Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Truest Strength

The new girl stepped up to the plate, none of us had any idea what to expect.  The pitcher rolls the big red rubber ball towards the plate.  She suddenly looks horrified, not knowing what to do.  She tries to kick it, figuring in a game called "Kickball", that is what you do. The ball hits the edge of her foot, and spins behind her.  We all giggle and move in a bit.  Second pitch, the horror and fear compound....same thing...I can actually see the panic in her eyes, holding back the tears, my teammates continuing to giggle.  I stop suddenly, with an overwhelming feeling of shame and guilt at giggling at all.

My immediate reaction...What can I do?  How can I help her?  I feel helpless.  The other kids in the class whisper, giggle and talk behind her back.  I am witnessing first hand how bullying begins.  It is not right...I know it right away.

She tentatively approaches home plate again for her next time up.  Everyone moves in before she even gets there.  I see her heart start to crumble right before my eyes.  Day after day, she dreads  my favorite class of the day...GYM ( that is what it was called in the 1970's)

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UGH...english...I hate this class.  I cant spell and I suck at it, yet out of the corner of my eye, I see this girl, who hates gym.  She is smiling...bouncing into class as if it is the best thing ever.  Hmmm, we are different.  Mr. Menesale pairs us up.  Oh boy, I think to myself. 

YET, to my suprise, an amazing friendship develops.  We click instantly and end up dancing in her basement, having sleepovers, climbing trees, running around the block and going to the mall every weekend.

Then, there is GYM. 

One day I innocently ask..."Do you want to see if I can teach you how to kick a ball?"  The smile that spreads over her face warms my heart...as if she thought I would never ask.  I pitch, she kicks, over and over...we kick and kick and kick until we finally fall down in laughter and exhaustion.

She steps up to the plate...everyone has already moved in...The Pitch...and then THE KICK!  Over everyones head...she runs around first moving to second (did I mention she could run?) around second! around Third...her smile getting bigger and bigger. The best home run ever...No more fear, shame, embarrasement, or dread.

There is triuph, confidence...I learn an important lesson. Let go of the judgement of others.  Help, assist, care and teach.  Find your truest strength and share it with others.  The support and belief of an other is the most rewarding of all.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Its My DEAL

Oh good!  At least I like to shuffle the cards, the way they make that fluttering sound and watch the bridge I have formed between my two hands collapse upon itself.  I think this might be the only part of playing cards I truly like.  The rest of the time I am feeling sick to my stomach, my shoulders are tight, my brain is in overdrive...repeating the words...Think, Anne, Think...Dont make the wrong move...

I have decided now to DEAL myself another hand.  This one is quite different.  It is calming...and feels more like the sunrise with the pinks and oranges in the sky...a warm summer breeze, and the sound of the ocean.  I am embarking on an adventure to my inside, my truest self.  To Discover, Embrace, Accept and Love me...My own D.E.A.L.

The first card in my hand?  Deep Discovery.  To actually take some time with myself.  The searching and unfolding of what is on the inside.  I have recently posted a picture on facebook of me at about 5.  I am standing on the front steps of my grandparents house in Greenfield MA. I am ready to take on the world, my hands are on my hips and I have a confident grin on my face.  There is true happiness, self assurance, pride and even a little mischievesness too. This is the Annie I am in search of.

Discovery may take some time...it takes time to deal out the cards, make sure everyone has the right amount, square off the piles, fan out the cards in your hand.  Realizing that there are some cards in your hand that you dont really want.  The cards like...my mini me, my fear of failure, my fear of success, the judgement of myself, the comparison to others.  Thank goodness there are some cards in my hand that I love...my family and friends!

There it is, my hand is full of all of it.  All of its beauty.  Time to discard.  The first to go is the judgement of myself and comparison to others.  I place the cards down, let them go watching them slowly get buried deeper into the deck.  My hand picks up 2 cards: Laughter and Love,  this game may work out well after all...

Feeling a little more confident, I discard Fear...Fear of Failure, as well as Fear of Success.  The guilt, the shame, the feeling of not being enough, not being deserving...It will be a hard fight to let them go.  They have been such a part of me for so long.  I am letting them go in hopes to pick up some better cards...I close my eyes, give powerful thought and attention to the deck as I pick up my next cards

Acceptance, Belief and Compassion....Looks like we have a straight!   ABC.  I have a loaded hand...ready to Embrace  the real me.  The one I see in that picture that shows determination and pride. The one that fights sociey telling me I can or I can't, I should or I shouldn't.  Accepting my true self without letting all my old stories and beliefs beat me down and take me out of the game.

