To Touch or Not to Touch in Yoga Class? 

  • Savasana…the best part of yoga class when we lie down on our backs and do nothing but breathe. We soak in the fruits of our efforts. We drift off into our consciousness  in a blissfully relaxed state, legs straight, palms facing upwards to receive energy from the universe, mind blank…that is until something happens to break our state of non-concentration. Something that makes us think and analyze takes us out of that place and into the thinking mind is a disturbance and unwelcome distraction. 

Yesterday at the end of a hot vinyasa class, the guy next to me reached out and grabbed my hand, holding it throughout savasana.  I didn’t know what to think. Was it a namaste kind of gesture of connectedness? Or was it a creepy way to flirt with me? 

Whatever it was, my mind quickly diverted to thinking about WHY he was holding my hand and wishing he would let go of me. I felt violated! It was so weird; it was like I was assaulted by a yoga version of Donald Trump just going around grabbing women if he feels like it. 

Only once before has someone in class reached out to hold my hand, and it was a kind woman I met on a yoga retreat in Aruba. We were holding frog pose (an intense hip opener), and I was crying a little bit (when we open our hips we also release deep seated emotions). That time I knew it was a friendly gesture of support. It actually touched me deeply that she would reach out and hold my hand in support. I also love it when the teachers come by and give a neck and shoulder massage during savasana or gently press on the lower back during a child pose.  But I think what this guy did crossed the line. 
I do know him; he isn’t a stranger. In fact he used to talk to me quite often after class. Once, he asked me out. I told him I’m happily involved in a long-distance relationship, so I wasn’t interested in going out with him. Nonetheless, I was flattered and thanked him anyway.  Since then, he hasn’t talked to me much.  In fact, I’ve seen him talking quite a bit to another lady, and they usually take classes together and place their mats together. So I thought he had found himself a girlfriend.  The weird thing is yesterday, when he held my hand during savasana, she was on the other side of him! I wondered if he was also holding her hand?! I wondered if he always grabbed people’s hands who were next to him?!  Could that really be the case? 

I only want to hold hands with my boyfriend or my son during savasana. Holding hands during savasana is one of my favorite parts of practicing with both of them.  We share an intimate connection during those minutes. It’s a special experience just being and breathing with people whom I love dearly.  

But this guy?  No thanks. It was so awkward. I wondered what he would say or do at the end of class, and strangely he didn’t even make eye contact with me. I just rolled up my mat and left. 

Next time I have to practice next to him, I think I’ll skip that class and get a different workout. I was late for class and that was the only spot available. I hope in the future it never happens again. Namaste as far away from him as I can! 

I’m curious to hear from other yogis and yoginis and yoga teachers about their experiences and opinions on boundaries in yoga class. 
Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out! 

Clear Change Program Detox: Day 8 You’re Almost There

I’m proud of myself for…

being self-disciplined enough to make it this far in this program. It hasn’t been an easy process, and I sure wouldn’t have done it just for fun, but I’m proud that I’m doing it, and I’m proud that I’ve stuck to it all these days in a row. 

Today is the day to add in other fruits and vegetables and white rice (although I’m allergic to rice, so I didn’t eat any).  For some reason, yesterday I thought I was going to be able to eat other meats today (not just fish), so I bought chicken wings.  Much to my chagrin, I realized protein sources today are limited to fish and legumes, but I had already started cooking the wings for dinner (one of my son’s favorite meals).  I did have two wings because I just couldn’t resist. I hope that doesn’t mess things up too badly.


I’ve lost four pounds this week, and I can tell I’ve lost some belly fat.  I bet some of that was wine and cheese weight.  My digestion is definitely better than it was when I started the detox.  My skin is not clear yet, but I’m hoping it will get clearer in the next few days as this process ends.  It’s been a stressful couple of weeks, so I am not exactly feeling my best, but feeling better than when I started for sure.  The proof will be in the numbers next time I get my liver enzymes tested.

