I just cancelled my date for tonight.

I haven’t been on a date in a long time and I had a good one planned with someone interesting, doing something fun which was his idea 100% and I still cancelled it.

I’m not feeling well.  I didn’t have an excitement about going when I woke up after a night of weird sort of feverish sleep.  It’s not a good idea to put your best food forward when your best foot just wants to be under your down comforter.


And honestly I wasn’t totally feeling it with this guy just from our brief exchanges and had been trying to talk myself in to being excited about the date.

What was kind of a twist about it though is that I got a chance to talk to him on the phone for a bit to explain and he was so understanding and cool about me rescheduling that it made me actually excited about going out with him when it does happen.  It’s funny how that happens sometimes.

Things can just turn on the smallest dime.


gotta be careful about who I label a frog–that dime might be a crown in disguise

I realized that I’ve just not had enough unstructured time to myself lately.  I’m a person who needs–probably more than most– patches of wandering aimlessly on a regular basis.  When I’m too scheduled and over committed I get cranky.  To have an entire landscape of a day in front of me with absolutely no plans is my idea of Heaven.

I love this day already.

20140719-145715-53835256.jpg 20140719-145719-53839633.jpg

So here I am with my coffee, smoothie, one of Max’s clay masks on my face, my new cute manicure and my fountain dancing in the light outside, ready to tell another story.   Another one that I keep laughing about.  Hope you will too.

I’ve been repeating a lot of courses lately in my profession; Myofascial Release.


I’ve been practicing this therapy for 25 years, have taken all of the courses, most multiple times and have assisted my teacher John F. Barnes with teaching seminars for two decades.  This Spring I decided to go back to the beginning and repeat the majority of the courses again.


my dad even took an MFR course!

This is a no brainer.  I’ve probably spent as much or more in lodging in Sedona all these years as I have in training (Sedona is where all of the MFR courses are taught–other places too but Sedona is kind of the mecca of MFR).  Now I have a house to stay at, a kitchen to cook in so this is just obvious.


I’ve been having a blast digging deeper in to myself, healing, growing.  Relationships have blossomed, some have shifted in other ways and it’s been kind of an intensive time of diving inward.  I’ve taken five seminars since March.  And I’m not finished yet.  🙂

Sometimes, in anything, it’s just smart to go back to the beginning.


Myofascial Release is as much a philosophy of living as it is a therapeutic practice.  It’s as much an art as it is a science.

One of the fundamental tenets of this approach has to do with how we view change.  John Barnes has a clear notion about how the process of change/healing occurs and this embraces the whole scary concept of chaos.


We believe that in order for true healing to occur, patterns that are deterring the organism (the body/mind systems of being human) from optimal function need to be disrupted.  Then the innate intelligence that is the force that keeps our heart beating and our lungs breathing as well as all other automatic functions  being constant–the very life force if you will–takes over.  It will slip between the cracks of that broken dysfunctional pattern and express itself as vibrant health:  that which we are designed to experience.


It goes basically like this:

Pattern of dysfunction disrupts ——> period of chaos as the system finds a new normal ——> reorganization occurs at a higher functioning level.

As therapists, we seek those patterns of dysfunction in the system and for lack of a better word, guide and support the being to consider options as patterns break and we support them as they cross that chasm of chaos.


Stage two is always the hardest.  We all crave the familiar.  We all find comfort in our dysfunctional patterns.  I don’t care how “advanced” you think you are, that pattern has settled in to your system because it’s easier or more comfortable on some level than trying to live without it.

I could go on and on about this philosophy but I’ll leave it at that.  Let’s just say, if you are diving in to this modality for deep healing and you notice that you are somewhat scrambled and out of sorts, we say HURRAY!  You are healing!  The patterns are disrupting and you are moving through that canyon of chaos…keep going!


The biggest sign of success with this work is a signal of CHANGE.

So we get very excited when we see this.  And we know it’s not easy so it’s important we take a position of confidence as each person enters in to those uncharted waters.

Hapuna Light #1 - Hapuna Beach, Big Islan, Hawaii

All of that preamble is necessary to truly understand the deeper story within the story I’m about to tell you.

And it has to do with my purse.

I know all you ladies out there reading know how attached we are to our purses.  On so many levels–the function and fashion.  The options.  The practicality.  The tendency to hoard crazy things.  The safety and security a purse provides.  “My life is in there” you will often hear someone say.  Maybe you’ve said it yourself.