I am playing until the end...win or lose, it does not matter.  All I need to do is continue to deal the cards, because I know I am strong enough to win no matter what.  I will discard the cards that no longer serve me, and pick up the ones that do, the ones of self-growth, self-discovery, self-acceptance and self-Love.

We are all born with a full deck(well, mostly!)  They are part of us, these cards make us who we are, yet that does not mean we have to keep all the cards we are dealt with.  We have choices to stack the deck in our favor.  Who's deal is it now?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Fitness Family...Forever Friends

What forces are in action when you meet someone who becomes instrumental in your development?  Kickball teams in grade school, high school & college sports teams, Sunday morning Low Impact class (hey there Robin!), Stepping, Kickboxing, Running and Spinning.

The sharing of sweat, fatigue, euphoria, strength and heart break.  The hard work that happens with each other,  brings us together in a bond that is unbreakable.  The shared experiences... the failing and succeeding,  the neverending "One More Time"!

I have formed some of the most unique, long lasting, and fundemental friendships I have ever known. From the days playing kickball in 4th grade, through todays 6am Pilates or Bootcamp class...these dedicated, strong, fun loving  girls and woman continue to share, care, support and encourage each other all while working, striving and achieving thier best efforts.  We squat, we pull, we push, we lunge, we punch, we kick...we laugh and we cry.

You all know who you are...too many names to name after 40+ years...
This blog is for you.

I am grateful for you all...you are strong, dedicated, loving moms, wives, grandmothers, daughters and friends...

You are business owners, teachers, coaches, co-workers and life long learners.

It is from all of you that I have learned to trust, respect, encourage, listen, teach, cry and feel. 

Thank you for helping me build and strengthen my character....giving me hope to become a better person every day.

This world is a better place because of all of you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Finding Balance

Why does it take so long to gain an ounce of self-esteem, and such a short time to destroy it?  One word, one phrase, one criticism is all it takes sometimes to destroy a dream, shatter a passion, obliviate the success.

There has to be a better way.  It is similar to our weight.  It takes hard work, and time to lose weight safely, yet, it seems to take no time at all to gain it..

Balance...Finding balance in body and mind.  I have this bag of others comments, opinions, judgements that I carry with me every day.  The bag gets heavier and heavier, weighing me down.  I am getting tired of carrying it with me all the time.

I also have a beautiful box that I keep in a very special place at home.  It is hidden, for safe keeping.  It contains my successes...my accomplishments...the things I am proud of.  It also holds the compliments that I get here and there...sometimes daily.

You know the ones...the ones you get at work, out with friends, or even at the store.  We roll our eyes(I have that one down) we brush it off, ignore it.  Somehow we have trained ourselves so that we dont even hear it.  If we do happen to hear it, we push it away as if it doesnt exist, feeling as if they must have been talking to someone else.  That couldnt be me, I dont deserve that.

Why dont we decide to carry around our special boxes?  The one that contains pride, happiness, fullfillment, success....vs. the heavy bag that contains disturbing, disappointing and disruptive thoughts.  I do not know if I want to carry that anymore.  It is unwelcome, unwanted, unpleasant and unnessecary.

I am realizing that we have the control of what we decide to carry with us, and what we can decide to leave at home or throw away.

Lets all take a vacation!...a permanent one, and only bring that special box of good thoughts, supportive memories, confidence building successes.  Lets also bring our favorite clothes.  The ones that make you feel good about yourself.  They are comfortable on your body, and fit the way you like.

Lets let go of the heavy box. Unpack those unwanted criticisms, the judgements, the comparisons. Lightening our load, both physically and emotionally. Trying not to get caught up collecting that heavy stuff.  Simplify, release and let go.  Get the balance in your life back. Life is too short to always be so unsure, unsteady and off balance.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Digging In

Are you kidding me?  She is going to weigh us in front of the whole team?  Shit...My heart races, my palms start to sweat, I feel lightheaded.  I think I am going to be sick...This can't be happening.  I should have worked out more over the summer, I shouldn't have eaten so much...why did I do that...shit

"Wow Anne, What did you do all summer? EAT??"  My coach announces...in front of everyone.  In an instant I am transported back in time...shame, dread and guilt come rushing through me like a charging freight train.  Every inch of me is in discomfort.  Everyone is looking at me, whispering how fat I am, I just know it.  Where can I run, how can I hide...please, just let me disappear....