In the email they sent today for support, they suggested many ways of “keeping clean” after the detox ends.  The one I’m kind of bad about is using plastics.  They said never microwave with plastic, and I definitely do that. That’s a tough one to avoid for me because I am a teacher, and I take my lunch to school every day. If I bring something that needs to be heated up,  I don’t have dishes at school to use.  I already try to avoid bottled water, but sometime I do drink it depending on the circumstances.  These are areas I am going to address when I finish the detox.

“Avoid using pesticides/herbicides in your home and garden.

Consider organic whenever possible—especially with meat, dairy, and the following fruits and veggies: peaches, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, cantaloupe, celery, apples, apricots, green beans, grapes, and cucumbers.

Drink at least 6-8 glasses of purified water each day.

Reduce your exposure to plastics. Buy juices and water in glass containers when possible. Do not microwave in plastic containers, and minimize washing plastic containers in the dishwasher under high heat. Limit use of plastic food wraps.

Eat fewer canned foods and more frozen or fresh foods.

Use natural or organic toiletry items, such as shampoo, soap, and fragrances.”

This is what I ate today: 

Breakfast:  one cup of coffee with agave nectar and half and half, smoothie with mango, coconut milk, spinach, ultra clear renew, GI boost, and probiomax.

Lunch:  leftover baked cod with peas, coconut oil, and sea salt

Snack:  ultra clear renew drink, two chicken wings

Dinner:  more leftover backed cod with peas and carrots

Snack:  ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, and probiomax

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

 

Clear Change Program: day 7 Just Do It

Today I learned about…

Headspace-it’s a meditation app. Meditation is such an important part of an overall wellness plan. And why not use an app with guided meditation? I just did ten minutes today, but it definitely helped me unwind at the end of the day.

I didn’t get to the gym today like I usually do on Saturdays because I didn’t want to leave my daughter alone. So today was a stay inside and get stuff done kind of day. Toward the middle of the afternoon, I started feeling aches and pains from sitting at the computer for a while. So tonight, I took an epsom salt bath, did ten minutes of meditation, and some gentle stretching. I’ve been so sore recently I can’t seem to do much more. My body is telling me to slow down, so I’m listening. The detox program guide does advise slowing down. Although I could benefit from a bit more movement/exercise, I’m having trouble getting it in this week due to everything going on and my annoying aches and pains.

One week into the detox, and I’m starting to get used to it. My craving for wine is gone. I went to the grocery store and just got fish and produce for myself and didn’t feel tempted to get anything off the restricted diet. I did get other stuff for my kids of course, and I ended up making three dinners: one for me, something different for my son, and another dinner for my daughter who just had a tonsil/adenoidectomy. It’s tiring keeping up with the shopping and the cooking! But my dinner was actually quite tasty, and I managed to get in all the shakes and supplements as instructed today.

I notice the mornings get away from me in terms of eating. I have a shake and a cup of coffee and then I don’t have much else for a while. I have to work on having a morning snack more consistently and eating lunch at a decent time. During the week while I’m working I’m better about it than the weekends.

I just can’t seem to go without any coffee at all. I am SO tired in the morning. This morning especially because I had to set my alarm to wake every couple of hours to give my daughter medicine.

Breakfast: smoothie with apple, ultraclear renew, GI replenish, probiomax, and water. One cup of coffee with half and half and agave.

Morning snack: apple and celery

Lunch: ultraclear renew drink

Afternoon snack: ultraclear renew drink

Dinner: baked cod with olive oil, garlic, sea salt, peppers, and scallions. Garlic braised broccoli. Salad with romaine, cucumbers, and radishes.

Night time snack: ultraclear renew drink with GI replenish and probiomax.


I am looking forward to eating more of a variety of food again starting tomorrow! And I’m proud of myself for making it seven days so far on this program.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Clear Change Program: day 6 Just Do It

Today I noticed my energy level to be…

Today I didn’t go to work because I took my daughter to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. My energy level was around medium, not high, not low. As the mom, I had to be strong and guide my daughter through a scary process. I had to be a caring, loving, reassuring presence so my focus was on her instead of myself.

Breakfast: ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, and probiomax

Lunch: leftover salmon with peas, another ultra clear renew drink.

Dinner: more leftover salmon with kidney beans, broccoli, and peas, another ultra clear renew drink with a pear.