Or maybe you’re like me and you don’t really, exactly know what is in your purse much of the time.   You don’t really remember exactly which credit cards are in there, what important card or document you’ve shoved in there a few weeks ago rambling around at the bottom;  what earrings you pulled off when you had a massage that could be in any number of compartments.

And don’t even get me started on the lipsticks.


you know I’m right

Notice I’m not even mentioning money!  Yet.  Or identification.

Our purses just have so many roles in our lives and, as a species, we women tend to be very very attached to them.

A few weeks ago, I had just come home from 8 days out of 11 in two major MFR courses:  Rebounding and Advanced Unwinding.  I’ve taken both of these numerous times over the years.  At this stage of my career, to be honest, I’m mostly interested in the personal growth that comes out the courses.  It’s kind of backwards now–in the beginning it was all about learning the techniques then if some personal healing came out of it too, great!

Woman unmasked

Now it’s more like I’m invested in my personal development then realize I’m getting reminded of techniques long forgotten and get a boost in my  practice as a therapist as a bonus.

The second course, Advanced Unwinding, is one that really goes for the heart of those patterns of dysfunction I talked about earlier.  It kind of is designed to throw you in to chaos over and over again while you are learning so this knowledge slips deep in to your cellular matrix, sometimes without you even knowing.  My teacher designs the courses just for this to happen.  He makes us all very uncomfortable seated way too close together and moving from one intense technique to another.  It’s not uncommon to hear people sharing in the mornings how they’ve not slept well or had a fight with their boyfriend or crashed for the night at 5pm.


John is so devoted to this process he will respond with words like “that’s great…you’re doing great”.  I’ve learned so much from him just from witnessing his unshakable confidence in the process.  He is a big soft teddy bear bad ass.  Everyone falls in love with him and his long white ponytail at some point–men and women.  Everyone who sticks around anyway.


Back to the story.

I returned to work immediately after taking Advanced Unwinding feeling refreshed and more alive and happy.  I had gone through all kinds of things during the course but by the time I got home I was ready to get back to work and energized!


My first day back at work, I had four clients back to back.  The last one was someone new so that’s always important to be on my A game for the assessment and the full explanation about the therapy and how it works.  I find this time spent with my clients is so invaluable so I have to be clear headed.

women with lightbulb

During my first session, close to the end, I heard the chime sound from my front door.  It was five minutes til noon. I glanced at the clock because it seemed early for my next person to arrive and it was.  Twenty minutes early–a bit unusual for her.  I just noted that then shortly thereafter heard the chime sound again.  “Oh it was just the postman” I thought and finished my session thinking nothing of it.

My office is tucked in to this sweet, safe courtyard where I always feel 100% comfortable.  I love it there.


The next client did arrive on time and I went about my day with back to back appts right up to the new person at the end of my day.  I have to say I congratulated myself for being so clear and kicking it out of the ballpark with this guy and he, not knowing anything about this modality, was on board with the philosophy before we got started.  I only say this because sometimes it can come off kind of “woowoo” to some people–particularly left brained thinking people, like those who, ya know, are men.  😉  I nailed it with this guy.


my cozy, safe treatment room

I felt so good at the end of my day–good energy, good successes all day.  Just in a good groove.

Until the very last moment of the day when I had closed up the office and went to lock up and realized, WHERE IS MY PURSE???

Now I can’t say I was exactly smart about the place I tended to place my purse–under my desk.

I looked everywhere–ran out to my car–no purse, the closet; no purse, my treatment room (a longshot); no purse.  I kept shoving out of my mind over and over that chime I’d heard at five til noon.  The “postman” chime.


I came out of denial in about five minutes and realized my purse had been stolen.

Someone walked right in there, maybe some kind of solicitor, saw my purse there on the floor and just grabbed it.



I instantly started thinking about what was and wasn’t in my purse.  I’d come back from Mexico not long ago–was my passport in there?  Where is my passport anyway?  How much cash?  Dammit, there was $200 cash in there someone had just given me recently.  OMG, that check!  I had a $1000 check made out to me to deposit after work that day.  From a bank.  And that burglar had that now and all my ID.  For the last 4.5 hours!  What damage have they done by now?

I went in to action mode as anyone would.  Called the police (ha! As if they cared about a stolen purse hours before), called and cancelled both debit cards, jumped in my car and as I raced to the Credit Union, called a couple other cards and the issuer of the $1K check en route.