I step off the scale, hold back the tears and exit the room.  How could I have done this to myself...How could I have let this happen...again...I wont eat, I will show her.  I can be thin, just watch me.  How fast can I lose 10 pounds?

Salads, Diet Cokes and Double Sessions in August.  A recipe for disaster.  I played hard, fought harder, felt miserable.  Soccer wasn't even fun anymore.  This had to stop

Stress, Anxiety, and obsession with food and exercise would continue to slam into me over and over again...30 years later, I have finally decided to plant my feet on the ground and say NO MORE!

My feet firmly planted, and I am beginning to finally grow roots...branches are beginning to reach out to others in need.  I see women of all ages...from tweens to seniors struggle with food, with exercise and with body image.  Why?  Who is it that we have to impress with what is in our grocery cart?  or how our butt looks in jeans? or  How far we can run?  How much we weigh?  I don't want to care anymore.

When we die, do we want our obituary to read?
     * She never ate anything bad for her
     * She was a perfect size 2
     * She was the fittest person I knew

And if that is the case, what is it that we want others to take away from our presence here?

Don't we all have more to offer than what is on the outside?  What about things like honesty, integrity, determination, dedication, drive, teamwork, love, compassion, laughter...

I am growing my tree in a different direction.  I don't care what it looks like, as long as it has lots of touch, durable branches, that spread out in different directions.  It is healthy and strong.  My tree appreciates the ground that supports it, the air that surrounds it, the rain and the sun that take turns nourishing it...It has learned the importance of a good foundation and has accepted that it may not look like any other tree in the forest.  Actually, I think my tree rather likes that fact.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Maxine and Me!

I have a brand new friend, her name is Maxine!  (Maxi-Me)!  She has moved into the neighborhood in my head.   She is awesome.  She shares the best part of herself with me every day.

My Mini-Me (my negative, self sabotaging voice) who has taken up residence for so long in my head, telling me I am not worthy, that I can't do anything right, I am not smart or fit enough, I cant do that...HAS BEEN REPLACED!.  

This new friend and internal voice, Maxine, lets me know that I am OK!  That I am human! That I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now...

I am gaining strength every day.  This is actually a very funny thing during this time...I can look in the mirror and visibly see that I have actually lost quite a bit of muscle and physical strength...yet I feel stronger than ever in other ways.

Maxine allows me to be comfortable being seen...What others say about me, or about others no longer has the impact of old.  I have released it to them...it is theirs...to have and to hold.  I need not absorb myself in becoming who "I am supposed to be",  or obsess over who they think "I should be", or how they think "I should act."

I am now more comfortable stepping outside the box and embracing my fears.  I have an Ali now in Maxine.  She is always right there providing me the support, she has a kind and compassionate voice.  I know she will support the words I say, the attitude I walk around with and the actions that I take.  

My Mini Me is amazingly resilient though.  I am not sure how she gets the transportation, or how she affords it, but she is constantly fighting to move back into my head, into the neighborhood in my head.  So that she has closer access to me than Maxine.  

My job now is to continue to give strength and attention to my new ali Maxine so she will continue to gain strength and confidence.  And...try my best to keep Mini Me far, far away.  Continue to Ignore her voice and harassment.  

OHHHH that gives me a great idea!  I will calling the police to put a restraining order on my Mini Me, keep her out of my neighborhood once and for all.  Maybe that will help!

Please feel free to send your Mini Me on vacation too...or assign them a restraining order.  Keep her out of your head.  

When she comes back in...acknowledge her,  and then send her on away.  Our Mini-Me's are not helpful to us...They are not our friends.  Find other friends...ones that support and care about you.  None of us needs a friend that only picks a fight.  We want friends who love us...no matter what!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mirror Mirror

It was like I was looking into a Mirror as I looked into my friends eyes.  All I could see was the pain and sadness.  I am instantly right there with her...feeling her pain, feeling her sadness and wishing somehow I could just reach inside her and pull it all out.  Take away the sorrow, and fill her with joy.

