Keep Getting Up

IMG_3718 (1)At a coaching luncheon I attended a couple of months ago, the speaker discussed storytelling as a coaching technique. I found a particular exercise he facilitated of great benefit to me, personally. We wrote about our lives, eventually condensing our life story down to six words. Upon completion, we meandered around the room, each of us silently holding up our story on an index card. The stories I read touched me, and the expressions on others’ faces told me that I conveyed my own story well.

Mine read, “Got knocked down. Kept getting up.”

Two years ago today, I got out of bed, meditated, and bounced on my rebounder for an hour. I taught 7th graders math all day, then attended a faculty meeting after school. A fellow teacher reminded me of something I said as we packed up our belongings to go home after that meeting.

“This job is killing me.”

As I left the building that afternoon, the trajectory of my life drastically changed. Without going into a lot of detail surrounding the accident and subsequent physical recovery, I am happy to say I survived.

The psychological fallout is another story. I admit, I didn’t understand why people with PTSD hung on to it. Living with it now, my experience is that PTSD shows up, often uninvited. I don’t think I am aware of the anniversary of the incident, yet my body reminds me. The nightmares start up again. Hypervigilance creeps back into my psyche. Then I am looking up something on the calendar, and BOOM! No wonder! It’s almost November 5th.

So back to my life story… Just as that chapter came to resolution, the surprise twist jerked me back into chaos.



Many dark days followed. Then I remembered…

Get up.

Get the hell up!


So I got up.

I moved into an apartment with my son. I found a tutoring student… and another… and another. I resolved not to run to the false sense of security provided by a job that would kill me, kill my spirit. I refuse to allow my business plan to die because the circumstances of my life changed. So I only take work that will support me as I grow my coaching practice.

MaryS- Logo Concept 1

I joined my local professional coaching organization. In twelve weeks,
I authored my first non-fiction book, which I am now editing. A digital artist took my concept and created a logo for my business, and because she wanted to use it in her portfolio, it cost me nothing. A budding photographer did headshots for me.

Slowly but surely, I move forward.

Not only am I taking care of business, I am also taking care of my soul. I am continuing my practitioner classes at my spiritual center. I am singing again and writing lyrics. I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. And Tuesdays are blocked off for my grandbabies. Life is good.

Am I going to have more difficult times? Maybe.

Am I going to get knocked down again? Probably.

Am I going to keep getting up? No doubt about it!

Little Me

A relative sent me this picture of myself, taken well over forty years ago.  I had never seen it before, but I felt it really captured the essence of me.  I had the strange sensation that I was looking at somebody else… somebody that I knew very well… not exactly me.  The best part was that it made me smile and I realize that at nearly fifty, I actually like myself.  It was a long road, but I got there.  ScanImage010

You are what you are…

You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind.
You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.
~Zig Ziglar

On this Wisdom Wednesday (and my 200th post), if you are not content with what and where you are today, I encourage you to examine what you are putting into your mind.  Even if you only need some “tweaking,” changing what you feed your mind can drastically improve your life.


Good timber…

More bathroom graffiti.

More bathroom graffiti.  The “artist” did not know that the words are a line from Douglas Malloch’s poem, Good Timber.

Here I am with more “positive” bathroom graffiti.  While I don’t condone writing on other people’s property, the black sharpie on the white exposed area and the black paint… well, I couldn’t resist capturing this Wisdom Wednesday worthy quote.






You don’t need …

You don’t need to change the world; you need to change yourself.
~Don Miguel Ruiz

Miguel Ruiz is one of my favorite authors.  I especially love this quote because I spent so many years trying to change other people and circumstances (to no avail and with much frustration, of course).  When I learned that the only thing I can change is myself, my life began improving.  Happy Wisdom Wednesday!

Daniel Fast

Today I began the Daniel Fast, a 21 day, biblically based, eating plan.  It is a way for me to hit the reset button, as I have been on a weight loss program for a while and I have hit a plateau.  The primary differences between this eating plan and the way I eat now is that the plan does not allow meat or dairy.  I am not a huge dairy consumer and I am not one who must have meat, so this shouldn’t be too bad.  I was on a cleanse last year that didn’t allow meat or dairy for the first week and it was fine.

The most compelling thing for me is the spiritual component of the fast.  The purpose for the fast is to gain clarity.  I have chosen to make it my own, so I am meditating in the morning as part of my program.  I meditate sporadically.   I will do it faithfully for months at a time.  Then, for whatever reason, I stop.  Meditation is good for me.  It calms me, centers me, and gives me a sense of well-being.  I am hoping that doing the Daniel Fast will help me get back on track and that I stick to my meditation for a while.  I will post about my progress over the coming weeks.  Until then, here is my favorite meditation story.







Design Your Life: Abundance

The Institute for Self Actualization (isa) has been a huge help along my path.  I have been a part of this community for 15 years and I highly recommend any seminar they offer.  I have done most of them and have assisted and helped coordinate events ranging from the weekend-long Experience to the 10-day international youth camp, the YPE (Young Persons Experience).  

I don’t usually use my blog to promote events, but there is an upcoming seminar that I think will be priceless.  It is part of the new Design Your Life (DYL) series.  Read about the series and the upcoming event below.

Love, happiness, health, abundance . . . whatever you want in life is available to you!

This series of one-day seminars provides an in-depth look at the “how” of creating what you want. We focus on both insight and application, with lots of skill building so you have what you need to change stubborn, persistent patterns or to simply create new growth in your chosen directions. Each day addresses a specific aspect of life: relationships, health, wealth and abundance, family, work life and more.

Design Your Life: Abundance
Are you missing out on many opportunities in your life because you don’t have the time, money or energy? Come learn how you can become abundant in all that you do! It is possible to tap into the abundance in us all and have overflowing love, health, money and time!

Order tickets via Eventbrite:

Open to isa graduates and non-graduates.

Lessons Learned

Last night I had a nightmare and woke up so scared that I thought my heart would pound right out of my chest.  Needless to say, I had a difficult time falling back to sleep.  When I did finally manage to nod off, it was time to get up.  Then I had one of those days where everything was a challenge.  Now I am not one to wish my life away.  But whatever lessons I was supposed to learn today, I hope I “got” them.  I am not interested in taking those tests again.




Out of My Comfort Zone

Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will notice the drastic change in my theme.  As part of the current blog challenge in which I am participating, I was encouraged to change my blog’s look.

My favorite color (or non-color, I should say) is black.  Most of my wardrobe is black (including my motorcycle gear).  Whenever I am given a choice of colors in anything, I choose black.  It is introspective, sleek, and classic.  So for me to go from a mostly black blog to this bright, somewhat color-spattered theme is somewhat unsettling.

However, in the spirit of personal growth, I am going to leave this new theme in place for a few days to see if I can get used to it.  If not, I can always go back to what is safe.  Just out of curiosity, let me know what you think of the new look.

No Place Like Home

Although I thoroughly enjoyed connecting with extended family over the weekend, I am happy to be home. After arriving home from my grandfather’s memorial, we celebrated my mother’s birthday with immediate family. Now I am composing this post on the 45-minute drive home.

I look forward to my dog bombarding me as I walk through the front door, much like Dino did Fred. I look forward to seeing my teenage son who could not make it to dinner. I am also looking forward to snuggling up with hubby in own bed. It’s good to be back in my own familiar environment. As Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”