I flew in to the bank and immediately blurted out at the reception desk to the two girls there “my purse was just stolen”.  You can imagine their faces.  I imagine they were the same face I’d see if I could see through this screen right now at your own very face thinking about this happening to you (I’m right aren’t I?).  O M G!  Your purse!

The cute blond on the left goes immediately in to action mode asking me my account numbers (good thing I have them memorized) and tells me it doesn’t seem there is any nefarious activity on my accounts yet.

Luckily I had a couple of checks from clients with me–not in my purse but in my appt. book I’d carried in there like a purse out of sheer security blanketness.  She deposited them for me then asked if I needed cash.

“If you lost your cash and have no cards maybe you want some cash back right now to carry you over until we get this sorted out”


How considerate.

I told her I didn’t even have ID to show her other than a business card and she just said “don’t worry about it, I’ll ask you security questions”.

Shortly after that she got me back in a private office with Matt, a bank associate who also sprung in to action.

He helped me figure out what to do about that big check and explained that they would know if someone had tried to cash it at the bank as it needs to be deposited before withdrawing the cash and there was no sign of anyone attempting that …yet.  He offered to put a note on my account to require a security word if anyone tried to cash it.

“They typically do this kind of thing through the drive through so I’ll make sure they have this alert–and if they come through at least you’ve got them on camera now”.

He was full of good ideas.

My checkbook was also in there.  Both work and personal checks. Ugh!


Matt helped me problem solve how to figure out which checks to stop payment on but I’d have to go home and look at my boxes of checks to see where they ended so we could just block all of them in the purse.

He also told me he could get me a new debit card immediately but I’d need a photo ID.  I was obsessing about my passport and didn’t think I had it in there but….I wasn’t 100% sure.  I decided to run right home and find that or some other ID and return to at least get a new debit card.

To backtrack for a moment, as I was sitting in Matt’s office, sometime during that 45 min. crisis visit, I whispered “bastard got my favorite sunglasses” as I was attempting to inventory the contents of my dumping grounds of a purse in my head.


As I got up to leave his office I instinctively reached for my head and there were my sunglasses!  I turned , a few steps from his door and said “Um Matt..?” pointing at my glasses.  He laughed and said “well I noticed that but just figured those were not your favorite”.

A nice moment of levity in the whole intense situation.

I have to say though, in hindsight, as I drove home I noticed that I was not as panicked over the whole thing that I thought I would be.  I just kept thinking “oh well, this is just money–you will make more, you will get this sorted out”.  I was in action mode but not frozen in panic like I’ve been in situations like this before.  I was actually oddly calm.


I was also very grateful that this robber had not gotten my keys or phone.  I felt very lucky and a bit perplexed because my iphone was right there on the desk on the charger.  Whew!  Now that would have been a huge pain, not to mention the keys would have freaked me out.

I pulled in to my carport and swiftly entered my house to dig for where I thought the passport was in order to pivot right back to the bank.

I zipped in the laundry room door off the carport as I always do, rushed in to the foyer only to be Gobsmacked with this image.


Yes, you are seeing that correctly.

That is my purse sitting in it’s usual spot on my banister.  Where I always hang it when I walk in the door.

Yes, that purse had been hanging there ALL FREAKING DAY.

At home.

I had not even noticed I never had it when I went to work!  I’d even put that big check in there for the sole purpose of depositing it that morning and still didn’t remember it.


I NEVER leave my house without my purse and without noticing it!

This means I walked out of my house carrying my appt. book and keys, drove to work, walked in to work without my familiar purse on my shoulder and went the entire day without even noticing it wasn’t under my desk like it always was (not anymore).

I put myself and others, through that entire catastrophe needlessly and didn’t even know it!


I immediately started shaking my head and laughing and called Matt back. I thought I had to tell him immediately to see if any of the bells we’d initiated could be unrung.  I don’t even know if there is an adjective to describe the emotion I was feeling right then:  some kind of mix of relief and amusement and a tiny dash of embarassment–but not much.

My conversation with Matt went like this.

“This is Matt-<whatever his last name is>”

Me, in a very slow, calm, semi sing-songy voice:

“Um Matt, this is Kathy Monkman”

“Are you ok?” he inquired sounding worried.  I mean he had just seen me moments before.