Snack: ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, probiomax

I had one cup of coffee today and no wine again. The slogan “just do it” is kind of helping me get through the day. I’m not particularly excited about the food choices, but i know in few days I’ll be back to eating more of a variety.  I just need to do it for the sake of my health.

I did notice that my stomach doesn’t hurt like it usually does. That’s really good news as I usually constantly have a stomach ache.  Like when I press on my abdomen it’s sore. I’ve had a CT scan and abdominal ultrasound and everything is normal. They say if it’s inflammation those tests won’t catch it. So it makes me wonder if my pain is from inflammation and now it’s going away because of the detox. If that’s the case, wow! It makes me a little nervous to return to my normal diet and eating/drinking habits.

Thanks for reading this entry.

Clear Change Program: day 5 Just Do It

Today I’m struggling with…

It was another bear of a day. I feel like I’m being tested. So many challenges going on in my life. Serious issues going on at work and so many demands in my personal life. Today I’m struggling with not having a glass of wine to wind down and help me manage stress. I almost was weak and bought some when I stopped at the store after work, but I didn’t. I was strong. The program guide says days 5-7 are the hardest days. I don’t really want to ruin the detox by having a weak moment. So instead my son and I got a bottle of sparkling apple juice, and he thought it was fun to drink it out of champagne glasses.

The restrictions these three days are really tough. I can basically eat fish, beans, vegetables, and apples, and pears. But the good news is this program isn’t about weight loss, so I can eat as much as I want as long as I only eat the approved foods.

Breakfast: ultraclear renew drink, GI boost, and probiomax

Lunch: leftover cauliflower stir fry with black beans

Snack: ultraclear renew drink

Dinner: Baked salmon with garlic, lemon, olive oil, sea salt and garlic, avocado, and peas.

Snack: apple and ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, and probiomax.

I was supposed to have four ultra clear renew drinks but I only had three. My morning just completely got away from me.


I had one cup of coffee and drank a bunch of water. I’m completely failing in the ‘getting plenty of rest’ category. There are just too many things to do and not enough time. My daughter’s having surgery tomorrow, so I had to have things ready for me to miss work. Hopefully I can rest more this weekend!

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Clear Change Program Detox: Day 4 Stay Hydrated 

Today I’m feeling…

I’m feeling busy and stressed and having a hard time keeping up with everything. Four days into the detox, I’m adjusting to the restrictions and trying to make sure I get all the shakes and supplements in. It’s not that easy especially because of how crazy this week has been for me.

Breakfast: smoothie with frozen cherries, chia seeds, ultra clear renew, GI replenish, and probiomax.

Snack: pear

Lunch: leftover cod with romaine and avocado

Snack: ultra clear renew drink

Dinner: baked mahi mahi with lemon, olive oil, sea salt and pepper, avocado & romaine salad, and cauliflower stir fried with onions and garlic. GI replenish and  probiomaxz

Drank zero coffee today and also didn’t have any wine again. Trying to drink lots of water to assist the detox process.

I’m reading the literature and laughing about the fact it says to kind of take it easy during these ten days. I’m doing nothing of the sort, in fact I’m completely exhausted from going to work early and then working late and I have to get up early again tomorrow. All this cooking with vegetables and fresh fish takes a lot of planning and prep. I didn’t eat dinner until 8:00 tonight. Not ideal, but at least I got the nutrients.

I lost both my yoga mats recently too, so I can’t even unwind by doing yoga at home! Ugh.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Clear Change Program Detox: day 2 Add Nutritional Support.


Today was not a great day. It was one of those days that started out alright and then turned stressful and draining. The best I could do was take it one step at a time and do my best to stick to the detox in the process.

I took all the nutritional supplements and kind of stuck to the diet.

Breakfast: one cup of coffee with agave nectar and half and half, smoothie with pineapple, spinach, coconut milk, chia seeds, the ultra clear renew, ultra GI replenish as well as the probiomax.

Lunch: ultra clear renew mixed with water. I meant to eat a salad with chick peas for protein, but I accidentally left it at home.