Wouldn't that be interesting...like a lipo-suction machine, we could suck the pain, the hurt and the sadness right out, then refill up with happiness, joy and laughter.  Free re-fills no less!

Or would it really?

How would we even know happy, if we were happy all the time? It is the contrast of happy to sad, energetic to tired, angry to enlightened, that makes us experience what life has to offer us.

We cannot take away others pain, yet we can be there...we can listen, hug, support and understand.  We can share a smile and maybe even help make them laugh.  We have to let our friends experience their pain, as hard as it may be for us to watch, it is much harder for them to feel.

We look in a Mirror to see ourselves.  If we are happy and feeling good about ourselves, we usually like what we see....Yet...if we are in pain, sad, afraid, angry, tired, or hungry...we see our reflection and instantaneously tear it apart.  Why do we do that?  Why can't we look in a mirror and smile?  Give ourselves a break?  Know that you are doing the best that you can?  Try pretending that your own reflection of sadness is that of your best friend.  Understand the sadness, support it and share a smile of comfort.

We mirror the feelings of our friends, our sons and daughters, our moms and dads and our partners as if they ar our own, yet we do not own them, they do.  We need not take on their pain.  We must stand strong and lend support.  Become their foundation and support beams to hold them up or catch them if they fall.  You know that they would be there for you.
 
This friend was my support, my foundation, my oxygen during a time I needed it.  It is my turn, and I all I can do is hope that I can provide all the love and support that I can. 

Sending my love, my strength, my smile and a hug to ANYONE who needs a little support today...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Who are you really?

How many times do we here the question " What do you do?"

Usually there is no real thought to the answer.  " I am an exercise instructor" I would say.

"Oh, like Richard Simmons?" 

"Ah, umm, well, I guess so."

If your job was taken away...who would you be?

The answer was not easy for me.  Exercise and nutrition have been a major part of my whole life.  Yet, I now find myself in new territory.   I was posed this question just recently by my husband: What is the future you will write for yourself today?  

I have realized that our work does not define us.  We are so much more than that. We have so many wonderful layers...love, care, compassion, friendships, family, talents, hobbies.  Our work does not define us.  I am finding out more about myself every day, and loving the process.  Do I get stuck sometimes? Of course...but that is what makes it so interesting.

What are some of your hidden talents, passions in this life, untapped dreams?  This blog is one of mine.  I have taken a chance, faced a fear, and am loving it.  Thank you all for reading and supporting me through this process.

So, I challenge you to step outside the box, and try something new...

I realize I like to help others feel good about themselves, encourage and support them in thier goals, let them know how much they matter.

Hmmm, interesting, I guess I am a little like Richard Simmons after all! 

Remember, your work does not define you, YOU DEFINE YOU!

Monday, February 9, 2015

A Cup of Tea with Mom

Over the last 4 years, I have been blessed with bonus quality time with both of my parents. I have found it truly amazing that it only takes a cup of tea and some alone time and all of a sudden I am transported back in time with them...Feeling and learning more about who they really are. 

Traditionally, a Father will walk his daughter down the isle at her wedding.  I decided to ask both my mom and dad to walk me down the isle a couple years ago.  My mom so innocently asks me "Can you do that?  Is that allowed?"  I happily fill her in...yes, mom, I can do whatever I want.  She was thrilled...

Then, the fall.  A call from my dad.  "Your mother fell.  She broke her hip and her shoulder, they are transporting her up to Dartmouth"  We were in the car within minutes.  Surgery they told us...worry, fear...sadness.  Yet, for my mom, I began to realize her amazing strength and will.  She was determined to walk me down the isle at the wedding.(even though I told her we could decorate a wheel chair, and she would look awesome!) .  Day after day, workout after workout, at 86 my mom showed tremendous dedication and vision.  Yes, a few months later she walked me down the isle at my wedding.  Tears of joy in all our eyes.

My moms story, and strength continues to amaze me.  I have learned more about where this determination and strength has come from, through small snipets of time carved out by circumstance...or is it fate...and a cup of tea.

As she sits in front of me, she shares the story of walking into her bedroom after elementary school time and time again, to see her mother in her bedroom, staring at a baby picture on the wall and crying.  The picture was of her brother Russell, born before my mom.   He died at 9 months...As a young girl...what else would you think other than this: She didn't want me, she wanted him.  Why did they even have me?  hurt, broken, sad....disconnected from her mom...and dad... 