“Matt, I have lost my damn mind.  I just walked in to my house and my purse is hanging on my banister” .


All I heard back in that moment was a very quiet hissing sound.

He couldn’t even speak through the suppressed hysterics.

It sounded like a tire leaking forced air.


“I’m headed back there right now to deposit this big check, is there anyway we can unring any of those bells?”  I said in a controlled hysteria.

“No but …<cough…hiss>….at least you aren’t really out any money, just some inconvenience”

“I’m coming right back”

“I’m sorry Kathy, I’m not laughing at you, this is just the best thing that’s happened to me all week”

“Oh, Matt, trust me, I’m laughing at myself right now.  Laugh away, this is a moment in life where you can totally laugh at someone”.

Eight minutes later I entered the bank to the cute blond girl and the other one looking at me something like this.


I just pointed to my purse, crossbody across my chest, and said one word:


Those girls were laughing so hard.

Matt finished what he was doing and brought me back again to his office.  We deposited the check, he took the alert off my account.  I apologized for wasting his time and he kept thanking me for the best story he’s ever had working at the bank.

As I walked away I turned and said, pointing at my glasses on my head,

“Um, thanks for not mentioning these”

And the laughter started up again and we ended on that note.

I stopped at the desk on my way out and said “surely you have some kind of comment card or something because I need to write Matt a recommendation for this as I really owe him one. As a matter of fact I want to write one for you too ” speaking to the cute young blond.

Who then shocked me with “I’m the bank manager”.


I nearly fell on the floor.

I thought and said out loud “I thought you were a little sorority girl from ASU”.

She started laughing and so did I and I walked out of that bank with a tear in my eye and twinkle in my step.

The only thing that could have made it any better would be if I’d tripped on the way out (which believe me could happen as I’m not the most graceful person you’d ever meet).



It wasn’t until later that evening, or maybe the next day that I realized “OMG I’m in total chaos right now from taking those courses!  RIGHT ON!”.

There is something about a purse that is a woman’s identity.  I mean we literally carry our identity cards in it.  I ended up concluding that I faux lost my identity that day but got it back unharmed.  There is something deep about that.


But I didn’t dig too far for the meaning.  I just enjoyed the entire entertainment of the whole deal.

That weekend I decided to make some cookies for the bank as a thank you.  I made these lemon cookies that really turned out to be kind of mini scones and put little dollar signs on some of them.  It’s the second time I’ve made cookies for them–the first being after they were held up at gunpoint a few years ago.


I walked in to the bank Monday morning carrying the cookies, the two completed comment cards and of course my purse.

The cute blond bank manager wasn’t at the desk (she probably almost never is in that position but was the faux purse steal day) but a young man was who DID legitimately look like an ASU student.  I asked if she was working and he explained it was her day off so I just said I was leaving the cookies for everyone but especially wanted her and Matt to know they were for them because of their exceptional service.

This young bespectacled man looked right back at me and said

“Oh you must be the lady with the purse” with a little smirk.

“Oh yes, that’s me”


I’m glad I have that reputation at the bank.  Someone who brings levity and cookies.

And I’m so glad I faux lost my purse without it having to be really stolen.

I’m excited to see where I’m gonna land now after all that chaos, with or without my purse in hand.

Woman Walking Through Door into Meadow






7 thoughts on “stolen

  1. My goodness, you do lead a complicated life full of adventures! I’m thrilled it all worked out so well…. And now all the bank personnel will give you exceptional personal attention 😉

    Cute purse, too! 🙂

  2. Lilibet

    What a great story, Kathy! It reminds me of a “sunglasses” experience my mother had with an Oakland, California policeman. She reported that her car had been stolen from its parking space at her retirement community. A few days later, she got a call from a nice policeman who told her that the person who stole her car had left it in the parking lot at a nearby grocery store. My Mom immediately realized that she had walked home from the store and forgotten she left her car there. I asked her if she ‘fessed up to the policeman and she laughed and said, “Of course not!” I know she was grateful to the kind Oakland cop who allowed her to keep her 75 year old dignity. 🙂

  3. Rose

    Love it! You’re our very own ‘Enid Blyton’ except the stories are all true and you’re often the main character! :)) Adventure and magic seem to follow you wherever you go. 🙂

  4. What a Great Storyteller you are Kathy. Very happy you found/never lost….your purse. 🙂
    Thanks for the smile this morning. Miss your face….Steve-o

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