Snack: apple

Dinner: homemade turkey and vegetable soup, above mentioned salad

I feel like I NEED one cup of coffee in the morning, and I usually have two, so at least I’m reducing caffeine. Although I was stressed today, I did NOT have a glass of wine.

I meant to eat more, but I was out most of the day and didn’t bring enough with me.  I also drank a lot of water with lemon.

Because I was feeling the effects of my day, I took an epsom salt bath and am getting some rest. I did it! I survived and I’m going back to bed.

At the end of the day, I am grateful that even though it wasn’t the best day, it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.  There’s so much craziness and pain in the world. I am thankful I’m safe and healthy and looking forward to a better day tomorrow.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Clear Change Program Detox: day 3 Elimination Time 

Today I feel inspired to…

eat healthy! This is the first day of the more restricted diet. I was worried about only eating fish and legumes only for protein, but I am not hungry at all, and I stuck to the diet today eating enough to have a full belly.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was already a few pounds lighter. My pants are fitting a little looser.  I can feel something changing in my body already.  I also noticed a slight decrease in my chronic pain today. However, I’m not feeling my best overall yet though. Feeling very tired today.

Breakfast:  one cup coffee, smoothie with mango, spinach, chia seeds, coconut milk, ultra clear renew, ultra GI replenish, and probiomax plus DF.

Lunch:  baked cod with olive oil, garlic, lemon, sea salt & pepper, salad with romaine, kale, cucumber, celery, avocado, basil, sauerkraut, and black beans.

Snack:  Coconut milk with ultra flora balance and GI boost.

Dinner, leftover cod and salad with broccoli and butternut squash with coconut oil, sea salt and pepper.

Snack: blackberries

Plus I drank a lot of water and didn’t drink any wine again.  I’m feeling confident now that I can make it ten days without any wine.  I feel inspired to give this process my 100% effort so I can reap the most benefits.

Heading to bed so I can work on getting a lot of sleep as well. Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Accepting Yourself the Way You Are

When you look in the mirror, what do you say to yourself? Do you notice all your flaws and wish you looked different? (Or do you see your best features and thank your body for everything it’s done for you?)

How do you receive compliments? Do you say thank you with a smile? (Or do you counter it with self-criticism?)

Do you use negative words like dumb, fat, and stupid when you think about yourself or talk about yourself? Do you criticize yourself both to yourself and to others? (Or do you use empowering words and focus on your positive attributes?)

Do you think life would be better if only you had a better job or worked harder or if you lost some weight or if you had nicer clothes or a more expensive car? Do you think people would like you more if you put on fake eyelashes or carry an expensive purse?

I know people like this. They put themselves down all the time for one reason or another, and they can’t accept compliments when you point out something positive about them. They think what’s on the outside matters more than what’s on the inside. They think happiness is always around the corner if they just do more, have more, weigh less, be a certain way etc. They never find happiness because they are focused on the wrong things.

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I’m here to tell you to stop it if you are one of these people. Just stop it. You are enough. You are perfect the way you are. You don’t need to change to please anyone else, and you don’t need to change to be happy or to be loved by others.

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In fact, happiness comes from inner peace. Happiness comes from the inside. It’s not something you find outside of you. And it’s definitely not something you find in a material object. People who will judge you and like or not like you based on something material are not real friends anyway.

But can’t we all make improvements? Absoutely, yes we can. If you need or want to lose weight, go for it! If you want a better job, go for it! If you want flashy clothes and cars, go for it, but don’t think that changes your value as a human being. If you want to change your lifestyle choices like eating better or drinking less or working out more, go for it, you will still be perfect every single day on every single step of the way. You will still be lovable and worthy.

We are all exactly where we need to be, and we are perfect exactly the way we are. We are all beings of love and light on separate journeys in this life. We are all unique and perfect in our imperfections. We are all very different, and we all have positive aspects about ourselves, and that’s great!

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Just be you. It’s really simple. You’re already you. When you accept yourself the way you are, your confidence will make you shine. When you are secure that your life is a wonderful thing just the way it is, you start to appreciate what you have. When you let go of caring what other people think, you are free to be whatever you want and smile about it.