Flash forward in time, 19 years old, my mom is a freshman at college.  On her own for the first time.  Worried about leaving her mom, but was reassured by her that she should go.  Her brother calls her: "You have to come home, mom is dead...committed suicide".  My moms first thoughts?  I should have never left home to come here"  She takes another sip of her tea...I went home to take care of my father she tells me...and what happens next?  He takes his own life too...I was lost, My older brother off at war, I was alone.

My thoughts go to all the things that we do today when life falls apart on us...drink, drugs, gamble, eat, shop, sex, exercise...Not my mom...

A good friend and a plane ticket, 1/2 way around the world they go to Hawaii.  Their plans are to work at different places around the world.  In Hawaii they work at the YWCA...too bad her friend falls in love and their journey is cut short.  Now what?  I think...wow, this is a sign to travel down a bad path again...NO...not for mom...Off to Tufts she goes...and meets my dad. :)  Insert happy face here!

It is now that her past begins to haunt her.  In a time where psycho therapy is taboo, she realizes her need....there has to be more to life she thinks.  She sees people being happy and decides to find her way there.  She seeks help to fight her inner demons and works her way slowly back to herself.

As she shares this story, I am amazed at her resilience and strength.  The knowledge, insight, and persistence to know that there had to be more to life, and the guts to ask for help when she needed it...shows you how strong she really is...all 4'10" of her.  Petite Package...astounding strength.

This one is for you mom...I love you, and am so grateful you chose to take me home to be your daughter.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

ENOUGH ALREADY!

"You are different than you were 15 minutes ago" My friend Dawn of 20 years says.  I say nothing, yet think Really? hmmm

The cloud so easily forms over my head.  In an instant I am transported back.  Tightness in my chest, shame, guilt, fear.  Don't say a word...tiptoe around, don't make a sound.  Keep everyone happy.

Why do we let past experiences wash over us so quickly, and take up residence, like an old coffee table.  We decide to jump right back into those old feelings.  It is like a WAY TOO HOT hot tub we decide to jump into...like we deserve these feelings.  Something about them feels right...feels familiar.  It must be the way I am supposed to be feeling.  I deserve to feel like this because I can never say the right thing, do the right thing, make him happy.

Just yesterday, I jumped right back into that Hot Tub...OUCH...it was way to hot and completely uncomfortable.  The laughing, relaxed Annie vanished...out of sight...hiding on the inside, afraid to come out to play.  She does not deserve this happiness...She isn't allowed to forget about this other feeling...fearful, uncomfortable, shameful.  The one that is thrust upon her in a moment...so easily and oddly familiar.

Our lives are full of experiences and people.  Some are wonderful, and others not so much.  I am grateful for my friend letting me know that I unknowingly traveled back in time to the comfort of the uncomfortable hot tub.  If she hadn't brought it to my attention, I would not be in this place this morning saying ENOUGH ALREADY!

I have to let go of the old programs...the old tapes that play over and over again in my head. The ones that tell me I cant, I shouldn't have, I am so stupid.  I have placed these sayings in my head as a strong line of defense to protect myself from being hurt by others.  I have placed them there to keep the peace in my household...Day after Day, Year after Year.

It is time..

To let go of the past, for it is done.  We cannot go back and change it...Unless you are Bill Murray in an episode of Ground hog day...How many times did it take for him to get it "right?"

I am moving forward today, writing my own story and stepping into it with confidence and strength.  Replacing my old programs with good ones.  The past has given me my tools.  I have learned how to use them, but they  will not define me.

Today we start fresh...Lets Rock it.  Anyone with me???

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mini Me

At any time, on any given day, there will be someone smarter, prettier, stronger, thinner, fitter than me...why do we all have this little mini me that makes sure we don't forget this?  This little voice makes sure we know that we are not quite enough...we should have...we shouldn't have...we can't...

Why do we listen? Who invited this person into our neighborhood? AND....Who moved them in right next door?  She is a nosy, meddling, malicious, busybody.   Making sure you know exactly how she feels about your every move.  

Can we please send this mini me on a permanent vacation somewhere far away?   Why don't we decide to invite only people we really like into our neighborhoods?  

What would your day look and feel like if your mini me had only good things to say...Atta boys, compliments, high fives....and that all the people you are surrounded by ( deep inside your head) genuinely like you!  

