Solitude, Why the Crazy Cat Lady is the new Guru

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Remember when we were kids and we’d see that lady checking out at the grocery store with 20 cans of cat food, one bag of kitty litter, ten lean cuisines, and a bottle of wine? I remember thinking, “Please God, don’t ever let me become a Crazy Cat Lady.” Well, here I am and all I’m missing is a cat. Thing about cats is that there’s always one that needs a home and they can smell out a solitary cat-less person from ten blocks away. Cats are magical, that’s why they are our masters. But I digress.

The thing about slowly becoming a Crazy Cat Lady is that there is no one around to disturb you. You have all the time in the world. You can spend hours talking to God, talking to shrubs (see my last blog post), meditating, working out, buying yourself a yummy gyro, and talking to friends who are also slowly evolving into Crazy Cat Women. The other perk is that you never have to share your wine.

Solitude has been sold to us as this terrible state of loneliness that eats the soul and withers the mind when in fact it’s a great place to heal, set internal boundaries, face down your personal demons, and really get to know yourself. You can’t know yourself in a crowd, but sit quietly alone and all of YOU will show up, the good and the troubling. I no longer fill my days. I wander through them. I cry, I reach out, I go to therapy, I see where I went wrong, and I see where I went right, I savor, I take deep breaths, and I simply exist. This is the most Zen I have been allowed to be in my entire life.

I no longer believe that time is money, that I need to keep my nose to the grindstone, or that the person with the most toys wins. Instead, I believe in watching squirrels hide nuts and chase each other up trees, I believe I can hear God in the wind when it blows through the forest, I believe in random miracles and intentional miracles and…just all miracles. I believe in appreciating mountains while not feeling the need to climb them. I believe in the magic of pedestrians who don’t look when they cross and I believe in the drivers who manage not to hit them everyday in this beautiful metropolis I live in. I believe in God because I see God in every person and structure and breeze that lifts every leaf in every tree.

The first step to following the teachings of the Crazy Cat Lady is to let go of social norms, stop caring about what the neighbor thinks, and just coexist. Meet your friends at the corner café and talk about art and music, or physics and spirituality if you’re feeling particularly saucy, and definitely talk about your cats because they’re magical, remember? Lastly, love yourself and all the people you come into contact with because in truth, everyone is fighting their own battles and no one gets off this planet alive.

Cheers my beloveds. Everyday is a new adventure. Meet it with all the grace and authenticity you can muster.

Wear your comfy shoes. Your fantastic just as you are. There is nothing you need do…except feed the cat.

Bring your Darkness to the light

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“If you bring forth what is within you,

what you bring forth will save you,

If you do not bring for what is within you,

what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

-The Gnostic Christ- Dead sea scrolls

Healing your stored trauma can be a scary undertaking. You have glimpses of what lays beneath the surface of your everyday life, but reaching down into the depths and grasping onto your painful past may be too much to bear. Healing is not for the weak. That’s why there are choices. You can stay in your disturbed normal, constantly triggered, depressed, plagued by nightmares and memories. You can smile through the pain and keep your nose to the grind stone. Or you can act out, making your pain everyone else’s pain, screaming in unwary people’s faces because they dare to wear the same kind of coat the man who raped you wore, or do their hair the way your violent mother did. Lastly, you can choose to dive deep and grasp onto your trauma and raise it into the light.

If you choose this last path, you are choosing healing, a release from pain and a path to self-discovery more beautiful than anything you could ever imagine. I have grasped this last path and I swear to you it is worth it. Your greatest hardship will probably be finding a good trauma therapist. I have yet to find one but have found that through meditation, talking to friends with trauma, and working with the 13 therapists I have gone through, I have gained an insight into what it is to drag your past into the light.

Begin with a trigger, sit down with the trigger and meditate on it. If you don’t know how to meditate learn on YouTube. Once you are able to sit with the trigger try to feel where it sits in the body. If this is too much, STOP! Some trauma cannot be processed alone. If you are managing to maintain self-mastery continue. Sit with the place where the trigger rests in the body and ask, how old was I when this happened, who was there, what happened, and finally, how can I release this. If it is a childhood trauma, comfort your little child, take the child away and take them to a safe place. I have a sacred place where my children recover until they are ready to reintegrate with me. This sacred place is a Disneyland of wonder watched over by angels.

We release trauma by crying and shaking it out, by coughing it up, by sobbing, by screaming into pillows, by journaling page after page as we feel and see what happened and offer it up to the light. Then share it in group, with your therapist, or if your lucky to have trauma informed friends, share it with them. What is done in the dark will come to the light-Genesis:4. And what you bring forth will save you- Gnostic Christ-Dead Sea Scrolls.

Healing takes time but the parts of you that will return are incredibly beautiful: Self-worth, creativity, righteous anger, adventure, emotional regulation, and so much more. If fear is what is standing in the way, remind yourself that fear is only the absence of faith. Faith in your creator to always have your back will unravel fear. Fear is not real. It only exists in the ego mind. You don’t need it. Choose faith and you will conquer fear, become fearless, step outside the power of the fearmongers, and become truly and completely you. YOU are the person you were meant to be. YOU are the person you have been waiting for. Dare greatly, live boldly, surrender your burdens to divinity, and reclaim your place on the world stage.

You are needed, you are wanted, you are deserving. Go forth and be great.

I love you.

Normalizing Trauma

Trauma is a very human experience. You can’t live on planet earth and not experience trauma at some point in your life. And the longer your life is the more likely it is that you will experience trauma. There’s different levels of trauma. There is a trauma that is emblazoned on your mind and triggers feelings of panic and depression. And then there are types of lesser traumas that trigger grief sadness or a mild sense of melancholy. These lesser traumas will not leave you in bed for weeks at a time or contemplating suicide like PTSD level trauma. Lesser traumas are the blues, they are the times when you remember something or sometime that hurt you.

