The Body Talks

Loving Smackdowns from the Universe, Part 2

I have always felt invincible health-wise. Never suffered with illness, never broken a bone, never had any chronic conditions. Until recently.

It didn’t all happen at once, but very gradually. Over the course of six years I slid from being (what I thought was) a fit, productive, healthy human into feeling like a half-functioning zombie.

It started with weight gain. 20 extra pounds, seemingly out of nowhere. I hadn’t changed up my food or exercise routine, yet it came on quickly and wouldn’t budge.

Then a rash on my hands. Patches of eczema that I assumed were from giving massages all day and washing my hands more than the average human.

Then menstrual cramps. Some days so bad I couldn’t stand up. Sometimes making me miss work. Sometimes causing me to pass out from the pain.

Then mood disorders. Feeling hopeless, helpless, useless. Wondering what the point of it all is. Avoiding friends. Panic attacks. Feeling like everything I cared about could be lost in a moment.

Then exhaustion. Sleeping 10, 11, 12 hours a night and still struggling to get out of bed in the mornings. An ever-present sensation that I had invisible cement blocks tied to my arms and legs. Barely enough energy to go to work, and that was it.

I ignored each new symptom for a while. When they got so prevalent I couldn’t ignore them, I used punishment to try and cure myself. Harder workouts, tighter diet, rigorous schedule, negative self-talk. I resisted calling a doctor because a) I don’t have a whole lot of trust in them, b) I didn’t want to be labeled with a diagnosis, c) I wanted to believe I could fix myself on my own. Ha.

Finally one day, I waved my white flag. I was doubled over on the floor in pain, waiting for the four ibuprofen I had just taken to kick in, praying they would do so before I had to be at work.

At that pathetic moment, I decided I couldn’t live like that anymore and some medical help might be useful. I agreed to see a doctor, but stipulated it would have to be someone who truly listened to me and who wasn’t looking to mask any symptoms without finding the root cause of them. Enter, Functional Medicine. Functional medicine practitioners are different in that they really work to get the whole picture of a person’s health before diagnosing and prescribing. (You can find one for yourself in this directory.)

I was willing to travel to the next state to find this type of care and I’m glad I did. My first appointment was lengthy. My new doctor asked lots of questions and listened intently to my answers. Then she sent me away for lab work, testing not just a few things, but EVERYTHING.

A while later, the diagnoses landed. Hard. 

Adrenal fatigue. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Endometriosis. Disthymic Disorder. Anxiety. …All autoimmune disorders stemming from PTSD. 

What? PTSD? Me? I’ve never been to war. I’ve never been in a bad accident. What PTSD?

Well the causes of my PTSD could be multiple other blog posts, but in summary, it came from growing up with an abusive parent, as well as trauma surrounding my love life later on. Not to mention self-abuse in the form of eating disorders, exercise as punishment, and too little sleep. My nervous system was on high alert and had been for years. It couldn’t keep up with me anymore.

A few months later, I am feeling much better. I am on an intense (and expensive) vitamin/supplement regime. Meditating and working with a counselor. Easing very slowly back into working out after taking some time off to do yoga and walks only. Also joined the gluten-free club. 🤓 I am not on any medications at this point, although I wouldn’t be opposed to them anymore if I ever needed them. I trust my new doctor, because everything she has suggested has helped thus far. 

Over the past several years, as I felt my health and vigor declining, I had many moments of anger at my own body. It felt so unfair, like I was being betrayed by her. I had all these grand plans for life and it felt like she didn’t want me to enjoy anything. Then one day, my beautiful, intuitive doctor said something profound. “Honey, you are so in touch with your body. If you hadn’t felt so crappy and called me, then 5 or 10 years from now, you would have been coming in with something much worse. Lupus, MS, cancer, I don’t know for sure, but it would have been bad.”

Wow. This whole time, I was trying to be tough and muscle through, but my body was signaling me. She was talking to me. She tried to be gentle at first, but I wouldn’t listen so she did what she had to do to get my attention. She is on my team. And my sensitivity is a gift. All this pain, all the exhaustion… I was being led in a different direction. To rest, to go inward, to heal what had been broken years ago, to truly care for myself.

I can’t help but think that this is what is happening with our whole planet right now. I hope we can sit with the discomfort of not being busy. That we can go inward and reflect on what we need to heal in ourselves, in each other, and on Earth. My body asked me to  slow down a few months before everyone else did, so I feel like an old pro at the self-care thing right now. This is a gift.

I’ll close again with the loving-kindness meditation, which has become my mantra these past few days:

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering. 

Read Loving Smackdowns from the Universe, Part 1 HERE 

Loving After Heartbreak

Loving Smackdowns from the Universe, Part 1

I live with a man now. A kind, hard-working, smart, hilarious dreamer. Is it a coincidence that I pretty much stopped blogging as soon as we got serious? Absolutely not. I wish I could say that is because we have been too busy having hot sex and saving the world together. (Although there has been a lot of the first and we’re truly working on the second.) But that’s not why I stopped writing. 

I stopped writing because he shook. my. world. 

See, I was GOOD you guys. I was so, so good. Livin’ the single gal’s dream. Picked up the pieces after my divorce. Picked up more pieces after dating and sex and various short-term post-divorce relationships didn’t go so well. 🥴

I was working out daily, journaling, blogging, socializing, leading workshops, getting my finances in order, traveling, running my little business, learning to love myself, and was just — GOOD.