I am tired of this negative, hurtful mini me and have decided to send her packing.  I wish her no harm, I just know listening to her is not helpful to me.

I am replacing her with a new neighbor!  She is much more positive, and likes me just the way I am.  I've decided to call her Maxy (maxi me).  She likes the clothes I wear, how I look, what I choose to do, or not do.  We enjoy each others company.  Her voice is that of a good friend, reassuring, comforting, understanding...

I am meeting her for a cup of coffee now...I wish she moved in a  lot sooner!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Running to or away?

I looked at the clock...3:11am, great, a whole 8 minutes after I looked the last time.  I climbed out of bed and pulled on my sweat pants, running bra, three layers on top.  I take the walk up the cold wooden stairs, lace up my sneakers and head out the door.  At this point it is automatic.   I am glad it is early, my schedule says 7 miles, I will be able to run longer though....maybe 9 before I have to get to work to teach the boot camp class at 6am.

Running has become my best friend.  I devour books, magazines, training logs.  I am engulfed with the discipline.  I am dedicated, driven, obsessed and addicted.  The feeling is all too familiar.  How did I get here?  Flashbacks of my anorexia years haunt me.  Am I running away from myself? Or am I running to find myself... I knew I needed help.

I was standing in the kitchen with my oldest daughter.  After a semester of tears, depression and anxiety, we had taken her out of high school. Remove her from the atmosphere that was slowly destroying her and taking her spirit.   There it was, the voice, the tone, the terror.  I had heard it many times.  Making me feel sick to my stomach and making me want to disappear.  Only this time it was not directed at me.  It was directed at her.

That was the moment. Fish or cut bait...I filed for divorce the following day.

Scared, frightened, disappointed, ashamed, guilty...out the door I would go, running again...using it to escape.  Masking my emotions, my anger, my hurt.  Day after day...mile after mile...

I was drinking to help me sleep.  Weight was falling off me.  This is awesome I am thinking to myself.   Isn't that what we all want? To be skinnier?  Co-workers and friends expressed thier concern.  I just thought they were jealous because I was thin now...so proud of myself.

3 miles turned into 6-8-10.  My body always in pain.  A glass of wine, or 2 or 3.   There.  Now I feel better.  I close my eyes...sleep,  ahhh...finally.

Day after day, week after week, month after month.  More and more exersice.  I was lost.  I was depressed.  My daughters needed thier mother back.

Asking for help takes courage and strength.  It is not a sign of weakness.  With the love and support of friends, I began to find my way back to myself.  I asked for help.

When you find yourself in a hole,  that either you can't get out of, or maybe dont want to get out of, find the strength to ask for help.  This life is to be lived with joy, purpose, passion and love.  We all have our own unique talents and experiences to bring to each other.  Let your friends and family be blessed with all of you.  Pull yourself out of the hole.  There is always someone who will be willing throw you a rope, but they can't pull you out unless you are ready.

The strength is within all of us...ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Love on the Rocks

It just happened.  I remember the specific moment I fell in love.  I did not want it to happen.  It was too soon.  The ink was barely dry from my divorce.  Not yet...it was too soon.

It didnt matter, time and time again he proved to me that he was the most caring, sincere, patient  and kind person I had ever been with.  And that was just the beginning of what attracted me to him.  That part was his brilliance, passion, drive and dedication to his work, his friends and his family.

As we stood on the pebble beach at Fort Williams in Maine, both looking out at the expansive ocean before us, his arms were wrapped around my waist.  We could feel the breeze across our faces, and the contrasting warmth of the sun.   He whispered in my ear, "Close your eyes and listen...what do you hear?"

I close my eyes and wonder what he is talking about....all I can hear is his breath and the ocean waves.   I am unclear what he is getting at.  He senses this and continues..."listen again, listen to the sound of the rocks as the water travels through them on thier way in and out."

I listen closer this time...mmmm...mesmerizing, relaxing, soulful....the waves crashing over the rocks with an energizing force and as they retreat, you can actually hear how they soften, and glide gently back to thier home making the most wonderful sound.  Similar to a maraca playing softly in the distance.

I am at complete peace, for the first time in years...I have complete trust in this man.

Love comes from a place deep inside.  We cannot force it, we cannot time it.  It comes when we least expect it.

This man is now my husband....and everyday I learn more about him, falling more and more in love with all of him.  Well, most of the time anyway :)