As we go through life we either seek help and healing or we push down our traumas deeper and deeper into ourselves until they morph into an illness we didn’t see coming or become a state of permanent melancholy diagnosed as depression and treated with a pill. The important thing about trauma is to recognize it. In all it’s forms it must be recognized, it must be spoken about, it must be brought into the light, and it must be healed. According to Dr. Bessel van der Kolk MD, in his book The Body Keeps the Score, trauma is stored in the body. Only by releasing it from the body are we able to find healing.

The other interesting thing about diving into your trauma work is the reality that your family lineage also holds ancestral trauma, trauma from wars, traumas from sudden deaths, traumas from loss so terrible that they have left a ripple of pain running through your family that shows itself as alcoholism, domestic violence, drug abuse, isolation, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, and even the total avoidance of love, of feeling or interaction with others. Not being seen and not being heard is one of the cruelest forms of child abuse and yet millions of children suffer at the hands of parents completely incapable of feeling.

When we recognize the trauma that we are holding, when we honor it, we subsequently normalize it so it is no longer the skeleton in the closet ready to jump out and disrupt our lives. When we realize that nobody on this planet is playing the victim, and that hurt people hurt people, then we can open our hearts and extend love to even those individuals who seem so bent on trying to create pain. Find forgiveness for yourself and all people, practice self compassion, find a good trauma therapist who will help you uncover your pain and heal it. And honor your path. It wasn’t easy to get where you are but good or bad, you made it.

We are all humans having a human experience in a world that is very difficult to traverse. Let’s normalize mental health issues, let’s really talk about how we’re doing instead of always playing at “JUST FINE .” Let’s normalize the beauty and pain of living. Let’s do this hard thing together.

All my love goes to you as you walk this world. I am your sister in this moment and every other,

E. E. Orme

Sister Sincerity

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Spare me your small lies and subtle subterfuge laced in fake smiles and soft excuses.

Spare me the white lies that are little drops of shit rolled in sugar.

I held you when you were frightened, your tears and snot soaking my shirt because you were a child again, lost, frightened and real.

You once asked me what I valued most and I said, “Honesty” with firm and instant conviction.

I would rather have you swear in my face than lie to me with a smile.

I don’t know where our honesty went or when you decided that I was not worth being real with, sincere with, our honesty sliding from soulful communication to this sickening game of “happy.”

What is “happy” that it should supplant authenticity, reality and truth?

I don’t wear “happy” like a badge to hide my humanity.

I don’t wear “happy” to hide the reality that shit happens.

I don’t wear “happy” as a shield that screams, “I’m good with God so please don’t notice the chinks in my faith.”

I’ve seen your soul; I’ve seen it shine in real joy, glimmer in the light of real laughter, letting authentic “happy” shimmer like jubilant fire flies around you.

I’ve seen you shine and called you “sunshine,” so bright was your funny that just being near you made me “happy.”

Wag your tail sister, it was made to wag.

Let’s be real again, authentic and honest.

I miss your sparkle.

Locating your Authentic Self

Locating your Authentic Self is an important step towards relational intimacy. It is impossible to experience deep sustaining love if you are hiding behind a role. In life we misplace our true identity behind labels and ideas that obscure the person we really are. Removing the layers of pretense and fear driven identity can be an intimidating undertaking. Only through authenticity can you find freedom, joy and true love.

Fake identities manifest through fear, loneliness and a need to please, protect or be accepted. These labels come from parents, siblings, society, educational titles, or they may be self-applied. Labels start small but they quickly take on a life of their own, crippling their host’s ability to live authentically in the process. False identity states: I am not a whole person until you know this fact about me. Or, I wouldn’t be good enough for this moment if you knew the real me.

My most destructive false identity came with childhood. I was told that I was, drifty, irrational, difficult, bossy, too sensitive and controlling. These labels grew into, Bitch and finally Crazy Bitch, a title I took to with zeal. I wore it like battle armor, ready to shred my life and my family. Being Crazy Bitch, offered me a way to escape the permanent victim hood I was raised in.

When my husband first asked me out I said, “You don’t want to date me, I’m crazy.” Was this my truth? At the time I thought it was. After years of being labeled, of rebelling, and of being labeled again, I developed an identity that said I was crazy, untrustworthy and mercenary. He looked into my eyes and said, “You’re not crazy.” I remember how sad I felt for him. I knew that at some point I would shred him, break him, hurt him the way I had my family. I overcame my destructive false identity and have a healthy authentic marriage because of his love, trust and support.

In my book Magdalena’s Shadow, I introduce my audience to Coco, a girl who struggles with finding her true identity. Her story begins under the labels: idiot, unlovable and crazy. As the story progresses her labels grow to encompass: model, single mother and whore. Coco could succumb to these labels but like so many of us she strives to overcome the labels she was branded with. Guided by a strict code of personal integrity, Coco begins a compelling search for personal freedom, self-worth and lasting love.

Freedom is yours when you rise above unwanted roles and other people’s beliefs about what you should be. Sit down and list out the roles which you identify with and ask yourself, “how does this role make me feel?” Question, “who would I be if I didn’t believe this about myself?” Listen carefully to your heart’s answers. Be still with your authentic self. Take time to bond with the feeling of just being you, even if only for a moment. Stripping away the layers of false self can feel scary. It helps to understand that the false self has no integrity, is incapable of lasting love and lives wholly outside of intimacy because intimacy cannot be achieved in the presence of a lie.