincidence), in 2011 I saw a psychotherapist for about 11 months. I opted to go to these sessions because I had allowed myself to become involved in a co-dependent and dysfunctional relationship. When I ended the relationship I was playing the blame and judgment game and had to know why I did not value myself enough to stay away from a man who was so wrong for me on so many levels.

I had to go to therapy to figure out how to deal with all the questions and to undo the damage that was done. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Of course, the therapy sessions did not magically improve my life, but now, two years later as a person who is 9 months sober, the tools I learned in therapy are coming in quite handy.

The clarity brought on by sobriety feels unreal sometimes and often a bit overwhelming. I’ve always been an over-thinker and I have to say if it wasn’t for this blog I would be driving my friends crazy with all my philosophy and psychology talk. But the tools I learned in therapy have made quitting so worth it. I’m learning to see myself a different way. I am changing how I react to situations because I can recognize the triggers and understand the emotions they incite.

Those of you in my Sober Blogging Network I want you to know that it IS possible to change the way you see yourself. It is possible to understand your emotional triggers and to deal with the experiences that created them.

YOU are the most important person to you. YOU matter. and you deserve to be taken care of and loved. But it has to start with you. If you are struggling, reach out and don’t be too hard on yourself. You are making progress just by looking for guidance on our Network. Little by little you are healing. And most importantly, you are not alone.


The Way of the Sober Blogging Network

Hello MSBN (My Sober Blogging Network)!

Glad to see most of you doing fine, shadows, ashes, flames and all, and standing tall, making your mark as we wave at one another along our paths.

I’ve been quiet in this online space but don’t worry it’s been a beautiful whirlwind otherwise as I’ve been caught up with creative activities, friends and family life, and lots of introspection. Is that characteristic of the six to seven week phase?

During the last two weeks I’ve been pretty reflective and I’m happy to report that it has been in a fairly non-judgmental way. In a way it’s almost as if I’ve stepped out of my shoes for a moment and I’m holding my own hand and listening to myself. Does that make any sense? It’s as if I’m finally starting to listen to myself with kind ears.

Last night was the first time since my last post that I checked in with any of you and strangely enough I was a bit afraid to. Not entirely sure why but it may have to do with the fact that I came to fully appreciate the alone time. While I was spending a lot of physical time with friends and family and offering emotional support when needed, I exposed little of what was going on in my mind. Not because I felt I would be misunderstood or anything like that. I just needed to be. With me. It’s a sorting through process as far as I see it, in a very good way.

So I was hesitant to open the links to your worlds once more. I’m glad I did though. In short order I was chuckling and tearing up as I read what you’ve been posting over the last couple of weeks I’ve missed you all.

Have you ever seen The Way? It’s a powerful film about an ophthalmologist, Tom Avery (Martin Sheen) who goes to France following the death of his adult son, Daniel (Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James), in  Spain. Tom’s purpose is initially to retrieve his son’s body. However, in a combination of grief and homage to his son, Tom decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail where his son died, taking Daniel’s ashes with him. While walking the Camino, Tom meets others from around the world, all looking for greater meaning in their lives. People walk the Camino for various reasons. Physical challenge, cultural immersion, spiritual exploration or journey to repentance, all have been reasons for people to walk the Camino for over 1000 years.


This little network we’ve formed reminds me of this film. Strangers who are each on their own journey, meet and form bonds just like that. We each have our own reasons for starting our journeys which feel very personal to us. We gingerly step onto our paths thinking that no one can understand what we feel or what we’ve gone through, and then as we walk along, by chance, we meet. We connect. We find out that there are others who can say: I understand. I can so relate. I know. I feel really lucky to have met you all and cannot express how much this network helps me. Thank you.

Okay enough mushyness. I have 17 posts and 17 drafts! What is that all about? Time to get to work. Have a beautiful day everyone!