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Try looking in the mirror and seeing what is beautiful about you. Try identifying a few character traits you like about yourself. Try being grateful for everything you have (make a list) and examine your relationships to see which ones are genuine. Let go of people who drain you and situations that wear down your sense of self. Identify goals and take baby steps to meet them. Keep growing in the direction of your choosing. Never lose track of who you really are inside.

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We only get one life, and life is short. Find your inner peace and enjoy it.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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2014 in Review and My Hopes for 2015

New Year’s Eve 2014 is here. It’s the time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the next. For years, I’ve been working on accepting myself exactly the way I am and living each day in the moment, free of regrets from the past and worries about the future. This kind of thinking has led to great changes in my life, and I intend to further develop myself one day at a time.

What a year it’s been! There’s been a wide spectrum of emotions and experiences. Lots of pain and lots of growth occurred this past year. I got divorced after 14 years of marriage. It was hard. It was painful. It was complicated. There was a loss of a fairy tale and a loss of my family structure. I lost fifty percent of my time with my kids. We sold our big, beautiful house (that we moved to Texas for) and moved into rentals, a house for me and an apartment for him. While everything looked great from the outside, my ex and I had some serious personal problems that ultimately we were not able to resolve. We agreed to put the children first and to co-parent in peace. We agreed not to drag each other through the mud and to keep our personal business between us. While I lost half the time with my kids, he gained the other fifty percent of the time, and the kids are adjusting to their new lives well. They enjoy the one on one time they get with him now. And I think that while they might prefer we still be together, they see that life can be peaceful and happy even with the changes. It was a painful experience, but I’ve been brave and have learned a lot from it about being true to myself and taking care of myself. In the new year, I intend to continue using the time to myself for self-care. When I don’t have the kids, I sleep, do yoga, go to the gym, play guitar, do math etc. I use the time to take care of myself and continue growing in all my interests and hobbies. I miss the children terribly, but I know they are in good hands, and I am thankful their father wants to be an active part of their lives.

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For years, I’ve wanted to take college math classes because nobody ever made me take them when I was in school. I didn’t know I liked math until I became a teacher and started specializing in teaching math. So, this year I took advantage of the opportunity since I had time (being a stay home mom) and finally took Trigonometry and Calculus 1. I got an A in Trigonometry, so my professor let me skip Pre-Calculus. I spent the spring semester taking Trig and the fall semester taking Calculus 1. I struggled with Calculus and went from a C to an F to a B overall. I learned so much about what it feels like to struggle as a student and thankfully found an excellent tutor who supported my struggles and helped to make everything make sense. At one point, I considered dropping the class, but I’m not a quitter so I stuck with it. I learned first-hand that hard works pays off and I was thrilled to finish successfully and check that class off my bucket list! In the next year, my goal is to get back to teaching full-time. I would really like to teach high school math this time. I have my master’s degree in education. I’m certified to teach all subjects 4-8 and math 8-12, and although my eight years of classroom experience was in middle school, I’ve been tutoring high school students since 2001. I’ve been working as a substitute teacher this fall and have really enjoyed subbing in the high schools. I prefer the older students and the more advanced math curricula. I quit my job to be a stay home mom years ago, and it’s difficult to get back into a full-time position, but this will be my main goal for 2015.

I took an amazing trip to Aruba for a yoga retreat, another bucket list item. Click here to read about my amazing week with yoga girl Rachel Brathen in paradise. I’ve also been participating in a 365 day handstand challenge and intend to finish it in 2015. I am on handstand number 259!

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My yoga retreat group

 

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My kids are continuing to grow and thrive, and I absolutely love being their mom. I’m cherishing every stage of their lives even though it’s tough sometimes knowing that I don’t have little kids anymore. Those days are over, but they are growing into amazing older children and my oldest is officially an adult now, 21 years old and graduating from college this year. She’s majoring in Business Marketing and Management and plans to move back to the Dallas area to work after graduation. Her laugh is infectious; her sense of humor is hilarious. She’s an avid dog lover and has been helping me take care of my dogs some this year. In fact, she might be taking my Boston Terrier back to school with her for a few months this spring. She’s been working part-time at a hair salon and getting good grades. I’m so proud of her! In 2015, I look forward to attending her graduation, her 22nd birthday in May, and seeing how her adult life unfolds when she moves back to Dallas and starts working.