A perfectly imperfect man showed up to love me UP CLOSE. He was ready to go all in. It was confusing and terrifying. If you’ve ever had to start over in a relationship after getting your heart broken mashed shattered puree’d wrecked, you feel hard what I’m about to describe. Because I wasn’t actually GOOD. 

As soon as I thought about dipping my toe in the River of Starting to Love Again, everything from my past I’d worked so hard to bury came screaming back to the surface. Insecurity, lies, memories, manipulation, guilt, shame, hurt — ohhhhh the hurt. There it all was, not just for me to face but for another person to witness up close and personal. 

Um. Fuck.

The collage of fear going through my brain at that time is hard to put into words, but I’ll give it a try. Imagine a non-stop loop of the following:

“He is amazing but it’s too good to be true.”

“There has got to be a lie here somewhere.”

“I don’t know how to do this the right way.”

“I just realized I have no idea how to communicate my feelings.”

“I know. I’ll get some Mace.” (I actually did, btw.)

I was sitting on pins and needles waiting not just for him to hurt me, but for me to hurt him. I trusted no one, not even myself. And I tried everything to get him to break. I gave him the silent treatment. I acted disinterested. I sat him down and told him every horrible thing I’d ever done. 

A man less persistent would have left early on. I’m glad he didn’t. He was patient and kind. Let me cry. Let me rage. Let me accuse him of things he didn’t do. Let me rip into him for tiny issues. Let me verbally process my past. Let me feel every damn emotion I had ever been ashamed of. It was messy. I was messy. It shook me to my core.

And it was medicine, pure medicine, to be witnessed 100% naked, for the first time ever. He saw all of me and didn’t want to change a thing.

Woah. Is this love? Yes, Sweetheart. This is Love.

“Why do you even want to be with me???” I would question. But the truth is, that is none of my business. He wants to be with me. He’s proved it over and over and over again. Who am I to ask why?

Now, I converse with so many people who have had their hearts broken and who have broken someone else’s heart (two sides of the same painful coin, I’ve learned). They are scared to move on. They are scared to lose control. They are scared to be seen. They are scared they won’t notice red flags. They are scared they will see red flags when there aren’t any. 

All I can say is I was scared too. And a lot of those things I was scared of happened. And because the things happened, I learned. I learned to trust again. I learned what “yes” and “no” feel like in my body. I learned that I can look into a lover’s eyes and see the truth. I learned that I am worthy. I learned that you can’t plan out your love life step by step. I learned that avoiding pain is missing out on pleasure too.

Now if you’re wondering how on earth I found a man like that, rest easy. I didn’t actually do anything to go find him. I mostly nerded out by myself reading personal development books and going to the gym. I was doing my thing, and when it was time for us to meet, we met.

So there you have it. It feels good to be putting this all out here on the blog. I haven’t written in a long time as a service to myself. I’ve been learning to love — not even again — Learning to love for the first time. Without fear, without justification, without conditions. And I just couldn’t write about it all “out loud.” Just like you don’t serve a cake that’s half-baked, I don’t like to put things out in the world while they’re still processing. Stuff that is unprocessed is very tender and it’s too easy for tender things to get broken again.

Thank you for being here. I look forward to writing more with this gift of time.

My prayer for all of the planet right now, borrowed from The Loving-Kindness Meditation:

May you be well. May you be happy. May you be free from suffering.

Stay tuned for Bitch Slaps of Kindness, Part 2 😁


I took a day yesterday. 

A day to be petty and furious and weepy and exhausted.

A day to be all the things that someone who loooooves personal development “shouldn’t” be.

I put on some gloves and took it out on my heavy bag. I beat it. I kicked it. I called it names like “YOU ****ING SELF-RIGHTEOUS LITTLE ***NT-**SS ***TCH!!!!!!” Super immature, awful things. I laid into the bag until the anger was gone and the sadness took over and I ended up a depleted mess on the floor of my garage.

And wouldn’t you know, laying on the cool concrete, covered in dust and sweat, I felt way better.

Whatever was in me that needed to get out, had moved. The funk I’d been in for a long time felt like it had shaken loose and was puddled up in a Kristen-shaped sweat mark on the floor.

We are scared to go there – into the less-desirable-but-still-completely-valid human feelings. Maybe it makes us feel evil or childish or something. But we need to go there. To move energy and send it on its way. 

Certainly, there are unhealthy ways to do so. Bitching and moaning via status update… Trying to call someone out on social media… Spreading nasty rumors… Being an asshole to the innocent barista… Yeah, those methods aren’t gonna get anybody anywhere. In fact, they’ll probably spread the shittiness around more.

But, if we can move the feelings in a healthy way (without spreading them to other people), it is like MEDICINE for the  psyche. Scream or cry or cuss or rage to an inanimate object. Write an e-mail you’ll never send. Punch a bag. Vent to a friend who will just listen without offering any judgment or unsolicited advice.

Our feelings are real. They are valid. And we need to process them so they don’t become embedded. We’ll get to the higher-level stuff — the love and namaste. But if we skip over the crummy stuff, it will become stuck, flavoring all future interactions with the subtle (or not-so-subtle) taste of bitterness. So take a minute or an hour or a day to let it all move through.

I’m grateful for yesterday. I’m grateful for my heavy bag and my garage and my neighbors who hopefully didn’t hear too much of my tirade. 😳 I’m grateful for my patient man who lets me feel what I need to feel. I’m grateful for the lightness and ease that have slid into the spaces left by things I knocked loose.

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