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My middle child is now 14, a high school freshman on the drill team at school and a competitive company dancer at a local dance studio. Watching her dance is one of my favorite things to do. She specializes in contemporary dance, and sometimes it’s so beautiful it brings me to tears with pride. We spent a week in Panama City Beach, FL in June for national competition, and it was a really fun vacation together. She just got her braces off and has a brand new smile. She is an excellent student and is well liked by her friends. I’m learning to give her more space to be a teenager and love it when she has her friends over to our house. In 2015, I look forward to another season of dance competitions and conventions, a week in Florida for national competition, and her 15th birthday in April.

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My youngest child, my son, is now ten years old and a vibrant, intelligent fourth grader who loves science and thrives on challenge. He loves reading books and playing games and doing all kinds of sporty things with me like bike riding, rock climbing at the gym, swimming, roller skating, and playing games of horse. I love his sense of adventure and getting out to be active with him. We have a great time. He is also really loving and gives lots of hugs and kisses, one of my favorite things about him. He is a deep thinker and asks all kinds of questions about life, nature, and the universe. I know he is destined for great things in the future and in 2015, I look forward to watching him play baseball, spending a week in Florida together, and his birthday in November.

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This year, I had the kids for Thanksgiving, my ex had them for the first week of Christmas, and I have them for the second week of Christmas vacation. In 2015, I look forward to having them for spring break and then for the first week of Christmas vacation. I am super proud of all three of them and want the best for them in the upcoming year with good health and lots of happiness.

This year, I ended a friendship with someone I thought was my best friend in town. She betrayed me, backstabbed me, lied to me, then called me ugly names when I confronted her. All I can control is me, so I ended it, and I’m really glad she is out of my life now as I can see it was really a one-way friendship for years. She is not really worth any more time or space on my blog, so I will move forward to the good news: I gained a new best friend in town this year. She’s another dance mom who has kids close in age to my youngest two kids, and she lives nearby. She’s been a great friend to me this year, someone who has a huge heart and does anything to help other people. She’s been there for me whenever I’ve needed a friend, and I truly enjoy her company! She’s funny, caring, and has a genuine personality. We’ve had lots of great times together this year. I look forward to many more good times in 2015 and hope to continue to develop my other girl-friendships with get togethers and outings.

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I fell in love again this year with a man from Virginia whom I’ve known since we were twelve. His dad caught us kissing when we were in middle school, and after that we were always dating other people but hung out together as friends all the time. He was in a near fatal accident in high school, and we lost touch after he switched to another school and then I graduated and left for college. The girl who was driving the car that night died, and I’ve always been so thankful that he survived. He has always been a precious life in my opinion. We reconnected at a funeral for a friend in 2007 and have been in touch ever since. He went to Aruba with me, and we’ve been traveling back and forth visiting each other in Virginia and Texas as often as we can. It’s been amazing to find love with someone with whom I also have a deep friendship and a long history. I’m super grateful the timing is right for us to be a couple and have enjoyed every single moment we’ve spent together so far. In 2015, I look forward to his February visit to Texas (to celebrate our birthdays – we were born nine days apart) and hope we can visit each other many, many more times also. Since we are in a long distance relationship, and we both have children to raise, people often ask us how we are going to work things out so we can be in the same place. I don’t know the answer to that question yet, and I’m not going to worry about it either. It’s working for both of us right now, and I trust that things will unfold exactly the way they should. I would rather have him in my life to talk and text with every day and see periodically than not at all. So, I am grateful, humble, and hopeful for the future.

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I intend to spend 2015 really enjoying every day to its fullest, loving people in my life, and taking good care of myself. When negative things happen, I will look for the positive lessons, and I will accept challenges as opportunities to grow. I will continue to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the many blessings in my life and face each day with courage, an open mind, and a positive attitude.

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!